Today’s author spotlight is on Veronica Chadwick, and her book Rude Awakening. Be sure you check it out on the Coming Soon page of Samhain.
1. How did you get started with your writing?
I’d written some poetry and liked to make up stories to tell from a very young age. In college I took a creative writing class. The professor told us, “If you can’t give me quality, give me quantity.” I wrote over fifty poems, two essays and a children’s story that semester. My professor told me I had talent, that my prose was much better than my poetry and that he’d see my name in print some day. I think that’s when I discovered how much I loved writing. It wasn’t until I met my best friend in the world through a writing group on Yahoo! groups that I really considered writing “for real”. Now I recognize it as a part of who I am. I have to write, whether I’m published or not.
2. What/who is your biggest muse?
Oh wow, I guess I’d have to say simple everyday things. My friends are always inspirational. Watching and listening to people is the main source of ideas for stories. And sometimes…dreams.
3. Is there a character in one of your books you connect with the most?
Jaimee Turner in Rude Awakening.
4. What do you like to do in your free time other than write?
I love to hang out with my friends, read, watch movies and *sigh* play video games. Yes, I’m a gamer chick. I love World of Warcraft and The Sims especially.
5. What are some of your favorite books? Any genre or author.
I adore medieval historical/fantasy stories and paranormals. My favorites are Julie Garwood’s older historical, Kinley MacGregor and I adore Lora Leigh’s Breed books – The Man Within is my favorite!
6. Where is your writing sanctuary?
Alas! I have no sanctuary! I need to get one of those. I write in the living room, on my couch, in the morning when everyone is gone. I’m easily distracted so if I have to write when people are around I put on my headphones and try to focus.
7. How did you celebrate “selling” your first book?
My first book ever was sold over five years ago. I was squealing and jumping around like a goof. I really didn’t do anything special unfortunately. I come from a very conservative family that does not approve of what I write and at the time I didn’t have a lot of friends that did either. So I talked to my sister/friend, Lora, on the phone for hours and of course told my husband and kids who were extremely proud of me. When Rude Awakening releases at the end of June…I think I need to have a long overdue celebration!!
8. What is your favorite thing about Samhain?
Their commitment to quality I think. I know that sounds so staid but I trust them for that. I know that if I submit a book that’s not up to their standards it’s just not good enough and I need to work on it. I also know that I can buy from Samhain with confidence
9. Is there something you would like to see more of in RomanceLandia?
Time travel! I love ‘fish out of water’ stories too. Plus, you can never have too much romance and emotion as far as I’m concerned.
10. Tell us about your editor.
Tera is a pain. lol No seriously, I think she’s great. Rude Awakening is my first book with Samhain and I’ve learned more editing this book than I have with the four I had with another publisher. She’s tough sometimes but that’s a good thing. She’s available if I have questions and always helpful.
She drew her heels toward her backside and began the first set of ten reps. The pull, the burn, let her know she was being productive. At the same time she struggled to ignore an altogether different sort of pull. She closed her eyes, clenched her teeth against the disturbing sensation and concentrated on her breathing. When she opened her eyes she found herself looking at two very muscular, powerful legs and she forgot to breathe.
Her thought processes went from surprise to embarrassment to annoyance when her natural assumption was that his presence meant exactly the same as the other muscle-bound male patrons of the gym. Personal trainers in training that saw her as their next project. Dammit. That was it. She’d had it. Anger, bitter and cold, drove away the heat of her lust. Good, she needed to use her common sense, for God’s sake. She’d be damned if she’d lay there and let him humiliate her like the others had. Hell no, he had no right. None. She dropped the weight with a crash and rolled up to sitting position then stood as tall as she could.
“Okay, go ahead and get it out of your system so I can go back to my workout.” She tried for cool anger as she scowled up at him, hoping he didn’t notice the thread of pain in her voice. Damn, he was pretty. In spite of her fury and mortification, her fingers itched to reach out and touch him.
“Whoa! Calm down.” His voice was so deep and dark. It rumbled through her and gave her goose bumps.
“Calm down?” Her eyes narrowed.
He frowned back at her. “Look, your technique is excellent. I just came over here to ask who was training you and…”
The indignity made her grit her teeth in frustration. “No, you look. I don’t have a trainer. I don’t want a trainer. I just want to work out without some moosehead coming over to tell the fat girl what she’s doing wrong.”
There went that slow smile again. He arched a brow, folded his big sinewy arms over his bare chest and silently stared down at her—with condescension, no doubt.
“What is it with you guys anyway? You big muscle-bound oafs think you’re all God’s gift to women.” She couldn’t seem to stop herself as she pointed up at him now, barely resisting the urge to poke him in his well-defined, rock-hard, pierced-nippled chest. “You think every woman, especially us full-figured ladies, are just praying you’ll come give us a pathetic second of your precious time to instruct us on how we can be more appealing to you. Well let me tell you something, mister. I didn’t ask for your attention, nor do I want it. You don’t buy my club membership, my meals, or anything else for that matter, so I don’t see how my workout choices or the size of my ass are any of your damn business.”
He just stood there with that arrogant smile on his face, watching her, as if she were an amusing puppy.
“Why are you just standing there smiling at me like that? Why don’t you scurry back to your rat hole and leave me alone?”
“I’m smiling because I find it humorous that you’re all hot and bothered over your preconceived notions that I think a certain way about you based on your outward appearance. When all the while you’ve judged and sentenced me on the basis of my own.”
She stared at him for a moment and bit her lip. She had gotten carried away and it irritated her that he was right, and worse, he knew she knew he was right. She could see it in his rich brown gaze that was once again traveling over her body. Much to her surprise he reached out and gripped the bottom of her baggy sweatshirt and yanked it over her head in one smooth move. There she stood, with her mouth hanging open, in her sweaty purple leotard that clung to her body. Her full breasts were flattened to her chest and spilling over the low neckline, her hard nipples obvious against the damp cotton/spandex material, baggy sweatpants rolled down over her wide hips, revealing her pooch stomach and her round hips. Heat crawled up her neck and she balled her hands into fists, then quickly crossed her arms over her breasts.
“Much better.” His murmur was almost a moan. His smile spread into a toothy grin then he winked at her, turned and walked away with her shirt and disappeared into the men’s locker room.
Nearly everyone had paused or stopped what they were doing to watch. The two Barbie-like blondes on the stepping machines whispered to each other and giggled. Her first instinct was to hightail it out of there but she refused to give in to it. There was no way in hell she was going to let that man, the Barbies or anyone else screw with her newfound confidence or her workout. With steely determination she took a deep breath, lifted her chin and went back to working on her upper thighs.
An hour later she was pulling on her jeans and baggy blue Tigger T-shirt. She blow-dried her hair and pulled the unruly mass up into a banana clip. Guilt pricked her at the way she let the stud have it. He had certainly put her in her place, which for some reason she found thrilling. That wasn’t setting well with her either, and she just wanted to forget about it.
The whole weekend stretched out ahead of her and she had a lot to get accomplished before it was over. Lesson plans, however, would wait until Sunday night. Tonight she wanted to get home, have dinner and crawl into bed with a good book. Which in a way was sad, considering it was only five something on a Friday night. Times like this were when she really missed Brent, even though were he still alive they would probably just watch a movie on TV. She missed the companionship, the comfort of having someone else in the house. Tennis shoes tied, sweaty workout clothes stuffed in the duffle, she headed out of the locker room with a heavy sigh.
The beat of the workout music thumped through the building and the gym was crowded. Thankfully, she was on her way out. Lana, the bouncy aerobics instructor smiled and waved as she walked by the wide window and Jaimee waved back. Her smile was still in place as she pushed open the glass door and walked out into the warm night.
“Nice smile.” There he was, the stud, propped up against a column, exuding virility like he was posing for a centerfold. He’d changed into light blue jeans that hugged his narrow hips and clung to the healthy bulge behind the fly as if he were poured into them. The jewel tone blue shirt worked beautifully with his bronze skin, especially with the sleeves rolled up and the two top buttons left open to reveal his throat. He was hot, and that voice of his had a way of reaching out and touching her in all her private areas.
“Where’s my shirt?” she asked quietly, not quite achieving the coolness she was going for as her smile faded from her lips.
“I tossed it in the trash.” He pushed away from the column and stepped toward her.
“Unbelievable. You owe me a shirt.” She stared at him in disbelief. “You had no right to do that.” She turned to walk away, then paused and spun around to face him again. “Why did you do that?” Her voice was a bit higher than she had intended it to be but she’d never been so angry.
His brows arched and he leveled her with his piercing gaze. “You were hiding.”
For a moment she just stared at him with her mouth open, incredulous at the man’s audacity. She couldn’t believe her ears. The unmitigated gall!
He took a cautious step toward her. “The sweatshirt was unnecessary. Your face was beet red, you were too hot.” His lips curved slightly as he placed one long finger against her chin, closed her mouth, then let it fall away. “And, you were hiding,” he repeated softly.