by Nan Dixon
What would you do for your family?
When Carolina Castillo’s once vivacious mother becomes ill, she gives up her singing dreams and comes home to Savannah. She’d do anything for her Mamá, even work at Fitzgerald House for the family she should have been part of. She’d even steal.
Carolina’s decisions make perfect sense until she comes up against the immovable rock that is gorgeous FBI agent Sage Cornell. The honorable cop sees the world in black-and-white. He would never understand the difficult choices she’s had to make, the secrets she’s been forced to keep close. And he could never love a woman like her. Or could he?
A woman with gorgeous black hair had her head down on her arms. Beyond her was a small bench. Sage passed behind her, not wanting to disturb her nap.
Shoving her chair back, she slammed it into him. He went down like a roped calf.
“Oh, my God!” the woman cried.
His head rang. Pain stabbed behind his eyes.
“Are you okay?” She snatched his hand, trying to pull him to his feet.
“Wait.” He would fall over or faint if he moved too soon. “Wait.”
She crouched next to him. “I didn’t mean to knock you down.”
“S’okay.” He took deep breaths. “I just need…”
“What? How can I help?”
He tried to get his feet under him but stumbled.
“Let me.” She supported his elbow.
He clawed his way to his feet and finally looked at the woman who’d knocked him down like he was a bowling pin.
She was beautiful. Her dark blue eyes looked almost black and her skin was a luscious golden-olive color. And her hair? Black, curly and long enough to play peekaboo with her breasts. He swiped at his chin to make sure he wasn’t drooling.
“I’m so sorry.” She led him to the chair she’d abandoned. “I wasn’t paying any attention.”
“I thought you were sleeping.” A shard of pain slammed into him. He grasped his head and couldn’t contain the groan.
“You hurt your head.” Her fingers explored his skull.
The bump she was going to find was old, but her touch was cool and soothing.
“Is this the spot?” she asked.
“Yeah, but you didn’t cause it.” He swallowed back the nausea that always accompanied his headaches. “I was hurt a—” he couldn’t remember how long ago he’d been hurt “—while ago. I get headaches.”
“So does my mother.” She kneaded his shoulders, working her fingers up the tendons of his neck. “Does this help?”
“Yes.” He groaned. “That’s…good.”
Award winning author Nan Dixon spent her formative years as an actress, singer, dancer and competitive golfer. But the need to eat had her studying accounting in college. Unfortunately, being a successful financial executive didn’t feed her passion to perform. When the pharmaceutical company she worked for was purchased, Nan got the chance of a lifetime—the opportunity to pursue a writing career. She’s a five-time Golden Heart® finalist, lives in the Midwest and is active in her local RWA chapter and on the board of a dance company. She has five children, three sons-in-law, two granddaughters, one grandson and one neurotic cat.
Buy Links – http://www.nandixon.com/category/books/
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! I’m from the Midwest. Born in Minneapolis, raised in Sioux Falls and once I came back to Minnesota for college—I stayed. My mother was a Brit, my father was born in Canada, but his family moved to Brainerd, MN when he was a child. We spent a lot of time in Minnesota, since we had a cabin on a lake next to lots of uncles, aunts and cousins. I’m the middle child of 5. There are now the 4 sisters remaining. I also have 5 children, but I did it a little more economically than my mother. I had twins as the 4th pregnancy.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
I have three sisters and for almost thirty years we have taken a long weekend together. (Our mother used to go with us.) The task of planning rotates and the location is secret. One year I was the Social Director and I planned a trip to Savannah. We stayed in the gorgeous historic district, had a blast on a ghost pub crawl, and shivered over the ghost stories in our Inn. And I fell in love. And thought—what if four sisters (see the connection?) owned a crumbling mansion in the historic district. And they are turning it into a B&B? When I sold the 1st book, SOUTHERN COMFORTS, my editor wanted me to cut one of the sisters. But I always wanted 4 sisters. So the 6th book is finally the 4th sister. But the other 3 sisters don’t know she exists.
How do you create your characters?
One of my biggest challenges is to make sure my characters have an arc. That means that during the book, they need to figure out that the flaw or lie they have been telling themselves about the world or themselves is revealed and they need to change. (All that is internal.) To accomplish that without spending weeks brainstorming, before I begin to draft a book, I identify their character archetype. I use a great book called The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
I never thought of myself as a writer, but in high school, we were required to write journals and hand them in. My teacher liked my writing and encouraged me to do more. I didn’t think much about it since it was my mother and sister who were the writers in the family, but then my college freshman writing professor had us do a creative writing project. I wrote a story on fairies. She read it aloud to the class and encouraged me to publish the story. (I lost it before I could do anything!) Those two teachers made me think I might be a writer—but I didn’t do any writing for years.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I have a home office which used to be a bedroom. One of my kid’s Christmas present one year was to help me paint the room. I write on my desk treadmill so I can get my steps in. But when my hip acts up, I might write in my sitting area off the kitchen. It’s closer to my teapot. J In the morning I drink black tea with milk. But I usually also have water nearby. Right now it is a gloomy late afternoon and I’m drinking decaf Constant Comment. The dark skies seemed to call for something warm. J
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Real events are usually an idea generator for me. The book I am working on right now was conceived after I dropped my daughter off at college and was driving home. I was listening to the BBC and they were talking about genetic modifications. I plotted what is now a crazy romantic suspense four-book series on the drive from Ohio to Minnesota.
What do you like to read?
Romance! I read—a lot. And I stick with romance, because it is my job and it is so lovely to read Happily-Ever-Afters. Right now I am reading the RITA finalists for 2018. It’s a great way to read the Best of the Best and find new authors.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Learn the craft. You can buy books on the craft of writing, or take community education classes. If your town is large enough, there may even be writing classes. Go to conferences to learn more about the craft of writing. RWA is an incredible organization and going to their workshops has taught me so much. I still try and cram in as many workshops as possible when I go to conferences because you need to constantly learn. And read! Read in the genre you are writing. Read best-selling books that have been published within the last five years. That will help you understand what is selling and what is considered a best-seller.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I love to hear from readers. Let me know what you think about TO CATCH A THIEF by stopping by my website and contacting me. www.nandixon.com.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Nan Dixon will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
I liked the excerpt.
Thank you for hosting today.
Really great post, I enjoyed checking it out 🙂
Thank for hosting a stop on my tour! (Sorry I didn’t thank you on Monday! I couldn’t find the comment section!)
I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!