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During the day, Megan surrounds herself with water lilies and goldfish in the ponds she creates. At night, memories of her lying ex-boyfriend are a reminder she can never again trust a man.
Jason embraces his career as paramedic firefighter, even though ugly experience declares his profession a greedy mistress. During quiet nights at the station, he wonders if this bachelor existence is all he’ll ever know.
Then Jason meets Megan and sparks fly, chased by flashes of anger when Jason, battling a raging apartment fire, stands up Megan on their first date. Is St. Valentine powerful enough to bring these two strong-willed people together?
Shall we have some interview fun?
HWK: You've played quite nicely with contrasts and opposites: water vs fire, noisy day vs quiet night. How do the metaphors of opposites work for you?
BB: Life is about balance, always. The constantly tipping scales in every aspect of our lives is what makes life so frightening, and marvelous!
HWK: What drew you to horticulture for this tale?
BB: I love to read stories that have an element of wonder, a thread of the magical, and I have always found nature to be wonderful and magical. Flowers and plants particularly draw me. I have been a florist since high school, and studied Horticulture, along with English Literature, in college. So making water, plants, flowers, animals, frogs, and koi important parts of I’m Sure was a natural. My first romance for The Wild Rose Press, Stars In Her Eyes, is all about water--Karen and Spence meet via a head-on collision in a wave pool. In Under A Halloween Moon, wind and fire lend a magical air to the story. May Day Magic hinges around the surprise delivery of May Day baskets of flowers. And Crazy Happy Hearts is completely tied to the ocean where Kenny and Susan grew up, and reunite decades later.
HWK: You're best known for your non-fiction. What lured you to romantic short stories?
BB: All the hours over all the decades I’ve read and stayed awake far into the night reading romance! There is absolutely nothing to compare with a good romance novel for me, so how could I not want to write romances myself? I fell hard for Thomas Hardy in college, but discovered since his stories are not all happy ever after, they aren’t true romances. The first true romance author I fell hard for was LaVyrle Spencer because her romantic pairings were not always the clichéd romance couple. Like Morning Glory that pairs an ex-convict with no money and no prospects with a poor tired widowed farm wife.
According to my horoscope, I was born on The Day of the Nonconformist! I have to believe it when I write because I find I don’t want to conform to an expected format or type of writing. I’m always drawn to trying something a little off the norm, for me, or the genre.
HWK: Why do you think reading fiction is important to our culture?
BB: I know why reading fiction is important to me. Fiction is a safer place for authors to share the thoughts and feelings that plague them, astound them, scare them, confound them. Issues and thoughts we would shudder at talking about we can offer up between the pages of a fictional novel. Then readers can open up to feelings and fears they don’t understand in this safer place. Between the pages of every book, there is an ongoing and forever dialogue between the authors and the readers, available anytime anywhere. I can’t imagine life without this ever-present opportunity.
HWK: Two days after computer viruses make the jump to human viruses, the World Health Organisation bans all personal computers. How do you adjust to your technology-free yet healthier lifestyle?
BB: Easily. As long as we still have phones and stationery and pens to keep in touch with each other, the only major difficulty I’d have is going back to writing on typewriters with their very limited capacity for editing. I would not be excited about returning to white-out….
HWK: Preach it! If you could convince the world of ANYTHING, what would it be?
BB: Not sure I’m ready to take that podium… What I think about lately is how uncomfortable, and bad, we tend to be with confrontation—defined as any time a person has to stand up to another person with a difference of opinion. Whether in business dealings, a personal relationship, a romantic relationship, a community group, many of us are not adept at undertaking “confrontation” as an opportunity for growth and harmony. I would convince people that kind and constructive ways to approach differences do exist! And dealing is always better than denying or burying because long-standing disagreements don’t go away, but fester until this buried anger causes ugly destruction and often irreversible damage. So I think I would want to convince people to treat each other with respect and consideration, every one everywhere, even when you disagree!
I think I did take that podium after all…
Thank you, Heidi, for asking.
HWK: Never be afraid to speak up for a better world.