Title: Beach Rental | Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press | Genre: Women's Fiction | Release Date: July 11, 2011
On the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, in the small town of Emerald Isle.
Juli Cooke, hard-working and getting nowhere fast, marries a dying man, Ben Bradshaw, for a financial settlement, not expecting he will set her on a journey of hope and love. The journey brings her to Luke Winters, a local art dealer, but Luke resents the woman who married his sick friend and warns her not to hurt Ben-and he's watching to make sure she doesn't.
Until Ben dies and the stakes change.
Framed by the timelessness of the Atlantic Ocean and the brilliant blue of the beach sky, Juli struggles against her past, the opposition of Ben's and Luke's families, and even the living reminder of her marriage-to build a future with hope and perhaps to find the love of her life-if she can survive the danger from her past.
Please describe your writing environment.
My desk is a mess and my view is gorgeous. I look out on my backyard and sometimes see wildlife, mostly birds, bunnies and cats, but a few days ago I a saw a deer!
When I'm stuck on a scene, I look beyond the monitor and get re-centered.
Please tell us your latest news!
My debut release, Beach Rental, is due out July 11, 2011. My second release is in January 2012, Kincaid's Hope. I'm planning to attend Killer Nashville in August and hope to have books available for signing!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I enjoy Karen White who writes southern fiction - especially The House on Tradd Street and The Girl on Legare Street are my favorites. I love the voice. I love Sue Grafton, too. A contest judge once told me my 'voice' was similar. I read Sue's whole alphabet of mysteries and they were great. If only I had that voice!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No. From being read to by mother, or watching TV? Maybe it was simply bred into my genetic code. I remember writing poems first - really bad poetry, but hey, I was a little kid. I made up stories for my younger siblings and told the tales as we lay in the dark at bedtime. My friends were gracious actors in my 'pretend' and 'dress up' events - whether as pioneers, Indians, soldiers - whatever. Somewhere along the way, I tried to write down actual stories on paper, but I kept breaking the rules of fiction (IE killing off my first-person narrator) and my teachers didn't approve.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write everyday. Even if it's crap. Crap can be fixed.
Get a critique partner who lifts you up and helps you believe the dream can be reality.
What main genre do you write in?
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
Breaking through personal barriers. Sometimes it takes a lot of drafts. I think I've written the scene at its deepest emotional level, only to find, in subsequent drafts, that I was still avoiding exposing what disturbs me, or upsets me, the most. I know I'm there when I'm crying as I write.
Do you like to mix genres?
I can't help mixing genres. And I'm not alone in that. Honestly, how many thrillers don't have some kind of romance or love story? How many romances don't have suspense or peril?
In the end, my stories have romance, suspense, and inspiration, but ultimately, front to back, they are about the heroine's journey, and that makes them Women's Fiction.
What book are you reading now? What are your thoughts on it?
Non-fiction. Glimpses of Heaven by Trudy Harris.
There's huge interest in all things related to afterlife, ghosts, et cetera - just scan the TV listings. Ghost Hunter. Ghost Adventures. Celebrity Ghost Stories. Even the zombie movies are a part of this. I enjoy many of those shows and I'm fascinated by the fascination that seems to want to explore the possibilities, hopes and fear, in all its permutations - and the frequent illogic of the seeker's response to what he/she stumbles into.
Personally, I feel strong in my Faith, and am not really a seeker of the unknown spiritual realm, but rather, I'm more interested in what drives the human fascination.
Tell us all about "The Call" or "The Email"!
Oh, my. I don't react well to change or big news. Even though I'd been writing and seeking publication for several years, when the email slipped politely into my inbox, I had to walk away. After a few minutes of processing while emptying the dishwasher, I was able to go back to the computer and read it again. The offer was for both of the books I was pitching.
Back to the housework and more processing. And then it hit me that this was what I'd been wanting, and here it was.
I'm not a happy dancer and probably never will be, but I'm over-the-top excited in my own way.
Thank you Turquoise Morning Press for helping my dream become reality!
What inspires your writing?
Life moments. Unusual news stories. A special character or a house or location that captures my imagination.
Beach Rental was inspired by several friends who died of pancreatic cancer, but they lived their lives to the fullest until they couldn't. I admire them and wanted to catch some piece of their greatness in a story. I had also been wanting to set a story in Emerald Isle, NC - a beach town I'd fallen in love with. Those two concepts met and generated the rest of the story.
fiction with romance, suspense and inspiration ~ always with a strong heroine at its heart
Beach Rental ~ Coming in July 2011 from Turquoise Morning Press
~ Finalist in The Golden Pen, Finally A Bride, and Linda Howard's Award of Excellence
Kincaid's Hope ~ Coming in early 2012 from Turquoise Morning Press
~ Finalist in VRWs Fool For Love ~ 2009 Finalist in The Golden Pen & The Golden Rose