April 8, 2013

Contemporary: Too Far for Love | Interview @1HeatherBrooks #RLFblog

Heather Fae Brooks, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Too Far for Love
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Cover artist: David Efaw
Length: 187 pages
Heat rating: 4/5
Tagline: Authentic relationships, passionate romance
Daphne MacLennan and her best friend, Liisi Toimelin, have experienced tragic loss and been burned by love. When Daphne meets a sexy Italian-Canadian, Nick Marisi, she can't get him out of her mind. He lives three and a half hours away, has children, and is struggling with employment problems. He also seems to be keeping a secret. Can an on-line friendship grow into something deeper? Should Daphne tell Nick the whole truth about her past? Can she trust herself around his children?
Her best friend, Liisi Toimelin, a breast cancer survivor, has given up on love. However, Max Coltraine, a friend, wants more. Can Daphne help her friend to heal when her own wounds are barely closed? The return of Daphne's ex-husband complicates her life even more.
High on the Canadian Shield, sparks fly. But, can either of these men light the fires buried inside Daphne and Liisi?
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What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Daphne MacLennan, age 33, watercolor artist and cello player
Nick Marisi, age 35, IT manager and computer programmer


A moment later, her phone rang. She set aside her computer, checked the call display and discovered it was Nick. She took a deep breath and picked up the receiver.
“Hi, Daphne. It’s Nick. I thought this would be easier than e-mailing.”
“Sure,” Daphne answered, curling up on the couch and tucking the throw around her legs again. “How are you?”
“I’m probably better than you by the sound of your message. Just how crazy was this guy?”
Daphne explained about his food order, thinness, and poor interaction. By the end, they were both laughing. She asked him about his software.
“It worked exactly as I hoped. Now, I wait for all the million dollar offers to roll in.” He laughed.
“Really, just like that, everyone is going to want this?” teased Daphne.
“Absolutely everyone on the entire planet,” Nick laughed again.
“So, what does it do?”
“It’s a translation program,” answered Nick.
“Oh,” said Daphne. “Don’t they already have that? I know a site on Google where you can translate words from one language to another.”
“Uh, huh. This is next generation. Leaves that in my dust.“
“So do you speak another language?” she asked.
“I speak and write Italian as well as I do English.”
“I guessed that.”
“French is pretty close.”
“More than conjugating verbs like the rest of us?”
“Yeah, fluently. There’s a lot of Francophone in Longlac. I speak French whenever I’m with them. I went to French Immersion and I used it in my summer jobs since I was a kid.”
“Good for you. I know ‘Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?’ from the song. I can ask for the washroom and a menu. Not much else. My brother is appalled at my ignorance.”
“Those are probably pretty important,” chuckled Nick, "especially the first one. My parents were Italian immigrants. They socialized with other immigrants but there weren’t many other Italians. I became interested in languages at a fairly young age. I took it upon myself to learn as much as I could. I asked people to teach me and the old people loved it. “
“What did you learn besides French?” asked Daphne, fascinated by this unusual man.
“Yugoslavian, Portuguese, Ukrainian, and a bit of German. In high school, I borrowed tapes on interlibrary loan, took correspondence courses, whatever I could get my hands on. I skipped grade two so I graduated at eighteen. Then I got my Masters in four years. I followed that up with a three year degree in math and computers. My parents wondered if I was going to become a professional student.”
“Wow! I’m impressed,” said Daphne. “You must have had a heck of a debt when you graduated. It took me a long time to pay off my loans.”
“Not really. I had pretty decent jobs in the summer. My parents helped Gabriele, that’s my older brother, and I. Even though they didn’t have much, they scrimped and saved to be sure we could go to university. Old-fashioned Italian parents can be pretty awesome sometimes. I think it was a huge source of pride for them to have university graduates for sons after arriving here with so little.”
“I can see that. What does your brother do?”
“Research. Funny, for men who come from a typical Italian family, except that there are only two of us, we both chose pretty solitary careers. Ha, maybe that's why. He’s the scientist in the family. I love talking with him about his work but sometimes I feel like I need a translator,” confessed Nick.
“I'm pretty solitary too, but other than that, I guess we’re pretty different,” said Daphne.
“I don’t know about that,” contradicted Nick. “You communicate through your art and music; I communicate through languages and computers. It’s all about reaching people. Making connections. We just do it in a less showy way than some others.“
“Oh, that’s true. I didn’t see that. I think of myself as a loner in many ways. All the hours of cello practice and painting, I guess I forget sometimes I do connect with many people, a whole auditorium full, when I perform.”
“I’m a loner too; I spend far too much time staring at a computer screen. I think I’ve become lazy in the social arena. I’ve let my children and my family become my whole life. I thought I was doing okay, until I shook your hand.”
“You didn’t feel that?”
Daphne hesitated. She placed her fingers absently over her lips, unsure what to admit.
Nick continued. “Just me then, I guess.”
“No,” admitted Daphne. “I felt it. Warm, exciting, comforting, drawn to you, all at the same time.” She laughed self-consciously.
“Oh, good. I wanted to keep holding your hand until I knew everything there was to know about you,” confessed Nick. “I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind: those amazing blue eyes, those adorable freckles, that beautiful hair.”
“Ohhh, my. I didn’t know all that.”
“Really? Haven’t you ever looked in a mirror?”
“No, I mean, what you felt. Well, I knew something was going on. But, when I found out you lived three and a half hours away, it just didn’t seem very practical to think about it.” She readjusted the throw, feeling fidgety.
“Hmm. I plan on moving to Thunder Bay someday. When all my ducks are in a row.”
“Someday soon?” asked Daphne.
“Well, it’s not that easy.”
“No, I guess not.” Daphne bit her lip, disappointed.
“So, what are you wearing?” asked Nick.
Daphne snorted. “Seriously?”
“I just want to be able to see you. You just came back from a date. What did you wear to knock Mr. Skinny Butt’s socks off?”
“He’d never remove his socks,” said Daphne.
“Too cold!” they both said at once.
Daphne described her hair clasp, jacket, top, pants, and boots. “I took off my boots and jacket when I came in. You know, I actually went shopping to get the perfect outfit for my big date. How dumb was that?”
“Wear it for me sometime,” said Nick. “I’d like to see you in it.”
Daphne paused. “I…guess. Now you tell me. What are you wearing?”
“T-shirt, pajama bottoms. Sorry, no hot date to dress up for tonight. I may have one tomorrow though. I figured since you were brave enough, I’d be too. A friend of mine has a sister visiting from Lethbridge. Taina. We went to high school together but I haven’t seen her for a long time. She’s divorced. I’m going to go for dinner with my friend, his wife and Taina. I hope she actually eats, not like your date. Food is important to me.”
Daphne felt a prickle of jealousy. Would he kiss her good night? Probably. Definitely. Damn.
Nick continued, “Do you live in a house?”
“No, I live in an apartment. I moved here after the split and I’m comfortable. My ex sold the house and moved away. I like where I am. It’s a beautiful neighborhood. There's green space behind the building. I really like that. There’s a small river on the edge of the parking lot with a walkway that leads right to the Marina. I have two bedrooms. One room is my studio and music room. I actually sleep in the smaller one.”
“In a lovely big bed, I hope,” whispered Nick.
Daphne ignored the tightening of her stomach muscles. She hadn’t slept in a king-sized bed since the divorce from Albert. “Do you live in a house?”
“Yes, three bedrooms, all with beds and people who sleep in them. Carlina’s bedroom and comforter are purple, that’s her favorite color, and buried under a mountain of stuffed toys. Paul’s is red, white, and blue, like the Montreal Canadiens. My room is in need of some freshening up, I’m afraid. I’m not much of a decorator. I need a woman in there, I guess.”
Daphne laughed. “You are a little less than subtle.”
“I thought I wasn’t ready for a woman. Lately, the room seems far too big for one person. I haven’t felt that way in awhile. I thought I’d adjusted.”
“What changed?” asked Daphne.
“I met you.”
Dumbstruck, Daphne listened to telephone static. Her stomach did a flip-flop.
Nick cleared his throat. “I guess that came on a bit too strong. I wouldn’t just want you in my bedroom, not that I haven’t been thinking about it. A lot. I’d like you in my living room, my kitchen, everywhere. I want to get to know you, in every way possible.”
“Oh,” whispered Daphne. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Try, ‘That’s a great idea, Nick.’ I’d go for that.”


What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I read far more how-to books on writing. Now that I have a better understanding of my weaknesses, I can focus my attention on those areas.
What websites do you visit daily?
I can’t say I visit any website daily. Some days, I don’t even get near the computer and some days I focus completely on writing, shutting off all distractions. When I am on the net, I check out my facebook page and twitter. They inevitably lead me to a dozen other sites. Next, I check out blogs that I follow. Some are on writing and publishing, but several are just people who have captured my interest. I like to follow publishers and agents.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love when I find a juicy tidbit of information or write a vivid image that I know helps my writing to come alive. That blend of imagination and research is a wonderfully creative force that fuels me.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I would have written every day without feeling the need to justify the time spent on it. I would have insisted on taking the time to grow as a writer without worrying about publishing.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Wine and cheese. :-) Seriously, I try not to attach myself too much to my work. Once it leaves my computer, I have very little control over what happens to it. If I agonized over all the screw-ups and delays in publishing, I’d burn out. I always have more than one novel or story on the go so that I can focus on something new when things aren’t going as well as I’d hoped with a project.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Since I write some pretty hot scenes, I’m not sure I should answer that. I will say that my husband is always ready to assist with hands-on research.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
Too Far for Love
When I completed my second manuscript because I realized it wasn’t going to be a one-shot deal, that I was going to improve and grow on this journey as a writer.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
A first class beach house on the ocean in the tropics in January because I hate Northern winters.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I like to go out to a fine restaurant with live music like a pianist or a two or three piece group especially with cello and/or violin.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
I’m fire red. I wish I was blue or green, but I’m not. I’m intense, but sometimes I can’t control it, and it leaves me feeling like a field of ashes afterward.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with Greek salad.
I'm always ready for private time with my husband. We never seem to have enough. Life is always so busy.
When I'm alone, I write.
You'd never be able to tell, but I can be intensely shy. I hate large groups of strangers.
If I had a halo it would be tilted and a little dented.
If I could travel the world I'd visit the seven wonders of the world, both ancient and modern.
I can never sing out loud in public because I can’t sing on key.

Previous Books

Foxy Lady, A Little Bit of Laundry, and Melting all published by Noble Romance.
Books Coming Soon
Too Far for Love – March 29, 2013

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