Happy Monday, folks....
Yeah, I know, it's Monday, but, hey, look on the bright side. It's been a while since I interviewed an author on my blog, so without further ado, I give you the lovely Mary Lou George. She is here with her new release Saving Destiny.
Canadian Mary Lou George worked in the design studio of a major Art Museum for over twenty years. The creative atmosphere there helped to keep her imagination fertile and her humor ever at the ready. These days she concentrates on the art of romance. Hailing from a long line of earth mothers and animal lovers, her home is filled with love and laughter. Mary believes there’s a little bit of magic in each of us and working hard for the happy ending is always worth the effort. She’s written 4 mainstream, paranormal romances and one mainstream mystery romance for Siren/Bookstrand. Her sixth book, Saving Destiny (published February 2014) is the first straight up mainstream romance story she’s crafted. The print edition will be available in June.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A. I’m an animal lover. In my stories I’ll litter the floor with dead bodies, but the dog (cat, bunny, donkey, horse…) will always thrive. I often wish books carried the reassuring line, “no animal is hurt in this novel”. I’m a total sap and can’t stand it when an animal suffers. I can’t shake it. Humour is a life saving device for me so I try to inject the funny into most situations. Feminism isn’t a dirty word to me. I’m a feminist, but that certainly doesn’t mean I hate men. I love men. I have them for dinner often. I just want our society to value women and their capabilities as much as men and theirs.
Q. What made you write ‘this’ story?
A. Saving Destiny started out as a screenplay but it wasn’t long before I realized it wasn’t practical. ‘Destiny’ is a beaten and abused horse in foal. Not an easy sight to show an audience. That kind of horror is much better left to our imagination, so I figured it was more suited to the novel format.
For hundreds of years there has been this incredible connection between the human race and the noble equine. My sister has dedicated her life to horses, so I got a lot of input from her in this story. A horse’s ability to heal us inspires and humbles me and I wanted to share that feeling. Sloan and Mac join forces to save a fragile mare and through those efforts they find their way back to each other.
I wanted to create characters who belonged together but were torn apart by tragedy. I hoped the reader would feel like there was no way these two people could love each other again and be overjoyed that alas, human beings are capable of amazing things when it comes to love.
Q. Tell us about your cover.
A. Working for a museum producing fine art books made me a pretty harsh judge when it comes to covers. Even as a reader, I’m not a big fan of the romance novel cover. I’d rather rely on my imagination to determine what the characters look like, but that’s just not done in this business. However, I think the designer did a pretty good job with this one. The book is set in small town Kentucky, check, at a horse farm, check, in the summer, check. I think the woman is particularly beautiful, the guy a little less so. But that’s ok. I find men more difficult to cast. Isn’t that always the case?
Q. Describe a typical day’s writing for us
A. I dress for comfort not style. It’s not pretty. My inner taskmaster makes a bargain, “Just turn on the computer, open the file and read the last thing you wrote. That’s all I ask.” It usually puts me in the mood to write. I want to finish what I started, give my heroes their happiness and my villains their crushing defeat. Once on a roll I’m hard to stop. I lose all track of time, write for twelve hours straight and have to force myself to stop long enough to tend to my responsibilities. Experience has taught me that it’s best to write for a maximum of seven hours. Around then my eyes start to blur, my stomach growls and my children-of-another-species get antsy, so it’s time to stop anyway. I’m always convinced that tomorrow will be different and I’ll be eager to start. But as each new day dawns I’m plagued with the same doubts. Can I do it? What if my imagination’s dried up? I suck!
When I started out, the writing thing was easier. My ideas were diamonds and everything I wrote was gold. I know better now. It’s ego bashing, heart breaking, hard work. But I can’t help myself.
Q. What inspires you?
A.People and the wonderful and terrible things we do to each other and the other creatures on this planet. I want to right all the wrongs and make the world fair. In my books I can do that.
Q. If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
A. Frustrated and not fun to be around.
Q. Do your characters ever surprise you?
A. No! I’m the boss. But sometimes I surprise myself. I can end up delving deeper into a character than I initially intended becoming more interested in their journey. Maybe that character then warrants a larger role or even a story of their own. But I’m still the boss, I tell you!
Q. What could you not do without when you’re writing?
A. My computer. Sorry, I wish I had a more whimsical answer. I’m left-handed. The physical act of writing has never brought me pleasure and the results are dubious at best. I have the handwriting of a serial killer. With a computer, my fingers can almost keep up with my thoughts, my writing is always legible and I’m not mistaken for a menace to society.
Q. What words of wisdom do you have for the aspiring authors out there?
A. The only way to guarantee failure is to give up. Your words are not gold. The editor is your friend. Each sentence matters and needs to contribute something to the story.
Q. Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?
A. Doing the same thing but with a lot more money…and maybe a pig.
Q. Do you have a favourite quote?
“Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man” – Arthur Schopenhauer
Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
A. No. I suffer from laziness and crippling doubt.
Q. What other books can your readers look forward to?
A. I’ve just finished the fourth book in my New Crescent Series. It’s a paranormal story filled with malignant shadows, meddlesome ghosts, and all kinds of strange goings on. It’s stewing in its own juices right now. I’ll get back to it for some polishing, but in the meantime I’m plotting out a story with older main characters. Teresa has wasted too much time thinking someone better would come along and Elliot’s wife has declared she’s a lesbian and left him. They knew each other in high school. He had a big crush on her, but she just liked him “as a friend”. The tables are about to turn turn. I’m also jotting down notes for a novel featuring characters from Saving Destiny. I was so pleased when my editor commented, “I love Erick!” because he’s the lucky hero.
Q. And finally can you share the blurb and excerpt with us?
Sloan Ridgeway and Mac Watson's fairy tale ended in tragically-ever-after. For years they've been separated by the grief and guilt surrounding his little sister's death. Devastated, Sloan traded small-town Kentucky for star studded big cities and tabloid fame, but life in the limelight was filled with emptiness and betrayal.
When one more highly publicized broken engagement sends Sloan home to lick her wounds she comes face-to-face with Mac. He obviously hasn't forgotten the past, but despite his antagonism, he's more compelling than ever. To save herself the heartbreak, Sloan vows to keep out of his way, but destiny won't let her. Desperate to rescue an abused horse in foal, Sloan is forced to enlist Mac's help.
Working together day after day begins to reignite the passion they once felt for each other. But is passion enough? Can Sloan and Mac breathe new life into their malnourished hearts and prove that true love trumps tragedy every time?
“Mac?” She’d barely finished uttering the question in his name when his hand cupped the back of her neck and his lips came crashing down on hers. She struggled against him at first, knowing it was frustration and anger that had instigated the kiss. But it took only a moment for Mac to ignite the heat in her own blood and suddenly it no longer mattered to her what had precipitated the contact. All that mattered was what fueled it—passion. She welcomed it, with a cherry on top.
Despite the violence of his emotions, Mac still managed to kiss with finesse and she opened to him like a flower to the sun. He held her so tight she felt her bones might crack, but somehow he knew just how far to go without actually hurting her. She reveled in his touch and gave as good as she got. He pulled back slightly and she took the opportunity to suck his bottom lip into her mouth. It was Mac who’d taught her the art of kissing and in the intervening years she’d expanded on that knowledge. He moaned. Clawing at his chest, trying to get her hands on more of him, Sloan groaned with frustration. Reading her mind and coming to her rescue, he tore at his shirt, exposing his bare chest. Not satisfied with his nakedness alone, he pulled her T-shirt up over her bra and with adept hands freed her sensitive breasts. Glorying in the feel of his skin, Sloan rubbed herself against him over and over again. His hands dove into her hair and yanked her head back. He used his mouth, his tongue, and his teeth to worship the length of her arched neck and the softness of her breasts, making her tremble and moan.
“Oh God, Sloan, I want…so bad…I could hurt you right now,” he said between gritted teeth.
She heard his words over the pounding of her pulse and the roaring want in her ears. “You won’t,” she moaned.
Sloan could feel the hard length of his arousal as he drove his hips against hers and her hand flew to his crotch stroking his huge hardness with firm, sure strokes. He rose up and ground against her, pushing her back in the seat. His hand slipped under the waistband of her jeans and she said a silent word of thanks to the person who decided to put just a touch of spandex in denim. Like some sharp shooter, with unerring accuracy, Mac found just the right spot and touched her very core. His fingers were quick, thorough, and oh so clever. This was the man who’d known her more intimately than anyone. Years ago, he’d taught her how it was done. No one did it better and within moments Sloan felt that urgent sweet rush, climbing higher ever higher until she broke into tiny breathless fragments, throbbing, crying out his name. But for Sloan and Mac one release wasn’t enough. He’d always been able to make her climax over and over again with just the right pressure and movement of his fingers. He obliterated every other man in her experience. Lost in each other, place and time meant nothing to either of them. She wanted him inside her and knew he wanted to be there. She tugged at the button on his pants and he grunted.
The honking of a car horn snapped them out of their passionate oblivion. Somehow moving with lightning-quick speed, Mac protected her from prying eyes. In that split second’s distraction, their moment of sexual insanity was lost, gone forever. Pushing her away, as if he’d been burned, he rebuttoned his pants. He sat frozen for what felt like a long time, but must have been only seconds. Finally, he heaved a huge sigh. Turning his head, he watched as she finished setting her clothing to rights.
He ran a shaking hand through his hair, but as usual managed to avoid smoothing it. His expression wasn’t kind. “What the hell were you thinking? You shouldn’t have touched me.” His eyes still held a raging storm as they scanned her face. “Damn you, Sloan, I almost lost control. You should have stopped me. A simple ‘no’ would have sufficed. I could have hurt you. I’ve never hurt a woman in my life. That’s as close as I ever want to get.”
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Mary Lou. Please let us know where we can find you.
In my blog on my website I don’t just discuss writing and my books. I offer up opinions and observations on a variety of subjects, from Scooby Doo and tattoos to skinny jeans and three legged cats. I have a tendency to tweet about television shows a great deal, but always with a sense of humour unless something has really moved me then you’ll notice some passion.
Bookstrand link: http://www.bookstrand.com/mary-lou-george
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Mary+Lou+George