1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
I’ve lived in South Louisiana just about all my life. Any time I try to go North, the snow convinces me to come back! I am married and have three grown daughters, so we have an empty nest except for our two dogs. I love to travel internationally and hope to visit all seven continents. I only have Australia and Antarctica left to go! I love Pink Floyd, the New Orleans Saints, wine, and cheese.
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Right now it’s football season, so we spend all the Saints’ home games in the Superdome. In the spring, it’s crawfish season, which gives us an excuse to get together with friends and drink beer and have a crawfish boil. We also have a regular weekly Pub Night – so a weekly excuse to get together with friends and drink beer! I also like fine dining, especially those multi-course wine pairing dinners, but we save those for special occasions.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
Once I get an idea for a story, I’ll put it down in a skeletal outline. Then I’ll start some preliminary research. Usually I will write out a detailed outline as well, but it’s still just the basic plot. What the characters are like and how the plot fleshes out develops as my writing progresses. For each scene, I meditate on it until I can visualize it like a movie playing in my mind, then I put it on paper.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Anywhere, really. I have one idea for a novel that began as a joke I told. The plot of another story came to me fully-formed in a dream. I started getting the idea for the mystery in Alicia’s Possession when my youngest daughter bought a house on a lake. I wrote Pulse and Prejudice because, although there were vampire variations of Pride and Prejudice (as well as a mash-up – yuck!) and adaptations from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, no one had ever combined the two. No one had ever written a paranormal adaptation retelling the story from Mr. Darcy’s perspective but as if Jane Austen had envisioned him as a vampire. (Like Toni Morrison said, "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.") I was inspired to write my current work in progress, The Widow, from an old movie; but I’m over 50,000 words into it and haven’t even gotten any of that movie plot into it yet!
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
I should probably say Pulse and Prejudice since I spent 15 months researching and writing it, but I am really enjoying my current work in progress, The Widow. Maybe it’s just because I am so into it right now.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
My husband is an historian, and he always knows the dates of random historical events. When my kids were little, one day he and I met for lunch, and he mentioned that this was the date that the French and the British faced off in the Fashoda Crisis. As soon as I got back to my office, I called the grocery store and ordered a cake and had them write “Happy Fashoda Day” on it. They didn’t have any soldiers, but they did have red and blue football players, so I had them use them to fill in. When my husband got home, in addition to the cake, I had the kids, myself, and even the dogs wearing either red (for the British) or blue (French) t-shirts; and we all yelled, “Happy Fashoda Day!” I even made up a theme song.
7. Are any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
Sometimes I will pick up little details from real life or gossip I’ve heard, but nothing from my own life; and the only character in any of my novels based on someone in my real life is the dog Amadeus from Pulse and Prejudice.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
My daughter Gabrielle has usually been my muse. She encouraged me every step of the way through Pulse and Prejudice and proofed every chapter, then she was unhappy with the ending and said I had to write a sequel! She practically put a gun to my head to write All My Tomorrows, and it ended up being a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Semifinalist (one of 25 out of 10,000 entries). Just yesterday I was bouncing ideas off of her for a book I have planned.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
One problem I have is wanting to write in too many genres. Before I started on Pulse and Prejudice – a Paranormal Regency Romance - I was writing a metaphysical novel, which I want to get back to at some point. Alicia’s Possession is a Romantic Suspense/Mystery, and the novel I’m working on now is a Romantic Suspense Thriller. I have to finish the sequel to Pulse and Prejudice, entitled Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth, which takes me back to that genre; but I also want to write a parody of Wuthering Heights. I don’t always want to write romance novels because I don’t want to be locked into the “happily ever after” ending.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Are you kidding? With all the authors I am friends with? I’m going to say Tom Clancy, may he rest in peace.
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
I think Alice from All My Tomorrows is my favorite female character because she just developed through my fingertips until she felt like someone I actually knew.
My vampire Darcy from Pulse and Prejudice (and Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth) has to be my favorite male character. Jane Austen gave us so little information about him – I mean, he is barely in the book – so I found it fulfilling to take those little tidbits and expand him into a fully-formed, complex character.
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
These interviews. Just kidding, but the promoting is definitely the hardest thing for me. I had no idea how much I would have to do, and I hate feeling like I’m always telling people, “Oh, please, buy my book!”
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
First, save up a million dollars – or at least $500,000 – so you can quit your day job. Secondly, never forget what Ernest Hemingway said about first drafts. Rewrite, review, revise, repeat – again and again. I think the final published version of Pulse and Prejudice is the eighth “draft,” and I still find ways I could improve it – just a word here or a phrase there.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Probably drinking wine and eating cheese and watching an old episode of Criminal Minds or Cold Case. Actually, that’s most likely what I’ll be doing after I finish this interview even though I did become a writer.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
Several weeks in Tuscany to visit all the little villages, as well as Siena and Florence and other cities, at a leisurely pace, having cappuccino and chocolate croissants for breakfast mid-morning then dinner with a splendid Italian red for three hours before walking back to our luxury hotel.
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?
Alicia’s Possession is primarily a Romantic Suspense with a mystery at its heart, but it does contain a little light bondage and VERY mild Dominance and submission. (This was my first – and possibly my last! – time dabbling in that area!) My upcoming novel The Widow definitely won’t. It’s a romantic suspense about a DEA agent who has been working undercover infiltrating a drug cartel, and he has to convince the widow of one of the drug lords to become a Confidential Informant. Complications ensue! I hope The Widow will be released in the spring.
ABOUT ALICIA’S POSSESSION
Following the horrific car crash that left her in a coma for two months, Alicia Pageant has returned to her affluent lakeside home to recuperate and come to terms with her husband’s infidelity and their impending divorce; but her attention is frequently captured by the violent arguments of Daniel and Judith Holloman who recently moved into the house on the other side of the lake. One night she is awoken by gunshots and other strange noises coming from across the lake; and, after witnessing what she believes is someone driving away with a body and never seeing Daniel again, Alicia insists on calling the police, against the advice of her estranged husband, who believes she has imagined it.
Detective Mason Crawley is sent out to investigate the “suspicious incident,” which he considers a nuisance call – even more so after learning of Alicia’s recent head injury and watching her take her pain medication with wine. He interviews Judith Holloman, who says her husband has gone out of the country on business, but the stories of both women begin to unravel when he sees the two of them meeting. Then while attempting to locate Daniel, someone claiming to be a contractor with the Department of Defense warns him not to investigate Daniel’s disappearance further.
Mason confronts Alicia and demands an explanation, and she is forced to admit that her head injury has left her with no memory of the accident or the several weeks before. Still she insists not only that Daniel is dead but now he is haunting her because she knows he was murdered.
Although he cannot control his increasing attraction to Alicia, Mason isn’t sure if she’s lying, delusional, or in some sort of danger. This leads him to look into her drunk-driving accident, in which she drove her BMW into a lake several miles from her house; but something about the single-car crash doesn’t add up either.
Even as they succumb to their growing feelings and desires, Alicia doesn’t know if she can trust anyone after her husband’s disloyalty; and when Mason discovers that the night of Alicia’s accident she had gone to confront her husband’s mistress – and no one has seen the girl since – he doesn’t know if he can trust her either. And now he has yet another mystery to solve, with Alicia at the heart of it.
“What do you want?” she asked. “I don’t know what you want from me.”
Mason gripped her upper arms, forcing her eyes to meet his. He knew he’d made a mistake the moment her warmth bled through the silk of her robe and into his palms, sending a ripple of sensation up his arms and down his body. “Why did you lie about knowing Judith?” he asked, his voice low and gravelly but not in the terse tone he used to intimidate a witness. No, she might not recognize it, but he could hear his lust cradling each syllable.
She squeezed her eyes tight as if to prevent her tears’ escape, but instead it forced them down her cheeks. “I wasn’t lying. I don’t know her. I don’t remember her. I don’t remember anything.”
He lifted one hand from her arm and brushed the tears from her cheek with his thumb before running it across her bottom lip. Her eyes remained closed, and his chest rose and fell in rhythm with hers. He leaned in close enough to inhale her breath.
“Don’t,” she said without force.
He shuffled his feet forward the few inches required for his body to brush against her breasts. “How can you not remember?”
He brought his mouth down, barely touching hers, his tongue tasting the salt of tears on her lips—those lips he had wanted to kiss from the first moment they’d met.
“Please,” she said on a puff of air and tried to pull away from him, but he tightened his hold on her arm.
“Please…don’t kiss me.”
“I think you want me to kiss you.” When she said nothing in protest, he pressed his lips to hers and gently pulled first her top, then her bottom lip into his mouth. He held her chin between his thumb and fist to lift her face.
Tears still streamed down her cheeks, but she opened her eyes and shook her head. “I…I can’t do this.”
Mason trailed his finger down her throat to the opening of her robe, stopping just over her heart, and she trembled with a hitch in her breath.
“What do you mean you didn’t remember her because of the accident?”
“I have…gaps, memory loss.” Her tears had begun to wane.
“I’m going to kiss you again.”
“No,” she whispered when his mouth hovered mere millimeters over hers. He dropped his hand from her arm to the small of her back and pulled her against him, and she gasped at the unmistakable evidence of his arousal. “I’m not ready for this.”
“Because of your injury?”
“Because of the infidelity. My husband. He hurt me.” Her words pinched his heart and he nodded. “I can’t be with a man—any man. I can’t trust anyone. I don’t even trust myself to have the sense or judgment to know who can be trusted. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust anyone again.”
Mason laid a soft kiss on her mouth, tugging her bottom lip gently between his teeth. He lifted his face just enough to look at her. In time, he could teach her to trust again, at least to trust him, but it would take patience—and perseverance. He thought she might be worth the effort.
“If you want me to stop,” he told her, “if you really mean it, say ‘apple.’”
Alicia furrowed her brow and blinked before meeting his stare directly. “But I told you to stop.”
“Yes, but you didn’t mean it.” The color rushing into her cheeks proved him right. “I will only stop if you say ‘apple.’ Understand?”
She responded with a single, slow nod, never taking her eyes off him. When he covered her mouth with his, he ran his tongue along the seam of her lips, and she opened for him. He wrapped both arms around her then, holding her tight, and she placed her hands on his shoulders. As his tongue swirled inside her mouth, she leaned against him and released a low, moaning sigh. He allowed the kiss to continue and to deepen, in part because he wanted to prevent her from using the safety word, but primarily because he didn’t want to relinquish her delicious mouth. Although he would never call himself a connoisseur, he could detect the subtle notes of cherry, chocolate, and plum from the wine on her tongue.
Buy links for Alicia’s Possession
Amazon for Kindle and Paperback
Amazon UK for Paperback & Kindle
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Bookstrand – All eBook formats
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All Romance – All eBook formats
Sony eBookstore – Reader
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