Current Release: Three Days on Mimosa Lane
Describe your current release in two sentences?
One day can change your life forever. Three days change a painful past into a beautiful tomorrow…
Tell us a cool fact about your current release.
In addition to being the reader-demanded sequel to Christmas on Mimosa Lane, the original idea for Three Days came from my mother-in-law, who's a New York retired school teacher. Years ago, she told me the story of the school teachers who taught in and around Manhattan's Twin Towers. There were several pre-schools there, too, on 9/11. September 11th was the first day of school, and for many of these young teachers it was their very first job, their first day of work. Many of their students' parents worked at ground zero and had just dropped their kids off.
And while the first responders where on the front line, sacrificing so much to save as many souls as they could, these teachers (traumatized and horrified that so many of their students might have just lost their parents) had to walk their young charges off the island to one of the outer-lying boroughs to wait for family to find and claim them... Those young teachers, most of them very young women, were heroes that day to the children they protected and watched over and got to safety. Unsung heroes, I knew I wanted to write about one day--and hopefully write a happily ever after ending for, regardless of how many scars their experience had to have left.
What are you working on?
I just completed final edits for Love on Mimosa Lane, the next book in this series and a Valentine's Special Release for Montlake. Kristen Higgins, the assistant principal in Three Days, is my new heroine, and you're absolutely going to ADORE this new Chandlerville love story ;o)
Is there an author or book that has greatly influenced your writing?
I've read all my life and re-read and reread my favorite authors who touch me emotionally and leave me feeling so many amazing things. But it's the characters and situations I run across in every day life that inspire me the most, I think. I can't wait to dive back into story, make a slice of life come alive, and then spin it in a way that's totally new for the world of my next book--hopefully to the delight of readers who find their way to my books and will be reading them for years to come.
What one food could you not live without?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate chocolate! Every way, every day. The darker the better ;o) I actually have to eat a pretty restricted diet, but Dark Chocolate is on my "YES" list, and I indulge as often as possible!
Who is your intended audience?
I write more mainstream relationship and community-based novels now. Family dramas, with themes and subplots and realistic settings that show us slices of every day while enchanting us with those little-bit-larger-than-life heroes and heroines who leave us dying to turn the page. But the romance reader is still my audience. I totally believe in the essential happily-ever-after ending, even if I take you on a larger, deeper, more rocky climb sometimes, before you get to enjoy that perfect peak at tomorrow ;o)
As a reader: Do you gravitate toward buying eBook or Print?
I love print books, particularly hardbacks. Always will. But I'm trimming my library to my very favorites--there's just so little space. Digital books and eReaders allow me to horde and reread story and never have give up anything I might want to read again. I also get to try new writers without feeling like I'm making the expensive commitment/risk of buying a hard cover or trade paperback. I've discovered some amazing books that way--and series that I've then gone and bought in print, to keep in my collection.
Who is the coolest character in your latest book?
I love Three Days' hero and heroine (Sam and Brian have been married for over a decade, and they're an amazing couple, even if they have a lot to work through still). But I think their kids, Joshua and Cade, steal the show in several key scenes that will touch your heart and leave you cheering. And Sam and her girlfriends (Julia and Mallory) and the school's assistant principal (Kristen) for an amazing support group to help each other through some of the tougher struggles in the book--that kind of friendship was a joy to write, and I'm hearing from many readers that they're enjoying reading them just as much!
Outside of writing - Do you have a hobby?
Hiking, water fall hunting, teaching other writers, enjoying whatever time my teenager can spare me, and exploring the world with my husband and friends... When I'm not chained to my desk, I need to get out and do... Oh, and shopping ;o) Shoes, purses, vintage clothes, consignment treasures. I like to think of it as the less strenuous cardio...
Do you judge books by their covers?
I don't, unless the cover is amateurish or poorly designed. I think, for those indie authors or small presses or even traditional presses who skimp on paying for the very best cover design possible, that bad covers are becoming far too common in the digital age--for me, it's a total turn off and tells me someone didn't think the book was worth investing enough energy and money to get the job done right.
I can't think my readers and fans enough for the amazing support for the entire Seasons of the Heart/Mimosa Lane series. The Christmas novel is selling strong again (after winning numerous awards!), Three Days on Mimosa Lane has already hit and held several Amazon best-seller lists and it's only a few weeks old, and Love on Mimosa Lane (launching in January '14) is already killing it in pre-orders. I adore these stories so much, the reader comments on Amazon blow me away with how positively most everyone is responding, Montlake couldn't be working harder to help me find new homes for my stories... I'm a lucky, lucky writer!