Thursday, February 13, 2020

Straight Chatting from the Library: Donna Simonetta

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Donna Simonetta will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember, so it’s tough to narrow this down to one favorite. Hmm…the books I treasured the most were my Nancy Drew collection. A cousin, who is a little bit older, gave me all of hers when she got a little too old for them. Best. Gift. Ever. I had them all lined up on the bookshelves in my bedroom; all their yellow spines in a row, organized in series order. Maybe it was a hint toward my future librarianship. It certainly wasn’t indicative of my overall tidiness––the rest of my childhood bedroom always looked like a tornado had just blown through it.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Dyslexic playboy meets hippie chick teacher and sparks fly! Done in nine words––ha!

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading a book in a new series to me, and really enjoying it. The title is The Ghost and the Dead Man’s Library, and is part of author Cleo Coyle’s A Haunted Bookshop Mystery series. The story alternates between a current-day mystery, being solved by the owner of the ‘Haunted Bookshop’, and a 1940s noir-style mystery––think Sam Spade––being solved by the ghost who haunts her. In life, he was a detective, and this is one of his cases. It’s a fun read, and I think I’ll be reading more in it.

E-Reader or print? and why?

I read in both formats. My husband is an even bigger reader than I am, so our house has a lot of books in it. Seriously…A LOT OF BOOKS. We worried that we might be found buried under them one day, after a catastrophic bookshelf fail, so I started reading some on a Kindle. We both love a used book sale or store, so we still have a fair number of print books, but when I upgraded my Kindle, I gave my husband my old one, and he reads some e-books now too. It’s great when we go on our favorite beach vacation. We load up our Kindles with books to read on the beach, and don’t have to weigh down our luggage with piles of print books.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

I’m a librarian too, I have an MLS and worked for seventeen years in a boys’ middle school library. Part of my job description was repairing damaged books, so I’ve seen the damage dog-earing a book does and can say unequivocally, I NEVER dog-ear! Bookmarks, all the way for me!

Favorite place to read?

For a special reading place, I’d have to say on St. Pete Beach in Florida. I love nothing more than sitting on a lounger under an umbrella on the powdery sand there with a good book. And maybe a tropical cocktail. Hey, it’s vacation––don’t judge!

Favorite genre?

I alternate between my two favorite genres, romance and cozy mystery. In either genre, I enjoy books that have some humor in them, and I also like a paranormal aspect, although that is not a requirement. The humor is. I read for escape, and don’t like a deadly serious book.

Do you loan your books?

I do, but I don’t always get them back––lol! When I was working in the school, one of the history teachers said he’d seen a movie about Henry VIII, and was interested in learning more. Since Old Henry and his wives have always interested me, I had a massive biography of him. It was newly released at the time, and was in hardcover and had cost a pretty penny. You’ll notice I said ‘had’….I never got that one back. I asked him about it once, and he said his wife had just had a baby, and he hadn’t had time to read it yet, but was hoping to soon. When he moved to a new house after the second baby arrived, presumably with my book in tow, I gave up on ever getting that one back.

Keep books or give them away?

I keep my favorite books, but the ones I know I’ll never re-read, I give away. There’s a place here in Baltimore called the Book Thing, where people donate books, and they just give them away. Free. It’s an amazing organization, and we like to support them, so periodically my husband will drive down to the Book Thing, when they’re accepting donations, with boxes of books to donate. I had mentioned we’re both big readers, right? ; )


A wild Vegas fling isn't the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, and Lily and Jason have been like oil and water since they met. Blaming their steamy hook-up on too many shots at the bar, they head home.

Back in the real world, Jason wonders if he's ready to give up his crown as the Playboy King of Rivers Bend to be with just one woman. And Lily has enough on her plate right now without adding Jason Braden to the mix, even if their attraction is crazy-strong.

But life is good at throwing curveballs, and a lot can happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day. Maybe even enough to lead these two polar opposites home to each other in Rivers Bend.


She jumped at a loud knock on the back door, and she dropped the white blouse she’d been holding. Who could possibly be here? She wasn’t expecting anyone, and there was a gate with a code someone would have to get through to come up to the house.

She chuckled as she picked her way through the laundry on the floor. Maybe she’d been wishing so hard for Indian food her thoughts summoned a deliveryman to miraculously appear at her kitchen door with a container of biryani.

In the brightly lit kitchen, she peered out the windows to see who was there, but only saw her own reflection, in the flannel pjs with the pink flamingos on them her friend Roni had given her as a farewell present when she left Baltimore. She hadn’t bothered to style her hair after her shower, she’d just shoved it back with a stretchy headband, and she wore fuzzy, pink socks on her feet. At best, her look could be described as eccentric, and she hoped it was Heather, Bethanne or Magda at the door––it would be too mortifying to be caught by a stranger in this ensemble.

She flipped the switch to turn on the porchlight, and her stomach plummeted to her pink socks at the sight of the person it illuminated.

Jason freakin’ Braden.

At her back door, with a pizza in his hands and a wicked grin on his handsome face.


Donna Simonetta writes the kind of books she loves to read––contemporary romances to help you escape the real world for a little while. Writing is Donna’s third career. She toiled in the business world, and when she decided being an Account Executive wasn’t for her went back to school to get her MLS degree. Next, she worked in a school library for many years. But, Donna dreamed of being an author since she was a little girl, and began to squeeze writing into her day. After the publication of her second book, she decided to leave the library and become a full-time author.

Donna lives in Maryland with her husband, who is her real-life romance hero. They enjoy traveling to visit far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.


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  1. Thank you so much for letting me visit the library today! I really enjoyed doing this interview!Remember.....BOOKMARKS, people!

  2. Your book sounds interesting. I hope that it is a success,

  3. I've enjoyed the tour! Donna, your book sounds fabulous!

    1. Thank you for following the tour, Caryl! It's been fun! And thanks for the kind words about What Was I Thinking! If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy it.