The Deerbourne Inn party continues all month on my blog, featuring another new book in the series. We go back to Willow Springs, Vermont with Charlotte O’Shay’s release, “Forever in a Moment.” This busy author was kind enough to answer a few questions:
What made you want to write a Deerbourne Inn story?
I wanted to write a Deerbourne Inn story because I loved our publisher’s idea of centering multiple stories around a centuries old Vermont Inn. The possibilities are endless and exciting. I admire my fellow authors at The Wild Rose Press so I was eager to see what everyone would come up with in their stories and I’ve not been disappointed. We have mystery, paranormal, contemporary and historical stories so far, and all are exceptional novellas.
What inspired you to write this story?
In order to write for this series, each author has to set her/his story in the fictional, small town of Willow Springs, Vermont. Since I grew up in NYC, I could relate to the challenge of plopping my main character, a city career woman into an alien place, i.e. a small town. Samantha might as well have landed on Mars for all the discomfort she feels when she first arrives in Willow Springs. I complicate it by having her go to said alien planet in a blizzard on what should have been her honeymoon. Samantha decides to get out of her comfort zone and make the best of this unsettling time in her life in a new place. That’s what I love about Sam. She’s always up for a challenge.
If you lived in the fictional Willow Springs, Vermont what would your hangout be?
I would definitely find a way to hang out with Jared Langford, the Deerbourne Inn’s receptionist. He’s heard and seen a lot from the vantage point of his job and he has a great sense of humor. I bet he also has access to the delicious food coming out of Nate’s kitchen so maybe I could grub treats. He’s a photographer too so I would bug him to show me his gorgeous landscape photos of the area and maybe walk around with him as he photographs some more.
What inspires your heroes?
I like to read and write driven heroes (and heroines). I like to figure out what or who formed them and give them a mate who challenges yet ultimately gets them. I love heroes who have to fight their nature maybe rethink their beliefs to win the heroine. I like heroes with tragic or difficult backstories. I love to watch my heroes collide with their women in the most beautiful, complicated ways.
What was your path to becoming an author?
Not straight. I was always an observer of people, places and things. For a while I thought I could be a journalist but deep down I wanted to write the stories in my head. I’d make up stories about people I encountered. I still do. As a kid I was always in the library reading anything I could get my hands on. My legal career, marriage and children, volunteer and pro bono projects bring massive joy but writing fills a space in me like nothing else can. If left alone I can happily write and read for eighteen hours and I have.
Do you spend more time reading or writing? What are you reading now?
When in promo mode I read a lot and tend to go out of genre with police procedurals or historical fiction. Something different helps me refill the creative well. I always have a book in my hand both for enjoyment and also read and reread craft books to improve my story skills. My TBR gets high when I’m in edits. Right now, I’m reading all of the Deerbourne Inn stories. They’re all uniquely great reads so they’re on top of my TBR. Basically there aren’t enough hours in the day to read all the great stories out there.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on two stories. One called Fired Up, a friends to lovers type story, the other called Revved Up, a kind of boss-employee romance. Both are contemporary, slightly steamy. If possible, I’d love to contribute another Deerbourne Inn story. Some fans have asked me to give my secondary characters from Forever in a Moment their HEAs.
Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.
Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law.
But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.
Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.
Here’s the blurb on Forever in a Moment
A stormy encounter…
Samantha DeMartino’s Christmas wedding is two weeks away when her fiancé calls the whole thing off. Word on the street: his cold feet are being warmed by an old flame.
With her well-ordered world in complete disarray, Sam’s friends convince her to go on her honeymoon—alone. A week away from the city and her demanding corporate career at a charming Vermont inn, could be just what she needs to figure out next steps.
Between his twenty-four seven work schedule on his family’s farm and teaching tourists to ski, Jed Armstrong’s too busy to think about how lonely he is…until Sam sings her way into his life during a Christmas blizzard. Now he has to figure out a way to convince her to stay.
Can a vivacious city girl find forever with a reclusive farmer?
Will her secret keep her from trying?
Read on for an excerpt:
I stand and shove my hat on my head, anxious to go, not bothering to tuck in the unruly curls escaping my braid.
“Thanks, Jed. Um, tomorrow I’ve made other plans. But…um…thanks for these lessons. I’ve learned so much.” After that stilted speech, which I’ve been practicing in my head for the last five minutes, I smile so wide my bottom teeth are surely showing.
I back toward the door trying to memorize the exact way his hair catches the light streaming through the window. When I put my hand in my jacket pocket, his jaw clamps so hard and his eyes go so dark, I wonder what I’ve done to merit his displeasure before I realize he thinks I’m reaching for cash to tip him. But I pull out my gloves and put them on. They’re my final armor against him. God knows I’ll never forget the feel of his hands on me, whether gentle, capable or rough. I still feel them all over me, cupping my jaw, roving my body, tangling in my hair. I turn and reach for the handle on the door.
“Samantha.” If his voice were angry or commanding I’d have kept going. But his voice is low and there’s an anguished, guttural quality to the way he says my name. And I won’t have it. I can’t have him thinking anything negative about me after I go.
When I turn, he takes a step toward me and I raise a hand. “Stop…I can’t think when you get too close.” My face heats as those damning words spill out and he chuckles, a genuine laugh and it’s the only one between us today.
“Glad I still amuse you.” I fold my arms across my chest.
“I feel the same way, Sam.”
“Jed, don’t make this tougher,” I say but he keeps speaking in that same harsh voice.
“When I’m near you everything fades away except the need to be closer. Close enough to watch your eyes cloud up when I’m about to kiss you, close enough to hear your breathing get ragged when my hands are on you.”
“Jed, we agreed…”
He shakes his head. “No, I gave in. Because you asked me to. If I had my way, I’d see you all day, every day and… sleep with you every night. I…”
“Stop,” I say. “This, us, whatever this is—can’t happen. I go back to New York in a couple of days.” “Sam, I…” “No.” I slash my hand through the air. “I don’t know what’s happening to me.” I’m on edge, close to tears at the way I can’t control my response to him. And all my precious logic is eluding me.
He plows a hand through his hair then captures my gaze with his and I can’t look away.
“What’s happening is us. We’re happening. This is our beginning. You and me together. I’d started to think it would never happen. But it did. When I saw you that first night…I knew. And you did too.”
“No.” My denial is swift. “No. I didn’t. It’s not that simple. We hardly know each other…” I lift my chin in spite of the flush I know covers my cheeks. I think of Jed kissing me awake in bed after a perfect, unforgettable night and I squeeze my eyes shut at the sharp stab of need the recollection brings. But it’s true, isn’t it? We don’t know each other. I surprise myself when a tear trickles down my cheek and I swipe it fast.