Today features romantic suspense mystery author Rebecca Lee Smith. She’s having some fun with an interview.
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Rebecca lives with her husband in the beautiful, misty mountains of East Tennessee, where the people are charming, soulful, and just a little bit crazy. She's been everything from a tax collector to a stay-at-home mom to a house painter to a professional actress and director. When she's not churning out sensual romantic mysteries with snappy dialogue and happy endings, she likes to travel, go to the Outer Banks for her ocean fix, watch old movies, hang out at the local pub, and make her day complete by correctly answering the Final Jeopardy! question.
Please tell us a little bit about A Shadow on the Ground.
Morgan Maguire is afraid to believe in second chances. The family orchard is failing, her twin brother is being framed for murder, and the sharks are circling. The tough exterior she's spent years hiding behind is beginning to crumble, just as the man who shattered her heart is back in her life. Gage Kirkland is as compelling and magnetic as ever, and he's offering the kind of help she may not be able to refuse. But can she trust him?
To finance his troubled son's therapy, Gage, a former investigator, takes one last job--recovering a stolen Civil War artifact. Unfortunately, it's in the possession of the woman he left behind, the woman who's haunted his dreams ever since. The electricity between them still crackles, but unless he helps exonerate her brother and finds a way to confess his true reason for returning, how will he ever recover Morgan's heart?
Do you like kissing in public?
No. But I do feel an inexplicable pang of jealousy watching others do it. Once I was crossing the street in Manhattan and saw a couple stop in the middle of traffic, wrap their arms around each other, and kiss passionately, like there was no tomorrow. It was wildly romantic.
What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
I had surgery last year, and even though I’m pretty self-sufficient, my husband insisted on staying with me in the hospital the night before. I only had a small window of opportunity to eat before they cut me off from food, and the hospital cafeteria was closed. I knew I wouldn’t get real food for at least four days and asked if he would get me something from the vending machine. He went downstairs and found a little Starbucks tucked away beside the hospitality shop. He brought me a sampling of all those wonderful pastries that I always drool over, and deny myself, while standing in line waiting for my non-fat sugar-free decaf cappuccino. That night, we had a picnic on my hospital bed: apple fritters, banana walnut bread, cheese Danish, blueberry scones, chocolate croissants, and blueberry muffins. It was one of the best (and sweetest) meals I’ve ever had.
What kind of music do you like?
Smooth jazz and movie soundtracks for writing, old standards (Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, etc.) for cooking, soft rock for cleaning house, and adult alternative for hanging out. When I’m driving, I keep punching the radio station buttons until I find a song I know all the words to.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to watch movies, old or new, especially with my seven-year-old step-grandson. We are kindred spirits where movies are concerned, and I take him to see everything from The Croods to Monsters University to Turbo. I also love to read, play the weekly trivia game at the local pub, go to dinner, hang out with friends, and gather in the kitchen with my two sons and daughter-in-law for a gabfest and some serious wine tasting. I also love to travel the world, and I would recommend that to anyone who can make it happen. Traveling changed my life. It may shrink your pocketbook, but it expands your mind and heart like nothing else can.
What is one thing we would be surprised to learn about you?
That I have directed or acted in over 120 plays and musicals.
Excerpt from A Shadow on the Ground:
Gage grinned, making Morgan’s heart beat in slow, rolling thuds. “I'm going to make some calls about finding Sean representation. If he goes up against a murder charge, he'll need the best lawyer we can find.”
He held her gaze while a current of electricity sliced a path through the center of her abdomen.
“I didn't want to leave you alone last night,” he said.
“I was fine.”
“Well, I wasn't.”
“Oh, come on. A big, tough, adrenaline junkie PI like you?”
“Not so tough when the bullets are flying.”
Memories of the night before slammed into her brain—the sound of gunshots cracking the air, Gage pushing her off the flagstone walk, lying stone still beside him in the wet grass with a broken rhododendron stob biting into her neck. If she closed her eyes, she could still feel his breath crashing across her shoulder, the pulse at the base of his throat flicking against her cheek. How long had it been since she’d touched a man? Or been wrapped like his most cherished possession in the strong, shielding warmth of his arms? Had she ever felt so safe? Would she ever feel that safe again?
Maybe she should hold on to the memory. Bury it deep. Then, when she needed comfort, she could take it out and replay it over and over in her head to drive the unbearable loneliness away. Until something that felt like contentment trickled through her bloodstream, like a double shot of apple brandy on a cold, wintry night.
A shadow fell over the table.
She lifted her eyes and gasped softly. The last thing she expected to see were the pale, twisted, angry eyes of Lawrence Finch.