Friday, November 30, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
What is the title of your book?
I'm currently calling it Indecent Proposal, however, that could change.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
The book began as a romance, but there were several suspenseful plot points in it that I felt it would be a better story if written as a romantic suspense, so I'm rewriting early chapters to inject more suspense and drop in a few clues while still adhering to the building romance between the protagonists. The original idea was conceived after I had written a wine country story and enjoyed the research so much that I decided to set another wine country story in my own backyard. (The Santa Cruz mountains host a number of wineries since the micro-climates here are conducive to viticulture.
When genre does your book fall under?
Indecent Proposal is my first venture into the area of romantic suspense. It's a sub-genre I enjoy reading. My goal is to capture both the suspense and danger of a suspense novel while keeping the love interest between my diamond-in-the-rough wine consolidator and a sheltered young French American woman who is thrust into managing her family's small mountain winery.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's a difficult question for me since I watch few films. Paul Brandon, the hero, comes from a Midwestern steel town and he's had a hard-scrabble life. He's not used to the finer things, but he very much hungers for them. Julia Marchant, on the other hand is the only daughter of French immigrants. She's had a sheltered life and a convent education. Her world is art—restoring European frescoes—until her father suddenly dies and she's called home to take over the family winery.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book:
Swiss-educated heiress inherits California winery and clashes with handsome, business-savvy partner bent on making his fortune, that is, if he can keep them both alive.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?
I am currently writing for an amazing small press—Turquoise Morning Press. They have published the last eight of my books plus a Christmas novella. I have been represented by an agent, however for these books I am unagented.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I'm still working on the first draft. This story has undergone quite a change since its initial concept, so more study into what makes a romantic suspense work is required. Generally, a rough draft takes me about five months.
What other books would you compare this to within your genre?
I'm not sure I have a book in mind that Indecent Proposal could be compared to, however, I very much admire the writing of Sharon Sala and Brenda Novak, and I hope my story will be reminiscent of stories by those two talented ladies.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I've always been attracted to the courageous heroine who also has humility. A heroine who must overcome huge obstacles to reach her HEA. Julia is such a person. I felt I wanted to tell her story and show the push pull of her traditional ideas against Paul's drive to modernize the winery for bulk, blended wine. Both have much to gain and lose, and they also need to gain the cooperation and respect of one another to succeed. They have to learn to work together both for the winery to succeed and to outwit a villain who wants the winery at whatever cost.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I think the setting—my own backyard—is fascinating, almost a character in itself. I hope the reader will relish the blue-collar Paul as he struggles to cope in a world with which he is unfamiliar. The Old World culture of the cadre of vintners on the mountain are as foreign to Paul as a trip through the Louvre.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
It's got that great repartee, Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn style, that makes dialogue between characters sparkle, and it's wonderfully, charmingly funny. I very rarely find a book amusing, but this one had me laughing out loud on every page.
The characters are unique and endearing, the setting is a gardener's (and old-house devotee's) dream, and the story is the kind that makes you really believe in romance and the beautiful part of love between a man and a woman.
Highly, highly recommended." --Carolyn Woolston, Amazon
Thursday, April 5, 2012
AN IRISH ROGUE
This is a fun, engaging romance with very likable characters.
Declan is laying low until he can get a new job and renew his visa. He needs to hide from a vindictive ICE (immigration) agent. Declan’s cousin helps him get a job at an out of the way house doing carpentry renovations. That’s not his field but he figures he can handle it.
Justine lives in the “fixer-upper” property with her eccentric aunt, Laverne, and her new age, vegan sister, Willow. Justine is the business mind of the family, running her bookstore in town and managing the household. She is practical, down to earth and comfortably looking forward to marrying her teacher boyfriend. At least she was comfortable until her aunt hired this distracting, handsome, Irish rogue to work on the house. Now she can’t seem to stop ogling those flexing muscles while he’s working.
Justine can’t seem to stop herself from comparing the rugged, intense Irishman to her easygoing, poetry reading, sort of average, James. But she and James have many things in common, don’t they? Irrepressibly she is drawn by the passion she experiences whenever she is near Declan.
Declan is intrigued by Justine but he is woman shy since he was feels he was betrayed by his ex-wife, Maura. He can’t stop thinking about Justine yet he struggles to tell her how he feels.
When the ICE agent locates Declan the only way to keep him in the States is if he gets a green card through marriage. Justine impulsively tells the agent they are married and they have to begin a pretense for the spying eyes. But when it comes time for the hearing will Justine step away from her well ordered life and risk her heart with Declan? Can Declan respond to Justine’s willingness to love and can he learn to express his feelings in order to keep her by his side?
The writing is smooth, making this a quick and easy read. The characters are strong, independent and flawed; very real. The secondary characters are quirky and further the fun elements of the story. The Irish brogue and words adds a flair that I really like. The chemistry is immediate and visual but the romance builds slowly in a very nice progression of draw and resistance. Once again Ms. Barrett has provided a fine, entertaining romance.
Here are a few quotes showing the reactions of the protagonists when they first meet.
Justine watching Declan:
Something about the set of his shoulders, the easy way he moved, disturbed her. Deep inside a little flutter of unease rippled and then flared to a dazzling warmth. Location 116.
Declan following Justine:
He’d never given much thought to how women walked, but Justine Farris made him take notice. Her stride reminded him of a racehorse, each movement precise, yet fluid. Location 133.
Declan's second thoughts:
He offered her a wicked grin. Discovering the woman behind that cool business facade might prove the most intriguing challenge of all. Location 142.
Thank you Ms. Barrett for providing this book to read and review.
This story is set in California for my Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my ARC challenge list.
Friday, March 16, 2012
My newest book, Risking it All, is now available. Set in Northern California, it's the story of a caretaker and a burned-out CEO.
Pushed out of his own start-up company, Tom McKittrick is ready to lick his wounds in private at the rural family estate he’s inherited. But he isn’t prepared for his Garden of Eden to have a built-in Eve—a reclusive naturalist with a long-term lease on the caretaker’s cottage, a knack for gardening, and an incredibly beautiful face.
April Fairchild is not about to let Tom McKittrick order her out of the home that has been her cozy retreat from the world. But she has to feel sorry for him—the corporate bigwig is clearly out of his element in, well, the elements. April knows she can teach this hunky guy a thing or two about how to relax. All she has to do is sow the seeds of romance…and let nature take its course.
Check out Skeleton in a Dead Space, a delightful cozy by Judy Alter.
Here's a quote "Enjoy walking in Fort Worth as you follow a profusion of characters in this complicated tale. Wait, as did I, until you reach the very last pages to find the truth of the story. You likely won't figure it out earlier." —Margaret Waring
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
I loved this book! Today Paramour by Margaret Ethridge is the featured Coven book from Turquoise Morning Press.
Here's the blurb: Two men: one living, one dead, and both vying for her love. Camellia Stafford has never been alone in her room. For twenty years, she's been engaged in a fierce power struggle with her bedroom's previous tenant, Frank DeLuca, the ghost trapped in the light fixture above her bed. Caustic and cranky, Frank has one soft spot--Cam. Over the years, their feelings for one another have evolved from grudging friendship to an enduring love that burns white-hot until Frank puts his feelings for Cam on ice. When she suffers the loss of her beloved father, Cam returns home to say good-bye, and confront her feelings for Frank. She finds an unexpected shoulder to lean on in neighbor, Bradley Mitchum. Cam falls hard and fast for the handsome ad man's charming smile and passionate nature, but Brad's easy-going exterior masks a steely backbone tempered by adversity. Now Cam must choose-- Is her heart strong enough to determine which dream could lead to a love that will last a lifetime?
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Romance Interviews and Stories - Long and Short Reviews: INTERVIEW: SUZANNE BARRETT: Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Suzanne Barrett , whose latest contemporary An Irish Rogue was released in December. Suzanne ...
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Secrets by good friend Jan Scarbrough is a wonderful read. Available at Amazon and other book vendors.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Today, however, is another day and I must tackle the resolution of my WIP.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Late Harvest is set in the fabulous Mendocino wine country and features a hunky German hero, a precocious five-year-old and a host of secondary characters that include a couple of gypsies and a feisty old Appalachian woman (Sharp as a Toledo blade, and with the directness of a bordello madam, Mags Emory had never couched her thoughts. She never missed a thing. She knew all the under-workings at Cresthaven. Or almost all of them.).
I loved doing the research--staying in quaint bed and breakfasts, interviewing winery owners, tasting an astonishing assortment of late harvest wines (dirty job, but I had to do it). This story which was originally a Golden Heart finalist, is one of my favorites, not only for the story but because I broke the rules. (Still remember my then NY editor telling me "We don't like Germans." I like to think my German grandfather is smiling from his grave.)