Shannon here: Contemporary romance author, Lesley Ann McDaniel shares insight into her characters’ romance from book 3 of her Montana Hearts series. Comment on any post dated Feb 3 -5 to enter the drawing for a copy of Rocky Mountain Romance. Here’s Lesley:
Interview With Heroine Sheila Macintosh
Featuring excerpts from Rocky Mountain Romance by Lesley Ann McDaniel
Sheila Macintosh is a designer with one of the most prestigious restaurant firms in Los Angeles. She sat down over cappuccinos to share her views on romance.
Q: Sheila, as a single career woman living in a fast-paced city, where is the best place you can think of to find a mate?
A: I wish I knew! (She takes a thoughtful sip of her coffee.) I would say that I’ve met the most interesting men at social functions. Not the out-of-town kind—like say, my best friend’s wedding or something like that. No, I mean business networking parties. Like the one where I met my…friend Kevin.
“Kevin?” Courtney’s face froze in a complex jumble of elation and utter disappointment. “I don’t think you’ve mentioned him.”
Sheila’s heart sank at Courtney’s less-than enthusiastic response. She had somehow expected her to be a little more supportive. Now she regretted her decision to bring it up.
“It’s no big deal.” She shrugged, trying to sound blasé. “I met him at a business function. You know, one of those corporate parties where you latch on to whoever can make decent conversation. Kevin sells advertising, and he likes to tell funny stories about the people he meets.”
“Oh…” From the sound of Courtney’s voice, she clearly was neither amused nor sold. “And, you’ve been dating him?”
Sheila shrugged again. “Only for a few weeks.”
Why was she downplaying this? It had to be because of her track record with men. More than once, she’d gotten her hopes up, only to be disappointed when the guy turned from Mr. Right into Mr. Super Critical or Mr. No Commitment.
Q: Where is the worst place you can think of to find a mate?
A: Oh, that’s easy. Remember what I said about my friend’s wedding? I mean, sure, you can meet interesting people when you’re at an event like that. But it’s not like they’re interested in anything serious. Not her brother, anyway…that lowdown, rotten… (Blushing, she takes a slurp of coffee.) What was I saying?
She put her face in her hands, giving in to the rush of memories of the week leading up to Courtney’s wedding, and the time she’d spent with Ben. Horseback riding. Enlivened conversations. Reading together.
And of course the wedding reception. She could practically hear the soft guitar and picture the little lights in the trees twinkling like a million stars. The world had felt like it was made up of only two people. Sheila and Ben. It had seemed so right. Why couldn’t that have been real?
Q: What’s the number one quality you’d require in a mate?
A: Oh, that one’s easy. Honesty. Definitely. I don’t have time to play games. At the first indication that a guy can’t be trusted, he’s out the door.
Sheila took a bite of pie and pondered. Stephanie wasn’t here with Ben, and Courtney had never mentioned her. Maybe she wasn’t his girlfriend anymore, but it didn’t matter. Even if he was available now, he had proven he couldn’t be trusted and wasn’t worth dwelling on.
Now all she had to do was convince her heart of that.
Q: What would be a reason for you to end a potential romance?
A: If the guy’s a player, forget it. You know the type. They pretend to be interested in a serious relationship, but they’re stringing some other woman along behind your back.
Realizing he was on the phone, she lowered her hand, debating whether or not to wait. Before she could decide, he spoke again.
“No, I don’t need a ride. My girlfriend Stephanie is picking me up.”
Her stomach dropped. His girlfriend? The word hit with the force of a hurricane. Ben Jacobs, the man she had fallen for with every fiber of her being, would never be hers. Not only that, but he had played her in the worst way. He had stolen her heart with no intention of giving her his in return.
Q: One last question. What would be the best gift a potential mate could buy for you?
A: Just give me a bag of jelly beans, and I’m as happy as I can be!
Ben ran a hand behind his neck, suddenly seeming a little nervous. “I was in the candy store getting some jelly beans for myself and I thought maybe you hadn’t had time to go in there yet, so I bought this for you.”
She peered into the bag of colorful, jewel-like candies, and a laugh got caught up in the lump forming in her throat. “That was so sweet of you.”
Thanks, Sheila. I’m sure your Mr. Right is waiting just around the corner. Happy Valentine’s Day!
About Lesley: LESLEY ANN MCDANIEL is a lifelong lover of words, and theatre. While earning a degree in acting, she fell in love with theatrical costuming, and pursued that as a career while nurturing her passion for writing on the side. Through God’s guidance, she has shifted her focus to honing her skills as a writer of Women’s and Young Adult fiction. She is a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and of a wonderful critique group. A native Montanan and a Big Sky girl at heart, Lesley now resides in the Seattle area.
About the book – Rocky Mountain Romance: Sheila Macintosh is head over heels for Ben Jacobs, but they haven’t spoken since his sister Courtney’s wedding last summer. Now that they’re back together again on Courtney’s Montana ranch, Sheila’s wondering if she only imagined that Ben cared for her—and their time together was just a beautiful dream.
Ben’s crazy about Sheila, but he’s too shy to tell her, and he’s praying for another chance to win her affections. Can this sweet computer expert overcome his shyness and show her that sometimes dreams really do come true?
Come back Feb 7th for Rose Ross Zediker!