I am happy to have fellow Samhain and Harlequin author, Donna Alward, on my blog today. Her latest book, In the Line of Duty, was released YESTERDAY! Congrats, Donna. I can’t wait to read it. Okay…here’s the interview:
- Describe your perfect day.
My perfect day starts at 6:30 a.m. and happens during the school year. I get up, shower, have breakfast, get husband off to work, kids off to school, walk the dog in the sunshine, come home to absolute quiet and work – uninterrupted – until noon. I make myself lunch and then work until 2:30 or 3 – again uninterrupted – and then kids arrive home on the bus. If it’s a perfect day there are no extracurricular activities that require me to be chauffeur. Husband arrives home with a smile, we sit down to dinner together as a family, and kids quietly do homework before bed. Now you know why perfect days are so rare! But they do happen occasionally, and I appreciate them all the more. And I really don’t mind the chauffeur bit for the most part. I love watching them take part in things they enjoy.
- What’s the hardest part about being an author? The best part?
Juggling. The hardest part of the past year wasn’t the actual writing of all the projects I finished, but the “after” work, like revisions, edits, proofs, art fact sheets, promo – all the little jobs that add up and distract from being able to just sit down and WRITE. The best part is hearing from readers, hands down. When a book hits the shelf, and someone bothers to drop you a personal note about it, it’s a pretty special thing.
- If you decided not to write anymore, what other career could you see yourself doing?
I used to say Teacher, but after working as a teacher’s aide I would do that instead. Less money, but less having to deal with admin, school boards, parents, and prep work. It’s like being a teacher but with the ability to go home at 4:00 and actually be DONE for the day. I loved being with the kids and in the school atmosphere, and yes…I did take prep work home occasionally.
- Describe your best “author moment.”
I have to say that as of this moment, getting the call telling me I’d finalled in the RITAs is right up there. It’s one of those things you dream about when you’re still waiting for that first publishing contract, and second only to getting The Call.
- What do you think readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I can’t make Jello. It NEVER sets right for me, not ever. I cook a lot. I love to bake, and there’s a recipe corner on my website. I can whip up a delicious dinner and a 12 Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache, and yet…Jello defeats me. I have no idea why.
Jello, huh? That’s funny! Now for some crazy reason, I have a craving for lime Jello. 🙂 Here’s a little bit about Donna’s brand-new release:
When it comes to love, sometimes a girl has to go above and beyond.First Responders, Book 2
Jake Symonds has been a thorn in Constable Kendra Givens’s side since the night they first met, when she’d had to arrest him. In his boxer shorts. The drunken comments he made that night are worsened by the truth she’ll never admit. For a fleeting moment, they’d connected.
Two years later, when she’s called to investigate a break-and-enter at his pub, the last thing she expects is for the now-competent businessman to cook her breakfast. But she’s no fool. The former bad boy still lurks beneath the charm. And his business involves the one thing that she’s hated since it ruined her childhood. Alcohol.
As far as he’s concerned, Jake has changed, but Kendra still has a stick up her butt. Yet he can’t help but like her sass and quick wit. One well-aimed baseball at the carnival dunk tank later and he’s got a date.
Their spark of attraction quickly flares out of control, but their emotional baggage is stacked too high to risk anything deeper—until one tragic night strips the barriers from their deepest fears. And Kendra realizes the greatest danger Jake presents is to her heart.
The afternoon was waning when she heard a shout go up from the games area. Curious, she wandered over that way and found a group surrounding the dunking booth. The local school principal came out sopping wet and made room for the next victim. Kendra smiled and clasped her hands behind her back, relaxing and enjoying the sound of laughter. She wondered who they’d put up there next.
She didn’t have to wait long. There was more giggling, and then she saw Jake take a precarious seat in the top of the tank.
Kendra squeezed her fingers together. Did she dare? There was always the chance she’d miss the button and the lever wouldn’t drop.
But there was the chance she would hit it and it was oh-so tempting. For a few minutes she watched some teens line up and take aim. One came close to hitting the edge of the button, but didn’t quite make it. Jake leaned back a little, put his hands behind his head and preened.
His cocky attitude was enough to make up her mind. Casually, she sauntered forward, dug into her pocket for the dollar it cost for three chances and tossed the first ball up and down in her hand. She looked at Jake and grinned.
His smile widened and he spread his elbows wider, as if to say, “Go ahead, lady, take your best shot.”
“Get him, Constable Givens!” A boy of about twelve sent up the first cheer as she weighed the ball in her hand. A crowd was gathering now, and she wiggled her eyebrows at Jake. He didn’t look the least bit worried.
She planted her feet, drew back and let the first ball go.
It just missed the button, hitting the booth a little to the left of the trigger with a hollow metal sound. A chorus of disappointment went through the crowd, but she took her next ball and turned it over in her hands.
Jake sat up, raised his hand and yawned. Then he laughed.
She couldn’t help the smile that touched her lips. Lord, but he was a cheeky one. She’d be the last one laughing. Had to be. There was a certain amount of pride at stake, especially after his harsh dismissal of her earlier.
She pulled her shoulder back, stepped into it and missed again, overcorrecting and hitting slightly right.
“Come on, Givens. Your aim’s a little off,” he called out, and the crowd laughed. “I hope you shoot better than you throw!”
This time she didn’t hesitate or think. She grabbed the third ball, curled her fingertips along the curved stitching and let it rip.
There was a moment of surprise where his face completely blanked, and then a splash as he hit the water. Kendra couldn’t stop the laughter that bubbled up and out of her mouth. The crowd joined in, clapping and cheering as Jake stood up, his face dripping, his T-shirt sopping wet and clinging to his broad shoulders and chest. All in all, he looked pretty damn good when he was wet. And she’d salvaged her pride. A good afternoon’s work, to her mind.
“I’ll get you for that,” he warned loudly, running a hand over his hair before resuming the seat.
“Careful, Jake,” someone called out. “She’ll have you up on uttering threats or something.”
He looked down at her, affecting a scowl, but he couldn’t maintain it. He laughed and then sent her a wink. It should have been silly. Instead it was sexy as hell.
Great excerpt, Donna. I can’t wait to read In the Line of Duty.
Donna Alward’s Bio: A busy wife and mother of three (2 daughters and the family dog), Donna Alward believes hers is the best job in the world; a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist.
An avid reader since childhood, Donna always made up her own stories. She completed her Arts Degree in English Literature in 1994, but it wasn’t until 2001 that she penned her first full-length novel, and found herself hooked on writing romance. In 2006 she sold her first manuscript, and is now an award-winning author of more than a dozen romances.
From her home office in Nova Scotia, Canada, Donna loves being back on the East Coast after nearly 12 years in Alberta where her career began.
Donna was kind enough to announce my big news on her blog on August 1st. Click here if you want to check it out.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today, Donna. Best of luck with your latest release. 🙂