Author Sadira Stone is my guest and she's offering a glimpse at one of her favorite secondary characters, great-aunt Maxie from RUNAWAY LOVE STORY. I love quirky secondary characters! Welcome Sadira Stone!
Meet Great-Aunt Maxie!
Besides the hero and heroine of Runaway Love Story, my favorite character is Laurel’s 90-year-old Great-Aunt Maxie. Laurel detours from her pursuit of a big-city art career to help Maxie move into assisted living. An artist herself, Maxie’s also a foster-grandmother to many young artists in Eugene, Oregon. She’s lived a big, sparkly life, and her loving encouragement keeps Laurel’s dreams afloat.
Here, Laurel arrives at Maxie’s place.
A glimpse of red fluff appeared in the window. The front door opened, revealing a beaming Maxie in all her Technicolor glory. Her baby-fine hair glowed henna red, and rhinestones twinkled from her cat’s-eye glasses. Chunky rings bedecked her gnarled, ropy hands, and her knee-length tunic bore a tie-dyed rainbow swirl.
“Laurel,” Maxie bellowed. Her foghorn voice hadn’t lost its power. “Get up here, my precious girl.”
Grinning, she trotted up the stairs and wrapped her arms around her tiny mentor.
“Easy now.” Maxie’s smile folded her cheeks and forehead into papery pleats. “I’m not so steady on my feet these days.” She thumped her cane. Typical Maxie, it was covered with rhinestones, metallic trim, and swirls of bright paint.
“New art project?”
“Oh, this?” She chuckled, her laughter raspy and deep. “One of many.” Moving slowly, she settled onto a creaking wicker loveseat on the porch. “Tell me, dear heart.”
“Tell you what?”
One penciled-on eyebrow raised. “What happened at the gallery?”
Laurel slumped beside her. “Mom told you?”
She nodded. “She loves you, you know. And she wants you to succeed.”
“As long as I do something practical. And boring.”
“Now, now.” Maxie patted her hand. “It’s a mother’s nature to worry. So, why’d they fire you this time?”
She might be ninety, but nothing interesting escaped Maxie’s sharp eyes. Or ears.
Blurb, RUNAWAY LOVE STORY:
She hates average...he's as average as they come.
High school history teacher Doug Garvey is trying to enjoy his last few weeks of summer vacation, but receiving his final divorce decree hits him harder than expected. After a brief fling fizzles, he fears love just isn't in the cards for him. If only he could find someone who's real, someone interested in something beyond herself…maybe a new running partner who can keep up with his more carnal appetite. When sexy, straight-talking Laurel runs across his path, he dares to hope again.
He's done with social-climbing posers...she's ambitious and has big dreams.
Fired from an art gallery, Laurel Jepsen shelves her pursuit of an art career in San Francisco to help her beloved great aunt Maxie move into assisted living. While out on a morning run, she's harassed by a group of teens until a tall, broad-shouldered hottie steps in, pretending to be her boyfriend with a kiss that makes her wish it were true. But she's only passing through, not looking for a relationship.
Their fierce chemistry burns up the sheets—and the couch, the shower, the forest—but falling in love would ruin everything. Laurel can't stay in Eugene, and he can't leave. Doug's only hope is to convince her the glittery life she's after could blind her to the opportunities already in her path.
“I’m sorry she called you the S word.”
She laughed. “Yeah. That’s a curse word, as far as I’m concerned.” She leaned her head on his shoulder.
“I’ll strike it from my vocabulary. Your S word is sparkle.” He traced her jawline with a feather-light touch. “Look at you, Laurel. You’re blinding.” His twilight-blue gaze made her heart dance—a steamy tango with swirls and dangerous dips. He kissed her, and, for a moment, she forgot all about caution, about cutting things off before they became too serious, about San Francisco. Her focus narrowed to his lips on hers, his nearness heating her whole body, opening her like a blossom, soft and willing. Ripe for the plucking.
“God, I’ve missed you.” He scooped her legs across his lap. One hand cradling her nape, the other gripping her thigh, he kissed her senseless. His velvet tongue teased her lips apart. He tasted of sugary coffee. The world around them faded—just two bodies, calling and answering, breathing in sync, their pulses beating the same rhythm.
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/runaway-love-story-sadira-stone/1131145865
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/runaway-love-story/id1460549153
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?c=books&q=Runaway+Love+Story+by+Sadira+Stone
Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, belly dances, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at www.sadirastone.com.
Inspiration for the Book Nirvana Series:
Until recently, I was one of those readers--literary snobs who look down their noses at romance for the usual stupid reasons: too corny, too predictable, too fluffy. Then I read a few online articles about how fun and lucrative writing erotica can be. I thought, what the heck? Let's try.
I have never had so much fun with a writing project! My first steamy romance, Through the Red Door, nearly wrote itself, though it damned sure didn't edit itself. I've totally immersed myself in the world of romance, gobbling books like popcorn, filling my ears with romance podcasts, and joining the Romance Writers of America. From skeptic to romance mega-fan in two short years, I’m totally addicted to passionate, heartfelt stories with happy endings.
Why set the series in a bookshop? Ever since I was a wee lass, I dreamed of owning one. Add to that my fascination with historical erotic art and literature, and you’ve got the Book Nirvana series, set in an indie bookshop with an extensive erotica collection behind a locked red door.
I love stories in which a couple’s powerful physical attraction leads them to consider a partner outside their usual M.O.—one who just might turn out to be their perfect match. That’s how it happened for my husband and me, and my romance fiction contains that element.
I sort of pulled the setting out of a hat. I wanted to set my series in a college town. I’d heard that Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, has a lively arts scene and a rich counterculture legacy from the hippie era. After much online research, correspondence, and hours on Google Earth, I finally made the trip. Eugene is even lovelier than I’d imagined. Kate Rock, a resident author, kindly shared her knowledge of the city’s history and the flavor of the different neighborhoods. I look forward to many return trips.
Social Media Links:
Author Website: http://www.sadirastone.com
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18568049.Sadira_Stone