Thursday Word-Slingers – Guest Shelly Bell

It’s that time of the week again, time for another guest interview. It’s my very great pleasure to introduce debut novelist, Shelly Bell, who’s first novel came out on January 31.  Make sure you read all the way to the end to see the details of her fabulous giveaway! (Yes, I automatically disqualify myself and trust me, I wish I didn’t).

1) How long have you been writing?

I began writing a paranormal romance February of 2011 and stopped a couple of months later to write A Year to Remember. Currently, I’m back to work on that paranormal. I recall writing scripts for plays as a teenager, but I haven’t written anything other than nonfiction since college.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I’m a corporate attorney and work as In-House Legal Counsel for a scrap metal company in Detroit. I also have two elementary aged children who keep me hopping with all their extracurricular activities and PTA events. I try and write while they do their homework and after they’ve gone to sleep. I’m also a book addict- I read a book a day. Luckily, I’m a speed reader! My husband has been a tremendous help and support.

3) Your new book, A Year To Remember, came out 3 days ago (1/31). Can you tell the audience about it?

When her younger brother marries on her twenty-ninth birthday, food addict Sara Friedman drunkenly vows to three hundred wedding guests to find and marry her soul mate within the year. After her humiliating toast becomes a YouTube sensation, she permits a national morning show to chronicle her search. With the help of best friend Missy, she plunges head first into the shallow end of the dating pool. 

Her journey leads her to question the true meaning of soul mates, as she decides between fulfilling her vow to marry before her thirtieth birthday and following her heart’s desire. But before she can make the biggest decision of her life, Sara must begin to take her first steps towards recovery from her addiction to food.

4) What is it about the “chick-lit” or “women’s fiction” genre that you like so much? I don’t read much it in, so I admire people who can and do.

It’s a very broad category. Women’s fiction can have romance, but it doesn’t have to and it’s not expected to follow a formula like a traditional romance novel. For example, my book is written from Sara’s point of view only. There’s no hero.

Women’s fiction doesn’t have a clear definition. In fact, I don’t think most people outside of the publishing industry are aware that the category exists. It’s shelved with general fiction in the stores. Personally, I define it as stories about women, written for women. The books often focus on friendship and family relationships rather than romance. Additionally, women’s fiction doesn’t always end with a happily-ever-after.  

5) Do you have other works in the pipeline yet? If so, please share so we know what to be watching for.

I’m working on a sequel to A Year to Remember, revolving around Missy, Sara’s best friend. She has a huge story that I hint to in my current book. Somehow in the middle of writing the manuscript, Missy demanded to have her own book to tell her side of the story. I like the idea that different people have different perceptions. When I write the same scene from a different point of view, will it change how the reader perceives it as well?

6) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I’m currently working on a paranormal romance which I hope to be the first of a seven book series. I have the general outline of each book prepared. I even have an idea for a spin-off of the series. My first love has always been paranormal romance. Even as a child, I was obsessed with ghosts, vampires and paranormal occurrences. My favorite writers are Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter and I’m obsessed with Joss Whedon.

7) Silliness 1: Sweet or sour?

I used to be a huge fan of sweet, but since I gave up sugar two and a half years ago, I’ve lost my taste for it. So, I’m gonna say sour, although I prefer salty over both sweet and sour.

8) Silliness 2: Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

When I ate ice cream, I preferred chocolate. In fact, when I was a child, my parents took my brother and me to buy a dog and on the way home, we stopped at Dairy Queen. I had a complete meltdown because they were out of chocolate and instead, I had to settle for a vanilla cone with that hard shell chocolate. I had just gotten a puppy and I was crying over ice cream! 

            Plunged into darkness as the door closed behind me, I couldn’t find the light switch. I hit my knee against a chair and groaned from the pain.
            The door opened and someone entered the room. I assumed it was Missy coming to rescue me once again.
            “I can’t find the light switch, Missy. Do you know where it is?”
             Without warning, someone yanked me tightly against his warm, solid body. I heard his slight intake of breath and then he kissed me.
            I know I should have fought against it, but whoever he was, he kissed sinfully well. At first, his soft lips whispered lightly against my own, seeking permission. When not only didn’t I stop him, but made a little moan of approval, his tongue caressed my lips until I opened my mouth. Only then did he allow his tongue to touch mine, first tentatively exploring the hidden depths of my mouth, and then hard and passionately, as though he’d never get enough of me.
            He tasted like a heavenly combination of whiskey and cake. His tongue teased mine in sweet caresses, heating my blood to a fevered pitch.
            Desperately needing to learn the identity of my mystery man, I lifted my hand to touch his face. He grabbed it away, nibbling on each fingertip then gently brushed his fingers across my cheek. I licked my lips in preparation of more kisses, but instead of kissing me, he spun me around in circles, confusing my sense of balance. As the world tilted on its axis and I tried to regain my bearings, he silently left the room.
            For a few minutes, I stood rooted to the spot, attempting to recover from the encounter and craving more from my mystery kisser. Blushing from my response to him, I knew although I never saw his face, I would have made love to him if he asked. Before him, no one in twenty-nine years made my body burn that way.
            Suddenly, I remembered the room’s two floor lamps. I floundered around the room until I smacked into one. After finding our coats, I left the synagogue with Missy.
            Ending the evening of my twenty-ninth birthday with a kiss from my mysterious suitor should have thrilled me. Instead, I wondered why he (as drunk as I was, I was pretty sure I would have noticed if it was a woman) didn’t unmask his identity.
            Was he married?
            Fifteen or eighty-five years old?
            Or even worse, embarrassed to be discovered kissing me?

Shelly Bell

Fresh Fiction

Now for something really awesome! One lucky commenter to this post will win a $25 gift card to their choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Soul Mate Publishing! OMG, I wish I could enter this, but I’m the host and someone might have issues if I mysteriously won.  Hehehe.  So comment away. Winner will be drawn next Thursday and announced next Friday!


  1. I've never read anything quite like this and it sounds like a very intriguing storyline. Strangely, I think way too many women will be able to relate to either or both issues – fortunate for you, Ms. Bell! I'm looking forward to reading this and more in the future. Good Luck with your budding new writing career!


  2. Thanks for the interesting interview. This books sounds fantastic and I look forward to reading it. What amazes me most is all the balls you (Shelly) manage to keep in the air at once! I am an author, retired, with two school aged children at home, and I have trouble finding time to write. You are an inspiration!


  3. I want to know who he is! It's funny because when I was reading the excerpt I thought, what if the guy was some 85-year-old dude? I mean, you never know? Nice interview, by the way. And kudos to you for finding time to write with a hectic schedule like that!


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