Julia Burns can’t remember a day in her life when she didn’t have to work. So the ad in the paper sounds perfect to her – even if she does have to marry a complete stranger.
Nicholas Steele isn’t used to being around people since the accident that left him disfigured. Having a permanent house guest isn’t his idea of fun, however, the press would have a field day if they found he and his new wife weren’t residing together.
On paper, their ‘fake’ marriage fits both their needs, giving Nicholas a wife and Julia the security she’s always dreamed of having. In reality, every moment Nicholas and Julia spend together brings them closer to falling for each other.
The thin sliver of moonlight that filled the room showed her a large shape beneath the covers and the dark hair gave her cause to believe the man was the same one she saw earlier in the library.
He thrashed against the blankets and then let out a bloodcurdling scream.
Julia rushed over, doing the only thing that she could think to do. She slid behind him and cradled the man’s head to her breastbone. “Shh, it’s alright,” she whispered, stroking her hand over his hair. It felt much softer than she imagined it would.
“Wha? Who?” The man sat up and, in a flash, pinned himself on top her. “Who the fuck are you?”
Julia couldn’t see his face in the dark but she didn’t need any light to know he was scowling at her. With her hands held high above her head and his hard, heavy body crushing her to the mattress, thighs pinning her legs where they were, a foul taste rose into her mouth. This man was just like her foster father. The feel of his body against hers evoked dread.
“Answer me!” he bellowed from above her.
“J-J-Julia B-Burns,” she stuttered through tears.
“And what the fuck are you doing in my bedroom?”
Attempting to swallow down the horrid tasting acid that rose up into her mouth like waves proved to be an exercise in futility. “I-I heard…” What had she heard?
“Well?” he demanded.
“Please, I…I need to get up.”
Only when she began dry heaving did he released her arms and move his weight from on top of her. Julia curled into herself, wracking with sobs. Her chest felt tight, stomach roiled. Memories of the past assaulted her, combined with the events of moments ago.
What possessed her to come in here? She should have just left the man alone.
“Go back to your room, Miss Burns,” he deadpanned. “We have a busy day tomorrow.”
Scrambling to her feet, Julia fled from his room and jumped back into bed. Only once she pulled the covers up to her chin in her own room did Julia realize that she just came face to face with her future husband.
1. What’s your favorite organizational tool or item to help you keep your stories in chronological order? Do you prefer to write series or Stand alones?
I don’t have one, to be honest. And I don’t set out to write a series, it just sort of happens!
2. Do you play the What if game with a basic idea? Do you come up with your story idea first or do you come up with characters/who the main ones are before you can come up with the plot?
Ninety-nine percent of the time an idea hits me and I stop whatever I am doing to get it down. I guess you would call me a pantser as opposed to a plotter. It is fun to pull out scenarios and see what happens with them. Like putting the characters in a compromising position and watching what unfolds!
3. How do you decide on locations for each story and when you pick a place you never been for the story how do you research the place?
Mostly, the story can take place anywhere and I just pick a spot on a map that feels right. Luckily I have had the opportunity to travel to many places, and if I use one of those locations, I recall memories of them. If I pick a place I have never been to, I like to look up silly things like average temperatures for each month, precipitation, local plant and animal life, culture, etc. This way I can get a smell and a feel of a place, rather than going ahead and naming streets or businesses all the time. While it works for some, I prefer to let the reader imagine what shops might be around 🙂
4.How do you pick out names that you feel fit your characters and do you try to tie most if not all your characters from different books together?
Good question. Sometimes the name and the entire character is already there in my head. Others…I choose to keep my sources a secret 😉 Now, I don’t bother trying to make names sound similar for the characters in series because that would never happen in real life. It might work for other authors and that’s fine! I also like to give character names based on their age and where they’re from. For example, my Afrikaans characters have typical names for Afrikaans speaking South Africans. I don’t have a method though. If the name fits, right?
5. What’s your best advice to new writers on building a new “story” world and how to keep track of it all?
Keep notes. Have a separate Word document open while you write. Refer to it often and add when necessary!
I use Word. And I do keep a clipboard stocked with lined pages to write on. I carry it around the house, and I keep a pen and some extra pages in many rooms, just in case inspiration strikes.
7. Are you a plotter or panster? Do you need complete silence while working or do you like listening to music?
Pantser, definitely. And it depends on the scene but I do prefer to play music while writing.
8. How many words do you write a day and is there a time that you’ve found is your “best” writing time? If so, is that morning or night?!
It’s different every day. Some days I have more time and get more done. My best writing time is any time there’s no telly on, no kids needing cuddles, and no husband getting on my nerves 😉
9. How do you deal with rejection and when the muse rejects to help, what do you do about it?
When that happens I step away and do other things. Or, I start something new. A poem, or describing the room I’m in without talking about the physical objects; the scents, the feel of the room, etc. It sounds really, really lame, but it helps!
10. Have you ever felt like giving up on writing or stopped to question yourself of why your are writing?
I have but then, it feels like I’m committing soul-suicide. Writing is my soul, it’s who I am. I would lose one of the best parts of me if I did give up, I think.
11. What is on your writing wall? What pics do you have for inspiration?
Ummm I’m not sure what a writing wall is! If I find a picture that matches a character, I save it and refer to it often 😉
12. What will you be writing next?
I’m working on finishing a novel called “Where the Streets Have No Name” about a girl whose grandfather passed away, leaving her with the task of spreading his ashes around the coast of Ireland. She meets a gorgeous hunk of a man down on his luck, and they end up making the trip together. I don’t want to give too many details away, but just imagine spending a few weeks in close quarters with a sexy Irish bloke… 😉
13. No counting any of your own characters, who is your favorite book boyfriend?
Oh goodness… I’d want Tobias from Divergent, even though I’m twelve years older than he is!
14. Who is your go to author when you are looking for something to read?
I don’t really have one to be honest. I’ll give any author a try.
15. What got you into writing and what made you write this book?
It was honestly an escape. I had so many ideas and when I put them to paper, magic happened.
16. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Regardless of where you’ve come from, or where you’re going, taking that extra moment to be one hundred percent open and honest can make the difference between being with the one you love and being alone.
17. If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?
Falling for You isn’t your typical Beauty & the Beast romance. Behind the mask is a man who needs love. Even if he doesn’t realise it yet…