1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
Welp, I’m Juli Valenti… I’m a married 27 year old mom of two boys (ages 3 and 5) even though I look 16! I was born in California, grew up in Arkansas, and now live in Florida – I’ve pretty much gone from one end of the country to the other!
2) How long have you been writing?
Since I was about 7 – I started writing in those little diaries with a dial lock on them (that spelled diary?). Most of my ramblings then were song lyrics, which morphed to poetry, which morphed etc.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
I prefer writing at home, on my couch. It’s where I’m most comfortable and relaxed, but I’ve been known to write anywhere – frantically scribbling in my car on a napkin to typing at work.
4) Why did you decide to write A Little Broken?
A Little Broken is very personal to me as it’s based on my true story. I wanted other women to know they’re not alone in the struggles they’re going through. That I know what it’s like to feel completely lost, hurting, and hitting rock bottom. It was important to me that if I could touch just one person, then it was worth it to put it on paper.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Toni is probably my favorite, even though she doesn’t make that big of an appearance. She’s so true to the real inspiration character and that’s awesome!
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I don’t really have a least favorite!
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I’ll tell you what I tell everyone… even editors need editors! I did not edit my own book – it was done for me by author and editor Kristina Circelli of Red Road Editing
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to hang out with my kids, sing, and take photographs. I also needlepoint when I have time!
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Jessie Braden - is a young woman, from a small town, whose only dream was to have a husband, a family, a home. She’d lived in the same place for what seemed like forever, with the same friends and people in her life. Before the tragedy that befalls her, she’s outgoing and confident but after she becomes timid, scared, and completely lost - until she meets Dominick.
Dominick Wace - is the epitome of the perfect man. He’s charming, financially comfortable, good looking, and truly caring for those in his life. Having lived in Tampa for many many years, he has connections and most of the town knows who he is. Family is important to him. He’s also been through the pain of loss, but handled it differently than Jessie, making him much more understanding to her.
Mr. C - is Dominick’s uncle and the owner of the diner where Jessie works. He’s a good man, caring, though mischievous at times. He shares his nephew’s compassion with the people he comes in contact with, and is no stranger to influencing people around him. Quick with a smile and laugh, he becomes a father figure to Jessie.
Toni - works at the diner with Jessie. She’s short in height but makes up for it with her saucy personality.
By- Juli Valenti
Genre- Contemporary Romance
Jessie Braden thought she had it all. A husband, a new baby – her life was on course, exactly what she always wanted…Until one day, she loses everything.
Ruined and broken, she’s left alone to pick up the pieces of her life. Unable to cope, she spontaneously packs up and moves across the country, hoping that new scenery will help.
Once in sunny Florida, she finds an apartment and a job but while Jessie is surviving, she isn’t living…until one night she meets someone. Dominick.
Desperate for an escape from the pain of her memories, she relents to his unerring determination and agrees to spend time with him.
Through his patience and understanding, she will learn that she’s not ruined…she’s just a little broken.
“I just sat you a hottie, Jess,” Courtney, one of the diner’s only hostesses, whispered in her ear. “He’s at thirty-four, and he’s alone!”
Jessie raised her eyebrows. It was almost nine o’clock and she was pretty sure she was going to be cut soon. It was a slow night. Nodding, she grabbed her order book and made her way toward her newly, and only, seated table.
“Hello, can I get you something to –”Jessie stopped midsentence as familiar honey eyes looked up at her. In the light, he was even more handsome than he’d been just hanging out his car in the dark. His face was clean shaven, revealing a strong jaw line and a kind smile. She could smell his cologne and it was amazing, manly and musky at the same time.
“Jessie! What a surprise seeing you here. I didn’t know this was where you worked!” Dominick said, smiling up at her. Something in his tone told her that it wasn’t really a surprise to him, and that he was here, in her section, on purpose.
“Donald, right?” Jessie said, secretly enjoying the look of indignation that filled his face as she called him the wrong name. She knew his name, how could she not? She’d been thinking about their encounter for the last two days.
“Dominick. Dominick Wace,” he corrected her, still smiling.
“Ha. You sound like James Bond. Okay, Dominick, what can I get you to drink?”
“Hmm, how about a coffee?” he answered, eyes sparkling.
“Sure, I’ll be right back,” Not giving him a chance to saying anything else, she went in search of Courtney. She found her in the prep area, giggling with Layla, Jessie’s serving partner for the evening.
“Courtney, did he specifically ask to be seated in my section?” Jessie asked as she poured Dominick’s coffee, and gathered sugar and fresh cream from the cold storage.
“Yeah, and good for you, girl! He’s so hot!”
Unsurprised, she walked the coffee over and placed it in front of Dominick.
“You do know that stalking is illegal in all fifty states, right?” she asked him, trying to make it sound tart and unfriendly, but failing.
“Stalking is only illegal if it has malicious intent. I don’t think the law says anything about a man’s determination to get a beautiful woman to agree to go out for coffee. I mean, it’s coffee. Everyone loves coffee, right?”
“I’m allergic to coffee,” she told him. Liar, liar pants on fire a small voice, that sounded a lot like the ‘old’ her sounded off in her head.
“Why, Pinocchio, I believe your nose is growing,” he teased.
“Okay, so I’m not allergic to coffee, you caught me.”
“Go out for coffee with me, Jessie. You won’t regret it. I promise to not hog the cream and sugar.”
Jessie thought about it. For every reason she had to not go, she came up with four more on why she should. If she were to tell the truth, she didn’t really want to go home. Every night she was home alone, with nothing but her own thoughts. Maybe Toni was right, maybe she should get out, make an effort. But with that thought, she was scared. She’d built up a wall between her and the world, and wasn’t sure she could handle it breaking down.
“I can’t,” she said, holding up a hand to stop him when he opened his mouth, “I have to work. You have, after all, come to sit in my table, keeping me from being cut for the evening.”
“Oh, that’s an easy fix,” he said, casually.
“It is?” she asked him, staring. His complete confidence shook her as well as intrigued her.
“Sure it is. UNCLE!” he called out, loudly, causing several of the few customers to turn to look at him. He just shrugged at them, and looked expectant as he sat there. Within a few seconds, Mr. C came out of the back office, walking toward them both with a small smile playing on his face.
“Ah, Dominick, I thought I heard you out here, harassing my staff,” Mr. C. said, laughing as he took Dominick’s hand and clapped him on the back in a familiar hug.
“Now, Uncle, I’m not harassing your staff. We do have a bit of a dilemma here, though. You see, I’ve asked this pretty young lady to accompany me for coffee twice now. The first time, she turned me down flat, if you can believe that! This time that I asked, she said that she can’t because she has to work.”
Mr. C’s smile widened, as he looked from Dominick to Jessie. Jessie was sure that she was turning six shades of purple from the attention, and for not seeing the familiar qualities between the two sooner. She really was off in her world.
“Ah, a beautiful woman turning you down? What is this world coming to?” Mr. C teased.
“A travesty, Uncle. A travesty, I tell you!”
Jessie couldn’t help the grin turning up her lips as she watched the two men banter back and forth. Mr. C chuckled deeply from his throat.
“Well, truth between family and all, I cut Jessie ten minutes ago. She just doesn’t nag me about it like my other employees,” he said, winking at Dominick. Jessie was starting to feel like there may be an underlying conspiracy going on.
“So, Jessie, there’s no reason you can’t go for coffee with me,” Dominick said, his smile lighting his entire face.
“Fine,” Jessie sighed in agreement. She could admit when she’d been beat, and she couldn’t hold a candle to the manipulations of these men.
Mr. C surprised her by clasping her hand gently.
“Have a good time, Jess. You deserve it,” he said softly, before nodding goodbye to his nephew.
Standing, Dominick held his hand out to her. “Come on, pretty lady. Let’s blow this pancake stand.”
Jessie stared at his hand, unsure if she should take it. Her uncertainty must have shown on her face because Dominick stepped a little closer to her.
“It’s okay, Jessie. It’s just a hand. It’s just coffee. No big deal. Well, except for the coffee. Coffee is a big deal.” He wiggled his hand a little bit, and as a small chuckle escaped her, she placed her hand in his. She gripped it, holding on tightly, and wanted, for once, to not just let go.
About the Author-
Juli Valenti grew up in Arkansas and currently resides in Florida with her husband and two boys. Working a full time job, as well as owning her own editing company, along with a full time family, her life is crazy but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Juli is currently working on several other true-life inspired novels.
Girls Heart Books and Juli Valenti would like to thank you for taking part of this blog tour. <3ReplyDelete