Talented performer and singer, Sara DelBeato and I go way back. The first time I saw her sing, she was about 8, and from the moment she opened her mouth, the audience was hers. She still brims with a contagious positive energy, and immense talent. When she hits that stage, it’s hers!
I was so happy to get reconnected with her recently, and having learned that she’s also an Aesthetician, and Younique presenter, we decided to give me a makeover with the amazing products that she uses onstage.
This isn’t just any makeover. It’s an “I Just Met My Deadline and I Look Like an Ogre and I’m Leaving My Cave Soon-Help me, Sara!” Makeover.
You see, I just sent my third book in the Rhythm of the Moon series to my editor at Wild Rose Press, which required me to hole up in my cave for 5 days minus family members, minus even the dog. Now I have bags under my eyes the size of Montana. Will Sara be able to make me look human-er, smashing-for the Desert Dreams Conference Readers Event in Phoenix on June 3? I’ve no doubt.
While Sara was working her magic, we had a fun conversation. Sara DelBeato:
Jennifer: Thanks so much for the makeover, Sara!
Sara: Of course! It’s my pleasure! You look amazing before AND after. I love introducing people to this awesome makeup & skin care line, and seeing the incredible results.
Jennifer: When was the first time you realized you wanted to be a performer?
Sara: Oh, from the very start. Even as a kid I had that passion, and it just always felt like a given.
Jennifer: What was the first real gig you ever had?
Sara: Well, let’s see…I was already doing my own shows by the age of 10 at different venues throughout the state of Florida. I was opening for acts like the Smother Brothers, Larry Storch from “F Troop,” etc. I didn’t really discover the theatre until my teens; My first musical theatre performance was South Pacific.
Jennifer: You’ve performed on cruise lines. What did you enjoy about that?
Sara: Everything, really! I love performing, I love traveling, and I love ship life. So, it’s a great fit for me. Also, I was able to meet a lot of very talented and wonderful people. Aside from the contracted production shows and assigned singing engagements, I was able to collaborate with other musicians on a fairly regular basis. That was really great.
Jennifer: It sounds like a blast. What’s your favorite gig so far?
Sara: That’s a tough one. I’d have to say playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, cruising the Hawaiian Islands with Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the show I’m currently working on: Raunchy Little Musical.
Jennifer: If you could sing a duet with anyone in the world, past or present, who would it be?
Sara: Ooh, great question! Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Stevie Wonder or
Jennifer: Do you have a favorite song? What’s your favorite musical?
Sara: I do! I have many favorites, but I’d have to say my very favorite is “Beyond the Sea.” As far as musicals go, I really love Gypsy.
Jennifer: How did you get into Younique makeup?
Sara: Well, back in 2010 I took some time off from performing to pursue another interest of mine: skin care/makeup. I became a Licensed
Aesthetician…which is basically a fancy way of saying Skin Care Specialist. I found that becoming a Presenter for Younique provided me an opportunity that would allow me to gain further exposure with the emphasis on cosmetic artistry. All the while incorporating the experience I have in the performing arts. Both fields blend beautifully…pun fully intended.
Jennifer: 😊What do you love about it?
Sara: I love the fact that I’m helping to uplift and empower women. That we’re connecting. I want women to recognize their beauty and self-worth with or without makeup. But if you love lipstick, and it makes you feel good to wear it, that’s the sort of happy that will shine right outta your face. I also get very excited about sharing Younique’s beautiful, natural-based products with everyone. They’re the cosmetic and skin care line I’d want someone to tell me about! Also, every purchase that’s made through a Younique Presenter also supports The Younique Foundation, a retreat for sexually abused women where they can go to begin their healing process.
Jennifer: That’s wonderful. What was your most embarrassing moment while performing? I’ll go first with my most embarrassing moment: At Boblo Island Amusement Park in 1980, I lost my wrap-around skirt while singing and dancing in front of 800 people.
Sara: Oh no! That’s a solid embarrassing moment for sure. LOL! I’ve had quite a few myself, but I had an experience not too long ago where I just BIT IT onstage. I love prat falling, but this was a very real fall and I was in some very high heels…all the while sporting one of the shortest skirts I’ve ever worn. It was one of those falls that make you question if the person is injured. When I finally got up, I was so flustered that I just kicked off the other heel and continued the scene sans shoes.
Jennifer: Yes, the show must go on. What has been your most triumphant moment performing so far?
Sara: I had the pleasure of performing at the prestigious Colonial Theatre in Boston, and that was an awesome feeling. But, I’d honestly have to say that they’re all triumphant in one way or another. Even the smallest gig. If I can make just one person in the audience smile, then that’s good enough for me.
Jennifer: That’s impressive. Thanks so much for making me over today, Sara! It was a lot of fun.
Sara: Thank YOU! I appreciate your wanting to collaborate, and look forward to some binge-reading!
Jennifer: I can’t wait to hear you sing again, Sara!
Interview with Louise Lyndon
I’m delighted to have one of my favorite authors and colleagues, Louise Lyndon on my blog today.
**Big Giveaway** Anyone who leaves a comment on the blog will be entered into a random drawing for an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gifted copy of 3 books-that’s THREE: Of Love and Vengeance, Of Love and Betrayal, and Nowhere to Hide. How generous is that? The winner will be randomly picked on Sunday night 3/at 5:00 .m. Eastern U.S. time.
Louise: Thanks for having me, Jennifer!
You have a brand new release out called Nowhere to Hide, published by Loose-id. Congratulations! I started reading it, and the story grabbed me from the first paragraph. I can’t wait to devour it. And the best thing is it’s book 1 of the Justice Served Series.
Enjoy the back cover blurb, folks!
“Forty years ago the Australian rural town of Burrawang Bend was the scene of a brutal murder, and the townspeople are still calling for justice. Marlee Moore, the suspect’s and victim’s granddaughter, is fighting to clear her grandfather’s name. And no one is going to stand in her way. But when things take a dangerous and deadly turn, Marlee must turn to the one man she was determined to run out of town.
Devon Reilly, investigative journalist for his hit TV show, Justice Served, is in Burrawang Bend to solve the forty-year-old cold case murder. But, he didn’t bargain on Marlee keeping him from investigating the case and he soon questions where her loyalties lie. With the living? Or with the dead? But when Marlee and her son’s life are put in danger, Devon knows he is the only man who can keep them alive. But what happens when he soon realizes he is the bigger threat to the woman and kid he loves?”
Louise, as an author of two medieval romances (see book covers below) what prompted you to write a contemporary romance?
Louise: You make that sound as if my characters gave me a choice in the matter! No, but seriously… A while ago I read an article about a granddaughter who discovered that her grandfather (who she loved and admired all her life) actually turned out to be a NAZI and was responsible for sending millions to their death. It wasn’t a light read! She struggled with trying to equate the two men she knew – the loving grandparent versus the NAZI war criminal and how she found it difficult to still love him knowing what he’d done in his past. It got me thinking. I knew I wanted to deal with a similar theme (finding out your loved one was not who you thought they were) and I also knew that the theme wouldn’t really fit into the medieval time period. As soon as I realized that everything else just fell into place.
Tell me about your heroine.
Louise: Marlee Moore. Single mum. Business owner. She’s been thrust into a situation she couldn’t foresee and really has to dig deep and work out how she is going to get herself, and her son, through it. I think she is pretty ‘average’ and by that I mean she could easily be a friend of yours. She’s one of the gals, down to earth, and likeable.
What makes her special?
Louise: She knows her strengths and weaknesses and isn’t afraid to admit when she needs help. I think that makes her pretty special.
Your heroes are always fascinating. Tell me about this one.
Devon Reilly. Former New South Wales and Australian Federal Police Officer. Host of his own TV show, Justice Served. He’s someone who is very passionate about what he does. If someone murdered me then I would want Devon investigating the case. He’s like a dog with a bone!
What makes him special?
He can admit when he’s wrong. Eventually.
Your book is set in Australia. Sometimes a setting can be very much like a character. How does the setting of Burrawang Bend, Australia influence the story?
Louise: I always view a setting as another character of the story. Burrawang Bend is a fictional town, very loosely based on a town that I used to live very close to growing up. I deliberately chose the setting of a small town for the simple fact that in small towns (as I know from personal experience!) everyone knows your business pretty much before you know your own business! This story wouldn’t have worked if it was set in a city because you can easily disappear in a city and live anonymously. I needed Marlee to be in a position where she had to defend her grandparent – where the stakes were high if she failed in her defense of him.
What did you enjoy about writing this book?
Louise: That I based it in Australia (which is my country). There is something enjoyable about setting a story in your home country, using specific language and settings to that country. I really enjoyed that.
Did you find switching from historical to contemporary a challenge?
Louise: A little bit. From a heroine point of view, not so much, as I like to think I write strong female characters. The hero was another story! I’m used to having them wield swords and other weapons of choice; I couldn’t really have my modern day hero do that. Instead I had to use other skills.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I so enjoy seeing your pictures of nail art on Facebook and Instagram. Could you tell us about how that hobby got started?
Louise: Yeah, that’s kind of gotten out of control! Just a little bit. Well, it started because I wasn’t happy with the results I was getting when I paid a professional to do my nails. For the money I was paying I expected more and thought I could do a better job myself. I started watching YouTube to learn how to do different designs and to get design ideas. From there I started doing my own, more intricate designs. I have now taught myself how to do my own SNS nails (which is a dipping powder system of acrylic nails). So now I don’t even go to a nail salon and am now self sufficient and completely obsessed.
What’s next for you?
Louise: Book two in the Justice Served series – tentatively names, Nowhere to Run. It’ll feature Ryan Callahan, who briefly appears in Nowhere to Hide. Stay tuned!
Thanks so much for joining me today, Louise.
Thanks for having me!
Social Media Links:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCBYT91
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XCBYT91
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06XCBYT91
A song is much more than mere music. A three minute tune can capture the history of our lives, times of joy or sorrow. A song can elevate our souls and lift us up when we’re down, energize us when we feel we can’t go on. Jazz and pop singer, Al Jarreau does all of those things for me. May he sing on.
I first heard him in the 80’s, and I was blown away by his scat-singing, his smooth, flexible voice, and above all, the sheer passionate joy he conveyed in every note. I’d never heard anything like it in my life. As a young mother of three small kids, to play his music while going about the same old routine (diapering, cleaning, preparing meals, seeing to everyone else’s needs) probably saved my sanity more than once. As the kids got older, I enjoyed blowing their minds with scat-mad songs like “Roof Garden,” and the unique version of “My Favorite Things.” He came into my home, bringing his vocal playfulness, filling the rooms with joy.
Later, when my father became ill and passed away, and while another family member recovered from a life-threatening disease, Al Jarreau placed his hand upon my shoulder with his music, and in kindness and comfort lifted me up with hope. There is compassion in every note he sings, and his love for life is contagious.
He will live on and gift his afterlife with passion and joy, transporting us out of the darkness, lighting up the world with his brilliance, turning three minutes into musical magic. Sing on, Al. And thank you.