Friday, June 6

@GoddessFish Interview & Giveaway: Just Out of Reach by Belinda Stevens

Just Out of Reach

Belinda Stevens

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Belinda Stevens
Date of Publication: May 12, 2013
Number of pages: 192

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN

When high school freshman Katherine Boyd meets David, her life is forever altered. Their romance experiences the turmoil of Mississippi in the sixties, family relationships that keep them apart, and political differences that threaten to destroy them. Through the death of JFK and James Meredith s admission to Ole Miss, Katherine s growth means being progressive in a traditional Southern family, accepting the loss of those closest to her, and learning to cope with her family s darkest secrets. Just Out of Reach is the story of a young woman forged in desperate times and a love that changes her life forever.
We would meet for lunch once a week. At first, our luncheons were a exercise in vitriol against my husband. But, as time passed, I began to look forward to our luncheons with anticipation. Because of my past, I’ve always been insecure and suffered from acute shyness. I tried to cover it up with a false reserve. I surprised myself by opening up to Fred. He was so sweet and so obviously interested in what I had to say. I couldn’t help but tell him my secrets. I shared with Fred my painful past and how I couldn’t forget the hurt Tom had inflicted upon me. The words my husband spoke the day I caught him with Chrissie continued to haunt me. As much as I tried, I couldn’t let go of the rage I felt towards Tom. As our luncheons continued, my relationship with Fred evolved from friend to confidante into something more complex and intimate. Fred also shared private thoughts with me, such as his strong connection with his family.

Today, we welcome Belinda Stevens to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!

Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?

Writing Specific

1. When is your favorite time/place to write? Do you write structured or patchworked?

My favorite time to write is late at night, when there are no distractions. I usually sit on my couch in the living room or sofa in the bedroom with the television on mute. I have to say my writing style is patchwork. Sometimes I draft a loose outline of the entire book but I don't always follow the outline. I sit down, start writing and let my characters lead me.

2. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.

I'm a serious anglophile. I've been to England several times. I've visited Wordsworth's cottage at Grasmere in the Lake District -seen the home of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon. I gazed at the White Cliffs of Dover, as well as visited Dover Castle where the evacuation of Dunkirk was planned. I love British mysteries and never miss an episode of Downton Abbey.

3. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.

When I'm not writing I love to get together with friends, read a good book, see a great movie, travel to Martha's Vineyard and last but not least, play with my furfect dog Humphrey B.

4. How did you choose the genres you write in?

I didn't really choose a genre to write in. My genre for Just Out Of Reach was a hybrid historical novel/romance. I had a story to tell and it fit nicely within that hybrid. My second book (50 Shades of Fur, by Missy Barkalot) is a parody and my third, which I hope will be completed by December is a murder mystery. I don’t really have one genre as my own.

5. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?

When I was thirteen years old, I read a thousand page book entitled House Divided by Ben Ames Williams - the same author who wrote Leave Her To Heaven, which was made into a movie. House Divided takes place during the Civil War and involves a Virginia family that discovers they are closely related to Abraham Lincoln. It combines the mores and pathos of the times seamlessly with the military history of the Northern Army of Virginia. It was an extremely well written, well researched book that inspired me to read on a more complex and sophisticated level. It was at that point that I began to put-pen-to-paper. You might say my love reading and writing clearly began with that novel.

Fun Stuff

1. What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?

I saw Philomena- it was good but not as good as the book. I liked Saving Mr. Banks and American Hustle better. Memorial Day I plan to watch Monuments Men.

2. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would pick the ability to fly as my superpower. I can't think of anything better than being able to fly above the treetops and have a birds-eye view of the world. Also, it would be nice to fly at warp speed and get to Paris, Rome, London and Vienna in no time.

3. What was the name of the last book you read?

The last book I read was Natchez Burning by Greg Iles. I couldn't put it down! I was up at 1:00 o'clock in the morning reading, when I should be in bed getting much needed sleep.

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is being lied to. It shows a complete disregard for the other person. Those who lie usually get caught, in their arrogance these people don't think others are smart enough to figure out their lies.

5. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?

That's a hard one. I've narrowed down to Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt. I guess I would have to say Winston Churchill. He kept the people of England fighting, when they were the only thing that prevented Hitler's total domination of Western Europe. Churchill saw and was a part of most of the history of the 20th Century. Plus the man was an accomplished writer and artist.

Think Fast!

1. Elvis or Sinatra? Sinatra- who can resist "Ole Blue Eyes". At the age of twelve I had a secret crush on several member of the Rat Pack - Sinatra and Peter Lawford. I will never forget Sinatra in From Here To Eternity.

2. Mountains or sea? The Sea. I lived in Martha's Vineyard for a year and still live near the water. I agree with John F. Kennedy who said "We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea... whether it is to sail or watch it...we are going back from whence we came."

3. Italian or Chinese? Italian- I like Chinese but I love Italian. I could eat my weight in Chicken Cacciatore and Cannelloni.

4. Coffee or tea? Coffee, of course. I couldn't get by without my morning coffee. I love to start the weekends with a coffee cup in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand.

5. Car or truck? Car- Easier for me to maneuver in and out of traffic. Plus, I don't drive through rough terrain or carry large loads, which would require a truck.

Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us.


Belinda will be awarding a Print copy of Just Out of Reach to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY).

Book Tour Info: 
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:

June 2:
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
Musings and Ramblings

Author Bio:

Belinda J. Stevens was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the gateway to the Mississippi Delta, in 1948. She grew up in the turbulent sixties, and has a true appreciation for the difficulties experienced Katherine in her first novel, "Just Out of Reach".

An attorney by profession, Belinda tells the story of young love and dark secrets in the turbulent Sixties. Inspired by her own experiences as a Yazoo City High School student, Belinda writes about the impact President Kennedy's assassination, James Meredith's integration of the University of Mississippi and the Vietnam War had on one young Mississippi woman.

Belinda is a graduate of Belhaven University and earned a Masters in Social Science and a Law Degree from Mississippi College. From 1987-1997 she served as Special Assistant to Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore.

Belinda resides in Brandon, Mississippi with her dog Humprey B., and practices law in Yazoo City where she is a Public Defender

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. I like the Excerpt the best, it really makes this book sound so good. I would really enjoy this romance story. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  2. Thanks a bunch for hosting my book.

  3. Anita I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt and hope you my book. Let me hear from you.

  4. Oh totally jealous of the trips to England! Sounds wonderful :) And yeah totally with you on Italian. If I could get away with it pasta would happen every day. lol


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