Good morning Readers. Let's kick start this chilly AM with today's guest Velda Brotherton. So grab your coffee or mug of hot tea, sit back and read on.
Morning Velda, let's start with the same two questions I ask all of my guest. What are three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.
Ambitious, Broad-minded, Compassionate
What are your three favorite things?
Family, writing, and traveling by car
Is there a process you stick to, or do you just write as it hits you?
The stories come to me as I write. I do have some notion of what I want to write about and I know my characters and locale when I begin. The story unfolds. This book began while I lay on the beach at Lake Ouachita and I saw some guys with motorcycles camped. Some of the story came to me right there, but once I began to write it just went. I always do a lot of research on my subject though, and a lot depends on my mood. This is not the best way to write a book, but it works for me.
Was there any particular inspiration for your characters or story?
My male characters quickly became men who were much in the news when I originally wrote this book in 1985. Two were Vietnam Vets on the road to destruction, the other a younger man who had taken part in the anti-war march on Washington. I'm inspired a lot by what is going on for my contemporary books. Women were rebelling during the 70s and 80s, coming into their own, and so that inspired my female character who was in a trap of sorts and had escaped to search for the life she'd always dreamed of having.
Will there be more books in your series, or can you tell us about any previous books?
Besides Once There Were Sad Songs, I do have a mystery series begun that I'm having fun with. The Purloined Skull is the first to feature Dallas Starr, a Cherokee burned out narc who has come to work for a small county sheriff's department and Jessie West, an investigative reporter who ruined her career in LA and has returned to Arkansas to work for a small weekly newspaper. This is #1 in A Twist of Poe series. I also write western historical romances, and the first in that series The Victorians is Wilda's Outlaw. The new one, titled Rowena's Hellion will be out next year some time. They take place in Kansas. I also have an E book series, Montana Promises, Montana Dreams and Montana Destiny. These are books that were previously published by Penguin/Topaz. I am busy turning out audios of these three. In all I have 18 fiction and nonfiction books available on Amazon and most of them are also available as Ebooks.
Eighteen books!!! I am amazed. That's quite and achievement. Care to share your blurb and excerpt with us?
BLURB: Once There Were Sad Songs 1985 - A Vietnam Vet on the path to destruction and a schoolteacher searching for the life she always dreamed of having find each other at a remote lake in the Ouachita Mountains. Can they embrace this second chance at love or is it too late?
Available in print and Ebook.
*Free Dates January 7 thru 11 on Amazon Kindle*
Excerpt:The Bike Ride
Hurtling along while totally blind, swaying back and forth, up and down, soon upset her equilibrium. Fed a desire to see her own death coming. Snapping her eyes open wide, she beheld scrub oak and saplings, clumps of grass and huge boulders, the narrow path on which they rode, rushing toward them, sucked in and spat out behind the monster bike.
Breathless, she uttered, “Oh, my goodness,” like a child. Closed her eyes. Which was best, or worst? She couldn’t say. Open they came.
Up ahead, a thicket of huge trees loomed, and she locked her arms so tightly around him he grunted.
“Oh, no. Oh, don’t. Oh, slow down.” Eyes shut, toes curled, butt clutching the seat, every organ in her body screaming, she ducked her head. Changed her mind about viewing her own death.
From down deep inside him, laughter roiled. He braked the bike into a slide.
“Here it comes. Don’t put out your feet. Don’t.” She repeated the litany, knew that if she could have moved at all she’d have stuck both feet out to catch the bike as it rolled over.
The skidding machine roared and backfired, sprayed dust and debris that pecked at her face. She held her breath until she absolutely couldn’t do so any longer. As she dragged in a great mouthful of grit, the bike stopped moving, its engine throbbing as if anxious to break free of the reins, continue its race toward infinity.
Feet gripping the pegs, arms locked around him, she gasped, opened one eye, then the other. The world tilted, taking her stomach with it.
“You can turn me loose now, at least a little.” He made a playful gagging sound.
Terror bled away and in its place a rush of excitement, of expectation, of unbridled joy. And a vivid awareness of self, of him, of their bodies touching. Tiny atoms exploded inside her, permeated with the sweet taste of honey and sunshine.
If he noticed anything, he didn’t comment as she loosened her hold, prepared to dismount.
“Hang tight.” To her dismay he walked the bike carefully through the trees, one foot on each side to traverse a steep trail.
They weren’t there yet. She braced herself for what he might come up with next.
“Could use one of those mountain bikes in this terrain,” he said, as if to himself. Then maneuvered slowly along a deserted log road on a flat bench clinging to the mountainside.
Overhead a thick canopy of leaves allowed an occasional flash of light. Clumps of fat cedar cast long veridian shadows, and critters flitted noisily in the woods. Several inches of decaying leaves paved the road along which the bike crawled. Another cool, rain-scented breeze disturbed the close heat, and distant thunder rivaled the throaty purr of the engine.
Under her ear his breathing whispered, his heartbeat thudded, and she kept her head resting against him, though they were barely moving and she could have sat up straight. The sound of his heartbeat was so reassuring, so ordinary, she couldn’t bring herself to move away.
“Seems a damn shame, doesn’t it?” He braked, cut off the ignition, planted a foot on the ground on each side.
Silence assailed them. Even the birds quieted in the presence of this strange monster.
“Making so much noise in such a peaceful place. Like we have no respect, or something. Makes you almost wish we hadn’t come here to mess it all up. Some things are best left alone. God, look around you. Isn’t it awesome?”
She did and it was. Trees so thick the ground under them was clean as a park. Here and there clumps of wild flowers displayed their brilliant hues against the muted forest floor. Ferns grew thick in patches, brambles heavy with white flowers she knew were blackberry bushes formed huge patches in spots of sunlight.
Through the vest Steven felt her shivering. “Hey, you okay?”
It took her a while to reply, and he was about to ask again, when she said so softly she might have been speaking in church, “Oh, my, yes. I’m very much okay. That was wonderful. The kids would say, fantastic.”
“Makes you feel good, huh? Free, sort of. That adrenalin rush.”
“Good is an understatement, free is better. Awed is best.”
“Well, let’s go some more, then. Gotta make tracks or we’re gonna get wet.” He kicked the bike back to life and shot off the bench and down a steep incline to a gravelly creek bank. Following the twisting stream bed for a while, they came to a great gash that cut downward.
She held on tight, then laughed. Wait till they made the jump, then he’d see how brave she was. These heavy Harleys weren’t made for such shenanigans, but he didn’t care. What fun was life if you only did what you were supposed to?
Without warning, he squeezed the throttle, topped the rise and sailed skyward. Hanging in the air, he could almost imagine he could fly until there came the moment of truth, the moment when gravity grabbed hold and tugged and pulled and twisted until there was no choice but to fall back to earth. Too soon the heavy machine began to drop like a stoned albatross.
Buy Link: http://www.tinyurl.com/kgerkkf
Thank you Velda for being with us today and I wish you much continued success on your writing career.