Friday, November 16, 2018

Interview & Excerpt ~ RESCUED BY CHRISTMAS by Erika Marks


Rescued by Christmas
by: Erika Marks
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Amazon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

All pop star Jackson Wilder wants this Christmas is a few weeks out of the spotlight in a rented cabin in the Colorado mountains. But when a blizzard leaves him stranded on a country road on his way out of town—and still wearing the Santa costume from a last-minute commercial shoot—he takes shelter in a nearby horse barn to wait out the storm.

Miranda O’Keefe will be lucky to get a wreath upon her door this year. Between raising her six year-old son, Ollie, running her vet practice, and getting her horse rescue project off the ground—Christmas will have to take a back seat. But when Ollie tells Miranda he’s found Santa Claus asleep in their horse barn—and has asked Santa to heal his beloved rescue horse Twisty—the self-reliant single mother finds herself asking for a stranger’s help to grant her son’s Christmas wish.

But when attraction turns to affection, will love come to the rescue this holiday for Miranda and Jackson too?


Hi Erika. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m great, Kim—and thrilled to be here today!

Awesome. What can you tell me about Rescued by Christmas?
I had THE MOST FUN writing this book. Our hero Jackson, a huge pop star, just wants a little peace and quiet this Christmas, and he gets his wish—just not in the way he expected! Instead of spending the holiday in a rented cabin, working on songs for his next album, he finds himself stranded after a storm in the horse barn of single mom and veterinarian, Miranda, and her six year-old son Ollie, who thinks the man in the Santa suit is the real McCoy! And when Ollie asks “Santa” to heal his ailing horse for Christmas, Jackson and Miranda make a pact to keep the spirit of the season alive for Ollie—but they don’t count on falling in love in the process.

I love the sound of the book. What do you like about the characters of Miranda, Ollie and Jackson?
They are good people who genuinely care about the world around them, and the people in it. Jackson may be a big star but he never takes his good success for granted and it’s important to him to give back. To me, there is nothing more romantic—or sexy—than a hero who has a huge heart.

What makes Jackson and Miranda perfect for each other?
Besides both having hearts of gold, they balance each other out. Miranda is no-nonsense—as a single mother, and owner of her vet practice and a fledgling horse rescue organization, she has to be!—and Jackson’s more carefree attitude about life and taking risks is a perfect foil. Himself the son of a single mother, Jackson understands how hard it can be for Miranda, and he also understands her resistance to risking her heart, especially when she doesn’t want Ollie’s heart broken either.

What’s your favorite part of a book to write?
I love this question, Kim. I would have to say the introduction scene is always my favorite to write—that first meeting sets the tone, and it’s often fraught with some kind of tension because it’s usually clear from the get-go that there is chemistry there, and attraction. And I can’t wait to see where the hero and heroine take it!

Rescued by Christmas was a good book. I have some favorite scenes. Thus, I know you have to have some favorite scenes. Tell me about one of them and why is it a favorite?
One of my favorites is the scene when Miranda first comes upon Jackson asleep in the barn in a Santa costume, after Ollie finds him. Like any mom, she’s most concerned about her son’s safety, but she’s also a doctor, so the healer in her is worried about this Santa-impersonator who is obviously injured. Meanwhile, Jackson assumes she recognizes him (she doesn’t, she has no time or interest in popular culture) and he’s baffled that she thinks he might actually be some nefarious stranger. Then they both realize that Ollie thinks Jackson is Santa which makes the scene—and their interactions—even more complicated…

What are some fun facts about the book?
Often stories and characters will evolve slowly for me, but this story came to me all at once! I was walking out of a restaurant after Thanksgiving and the small town we were in was having a holiday street festival, and as I walked back to our car, the plot fell together. I went home and outlined the story that night and it stayed true to my initial outline, which is rare!

Wow. I’m really impressed. Erika, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me.
Jackson was aware of light. A single beam of it, cutting across his line of vision as he blinked. Dust particles floating in the glow.

The dry, sweet smell of hay, and—

Pain.

He grimaced, squeezing his eyes shut. Was it coming from his ankle? It was hard to know—everything ached. Even breathing hurt.

He just needed to stay still.

But where was he?

A roughness at his neck, sharp and scratching when he moved his head.

He scoured his memory, trying to grab on a thought, any thought, but all he could focus on were the tentacles of fire tearing up his leg. Then—

A woman. Crouched down. Darting in and out of the stream of sun like some kind of red-headed ghost.

She was pretty—so pretty Jackson actually forgot for one perfect second how much his ankle hurt. She was concentrating hard on something by his boot, the tip of her tongue plastered against her upper lip. Did he know her? Should he recognize her?

A bolt of panic pierced through his thundering pain. Had he hit his head so hard he had amnesia?

I’m Jackson Wilder. I’m a singer and a songwriter. I was born in San Diego, and my birthday is June fifteenth, nineteen eighty-two…

Relief—a tiny pang of it—cheered briefly.

Okay. Good. If he had suffered memory loss, maybe it was just for short-term stuff. That was still lousy, but he could live with that. He still knew the big stuff. That was a good sign, right?

He rolled his head the other way, landing his gaze on a waving blond boy.

Instinctively Jackson tried to wave back but the second he raised his hand, he stopped, frozen by more pain.

Then that pretty face, that red-headed angel’s face, was coming toward him, those full lips drawing near, whispering: “If you try anything, I swear to God I’ve got enough horse tranquilizers beside me to put you out for a week.”

Wait—what? Jackson blinked feebly. Had he heard her right? Did she think he was some kind of creep?

He swallowed hard to wet his throat enough to speak and assure her he was the furthest thing from dangerous, but he could only croak out a scratchy “Hey, look, I’m…” before he sank back against the hay bale, the room sinking with him. Bright light rippling like a school of silverfish. The boy’s shrill voice drifting away, like a song fading out…

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You can read my 4.5 star review of Rescued by Christmas here.

Erika Marks is a women’s fiction writer and the author of Little Gale Gumbo, The Mermaid Collector, The Guest House and It Comes In Waves (July, 2014). On the long and winding road to becoming published, she worked many different jobs, including carpenter, cake decorator, art director, and illustrator. But if pressed, she might say it was her brief tenure with a match-making service in Los Angeles after college that set her on the path to writing love stories (not that there isn’t romance in frosting or power tools!) A native New Englander, she now makes her home in Charlotte, NC, with her husband, a native New Orleanian who has taught her to make a wicked gumbo, and their two little mermaids.

Places to find Erika Marks:

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