Joy Smith turned from a successful career in non-fiction to the challenge of writing women’s fiction and found she loved weaving plots around interesting characters. Her romantic suspense, Green Fire, is her debut book. She has several other romance-based manuscripts in the works, plus a non-fiction book on boating. An avid sailor, she spent the past thirty years cruising the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea with “Captain My Way.” Her published works include two books on managing a sailboat, a cookbook, and a newly released book about wedding planning for moms. J. Smith and her handsome captain live in Connecticut and sail out of Mystic. During her spare time she continues to develop recipes to pass on, crochets prayer shawls, spoils their seven darling grandchildren, and tries not to eat too much ice-cream. Visit her online at www.joysmith.net
Good morning, Cheryl. Thank you for hosting me on your oh so enticing site this morning.
Please tell us about yourself. I write books, spend lots of time on the water sailing with my favorite captain, and have a bunch of grandkids to spoil. In my down time, I crochet prayer shawls and blankets. As far as my writing career, I'm a late bloomer. Once my kids became independent, I found I enjoyed writing, so I wrote what I knew--how-to’s about boating, cooking, and family, before turning to fiction. I wanted to write the kinds of books I enjoyed reading--and here I today with my newly released novel, GREEN FIRE.
What is GREEN FIRE about? Thought you’d never ask, Cheryl. The main setting is Bogata Colombia, which is the heart of the emerald trade. Victor, an aging, high-end gigolo flies there to meet his new-found brother, a corrupt security guard at an emerald mine, with the hidden agenda of finding more lucrative career. There, he meets and falls in love with Marisol, a single mother struggling to keep the family flower plantation out of the clutches of the emerald cartel. Victor worms his way into the stand-offish Marisol’s heart through her son, even as he agrees to partner in his brother’s emerald smuggling scheme, which he is horrified to learn involves her Marisol’s prized lilies. A smitten and regretful Victor must choose between being a wealthy criminal and the love and respect he always yearned for.
Can you share the inspiration behind the book?
That's easy. I love emeralds. When researching crime in Colombia for another story, I came upon an article about cocaine being smuggled out of the country in flower crates. I checked further into flower trade in Colombia, as well as emerald mining to develop the suspense portion of the plot. The title, GREEN FIRE comes a Colombian mining term. Those who will do anything to get emeralds--even kill or steal--are said to have “green fire" in their bellies.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about romance novels? I’ll sum it up in my husband’s words: “my wife writes about lusting thighs.” The term “romance” suggests a dirty book or a sappy love story--which may have been the case many years ago. Times have changed. Today’s romances are more daring and fast paced with intricate plots and well-crafted characters that appeal to men, as well as women.
Do you have a favorite romance novel or series? Too many to list, Cheryl, but books that come to mind right now are the single title, contemporary, romantic comedies by Kristan Higgins and the paranormal Nightkeeper Series by Jessica Anderson.
Where can readers purchase GREEN FIRE? GREEN FIRE is available as an e-book (all formats). It can be purchased direct from MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.
What’s up next for you? I am overhauling a paranormal romance involving time travel to ready it for submission, and have begun a new novel, a romance set on an island. Also, I am under contract to write a boating boat. (This commitment has really cut into my novel-writing time, but a bird in the hand…)