Heart of a Seal

Thanks for having me on the Bookaholic blog today and for hosting the book tour for my new release, Heart of a SEAL.

What made you want to write this book?

Three years ago, I wrote and released a romantic suspense book, Rescued by the Ranger. It’s a story about a wounded Army Ranger named Garrett Harding who meets the love of his life while trying to discover the reason behind his mother’s abandonment of her two young sons years ago. Garrett’s brother is Navy SEAL Luke Harding, the hero in Heart of a SEAL. Luke was such an engaging character in Rescued by the Ranger, I knew he needed his story to be told as well and could hardly wait to finish it and the other two books in the Hearts of Valor series.

Where do you get your storylines from?

Story ideas are everywhere. Music, photographs, the corner coffee shop, or the daily news can plant the seed of an idea in my mind. It could be as simple as the stranger in red cowboy boots and a sports jacket, walking along a crowded street. Where’s he going? Why’s he in such a hurry? Is he meeting someone? A woman? The seed germinates and begins to grow. I got the idea for my current work-in-progress from an event that took place not too far from where I live in Oregon. It made the national news and, of course, was a big story in the communities nearby. But the interesting part of the story never got into the newspapers. The every-day lives of the people who were directly affected by the event as relayed by word of mouth. Embellishing with a few “What ifs” and wha-la, a romantic suspense novel in the making.

Was this book easier to write than others? Why?

I wouldn’t say Heart of a SEAL was easier to write than any of my other books, but I survived the writing of it in better shape than some of those other books. That sounds strange, I know, but I don’t do deadlines well. I don’t think anyone does. When I started writing Heart of a SEAL, I didn’t have a contract or a publisher. For a while, I thought I might self-publish. As a result, I finished that book and was halfway through Honor Among SEALs (book #2) before the series was picked up by Lyrical Liaison. Though writing a book is always hard work, it’s a labor of love, especially without the pressure of a deadline.

Do you only write one genre?

Romantic suspense has been my choice of genre since I started writing for fun many years ago. I enjoy reading all genres of romance as well as mysteries and suspense, so I’m not going to rule out trying something new. Maybe someday…

Do you have a specific place or setting where you write?

I usually write in my living room in my recliner, with one of my dogs vying for space on the footrest. For me, the place isn’t as important as the ambiance. I need quiet and alone-time. No traffic going by on the street, no radio, no dogs barking and definitely no other people. Even someone sitting quietly in the same room, reading a book, is too much of a distraction for me. I might as well just put the computer away for the day. Yes, I know—it’s a wonder I ever finish a book!

Describe what made you want to be a writer?

I was a good student in school, but I wasn’t much of a reader because most of the
books my friends were reading didn’t interest me. When I was a seventh grader, one day my teacher handed me a book and said, “I think you’ll enjoy this.” The book was “The Count of Monte Cristo”, and my teacher was right—I devoured the pages. I’ll never forget the feeling of being transported into the world Alexandre Dumas created or the characters he introduced me to. I never stopped reading after that. “A Tale of Two Cities,” “Gone with the Wind,” “The Sword of Shannara”—everything I read came alive for me. More than anything, I wanted to create those worlds and those feelings for others. I haven’t achieved “A Tale of Two Cities” or even anything close, but…you never know.

Thanks again for having me on your blog and for hosting the tour for Heart of a SEAL. Also, thanks to everyone who stopped by.

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