Today we have Marin McGinnis on the blog with us. I’m a day late with this and I apologize profusely, but I had a family emergency yesterday. On to the questions!

Interview

Tell us a little about yourself, perhaps something people might not know.

I live in the town I grew up in, although I did take a few detours along the way. To this day, many of my friends from high school call me Marv. We had a frequent substitute teacher who could never figure out how to pronounce my first name—she insisted on calling me Marvin, no matter how often I corrected her.

Are you working on another book?

I am working on two others at the moment. They are set in England in the 1850s, both romances, but they explore my interest in mystery and suspense. Following that, I have a cozy mystery series trundling around my brain that I can’t wait to get to.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Who hasn’t? :) I have three—a mystery I started about 30 years ago was atrocious, a romance that I learned to write with, and the third is a romance I will finish one day, but I lost confidence in it when an agent blithely told me it’d never sell. The mystery will remain firmly under the bed, but the other two may see the light of day at some point—after massive rewrites.

What is your writing style? Pantser or Plotter? Pen and paper or computer? Do you write Alone or in public? Music or silence? Goals of certain # of words a week or when inspiration strikes

I am a curious hybrid of plotter and pantser (I like to call it Plantser), and the formula for which side is stronger is different for each book. I write on my laptop (and occasionally on my iPad), and I do my best writing when I’m in public, at a coffee shop or waiting for my kid at hockey practice. I’m experimenting with writing to music, but unless I’m in the right mood I find it distracting. I did NaNoWriMo this year, and the only day I didn’t write was Election Day. I am trying to keep up the habit of writing every day, even if it’s just a few words.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

They are purely imaginary, but I can’t help but think of people I know and experiences I’ve had as I write, so I imagine a tiny bit of real people sneaks its way into my characters. I think I’ll probably work that substitute teacher into a book one day, though. ;)

Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? If so, why? If not, what would make you successful?

If the goal is to write and publish a book, sure, I’m successful several times over. If it’s to make enough money writing to give up the day job, then no, not even close. Some days I feel more successful than others, and it’s not necessarily that my situation changes—it’s usually how I feel about what I’m doing, whether it be plotting, writing, editing, or marketing. My son told me today that he didn’t think he did well on a test in school. When I asked why, he said he just didn’t feel confident while he was taking it. Attitude, as they say, is everything, and when I feel successful, I usually am. I just don’t always feel that way. :)

Book

After four unsuccessful London seasons, Lady Julia Tenwick despairs of ever making a love match. With spinsterhood looming on the horizon, she and a friend set sail for America on one last adventure. When her travels take her to northern Maine, Julia meets a reclusive but handsome artist, whose rudeness masks a broken heart Julia feels compelled to mend.

Still haunted by the betrayal and death of his pregnant wife two years before, Geoffrey Jordan is determined never to risk his heart again. Certainly not with the gorgeous and impetuous aristocrat who intrudes upon his small-town solitude, and is far too similar to his late wife to tempt him to take another chance on love.

But when Julia and Geoffrey find themselves united in a reckless plan to save Julia’s friend from ruin, they discover that temptation is impossible to resist.

Excerpt

Cranberry Cove reminded Julia of home, her family’s estate in Durham, where ton rules were abandoned in favor of lazy days riding, reading, caring for her pets, or playing the piano. It occurred to her that she had not played in weeks. Her fingers itched to touch a keyboard, and she flexed her hands inside her calfskin gloves. She vowed to play soon. She thought she had seen a harpsichord in the drawing room of Maria’s enormous house.

Reaching the end of the little lane on which Maria lived, she took a right onto Main Street. It consisted of several houses similar to the one in which she was staying, so she turned left onto Maple Street, which was much more interesting. There was a green grocer, a bookseller, a milliner, a tailor, a blacksmith—everything one could want in a village. The streets were clean—much cleaner than London—and the air was crisp and fresh, even if it smelled ever so slightly of fish.

Julia was staring into the newspaper office—a badly written but oddly gripping tale about missing lobster traps was plastered to the window—when she was nearly knocked off her feet.

“Oh, I beg your pardon!” She managed to right herself, wondering why she should be the one to apologize. She looked up into the hooded eyes of Geoffrey Jordan, who held a book in one hand. “Mr. Jordan!”

“Lady Julia.” He reached out to steady her, the touch of his hand on her arm causing a charge to shoot up her spine. “Please forgive me. Are you hurt?”

“Are you in the habit of running over tourists on your streets?” She freed her arm, flustered by her own reaction, and busied herself with adjusting her hat. When she regarded Mr. Jordan again, he was smirking.

“No, just the ones who stop in the middle of the street,” he said.

Julia opened her mouth to retort, but he held up a finger to silence her. “Nevertheless, I am sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. And the scintillating prose of our local newspaper could halt anyone in her tracks.”

She laughed. “It is not The Times, to be sure.”

His lips quirked up at the tips in something approaching a smile. Julia thought she hadn’t seen him do that before and found it oddly entrancing. “Where are you headed, Lady Julia?”

She forced herself to look away from his lips. “Um. Nowhere in particular. I was in need of a walk after luncheon, so I thought I would explore a bit.”

“The Universalist church, just around the corner, is particularly beautiful, and you will need to sample lobster from the establishment run by the Maclays, on the pier. It will melt in your mouth.”

The way he looked at her as he made the remark made her own mouth dry. Her cheeks burned.

“Um. Yes. That sounds lovely.” She gazed down at her feet until she collected herself. Raising her head, she found herself caught in his sights. She swallowed nervously. “Well, if you’ll excuse me, Mr. Jordan, I really must get back. Constance will be wondering where I’ve got to.” She brushed past him, her shoulder tingling at the contact with his arm.

“Lady Julia?” His tone was vaguely amused.

She stopped and turned to face him. “Yes, Mr. Jordan?”

His thin lips turned up at the corners again, and he pointed behind him. “I believe your house is that way.”

“Oh. Yes. Of course.” She willed herself not to stumble as she passed him, at least not until she’d cleared the corner.

Buy Links

The Wild Rose PressAmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo, and Bookstrand

Social Media

Website: http://marinmcginnis.com

Blog: http://marinmcginnis.com/blog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarinMcG

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarinMcGinnis  (@MarinMcGinnis)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12256384.Marin_McGinnis

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00S03YY60

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/marinmcginnis/

Bio

A northeast Ohio native, Marin McGinnis has been a voracious reader ever since she could make sense of words on the page. She’s dabbled with writing for a long time, but didn’t start writing in earnest until she discovered historical romance about a decade ago. Marin has three historical romance titles published with The Wild Rose Press, and is a member of RWA and its Northeast Ohio, Hearts Through History, and Kiss of Death chapters. She will serve as President of the Northeast Ohio RWA chapter in 2017. Marin lives in a drafty 100 year old house with her husband, son, and two standard poodles named Larry and Sneaky Pete.

Today, I’m interviewing Ripley Proserpina and she’s answered some juicy questions for us about her and her book.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

My most recent book is Finding Honor. It’s a story about a girl, Nora, who has never been able to count on anyone but herself. She does the best she can, getting by day-to-day, working as a housekeeper, substitute teacher, and at a deli. While substitute teaching, a horrible event occurs and she comes face-to-face death. Suddenly, she realizes, “Crap. I’m going to die and what have I done with my life?” It’s definitely a come-to-Jesus moment, but she’s left even more disappointed in herself because after surviving, all she wants to do is crawl into a hole and hide.

Unexpectedly, she meets a young man who wants to help her, and then another young man, and another, and another, and yes, another. All of them speak to her heart in ways no one ever has, and because love is the last thing on her mind, this strange, unique relationship, takes her completely by surprise.

The book is a romance, but at its heart is this girl who has to learn to stand up for herself, flip the rest of the world the bird, and listen to her heart. Her past hasn’t broken her, but it’s squashed her, making her doubt her instincts and intelligence. With the help of these guys, who also have dark pasts and experiences to overcome, she starts to trust herself again.

Which brings up the major twist in my story. It’s “reverse harem.” For those who aren’t familiar with reverse harem, it’s the “I’ll take both!” answer to the love triangle (or in this case, love pentagon). Reverse harem doesn’t necessarily mean the girl ends up with all the boys (though I am a fan of happy endings, and things working out as they should), but she is the sun around which the guys revolve.

Think: Leia, Luke, Hans, Chewy, Yoda, and Obi-Wan. Or Hermione, Ron, Harry, Neville, and Dumbledore. There’s one strong, central, female character. (I get these aren’t romances, and I’m ignoring how Luke is the main character in Star Wars, and it’s Harry Potter, not Hermione Granger and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but bear with me).

I love the theme of this story. I’m all about empowering women in stories.

What would the main character in your book have to say about you?

Nora would probably say I’m a sucker. She tells me what she wants to do, I let her do it. Even when she wants to do something I never intended her to do. To be fair though, I let her guys do the same thing; I’m an equal opportunity push-over.

Then she’d probably point out how I’m a sucker in real life as well— using the giant German Shepherd at my feet (husband begged), and third cat (my little boy liked how he sneezed) as examples.

I’m sure she’d have a sarcastic comment about all my complaining about the New England cold, but she’d admit the winters are a small price to pay for beautiful summers.

Finally, I think she’d mention that I manage to write Nutella into every book.This wouldn’t be a complaint. We both love it.

I’m such a sucker for animals and Nutella, too! What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

Emily of New Moon, by LM Montgomery. I was a lot like Emily growing up: dark, temperamental. I wanted to be a writer as soon as I could read, and wrote poems, stories, and a ton of Newsies fan fictions.

Emily has a teacher, a grouchy, mean teacher, and she shows him her poems and he goes through them: “Horrible, horrible, trash…” He makes fun of the parts she loved, but finds one line and says, “Well done.”

She’s ready to give up writing, but he tells her, “One good line out of fifty? Keep writing. This line shows promise.”

I think everyone who writes goes back to pieces they’ve written and think, “This is the worst thing ever. What am I doing?” But this line is always in the back of my mind. I don’t know if I would have kept writing if I hadn’t read Emily. There’s something about reading a book when you’re a child; the words get under your skin, stay with you in a different way. You believe the things you read without cynicism.

Sorry, I can’t help but wax poetic about LM Montgomery.

That’s so inspiring and so true of writing. We do have to learn to accept the bad writing as part of the process.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I would spend the day with Matisse, one of Nora’s guys. I don’t really know what Matisse does during the day. He has a motorcycle, speaks French, stays up all night, and can somehow find information about people no one else can. He’s not a spy, but he’s definitely mysterious, and I’m suspicious of him.

My plan is to follow him around: “Go about your business, Tisse. I’ll just observe from here. Ignore the notebook.”

We would also go for a ride on his motorcycle. I might make him read me poetry. He’d do it, too. I think I could wheedle him into it; he has such a lovely voice.

You have to love a man who rides a motorcycle. Are you working on another book?

I’m just finishing up the second book in Nora’s series, The Searchers. The first book, Finding Honor, comes out in December, her novella, Finding Nora, comes out at the end of December, and the second, full-length book, Finding Ryan, is about the first guy she meets and falls in love with; the one who introduces her to all the other guys. It’s been a really fun book to write, because I get to learn how the guys met each other and became friends, but I also get to delve into Ryan’s past, and see how it shapes his relationship with Nora.

About Finding Honor

Finding Honor
The Searchers, book1
By Ripley Proserpina
 
Genre: New Adult, Reverse Harem

Releases on December 6, 2017

Blurb:

Love finds her in her darkest hours…

Nora Leslie’s twenty-year existence revolved around one thing—survival. A split second decision under a hail of gunfire saves the lives of her students and alters her own forever.  

When she wakes in the hospital, Nora finds herself a suspect in the worst tragedy to ever strike her small college town. Thrust into the spotlight as the villain, instead of the hero, she is in desperate need of allies

A chance meeting introduces her to Ryan Valore, a young law student searching to outrun the guilt of his past. With the world turned against her, Nora accepts his aid, and the help of his roommates, a group of guys with pasts as dark as her own. For them, Nora is everything they never believed they deserved.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N8XMGIR
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1175136000
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/finding-honor-1
 

About the Author

 
Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and a dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, and “Missing Linc” from the paranormal series, The Aegeans in the upcoming horror romance anthology, Bloody Kisses. Follow her on Facebook or sign up for her newsletter at www.ripleyproserpina.com.

Social Media links:
www.ripleyproserpina.com
@RipleyProserpin (twitter)
Ripley Proserpina (FB)