Welcome to my corner of the internet Ginger, so glad to have you here with us today. Ginger has been very busy and has just released her newest book Embezzled Love, which I'm tickled to tell you all is FREE today on Amazon!
They advertise on television—“find your true love; we’ll match you with the person of your dreams.” Their irritating spam clogs your computer inbox—"free tonight? Let’s chat.” You can turn the channel or hit the ‘trash’ button, but the promises still linger in your mind. Is it any wonder divorced and lonely, Cassie Fremont, signed up for an on-line dating service? What later shocked her was cost of the ticket for a ride on the roller coaster from hell.
ExcerptThe elevator opened and whisked them to their floor. They found their room, and Evan slid the key card in the lock. He opened the door. His extended arm blocked her path. She eyed him curiously. “Well, let me in.”
“You know, we could go get married first, and then I could carry you over the threshold.”
Her breath caught in her throat. Surely he wasn’t serious. “Not tonight, I have a headache,” she joked.
“I guess that’s a no.” The dejected look on his face told her his proposal had been serious.
“Oh, Evan, when and if we get married, I don’t want it to be some cheap chapel in Las Vegas. I want my family…”
The rift! Pain tugged at her heart and she narrowed her attendance list. “My mom would kill me if I got married and she wasn’t there.”
Evan seemed to recover quickly. “Then let’s drop these bags and go get rich.”
A wave of relief swept over Cassie. She’d gotten out of that predicament easier than she expected. Standing in the middle of the posh but overdone room, she announced. “I’m ready when you are.”
On the ride back down in the elevator Cassie stifled a giggle. Suddenly she felt like a little kid going to Disneyland. Maybe it was because of the different environment, or just feeling free for the moment. Whatever it was, she intended to enjoy it.
When the doors parted, Evan made a beeline for a bank of dollar slots. Cassie glanced down at her still-extended hand, surprised he hadn’t taken hold of it. Maybe he felt the same excitement she experienced. She followed behind and stood at his shoulder, watching. He had already deposited money and was eagerly pulling the handle. The reels spun wildly, blurring the images of cherries, plums and the elusive sevens. When the tumblers stopped, a loud bell sounded, and Evan turned and smiled, pointing at the three bars that had aligned perfectly across the screen. “Look at that, I’m a winner.”
Cassie quickly scanned the colorful pay schedule looking for Evan’s reward. “Wow, five hundred dollars! Baby, you’re pretty lucky at this.”
Evan pulled out his wallet and handed Cassie several bills—big ones. “Here, take this and find a paying machine.” He stuffed his billfold back in his pocket and immediately grasped the slot handle.
She pulled out the stool next to him. “This one looks good.” She sat.
The crease in his forehead showed his displeasure. “No, I meant go somewhere else. I don’t like people watching me when I gamble.”
Shocked, Cassie stood. She was speechless.
Evan raised up just high enough to graze her cheek with a kiss. “You understand, don’t you, baby girl? It’s an anxiety performance thing.”
No, she didn’t understand, but she wasn’t going to hang around where she wasn’t wanted. Clutching the bills he’d given her, she ambled off in search of another place to sit. Somehow her excitement had waned. Just a little while ago he’d wanted to marry her and now he didn’t even want her sitting next to him. She let go of the hurt. She’d turned down his offer of marriage, so now they were even.
She eyed the dollar slots but decided she wasn’t ready for that denomination just yet. Quarters, would do. She unrolled the wad, looking for something smaller than a hundred but all five were the same. Cassie summoned a roving attendant and got change, then inserted twenty into her machine. She tucked the remaining bills in her pocket. It wasn’t long before she was lost in the hypnotic spinning of the reels—unfortunately there were no bells sounding for her and she had lost far more than she planned.
Her eyes grew tired from the never ending blur of whirling fruit. Dare she go back and check on Evan? It had been hours and he hadn’t come looking for her. Surely he wouldn’t mind if she checked in. She’d forgotten her watch but was sure it was close to 3:00 a.m. Why didn’t they put clocks in casinos? Even without knowing the true hour, it had been a long day and she was ready for bed.
The machine where Evan had sat earlier was empty. Cassie eagerly scanned the casino for him. In comparison to the earlier crowded room, only a handful of late-night gamblers remained. Cass walked up and down each bank of slot machines and perused each table, but Evan was no where to be found. Her heart rate increased with panic. Where could he be? Maybe he went upstairs.
She traced the outline of the room card in her pant’s pocket, and headed for the elevator. On the way up, she pondered why Evan didn’t come find her. Her heart beat hard against her chest.
At the room, she struggled to get the key into the narrow slit, and when she walked inside, her heart sank. Evan wasn’t there. Driven by feelings of disappointment and frustration, Cass expelled a large whoosh of air and plopped on the king-sized bed. She sorted through her options, enveloped by a feeling of helplessness. Where would she start to look? Should she report him missing? Maybe just wait. The latter choice was her least favorite but the most logical. There were dozens of casinos—hundreds maybe—and she had no idea where to search. If she wasn’t so worried she might really be pissed. She stretched out on the bed and stared hopelessly at the ceiling. The acoustical dots ran together, creating crazy patterns, and finally, blurred.
Extraordinary brightness attempted to creep beneath Cassie’s closed lids—she turned over and sleepily opened her eyes. She wrinkled her nose at the offensive light and realized it was morning. The room-darkening draperies only worked if someone closed them. The bright ascending sun spread fiery fingers across the sky and penetrated the hotel room’s drape-less window. Still half-asleep, Cassie checked for evidence that Evan had returned—still no sign of him. Her stomach knotted as she glanced at the clock on the nightstand—7:00 a.m. Surely something awful had happened to him. There was no way he would let her worry for this long.
Do you do anything to get you into the zone to write?
My characters are my inspiration. I count on them to be ‘in the zone,’ or I’m dead in the water. As long as they talk, I’m listening, and typing.
Which authors inspire your writing?
I always give credit to Laura Ingalls Wilder for inspiring my love of the historical genre, and it’s because of reading all her books, that I have the drive to recreate the old west for my readers. As I grew older, I migrated to the works of Cassie Edwards and Maddy Baker, who continued to inspire me with more adult-related material, and although they may not know it, they have both been valuable mentors.
What is your favorite book, character and why?
I’m assuming you mean one of my own, and although it’s hard to choose because I love them all, I think I’ll select Sarah’s Journey. My heroine possesses all the traits I aspire to have, and has the strength and fairness I hope people see in me. We all put a little of ourselves in our heroines, combining our best with our shortcomings to create the perfect person.
Do you prefer to write erotic or sweet?
I’m a closed door kinda gal when it comes to bedroom scenes. Although I have written one Erotic offering under a pen name, Searchers, was undoubtedly the most difficult book I’ve written. Some of my books may contain a spicy scene or two, but for the most part, I write only sweet romance. If you ask why, I’d have to say that I’ve never had the confidence in myself as a sexual being, and I think that’s pretty key to writing from an intimate perspective.
Which famous person, living or dead, are you drawn to?
You know, I sat and stared at this question for the longest time and finally decided I’m not really drawn to anyone. I have friends with admirable traits, and I also respect and envy many people who have passed on. I’ve never been one impressed by fame because I truly believe that achieving that status comes from being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right person. There are many authors today who deserve the same notoriety of those published by mainstream, but haven’t had the same good fortune as others. I live by a saying that has helped me tremendously, “life is an attitude, have a good one.” I try to get through each day as it comes and pray I serve as an example to others. Kinda deep, I know, but true.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Hopefully alive and healthy. If you’d ask me that twenty-five years ago, I might have had a different answer, but since I just turned sixty-six, I find myself valuing each day more and more.
Finish this sentence: I know I’ve made it when_______________?
In my mind, I’ve already “made it.” I never expected to sign one, let along twenty-six contracts, so although my name may not be bandied around in the same circles with Nora Roberts, I’m very proud of my accomplishments. Not bad for an old broad.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Listen, learn, and toughen up. Believe in yourself, and when you take suggestions, use only those which don’t change your voice. We are all unique in our own way.
What do you see yourself writing in the future?
Whatever my characters dictate. I rely totally on the voices in my head to guide me. So far, they haven’t steered me wrong.
If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
I answered this same question yesterday on another interview so I’m sticking with that answer. I’d like to be invisible so I can see what my daughter-in-law does all day instead of housework. J
What time of the day are you at your best to write?
I do my best work late at night. I’ve always been a night owl and I enjoy the freedom that comes with being alone.
And now for something completely different…
What do you look at first with an attractive man or woman, face, body or smile?
Totally a butt person. Isn’t that weird? There was a bumper sticker a few years back I believe someone created for me. “Wrangler Butts Drive Me Nuts!”
Explain your perfect day.
I have one every day. When you live past an age you expected never to see, every day is special. A good friend says, “any day on this side of the grass is a good one,” and that’s so true. Now that my children are grown and I’ve retired, I can do pretty much whatever I want. I have a wonderful husband, a nice home, good health, and a Good Lord who watches over me. What could be better than that?
What is the most decadent desert you can’t say no to?
I absolutely love Pig Pickin’ Cake. I’m usually a “salt” person, but that cake gets me every time.
Do you have a favorite holiday what is it and what makes it special to you?
Christmas is and has always been my favorite holiday. I believe it’s special because of all the memories I share from childhood, especially ones where my father always declared we’d wait until morning to open our gifts, then started the landslide of wrapping paper on Christmas Eve with his “we’ll just open one.” God, I miss him.
What key words describe you best?
Trustworthy, funny, compassionate, loving.
Thank you, Shannon, for allowing me time and space on your blog. I enjoyed your interview questions, and I hope you’ll invite me back sometime.
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