Here's an excerpt from today's guest spot, Stepping Up To Love by Katie O’Boyle:
Manda turned off the water and drew back the linen curtain dividing the shower stall from the dressing area, and screamed. Standing at the glass door was the big boss. Remy’s boss. Her boss's boss. She wasn’t sure, but Joel Cushman was probably everybody’s boss.
“Geez, Joel, I thought you were a pervert!” she yelled at him. I can’t believe I just called Mr. Cushman “Joel.” I am in so much trouble here.
“Manda? What—?” His voice cracked like an adolescent.
Manda stifled a laugh. His eyes were drinking in her body as though he couldn’t believe what she’d been hiding under her baggy clothes. Drink your fill now, Joel, because I am off men for life.
“I thought you were a criminal. What are you doing in the shower at seven fifteen in the morning? And stop batting that curtain around.”
Manda tried desperately to grab the linen shower curtain, flapping this way and that in the current created by the open door. “Do you mind?” she scolded him.
Giving up on the curtain, she crossed her arms and turned her back on him. He probably likes that view, too. “Could you hand me a towel, please, or get out of here?” Why am I yelling at the boss? Seriously dumb, Manda.
He was silent now, which was worse. What is he doing, standing there, looking at me? Panic overtook anger, and she turned back to look at him.
He had dropped the admiring once-over and was taking a second look at her purpling bruises. Silently, he handed her a towel from the top of the stack and looked her in the eye.
Manda wondered if he could read the shame and fear clouding her vision.
Joel cleared his throat and ordered, “In my office. Five minutes. Dressed.”
Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Katie O’Boyle who brings Manda Doughty, from Stepping Up To Love a contemporary romance from Soul Mate Publishing. Released in August, this is Katie's first ever so we have double reason to celebrate!
First up is our heroine. Where are you from, Manda? I grew up in Olean in the southern tier of New York State. St. Bonaventure University is there. My dad was on the faculty until he was killed driving drunk. After I came here to Tompkins Falls for college, I stayed.
What is Stepping Up To Love about? My boss, Joel Cushman, helped me out of an impossible jam. I was able to get sober and live my life a better way through the 12 Steps and Joel and I fell in love.
What did you think the first time you saw him? That he was really hot but definitely not my type and I was totally not his type. He had a rep for charming the pants off every beautiful woman who came onto his radar.
And your second thought? When he helped me out that horrible situation, he was sensitive and smart and made me laugh.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Heck, no. I was off men for life. Except Joel really got to me with how kind and funny he is.
What do you like most about him? I like that he genuinely cares about people and is always looking for ways to help his community—Tompkins Falls.
How would you describe him? Most people see him as rich and classy but that’s his business persona. Underneath it all, he’ll tell you he’s a basic blue-jeans kind of guy.
How would Joel describe you? He used to see me as a frump because of the way I dressed. Now he thinks I’m brainy and beautiful.
What made you choose accounting as a profession? To me, numbers are fun. They’re like tinker toys or legos. You can line them up, build them on each other, manipulate and transform them, calculate them within an inch of their lives, and they just go right on being whatever they are. And I like knowing how businesses operate. Put that together and it spells accountant.
What is your biggest fear, Manda? It used to be that I wouldn’t have enough money to take care of myself. Now it’s that something will happen to Joel or to my sister Lyssa.
How do you relax? Joel and I found this cool antique sewing machine in his attic. I really unwind when I make clothes because sewing reminds me of my mom and my sister.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Snow White. She knew how to make the best of a suspect situation, and she never gave up hope.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “Believe in your dream, and work to make it happen.”
Now, we get to quiz author Katie O'Boyle: Congratulations on your first release; we can imagine how exciting it is for you. How did you get to this time in your life? What movies or books had an impact on your writing? For movies, Nancy Meyers is at the top—I love The Holiday and Something’s Gotta Give. For settings and character revelation, I think of classics like Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Sense and Sensibility. For romance series, I look to Mariah Stewart’s Chesapeake Diaries and Robyn Carr’s Virgin River novels. The most immediate impact on Stepping Up To Love is Shelly Bell’s A Year to Remember; she did a great job weaving 12-step principles into a funny, hot love story.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them?
When Debby Gilbert (Soul Mate Publishing) came to our Lilac City Rochester Writer’s conference last November, I pitched the book to her. She liked the Finger Lakes setting and the theme of recovery and hope. Debby asked for the full manuscript and we signed the contract early in December. Release date for the e-book was August 7, and six months later the print version will be available (right around Valentine’s Day). So nine months from pitch to release.
Wow. That's fast! Good for them—and good for you! This has been fun, Katie, learning about Manda and Joel. We hope you'll come back again when your next release comes out.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about Katie O’Boyle and the stories she creates go to:
To purchase Stepping Up To Love, go to: