Today we have author Kecia Adams with us. Kecia is here to tell us a little about herself and her recent release, The Vendetta.
Hi Kecia, thanks for joining us today. Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, Anna. I really appreciate you having me here on your blog to help me celebrate the
September 9th release of The Vendetta. It’s my first full-length novel. This one has been a long time coming, and I am really excited to see what readers think. I was an avid romance reader long before I decided to pen a novel myself, so I know how great it is when you
first crack open that new book and it’s everything you wanted it to be. As for
me, I am a wife (very challenging) and mother of two pre-teen daughters (extremely
challenging) and one lazy dog (not challenging at all, unless I want him to
move so I can dust—lol!). I have a day job as a freelance copyeditor too. I
don’t write much during the summer when my girls are out of school, but once
they go back (like this week!) I spend ridiculous amounts of time at the
computer dreaming up characters and stories.
I went snooping around your website and I see that you like to travel. As a matter of fact
you’ve been all over the world. Do you incorporate the places you travel to into your stories? Where is the most interesting place you’ve been to?
Good question! It is an advantage being married to a military guy. You get to travel and even live for a time in different foreign countries. I find that people are not
that dissimilar wherever you go, but that there are certain keys to finding out
more about what makes them tick. Sort of cultural keys. Two of the most
important (and maybe obvious) keys are language and food. I have included a
little of both in The Vendetta. There is this really great thing in
Italy, for example, where men like to talk about their favorite dish—maybe one
their grandmother or mother makes. And, really, in Italian they sound just like
they’re talking about the best sex they ever had. I could listen to Italian men
talk about food for hours! As for the most interesting place…hmm…there is a
church in Rome called San Clemente, which has layer upon layer of history. You
enter into the 17th century cathedral with its mosaics and frescoes,
then you go down one level to the original 12th century structure
which has some early Italian paintings, only to find that it there is one more
level that contains a 3rd century Roman temple to the god Mithras. Amazing!
Runners up for most interesting would be the Imperial Palace in Beijing and
Times Square in New York City.
When not writing, what do you do to relax?
This may sound strange as a relaxation technique, but I love to race my bike. When I’m riding really fast in a pack of other riders, I find I have to bring every bit of my
concentration and effort to bear on the present moment. I am not thinking about
dinner or daughters or dishes, just my bike and how fast I can pedal it. It’s
very exhilarating and I find I have great clarity after a race.
I also love to read whenever and wherever I can steal some time, even if it’s the middle of
the night curled up in my favorite chair.
How long have you been a writer?
I always loved the writing side of things, in school and at work. And being a bit shy all my
life, I think I communicate best in the written word. That said, I have been
writing fiction with an eye toward getting published for about six years now,
but I have been making up stories for as long as I can remember.
How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?
All told, about ten years. The Vendetta was not my very first book, but it was
the one I kept returning to, tweaking and editing until the story really came
together. I had gone through several rounds of submission and rejection,
including a couple of contest finals with it, but had turned my attention to
other projects when I saw an opportunity to pitch to Etopia Press. Maybe
because I had had a little distance from the manuscript, I was able to see what
needed to be changed in the book and (more importantly!) how to change it. I worked
the edits, revised the synopsis, and pitched it. Two weeks later, I had a
Now, let’s talk about your book. What inspired you to it?
I guess I was inspired by Rome itself. When we lived there, I would take long walks and sit in the parks just drinking up the atmosphere. In the Villa Borghese park, for example, the young Italian men would bring their girlfriends there and while away hours talking and kissing in the sun! It was not difficult to find inspiration for my hero, Niccolo “Nick”
Carnavale. And who doesn’t love a strong, Italian hero?
How did you choose the title?
Vendetta is an Italian word for a blood oath of revenge. To me it represents passion and
a single-minded focus on something. It is the heroine’s—Lisa’s—challenge to
turn Nick’s focused passion away from his negative quest for revenge and toward
something positive, like love.
Can you share an excerpt from the book with us?
Sure. Here’s a snippet from the first chapter—the “meet” between Lisa and Nick. I
have a longer excerpt posted on my website (www.KeciaAdams.com) too.
Lisa Schumacher placed the customer’s order—large caramel latte, no whip, soymilk
with five-count-them-five shots of decaf espresso—on the counter
of the coffee bar. She called out the drink, and a harried-looking woman in a
thousand-dollar ski jacket claimed the sleeve-wrapped paper cup and whirled out
the door with barely a nod in Lisa’s direction.
Lisa shook her head as she wiped down the counter with her bar rag. How did a person
rationalize five shots of decaf paired with soymilk and caramel? That wasn’t coffee—that was an exercise in self-delusion.
The low level of beans in the coffee grinder caught her attention, and she squatted
down to dig out another bag of the espresso roast. As she poured hand-roasted
coffee into the big machine, she looked around the café. Comfortable chairs
vied with little round tables for space in the long, narrow store. Local art,
all for sale, decorated the walls, forming an impromptu gallery and adding
dashes of color to the somber coffeehouse hues of dark gold, green, and brown.
Her late-afternoon clientele was a combination of après-skiers and between-meal
snackers. The store’s patrons currently included an older man dressed for
skiing (cappuccino, extra froth), a mom and her two kids (black
coffee-of-the-day and two hot chocolates, extra marshmallows), and an elderly
woman in a full-length mink (now there was a surprise—mint chocolate mocha with
a double shot). People could learn a lot about each other just from the type of
coffee drink they ordered.
One thing was certain—at this hour no one came in for the art.
The bell on the entrance jangled, and she cast a quick glance at the door. A
dark-haired man in a cream fisherman’s sweater, jeans, and boots stepped into
the gallery. Well, hello, gorgeous. Here was a shot of espresso, unless
she missed her guess.
“Welcome to Art and Bean. What can I get for you?”
The man stepped toward her, and without saying anything, tipped his head back to
read the menu above Lisa’s head. The strong, tanned column of his throat drew
A flush bloomed in her cheeks, and she bit her lip. Get a grip, Lisa.
He met her gaze, holding up his thumb and forefinger about an inch apart.
“Espresso? A small one?”
She held back a grin to ask, “Single or double?”
He smiled, and her heart skipped a beat.
She turned to the big Cimbali espresso maker that took up almost the whole wall behind
the counter. “Paper or china?”
His hesitation surprised her, and she glanced back over her shoulder. At his scowl
of confusion she held up a little ceramic cup and raised an eyebrow.
Comprehension dawned on his face. “China. Please,” he said.
His voice had dropped from smooth to growly, and Lisa guessed his subsequent deep
study of the artwork on the gallery walls was a cover for his embarrassment.
While she waited for the espresso machine to heat up, she cast a couple more looks in
his direction. Her grandmother would have called him troppo bello—too
beautiful—with his longer-than-civilized haircut, lean body, and gray eyes
framed by dark lashes. Beautiful or no, dark parts of her had throbbed to life
in his presence.
Her cheeks heated again and she frowned. Down, girl. Just because she’d been
going through a little dry spell this month—okay this year—didn’t mean
she had a right to drool on the customers. But, jeez, this guy really did it
for her. When she got past the sheer, sexy impact of the man, he seemed oddly
familiar. Probably famous. Telluride usually crawled with celebrities during
the ski season.
Or maybe it was his accent, which put her in mind of her mother.
Shrugging off that thought, she dispensed the dark, thick espresso. She stretched up to
retrieve a saucer from a small bin overhead but couldn’t quite reach it. A low
drawer filled in as a step stool.
“You have so many choices here.”
An electric jolt shot through her at his voice, and she bobbled the saucer but
luckily didn’t drop it. Her penny-pinching boss would have charged her retail
to replace it.
She looked at Gorgeous Foreigner over her shoulder. “Yes. We pride ourselves on
choices. Where are you from?”
Startled, Lisa yanked her heel out of the drawer and bashed her knee on the lip of the
She squeezed her eyes shut.
“Are you all right?” The smooth, velvety voice raised goose bumps on Lisa’s skin.
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Come on, Lisa, get it together,
for God’s sake.
She opened her eyes. The Italian stared at her with a concerned look on his face.
“Yep. I’m fine.” Lisa cleared her throat. “Sorry, no one ever asks for ceramic.
Americans usually want it to go.”
As the Italian opened his luscious mouth to reply, Kimmi, Lisa’s fellow barista,
breezed in from the back room.
“Hey, Lisa. I just talked to Ty. He said you need to put the coffee order in tonight
instead of tomorrow. Some kind of…” Kimmi’s eyes darted between Lisa and the
interesting customer. “…vendor thing.”
Without looking at Kimmi, Lisa slid the Italian his coffee. “Here you go. Single
espresso. China cup.”
“What do I owe you?”
Lisa smiled. “On the house. Italian special. Welcome to Telluride.”
Are any of your characters based on real people or events?
I think like many authors, my characters are a mish-mash of people I have met,
observed, and imagined. As for events, I have certainly been to many of the
places I describe in the book, and I have seen first hand some of the artwork I
describe too. And as a die-hard coffee lover, the coffee preparation is as
authentic as I can make it.
What are you working on now?
I have a follow on story to The Vendetta in the works. Tentatively titled The
Match Race, it’s the story of Nick’s cousin, Rafaela, and her rocky road to
love, set in the jet-set world of high-end yachts and boutique hotels.
Do you have any events coming up?
I have a few more stops on my blog tour for The Vendetta scheduled. On the 10th
of September, I’ll be blogging at the Romance Junkies blog. The full blog tour
schedule will be posted on my website too.
Where can readers learn more about your books?
I post regular updates and blog at my website, www.KeciaAdams.com . I love Twitter
and can be found there @KeciaAdams . Also, my publisher Etopia Press (www.etopia-press.net) has author interviews available and books for sale in just about every e-format you can think of.
Do you have any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Of course! Keep writing. Believe in your stories, they will find an audience. Don’t be afraid to do something a little different. But always keep writing!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Like a guilty pleasure or something? Hmm…love watching
Bachelor Pad. Does that count? Oh, and don’t forget to get your copy of THE
VENDETTA, available September 9th!