With a beautiful winter wonderland backdrop of swirling snowflakes, the cherry log in the hearth snaps, sending brilliant orange spears shooting upward like sorcerer’s flames. And when the doorbell rings, Oliver dashes off, plucking a rose from the vase. A moment later, he escorts a starry-eyed Barbara into the parlor and she takes a seat in front of the fire.
Sharon: Hello, Barbara. And how are you on this wintry day?
Barbara: Glad to be here with you. The fire is wonderful. She relaxes, cradling the rose on her lap.
Dressed in his black t-shirt and low rider jeans, Oliver saunters in, pushing a sterling silver caddy. Casting Barbara a wicked wink, he serves her a gin martini with two olives. She regretfully waves away the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Pumping his biceps, he plucks up his copy of Ancient Awakenings and flashes his bone-melting smile. Might I have your autograph, love?
Barbara: Anything you desire, Oliver. She gives him a sultry smile before she signs with a flourish.
And while Barbara is drooling over Oliver, here is a blurb and excerpt of Ancient Awakenings:
In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.
Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.
In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.
“Don’t touch me, Mel, not unless you’re willing to do a lot more,” he warned as her hazel eyes flared golden.
“Don’t threaten me, Steve. You’re…”
He pulled her into his arms despite the alarm bells clanging in his head.
Danger! Danger! Danger!
Her widened eyes met his. Mel’s hands were trapped against his chest, but she didn’t push him away. Instead, her fingers curled into his shirt.
Her mistake. His mistake was to crush her mouth under his.
Mel’s soft lips parted. Need exploded. The taste of black coffee didn’t hide her sweet flavor. As her tongue tangled with his, her arms slid around his neck and her fingers burrowed through his hair.
Steve hungered to peel the starched shirt off her soft shoulders, lay her on the thick turf and ease his desire. He tasted her brows, her cheek, along her throat, seeking the source of her call. Her pulse whipped under his mouth, awakening another need.
His teeth gently closed on the vulnerable vein.
He wanted, wanted, wanted…
Cold alarm chilled his pounding blood. Steve gasped for air. He’d forgotten his own ironclad rule. Mel’s eyelids flittered open to reveal the molten glow of desire but he forced himself free.
He had no right to touch any woman. Not until he knew he hadn’t become what he had set out to destroy.
Sharon: Interesting and very intriguing. It draws us right in. So tell us a little about the heroine and the romantic hero of your book.
Barbara: My heroine ‘Mel’ is a strong, independent woman with no imagination. When she finds a murder can’t be solved by normal means, she is baffled. My hero ‘Steve’ is hunting a cure for a terrible curse. He craves blood and can no longer tolerate many foods, he is experiencing black-outs, and his night vision is sharpening along with his sense of smell. He fears what he may be doing during the black-outs.
Oliver takes this moment to grin, his eyes glowing as he sips a glass of red wine.
Sharon: And where did you get the idea for this storyline?
Barbara: I had a nightmare about the cemetery next to where I lived as a child. I meet Steve and Mel there and knew the end to their story. I started writing it the next morning.
Sharon: Oooh…I have chills. And tell me, do you put pieces of your own life into stories? And if so, anything you would like to share with us?
Barbara: My life is too boring to write about, but I do use what I learn from a number of sources. My stories are from my dreams.
Sharon: (clasps her heart and gasps) I love it! Have you written in other genres?
Barbara: Oh yes, I’ve been looking for my niche for a long time. I have two Historical Romances. The first is another Love set in 1892 New England, with dirty politicians kidnapping a child; the second is Annie’s Heart in 1872 Kansas about a widowed mother and a wandering cowboy. I also have a Romantic suspense Rachel’s Rescue set in contemporary Sudan about a doctor and the federal agent sent to protect her.
Sharon: Hmm. Sounds really good. What’s next for Barbara Edwards?
Barbara: The next book set in Rhodes End is almost ready for my editor, with two more in the works. I have a romance and a romantic comedy half-done.
Sharon: Well, good luck with all that. My goodness! Now, let’s talk about you. You’re married to a retired police sergeant and have a joint interest in target shooting. These sound like a writer’s dream for research. Do you incorporate both into your writing?
Barbara: My husband is my best source for police procedures, the way they think and react. He’s really good at the ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ look when he disagrees with how I have a male react.
Sharon: LOL And you love to visit museum, galleries and battlefields for your research. Can you share a few of your most interesting and unique finds?
Barbara: I recently visited the Charleston museum and saw the 150 years of wedding gowns display. It was fascinating to study the real items and gave me several facts I might be able to use.
Sharon: I would love that! You truly are a Jill of all trades. And tell us about when you taught romance at a community college.
Barbara: Students are the best source of enthusiasm. They asked questions about things I’d forgotten I knew and that made my own work improve. I’d love to do move, but since we started camping for months, I can’t fit it into my schedule.
Sharon: And if that isn’t enough, you grow antique roses, a favorite hobby of mine. What kind of roses are in your garden?
Barbara: I wish I knew. They were gifts. I’m searching for the names, but that is also on the back burner. I have a beautiful pink that blooms until the snow; an open purple that smells like heaven but slows blooming in August and a tightly wound red that looks like a crumpled tissue and smells sweet.
Barbara: Dixie is an eighty pound Belgian Malinois that wants to be a lap dog. She is the only reason I get any exercise. She demands regular walks and since she is incredibly smart, I don’t argue with her.
Sharon: Well, sadly, this brings us to the end of our hour. Before you go, can you share a favorite legend, tradition or superstition with me?
Barbara: Since the snow is still falling, I’ll tell you about a New England farmer trick I learned when I researched Another Love. Each farm had a fire pond for obvious reasons. During the warm months, the farmer caught wandering turtles and drilled a hole high in the shell. He’d place the turtle in the fire pond. The turtle couldn’t escape since the hole would cause it to die from dehydration. In the late winter, when the meat supply was running low, the farmer’s wife harvested the turtles for soup. If they weren’t needed, they grew another year.
Sharon: Thank you so much for joining us today on Wednesday Spotlight. I wish you much luck with sales and in your writing. Where can readers buy Ancient Awakenings and learn more about you?
Barbara: First I want to thank both you and Oliver for a delightful visit.
Readers can find Ancient Awakening, a Black Rose at www.TheWildRosePress.com
Print ISBN: 1-60154-552-5
Print ISBN 13: 9781601545527
Or visit my website http://www.barbaraedwards.net/ for excepts and buy buttons.
Check my blog for very intermittent posts at http://barbaraedwards.net/blog/blog.asp for Barb'Ed Comments
I’m Barbara Edwards and I’m a native New Englander. I’m a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. I write poetry for myself and novels when I need to tell a longer tale. I’m fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark paranormal stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from my belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.
I lived in Florida for several years and am past president of the Central Florida Romance Writers and a member of Romance Writers of America.
When I returned to Connecticut, I founded the Charter Oak Romance Writers, a Chapter of Romance Writers of America, along with several close friends.
My husband is a retired Police Sergeant. We share an interest Civil War re-enacting and travel the Eastern states to participate in events. I love visiting museums, galleries and battle sites, gathering information for my stories.
I taught Romance Writing at Manchester Community college for three years.
I’m fond of gardening and growing antique roses with limited success.
Most of my exercise is when my Belgian Shepherd, Dixie, demands a walk.