While investigating a plane crash in rural Arkansas, FBI Agent Wade Malone is stunned to find the only woman he ever loved living close by. As a hardened criminal closes in, putting Miranda in the crosshairs, he’s conflicted on how to protect her, yet keep his well-guarded emotions from resurfacing.
Miranda Johnson loves the life she has carved out as an artist, but she never expected to see her former lover again. Can they reconnect and move past the hurts each inflicted on the other, or will the secret she has kept from him all these years cost them everything?
Good morning, Randi, thanks for taking time out to speak with us. Let’s start with where you’re from. I moved to Rock Ledge, Arkansas, a charming little town in the middle of nowhere, in my late teens and have gladly called it home ever since.
Tell us a bit about Shattered Promises. What do you say when you see someone from your past—who you never thought you’d see again—walks back into your life? Yeah, left both of us speechless…for a while anyway. Boy, the misunderstandings we both had…the promises neither of us kept. It has been a lot to deal with.
What did you think the first time you saw Wade Malone? Oh, the first time I saw him was in high school when we were in an art class together. He was tall, skinny, kinda nerdy and he totally sucked at art, but he was smart as a whip.
Yup, sounds familiar. What was your second thought? That he was really sweet and made me feel special...something I didn’t get at home.
Do you feel it was love at first sight? Not really. But it wasn’t long before we were head over heels for each other. We were so young and naïve.
do you like most about him? He made me
feel safe. If I’m honest with myself, he still does. It’s surprising considering
his current dislike of me.
How would you describe Wade? Then? He was really nice. Now? I don’t know the man he became. Despite the fact he grew up to have a rock-hard body, emotionally he’s cold, hard and totally unreasonable. I’m not sure what happened during those ears we were apart, but it sure did a number on him.
How would he describe you? He’s the one who left me and never returned, until the horrible plane crash, but I’m sure he’d say that I was the one who left him. He’d be so wrong. I waited as long as I could, then finally had to move on. Now he thinks he can shove his way back into my life. Not happening.
What made you choose painting for a career? When I first moved here to take care of my ailing grandmother, she encouraged me to pursue my love of painting as a creative outlet. I was good at it and my hobby quickly turned into a career. I’m not sure I would’ve done that without her pushing me forward.
What is your biggest fear? I used to think it was being alone the rest of my life, but now my biggest fear is Wade finding out about the child we had. He could disrupt her life and take her away from her adoptive parents if he learns of her existence. I cannot let that happen.
How do you relax? Painting is my go-to activity for relaxation, even if it is my source of revenue. But I also love to ride my Harley. Sometimes I hit the winding roads of the Ozark Mountains by myself, but more often than not I go with my riding buddies. One is a deputy sheriff and the other is a former army ranger, so I feel totally safe.
Who is your favorite fictional character? As odd as this may sound, Evelyn Couch in the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes. After meeting elderly Ninny Threadgoode, Evelyn transformed from a shy, always trying to please others person, to a self-assured woman who took charge of her life. I feel as if that’s what I’ve done. Tawanda!
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Wherever you are, start from there. Doesn’t matter if you’re just beginning to learn something or highly accomplished, you can always be better. My grandmother told me that.
Thanks for spending time with us, Randi. Now we’d like to chat with Linda.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Sleepless in Seattle makes me tear up every time I see it. If I can end my books with that same sense of everlasting love, then I know I’ve done my job well.
Given Linda’s response to that last question, now would be a good time to show off the excerpt from Shattered Promises:
Randi fought for breath as all coherent thought evaporated into thin air. Black dots danced before her eyes and, for a moment, she thought she might pass out. Her eyes hadn’t deceived her earlier. Wade Malone was actually here.
But this wasn’t the skinny young man who had gone on that mission trip. Now, his body was fuller, broader. He was the same height, all six-foot-two of him, and his hair was the same sable color she remembered. Memories of his touch, his kisses, the love radiating from his deep blue eyes, assaulted her.
The Wade Malone she’d known had been kind, caring, loved life and always had a smile on his face. He loved people and would do anything to help them. That wasn’t the man who stood in her yard. This man looked at her with a surprised recognition, then just as quickly, disgust, if not outright hate.
A whimper welled up in her throat.
How could he be the same man who’d left her? The man she’d known had professed his undying love yet had never returned. Had he found another woman and made his home in Colombia? Did he have children? Other children, her heart whispered.
The urge to run to him was tempered by his hard expression, the thin set of his lips. He had no idea of what she’d been forced to live through. Did he even care?
Whoa boy. So many intersecting emotions, such turmoil. Is there an event in your private life that you were able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I wanted my heroine to ride a motorcycle and used my experiences to demonstrate how a woman can handle herself on a Harley. Also, what it feels like to have not just the freedom of riding, but the challenges and danger involved while on a two-wheeler. If anyone has ever ridden a motorcycle down a rutted, dirt road, they know exactly what I’m talking about.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I publish through The Wild Rose Press, and I couldn’t be happier. A couple of friends had previously published through them and highly recommended them. They didn’t steer me wrong.
What book[s] currently rest on your TBR pile? I’m currently reading The Sweetest Thing by Sasha Summers, and I’m anxious to dive into The Wishing Quilt by Jodi Thomas, Lori Wilde and Patience Griffin. I recently picked up a non-romance, Down Range by Taylor Moore that holds lots of promise of an action-packed CIA type novel.
Lastly, what's up next and when can we expect to see it on the shelves? I’m working on the next book in the series, Crushed Promises, but there isn’t a release date yet. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available, though.
To learn more about Linda Trout and the stories she creates, go to:
Amazon Digital: https://tinyurl.com/2btet9y6
Barnes & Nobel Digital: https://tinyurl.com/yc74atzd