About the author: For years I had a million stories rattling around in my brain. (Well, maybe a million is an exaggeration but there were a lot). Always loving the written word, I enjoyed any chance I had to compose something, whether it be for a college paper or just a plain old email. One day as I was speaking with my daughter about the latest adventure going on in my mind, my daughter said, “Mom, why don’t you write them down.” And so I did. Several stories later, I finally allowed someone, other than my daughter, to read them. After that brave (and very scary) step, I decided not to keep them to myself any longer, so I took the even scarier step toward publishing. My goal is to make my readers smile, sigh, hope, and chuckle–or even cry at times. If I can do that, my efforts were worth it. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, I graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a degree in Psychology. I’ve worked in Social Work as a
Describe yourself in 5 words: tenacious, patient, quirky, optimistic, introverted
Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing process: I’m a
When did you know you were an author? I’ve always wanted to be a “writer” even when I was still in high school. I remember writing a short story for an English class my senior year of High School and having my teacher rave about it. That was a great feeling. Then when I was in college, my professors always complimented my writing. So I received validation from others. However, I’ve just considered myself an author since I published my first book in December of 2018. So this is very new, exciting, and a bit scary to me. I think having a book is like allowing people to look inside your mind and soul and that can be very daunting. Not everyone will like what the “see.”
Describe your perfect day: Goodness. Right now, it seems like almost every day is my perfect day. I retired early in September of last year which has given me the time to actually dedicate myself to my writing. So, I sleep until I wake up (rather than 3:30 am to catch a flight), have a little breakfast and then go upstairs to my office to work on my latest book. I’m certainly not staring at walls. But my day is perfect when I’ve noticed a sale or two and even better a nice review of my book. I’m pretty easy to please.
Salty or sweet? Can I say both? It depends on my mood, but if I have to choose, I will admit I have a terrible sweet tooth.
How do you come up with characters’ names for your book? I love the etymology of names, and if possible I try to use a name that really fits the character’s personality, a particular trait, or perhaps a name that is the exact opposite. My most recent book is a prime example. It’s a combination of Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast. The main female character is named Bella, which means beautiful. However, she’s described as plain, and the main male character quickly points that out when they meet. The main male character’s name is Tristan, which can mean either sad or loud (depending on the cultural roots). Both fit him spot on (at least in the beginning). However, I’ll admit I don’t always do that. Sometimes it’s a “pin the tale on the donkey” approach. But I do try to choose a name that feels right to me for the character. I tend to gravitate to more common names for first names and mix it up a little for last names to have some diversity.
If you could meet any other author, who would it be and why? Living – J.K. Rowling because I’m a die-hard Potterhead. I’ve read the Harry Potter series five times (and counting). The way she intricately weaves the story together is incredible. Every time I read it I see something new. Deceased – Jane Austen because she had a very subtle way of couching social commentary in her novels yet still provide an ending that was completely satisfying. Both of these authors make me feel like I’m part of the story and truly invested in the outcomes of the characters.
What or who motivates you to write? The sheer love of telling a story.
What are you reading right now? A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an “Ordinary” Life in an Extraordinary Way. (it’s research for my next book and it’s quite interesting and inspiring).
What do you want readers to take away from your books? That there can be a happy ending. I want them to leave the book feeling good and having hope. And if they learn a little something about human nature or accepting and caring for others, even better.
What is the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t give up.
What are you working on right now? Look With Your Heart – an epic love story loosely based on Austen’s Persuasion (my favorite Austen) that spans the course of 14 years and involves some pretty serious obstacles.
Blurb: It’s like Jane Eyre and Beauty and the Beast had a baby!
A spirited but plain
Arabella (Bella) Crawford needs a job—like yesterday. She’ll do just about anything. Even work for Tristan Leclerc, a wealthy, temperamental recluse who goes through
Tristan Leclerc spent years building walls to contain his secrets—secrets of a past life too painful to remember. That’s until Bella Crawford appears at his door. Now, he finds those walls crumbling as she chips away at his defenses. Is she getting too close, too close to the truth—too close to his heart
Will risking her heart save him—or will the secrets he hides destroy them both?
This excerpt is from Chapter 2 when the two main characters meet for the first time:
“Whose piece of junk is cluttering my driveway? It doesn’t even look like it can run,” a man’s deep voice boomed
Mrs. Hughes stood and Bella followed suit when a man appeared in the doorway of the library. Grateful for her training in social work that enabled her to keep her emotions and reactions in check, Bella studied the madman staring at her
Her best guess at his age would place him somewhere in his thirties. His rather long, dark, disheveled hair covered half his face as it hung limply over one eye. He seemed tall, perhaps over six feet, and appeared leanly built. His suit pants and long sleeve dress shirt looked out of place for early summer, and, oddly, gray cotton gloves covered his hands. His glare could rival Medusa.
“Who the devil are you?” he bellowed
Before Bella could summon the good sense to answer, Mrs. Hughes interceded. “This is Arabella Crawford, your new companion. She prefers to be called Bella. Bella, this is Mr. Leclerc.”
He strode up to her as his blue eyes continued to glare at her, eyeing her up and down. “Bella,” he harrumphed, “that means beautiful. Doesn’t really suit you now, does it?” Bella detected a slight British accent
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