Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Blurb Blitz Tour for Just Out of Reach by Belinda Stevens, hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. Please leave a comment or question for Ms. Stevens to let her know you stopped by. To enter her tour wide giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You can also follow the rest of her tour here.
Maria: Just Out Of Reach is your first novel. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer, as well as an attorney?
Belinda: By the time I was in high school, I had narrowed it down to three career choices: dress designer, writer and attorney. I figure two out of three isn't bad. My interest in writing really began by the time I was in middle school. During my summer vacation, I would read as many as 3 to 5 books a week. I count local libraries and bookstores among my favorite places to visit.
Maria: Who would you say has been the biggest influence on your writing?
Belinda: I came from a family of readers. My parents encouraged all of their children to love literature. I was taken to the local library, when I was very small and my mother would read to me when I was sick. By the time I was in middle school, my mother would take me to bookstores and let me pick out a book to buy. My parents never censored what I read, as long as it wasn't pornography. I think a love of books is a prerequisite to a love of writing.
Me: Do you plan to write more books set in the 60s? or the South?
Belinda: My third book Justice Served, which I hope to complete by the end of the year, is set in the South. As far as writing more books set in the 60s, that's not beyond the realm of possibility. I grew up in the 60s, so naturally there's an interest in that period of time.
Maria: What is a typical writing day like for you?
Belinda: Since I still practice law, my writing day usually begins at night when there's no distractions. On the weekends, I have more time to write. I usually spend around four hours writing or rewriting certain segments. I pick a comfortable place on the couch, my dog by my side and the television on mute. I write on legal pads and then transfer my written copy to my computer.
Maria: Has your family been supportive of your "second" career?
Belinda: My immediate family is gone, but while they were alive they were supportive of my writing. In fact, my mother gave me some very helpful pointers. My cousins and my niece continue to support me, especially Teresa in Kentucky, Kay in Ohio and Brenda in Houston.
Quick Get To Know You Questions:
1. Favorite southern dessert?
Belinda: Pecan Pie - I love it with vanilla ice cream on top. Christmas and Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without pecan pie.
2. Favorite summer time beverage?
Belinda: Gin and tonic. There's nothing better than sitting on my sun deck with friends, sipping my G& T.
3. Sweet or unsweetened tea?
Belinda: Sweet tea of course. What self-respecting southerner would choose otherwise? Southerners are serious about their sweetened tea and how to properly make it!
4. Name one item on your bucket list?
Belinda: I want to take a train trip touring Canada. I love trains and Canada has always been a country I've wanted to visit.
5. Heels, sandals or boots?
Belinda: I love sandals - cool and comfortable. I always opt for comfort. Plus there's lots of cute sandals that will go with just about anything. Of course you can't wear them in Court - what a shame because I would if I could!
Just Out of Reach
By Belinda Stevens
Publisher: Belinda Stevens
Release Date: May 12, 2014
Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction
Length: 192 Pages
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About the book:
When high school freshman Katherine Boyd meets David, her life is forever altered. Their romance experiences the turmoil of Mississippi in the sixties, family relationships that keep them apart, and political differences that threaten to destroy them. Through the death of JFK and James Meredith s admission to Ole Miss, Katherine s growth means being progressive in a traditional Southern family, accepting the loss of those closest to her, and learning to cope with her family s darkest secrets. Just Out of Reach is the story of a young woman forged in desperate times and a love that changes her life forever.
ExcerptWe were at Angie’s, a local eatery specializing in fried shrimp and lemon ice-box pie. Despite the jukebox, a concession to those under eighteen, Angie’s was more upscale than the Blue Bird Diner or the local drive-in. The restaurant was populated with round tables covered in satin tablecloths. The walls were painted a light-colored mauve, and small decorative lamps were placed on each table. Oil paintings and watercolors by local artists adorned the center wall of the restaurant, an innovation ahead of its time but very popular. After we were seated, I began talking about the President, something I did a lot of in those days. Little Richard was blaring on the jukebox, and I was shouting to be heard over the music.“With John Kennedy in the White House, anything’s possible,” I screamed.“You idolize him, don’t you?”“Yes, I guess I do,” I answered, dipping my shrimp in the remoulade sauce. “He’s so handsome. It’s nice to have a cute President,” I giggled,” Not like bald-headed Ike!”David rolled his eyes.“But seriously,” I continued. “President Kennedy makes me believe everyone can make a difference. You know, change things, real peace and people living together without hating each other.”“Katie, is that realistic?”“I don’t know, it...” I stopped midsentence. I felt cold; a shudder ran through me.David looked puzzled and asked, “What’s wrong?”“I feel like someone’s walking over my grave.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Belinda J. Stevens was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the gateway to the Mississippi Delta, in 1948. She grew up in the turbulent sixties, and has a true appreciation for the difficulties experienced Katherine in her first novel, "Just Out of Reach".
An attorney by profession, Belinda tells the story of young love and dark secrets in the turbulent Sixties. Inspired by her own experiences as a Yazoo City High School student, Belinda writes about the impact President Kennedy's assassination, James Meredith's integration of the University of Mississippi and the Vietnam War had on one young Mississippi woman.
Belinda is a graduate of Belhaven University and earned a Masters in Social Science and a Law Degree from Mississippi College. From 1987-1997 she served as Special Assistant to Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore.
Belinda resides in Brandon, Mississippi with her dog Humprey B., and practices law in Yazoo City where she is a Public Defender