Terri fell in love with reading at a young age, starting with condensed versions of classics such as The Wizard of Oz, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Little Women. She fell into Romance novels around Junior High and never looked back.
Terri makes her home along the coast of Virginia with an eye-rolling teenager, two fat tabbies, and a hyper yorkiepoo. By day she’s a Project Analyst, but by night and weekend she’s dedicated to telling contemporary love stories with lots of laughs, ample angst, and a satisfying sigh at the end.
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Sometimes the next best thing is what you’ve been looking for all along…
Beth Chandler has spent her whole life pleasing others. She went to law school to make her grandparents happy. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend, Lucas, to make him happy. And, despite her fear of boats, she took a ferry to see Lucas’s parents just to make them happy.
While suffering through a panic attack on the ferry, Beth meets a tall, sexy stranger who talks her down from her fear—and makes her heart flutter in the process. Soon, she has a new reason to panic: her gorgeous, blue-eyed rescuer is Lucas’s brother, Joe. But could she ever leave her fiancé for his own brother…even if Lucas is more focused on making partner than on making their relationship work…and even if Joe turns out to be everything she never knew she wanted?
Filled with excitement and delight, Meant to Be is the story of a young woman torn between urban pressures and small-town pleasures.
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Hi Terri. Thank you for joining me today. Congratulations on having your first novel published. I have to ask…How did you manage to write a novel while also working full time and raising your daughter?
Excellent question! The honest answer is, I’m not sure. My daughter is very good at entertaining herself, so that helped. The rest is a combination of no social life and finally breaking the television addiction. Which was hard for someone from a family of TV addicts.
All the characters in Meant to Be are very likeable, except for one but we aren’t going to talk about Cruella. I have to say Miss Lola LeBlanc is one of my favorites. What did you have first, the characters or the story idea?
For me, the characters always show up first. While nodding off to sleep usually. The hero showed up first on this one, introduced himself, then told me about a run in with a pretty lady he really liked. Then he told me she was engaged to his brother and kind of said, “Now fix this.” Right. So glad you liked Lola. She’s a fun one. One of those secondary characters who can drop a one-liner and follow it up with a priceless piece of wisdom.
I can so picture Joe saying that and being that way. How would you describe Beth and Joe? And tell me something about them which we may not know.
Beth is a classic people pleaser. She was raised not to turn out one way, which resulted in her never learning how to just be herself. Joe is stubborn and can be narrow-sighted. He’s a good guy and once Beth opens his eyes, mostly about his brother, he sees things in a new light. But he’s a bark orders/soothe feelings later kind of person.
Something you may not know. Joe has a soft spot for his boat mechanic, though it’s hard to tell through their bickering exchanges. He knows a pretty big secret of hers, and he keeps it for her. Though he’ll also share it (in book 2) when it becomes necessary. Beth is a bit of an open book (no pun intended.) Not sure there’s much the reader won’t learn about her on the pages.
Joe really is a nice guy, once you crack his shell. Beth is also sweet, sometimes a little too sweet. What’s your favorite part of a romance novel to read or write? (The beginning, the first meeting, first kiss, getting to know each other, first love scene, big fight, HEA or something else?)
Most authors I know hate to write the middle, but for me, that’s the most fun part. That’s where all the good stuff happens. Where the hero and heroine bounce off each other, learn to deal with each other, and ultimately fall in love. Beginnings are hard, the first kiss is daunting, and the ending is a delicate balance to get just right. But the middle is the good stuff. That’s where the story gets fun for me.
What’s your favorite scene and why?
It would have to be when Beth is tanked on tequila. Partially because that scene practically wrote itself, and those are always the best, but also because the interaction is both poignant and hysterical. Beth lets her guard down, and Joe is forced to be strong for both of them. Tequila served as a fuse to their attraction and in this scene, they’re so close to going up in flames. And then it ends abruptly, in a rather ugly way, but I won’t spoil that part.
LOL...The tequila scene was good. Is Joe a boxers or briefs guy?
If you read to the end, you learn Joe is a commando guy, but when he does wear something, it’s boxers.
I’m sorry... I knew that.. I don’t know why I asked that question. I actually had that part highlighted. (smiles) What’s the one thing you would like someone reading Meant to Be to take away from it?
What a good question. I want them to feel three things. That Anchor Island is a place they want to visit. That Joe and Beth are people they’d want to know. And most of all, I want them to believe that this couple will live happily ever after for many years to come. If when the reader closes this book, she smiles and gives a sigh of satisfaction, then I’ve done what I set out to do.
Well, it ALL works for me.
Morning person or night owl?
I used to be a night owl, but these days I’m good for about three hours in early afternoon. LOL!
Coffee or tea?
Tea as I grew up with my grandmother who was British. There was no coffee in our house growing up.
This might be a tie between pizza and brownies, with chocolate chip cookies in the hunt as well.
For years I loved the color mauve. Weird, I know. But I’ve shifted to more blues as I’ve gotten older. Light or dark, blues always make me smile.
Love at first sight or second chances?
Tough one. I’m going love at first sight.
Summer or Winter?
Definitely summer! I’m anti-winter. Grew up in the north and moved below the Mason Dixon line almost 20 years ago to get away from blizzards. Now I deal with hurricanes, but that’s still better than snow.
Thank you Terri. We’ve talked a lot, so you know that I’m looking forward to book two. You guys HAVE to read this book, so I can talk to someone about it!!!!! Sorry. I just had to say that… Terri, is there anything I forgot or something you would to add?
Thank you, Kim, for a great interview and for being one of my earliest supporters. I would add that though Anchor Island is a product of my imagination, I was greatly inspired by a real place. If you’d like to take a vacation to a remote island in the Outer Banks only accessible by ferry, head for Ocracoke Island, NC. You’ll recognize the lighthouse, the street names, and even the restaurant upon which Dempsey’s is based (Howard’s Pub.) I can’t promise a hunky fisherman will greet you on the ferry, but you never know.
Click HERE for my review of Meant to Be.
The lovely Terri is giving one lucky Read Your Writes Book Reviews reader a chance to win a signed print ARC copy of Meant to Be. Contest is only open to US residents. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions to win. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway