I’m delighted to welcome Michelle Major here today for an interview and a look at her new contemporary romance, Her Accidental Engagement.
Hi, Michelle, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Her Accidental Engagement:
Her Accidental Engagement tells the story of Julia Morgan, who moves back to her hometown of Brevia, N.C., to make a new start for herself and her son. She’s made a lot of mistakes in her past but is working hard to give her son, Charlie, a good life. Her plans get derailed when her ex sues for custody backed by his powerful family. Julia’s reputation is less than stellar and she needs an image makeover – quick.
For local Police Chief Sam Callahan, rescuing people is all in a day’s work. So he has no problem offering Julia a pretend engagement, especially since it will give him some space from his well-meaning but meddling father. But when the emotions between the two of them become real, both Julia and Sam have to put aside their fear to love again.
When the local police chief comes to a single mom’s rescue—with a pretend marriage proposal!—fake sparks become all too real!
Julia Morgan is in the midst of a nasty custody battle, trying to prove she provides a stable environment as a single mother for her son, Charlie. When the opposing lawyer starts to play dirty, she has a few tricks up her own sleeve…one that involves the hunky, most eligible bachelor in town.
As Brevia’s police chief, Sam Callahan is used to saving others, so when he sees a cute, sassy blonde in need of help, he gladly plays hero. Not only will pretending to be her fiancé help Julia’s case, it will also get his father off his back about finding “the one.” But what happens when pretend doesn’t seem so—well—pretend anymore?
What inspired this story?
Julia Morgan was a secondary character in my first book, Still The One. She was the sister of the story’s heroine and ex-girlfriend of the hero and although she wasn’t always sympathetic, I loved her from the start. Luckily, my editor did too! She asked for Julia’s story shortly after I sold the first book.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I have two other books coming out in 2014. A Brevia Beginning, which is the third in my series set in the fictional town of Brevia, North Carolina, releases in June. Then I move settings to Colorado for my August release, A Kiss on Crimson Ranch.
Do you have any good news you’d like to share?
Oh, you’re so nice to ask. J I’m very excited that Her Accidental Engagement received 4.5 stars and a Top Pick in RT Reviews Magazine. I’ve been reading RT since I began on the path to publication and it was a dream come true to be a Top Pick. I also just signed a three-book contract with Special Edition. I love the line and feel extremely honored to write for Harlequin.
How do you come up with ideas?
I think I’ve been lucky in that the more I write, the more ideas for stories come to me. Often I start with a character—someone who has an issue, past or goal I want to explore and the story builds from there. Emotion is really important to me in the ‘idea’ stage so I get a lot of inspiration from music. I look for songs that convey the emotions I want to write and try to tap into what makes me feel something and hope that translates for readers, too! It’s a little silly but songs used in TV shows are often used to build emotions so I go through a lot of TV show soundtracks.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I started writing when my kids were babies, so it became such a gift for me to have an ‘identity’ outside of being a mom (although I love, love being a mom). But writing was something I did just for me. It still gives meaning to my life in that same way—plus writing romance it’s a lot of fun to spend all day crafting stories with happy endings. I’m a big fan of happy endings!
What is the best thing about being an author?
There are so many best things, which is what makes writing so great. Being able to use my creativity, the flexibility it allows (my kids are still young) and the amazing community of authors and readers. The list is endless….
What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
Any time my kids aren’t around! Actually, I got into the habit of waking up early (around 5:30) and I still try to do that just to get a jumpstart on the day. But I take my laptop with me everywhere and have written many, many scenes waiting in carpool lines or at practices.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
A cabin tucked high in the Rocky Mountains, preferably near a river or stream so my hubby can fly fish while I write. I grew up in the mid-west but moved to Colorado over 20 years ago and still love the mountains so much.
What is your favorite food to cook or eat?
My favorite to both cook and eat is my grandma’s spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a slightly sweet sauce with lots of veggies and homemade meatballs. It’s not complicated to prepare but simmers all day so the whole house smells great. My Gram has Alzheimer’s now so I’m the one who makes it for big get togethers. The meal reminds me of my childhood and I love my kids learning to love something that was a family recipe.
What do you like to read?
I try to read across genres, but it sometimes feels like the more I write, the less time I have to read. I stick to mostly non-fiction before bed because once I get engrossed in a fabulous romance, I’ll stay up until the wee hours to finish. I’m a total book-binger! Although I write contemporary, I especially love to read historical romance. I love the nuances of relationships in different time periods.
Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
I don’t remember a time before I loved to read. I give a lot of credit to the amazing authors that kept me engrossed in their books. My two favorite series as a girl were ‘The Little House on the Prairie’ books and ‘Anne of Green Gables’. I spent years wanting to be Laura and Anne!
And now Michelle has a question for you all: It’s March already but to me it feels like winter has been here forever. J What is your favorite season? Mine’s autumn, but this year I can’t wait for spring. I’d love to giveaway a copy of Her Accidental Engagement to one lucky commenter!
Unfit mother. Seeking custody. Better options.
Tears pricked the backs of her eyes. Burning the letter wouldn’t change the potential it had to ruin her life. She’d tried to dismiss the contents as lies and conjecture. In a corner of her heart, she worried they were true and she wouldn’t be able to defend herself against them.
Suddenly she was hauled to her feet. “Are you hurt? What happened?” A pair of large hands ran along her bare arms, then down her waist toward…
Whoa, there. “Back off, Andy Griffith,” Julia sputtered as parts of her body she thought were in permanent hibernation sprang to life.
As if realizing how tightly he held her, Sam Callahan, Brevia’s police chief, pushed away. He stalked several yards up the hill toward the road, then turned and came at her again. Muscles bunched under the shoulders of his police uniform.
She had to work hard to ignore the quick pull of awareness that pulsed through her. Darn good thing Julia had sworn off men. Even better that big, strong alpha men were so not her type.
Julia gave herself a mental headshake. “What do you want, Sam? I’m sort of busy here.”
She could have sworn his eye twitched under his aviator sunglasses. He jabbed one arm toward the top of the hill. “What I want is to know what the hell you’re doing off the side of the road. Again.”
Right. She’d forgotten that the last time Sam had found her, she’d been eight months pregnant and had wrapped her ancient Honda around a tree trunk. He’d taken her to the hospital where her son, Charlie, had been born.
That day a year and a half ago had been the start of a new life for her. One she’d protect at any cost.
Sam had been new to Brevia and the role of police chief then. He’d also been a whole lot nicer. At least, to Julia. He’d made the rounds of the single ladies in town, but ever since Charlie’s birth Sam had avoided her as though he thought he might be the first man in history to catch a pregnancy. Which was fine, especially given some of the details she’d heard about his history with women.
At the sound of her name, she focused on his words. “There are skid marks where your car pulled off.”
“I was in a hurry,” she said and swiped at her still-moist cheeks.
His hands bunched at his sides as he eyed her bag. “Do I smell smoke?”
“I lit a match. Lots of them.” Her chin hitched. “Wanna call Smokey Bear for backup?”
He muttered something under his breath at the same time a semi roared by on the road above.
“I didn’t quite catch that.”
Sam removed his sunglasses and tucked them into the front pocket of his shirt. He was almost too good-looking, his blond hair short but a little messy, as if he needed a trim. The effect softened his classically handsome features and a square jaw that fell just short of comic-book chiseled. His gaze slammed into hers, and Julia knew if ice could turn molten, it would be the exact color of Sam’s blue eyes.
“You were on your knees,” he said slowly.
Julia swallowed. “I lost a contact.”
“You don’t wear contacts.”
“How do you.? Never mind.” She bent to retrieve the bag of worthless matches.
His finger brushed the back of her arm. “What are you doing out here, Jules?”
Something about the sound of her name soft as a whisper broke through her defenses. She straightened and waved the letter at him. “I have a meeting in town and needed some fresh air to collect my thoughts.”
“At the salon?”
She shook her head. “No. Hair dye doesn’t require much mental fortitude. I have a real meeting, with an attorney.”
He didn’t ask for details but continued to watch her.
“It’s about Charlie,” she offered after a minute. “About my custody.” To add to her humiliation, she choked on the last word.
“You’re his mother. Of course you have custody.”
“I know.” She lifted the letter. “But Jeff and his parents think-”
“My ex-boyfriend.” She sighed. “Charlie’s father.”
Sam’s eyes narrowed. “The one who’s never set eyes on him?”
You can buy Her Accidental Engagement at: Amazon
Bio: Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at http://www.michellemajor.com.
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