by Emily Mims
GENRE: Romance/romantic suspense
The widow of a lying drug dealer, dulcimer-player Kylie Barstow Richards finds herself struggling to see through the mist of the Smoky Mountains to the truth-about her life, about the nightclub where she works, and about the bluegrass-playing musician who has arrived to steal her heart.
Kylie looked Ren in the eye. “How much of that is the truth and how much of it was bullshit?”
Ren’s lips firmed. “It’s the truth, every damned bit of it. And that’s also why I did what I did. The DEA honestly thought you were guilty. A drug dealer took out one of my best friends, Kylie. I’ve missed Jerry every day for the last two years.”
“And that justifies what you did to me? Sorry, Ren. Not buying it. And I don’t care what your reasons for lying were, a liar is a liar. And I can’t stand liars.”
“I get that, Kylie. Look, obviously we blew it, and I’m just as sorry as I can be that I hurt you.”
“If you can be believed, which I seriously doubt.”
“I do mean it. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”
“I am, too, Ren. I was just beginning to have a little bit of faith and trust again and you very effectively managed to take that away from me. Congratulations. I will probably never trust another man as long as I live.”
“Aw, Kylie, no.” Ren leaned forward. “Look, I know there is no way I can take back the lies I’ve already told. But I can promise you this. I will never, ever lie to you again about anything.”
Kylie shrugged. “And now I’m supposed to believe that? Ren, I’m sorry. The damage is done. The trust is broken. Kind of like Humpty Dumpty.”
“I understand. But Kylie, I’m going to tell you the truth from now on whether you believe me or not.”
“Knock yourself out.”
Emily Mims: Why I Write the Novels I Do
The question is sometimes put to me. ‘Why do you write the kind of books you do?’
When I think about it, I’m not sure there is one simple answer to that, because it’s not a simple question. It could mean ‘Why do you write romance novels at all?’ It could mean ‘Why do you write contemporaries and not historicals?’ Or it could mean ‘Why do you throw in some suspense?’ ‘Why not paranormals?’ And so on. So when I go to answer the question, I find that I am actually answering more than one.
Why romance in the first place? Because I love romance novels! I started my writing career on a dare, after I pitched a poorly written romance novel across the floor and said I could do a better job and my husband dared me to. But there is nothing more heart-warming or satisfying than a well-written love story, with a hero and heroine you can love, engaging secondary characters who may get their own happily ever after somewhere down the line, some spicy sparks flying between our hero and heroine, enough problems to make their romantic journey an interesting one, and the warm and inevitable happily ever after that these two have earned. In answer to the dare, I wrote the kind of book I want to read…and I’ve written twenty-nine more besides that one, every one of them the kind of story I enjoy.
Now for the more specific questions. While I deeply admire any writer that can bring the past to life, I write contemporaries because there is no way I can identify with women of a bygone era, even the ones who kicked aside the restrictions imposed upon them by the times. I simply cannot imagine living in a time when a woman’s role was so narrowly defined by society, or successfully bringing a woman from the past to life in the pages of my book. Nor do I read many historicals, unless the author is particularly skilled or funny. They frustrate me too much! Having to have a chaperone to protect your virtue? I don’t think so! The two exceptions to this would be historicals set in the American west with gun-toting, ass-kicking women standing shoulder to shoulder with their heroes, and the paranormal historicals with our characters nibbling their way through the ton. I love those!
So why do I throw in some suspense? I don’t always. Most of my earlier novels, the ones I wrote for Candlelight Ecstasy back in the 1980’s, were straight contemporary romances. But when I revived my writing career for Boroughs, the some of my books were much longer than my old Candlelights, and I felt it made a better story to have an element of suspense in the longer ones. (The shorter ones, such as my Christmas books, are straight love stories.) The suspense factor is an external conflict that plays on the internal conflict between the characters and in many plots, such as the one in ‘Mist’, provides the situation that throws our hero and heroine together. Plus, it’s just plain fun for the reader. Paranormals are great fun too, and someday I hope to tackle that challenge.
One more factor, a very important one, plays a big part in the kind of books I write. Inevitably, my own life shows up in my books-where I’ve been, what I’ve done, what I know. My first series for Boroughs, the Texas Hill Country series, was set in ‘Heaven’s Point’, a light fictionalization of the lake community where we have a second home, and the characters are a rich blend of pure imagination and a little clever tweaking of some of the people in my life. In the Smoky Blue series, I am mining the wonderful world of mountain music that is an important part of my life. I play the same dulcimer and the same songs that Kylie does. I play the same ukulele that Leilani does in her story. I’ve played in the jams and been to every one of the festivals I’ve depicted in the books, and talked to countless folk musicians about their lives. And I’ve spent a lot of time in Appalachia and gotten to know the wonderful people of that region on countless trips to see my grandchildren.
So in a nutshell, I write for you the kind of story I want to read.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Author of twenty six romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time. The mother of two sons and grandmother of three, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia. She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”
Emily Mims will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.