Title: Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas
Series: Fat Chance, Texas Book 2
Author: Celia Bonaduce
Published: January 5th, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romantic Comedy
Synopsis: It’s been a year since an eccentric billionaire summoned seven strangers to the dilapidated, postage stamp-sized town of Fat Chance, Texas. To win a cash bequest, each was required to spend six months in the ghost town to see if they could transform it—and themselves—into something extraordinary. But by the time pastry chef Fernando Cruz arrives, several members of the original gang have already skedaddled…
Fernando’s hopes of starting a new life in Fat Chance are dashed when the town’s handful of ragtag residents—and a mysterious low-flying plane—show him just how weird the place actually is. His hopes of making over the town’s sole café into a BBQ restaurant for nearby ranchers threaten to turn to dust as a string of bizarre secrets are revealed. But just when the pickins’ couldn’t get any slimmer, the citizens of Fat Chance realize they might be able to build exactly the kind of hometown they all need—but never knew they wanted…
What was the inspiration for your story?
Small slices of American life are always intriguing and inspiring to me. SLIM PICKINS IN FAT CHANCE, TEXAS is a continuation of the story told in the first book of the trilogy, WELCOME TO FAT CHANCE TEXAS. When I pitched the idea to Martin Biro at Kensington (my publisher), I said “I want to explore the idea of the American Dream. Is it even possible to achieve it in 21st Century America?” Martin asked, “Can you make it funny?” I loved that he took a chance on such a weird idea.
What kept you going throughout the writing process?
The old adage of “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration is very true. The discipline to keep my butt in the chair was instilled in me at a very early age! My parents were both professional writers and ‘YOU DO NOT MISS A DEADLINE’ was gospel around our house.
Who is your most meaningful character and why?
I spend a lot of time creating each and every one of my characters. More than one reviewer has pointed out that my characters are quirky and often take some getting used to. This might be a risk on my part, but I’m hoping my characters are interesting enough that the reader will take the time to get to know them – and ultimately cheer for them. I have found myself surprisingly fond of Cleo Johnson-Primb, the Beverly Hills socialite who is sentenced – along with seven other misfits – to six months in a ghost town in Texas. The poor woman is juts o clueless – I found myself being very protective of her.
Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
Yes! The third book in the Fat Chance series, LIVIN’ LARGE IN FAT CHANCE, TEXAS picks up the story two years later. We’re in the final stages of editing and the release date is July 19,2016!
How has this story touched your life?
Even though the FAT CHANCE series is a work of fiction, it was important to me to bring my characters to life exploring the possibilities of making something of themselves. I’m not just talking about money – the town experiences ups and downs (mostly downs) through the three books – but their approaches to each challenge are uniquely American. This is a pull-yourselves-up-by-your-bootstraps group.
What motivated you to start writing?
My mother and father were like every other set of parents when my brothers and I were growing up. They supported our dreams but wanted to make sure we had a skill to fall back on if we failed. So they taught up comedy writing.
Excerpt from Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas:
Dymphna didn’t want Suzanna – or Suzanna’s sister Erinn, or their mother Virginia – worrying about her, so she tended to embellish how well things were going in town when she spoke to them. No harm done, until Suzanna sent an email to Dymphna, letting her know that the fabulous Fernando had sold his share of the B&B to his partner and was looking for a new place. Suzanna thought Fat Chance sounded like a ground floor opportunity and Fernando was very excited about checking it out. Without admitting to a pack of white lies, Dymphna convinced herself that he might actually like the place.
Fernando, Dymphna and Pappy turned towards the door as Thud, the enormous bloodhound that shared Dymphna’s farm, bounded into the room. Thud sensed the new blood and raced to welcome Fernando to town. The dog reared back, then jumped. He put his front paws on Fernando’s shoulders, knocking the chair over. Fernando and Thud landed on the floor, the dog looming over the man. Drool ensued. Dymphna hoped Fernando found this charming, but suspected by Fernando’s involuntary yowling that he was not a dog person.
Dymphna pulled the dog off him and Pappy righted his chair. Fernando wiped the dog slobber from his face, this time stuffing his no longer white handkerchief into his jeans.
“Tell him how great this place is, Pappy,” Dymphna said as she lugged Thud back outside.
“I won’t lie to you,” Pappy said, looking Fernando right in the eye. “Fat Chance is an acquired taste.”
They all thought of the place as a ghost town, but it was actually a study in “arrested decay.” The structures had been maintained, but only to the extent that they would not be allowed to fall over or otherwise deteriorate in a major way. That explained why the town was a mishmash of buildings from the turn of the twentieth century with electricity, running water, a few 1950’s appliances – and a faint internet signal.
“I have to get up to the farm,” Dymphna said to Fernando, as they all stood in front of the café. “I’ve got to shear my goats. Do you want to come up?”
“Less than anything on earth,” Fernando said.
“You go on,” Pappy said to Dymphna. “He’ll be fine here.”
Dymphna hesitated, but realized there was nothing she could say or do to make Fernando decide to stay. She and Thud headed up to the farm, the two men watching them until they were two small specks on the horizon. The speck that was Thud bounced all the way up the hill.
“Who maintained the buildings all these years?’ Fernando asked.
“I have,” Pappy said proudly. “Been here for more years than I can remember.”
“Why?” Fernando asked. “Why have you been here so long?”
“Can’t say,” Pappy said. “Probably same sort of reason you’re here.”
“Oh, I doubt that,” Fernando said.
“You might not stay,” Pappy shrugged. “But you could have gone anywhere. Back to Napa or Los Angeles. You could have gone to Chicago or New York. But you decided to check out Fat Chance. Not business as usual, you got to admit that. You were looking for something different. And you found it.”
About the Author:
Celia Bonaduce is an award-winning producer whose credits cover a lot of ground – everything from field-producing ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to writing for many of Nickelodeon’s animated series, including Hey, Arnold and Chalkzone. If Celia Bonaduce’s last name is any indication, she is proof that TV talent runs in the family.
An avid reader, entering the world of books has always been a lifelong ambition. She is the author of the Venice Beach Romances, including The Merchant of Venice Beach, A Comedy of Erinn, and Much Ado About Mother. Her dream continues with a brand new series called Fat Chance, Texas. Book one, Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas, is available now! The series continues with book two, Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas, on January 5th, 2016.
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