[I am pleased to announce the WINNER of Sandy Bruney’s random blog drawing…Randy Rayfield! He has won a copy of THE ALMOST BRIDE and a choice of any of my titles (click on ‘BOOKS’ to see the entire list – NOTE: Lady in the Mist is only available on the Kindle at this time).]
Thank you, Alicia, for letting me visit you today. I have enjoyed browsing your site and meeting so many new authors.
You’re welcome, Sandy. I’m happy to have you today as my guest.
I’m excited about my latest release, “The Almost Bride.”
Lily isn’t exactly a character you love at first, but she has her reasons for not talking to her younger sister for fifteen years. The problem is, her reasons are all wrong.
Jill not only stole the man Lily loved, but also the future Lily imagined for herself—the husband, the daughter, the comfortable life style. So when Jill leaves Paul and comes to Lily for help, Lily has to examine her motives for taking Jill in. Does she hope for a second chance with Paul?
But little by little, Lily learns that Jill’s life was more a nightmare than paradise, and her loyalty to her sister triumphs over her misplaced dreams. Free of her obsession, Lily finds love where it has always been—right beside her. Grady has been her employer and best friend for years. But now there is a new problem: Grady seems to be in love with someone else. And Lily is afraid that someone might be Jill.
What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?
Most people don’t understand why I write. They view writing as they did essay questions in high school—something they’d rather avoid. When I tell them it is fun and fulfilling they look at me as if I’d confessed to witchcraft.
Ah, so true. Only another writer truly understands why we do what we do.
What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?
That’s tough, because I’ve read so many books over the years. I guess my favorite was “Prince of Tides” by Pat Conroy. His descriptions of the Carolina Low Country are lyrical. My favorite childhood book was “Little Women” by Louisa Mae Alcott. I so wanted to be Jo!
Yes, it is tough. I wouldn’t be able to answer with certainty. 🙂
Would you rather have a bad review or no review?
Another hard question! A bad review at least shows someone has actually read the book. If it’s really bad, people might wonder if there is something personal involved and read it to see for themselves. I think the worst review would be a lukewarm one. Let’s have some enthusiasm one way or the other!
Very well said. I like that attitude.
If you could change something about one of your books that’s already released, what would it be?
I was talking to a book club about “The Lunch Club” when someone mentioned I didn’t describe the characters’ physical appearances until the last chapter. It was then I realized that when I cut the first chapter (on my publisher’s urging) I’d forgotten to add the descriptions to the rewrite. Having done that, I shouldn’t have described the characters (through the eyes of a newcomer) at the end and thrown off my readers’ already formed interpretations.
Ugh. Yes, sometimes when we rewrite or take out a chunk, something important gets lost that we don’t notice until it’s too lage.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
I have been playing with a Steampunk story that has been fun to write, but I realize I need to do more research to create a believable alternate world. Just sticking a few airships and steam carriages in the story doesn’t work. I’m not giving up, though!
Best of luck with that. I would be terrified to tackle Steampunk
Your most prized material possession? Why?
I don’t have a prized possession. In fact, I have been giving away things I love in the past few years just to make sure they go to people who love them as I do. After a bout with breast cancer 11 years ago, I realized nothing is as important as health, family and friends. All else falls away.
Good for you. And I’m so happy you beat breast cancer. My best friend of forty years battled it, and I know how frightening it can be.
Movie: Lawrence of Arabia
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Place you’ve visited: Barcelona, Spain
Place you’d like to visit: San Francisco
Wonderful and interesting answers. Thank you again for joining me.
Now, a peek into The Almost Bride: (LOVE this cover)
The rain had been threatening all afternoon. With diabolic timing, the first drops began falling just as I flipped the “Open” sign to “Closed.”
“Hope it clears off for your date tonight. Did Ethan make reservations?” Grady’s voice came from behind me.
I debated answering, but it’s rude not to answer a direct question, especially from your boss. I turned and faced him. “We’re not going.”
“But Lily—” Grady’s soft brown eyes blinked behind his wire-rimmed glasses. “You’ve been planning all week on dinner at Wisteria. For your anniversary? A year to the day since your first date?” He made each statement sound like a question.
“We were. But now we’re not.” My throat tightened and I couldn’t explain why I had called the celebration off. That instead of anticipating the evening I had felt a trap slowly closing. I truly hadn’t wanted to hurt Ethan, but I hadn’t seen any other way.
I could hear Grady sigh in disappointment behind me. He’d liked Ethan. So had I. I still liked him. Just not enough.
A peal of thunder split the skies and I jumped.
“Great,” I muttered. My car was in the garage, only a few blocks away. Ordinarily the walk wouldn’t have bothered me, but now I remembered my umbrella was in the car. I should have gone to pick up the car at noon, when the first flimsy clouds had appeared, but no. I’d spent my lunch hour pleading with Ethan. He hadn’t understood my decision, either.
“Maybe it’ll let up in a few minutes,” Grady said hopefully. “If not, I can give you a lift.”
“Thanks, Grady,” I said, my tone turning the words into a refusal. “I’ll just make a dash for it. I won’t melt.”
“Maybe not, but you could catch your death of cold.” Grady came from behind the counter, shrugging himself into his raincoat. Grady was always prepared. It was no surprise to me when I had learned he was an Eagle Scout.
“You can borrow my umbrella,” he offered.
I considered this. Grady was protected by the long, yellow slicker that made him look like some kind of public service officer. And if his dark curls got wet they would only get curlier, whereas my hair would only get limper.
“All right,” I agreed, not being able to think of a valid reason to refuse.
“Well, then,” he said, and proffered the umbrella. Not a blue one with Matisse-like water lilies around the rim like my own, but long and black and somehow reminding me of Sherlock Holmes or some other Victorian character.
Just then a loud roll of thunder rattled the windows, and the rain came down even harder, if that was possible. A sheet of water ran down the middle of the street, which was devoid of traffic. Smart people were inside. Smart people remembered their umbrellas and parked closer to where they worked.
There was a long silence, interrupted only by another reverberating boom of thunder. One car, its headlights on, passed slowly in front of the store. The beams illuminated the books arranged enticingly in the window, their jackets the only color in the dim light.
“I think the rain might be letting up a little,” Grady said, thankfully ending the awkward wait.
I opened the door and looked out. “Letting up” was the overstatement of the year, but I seized on it. “I’m gone,” I said, slipped out the door and shot the umbrella open.
“See you Monday,” Grady called after me as I splashed my way down the sidewalk.
By the time I got to the garage, I was soaked to the skin. It didn’t help my mood any that by the time I paid the bill and started for home, the setting sun was sending feeble rays across the horizon. The only evidence of the storm was a few puddles and the oily sheen on the road that reflected my headlights.