Today my special guest is fellow Author, Tara Chevrestt, author of ‘Plotting to Win’ , ‘A Healing Love’, ‘Her Story: Fiction Honouring Women’s Fiction Month’, ‘Strong is Sexy’ and ‘Votes for Vixens’ (among many others!), and Bookbabe Blogger. Welcome to the blog, Tara!
What was the first story you ever wrote?
The earliest I remember was fifth grade. I had to illustrate it, write it, and bind it all in a book. It was some story about a girl and her horse.
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
Carlos in A Healing Love. He looks like Danny Pino, rides a bike, is Latino, and both a considerate man. *sigh* He is sorta what I envision the perfect man to be—in looks and characterization.
‘Strong is Sexy’ is your motto for heroines. Out of all characters in literature, which heroine do you think most fits this description?
A book called Glamour Gals comes to mind. It is about both Jackie Cochran and Nancy Love and how they started the WASP, Women Air Service Pilots, during WWII. It’s a novel, but all the women in that book were headstrong and struggling to obtain their goal to better help women, the war, and the country in general. Also Russell Whitfield’s Gladiatrix. Woman gladiator…Need I say more? That’s probably the toughest heroine ever! And Haley Elizabeth Garwood’s Zenobia, about a warrior queen. I’ve read some lady pirate books that would make it on this list too.
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?
I have a lot more appreciation for writers and all they go through. I understand the behind-the-scenes process now and when I write reviews, I keep in mind the author doesn’t always have a say in certain things. I take more care in what I complain about. LOL.
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?
Right this moment, I’m reading Sarah Jio’s The Bungalow. My e-reader has over 200 books on it. We’d sit here all day if I told you those titles. LOL. But it’s a mixture of historical fiction, contemporary, and some romance. Mostly historical though.
Are you a plotter or pantster?
A little of both. I may write down a few scribbles of what I visualize scene to scene, but it becomes something more once I get going.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?
I’d grab lots of money, cash, and travel back to the muscle car days. I’d buy some Chargers, Challengers, Camaros, Novas, and Road Runners and bring them babies back. LOL I’d keep a few for myself and sell the rest.
Can you tell us about your works in progress?
Not right now. I’m not sure it’s going to be under my name. I will say I’m trying something completely different.
Can you give us a sneak peek at the book, maybe something from your favourite scene?
Carlos had been expecting a badly scarred, burly woman, not the petite, slender girl from the coffee shop in Cripple Creek. Only, she wasn’t really a girl. Her curves attested to that. He had to remind himself she was twenty-three, as there was something extremely young and vulnerable about her. Only the angry red mark on her throat—not covered by a scarf as it had been when he’d seen her before—marred her beauty…and that didn’t bother him.
She stepped forward, her gaze on his. She looked just as surprised at the sight of him as he was at the sight of her. Had she been expecting an old man with gray hair? He fought the urge not to smile at the idea. Most people expected someone with his reputation to be much older than his twenty-eight years…and not a biker they’d met in a coffee shop who rambled about senoritas and antibiotics. After all, obtaining a PhD was time-consuming. But he’d been lucky, and unlike many other students, had not had to work his way through college, and thus, had been able to focus solely on his studies. He knew he was blessed. A supportive family and a scholarship had seen him through.
Carlos jolted himself from his musings and managed to tear his gaze away from his patient—patient, best not to forget that—and looked for her brother, expecting him to be right behind her. There was no one there; she was alone.
“Hi.” He rose from his chair and reached a hand out to her for her to shake. “You must be Kimberly Rogers. Is your brother with you?” Her hand felt soft and delicate in his own. He was careful not to give it the firm squeeze he normally was prone to giving, careful to keep his expression neutral and not reveal his surprise or pleasure.
She nodded and pointed to the door, in the direction of the waiting room.
He mentally flipped a switch in his mind, from Casual Carlos to Doctor Carlos. Carlos decided the fact she had brought her brother, but not allowed him to escort her into the office itself was a positive sign. She wanted to do this on her own, obviously. She wasn’t weakened to the point she needed someone to hold her hand at all moments. His task may not be as difficult as he’d originally thought. Then again, too much pride could also hinder a patient’s healing. But at least she was willing and comfortable enough to face a therapist on her own. The woman had drive. It was visible in the way she held herself in front of him, back straight, shoulders back, chin up. And though he knew from her records she was wearing contacts, her eyes had a determined glint the lenses couldn’t hide. The removal of the scarf was a positive step as well. She was no longer ashamed of her wound.
“Have a seat.” Carlos gestured to the chair across from his desk, and then, instead of taking his own, he walked around to take the seat a short distance from hers, turning it slightly as he sat so he would be facing her. When she appeared comfortable, despite the fact she was gripping the armrests, he smiled warmly at her. “I’m Carlos Medina. Your brother told me some of your past history and current problems, but I would like the full story from you. Now, I realize you cannot speak; that’s why you’re here, so is there a particular way you wish to communicate with me right now? You want to write? Would you rather fill out a form and then talk to me on the computer until we progress?” He waited, clearing his throat nervously, for her to answer, and shocked himself with his own internal thought. Please, say no.
Yea, he was going to crumple and throw that desensitization, talk via computer crap out the window…if she let him. He couldn’t explain why—some therapist he was—but he didn’t want to this woman to talk to him online. He wanted to talk to her in person. The little switch was slipping back down to Casual Carlos pretty fast. There must be a short in my circuit, because I don’t want or need a woman in my life like that—especially not a patient. It’s not worth my career…or my heart.
Whereas glasses can help her see and hearing aids can help her hear, nothing can force her to talk again. Is she really unable to speak, or is she hiding behind her disability to protect herself, her pride, and her heart? Regulated to the most menial of jobs, her world in shambles, Kimberly is finally convinced to seek medical assistance.
Carlos Medina is Jackson Hole’s best therapist. If anyone can make Kimberly speak again, it’s him. But Kimberly has to meet him halfway, and Carlos has his own past tragedy that the young, mute woman threatens to force him to conquer.
They both have wounds…and sometimes wounds must be reopened before they can heal. Can they open up to each other? Can Kimberly find her voice again and open her heart? Can love heal them both?