- The Wild Rose Press
- Release Date
- December 2016
At twenty-five, Grace Evans is steadily picking up the pieces of everyone else's life. So, when her younger sister decides to turn into a runaway bride just four weeks before the wedding, Grace, drops everything to chase after her and bring her back home. Only, when the trail leads to Mistletoe, Washington, she finds herself at the mercy of the town's most handsome and emotionally unavailable bachelor.
Ex-Army officer, Ayden McCabe, has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe's Christmas Dance. Wanting nothing more than to keep his matchmaking sister from meddling in his personal life, he agrees to help Grace if she agrees to play his girlfriend. Too brunette and meek for his taste, Ayden believes Grace can't tempt him enough to break any of his creeds. He could not be more wrong.
BOOK INTERVIEW on December 2016
Interview by Laura
Hi Tammy, welcome to The Romance Reviews, and let's talk about your book, IN MISTLETOE.
Q: First, I have to say, I love your cover! There's something sweet and heartwarming about the way the two of them are snuggled against each other. What was your part in the cover-making process?
Thank you. I love the cover, too. Basically, my part is to search through stock photos and then send the cover artist some ideas. When I saw this couple, I created a mock cover using Canva and then posted it on my personal Facebook page. I received a lot of likes, so I knew this couple is who I wanted to represent Ayden and Grace.
Q: IN MISTLETOE sounds like a great book, full of the conflict between the two main characters that we romance readers love. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I absolutely love holiday romances, so the premise of a romance during the Christmas season was the easy part. The hardest part was finding the time to write (I work full-time outside the home) and then putting myself in the mood when the weather outside was anything but frightful. I believe many of my ideas come from conversations in my head. Since I adore dialog, my novels usually have plenty of verbal interaction.
Q: Is Mistletoe, Washington a real place? Please tell us more about it. If not, where did you model it after?
Mistletoe, Washington is a fictional place; however, when I was doing research about towns with Christmas themes, I did find a place in Washington with many similarities to Mistletoe. I also thought of what place I'd like to visit for the holidays. Mistletoe sounded perfect.
Q: What is it about the season that draws you?
I would say family and traditions. I have many great memories about the holidays growing up in Appomattox, Virginia. We would always go into the forest to hunt for a tree. Of course, one time we brought back one that had a bird's nest buried inside the thick limbs. I took this idea for one of my scenes between Ayden and Grace in the book.
Q: Please tell us more about heroine Grace Evans. What kind of person is she?
Grace is somewhat of a doormat at first. She lives for everyone else, never putting herself first. Even her boomerang ex-boyfriend seems to lead her by a string. I like to read how characters grow from the beginning to the end. I appreciate it when readers can relate to the characters I write, so I was humbled when an ARC reviewer said this about Grace: "Okay, I have to love a story with a main character that has the same appearance and practically identical personality as me I mean hellooo~ can she get any more perfect?" – Jess, Good Books With Tea Blog.
Q: How about Ayden McCabe? What made him the way he is when we first saw him in the book?
Ayden has a very hard outer and inner shell. He feels he needs to protect himself from losing the people he cares about most in his life. For this reason, he keeps them, especially women, at a safe distance. So, when he asks Grace to play his girlfriend to keep his sister from meddling in his personal life, he believes he's made a great choice. Attractive, but not his type, Ayden can't see himself falling for her. However, she manages to crack his defenses in a short amount of time. Since Ayden has three creeds in life: never make the first move, never fall in love, and never take anyone to Mistletoe's Christmas Dance, he learns rather quickly, some creeds are made to be broken.
Q: What is their first meeting like?
I wanted Ayden and Grace's first scene to be a little comical. Grace is looking for a place to stay while she's trying to track down her runaway-bride sister. I set it up so Ayden believes she's there to answer his own sister's ad to become his date for the upcoming Mistletoe Dance. While she thinks she's paying for a place to stay, he misinterprets her err…reason for wanting to stay at his place.
Here's the excerpt:
She opened and closed her mouth but was unable to say a coherent word through an entire verse of "Jingle Bell Rock." When he began to saunter away, she panicked. "Okay, I can pay you three hundred dollars for three nights."
She really couldn't, but she had nowhere else to go. He swayed back toward her, his dark brown eyebrows raised, one higher than the other. "Three nights?" he repeated, his gaze sweeping over her like a sweltering Mediterranean wind. He grinned, a curious and secretive expression that sent a hot tendril down her spine. Although they had barely enough daylight between them, he managed a step closer.
"Don't you think you're being just a little pretentious… Miss Evans?" He lifted his hand, his thumb and index finger pressed close together for visual effect.
Pretentious? Grace hoped beyond all reasonable expectations, she didn't need more than four days to run into Danielle or find someone who knew of her whereabouts. Their mother's frail sanity depended on Grace bringing Danielle home.
First, though, Grace needed a place to stay that didn't require taking out a small bank loan to get her home.
"All right, two nights, but for that price, I do expect breakfast," Grace said, hands on her hips and believing if she needed more time to find her sister and drag her back to San Francisco, she'd figure out a way to convince him then.
"A full-sized bed is fine, and I can be very quiet. You won't even know I'm there." He canted his head, amusement dancing in his arresting blue eyes.
After a moment of disconcerting silence, he finally whispered in her direction, "If I'm making you breakfast afterward, I better damn well know you're there."
Q: That's so cute and funny! What kind of research did you have to do to write this book? Please share an interesting fact or unique behind the scenes experience.
I did a little research on the Christmas town. As well, I work as a Senior Secretary for the Nursing Department at a local Community College. In one of the scenes, Grace goes into hypothermia. To make sure I was accurate about the scene and her symptoms, I reached out to one of the instructors, and asked if she would read a few pages. She thought I did a good job bringing the scene to life. (Thanks, Sue!)
Q: What's up next for you?
I'm currently trying to finish two historical romances. One is called A Mistress for Penndrake, and the other is The Rakehell Raider. I'm pretty excited about getting these completed.
Sounds exciting! Thank you, Tammy, for taking out time from your busy schedule for this interview!
Bio of author Tammy L. Bailey:
I was born in historical Appomattox, Virginia. After graduating from high school, I joined the military and served five years in the active duty Army. After leaving, I decided to go into the Ohio Air National Guard where I retired as a Master Sergeant in 2011.
My love of writing began at a very young age. It wasn't until after I watched Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on A&E that I caught the fever to write more than a ten-page short-story. Currently, I have two contemporary romances, but my first love will always be historical romance.
When I'm not writing, I'm spending time with my husband and two boys, ages 13 and 10. Without their sacrifice and understanding, I would have never been able to pursue my passion of writing or my accomplishment of becoming a published author.
No matter what I write and read, there ALWAYS has to be a happy ending.
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