Hello Katie, and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us about your adventure.
What book are you reading now?
My sister loaned me Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet, which I’d call a contemporary, traditional English Village mystery. Malliet is a masterful writer, and her village characters have me hanging on their every word and action. I alternate mystery and romance titles, with a splash of women’s fiction now and then.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
I have to include Jane Austen and Agatha Christie, but many of my favorites are contemporary romance and mystery writers like Mariah Stewart, Robin Carr, Louise Penny, and Sally Goldenbaum. I’m forever in awe of Maeve Binchy and Debbie Macomber.
Do you hear from readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I love hearing from readers, and I’d love to hear more. Many readers of STEPPING UP TO LOVE tell me about their favorite character—most often Manda—and someone called Joel “Swoon-worthy” J Ultimately, most of my readers say my books give them hope, and it warms my heart to hear that.
What place inspires you the most?
Everyplace in the west of Ireland. My grandparents came from County Mayo and County Kerry, and I feel at home there when I visit. It’s clear to me when I see the rocky fields and the driving rain how they came to be clever storytellers.
Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?
Write what you love and listen to your readers with a discerning ear. When you feel ready to publish, enlist other published writers for support and guidance.
Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
First: I always have a working title for my books that includes the name of my hero or heroine (Book One was named “Manda the Brave”; Book Two was “Justin’s Time Out” and Book Three is “Gwen Gets a Clue”). Second fun fact: my office at my day job is just big enough to swing a hula hoop, which is one of my favorite ways to de-stress and un-kink. Third peculiarity: when I plan my semester courses, I use a tiny desk calendar I brought from Ireland with Pat Flavell’s prints of old Ireland, scribbled over with notes about assignments and authors and websites.
Blurb: STEPPING UP TO LOVE
Which takes more courage—getting sober or opening yourself to love with the right man? For Manda Doughty, the answer is “First you get sober and then you do the hard work to get ready for love.” Manda the Brave is a college-town story with a recovery twist. When her boss catches her using the spa shower at The Manse, junior accountant and graduating college senior Manda Doughty comes clean about the alcoholic drinking that has led her into a disastrous relationship with a predatory professor. Joel, who is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and also a trustee of the college, is faced with more problems than a beautiful naked woman in his shower. While he’d rather make love all night with funny, brainy Manda, Joel knows his desire for her has no future if Manda cannot stay sober, grow up, and face her problems squarely. While Manda immerses herself in AA, Joel uncovers harassment and embezzlement that threaten the existence of the college his ancestors founded. Can he fix the problems at the college without exposing Manda to public humiliation? Can Manda clean up her mess and trust the love she feels for Joel? The odds may not be in their favor, but miracles happen in twelve-step recovery programs for those who are willing to change their lives and open their hearts.
STEPPING UP TO LOVE by Katie O’Boyle
Halfway through the shampoo, she heard him tap on the frosted glass door and slip some clothes onto the hook in the dressing area. “I owe you, Remy,” she said over the noise of the shower.
“Shhh!” he commanded. “I know nothing!” he declared and hummed his way back through the locker room.
The bubble of laughter that rose in Manda turned into a flood of tears. She let them flow and mix with the hundred-degree simulated rainwater pouring from the ceiling.
Finally warm, and thoroughly clean, shampooed, conditioned, citrus-scented, and far less achy than she’d been, Manda turned off the water and drew back the linen curtain dividing the shower stall from the dressing area, and screamed. Standing at the glass door was the big boss. Remy’s boss. Her boss's boss. She wasn’t sure, but Joel Cushman was probably everybody’s boss.
“Geez, Joel, I thought you were a pervert!” she yelled at him. I can’t believe I just called Mr. Cushman “Joel.” I am in so much trouble here.
“Manda? What—?” His voice cracked like an adolescent.
Manda stifled a laugh. His eyes were drinking in her body as though he couldn’t believe what she’d been hiding under her baggy clothes. Drink your fill now, Joel, because I am off men for life.
“I thought you were a criminal. What are you doing in the shower at seven fifteen in the morning? And stop batting that curtain around.”
Manda tried desperately to grab hold of the linen shower curtain, flapping this way and that in the current created by the open door. “Do you mind?” she scolded him.
Giving up on the curtain, she crossed her arms and turned her back on him. He probably likes that view, too. “Could you hand me a towel, please, or get out of here?” Why am I yelling at the boss? Seriously dumb, Manda.
He was silent now, which was worse. What is he doing, standing there, looking at me? Panic overtook anger, and she turned back to look at him.
He had dropped the admiring once-over, and she saw he was taking a second look at her purpling bruises. Silently, he handed her a towel from the top of the stack and looked her in the eye.
Manda wondered if he could read the shame and fear clouding her vision.
Joel cleared his throat and ordered, “In my office. Five minutes. Dressed.” His jaw was hard as he turned on his heel.
STEPPING UP TO LOVE by Katie O’Boyle (Soul Mate Publishing, Inc, NY)
Once upon a time, Katie O’Boyle was a stellar student and closet substance abuser at a picture-perfect small college. She credits loving friends, 12-step spirituality, and plenty of hard work for her transformation into tech-savvy college professor and passionate author of warm-hearted romance. Born in the upstate-New York village known as the Birthplace of Women’s Rights, Katie passionately loves the Finger Lakes in every season. She enjoys lunch with friends on many a lakeside porch, and she cherishes the lakeside porch as a place for intimate sharing, laughter, and inspiration. She is hard at work on book three of the Lakeside Porches romance books and novellas.