When I finished writing The Venice Beach Romances (my first romantic comedy trilogy), I wanted to explore something with a slightly more serious theme – while still keeping things quirky and funny. I’ve always wondered if the American Dream was still attainable – through hard work, vision and a little bit of luck. My agent, Martin Biro, at Kensington Publishing was willing to take a chance on this rather esoteric pitch. I tried out a few different approaches, but settled on the rather fanciful ide of a group of misfits having to spend six months in a ghost town in Texas in order to fulfill the terms of a dead billionaire’s bequest. The first book in the series is called Welcome to Fat Chance, Texas, in which my eccentrics went kicking and screaming to the sun-baked town in the Hill Country.
In the second installment – Slim Pickins’ In Fat Chance, Texas, the adventure continues, with the addition of one of my favorite characters from The Venice Beach Romances, Fernando Cruz. Fernando, last seen opening a B&B on Vashon Island in Washington, seemed like he really wanted to be in the new series! Fernando decides to open a BBQ restaurant in Fat Chance to cater to the townspeople and the cowboys from the local ranch. The residents hope it will mean a second chance for their town – something they didn’t quite accomplish by the end of book one!
As always, there is romance in them thar hills. Romances get shaken up, broken up, some restored, some tossed aside. There are also a bunch of four-legged creatures who are characters all their own. I have always felt you can tell al lot about a person by the way he or she relates to animals. I think that’s true in life – and certainly true in my books!
The third book, Livin’ large In Fat Chance, Texas will be out this summer, so I hope you’ll keep an eye out for it!
Title: Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas (Fat Chance, Texas Book 2) by Celia Bonaduce
Published: January 5th, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romantic Comedy
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…
Add Slim Pickins’ in Fat Chance, Texas (Fat Chance, Texas Book 2) to your Goodreads shelf.
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.
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.”