Hi, Maria, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Untangle My Heart. What inspired this story?
Kate and Edward from Untangle My Heart were secondary characters in the first book I wrote. Although that story didn’t get published, I loved the feistiness of Kate’s character and decided to build a series based on her family. Kate and Edward had their three-week fling during the other story and that gave me the background to start Untangle My Heart.
When her marriage ended in tragedy, Kate DiFrancesco rebuilt her life, but has never gotten over the pain of what she lost. Seeking the help of an ex-lover ignites feelings she’s promised never to have again. She’ll need to untangle herself from dangers in her past in order to break the hard shell around her heart.
Edward Weston has a lot to prove, both to his stuffy upper-crust British family, and to himself. Working alongside Kate, a woman he had a casual relationship with, stirs unexpected feelings. Helping her family makes him realize what he’s missing. For the first time, he wants more than a one-night stand.
When Kate is threatened, Edward must overcome feeling unworthy to protect the woman he loves and fight for the family he never thought he’d have.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
I’m working on edits to the next book in the series, which is about Kate’s sister, Vicky. We’ll meet Jamie DiSilva, who is the younger brother of the villain in Untangle My Heart and will have a challenge ahead of him as he returns from the army and attempts to redeem his family name and win Vicky’s heart.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Bringing the characters to life. I find the plotting often frustrating, but once I know it, I love getting the scenes on the page. I want the reader to have an emotional connection with the characters and agonize over scenes and words to convey this.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
The early morning, before anyone in my house gets up. The alarm goes off before five am and if I’m lucky, I’m at the computer by five-thirty. My head is clearer in the morning, before the drama of the family and the day job begins.
How do you balance writing and everyday life?
Finding a balance is challenging with both a demanding full-time job and family. I make lists and prioritize my time. If I find I’m running a little more crazed than usual, I sometimes take a half day off from the day job and focus on my writing. Mostly I plan, execute the plan, adjust the plan, and pray I’m not neglecting some area of my life too much. Writing early in the morning and after the kids ready for bed also helps. It also means I usually don’t get more than five to six hours of sleep.
What is your favorite memory from childhood?
Going to the Jersey shore for three weeks during the summer every year. My family would go with my aunt and cousins. A constant flow of visitors stopped by our house and despite it being vacation, my mom and aunt cooked. We never lacked food or company.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Switzerland. I did a bus tour across Europe when I first got married and found the majestic beauty of the mountains breathtaking.
What is your favorite food to cook or eat?
It’s a close tie between Chicken Marsala and pizza. My mom always made pizza each week. I have a child with food allergies, so I make my own dough and make a cheese free one he can eat and one for the rest of the family.
What don’t most people know about you but you would like to share?
I played the piano for ten years when I was a kid. Although I don’t make the time to play it much anymore, I have taught both my kids enough to get them by and help them read music.
These are few of my favorite things:
2. Accessories (shoes, purses, jewelry)
3. The beach
Now Maria has a question for you all: Kate’s from a big Italian family that’s big on traditions. What’s a favorite tradition you’ve passed down to your family?
A Giveaway! In celebration of Untangle My Heart’s world-wide release, Maria is having a Rafflecopter contest. Through May 9th, you can sign up at the ‘Contest’ page of her website, http://www.mariakalexander.com, for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card.
“Privacy is a hard thing to find around here, so you may want to lock the door. Especially when you’re wearing only a towel and my sister is on the prowl.”
“I’ll have to remember that,” Edward said, taking a step toward her. “I knew she was smitten, but didn’t think she would be waiting in the room after my shower. I was struggling with a tactful way of getting her out.”
“I’m sure you’re not accustomed to asking a woman to leave your room.”
He gave her an unapologetic grin. “No, usually not.”
“I guess it’s partly my fault. I told her I don’t have any claims to you. Apparently she took that to mean it was open season to pursue you.”
“Yet you stopped by. Why?”
“I wanted to thank you again for your help today. You dropped everything to come and help my family and that means a lot to me.”
He took another step toward her until he stood directly in front of her. “You mean a lot to me. I’d do anything I could to help you.”
She nodded in acknowledgement, not sure she could trust her voice to speak with him all but touching her.
“And you’re wrong about not having a claim on me.”
His hands found their way to her waist. Her heart thumped and she knew she should pull back, wanted to pull back. But his blue-gray eyes held her in a hypnotic state and she couldn’t move.
You can buy Untangle My Heart at:
A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.
Maria blogs about her writing journey with The Violet Femmes at http://thevioletfemmes.com. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.
You can keep in touch with Maria at:
The Violet Femmes Blog: http://thevioletfemmes.com