Hmmm. Good question. My heart is in romantic suspense—there's nothing more exciting to me than combining romantic tension with heart-stopping thrills—so I guess I chose it, but then again, it also chose me, LOL. I have been hooked since I read my first Harlequin Intrigue, and I can't imagine fully devoting myself to another genre. That said, a cover for historical romance grabbed me by the throat and held on until I gave in. I never, ever wanted to write a historical (not that I don't enjoy them, but it's quite the undertaking) but it's on my list because I couldn't resist the cover. The story-in-progress is called CAPTIVE, and boy does that title ever fit! (The cover in question is on my blog and website under my Books tab).
Did you enjoy language arts in school? Did you have a teacher that particularly encouraged you to write?
I did enjoy the mechanics, but I wasn't much for literature. I had straight As in everything, but I've always been more of a math and science nerd, LOL. I have remained friends with my 10th grade American Lit teacher (nearly 20 years now). However, she doesn't know I'm a published author. (Very few people IRL do!)
It’s five o’clock somewhere…Let’s have a drink! What cocktail best describes you and why?
Ha! For a while, I drank equal parts plain vodka and lemon juice. (Yes, really.) Now I usually drink apple rum straight, but I don't drink often. I don't know what that says about me other than I'm no-frills but there is definitely some truth in that. I'm very informal—definitely a barefoot, blue jeans type.
On my desk I have a rhino that my husband gave me to remind me I’m rhino-tough, as you have to be in the business. Is there anything you have that you use to remind you of that?
I don't even have a desk. GAH. My ideal writing space would contain a CD player (yeah, I like it old school) and my computer and not much else. With six kids and so much going nonstop, I just want PEACE, and maybe it's that which gives me my own brand of focus. (Or I wish it would. See next question, LOL.) And maybe if I had that, I could be tough. *grins*
I have two muses, Arwen and Bronwyn, they have very distinct personalities. Can you share a bit about your muse?
My muse isn't as friendly as your duo, it seems. I have an elusive, ornery little *bleep* who only wants me to write when I'm in the middle of something else, like the kids' schooling, which has to come before inspiration of any caliber. When I have time to sit in front of the computer (usually in the middle of the night), I have a hard time writing. *sigh* My characters are literally more instrumental in getting their stories out than my muse.
It seems we all endured English and/or World literature coming up in high school…What was the worst book you were ever forced to read and what about it turned you off?
I was never a fan of mythology, so most of that stuff was a nightmare for me. I guess it goes back to my math brain. I like everything to have a logical conclusion, when the groundwork doesn't make sense, I have a hard time processing. That said, most of my British Lit coursework (which included mythology) was a nightmare because the teacher was really tough. Looking back, I can't say she was unfair, but at the time her nails-on-chalkboard cross-examinations felt like punishment.
You have a million dollars that you must donate to one charitable organization. Which one would you choose and why?
I'd have to do some research to name one in particular, but it would definitely be one benefitting disadvantaged children. Whether affected by poverty or abuse or any number of other things, children are so often victims of circumstance. It breaks my heart they have no choice, yet must live with the choices of others.
Do you have one of those pesky day jobs, or are you a full-time writer? If you do have another career what do you do and do you enjoy it?
I am a full time author, but I also homeschool my six children (ages 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, and 23 months). I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I think by the time I get through about 25 years of homeschooling I'll be ready to "retire," LOL.
Due to the world we live in, most editors will tell a romance writer they have the moral obligation to protect their characters from scary life altering things, thereby being obligated to the reader. What are your thoughts on this? Do you protect your characters and how?
My characters write their stories—I just put the words to the page. I guess things are dictated a certain way from a business standpoint, but as an author I let my heart guide me. I write pretty much between the lines—none of my work really pushes the boundaries—but I do believe if there's questionable or potentially upsetting content, it should be stated clearly for readers to see before they purchase the book. That said, I believe we have genres for a reason. We seek out what we love, and that doesn't make the rest of it "wrong."
Romance has come a long, long way since Fabio graced the covers regularly…it seems the hinges are off the proverbial door. How far is too far in your mind? Are there things you simply won’t write?
Personally, I have a hard time writing explicit sex. (One of my books does have the label "erotic romance" but I couldn't tell you why, lol). I can't say I won't ever write it, but right now it's avoiding me like the plague.
I’ve been asked, as has my husband, if we do “all that stuff in my stories.” Do you get asked this and if so how do you handle it?
Very few people IRL know I write fiction, and I don't write anything explicit anyway, so I seldom get the question in regard to my writing. However, my husband and I have six children, which I guess opens the door for strangers to ask about our sex life. I usually tell them we love it, and that pretty much puts an end to the questioning, lol. (I can only imagine what I'd hear if everyone *did* know about my career in romance!)
Wine or beer?
Um, beer. I despise wine, and I don't drink beer but I do like the taste of it on my husband, so beer wins.
Satin or cotton?
Cotton. (See? No frills! LOL.)
Fries or tots?
Fries, although I'm a potato junkie and love all things tater.
Cake or pie?
It definitely depends on the exact kind, but I'll go with cake since I have it more often. (Random factoid: I've decorated hundreds of cakes, mostly for kids' birthday parties. I'm almost tired of them!)
Steak or burgers?
Another tough one because my husband makes the best of both. I think I'll go with steak. ;c)
Candle light or pitch dark?
Candle light. I get the creeps in the dark.
Thanks so much for having me here, Lila! Readers, I'm grateful you allowed me to be a part of your day. Have a great one!
A devastating secret. A shocking betrayal. A deadlyobsession.
Haunted by three unsolved murders, Detective Holden Whitlowis stunned when his cold case takes a heated turn. Julia Cohen, his ex-lover,is back in town, and in the face of a brutal attack she’s ready to run. Nomatter how tightly she holds her secrets, for Holden, turning away from thewoman he’s spent a decade trying to forget isn’t any more an option thanwalking away from his job . . . even when it threatens to cost Julia her life.
Julia is still reeling from a past she can’t bear to face.When she becomes the target of a killer, fate throws her back into Holden’sarms, but she’s yet to recover from a truth that has stripped her ofeverything—and everyone—she loves. Will she tell him the secret that willdestroy him, or will her lie destroy them both?