First please will you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Author Bio: The softer, sweeter side of Morgan O’Reilly, Shea McMaster lives for traditional romance.
Born in New Orleans, raised in California, Shea/Morgan got moved to Alaska in 1977, where she attended high school before running back to California to get her English degree from Mills College. Alas, once back home she met and fell in love with her own forever true hero, a born and raised Alaska man. Since then she’s had a love-hate relationship with America’s largest state.
With her one and only son half way through college, and mostly out of the house, Shea is fortunate to spend her days engaged in daydreaming and turning those dreams into romantic novels and novellas featuring damsels in distress rescued by their own brains and hunky heroes.
Where did the idea for your book, Rachel Dahlrumple, come from?
Straight from the pages of the news. The summer of 2009 was very eventful with celebrity death and scandal. We lost many big names that year from late June on through the fall. A great many of them are mentioned in the book. But what really set me off, was the week leading up to and including the 4th of July. Governors running off to Argentina, stars dying from cancer and drug overdoses, and a sports figure was murdered by his 20 year old girlfriend who then committed suicide. While his wife waited at home with their two children. I got mad. And then I started writing. Rachel was born. And since I’d recently watched “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” that got mixed in there as well.
Did you give Rachel her name, or did she tell you what it is? Is there any history behind it and the unusual spelling?
She named herself. Possibly because there was a time in my life when a few people called me Rachel. I have no idea why. Also, a couple weeks ago when I was in Mexico, the waiters at our resort couldn’t say my name very well, so one decided my name in Spanish was really Raquel. Sometimes they called me Raquelita. They also tried out Margarita, which I liked, but Raquel was better. Very timely with Rachel releasing. Maybe I was Rachel in a past life and they knew me then. Could have happened. My mother believes I was a Buddhist monk in a previous life because I recognized a statue at the age of four.
If you asked her, how would Rachel describe you?
Bossy. *laughs* She and I had some words from time to time. She gave as good as she got.
In ten words or less, describe your hero?
Delicious, darling, decent, dedicated, dangerous, distracting, dunkable, aDorable Deputy Dan. He’s a lovely man. *sigh*
What is your favourite colour and why?
I love green. It’s cool, refreshing, and soothing. I think of forests and hidden glades with trickling water. Not far from the chair where I do all my writing, I have a fabulous indoor garden with a lemon tree, peace lily, dieffenbachia, small coffee tree, African violet, bonsai ponytail palm and more. In need of a new pump, I have a tiny fountain for the sound of water. Oh, and green does fabulous things for my hair and eyes
If you were a flower what would it be?
A round luscious peony. Or a voluptuous old fashioned rose. Blousy and sweetly fragrant.
What is your daily writing routine?
Um. Routine? Daily? I don’t like to get too rigid in my approach to anything. That’s the joy of working from home, for myself. When inspiration hits, I dig in and run. When it’s not hitting, sometimes I try to force it, but usually I work on other things. Like editing, or reading, or finding creative ways to avoid housework. Facebook is awesome for avoiding real work and it counts as promotion!
Are you a ‘pantser’ of plotter? If a plotter, how/where do you start when you have a new story in mind?
Pantser and proud of it. Although I do find myself doing small amounts of plotting. Sort of like laying out the bones of a skeleton, or the pieces of a puzzle. As I write, the layers build and sometimes something needs to move. Often what I initially see as the beginning is really the start of the last third of the book. Being flexible helps, until I get too flexible and end up with too many options. Many times my books start with a dream. I tend to have very vivid and memorable dreams. If I can remember them in the morning, I write them down in as much detail as I can then let them simmer until a story begins to emerge. This does not always happen at a convenient time.
What is/was the biggest influence in your writing career?
That’s a tough one. I’m not sure I can truly pin it down to one thing. As a child I’d tell myself stories when I wasn’t actually reading a book. In the sixth grade we had to write a story and my teacher commented mine was very romantic. Lots of little instances popped up here and there until I had the time and the drive to make the time. And here I am.
What advice would you give anyone starting out on their writing career?
Don’t worry about form the first time out. Just write. Get the ideas out of your head and onto “paper” if you will. Something you can hold and read. Only then can you begin to guide and shape the direction of the story.
What do you consider the single most important tool in your book promotional arsenal?
Word of mouth. I love creating a buzz and getting people talking. The hardest part is going to the loops and inserting my voice into the noise of everyone else doing the same thing. This is why I’m so thankful for friends who support blog tours! Thank you so very much for having me here.
You're very welcome.
BLURB: Rachel Dahlrumple
A Novel of Romantic Suspense
Her husband's death is just the beginning of her marital woes.
Rachel's humiliation over the discovery of her late husband's affairs turns to fear when one of his mistresses sends her a poisoned bouquet. But finding the source of the killer flowers is only one step on her path to solving the mystery her husband left behind.
Deputy Dan Weston is with Rachel when the bouquet arrives, and he's at her side as she deals with so many of the secrets that come to light after her husband's death. Dan has carried a torch for Rachel since puberty and he's not going to let her dead husband's vindictive girlfriends or his psychotic mother come between them now. But that means finding out who is sending snakes and poisoned posies before one kills Rachel.
I looked up and took in Dan’s expression. All teasing gone. Cop mode.
“I’m a simple person, Deputy Weston. Steady and calm. Boring. I don’t offend anyone, and no one gives me trouble. Unless you’re talking about Jose Delgado, who is three weeks late with the last book he checked out.”
“I don’t think Jose wrote this.” With a deepening scowl, he turned the card so I could read it through the clear plastic.
Black, block letters, innocuous enough, aside from the message. Ah, yes, the kicker.
Let him go. We want to be together. Start divorce proceedings. Or better yet, end your pitiful life. Your choice. For now.
Dan’s gaze was glued to my face, which first felt hot, then cold. My head swam and my breathing wheezed in and out, as ragged as my stuttering heartbeat.
That bastard. The low down, scheming, rotten, lying, slimy, vile, despicable…
“Care to revise your statement?”
A few quick blinks brought the deputy back into focus, though I could feel the airways in my lungs constricting.
“I know who’s going to die, and isn’t going to be me,” I whispered. “Chinese water torture is too good for him. Splinter those bamboo chopsticks and the minute he gets home, they’re going under his fingernails” I’d learned a few things from my father’s stories of ’Nam. And of course, by reading about the war. After all, I was a librarian. I’d read nearly every book on the shelves. Briefly, I considered doing a search on torture techniques.
The tanned face so near mine blanched. “Easy going, ma’am.”
Right. I wasn’t known for saying such things. I wasn’t known for saying much.
“Well?” I demanded. My fragile world had just vaporized before my eyes and it was far too soon to see what might be left. If anything. The only future visible looked like a rapidly expanding black hole.
Someone wanted me dead. But who? My husband? His girlfriend? Divorce loomed in front of me like a huge gaping maw. I wanted to wail, gnash my teeth, and obliterate something, anything. Of course, I was Rachel the Mouse, so I did my best to hide the violent urges building inside. Rachel the Meek never, ever, let loose with her most primitive emotions. She hid them deep, keeping a calm, submissive, accepting face turned toward the world at large.
“What would you do?”
For the first time I could remember in our long history, Dan looked directly, and very deeply, into my eyes. The sympathy, sincerity, and concern on his face hit me before his words did. Already overwhelmed from too many emotions boiling in my heart and head, I had no defense or response for his reply, or the way he ever so lightly caressed my cheek with the back of his fingers.
“Since I’m not the kind of idiot your husband is, Rachel, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to screw around on the most amazing woman anywhere. Were I the lucky one to have you, I wouldn’t leave you alone long enough for you to ever feel abandoned.”
Aside from the asthma and allergy thing, I was a healthy woman. I’d never, ever, once fainted in my life. But the shocks to my system that night hit too hard. A poisonous gift, a nasty note, knowledge I didn’t want of my husband’s cheating ways, and a gorgeous, younger man, telling me he considered me amazing… The zing I felt in my tummy from his touch did me in.
Black waves engulfing me, limbs losing strength, I slowly collapsed and Dan caught me at the last moment of consciousness. Like any nineteenth-century heiress worth her crumpets and tea, I fainted right into his arms.
Buy Link: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=81&products_id=472
Will also be available on Kindle, Nook, and Sony... links will be available on or soon after 11/7/11
Also Available From Shea
Borealis II: A Space Anthology – Bleu Lies ~ebook Six Foot Hero ~ebook
To celebrate, at my Zazzle store I have created a mug and a tote bag with the Rachel cover on it. Not sure if I’ll give both away, or let the winner of the drawing choose... things to consider. Just comment or “Like” my Facebook page to get your name tossed in the hat! Drawing and winner will be decided and announced on the last day of the tour. Stick around to find out the answer!