Ramsey's Book Review

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Tell us a little about yourself.I am a huge hockey fan.  We have season tickets to the Dallas Stars and watch games on tv whenever possible.  I have two children, Caitlin – age 17 and Brady – age 10. Caitlin has been involved in competitive cheer for almost 10 years and Brady plays select ice hockey.  My husband, Mike, is my cheerleader and drill sergeant all rolled into one.  He picks me up when I’m feeling down and whips me into shape when I’d like to slack off.  I’ve always lived in the North Texas area and absolutely love it here. 

How long have you been writing?I have doodled on the edges of paper for years.  I talked about a storyline I had in my head for years and my husband finally convinced me to sit down and get it onto paper.

What inspired you to write your new release, Painfully Ordinary?My kids are a huge inspiration for me.  How can I tell them to shoot for the stars and chase their dream, if I’m not willing to do it myself?  Having them around and experiencing their interactions with their friends first-hand make the conversations between my characters much easier to write and more believable.

What is the strongest character voice you have had while writing?Caitlin is by far my strongest character voice.  I wanted her to  be independent and strong-willed – able to stand on her own two feet.  At this point, her personality is so developed, I can almost hear her voice when I am writing.

What are your future projects?Painfully Ordinary began as a single book.  However, the characters simply weren’t done telling their story and since – 2 additional books will be released.  The second book in the series, Family Secrets, will pick up where Painfully Ordinary left over.  Many questions will be answered and a few new questions will arise.  I believe the fans will enjoy the second book even more than the first.

After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?Unwind?  What’s that?  Seriously though, I have a hammock in my back yard and love to spend time there just relaxing.  Sadly enough, my brain keeps on firing and those “relaxation” moments usually end up triggering a writing marathon.
How many books do you have in print/e-book now?Right now Painfully Ordinary is the book in the series to be released.  Family Secrets is tentatively set for a Fall/Winter 2011 release.

Would you leave us with an excerpt, video, blurb?

Excerpt from Painfully Ordinary:
I tapped my pencil on the edge of my desk, impatiently waiting for Mr. Von to start class. Sometimes I wondered how he managed to get himself dressed in the morning. Suddenly, my pencil slipped out of my hand, rolled off the edge of my desk and clattered to the floor.
Crap.
I bent down to pick it up and found myself looking into the face of the most stunning guy I had ever seen. He had rugged good looks, instead of being the “pretty-boy” male model type. Vin Diesel might have some competition for my attention with this guy.
Holy crap! This must be one of the guys Leah was talking about this morning. Whew, she wasn’t exaggerating. No wonder she was all wound up.
I had no idea how long my internal monologue went on, but I realized he was still holding my pencil out for me.
“Thanks.” I mumbled, blushing to the tips of my ears.
Oh man! Why hadn’t I straightened my hair this morning and worn something cute?
Tami turned around looking at me through narrowed eyes. I heard her laugh and then mutter “retard”.
I had never been able to stand her, so I just stared and raised an eyebrow in challenge. She looked from me back to where he was sitting directly behind her, and it wasn’t until that point I realized he was still watching me.
Tami turned all the way around in her chair and placed her hand lightly on his arm, giving him a bright smile.
“Oh, you’ll have to excuse Caitlin,” she said in a sickeningly-sweet, baby voice and giggled. “She is just so uncoordinated.”
Oh, no she didn’t! Who was she calling uncoordinated? Unfortunately, my emotions tend to show all over my face. When I’m pissed, everyone knows it, and I was all kinds of pissed at her. She looked me in the eyes, daring me to do something. Normally, I would just blow her off. I really don’t care what she thinks, and quite frankly, she is a waste of energy. However, this time, something inside me snapped. Perhaps it was the whole lack of sleep thing again. I turned back to face the newcomer, giving him my brightest smile. He looked startled and gave me a grin in return that took my breath away.
“Oh, ignore Tami. She’s just mad because someone dropped a house on her sister.”
He looked down at the floor and, to his credit, didn’t actually laugh, but I saw his shoulders shake.
Tami glared at me.
“Caitlin, you are such a freak.” Leaning closer to me and dropping her voice, she continued. “You can just forget about him. He won’t want some little nobody like you. He will be mine. I’ll tell Ryan you were looking at him, and that will be the end of that, won’t it?”
This was exactly the kind of thing that always set Ryan off. Ex-boyfriends are the absolute worst.  She fixed a fake smile on her face and turned back to the newcomer.
Tami always used the exact same tactics, and he would probably fall for it just like all the others before him–and believe me, there were plenty before him. I turned just in time to see him scowl and remove her hand from his arm. I laughed out loud, couldn’t help myself. He turned, giving me a conspiratorial wink. Mr. Von decided to start class at that exact moment, so I never got to see her final reaction, but I could assume it wasn’t good, since this was the second time he had blown her off. Throughout class, I could feel the hair on the back of my neck standing on end. I felt someone watching me, but the only person sitting behind me was the new guy. I really needed to find out his name, so I could stop referring to him as “the new guy”.
Why would he be looking at me? I am painfully ordinary. A guy like that could have anyone he wanted.
I couldn’t figure him out.  Then I experienced a moment of sheer panic, remembering how I had left the house in such a rush that morning.
I seriously hoped I didn’t have some sort of Alfalfa-thing going on with the back of my hair.
I rubbed my necklace between my fingers, as I always do when I’m upset. It’s a dark-gray stone cut into a unique pattern, like a flame, held on a long, black cord. My mom gave it to me when I turned sixteen, and made me promise to wear it every day. I never take it off, except when I’m at tumbling. The stone has been worn smooth by the constant rubbing, as holding it always relaxes me.
The bell rang, signaling the end of class. I must have completely lost track of time, but what else was new?
Tami got up from the desk placing her arm in new-guy’s . She looked up at him, batted her eyelashes and said, “Talon, will you walk me to second period?”
I rolled my eyes.
Sorry, I am meeting up with Jace,” His voice was deep and smooth and he had the bluest eyes I had ever seen. He fixed his gaze on my necklace then smiled, pivoted on his heel, and left the room.
A trill of laughter escaped my lips. Strike three.
Tami’s face turned an ugly shade of purple. She threw her purse over her shoulder and glared at me.
“I’ll say hi to Ryan for you.”
Crap. This is exactly why I don’t normally banter with her. It’s just not worth the trouble in the end. She was really going to make me pay for this. I laid my head on my desk and waited for the ground to open and swallow me whole.

Do you have any internet site that fans can stay in contact with you? Twitter, Face Book, My Space, etc.Painfully Ordinary  has a Facebook fan page.  I check it regularly and respond to comments and answer questions as often as possible.  You can also reach us on Twitter at painfullyordin.
Face Book: 
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Painfully-Ordinary-by-Stephanie-Amox/236354753901?sk=wall
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/#!/painfullyordin

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