To kick off 2018, we are excited to introduce Melissa Bennett, author of the inspirational romance HIDDEN THORNS.
Tell us about your book.
Lil Edwards is divorced after thirty years of marriage. When her new found independence is interrupted by a stalker, a second chance of love, her faith, and even her life are threatened.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
It started as a cathartic exercise. I’ve been married a long time, and anyone who’s been married for any time understands that it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. (I love you honey!) From there, I had a dear friend encourage me to keep going. The story unfolded organically.
Tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.
Lillian is named after my great-grandmother. I have an old sepia toned picture of her that I’ve always admired. She had a mischievous grin in a time when people didn’t smile for the camera. I loved that!
Tell us about your favorite character.
Gosh, this is difficult…. My favorite character to write in this book was probably Katie, Lil’s best friend. She’s southern, sassy, and has and ‘as of yet’ unplumbed depth to her. We’ll see much more of her in book 2. 🙂
What kind of research did you do for this book?
There was a great deal of research about roses since they feature in the book. There was also research about firearms, police equipment and procedures, and psychosis.
What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
This makes me laugh. There was SO much edited out! Details for one. My most difficult edit was the extent to which Lil’s dog was edited. LOL She was the perfect pet!
What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
I love when the characters do something unexpected. That happened a lot when Katie was in the scene.
Can you share your writing routine?
My father is in a nursing home near me, so I balance being with him and my personal time. I have three days a week that are “for writing”. If I can get another day in, that’s great. God willing, I will have many years to write. But the time I have left with Dad is a priority.
As far as where, I have a small desk off of my kitchen that I call my own. It faces away from windows and there are walls on either side so there is as little distraction as possible for this ADD riddled brain!
What can you tell us about yourself?
I grew up in Waco, Texas, but I now live in the suburbs of Kansas City with my husband of 30 years. We are (finally) empty nesters. Two of our four children are on their own, and two are in college. So my only babies are my two Miniature Schnauzers, Chrissy and Cassie.
How did you get into writing?
I’ve always loved writing. Even when I was young. As an adult, I journaled, mostly prayer typer journals. Like Aibileen in “The Help”, I talk to God by writing things down. I’ve shared a few things with close friends who encouraged me to pursue it. That’s how the book started.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to cook. I’m a cookbook collector, but I rarely follow a recipe. And if I can find anything creative to do, I will.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I’m working on the book that follows Hidden Thorns. It’s working title is Veiled Blessings and it’s Katie’s turn to be front and center.
Did you pick your genre or did it pick you?
Romance is in my bones, so that part was easy. The inspirational part was a personal conviction. I wanted to write something that my high school self could read openly.
After a 30 year marriage, Lillian (Lil) is enjoying her new independence. But her seemingly idyllic new life is abruptly interrupted by a stalker. Enter the handsome Detective Michael Corsey. Though initially the case was a favor to an old friend, he quickly finds himself caught between duty and desire. And the attraction is very mutual.But relationship with Lil, a conservative Christian, is uncharted territory for Michael, who hasn’t exercised his faith since he was a young man.
Soon enough, Lil is torn between a second chance at love and protecting anyone she cares about from the increasingly violent threats of the phantom stalker.
The thrills, chills, joys and pains of Hidden Thorns, are sure to have you captivated.