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Friday, August 15, 2008

CFBA Blog Tour - Tracey Bateman and That's (Not Exactly) Amore

Today, I have the privilege of featuring one of the first author friends I made after joining ACFW back in 2002. Joined by our shared love of Dr. Quinn, we formed a fast friendship that has only gotten better over the years. Now, she's a client of mine and an author I admire for all that she's achieved in just a few years. From her very first book, she's blazed a trail that's been hot and stays hot, through genre changes and publisher changes. But, her following has been loyal and she's still going strong!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
That's (Not Exactly) Amore
FaithWords - August 14, 2008)
by Tracey Bateman


TRACEY BATEMAN published her first novel in 2000 and has been busy ever since. There are two other books in the Drama Queen Series, Catch A Rising Star (#1) and You Had Me At Goodbye (#2).

She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years.

She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year.

Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.

She has been married to her husband Rusty for almost 20 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.


When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.

Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe's family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn't want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including "the uncles," who seem to confirm Mark's suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn't the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini's not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.

"Tracey draws us into the world of family and friendship with a few surprising twists along the way Bravo!"~RACHEL HAUCK, author of Diva NashVegas and Sweet Caroline

If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE

Buy your copy of That's (Not Exactly) Amore Today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

It was a natural progression from Laini's character growth in the first two stories. I didn't have any idea when I started that she would love to cook or that her mom would be widowed. Her story just flowed from my own friendship with her in Catch a Rising Star and You Had me at Goodbye.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

I like to eat and cook. That's pretty much Laini and me both. I am a distaster at decorating....again...Laini. But I really didn't have her experiences. I'm a midwest girl, which I guess she is at heart. Laini is more passive in general than I am.

3. What themes exist in That's (Not Exactly) Amore that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

I think I'd rather the reader draw her own conclusion. That's the thing with subtle themes, I always shout for joy when that small group of readers writes to me and really "gets" it. Goes beyond the love story and the entertainment to what lies beneath. I love when people see things I never intended, but looking at it from their heart perspective gives me a chance to sit back and go, Oh, yeah, you did want to say that, didn't you, God?

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

This book was amazingly easy. I wrote it exactly the way I felt it should be wrtten and my editor let me. Any scene with the "uncles" is a favorite scene. And there's one scene in the rain toward the end of the book that I forced myself to wait to write until I got there. I had it in my mind from the beginning. I just wasn't sure who all the characters would be in the scene.

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book is Dangerous Heart, the third in the Westward Hearts series from Avon Inspire. It will release in October.

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Thank you, Tracey, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE copy of That's (Not Exactly) Amore.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

Make sure you leave your email address (name [at] domainname [dot] com/net) or that there's a way to contact you. Otherwise, you won't be entered. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

* * * * *


windycindy said...

Greetings, I adore this author and her books! I am looking forward to her third book in the "Westward Hearts" series. I have not read this book, but it sounds like it has some great characters and a fun story line. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks, Cindi

Maureen said...

This looks like a fun story and I would love to read it.

Carolynn said...

This books sounds great! Thanks for the chance to win!

Donna said...

I really hope that I win this one!!It looks like a great read!

T. Forkner said...

What a great interview with Tracey and I Love the title. Please interview me!

Pamela J said...

I'm not so much a cook unless the kitchen is clean and I HAVE to be in the right mood which only comes once in a great while. The cooking happens but not so fancy most of the time. I'm up for new ideas and my kitchen is clean.
I'm impressed that you already knew a scene in the rain toward the end of the book before you wrote the rest of the book. Were there other characters there than what you first knew about since writing the story in between the beginning and that scene?
I have some books I bought 2nd hand by an author by your name, Tracy, but with a "V" for the middle initial. Is that you too?
Thanks, Amber, for the interview and drawing. Please enter me.
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

ChristyJan said...

I enjoyed reading this interview with Tracey.

That's (Not Exactly) Amore sounds like a great read ~ please enter me to win a copy.

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I have your mailing information and will send out your book tomorrow.

Lots of other winners selected today. Check out all interviews from August 13th through August 29th to see if you've won.

As always, thanks for your continued support.