1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Hmm, the most difficult question. Let’s see I’ve been a writer all my life, but didn’t pursue publishing until 2010. I love to write romances because I’m a big fan of falling in love and happily ever afters. I’m a wife to a great husband and mother to two beautiful boys. And I work full time on sustainability initiatives.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Watching television that I’ve DVRd or on Netflix. I rarely get to watch TV “live”. I like socializing with friends and family, taking short weekend vacations to nearby cities and trying my hand at gardening.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
If it comes to me at work, I’ll jot it down so that I can flesh it out later. I don’t get to write until 8:30 or 9:00 at night after work and family responsibilities are done. I plot out the major scenes in the story then connect the dots from there.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
I get my ideas everywhere. Recently I was having a conversation with a co-worker and came up with a book idea. It doesn’t take much to spark my imagination.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
Man, that’s like picking a favorite child! I’ve got to say that it’s hard to pick a favorite. Usually the story I’m working on at the time is my favorite because I’m so immersed in the characters.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
I sing out loud a lot: in my office, in restaurants and department stores. It doesn’t matter where I am if a song comes on that I know I start singing, and might even do a little dance.
7. Does any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
Basically from my imagination. I did use my job for inspiration for the careers of the characters in my first novel, You Can’t Plan Love. They’re environmental engineers who work on watershed management projects. That is very close to what I do.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
I wish she had a name, then I’d know who to call when she’s lazy.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
Paranormal romance. It’s my favorite genre outside of contemporary and I’d love to write one eventually.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
A lot of the new authors I’ve discovered in the past year are new favorites of mine, Delaney Diamond, Candace Shaw, Nia Forrester and Sharon Cooper. Other favs are J.R. Ward, Beverly Jenkins, and A.C. Arthur.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Again with the favorite child like question J. I will admit that I have a soft spot for Jared and Tasha from Worth the Wait. Mostly because I love the way they came together at the end. I also really like Shayla Monroe from my newest release A Heart to Heal because she’s not your conventional heroine. She’s made mistakes, big ones, and they aren’t always her fault. She had to realize that self love was most important and it took her awhile to discover that she was worthy of happiness.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Writing. Thinking up the idea is easy, sitting in the chair and transferring that idea to words is difficult.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Start writing, keep writing and learn all that you can about writing and publishing. There are many options available now and no one can stop you from achieving your goals but you.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
What I’m currently doing, working on sustainability initiatives and being a “green queen”. My best friend from kindergarten remembers me reminding everyone to celebrate Earth Day back in elementary school. If I could pick a dream job, it would be as a world traveling food and wine connoisseur.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
Anywhere with turquoise water, white sand, a cocktail, my hubby and no kids or television.
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
A Heart to Heal Blurb:
Shayla Monroe fled her hometown of Helena, South Carolina, after a shocking situation broke the heart of the only guy she’d ever loved. Years later, after losing her job in Atlanta with her name once again shrouded in scandal, she has nowhere to go but home.
Now a devastatingly handsome and well-respected man, Devin Jones became a successful doctor as a way to forget Shayla’s betrayal. When she returns as infamously as she left, he plans to put aside old feelings and treat her as any other person in town. But after looking into her soft brown eyes, the feelings he thought long dead quickly rush to the surface.
Ignoring rumors, disapproval from family and friends, and promises to avoid each other, the two become friends ... then lovers. Devin wants all or nothing, but Shayla, haunted by her past, is afraid their relationship will damage what’s left of her reputation. Can two broken hearts survive the fight against past and present demons to heal and find love?
“Well, it’s not what you’re used to, but it’s as good as you’ll get.”
Shayla Monroe ignored her mom’s comment and dropped a box of her belongings on the old hardwood floor. If there was one thing she was sure of, Marcella Monroe wanted her to know how lucky she was to have any place to stay. She suppressed a groan and took in her surroundings. As if coming home with a tarnished reputation wasn’t bad enough, she had to live here. The tiny house barely knocked on the door of 1,000 square feet and consisted of a living area, small kitchen, one bedroom and a bathroom with a tub.
No shower. Just a tub.
It was a far cry from the spacious apartment she’d had. Atlanta was a large city, but when you created a scandal, it wasn’t large enough. Shaking aside the regret she constantly lived with, she walked over and took the box her mom was carrying and placed it on the floor.
She cringed after dusting her hands on her jeans. They were once the epitome of style, now they were reduced to a dust rag. “The house is fine, Mom. I’m glad Mr. Porter was willing to let me rent it.”
The frown line between her mom’s eyebrows deepened, blending in with the other worry lines on her tan skin. “Yes, well, he did it as a favor to me. Remember that before you invite anyone over.”
Shayla bit the inside of her cheek. Her plan was to hide out here for a few weeks, not throw a party. But it would be a waste of breath to say that out loud. “I won’t have company.”
Her mom lifted one large shoulder as if what Shayla said didn’t matter. “Just remember, the house is owned by a church deacon.” Marcella turned away. “Did you see the kitchen?”
She didn’t answer because her mother’s question didn’t require a response. They both knew she’d walked through the house with Mr. Porter the day before. His acidic tone and accusing eyes were just as scorching as they’d been when she was in high school. He was one of the many people she’d hoped to never see again when she left Helena, South Carolina after high school. Instead, she had to return home disgraced and needing help from those who weren’t happy to give it.
Her mom shuffled through the small kitchen and adjoining hall into Shayla’s bedroom. “If you paint this room a lighter color, it’ll brighten things up. Just be sure to get the okay from Mr. Porter first.”
Shayla walked from the living area into the connected bedroom. Marcella spared her a fleeting glace before turning away. She ignored the pain. Her mom hadn’t made eye contact with her since she wore pigtails.
Shayla walked over to the king bed and ran her hand along the cream and gold bedspread. The bed took up most of the small room, but she refused to give up all her luxuries.
With a defiant stare at her mom’s averted face she said, “I think I’ll paint the walls red.”