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WILD WOMEN DO!
WHEN IT COMES TO PISTOL-PACKING MAMAS,
NANCY BARTHOLOMEW IS A SURE SHOT.
Nancy Bartholomew knows a thing or two about wild women. She created endearing exotic dancer Sierra Lavotini for her popular Strip series (Miracle Strip, Drag Strip, etc.) and country singer Maggie Reid for Stand by Your Man and Your Cheatin' Heart. But Bartholomew's newest heroine, Stella Valocchi, star of her first Silhouette Bombshell release, Stella, Get Your Gun, hits closest to home.
"I was the bad girl wannabe, the preacher's daughter who could never really step far enough away from my conscience to be truly bad," she says. "Instead I wound up rescuing all my friends from their pranks gone wrong. Stella is what would have happened to me had I gone to the police academy. In fact, I set this story in my old hometown.
I renamed it, of course, rearranged some things, but it was the small suburban Philadelphia town that was home to some of my best and worst moments."
Eleven years after being left at the altar by her fiancé, mousy Stella is back—blonder and better than ever. When she finds out her favorite uncle has been killed and ex-fiancé Jake is the main suspect, Officer Valocchi takes the case—which involves foiling a robbery naked, almost getting blown to bits,
capturing the bad guys with the help of her very wacky cousin Nina and
a bottle of liquid floor wax and facing down a host of unsavory characters.
For animal fans who fell in love with Sierra's dog Arlo from Bartholomew's Strip series, the author penned another adorable doggie pal, Lloyd. "Lloyd showed up in the first chapter and just would not be
left behind," Bartholomew says. "So Stella steals him. (It was for the best, trust me!) He's a border collie, black and white spots, a big doggie smile and a personality that steals the show every time.
He completely captivates Stella's aunt Lucy. She believes Lloyd is her recently departed husband, reincarnated, and spends most of her time feeding Lloyd, dressing him in fishing gear and hauling him out into the middle of Kerr Park Lake to catch 'the big one.'"
Besides wacky hijinks, Jake and Stella (who is named after the Bartholomew's friend and mentor, author Stella Cameron) get some action of a spicier sort thanks to old feelings that haven't died. Look for things to heat up even more in the sequel,
Stella Gets Her Man, a January Bombshell release.
"She and Jake heat things up. I mean they really heat things up!" Bartholomew exclaims. "Stella and Jake decide to form an alliance/detective agency and are hired to find the brother of a woman who seems to have more than a passing interest in Jake. Dead bodies start cropping up, someone is trying to kill Aunt Lucy, and Stella has some very dangerous men on her tail."
Bartholomew has ideas a-bubbling and hopes to continue
the series beyond two books, as she feels Stella is truly coming into her own. "I think she and Jake are just hitting their stride," she says. "Stella likes action. She's comfortable in her own skin, she doesn't require a man to rescue her and she no longer feels that she has to prove that point to anyone, Jake included. She's smart, savvy and as she grows, she learns that there is no point in holding onto the painful parts of her past. It's best to learn from those mistakes and move on, wiser and stronger."
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