For years I've been fascinated by the puzzle of why some people collapse under life's traumas and others emerge triumphantly stronger. In a job surrounded by social workers and in my personal life, I saw the effects of child abuse, incest, and violence. Yet amid the stark realities of addictions, anger, abandonment, denial and betrayal shone the bright light of strength, hope and forgiveness. These triumphs of the human spirit over the ugliest of adversities became the basis for my stories. My passion for writing romance stories became an outlet for the powerful messages that people can overcome great difficulties, and that true love can turn life’s heartaches into happily ever after.
Why did you choose to write about old rock and roll singers?
To back up a few steps, who ever thought rock and roll singers would get old? When I was a teenager, I would have called anyone crazy who said there would be 60-year-old rock and roll singers. But they exist! They tour! They rock!
There are several reasons I wrote stories about aging rockers. Like many teenagers, one of my first crushes was on rock singers. You can build a fantasy around them and not deal with the messiness of real relationships. :)
When I started writing, I went back to those fantasies and asked a writer's classic question, "What if?"
What if a young woman's fantasy romance with a rock star came true? What if it wasn't a fantasy, but turned into a tragedy? What if fifteen years later the woman was wiser and the rock star had learned from his mistakes? What if they got a second chance to find love--real love this time? Those "what if" questions generated THE ROCK STAR, the first of my Rock and Romance trilogy that was re-issued November 1.
As I was writing that book, the secondary characters also developed and hooked me on telling their own stories, as they do many times.
THE BODYGUARD was a silent, sexy man whose tragic first marriage left deep emotional wounds. I couldn't leave him wounded. His sense of honor and loyalty demanded he find a happily-ever-after with a woman whose courage in dealing with her own trauma offered a chance for him to heal from his past. This book developed into what my first editor called "a feel-good Christmas story," complete with cute kids who believe in angels, a mongrel dog devoted to those kids, and a miracle on Christmas morning. I'm delighted THE BODYGUARD will be re-issued on November 15, in time to enjoy this story again for the holidays.
THE LEADER OF THE BAND is the book that most explores an aging rock singer's life. The hero starts out as the antagonist in the first book of the trilogy, but makes great strides toward redeeming himself. His own story completes that redemption as he and the woman he has loved since they were both teenagers peel away the superficial layers of the lives they have led. What they discover is the true love they have longed for but pushed away. I'm pleased the re-issue of this book will be available December 1.
Why do you write romance?
I want a happy ending. I know there are subgenres that wrap up a "satisfying ending." But as a romance writer and reader, I want a happy ending.
The number of subgenres is another reason I write romance. Family drama, mystery, action/adventure or a deeply searching emotional journey can all be included in a romantic story.
What are you working on now?
A new series of at least nine books scheduled to start releasing March 2012. The LEGACY series will feature eight adopted children determined to continue their father's legacy. As they uncover secrets leading to the truth that killed their policeman father, the action, romance and family drama heat up.
EXCERPT from THE BODYGUARD
Two weeks before Christmas, Mitch decided he had waited long enough.
"Come on, mutt." Mitch grabbed his coat and a pair of work gloves. "Let’s go find the twins."
Gabe bounded to his feet and bumped the doorknob with his nose. He sniffed and marked around the yard while Mitch pulled the Ferrari out of the garage. As soon as the dog jumped into the car, Mitch drove to a lot selling Christmas trees. He selected one that would fit nicely in Julia’s small apartment and strapped it to the top of the car.
The mutt hung his head out the window, riding in silent watchfulness until the apartment building was in sight. "Woof!"
"You have to be quiet or we’ll get caught smuggling you in." Under cover of the falling twilight and a bushy evergreen tree, Mitch and the dog walked quickly toward Julia’s apartment.
As soon as Julia opened the door, the dog pushed inside and sniffed out the twins, quickly falling back into their game of hide and seek. Within seconds, the twins’ giggles let Julia know the dog had found the children.
"I brought a tree." Mitch stood the evergreen upright.
"I see that." Julia bit her lip as she walked around the tree. "Nice choice. Bushy all around."
"I had three picky sisters who trained me in the fine art of Christmas tree selection."
Julia smiled. "They trained you well."
"I thought we could decorate it tonight and maybe have cookies and hot chocolate."
The wistful look on Mitch’s face tugged at Julia’s heart. She didn’t want to disappoint him--or miss the chance to spend time with him. "That would be great. Except..."
"All the decorations were left behind."
Understanding dawned in Mitch’s eyes. "I’m sorry, Julia. I didn’t think--I’ll go buy some."
"Wait--" Julia didn’t want to owe Mitch anything more, and she couldn’t afford to buy decorations for an entire tree right now. "Let’s make decorations. We have construction paper for paper chains and snowflakes, and we can pop corn to string together. I haven’t done that in years. It will be fun."
"How about the angel for the top?" Mitch asked.
Julia tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Origami. We can do a fancy folded paper one." She hoped.
"Sounds great to me." Mitch took off his jacket. "I did remember a stand."
While Mitch set the tree in the stand, Julia gathered supplies for ornaments and explained to the twins what they were going to do. The twins were delighted, as they hadn’t been allowed to touch the fussy tinsel and glass ornaments on the tree in the West Hills house. Just one more reminder of how suppressed her children’s joy had been. Julia much preferred this homemade Christmas tree.
The tiny apartment soon became littered with scraps of paper, as loops of red and green chains took shape. The popping of corn rattled a cheerful accompaniment to the giggles of the twins as Julia brought another bowl of popcorn for Mitch to add to the string the dog snitched pieces from.
"Why don’t you just give him some popcorn?" Julia asked.
"He won’t eat it except off the string." Mitch threw a disgusted look toward the dog. "It must be a new game."
Julia turned away to hide her smile. The tree was shaping up beautifully, even if Angelina insisted on hanging all her handmade ornaments on the same three branches. "Anyone want refills on hot chocolate?"
When Julia returned from the kitchen, the room had grown quiet.
"Your helpers are asleep," Mitch said.
The twins lay curled like cherubs next to the dog beneath the spreading limbs of the now decorated tree.
"Do you want to move them to bed?" Mitch asked.
Julia nodded. Soon the twins were settled in their beds for the night.
"Sometimes I just want to watch my children." Julia’s heart swelled with joy as she gazed at Abraham and Angelina. "If I could have one thing for Christmas, I’d ask for my children to be safe."
Julia and Mitch lapsed into silence for a moment, absorbing the innocence of the twins as they slept. "What would you ask for, Mitch?"
Mitch stared at Julia for a moment longer. His gaze caressed every inch of her face and finally settled on her mouth. "A kiss from you."
Startled, Julia tried to cover a thrill of excitement by folding her hands primly in front of her. "That’s all?"
"Maybe that kiss could be delivered early." The hunger in Mitch’s eyes generated a tingle between Julia’s breasts.
"Maybe it could." Julia didn’t believe the words slipped from her mouth. However, the expectant look in Mitch’s eyes confirmed Julia had spoken her thoughts aloud. And now she felt honor-bound to carry through. She could do this without acting like a fool. It was just a kiss, right?
http://www.GenieGabriel.com (my author Web site)
http://rockandromance.blogspot.com (a special blog for the Rock and Romance series)
Thank you again for having me as a guest on your blog!