Spotlight & Giveaway: A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

Posted April 6th, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 102 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Darynda Jones to HJ!

Hi Darynda and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, A Bad Day for Sunshine!

It’s so great to be back!

Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:

A missing girl, a flasher named Doug, and an old flame that refuses to burn out. What else could go wrong on newly sworn in sheriff Sunshine Vicram’s first day?

Please share the opening lines of this book:

Sunshine Vicram pushed down the dread and sticky knot of angst in her chest and wondered, yet again, if she were ready to be sheriff of a town even the locals called the Psych Ward. Del Sol, New Mexico. The town she grew up in. The town she’d abandoned. The town that held more secrets than a politician’s wife.
Was she having second thoughts? Now? After all the hubbub and hoopla of winning an election she hadn’t even entered?
Hell yes, she was.


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • The name Sunshine came about as I was pitching the project to my agent. The notepad I was writing on was from a Sunshine Press. When my agent liked my initial pitch and wanted to know more, I panicked (because I didn’t have more), looked down the page, and said, “Oh, right, well her name is Sunshine.”
  • The town of Del Sol is made up. It’s basically the lovely Pecos, NM, if it had been uprooted by the beautifulTaos, NM. I needed a small, quirky tourist town, but I also needed it close to Santa Fe. So, it’s kind of a mishmash of small New Mexico towns.
  • Sunshine’s BFF and chief deputy, Quincy Cooper, is named after and based on my little brother, Quentin.
  • The project was pitched as Gilmore Girls meets Fargo.
  • The story opens with a kidnapped rooster named Puff Daddy.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

This is kind of a second-chance story. Sunshine has been in love with Levi since they were kids. He has felt the same way, but neither would admit it growing up. Levi comes from a family of criminals and they are outcasts in the small town. Levi is changing that, however. Not that any of that ever mattered to Sun. Now that she’s back, she’s finding out her feelings for him never waned, even after he’s suspected of murdering his uncle.

Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?

Tug-of-war while engulfed in fire.

The First Kiss…

“Levi, you’re hurt.” She looked down, but the bandages were gone. In their stead was the wide chest and rock-hard abs she’d dreamed of more times than she could count. “I—I don’t understand.”
He wrapped a hand around the back of her neck and pulled her closer. “You have to remember to understand,” he said.
Her gaze wandered past the expanse of his chest to the fullness of his mouth. The very one that sent tiny quakes shooting through her body like a freak electrical storm every time he was near.
He bent his head and pressed his lips to hers, parting them with his tongue to explore her more fully.
She sank against him. Wrapped her arms around his neck. Let her head fall back when he seared her throat with kisses.
When he pulled her onto the bed, she tried to protest. Not very hard, but still.


Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

She heard soft breathing coming from deep inside the cavernous room and followed the sound. The whole area smelled like soap and sandalwood. He’d probably taken a steaming-hot shower to warm up after his ordeal, eaten, then gone straight to bed.
His bed. In his room. And she was in it. The closer she got, the faster her heart beat. He’d saved her daughter’s life, and she’d treated him like a leper?
Then again, she didn’t treat him any differently from how he’d treated her all these years. In fact, he was much worse. Like he’d had a vendetta. Like she’d wronged him in some way.
She thought back. Could he be angry with her about Auri? Maybe he’d thought she was somehow responsible for her daughter’s depression.
By the time she got to the bed, her heart was beating so fast she feared she was having another a panic attack. Levi was lying on a massive oak bed, a thick blanket covering his lower half. Nothing, absolutely nothing, covering his torso or the various appendages associated with his torso.
She focused the beam on the ground. The light radiating outside the stream helped her see just enough get closer to the bed without tripping on something, like the boots and pair of jeans that littered the ground. She stepped over them and took in the glorious image before her.
Except for the soft rise and fall of his lean stomach, he was a bronze statue. One her fingers ached to touch. How could they not?
A capable hand with long fingers rested on his side. A sinuous arm led up to powerful shoulders, a wide chest, a strong neck, a square jaw, and open eyes.
She started and jumped back. “What are you doing? Why are you awake?”
“Because I have an intruder.” His voice sounded thick and sleepy, and guilt washed over her.
“You most certainly do not. Your sister sent me up.”
“She has the strangest sense of humor.” He had an arm lying across his forehead. He lowered it to cover his eyes and said, “Get in bed with me.”
“What? No. I just . . . I wanted to thank you.”
“For what?”
She stepped closer, feeling a bit like a fair maiden stepping closer to a sleeping dragon. “For what you did seven years ago.”
“And what did I do seven years ago that would ingratiate the impenetrable Sunshine Vicram?”
“You saved my daughter’s life.” Despite all efforts to the contrary, her voice cracked with emotion.
He raised his arm and looked at her from beneath thick lashes. “She ratted me out?”


If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?

A scene where Sunshine has a refresher course of “the talk” with her daughter Auri on her first day at a new school.

Five minutes later—small-town perks—Sun pulled into the Del Sol High School parking lot. She put the cruiser in park and turned to her auburn-haired offspring. “It’s time.”
Auri gaped at her. “Oh, god. Mom, not again.”
“This is just a refresher.”
“It’s not really the first day of school. We already had this conversation in August.”
“Yes, but that was for the academy. This one is for Del Sol High School. Your new stomping ground.”
Auri propped an elbow onto the armrest and dropped her face into a hand.
“Okay, as we’ve previously discussed, boys are usually born with this little thing I like to call a penis.”
Auri groaned.
“And girls are often born with this little thing I like to call a vagina.”
“I’m moving in with Grandma and Grandpa.”
“But these two components, the penis and the vagina, need never meet.” Sun waved an index finger back and forth. “Not ever. In fact, being a lesbian is very avant-garde. So, you know, you could always go that direction.”
“Mom, being gay is not a choice.”
“Not if you don’t give it a chance.”


Readers should read this book …

….if they like humorous mysteries sprinkled with a little darkness and lots of sexiness.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

Right now I’m working on Sunshine book 2, A Good Day for Chardonnay. I’m hoping it will be even better than the first!


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: A signed hardcover of A Bad Day for Sunshine and an exclusive pair of ABDFS sunglasses!


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: New Mexico is a beautiful state with tons to see and do. Have you visited yet? Whether you’ve been here or not and you got the chance to visit the state with a friend, who would you take and what would you most look forward to seeing or doing?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from A Bad Day for Sunshine:

“Mayor,” Sun said as she put the box on a massive oak desk. The room had bookshelves, a computer, and a fortysomething, sandy-haired woman who sat in the only chair in the room. Sun’s office chair.
Mayor Donna Lomas stuffed her phone into her purse and stood, giving Sun her full attention. “Sheriff.”
Donna was curvy with a button nose, a bouncy bob, and square wire-framed glasses. She was that girl in town all the other girls wanted to be when they grew up. Pretty. Perky. Popular.
The two shook hands for the briefest of moments before the mayor got right to the point. “So, how’d you do it?”
Sun cleared her throat and walked to the window to look out on Main Street. “Well, I wanted to be bold, you know? So, I went for the red first, but then I thought, ‘Wait a minute. Is that too bold? Should I tone it down a bit?’ That’s why I threw in the yellows and the blues. A few peaches to highlight the piece.”
She turned back. When Donna only pursed her lips and waited, Sun continued, “Weren’t you talking about that time I beat your little sister in the finger-painting competition?”
There had been a lot of pressure that year. Who knew kindergarten could be so competitive? Her classmate Sabrina, a.k.a. Donna’s little sister, had never liked her after that, and Sun had felt that same chill every time she’d crossed paths with Donna as well.
“It’s okay.” Donna clipped on a pair of magnetic sunglasses over her wire frames. “I’ll find out on my own.”
Sun suppressed a shudder of dread. Honestly, what had her parents done? Making an enemy of the mayor could not have been their best idea. No, their best had been starting that garden and accidentally growing marijuana. This one was third, maybe fourth on the list.
“In the meantime, you might want to do a search for a concept called the glass cliff.”
Sun tried not to snort. She failed miserably, but at least she’d given her all. “Is that what you think this is?”
The glass cliff was a play on the metaphor of a glass ceiling. Only in this scenario, a woman or minority was put in a position of authority during a time of crisis. In other words, he or she was set up to take the fall when everything went belly-up.
“Is Del Sol on the verge of collapse?”
“You haven’t heard?” She tsked as she turned to walk out. “You might want to do your homework.”
What did that mean? No one told her there’d be homework. Would there be a test? A research project? Any opportunities to earn extra credit?

Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones is back with the brand-new snarky, sassy, wickedly fun Sunshine Vicram series!

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.

Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: it’s fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, it’s strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff–an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in–and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it’s reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full.

Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads |

Meet the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious RITA®, a Golden Heart®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and her books have been translated into17 languages. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | | Instagram |


102 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones”

  1. erahime

    I haven’t visited New Mexico yet, but I would love to bring my parents, who hadn’t visited it yet either.

  2. Brenda Lee Dickson

    This sounds like a fantastic, sexy story and I am looking forward to reading it soon!

  3. Jeanna Massman

    We traveled through New Mexico several times on our way from Iowa to Arizona. In fact, we got snowed-in in Roswell one Christmas.

  4. Mary Preston

    I have never been to New Mexico and know very little about it. My daughter would be interested.

  5. Sheila Bonuso

    I have never been but would live to go. I would bring my husband with and enjoy a nice road trip toNew Mexico.

  6. Pamela Conway

    I’ve never been to New Mexico & wouldn’t even know what to go see. I don’t travel much.

  7. theresajs

    I’ve never been and I hope to go some day. I always like to visit unique places when I go some place new, non touristy places.

  8. Janine

    I went to New Mexico once. It was a very long time ago. I went with my ex to visit his parents. They had a place in Red River where they would go to avoid the hot Texas summers. I loved it and would love to go back again some day.

  9. Betul

    No, I have never been to New Mexico but would love to one day. One of the places I would love to visit is the Carlsbad Caverns National Park with my sister. Thank you!

  10. dbranigan

    We just drove through New Mexico once, but I would love to see Carlsbad Caverns, Bandelier, and the Tent Rocks among others. I have family that live in Arizona, perhaps we can make a road trip of it.

  11. noraadrienne

    New Mexico isn’t quite on my bucket list.. But since I have a daughter in Killeen Tx (Ft. Hood Graduate) and an older brother in Tucson, there’s a good chance that if I make the trek to see them (before my kids plant me in one of their backyards) I’ll probably check out the sights.

  12. JoAn Varner

    I would bring my two best friends so that we could see the hot air balloon fesiitval near Albuquerque.

  13. diannekc

    I have been to New Mexico and it’s a beautiful state.. I would go with my sister,just like last time. I would love to visit some National Parks and the enjoy the beautiful scenery.

  14. Joye

    I have visited New Mexico and taken several art classes in taos, Santa Fe, and ruidoso. I love the light and pureness of the scenery as a watercolor painter. It is wonderful.

    I have been to all areas of the state from Raton to Demming. I love the state and visit as much as i can

  15. Kathleen Bylsma

    I’ve not been but have friends who live there and they’ve promised to take me to the best palces…not necessarily the most well known!

  16. Sarah Keffer

    I’ve never been! I would take my hubby and honestly, I don’t know what where we would try to visit because I don’t know anything about New Mexico….except it’s hot right, but dry heat? ‍♀️

  17. Crystal W Smith

    Id love to visit New Mexico. id take my roadie bestie Shanna and we’d be the typical tourists and visit all the touristy places, and bookstores!

  18. Valorie

    I would take my book bestie Tina and from everything I have seen and heard, there is some beautiful scenery in NM. I think considering she is a professional photographer and I just love taking scenery pics we would mostly just sight see.

  19. Regina Brixner

    I live in NM near the 4 corners. I would have to say my favorite place is El Morro and the lava tubes with Catlsbad caverns a close second.

  20. Danielle Bohlander

    I have been to New Mexico and loved it! I was with my family and we saw several things but one was this beautiful old church that sticks in my mind.
    I love Darynda Jones and all of her characters!

  21. Cris Bardan

    I have never been there, I think I passed though it once on a road trip when I was little but I’m not sure

    • Diane Hernandez

      I’ve never been there and have only been to the Phoenix airport. I live in the California desert so look toward Oregon and Washington for vacations.

  22. Tina

    I have not been to New Mexico…if I were to visit, I would take my daughter, 2 friends and their daughters. I’d be looking forward to the food!

  23. Amy R

    Have you visited yet? No
    Whether you’ve been here or not and you got the chance to visit the state with a friend, who would you take and what would you most look forward to seeing or doing? mountains

  24. Kris Danner

    I have never visited it. I’d love to check it out though. I would have to figure out what I would llike to see. Would like to go with my hubby

  25. kimberly mackley

    I love New Mexico, spend lots of time there as a kid, I have family in the Vaughn, Tucumcari area.

  26. Diane

    I think this is the right spot, no I haven’t been to New Mexico, I’m not sure I would go because of the heat. I might visit with my bestie Crystal, but neither of us do well in the heat.. we melt faster than Frosty on a winter’s day lol.

  27. Linda George

    I haven’t been through New Mexico since I was 6 years old. I should kidnap my BFF and check out Taos and visit friends that recently moved to Santa Fe.

  28. Misty Wilson

    I have not visited New Mexico, but if I did I would take my husband. I would like to just explore the towns and see the different landscapes.

  29. Crystal Pinson

    I drove through New Mexico several years ago as I drove from FL to CA. It was beautiful, but I didn’t take time to enjoy it. I’d love to visit Albuquerque again and see more than their Wal Mart. I’d visit with my husband!

  30. Sylvia Schneider

    I have been to New Mexico…many many years ago…beautiful state…would love to take my daughter…she likes adventure like me 🙂

  31. MzPoodle2u

    I haven’t visited… but I’d take the fam and focus on taking LOTS of pics. Landscapes, POIs, buildings, plants, etc. Just soak in every day life.

  32. Amy Sallee

    I would take my husband/best friend Robby. I would most look forward to visiting art museums & galleries in New Mexico.

  33. Sabrina

    Never been to NM, but would love to visit with my bestie, indulge in the cuisine and stalk my favorite author.

  34. Suzanne

    I have passed through New Mexico. Albuquerque to be exact. I didn’t have much time to explore but have said that what I did see I found it had a cool vibe. I’d love to explore the area more…as well as seeing the Grand Canyon. I would visit with my best friend who is also my husband.

  35. Teresa Warner

    My brother used to live there for many years, was there only once when he got married. Enjoyed it!

  36. Mary C.

    I’ve never been to New Mexico. One place I would visit would be the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
    I’m not sure who I would want to travel with.

  37. Angie

    Love to visit New Mexico never have. I’d go with my bestie kj shes always fun to be around no matter where we go!!!

  38. Danee Hayungs

    I’ve never visited New Mexico but I would love to be able to travel there with my husband. Personally, I would love to visit the mountains.

  39. Jennifer

    I have not had the chance yet, but would love to go. I would take my traveling buddies Janet and Vicky. Always love seeing new things.

  40. BookLady

    I have never been to New Mexico. If I had a chance to visit with my husband, I would tour Carlsbad Caverns and attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

  41. erinf1

    I haven’t but I was planning a trip with my bestie in October. Unfortunately, that trip might be a casualty of Covid. But I do think I’ll make it eventually! Thanks for sharing! I love Ms. Jones’ work and I look forward to this newest book!

  42. Bonnie

    I’ve never been. But would love to visit..see the beautiful views…I’d bring my mom and daughter! Girls Trip!

  43. Charlotte Litton

    Yes, I’ve driven through the state and if I get a chance to go back with my daughter and visit Carlsbad Cavern.

    • Christine Villano

      No i have never been there. I would take my sister and do a road trip. I would see the scenery and try all the food. Thanks to miss Jones all i want to do is try all the food she describes in her books.

  44. Marsha Bachmeier

    Have not been to New Mexico. I’m usually a solo traveler when I go on any adventures. There are so many places I want to go see. My next bucket list site is San Francisco… though I doubt I’ll ever make it there. I also love to take photos of the natural beauties of the earth, so anywhere that exhibits that I love, ie Grand Canyon, WA/OR coast ect.

  45. Lynne Brigman

    No I haven’t been there. I would take my husband and we would visit the beaches because I know a couple that went there for their anniversary and they loved it.

  46. Jennifer

    I’ve never been to New Mexico. If I got a chance to go, I’d have to take both Dawn & Theresa. I ‘d have to do my homework of what to see/do and make up a priority list & proximity to plan the trip out efficiently with time to enjoy the sights and have fun.

  47. Nicole (Nicky) Ortiz

    I drove through it late at night but never been. I would take my best friend. I would love to go to Albuquerque

    Thanks for the chance!

  48. Diana Hardt

    I have never been to New Mexico and don’t know much about it. I would like to see Carlsbad Caverns.

  49. Shannon Capelle

    I have never been but would love to go and see everything! I cant wait to travel and id go with my husband or 3 daughters if a girls trip.

  50. Jana Leah

    I’ve only driven thru NM. It was very beautiful & I liked to be able to stop next time.

  51. Glenda M

    I’ve been to Albuquerque a couple times with my daughter for college visits. I loved “the talk” excerpt!

  52. Janie McGaugh

    I’ve never had the chance to go to New Mexico. If I did go, I’d take my husband, and I’d want to go out in the desert where the sky is really dark and look at the stars.

  53. Catherine H

    I have not been but I really want to. The way Darynda describes it in her books makes it seem like such a beautiful place with awesome food and mocha lattes lol

  54. Martha Lawson

    I’ve never visited New Mexico; don’t know what I’d want to see (everything!) and I’d take my best friend and fellow librarian Tamara. Can’t wait to read this book, I know it will be awesome!

  55. Heather Real

    I’ve been before but would love to go with my sister to shop in Santa Fe and eat all of the delicious green chili dishes.

  56. Patricia B.

    We have been to New Mexico several times. We have seen quite a bit, but there is always more to explore. We have been to Carlsbad, White Sands, Chaco Canyon National Monument, Santa Fe, Taos, Roswell, among others. We still have not been to Four Corners, Bandelier National Monument, taken the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and so many other places. Some we need to return to either because it has been so long or we didn’t have enough time to explore as much as we would like. I have been with my husband, and we have taken family. I would like to go back with my husband and take a trip with our granddaughter.

  57. Angel Hollmeyer Crum

    I have been to New Mexico to visit the caravans, that was fun, now I want to visit and explore Albuquerque with the kiddo, he has been my travel buddy for a long time

  58. Sanam Khangura

    I would love to go to New Mexico with my 1 year old son once he’s a little older. We definitely want to get out of the house right now if we could especially after suddenly losing my husband last month. I’m looking forward to reading this book and thinking about other things and places like New Mexico m. Thank you

  59. Violet Dragon

    I had the pleasure of visiting in 2006 with my husband; he grew up near White Sands. I would definitely go again but include our daughter. I would love to visit the mountains and spend time at some of the parks; see the beautiful scenery!

  60. hendeis

    I have never been to New Mexico, but I would love to go! I’ve red many novels set there, so I probably have a romanticized vision of it! Love to be there when they have those hot air balloon festivals. Wow, what a sight!. I’d also love to see those adobe villages.. so much history in them. I’d go with my son so that he’s have an adventure, too!

  61. Dominy Cooper

    As soon as I have a job and money..that book is mine!! I’ve been to NM. It’s gorgeous! I’d love to go back with my bestie.

  62. laurieg72

    I’ve never been to New Mexico. I would travel with my husband of 42 years. I would like to visit:
    The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe with the helix staircase, Georgia O’Keefe’s Ghost Ranch and her museum in Santa Fe, White Sand Dunes National Park, I would like to visit Albuquerque, when they have that big hot air balloon event. My son worked at Bandelier National Monument several years ago. I would like to see the Pueblo ruins. Take some hikes in the national forest.

  63. Becky Miller

    I’ve driven through New Mexico, it happened to be during the hot air balloon festival. It was just gorgeous, definitely a place I’d like to visit again if not move there.

  64. Amy Friedentag

    I’ve never been, but its on my bucket list! I would take my husband and check out all the scenery and possibly try the dune buggy excursion that I’ve seen Darynda do! That looked like so much fun!

  65. Samantha A Cox

    Never been to NM. Always wanted to visit tho. I’d take my sister Jennifer and her daughter Angel. Since Angel is 18 now, she can drive her mom and auntie around . LOL

  66. Terrill R.

    I haven’t been to NM, but I would be willing to travel anywhere to see new sites and have new adventures. I love the outdoors and would love to visit National Parks in the area and do some hiking.

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