Back to Top

  • First Slide


  • Second Slide


  • Third Slide

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Serena Clarke, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, All Over the Place.

Genre: Contemporary romantic fiction with a chick lit feel
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Length: 226 pages
Heat rating: Behind closed doors
Tagline: How far would you go to find the place you’re meant
to be?
Blurb:
Livi Callaway has fled back to London
after a reality TV disaster in New
Zealand. Safely anonymous in the big city, she’s
determined to stay under the radar from now on. But her attempts to build a new
life are complicated by unexpected visitors from her old one, and new dangers and
temptations lie in wait.
Late one night, she meets a mysteriously sexy American on the
Underground – and the events that follow take her from Pooh Bear to the golden lights
of Paris, via a
trail of rock stars dead and alive. A family in disarray, a determined Swede, a
crazed Australian, and a childhood friend (who might yet be more than that) have
her all over the place as she tries to discover the American’s secret – while keeping
her own.
With help – and occasional hindrance – from her friends, what
she eventually finds is something unexpected…sometimes, running away can lead
you to exactly what you didn’t know you needed.
Buy links:
What are your main characters’
names, ages, and occupations?
Livi Callaway, age 25, hair salon manager. Cam Holden, 27, sexy-smart
economist.
And a mysterious sexy-cool American!

Interview

How did you get your start
in the industry?
I joined the New Writers’ Scheme, part of the Romantic Novelists’
Association in the UK.
One of their published authors critiqued All Over the Place, and her advice helped
to shape it, and ultimately get it accepted by a publisher.
What do you enjoy most
about writing?
When you’re in the flow, and it feels like you’re writing down
the story as it’s being given to you. There’s a definite magic happening in those
times.
If you could choose anyone
to be your mentor who would it be?
The incomparable Nora Ephron. She had such an incredible talent
for getting right to the truth of things, with amazing dialogue and flawed but loveable
characters. I’m so sad we won’t have any more of her stories.
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don’t worry so much about what people think of you! People will
judge no matter what you do, so just go ahead and be yourself.
What are some jobs you’ve
done before (or while) you were a writer?
Despite a BA in Scandinavian Studies and a Diploma in Equine
Management, I’ve done all kinds of completely unrelated jobs – editing an international
medical journal, developing photos for the Commonwealth Games, temping in a London law firm, teaching English
as a second language to wayward teenagers, and lots more.
What do you think is the
future of traditional publishing?
I wish I knew! But one thing I’m sure of is that however stories
are delivered to readers, we’ll always need people to WRITE them!
What was the proudest
moment of your life so far?
There are lots of proud moments involving my children, of course.
But something just me would be finishing my first book, All Over the Place. Even
if it had never been published, to actually follow it through and FINISH it was
a huge achievement. And I’m very happy it was published of course!
What is your favorite
holiday and why?
I actually have two favourites. One was a trip to Rarotonga, in the South Pacific – to get married! Magical.
The other was a long stint overseas, living in London
and travelling around Europe. Lots of the little
details in All Over the Place come from that time.
What do you like to do
when you’re bored?
I don’t think it’s possible for a writer to get bored. There’s
always something to think about. The real problem is turning your brain OFF – which
is a very good problem to have!
If your life became a
movie, who would you want to play you?
Oh, Emily Blunt, definitely. She’s much more elegant than I’ll
ever be, but I’m sure she could do a great New Zealand accent!

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with my children – they love it!
I’m always ready for a new adventure.
When I’m alone, I do my best thinking.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m still making it all up
as I go along
!
If I had a halo it would be somewhere in that pile of unfolded
washing in the corner
.
If I could do one thing from my bucket list I’d spend
an entire spring in Paris
.
I can never get enough of watching my boys running wild on
the beach
because freedom is the most intoxicating thing they know.

Find Me Here

Luminous Memories of Alexander Vile

Today we’re interviewing N Jones, author of The Luminous
Memories of Alexander Vile. Tell us about this book.

In 1891, in the suburbs of Victorian London, a tragedy took
place. Here is a tragic tale compiled by the Maid, who worked her whole life
for Alexander Vile, and his late family. She remembers as she wanders up the
cobbled streets that echo her every footstep and underneath the over-bearing
trees which give her sunless days. She paces through the open market squares
where strangers are living their life as if no event took place, all gathering
to find out about the innovations, all dressed in blacks and greys. While the
world is whizzing by, she reminisces over a chain of events so romantic and so
woeful that you’ll wish you could re-write the ending…
Genre: Historical Fiction
Buy links:
Book is out March 25, 2013

Interview

What is the most
important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first
started writing?
I network! I think networking is important both in terms of
becoming more culturally and inter-culturally aware, but also as you don’t know
who could make impact on your career.
What websites do you
visit daily?
I’m always on Twitter! I check YouTube, Facebook, and Tumblr
regularly too, but Twitter is a guarantee!
If you could change
something about your first book, what would it be?
I would probably research more in-depth at the start of the
project. I would use a plan at the beginning too – boring answer!
What do you enjoy most
about writing?
The freedom! How it takes over your time, every moment is
thinking about that character, the storylines intertwining and where the story
will go. I would say it’s exhausting in a positive way!
If you could choose
anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
I would love to say Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, or Stieg
Larsson but unfortunately they are all no more. I would really like to meet
Jeff Lindsay; he wrote/writes the Dexter novels which made a big impact on me!
If you could give the
younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don’t worry; you’ll be more confident in a few years.
How do you cope with
stress as an author?
I’m not sure I’ve reached that level yet! I’ve spent the
majority of the past few years stressed because of University; I think that’s
good preparation for a career in the media – University!
Do things your family
or friends do ever end up in a book?
Not in this novel, but my second novel which I’m currently
writing is a modern story which will feature some of my friends and family
stories and anecdotes, and maybe a character or two will be based on someone I
know!
Which of your books
would you recommend to someone who doesn’t normally read your genre, and why?
My debut novel ‘the Luminous Memories of Alexander Vile’,
although is thwarted with suspense, grotesque scenes and a lot of imagery has
an underlining romance about it. Infact the romance scenes are my favourite
moments of the novel and the most personal to write. There’s definitely a
subtle emphasis on the romance elements.
What kind of books do
you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read too many genres! I just finished reading the Great
Gatsby. I plan on reading ‘Persuasion’, the new book from Lucy Robinson and the
latest Dexter book soon!
What was the proudest
moment of your life so far?
Graduating was quite amazing! I think the release date will
be the best day for me though!
What was your favorite
vacation and why?
It was California
– hands down! I loved everything about the place! I saved up my University loan
and wages to go there, and it’s geared me to try and achieve success ever
since!
Favourite Dip?
Hummus!

Find Me Here

 

Annette Gisby, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, The Prince’s Guard.
Genre: Gay Romance, M/M Erotic, Fantasy
Publisher: Smashwords
Cover artist: Wicked Cover Designs. Model: Jason Baca, photo
by Portia Shao
Length: Short Story
Heat rating: 5
Tagline: Can a prince ever learn to truly submit?
Blurb:
Prince Dashan has been used to getting things his own way, with
servants to cater to his every whim. As the crown prince, it is essential that he
is protected and he is followed everywhere by his bodyguard, Ryland. Dashan can’t
even head to a tavern with his friends without Ryland somehow turning up and spoiling
his fun.
Dashan disguises himself as a peasant one night and sneaks off
to the brothel that he’s heard rumours about – a brothel that caters for men who
like men. The prince finds it difficult to admit to himself what his true desires
are – he yearns to submit his will to someone else. And Ryland is just the man to
show him what that truly means.
Buy links:
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Ryland is a bodyguard and wizard who is twenty eight. Dashan
is the crown prince and is twenty two.

Interview

Tell us about your story’s world. What is it like in this period or place?
This book takes place in what I suppose would be considered an historical fantasy world. It’s similar
to Earth’s medieval period, particularly Scotland (you’ve got to love a man in
a kilt!) but has magic and wizards too.
What inspired you to write this book?
For over four years I was suffering from unexplained dizziness and had been to every Ear, Nose and Throat
department there was, but still they couldn’t figure out what was causing my vertigo.
Last year I finally got to see the right balance specialist (my husband and I discovered
his details on the Internet and took them to the doctor.) I was diagnosed with Migraine
Associated Vertigo. So now, I knew what it was, but it was still a long way from
being cured. As well as dizziness and headaches, it plays havoc with my concentration
and I knew I wouldn’t have the concentration to complete a novel, so I set my sights
on shorter stories.
This was one of my first short stories which had elements of BDSM in it and in my head I played around with
what might have been expected. In my story it’s the prince who is used to ordering
people about who wants to submit to someone else.
Why do you write?
Because I’d go mad if I didn’t! I have all these characters and scenarios around my head and they don’t
leave me be until I’ve written them down either on paper or on a computer screen.
Who has helped you the most in your career as an author?
That would be my husband, John. For such a long time I had lots of projects started but not finished. He used
to read my sample chapters, but then he refused to read any more until I’d finished
one of the books. It gave me the impetus I needed to finally get a book done!
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee,
water, chocolate… pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration…?)
I have a class of water, notebooks, pens and a Harry Potter calendar. I’ve not had pictures of gorgeous hunks
for inspiration so far, but now you’ve given me ideas ;)
When you’re not writing, what would we find you doing?
Most likely reading or playing Dragon Quest 8 on the Playstation. We have so many books there
isn’t room for them on the bookshelves any more. I buy ebooks, but the paper ones
still seem to breed like rabbits.
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur
of the moment?
I have a bit of an outline in my head and then start writing and see what happens. I love to be surprised and
it’s amazing what turns up on the page or computer screen. Sometimes I feel like
I’m just channeling the characters’ stories.
What’s your writing schedule like?
Non-existent! I have to write when I can, if I have a vertigo attack I can’t do anything but sit still
for the few hours until it passes and I can’t be anywhere near a computer screen.
Most vertigo is caused by inner ear problems and for most people who suffer that,
including my Mum, they feel better when lying down. Migraine vertigo is the complete
opposite, it’s much worse when lying down.
Any advice for new authors?
Read, read and then read some more. If you don’t like reading, I don’t think you’d like writing either. Develop
a thick skin for the rejections and the bad reviews. Not everyone is going to like
what you write, so you should write for yourself first and foremost. Be true to
your own vision.
When an idea hits you, what do you do to capture it?
Write it down in a notebook or the back of an envelope, whichever spare bit of paper is to hand.
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
I’ve been an assistant manager of a shoe shop and worked in a bookshop.
What’s the best gift you ever received?
That would be when my husband John took me one Valentine’s Day to an art house cinema that was showing
all of the Lord of the Rings movies back to back. Yes, there were breaks in between
so we could eat and use the bathroom!
If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?
I’d love to go to the Middle Ages and meet Robin Hood and Maid Marion. But since they’re probably fictional,
early 20th century to meet Emily Pankhurst. That must have taken a lot of
guts to fight for women’s votes.
Do you play any musical instruments?
I used to play the recorder at school but my husband has just recently bought a guitar so we both might try
and learn that too.
What’s your favorite movie?
Lord of the Rings. I’m not sure I should admit how many times I’ve seen it. Yes, it’s one movie in my mind.
One very long movie ;) My obsession with the films led us to New Zealand and the basis for our book, New Zealand
with a Hobbit Botherer. As John was trying his best to see New Zealand, I was
dragging him around lots of the different filming locations.
Are you the eldest, middle, baby, or only child?
Eldest child, with two brothers and one sister.

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with no cheese, but lots of pepperoni.
I’m always ready for anything.
When I’m alone, I sometimes dance.
You’d never be able to tell, but I once met Daniel Radcliffe
on a trip to New York. He signed
my program after Equus and he was very polite, speaking to nearly everyone in the
line.
If I had a halo it would be slipping.
I can never get comfortable in bed because of my vertigo.
Four pillows and an adjustable bed and I still can’t sleep properly
.

Find Me Here

Fallen SEAL Legacy

In a departure from our usual format today, author Sharon
Hamilton is interviewing her character Nebraska
born and bred Navy SEAL Calvin “Coop” Cooper. After his own family has perished
in a tornado, Cooper is ordered to meet the family of a prominent San Diego psychiatrist. The
doctor’s brother is a fallen SEAL medic who died in Grenada. There, Cooper meets Libby Brownlee,
the beautiful niece of this fallen hero. Heavily influenced by her father, “We don’t
speak military here,” is her comment about the military in general, and the SEAL
community in particular.

What starts out as a frosty debate between two people privately
dealing with their own personal grief, turns into a passionate affair neither expected.
Just as Cooper realizes perhaps Libby is the woman he’s always been looking for,
she is snatched out from under him by a psychopathic killer bent on revenge.
Dr. Brownlee is forced to rely on Cooper’s help, along with his
buddies in SEAL Team 3. Will Cooper be able to survive the loss of the woman he
loves, or will his self sacrifice be enough to keep her safe?
Book: Fallen SEAL Legacy
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy links:

Interview

Today I am pleased to do a character interview with Special
Operator (SO) Calvin Cooper, from SEAL Team 3, based in San Diego, California. I’ve been given a little cheat sheet on him, and so I’m going
to ask him some questions he probably wasn’t expecting.
Sharon: Tell me a bit about yourself and your
background.
Cooper: I was born
in Nebraska, near
Pender. My family was third generation farmers, having come over from Denmark in the early
1900’s. When I was little, my great grandfather used to read Hans Christian Andersen
stories to me at bedtime.
Sharon: Those sound like wonderful memories. What
did you like best about growing up on a farm?
Cooper: The way the
land looks after you’ve plowed it, the smell of the soil and the early morning sunlight.
Summers we worked sun up to sunset. Some day I hope to move back there, when the
time is right.
Sharon: I understand you experienced a tragedy
last year. Your whole family destroyed in a tornado. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Cooper: The farm,
my dad, mom, my sister and her husband and their little girl. And grandpa. Everyone.
All gone. My dog Bay survived. It was the lowest point in my entire life. I threw
myself back into my job. Wanted to go back to work in the worst way, but Chief Timmons
ordered me to meet the family of SO Brownlee, who had been killed in Grenada.
Sharon: That was significant, having you meet
the family of SO Brownlee. You carried his name engraved on your KAY-BAR, right?
Cooper: Yes, every
SEAL is awarded a KAY-BAR in a private ceremony before we get our Tridents. We carry
the name of a fallen SEAL. Chief Timmons wanted me to meet his family. Little did
he know I would find the girl of my dreams there.
Sharon: From what I’ve been told, they were none
too pleased to meet you.
Cooper: Kinda made
me mad at first. Not used to families who aren’t friendly toward our community.
Libby Brownlee was definitely the ice queen when I first met her. I think her father
had put notions in her head about what we are about.
Sharon: So tell me about your Team. What kind
of guys are you?
Cooper: We’re all
different. There’s Kyle, he’s our leader. Been on the teams for almost ten years,
always was a California
dude, if you know what I mean. Got himself a pretty little wife, Christy, who is
sort of our Team’s Realtor. Now has a baby. Kyle is an expert marksman, and a born
leader. He and Armando were swim buddies during BUD/S.
There’s Armando, but we call him Armani because he likes to dress
up. Native of Puerto Rico, he’s usually the one
all the ladies want. Very protective of his mother and his little sister, Mia. Armando
is an explosives expert. He’s also the best swimmer on the team, although I’m right
behind him.
Fredo is Mexican by heritage, grew up in LA. He’s our equipment
and radioman. He can rig a microphone anywhere and be able to track it remotely.
Also deadly with explosives. Don’t try to wrestle him, because he cheats. He’s in
love with Armani’s sister, but she won’t give him the time of day. He has a heart
the size of the ocean.
We got a new guy on the Team, LT Malcolm Jones, originally from
Texas. He actually
got an NFL contract but decided to go to the Academy instead. Never saw a guy run
so darned fast before. He can high jump over cars without breaking a sweat.
Sharon: But you haven’t told us what your expert
capabilities are.
Cooper: I’m the gadget
guy. I think I became a SEAL for the equipment and the toys. That’s what I used
to spend all my time and money on when I first joined up. I live in a motor home
at the beach, so I could save up to have every gadget known to man. Just bought
a great drone in Silicon Valley, which came in
mighty handy recently.
Sharon: I understand you are getting married shortly.
Cooper: Yes, Ma’am,
that’s affirmative. Libby made me the luckiest man on the planet when she agreed
to marry me.
Sharon: Other than the cool equipment, what do
you like about being a SEAL?
SEAL Endeavor
Cooper: I guess like
Kyle, I wanted to just see how far I could get. You never really know what you can
do until you test your limits. I just wanted to see, first of all, if I had what
it takes to become a SEAL. I didn’t get all macho about it. Bragging around the
place. Those are the fakers. Easy to spot. Tell everyone. That’s not the SEAL way.
Like Kyle, I feel lucky to have found something I love doing
at such an early age. I guess I would have remained on the farm in Nebraska if I’d washed out.
Never knew anything else. Never wanted to make millions of dollars, and sure as
heck they don’t pay you that when you’re on the Teams. But that’s not why we do
it. We love being the heroes that save the day. Get all the great girls. We get
to jump out of airplanes and helicopters at midnight. Sneak in and get out before
anyone knows we’ve been there. You need guys like us. I like that our country depends
on us to get our job done without drama. Leave the drama in the theater where it
belongs. We just get ‘er done.
Sharon: What advice would you give readers to
learn more about you and your Team buds?
Cooper: There’s tons
of stuff written about us, not all of it very accurate, of course. But we think
it’s funny how everyone wants to make us out to be superheroes. Hell, we even get
Superman and Spiderman underwear for special missions. We’re just plain guys doing
a job no one else can do. That’s a pretty cool thing when you think about it.
We’re trained to handle anything. Improvise. Learn from the enemy.
Observe mostly, talk little and never show off. So, let us be. Tell us thanks. That’s
the best thing anyone can do for us. Appreciate us. Because we love all of you.
Sharon: Well, Coop, I don’t think I could have
said it better myself. Keep yourself safe, and I hope we’ll get to hear more about
you and your buddies in the months and years to come.
Cooper: You bet. We’ll
be here. We’re always here, and we’re always ready.
What question would you ask SO Calvin Cooper if you had the chance?
What would you like to see the SEALs do in an upcoming story? Anything you’ve wanted
to know? Maybe I can get Coop to answer back.

About the Author

Sharon Hamilton
Sharon Hamilton loves all things paranormal: Angels, Dark Angels,
Watchers, Guardians, Upogenie, and Vampires. She also has developed a series of
hot romantic suspense Navy SEAL stories that have ranked her in the top 100 at Amazon
in that genre and the book ranked in the top 100 for 12 weeks in a row.
Her characters follow a spicy road to redemption through passion
and true love–not exactly what they taught you in Sunday School!
An avid organic vegetable and flower gardener, Sharon and her
husband live in the Wine Country in Northern California,
where most of her stories take place.

Find Me Here

JM Stewart, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We’re excited to
interview your character, Michael Brant, from the book, Her Knight in Black Leather.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Length: 55,000
Heat rating: sensual
Can he stop history from repeating itself and save her
life without losing his heart in the process?
Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort
to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar
by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined
to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers
chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s
wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she
needs.
When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant
returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back
this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories
he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a
damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes
she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms.
With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that
haunts him here.
As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark
past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her
life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself,
Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals
beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?
Buy links:
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Michael Brant, 30 years old, Entrepreneur—owner of a custom bike
shop in L.A.
Cat Edward, 25 years old, works in her father’s bookshop.

Interview with Michael Brant

Tell us about yourself.
Cat calls me a reformed
bad boy. I was a rotten kid, with a chip on my shoulder as big as the state of Oregon. Now, I’m determined
to make up for all the wrong I’ve done. I was born into a wealthy family, and I’ve
done rather well for myself, but I’m a simple kind of guy. I like watching the stars
at night and taking a cold swim first thing in the morning. I also like working
with my hands. I own a custom bike shop in L.A. We’re opening a second one here in Crest
Point. I’m happiest elbows deep in engine grease.
Tell us about Cat.
I’m not entirely sure
I deserve her. She’s sweet and quiet. She works in a bookstore with her father and
that’s exactly where she belongs and what she loves—to be elbows deep in a stack
of books. She’s at home there. She has the biggest heart of anybody I know. My presence
in her life turned her entire world upside and put her life and the lives of her
family in danger, but she still stood by me. I’m lucky to have her.
What do you think is your strongest point?
I’m not afraid to stand up for what I think is wrong. I’m not
afraid to be me. Even if people hate me for it.
What would Cat say is your strongest point?
That I’m not afraid to
put myself in harm’s way to protect the people I love.
What would Cat say is your biggest weakness?
I keep to myself too much and don’t let people in enough. *smiles* She says I’m broody.
What was it like where you grew up?
I was born in Crest Point, Oregon.
It’s a small town, maybe a couple thousand people all together. It’s got it’s good
point and bad points. Just about everybody knows everybody else, which means neighbors
look out for each other. They’re also a tad on the nosy side. Cat likens it to living
in a fish bowl. You can’t do anything without the entire town knowing about it.
The people here are good people, though. They’ve managed to forgive for being a
hateful teenager.
What do you wish was different about your life?
All the rotten things
I did as a kid. Now that I’ve grown up, I see things a bit differently. I see the
hateful that I was, holding in too much anger and hurt and letting my wounded pride
get in the way.
If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?
I’d bring Kay back. She
died because of me, and I’d give anything to bring her back. She didn’t deserve
to die so young.
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
*rubs his chin and stares thoughtfully* Let’s see, she’s about five foot five, slender
body and willowy limbs, with long brown hair and the most beautiful jade eyes I’ve
ever seen. *smiles* Cat. She’s my
refuge.
JM Stewart

About the Author

J.M. writes what she likes to call sweet and spicy contemporary
romance. She’s a stay-at-home mom who lives in Seattle Washington,
with her husband, two boys and their two very spoiled puppies. She’s been devouring
romances for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her passion.

Previous Books

The Playboy’s Baby http://amzn.com/B008RPKBMM

Find Me Here

Alpha Wolves

DJ Swykert, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about
your book, Alpha Wolves.
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Cover artist: Fiona Jayde
Length: 174 pages
Heat rating: Sweetheart
Blurb:
Maggie Harrington is torn between her powerful and passionate
love for Tommie Stetter, and her deep and affectionate love for the abiding Jeremy
Paull. Having to choose between them is testing her beliefs and breaking her heart.
Buy links:
What are your main characters’ names, ages, and occupations?
Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, twenty-three, schoolteacher. Tommie
Stetter, twenty-six, mining captain. Jeremy Paull, twenty-six, copper miner.
Excerpt:
I am looking in the mirror at a guilty
person. I see a face that is happy on a day that it should be sad, and I am feeling
guilty about it. Today James Stetter is going to be buried, and I am feeling happy.
I have not liked him for a very long
time; he took something away from me that I have been unable to forgive him for.
It has been ten years since I have seen Tommie Stetter and looked into his beautiful
brown eyes that glisten, that enter into me where I want them to be; and know me,
Maggie Harrington, for who I really am. So, even on this sad day, when they are
going to bury Tommie’s father, I am happy. I am going to be sitting once again in
church with my beloved Tommie, but I feel guilty about it.
I look again at my face in the mirror.
It is the same face, the same blue eyes that loved Tommie Stetter with all her heart
when she was thirteen. I am twenty-three years old now, but I am the same little
Maggie Elizabeth Harrington. I am a little taller, and my bosom is fuller, my hips
are not as straight up and down, but I am the same, I am no different. I still live
here in Central Mine with my father who works deep under the earth digging copper.
I am a teacher’s assistant at the Central
Mine School.
I teach the first three grades, and I like teaching little children; they are pure,
their minds are not as cluttered with things as adults are. So, unlike many of the
people here in Central Mine, I am at least satisfied with my life, if not completely
happy.
Ten years ago, when Tommie was sent
away, I was sure that in two years when he finished school, he would return to Central
Mine to work with his father as a mining captain and we would be married. I lived
with that dream for two years. I walked with Tommie in my head, I talked with Tommie
no matter where in the world he was, I was still with him; we were together. But,
two years later, I learned from my best friend, Annie, Tommie’s sister, that he
was going to stay in the East and continue his education, he was going to college.
But I am a very determined person, and I still believed that Tommie, my true love,
would come back to me. I never gave up that dream. I never left the dream world
that Tommie Stetter and I lived in, and I don’t think I ever will.
After graduating from high school I
began to assist Mrs. Daume with the younger children. Eventually I was allowed to
teach them by myself, and I have been teaching the first three grades ever since.
I felt very fortunate, and I really liked Mrs. Daume. She continued to help me,
taught me all kinds of things about literature and philosophy. I liked learning
about people like Plato, who spent their whole lives thinking. After all, I believe
that I have spent my whole life either thinking or dreaming. I felt I had a lot
in common with Plato, who spent so much time thinking and talking about things like
truth. In addition to teaching at the school Mrs. Daume was the organist at the
Central Mine Methodist
Church. Nothing much has changed
in the church. Reverend White is still there, and still preaching his sermons with
great fervor, the sweat rolling off his temples, his voice screeching through the
air, and all the people listening and saying “Amen.” No, nothing much has changed
at the church.
But a lot has changed at the mine. About
the time that I began helping Mrs. Daume the mine began to fail. The veins of copper
that could be found were very deep, and poor, and you would hear a lot of miners
talking about how they couldn’t make any money. The ore was poor, and they were
mostly just digging barrel copper to be stamped. Then, in the fall of 1899, the
Philadelphia Mining Company announced they were going to pull out. It wasn’t worth
their investment, the return on capital simply wasn’t worth it. Central Mine was
finished, going to be closed. There were many meetings, and lots of miners soon
left Central Mine. Officials came out and closed down the office, and work came
to a halt. The winter of 1899-1900 would be a very dark and cold winter. A very
frightening winter as the miners looked at their future. The mine had been operating
since 1863, and up until now had always been profitable. But it was also very remote,
and quite a few miles from the other mining ventures that still operated on the
Keweenaw Peninsula. Of the mining families that
had settled here, many of them knew little else. Many of the later arrivals, the
French, and Italians, left, but the Cornish teams that had been here the longest,
they were the most settled, these were their homes and they wanted to stay.
When James Stetter offered to reopen
the mine under his own direction that spring the Cornish miners welcomed his offer,
and work began that summer to pump the water out of the shafts and put in fresh
timber. Mr. Stetter was respected and well liked by the miners. They worked hard,
everybody remained in good spirits, and they began that fall to bring small amounts
of copper to the surface. But the ore was not rich, and despite further exploration,
they were unable to discover any large new veins.
For the last three years half of the
miners worked old shafts that still produced some barrel copper, and the money earned
was shared with James Stetter to finance the exploration for new and richer veins
by the other half of the miners. Things were not good, but everybody worked, and
life managed to go on in Central Mine much as it has for the last forty years. Monday
through Saturday under the earth, and Sunday mornings at the Central Mine
Methodist Church
listening to Mrs. Daume play the organ, the choir sing, and Reverend White preaching
his sermons.
I have been busy teaching children;
doing the chores, and cooking dinner for my father, who was just as silent as before,
just as quiet and hard as he has always been, but somehow it wasn’t as important
to me anymore. I was happy working at the school, and dreaming of Tommie Stetter,
knowing that someday he would come for me. “Maggie, are you ready? It’s time we
walked up to the church,” I hear my father say from downstairs. It made me feel
no different than I had those many years ago, when either he or my grandmother called.
I looked at my guilty face in the mirror
once again. Yes, I did feel guilty, but I was also happy. It has been so long since
I looked into Tommie Stetter’s brown eyes that glisten, I couldn’t help it. I was
sad, but happy, all at the same time. I find that so strange; I never have understood
how I could feel that way. But that is exactly how I am feeling this Sunday morning
as I prepare to walk over to the church and listen to Reverend White speak about
James Stetter. We will all pay our last respects, and then follow the pallbearers
as they carry the coffin to the Eagle
River Cemetery
for the burial. And I know that at some point get a chance to see Tommie. I will
get to look him in the eyes, and he will look at me, and we will know where we are,
where we have been, and where we are going. I will know that my waiting was not
the foolish daydream of a schoolgirl. That what passed between Tommie and me ten
years ago was real. It was as real as all the things that I dream about, and all
the things I believe in, and all the things I live for.

Interview

Tell us about your story’s world. What is it like in this
period or place?
Today the village
of Central Mine is a ghost
town, with just a few houses and the church left standing. In 1902, when the story
takes place, it was a thriving community of about 1500 mining families, a store,
a school, and of course the mine. Central Mine sat on top of a hill on the Keweenaw
Peninsula in the northernmost tip of Michigan’s
western upper peninsula, it was over twenty miles through the rugged country to
the nearest small city, Calumet, which is still
thrives today.
What inspired you to write this book?
My father told me about a strange woman who lived across the
street from a house my grandfather had in Central Mine that was used as a hunting
cabin. She was a recluse with wild white hair and a known eccentric who wandered
the countryside during winter and summer, ultimately found frozen to death one winter
morning in a clump of birch trees. Very little was known about her, and what made
her so eccentric. I built a fictional story around her, and included wolves, as
I had raised a pair of them and they were indigenous to the area.
Which character in your current book do you think readers
will like the most? Why?
Jeremy Paull, because he is a man’s man, but a woman’s man as
well, honest, strong, and with integrity. He is the least flawed of the characters
in the book, all who are good people, but fall into some situations that entrap
them, cause them to act in ways that contradict with the kind of people they are
in their core.
Why do you write?
Because in fiction conflicts end the way you want them to, not
as in real life as they sometimes have to.
Who has helped you the most in your career as an author?
Without a doubt my girlfriend Donna, she is my editor and partner.
And I believe good editors are essential to good books, editing is a skill set just
as important as writing.
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee,
water, chocolate… pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration…?)
I’m going to have to go with the coffee, uh… gorgeous “hunks”
don’t do much for me.
When you’re not writing, what would we find you doing?
Perhaps in the kitchen, I like to cook. Cajun food is my favorite,
I have my own secret Cajun spice. My signature dish would be blackened Cajun Roughy
with a lemon parsley gremolata. I’ve also been known to watch a little football.
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur
of the moment?
Neither, I’m a ponderer. I think about a story and the characters
for months, maybe scribble a few notes. And I always have the ending in my head
before I begin. Then I put my characters into situations and the chapters resolve
the conflict but always point towards the ending I already know.
Looking back at your first book, what do you wish you had
done differently?
Sold it for millions. I had a big agent for the very first book,
the prequel to Alpha Wolves, which has been in print twice, once as Maggie Elizabeth
Harrington and published a second time by a now bankrupt publisher under the title
The Place Between. I think it’s a good story, the agent got it read by many major
publishers, but it was declined, they felt it was too regional to ever become a
major bestseller. I think they’re wrong, and in today’s global publishing world,
a regional story about a young woman and her boyfriend trying to save a pack of
young wolves from a bounty hunter can attract a reading audience. But of course
that’s my opinion. I hold the rights to the book and one day it’ll resurface again.
If I’ve learned anything about life it’s that it tends to repeat itself, it’s all
about duplication.
What’s your writing schedule like?
Irregular, but I favor mornings, I’m not as sharp after lunch.
True. My best writing seems to be early in the morning. And I don’t think you can
write good prose by spending too much time each day at it, your brain tires and
your prose does with it.
Any advice for new authors?
Marry somebody rich.
What aspect of your life do you write into your books?
There’s a little bit of the author in every writer’s characters.
I’m no different. And art does imitate life, we all draw from experiences and change
the facts, and that makes it fiction.
When an idea hits you, what do you do to capture it?
Write it down in a notebook. If I don’t, I’ll forget it later.
If you knew it would be a bestseller, what book would you
write that you might not write otherwise?
I believe in animal rights. If you think about it, they lead
miserable, cold starving lives. That’s why I feed feral cats, or anything actually.
There’s a possum that comes to my back stoop and eats food I put out for the cats.
And that’s good with me. I’d like to write a bestseller that brings the treatment
of animals to the attention of the general public.
What’s keeping you from writing that book?
What makes you think I’m not writing “that book?” I am.
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
I was a logistics analyst and operations manager in transportation,
and later a 911 operator for a decade.
Which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
They’re all hard to write. There’s no such thing as an easy book.
I take solace with the thought that If it’s too easy it probably won’t be very good.
What are you currently reading for fun? Anything for research?
An unpublished mystery novel by a friend of mine.
If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?
One A.D.
Do you believe in luck?
I believe in coincidence, as the Hindus say: Given enough time,
it’s inevitable.
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question
when writing?
Same kind I listen to most of the time, Classic Rock. Favorite
road tune: Bob Seeger, Roll Me Away.
Do you play any musical instruments?
I used to play the accordion.
What is your secret talent?
I’m a poet.
What’s your favorite movie?
The Midnight Cowboy.
Are you the eldest, middle, baby, or only child?
The eldest.

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with anything.
I’m always ready for football.
When I’m alone, I am alone.
You’d never be able to tell, but I’m a softy.
If I had a halo it would be silver.
If I could sing I’d have been a musician.
I can never complain because I’ve been very lucky.

Previous Books

DJ Swykert
Maggie Elizabeth Harrington (also titled as The Place Between.)
I Live in Two Worlds
Children of the Enemy (voted Turning Pages best crime genre story
of 2012)

Books Coming Soon

The Death of Anyone

Find Me Here

%d bloggers like this: