My guest today is Jolene Buccheit. I wasn’t able to connect with Jolene at Penned, except just a few times in passing. I’m telling you, it was a madhouse – but in a good way!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are from.
My name is Jolene Buchheit, pronounced like Boo-Kite. Born, raised, and currently living in Iowa. My passion outside of reading and writing books is working with teenagers, which I do at one of the local high schools. My favorite color is royal blue, like my hair and my two favorite sports’ teams: Chicago Cubs and Kentucky Wildcats. I do not like long walks on the beach because it hurts my feet, but I love the sound of the ocean. Also, is it just me or does the sea have healing powers? Yeah, I thought so.
Yes! YES, absolutely Yes, the sea has healing powers! We got to go on vacation to the gulf the week prior to Penned, I was looking forward to it since April, when I thought I might never see the ocean again. Yeah, I know, overactive imagination. What genre do you write?
All of my currently published material is young adult. The Charmed Trials series is Greek-mythology inspired urban fantasy. I also have a standalone that is young adult contemporary. However, I have several works in progress that are adult women’s fiction which might be classified as fantasy and romantic comedy contemporary.
Those sound fascinating, I am going to add those to my toberead list! I love stories about mythology. What genre do you read? Which do you read the most?
I read all fictional genres. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of romantic comedies and sports romances as I’m working on a combination of the two.
Who are your favorite authors – can include Independent authors?
I read everything by my friend Emily Cyr, she makes me laugh and swoon. I love Meghan Quinn and Quinn Loftis, who crack me up as well. Jennifer L. Armentrout is my writing hero. Her books are exactly the kind of stories I love to read and aspire to write. Others I won’t miss include: Cassie Clare, Wendy Higgins, A. D. Ryan, Komali da Silva, and Angie Thomas.
This one isn’t writing related necessarily, but I think it tells more about who you are. What do you value most in a friend?
Dependability. I don’t mean showing up on time, I mean being there emotionally. I love checking in with my best friends every day and when they have something hard to face, lending my support. I value the friends in my life who do the same.
I will have to agree with that. Having recently gone through some tough times, I found out who is dependable, who really cares, and who is a friend collector that doesn’t really care. Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
I work in a high school with teenagers all around me. For my young adult books, the authenticity of the teens’ interactions is because I witness it every day. For my adult books, the things my coworkers and friends talk about spark ideas for “what if” situations in my more mature writing. I don’t know if I am surrounded by funnier people in general or if my humor filter works stronger to help me find the most hilarious way of telling a story. But, oh, how I love to laugh and hear others laugh as well.
Tell us a little about your latest book.
Right now, I am working on a romantic comedy about a clumsy girl who is accidentally tripped at a hockey game and ends up spilling beer all over the guy in front of her, who turns out to be an unbelievably attractive man who handles it far too well for the circumstances.
Are you a pantser or plotter, or a plontser?
Pantser. I usually write with a loose idea of how the story goes, but nobody would call it a plot. Working on a co-written project has helped me see why plotters do it their way, but I still prefer for the story to be developed in a more organic way.
What’s next for you?
I’ve completed an adult fantasy novel with two of my best friends. That’s being considered by an agent at the moment, so hopefully that will be my next release. For my solo projects, book three in the Charmed Trials series should be out in the spring.
12.What is your work area like? (desk or work at table or on sofa, tidy or untidy, OCD organized, chaos, perfectly decorated, a niche carved out in a closet, etc.)
As I type, I am half reclined on my couch with Oaty (our dog) lying on my feet and Monte (one of our cats) upset with me because I won’t let him on my lap. The glare is real, y’all.
What is your ideal getaway vacation?
Beach, sun, and books with the husband by my side to remind me to eat and help me apply sunscreen. Plus, he’s my favorite friend and not hard to look at. XOXO *cues* “Awww.”
I knew it would be something beachy! What is your favorite food?
Not gonna lie here and say it’s a spinach salad with mandarin oranges and sunflower seeds, though I do eat that several times a week for lunch. It’s pizza, okay? Papa John’s pizza to be specific, with beef, mushrooms, and pineapple. Don’t at me. LOL
What food do you dislike?
Oh man, I love food. You know what I don’t like too much of in my food, onions. I don’t hate them, but I hate when people use it in such a way that it hijacks the taste of anything else instead of simply adding flavor. However, I will order Hardee’s onion rings every time I go there. So who knows what’s going on with my taste buds??
IKR? It seemingly doesn’t make sense but I agree. I don’t like onion in a lot of things, but on occasion I do enjoy onion rings. Seriously, sometimes onions make me absolutely ill and it’s a gamble when I opt to get an order. If I give you a story prompt, could you write a flash fiction piece of 1000 words or less? Probably, as long as there wasn’t a time limit.
Great! Then I am going to PM you with a story prompt and give you a date for a future post. In December and January I plan to share some flash fiction pieces.
Thank you for being such a wonderful guest Jolene! Check out her book below, be sure to follow her links!
Trial by Charm
Seventeen-year-old Julia Wright doesn’t understand her friends’ obsession with boys. She’s never even had a crush, and proudly maintains her composure no matter who is in her presence. In fact, the hotter a guy is to her friends, the more annoying he seems to Julia. When she is blackmailed into being the manager of the men’s swim team, she finds herself face to face with the worst of them all.
Team Captain Vander Thelxinoe is the typical self-assured jock, with a not-so-typical ability to change people’s minds at will. It’s a talent he uses often to get what he wants—only his charms don’t work on Julia. Now he’s anxious to figure out why, and the closer he tries to get, the more desperate she is to stay away—especially when he somehow awakens a side of her she never knew existed.
Their unexpected friendship puts Julia in the middle of a quest she doesn’t quite understand. As her familiar world begins to unravel around her, Julia must partner with the one person who knows how to push her buttons—and in doing so, discovers the unbelievable truth about who she really is.
Can Julia and Vander survive the trial set before them, or will they fall to a more terrifying fate?
I study his profile. His chiseled jaw and dark, floppy hair are like something out of a magazine advertisement. His eyes, too—they aren’t dark to match his hair, like mine—they are parts of green and blue, much like the painting of the sea in the other room.
“Who painted that piece above the couch in there?”
He shrugs, not answering me in any concrete way. Then he shifts his weight from one foot to the other and his awkwardness makes it clear to me.
“You did it, didn’t you? You’re a painter.”
He shrugs again. I hop down from my stool to go take another look at the painting. The artist must have signed it, and I will get my answer that way.
I go down the hall, past the bathroom, the stairs, and the front door until I’m standing in the parlor, looking at Vander, who is blocking the painting from my view. He must have gone through the dining room next to the kitchen to end up in here before me. He’s staring at me and chewing on his lip while flexing and balling his hands. He’s more nervous than I have ever seen him—not before a swim meet, not in class when he didn’t know an answer, not when he told me how he felt in the bathroom a little bit ago.
This is where his heart lies, in this painting of this island.
I try to look around him, and he leans over.
“Don’t.” He is stern, but gentle. He clears his throat. “Please don’t touch it. You will want to, but don’t.”
He’s right. I do want to touch it; I want to climb inside of it. I’m seeing it, and somehow it’s seeing me, and it’s making me feel pulled apart. I want to dive into the waters, to swim to that far-off land, and I also want to turn the boat around and sail as far and as quickly as I can in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the light from the sun is dimming, laughing at me for thinking I can have any control here.
I want in!
Vander grabs both of my arms, which are currently outstretched toward the painting. My knees are on the seat of the couch, and I don’t even remember moving forward. His voice startles me. “You can’t.”
I blink hard and turn to look him fully in the face. “I can’t what?”
“You can’t go there, and you can’t go away from there. It’s just a painting.” Was I talking out loud, or can he read my mind? How does he know what I was thinking? I let him lead me through the dining room, back into the kitchen, where the timer is going off. I shake my head to let loose the feelings that painting stirred in me.
“It’s more than that, and you know it. How?” I don’t even have to finish the sentence. He knows exactly what I’m asking.
At work, Jolene spends her days in high school classrooms and hallways harvesting material for her Young Adult novels. She is always willing to discuss vital issues like which is the best peanut butter to buy or whether Katniss should have ended up with Gale or Peeta. Personally, she is committed to helping teenagers become independent adults and helping them find a way to focus on the positive especially when life gets hard. At home, Jolene loves to cuddle with her husband, two kids, three cats, and a dog—sometimes all at once—while reading Young Adult books or repeatedly watching movies based on them.
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