Happy Book Birthday to G.P. Gadbois! Her book Trust Me has just come out, and not only do I have the blurb and an excerpt for you, but also an interview with G.P. herself!
First, the goods on the book...
The attraction Suzanne feels towards Bill is intense when their paths cross again. Because he is seeing someone else, she keeps her feelings bottled up and leaves. To heal from the heartache, she turns to family, her girlfriends, and her horse.
Bill knows he'll never settle for another, but trusting Suzanne has its risks. He listens to his heart, breaks up with his current girlfriend, and takes a trip to Canada to woo Suzanne.
Bill must return home. Unable to deal with the separation and a long distance relationship, Suzanne makes a life-changing decision and moves to Bill's home town.
Will the nasty graffiti, the threatening notes, the interference of Bill's ex-girlfriend, and the tragic break-in impact Suzanne's decision and send her back home for good?
The sky grew dark, the wind picked up, and it started to drizzle. Bill hurried, bought a burger, fries, a drink and returned to his bench at the top of the bleachers. On fairgrounds the further away he was from the horses, the better, he felt. He pulled his jean jacket on, put on a baseball cap, and kept his head down. He munched on the greasy food, and watched the Flag Races.
Suzanne's turn came up once again. Her skill, speed and accuracy to pick up and drop off the flag into the barrel in 9.352 seconds got her the fourth place. Bill found her results amazing since this class had a larger number of participants, both male and female.
It poured rain during the Keyhole race. The spectators thinned, only the die-hard stayed to watch. Bill kept his eyes on the gorgeous cowgirl waiting near the gate. He kept his head down as Suzanne scanned the bleachers often. I'm a sitting duck here. To his relief, her name was called. She patted her horse's neck and readied herself. She raced between the four barrels. Cinderella turned sharply, slipped and bumped into a barrel that wobbled but didn't tip over. Bill stood holding his breath until he realized Suzanne was safe and the race was over.
Only a couple races left before I surprise her. Bill wiped his sweaty hands on his damp jeans. To calm his nerves and stretch, he left his seat. I should have brought flowers. The muddy path leading to the carnival area didn't have one single wild flower, not even a dandelion. I'll get her a teddy bear instead.
"Everyone wins." The girl at the dart booth shouted, waving her arm. "Come here, give it a try. You can't miss." She convinced him.
He handed her five dollars and she gave him three dull darts. He burst two out of three balloons and walked away with a plastic mini-dinosaur. If this doesn't win Sue over, nothing will. He shoved his prize into his coat pocket and returned to the bleachers.
The rain stopped, but the sky remained grey. In the arena, the Pole Bending races were taking place. Bill decided this race was his favorite. Cinderella and Suzanne raced to the far end of the poles, maneuvered around each pole with skill and grace once, then again in the opposite direction and raced back to the finish line at a high speed. Suzanne hugged Cinderella when she stood in the ring with her second-place ribbon.
The Dash Race was the last game of the day. Speed being the main objective, Bill thought it breath-taking. Cowboy hats flew off as riders and horses sped from one end of the ring to the other. All-in-all he found this race demonstrated the strength and speed of the horses more than the skill of the riders. Suzanne and Cinderella were good, Serge and Alexander the Magnificent were better in this race, finishing three seconds sooner. Games are over, it's show time. Bill followed Mr. Martin's instructions and found Suzanne in between trailers, brushing Cinderella. Although the horses appeared to be safely to the trailer, Bill froze; too many horses in the small, confined area. You came this far, don't let this stop you. Bill's pep talk was interrupted.
"Sue, are you hungry?" A voice boomed from behind him.
"Only if you're buying." Suzanne replied without looking up.
"Come on, you won more than I did." The man squeezed past Bill and stopped beside Suzanne.
Bill envied and hated the guy all at once. He'd moseyed in and stolen his moment.
"Brian, stop whining..." Suzanne said as she stood and turned to face the intruder. She closed, and then opened her eyes. "Bill!"
Brian followed Suzanne's gaze and his eyes narrowed as he examined Bill.
"Is it really you?" Suzanne moved around Brian. "How long have you been here?"
"All day. Please come closer?" Bill ignored the intruder, and sprung his declaration for all to hear. "I'd like to take you up on that second chance offer."
Her eyebrows rose for a split second before she smiled, and ran into his open arms.
"God, I've missed you, Sue." He lifted her off the ground.
"Sue, will this reunion be long?" Brian barked.
"I hope so," Suzanne replied without looking at the guy.
Bill set Suzanne down and pulled her against him. She was finally where he wanted her.
"Fine, I'll see you around." The intruder took his leave.
Suzanne ran her hands up and down Bill's back. "I'm so glad to see you, but I can't believe you're here."
He'd waited so long for this moment and didn't want to waste it with explanations. There would be plenty of time later. He tilted her chin up and kissed her. She tensed, but didn't fight it. A hint of peppermint lingered on her soft responsive lips and the combination excited his senses. Horses neighed and Bill's head shot up. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath when he saw no one around. His promise to Mr. Martin would be hard to keep.
"Bill, are you okay?"
He nodded. "Let's go grab a bite to eat. I'll buy."
And now, the promised interview!
Sage: Who are the authors that inspire you?
G.P.: As a teenager, I remember reading every Harlequin romance I could get my hands on, French and/or English. Not sure if they inspired my writing, but I'm positive they made me love the genre. I wanted to write romance stories about regular people, not only the ones you meet if you cross the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. I'm a sucker for a happy ever after story.
Later on, authors like Nora Roberts, Kathy Reichs, Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, and Suzanne Collins inspired me in one way or another, and I thank them all.
Sage: What is your favorite part of the writing and publishing process?
G.P.: My favorite part of the publishing process is definitely the writing. Once I've determined the message I want to convey, I escape in an imaginary world to shape compelling scenes. If I laugh when writing a funny event in a scene, I hope the reader will too. And when I feel sad, I hope the reader feels the same. Creating strong characters the readers will love and remember is a wee bit challenging, but I enjoy it very much. I keep a separate file document just for characters and update it regularly with traits as the story moves along. It's like watching your child grow.
Sage: And your least favorite?
G.P.: My least favorite part of the publishing process is the promoting. It is time-consuming and strenuous as I have minimal knowledge in this area. Although I love meeting new people at book signings and talks, and I faithfully interact with readers on my Facebook author page, I would rather spend every minute of my free time writing novels.
Sage: I agree completely! What does your writing space look like?
G.P.: My writing space is not limited to one place. In the summer I enjoy writing outside. I can spend hours on my old swing with pen, paper and the sunshine. In the winter, I'm definitely inside because it's too cold and the snow would cover my words. My office has moved from one room to another as my children left or returned home... That's a story for another time - I probably have enough material for a mini-series.
Sage: Have you gone on any "writing pilgrimages," either for research or for inspiration?
G.P.: After finishing my first manuscript, 80,000-plus words, I thought I had a best seller. The publishing companies had a different opinion though. To win them over, I took an online writing course, attended workshops, joined writing and critique groups and edited my manuscript daily for a year or so.
Sage: Do you put yourself in your characters at all?
G.P.: In the first manuscript I did. I thought it would be easier... Well, that kind of backfired in the first draft as the depth of character was absent on paper. I knew how she felt, but it wasn't present in the script. By the way, the good traits she gets from me, the bad ones I made up.
Sage: *Laughs* What is your favorite childhood book?
G.P.: I can't remember the exact book, because I enjoyed all of the Martine illustrated story books. In case you didn't know, French is my first language.
Sage: Who is Martine and what are the books about?
G.P.: Martine is a young girl, perhaps 10 to 13 years old, and in each book she is doing something new, fun, interesting - she's a ballerina, visiting her aunt, her first ski trip, boat ride - she did it all. The books were well written and meant to teach a lesson.
Sage: What was your inspiration for Trust Me?
G.P.: I believe honesty, communication, respect, trust and love are essential to build a healthy and lasting relationship. In this novel, I concentrate on trust because it fits Suzanne and Bill's story best. They dated, broke up, and now, one year later, decide to give each other a second chance. Trusting each other is one of the first steps for them.
Sage: What is something you edited out of the book?
G.P.: I removed the prologue: a description of events from the moment Caught Between Worlds, book one, ends to this second book. Instead I weaved the important details into the story.
Sage: What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
G.P.: Although my aim is to show that trust is important, I would love to give readers 'Hope.' Never give up, happy ever after relationships are still possible. When you meet the right person it will happen - Trust Me.
About the Author:
G.P. is Canadian. A wife and mother of three who works in school bus transportation. In her last year of high school, she enjoyed writing a weekly column published in the French newspaper in her home town. Writing took a back seat for years and now that her children are grown, it's become her favorite hobby.
Entertaining others is like breathing - it is part of who she is.