by Valerie J. Clarizio
– Book blurb –
The death of Dylan’s parents leave his five younger brothers and the family dairy farm in his care.
Neighbor Marissa, raised by an alcoholic father, seeks a way out. Desperate for help, Dylan offers her a live-in nanny/housekeeper position. She jumps at the opportunity. The chaotic household, full of love, feeds her maternal instincts. She falls for Dylan and the boys.
When Dylan finds himself desiring Marissa, he pulls back. His heart has been broken in the past by women resistant to a large, ready-made family. But if she walks away, she’d not only break his heart but those of his brothers, too.
Will Dylan ever believe in Marissa’s devotion to his family, risk his heart, and those of his brothers, for the woman he loves?
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/family-forever-by-valerie-j-clarizio/
Interview with Valerie J Clarizio
Can you tell us a little bit about where you are from?
I grew up in a small farming community in Wisconsin and went to a rural high school. After I graduated, I moved to a nearby big city–population 7,700 at the time. The population is now just over 9,000. LOL–Real big city, right? Anyhow, my hometown is the heart of Door County Wisconsin. You may have heard of it because Door County is a major tourist destination. We get over 2 million tourists a year in our beautiful little county.
What does your writing desk look like? What would we find on it right this minute? (Have fun with this question. If your desk is a mess, tell us! J include a picture if you’d like)
My writing area is kind of tiny and usually tidy. I can’t work in clutter. Right now you will find on the surface of the desk a cup of coffee and bowl of oatmeal. This is my typical writing scene because I usually write before I head off to my day job which starts at 8:00 am.
When and why did you begin writing?
The ‘want’ to write came to me about eight years ago. I had just finished the course work for my Master of Business Administration degree and found I had a boatload of time on my hands. I always held a full-time and part-time job while attending college at night, and suddenly I found I had nothing to do at night. I was bored.
An avid reading friend of mine handed me a Janet Evanovich book and I promptly said, “No thanks.” The last thing I wanted to do was read anything. I’d read enough text books to last me a lifetime, and up to this point in my life I had never read for pleasure. She pushed the book toward me and urged me to read it. I read that book in two days, and then I read every book Evanovich penned. When I was done with her I moved on to JA Konrath and Leanne Banks. I logged over 50 books read in the first year. They were much easier reading than text books I was accustom to. Anyhow, one night I dreamt up Detective Nick Spinelli and I thought to myself that he would be an awesome character for Evanovich to write. After more thought, I figured I should just do it myself, and did.
At what point did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was when I received that first contract offer for the first novella in my Nick Spinelli romance mystery series.
Do you have a specific writing style? In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser?
I guess I’m more of a panster. I always know how I want the book to start and end, but the middle takes me on an unknown adventure.
How did you come up with the titles to your book(s)?
I’ve only actually named two of my books, Family Forever being one of them. My friends and BETA readers have named the rest.
Do you write about things similar to your own life experiences?
Definitely. Pieces of my life’s experiences show up here and there in every book.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Virginia McCullough. When I began submitting my first book to agents and publishers I didn’t understand why my book was being rejected, and I was on the verge of giving up when this this awesome lady, Virginia, from my writers group offered to take a look at it. She critiqued the first few chapters and provided lengthy feedback in regard to POV, dialogue tags, pacing, etc. Not only did I read her comments numerous times, I studied the corrections and suggestions she made in the document itself, and then I re-wrote the book based on her feedback. I dare say, the re-write took twice as long as writing the book in the first place, but it was worth every painful minute once I saw that contract offer pop up in my email.
What are you currently working on? Can you give us a sneak peek?
Here’s a peek at the war travel book that I’m working on. The main character has just been wounded in a Civil War battle.
Her soft, comforting gaze mesmerized him for the briefest of moments before the doctor twisted his arm sending a stabbing sensation through his nervous system. Blake gritted his teeth as the doctor’s fingers probed into him. A splash of alcohol followed. His flesh pricked with the intensity of being stung by a thousand wasps. As the sensation lightened, little picks and pulls to his skin took over. That, he could tolerate after the stabbing and severe stinging. The pick and pull continued as the doctor stitched him up. The stench of blood and rot permeated his nostrils.
The woman loosed her grip on him, dampened a cloth in a container next to the cot and rung it out, before pressing the cool material to his forehead. She repeated the process.
Without word the doctor rose to his feet and moved on to the next wounded soldier.
Blake stared into the caring woman’s eyes. He swallowed a couple times to moisten his itchy throat. “What is your name?” His voice not much more than a whisper.
A perfect name for a guardian angel. At the moment, that was what he felt about her, she’d saved his life.
Ariel patted his forehead again with a refreshed, cool cloth.
“Can you tell me what in the hell is going on now?”
She nodded. “Your dad didn’t tell you, prepare you, did he?”
“Prepare me about what?”
Ariel drew in a breath and let it out. “There’s no easy way to say this so here goes. You’re a time traveler. It’s a power that was passed onto you when your father died. He obtained it from his father, and so on.”
Blake pushed her hand away, and thrust himself into seated position. Pain ripped through his arm. Sweat dripped from his forehead and stung his eyes. “That’s crazy.”
Ariel lifted her hand, and palm up swung it around. “Is it? Take a look around you. You’re in the middle of a Civil War battle. In what year were you born?”
Blake glanced around the makeshift hospital, then returned his gaze to Ariel. “1967.”
Do you have any advice to offer other writers?
Write what you want. Write from your heart. Stick with it!
Dylan decided to hop in the shower to rid himself of the barn smell and then go to the den where he’d do some bookwork, likely for most of the afternoon. After a quick rinse, he stepped out of the master bathroom and into his bedroom wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist.
Marissa looked up from the bed she was making with Braden, gasped, and turned whiter than the sheets she was tucking under his mattress. He hadn’t expected to find anyone in his room, and judging from the surprised look in her eyes, she hadn’t expected him to walk out of the bathroom wearing just a towel.
Her gaze flew away from him. “Sorry,” she muttered before rushing out of the room so fast the breeze in her wake chilled him. He nearly laughed out loud.
* * * *
Marissa didn’t stop until she reached the half bath off the kitchen. She splashed her hot face with cool water. She’d never seen anything as glorious as Dylan Jacobs standing there nearly naked. Beads of water dripped off the ends of his thick, wavy dark hair onto his wide shoulders and broad chest. Her fingertips tingled at the thought of tracing those trickling paths as they skimmed down his torso. She closed her eyes and replayed the vision of scanning his lightly hair-dusted chest, following the thinning line of hair over his chiseled abs until it disappeared beneath the towel. The thought of what lie under that towel sent her mind into a tailspin. Sweat dampened her palms again, despite the cold water.
Good Lord, how am I ever going to face him again? She must have looked like a complete fool, the way she rushed out of the bedroom, nearly tripping over her own feet. It’s not like she’d never seen a man’s chest before, but holy cow, his was something. And his tantalizing scent was to die for. It was just soap, but that clean fresh scent on him was arousing to say the least. Needing to regroup, she sat on the toilet seat and took another minute to calm her tense nerves before exiting the bathroom. With any luck, she wouldn’t see him for the remainder of the day. For now, at least, she could hide upstairs and clean the boys’ bathroom.
Valerie Clarizio lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.
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