My first guest is contemporary romance author, Lucy Francis. I asked her a few questions about her life, her writing process and her books.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
I actually live right where I want to: Utah. I love the great outdoors, and there is such tremendous variety of terrain in this gorgeous place, everything from alpine mountains and lakes to red rock country to stark deserts. You can go from the city to the middle of the wilderness in 90 minutes or less. The people are friendly, and the tap water is the best tasting of any Iâ€™ve had in the U.S.
Do you have other talents? Or is there a talent you don’t have that you wish you did?
I am Ms. Fix-it and the owner of the toolbelt in the family. Iâ€™ve fixed everything from electrical outlets to the sprinkling system. Iâ€™d love to be able to knit, but for some reason Iâ€™ve never been able to process that from brain to fingers.
What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?The first draft. Getting through the first draft is exhausting, especially when working with a deep, emotional storyline. I have much more fun once the editing and rewrites begin.
What are you working on now?
I have two WIPs. One is the third book in my contemporary series. The other is the first book of a paranormal series that leans to the science fiction side, with an alien twist to some PNR tropes. I had to research string theory and genetics, among other things, which was a blast.
Where do you write? Can you describe your writing space for us?
I have a home office, with a corner for my hubbyâ€™s computer desk. The huge window by my desk lets in lots of sunshine, the lovely breezes that filter through my forest, and the sounds of the birds singing and fussing with each other at the feeder a few feet away. But my deskâ€¦oh, thatâ€™s a very scary place. My file-by-pile system is seriously out of control at the moment.
Complete this sentence: When I want to kick back and relax, I ___________
Go fly fishing, get a massage, or hang out with my daughter and watch Doctor Who.
Travis Holtâ€™s life is steadily pulling him under, and heâ€™s fighting it. Heâ€™s trying to save his addict brother from self-destruction, and dealing with the constant reminder of his personal failures, including the one that shattered his family. When a woman with a mythical name and a soul-warming smile throws him a lifeline, can he dare let himself take hold? Or will he just end up failing her, too?
Andromeda Miller has escaped Phoenix and come to Utah for a new start to her messy life. When she meets a man whose heart is genuine and whose touch makes her crave him, will she let him into the new life sheâ€™s creating? Or will his personal demons hit too close to home and doom her to the same kind of consuming pain that destroyed her father?
Travis went up the wide, lavishly milled, curving stairs, meaning to give the house a look from the top floor down. His intentions flew out the nearest window when he walked into the master suite and found himself staring up at the most perfectly curved rear-end heâ€™d ever seen poured into faded denim. Sweetly rounded below a narrow waist, it was the sort of ass that women were forever trying to work off even though men begged for more.
He refocused, shaking off the buzz of appreciation zipping straight to his groin, and forced himself to take in the whole picture. The woman stood too far up for safety on a six-foot ladder, facing the opposite wall. She twisted a light bulb into the pewter fixture on the coved ten-foot ceiling. His gaze wandered up to dark brown, wavy hair. Pulled into a ponytail at the nape of her neck, the waves cascaded down the length of her red t-shirt, swaying at the top of her hips. Heâ€™d expected to find Rachel Garrett, his electrician. This tiny, curvy thing was definitely not Rachel.
â€œWho are you?â€ he asked.
She didnâ€™t respond. He stepped forward. â€œAre you here with Rachel?â€ He reached out and tapped the heel of her red tennis shoe. â€œHello?â€
She jumped at his touch, turning toward him as she took a hasty step down.
Her foot missed the ladder rung.
Travis reacted instantly, catching her as she fell, stepping back so she didnâ€™t hit the ladder.
A surge of fire blew through his system on the heels of the adrenaline rush, the heat pulsing through his chest as he held her, as his mind identified where he ended and she began. One arm held her around her waist, the other wrapped across her legs below her hips. For a moment, she stayed where sheâ€™d landed, half over his right shoulder, then she straightened. That position brought her breasts to eye-level. Her t-shirt, caught between them, molded against her, making it damn near impossible for Travis to swallow.
Heart pounding, Travis forced his gaze upward, meeting her dark brown eyes. The confusion in them threw ice water on his hormones. Small hands pressed against his shoulders and he loosened his hold on her, trying to ignore his physical interest as she slid down his frame to the floor.
She backed away a step, her gaze on her feet, her cheeks dusted pink, and pulled earbuds from her ears. The music blared through them. Ah. She hadnâ€™t heard him.
â€œHey, sorry I startled you,â€ he said. The rest of his words died in his throat when her gaze lifted and she smiled. A sweet, welcoming smile that lit up her entire self. It slid down inside him, stunning him and leaving a trail of light. No one heâ€™d ever known had a smile like that.
â€œItâ€™s okay. Thanks for catching me before I hurt myself.â€ She hitched her thumb over her shoulder at the ladder. â€œGuess I should have taken the â€˜do not stand on this stepâ€™ warning seriously, huh?â€ Her voice was low, with a slight whiskey-rasp.
It was a punch to the gut after anticipating that sheâ€™d sound like a little girl to match her small size. She couldnâ€™t be more than, what, five-two? A grin spread across his face, he couldnâ€™t help it. â€œPretty sure the warning is there for a reason. Are you here with Rachel?â€
â€œYeah, Iâ€™m visiting her, and attempting to help, though I clearly have no clue what Iâ€™m doing.â€ She shrugged. Her smile faded and the part of Travis that had revived inside because of her smile died again, too. It stung. How could he fix that?
â€œYou were doing great, I messed you up.â€ He held out a hand. â€œIâ€™m Travis Holt.â€
Her handshake was surprisingly firm. â€œAndri Miller.â€
â€œAndri? Interesting name.â€
â€œShort for Andromeda. I know, I know, my mother is Greek, so I come by it honestly,â€ she added hastily as his smile widened.
â€œNo, itâ€™s a beautiful name.â€ The sweet blush colored her cheeks again and his stomach flip-flopped.
Lucy has generously offered an electronic copy of Finding Refuge as well as a copy of the first book in her Heart’s Redemption series, Mending Fences, to one lucky commenter.
Thanks so much, Lucy, for helping me kick off Writer Wednesday.
Update: The winner of Finding Refuge and Mending Fences is Christine Warner. Congratulations, Christine.