When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Three years ago, my husband was working the early morning shift and always went to bed by eight o’clock. I would stay up reading or watching TV. Then one morning I woke up with a storyline in my head. I was intrigued, but didn’t give it much thought. Then I woke up a second morning with the same storyline—this time it was longer.
Eventually, the story grew into a full chapter. So, I decided to write it down.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I have a full time day job, so most of my writing occurs on the weekends and can take me 3-4 months to finish the first draft of a book. Last year during NaNoWriMo, I dedicated as many weekday evenings to writing as I could and finished about 75% of a book. My long-term goal is to write full-time and I think I could finish and edit a full book in about a month.
What would your readers be surprised to hear about you?
Everyone I know was surprised that I’d written a book. English was a subject I never liked growing up. I was always a math and science girl, I’ve never considered myself creative, and my day job is a retail analyst. That’s miles away from being a romance writer.
But I love to read. A Lot. And for me, writing became a natural progression.
What do you think is the best way of publishing a book these days?
The digital era has given authors so many options that didn’t exist before. I think everyone has to make their own decisions based on individual goals, resources, and abilities. In my opinion, it’s less about ‘how’ an author publishes and more about making sure ‘what’ they publish is good writing. I think that’s why you, and other authors who chose to self-publish, have been so successful. You wrote a good book to start with, had it professionally edited, invested in quality cover art. One book might sell well if it’s priced right, but when the second book sells even stronger, you know the author is producing quality writing.
I personally liked having a publisher for my first book. I didn’t have the confidence to self-publish and I wanted confirmation that my work was good enough. I’ve learned so much through the process that I personally feel made my writing even stronger. I plan to publish the full series with Soul Mate Publishing. Following that, I will probably try my hand at self-publishing with my current work-in-progress, a stand-alone title called Sweet Tooth.
What are some ways that you like to relax?
Girly stuff. On special occasions, I love to get a facial, a pedicure, and have my hair and nails done. I can always find time for a good book. Our neighbors have a boat they keep on Old Hickory Lake and we find ourselves regular guests on Sunday afternoons. I’m a ‘people person’ and like to entertain, grill, and relax with friends on the patio.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Winter’s Magic is my first published book. Spring’s Surprise, Summer’s Family Affair and Fall’s Redeeming Grace will follow in 2013, finishing out the Music City Hearts series. Then, I have the partial manuscript, Sweet Tooth I hope to jump back into next summer.
Can you tell me and your readers something about your main characters?
Beth Sergeant is probably my favorite heroine in the series. Her parents were middle-class, but found a way to send her to the most prestigious, private high school in Nashville, Tennessee. While the invaluable experience prepared her for college, she never felt as if she fit in.
After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. At the age of thirty, he’s built his own business and experienced enough of life to realize everyone has an agenda.
Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick's dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick's past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.
Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
Winter’s Magic is a fun, fast read. There are parts that will make you laugh, while others make your heart squeeze. A few surprises. Steamy love scenes. It’s the perfect book to grab a blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, and curl up with during the holiday season.
Cynthia would love to hear from you.
Do You Want To Learn More About Winter's Magic?
“You’re not leaving without saying goodbye are you?”
Her breath caught at the sound of Nick’s voice. “I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“I forgot how demanding playing host can be,” he said. “Every time I thought I was getting closer to your crowd I got sucked back into another one.” His voice softened into a low caress. “I was hoping to talk to you before you left.”
“I’m not in any hurry.” Wrong. She was in a hurry. In fact, she should be running–as fast as she could.
“Come with me.” Nick turned and led her back toward the front of the house, to a room not open to guests. Stepping inside, she realized it was his grandfather’s study. She took her time admiring the room, trying to steady her pulse.
A large mahogany desk sat at the near side of the room with a black leather couch and matching wing chairs facing it. On the far side of the study was a small conference table. The sound of a grandfather clock filled the air with twelve deep chimes.
“I wanted to talk to you about midnight mass.” Nick motioned for her to sit on the couch. “Let me explain.”
Beth sat, though she preferred to end the discussion where it was. She could tell from his awkward stance, he didn’t want to have this conversation any more than she did.
She had been right about him-he was just being nice. Nick may have checked out her legs and caught her eye a few times, but it didn’t mean anything. And he seemed tired. Still incredibly sexy, but his eyes held exhaustion.
She should give him a break and make this easy. “I understand, Nick. Christmas Eve mass is really a family affair. Your grandfather may want it to be just the two of you.”
“No,” he paused. “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant.”
“It’s okay. You were just being nice. It’s really no big deal.”
“Beth.” He met her eyes with a commanding gaze that refused to let her shy away. “Would you go to dinner with me tomorrow night?”
Wow. That wasn’t what she expected. Dinner? Translation–real date? It took a moment to sink in. But when it did, she couldn’t stop her mind from funneling through the numerous events already scrambling her weekend.
Beth caught herself. What was she thinking?
“I can’t. I’m sorry, it’s just really busy at the salon right now.” And it was. Even if Nick wasn’t off limits and completely the wrong man for her, she was too busy to even think about starting a new relationship.
“I’ve been wanting to try Carlino’s. Have you been yet?” he asked, as if she hadn’t just said no.
“I called to get a reservation last week and they’re booked through the holidays.”
“I’ve heard the same thing. But what if I can get one? Would you join me?”
“I really can’t.” She saw disappointment flash across his face before he could replace it with a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “We’re having our staff Christmas party.” The gleam was instantly back. It shouldn’t matter as much as it did.
“How about Sunday? I happen to know La Bella Vita isn’t open on Sundays. Let me see what I can do. I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know what time I’ll pick you up.”
She chuckled. “I didn’t say yes.” But she wanted to, even if it went against every sensible conviction in her brain.
“You didn’t say no,” he whispered.
“I guess I didn’t.” His stare burned through the last of her fortitude and suddenly, she wasn’t sure if turning him down had ever been possible.
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