Romance novels, no matter their setting, time period, or subgenre, guarantee us as readers a happily ever after. There is something wonderful and so satisfying about finishing a romance novel, but there is also a feeling of disappointment that there's no more story. However, nothing can keep us from talking (or writing) about our favorite novels with fellow enthusiasts!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Guest Author Interview: Cynthia Racette
Today we are interviewing Cynthia Racette, who writes women's fiction with romantic elements.
She is giving away two copies of her book WINDSWEPT.
Alexis: Hi Cynthia, thank you for visiting Happily
Ever After Thoughts :-) Why did you decide to write women's fiction?
Cynthia: A woman's life consists of her entire
family, kids and all and I think they should all be part of her story. Also,
there are many dramatic romances that emerge after the wedding that make for
great fiction. There are deaths, divorces, infidelities, emotional ennui and
all kinds of things.
Alexis: Very true. I understand your debut novel,
WINDSWEPT, just came out. Can you tell us a little about it?
Cynthia: WINDSWEPT is about a sailboat and the
family that owns it. The boat has been part of their lives since the wedding
and has been the scene of many happy family events and glorious sunny days.
When the husband is unfaithful, the family is thrown into turmoil, with our
heroine having to learn independence and the hero trying to come to grips with
what he did. Other people and events conspire to impede their progress towards repairing
their family but Mother Nature might have the final say.
Alexis: Oh, I like that :-) Where did you get the
idea for this story?
Cynthia: My husband and I love sailing and I got the
idea to create what is essentially an allegory around a sailboat. I wanted,
too, to show that when something like unfaithfulness happens, both parties are
at fault and both suffer. There's no good guy or bad guy.
Alexis: Really? Interesting. What are your favorite
character traits of Caroline and David?
Cynthia: Caroline is very loving and very loyal to
her family and that's why David's betrayal hurts her so much. David is very
passionate and intelligent with strong scruples and that makes it difficult for
him to reconcile his actions.
Alexis: They sound like a very realistic couple.
Do you have a particular writing schedule
you stay with or do you write when the muse strikes?
Cynthia: I generally write in the mornings and early
afternoon but, if the muse taps me on the shoulder, I'll work through supper
Alexis: So what can we expect next from you? Do you
have any new releases coming or a work in progress?
Cynthia: I have a WIP about a young family
devastated when the father is killed in an accident. The young boy believes
it's his fault the father is killed and his teenage sister acts out with
shoplifting and drugs. The detective who arrests her becomes attracted to the
young widow, which makes for conflict between her and her daughter.
Daughter: "I can't believe you're
going out with him. It's his fault I got arrested."
Mother: "It wasn't his fault. It was your fault."
Alexis: Yes, that is good conflict. Thank you so much for sharing your story with
us. It's a pleasure having you visit.
Cynthia: I enjoyed it Alexis. Thank you for having
Alexis: For a chance to win WINDSWEPT, be sure to
leave a comment for her. If I have contact information, I will let you know
when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under
Windswept’s mainsail was up, and the jib was a clean, crisp
white against the clear blue sky. Wind filled the canvas with a snap as the
sails billowed. The boat immediately heeled over with the force of the wind and
surged forward through the waves with barely-leashed power.
Reaching down to kill the engine, Caroline stood to savor
her favorite moment in sailing- the first instant with only the sound of the
wind and the waves and the feel of the boat under her feet, driven solely by
the power of nature. She grinned at David and he smiled back, akin in the joy
of that marvelous feeling of anticipation and accomplishment-- ready, more than
ready, to spend another summer season sailing up and down the bay.
Caroline handed the wheel over to
David and wrapped her arms around the mast to savor the warm sun and deep blue
sea. She loved Windswept more than she thought it was proper to love a
possession. It was nearly indecent, her passion for it.
The boat had been part of the family for their entire
married lives. The sailing bug had hit both of them unexpectedly after an
excursion aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean. They’d decided immediately to buy
the boat, and it seemed the perfect present to give each other for the wedding.
It had taken every penny they had at the time, but it had been worth it. Over
the years they’d spent every available minute of the summer on the boat, and it
never seemed to get old.
She sighed happily. She was happier
out here than anywhere else in the world. And today, the first sailing day of a
new season, was extra special. She stood by the mast for a while watching the
water fly up from the bow of the boat and sweep past the side. They’d spent hours getting her fiberglass
glowing. The boat was aging now, though aging gracefully like a grand old
When their fourteen-year-old daughter Lily raised her head
briefly from her position sunbathing, Caroline winked at her and crept along
the railing to join her. Caroline noticed that Lily’s figure in the bikini was
getting almost voluptuous. In the
winter, with thick sweaters and coats to hide her curves, Caroline hadn’t
noticed the drastic changes.
Lily scooted over to
give her some room. The breeze felt great brushing back her hair and the sun
was hotter than it had been all spring. Caroline was beginning to feel
over-warm in her Georgetown sweatshirt. Caroline and Lily stared at the white
spray without speaking for a long time, then Caroline nudged her daughter with
her shoulder. “Long winter, huh?” Lily had, in many ways, been raised on the
boat and she could sail it with the best of them. Caroline had many fond
memories of Lily as a toddler on her father’s lap, already learning about how
to read the wind. There were images in her head of her as a eight or nine year
old, running along the top of the deck and leaping off onto the dock without a
thought of danger. She could remember Lily as an eleven year old begging to be
allowed to keep the helm as the wind rose higher and higher. It often reached a
point that made Caroline’s heart hammer with alarm at letting the whisper-thin
preteen to steer through a five foot waves. Lily had done it though, albeit
with her father close by.
“Oh yeah,” said Lily. “I’m glad I
decided to go today. I can write up results tomorrow.”
“You’ve got lots of time before the
“Yeah, but there’s still a lot to
“You’ll get it done.”
“And how many days like this will we have to go out on the
Chesapeake before it gets too hot?I’ve been
chomping at the bit for weeks.”
“You’re telling me,” said Lily,
rolling her eyes. “You guys have been at the marina since St. Patty’s Day
polishing everything. I’m just glad I got out of it this year. I mean, I love
this tub and all, but I have a lot of things going on now at school with
Science Club and orchestra and all.”
Caroline let the sarcastic reference go because she knew
Lily loved Windswept too and there was a tiny grin at the corner of her lips
when she said it. “It was worth it,
wasn’t it? Today?”
Caroline felt Lily nod against her arm, with a murmured “Oh,
She put her arm around Lily and they leaned together, gazing
raptly at the water as it hypnotized their senses- rushing, always rushing in a
sheet of white foam past the bow.
Caroline ran her fingers through her
daughter’s long, silky hair. “Needs cutting.”
“No, please,” Lily pleaded. “I like
it this way.”
“Last time I knew, you thought long
hair was too much of a bother. When did you change your mind?”
“Guys like long hair.”
“No! It’s not like that. There’s no
one special.” Lily reddened. “The only stuff I’m interested in at the moment is
finishing my science project. But it doesn’t hurt to... well... you know.”
Caroline laughed. “Sure. I know.
Keep all your options open. Be ready just in case?”
“Sort of. “
“OK, you can leave it long. But
we’ll get you a trim-- just for the split ends.”
“OK, Mom. You’d better get on back.
Dad’s looking impatient.”
David, his white windbreaker tied now
around his waist in the late afternoon sun, puttered around the cockpit. He was
tall, and his light brown hair was windblown after the spirited beat upwind.
But he seemed to be trying to keep from looking at Caroline.
Caroline tried to catch his eye but his tinkering today
seemed distracted. He was uncharacteristically silent. Whenever she was not at
the helm when they sailed, she relaxed and watched the water and the sky and
the sails. David, however, kept up a never-ending ritual of adjusting sails and
halyards. He was a perfectionist with
the details on the boat. Today, though, it was more than that. He wasn’t being
a perfectionist. He was avoiding her.
Don't forget, for a chance to win a copy of this book, be sure to leave Cynthia
a comment :-)