RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS
by RoseAnn DeFranco
When Emma Grant returns to her family’s Audubon Springs beach house to fulfill the stipulations of her father’s will, she has every intention of forcing her former lover out of the house for good. She’s never fit into her wealthy family and would prefer avoiding her past, but with her brother threatening to reveal her young daughter, she has no choice.
Rafe Iuliano has other plans. The wealthy Grants tried to bribe him out of Emma’s life years ago, but he’s determined to prove once and for all that a master carpenter is worthy of Emma and the house.
Their ridiculous and steamy battle for the house reignites the love and passion that bloomed between them years ago. But when Rafe discovers she’s kept their daughter a secret for two years, can he overcome anger and pride to claim his family and the love of his life, or will the deception drive a final wedge between them?
“It’s good to see you too, Emma.” Rafe smiled. A flash of dimples tugged on her memory and heart. “Is falling into men’s flower beds a habit or should I feel special?”
“As it happens, I don’t see this as your flower bed, but rather my own.” Covered in dirt, Emma feasted her eyes on Rafe. She didn’t try to stand. Instead she pushed her hands further into the sticky mulch, needing something to hold on to, momentarily thankful to be on solid ground. She licked her lips. He looked good.
“Finally here to claim what’s yours?”
“Are you going to help me up or not?”
Rafe took a deep breath, and reached out a hand. When they touched, the same powerful jolt of electricity that used to exist between them ran up her arm and straight to her heart. He pulled harder than necessary and Emma slammed into his chest. She took a quick step back, needing space, and almost landed in the garden again. Rafe held on and steadied her.
“Whoa, easy. I don’t think the shrubs can take anymore.”
Her stomach twitched at the sound of his voice, so close it resonated in her ear and vibrated down her spine. His scent, masculine and fresh from-a-shower-clean, mesmerized her. He surrounded her even though he only stood in front of her, balancing her.
“Let go of me,” she whispered.
He complied by raising his hands, palms out, in the air as if they’d been burned. His heat lingered on her skin, and she ached with the loss of his touch. Emma went to work brushing the gritty mulch from her shaking hands.
“You always were a bit clumsy, huh, Ems?”
She snapped her head up, and her eyes landed on his playful grin.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak with RoseAnn DeFranco, author of Return to Audobon Springs, and it is my pleasure to share her answers to some of my questions with you, her loyal readers!
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter series and after the second film, the movies started to leave out many elements that as a reader I felt were important to the story arc.
Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
Of course not! I get up every day, shower, dress, put on my full war paint (my dad’s favorite expression) before hitting the keyboard…NOT! I pretty much start and end every day at the keyboard in my PJ’s. I get most of my writing done while the rest of the house sleeps.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Definitely back in the past. I have a list of a few do-overs. One of them would have been to change my major to creative writing when a college professor suggested it. I was a Vocal Performance major and had Broadway stars in my eyes at the time so I wouldn’t hear of it.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
I’m going to assume this is a living or dead type of question. The first person is my Dad, because he passed away eight years ago. He always asked me about my writing and wanted to read my work. Since I write romance I kept putting him off. I’d like nothing more than to share my work with him now! My mom…so she could hang with dad for a little while. Jane Austen, because WHAT an amazing woman and writer, and I’m a huge fan. Jennifer Cruise, because could you IMAGINE the conversation she and Jane might have? Taylor Swift. I’d love to chat with a songwriter. What talent to tell an entire story in under three minutes set to music!
What is one book everyone should read?
Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice
If you were a superhero what would your name be?
Sleepless Wonder Mom
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Night owl, or early bird?
By nature, I am a night owl. Recently my family’s schedule has evolved to where it is best I get up at the crack of dawn to write before I go to work, thus leaving the evening free for the family. Often times I naturally stay up late as well so I only manage about 5 hours of sleep a night. I know…not enough!
Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
I would love to visit Italy. I know only the culture as it was passed down to me through several generations. I would love to see how things differ or are the same in Italy. Plus, it is a beautiful country.
One of your favorite quotes –
That which we are, we are.
What is your favorite type of pet?
I am a dog lover. So happy we recused our Holly-Girl a few years ago. She’s a true joy for the family. She likes to keep me company while I’m writing, and also has no qualms when it comes to telling me it’s time to take a break and play with her!
Who is your favorite singer?
I have a degree in Vocal Performance and Musical Theatre. I should have a long list of names from that world, but since that is my former life and a skill I’ve somewhat let go dormant, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. PINK. Because she’s got some serious passion in her voice, in her performances, and she lives the way she wants to live with no excuses. If she could cut out all the cursing, I think she’s a great role model for young girls. Not that I want my daughter to get piercings and tattoos, but because she’s confident and strong in who she is. It really bothers me when young girls define their self-worth by what others think of them.
Do you have a green thumb for plants?
Unfortunately, I don’t make enough time for nature in my life. Fortunately, when we divide up the household choirs, my hubs is responsible for keeping everything outside alive. I’m responsible for keeping everyone inside alive. It works well for us and no plants are harmed!
Do you play an instrument? If so what?
I was a triple threat geek in school. I played the flute, always had my nose in a book, and sang in the choir. Eventually I landed leads in the school musicals, but I don’t think that did much to change that triple threat status in school!
Have you ever gone to work wearing house shoes?
No. But one time I did walk out the door in my slippers and PJ’s to take my infant daughter to the Doctor’s office. They had wrongly diagnosed her with a viral infection because I brought her in too soon. My baby was sick and I called a few days later demanding she be seen again. The receptionist had a bit of an attitude and said…she could only be seen in twenty minutes. I ran out the door in my slippers and PJ’s. I did manage to change to my boots because we were experiencing some snow that day. And P.S. my little babe had a double ear infection! Don’t mess with this mom! I was in full mommy lioness mode that day!
What types of books do you write?
I write Humorous Contemporary Romance…Romantic Comedies, which is pretty funny because when I started writing I set out to write sweeping epic family dramas…
What’s the latest news you’d like to share?
The Brothers of Audubon Springs series is on a roll! Secondhand Romance, book two, recently released as a kindle exclusive, and The Right Chord, book three, is about to go to Galleys. The cover has been finalized and it is GOR-GEOUS! I can’t wait to share it with the world! J
Who is your favorite author and is you writing style similar to theirs?
I love Susan Wiggs, Virginia Kantra and Jill Shalvis. Jennifer Cruise has one of the strongest voices in Humorous Contemporary Romance. I’d love to say that my style was similar to any one of these fantastic author, however, I think there are components to each of their styles that can be found in mine.
When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
I LOVE naming characters! First I start to develop the characters, then I search for names that mean something that embodies the character. Often times, the selection of the name helps me dig a little deeper into the character. For instance, in Return to Audubon Springs, Emma is grieving the death of her father, among other things. She needed a man to help her heal…among other things. Rafaello means God has healed in Italian.
Any last words?
Thank you for hosting me today, Patricia. I had a great time answering your questions and sharing a bit about the Brothers of Audubon Springs series.
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today, RoseAnn. It’s been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
RoseAnn DeFranco grew up in upstate NY with her nose in a book and a song in her heart. Following the pursuit of a musical theatre career in NYC, she turned her creative energy to writing romance. RoseAnn blogs about her writing experiences with her critique partners at www.the violetfemmes.com. A NJ shore transplant, she enjoys time spent at the beach with her family. She would love to one day live in a quaint shore town like the fictional town Audubon Springs from her BROTHERS OF AUDUBON SPRINGS series. More information about these Contemporary Romantic Comedies can be found at www.radefranco.com.
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