Donna L. Bolk blogs about LROS Reunion of '85

Posted by Scarlet Pumpernickel | 12:03 AM | 34 comments »







Last week editor Kathy Cottrell visited to tell us about her latest project, Summerville Reunion of '85 series at Wild Rose Press's Last Rose of Summer line. Today our first guest author tells us about her journey to becoming part of the series. Please welcome Donna L. Bolk.


A Small Town Girl at Heart

Prior to the release of her award winning paranormal romance, Saving Cinderella, Donna wrote a community column and human interest features for the Maryland Gazette. She is a former book reviewer for Affaire de Coeur magazine and currently reviews for several on-line sites. She and her husband of 31 years share their Maryland home with four dogs, two cats, and two birds.
Writer by night, dog groomer by day, she is the owner/operator of Fur Kids Pet Grooming Salon.
Donna, tell us about your journey to becoming an award winning author.

A good portion of my youth was spent in a small town located in upstate New York. I was the second oldest of nine children. Looking back, I realize John-boy Walton and his clan were rich compared to my family. Heck, those Walton’s had a mountain. We didn’t even have running water. What we did have were fields to run in, trees to climb, little green apples (loaded with worms) to munch on a hot summer’s day; and a small creek that ran behind our house. When winter arrived I would slip on my older sister’s ice skates and pretend to be an Olympic skater.

So, it’s no surprise that my love for small towns comes out in my writing. The hero in my first novel, Saving Cinderella is a small town doctor; the heroine in my second novel Package Deal, lives in a small town and runs a day care center. My third story, Getting It Right, is set in Summerville, not a small town by standard definition, but small enough for my keyboard and me to feel right at home.

Getting It Right is a story about four teens, who didn’t make the football team, or get to wear the homecoming crown. Tye tasted his first beer before he turned thirteen, Denny experimented with drugs, Sissy used sex to find love, and Kelly the preacher’s daughter, couldn’t live up to her daddy’s expectations. They were traveling down a road that led to self-destruction. A tragedy in the summer of ’85 alters the course of their lives.

An invitation to the Class of ’85 reunion brings Tye back to Summerville, where he discovers the past held a few secrets of its own.

Excerpt from Getting It Right:

“Kelly I want you to stay away from that boy.”
She finished rinsing her cereal bowl and put it in the dish rack. “Daddy that boy has a name, it’s Tyler Jackson. And we’re just friends” For now, she added silently.
She turned, leaned against the sink and looked at her father. “I don’t understand why you won’t give him a chance.”
He lowered the paper he’d been reading. “For the same reason I wouldn’t belly up to a snake and kiss it.”
“Tyler isn’t a snake.”
“No, he’s a troubled boy who drinks and smokes. And he’s made fast company with Denny Riker and Sharon Monroe.”
“Is that all you’ve got on him?” She folded her arms and shrugged. “Why, I heard he dances with the devil on Saturday night, too. The two of them are just thick as thieves.”
Donna loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted at dlbolk @ cablespeed. com

34 comments

  1. Anonymous // September 12, 2010 at 1:02 AM  

    Donna, how exciting to be a part of Kathy's new series. But I seem to remember you name and one of your titles from KOD's Daphne Contest. Wasn't Saving Cinderella a Daphne winner? Congrats on your three books. Can you tell us a little about this new series and how you decided to give it a try?

    Melba Moon President-elect KOD

  2. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 2:31 AM  

    Hi Melba,
    It's me, you, and the owls up at this hour. I did a charity book auction today (raising money for a community center) after putting in half a day a my dog grooming salon, so I crashed when I hit home. Now, it's two o'clock in the morning, and I'm wide awake!

    Saving Cinderella did indeed take 1st place for the Paranormal Division. It was unpublished at the time. I got lucky and it found a home with The Wild Rose Press. I can't say enough good things about TWRP, from the editors to the cover artists, they're a dream team to work with.

    The Class of '85, I can't stop talking about this series. This is my first series, and it's been a real kick to be a part of it. I read Corvette Confessions last night, and low and behold, there was Denny Riker, a character from Getting It Right. I've read all the books in the series so far, it's like being able to go back to my high school reunion. When the announcement went out for the series I was working on a story about a man who goes back to his hometown after being away for 25 years. I had the story, TWRP and the Last Rose of Summer, gave me Summerville.

  3. Anonymous // September 12, 2010 at 2:54 AM  

    Donna, I read Getting it Right and loved it! It is a very fast paced read and just makes you sigh! If only it were possible to go back and get it right! Yep, I'm a night owl tonight. Thanks for stopping by, we can't wait to hear from all the other '85ers! What fun this is going to be!

  4. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 4:03 AM  

    Thanks for your kind words. It makes me feel like Sally Fields when she got her oscar for Norma Rae, she said, "You like me, you really like me!"

    Authors never put anything out there that isn't their best, and of course we think it's great. But opinions vary and what one reader may love another may hate. So it's always a thrill to hear something nice.

  5. Rachel Brimble // September 12, 2010 at 5:45 AM  

    Hi Donna!!

    I, too, have read Getting It Right and it is a great feel good story to kick off this awesome series! Do you feel the same as me that all of the writers on this series will become firm friends?
    I am honoured and proud to be counted among you lovely ladies.
    Do you think you will contribute another story to the Class of '85 in the future??

    Love
    Rachel x
    www.rachelbrimble.com

  6. Sherry Gloag // September 12, 2010 at 7:34 AM  

    I enjoyed reading about Getting it Right and have added it to my wish list. And I just love all your book covers, they're very striking.

  7. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 9:05 AM  

    Hi Rachel,
    Thank you. You always make me smile, and I so agree with you. Several new friends have entered my life, via Summerville. I feel that's one of the great side benifits of working on this series.

    One trip to Summerville is not enough, yes, I'm kicking around a second story. I'm plotting along the lines of my main characters while working on Getting It Right, stumble across a green car, engage in some Corvette Confessions, while traveling down The Lonely Road To You, in The Serious Moonlight. Can you tell, I am also proud to included in this series?

    I hope you're spending a relaxing Sunday, Take care my, friend.

  8. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

    Good Morning Sherry,

    Thanks for you support. I've read all the books in the series so far, and love them all.

    I think my covers are great, too. I can't take credit for them, Kudos go to two of TWRP's great artists, Nicola Martinez and Tina Lynn.

  9. Beth Trissel // September 12, 2010 at 9:35 AM  

    Welcome Donna! Very exciting series. Love your cover. Sounds like a great read. I see you already have some fans over here.

  10. Mary Marvella // September 12, 2010 at 9:57 AM  

    Love it, Donna! I know what you mean about not knowing you're poor until you get older or someone tells you.

    Your story sounds wonderful!

    A pink fuzzy welcome!

  11. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

    Hi Beth and Mary,

    I can't thank the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Ladies enough for giving me the chance to talk about the Class of '85 series. You all have a fan in me.

  12. Jannine Gallant // September 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

    Hi Donna,

    I, too, have read all the stories in this terrific series, and Getting It Right is wonderful. You did such a great job of describing the emotions of these complex characters.

    I knew there was a reaseon I liked you! I'm also a small town girl - went to a 2 room school house K-8, and didn't realize my family wasn't as rich as the rest of the world until I hit college. Isn't it funny how kids are so unaware?

    I hope you do write a second story for the series. I did, and it was great fun bringing back old characters. Made it feel like a reunion for me, too!

  13. Rachel Brimble // September 12, 2010 at 10:22 AM  

    Hey again, Donna!

    Now you're showing off with the title thang, LOL!!

    I wanted to write another story but HAVE to finish my next book (another historical), I have been playing around with it for far too long and I just need to get on and write it.

    What's next for you? Will it be the Class of '85 story or do you have something under submission?

    Great to be sharing your day!

    Rachel x

  14. Jana Richards // September 12, 2010 at 10:35 AM  

    Hi Donna,
    I'm just beginning to read the Class of '85 series, and can hardly wait to find some me-time to finish them all! Best of luck with Getting it Right.

    Jana Richards

  15. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

    Hi Jannine,
    I also attended a two room school house, and believe it or not, it was red, and there was a bell in the steeple, that rang to announce the start of the school day. It was right out of Little House. I have many fond memories, and one not so fond memory. The first and second grades, were in the same room with the same teacher. My mom had 8 other kids at home, and my dad was a truck driver. Anyway, when my mom didn't attend a PTA meeting (I think that's what they were called in the sixties). My teacher said if my parents didn't care about my education, why should she. And just like that I was demoted to the 1st grade. She just picked up my desk and moved it to the other side of the room. I say it's a not fond memory, but really it wasn't bad, because I loved that school. If we received A's on our papers we got to help the school cook, make cookies. My, how times have changed.

    With two books in the series, aren't you just Miss Little Over-achiever of the class of '85, just teasing. I'm shaking my Summerville, pom-poms and cheering, Go Jannine Go!

  16. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 11:55 AM  

    Rachel,
    I do plan to submitt a second story to the class of '85 series, but like you, I have another project on the table. I sent a submission to TWRP's Champagne line, and the editor suggested some changes. I made said changes sent it back and she requested the full manuscript.

    Here's where the problem came in. After I made the changes I started reworking the entire manuscript. It had more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. So, before I head back to Summerville, I have to rework Made For You and get my quirky costume designer and her uptight lawyer into Happily-ever-after land (Summerville plug headed your way) where Fairy Tales Can Come True.

  17. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

    Thanks Jana, I think you're going to love this series. I know I do.

  18. Sharon Buchbinder // September 12, 2010 at 12:07 PM  

    Hi Donna--

    I'm so behind in my TBR pile! Your Getting it Righ is next on my list. I liked your blurb--I had a major crush on our Preacher's Kid (PK) and lo and behold, who did I run into at my 40th reunion? Yup. The PK--he recognized ME. I did not recognize him. I had a blonde moment and confessed my crush in HS. The look on his face was priceless. You just know I'm going to have to use that somewhere. LOL!

    I'm so happy to be part of this series--we all have so many memories to relive through great story telling.

    Cheers!
    Sharon

  19. P.L. Parker // September 12, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

    Book covers are wonderful. Sounds like a great series. Good luck on sales.

  20. Stacy Dawn // September 12, 2010 at 1:44 PM  

    Hey Donna! This series is turning out to be a hit! Congratulations!

  21. Keena Kincaid // September 12, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

    Hi, Donna. I'm late from looking at all the posts. I guess I'm the late bird this morning.

    I loved getting it right...really felt for Tye and Kelly.

    Your memories of small town life are interesting. I grew up in a small town, but it wasn't nearly that small after hearing about your tales.

  22. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

    Hi Sharon,
    One of my favorite quotes is - "I want a person who comes into my life by accident and stays on purpose."

    My crush was on a red-headed boy named, Lee. I was too shy to do anything but gaze at him from afar.

    After serving twelve years in the military, working in the city jails, and a ton of other odd jobs, I'm no longer shy, but I bet if I were to run into that boy/man today, I'd suffer from more than a few blonde moments.

    If you enjoy Getting It Right as much as I've enjoyed all the other books in this series, I'll be a happy camper.

  23. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

    P.L., I love those covers, too. And I love your dog. Along with my 3 bichons, I also have a toy poodle, this little girl is a third the size of my other fur kids, but she's the leader of the pack. I visited your website, what a treat. It's really pretty. Thanks for your good wishes.

    Stacy, I'm not surprised the series is taking off. I think I've mentioned a few 100 times, I read all the books in the series, so far and every one of them is GREAT!

    Keena, Thanks for your kind words, my heart is doing a happy dance.
    Growing up in a small town made me hunger to see what else the world had to offer, I've been from New York to Germany, but I've got to say my small town memories are still my favorites.

  24. Beth Trissel // September 12, 2010 at 2:52 PM  

    Hi guys :) Interesting discussion over here. I attended a small though not two room elementary school in Tenn with pics of Lincoln and Washington on the wall. We recited the pledge and the Lord's prayer daily. And got the ruler for any malfeasance although I never did--lived in terror of it and was a model student. My new kindle just came in the mail and I'm looking forward to making a dent in my TBR pile.

  25. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 3:18 PM  

    Beth, I think I may have attend the same school, just in a different state.

    Some of my favorite memories include the class holiday parties, when we made Valentines, and the Christmas parties, when we sang carols and exchanged homemade Christmas gifts. Hallmark memories all.

    My birthday is Sept. 26th and I've already put the word out that I want a Kindle. So, I'll be getting mine soon! I can't wait.

  26. Mona Risk // September 12, 2010 at 3:40 PM  

    Hi Donna welcome to the Pink Fuzzy Slippers. I bet you had fun writing the Reunion of 85 book. I always enjoy setting stories in the places I know well.

  27. Robin Bayne // September 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

    I love a good romance series! Congrats Donna ;)

  28. Mary Ricksen // September 12, 2010 at 5:10 PM  

    Welcome Donna, to the PFS writers!
    I really enjoyed your excerpt. I am so anxious to read this series.
    Good luck and I wish you the very best in sales!!
    I enjoyed your blog, not the usual, Are You a Panster or a Plotter. Know what I mean? This was great Melba!
    Thanks!

  29. Joanne // September 12, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

    Hi Donna,
    A warm and fuzzy welcome to the Pink Fuzzies. This series sounds wonderful!

  30. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 5:56 PM  

    Mona,
    One of the best things about working on this series, is my editor Kathy. She's a cut to the chase woman, and she brings out the best in me.

    Robin,
    Girlfriend we need to catch-up. I owe you an e-mail. Thanks for stopping by. I was at the book auction yesterday, and saw your gift basket, very nice.

    Mary,
    To be a plotter, I'd have to be organized, not my strong suit. I know where I'm starting, and I know where I want to end up, the middle is always a mystery.

    Joanne,
    Thanks for the warm welcome. Being here today, has been wonderful.

  31. Judy // September 12, 2010 at 5:59 PM  

    Very nice, Donna! Good to hear your success story. Loved the excerpt! Good luck with everything!

  32. Donna L Bolk // September 12, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

    Hi Judy,
    Thanks, one can never have too many good wishes or too much good luck.

  33. Kathy Cottrell // September 13, 2010 at 5:28 PM  

    Donna,
    sorry I'm so late coming to the party. Got caught up looking for the buried commas. Heh heh.
    All these years and I didn't know about the little red schoolhouse!
    Not quite that for me, but K-12 was housed in one building, we had 1.5 streets [Main and Back], 3 churches, 4 bars and . . . our own monument. Please don't ask which war it was from, probably Civil, but I never checked it out.
    Unlike Summerville, I left that town and NEVER EVER looked back. Yeecchhh!
    Reunions? Not this girl.
    Good luck with the Champagne sub.
    Kathy

  34. Leigh D'Ansey // September 24, 2010 at 7:24 PM  

    Hi Donna - I'm a little late coming in here. Nice to 'meet'you! Sounds as if your childhood is a great backdrop for many stories to come.