Joanne C. Berroa
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The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads

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Rapture on the High Seas Excerpt:

Rayn Ammar surprised Laurel when he took her hand and helped her disembark from the yacht onto the planking of the dock. Her friends and crew followed, with AK’s trained at their backs. Rayn Ammar wasn’t holding his weapon on her. Instead it hung from his hip. He gathered the smiling woman into his arms and planted a kiss on her cheek. “This is Nali, one of my wives,” he said.
Laurel scowled. “How many wives do you have?”
“Just two.”
Two? She shook her head with disgust. She didn’t know it, but scores of beautiful women from the villages vied for the chance of claiming the coveted title of pirate leader’s wife. Pirates who drove big, fancy cars and had multi-million dollar homes were fashionable, heroes of a sort, and collectively responsible for bolstering the Somali economy. Their elevated status granted them the privilege of polygamy.
Rayn led her and the others to a squat stone building near the shore. In the distance, Laurel saw a remarkable sight—large villas dotting the hillside, and grand hotels. It seemed Eyl, a pirate stronghold, was a contrast of dilapidation and prosperity. Parked in front of the stone building was a British racing green Jaguar. Inside the building’s cool walls, three nondescript African men in colorful robes ladled hot soup into bowls and gestured for the hostages to sit and eat. She looked to Rayn Ammar and was surprised to see the beginnings of a smile.
“I told you we take care of our hostages,” he said. “Have to keep you all fat and healthy for a nice ransom.”
She frowned and sat alongside the others at a large wooden, rectangle table. Captain Roberts hesitantly tasted the thick, green grog that passed for pea soup and nodded. Sophia followed suit, then smiled feebly to Laurel.
“Is it good?” Laurel asked her friend.
“Passable.”
Laurel tried some and watched as Rayn Ammar and his wife sat across from each other, slurping soup and exchanging news of the Bubbles’ capture. It was easy to follow their conversation because they both spoke flawless English.
Rayn turned to Laurel and said, “I met Nali while attending Oxford University. My mother’s British, and I lived a good part of my life in London.”
A pirate with an Oxford education? How odd. “Did you major in Pirating 101 at Oxford?” she inquired.
He laughed the laugh she had come to recognize, his baritone voice deep and booming.
Nali chuckled, too. “He graduated with honors,” she said.

I have news:

Urban Diamond Publishing has graciously accepted my novella for reprint. It’s entitled “Rapture on the High Seas” and is now available for purchase on Amazon. It’s a romance novel of intrigue, deception, and danger. Check it out…

Choosing a time period and location to write about

People have asked me how do I pick a location and/or time period for a new story? Well, that’s the fun part! I do my best thinking lying in bed just before falling asleep. Often my head is so full of ideas and thoughts I never fall asleep! Basically, I think of a time and place I would have liked to live, such as Medieval Times in England. Or back in biblical times. The characters come easily once I know where and when I’d like to write about because the characters are born from the era. If I’m writing about a war, it stands to reason one of my main characters will a soldier. I’ve written two novels with military heroes, My Life, My Heart and On Angels’ Wings.

Then I keep a file with new ideas and a working synopsis of each idea for future projects. If I’m in bed when I devise a plot, I get up and write it down so as not to forget it by the next morning. Many ideas for novels have come to me that way.

Picking a location is half the fun of writing. It allows me to live vicariously through my characters and my plots. It’s like living a multitude of life times! The writer’s life is great!

What inspired me

I’ve often read about truly inspired authors, but I never dreamed I’d be one of them. I’ve been writing all my life (and that’s more than a few years), and have had my ups and downs along the way. Times when words didn’t come easily, writer’s block, you name it. But when it came to writing My Life, My Heart, I became one of those “inspired” authors. Not only did it flow as if someone was over my shoulder giving me the words to write, it flowed fast and furiously. I do believe the person looking over my shoulder and guiding my hand was my late husband, who was a multi-published author and died suddenly in a car accident. I never had closure, so in my novel I emphasize the importance of closure, and of love everlasting. It’s nice to know someone on the other side is looking out for me!

Joanne C. Berroa

Joanne C. Berroa

I like to write what I love to read---romances. My latest novella Rapture on the High Seas is available in ebook and print formats, and soon it will also be available as an audiobook.

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