March 25, 2014 – The Teatime Author Interview…with Cynthia Harrison
Today it is my pleasure to welcome Cynthia Harrison to A Woman’s Wisdom.
Since 2002, she has been blogging for twelve years, she tracked her writing journey on “A Writer’s Diary” and now readers can download her “Blogging the Book” series and other “For Writers” tips on the blog where she currently writes about love and joy with a touch of humor.
Cindy has two grown children and an adorable husband who supports her writing. For twenty years, with time off for writing, she has taught college and creative writing. She lives in Washington Township, Michigan, in the USA. She loves Twitter and meeting people from all over the globe. Her Facebook page is Cynthia Hines Harrison. She also has a fan page.
What sparked off the idea of your book?
For Blue Heaven, I had friends with shabby chic cottages on Lake Huron and I loved that my friends had turned them from old hunting cabins into cute, each one unique, cabins. Fell in love with their talent with design and décor.
Which character, if any, most resembles your personality?
In Blue Heaven, there is a young woman, Lily, who quite reminds me of myself at her age. She’s a lost soul, she’s been molested by a family member, she has nowhere to go, a kind stranger rescues her, she has trouble with a new boy that she likes but can’t get close to…oh so many things. And Lily is going to have her own storyline in Blue Lake Book #3 this summer.
Which character was the hardest to write and why?
I had a hard time with Daniel. I tend to write guys as what I’d like them to be, not as they are. Lucky for me I have two male critique partners that tell me things like, “Guys don’t use the word ‘cute’,” and, “If a guy punches someone hard, his knuckles will be bruised and hurt after.”
How do you plan/research your books?
Research: I tend to try to write books on topics I know a lot about so there is as little research as possible. This isn’t as lazy as it sounds. If I’m interested in something, I tend to research it on my own. And that’s how I plan. What am I interested in writing about now? What have my preoccupations been?
What are you working on at the moment?
I just turned Luke’s #1 Rule into my publisher, but I want to add an epilogue, so that’s what I’m doing now. So far it’s just one page of notes and a few pics on Pinterest.
Do you write for any websites?
I have a blog. That’s my only writing gig aside from fiction. Well, and Twitter!
Paperback or ebook?
I like both. I collect my favorite authors and research books in hardcover or trade paperback. But I love the Kindle for ease of reading, transportation, and having a bookstore at my fingertips. Also no newsprint from the New York Times!
Favourite book as a child and as an adult?
I loved Nancy Drew as a girl. My all-time favorite book is Woodswoman, by Anne LaBastille, a true story of a young writer who builds her own log cabin, chopping down trees by herself (!) while also working toward a PhD in enviornmental studies. She went on to write many books in that cabin, and they’re all amazing. She also travelled to exotic locales for work and had many romances and was just one hell of a woman.
Whom do you admire and why?
Well, Anne LaBastille.
I also have great affection for the Dalai Lama and his stand for the “middle way” of peace and tolerance. Marianne Williamson, who wrote Return to Love, a sort of spiritual self-help book that changed my life. Nelson Mandela. When he could have made war, he chose peace instead. Remarkable humans.
Name three people, dead or alive, you would invite to dinner.
I would like to have you over, and we could grill (not literally!) Jane Austen and the Buddha. Fun!
It has been a pleasure to have you visit, Cindy. Thank you.
Excerpt from Blue Heaven
“Sugar or cream?”
She lifted on tiptoe to the top shelf for the bag of sugar, exposing, he could not help but notice, one smooth curvy hip and a dainty indentation of waistline. Before he knew it, he was beside her, one hand on her skin, the other effortlessly snagging the sugar that had been just out of her reach.
“I don’t have a sugar bowl.” Of all the things she could have said, this was about the stupidest. But she couldn’t help it. His hand on her naked midriff made her an instant idiot.
“I bought all kinds of dishes and treasures for the cottages at the antique store in town,” she babbled.
“But not a single sugar bowl,” he added.
“Or a creamer.”
They stood there at her kitchen counter talking about coffee condiments, and she swore it was turning into the sexiest conversation she’d ever had.
He was so close she could smell the beach on his skin. They moved at the same time, sat across from each other at the little table, sipping coffee. Even though she was famished, the cookies sat on a pretty plate between them untouched. She wasn’t hungry for cookies.
“Here’s what I was thinking,” Daniel said. He had a great voice. He could be on the radio. But what was he talking about? A museum?
“…and we could do a barter. I’ll fix your wood, the steps and the registration counter and the window sashes, if you find and furnish period pieces, set up displays in my museum. All on my dime of course. I want the best.”
“While you’re in Georgia?”
He nodded enthusiastically, a young man ready to set out in search of new horizons. She understood why he would want to spread his wings. She just didn’t like it. And if she was honest—the truth embarrassed her—she might not like his bossy attitude when it came to Bryman, but she was attracted to every other single thing about him.
“Sounds like a perfect plan.” She injected more happiness into her voice than she felt. “For me.”
“Winters up here are brutal. Just leaving your house to check on my places will make it worth my while.”
“Okay.” Having Daniel do woodwork would save her a bundle. “But it still doesn’t seem fair.”
“I have more ideas about what you can do for me.”
Whoa. Her face turned pink. He couldn’t mean what she thought he did.
“Let me document the work we do here at Blue Heaven. Take before and after photos that I can add to my museum collection. I have some old pictures, too. Maybe you do as well? From when your family came up summers?”
“I think so. Well, my mom does. But she can send them to me.”
Daniel took a breath. Things were beginning to go his way. “I have a friend at Discovery Architect. He knows Bryman, knows me. I’m betting the Blue Heaven restoration will be the thing that finally gets him to write us up. A summer resort on a GreatLake. Perfect.”
An illogical tiny corner of disappointment wedged into her heart. He was way more interested in her property than he was in her. But hey, he trusted her with his money. That said something.
Daniel’s earnestness was winning her over. He’d grabbed her hand across the Formica table and rubbed her palm with his thumb. Did he realize that what he was doing ramped up her attraction to him? She didn’t care. His skin against hers felt good. She didn’t pull away.
Car doors slammed and engines revved to life. Then within seconds, the air around them was still. Really? Five o’clock already? They’d been talking for hours, but it had seemed like minutes.
“When can I see the rest of the house?”
What was left were the bedrooms, two of which were crammed with boxes of antique store finds for the cottages, and the empty laundry room. Of course he probably wanted to check out her claw-foot tub in the bathroom.
After he’d quickly glanced into the other rooms, they ended up in her favorite room of the house right now. Her bedroom. This was the only room she was really comfortable in. Here were all her things: red laptop, flat screen television, iPod, and docking station. Her big bed from the condo and the white eyelet comforter with matching pillow shams. The weathered oak floor scattered with colorful rag rugs, the Battenberg lace curtains hanging at the window. She’d painted this room herself, before the movers came with her bed. The warm cream-colored walls showed off old brass wall sconces.
“Wow,” Daniel said, not paying as much attention as she thought he would to the sconces. He sat on the bed.
“Yeah, a real room.” Her heart sped up. He was sitting on her bed. She wanted to walk up to him, put her hands on his chest and push him down onto the mattress.
Her heart beat double time. Triple. She tried to take deep calming breaths. This was ridiculous. He sat innocently on her bed. Looking at her. Not her wall sconces. Not the wavy glass in her window. Her. Right before her eyes, he turned into the Superman she’d wanted him to be. Helping her take her dream to the next level.
“Lovely,” he said, and she didn’t know if he meant the room or her. The way he gazed into her eyes, as if he could see down to her soul, made her think he was interested in her, not her property.
Daniel got up from the bed and came to her without breaking eye contact. She let him come, couldn’t help it, couldn’t fight it.
“You are an amazing woman, Eva Delacroix.”
She stood rooted to the spot as he approached her, the air between them thick with desire.
“You’re pretty great yourself,” she answered, her words coming out in a husky whisper.
He was as close as he could get without taking her into his arms, and still he looked at her, not smiling, just holding her gaze. He smelled like the beach. Her eyes fell to his mouth.
Her stomach growled.
They both laughed.
She nodded, her eyes closed. She was a little embarrassed. What she was hungry for was his kiss.