Toni Noel, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Rising Above.
Genre: Historical Time Travel
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Cover artist: Carol Fiorillo
Length (words): 105,000
Heat rating: R
Tagline: A misfit tomboy goes back in time, compromises her reputation with a disillusioned Pinkerton man who to her dismay insists on a marriage of convenience, while she longs to return to her own time.
Bad weather cuts short Wilda Stone's hot-air balloon race, throwing her back into widowed lawman Hal Grantham's time, the 1870's. A sand storm forcing them off Hal's horse and into a cave where they spend two nights, compromising Wilda's reputation, and forcing Hal into a marriage of convenience. Once they make love Wilda realizes she has fallen in love with the terse lawman and abandons all thought of returning to the twenty-first century. Her stoic husband conceals his true feelings for her. When diphtheria-- the same disease responsible for taking his first wife and son -- threatens the silver mining town of Cerro Gordo, deep concern for Wilda's welfare drives Hal to send his wife back to her own time in her balloon. His actions convince her Hal shuns her love and she departs, whispering a promise to return, without revealing her pregnancy. Once her conveyance rises beyond his reach, Hal realizes his mistake and launches a futile search for the woman he now readily admits he loves.
Desert Breeze Publishing http://is.gd/Toni_DesertBreeze
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What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Wilda Stone and Hal Grantham. 28 and 32. In her other life Wilda was a flag person on a Caltrans road crew. In Cerro Gordo the only acceptable work to fill her time is helping out in the kitchen of the American Hotel, a totally unacceptable activity for an awkward outdoor girl who can't cook.
Hal is a disillusioned undercover Pinkerton agent ready for a change.
How do you come up with ideas?
Inspiration strikes me at the oddest times, and in unexpected places. Usually it's through something I see, or hear. A boarded up house in a ritzy neighborhood we were driving through inspired Decisive Moments. A network news story about the rising birthrate in a faraway Irish town inspired Fairy Dusted. A weekend stay in the refurbished bunk house of a restored silver mining town inspired Rising Above.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the freedom of being my own boss, and the chance to escape reality while I write, but I also enjoy the anticipation I feel when a friend buys one of my books. I can't wait to hear how they liked it, whether it made their day a little happier or gave them something new to think about.
What do you enjoy most about life?
The thing I enjoy most is simply being alive. I am so blessed. A loving family. Good health. A wealth of knowledge at my fingertips and time to explore all of it to the fullest. It's a great life.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
The inspiration comes first, then a character's name or the novel's setting. Next, as ideas come to me, I list fifty scenes necessary to move my characters through the story and reach a satisfactory conclusion. I'm very visual, so I transfer the scenes to stickies, arrange those on a story board, and after identifying the major turning points and the blackest moment for each character, I'm ready to write. The beauty of this method is the stickies can be moved around countless times, and the scenes rearranged as I write to give the story ending a satisfying resolution, showing ways in which the main characters have changed.
What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?
In my teens I called square dances for the Y.M.C.A. and later did alterations for a cleaners. When we were without health insurance, and our four young children had run up a big debt at their doctor's, I made drapes for his new office to settle our account. I've also performed puppet shows and taught crafts at nursing homes. Before retiring, I supervised a computerized payroll, and included some of my office experiences in Temp to Permanent, a romantic suspense.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I want my readers to feel satisfied with their read. I write novels about finding a safe haven for the heart and firmly believe this is what everyone hopes to find. I found my safe haven early in life, but it still delights me when the book I’m reading ends with the heroine finding her safe haven in the arms of her newly found love.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
I would specialize in classically styled upscale dresses and suits, go-to outfits a woman reaches into her closet for every day. I'd have a complete selection of leather boots in a variety of styles and widths. The leather purses I carry will have wide openings and no places for lipsticks and car keys to hide. I'd showcase earrings with silver or gold posts for pierced with only snap closures, no easily-lost separate parts. In the casual clothing department you'll find quality merchandise for travel, spectator sports and working out all in one place, the huggable woolens and cashmeres incredibly soft to the touch, the baby terry and fleece silky smooth next to your skin.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
I loved the countless opportunities for expanding my horizons school provided. I had endless curiosity and still question everything. My favorite question is "Why?"
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Caution. Contents under extreme pressure and with good cause will likely explode. (I inherited my father's volatile temper.)
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love vegetarian pizza with artichokes.
I'm always ready for fun.
When I'm alone I eat dinner on our best china. It makes me feel like I'm eating out.
You'd never be able to tell, but I was the head cheerleader for my high school.
If I had a halo it would be bent.
If I could crochet I'd own that sweater I've been admiring.
I can never diet for long because I love to eat and have no willpower.
Law Breakers and Love Makers, soon in print, too.
Temp to Permanent
Books Coming Soon
To Feel Again
About the Author
Toni Noel's Novels... Safe havens for the heart.
Toni Noel's love of books started in childhood, when her mother first read The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew to her. She helped start church libraries in two rural Tennessee towns and appeared before the City Planning Commission and the San Diego City Council to urge a site be purchased. As the neighborhood spokesman for the new library the City Councilman for her district invited her to turn the second shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking for the new library. Toni's fondest dream, to see one of her safe-haven-for-the-heart novels available for checkout there may soon be fulfilled. Desert Breeze Publishing will release in print form in November the author's first published novel Law Breakers and Love Makers.
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