Exclusive Interview with Monica DeSimone

Today, we're doing something a little different. This is our 24th guest author interview on the Marie Lavender's Books! blog, and fellow author Monica DeSimone is visiting us. 
Hello! :)


Hi. Thank you for having me today. 

Oh, it's my pleasure! 
Can you tell us a little bit about your book? When did it come out and where can we get it?

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01LWIPOLTSecond Half is a second chance romance written under the backdrop of professional football and the NFL. It abruptly brings the two main characters (Zoey and Derrick) back into each other’s lives after eight years of separation. It’s a HEA, which is what I love to read so of course that is what I’m going to write. But it is not all hearts and flowers. There are some dark places. 

We are allowed to share in this journey through Zoey’s eyes, and although she is vivacious and sassy now, she has dealt with severe depression and even a suicide attempt that we are allowed a glimpse of. And although she never stopped loving Derrick, him being back in her life does send Zoey somewhat into a bit of a tailspin. Whether it’s because she isn’t ready to forgive or is incapable of expressing what she went through when Derrick left her is unsure. 

There is a slight twist that comes to light which further catapults Zoey down the road of depression, again. However, ultimately, what Zoey and Derrick end up sharing with us is a love and passion for one another. Proving that with determination, love can survive anything.

When did it come out? The eBook release date was September 13, 2016. It is available through Amazon and most online booksellers.


Did anything prompt this book? Something that inspired you?

I have always used writing as a way to express myself and have several books that I started over the years sitting on my laptop just waiting for me to finish them. As for being prompted to write Second Half, I would have to say it was a combination of two things; my father’s passing in April 2015 ,which left me suddenly alone in the home that I was basically raised in, and the stubbornness of Zoey. She is so completely tenacious and unrelenting; beyond stubborn would be the correct phrase, because she wouldn’t keep quiet until I made a deal with her. Let me tell you, she is one shrewd negotiator. 

I was truly inspired to sit down and write Second Half after I read KL Grayson and BT Urruela’s book, A Lover’s Lament. For some reason, of all the books that I have read, that book, along with BT Urruela’s short story "5.5 Liters", resonated in me and helped to me push through my own fears. It was shortly after reading "5.5 Liters" that Zoey started talking to me.

Nice! I love the way the creative process works.

So...when did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

I have always written in one form or another; it is how I best express myself.

That's cool. :)

Do you have any favorite authors?

I don’t believe there is enough time or space for this question, but I will give it a shot! If I only had one to pick that would easy and hands down it would be Nora Roberts; it is all my mother's and Ms. Roberts' fault, along with her amazing talent, that I have such a romance obsession! 

But I would also have to say any of the following authors I would read anything that they put out on the market no matter the genre. Alex Grayson, Nicole Edwards, Meghan March, Lexi Buchanan, Heidi McLaughlin, Jamie McGuire, Kristen Proby, J.R. Ward, Sandi Lynn, Teresa Gabelman, MJ Fields, PT Michelle, and the list keeps going! You have to remember that first and foremost I am a reader!

I love Nora Roberts and J.R. Ward too!  ;)

Do you write in a specific place? Or time of day?

With Second Half, I wrote it completely on my desktop in my office at home. Since, I have discovered the beauty of a laptop. Now I find myself writing in the living room on the floor or in bed at 3:00 AM with my three dogs around me. 

Time of day? I am a night writer. If the sun is down I seem to enjoy that the most. However, I find Saturday mornings I am the most productive. It could be that I am motivated to get the words in so that I can start watching my cooking shows!


I'm a night owl as well. I still don't know why night is conducive to creativity.

Let's try one last question. 

Well, Monica, are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

No matter what, if that is where your passion lies, no matter what, keep writing! I only hope that no matter what; whether you write for pure pleasure or to publish, just keep at it. You will get discouraged and frustrated and hear a lot from The Naysayers. Just keep writing. Because when you stop or give up, you are silencing a precious voice. Your own!

That's excellent advice. Thank you!

And thanks so much for stopping by, Monica! It was such a pleasure to have you here.  :) 

Readers, here is the blurb for Second Half. 
Zoey McEvoy is a strong, sassy, independent woman that has vowed to herself that she will never allow anyone the opportunity to determine her emotional well being again. After a battle with depression that ended in an attempted suicide she has clawed her way out of the all encompassing darkness. Founding the Coach's Shadow Foundation in honor of her father Zoey finds herself thrown back into the life of the man that emotionally destroyed her eight years earlier.

Derrick Hendrickson chose his career over Zoey and is now back to recapture the love that he so recklessly tossed away. Unaware of the devastation his departure caused, he has to reestablish the trust that he lost when he left her. With the help of their best friends and Zoey's sister Claire, Derrick has a strong chance of proving that he never stopped loving her. However, Zoey's trust issues are major hurdles that need to be crossed. Will Zoey ultimately find the strength to forgive and allow Derrick and love back into her life, proving that the Second Half can be so much brighter?

Here is an excerpt.


MY ALARM GOES OFF and I don’t even remember setting it. I always use my cell phone as an alarm, never the actual alarm clock. It is purely for decoration and is actually across the room on my dresser. So the fact that it is going off right now is confusing. I roll over to get out of bed and run smack into a solid mass. I know that I had an emotional day yesterday, but not so rough that I would forget having someone in bed with me.

Derrick. I burrow my nose into his back for just a second, and burn his scent into my memory so that I have it there for later. It’s been so long since I’ve felt him next to me. But then I remember where we are, what year it is, and that he isn’t mine any longer. Jumping out of bed faster than I have ever gotten up, I’m slightly dizzy and trying to gather my bearings.

As I’m getting my feet fully under me, Derrick says, “Duchess, shut off the alarm will you? I don’t have to be at the training facility until eight.”

What the fuck? What did I miss last night? No more blue Xanax, Zoey.

Recovering quickly, or as quickly as I can, I walk to the end of the bed and shove Derrick’s foot buried under my comforter.

Rolling over, Derrick looks all sleepy, disheveled, and sexy as hell. His right arm, the one that has the half sleeve of tattoos on it, is draped over his chest. The chest that is perfectly muscled and beautiful, and that I just want to lick. As I devour him with my eyes, I notice that there is a tattoo on his left ribcage. It’s a saying or something, I can’t tell exactly from this distance and I want a closer lick, I mean look of it.

Jesus… pull it together, Zoey!

“What, Zo?” I’m literally just standing at the foot of the bed, the alarm blaring, gawking at this beautiful man. “You gonna turn that off?” he asks, shifting his head toward the noise. “Then you can come back and cuddle with me.” He’s smirking now. Bastard! He knows that I love to cuddle, and Derrick was always the best at it— warm, strong, and soothing.

“What the fuck, Derrick? Why are you in my bed? With me?” I ask, attempting to recover some of my brain cells and come back to reality. “And where are my dogs?” I’m a horrible pet mom; instead of ogling the hot half-naked man in my bed, I should have realized that Reilly and Steeler aren’t where they always are. “What did you do with my dogs, Derrick?”

“Calm down, Duchess, they’re right here.” He shifts, and I see not just Reilly and Steeler on the right side of him, but that Sam is there as well. Oh… my… God… even my dogs prefer him. Traitors.

“Can you please shut that thing off? I have a hell of a headache and that isn’t helping.”

Walking over to the dresser, I turn off the offending alarm. I still don’t know how it got set, but really, I have bigger things to worry about. Like why there is a six-foot-five-inch god in my bed. Is that a V peeking out from under the covers? Zoey! I chastise myself. I’m staring, hell I’m more than likely drooling.

Recovering as quickly as I can, I ask, “Why are you in my bed, Derrick?”

“I needed to be close to you,” he says as he gets out of bed.

The boys jump to the floor, not liking that Derrick was starting to move around, but knowing that with their humans up they will get fed and go outside. They are now sitting on the bench at the foot of my bed.

As Derrick stands to his full height, I have to bite my lip to hold in the moan. The man has a body that only ancient gods had. I notice his tattoos that are covering half of his shoulder. Yum! He is turning around when I gasp in shock. There are a pair of eyes on his left shoulder, adjacent to his heart. But they aren’t just any eyes… they’re mine.


Wow! Definitely a riveting, sexy story here! I want to find out what happens next...

Purchase Links:
Thanks again for visiting us on the MLB blog, Monica, and telling us all about Second Half!  :)

Readers, don't forget to pick up your copy of Second Half! ;)

Author Bio
Monica lives in northern New Jersey with her three dogs, Sam, Reilly, and Steeler. Raised by a football coach in the heart of Texas, football is a passion that is deep rooted. Introduced to Nora Roberts by her mother at the age of thirteen, she spawned a lifetime love affair with books, all things romance and happily-ever-afters. Outside of writing, you will find Monica on her back porch enjoying time with her “boys”, family, friends, and a really good Dirty Martini.


Author Links:
Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2epiLco 

Monica's Book: