Let’s not waste anytime!
Meggan, I’m thrilled to have you here. Please tell us about yourself in 30 words or less 🙂
I am a wife and a mom, a teacher, a history lover, a bibliophile, and an author. And a really, really terrible soccer coach.
And from the sounds of it one busy lady! Whew. If you were a cartoon character, which one would you be and why?
Velma from Scooby Doo. Because I’ve also lost my glasses on the night stand (I wear four contacts at once), and have terrible fashion sense (I really like Velma’s orange turtleneck. Totally something I would wear!).
LOL…love it! Especially wearing 4 contacts at once 🙂 Reading a good book or watching a good movie?
Reading a good book. Hands down.
What genre (s) do you write?
That’s an excellent question. I wish I knew.
My first books were historicals. Then I wrote a paranormal. I just finished a steampunk, and I’m working on a contemporary. I never would have thought I’d write a contemporary, but after reading a load of them, viola! I had an idea for a contemporary.
That’s awesome that you can write in several genres! Describe your writing space.
Messy. Disorganized. Soft. (Right now, I’m writing in bed)
When her father loses her in a poker game, Lexie Markland is sent to work in the household of Nicholas Wetherby for one year to pay off the debt. Innocent, but not naïve, she is savvy enough to know she must maintain her distance from this man, who frustrates her with his relentless teasing but whose kisses bring her to her knees. Because although she may be just another conquest to him, it’s not just her heart in jeopardy should she succumb to Nicholas’ considerable charms.
Since his brother’s death almost a year before, nothing has held Nicholas’ attention for long—not women, not booze, not even an excellent hand at cards. Nothing, that is, until he meets the woman he won in a drunken night of poker. Intrigued by his prize and her chilly reserve, he makes it his mission to crack Lexie’s cool demeanor. But even as passion explodes between them, the question remains: will Nicholas be able to take the ultimate risk…and gamble on love?
I love the sounds of your book! And I have to say your cover is perfect for your story! Describe your hero and then your heroine in 5 words:
Nicholas: Handsome. Lucky. Haunted. Determined. Flirtatious.
Lexie: Plucky. Spunky. Beautiful. Smart. Loyal.
What was the easiest part about writing this story? The hardest?
Well, I’ll start with the hardest. I’m a masochist that way.
The hardest part about this story was integrating what I knew about the characters. My secondary characters had a story of their own—the first novel I ever wrote (you know, the one hidden under the bed). I desperately wanted to integrate them into the story, but I had to do it in such a way that they didn’t take over Nicholas’ and Lexie’s story. So I think that was probably the hardest thing to do. Because all I wanted to do was say, “Hey, look at these characters over here! I love them! They are my firstborn!” Having them present as supporting players was surprisingly difficult.
I guess I should also say, I think writing sex scenes is hard. Really hard. And no, that wasn’t an intentional double entendre.
As for the easiest part… Well, the last 80 pages wrote themselves. I wrote those last chapters after I wrote my first two chapters. I just knew how this story ended. It was crazy.
How did you come up with the title?
Lexie is the marker Nicholas wins at a card game.
Please share an excerpt of your book!
“As you would not have collected had I lost?” Nicholas countered, turning those glittering turquoise eyes over to Lexie. His gaze was so intense she had to look away, and she studied the tabletop as if it were the most interesting thing she’d ever seen. “You were salivating over my money last night, and yet, once you’ve lost, you refuse to honor your debt to me?”
Dismayed, she watched the drama play out between the two men. She had heard her father’s protests far too often. She had begged him to stop, but nothing was more important to him—there were always fortunes to be won. For the last five years, her job had been to pick up the pieces. She had taken on some work as a seamstress, but her father, worried about his image among the elite of the city, refused to let her take on too much. She had offered to search for a position as a governess or a schoolteacher, but her father opposed that option too: how would it look if his daughter had to work? Keeping up the appearance of having money seemed to be the only thing concerning John Markland.
If only they could eat appearances.
Lexie put a hand to her forehead, trying to rub away the ache beginning to form just behind her brows. Wearily, she asked, “What did you promise him, Father?”
“Nothing! It was a jest!”
“I have a contract, signed by you. That’s not a jest.”
Lexie found herself intrigued by the masculine timber of his voice. He had the voice of a preacher, deep and melodic, and she turned her gaze to him. He caught her eye and a smile lit his features, and she fought the urge to faint again as her heart danced wildly in her chest. When he smiled, it was as if it were meant just for her, so dazzling she felt temporarily blinded to everything else but the desire to have his lips on her skin again.
Lexie placed a hand on the back of a chair to steady herself as she pushed away the idea. She was no fool. One look at Nicholas Wetherby told her he wasn’t the man for her. A man like him wouldn’t be caught dead courting the destitute daughter of a drunk, even if she were available. Too rich, too good-looking, too self-assured, he could have any woman he wanted. He’d probably marry some pale, blond goddess who would bear him a whole passel of pale, blond children.
Strange, how that thought made her sad. Steeling herself, she said, “I assure you, Mr. Wetherby, whatever my father owes you, I will make every effort to repay you.”
Nicholas nodded. “Your father has already generously provided me with his preferred method of payment.”
Startled, her eyes flew to his face. Trying to cover her surprise, she said, “What did he promise?”
Nicholas glanced over at Markland. “Did you not tell her?”
Markland put his head down on the table. “You can’t do this, Wetherby,” he said miserably.
“Oh, but I can,” he said, his lips curving into a wolfish smile, and her heart lurched painfully in her chest. “Having come here, I intend to collect my marker.”
Markland moaned into the table, refused to look up. Temper flaring, Lexie demanded, “Oh, for God’s sake, Father, what did you lose this time? What is this marker?”
Nicholas turned his bright, glittering eyes to her, his lips curling in the ghost of a smile. “He didn’t tell you?”
“Would I be asking you if he had?” she retorted.
He visibly suppressed a smile, as if he found her amusing. “No, I suppose not.”
“So what’s he lost? What did he bet this time?”
Nicholas ran his eyes over her in a way that sent shivers up her spine, and she felt naked under his gaze, as if he saw through her and into her soul. Silent for what seemed like a long time, he handed her the contract and in a low voice said, “You.”
Love it….that last paragraph is a great hook to read more! What is the most difficult for you to write: characters, conflict or emotion?
I love writing conflict and emotion, so I guess I’ll have to say characters. Though, honestly, sex is probably the hardest thing for me to write.
Do you have a particular time of the day that is easiest for you to get the words flowing?
I would love to write during the day, but with a full time job, two little kids, and a house to run, I don’t usually find the time to write until after 8:00 PM. So between 8:00 and midnight.
Why sleep (or clean or do laundry) when you can write?
LOL What are you working on now…and no I don’t mean laundry or dishes, I mean a current WIP? 🙂
Oh, you had to mention laundry (looks over at mountain of laundry that needs to be folded). Oy.
Actually, I just finished a steampunk, and I’ve started writing another historical, which I’m tentatively calling Shanghaied. It’s the story of Nicholas’ friend James.
Doesn’t it seem like laundry is a never-ending project? What are 3 writing tips you’d like to share with other authors or prospective authors with us today?
Be bold/be brave.
Smile in the face of rejections. If the rejection comes with any advice, take it under advisement, but don’t let it get you down (easier said than done, I know!). If it’s a form rejection, move on. Your story will find a home eventually.
Keep writing. If one project goes awry, start another. If you’re feeling down, kill off a character (the great thing about drafts is you can always resurrect them if you have to). If the words aren’t coming, write a blog post about toilet paper, or manscaping werewolves (I’ve actually done that!)
And finally Meggan, where can we find you and your book?
Soul Mate Publishing: www.soulmatepublishing.com/the-marker/
Thank you Meggan and everyone for joining us today on What to Read Wednesday! I appreciate it 🙂 Everyone have an amazing Wednesday!