Thursday, June 25, 2015

UNLIKELY MERGER - Marji Laine - One free Book

Dear Readers, here’s another collection from Write Intgrity Press. They are always a fun read!

Bio: Marji Laine is a wife and homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. Having just released her debut novella Grime Beat, she spends her non-writing time transporting to and from volleyball, directing high school classes at a local coop, and leading the children’s music program at her church. From suburban Dallas, she loves to create scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

Welcome back, Marji. I know that this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?
I love answering that question. This is the third book in a series of stand-alone collaborations. The first, A Dozen Apologies, had a heroine who met with 12 different men. The readers chose the man they liked the best, and he won the girl. The 2nd place guy became the next book star and The Love Boat Bachelor was born. The hero was stuck on a single’s cruise with women constantly surrounding him, but he met a different special lady at each port of call. Again the readers decided on their favorite who ultimately married the hero. The 2nd place gal in that vote was my heroine, Mercy Lacewell. So this is her book, Unlikely Merger.

Did you find it easy to work together on it?
You know, it’s really amazing how it all works together. I got to be on the inside a little more than normal because I needed to help with character continuity. But it amazed me how the authors grasped the concept and characters and did an outstanding job with their individual chapters. And with this book, we offered the chance for a new author to come on board and join us. Out of all the submissions, we actually chose two and those blend perfectly, just like the others. Seamless. If you didn’t know there were 10 authors, you’d never guess it on your own.

I just finished reading The Love Boat Bachelor, and it’s amazing how the stories blend together. How did collaborating with this team impact you?
It’s inspiring to see how each of the authors dug into her chapter. In the book, Mercy visits a number of different businesses on behalf of her father’s company. The authors got to choose the businesses for their chapters and the places. Incredible! The diversity is amazing. And some of the businesses are downright genius!

I can hardly wait to read this new one. What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
Timing issues. The more people working on a project, the more schedules come into play. Other books were coming out, some authors were traveling or dealing with family issues. Sometimes I have trouble just scheduling lunch with a friend and there are only 2 of us. Compound that to 10 authors and add in editors as well and time becomes a huge issue. But happily, the book cranked off right on schedule!

What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading Beth Goddard’s latest, Backfire, but by the time you post this, I’ll have reviewed it at the Suspense Sisters review page. My next book might be Margaret Brownley’s Undercover Bride. That sounds like a fun one.

How did you choose your characters’ names?
I really worked hard on Mercy’s name. I searched for a name that meant compassionate and found the name Dara, but I had a bit of a problem with that name because it is so like the heroine in A Dozen Apologies, Mara, who broke the hero’s heart. So my editor suggested Mercy, which also means compassionate. I loved the name!

Would you want to work on another book together?
I always enjoy these collaborations. This time I’m getting to work with several whom I’ve worked with before: Jennifer Hallmark, Fay Lamb, Betty Owens, Phee Paradise, Pat Dyer, and I love working with Tracy Ruckman, editor at Write Integrity Press. I’m also delighted to be working with an online bud, Julie Arduini, and Carole Towriss, who is one of my critique partners. Our other two authors are excellent! Suzy Moore and Rachel Tear. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. But I’d be thrilled to work with any/all of them again. This is a fun group!

What do you want to tell us about the book?
Well, during Mercy’s Caribbean cruise (The Love Boat Bachelor) she nurses her ailing father who is recuperating from a stroke. But Unlikely Merger finds him better, stronger, and back to working at his office.

No longer needed as her father’s nurse, Mercy Lacewell attempts to step into his shoes at his acquisitions firm. That means travel, engaging strangers, and making final decisions—nothing she feels equipped to do. If her best friend has her way, Mercy will simply marry one of the single, available men she meets, but they overwhelm her. So handsome and kind. And so many. Even if she felt obliged, how could she ever choose?

Should she shove all attraction aside and focus on her father’s business, or is God warming her heart with the possibility of forever?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Lacewell Limited, Denver, Colorado
Mercy Lacewell turned away from her computer’s flat-screen and faced the open doorway of her office. The squeak of her father’s wheelchair in the hallway was unmistakable. He lifted his hand as he rounded the entrance. “Darts or Tiddly-Winks?”

“Huh?” Had she heard him right?

His administrative assistant, Madeline Conroy, gave the door a shove with her foot as she followed him in. “See there, you’re confusing her.” She marched to Mercy’s desk and began setting her files and paperwork aside.

“What are you doing?” Seemed like Mercy never knew what her dad wanted from her nowadays. Taking on the position at Lacewell Limited when Daddy decided to return to work threw her into an unfamiliar environment, but at least Madeline came with the job. The petite lady practically ran the company by herself, and she’d been almost a mother to Mercy.

His blue eyes twinkled. “Thought I might do something for you.”

Oh, dear. The last time he said that, he wanted to go on a cruise to visit his friend in St. Maarten. Enjoyable as it was, she didn’t need another vacation, especially after only a week at her dad’s company. “Okay? What’s on your mind?” She stood. Her bangs flopped over her eyes, and she pushed them back, tucking the longest behind her ear.

He set a folded packet on her desk and scooted aside a penholder. Madeline unfolded the paper and spread it flat.

“A map?” Exactly what she feared. How could she leave again, now, when she was only starting to understand her new position?

“Not a simple map, sugar. All of these yellow marks”—he ran his hand over the map of the United States—”are potential additions to our company’s repertoire.”

So many places. “How do you choose where to go?”

He shrugged. “Going back to my original question. Darts or Tiddly-Winks?”

She rolled her eyes, and he chuckled.

Madeline laid a dime on Denver. “You won’t need to make any of the in-town visits. Your dad can take care of these places.”

Mercy stifled a groan. Not that she didn’t enjoy helping Dad, even during his travel. But she floundered right now, with no sense of direction for her life. And she’d finally experienced some success at this job. At least enough to wrap her mind around her new duties.

“Well?” Dad tilted his head to the side.

“Oh, you want me to choose the destination.” She picked up the dime. This wasn’t her preferred way of making a decision, but her dad had to do the actual evaluating.

“I thought you should.” He folded his hands in his lap. “Since you’re the one who’s going.”
She flinched, and the dime toppled to the smooth carpet. Mercy retrieved it but couldn’t fathom what her father was thinking. She blinked and stared at the coin.

“Sorry.” Madeline straightened the map. “I couldn’t find a Tiddly-Wink, and I didn’t think you’d want to use a dart on your new desk.

“But …” Synapses slowed. Choosing the businesses for investment or purchase was the most crucial task that Dad had done. “I thought Uncle Thomas took care of that.” He had since Dad’s stroke.

“Tom’s retired, sugar. He’s been a great help this last year, but I don’t want to burden him.”

Mercy gave her head a shake. “So you want me to visit all these places?” Put her life on hold again?

Sounds interesting. Where can our readers find you on the Internet?
I’m at MarjiLaine.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads, and they can find me at my Amazon Author page as well.


Thank you, Marji, for sharing this new book with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Angela in Ky would love to win

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds good!

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

I am always impressed by collaborations. So much creativity.


Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

Edward Arrington said...

I would love to win this for my wife.
Edward Arrington from Martinsville, VA

Deanna Stevens said...

Deanna in Nebraska would enjoy reading this book :)

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like an interesting read! I like collaboration stories. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Lourdes said...

Really looking forward to reading this book, would love to win.

Lourdes Long Island,NY

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your great giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Edward Arrington said...

Good interview. The book sounds interesting.
Edward Arrington in Martinsville, VA

sm said...

Nice topic of business and romance. I also like 'collections' as I read different authors and meet some new ones to me. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com CA