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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Meet Guest Author, Billi Wagner!

Today I am very happy to introduce you to another Muse author. She has a couple of names, but the one I know her under is Billi Wagner. She has written, Painted Jezebel, under the name Jolie Pethtel.

Here is a little bit about her:

Jolie Pethtel was born in Ohio, but raised in Arizona, where she met her husband Jim. Jolie has since moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she lives with her husband and their six rambunctious children. Jolie is a Domestic Goddess by day and Writer by night.

1. When did you seriously begin to write?
High school. I’d write during class and hide it under my school work. I wrote on napkins when we went out to eat. It was and always will be my passion. I had to take a break when my kids were younger, then at thirty-five I had a revelation. Do it now or give up the dream, so I honed my craft and made the time to write.

2. What was your reason? Were you influenced by anyone or anything?
Not really. I’ve just always known it was what I was born to do, from second grade when I wrote my first short story.

3. What hobbies or interests do you have besides writing?
Reading and photography.

4. With six children, how do you manage to write at all?
It isn’t easy, that’s for sure. Mostly, I write late at night while they’re sleeping. I write all night, then sleep while they’re at school.

5. Please describe a typical writing experience for us. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
For the most part I’m a pantser, though I do my research. Something will inspire me, then I let the characters tell their own story. Sometimes they surprise me and take me in a different direction, but it always work out. I didn’t choose the killer, they did and it’s a pretty good twist. I know I didn’t see it coming.

6. In what genres do you like to write? Why?
Normally I write paranormal stories, believe it or not and I like writing young adult, though Painted Jezebel is neither of those. Jezebel and Finn decided they wanted to be heard and I had no choice but to tell their story. It’s a funny romantic mystery and just came together on its own.

7. Who are your favorite authors? Why?
Margaret Mitchell who wrote Gone With The Wind. I was forced to watch it in high school and loved Scarlett and Rhett. Scarlett was such a strong independent character and as for Rhett, who doesn’t love a bad boy? In fact, I named my first born daughter Scarlett. Milton’s Paradise Lost is another one. As for now, I read a lot of different genres. Mary Janice Davidson’s undead series is amazing and funny. Sherrilyn Kenyon is darker, but compelling. Suzanne Collins who wrote the hunger games. I also enjoy a lot of Young Adult books. My interest in those started with Christopher Pike. Remember Me is my favorite. More recently P.C. Cast. I could go on forever with my list.

This is very exciting, because two of the characters from this author's new novel, Painted Jezebel, are here and they have agreed to be interviewed! We'll start with Jezebel:

 Hi, Jezebel. I know it must be difficult for you to be out of your house this much when you were agoraphobic and haven't left your home in years.

1. How did you feel when Finn kidnapped you and brought you to writers' conference?
 Honestly, I didn’t handle it so well. I had a major panic attack, but once I could breathe again I felt like strangling him.

2. Was the fact he was gorgeous make it easier for you to be with him?
Well it didn’t hurt, but the man drives me so crazy. That Irish accent is what did me in.

3. Why did you decide to help Finn when he might have been guilty?
I didn’t really have a whole lot of choice. I was in the same bind, suspect in a murder I didn’t commit. We needed each other.

4. How will seducing a lifeguard help you prove your innocence?
It was Finn’s idea to seduce information from the lifeguard, who did have a connection to the victim, but it’s also possible he just wanted to see me in a bikini. All I can say is desperate people do desperate things.

5. Level with me, weren't you just a little attracted to Finn and will it work out?
A lot attracted, but there are definite issues there. He’s sworn off writers and I really should swear off kidnappers, but on the other hand he’s kind of irresistible.

And now a word from Finn, the gorgeous man who kidnapped Jezebel:

1. Why was it so important for you to bring Jezebel to the writing conference?
I lost my last job when I was falsely accused of sexually harassing one of my writers—my ex-lover to be more specific. My career means everything to me. This was my last chance to get back what I lost.

2. What did you hope to gain from Jezebel seducing the lifeguard?
I doubt he would have talked without a little incentive and well…it sure didn’t hurt seeing her in that bikini and heels.

3. Are you attracted to Jezebel and will you pursue that attraction? Or is she just a pawn in your game to prove your innocence of killing your ex-lover?
I’m fighting it as hard as I can. Jezebel’s a client and off limits, but a man can only take so much. As for using her, I’m not that kind of guy. Teaming up was in both our best interests. Neither one of us wanted to go to prison.

4. What is the next part of your plan?
It’s dangerous, but we have to find the killer. There’s nothing else we can do. If I don’t go along, she’ll do it without me and she needs my protection. I was responsible for dragging her into this mess after all.

5. Do you have any idea who might have killed your ex-lover?
It would be easier to tell you who didn’t want to kill her. No one. Everyone is a suspect.

You know now that I have met both of you I am interested in learning more about your story. Here is more about Painted Jezebel:


Publicist Finn Mackenzie has always been lucky, until an ill-fated affair with a vindictive writer leaves him one chance for redemption: a spectacular public appearance by the elusive best-selling romance author, Jezebel Jinx.

Unfortunately, the cute but kooky writer refuses to cooperate. Jezebel believes she’s cursed with bad luck. Riddled with anxieties, she never leaves her home— until the gorgeous, albeit desperate Finn whisks her away to a writer’s conference, against her will.

After the initial shock wears off, Jezebel’s dormant hormones kick into high gear around the hunky Finn.
When his ex turns up murdered and Jezebel is the prime suspect, ill-planned sexcapades are the least of their worries.

     “Someone was just murdered and I’m the prime suspect. Detective Tyler has gone around smearing my good name with everyone at the conference and here I am strutting around in a bikini. Don’t you think a one piece might have been more—I dunno—respectful?” Jezebel hovered uncertainly in front of the door marked heated pool. “Maybe a black one piece to show I’m in mourning.”
     “You can’t flirt with lifeguards in a one piece. It just isn’t sexy enough. Besides, you aren’t in mourning. No one is. Did you see the celebrating going on in the bar? ‘Ding dong! The witch is dead’ is pretty much the attitude in there. If they could give you an award for killing her, they would.”
     “I didn’t kill her,” Jezebel hissed.
     “No, you didn’t, but if you want to prove your innocence you need to seduce some information out of that lifeguard.”
     “My boobs are too small to seduce anyone. My legs are really my best asset, which I could display just as well in a one piece.”
     “Rick might be a boob man. That is why you are wearing a size too small and we bought a bikini that lifts.” He mimicked cupping and lifting with his hands, without actually touching her breasts.
     “I’m going in.” Jezebel stated as she rolled her eyes, and then stepped toward the pool area entrance. “Think sex goddess,” she ordered herself, adding some strut to her walk.
     Finn insisted on the fire engine red bikini and matching strappy high heeled sandals. Who wore high heels to the swimming pool? This was wrong on so many levels.
     “You look smokin’ hot, babe,” Finn called out. His idea of encouragement. Well, that was nice to know. Jezebel added a little roll to her hips just for his benefit, before pushing open the door and disappearing from sight.
     She spotted Rick right away. He sat on his chair like a Greek Adonis, wearing nothing but snug bathing trunks, a whistle and a smile. The pool was filled with women vying for his attention. Her self-confidence slipped a notch.
     Jezebel hesitated a fraction of a second too long as she neared his chair, and then kept on walking. No way was she going to humiliate herself like this. They would just have to find another way to acquire the information.
     “Hello gorgeous,” the lifeguard drawled following it up with a whistle and not the ‘behave in the pool’ kind.
     Jezebel froze and then slowly smiled. Ah, an ass man. She attempted to spin around gracefully, but grace and spiked heels did not go hand in hand. Just as she was face to face with her target, she slipped and tottered drunkenly on the tiles. In her defense, they were black and the wet spots weren’t particularly visible. She had a brief unpleasant flash of déjà vu, and then the life guard was on his feet, catching her in proper heroic fashion.
     “Feel free to drop in anytime.”
      Ugh! Did he just say that? The man was so much hotter when he didn’t speak. All brawn, no brain. How disappointing. So what did she say now? Jezebel wasn’t particularly good at suggestive small talk with half naked strangers. She tended to fluster easily. The hidden agenda only increased her nervousness. Where were the cue cards when you needed them?
     “You saved my life! How can I ever thank you?” she gushed, fluttering her lashes.
     “Do you have something in your eye?” He frowned down at Jezebel, before setting her on her feet.
     “I was just a little—um—disoriented for a second.”
     “Are you sure? It looked like you were having a seizure there or something.”
     “I’m sure.” Jezebel was absolutely mortified. Thank God Finn wasn’t witnessing this. She would never live it down. Just then she caught a glimpse of him pulling off his T-shirt and diving into the deep end in nothing but a pair of modest swim shorts. Not fair. Not only had he overheard every embarrassing word, his smug grin left no doubt, but he was holding himself to a different standard. He should be demeaning himself for the greater good by wearing a pair of revealing swim trunks.
     The women swarmed around Finn splashing playfully and damned if he didn’t love every second of it. Jezebel wanted to strangle him. So he wanted to play it that way, then fine. She could play too.

Oh, I see you've brought along your book trailer nominated in the You Gotta Read contest for January. There is still time to vote for it!!

Now I'm sure everyone wants to know where they can find this book:

Painted Jezebel is available at Museitup Publishing and Amazon, among several others in ebook.
My website is
Twitter @Joliepethtel.
Facebook fan page and my facebook page

Thank you so much to Billi Wagner/Jolie Pethtel for being my guest and bringing her very intriguing characters as well.

Until the next time when more authors will be joining me. Thank you to the people who continue to follow my meanderings. My life is heating up, because I am now tutoring three students three times a week. This does interfere with blog posting, though I have no shortage of guests.:) Soon I will be hosting the lovely women who are my friends on SheWrites. If you are a woman and a writer, this is a place for you. I am in the group, Blooming Late, which is made up of women who came to writing after 40. We are writers of all kinds. Some are published authors and others are struggling to make that happen. So I will be introducing you to as many as I can interspersed with authors from MuseItUp of course!

My Blog Talk Radio Show, RRWL Tales from the Pages will be on this Thursday at 3PM Central Time and 4PM EST with a surprise guest.

I am getting some good vibes from my 2nd Place on Preditors & Editors Poll for If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor. Thank you to all who voted and I hope you enjoyed the book! I have a post on DowntownYA talking about promotion if anyone is interested in reading that.:) Have a great week.


  1. Oh, that was fun, girls! Billie, last time I looked, you were way ahead, we'll keep our fingers crossed!

  2. I absolutely loved this book! Jolie's sense of humor intertwines in the suspense and most especially in Finn and Jezebel's banter. Oh my gosh - I was laughing through most of the story when those two were together.
    I highly recommend this book for who dunnit fans...who enjoys humor and high tension romance - this is an excellent read.
    Barbara - great questions...Jolie, I'm learning more about you every time I read another interview. I'm waiting for your next Poison Pen story. *grins*

  3. I tried to post earlier and it wasn't working. I want to thank you Barbara for having me as a guest on your blog, as well as Jezebel and Finn. We all had a great time.

  4. Hi Gail! Thank you for visiting and glad you had fun!! Isn't that story irresistible? I can't wait to read it!

    Conda, so happy you came by and commented. Thank you and I hope you will come back.

    KayDee, it sounds like you read the whole book!! It does sound like a page turner.

  5. Jolie, so happy you were able to post finally! We have all been there with Blogger:) So glad you liked the post and I really enjoyed meeting and learning about your characters!

  6. Interesting characters. I'm glad you let him do the interview.

    Keep up the good work, we're expecting more from you.


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