Friday, April 12, 2019

FOREVER IN A MOMENT by Charlotte O'Shay

I'm happy to feature another entry in the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press. Charlotte O'Shay is here with her new release FOREVER IN A MOMENT. She's here to talk about her favorite scene with her secondary characters. I can't wait to read it! Welcome Charlotte O'Shay!

Hi Jana!

It’s a pleasure to be with you today to talk about my newly released novella, Forever in a Moment and secondary characters. 

Forever in a Moment is my addition to the Deerbourne Inn series published by the Wild Rose Press.

When the publisher’s call came out for this series, the editors created a series “bible” with a map of the fictional town as well as various townspeople with brief profiles of pedigree information —name, age, profession. Of these townspeople, I chose Karla Payne and Jared Langford  to layer into my story.

Little did I know these Karla and Jared would come to life so quickly. 

A little background. When this story starts, corporate lawyer, jilted bride Samantha DeMartino is alone, a fish out of water in small town Vermont.  Most of the town has heard… as one does in a small towns, that Sam was stranded on the side of a rode in a winter storm and given a lift by hero Jed Armstrong. 

Secondary character Karla Payne is the owner of a local tavern and a good friend of Jed’s. I gave Karla some heartbreak in her backstory and watched her go toe to toe with Samantha in several scenes. Karla judges and disparages everything about Sam moments after meeting her. Karla has a underlying bitterness about events in her life and she’s super protective of Jed and his family. Even though I was annoyed at her for rebuffing Sam’s friendly overtures, I couldn’t help but feel for her.

Here is the first meeting between Karla (behind the bar at her tavern) and Samantha:

She brushes a wisp of strawberry blonde hair back from her eyes and says, “What can I get you?” 

“Sam Adams, please.”

“Anything else?”

“Um, the pizza burger, medium rare, thanks.” And because I’m so virtuous I order a side salad instead of fries. 

In seconds my beer is in front of me and as I take my first sip, she asks the now ubiquitous question. “You must be the person Jed picked up on the side of the road.” More a statement than a question and it could’ve been stated in a friendlier way but since it’s essentially true, I nod, ignoring the undercurrent of you are dumber than a rock in her tone. 

“Yes. I’m Sam DeMartino.” My hand is on its way out to clasp hers but she isn’t offering. I put it back in my lap as I endure a very thorough once over. A feeling of déjà vu sweeps over me. This is the same way Krystal Harris, Ben’s ex and present lover looked at me the one and only time Ben and I ran into her in the city several months ago. 

This woman’s blue eyes are judging me, all of me, from my recently purchased, I’ve never skied before, jacket, to my long hair, crazy with static electricity, to my, expensive but worth every penny, boots to the little Italian-gold hoops in my ears. I straighten in my seat and purse my lips. Yep, she totally meant that ‘on the side of the road’ jab. 

She completes her inspection and I resist the urge to ask if I passed muster. She says, “Karla Payne. I’m a very good friend of Jed and the Armstrong family.” She gives me a brief nod and a marginal smile before moving along the bar to help another customer. 


As first impressions go, I guess you’d vote us both least likely to become BFFs. 

I take another healthy swig of my beer and try to concentrate on the battle brewing in my book. But before too long she’s back and places my salad and a mouthwatering burger in front me. 

 “So you read romance?” She says it in the same tone my mother would use when observing a cook using store bought tomato sauce instead of making fresh from scratch. I’m either ignorant or strange in her eyes, probably both. 

I sit even straighter in my seat and allow the light of challenge to enter my eyes. “I do.” 

“Real life is just a tad more complicated,” Karla says with a disparaging twist of her lips. 

Ugh, that old line? “You’re right,” I say to her obvious surprise. “But that’s why I read them. To escape life’s complications. Although I would imagine Viking life,” I nod at the cover of my book with its menacing ship and equally intimidating shirtless and tattooed hero, “was exciting and complicated.” Then I throw her a curveball. “I can give you this one after I’m done. I was just going to leave it in the Deerbourne’s library.” 

She allows a small smile. “I might take you up on that. How long will you be here?” 
“A week.” She nods again and moves on. I sip my beer and sink back into the tenth century on the Norwegian Sea.

Before too long Sam finds out about Karla’s heartbreak but these two still knock heads in spite of Samantha’s sympathy for Karla’s loss. In a pivotal conversation for Samantha, she and Karla go at it again. 

“I’m craving your fries. They smell amazing. I don’t want to leave Willow Springs without trying them.” There. I said it again. I’m leaving. It’s not getting any easier to verbalize. 

Karla lifts a brow, her expression inscrutable. “Coming right up. Anything else?” 

“A Sam Adams, thanks.” 

In no time another server brings my fries and beer and in an indecently short amount of time after that, I’ve cleared my plate and drained my glass. 

I’m sliding money onto the bar when Karla comes back down to where I’m seated. 

I wave my hand at my empty plate. “Those are addictive, bucket list checked,” I say, making a vee motion in the air with my forefinger. 

“Was Jed on your bucket list too?” Karla goes right for my jugular and I’m so angry I almost can’t croak out a response. 

“I can’t believe you said that. What Jed is to me is none of your business.” My voice has risen and I lean over the bar to get in her face but I’m still almost yelling. 

“Jed’s my friend. That makes it my business. What is he to you?” Her fists are on her hips and I stand too, feet planted on the other side of the bar. 

“My private life is my own.” My face is hot with anger and mortification. 

“Maybe so. And maybe I don’t have the right to say anything to you but I learned a hard lesson and I’m gonna pass on a little wisdom. Here it is. Don’t postpone joy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you control everything in this life.” 

Don’t I know it. I’m a jilted bride. Never saw that coming. Never saw an infertility diagnosis coming either. 

But I won’t give her the satisfaction. “Are we talking about fate? Because I’ve always believed I control my destiny.” 

Karla jerks her chin up. “Pffft. Up to a point. But tell me this. What were the chances you’d be alone on Maple Run Avenue needing a lift just as Jed was driving by? Things happen that we never foresee. We can’t plan everything. Sometimes something great happens and sometimes it’s utter disaster. I’m telling you this because I learned it the hard way. I care for Jed. And he cares for you.” 

I shake my head. “Jed and I just met.” 

Karla lifts a dark red-gold brow and I know this town, more Grapevine than Willow Springs, knows all about a certain rendezvous at the inn. 

“Is there a timetable for falling in love? Is that a tax lawyer thing?” Her voice is scornful. 

Karla has a chip on her shoulder a mile wide and I winced every time she made a kick the puppy comment toward Sam. As soon as I finished this novella, I started on Karla’s story because she’s had a lot of grief in her young life and deserves to get her happily ever after too.

The other secondary character I fleshed out in Forever in A Moment is Jared Langford. He’s the irrepressible receptionist at the inn who hits it off with Samantha immediately. They have a fun brother sister vibe going on. Somehow they were able to slip into an easy friendship within minutes. Here’s one small scene to illustrate:

“Here’s the deal, Jared. I feel like I’ve seen my heart’s desire. Felt it. Tasted it. And now I have to go back to my real life and forget it ever happened…all I can see is a big pile of hurt for me when I leave.”

“Samantha, let me tell you what my mom always tells me—life is short and pain is inevitable. Who’s to say this isn’t your world? Who’s to say you don’t belong here? As a lawyer or anything else. Why do you have to go back? I came up here five years ago. I have my ups and downs but I’m happy and I’ve never looked back.”

Finally there are the secondary characters I created. Tracey and Beth are Samantha’s stalwart best girlfriends who convince her to go on her honeymoon alone to use it as ‘me’ time:

“So one problem solved. You’re going on that honeymoon.” 

“I’m hardly in the...” 

Beth raises her hand in front of me, teacher style, and I shut up. 

Tracey continues. “You said yourself you’ve cleared your desk through the New Year; you said you’re exhausted. If I know you, you have a closet full of cute ski clothes you were ready to take on this trip.” 

“Not a trip. It was our...” I stumble over the word because this wasn’t just a trip and I’m not part of an ‘our’ anymore. And damn I want to scream because I do have a closet full of useless, cute ski clothes I’ll never wear now because I don’t even know how to ski. 

“Finally, you said you and Ben were in a rut. Well, Sam, I hate to say it like this but Ben is out of his rut and you’re still stuck. Forget about your schedule, forget about work, forget about the reason for this trip, and just go.” 

At my nod, the bartender refills each of our particular poisons. When I’m still silent and sipping my wine, Tracey pipes up again. 

“Damn, girl, Ben paid for it and you will go if I have to kidnap you to get you there.” 

That gets a choked chuckle from me. 

“Ha, Tracey, you pipsqueak, you couldn’t kidnap a fly much less me. I am so toned right now I could bench press you.” 

Still, she’s right. I could use the break. I could use being around people I don’t know, who don’t know me, or the mess of my life right now. I could use a little R and R in a remote spot. 

Where would we be with the friends, enemies and frenemies who comprise secondary characters? In a very one-dimensional world.

Thank you Jana for allowing me to share a little of Forever in a Moment.

Buy Links for Forever in a Moment:

Amazon Au:   


Goggle Play:

Author Bio:

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law.

But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.

Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

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  1. Thanks for hosting me today Jana! Happy Friday!

    1. You are so welcome! I loved reading about your secondary characters. Best of luck with FOREVER IN A MOMENT!

  2. Oh, sounds so good! Good luck with it.

  3. Thanks for stopping by Jennifer!

  4. Love the excerpts! Good luck with your launch.

  5. Looks like another winner! Best of luck with your release.