22 August 2013

{Blog Tour Stop + Author Interview} Bikers and Pearls by Vicki Wilkerson

Praise for Bikers and Pearls:

“A sweetly Southern story with a deep heart.” –Deborah Smith, New York Times bestselling author of A Place to Call Home

“I can easily say this is the best Bliss book I’ve read yet. It’s a very sweet, very satisfying romance with a lovely HEA. I highly recommend it.” –Sutton Fox, Fox Tales


 Who said tempting a sweet Southern belle would be easy?

When rebel biker Bullworth Clayton gets tangled up with pastel-and-pearls-clad April Church, sparks fly. Sure, April would clearly rather work with anyone else, but if teaming up with Bull means a successful charity event for a sick little boy they both care about, then so be it.

April is baffled at how drawn she is to the leather-wearing, tattooed Bull—he just doesn’t fit with her simple, safe, country-club life. And as much as the handsomely rugged man tempts her, she still can’t shake the images of the tragic motorcycle accident from her past, which left her scarred and her father broken.
Bull tempts her to don a pair of leather pants and go for a ride with him, while April desperately tries to resist her attraction to the wild side and keep her exploits hidden from her small town. Will they be able to navigate their differences and find a middle road to love?

EXCERPT: (When April first met Bullworth):

April backed up against the wall to better hide the crooked chrome she held. Of all the stupid things that could happen.
With her free hand, she brushed at the pleats on her skirt to straighten them. Then she switched the mirror into her right hand and smoothed out the other side. Everything was under control.
“What do you have there?” inquired a low, masculine voice from above her head.
She snapped to attention like she was about to undergo a military inspection.
A handsome, muscular man in a black bomber jacket towered above her, larger than life. His shoulder-length hair was pulled back into a neat ponytail. Golden streaks highlighted his nut-brown mane. His indigo-colored eyes perused her face. “Is something wrong?”
She twisted the strand of pearls that draped from her neck between her fingers with her free hand. “No. Everything’s fine,” she said. It would be as soon as she could meet up with Mr. Morrow or some of the other members from the civic organizations.
“Then what are you hiding behind your back?”
He had seen. Oh, no. He had seen.
“Just a little mishap. I’m going to take care of it.”
“You ride?” The left corner of his mouth curled up. “In a skirt?”
“No.” She hoped her voice didn’t sound strained. “No, I’ve never ridden on a motorcycle before,” she said calmly.
He narrowed his eyes. “Then why are you walking around with a Harley dome billit mirror?”
That was a good question. Why was she? She held out the broken piece of the bike in front of her. “I don’t know how it happened. I was opening my car door, and then—”
He took it from her, examined it, and gave it back. “Let me guess. It just fell.” He tilted his head, exposing a strong, angular jawline. “All by itself.”
“That’s right. It really did happen that way. Exactly.” He probably didn’t believe a word she said. And she couldn’t blame him. She heard unlikely stories like hers from claimants at the insurance company all the time.
“Ahhh, I see. Sure it did,” he said. But the left side of his grin inched upward again…”

Author Interview

What's your inspiration in writing Bikers and Pearls?

My inspiration started with a theme. I wanted to show readers how wrong it is for people to judge others by appearances. I am a recovering English teacher, so I love to layer my writing with depth, and a good message that the reader can take away is a good place to start.

How much of this book is based on personal experiences?

I had actually never even ridden on a motorcycle. But neither had my heroine. It was important for me to write much of April before I finished my research. To be able to finish the story, I had to experience what April had experienced by riding a Harley. So, I did. The problem was that instead of going for a nice, slow ride along quiet roads, my brother-in-law thought it would be a good idea to take me speeding down a busy highway! I wrote exactly what it felt like in April’s voice. It’s actually quite funny in the book.

Are there characters in your book that's based on a real person in your life or not? If yes, which character?

April’s mother and father are based on real people. I know some parents who are fearful and worry about their adult children so much that it is almost debilitating for them—the parents and the adult children. I also refer to a few minor characters who are based on real people I’ve known. Everybody knows a “Mandy,” the office gossip.

Which character you had the most fun writing? Why?

Surprisingly, I had the most fun writing Jenna, the heroine’s best friend. Without meaning to, she kept getting April into more trouble while she was actually trying to keep her out of trouble. I’ve already had numerous people ask me when I’m going to write Jenna and Hogan’s story. And the answer to that is that I’m working on it now.

If April were to give Bull a gift, what would it be?
Her gift to him would be a special cookbook. Food and cookbooks play important roles in the novel.

If Bull would have to give April a gift, what would it be?

That would be easy—a leather jacket. She actually needed one in several scenes. There is also a scene where Bull lends her his leather jacket and what she does with it when he goes home is an “ahhh” scene—very tender.

What's the most important lesson/takeaway you would like readers to know after reading your book?

Appearances can be deceiving. We cheat ourselves out of getting to know lovely and interesting people by judging them from the outside.

My Review ==>> Geri's Review

BIO: Vicki is a native of the Charleston, South Carolina, Lowcountry and loves to share her enchantment with the area with readers through her writing. Even in childhood, she enjoyed penning stories and poems—no doubt fueled by her grandfather's enthusiasm for telling tales himself. Where else—but in the South—could one find the interesting blend of salt water, eerie swamps, unwritten traditions and unique characters? In her spare time, she loves traveling, spending weekends at her family's lake house, playing golf and cooking (with lots of wine).  

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