Good cop, bad cop. You judge on this one.
The book to read today is Jade’s Redemption by ot only she has great books, but also a kick-butts website choked full of stuff. My advice is go and take a look at it!
Hi Connie, and thank you for being here with us today! So, How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I have written 2 other books with the same setting, and same secondary characters. First it was Love Songs, then Jarillo Sunset. In Jade’s Redemption, the hero, Patrick, was introduced in Jarillo Sunset as the brother to the hero in that book, and Patrick had an attitude problem. He was always in conflict with his brothers and sisters, and was a complex man. So I knew I wanted to give him his story. Jade, the heroine, was a little more difficult to develop. One night I had a dream, and it was about kidnapping babies, and when I woke up, I remembered it, and decided that was what I wanted to write about.
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I researched, researched, and researched. I contacted someone who is a social worker, and asked questions. I researched New Mexico’s law enforcement, I studied Michigan’s Forensic Center, I researched the climate, Native American history, kidnapping laws, both local and FBI. Even the DVM for vehicle registrations. I contact my librarian and get books. I contact the Sheriff, and other law enforcement. They don’t all respond, but some do. I do a lot of internet searches. Everything where I felt I needed information on to complete the story and make it wholesome. I also keep a record of my researches and where I got the information, because my publisher will question some things, and I have the research to tell her where I got the information.
Did you always have the reins of the story or the people in it tried to take over?
Well, I usually have the reins, but for Patrick and Jade’s story. He let me know right from the middle of Jarillo Sunset, that he wanted his own story told. I gave both Jade and Patrick a lot of freedom.
What are you working on now?
I just finished a holiday book, The Christmas Ballet, and have it off to an editor right now. I hope to publish it just in time for the holidays this year. I am editing my story, Midnight Escape. I was in a bit of a writer’s block last December, and I asked my readers which books they would like me to finish and get published in 2018. Midnight Escape, Elkhorn In The Moonlight, and Roadside Diner were the top three contenders. It was just what I needed to kickstart my writing again.
Do you have a day job?
Not anymore. I retired in 2015. I worked for the Michigan Department of Transportation as a forms analyst. I retired after 38 years of service.
What does your writing space look like?
It used to be a huge mess. But I now got a new desk with book shelves, and I’ve cleaned up a lot of areas in my office, now it’s just a little messy when I’m writing and editing.
Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
I have a general outline. That said, I don’t always follow it.
Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?
Yes, people think writing romance books is easy. It’s not. In my humble opinion, I think writing is hard work. Yeah, I love to write, and getting the baseline story committed to paper. But it takes editing, critiques, beta readers, a tough publisher, and family support to get through the whole cycle. Plus, I’m not a grammar expert and never took any classes on creative writing or journalism. I put the stories together in sequence and have others help me with the rest.
The toughest critic that’s ever been given to you as an author?
My writing is bad and my stories are awful.
How long does it take to write a story?
It takes me a month to get the very first draft down, with no interuptions. But it takes forever, to get the edits out of the way. From start to the publisher’s desk can take anywhere from 1 to 2 years.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I used to make jewelry, but it got too hard on my back and my eyes, so I switched over to basketweaving. I love making baskets to giveaway to my readers, and I love making one of a kind baskets using antlers.
Pen or computer?
I do both. I write on my computer, but edit in ink. I catch more errors that way. Sometimes, when I’m out and about, I’ll either write scenes on my iPhone, or if I’m in an area, like up in the mountains here in Montana where there are no cell phone connections, I’ll grab my notebook and handwrite.
Music or silence
It depends. When I wrote Love Songs, I listened to all kinds of romantic music. Sometimes a certain song fits the scene. In Jade’s Redemption, The Power of Love by Laura Branigan fitted the moment when Patrick and Jade danced at his brother, Vincent’s wedding. When I was working on The Christmas Ballet, I played the Music Box Dancer by Frank Mills a lot. For my current WIP, Midnight Escape, I have nothing to play for it. It’s an entirely different kind of romance and music is not a part of it.
Alone or in public
Alone. I don’t do well in public.
Up early or sleep in?
Up early, about 4:30AM, I can get a lot done in that period.
Thank you for being with us today!
Someone is kidnapping newborn infants and selling them to the highest bidder. Police Chief Patrick Carter has his hands full investigating the case. To complicate matters, he’s short on staff.
Jade Harlowe has secrets, ones that she vowed no one would ever know. She used to be a police officer, but when a tragedy occurred—one that everyone held her responsible for—she resigned and moved to another state to start over, accepting a job as a dispatcher for the police, fire, and ambulance departments.
When Patrick discovers Jade’s past police experience he offers her a job on the force. He needs help working the kidnapping cases, and Jade previously solved a similar case, so she could be a valuable asset. But will they be able to fight the attraction that’s sizzling between them? Something that could be very distracting if they can’t control it.
The clock is ticking. They have to find those babies and prevent more from being taken. But a very nosy news reporter may compromise everything if she digs deep enough to uncover Jade’s past.
Neither Patrick nor Jade thought they had room for each other in their lives, but working so closely together makes it impossible to deny the chemistry. Can Patrick break through the wall Jade has built up around her, or will her past finally catch up with her and she loses everything once again?
Content Warning: contains sexual content.
Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She’s married to her best friend and resides in Michigan with him and a houseful of cats. She can be found writing, researching, and spending time with her husband.