Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wednesday's Special Is...Tan Lines!

Tan Lines by J.J. Salem

Tan Lines is J.J.'s 22nd book to be published, but his first "bonkbuster." I think you have to live in England to know what a bonkbuster is.

It's a fiercely contemporary tale about strong women and the choices that relationships, society, and high-pressure professional arenas thrust upon them. Tan Lines explores the issue of public faces/private selves.

One risky encounter.
One scandalous breakdown.
One horrifying murder.

Don’t even try to take cover from this scorcher.


Billie noticed that Liza seemed relieved when they moved past the subject of March. She didn’t quite believe her friend’s denial. How could Liza be content with a man like Justin? Okay, physically, he was flawless. But Liza was such an intellectual creature. March’s politics might take a hard turn to the right, but at least the man could think. When Justin wasn’t pumping iron, he just sat around waiting for an alarm bell to ring.

There was real electricity between Liza and March. Billie was almost drunk, but she could still read a situation. It didn’t matter, though. Not now. March was fair game. She’d given Liza every opportunity to stake a claim of interest, even on a look-but-don’t-touch fantasy
level. So Billie would just have to take the woman at her word.

They lingered at the table, nibbling on the peanut brittle teasers, talking about their first weekend in the summer share. They intended to spend most of the daylight hours working on their tans. With a two-week head start, they just might be able to stand next to Kellyanne without looking like a couple of ghosts.

Beyond that, the evenings were all planned out. Reservations at Nick & Toni’s for Saturday night. Half a dozen cocktail parties on Sunday. Film director Harrison Beck’s big Memorial Day bash in Sagaponack on Monday. Too bad they had to be escorted there by K.K., the fat queen. Billie had seen him on television leading a panel to dish red carpet fashion after an awards show. Cartoon fags were so annoying.

When the check arrived, Billie made no move to contribute. It wasn’t her idea to come here. Liza didn’t blanch, though. With tip, the bill had to be almost eight hundred dollars. But she just threw down her American Express Black. Must be nice. Amy lectured Billie regularly on cutting down her spending. Meanwhile, Liza was making money in her sleep. And for what—raising hell about some stupid slasher movie? Some people had all the luck.

As they made their way out of Savanna’s, Billie announced, “I’m going to the ladies room. Meet you outside, okay?”

Liza seemed to think nothing of it and ventured on.

Billie fell back, waiting for her to exit, then made a beeline for the pavilion. There was a tent-like structure. More Grecian columns. A beautiful garden. But with balloons everywhere and a table chockablock full of gifts, it looked like Amaryllis was celebrating her sweet sixteen.

Suddenly, March appeared and offered a flute of champagne. “Where’s Liza?”

Billie drank up and passed the empty glass back to him. “Waiting for me outside.”

He took a step closer. “That’s not very sociable.”

“I can’t stay, either. I just wanted to give you my number.” She slipped a scrap of paper into his front pocket.

He smiled. “Is that the kind of information that could get me into trouble?”

Billie licked her lips. In her white jeans and black lace camisole top, she knew that she looked hot.
“Use it. Find out for yourself.”

March opened his mouth to speak.

But Billie was already gone.

From across the room, Amaryllis stood watching.

Billie matched her glare for glare. Then she silently mouthed the words, “Happy birthday, bitch,” and walked out.


1) Name three things JJ likes to nibble on.
2) What's JJ's favorite cartoon?
3) What's JJ's recipe for a Birthday Bitch Cake?


ChrisEldin said...

Contest open!!

Or if you would like to drop by simply to chat, please do so! We love talking!!

Charles Gramlich said...

1. Necks, necklaces, and nectarines.

2. Robot Chicken.

3. Chocolate and arsenic.

Chumplet said...

This sounds like an intriguing book! Welcome, J.J. - this is a kooky gang and you'll love everyone.

It's late at night here - I just drove to Oakville and back to get my daughter's student loan arranged and now is a good time to ponder today's questions...

1) Name three things JJ likes to nibble on.
Ice cream, Fruity Pebbles and prawns, not necessarily in that order.

2) What's JJ's favorite cartoon?

I'd have to guess Rocky and Bullwinkle but if he lives in England I don't know what cartoons they show there.

3) What's JJ's recipe for a Birthday Bitch Cake

It would have to include lots of Sour Cream.

laughingwolf said...

welcome jj!

1. nips, navels, and nether regions

2. rupaul

3. sans dressing

ChrisEldin said...

Good morning everyone!!!
I guess everyone is gobsmacked by the video. Or is busy looking up bonkbuster...

JJ--What exactly is a bonkbuster, in your own words? Do you hail from Merry Old England? so many questions...


Anonymous said...

I have no idea what a bonkbuster is, but I'm pretty convinced that I'm going to like it.

Welcome JJ!!

Susan McBride said...

Must buy this book! In fact, my agents even recommended it as, um, research for the beach book I'll be writing soon. As for the contest questions, here goes nothin':

1. Three things JJ likes to nibble on: caviar, lobster, and the earlobe of a pretty girl with tanlines

2. Favorite cartoon: Sponge Bob Square Pants

3. Recipe for a Birthday Bitch Cake: One box Devil's Food Cake Mix, a pinch of Sharon Stone (and a smidge of Joan Collins, if you've got any leftover from the 1980s), and 29 candles.

Whew. That was tough.

Susan McBride
Thursday's Nervous Roastee

JJ Salem for BookRoast said...

Hello All!

A "bonkbuster" is a British term for a blockbuster type women's fiction novel with a healthy dose of sex. In America, the most famous book in this genre is arguably Jacqueline Susann's VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. I tried to fashion TAN LINES as sort of a 21st century version of that. I love writing about strong women. And speaking of which, did everyone see Hillary Clinton's speech last night?

ChrisEldin said...

Ahhh--JJ wants to mix sex and politics-a popular combination in any country.

Stephanie said...

That trailer was too funny, what a fabulous first line! I would guess JJ's favorite cartoon is South Park...

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JJ Salem for BookRoast said...

At the risk of coming off like a complete goob, I must confess that my favorite cartoons growing up were THE SUPER FRIENDS and STAR TREK--THE ANIMATED SERIES.

Stephen Parrish said...

Hi JJ. I wonder if you've run into any resistance in this industry because you're a man. I also wonder if you go by initials in order to avoid resistance.

peggy said...

Star trek, very fun cartoon. okay, I1) Name three things JJ likes to nibble on. Vulcan candy bars

2) What's JJ's favorite cartoon? Scoobey doo

3) What's JJ's recipe for a Birthday Bitch Cake? Exlax frosting.. oh I'm bad today, sounds like a fun romp there JJ.

Nice to meet everyone by the way :)

JJ Salem for BookRoast said...

I have not encountered any industry resistance at all. There is, though, a heightened awareness when it comes to packaging. Since the books are women's fiction, I felt like using my initials would help ease that tension. I do find the situation bizarre, though, because in the 70s and 80s particularly Harold Robbins and Sidney Sheldon wrote this kind of fiction without any issue at all.

Anonymous said...

Superfriends!! They were the best. I liked to pretend to be Aquaman. My friend had to be Superman, of course, but I thought that was so predictable.

ChrisEldin said...

Thanks for stopping by, Peggy!
Hope you sit back and get comfortable over here!!

Anonymous said...

1) Pencils, pens and paper
2) Kim (is) Possible
3) Devil's Food skank mix and a layer of cream, whipped real good!

That was awkward but fun.

Whirlochre said...

1. Bookmarks, when reading.
Lips (all kinds) (apols — saw bonkbuster).
The last chip of nacho in the bowl.

2. The doodles swirled in circles in the margins of draft love scenes.

3. Big big cake. His birthday. No more goddam bitch.

ChrisEldin said...

Blueviolet, Thanks for de-lurking!!!
What was awkward? clitclitclitclitclitclitclitclit?

Shona Snowden said...

I think Jilly Cooper's novels were bonkbusters, weren't they? Or are, I think she's still writing.

Completely off topic here, but my mother told me that if I ever named a daughter 'Amaryllis' she would disown me.

JJ Salem for BookRoast said...

Hi, Jilly Cooper is still writing. She's fantastic. RIDERS is my favorite of all her titles.

ChrisEldin said...

Hi everyone, I'd like to thank everybody who dropped by, said hi, peeped, and otherwise joined in celebrating JJ's book "Tan Lines!"

Thank you also JJ!!!

The contest is over, but please feel welcome to chat on. JJ will stop by and announce the winner of Tan Lines.

Thanks all!!

Shona Snowden said...

Ooh, I think I read that. Did the cover feature a red jacket, white jodhpurs (tight!) and a whip?

It was pretty steamy as I recall - like Tan Lines!

Shona Snowden said...

No idea why it was so quiet today.

Frankly, the sheer hotness of your author photo would have led me to bombard you with questions!

JJ Salem for BookRoast said...


Did a random drawing and PEGGY is the winner of the prize--a copy of the hardcover edition of TAN LINES. Happy Reading!

ChrisEldin said...

Congratulations Peggy!!!
Please contact me at my email, and I'll make arrangements for your prize...

And thank you so much, JJ, for visiting us!! Now every time I see someone checking their tan lines at the beach, I'll remember this book....

Chumplet said...

Hooray for Peggy!

laughingwolf said...

way to go, peggy!

thank you jj, and the rest....

peggy said...

Why thanks everyone! I'll email you right away :)