Join me in welcoming Mary Behre to the blog for this edition of Writer Wednesday. I’ve known Mary for what seems like forever. I think we met for the first time at RWA Nationals in Anaheim, but had exchanged emails before that. Mary is an organizational queen, forever coordinating contests and marshaling volunteers. She’s also another member of the LaLaLa group that I love.
Fun fact: her name rhymes. Before we met in person, I assumed Behre was pronounced “bear”—like a certain hero from JUST RIGHT. But you know what happens when you assume. It’s actually pronounced “Berry”—like the fruit.
In her own words: Award-winning author Mary Behre loves stories with humor, suspense, a touch of the paranormal and above all else, a good romance. She tries not to take herself too seriously, often claiming as the lone female in a house full of males, she’s the undisputed queen. And even has the glittery tiara to prove it. When not writing, she enjoys reading, gluten-free baking, and hanging out at the beach with the most important men in her life, her family.
Mary’s newest book, Harmonized (A Tidewater Novella), continues her popular Tidewater series. It’s Book 2.5 — and it just came out yesterday. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
About the book:
After nearly dying on assignment, Tidewater police officer Zig Harmon has been awarded the Silver Star and desk duty. But handling every case that walks through the door while his entire department is out hunting a serial killer is nothing compared to dealing with his former flame, Karma De La Cruz.
As much as she hates it, Karma knows that her best chance of finding the kidnapped baby haunting her visions is the man she once left behind. Forced to work together, Karma and Zig start to realize that they may have let go of something incredible. But now, time is running out, both for the missing infant and for their chance to start again…
Harmonized is already getting some great press:
“Mary Behre consistently delivers a fun, suspenseful read with a delightful paranormal twist.” –Lena Diaz, author of Exit Strategy
And my personal favorite:
“Harmonized hit all the right notes.” –Herding Cats & Burning Soup
I love a good play on words! Read on below this week’s “This or That” questions for a sneak peek. But first, let’s get to know Mary a little better.
Sweet potato fries or regular fries? Oh, regular definitely. I detest sweet potatoes. The best fries are steak cut and coated in Old Bay seasoning. They’re so yummy, I think I’ll go make some right now!
Leather or lace? Leather’s too sweaty and lace is too itchy, so I’ll have to say neither. I’m a cotton or silk girl all the way. I prefer to wear something that breathes. Unless I’m getting dressed up, then it’s silk for me.
Night owl or early bird? Mostly an early bird. Although, when I’m really pushing myself to finish the first draft of a novel, I often sprint with friends in a cyber chat room at night. Still, I usually hit a wall at 11pm my time. LOL
Personal chef or personal trainer? Personal chef. I love to eat well but I hate to cook. One of the first things that had me falling for my husband was he prepared a caesar salad from scratch. Best salad ever. Then he introduced me to marinated flank steak. Yep. He definitely worked his way into my heart through my stomach. 🙂
Writing time: Home office or coffee shop? Neither. I do some of my best writing at the library. Plus, I don’t have to worry about dogs barking, kids yelling, or the phone ringing. Plus, I love the whole shush factor at my local bibliotheca.
A library? That’s a new one for me. I might have to give it a try. I like the whole “no dogs, no phone” thing. (I’d no doubt appreciate the “no kids” part, too, if I had any.)
Now the excerpt you’ve been waiting for:
“You shook my entire belief system to the core when you walked out. The woman I’d fallen in love with was full of compassion and kindness. She wanted to be a nurse. To save the world. But the woman who abandoned me? I couldn’t reconcile her with the woman I loved.
“It was conceivable that the party girl did take the money and run to Cabo. You never called to contradict the story. I didn’t know what was real, and it screwed with my head every time I thought of you. Eventually, I tried not to think about you at all.”
“Great,” she said, her heart in her throat, choking her almost as badly as his words. “Because I never stopped thinking about you. See, more regrets. Had I just talked to you that day—”
“We’d have argued.” Zig dropped his arms to his sides and closed the distance between them. “We’d have fought and you’d have still left. I might have chased you, but I couldn’t have stayed in Mexico for four years. We’d have still broken up because eight years ago, we were children trying to act like adults. Today, you’re a woman and I’m a man.”
“So that’s it? Eight years of pain was for nothing?” Karma didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or kick Zig in the balls.
“No, not for nothing. We had to take separate journeys to get here, to this moment. So I could apologize to you for not fighting harder. Being too young and stupid to see you needed me, even when you thought you didn’t. I’m sorry, Carmelita. Truly sorry.”
“I’m sorry too,” she said, the fight drained out of her. She’d lost him so long ago but at least she could start over knowing he didn’t hate her anymore.
“No more apologies, Karma.” Then he silenced her by brushing his lips gently over hers.
It wasn’t a kiss of old lovers reunited. But it could have been.
It wasn’t a kiss of promise. But it might have been.
It wasn’t a kiss of passion. But it was.
It was all those things and more. The feel of his soft mouth on hers, was old and new, and more than she could have hoped for.
Talk about manic weeks… When I’m not at work, I’ll be running around getting ready for the first-ever Payson Book Festival.
The festival is Saturday, July 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gila Community College, 201 N. Mud Springs Road, Payson, Arizona. All kinds of authors will be there. I’m sharing a table with RWA chapter mate Susan Haught.
Activities will include:
- Book readings by authors
- Storytelling for kids
- Book signings
- Author exhibit tables
- Local food vendors
- Musical entertainment
I’m looking forward to interacting with readers, for sure! If you’re in Arizona, plan on stopping by. It’s a beautiful time of year for a road trip to Payson!
Speaking of getting ready, I had to unearth my box of bookmarks and business cards. I hadn’t seen it since my move, and I had a moment of sheer panic last Thursday when I couldn’t find it immediately.
It’s my own fault, really. I snagged boxes from the Daily Sun office for my move. They were the perfect size — big enough to hold books and/or videos without being too heavy to move once filled. And they’re all stamped “Sedona Visitor’s Guide.” So I have a couple dozen boxes all with the same label … with no idea what’s actually in them. (Yeah, that’s a solid argument for labeling boxes as I pack them. I did that at first. Alas, when moving day came and we were still throwing stuff in boxes, the labels went by the wayside.)
Finally, I found my author promo items. Some other crap from my computer desk had been dumped on top of the precious stuff I sought.
If you stop by to see me Saturday, I’ll autograph a bookmark for you. I’ll also have copies of BLIND DATE BRIDE and HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS for sale.
I got to know Lynn Cahoon, a fellow member of the LaLaLas, at RWA Nationals in San Antonio last summer. Has it really been nearly a year? Yikes. How time flies.
We share a birthday and a love of the support of our LaLaLa sisters. Read more about the LaLaLas here.
Lynn is, according to her rather impressive bio, a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. An Idaho expat, she grew up living the small town life she now loves to write about. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series, won the 2015 Reader’s Crown award for Mystery Fiction.
She also writes romance. Her Bull Rider’s Collection is waiting TBR on my Kindle.
Here’s the blurb for her newest release, DRESSED TO KILL:
Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the tucked-away town of South Cove, California—is not particularly thrilled to be portraying a twenties flapper for the dinner theater murder mystery. Though it is for charity…
Of course everyone is expecting a “dead” body at the dress rehearsal…but this one isn’t acting! It turns out the main suspect is the late actor’s conniving girlfriend Sherry…who also happens to be the ex-wife of Jill’s main squeeze. Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? Jill may discover the truth only when the curtain comes up on the final act…and by then, it may be far too late.
Now, on to a round of “This or That.” Please excuse me for having some of the same questions this week as last. I sent them to the authors at different times, but apparently they’re some of my favorites.
Snack of choice: Sweet or salty? Salty, but I LOVE chocolate covered Pretzels.
Car or truck? Ha – SUV. I just got an Equinox and I love it.
Honkin’ big purse or barely-there bag? Big purse, the bigger the better.
Vacation time: Beach or mountains? Since we just bought property up in the woods in central MO, I guess I better say mountains. 🙂
Would you rather travel to the past or the future? Hard one. I’ll say the past. I’d love to meet my parents when they were first together.
Kirk or Picard? Picard, definitely.
If you’d like to get in touch with Lynn, check out these e-spaces:
So much for those regular “Manic Monday” posts. Ah well — you live and learn, right?
What on earth have I been up to since my last update? A whole lot of writing, with a little bit of fun tossed in here and there.
You might have read last week’s Writer Wednesday post with Roni and Carla, the authors of What You Can, When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms. Well, I’m still thinking about #wycwyc, and trying to figure out who’s with me.
Is anyone interested in creating a #wycwyc support group? I know I could use a little extra motivation to get healthier, but without all the pressure of a “perfect” plan. The older I get, the less excited I am about cutting entire food groups from my plate. Even though I’ve had success doing a low-carb diet in the past, I can’t seem to bring myself to give up all the pasta, bread and potatoes.
I made this little reminder to forget perfection and focus instead on good enough. It’s fine to be just “okay” at things. Having a mostly okay diet is better than not even trying because I can’t follow a “perfect” eating plan.
Leave a comment on this post if you want to join me. I can create a Facebook group for us to “meet” in.
In other news:
— I lost a lot of sleep last Wednesday morning, thanks to a radio interview in Flagstaff. I used to live right down the street from the KAFF studio where the interview was scheduled. But now that I’m in Prescott, I had to be up before 6 a.m. to make it to FLG for an 8:30 interview. No easy feat considering I usually sleep until at least 9!
Anyway, I got to visit Flagstaff Country to talk about the upcoming Payson Book Festival, which is on July 25 … less than a month away now. Eeep! I’d better round up some books, bookmarks and postcards for the event, eh?
The interview lasts about six minutes, and I talked about the festival as well as a little about my books. Check it out here.
The weather was lovely in Flagstaff, and being up there gave me a chance to get my Dunkin’ Donuts fix. That’s what was left of my iced coffee with two Splendas and coconut by the time I made it back to Prescott. (Although I’m pretty sure they left out the Splenda, because it didn’t seem as sweet as normal.)
Do you like to sleep in? I come by my schedule honestly because of my work hours. I’d rather work days, but someone has to put the latest news in tomorrow’s newspaper—and that means working in the evenings and into the night.
— I can’t remember if I ever shared the link to my Writer Groupie podcast. Way back in April, Kim Smith and I chatted about writing and her “author unplugged” sessions, which I still need to try out for myself. It sounds like a blast.
— Now that I’m reporting part-time, the day job gives me a chance to go out and meet people. I’d forgotten how much I liked that part of newspaper work.
On Sunday, I got to hang out downtown with area firefighters for the annual Fire Hose Cart Races. It was a lot of fun…and inspiring. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one of my next novels ends up with a firefighter hero.
Here’s a link to my story on The Daily Courier’s website. (I even shot a video of the hose cart races. Our photographer on the scene took a video of the Bucket Brigade.)
And, just for fun, here are a couple of the photos I snapped with my iPhone during the races.