Title: The Lust Garden
Publisher: WingSpan Press
Release Date: June 2010
Pages: 312 pages
About the Book:
With her perfectly tousled blonde hair and pink, pouty lips, Gianna Salvani is the girl everyone loves to hate. She has it all – fame, fortune and unrivaled beauty. But behind the seductive smile is an insecure girl who still grieves for the father she lost years ago. With a controversial new film in the can, and the release of her debut album looming, Gianna is poised to take center stage. But when a shocking secret leaves her exposed, her fame will bring her face-to-face with a nightmare she never saw coming. Because lurking in the shadow of her spotlight is an obsessed killer with plans of his own for Gianna. Ignited by his first conquest, Gianna’s greatest admirer begins a brutal hunt to claim her as the ultimate trophy in a string of look-alike murders. Motivated by envy, he forces himself into her seemingly untainted world and threatens to ruin everything she’s built by revealing a hidden tie that binds them. And if you knew his secret, you’d want to kill her too.
The Lust Garden is Jackie Collins meets Sidney Sheldon meets Harold Robbins. It’s steamy and glamorous with the snappy, bitchy dialogue you would expect the beautiful people to use with each other. Gianna’s secrets and the serial killer’s parallel story left me sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next.
I was a little disappointed by the ending, but not because it was badly written. I don’t want to give anything away, let’s just say I prefer a certain type of ending and this was not that. But the ending did not fail to surprise me, And I can’t wait to see what Billy Jolie writes next. His style is irreverent and fun, but with a dark side. I love it!!
My rating: Four Academy Awards!!!!
Interview with Billy Jolie:
TM: What sparked the idea for The Lust Garden?
BJ: I’ve always been obsessed with celebrities, Hollywood and pop culture in general. I live for it. So, I think the idea for the book really started to formulate in my head when I was watching the very public meltdowns of stars like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
To me, fame was the monster. Fame was, at least metaphorically, killing these girls and their careers, and we were all eating it up from our television screens, magazines and blogs, like it was candy.
I knew there was a fun, frightening story to be told in that world. I found a unique twist for my band of misfit characters, and built a fictional world around it where I could play with them.
TM: What draws you to the thriller/suspense genre?
BJ: Simply put, writing in the thriller/suspense genre is tons of fun! Not just for me as the writer, but for the audience, too. I love books that keep you on the edge of your seat.
I like to write as if I’m watching a movie in my head and just putting it to words for my readers. Thrillers are typically fast-paced. You have to keep that momentum going for your readers, which is a wonderful challenge.
TM:What is your writing background?
BJ: I’ve written ever since I can remember, whether it was a journal or my first try at a novel when I was about 13 or so. The process was an escape for me, still is.
I have a degree in mass communications (with an emphasis in public relations). Writing was always an integral skill. Professionally, I’ve contributed columns to various magazines in the Tampa Bay area, but fiction has always been my passion.
TM: What is your writing routine?
BJ: I’m very methodical. I typically write a synopsis of how I want the plot to unfold first. From there, I create my outline. I like to jot down a few sentences for each chapter to help guide me on what needs to be accomplished. If I didn’t, I never finish anything
TM: Tell me about any upcoming projects?
BJ: I’m working on a new novel now. I’m really excited about the material because it’s such a huge departure from The Lust Garden. No fictional celebrities, no serial killers… It’s more of a coming of age story. Three friends from different backgrounds find each other over the course of one summer at a lake in Upstate NY. A decision is made by one of them that will change their lives forever.
But don’t let the warm premise fool you. It gets very, very intense.
I received a review copy of this book for the purpose of the interview thanks to Promotional Book Tours. Regardless, all opinions are mine.