Message from Viola Mari
by Sabrina Devonshire
Contemporary Erotic Sci-Fi Romance
Publisher: Extasy Books
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Heat Level: Sizzling
Length: 157 pages
Extasy Books: http://www.extasybooks.com/message-from-viola-mari/
World-renowned oceanographer and meteorite specialist Marissa Jones uncovers evidence that a comet cloud will soon destroy Earth. When aspiring writer and her best friend Jennifer begs her to take a Saturday morning sci-fi writing class, Marissa reluctantly agrees. Writing her real-life story as fiction gives her an astonishing new perspective on the anomalous set of craters she discovered off the La Jolla Coast.
But this favor for her friend stirs up more than scientific results…writing teacher Justin Lincoln goads her constantly and taunts her with his irresistible curly blond locks and steely physique he knows only too well make women drool. Marissa teeters on the edge of anger and raging attraction for this irritating man. But it’s a terrible time to let lust call the shots when the world’s about to end and Marissa’s the only one who can save everyone.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains explicit sex scenes and/or situations and adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
5 Stars from Ellen Cross—“Marissa Jones is a young Oceanographer and Metorite specialist, with a poor track record with men. Driven by her best friend, Jennifer, to join a sci-fi writing class, Mari is forced to suffer the frustratingly personal attention of her beyond mouth-watering, yet insanely irritating teacher, Justin Lincoln. One look at Justin, and Mari doesn’t know whether to follow her body’s desire to kiss him, or satisfy her mind’s urge to punch his lights out. Mari’s research into the mysterious craters on the ocean floor, leads her to the discovery that the earth’s end is approaching in a cataclysmic event that will claim all life. With no-one willing to believe her research, Mari is left with not only the fate of all mankind in her hands, but a best friend to keep happy, a sexy man to figure out, and a book to finish writing. Simple huh? Sabrina Devonshire has exploded into the sci-fi genre with “A message from Viola Mari”. Her beautifully descriptive style with the delicious splashes of witty humour throughout, are a delight for the senses. “Message from Viola Mari” will keep you guessing right up until the very last page.”
5 Star from Dean C. McMillin—“Marissa Jones is an oceanic geologist specializing in studying ancient meteorite impacts. She’s tough and serious with little need for anything else in her life … But, when her best friend talks her into enrolling in a creative writing course, she falls hard for the instructor, Justin Lincoln, much to her embarrassment. Marissa can’t believe that she’s so attracted to the hunky writing guru. She has to get over her own insecurities and accept the truth of his love … At the same time, she is uncovering an ancient secret that might mean doom for humanity … Unless she can find a solution and decipher what she believes is an alien message of hope. Investigating ancient underwater meteorite impact sites with Justin, Marissa becomes involved in life-threatening intrigues in a conflict that leads to an action-packed climax. This was an offbeat novel which I found to be a quick and easy read. The characters were sympathetic and relatable, and writing was clear, the story briskly paced. The story veers quite heavily into science fiction territory near the end, which is set up very well earlier in the book. Overall, a fun, light read.”
Men in my life, in La Jolla and elsewhere, had been few and far between. I spent most of my waking hours working alongside male coworkers who cocooned themselves in polyester and bathed infrequently. My mother suggested taking up tennis and golf to meet eligible bachelors, so I dutifully joined the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.
On the tennis and golf course, the closest I ever came to a romantic encounter was when a Kevin Costner look-alike handed me a golf ball that had hit him in the head and glared at me. Then there was the titillating conversation I had with a dark-haired police officer after I sent a golf ball reeling through the window of someone’s BMW.
It’s not that I’m out of shape. I’m proficient at running and swimming. But engaging in any sport that requires swinging, balancing or hitting any kind of target—other than an unintended one—is a high-risk endeavor for me.
People often romanticize the typical day-in-the-life of a female oceanographer. They imagine that I stand with windblown hair on the bow of a majestic ocean vessel, my makeup undisturbed after photographing underwater scenes from the safe cocoon of my submersible. But no, I am the woman every mother prays her daughter won’t become. Once a tomboy who petted amphibians and reptiles and collected rows of muddy rocks, rather than dolls, I’m now an employed adult who rarely dons cosmetic products and spends most of my waking hours in a windowless laboratory.
I was completely content with my dirty fingernails, make-up free face, and solitary weekend nights in the lab until one of Jennifer’s schemes landed me face-to-face with a man who transformed my ordered universe into chaos.
Welcome to my book site. I can’t wait to get to know you. First, tell us about yourself.
I grew up in central Ohio, left the snow and gloomy weather behind at age 18 and eventually ended up in southern Arizona where the sun shines more than 300 days a year (yea!). Swimming is my favorite hobby and form of mental therapy—I love paddling around in the ocean the most, but I’ll settle for an endorphin rush at the local pool. I also enjoy travelling to exotic places—I caught the travel bug during the two years we lived in Peru in the ‘90s. I enjoy spending time with my husband and two grown children and I’m also an avid reader.
I love the sun myself. I left Boston and the frigid winters for sunny Miami. It’s humid and so different here. Arizona always looks less busy, and sometimes I wish I moved there instead. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?
Probably coastal Costa Rica—not near the tourist strips, but in the more remote areas of the country such as the Osa Peninsula where no one hurries or rushes. In Drake Bay, you wake up every morning to the sound of frogs singing, birds chirping, and waves crashing on the sand. You can walk on the beach and watch brilliantly colored scarlet macaws fly from tree to tree. If I lived there I’d swim in the ocean every day and write outside every morning.
Sounds lovely, thought I cannot imagine living so alone. I grew up in a city and have only ever moved to urban areas. Living alone like that sounds like a fairy tale to me. Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
I have two day jobs—magazine writing and fitness work. I’m employed as a personal trainer/group exercise instructor/swimming instructor at an active adult community; helping clients ages 55 to 95 improve flexibility, balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. I used my 25 years of expertise to launch a freelance writing career. I publish several articles monthly pertaining to health and fitness and swimming.
You’ve been a writer for a long time then. Wow. I’m so impressed. What is your next project and when will it be released?
I’m currently finishing up the second of a two-part romantic suspense series called Dangerous Descent. Both books will be released by Extasy Books in July, the second one 15 days after the first. The male protagonist, Kent Dunbar, is the cave expedition leader and the female protagonist, Rebecca (last name TBD), signs on as an assistant out of a desire to escape her too-routine life.
Wow you sound so prolific and awesome. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
My inspiration comes from a variety of sources—news headlines, movies, conversations, overheard arguments between couples, life-changing experiences (most recently, releasing baby turtles into the ocean). Spending time outside in a really peaceful place—like the Romero Pools in Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains—or sitting outside and staring at the stars in the middle of the night often incites a rush of ideas. There’s something about harried living; struggling to complete one agenda item after another and checking email and answering calls that blocks my creativity. Visiting a serene place helps me reconnect to something much bigger than the small realm of my own life and that renews my creativity.
Sounds more like a spiritual experience for you. Part of me wants to follow you and learn to mediate again. It’s hard to stay still for me, which sounds funny. What is your favorite part of writing?
Writing is most enjoyable when I’m feeling super-inspired to the point that my skin tingles with excitement to get all my ideas down on paper. When I’m inspired like this, writing feels effortless and so freeing and I’m enjoying every moment and wishing I never had to stop.
There is a joy in telling stories. So what is your least favorite part of writing?
Writing can become a chore when I’m feeling blocked and typing each word feels like trying to break through a brick wall. Final edits before a book release are super stressful, too. I get so worried that in my exhausted state, I’ll miss something important I should have caught and end up disappointing my readers.
Interesting answers. We’re all so different, which is awesome because there are so many great authors out there. Do you have critique partners?
In addition to the editing help I get from Extasy Books, I usually rely on one or more additional readers for suggestions. In the case of the Dangerous Descents series, where the characters spend most of their waking hours descending and ascending cave walls, I called upon a reader with climbing expertise to ensure the research I’d relied on to write the scenes was as accurate as possible.
Sounds smart. I’d miss my critique from my writer friends on Saturdays. There is my basis to know if I’m hitting or missing, but then I’m not married. Don’t have that support system. How does your family feel about your writing career?
My husband has always been 100 percent behind me when it’s come to my writing career. I probably never would have published a book if it weren’t for his support. There were days I was depressed and in tears over rejections and I would talk of giving up and he would reassure me I was a talented writer and needed to forge on because people would want to read my books. Fortunately, I listened and picked myself up time and time again until the day came Extasy Books said “yes.” I’m so grateful for all his support! For years, I’ve spent Tuesdays and nights working on writing projects at home. This home work situation was very stressful for me when my daughter was young. My son has always been low maintenance and asked if I was busy before entering my office, but my daughter never really understood the concept of work that urgently had to be done in a home setting. She would burst in during a telephone interview and start talking or call home sick conveniently most Tuesdays and ask to be picked up “since you’re just at home.” I constantly felt torn between the commitment to my child and getting work done on time (which pays the bills). The first time I turned in a project late, I had an almost final draft ready to fire off (it was 10 minutes until 5 and the project was due at 5 p.m.) my daughter called me from school in tears because she wasn’t going to be able to compete in a swim meet if I didn’t sign a form she needed. So I ditched my project and dashed off to the school and fortunately my editor was very understanding. Now that my children are adults, it’s much easier and less stressful to do at-home work. In retrospect, I’m really glad I didn’t get a book published until they were grown. There is so much work that went into getting the books to completion and I’m glad I didn’t lose precious time with my children carrying on that additional workload.
Your family sounds awesome though and you were a great mom. What is your typical day like?
I love the blend of the active and the sedentary that my blend of work provides. I usually swim a mile or two, head to the gym and train several clients and then come home and write. After standing and being active for a several hours, I feel calm and ready to sit at my computer (usually on a stability ball, which is easy on my back and allows me to fidget). I move my laptop around the house to follow the light and got outside when the weather’s nice. On Tuesdays, I typically enjoy a long swim midday after a few hours of writing and then write more in the afternoon.
Swimming is an awesome way to work out new ideas, at least to me. Let’s talk reading books now. Do you prefer to read in the same genres you write in or do you avoid reading that genre? Why?
I read a lot of books in a variety of genres, depending on my mood and what grabs my attention at the moment. I lean toward suspense with romantic elements (J.L. Hammer, Elizabeth Lowell, Chris Karlsen, Dianne Harman, and Joyce Lamb) and memoir (David Sedaris, Frank McCourt, Jeannette Walls), but in recent months I’ve also read paranormal (JA Garland and Deena Remiel), science fiction (Ali Atwood, Dean McMillin), humorous romance (Jennifer Crusie) and historical romance (Amylynn Bright). I even picked up a funny erotic m/m book by Ellen Cross called Cupid’s Revenge because it just sounded like a fun read and I loved it.
I cannot read suspense as I’m critiquing the legal believably and find I’m getting annoyed. I can point out the former lawyers pretty fast as they have a clue on the rules of the chase and the legal game. I’m checking out the recommendations now on the science fiction female because I’ve not seen enough romance in that area at all, that I’d read, but I love contemporaries, chick lit like Jennifer, and historicals I’ve been reading them all my life. Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?
Absolutely. I know how hard it is to get rejected, to be told your work “isn’t right for us” or “isn’t what we’re looking for.” I’ve felt that aching heavy pain of rejection too many times and often felt tempted to quit. But, if publishing a book is your dream, don’t give up. If you want to achieve that goal badly enough, you will achieve it if you keep on writing, keep on improving your craft, keep believing you can succeed.
You are right about never giving up.
Thank you so much for this interview opportunity—I really appreciate it J
About the Author
Sabrina Devonshire, an avid swimmer most of her life, can usually be found near or immersed in a body of water. If she’s not seeking an endorphin rush in a pool, lake or ocean, she’s often encouraging people to work out or writing a book or magazine article. She also loves traveling to off-the-beaten-path places where phones and electronic devices tend not to work well. Peru and Belize are two of her favorites. Sabrina lives in southern Arizona with her husband, two children, and fluffy dog, Sugar.
Connect with Sabrina Devonshire
Prize is 5 eBook copies of “Message from Viola Mari” (1 each to 5 winners). Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Apr 13. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.