Nancy grew up on New York's Long Island then earned a Bachelor of Science degree at a small state college amid the mountains of New Hampshire. She and her husband settled in a tiny rural town nearby, where she served as an EMT and volunteer firefighter while raising two sons. She worked many years as a 9-1-1 emergency medical dispatcher and now lives in North Carolina where she writes full-time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime.
Thanks for having me back, Paty. I hear you have a few questions concerning my latest romantic suspense, LOVE TO THE RESCUE.
Why did you write a romance centered around firefighters?
I lived the fantasy for many years when I lived in a very small New Hampshire town. Rumney was a great place to raise a family. Even to this day, it has two gas stations, a village store, a Post Office, but no banks or traffic lights. When I lived there, we had a two-man police department and a volunteer rescue squad that worked alongside the volunteer fire department. I joined both, spent many hours training, and went to medical calls, car accidents, snowmobile rescues, and I fought house fires right alongside the guys. Those fires were tough. These were our neighbors’ homes in flames! I performed CPR on several neighbors, too, which was pretty devastating, but my husband helped me overcome many of those sad times. He also joined the fire department, and drove me through terrible snowstorms since we usually responded in our private vehicles. For a small town, we saw lots of action. The memories are fresh in my head. Several are found in my book, from the car hitting a moose to the huge forest fire that nearly kills my hero, Pete, and his partner, Josie. They are both paramedic/firefighters. They are both heroes.
You have a variety of romances. What inspires you to pick a story?
I have had stories in my head with characters demanding to be put to paper since I was in junior high. Life got in the way, as it usually does, so I only started writing toward publication after my kids had grown and started their own lives. I write what screams the loudest! This is the main reason I chose to write under two different names. I thought it best to separate my romantic suspense from my paranormals, but that isn’t too big an issue today. I am proud of my unusual last name, Badger. Pretty unforgettable!
What’s next from you?
That is a very tough question. I have so many irons in the fire. A recent book I self-published has giving me another avenue while I wait for that perfect agent to take a chance on my career. And, this is a career. I am determined to publish the best stories I can with the time I have left. This is what I want to do, and I really want to see my books in print. I believe in actual paper books, though I love my e-reader. So, I will keep submitting unusual, highly polished, out-of-this-world and down-to-earth stories until that happens. I admit I have a love of Scottish Highlanders, since I am married to a man of Scottish descent, but a current story I am ‘shopping’ has a hero who is from 1866 Paris and wakes up in present day North Carolina. I have no idea why I chose a Frenchman, but he demanded his own story. I made sure he has one. When it sells, I’ll be back to talk with you about him!
LOVE TO THE RESCUE
The clashing relationship between tomboy Josie Miller and fellow paramedic-firefighter, Pete Thayer, escalates after he realizes Joe is not just one-of-the-boys. Pete has a sketchy history and has earned a reputation for one-night stands in the small town of Parmenter, New Hampshire nestled between the Mercy River, the mountains, and the state college. Since he arrived a year ago, Josie suspects he is hiding something. Something too horrible to share, even with her. Working side by side, Joe loves her job, and Pete.
They respond to accident calls, medical emergencies, and fast-moving forest fires amid sparks of another kind. Joe’s clumsiness and baggy uniform work against her when she yearns to be the kind of woman Pete wants like the pretty blonde they must rescue after her car hits a moose.
Outside influences come to play when the sister of Pete’s alleged victim shows up and accuses him of something even worse…her sister’s recent death. Once on track to be a doctor, the sister’s betrayal and lies caused Pete to run far away and keep women at a distance unless they agreed to share his bed…and nothing more.
Pete plans to skip town while Josie worries she has given her heart to a monster. His boss and the local police back off and he professes his innocence to Joe. After kissing her senseless, she lets him into her bed until her bothers intervene. Both keep an eye on Pete. A suicide note, some well-landed fists, stolen moments of love, and a desire to listen to their hearts lead these two heroes toward a climax filled with tension, pain, bloodshed, and atonement.
Josie listened as her brother clomped down her stairs and out into the street. Her cheeks heated and her stomach clenched from what he’d said. Still trembling with rage, she assisted Pete as he struggled to get up and sit on her small couch, then laid his head back.
“Lie still.” She ran to her bedroom and pulled on a clean uniform, tied the laces of her sneakers, and brushed her fingers through damp hair.
“Damn. I gotta buy new work boots.” She’d miss them. Josie returned to his side and helped him to his feet. She winced at the ugly bruise blooming on his cheek. Together, they stumbled down her narrow stairs and into the street. She spied a friend climbing into her minivan, whistled, and begged her for a ride to the firehouse.
“Damn, girl, I can walk,” Pete said.
“It’s better than trying to walk four blocks half–carrying you.” At the firehouse, Josie dragged Pete into the garage. Several of the crew ran to assist.
“Put him on the couch. Keep him awake. If he passes out, let me know.” If he did, they'd high–tail it to the hospital. Josie grabbed an ice pack from the cabinet in their back–up ambulance.
“I guess this older unit is now our primary vehicle,” she sighed. Thinking back, she groaned when she remembered the candy bar she’d left on the other rig’s console. She could use a big dose of chocolate right about now.
She returned to Pete, activated the portable ice pack, covered it with a wet cloth, and laid the icy contents on his face.
“Your eye socket looks painful,” she said. As if proving her correct, Pete moaned. Then the fire chief strutted into the TV room.
“What the hell happened here?”
“Everything is under control, chief,” Josie said.
“Like Hell it is. Officer Miller is in my office with an ice pack on his knuckles. Intuition tells me this is the other half of the argument. Am I correct?”
“They had a misunderstanding. My brother went off the deep end when he walked into my apartment and found Pete. Keep him away from us tonight, okay?” she pleaded.
With lips pressed together tightly, and his eyebrows wavering, the chief nodded at her and returned to his office.
Josie turned her attention back to Pete and the others, but before she could answer their puzzled faces, the chief returned and sighed.
“Gunnar would like to talk to you for one minute.”
He waited for her reply, but she knew that whatever she decided, he would back her. Firefighters in this town were a big family. In fact, outside family squabbles held no weight in the firehouse.
“No. Tell him I’m too upset after the day I’ve had to talk sensibly. Remind him we almost burned to death today. See if that shuts him up!”
Several firefighters gasped. They obviously hadn’t heard. The chief returned to his office still nodding, and Josie looked back at her co–workers.
“Please, guys, leave us be tonight and I promise we’ll come back in tomorrow to give you the scoop. Let’s just say I think we lost the ambulance, a lot of important equipment, and about ten years off our lives.” They nodded and made their way back to their workstations. Josie and Pete were finally alone.
“Thanks, sweetheart,” Pete whispered.
Josie kneeled next to the couch and looked at him. He had opened one eye. It gazed at her, brilliant blue like the sea before dusk. Pleasure thrummed through and she didn’t fight the smile that pulled at her mouth.
“So beautiful,” Pete said.
“Are you okay?”
He nodded, and sighed. When he squirmed to change position, he groaned.
“I can’t believe my brother went off the deep end. Gunnar is here at the station, but I won’t talk to him tonight. All my brothers treat me like a child. He had no right to walk in on us.” She brushed a lock of hair behind his ear.
“You look awful,” she whispered.
“Thanks for the compliment.” He smiled. “I’m sorry, too. He got the right idea, I’m afraid. I was on top of you and going for the goal as they say. Well, we’ll have to wait until I can see what I’m kissing. Okay by you?”
LOVE TO THE RESCUE
Available from Red Rose Publishing (Buy Link: http://bit.ly/nfz4Ma)
Available from Amazon (buy link: http://amzn.to/pfC3CA )
Nancy also writes as Nancy Lee Badger