Novelist Nora LeDuc helps me kick off a new week and round out the month by chatting with me about her new contemporary romance novella, Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes within The Last Chance Beach: Summer Ends boxset.
During her virtual book tour, Nora will be giving away a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.
Nora grew up in rural New England where she currently lives with her family. She enjoys visiting and spending time with her friends, the Winettes, in Florida, where she continues to write. Her current book, Beach Kisses, Sunset Wishes is her seventeenth. In October, Christmas at the Easy Breezy will be released. You can find Nora on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook and her website: Noraleduc.com. She also contributes to the Romance Gems’ Blog every month.
Please share a little bit about your current release
I’d been longing for a while to create a novella with a focus on a contemporary romance. My most recent books have fallen into the romantic suspense category and none are short. Could I write one?
Thanks to the fabulous writing group that I belong to, the Romance Gems, I was given the opportunity to answer this question. I volunteered to contribute to our first box set Last Chance Beach: Summer’s End. I was excited and nervous but told myself to go for it.
My first job was to establish my daily word count and plan my story. I knew both my characters had suffered disastrous relationships. As a result, they handled their dating lives in different ways. My heroine wanted a fling. My hero wanted to find a woman for a lifetime commitment.
Each day I thought about my protagonists and my plot and then sat and wrote. On my screen, the tale came alive, and the story grew. Finally, they reached the end of their journey, now titled Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had many inspirations. The Gems read the history or Legend of Last Chance Beach. This sparked a lot of ideas about people living in paradise and a land where wishes come true. Another author created a map, giving us a visual of where our characters were located. Others carried on online discussions of life on our island.
For the island settings, I used my memories from vacations. Since I’d cruised to Bermuda twice, I pictured Last Chance Beach with the same pastel-colored concrete buildings. I imagined the picturesque town square where my cruise ship docked as the center of our isle.
My muse tapped into my time spent on the seashores in Florida and walking their beautiful wooded rail trails. This provided me with mental images of the plants, trees, and the sea. Finally, my writings sprang from the characters’ situations. She works at the Sands Hotel Gift Shop and dreams of owning her own brick & mortar store. He’s staying at the same resort while running his Yelp-like business. Both have sworn off adventures in dating until they meet each other. Neither could resist the other.
Excerpt from Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes:
Frankie spotted him across the café patio. She’d never seen him here before.
He sat alone, wearing khaki shorts and a pale blue shirt, open at the collar. Dense black hair spilled over his forehead, and bristles shadowed his strong jaw. He looked to be in his early thirties. Dark-framed sunglasses were perched on his straight nose as he read something on his phone resting beside his plate of eggs and hash browns. He took off his shades, rubbed his chin, and raised his gaze. Their glances collided.
His brows shot up with interest. His lips parted slightly. Blue eyes that matched the sea drew Frankie to him and caused a sensation of dizziness to dance in her head. She was aware she was staring, but she couldn’t stop.
The squawk of a bird broke through the scrape of forks against the dishes and the murmur of voices. The noises faded away. Even the thud of her heart seemed to pause when he nodded to her.
“Attention, everyone.” A server standing nearby with a carafe of coffee interrupted
Frankie’s moment. “MacDyver has been sighted.”
“Quick the food.” Tikki covered their meals with napkins.
Silverware clinked as diners dropped their utensils and popped up their overhead covers–– their futile attempt at protection. As Frankie shoved her chair back to open their umbrella, she peeked at the man.
He picked up his toast and held it for a second. The seagull struck. With one swoop, MacDyver grabbed the bread from his fingertips. A hush settled over the throng, and the bird soared heavenward with a snide cackle out the side of his beak and disappeared.
All gazes fell on the stranger MacDyver had robbed as he rose to his six-foot-plus height.
What exciting story are you working on next?
Currently, I’m whipping my holiday novel, Christmas at the Easy Breezy, into shape for an October release. The setting is the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The story centers on a young woman finding love and family in an unexpected place. Our hero is the gruff, handsome owner of the local diner stuck in the past until the night a pretty, bubbly woman crashes into a snowbank and into his life.
I’m also at work on my second novel for the Love & Lies in Paradise series set in Florida. It will be a stand-alone romantic suspense like the first book. The heroine is a minor character from Trail of Secrets. She has a less than sterling reputation and is discovered at the scene of a murder. The hero is an old friend and a private investigator. He isn’t sure how innocent she is, or if he wants to take her case. She has a lot of growing up to do. Unfortunately for her, she must find not only a killer but her true self before she can share her heart.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well, it’s often tough to say when you pass the invisible milestone that identifies you as a writer and not someone just filling up pages to entertain yourself. For me, the big realization came when I found myself on a recommendation list with authors I admired and read. Being included with great writers was a super thrill. I kept rereading the listings and showing everyone I had made it! That was an “aha moment” for me.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
When I first started writing, I had a full-time job. I wrote every day after work and often on the weekends. Many people asked how I squeezed this in. Simple, creating stories was as entertaining and fun for me as watching my favorite movie or reading a great book. I wanted to do it. Now I’m not working for a guaranteed paycheck, I write in the morning. This gives me the freedom to think about my story and to revise or create scenes differently than I originally imagined them.
Other than typing away at my keyboard, I love flowers, not so much the planting part, but their growth and beauty when they bloom. I also quilt and have lots of bedspreads––you can imagine! Taking pictures wherever I am has become a hobby of mine. Through my camera’s eye, I try to capture an interesting feature or unique characteristic that makes us want to look at a mundane image in a way we never imagined.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Don’t know how quirky this is, but we have a camp up north. When we go there, my friend and I wonder about the people we’ve never seen or met who live nearby us. One time, an older gentleman moved in. He had a long white beard and never came outside. She thought of him as a generous, jolly Santa Claus. I told her he reminded me of a terrorist hiding from the FBI. Another man was always walking around talking to everyone, but we never saw his wife. I suggested she might not exist. And I can’t forget the woman who broke up with her boyfriend. Nobody knows where she’s gone. I like to think she’s at Last Chance Beach meeting her true love.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was six, I wanted to be a nun. (Yes, I went to a parochial school.) My friends and I tried to mirror the sisters’ habits. We’d walk around on the playground at recess with the back of our sweaters pulled over the top of our heads and the front buttoned up to our chin. That ended when my mother found out I was stretching out all the sweaters my grandmother knit me.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you for reading my stories. It means the world to me when someone tells me they enjoyed one of my books. And please follow me on social media.
Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
Thank you for having me!! It’s been fun.
Authors and Titles:
Hot August Night by Joan Reeves, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Can a chef and a hot dog loving cop resist desire when they’re forced to share the same overbooked beach cottage?
Something New by Liz Flaherty, USA Today Bestselling Author
Their lives are all planned out–until they’re not.
I Do…Again by Nancy Fraser, Amazon Top 100 Author
Can they re-ignite what they once had and take a last chance on love?
The Man in Gull Cottage by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Top 100 Author
Will the solution to her dilemma drive them apart or into one another’s arms?
That One Summer by Maddie James, Amazon Top 100 Author
He’s the one who got away. She’s the one who couldn’t commit.
Romancing the Spouse by Jan Scarbrough, Amazon Bestselling Author
Can she turn back the clock to save her marriage?
Blue Sky Summer by Kathleen Lawless, Amazon Bestselling Author
Of all the beaches on the coast, who does she see again? Him!
Hangover Husband by Bonnie Edwards, Amazon Bestselling Author
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there
One Last Shot by Marcia King-Gamble, National Bestselling Author
She can run, but can she hide? Will love still find her?
Secondhand Hearts by Kathryn Hills, Award Winning Author
Life takes you down many winding paths. Will theirs lead to love on Last Chance Beach?
Paradise Perfume by Connie Vines, Award Winning Author
Fragrance and love cannot be hidden.
Dreams of the Past by Laura Hunsaker, Award Winning Author
Can dreams of the future erase her nightmares of the past?
Beach Kisses & Sunset Wishes by Nora LeDuc
She wants someone interested in a fling. He wants someone interested in a ring.
Frankie McKinley’s last three relationships went up in flames. Her best bud insists she needs to relax, have a fling. But Frankie’s not into casual hookups. She vows to resist the lure of romantic Last Chance Beach and take a break from men. She’ll concentrate on her dream, opening a gift shop. Or so she’d promised herself until the morning her gaze locks with the handsome Sean Thomas-Michael’s sea-blue eyes.
Can’t Buy Me Love by Hannah Rowan
Things aren’t always what they seem.