Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Author Guest Post: Dianne Venetta, Author of Lust On The Rocks

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Dianne Venetta, author of Lust On The Rocks!

Tearing Through Worn Out Stereotypes

Older men and younger women is a concept with which we're very familiar. But older woman, younger man? Flatten that raised brow and stay with me—this relationship is here to stay! And why not? Working women are here to stay. They've taken charge of their careers, developed means for self-reliance, have options for birth control...

Makes sense they should take charge of mate selection, right? And if a woman could choose to engage in extracurricular activities with a handsome young thing, wouldn’t she do so? At least consider it?  Heck—wouldn't you?

I would! So long as I'm not looking for the father of my children or a long-term relationship, why the heck not? And if I'm not going to be marked by society as a harlot, a cradle-robber (or anything else derogatory for that matter), then I'm all in!

But “marked,” I shall not be. Not anymore.  Contemporary women determine the direction of their own lives.  No longer must we subject ourselves to the dictates of the men in our lives (we can decide for ourselves what we want to do, thank you very much), or fashion designers (we wear the skirt length we find most comfortable), the viewpoint of society (we choose our lifestyle—without regard to societal mandates), even the advice from our family (with whom we may respectfully disagree).

Today's independent woman is just that—independent of outside influence. She follows her passion, chases her dreams, and yes, sleeps with whomever she chooses. If that happens to be a gorgeous younger man, than so be it. (You did hear me say gorgeous, didn't you?) You bet you did! If men can do it, we can do it.

Equal but different is my motto and this is one stereotype I think we can do without.  How about you?  Are you ripping through stereotypes or enjoying the status quo?

About The Author: 

Dianne lives in Central Florida with her husband, two children and part-time Yellow Lab--Cody-body!  When not whacking away at her keyboard crafting her next novel you'll find her in their organic garden chasing grasshoppers and plucking hornworms all while drawing wild analogies between kids and plants and men.  Definitely men.

A girl's gotta have fun, right?

When she's not knee-deep in dirt or romance, Dianne contributes garden advice for various websites and volunteers in her kids' school garden (a crazy existence to be sure). But at the end of the day, if she can inspire someone to stop and smell the roses--or rosemary!—kiss their child and spouse good-night, be kind to a neighbor and Mother Earth, then she's done all right.

BUY THE BOOK: Lust On The Rocks

Book Description: Lust On The Rocks

She has what he needs, and he won't stop until he gets it.  Trouble is, what begins as a matter of death, becomes a matter of life.

One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize.  In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy.  Turns out, a little too far...

Victor Marin has ulterior motives.  The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge, and his last chance for justice.  But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself.  But decidedly single, Sam wants no part.

Until Vic walks away.

Book Excerpt: Lust On The Rocks

“You did well today, Vic.  You didn’t win your argument, your performance was a little overpowering, but you did well.”  She slid a hand across the table.  He would have sworn she was about to touch his, but instead, her fingers curled around the stem of her water glass.  “Chavez was out of line.  It’s his MO.  Whenever there’s a new attorney in his courtroom, he parades power like a peacock.  Don’t take it personal.”
No longer sparring, Vic noted her removal of armor.
“You’re good.  Really good.  You have phenomenal energy in the courtroom—I mean you had the jury.”  A smile crept onto her lips, a gesture which reached deep inside him.  “I was watching.  Each and every one of them followed you around that courtroom, your every move, your every word, they were right there with you.  They didn’t believe her either.”
“Then why won’t you include me on Perry?”

Sam’s breath caught in her throat.  Trapped beneath his gaze, the question echoed Raul’s.  Around her, the noise level rose as lunch hour officially reached full sprint.  People shouted orders, metal cash registers clanged in action, but she focused solely on Vic.
Her suspicion returned.  Because I don’t need any help.  Because I don’t want the distraction.  Because I’ll be damned if some unknown hotshot comes in and tries to strip the prize from my hands regardless of how good, or how good-looking he is.
Sam’s spine locked straight.  All her life she had to work twice as hard, run twice as fast—because she was a woman.  As an adolescent, her parents forced her to share an overload of responsibility for the care of five younger siblings, despite the fact her brother was scarcely a year behind her.  In college she was offered more dates than internships with law school providing more of the same.
Sam sighed.  Baker, Schofield, Martinez and Brown had been the one interview where she felt wholly respected—wholly appreciated for her talent and not her looks.  Because of Raul.  He focused on her abilities and she responded.  From there, the man taught her everything she knew, from the law to the lowdown, and groomed her into the legal shark she was proud to be.
Her thoughts chilled.  Yet now, he was encouraging interference on her caseload from the new guy.  It didn’t make sense.
Sam honed in on Vic.  “Give me one good reason I should include you on Perry.”
“You said it yourself, I’m good.”
“So am I.”
“It’s a big case.  More than one attorney can handle.”
“I have Diego.”
“I have experience.”
“So I hear.”  Sam lifted her glass from the table, but never took her eyes off him.
“It could work to your benefit.”
“I work to my benefit.”
Vic eased his neck from his collar and reached for his glass.  “I’m offering to help, Sam.  Most attorneys would jump at the opportunity.”
“If you hadn’t gathered by now, I’m not most attorneys.” 


“My father is a prominent attorney.”
Sam gave an expectant lift to her shoulders.  “And?”
“And, what?  He’s a good guy.”  Depressed, angry…  Vic sighed.  But a good man at heart.
“What do they think of you moving to Miami?”
Something inside him hardened.  “They’re very supportive of what I do.”
She nodded, as though it were obvious.  “They want you to be happy.”
Vic felt the old pressure swell in his gut.  “Something like that.”  He sipped from his drink, coating his ache with a soothing measure of gin.
“Family is important,” Sam said, with what sounded like genuine admiration.  “Particularly the dedicated kind.”
He paused, and held onto the softness that entered her voice.  “If you feel that way, why aren’t you married?”
“Why aren’t you?”
“Asked you first.  The way you said it, sounded like you have some experience in the department.”
“I do.  Loads of it.”  She shook long bangs from her well-shaped brow and said, “I come from a family of six kids.”
Six kids?”
“Six.  And I, being the oldest, had to help raise the little beasts—I mean, dearies.”  She smiled sweet as syrup.  “And mind you, I love every one of them, but I don’t want to repeat history.”  She mimicked a shudder and fiddled with her drink’s red plastic sword.  “I’ve had my fill in the child-rearing department, thank you very much, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the commitment my parents made to keep it together.”
Oblivious now to the parade of passersby, Vic felt a strange wave of disappointment.  “What, you don’t want kids?”
“I have kids,” she asserted.  “My brothers and sisters have several between them who I enjoy very much, but as for myself I’ve chosen a different path.”
Vic nodded, but said nothing.  He was calculating the new information, turning it over in his mind, deciding what it meant and how he felt about it.
And it’s reflection on her.
“So Vic, you still haven’t explained why you chose Miami.”
He welcomed the shift in tide.  Talk of marriage and children was starting to depress him.  “I’m looking to add a little ‘sunshine’ to my life and this seemed just the place.”
Sam dipped into her martini, the fiery gleam in her eyes magnetic, her smile reflecting the earlier reference.  Inciting desire, it pulled him in, all without revealing her first thought.
“Yes, well, sounds to me like you had a vested opportunity in your father’s firm.  Why cross the country and start over?”
“I wanted a change in scenery.  While I’m young,” he added, with measured thrust.
Sam smiled, intrigued, but let the subject go.
While she had yet to decipher the reason for Vic’s move, and Raul’s insistence on acting as his cheerleader, she knew men didn’t usually uproot their careers and move halfway across the country, particularly when their father was a well-connected attorney in town and their academics were spotless.
Unless there was a problem.


“It’s nice out here, isn’t it?”
The light breeze tossed hair into her face as she looked at him.  “One of my favorite places to be.”  The feel and sound of crashing waves reminded her of life’s ebb and flow, the powerful force of nature, the calming sense of continuity.  Sam loved the ocean, from the deep dark depths to the slide of incoming tides across a shore littered with shells.
Vic kept his pace slow.  Jean pant legs rolled up, he carried his loafers in one hand, allowing the other to occasionally bump with hers.  “Why aren’t you tied down yet, Sam?  Seems to me, a woman like you would have men lining up with proposals.”
She chuckled at his compliment.  “I don’t want to be tied down.”
“Ever?  You mean to tell me you never met a guy who did it for you?”
“Did it for me?” she repeated, amused by his choice of words.  But she knew what he meant and relaxed into a laugh.  “I’ve met a lot of men who have done it for me, as you so neatly put, but I choose to be single.”
“Why?  Someone hurt you?”
“No.”  Other than my family.  Being forced to care for five little kids when you were scarcely one yourself wasn’t so great.  But life did that to you.  It put you in situations and forced you to deal—which she did.  But that was behind her now and she didn’t intend to go back.  Ever.
“You don’t want kids?  Is that it?”
“Let’s say I had an overexposure at a young age, caring for my brothers and sisters and I’m cleansed of any desire to have my own.  What about you?”
“What about me.”
“Siblings, nieces, nephews...”
“None,” he said, and Sam almost tripped over the soft quality of his voice.
“Must be strange.”  When he didn’t reply, she said, “I’m sorry, that didn’t come out right.”
He looked at her and said, “Don’t worry about it.  No big deal.”
But the vulnerability in his eyes unraveled her heart.  Had he been hurt?  Was that the reason behind his distinct change in demeanor, the wall that slid between them?
This was usually easy territory for a man.  Unless there was a problem, rang the sentiment again.  “Ever thought about marriage and kids for yourself?”
“Maybe someday.”
“I’m focused on my career, but later, when I’m ready to settle down...”  The thought fell away.  “Who knows?”
“They’re a lot of work,” Sam tried to make light, willing the ease to return.
“But the connection is worth it.”
She turned to him and he stopped.  In the distance, the sound of partygoers blended with the thumping base of music drifting far and wide.  Behind them, a large wave crashed.  Racing up the shore, it submerged them ankle deep, then glided across the wide expanse of sand as it made its retreat to the ocean.  Something changed.  The hairs on the back of her neck stood amidst goose bumps prickling her flesh.  Vic’s gaze cut through the gentle evening light as he touched her hair, ceasing its lash across her cheekbones.  Her pulse quickened.
“I had a nice time.”
“Me, too,” she uttered, her breathing reduced to wisps.
“I’m glad we’re working together.”
She could only nod, suspended by what came next.

Dianne will be giving away a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift card to one (1) randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click the above link and post a comment to enter for a chance to win! The more comments you post, the better your chances are at winning! 


  1. I find that men my age are boring, and act old. I much prefer younger men.

    How come you only have a part-time dog?

  2. Like you said if men can have a relationship with a younger woman?

    Then women should be able to as well, I of course have to read about either an older man younger woman relationship or older woman younger man relationship but hey I'm all for the right to choose whether one wants to have physical intimacies with someone older then them!

    I'm not all that experienced yet with men but for the moment I think I'll stick with men that are closer to my age range but who know how long that'll last! We all have our preferences and I know for a fact that these preferences will and often do change more then we may realize!

    I'm certain that I'll get into these kinds of book couple relationships as soon as I read a book featuring one of these relationship types!

    The post interesting, even though it's a little early where I live thanks for making me think!

  3. @MomJane Younger men, much more interesting. :) Part-time dog? Bit more complicated. :(

    We adopted our puppy and within the first year discovered we had not near enough time to devote to him. He needed a playmate and with the kids in school all day, me at my computer--him sitting there barking at me to come play--we realized we had a problem. He needed more than we could give him. A close friend of ours was looking for a "man dog" (aka constant dog companion) that he could bring to work, take to the lake fishing, go camping, etc. and offered to take Cody.

    Faced with leaving Cody at home all day until the kids were able to play with him or allowing him to live the "good life" with our friend, we opted for the latter. Now, we get to have Cody whenever we want--long weekends, over Christmas break, summer vacation, etc--and the dog is happy ALL the time.

    Sometimes, when you love someone (or animal) you have to do what's best for them and not yourself. It was a hard lesson for the kids, but they seem to be catching on. It works! (Mind you if Cody wasn't going to have a BETTER life than we could give him, we would have kept him home).

    @Gabby Enjoy the men of your age, enjoy the men who make you smile. In the end, it should be a pleasurable match. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I like your 'dog share' plan. Great if you like high energy animals but don't have the time to meet their needs properly!

    Sorry to see the end of your tour arrive. I've enjoyed our daily visits. Gotta think of a new and different question for you...The older woman/younger man theme is not all that common in romance books and sometimes publishers are hard-nosed about the new and different. So, did you run into problems trying to get your story published?

  5. @Karen In my case I went the indie publishing route because you're right--publishers can be hard-nosed regarding their acceptance guidelines. One of my main problems is in writing romantic women's fiction, the question becomes "where do we shelf this book?"

    Crossing genres can be tough from a marketing perspective but in the end, I believe an enjoyable read is an enjoyable read. My hope is that readers of BOTH genres will give new authors like me a chance!

    I go nowhere without my readers! :)

    And thanks for following the tour--I've enjoyed our "chats!"

  6. I loved this whole tour, and enjoyed every interview. I'm sorry to see it end!
    Dianne, thank you so much for going the Indie route and publishing your book. Not only have you enriched my reading experience, but hopefully you have opened the minds of some people that hadn't "thought outside of the box" as much as we more liberated women need them to ;-)

    I wish you every golden opportunity and success! May your vegetable and literary gardens be fruitful and plentiful!

    Gena Robertson

  7. @Gena Thank you, Gena. You've made my day! :)

  8. @Goddess Fish Promotions - thank you for the opportunity to host Dianne's virtual tour event!

    @Dianne - Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to host your virtual tour event. I loved your author guest post and reading / review Lust On The Rocks.

    @MomJane, Gabby, Karen & Gena - thank you for chatting with Dianne, and visiting my blog site. :)

  9. It's been a great tour, Dianne. I'm convinced that I need a younger man. Of course, I'm not ready to trade in my husband for a newer model!

    Kathleen...I'm glad that Dianne's tour has ended on your blog. It got me back here for another visit to my fellow Jersey girl! You've given great recommendations for both Love on the Rocks and Jennifer's Garden. Thanks so much.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  10. @Catherine - thank you for the kind comments. I hope you enjoy both books! :)

  11. @Catherine It's tempting but I agree--not turning in my hunk of a husband. :)

    @Kathleen So much fun ending with you today and many thanks for giving an indie a chance! You're the BEST!

    Thanks one and all for following along - I really feel like we've gotten to know one another a bit! I look forward to more in the future! ;)

  12. @Dianne - Indie authors rock! I look forward to reading many more of your novels. :)

  13. "Tearing Through Worn Out Stereotypes" - that's a great heading & the post to follow I applaud.


  14. @Marybelle Thank you for the comment and for visiting my site.