My special guest today is Marie Lavender to chat about her new steamy romantic comedy, Chasing Ginger.
Multi-genre author of Victorian maritime romance/family saga, Heiresses in Love, and 18 other books. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and two cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 21 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. An avid blogger on the side, she writes adult fiction, as well as occasional stories for children, and has recently started some young adult fiction. She also contributed to several anthologies. Though Marie has standalone titles on the market, her current published series are The Eternal Hearts Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series, The Misfits Series and The Blood at First Sight Series, but she has many others planned. Her Victorian maritime romance series is returning, and the second editions of the trilogy will be released soon under her new publisher, Foundations Books.
Welcome, Marie. Please tell us about your current release.
Chasing Ginger is a steamy romantic comedy about a plus-sized woman who dreams of being a big music star someday. But because of her weight issues, she’s always noticed people looking down on her, and assumed it wasn’t possible. She has also never had great experiences with dating. In any case, she decides to go for a pretty outlandish solution to her lack of romance (more details are in the blurb) and ends up with more trouble than she bargained for. Plus, a new man in her life is confusing the hell out of her. It becomes quite a roller coaster journey for Ginger Halloway.
What inspired you to write this book?
In the back of my mind, I’d also been open to trying my hand at rom com, as I love reading the books and watching those movies. Also, I wanted to do a modern story with a plus-sized character. Beyond that, my opportunity came when a follower on social media responded to a meme I’d posted. Her comment got me really thinking, and the story was launched from there.
Why couldn’t a supposed ‘miracle pill’ drive the plot? And it was the perfect set-up for a funny, romantic story.
Excerpt for Chasing Ginger:
Oddly enough, even though he held her hand in his, she felt reluctant to pull away. It wasn’t awkward in the least. Still, she wondered when he would want to let her go. Damn, this sure didn’t feel like a platonic situation. But how could it be anything else? She supposed if he just wanted to be her friend, he might be open to a hug now and then. God, how would she manage it without wanting to draw even closer? How could she keep from planting her lips on his? He sparked a heat in her belly which she’d never noticed before. And this uncomplicated intimacy? It was just one more thing she should avoid.
“I don’t think you’ve overstepped,” she admitted at last. “I’m so glad you’re here.”
He smiled wide enough that two dimples appeared. “Well, I’m thrilled we met up again too. I wasn’t sure I’d be so lucky. After the other night, I thought it might just be a coincidence. Our running into each other, I mean. Wrong place, wrong time for you, but fortunate I was there to help, of course. Still, I figured it was a one-off.”
“That’s true. Fate hasn’t often worked out so well for me.”
“Well, it brought you The Misfits, so obviously not all is lost, hmm?”
She laughed. “You’re right.”
He checked his watch. “Should we head back after all? I have an early engagement tomorrow, and I don’t want to annoy you.”
“You’re not,” she insisted.
He lifted her hand to his lips, and her skin tingled. His slow smile melted her insides. “Happy to hear it…”
She thought she’d expire from the directness of his gaze alone; there was something in his blue eyes she knew she should recognize, but the intensity only enhanced his mysteriousness.
She closed her eyes for a second. His words shouldn’t affect her the way they did. It was probably customary for him to use those endearments with any female back in Georgia. With reluctance, she eased off the barstool and allowed him to lead her back to the group in the alcove.
“That was fast. You all get done with business?” Nicole inquired.
Ginger ignored the innuendo in her friend’s jargon.
Her companion’s deep tones saved her from a response. “No need to be concerned. Just ensuring your pal is okay from the other night.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
Actually, I’m trying to tackle a romantic mystery collection. Both novellas in the book are from my backlist, but I have fully updated and revised the stories to fit life nowadays. Right now, I’m working on the research part of the book. I want it to feel authentic.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
From the beginning. That’s how it feels. I always had stories playing out in my head. At age nine, when I had mastered writing well enough to handle it, it just made sense to write them all down. From the time I was steadily working on my projects, I called myself a writer, and I knew I wanted to have lots of published books one day.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Not exactly full-time. I am an avid blogger on the side, so I must work to balance everything. But when I am immersed in a writing project, I try to work on some aspect of the book every day.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Frequently, I find myself plotting out stories, or at least reviewing dialogue and character reactions in my head while I’m in the shower.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
This! I’ve always wanted to be a novelist. Perhaps when I was really young, I might’ve entertained some silly idea of being a princess or something, but early on, I pretty much knew this is what I was meant for.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Sure! You can find a full list of my books here, and check for updates on new book releases and blog posts by subscribing to my monthly newsletter. Or just monitory the ‘Updates/News’ section of my official author site.
Thanks for being here today, Marie.