Thank you for stopping by for another character interview along the blog hop.
Last week LYNNE CANNON introduced us to Francesca Bousquet, the leading lady and editorial aide extraordinaire from Book 1 of her Humor/Mystery series FRANNIE BUCKETS. Click here to check out the Frannie Bucket’s interview.
This week, I’ll be chatting with LILY LANE, the lonely local sweetheart in my sweet ‘n spicy romance SLEEPING WITH SANTA. In the story, she meets the smoldering firefighter, Nick Knight, who transfers to Scenic View. It may lust at first sight for Lily and Nick but nothing that’s worth having comes easy—especially for these two.
When I catch up with Lily, she’s power walking down Main Street. “Hey, Lily,” I huff.
“Hey, Deb. Which way ya headed?”
I’m breaking a sweat and I’ve only gone half a block. “Toward the marina.”
“Come on—let’s walk together. I’ll slow it down for you.” Lily grins as if she knows I’m already winded as I try keeping up. “I usually walk alone, ya know.”
“Well,” I wheeze, squeezing the cramp in my side, “I don’t want to cramp your style. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions?”
Lily plops on the bench outside Bob’s barbershop. “So, what’s up?—really.”
“Look, Lil, I know you like your privacy and all, but I’ve this character interview thingy I need to do for my blog where I talk with the heroine in my book and ask her few questions—and…you’re it.”
“I’m a heroine?” Lily snorts with laughter. When I don’t laugh along gives me a sideways glance like she’s thinking about it and sighs. “What kinda questions?”
I twist my lips knowing sugarcoating it won’t work. “Personal questions.”
“Aww…I dunno. I don’t need any more of my business traveling through the grapevine around town.”
“Come on, Lily, Please. Just between you, me, and the gazillion readers that follow my blog.”
“Really? A gazillion?”
I wink. “Positive thinking.”
“So, what?—like three readers?” Lily giggles at her own joke, wrinkling her nose, tucking a loose red curl behind her ear. “I’m just teasing. As long as no one around here finds out—sure, I’ll answer your questions.”
We pause as the Scenic View Fire Department’s red SUV tears down Main Street with lights flashing and the siren screaming. I notice Lily holds her breath then whispers a little prayer. Makes me feel bad for having to ask the first question on my list.
“Everyone’s afraid of something. What would you say is your greatest fear?”
Lily looks horrified with wide green eyes. I have the feeling she might leap off the bench and run, but she doesn’t. She presses her lips together in a firm line, glances to the cracked sidewalk then at the white-puffed clouds in the sky.
“What scares more than anything is losing the people I have left in my life. I lost both my parents. Then my high school boyfriend. Kinda makes me feel like a jinx. Sometimes I think it would be safer to avoid loving anyone just so no one gets hurt. Like the guy that just drove by in the SUV—Nick Knight—he’s asked me out about a dozen times, but I can’t bring myself to say yes. Not because I don’t like him—Lord knows he’s all I think about. But ’cause he’s a firefighter like my dad, and I swore to my mom I’d never go out with a guy with a dangerous job. I tried explaining this to Nick, and he seemed to understand. We’re better off as friends anyway.”
Lily’s pain comes through in every word and so I quickly switch gears. “Tell me about one person who made a positive difference in your life.”
Without hesitation she says, “Two people—Bob and Sophia.” She shoots a quick glance over her shoulder at the plate glass window at our back. “I’ve known them all my life. They’re like family—but it’s not the same as real family. They also happen to be my bosses.” Then she hesitates as if she has something to add but quickly decides against it. “I love ’em—there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them.”
“Where do you go when you need time to yourself?”
Lily snickers. “I’m almost always by myself when I’m not at work at the barbershop, so I don’t have to go anywhere. In fact, Sophia says I’m by myself too much. She and Bob are always inviting me to spend time with them, but…” She shrugs. “I don’t mind it so much—being alone.”
“Do you have a secret? If so, why do you feel the need to keep it secret?”
“Who doesn’t? I guess mine’s not so much of a secret to anyone living in Scenic View—the grapevine travels like wildfire around here. I’m just hoping Nick doesn’t find out because he’d probably hate me. Bob says, ‘You don’t grow up to be old and wise without being young and foolish first.’ I was young and foolish but still don’t feel any wiser.”
“Okay, last question—if you could ask for one thing, what would it be?”
Lily tosses back her head and laughs wholeheartedly. “Well, when I wrote out my Christmas list to Santa I asked for an emotionally available man—does that count? Maybe I should have been more specific and asked for an emotionally available man with a low-risk job—like a librarian or something.” She stands and stretches her hamstrings. “Are we gonna walk or what?”
Next week, check out DEBORA DENNIS’s heroine from her contemporary romance/holiday novella MUFFINS & MISTLETOE. Corinne Mackenzie is editor of the Starlight Hills Herald and not above enlisting the town’s muffin-making matchmaker to win back her man.
Debora Dennis is a native New Yorker and has been an avid romance reader since she first discovered Barbara Cartland on the shelves of her middle school library. A true believer in second chances and it’s always the right time to fall in love; she writes time travel romances and lighthearted contemporaries with modern snark and spice! When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family, adding to her pocketbook addiction, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves. She loves to hear from readers and to connect via social media. Visit her online:
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m currently working on a follow-up to SLEEPING WITH SANTA with some spin-off characters from Scenic View. Visit again for updates and other musings…