Sunday, January 02, 2011
Most of my books are suspense, but when I saw this article in the newspaper about a wounded Iraqi veteran who’d lost his leg and was using equine therapy to help him walk again, I knew I had to do a story of those brave men and women.
I'm glad you did. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
There are several competing. I could say the birth of my children, but the trauma involved in those births….I think it was when each of the children married. I lucked out and got a wonderful daughter-in-law and son-in-law.
How has being published changed your life?
I was first published in 1993 and most are suspense. Since I do suspense and I’ve got a dead body and a crime, I had to talk to the professionals who work in the law-enforcement field. I’ve come to meet some wonderful people, cops, lawyers from the DA’s office, medical doctors who work at Scottish Rite hospital. Every one of them has been so generous with their time and insight into their jobs.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading Christmas anthologies. I love Christmas stories.
The oldest brother of the hero in Second Chance Ranch, Ethan McClure. He is a wonderful man and I had to wrestle his secrets out of him. And believe me, he had them.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’d love to spend the month of July in Scotland. I’d like to see the Highland Games in Edinburg and then rent a house in Ayr (on the northwestern coast) and enjoyed the ocean and write.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I like to keep my stories in places where I’ve been. Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. I guess you’d say I was a western girl. It’s not that I don’t love other parts of the country, but I’m familiar with this part of the country and my stories occur here.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
You’ve stumped me. I think I’d like to spend a day Col. Oliver North, and I’d love if we could go to Walter Reed and talk to the men and women there.
Gardening. When I am stuck, I go outside and weed my garden It helps. I also have a nice collection of Iris. My husband’s mother had over 52 varieties of Iris. (I’ll send a couple of pictures)
I love Iris, too, and these are lovely. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
When I write straight romances, finding the right character motivations for my hero and heroine. As I said before, Ethan was a nice guy. And the heroine in the book, who had to be the perfect foil to him, she had to challenge who he was. It took me weeks of wrestling with them.
Write. Read. Write. Join a writers group and learn. Then write.
Tell us about the featured book.
Former soldier and rodeo rider Zachary McClure’s war injuries are far deeper than physical. Skeptical that anyone can reach the dark place in his soul, he visits an Albuquerque equine therapy ranch with no expectations. How can horses possibly mend his physical and emotional injuries when nothing—and no one—else has? He finds the answer when he meets Sophie Powell, an ex-army medic with a sunny smile, gentle touch and a determination to help others through horse therapy. But behind her big hopes and cheerful attitude lurks pain—and Zachary is just the man to change that. He can make Sophie’s dreams a reality…and she may be the woman to heal is wounded hero’s heart.
Sounds really interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.
Second Chance Ranch
Zachary McClure closed his eyes and breathed in the calming and familiar smells of the barn—horses, grains, leather and liniment. He hadn't smelled anything that comforting in the past four years. Dust, diesel and fear had filled his days in Iraq. Disinfectant, moans and sickness had filled his last year in the hospital. The smell of horses took him back to pre-army days. That was before—
He stopped the thought. He couldn't change the past.
"You all right?"
Zach opened his eyes and looked into his sister's concerned face. Beth had always looked up to him, but lately they argued a lot. He hadn't wanted to come today, didn't want to face the ghosts of his past and the limitations of today, but she kept badgering him with phone calls and coming by his apartment, telling him he needed to start riding again. He tried sending her home, but somehow she got him to agree to come once here to the New Hope Ranch.
"C'mon. My friend Sophie is waiting for us." Beth linked her arm with his and started moving forward. "You remember her? She was my roommate in college."
He definitely remembered Sophie Powell. The weekend Beth brought Sophie home he'd been thunderstruck by the coltish girl. She wasn't model-beautiful, but there'd been a beauty about her. It had been her eyes, piercing blue. And her smile set him back on his heels. She had a crooked nose with freckles scattered across it and her cheeks. But that only added to her beauty. "I remember," he muttered. Only too well, he silently added.
Beth leaned close and whispered, "I think she had a crush on you."
"What?" Zach's head jerked around and his gaze clashed with Beth's. Her grin told him she was teasing him. Yet, there was a twinkle in her eye that made him wonder if maybe it was true.
"And she's ex-army, too."
This had the smell of a setup.
I like the sound of this story alreadyh. How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.leannharis.com/ , http://www.barbharrison.com/
Thank you, Barbara, for spending this time with us.
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Posted by Lena Nelson Dooley at 3:14 AM