This is the third, and final, interview with an author of Cranberry Hearts. Although it's hard to interview myself, here goes. What contribution did your story make to the collection?
My story, Who Am I?, is the first story in the book. It’s my first romantic suspense.
Did you enjoy working with the other authors in the collection?
Very much. Both Lisa and Beth were in the critique group that meets in my home before they moved away. I mentored them before they became published. And Beth’s story in this book was her first sale. Lisa and I worked hard to make it happen.
Did it take a lot of interaction?
Not really. There is a thread that ties the stories together, but it’s loose in the first two books. All the cousins come together in the last story to help with the cranberry harvest. But we did critique each other's novels.
Have you ever been to Massachusetts?
No, I haven’t, but I’d like to go there. All my research uncovered a lot of places I want to visit.
How was the setting chosen?
It was one of the states in the Heartsong Presents state series.
What do you like most about this collection?
That the stories are romantic suspense.
What book are you currently writing?
This week I finished a sample chapter for a requested submission, which I’m hoping the publisher will like and offer me a contract. Now I have to get back to my Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, book.
Tell us a little about your family.
Husband of almost 45 years, two daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, two grandsons, and one great grandson.
What is the first page of your story in the collection?
Leiann Hambrick clutched her upper arms as if to hold herself together
while she stared through the sheer curtains that veiled the picture window.
Would she have to leave all this behind? She no longer saw the Hurst athletic complex, which had been built a few years earlier. In her mind’s eye she saw the thicket full of wild mustang grapevines that used to grow on that spot. Grapes she had picked so her mother could make her famous jelly. Jelly her father loved on his biscuits in the morning. She longed for that simpler time, when she knew who her father was. When she knew who she was.
Leiann swiped at the tears that streamed down her cheeks, ruining the makeup she had taken such pains to apply a few hours ago as she prepared for the reading of her mother’s will. How different her world had been this morning.
The Hambricks had moved to this house on Cimarron Trail in Hurst, Texas, when Leiann was in the fourth grade. Leiann had been excited when they moved to this ranch-style house on the quiet street. A lot of undeveloped property surrounded them. Besides the thicket across the road—and it had been a country road then, not a four-lane street as it was now—a creek ran along the back of the property. Leiann and her friends played there often, wading and hunting bullfrogs on hot summer evenings.
Leiann yearned to go back to that time when she knew what her life was all about. She wanted to hug her mother and have her daddy tell her that everything was all right because they were together. Of course, that was impossible. She didn’t think anything would ever be all right again.
Squeezing her eyes shut could not erase the pictures that danced through her mind. The lawyer’s office. The reading of the will. . .
“And to my daughter, I leave all my worldly goods.” The lawyer’s voice had droned on, listing the things that had belonged to her mother, which were now Leiann’s. Family heirlooms, bank accounts, furniture and household goods, jewelry. But not the house. Her mother hadn’t owned the house.
“Leiann?” From across the living room, the soft voice of her best friend brought Leiann out of her confused thoughts. When Leiann didn’t respond, Arlene came to stand beside her. “You really need to eat something.”
She turned, but she didn’t loosen the grip she held on her upper arms. If she did, she might fly apart. “I’m not really hungry.”
Where can the readers find you on the Internet?
I’m also on Shoutlife, Facebook, and Twitter.
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