Hi Sue. Thanks for inviting me to stop by. I’m an incurable romantic with the best job in the world; I get to make up love stories. Or as I say on my twitter page, I take dictation from the voices in my head. Speaking of voices, they’re telling me to stop chatting and answer your questions...
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I’d have to say that my love of books came first, thanks to my mother. I spent many long and happy hours at the local library. The thought of story time still makes me smile.
How long did it take you to write Then Came Love?
This one came together fairly quickly. I generally think about them for a while before I actually sit down to write, and it virtually wrote itself. About a month, including edits.
While writing, how many times do you go back and re-write a plot?
I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I don’t write an outline, but I do visualize scenes in my head. I can often be found with my head down, staring at the keyboard as I visualize a scene. Somehow it comes out as words. Magic, huh?
You run into a bookstore. Where do you go first?
I’m such a consumer. I got to the best sellers. I’ve probably read the rest.
How many books a month do you tend to read?
On average, ten.
In all the books you’ve read, who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite Wilbur Smith book is called Blue Horizon. The young man in it is Jim Courteny, and I think he’s my idea of a real man. He’s an adventurer who knows who he is, and he loves deeply. Sigh.
State 5 random facts about yourself.
I’m a hockey fan. (Go, Canucks!). I lived in Paris for six months and didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower. I dislike turnips. I’ve seen wolves in the wild. My granddaughter is one of my best friends.
Your favorite Genre?
What are you currently reading?
In My Sister’s Shoes by Sinéad Moriarty. She’s a talented author and the characters leap off the page.
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
The Four Fires, by Bryce Courtenay.
Any new projects coming up?
Yes. I’m mulling over a trilogy, but it may be a while before I start. I want the stories and the characters to complement each other, but be stand-alone books with a clear-cut ending. I don’t like series where the reader is left hanging.
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it, and why readers should pick it up.
Then Came Love is a gentle romance story, with some uncompromising, realistic elements. Amanda, the heroine, is afraid of her husband, and falls in love with Jackson, an undercover RCMP officer. We’re not sure how she can resist him – we probably couldn’t – but she does, and we respect her for that. The secondary characters are charming and add a lot to an already compelling story. And, as I often do in my stories, I’ve tossed in a surprising twist at the end. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Setup: Amanda’s car has just slid off the road.
Amanda unbuckled her seat belt and grabbed the empty water bottle. A few deadfalls littered the forest floor; thankfully she’d worn an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Vince hated her to dress casually. It had felt good to pull on the old jeans this morning knowing that she had a whole week without him harping at her for one thing or the other. It was going to be heaven. She reached the stream and filled the bottle. The water was cool, clear and sweet. She drank greedily, laughing at herself when some water dribbled down her chin. It doesn’t get any better than this, she thought, swiping at the drops with the back of her hand.
Movement along the creek bed caught her eye and she stared for a moment, unsure of her eyes. It was a puppy. Cold and bedraggled, it appeared to be on its last legs, clambering over the rounded rocks at the creek’s edge.
“Oh, you sweet thing.” She spoke aloud and the puppy looked up. It spotted her and wagged its tail.
She was quite sure it was a spaniel. Even at this young age, its ears were droopy, and even moreso since they were soaking wet. She picked it up and pulled it to her chest. The dog was a mass of movement, shivering, squirming with excitement and trying to lick her face all at the same time.
“Are you lost?” she asked, burying her face in its fur. She raised her head and looked around. “That was a silly question, wasn’t it? Of course you’re lost.” She stroked the dog’s head and it calmed. “You can’t have wandered too far from home. I’ll bet the people at Loon Lake know about you. Come on, let’s get up to the road and start walking.”
She wrapped the dog in her fleece jacket, grabbed her tote bag, locked the vehicle and climbed the bank. “Someone will come along soon,” she said, not sure if she was reassuring herself or the dog. “It may be remote up here, but it’s not the end of the world.” She started walking. The few times she’d come to the cottage she hadn’t been driving, but she knew that Vince used the sign to Loon Lake as a marker. Their driveway was a mile and a half beyond that, and led into Sandy Lake.
She’d been walking for about fifteen minutes when a pickup truck came up from behind and stopped. The driver leaned toward her, one arm on the steering wheel and the other draped along the back of the seat. “You okay?” he asked, eyeing the bundle in her arms. “I’ll bet a deer jumped out in front of you.”
She met his eyes. “That’s right. How did you know?”
He gave her a gentle smile. “It happens a lot around here. Some people say you should just hit them.” He paused. “Thankfully, they’re in the minority. Can I offer you a ride?”
She hesitated and looked ahead. “I’m going to Loon Lake. I can walk, thanks.”
He shrugged. “I’m going there myself. It’s no trouble.” He leaned across and opened the passenger door. “My name’s Jackson. Hop in.”
Vince had warned her against talking to strangers in this area. Sometimes he treated her like a child. But then she had to admit that she’d been acting like a child, letting him boss her around. “Okay,” she said. “I’d appreciate that.”
She climbed up into the cab of the truck. “I’m Amanda.”
“What have you got there?” He looked at the bundle again. “Is it a baby?”
She cradled the puppy, which was being surprisingly quiet. “No. Yes. Well, sort of.”
He frowned, but there was a glint of amusement in his eyes. “It either is or it isn’t.”
The puppy chose that moment to shake free of her jacket.
The man looked like he’d just won the lottery. “It’s Rocky”.
“Rocky?” She started to giggle as the dog licked her face. “You know this dog?”
“Sure do and I also know two kids who are going to be very happy to see him. He belongs to Hannah and Logan.” He reached out to pat the dog. “I work for their parents at Loon Lake Resort. The dog went missing a day and a half ago and we’ve all been looking for him ever since.” He put the truck in gear and pulled back out onto the road. “It’s a good thing he wasn’t gobbled up by a cougar.”
Amanda instinctively covered the dog’s ears. “Don’t say that. You’ll frighten him.”
Jackson’s lips twitched and she studied him as he drove. He hadn’t shaved for a day or two but it wasn’t the look affected by celebrities these days; it was the beginnings of a real, honest-to-goodness beard. He wore his dark hair tied back at the nape of his neck. The only thing missing was an earring. He glanced over and seemed about to say something, then changed his mind. Amanda was disappointed; there was something about this man that made her want to get to know him. He was nothing like Vince, she knew that instinctively. Her husband was a slick, perfectly groomed city type who wore suits that cost enough to feed a third world village for a month.
Deep down she sensed that the man beside her didn’t need the outward trappings of success. He exuded a powerful aura of masculinity that made her light in the head. She studied his hands on the steering wheel and for a wild, heart-pounding moment she wondered what they would feel like on her body.
Enough. She couldn’t think like this. She was a married woman, and although Vince had been treating her like dirt recently, he was still extremely jealous. She hated to think what he would do if she was ever foolish enough to get involved with another man. She shuddered and turned her attention back to the dog.
About the Author:
Mona Ingram was born in Ontario, Canada. Her family moved to British Columbia when she was twelve, and she can't imagine living anywhere else. In recent years she has lived in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. In addition to reading and writing, traveling and bird watching are among Mona’s favorite pastimes.
Mona writes contemporary romance novels and takes great delight in creating unexpected twists and turns in her story lines. She frequently sets her books in areas which are familiar to her, immersing the reader in the setting. One reader recently commented that “after reading Fixing Freddie, I felt as though I’d been on a trip to Vancouver.”
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