Virginia McCullough has teamed up with Goddess Fish Promotions to celebrate the release of her book, The Jacks of Her Heart. As part of her tour, Virginia will be giving away a $25 Amazon or B/N GC. See the bottom of this post for more information.
First, enjoy this brief interview with Virginia.
Tell us about a day in your life as an author.
Oh, it’s so exciting! Well, not really. I’ve been doing this a long time, so my days have followed about the same routine and rhythm for years and years…early to the computer, usually before 7:00 and on my best days I work on my fiction before editing and writing nonfiction books for clients. I have a book writing coaching practice with a colleague out in California, so, I spend time on the phone with clients or coaching through email. I also like to have coffee with writer friends who have formed a brainstorming group. And my guilty secret is that I’m a news addict, so I have cable news on in the background for part of the day, too. I started writing with little kids playing at my feet, so I almost need noise to focus. Some writers work late into the night, but I never have. I’m brain dead by 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon. After that, I escape into books and movies. Ideas can come to me at any time, though, so I’m prepared to jot them down.
What do you do to reward yourself for completing a new manuscript?
I like to take day trips from my place in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I’ll drive to Door County, the site of my book, Greta’s Grace, and spend the whole day going from town to town, visiting shops and having lunch out. Taking a real break from work often means leaving my house. And I always dive into a novel I’ve been waiting to read—and a day off might mean whiling away a whole day reading! Finally, I schedule dinners and lunches with friends that I’ve missed when my deadlines loom. And since I write nonfiction books for clients, there’s always a deadline. But I do like to reward myself with seeing my friends.
What was the inspiration for The Jacks of Her Heart?
I got the idea for The Jacks of Her Heart, after overhearing a couple of sisters in their twenties complain about their parents’ “behavior.” Why would their parents head to Vermont to ski, when they’d never been skiing before? And these parents had a lot of nerve putting their house on the market! Without that huge home available, where will the whole extended family have Christmas?
My eavesdropping spurred my imagination, with Lorna and Jack the result. They’re two fiftyish people who fall under the spell of moonlight and music on a tropical cruise—and get married on impulse. Whoa! What will the kids think of that? And how will this couple make sense of their own actions, especially when they discover their differences—big ones? That got the story off and running!
What do you like most about your hero in The Jacks of Her Heart?
Jack has a sense of humor and a huge heart. Now, truthfully, Jack also is absent-minded, never on time, and can’t seem to hang on to his cell phone. Still, he gets points for loving ‘60s and ‘70s music and being a great dancer. Most of all, though, he melts hearts because he rescues dogs, even old and sick ones. But, if he’s called upon to rescue a person, maybe even the heroine’s daughter who’s in the midst of a crisis, he’s up to that task, too.
What’s next for you?
Lorna, my heroine in “Jacks” has a wonderful best friend, June Angleton, an attorney. So, what’s a writer to do? June needed her own story and hero worthy of her. June is a great mom to 10-year old Bonnie, but she needs more fun in her life, and celebrity chef, Campbell (Camp) Swift, may be the just person to provide it. Or maybe not. He’s fallen from grace and lost his TV show, through every fault of his own. Besides, June spots him as a guy who can’t commit, not unlike her ex-husband. But Camp and June’s daughters are best friends, so it seems they’re thrown together a lot. We’ll see what happens to June and Camp in Book 2 of the Capehart Bay series, The Icing on Her Cake.
“A pure delight! I fell in love with Jack instantly—and the storybook town of Capehart Bay.”
—Lily Silver, Author of The Rock Star Next Door
Lorna Lindstrom and Jack Young just got married in the tropics—and their grownup kids don’t like it one bit…
Mere acquaintances in their hometown of Capehart Bay, Wisconsin, Jack and Lorna turn up on the same Caribbean cruise. They soon fall victim to moonlight, champagne, and dancing—and that leads to an impulsive wedding. But now they’re back home, feeling like a couple of fools. Both agree a quick divorce is their best way out of this embarrassing predicament. Lorna’s two kids and Jack’s daughter are all for that, but their meddling prompts the stubborn newlyweds to rethink their plan.
A professional organizer, Lorna is a little too proud of her spotless home. She fell in love with Jack’s generous heart, but must he rescue every abandoned dog in town? The owner of a popular ‘60s nostalgia café, Jack feels right at home in Lorna’s bedroom, but he might as well be a stranger everywhere else in her perfect house. Suspicions that Lorna’s up-and-coming professor son-in-law is a womanizer soon pushes Jack into a different kind of rescue mission. Meanwhile, Lorna steps up and organizes her elderly father-in-law’s move and offers her support to Jack’s daughter in a crisis with baby Joanie. Too bad those classic “irreconcilable differences” appear to doom the pair, even as their kids are beginning to warm to the marriage.
Maybe sharing a couple of romantic dances on the night Jack launches his Blue Sky Nostalgia Music Festival can bring this “opposites attract duo” together again. Will Jack and Lorna decide they can find a way to make peace with their dueling quirks and have some fun with their second-chance romance?
Lorna inched to the edge of her bed, but before sliding out, she glanced over her shoulder to watch the even rise and fall of Jack’s back under the sheet. If she rolled toward him she could reach out and rest her palm against his bare shoulder and soak up the warmth of his skin. No. The man’s warmth—on all levels—got her into this trouble in the first place. That and moonlight, and okay, since she’d started a list, she might as well add the long nights of delicious slow dancing.
Once out of bed, Lorna tiptoed to her reading chair in the corner, retrieving her bra and panties from the floor along the way. Then she pulled the throw off the back of the chair and wrapped it around herself like a towel. Only dim light seeped through the closed blinds, but she felt around the floor and came up with the silk shirt and slacks she’d worn on the flight home the night before. With her clothes draped over her arm, she stepped around the open suitcase blocking the way to her bedroom door. She reached for the doorknob, ready to escape, but took a last look at the scene she was about to leave behind.
A trail of jeans, a sport jacket, and a dark blue shirt led straight to the mound in the bed named Jack Young, age fifty-two, noteworthy only because, by coincidence, she and Jack were mere months apart in age.
Loathing messes as she did, it took all Lorna’s strength not to grab the two half-empty glasses and the champagne bottle that sat as accusers on her nightstand. She slipped into the hallway and shut the door behind her. Home free—more or less. Leaning against the wall, she closed her eyes and exhaled a long breath to quiet her jittery stomach. It worked for a second or two. Next step, get to June’s house as fast as her legs would carry her there.
Lorna brushed her teeth and dressed quickly in her guest bathroom before grabbing her winter jacket off the hook in the kitchen. She escaped through her back door and jogged down the slope of her yard that led to the footpath bordering the lake, the fastest route to June’s house.
She maneuvered around the muddy patches and pools of water left behind from last night’s rain. The dampness left the April morning air fragrant with the promise of spring. Lacking a breeze to disturb it, the lake perfectly mirrored the trees and houses lining the water’s edge. In the stillness, the sounds of a barking dog and children’s voices carried across the water from the opposite shore. A mere day ago, she’d been more than a thousand miles away, tilting her face toward the sun and sighing from happiness as sultry tropical air caressed her skin. She and Jack had made love to the nearly imperceptible rhythm of the cruise ship, dodging any talk of what they’d do when they arrived back home in Wisconsin.
What a disaster. Maybe she’d try to make light of their escapade. After all, Jack was a decent man, a really great guy, if also thoroughly unsuitable for her. He also had a terrific sense of humor. Maybe they could have a good hoot over their silly mistake. “Isn’t this the funniest thing?” she could say while trilling in a charming sort of way. Ha ha, titter titter. She could hold out her hand in a gesture of friendship. “What do you say? We figure out the easiest way to put this embarrassing little episode behind us?” More light-hearted laughter.
At last June’s white frame cottage came into view. Lorna hurried up the stone path and through the picture window spotted her friend standing at her kitchen table with a tall pile of laundry in front of her. Lorna waved to get her attention and when June looked up her face broke into a welcoming smile.
“Come in, come in,” June said after she’d opened the door and with a sweeping gesture invited Lorna inside. “I hoped you’d come over this morning. Help yourself to coffee and tell me all about your exciting cruise while I make my way through my boring laundry basket.”
Shrugging out of her jacket, Lorna peered around the corner of the kitchen into the hallway looking for any sign of June’s nine-year-old. “Is Bonnie gone?”
“The school bus picked her up a little while ago. Why?”
“I want to be sure we’re alone.” Lorna surveyed the table, with the laptop and a pile of fat file folders and legal pads at one end and the heap of laundry at the other. A full basket of clothes sat on the floor. “You’re really busy. I could come back later.”
“Don’t be silly,” June said, shaking out a crumpled bath towel. “This is laundry, not legal analysis.”
Lorna filled a mug from the carafe and went back to the table. Then she drew in a breath. “I’ve done something really stupid.”
June’s eyes narrowed. “Sit down and tell me about it.”
Lorna made a fast decision to blurt it out. “I got married. To Jack Young. In the Dominican Republic…”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A lifelong writer, Virginia McCullough has coauthored or ghostwritten over 100 books for doctors, therapists, lawyers, professional speakers, and many others. Her other award-winning novels include Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing. The Jacks of her Heart is Book 1 of her Capehart Bay series. Asked to sum up the themes of her fiction, she says her books are all about hope, healing, and plenty of second chances.
Virginia will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N gift card during her book tour. To be included in the drawing follow this link to Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure you follow Virginia’s book tour and leave comments at each stop. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found on the Goddess Fish website at: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/05/vbt-jacks-of-her-heart-by-virginia.html