Saturday, December 13, 2014

Friday Friend: Joanne C. Berroa

Joanne Berroa is a fellow New Jersey and Rebel Ink Press romance author. Her newest book, Rapture on the High Seas, just came out. Please give her a warm welcome.

People have asked me how do I come up with ideas for my stories? I usually chuckle as I answer. Ideas come from all over. A lot of them come to me as I lay in bed just before falling asleep. It’s a nice time of night when all is quiet and I’m comfortable. My mind runs free and I imagine all sorts of things, many of which become real stories. Since I know if I don’t write it down I’ll forget it come morning, I keep a pad and pen by my bed and jot down the main elements of the story.

Another way stories come to me is when I think of a time period I like. Perhaps something I’ve read by another author, or a movie I saw, or just a general feeling I’d like to have lived during that time frame. Since I write a lot of historical romances, I’ll pick a time period like the American Revolution and begin my research. While I’m researching the time period, ideas come to me born from this research. Example: it stands to reason that during the American Revolution there were many hot military men, so I would pick a captain or a colonel for my main character. Real life battles are the catalysts for fictionalized battles with my fictionalized characters. Example: I used the battle at Princeton, New Jersey in one of my novels. I mixed fact with fiction. I even used George Washington as a minor character. You have to be careful when using real people because you wouldn’t want their dialogue to be something they couldn’t possibly have said. I don’t think George would’ve said something to the effect: “Hot damn, she’s a sexy filly.” So you have to be conservative in their demeanor and their dialogue when using real people.

Finally, I get ideas for stories from thinking up titles and names of my heroine and hero. I can pick a title that titillates me, like my latest “Rapture on the High Seas.” That alone suggests the story and the characters. My next step is to name my main characters. When I pick a name and envision them as real people, ideas flow.

All things said, ideas come from everywhere. It’s important to capture them and write them down before they ride off into the sunset. I think I’ll ask my family for a mini recorder for Christmas so I can carry it with me in my purse and have it handy at all times!
Thank you for the opportunity to speak about where my ideas come from, and I hope you enjoy reading a little about my latest release: Rapture on the High Seas.


     Back in 1983, Dell Publishing published my novel, “The Barbary Coasters.”  It was set during the 1860’s in the Barbary Coast of San Francisco and was part of a series of books written by different authors called, “The Making of America.” My pseudonym was Lee Davis Willoughby.
     I’ve written articles for several computer magazines over the last thirty years doing software and hardware reviews and ads.  I was also a photographer for cover art for two magazines back in the 80’s, and currently write profiles for businesses and professionals for Micromedia Publications, a local newspaper publisher who puts out the Southern Ocean Times.
     Rebel Ink Press has released five of my romances with a sixth due out in Dec. 2014.
      I live in southern New Jersey with my husband and have two grown sons. I love to hear from my fans!

Title: Rapture on the High Seas
Genre: Contemporary pirate romance novella
Rebel Ink Press: Dec. 10, 2014

Laurel Vanderman Delacroix is the daughter of billionaire Victor Vanderman, owner and CEO of multi-national World One Bank. Although Laurel has a high level job within the family business, her life is unfulfilled, and she takes an extended African vacation with friends aboard her multi-million dollar yacht. She never expects to be hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, some three hundred miles out in International waters off the coast of Tanzania. She has no way of knowing that this is no random act of piracy. Someone who wants to bankrupt her father set the hijacking in motion, and the perpetrator doesn’t care what happens to Laurel and her friends in the process.
The Somali pirate leader who captures Laurel and her friends aboard Bubbles is extremely competent and dangerous, which makes him a force to be reckoned with. He’s also an astute businessman with millions in his Swiss bank account. Will this Somali pirate carry out his mission and put Laurel’s and her friends’ lives on the line, or does he subscribe to another agenda? Will he capture Laurel’s heart along with his ransom demands, or completely destroy it?
Rapture on the High Seas is a contemporary story of intrigue and betrayal. Above all else, it’s a sensual tale of love that’ll leave you feeling warm all over and believing that nothing is ever as it seems

The shadow came alive as it stepped into the moonbeam. He was so tall his head almost touched the ceiling. Even in her state of terror, the intruder, fully armed with an automatic weapon, reminded her of Ares, the Greek god of war. Who was this man and what was he doing here?  A raw scent of danger engulfed her as she sat bolt upright and reached for the cover sheet. Although the climate-controlled air conditioning in the yacht rendered the boat cool and comfortable, she’d worn only a black bra and panties to bed. She held the sheet together across her breasts and managed to speak a few choice words. With false bravado she said, “Who are you, and what do you want?”
He stepped closer to her bed, and she gasped. He truly was Ares, tall and thickly built, and he carried an AK-47. If he didn’t mean to use the weapon, why was he flaunting it? Fear brought bile to her throat, and she swallowed hard. 
“You’ve been hijacked, Mrs. Delacroix.”



  1. Recording the story ideas is a great idea. If I try to jot them down in the dark, or when I'm half asleep, I often can't read what I wrote the next morning. Ditto for scribbling when I'm driving (bad, I know) but I seem to get really good ideas when I'm driving--or in the shower.

    1. Hi Ana! I know what you mean about not being able to read your handwriting the next morning, hehehe. Yes, I'm going to do the recorder thing and hopefully, it'll be there in my purse at all times and handy for those "special moments." Thanks for commenting. :)

  2. Hi Joanne,

    Welcome to Heroines with Hearts! I agree, ideas come from everywhere. I get a lot of mine from listening to music. Sometimes the overall 'feel' or message of a song, but sometimes a particular lyric.

    I love pirate stories, but I don't think I've ever read a contemporary one...I'm going to have to check yours out!

    1. Hi Debra! Thanks for commenting. I hope you enjoy my modern day story of pirates. :) I, too, get ideas from songs I hear. Usually I'm sitting in my recliner, with the lights low, and my eyes closed listening to the lyrics. Then an idea comes and I don't want to move to write it down, and I say, no problem, I'll remember it when I get up. Yeah, sure. :)

  3. Hi Joanne, so nice to have you here today!

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you and Heroines With Hearts for hosting me today. It's been a pleasure.

  4. Hi Joanne! I love hearing where other writers get their ideas, and agree they can come from anywhere and at any time. Your story about a modern day pirate is a welcome change from the traditional kind of pirate story.
    PS I love the idea of George Washington saying, 'Hot damn, she's a sexy filly' LOL!

    1. Hi Paula! Yes, my pirate story is a bit different from the usual. And I loved that line about George saying "Hot damn." In fact I cracked up laughing as I wrote it. Can you imagine him actually saying that? It sounds more like a drunken cowboy!!! LOL.