What types of books are on your bookshelf at home? A lot of kids books (I’m a PT librarian at an elementary school.) There are also some YA, NA and general fiction novels and some books I won’t let my kids read.
Name some of your favorite authors who do not write romance. J.K. Rowling – I mean c’mon. Who hasn’t read the Harry Potter series? I’m a total Hufflepuff. I also like Cassie Clare and the Mortal Instrument series, and I’m not a fantasy reader but I do like those six books. I’m currently re-reading the series just for kicks. I’m also not ashamed to read the Twilight series for a bit of fluff escapist reading.
Short answer favorites: Dessert – anything chocolate. City – Edmonton (it’s always home). Season – Summer. Type of hero – strong, but tender. Type of heroine – good old fashioned damsel in distress. Actor – Harrison Ford. Actress – Jennifer Lawrence. Band/solo singer – Christina Perri. Color – Royal Blue. Cuisine – whatever I don’t have to cook.
Which TV show(s) can you absolutely not miss every week? Once Upon a Time. I love fairy tales and the hope of having a happily ever after. And everyone knows if you talk to me while it’s on, there’ll be trouble. Thank goodness for PVRs.
What writing rituals help to get your mojo flowing so you can write? Music playing low in the background, a good mug of coffee and a hoodie.
Why should readers consider buying your books? I write real life love. I’ve been told my characters are deep and multi-layered, and that after reading you could pick them out on the street. They are emotional and pull at your heartstrings, and at the end having you wanting more from the characters. At least this has been the feedback my readers have told me.
Is there a scene in the book you particularly enjoy? Tell us about it and why. It’s near the end, so I’m not giving away any tidbits. It’s my favourite because it brought out all the feels in me as I wrote it, and does the same with my readers. It’s full of raw emotion and honesty. It brought out the best (and worse) in my characters and it’s one of those moments that you are rooting for the characters and begging them to go a certain direction.
Would any of your books make a good movie? Which actors/actresses do you see in the lead roles? My editor and a few readers say that RUN AWAY CHARLOTTE would be an excellent movie. I wrote it as if I was watching the movie, so maybe that’s why. If I got to choose the leads, I would have to say Andrew Garfield (Spiderman era) would be the perfect Andrew, and Rachel McAdams as the lead actress, Charlotte.
On your road to mega stardom, what types of interesting or odd jobs have you held? I have been a PT preschool teacher, a sales rep, and a birth doula (now there’s an interesting job). Now when I’m not writing, I work as a PT librarian.
What can readers expect from you next? The next novel is called ASK ME AGAIN and gets released on October 18, 2015. It is a continuation of RUN AWAY CHARLOTTE, taking place roughly 13 years after the ending. After that is a toss up between re-working an older manuscript I shelved to bring Charlotte & Andrew’s story to life, and starting a new story about a race car driver and a girl terrified by cars, after a debilitating accident.
Trusting and depending on others has never suited nineteen-year-old Charlotte Cooper, who believes she’s unworthy of a happily ever after. She’s fiercely loyal to one – her BFF Joe. Afterall, Joe’s the only one who knows everything about Charlotte and he’s sworn to protect her heart, and her deep dark secrets.
Until Andrew Wagner walks into her life.
Despite his attempts to court Charlotte, she pushes him away, believing he can’t handle her past shadows. After a horrible accident, she slowly learns to trust and depend on him. As she shares her darkest secrets, he falls in love with her. Several incidents thrust the young lovers together, and Charlotte falls hard, giving her whole being to Andrew. While trying to be everything he can for Charlotte, he struggles to find the balance between family, school, love and commitment.
However, their different definitions of love and what it means to love unconditionally come to a head after Andrew spends a summer abroad and Charlotte crosses a line. His reaction sends a devastated Charlotte into the arms of Jack, an older man who can successfully balance what Andrew failed to do. He puts Charlotte first, treating her like a princess while capitalizing on her vulnerability. He gives her everything her heart desires… except Andrew.
When it comes to matters of the heart and mind, which direction do you follow? Love or Logic?
Charlotte saw it before she had even entered the room fully. Her eyes focused immediately on the large, faded white box, wrapped in a velvet red ribbon that called to her from atop a bare mattress. Her breath hitched. Her pulse sped up. It transfixed her. It was her very own Pandora’s Box sitting there, holding unfathomable truths within. It had been years… many years, since she last saw that box. “Where…”
“Your closet.” Joe looked down at her as a memory crossed his face. “Don’t you remember?”
Charlotte did remember; she just chose not to. That one night, years ago, in anger, or sadness, she’d shoved that white box into the far corner of the closet and covered it with a t-shirt. Tucked so far back, it was destined to be left behind when she moved into her own place.
Joe smiled at her. “I figured you would want it, and if not, toss it in the dumpster on your way home.”
Her hands started to shake. “I don’t know.”
“I know you’re very curious to read the note that’s in there.”
“You read it?”
He nodded and smirked at her in a way that made it hard to be angry with him. “Did you want to open it here or at home?”
She stared at the Pandora’s Box sitting like a bright light in an otherwise dark room.
Joe understood. He always did. “Take the time you need. But not too long, the movers will be coming for the stuff in this room shortly.” He turned and closed the door as he exited.
Charlotte stepped over to the mattress and sat down on the bed like a yogi master, placing the white box on her lap. With shaking hands, she pulled at the red ribbon.
It’s been years. Does it really matter anymore what’s inside? It’s not like it changes anything anyway.
She searched the empty room, as if she was being watched. Her eyes darted everywhere.
Stop it! It’s just a box.
She placed the ribbon on the mattress and lifted the lid, inhaling deeply to steady herself.
Maybe this isn’t a good idea. Nothing good will come from opening this.
Charlotte glanced at the door, willing it to stay shut, but she continued to raise the lid, and then set it beside her.
Her hands trembling, her pulse racing, and her thoughts spinning like a tornado, she picked up the plain white envelope from inside the box and held it to her chest.
It can’t mean anything now. It’s been years.
She checked on the door. Still closed. Letting the envelope fall to her lap, she rooted through Pandora’s Box. The next item she extracted was a hoodie, navy blue in colour, size large. She lifted it and smiling in spite of the sadness she felt, gave it a whiff.
Still smells of his cologne. Faintly.
She buried her face in it, trying to wrap her mind in its fragrance as she felt hot tears forming. As if moved by an outside force, Charlotte felt her arms slide into the fleecy fabric, and the neck of the collar stretch over her head as she pulled it on. Keeping the hood up, covering her coppery waves as she continued rifling through the rest of the box.
Picking up a handful of mixed CDs, she read the labels listing the titles. Music they once danced and made love to. The songs with powerful lyrics once highlighted, now faded. How fitting that the opened package of now expired condoms was scattered across the CDs. Underneath the homemade discs was a plethora of pictures.
Charlotte gathered up the pictures and blinked rapidly to help her focus on the two people featured within. A bronze haired male with eyes that sparkled like the Caribbean Sea, his arm draped over her shoulders. The pictures made her smile – they were young, innocent, and happy. Very happy. Some would argue that they were in love. The tears fell fast, and marked up the hoodie with dark, damp marks.
Suddenly she felt a presence and turned toward the door where Joe leaned against the doorframe. “You okay?”
“I opened Pandora’s Box. I knew I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help myself.”
Joe crossed the room and sat down. “It’s closure.” He held her shoulder firmly, but lovingly.
She looked up into his face. “I already had closure.”
“So now you have more.” He wiped her tears and kissed her forehead. “I really didn’t think you’d actually open it.” Reaching out, Joe took hold of the pictures she held, and started flipping through them. He pulled one out and commented, “That’s a good one of the two of you. Was this in Jasper?”
“Yeah. Look how young we were. The picture of youthfulness. Not like now, with the greys, baby weight, and wrinkles.”
“You’re still beautiful, Charlotte. Even at the ripe old age of twenty-nine.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Anyways…” Her gaze turned back to the white envelope on her lap.
“Have you read it?”
“I don’t think I can.”
“Want me to read it to you?” He reached for the thin letter, his gentle fingers freeing it from her grip.
Charlotte shook her head as tears fell down her cheeks. “It makes no difference. No matter what it says, I can’t change the past.”
“But if you could, would you read it?”
Slowly, strength finding a foothold within, she took back the note, and calmly pulled it from its confines. Unfolding the paper, she started reading aloud.
Here’s the info on the giveaway!
Prize: An e-book copy of RUN AWAY CHARLOTTE – there will be TWO to give away.
How to enter: Answer the question – Which fairytale character would you say is most like you?
Deadline: 11:59 EST on September 18th
Note: By participating in this contest, the winner has given permission to RNIC to share his/her name and email address with the person conducting the contest so they can forward the prize(s). Prizes open to U.S. and Canada entrants only.
About the Author
I’m a happily married woman and with two busy, amazing boys I dote on, there is never a dull moment. We live, laugh and love, only stopping to hear the robin’s sing, spot a rainbow or try to catch a shooting star. Life is for living and it’s what I love to do.
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