M.E.: Macy’s back! Whoo hoo! Today we get to pump her for more information about Bustin’ Out All Over – the sixth book in the Hot Nights in St. Blaise series by Maggie Wells. Welcome back, Macy.
Macy: Thanks, Madison. I’m excited to be back.
M.E.: Tell us about Terri and Quentin.
Macy: Well, as I mentioned last month, Terri and Quent are about as polar opposite as two people can be. Terri is a small-town cheerleader whose dreams of bigger and better things keep getting squashed. Quentin is the hometown nerd turned internet mogul. Terri is built like one of those nineteen-fifty’s bombshells, and likely half the reason for the calendar’s success. Quentin is your typical beanpole, and definitely responsible for making a tiny-town fundraiser go viral.
Here’s the setup:
Terri Ecklund wishes she’d never agreed to be Miss June. As billing manager for SBRMC, she could appreciate that the damn thing had raised a healthy amount of money to fund hospital improvements, but it also cost her big. She could deal with the sly snickers, crude jokes about her ‘assets’, and the perfect strangers whistling ‘June is Busting Out All Over’, but her boyfriend couldn’t.
When the pro-fisherman she hooked long ago cuts bait and takes the contents of their joint bank account with him, Terri scrambles to patch the pieces of her life back together but not before tearing a strip off the smarty-pants internet genius who set the The Men and Women of St. Blaise Regional Medical Center up to go viral.
Internet millionaire and St. Blaise native Quent Halliday nearly swallowed his tongue when Terri Ecklund,
Blaise, Missouri’s god-given
rebuttal to Pamela Anderson’s plastic surgeon, stormed into his office spitting
nails over the loss of her almost-fiancé. St. Louis
Drawn to the sparks flying from her eyes and the lure of her bountiful curves, clever Quent knows the opportunity of a lifetime when he sees it. Without hesitation he drops everything to chase after the girl of his fantasies, and when he catches her, they’re both shocked to discover he may just be the man of her dreams.
And here’s a snapshot:
“It won’t matter if I take the ad down, Terri. It’s out there now. Beth called to thank me and to tell me a reporter from the Post-Dispatch is running a feature on the calendar and its participants. The story was picked up by the AP this morning. It’s on all the feeds. You have YouTube fan videos dedicated to you.”
She blinked, clearly bewildered. “I do?”
“Well, one,” he said with a shrug. “I think some guys up at Mizzou put it together. Not bad. Good graphics. The song sucked but I’m not much into rap.”
“A video? What am I doing in the video? How did they get video of me?”
“It’s not footage but a montage of pictures and crap they pulled off the web.”
“Pictures of me on the web?”
The blend of innocence and seduction radiating from her was driving him crazy, pulling him in like a tractor beam while repelling him like a force field. Tossing the files aside, he leaned forward in his chair and went straight for the motherboard.
“The fact of the matter is, Jason never intended to marry you, Terri.” She flinched as if he’d slapped her. When she opened her mouth to retort, they both knew she had no argument. “He used you. He let you work to support him while he wriggled his way into the Bass Masters circuit, but once he started getting sponsors he didn’t need you too much anymore, did he? Oh, I think he liked getting his picture taken with a big fish in each hand.”
Lines of mortification creased her pretty face. He winced and looked away. Someone had to tell her the way it was, and since she came into his office prepared to hate him anyway, Quent figured it may as well be him. His stomach twisted. He pressed one hand to his gut and took a deep breath, his gaze fixed on the skyline beyond his windows. “I guess everyone saw it coming but you.”
“You don’t get it. I tried to talk some sense into him, but those jerk-offs on the tour sing ‘June Is Bustin’ Out All Over’ every damn time I walk by. It makes Jason crazy when anyone gets more attention than he does, especially me.” He snorted in agreement but she didn’t pause to commiserate. “You made this thing go viral, so now I need you to pull the ad and do whatever voodoo you do,” she waggled her fingers at his computer screens, “to make it go away. Jason is fishing up in Wisconsin next weekend, and if I can just get him alone for five minutes I know we can come to an understanding.”
“An understanding,” he repeated, mesmerized.
“I’m the woman wronged here. If anyone is dumping anyone, I get to dump him, damn it.”
“Let me see if I’ve got this right...You want to tank the calendar campaign so you can break up with a guy who has already broken up with you?”
“He owes me,” she insisted. “I did everything he asked me to. I put up with living with my mama so we would have money for him to run the circuit. I pushed paper all damn day and served drinks every Friday and Saturday night since I turned twenty-one.” Stubborn determination set her jaw in a hard line. “He promised me a house. He promised that if I got a good job and took good care of him he’d marry me. All I wanted was a pretty little house with a pretty little yard. All I wanted was for people to stop looking at me like I’m nothing more than trailer trash. I am not my mama!” She clamped a hand to her mouth, her eyes growing round as saucers. “I didn’t mean that,” she whispered through her fingers.
He nodded. “I know.”
M.E.: Oh, I think I’m going to like these two together.
Macy: They are quite the pair when you get right down to it.
M.E.: It sounds like Terri landed a big fish.
Macy: She did, but she didn’t land the whale.
M.E.: The whale?
Macy: Dr. Mario Debrizzio, Pediatrician. St. Blaise’s answer to George Clooney, but this one can cook.
M.E.: He sounds delicious.
Macy: Sophie Bernard thinks so. You can read all about them next month.
M.E.: Yum! Meanwhile, Bustin’ Out All Over by Maggie Wells is available in all ebook formats at the Turquoise Morning Press bookstore or your favorite online retailer. For more information on the Hot Nights in St. Blaise series, readers can visit www.maggie-wells.com