Hi Melisa, so wonderful that you have a new book out, and a romantic suspense too! I've read it and it is very exciting. I especially like Cruz who is a sweetie but a man who knows what he wants. How did you come up with his character?
I wanted a strong male lead, but one that was also lovable and compassionate.
What makes Cruz the perfect man for Daniella?
That's a tough question. What makes any man perfect for a woman? I'd have to answer that by saying he's charming, witty, persistent, and genuine (and handsome too). Something Daniella needs after a previous disastrous relationship.
How does Daniella grow in your story?
There is so much to say about her that I don't think I could summarize Daniella's growth. At the very least, she's been through some pretty horrific situations, but she discovers an inner strength and overcomes some of her greatest fears. Daniella and Cruz learn that no matter what happens, love prevails.
It's either loved or hated. It depends on the opinion of pro-life or pro-choice. There's nothing in the novel that doesn't happen in real life. Abortion is real. Abuse is real. Controversy is real. And sometimes there is a happily ever after ;) no matter how old we are.
That's good to know. What's next? How did you come up with it?
I'm working on the first novel I wrote. Finding Forever is a trilogy that I hold close to my heart. To me, it's the greatest love story that develops in a world I'd want to live in. A world that doesn't exist... or does it?
And do you really want to know how I came up with it? Ha! Funny how a crazy dream of an Olympic size pool and shaving my legs gave me the idea of the story. I think it was the mysterious mansion surrounding the pool that really had me thinking. So many what ifs came to mind. NO. The story has nothing to do with me and shaving either ;b.
Super excited about your trilogy. Is there a message in there?
Yes, there is a message, but I'm not going to give it away. NOPE.
Well, thanks for talking to us. I think it is safe to say that you are a true romantic and believe that love will conquer all.
Excerpt for Finding Forever
That first time, when he presses his lips against mine and kisses the words ‘I Love You’ right down into the very heart of my soul, that’s when I knew we were about to be ripped apart.
A TRICKLING OF TEARS CASCADE DOWN my cheeks as I watch Ben sleep. My heart aches knowing this might be the last kiss I give him as I lean over and press my lips against his forehead. “I love you, Ben. We’ll find each other. Never give up. It won’t be long—I promise,” I whisper, uncertain of my own promise.
He tosses, turns, and curls up next to me. He traces my lips with his thumb. “What’s wrong…? Why are you crying?”
“It’s… it’s time. They’re pulling me out of here. The… the other people. I don’t want to go, Ben.” I sob and exhale heavily. “I can’t be without you. I-I just can’t. I’ll die if I go back! I can’t live without…”
“Sh.” He rises to his knees, bringing me up with him, and moves forward, lips almost touching mine. “You have to get control of yourself. You have to be positive for both of us. How will anything we’ve talked about ever work if you can’t control your emotions?”
He speaks soft but stern before his breathing turns ragged. “I’m not trying to be harsh, but I love you and I need to know you can do this.”
Inhaling his scent drives a passionate urge deep within me and in this moment, he sweeps me in to the sweet bliss of a deep kiss. His touch is like no other, calming the darkness, soothing my soul, he makes me feel whole, complete, and... I have to get a grip on my emotions. I need to be strong for the two of us.
“You’re my life, too, and I’ll hold you right here.” He places his hand over his heart; his head falls against my shoulder and he nuzzles my neck. Wrapping my arms around him, I squeeze and clench his shirt, entwine it between my fingers. I only wish this would be enough to pull him through with me.
“Remember what I said.” He raises his head, his blue-eyes hopeful underneath the disheveled mess of blond hair. “Focus on details, even the smallest ones. More importantly, mark a path and make sure you’re—”
A chill sweeps over me like icy fingers clawing at the back of my neck. “Ben? Oh, God! Ben. Ben! I can’t hear yyyooouuuu.” The words echo and I know this is it, the end of it all.
“B-Beh—” I cry again, but the strength of the pull feels like a weighted ball crashing against my chest, shoving me backward.
A high-pitched wail pours into the very core of my heart. Ben! I see tears spill down his cheeks as he dives toward me. I think he reaches me, but he falls right through me, as if I were a mere shadow—visible but transparent, and then he disappears.
Please, oh please, God, bring us back together. I can’t live without him.
☼ ☼ ☼
Green, red, black, purple and white colors flash before my eyes. Vibrating sounds buzz in my ears. My head thunders with explosions of pain. Each breath I take burns. I cough and retch with each force of the tug in my throat, poofs of air drawing upward with each wrench. I try to grab at it, but warm, callous fingers, press against my cold hands.
My eyelids flutter and I wake to a blinding light. “Ben? Ben, where are you?” I choke on the words. I search with my hands and pat frantically at the shadow standing next to me. I gulp hard at the deep burn of raw pain crowding at the back of my throat.
“Hey, hey, calm down, Morgan. It’s me, James. You’ve had a bad accident. Do you remember anything?”
The silhouette of a man with dark wavy hair leans over me. I blink several times before I notice his big, brown eyes staring at me. James? The name forms around my lips but I can’t say it.
Where’s Ben… Danny... the mansion. Where are they? Hot tears trickle down my cheeks.
The lines in James’ forehead deepen and his brows furrow. His eyes droop as if he’s sad.
Do I know him?
I cry relentlessly. “Ben! Danny. Everybody. The mansion. Where are they?”
“You were in a coma, Morgan. Maybe you were dreaming of people, but there’s no Ben or Danny… and no mansion. You don’t know anyone with those names. Maybe you were dreaming? I’m sorry, but this is me, James. Remember me, your boyfriend?” He shoots me a hopeful smile.
“You?” I whisper. “You can’t be my boyfriend.”
I stare at him as he tucks his hands into the front pockets of his faded jeans, shaking his head and lowering it. Without another word, he turns and walks away.
Who does he think he is, passing himself off as my boyfriend. Ha. Tall, dark wavy hair, copper eyes—he must be Italian. But to say he’s my boyfriend? No, no. I have a boyfriend.
Ben? I need you.
I let my head sink back into the pillow, and examine the tubes and wires connecting to my arms, head and chest. Monitors beep and there’s the drip, drip, drip of the I.V. White walls, bright lights, medical equipment—I’m in the one place I hate, the hospital. I close my eyes wishing it all away.
☼ ☼ ☼
Waking with a start, I glance around the room for any unwanted visitors. A dozen balloons float near the window and there are flowers with cards tucked into their forks. Thoughtful, but unnecessary.
As I continue to scan the area, my eye catches something familiar. My iTouch! And a crumpled hospital bag most likely containing my clothes.
Without permission or knowing whether I can stand on my own two feet, I slide off the bed and grip the railing. Hmm. I’m steady enough and challenge myself by grasping the I.V. pole, and take a step forward. After a few more steps, I snatch the bag and my iTouch.
Safely back in bed, I examine the iTouch. It’s covered in pink goo. I poke my head in the hospital bag and then dump the contents on my lap. The tattered clothes have a thick layer of the pink goo on them too.
What does this mean? What. Does. This. Mean!
Frustration sets in. I close my eyes, and rub my pink gooey hands against my temples, and then…
Explosions erupt in my head like a volcano… liquid oozing from it, flowing through my brain with bits and pieces of information.
There was lightning.
And, something eerie.
Like a twilight zone.
I recall the voices.
The creepy voices that whisper-shouted my name. “Moooooorrrrrrgaaaannnn!”
Oh, god! I’m there and I don’t know where ‘there’ is.
Where am I, where am I!
My pulse pounds against my ears and my head is spinning.
Splattering, splattering, splattering!
I see myself.
I’m splattering at the bottom!
“No, no, no,” I say breathlessly as I slowly open my eyes…
…and I scream.
Melisa grew up in Colorado and moved to 'the good life' in the latter half of her teen years, where she remained. She resides with her husband and three daughters. Her only son, Robby, named after his human father, is, of course, a cat. He refuses to acknowledge his furry background, and so continues to live as humanly as possible.
An extensive history in the healthcare industry has given her the honor to know and work with a variety of people, ranging from newborn to elderly.
Her true passion is writing, of course. She strives to write stories that have something to say, that speak to the heart--youth to aged and all things in between.
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