Have you ever met someone and known instantly that you were destined to be friends? Years ago, I walked into a local RWA meeting and met Rose Gorham, another aspiring author who was as passionate about writing romance as I was. Since that day, we have laughed, critiqued and shared many conference experiences. Road trips with Rose have always been a blast, possibly because we are both Italian, possibly because we know the secret to a happy road trip is plenty of snacks and pit stops.
Hmmm. Road trips with Rose could be the title of a book. What do you think?
We do have fun when we take road trips. I guess we can use On the Road with Two Italian Ladies!
Speaking of book titles (stop snickering, Rose. I thought it was a nice segue), how did you come up with the title, “From Within”, your first book with your new publisher, the Wild Rose Press?
When the idea of the book came to me, I realized that what happened within the house in the past is the major part of my story, so for me the title “From Within” was a given.
What was the first thing you did when you found out TWRP was interested in publishing your romantic suspense novel?
You mean, after I stared at the email for about twenty minutes while the words Wild Rose Press wants to buy my book, Wild Rose Press wants to buy my book echoed in my head? I told my husband, Larry, then my kids, and of course my critique group. Okay, okay, I told my critique group before I told my kids.
Writing about small towns seems to come naturally; something in your background, perhaps?
You could say that since I’ve lived in small town USA most of my life. I grew up in Kansas City, met and married my husband there, but I’d always had it in my mind to raise kids in a small town. So after Larry and I had our third child, we made the move.
Several years and a couple of jobs later I got a job at our public library. (Thank you, Mary Beth for hiring me) I loved it! What a great job for a writer; to be surrounded by all those books. And the people, I can’t say enough about the wonderful people I met in the sixteen years I worked there. A week after I turned in my resignation I got the email that TRWP wanted to buy “From Within”. And another chapter of my life begins!
Are you a plotter or a panster: panster
Coffee or tea: Both. Coffee during the day – green decaf tea w/lemon in the evening.
Do you have a favorite snack you keep handy while writing:
Doesn’t every writer? I have a drawer full of dark chocolate with nuts, with raspberry filling, caramel filing, you name it I got it.
Favorite Movie: Walt Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”
Favorite childhood book: Don’t shoot me, I didn’t have one. I was into sports. Getting my home done work was a chore.
Favorite research book: Sorry. I like doing my research on the internet. But I do have three books in my personal library that I plan to use the information in them one of these days. Book of Poisons by Serita Stevens & Anne Bannon; Venomous Animals & Poisonous Plants by Steven Foster and Roger Caras; and Scats and Tracks of the Southeast by James C Halfpenny and Jim Bruchac. I keep looking at these books but a plot hasn’t come to me yet. It will when I least expect it.
List three office items you wouldn’t want to do without: My laptop of course. Jump drives, guess I’m paranoid I have about ten. And my wireless mouse. Can’t use my laptop without my mouse!
I had the advantage of hearing you read this book at critique but for our audience, could you tell everyone how you came up with the Peel twins (Miss Emily and Miss Helen)? They add such a wonderful, comic touch to the story.
Gosh, that’s a hard one. I started out wanting a couple of nosey neighbors, but once they came on the scene they became more. The sisters really care about the people in their lives. As you know, Miss Helen is the straight laced sister. She reprimands Miss Emily for saying something out of turn or improper. To me, she’s predictable. I don’t think I’ve ever met a character like Miss Emily. She is feisty and says it the way she sees it. And I never know what is going to come out of her mouth until it hits the page.
Are you planning more stories set in the same town and if so, please tell me Miss Emily and Miss Helen will be included.
I have two in mind, possibly three and yes the Peel twins are in them.
Janet Sanderson isn’t in “From Within”, but some of the characters from that story are in her story, tentatively titled, “It’s You and Me Baby”. "Dark Secrets" (working title) is Deputy Kane Farrell’s story. He’s not from Mill Creek. In fact he took the job as deputy because of Samantha Sinclair, the woman he lost years ago to another man. And now that Sam’s husband is dead Kane is ready to reclaim the love of his life.
I’m also thinking about giving Deputy Pete Anson his own story. If I can only get Lisa, Kane’s little sister to come for a visit.
I fell in love with this book while you were reading it at our critique meetings. Would you like to share a blurb and excerpt for “From Within” today?
When her aunt dies in a strange accident, Maggie Taylor inherits more than an old house. She inherits a mystery. The day she moves into her supposedly haunted home, she surprises an intruder. Although the burglar escapes before Sheriff Logan McBride arrives, Maggie can't escape the jolt of awareness the ruggedly handsome sheriff inspires. But can she open her heart to a new love?
Logan doesn't care about ghosts. It's Wellington House's pretty new owner who catches his eye. When a knife-wielding figure attacks Maggie, he's determined to keep her safe, especially after they discover that it's not only a burglar who's interested in Wellington House. Several people are eager to purchase the storied home.
When bodies start dropping, Logan and Maggie realize just how deadly the secrets of Wellington House are. To solve the mystery, they must put their love, as well as their lives, in peril.
Maggie could hardly breathe, let alone scream as the knife above her blinked its deadly gleam. Fight! Fight! She tightened her fingers around the man’s wrist to keep the knife from plunging deep into her chest. She didn’t want to die! She had a life with Logan to live. Can’t die! Can’t die! But she couldn’t hold on. Her strength gave out, her hands slipped and the knife came down─
“Maggie…Maggie, wake up, you’re dreaming. Come on, Maggie mine, wake up!”
Maggie’s eyes shot open, her chest heaved. She turned into Logan’s arms, held on tight, and let out a shuddering breath as the last remnant of her nightmare slowly faded away.
Logan brushed away her damp hair and pressed a kiss on her forehead. “Bad dream?” She nodded against his chest.
After a moment, she said, her voice shaky, “His gloves were latex, Logan. Black latex.” She looked at him and touched her throat. “And he had on a watch. I felt the cold metal under my chin.” She shivered. “The dream brought it back. He held the knife in his left hand.”
“No.” She burrowed against him. “Except I knew I had to fight. I wasn’t ready to die.”
Logan caressed her cheek. “You’re safe now.”
She looked at him. “Make love to me, Logan.”
He searched her eyes in the predawn light. “Are you sure?” He asked huskily.
“Yes. I need you.”
You’re already on my TBB calendar for this December 21 release! Besides your TWRP page, where will readers be able to find you?
Thanks so much for sharing! And speaking of sharing, Rose will award someone who comments today a $10 gift card from The Wild Rose Press, so leave your email address if you’d like to be entered in the drawing!
Have a safe and happy holiday season!