Interview & Giveaway Stop w/ Christy McKee {MAYBE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE}

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Please welcome Christy McKee to Novel Reflections. She’s here today to talk about her new release MAYBE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.


Blurb:

Gabrielle March is summoned to an oceanfront estate in Massachusetts by the matriarch of Atlantic-Hastings International where she is presented with a hefty block of shares as amends for a crime committed against her family. The stock—worth several million dollars—can give her the means to make her dream come true if only she can muster the courage to break free from her past and believe in her unique creative talent.

Pierce Hastings, son of Gabrielle’s benefactress, grudgingly agrees to take her under his wing and acclimate her to Atlantic-Hastings. Never one to mix business with pleasure, Pierce stuns himself when he ignores his own self imposed rule. Gabrielle’s complete lack of artifice, unvarnished honesty and quirky sense of humor are intoxicating to him―and he’s rapidly becoming addicted. He’s blindsided when Gabrielle confesses that, in spite of her growing feelings for him, she will never fit into his world of power and privilege and has no desire to try.

What inspired you to write this book?

The premise was born out a publisher’s new line about giving a heroine an unexpected windfall—not the lottery—but something that would completely change her life.

Were any of the characters a challenge to write?

Gabrielle, my heroine in Maybe Too Good to Be True, was challenging to write because she had some heavy duty issues to overcome, but I absolutely did not want her to come across as a victim. She has always felt like a spectator in life, always the one writing or reporting about famous people and never thinking she would fit into their glamorous, privilege world.

Was there a character you enjoyed writing the most?

Meredith, Pierce Hastings’ snobbish sister-in-law, was such fun to create. I thought of her as the Cruella Devil of the rich and almost famous and pictured her as a clone of actress Wendie Malick from Hot in Cleveland. Mean, vindictive and self-centered to her core and yet, in the last several pages, she’s going to surprise everyone, especially herself

What was one of the most interesting things you learned in researching your book?

A good friend of mine is a retired Air Force jet fighter pilot and he hooked me up with an old buddy who had been a POW in Vietnam. Gabrielle’s late father had served in Vietnam and been captured twice. This veteran was kind enough to share some of his experiences as a five year POW and he told me about escaping, being recaptured, the physical conditions in which they lived, his final escape, keeping up the morale of his men, their injuries, illnesses and getting care and rehabilitation at the VA hospital. Not knowing that much about Vietnam, it was a humbling conversation, learning firsthand about the atrocities these brave men faced and survived.

What is your formula for developing characters?

I don’t have a formula but rather a process that I go through for each of my main characters. First, I have to know exactly how they look like physically. How are they groomed? Then, I decide on their personality type, family, and education, what kind of childhood they had. Were they close to their parents? Are they still living? What factors make up their unique perspective of how they see the world? Do they hold a grudge? Next I look at what they want out of life. Why do they want it? What will change if they get it? What will happen if they don’t? What thing scares them the most?

What makes the setting so unique in this book?

The reader gets to visit several interesting destinations. We begin in a small college town in Georgia, steeped in heat and humidity, Georgian architecture, a hundred year old newspaper and the Sugar Bowl restaurant, serving up the best cheeseburgers and fries east of Atlanta. Gabrielle is invited to a country estate in Massachusetts, comparable to the Biltmore House in North Carolina, except this estate has an outdoor pool. She counts twenty-one stunning crystal chandeliers and that’s only the first floor. She can’t imagine why the woman who lives in this amazing estate could possibly want with her. When Gabrielle is given her payment of restitution, Pierce whisks her away to New York City in a private plane to the luxurious penthouse on Fifth Avenue. Fourteen rooms, a dining room that seats twenty-six guests, and even an in-house dog walker are just a few of the things she notices upon her arrival. Gabrielle enjoys a shopping spree with Pierce at Barney’s, Cartier—just window shopping—then on to Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomies and American Girl before having a drink with her handsome host in the Oak room at the Plaza. Of course, Gabrielle and Pierce ended the day with a carriage ride through Central Park.

Other than writing, what are some of your passion in life?

My husband and I are great dog lovers. We have two Labs, a yellow named Lambeau, and a black we call Amazing Gracie. My husband’s uncle played for the Green Bay Packers who play at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin—hence the name. At the vet, someone always calls him Rambo, which ticks my husband off and makes me laugh. During the week, my Labs are my office assistants. They do tend to sleep on the job and are disruptive when it’s their lunch time but they are good paper retrievers and willing listeners.

What can readers expect next from you?

I’m working on another contemporary romance, working title is Too Close for Comfort. However, there is something new on my writing horizon. One day an idea for a ghost story flashed in my brain and I managed to get it all down on the lid of a white bakery box full of cupcakes while sitting in my parked car munching on one. The cupcakes are long gone but I still have the lid right here on the corner of my desk and will get to the story, hopefully before Lambeau or Gracie retrieve it.

Can you leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the new release?

Sensing forgiveness within his grasp, he bent his mouth down to her ear. “And have you decided what you’re going to do?” He took the liberty of nipping gently at her delicate ear lobe.

“Not yet.” Gabrielle tried to push him away. “I have to let him know tomorrow.”

Pierce dragged his lips gently across hers. “Then I’ve got the rest of today and tonight to help you explore your options.” He spoke the words against her mouth. “Tonight, we’ll do something special. I have a lot of redeeming to do.”

“Land sakes. Can’t you take your ‘redeeming’ off the front porch.” Millie clucked as she came through the screen door pushing an industrial size watering cart. “This is a PG rated household, Mister Pierce!”

Frowning, Pierce stepped away from Gabrielle. “Damn it. Do you have kissing radar or something?” He glared down at Millie, but she didn’t bat an eye. “Can you swim, Millie? Because if you can’t, I’m going to take you down to the dock and toss you in the lake.”

As if he’d said nothing, Millie rolled the watering cart down the long porch, using the wand to spray each hanging fern. When she was finished, she rolled the cart back towards the front door and stopped beside Pierce.

“If anybody needs to get wet, or cooled down, it’s you.”

As if Pierce was one of her ferns, she gave him a few good squirts with her wand, then marched her wide body back into the house.”

Stunned, he sputtered, “I can’t believe she did that to me.” Pierce looked at Gabrielle for sympathy, but she was doubled-over laughing. “Millie, was there fertilizer in that water?” He yelled through the screen door.

She appeared at the kitchen window. “No, fertilizer.”

“Thank god, for that.” He looked at Gabrielle, who was still struggling to keep a straight face.

Millie’s dark face appeared in the screen door again. “But I did put in some pesticide to get rid of those pesky beetles.”

About the author:
My addiction to reading emerged when I was ten and down with measles. My mother, trying to keep me entertained, brought home a stack of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books. Within days, I’d consumed them all and asked for more. That’s when it truly began−the pleasure of reading which would eventually lead to my writing.I can’t pin point precisely when I knew I was different from everyone else−at least from my tight group of hometown friends. Didn’t everyone have movies playing in their heads starring beautiful characters leading adventurous lives in exotic places? NO—they did not. Did that mean they were normal and I was the odd, slightly wacky duck? My answer to that conundrum came when I attended my first writer’s conference in Savannah. Nervous about being on my own at the crowded event, a kindly writer from Texas took me under her wing and introduced me to at least a dozen writers. Surrounded by so many writers who were so like me, I fit right in. I wasn’t an “odd” duck after all; I’d simply been in the wrong pond!

As a result of that conference, my desire and conviction to write blossomed. Still working a full time job at a Louisiana cancer center, I carved out time to write every night and on weekends. My first manuscript went through four incarnations, and a year under the bed, before success came knocking.

Today my family and our two Labs—Lambeau, the Green Bay Packers unofficial mascot and Gracie, who is just plain, sweet Amazing Grace—live in a picturesque little town in Ohio wrapped around a lovely town square with an intricately carved gazebo where weekly band concerts take place all summer long.

http://www.christymckee.com
http://christymckeewriter.blogspot
http://twitter.com/ChristyMcKee

Giveaway Details:

  • Christy will be awarding a digital copy of Maybe Too Good To Be True to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
  • Please leave a meaningful comment for Christy along with your broken up email addy.
  • The winner will be randomly selected and notified.
  • The contest is open the duration of the tour.

Tour Stops:
The tour dates can be found here:  http://www.goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/06/virtual-book-tour-maybe-too-good-to-be.html