. . . Who will knuckle under first—the war hero? The spirited single mom? Or the former high school bully who still hates them both?
When war hero Michael Jarvis returns to his home town on the shores of Lake Superior, he doesn’t plan to stay—he’s undercover, investigating a possible sex trafficking ring operating on the Great Lakes. But he does want to sample the pesky girl next door he always turned down—and it wouldn’t hurt if she’d clear up a few mysteries of her own along the way.
Successfully established as an interior house painter, Brenda Tower finally has her act together as a single mom—but it hangs by a thread, a secret she’ll guard with her life. The return of her youthful crush Michael Jarvis threatens to unravel everything.
Jealousy has inflamed Brett Hill’s hatred of Michael and Brenda for as long as he can remember. Revenge will be so sweet—and it will fit in perfectly with his high stakes game. When the secrets break open, can Michael and Brenda find the courage to trust each other, or will revenge and betrayal triumph?
Wild Women Authors is pleased to have author Adriana Kraft, author of The Painter is a Lady, visiting for the week. First up is Brenda Tower, female lead from this intriguing story.
Where are you from? I grew up in Ashland, Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Superior. I’ve lived there all my life. Sure is cold in the winter.
Tell us a bit about The Painter is a Lady. I was not quite nineteen, fresh out of high school, when my son was born, and I needed a way to take care of him and me. Our next-door neighbor, Ted Jarvis, is a general contractor. I’m so grateful he hired me right away as a house painter. I worked my way up and now run my own business painting interiors. Life is good.
What did you think the first time you saw Michael Jarvis? I’ve always known Michael. He’s Ted’s son, so I have no idea. I was probably a toddler. But when I was little, he let me hang around even though he’s six years older, and then in my teens I had a huge crush on him.
Those toddler crushes are killers. What was your second thought? Second thought? And third, and twenty-fifth, and… I was so crushed when he rejected me at my eighteenth birthday party, and then he left for the Army and I’ve rarely seen him since. I’ve worked hard to get him out of my system and focus on what matters: my son–Tommy, and me. I’ll just say I wasn’t thrilled to hear Michael has come back to Ashland.
What do you like most about him? I don’t even want to go there. Then? He was handsome, buff, trustworthy, kind, and honest, but also loved pranks and practical jokes, always cooking something up. Now? I haven’t seen him since he got back – I know he was wounded and got a medal. I don’t know what to think.
How would he describe you? Then, or now? We were best buddies when I was still in grade school– I was a reliable sidekick and could always be talked into whatever scheme he dreamed up. We sure got into some scrapes. By the time I was in high school, I think he only ever saw me as a nuisance or a pest. Drove me crazy, and broke my heart, but looking back I know I was like a burr in his side. I have no idea what he thinks of me now – if he thinks about me at all.
What is your biggest fear? I’m guarding a secret so huge I can’t even tell you. Michael isn’t Tommy’s father, but I can’t ever let anyone know who really is. The stakes are too high.
Now that sounds like a real hummer. And a sure cause of agita. So, how do you relax? Does a single mom ever really relax? I shouldn’t have said that – my twin sister and her husband help me and Tommy a lot. I’m probably most relaxed when we spend time with them and my mom. We do a lot of picnics in the summer, and Tommy plays a lot of sports, just like I did, so we catch his games and support his teams.
Who is your favorite fictional character? The Unsinkable Molly Brown. I’ve re-watched that more times than I can count. She helps me believe in myself. For some reason she makes me think of a song my dad used to play, even though it’s not from the movie. Can’t remember who sang it, but the line I always sing is about when you’re down and out, the only way is up.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? I think we just hit that nail on the head – I know my dad believed in that song. That’s why he played it so much. I miss him a lot, but that line always sticks with me.
Thank you for taking time to be with us, Brenda. Now we'd like to chat with Adriana.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? As a writer (with my husband), I love how any little thing that happens in our life can inspire a story. We were driving through Ashland, Wisconsin, headed back home to Minnesota late one spring when we had to stop for a construction van that was double parked unloading supplies. When we took a closer look at the figure in coveralls carrying the materials, we discovered it was a woman. Our son’s a general contractor, and at the time he had a female interior painter he relied on for detail work, so our title was easy, and the plot soon followed.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? We’ve been with Extasy Books for a decade now and are very happy with them. They’ve held steady when so many other e-pubs have risen and fallen, including some we used to be published with. We first heard of them from another of our early publishers, who didn’t handle the more erotic romances we were starting to write and recommended Extasy to us. We’re so glad they did.
What project[s] are you working on now? We have a backlog of stories we’ve drafted and partially edited, so we’re kicking butt to get them polished and submitted. Most are erotic romance, but we also have a couple more romantic suspense stories on a back burner.
What's up next for you? We’re thrilled Extasy Books has contracted a previously published five-book erotic romance series that’s no longer available. Meghan’s Playhouse Book One: Seducing Cat will release May 26, with the remaining four books to follow about every ten weeks apart. The series is being painstakingly re-edited for re-release, so our work is cut out for us.
A bit about our visiting author:
We are a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More. Our Romantic Suspense line delivers “warmth, blazing hot sex, and well-developed characters” (Romance Junkies Reviews) as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay alive and fall in love.
We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination.
To learn more about Adriana Kraft and the books she/they write, go to:
Facebook profile: Adriana Kraft
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Adriana-Kraft-182846025133440/
Twitter: @AdrianaKraft http://twitter.com_@AdrianaKraft
Google+ Adriana Kraft
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