I have the great pleasure of hosting a friend, Chicago-North chaptermate and all-around marvelous person on Brant Flakes today--Nancy J. Parra!! Her latest novel, Dream Man (The Wild Rose Press), just came out in December and is a wonderfully intriguing story. Take a peek at the blurb:
A NO NONSENSE WOMAN...Dr. Eva Stanford only wants to help her patient sleep through the night. Little does she know that the old woman holds the secret to a thirty-year-old mystery that threatened the political life of a presidential candidate and Eva's own family. A MAN WITH A DREAM...FBI Agent Nate Cancaid has a reoccurring dream of a woman with dark hair and blue eyes whose murder he is unable to prevent. When the blue eyed doctor enters his office, he feels the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. A MYSTERY THAT TRANSCENDS TIME...It's bad enough when Eva's patient claims that Eva and Nate are her married assistants, but coincidences grow too complicated for her scientific mind when some of the clues come straight out of Nate's dreams. Can Eva keep from losing her heart to a man of intuition or has fate already dealt her a losing hand?
This is a fabulous romantic suspense that you won't want to miss. And, to add to the fun, Nancy has a special giveaway for visitors: On Friday at noon, the name of one commenter on this blog post will be drawn to win one of Nancy's soft Dream Man sleep masks, bookmarks, a signed book plate and silky hand lotion, too. Thanks so much for visiting us today, Nancy!
Can you tell us the basic premise of your new book? Dream Man is a romantic suspense where Doctor Eva Stanford has a patient who reaches third stage REM and becomes another woman. That woman is the missing first wife of a current presidential candidate. To help her patient and solve the mystery, Eva contacts Nate Cancaid, local cold case FBI Agent. Her hope is that solving the missing persons case will “cure” her patient. FBI agent Nate Cancaid has a recurring dream of the death of a woman he believes is his wife. So he vows to never so much as date a blue eyed brunette. Until Dr. Stanford shows up in his office and he realizes that you can’t walk away from fate.
What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why did it excite you? I love the scene early on when Eva comes to Nate for help and he recognizes her from his dream. He is instantly attracted and yet believes his dream has told him how it all will end. He tells himself to stay away, pawn the case off on someone else. But he just can’t seem to help himself.
What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication? The best advice I received was from an agent who told me I should join Romance Writers of America. RWA taught me so much about craft and marketing. Plus brought me many, many wonderful friends. I have no idea where I would be without it. If you aren’t a member, scrap up the money and join. It is worth every penny.
Did you go on any special trips to research the setting? I lived in Kansas City when I wrote this novel, so research was a simple as leaving my house. I like to set stories in places where I live. I think it adds authenticity.
What do you think readers might be surprised to know about you? I joined the Air Force in my early 20s and trained as a satellite downlink repair tech. I was stationed on the island of Guam and then returned to the States and finished my four years in Colorado. Yes, that was me in combat boots ordering around 300 young men, including parade calling, (hup, two , three. four...) uniform inspections, (Yes, while they were wearing them. *G*) and general duties, i.e., shining my boots for me. I now belong to a great group of other veteran romance writers--check us out at http://www.romvets.com . You can find pic of me in uniform on the before and after page, along with pics of Merline Lovelace, Joann Ferguson and Diana Cosby, to name a few.
Do you pay attention to book reviews? If so, has there been any particular review that made your heart do a little dance? Yes, I do. It’s sort of a paranoid writer thing to do, but you always hope for a reviewer to love you. My latest was a Night Owl Romance reviewer who wrote, “This is the first time I’ve read Nancy J. Parra and wow...” I’ve also been lucky enough to have 5 starred reviews from ALA’s Booklist and my western historical romance, The Lovin’ Kind, was named one of the top ten romances of 2006 by Booklist.
What’s next for you? Is there a new book in the pipeline? As of writing this blog, I don’t have another book release date. But never fear. I have six books out on submission and am certain one of them will be picked up for sale soon. Please keep your eyes on my website and my once-a-week writing blog for breaking news.
So glad you were able to include us as part of your blog tour, Nancy!! Congrats, again, on your terrific new release ;).