My addiction to reading emerged when I was ten and down with measles. My mother, trying to keep me entertained, brought home a stack of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books. Within days, I’d consumed them all and asked for more. That’s when it truly began−the pleasure of reading which would eventually lead to my writing.
I can’t pin point precisely when I knew I was different from everyone else−at least from my tight group of hometown friends. Didn’t everyone have movies playing in their heads starring beautiful characters leading adventurous lives in exotic places? NO—they did not. Did that mean they were normal and I was the odd, slightly wacky duck? My answer to that conundrum came when I attended my first writer’s conference in Savannah. Nervous about being on my own at the crowded event, a kindly writer from Texas took me under her wing and introduced me to at least a dozen writers. Surrounded by so many writers who were so like me, I fit right in. I wasn’t an “odd” duck after all; I’d simply been in the wrong pond!
As a result of that conference, my desire and conviction to write blossomed. Still working a full time job at a Louisiana cancer center, I carved out time to write every night and on weekends. My first manuscript went through four incarnations, and a year under the bed, before success came knocking.
Today my family and our two Labs—Lambeau, the Green Bay Packers unofficial mascot and Gracie, who is just plain, sweet Amazing Grace—live in a picturesque little town in Ohio wrapped around a lovely town square with an intricately carved gazebo where weekly band concerts take place all summer long.
Places to find Christy:
Thank you Danielle for having me on your blog today. I'm going to share the inspiration and motivation behind the male lead in Maybe Too Good to Be True.
Inspiration for Pierce Hastings, courtesy of Rudyard Kipling
For my character, Pierce Hastings, I used the gold standard of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If. My goal was to make Pierce a modern day knight—a man of honor and accountability. However, a character with all the traits imbued by Kipling would probably be perceived as a saint; impressive for the short term, but after a while he could be intimidating, annoying, or heaven forbid, downright boring.
Pierce Hastings is equally at home in a Park Avenue penthouse and a fortune 500 boardroom as he is at one of his lumber mills frying up fresh caught fish for his employees summer picnic. He is accepted and liked by men, women and children from all walks of life.
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings-nor nor lose the common touch,
Borrowing a few ideas from Robin Hood and Warren Buffet— not stealing from the rich, but feeling a duty to improve the lives of the less fortunate—Pierce creates projects not for glory but for the greater good, like his hands on prototype of an aeroponic garden that could be used in any building in an inner city.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
In the real world, a hero has to be challenged and not always rise to victory because defeat is an important character builder. I wanted Pierce to be knocked off Kipling’s pedestal and struggle which he does royally when his attorney wife blindsides him with divorce and admits she never wanted to have his children. He is devastated by her betrayal and shaken that his judgment and trust could have been so misguided.
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build’em up with worn-out-tools;
Pierce is dealt another blow when he learns his late father implemented a criminal conspiracy to deliberately bankrupt and ruin his best friend, who was serving in Vietnam. The millions his father took funded a new business empire and paid for the lavish lifestyle Pierce and his brother took for granted. Pierce is genuinely ashamed at what his father did. Being an honorable man, he wants to make “it” up to Gabrielle—the victim’s daughter, but does he mistake pity and recompense for love?
One of the “tools” Pierce now employs is control. Having suffered such a bitter loss, he feels the only way to get his life back on track is to leave nothing to chance and to micro manage people and circumstances to get his way. He is a born protector who takes it upon himself to fix things for his family and close friends. It is not in his nature to stand by and watch someone make a mistake.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew, To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
This will be one of his most difficult challenges to overcome; to stand back, do nothing, and watch someone he loves make their own choice, right or wrong. If he fails to keep to the sidelines, he may lose the one person who means everything to him.
Answer this question and you might win a free copy of Maybe Too Good to Be True from today’s drawing. Your name will also go into the contest to win a $30 Amazon gift card to be awarded at the end of my blog tour.
What are four qualities you would want in a mate?
Gabrielle March is summoned to an oceanfront estate in Massachusetts by the matriarch of Atlantic-Hastings International where she is presented with a hefty block of shares as amends for a crime committed against her family. The stock—worth several million dollars—can give her the means to make her dream come true if only she can muster the courage to break free from her past and believe in her unique creative talent.
Pierce Hastings, son of Gabrielle’s benefactress, grudgingly agrees to take her under his wing and acclimate her to Atlantic-Hastings. Never one to mix business with pleasure, Pierce stuns himself when he ignores his own self imposed rule. Gabrielle’s complete lack of artifice, unvarnished honesty and quirky sense of humor are intoxicating to him―and he’s rapidly becoming addicted. He’s blindsided when Gabrielle confesses that, in spite of her growing feelings for him, she will never fit into his world of power and privilege and has no desire to try.
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Was he talking about sex? This overly macho male thought he was going to teach her about sex? What did he think…she was like, sixteen? “Listen Bucko. I don’t need to learn about sex from you. I…”
His mouth quirked into a self-satisfied smile. “Good to know, Peaches, but I was talking about your indoctrination to Atlantic-Hastings. Mother put me in charge of you. We’re going to be spending lots of quality time together.”
Mercy. What was Elizabeth thinking?
“Hold on a second.” He looked down at her. “You’re looking a little shaky, Peaches. I don’t scare you, do I?”
The towering, six foot four, male irritated the hell out of her, but he didn’t frighten her one bit. Truth was her reaction to his searing kiss scared the stuffing out of her.
Want to win some goodies from Christy? Check out what's for grabs if you comment.
Up for grabs:
- 1 lucky commenter will win a eBook copy of Maybe Too Good to Be True
- 1 lucky commenter from the ENTIRE tour will win a $30 Amazon Gift Card.
- Leave a comment answering this question: What are four qualities you would want in a mate?
- Please leave your email address along with your comment to be entered. No email address, no entry.
- Giveaway ends September 28th.
Good Luck =)