Shannon here: Romantic Suspense author, Sarah Varland shares insight into her real life and her characters’ romance. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy of her latest release, Cold Case Witness. Deadline: May 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Sarah:
- Where is the most romantic place you and your spouse have ever been?
Before we got married we sat on the edge of a mountain in north Georgia, with a ledge above us, and talked about any and everything while we looked out over the town where we were attending college as the day was ending. It may not be technically “romantic” since we weren’t even dating and nothing specifically romantic happened, but it was such a weird, cool moment when I felt like our hearts started to be drawn to each other, so it’s one of my top romantic moments of all time.
- Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic restaurant?
This one is just plain funny. Olive Garden is our favorite restaurant, and probably what we’d consider the most romantic. I know, I know. We’ve tried to be “real grownups” and go to fancier places, and while we do enjoy that occasionally, there’s just something about going back to our favorite place from college (which was when we were dating) that’s romantic and really fun for us.
- How soon after meeting your spouse did you know he/she was the one?
Growing up I’d always loved “best friends falling in love” stories, and that’s really what we did. We were very close our freshman year of college, but he’d made a commitment to God, for various reasons, not to date anyone that year. We started out as people who just happened to have all our classes together (we think we must be romantically slow and maybe needed a very unsubtle hint to pay attention to each other?), then turned to friends, and then as we spent more time together, became best friends, started dating, and eventually fell in love and decided we wanted to get married. From when we met to the moment I was sure about him was probably two and a half years—somewhere in there.
Where did you and your spouse go for your honeymoon?
We rented a cabin in North Carolina, near Asheville. It was so fun to be in such a beautiful setting and be able to enjoy fun things together like hiking at Chimney Rock, exploring the Biltmore Estate, and eating some really good food both in Asheville, and in a little town called Hot Springs, which is on the Appalachian Trail.
- Do your hero and heroine have a favorite song?
The song “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice describes Matt so well. I don’t know that they would think of it as “their song” but it does sum up so much of their relationship very well. I listened to it on repeat while I was writing their story.
- Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?
I think Matt is probably the more romantic of the two. He’s had a crush on Gemma since they were in school, and he’s just pretty much adorably in love with her. I loved how invested in their relationship he was.
- If you hero and heroine end up married, where will they go on their honeymoon?
Matt and Gemma are low key people. I’m thinking that it’s likely that they honeymooned the first several nights in Treasure Point, the town where they met and will live after they got married, and then spent a few nights in nearby Savannah at one of the gorgeous hotels there.
About Sarah: Sarah Varland lives in Alaska with her husband John, their two boys, and their dogs. Her passion for books comes from her mom, her love for suspense comes from her dad who has spent a career in law enforcement. Her love for romance comes from the relationship she has with her husband and from watching too many chick flicks. When she’s not writing, she’s often found, reading, baking, kayaking or hiking.
About the book – Cold Case Witness:
When her big-city dreams come crashing down, Gemma Phillips returns to her small hometown—and finds herself the target of a violent stalker. And her attacker may be linked to the robbery she witnessed years ago…a case reopened after the police discovered a body, supporting her claims of overhearing a murder.
Now there’s only one man who can save her: lawman Matt O’Dell. For Matt, solving this decades-old mystery will finally allow him to distance himself from his father’s criminal past. But Matt’s drive to close the case soon turns personal. He needs to guard his reputation…but first, he must protect the woman he’s just discovered he loves.
Question for Readers: In the story, Matt and Gemma don’t fully realize their feelings for each other until they’re adults. However, they were attracted to each other in high school. If they’d explored their feelings for each other then, do you think their relationship could have worked out? Or, in more general terms, is it possible to be truly in love in high school?
Come back May 5th for Stacy Monson!