Saturday, December 3, 2011

Will You Be My Neighbor? With Guest Blogger: Joya Fields



Win a Love Delivered style tote bag and meet author Joya Fields!


She's here to discuss the neighborly way and here's what she had to say...








Thank you to Kerri and The Book Boost for hosting me today to chat about the importance of neighbors and about my new release, Love Delivered.


Neighbors have played an essential role in my life. Since we’ve been married, my husband and I, and then our two children, have lived in three houses. We’ve just finished moving into the third one (pass the ibuprofen, please). At each of our homes, we’ve been so lucky to have great neighbors. We’ve enjoyed getting to know them, and missed them when we moved.


In our first neighborhood, where both of our children were born, our kids made their first friends and instantly had several sets of surrogate grandparents. Trick-or-treating took over three hours because these “grandparents” invited the little goblins and their parents inside for a few minutes to “ooo” and “ah” over the costumes. I always felt safe in this neighborhood, because everyone looked out for each other.


We moved from that picturesque cul-de-sac to our second neighborhood, which featured gorgeous rolling hills, a variety of trees, and over seven acres of land. But hardly any neighbors. What it lacked in quantity of neighbors, though, it made up for with quality. The kids all became fast friends. Four-wheelers zooming around the property became the norm, and, during one particular ice storm, our neighbors held one of the best parties I’ve ever attended. Friday night volleyball games in the summer and snowball fights and bonfires in the winter.


Neighbors have been there for us in ways others can’t, simply because of their proximity. I’ve been a quick last-minute babysitter in an urgent situation. Neighbors have picked up my kids from the bus stop when I got stuck in traffic and couldn’t make it home in time. And during a very scary time in our lives, a car accident involving our family members, our neighbors not only showed up at the hospital, brought groceries and meals, and took over the carpool for the kids, they also decorated the driveway with a handmade welcome home sign. Little things mean a lot in a situation like that.


If you’re lucky, your neighbor is the type who will let you borrow a snow shovel when yours breaks in the middle of clearing your sidewalk. A great neighbor will also hot-shot your car when your battery dies. And of course, there’s the ole “borrow a cup of sugar.” I’ve traded ingredients many times with neighbors. It sure beats a forty-five minute round trip to the grocery store.


Dogs are a great way to meet neighbors. Now that we’re at our third house, Peanut the pug helps us meet lots of people. During her half-dozen or so walks every day, we run into residents from our street. Even though the neighborhood kids don’t know our names yet, they know Peanut. A little one will race past us on a bicycle and holler, “Hi Peanut.” Kids call out from the bus stop to her. She shows her appreciation for this attention by barking and wagging her tail.


I’d like to think that we’ve been good neighbors to all the people we’ve been lucky enough to live near. One thing is for sure: good neighbors can make a place fun and friendly.


In my upcoming release, Love Delivered, a small-town neighborhood and its inhabitants are a big part of the story. Even characters in stories need neighbors.


My holiday wish for all of you is that you are always surrounded by pleasant people who bring out the best in you and are there for you when you need them. Happy Holidays!


I’d love to hear about your experiences with neighbors. Do you take time to get to know your neighbors, or are you the type who likes to keep to yourself?


A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us and sharing your heartwarming neighbor stories with us. I grew up with neighbors just like the ones you describe. Unfortunately, I've never quite made the same type of friends as I had back then. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that our neighborhood has many "temporary" military families who are moving in and out with a rapid pace that I can't keep up with it seems. Please tell us more about your book.




Blurb:

Bianca McClain has worked for years to achieve her dream job in New York City. After her grandmother passes away, she finds herself returning to the small town she grew up in to ready her house for sale. The slow, friendly pace of the town and its citizens, especially Pete the mailman, appeal to her—but there’s no way she’s giving up everything she’s accomplished in New York.

Born and raised in Centreville, MD, Pete Schaeffer loves his small town mail carrier job and can’t imagine leaving for any reason—or anyone—so he's dumbfounded by his intense attraction to Bianca, a woman with a fast-paced life in the big city.

Pete and Bianca soon find themselves lost in each other’s arms. When the summer ends, they will have big decisions to make. Will the small-town guy and big-city girl find common ground and lasting love, or will their differences drive them apart?


Excerpt:

He leaned in and touched his lips to hers. Shivers of pleasure cascaded through every vein in her body. For such a speedy, energetic guy, he sure took his time kissing. His lips lingered, barely touching hers, for what was probably only seconds but seemed like an eternity.


She wanted more. Her stomach muscles turned somersaults, and she leaned toward him. Like the thunder gaining strength from the approaching storm, a sudden need fired inside of her to be with this man. He tasted like sweet tea and smelled like summer. She wanted more of his lips, his mouth…his entire body. She pressed against him, and a moan escaped his lips. The sound of his desire ricocheted her heartbeat into overdrive.


When she finally had the willpower to pull away, her face heated and she stared at her lap. She hoped the stormy gray sky hid her embarrassment. She’d kissed him enthusiastically—like a schoolgirl with a giant crush—and had no idea where the impulse had come from. Sure, she liked him. It wasn’t until their lips met that she felt the spark that, even now, had her body shaking with desire.


“I…uh… Wow,” he said. From the stunned look on his face, she didn’t think he’d planned the kiss ahead of time. Like her, he probably hadn’t expected such intensity. He smiled his giant smile and leaned his forehead against hers. The move, although simple, felt intimate with him.

“What did you put in that sweet tea?” he whispered.




Want More Joya?

Visit her website here: www.joyafields.com

Follow her blog here:
http://joyafieldswriting.blogspot.com/

View her book trailer now! Click here.


Book available December 21st. Click here for updates!



Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Joya and be entered to win a Love Delivered tote bag.


**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

19 comments:

Joya said...

Thanks so much for having me today, Kerri. Very cool that you had great neighbors growing up. I hope you find that sort of neighborhood again one day. :)

PaigeTurner said...

Can't wait to read Love Delivered!
Beth

Joya said...

Paige/Beth,
Thanks for stopping by on this very busy day (holiday preparations, anyone?) and for being so supportive of your writing friends. :)

Debby said...

Thanks so much for the excerpt but it was too short. I need to buy this book.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Joya said...

Debby,
Thanks so much for stopping by and for making my day with your comment! :)

Maeve said...

Awesome excerpt! Love Delivered sounds like the perfect kind of read to sweep you away from a stress-filled day. Well done!

Joya said...

Maeve,
Exactly what I was aiming for! Thanks for the comment. That's what stories are about, right? Taking us out of our everyday world into another one. :)

Loni Lynne said...

Joya,
I have a great neighbor! (She made wonderful pumpkin dip lately for a meeting :) )

We've known each other since they moved in over 13-14 years ago. We were there when their daughter was born and have watched each other's kids grow up. Halloween is always the best around them as they decorate BIG and they come over for parties when our extended family is in town. Always a good time! They are there in a pinch, too. Fans when the A/C doesn't work, extra ingredients when you need that teaspoon of something . . . yeah, that's what life is all about!

Hugs!
Loni

Joya said...

Loni,
Thanks for stopping by. Mmmm, pumpkin dip! Very cool that you and your neighbor are such good friends. Sounds like you're luck to have each other. :)

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Ack! My experience with neighbors has been mixed. In Florida, our neighbors became our best friends and still are after over a decade. In Maryland, we have had neighbors from hell--one tried to run me over with her car as I walked down the street because I "had no right to use a walking stick." Can you say CRAZY? So, you've been lucky Joya! Or perhaps I need to get a pug? LOL!

Many happy sales!

Hugs,
Sharon

Joya said...

OMG, Sharon. A neighbor who almost ran you over? For using a walking stick? That's scary.
Thank goodness you have those Floida neighbors. Maybe that balances it all out for you a little. LOL about getting a pug. :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Joy Dent said...

Hey Joya,

Can't wait to read Love Delivered! What a fabulous cover! Makes me long for a summer day on my back porch!
I have the most fabulous neighbors! If I've got a blasted cold, she's over here with home made chicken soup and some of her home made biscottis-she's Italian- biscottis go with everything, even chicken soup! She and her husband are true blessings!

Take care,
Joy w/a Darcy Flynn

Joya said...

Hi Joy,
Wow, chicken soup and home made biscottis? I'm moving to YOUR neighborhood, LOL. Lucky you to have such great neighbors.
Thanks so much for your comments about LOVE DELIVERED and for taking time to stop by on such a busy weekend.
Good luck with your writing, too!
:)

GayleC said...

One of our newest neighbors who was just deployed to Afghanistan is the dream neighbor. He brought us a half of cake, and homemade chili. We watched his dog for two weeks, and have helped him with household things. Overall we have friendly neighbors,though I do have the drummer that lives behind us that I could live without.
Your book sounds interesting, and I think a romance with a mailman would catch your small town neighbors attention pretty quickly.

Joya said...

Gayle, that is so awesome about your dream neighbor. It makes life so much more pleasant, doesn't it? Sorry about the drummer, I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's a phase.
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your nice comment about my story. :)

Na said...

I believe a small town guy and a big city girl can definitely find love and I'm glad you tackled this in your book. It sounds like a heartfelt read.

Joya said...

Na, Thanks so much for stopping by. Glad to hear that the story sounds heartfelt, and you're right that small town vs. big city needed to be tackled.
Thanks again. :)

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Okay, great excerpt, but too short. Speaking from experience, neighbors are the best kind of friends. I have to say, that good neighbors don't just happen. It takes two, or so they say. It says a lot about you that you've made so many good friends from neighbors.

Joya said...

Mackenzie,
What a sweet thing for you to say! I'm so glad you have wonderful neighbors, and thanks for you comment about the excerpt, too. Hope you and your neighbors have a wonderful holiday season. :)