Today I have a special treat – an exclusive Chick Lit & Wine interview with Dee DeTarsio, author of “The Scent of Jade” 

Chick Lit & Wine: You call “The Scent of Jade” a hybrid chick-lit action/adventure novel – which genre do you
normally read in your free time?

Dee DeTarsio: I love women’s fiction and chick-lit, but every time I step out I am always pleasantly surprised — Hello, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins! I’ve also discovered new reads through amazing authors like the awesome Elise Allen (YA author of POPULAZZI, and bloggista extraordinaire!) and the fabulous Carol K. Karr (author of INDIA BLACK, my new, fav historical fiction). In a totally unscientific survey, (but I know I’m right) women are 100% more likely to try new genres than men. In fact, my husband, (who has earned his title of beditor) complains that ‘women sure do think a lot.’ That’s right, we do. Live and learn, hombres. THE SCENT OF JADE came from his challenge to make women’s fiction a little more adventurous. So I began with a “what-if” scenario (a woman on a resort vacation, what could possibly go wrong?) that grew into a ROMANCING THE STONE (awesome movie) meets SURVIVOR (amazing reality show!).

CL&W: Where did you get your inspiration for the book’s opening, when Julie was lost in the jungle? Have you had a close-call adventure like that in your life?

D: I am a big baby, and a terrible traveler. I hate camping, I’m scared of the dark, I like my belly full, thank you, and my coffee hot, so I tried to make Julie as uncomfortable as possible. Last year, I discovered that you can never be too old to be afraid of getting lost. I was so excited to have the chance to see this amazing painting by Botticelli, called Primavera, which hangs in the Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy. This painting is the cornerstone to the plot of The Botticelli Secret–another fabulous, fun read! It was an amazing trip, an ethereal painting and a pinchme- I’m-dreaming magical moment…until that little incident where the man of my dreams lost me at the Uffizi. I clearly said, “I’ll wait right here for you,” which he somehow interpreted as me saying: “I’m going to go down those three sets of stairs, through a museum shop, past the security guard and out the green door.” All’s well that ends well…and with a glass of vino!

CL&W: Hands down, what’s your favorite Chick Lit novel?

D: I am stalking Marian Keyes, and would read her instructions on the handling and care of plantar warts. She’s a Virgo, I’m a Virgo. She’s a successful internationally recognized goddess of an author, and I…well, I’ve read everything she’s ever written. I expect we would be best friends. She even looks amazingly like my younger sister, Ma… OK, my sister’s name isn’t Marian, it’s MaryBeth, but we call her Beezer, which has the exact same number of letters Marian’s name does. Coincidence? (I sometimes even call my sister an eejit!) Her most excellent Ms. Keyes is from Ireland…I love the color green. From her first book, Watermelon, (my seventh favorite fruit) to Sushi For Beginners (I’m only up to California rolls myself!) to Anybody Out There…I have loved, read, and reread every word. I’m even practicing what I will say when I meet her. I have been working on “Top of the morning,” as an icebreaker. I am such a gobshite.

CL&W: What wine would you pair “The Scent of Jade” with?

D: I am a cheap date…but have a brilliant track record selecting wines via:
1. Titles,
2. Emptiness of Bins, (surely, greater palates than mine have been hard at work.)

Just look what’s on tap! Who doesn’t want to sip on this?

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest! More fun stuff to win coming soon.