As some of you surely remember, when the jpeg first arrived, I shared with you all the image of the hunky man -- with abs to rival Ryan Reynolds -- on the cover of Laura Moore's 2nd book in her Rosewood Trilogy... But the day has finally come when the whole novel is out!! YAY!
In celebration, I have Laura visiting today to talk about Believe in Me, and she's offered to give away 2 copies of this great book (which has been chosen as a featured alternate for both the Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs!) to commenters on this post.
Q: Can you tell us the premise of your new novel?
A: Believe in Me is the second book in my Rosewood Trilogy and tells the story of Jordan, the eldest Radcliffe sister. The book begins with Jordan struggling to save her marriage after discovering that her husband, Richard, was unfaithful while she was pregnant with their third child (she learned of his infidelity in Remember Me, the first book in the Rosewood Trilogy).
Unfortunately her efforts are in vain — I don’t want to say more for fear of spoiling the plot — and a devastated Jordan returns to her family home, Rosewood, with her three young children, where she attempts to rebuild her life. It’s not an easy task, as anyone who remotely connected with divorce knows. Slowly, Jordan creates a life for her children at Rosewood. She also creates a mask of calm serenity for herself that effectively hides the heartache she still suffers.
Determined to be productive, Jordan revitalizes the career as an interior designer that she’d set aside when she became pregnant with Kate, her first child. She hangs out her shingle, offering her services to the residents of Warburg, her hometown. At the house of her first potential client, she meets Owen Gage, an architect and designer, who specializes in restoring historical homes.
Naturally Jordan, who loves architecture and old homes, has heard of Owen. And if he were a stooped, seventy year-old fogey, she’d probably like him just fine. But Owen Gage happens to be handsome, urbane, and charming…exactly what Jordan most dislikes in a man these days. Unfortunately she feels an undeniable attraction for Owen. Given the fragile state of her heart, she does her best to ignore it.
Yet when Owen, who himself is wary of any romantic involvement, offers her an interior decorating job that she badly wants, she accepts the commission even though it will entail working alongside him every day. Very soon Jordan is forced to recognize that Owen may be the one man who can heal her broken heart — if she has the courage to open it to love again.
Q: What's one scene from this story you loved writing and why?
A: That’s tough. I enjoyed writing so many of the scenes in Believe in Me. I guess if I had to pick only one it would have to be the scene where Jordan has just discovered that Owen Gage has apparently not only stolen her commission for a guest cottage that she’d been hoping to decorate but he’s also ripped off her ideas. Ideas that are so good, one of her acquaintances wants to hire him, too. Like her marriage, Jordan sees her dream of establishing herself as an interior designer threatened by yet another handsome and carelessly selfish man. Jordan, always so mild and proper, erupts. On the receiving end of her anger, Owen has no idea what’s hit him.
I especially loved writing the aftermath of their encounter. Still furious, Jordan stalks down one of Warburg’s pretty streets, when a bouquet in a florist window catches her eye. It’s a wedding bouquet. Her anger evaporates as quickly as it exploded, as her mind is flooded with memories of her own wedding bouquet. With this poignant memory, Jordan finds herself wondering if she’ll ever have a man in her life again, if she’ll ever receive a truly magnificent bouquet from a lover or husband again. It’s one of those moments of heart-wrenching insecurity a woman recovering from a broken marriage suffers.
Q: Do you have a favorite kind of food? Anything you really won't eat?
A: Got chocolate? It’s really the one food I cannot resist. Luckily I also like vegetables and fruits and good-for-you-proteins, so at least there’s some balance in my diet — except, that is, when I’m nearing the deadline for a book. Then it’s chocolate all the way.
There are only a few things I won’t eat: I can’t stand liver. Or brains. Or tripe (I believe that’s the glorified term for intestines). I’m really not crazy about sea urchins, either. In my family there are some seriously adventurous eaters, so I’ve been offered these ‘delicacies’ far more often than you might suppose. (LOL, Laura! Sea urchins?! Oh, no...)
Q: Who was the first person you told when you got The Call announcing you'd sold your first novel?
A: My husband. He was great about encouraging me to write in the first place, which was pretty generous considering that we were raising two small children at the time and so his encouragement translated into an awful lot of extra work for him. Unfazed, he bought me my first laptop as a birthday present so that I could transfer what I’d scribbled in the back of a notebook into a kind of formatted manuscript (I knew nothing about formatting and industry standards back then). That story ended up being Ride a Dark Horse, the first novel I published. My husband’s support continues unabated. He does whatever he can to help with my writing and my career and is there to bolster my spirits when my insecurities and doubts are in full force. I don’t know what I’d do without him.
Q: What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication?
A: The one I remind myself of repeatedly comes from Nora Roberts: You can’t fix a blank page. It’s simple and true. These days I say it a lot, even more than the other Nora Roberts’ gem about keeping your butt in the chair. The problem with the internet era is that my butt may very well be in the chair for hours but if instead of using them to fill that blank page, I’m wasting them surfing the net, then that novel isn’t getting written.
Q: What's a personality trait you love about one of the characters in your novel and why?
A: I really like Jordan Radcliffe’s quiet inner strength. Having always seen herself as kind of a pushover, especially when compared to her two dynamo sisters, Margot and Jade, Jordan’s never suspected she has such resilience. I also admire her for the lengths she’ll go to keep her children as happy and untroubled as possible while they adjust to the troubling fact that their mom and dad no longer live in the same house.
Q: What do you think readers might be surprised to know about you?
A: I cry at movies; I cry reading books; I even cry at TV commercials. It’s pretty pathetic. And it’s probably why I feel compelled to write happy endings for my heroines and heroes (although even happy endings make me cry).
Q: What’s next for you? Is there a new book in the pipeline?
A: I’m wrapping up Trouble Me, Jade Radcliffe’s story and the last book in my Rosewood Trilogy. It’s wild, but because I’ve been writing about her for so long, I almost feel as if Jade is part of my family. She’s gone from a troubled and unhappy teen to a young woman who’s pretty much gotten her act together. Now a college grad, she’s determined to shake the wild reputation she earned as a teen and take her place alongside her sisters training horses at Rosewood Farm and teaching at the local elementary school. Jade plans to be a model citizen, a real paragon. The only hitch in her plan is that on her way home a terrible lightning storm forces her to spend the night in a hotel near Norfolk, Virginia. And when she meets a handsome stranger in a bar she learns that the summer lightning storm raging outside is nothing compared to the electricity that sizzles when they touch. Though Jade thinks she’s just indulging in a final one night stand before assuming an ultra respectable persona, it turns out that her handsome stranger is not such a stranger after all...Trouble Me will be released in January 2012.
Thanks so much for being here today, Laura, and HUGE congrats on this book and the reissue of Remember Me, too! I had the privilege of reading both novels early and they are SO good!! Two commenters will be randomly drawn to win a copy of Believe in Me hot off the presses, and their names will be posted on Monday. Good luck!!