I’m very happy to have as my guest today, romance author Mimi Barbour, USA today best selling author!
I first met Mimi last year when I joined a local branch of the Romance Writers of America. As you can see by her mischievous smile and bright eyes, Mimi is a sweetheart. She’s done a lot to make me feel welcome within the branch, and thanks to a guest spot on her blog a few weeks ago I’ve made many new friends on social media. 🙂
Mimi is the author of five series: The Vicarage Bench, Angels with Attitudes, Vegas, Elvis and the brand new sizzling romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI. Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
My website: http://www.mimibarbour.com/
My blogspot: http://mimibarbour.blogspot.com
Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/MimiBarbour
Or on Facebook
Is it better to be in a group than to promote alone?
Thank you for having me as your guest, Jacquie. It’s lovely to be here with you on your blog.
I wanted to tell you a little about this story. This is the book that I submitted to the collection – Ten Christmas Brides. A lovely holiday tale that I knew would delight the readers. It’s actually an Elvis song that I used as the plot for the novel.
The months it took to write this book was a fun time for me. The song echoed in my head periodically to remind me of where the plot line needed to go. I’d even play the tune just to get in the mood.
Of course, writing about this holiday is always special. I enjoy trying to get the mood just right so that it comes through the pages for the readers to experience. You know – those festive touches that bring the season close and makes one feel, taste and smell Christmas.
When I write my characters, I have a vision in my head, and at first, for the hero, I saw Elvis himself. But then Jesse Parker emerged and became his own man. I’m glad, because he’s a sweetheart and a shadow to no one. Locked into an old, dead romance, this guy needed to wake up and let go of his memories. Then he wouldn’t miss the lovely woman right in front of him – my heroine Belle. In the song it said – And it’s just breakin’ my heart cause she’s not you. Maybe not, but what if she’s better?
Belle Foster soon became real to me also. As a mother myself, I felt her worries and fears for her little girl. She’s a woman who’s had so much to overcome, most of all a belief in her own worthiness. Sick and alone at any time of the year is difficult, but when you have a small child who relies on you, and the season is Christmas, then who wouldn’t yearn for that special person to share their world.
And Layla, the child, could be anyone’s daughter or granddaughter. Mischievous and cute as a button, she gets into your heart, digs a hole and won’t be shook loose.
Put these three people together in a love story and you have a delightful tale that will warm your heart and brighten the holiday season for any reader of romance. Add a wedding, and it can’t get much better…
Actually, it can get better. This is just one of ten books in the
Ten Christmas Brides
Collection available for only 99cents at:
Excerpt: She’s Not You by Mimi Barbour
Jesse felt as if he’d been shot. A crying three-year-old was one thing. A dead woman was completely not acceptable. What the hell was he to do?
He watched the screamer run frantically from the entrance of one room to the other, calling for Kimmy with a hysterical puppy jumping up and down alongside.
The only way he could stop the child was by swinging her up into his arms. Not knowing what to expect, when her arms wrapped a choke hold around his throat, it utterly destroyed him.
She buried her wet face into his neck and hiccupped her words, “I want Kimmy.”
“Sweetheart, Kim’s away for a few days. I’m Jesse, her big brother. Now, tell me what’s happened.” He kept his voice soft yet firm. While he talked, he carried her toward the apartment she’d just left.
“Mommy fell down and won’t move.” Anxious eyes, globby with tears, wrenched at his heart. Green! They were the same green as Kim’s babied Persian cats. Deep, dark irises surrounded by velvet.
Jesse’s heart thudded into higher gear without him being able to do a thing to stop it from happening. His arms tightened instinctively around the small body as if to protect her from any horrors awaiting them. Once they arrived, he lowered her onto a chair nearby and patted her head. “Stay here while I help your mom.”
Then he ran to the woman’s body on the floor.
Reaching toward her neck, he jumped when she groaned and moved. Thank the good Lord! The woman was alive.
Yaya, who’d left the chair the moment she’d seen her mommy shift, struggled past his reaching arms, flew around to the other side and faced her mom. Her little hand gently gathered the sweat-coated blonde locks and pushed them away from the thin face of the young woman trying desperately to rouse.
Not stopping to think about the right or wrong of the situation, Jesse gathered the slight woman in his arms, lifting the lightweight as if he carried a fragile parcel too precious to be manhandled.
In the meantime, Yaya pulled back the cover on the sofa and waited for Jesse to lay her mother down. Then the precocious sweetheart covered her groaning mother, tucking the hand-made afghan around her body.
Her tiny hand reached to pat her cheeks and Jesse watched as the woman took the hand and gave it a kiss.
Her voice throaty and wobbling, she said. “Mama’s okay now, Layla. I’m sorry I scared you, honey. I shouldn’t have tried to stand up when I was so dizzy. I guess I fainted.” She pushed the wildly unkempt hair from her daughter’s face. “Who’s your friend?”
Layla crawled up beside her mother on the sofa and cuddled. She sniffed and said, her little-girl’s voice heartbreaking, “Jesse’s weally not a stranger, mommy. He’s Kimmy’s brother.”
Jessie watched the byplay, amusement filling up the space where fright had resided only moments earlier.
He braced himself to be interrogated. But he didn’t ready himself for the effect of the biggest, cat-like eyes of soft emeralds highlighted by diamonds he’d ever seen—like mother, like daughter. The surrounding face appeared colorless which, no doubt, greatly enhanced the beauties under her thick lashes. The woman’s feverish appearance worried him, which had him reaching for his cellphone.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m calling for an ambulance.”
“Don’t! Stop!” Her arm reached his way and her hand waved at him.
So, she wasn’t that far gone. He lifted his finger before pressing send. “No choice. You were passed out. I’m not a doctor but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know you need one.”
“I went to my doctor this morning. He’s an idiot with a diagnosis that’s ridiculous.” She spit the words toward him while struggling to sit upright and not disturb Layla.
Impressed with the kind way she behaved toward her daughter, he watched her caring maneuvers. Until her assertive nature flashed annoyance in his direction, then he began to fear for his safety.
Jesse’s hands lifted automatically with his palms facing her. He stepped back once and then again, careful to get out of the path of her raising ire.
Shoulder-length blonde hair, caught under her chin and spread over her shoulders, looked neglected and not at all attractive. In fact, nothing about this skinny broad looked appetising to Jesse other than her eyes.
A voice inside nudged him to leave, get out while he still had the chance.
Thank you for joining me today Mimi, it’s been a pleasure. Mimi would love to hear from you. Tell us, what traditions do you have in your families during the Christmas season?