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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Interview: Paranormal Romance Author Terry Newman + giveaway

What inspired you to write this book?
I used Heartquake as the vehicle to fulfill a friend’s request to write about the fracking industry. Several years ago, the hydraulic fracturing industry, better known as fracking, discovered Youngstown, Ohio (the area where I grew up) was rich in natural gas.

So, the drilling began and so did the earthquakes and more. I had several friends who were anti-fracking activists. I went to several meetings. While I could understand their concern, it wasn’t a cause I wanted to get that involved with. And perhaps, that’s where Charlee’s reluctance of getting involved comes from.

But their fight went international. I attended one meeting that was covered by a Japanese television news crew. That was so fascinating to watch. I also thought it weird that the Japanese had an interest in what was going on in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. It did get me to thinking about the implications of what this group (mostly women, like in Heartquake) were doing. And that event inspired Charlee’s city council campaign to go international.

What can we expect from you in the future?
Heartquake contains so many characters I love. In addition to Charlee Lightheart and Riley Brockton, some of my favorites include Jared Sparrow and the two regular customers only known as Ed and Fred.

I love them so much, I hated to say goodbye to them. I’m working on a romance involving Jared. He had a secret that I wasn’t even aware of while I was writing the book. But looking back on his actions and characteristics, I see it so clearly now. I can’t wait to share it with you. And Ed and Fred hold secrets of their own.

But before you learn more about any of those characters, I’m hoping to reintroduce my long-time friends from another novel. The romantic comedy, Rewrites of the Heart, is awaiting approval from my editor. I want you to love JJ Spritely, Kennedy King Cooper, Alex Zurich and Blake Teesdale as much as I do. And I want you to come to the love the place they go to unwind, as well, the Physics Café. Every item on the menu is named after something scientific, like Fission Chips (for fish and chips) or Schrodinger’s Steak (it comes in a black box)

I guarantee you’ll love everyone who lives in this book.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Heartquake?
People often categorize books as plot-driven or character-driven. I believe that if you don’t have strong characters, you don’t have a strong plot. I hope I create characters who readers can relate to.

Charlee Lightheart, the heroine of Heartquake struggles with life—just like all of us do. She’s still mourning the death of her father who died from side effects of the overuse of arthritis drugs that the pharmaceutical companies knew were harmful. She blames herself for not fighting hard enough when she suspected the damage the drugs could do.

So, when she meets Riley Brockton, CEO of the eastern division of Brockton Enterprises, and is immediately attracted to him, she’s horrified to find out he’s a billionaire. He’s one of “those,” who make their money off the health and wellbeing of others. She finds herself conflicted, to say the least.

Riley Brockton, has had one too many bad love affairs. The last one left his inner lion badly wounded. Riley has a brother he’s close to, Quinn. The two look remarkable similar, even down to their mannerisms. This bond is demonstrated throughout the struggles he goes through in the book. Quinn advises Riley not only with business acquisitions, but in his personal life as well.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Names of characters are important to writers. Riley’s name is taken from the movie National Treasure, who is Nicolas Cage’s sidekick. And I loved the character. While my Riley is nothing like the one in the movie, I still loved the name. I made my Riley different from the character in the movie, but hopefully still loveable.

Charlee? If you haven’t noticed, I spell my name like a guy. When I was young, I read a book who had a girl character named Ricky. The idea of giving females names that are traditionally associated with guys appeals to me.

Pretty boring? Right? Let’s talk about Myron Whiffler, then. As you’ll discover, he’s the incumbent city councilman who Charlee runs against. His last name means “a person who is vacillating or evasive in an argument.” Love that word!

And another city council member is named Throttlebottom. The definition of this word is “a harmless incompetent in public office.”

Naming characters can be very satisfying, indeed.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
A large part of the fun of writing a novel is the unexpected turns characters give to your story. Before I wrote a novel, I would hear writers say that their characters took control of the story. I thought it was bull. But it’s real.

It’s hard to explain how it happens. You’re writing the words when they take you down a path you never seriously thought about before. Next thing you know, you’re giving your character dialogue that triggers a whole new direction in the story. One that’s better than what you originally had planned.

It happened to me with the manuscript I’m working on now. I was writing a scene, when a character popped out of nowhere and made a snarky remark. Wow. Where did she come from? Not only did it turn out to be a great addition to the scene, it gave me the idea for the next book.

It is one of the most exciting parts of the writing process and it springs from some creative well that you never knew existed. It’s what keeps me writing.

Who designed your book covers?
The cover art on Heartquake is awesome. I want to give a shout out to The Wild Rose Press artist, Kristen Norris.

She did an amazing job of capturing the essence of the story. There’s Riley in his suit looking very billionaire-like and his shadow that shows his “inner lion.” And I love the saying on the chalkboard mount, “Coffee makes everything possible,” which is, of course, a nod to Charlee and her coffee shop.

Kristen captured the essence of Charlee and Riley perfectly. Thank you, Kristen!

What is your favorite part of this book and why?
Every author has a favorite portion of the book. While I have several, I can only really talk about one of them. If I tell you the others, it would probably come under the heading of spoiler alert. It’s when Aunt Lilac, the aunt one of Charlee’s employees unexpectedly drops the F-bomb when Charlee announces her city council candidacy. I hadn’t planned for her to say this, she decided this piece of dialogue all on her own.

I’ll give you a hint about my other favorite part. It’s towards the end of the book and, surprisingly, it was added during the editing process. It involves a girl about eight or nine years old. She’s being interviewed by Gretchen Carlyle, the reporter who has been out to ruin Riley and Charlee throughout the story. But that’s all I can tell you.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Oh my God, are you going to make me choose favorites among my creations. The horror. You know I want to spend more time with them all.

If I had the chance to spend the day with Riley Brockton, the hero of Heartquake, I think we’d go to an art museum. I believe Riley is the type of person that loves Van Goghs as much as I do. And he appreciates the abstract art of Jackson Pollock (I love a good Jackson Pollock painting). Afterward, we’d go to an open air café and have lunch and drink coffee. Wow. Sounds like we might be spending some time in Paris.

Maybe it’s time to think about a sequel of Charlee and Riley in Paris.

What did you edit out of this book?
Surprisingly, I didn’t need to edit anything out of Heartquake. I was asked to add chapters. (I know. Every writer’s dream.)

I added three chapters. Two of them were in the beginning to add more context to Charlee and Riley’s relationship and one at the end. I enjoyed writing the additional ones at the beginning because I got the opportunity to give Riley more of a background. (Hint: he knows his way around an espresso machine.)

And the chapter toward the end, gave me my favorite line of the book, spoken by a little girl of about eight. But I can’t reveal it without spoiling the ending.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know? -type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
Here goes. I wasn’t going to share this piece of trivia about the book, but I think it sends a positive message. I queried the publisher, The Wild Rose Press, while I was in a nursing home recovering from a three-week coma. Yes, I was on oxygen—this was pre-pandemic) and the doctor wasn’t sure I would be able to breathe on my own, if they took me off it.

Well, I did breathe on my own. Surprise! But I spent a year and three and half months there (who’s counting?). I asked my daughter for my laptop after I got well enough, several months into my visit. And I worked on editing the manuscript for Heartquake. I remember sitting in bed one day and an aide looking over my shoulder, reading what I wrote.

The moral of the story: Never, ever, ever give up. If you have a dream, continue to pursue it, even if it looks hopeless.

by Terry Newman
March 9, 2022
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Coffee shop owner, Charlee Lightheart, views corporations with contempt. She believes her father died at the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. When she's approached to run for city council on an anti-fracking platform, she's reluctant. She's not sure this movement is her cause.

Billionaire Riley Brockton has given up on love. Then he walks into Charlee's shop. All he wanted was coffee and muffins. From that first electrifying touch, he knows he needs more. He withholds one piece of vital information: he's a lionshifter.

A rogue reporter sets out to reveal the one secret that can destroy the anti-fracking movement and the couple's relationship. Can their love survive the truth and public exposure?

Charlee leaned with her back against the front counter, her elbows resting on the flat surface. As she faced the coffee pots and watched as Mel idly wipe the counter and arrange the accessories, she confessed, “I’m a bit disappointed Mr. Impervious hasn’t been back. I guess there really wasn’t anything there but—”

She stopped talking suddenly, when she saw Mel making slashing motions along her throat with her index finger. Every muscle in her body froze. As quietly as she could speak, she said, “You’re trying to tell me he’s right behind me, aren’t you?”

Even though Mel hadn’t seen him, she must have recognized him from Charlee’s description.

Mel gave her a slight nod and then looked at Mr. Impervious.

She did the only thing any respectable woman would do who got caught talking about a gorgeous man within his earshot. She dipped down immediately below the counter and hyperventilated. Her breaths came faster and faster. She sat for several seconds, trying to will her body to control itself.

“It’s no use hiding,” Mr. Impervious said. He leaned over the counter and gazed down at her. “I can still see you.” She smiled weakly and gave him a timid tiny wave with her forefinger.

“There’s no way I can get out of this one with my dignity intact.”

Mel extended a hand to help her get to her feet and beelined to the kitchen. Heat radiated off of Charlee’s cheeks. She knew her face turned a bright red. She stammered an apology to Mr. Impervious.

The man stood with both palms down on the counter but said nothing. She involuntarily squirmed as her words were met with silence. Without thinking, she touched his hand. The electric surge occurred again, just like it did the first time. Before she could pull her hand away, Mr. Impervious took his other hand and placed it on top of hers.

This surge of electricity—no, now she knew it was more, much more than electricity, static or otherwise. It was, without a doubt, a sexual surge. A bonding of sorts. As hokey as she knew it was, it was nature’s way of alerting her that she just experienced what others would call love at first sight.

As soon as that thought popped into her brain, her mind rejected it. Holy Heavens! Where did that come from? She didn’t even know his real name and her mind is jumping to “love at first sight.” Ridiculous.

She looked him in the eye—his amber eyes—as she sized him up. The longer she gazed into those eyes, the more ensorcelled she grew.

She marveled at how the track lighting above the counter elicited every nuance of color in his eyes. His hands seemed more like paws. Not destructive mauling paws of a feral beast, but the large loving ones of an animal dedicated to protecting those he loved. She feared if he kept his hand on hers too long, she would start to think about love at first sight again. Yet she didn’t move it.

When he did remove his hand from hers, she felt an immediate and crushing disconnect. She fell back to earth and experienced the gripping weight and limitation of the force of gravity. Did an astronaut experience this remorse and loss of freedom when he re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and found himself bound by gravity?

“I apologize,” he said, as he shook his head slightly. “I think I’ve overstepped my bounds. That’s not at all what I intended to happen. That was uncharacteristic of me.”

“Don’t be,” she said. She couldn’t take her gaze from his eyes.

“Pardon me?”

“Don’t be sorry.”

About the Author
FB-Twitter-InstagramTerry Newman has always loved words. As the editor-in-chief of a national natural health publishing company, she has written books on a variety of topics, as well as writing direct-mail advertising.

She’s also worked as a reporter, a communications specialist and a freelance writer. She’d had clients worldwide, and researched and wrote hundreds of eBooks and print books as well as ghostwrote novellas and short stories.

One day she woke and decided to make her dream of writing her own novel come true. She sets all her stories in fictional towns in northeast Ohio and writes about things she loves—like coffee.

Terry has led workshops on writing and character development.

She has a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandpuppy, and lives in North Lima, a real town in northeast Ohio.

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  1. This does sound very good. Thanks for the wonderful post.

  2. I love the cover! It sounds very good! How long did it take you to write the book?