"Death is only the beginning." You hear that all the time. Maybe it is, for the soul who passes on. But what about the ones who are left behind?
I lost my husband unexpectedly in a tragic accident and now have to move back to my childhood home in New Orleans. Thank God for my friends Wesley and Paige. I’d be absolutely lost without them. As I pick up the pieces of what is left of my life, we settle back into our old routines. That is until I hire Olivier to work for me. Now my world is once again turning upside down as the people I’m closest to, old and new, shed the skin of what is familiar and ultimately redefine the nature of our relationships. Couple all of this with the return of my debilitating headaches and ominous dreams of green fire, and well, I’m just at a loss.
What do you do when what you thought you knew turns out to be wrong? What do you do when you find out you can’t trust the people closest to you? What do you do when you keep trying to move forward but life keeps getting in the way? And given all of this, how am I supposed to figure out who Charlotte Grace is now?
Barnes & Noble:
Hi! Glad to have you here. Now, to start, what inspired you to write the "Smoldering Embers"?
I had a dream that I thought would make a great ending for some type of journey. I never thought I’d be the one to write it. In many ways, I read and watch TV and movies, and feel that there is a lack of original ideas. My paranormal shows typically follow the same plot devices. Characters are killed off for shock value then brought back very quickly. But, I wasn’t a writer so I felt very hypocritical about judging others. Then I had this idea that wouldn’t let me go and dealing with some personal issues of my own and put pen to paper to deal with my emotions. In the end, I found that I’d written three books.
How would you describe the story to someone who hasn't read it yet?
Smoldering Embers, and the Charlotte Grace Series as a whole, is an alternative explanation for many of life’s curveballs. It addresses the question of fate versus freewill, good versus evil. Explores the ideas of living in a world that is getting decidedly more gray and smaller. There is a paranormal twist and romance, but it is all mixed with what I hope is a little bit of social commentary to get your thinking.
Describe Charlotte and Wesley and Olivier in 3 words each.
Charlotte Grace: Broken and confused
Wesley Breaux: Seizing the day
Olivier Cheval: A mysterious monkey-wrench
What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?
I really enjoyed writing Charlotte’s date with Olivier. In many ways, it was like writing my dream date. Dinner. A Jazz club and dancing. A romantic stroll through a city park. It was just a lot of fun. And while I’m pretty proud of the banter among my characters, I really loved writing when Charlotte and Olivier interacted because they challenged each other in so many ways.
Why do you write?
I wrote Smoldering Embers because I wanted to give an artistic twist to the common motifs I found in the paranormal universe that I read. How art imitates life and in some ways life imitates art. How the two are in harmony because art provides hope and inspiration and beauty. For me all forms of art, dancing, music, painting, whatever, really show the full potential of humanity to reach outside of itself and provide something uniquely unselfish to the world.
Do you listen to music while you write?
With a couple of kiddo’s running around, I don’t really listen to music unless it is imperative to a particular scene that I am writing. In most cases, I write in as much silence as I can have. However, music is huge for my writing because songs will remind me of certain characters and help me tap into the emotions of particular scenes.
Did you always want to be an author?
No. In truth, it had never occurred to me to be an author until I found that I had a story to tell. I always wanted to be a choreographer, either owning my own dance studio or maybe even making it on Broadway. Neither of those dreams panned out, mainly because I was too afraid of failing and not being able to eat to really even try. I don’t regret that decision. I’ve had a good life with a good home, great husband, and great kids. Being an author is a way for me to express my creativity with little risk to my livelihood and has turned into something that is rewarding beyond measure.
Does your family read your books?
My father and my uncle have read my books. The rest of my family are not readers and once my husband found out I “killed” him right off the bat, he had no interest. (Still supportive, but not much of a recreational reader in general.) Instead, I had a core group of friends who read my books and pushed me to publish them. My best friends were so encouraging and excited that I decided to take a chance.
Can you tell me some of your favorite authors? How about books?
Michael Crichton is probably my favorite author. I loved the way he wove science into his stories where you just believed anything was possible and just on the horizon. Jurassic Park was the first book of his that I read, right after the movie came out. But, Timeline was my favorite book of his. The mix of the modern man and his knowledge transplanted back to a medieval world and how the two clash was just a wonderful world I could lose myself in.
What are you currently working on?
I just finished the first book in my newest series, also set in New Orleans. It is a twist on vampires and that mythology. It will be another three book series and I’ll be starting book 2 here soon but I like to take a couple of weeks off between my books.
A few short answer questions:
Tea or coffee? Neither
Do you prefer the sea side or the mountains? That’s hard, I love the view of both for very different reasons but I am more of a spectator than a partaker.
Sweet or salty? Both mixed together!
Print or ebook? Ebook but if I really love it, I’ll splurge for the print book
Movies or TV shows? TV shows
Truly seeing him now for the first time since I’d moved home, I was honestly blown away. His golden hair shone in the morning sun but couldn’t completely hide the few strands of silver that were there. His baby face was leaner then it had been but still round with tiny wrinkles at the corners of his eyes and mouth. Just a couple of inches taller than me at five ten he’d never been overly muscular but instead had a slim, trim build. When he opened his brown eyes, I no longer saw inquisitiveness but the years had given them wisdom. I now understood the presence he presented to the rest of the world. While I would always love the boy I’d known for years, my heart fluttered a bit at the idea of getting to know the man he’d become.
“Tell me what you see?”
“Just you, Wesley.”
A bit uncomfortable with how perceptive he was to the direction my thoughts had gone, I delayed my answer by taking a sip of coffee and breaking eye contact. He sat up and angled himself towards me. I shrugged my shoulders. “You’re my best friend, Wesley. Always have been, always will be.”
“Look at me, Char.” His voice was commanding. When I didn’t lift my head to face him his voice was firm when he spoke again. “Charlotte.” I hid my stress behind the hand I covered my face with. How had we gotten here? Was this a conversation I wanted to have? Was it an idea that I wanted to explore?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I am a lover of all things artistic. I grew up surrounded by the performing arts both as a spectator and performer. That love of creation and design is the fuel for my writing now. Being able to create and entertain is a dream come true.
The imagination is a powerful thing, able to take you places you never dreamed. I write realistic fantasy. The idea of the possible having impossible explanations fascinates me. That idea is the driving force behind the Charlotte Grace series.
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