Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer?
My family members are great supporters. My mother is one of several people who edit all my books. She is a grammar and spelling whiz! My husband helps me choose covers and bought me an e-reader when my first book came out last summer. I have cousins, aunts, uncles, and sons who pass out my bookmarks and business cards from Florida to New England. No one is embarrassed that I write ‘romance’.
(Starla) You have an amazing support group and are very lucky.
Give us two random thoughts about yourself, something might surprise your readers.
My last book in this continuous mountain saga also had some characters who were emergency rescue people. This book has, as its main characters, a male and female pair of paramedic/firefighters who run the small town ambulance when not fighting house fires. My ideas came from my many years volunteering in the small town of Rumney, NH (pop. About 2,000). I started as a First responder, passed the grueling course to become an EMT, then joined the Fire department as an ‘on call’ firefighter. When a neighbor had an accident or medical emergency or a house fire, we responded. My husband joined the fire department, too, when he didn’t like the idea of me driving through snow storms. How romantic!
(Starla) Again, you have amazing support. Your husband sounds wonderful.
How and why did you decide to use a pen name? Do you have more than one?
I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Nancy Lennea, a pen name, which sounds more romantic than ‘Badger’. I also decided to write under two names because I also write paranormals, Scottish time travel, and am considering delving into the world of Regency Historical.
Do you have a writing mentor? Do you mentor anyone?
My writing really took off after I moved to North Carolina (from New Hampshire) about 4 years ago and joined the local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I have never seen so many NY Times best sellers in one room! From fledgling authors like me to women with 20 books under their belts, I listened, learned, and now PAY IT FORWARD. I was PRO Liaison for 2 years, helping new authors get their manuscript finished and out to an agent or publisher, which earned them a step up position in RWA. I am in my second year as Vice President of Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. My main focus is membership, and I hope I make new members welcome, and have helped retain others.
What do you want your readers to take from your books?
I feel that a complex relationship, maybe a few secrets, some black moment that looks insurmountable, and a few laughs makes for a good story. I believe I accomplished that in both DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, which was released last fall, and LOVE TO THE RESCUE which carries some of the characters forward. Most of all, I believe in happy ever after. I might have evil, stalkers, murder or suicide, etc. in some of my novels, but the ending wraps up with my hero and heroine riding off to the sunset…in an ambulance, in this latest book.
Is there anything unusual about your writing habits?
I keep very busy. Once a book is ‘finished’, off it goes to people I trust to read it, offer suggestions, hack it to death, and help me polish it until it shines. I have bad eyes and sometimes weird things get typed, so I am happy for the help. Once a manuscript is presented to an agent or editor, I start another book. Right this moment I have this book out, another requested revision sitting with an editor, a requested partial of another book with an agent, I uploaded a book to a large publisher’s new e-book line, and plan to ‘test the waters’ by self-publishing a novella very soon. I also have ideas spinning in my head.
How do you deal with rejection?
After the first 50 rejection letters hit your mailbox (and they come much quicker now, thanks to e-mail) you dust yourself off and keep going. I keep those letters, but should do what Janet Evanovich told us at a RWA Conference. She says BURN THEM! You can learn from them, even the ones that say “Not for us at this time.” That means HIT THEM AGAIN with the next manuscript!
Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?
When my husband and I decided to move south to be near my family, the move was also my chance to sever ties with working outside the home. I knew I could do this…become a published author. My 8+ years as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher took a toll on my health, and now I am within a 9 hour drive of my elderly parents. We found a lovely ranch only a few blocks from my two sisters, and our youngest son lives 2 miles away. We travel to New England every fall to see our other boys and to volunteer at the NH Highland Scottish Games. My schedule is flexible, and once my hubby is off to work, I get to work. A third bedroom became an office, and I have a desk top and laptop (for when I wish to write on the deck). It works for me.
How do you promote your books and yourself as an author?
I guest on blogs such as yours, advertise a little on Facebook, share with friends on Facebook and Twitter, in e-mails and mailings, bookmarks, etc. Word of mouth helps.
Title: Love to the Rescue
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-02-2
Buy Link: Red Rose Publishing
Did you have a favorite character in this book?
I love my reluctant hero, Pete Thayer. He has a big secret and he ain’t telling. Something happened to twist his feelings toward women, and his partner does her best to get him to open up. Pete is a womanizer, drinks a little, fights a lot, and finally wakes up when the past catches up with him. AND, he is gorgeous.
The clashing relationship between tomboy Josie Miller and fellow paramedic-firefighter, Pete Thayer, escalates after he realizes Joe is not just one-of-the-boys. Pete has a sketchy history and has earned a reputation for one-night stands in the small town of Parmenter, New Hampshire nestled between the Mercy River, the mountains, and the state college. Since he arrived a year ago, Josie suspects he is hiding something. Something too horrible to share, even with her. Working side by side, Joe loves her job, and Pete.
They respond to accident calls, medical emergencies, and fast-moving forest fires amid sparks of another kind. Joe’s clumsiness and baggy uniform work against her when she yearns to be the kind of woman Pete wants like the pretty blonde they must rescue after her car hits a moose.
Outside influences come to play when the sister of Pete’s alleged victim shows up and accuses him of something even worse…her sister’s recent death. Once on track to be a doctor, the sister’s betrayal and lies caused Pete to run far away and keep women at a distance unless they agreed to share his bed…and nothing more.
Pete plans to skip town while Josie worries she has given her heart to a monster. His boss and the local police back off and he professes his innocence to Joe. After kissing her senseless, she lets him into her bed until her bothers intervene. Both keep an eye on Pete. A suicide note, some well-landed fists, stolen moments of love, and a desire to listen to their hearts lead these two heroes toward a climax filled with tension, pain, bloodshed, and atonement.
“Anything that woman has to say is full of spite and lies. I don’t want to hear a word!” he yelled. His entire body shook with anger. Fear, evident in her too–pale face, made him pause. Pete turned away from her scrutiny and paced. The camper’s size hampered his movements, adding to his growing agitation. He stopped in front of her, lifted her to her feet, and held her close. He had planned to shake some sense into her when he noticed her face flushed a pretty pink and her body trembled under his touch. From lust, not fright.
What the hell?
Her scent, intoxicating as fresh–cut flowers in spring, filled his nostrils and made his head spin with the sudden sweetness. The pale skin of her neck beckoned him, the pulse just beneath the surface beating fast and strong. Her lips parted in response to his gaze. With an urge so strong his knees weakened, he kissed the gentle slope below her chin then slid up and captured both lips.
The kiss deepened, spurred on by a force screaming at him to take everything. She tasted sweet and spicy, of sugar and bitter coffee. He sucked her tongue and groaned with the pleasure of her particular taste. This isn’t right.
Some mysterious voice screamed in his head, but he ignored the warning. His hands roamed to her back before sliding lower. Each fingertip tingled with intense pleasure. Lower, still, his hands cupped her strong buttocks. One hand slid up to nestle against the nape of her neck. Her body squirmed, moving in increasing velocity to connect with his stomach, thighs, and groin.
“Easy, sweetheart, or this will be over before it’s begun.” Locked in his embrace, she kissed him in response. Agony, like a punch to the gut, made him realize whom he kissed.
He responded as if slapped.
Breaking the kiss, he backed away and gulped air. Oppressive heat surrounded them. His sweat–soaked shirt clung to his back and his shorts had grown painfully tight. Tepid air weighed heavy in his parched lungs.
Joe sucked in air and stood transfixed. Her eyes widened.
Both fists lay against his sides, clenched as tightly as his jaw. “That should never have happened.”
“Are you mad at me?”
“I am not mad at you, Joe. Do your lovers kiss you to show their anger?”
“Unfair question. Are you upset I’m friends with Sherri Barrington?”
Speechless at her repeated referrals to the Barrington girl, he glared at her. Slow as molten steel, he forced his gaze to drift to her breasts. Her chest heaved up and down. A shy grin crinkled her mouth until the smile spread across her face. Bolstered by her reaction, he raised a hand to the silken nape of her neck and drew her into his arms once more. His own lips curved upwards when her skin pulsed under his brazen fingertips. He nuzzled her neck, inhaling her sweet fragrance.
“I love how you smell.” He caressed a breast and she moaned. Pushing off him, she broke contact and stepped back. His brow lowered, but he kept quiet.
“This is a mistake, but I might as well take a chance or forever kick my own butt for not finding out.”
“Take a chance on what?” he asked.
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
Author Website: Nancy Lennea
Author Blog: Nancy Lennea-in Love
Facebook: Nancy Lee Badger
Twitter: @N L Badger
Email: [email protected]