After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…
Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?
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Quickie Author Q & A
Excerpt from Waiting for the Storm
What's something readers might not know about you?
I'm really into graphic design. When I first became part of the online community, I joined PSP and tagging groups and started dabbling in design. It was something I quickly came to love. I eventually ran a few of my own groups where I did designs and skins for MSN, Yuku, and Aimoo groups, then when I started blogging I did my own designs and graphics. When it came time to do the cover for my debut novel, Blue Sky Days, I decided I wanted full control, so I designed it myself. I had such a great response from readers and bloggers, I knew I wanted to design all my own book covers, and I've also done covers for a couple author friends.
What are you working on now?
I've just recently started my fourth novel. I did a project for NaNoWriMo last November that I wasn't happy with and didn't finish (but hope to eventually), and then I moved on to write a Christmas novella, which will be out this November. After that, I started a couple other projects but nothing was really speaking to me until my current work in progress. I don't want to say much about it, but it's contemporary new adult, and I'm pleased with what I've done so far. I'm hoping to finish writing it this summer and publish it by late fall.
In your opinion, what's the best thing about blogging?
Definitely the community. Book bloggers and authors who blog are so warm and generous and just really, really lovely. I've made some amazing friends through blogging, and I know that when I need something - whether it's help with a cover reveal or promotion, a pep talk, advice, or I just want to have a totally random and silly conversation - I can depend on this community. It's the best feeling.
Excerpt from Waiting for the Storm
“Oh, Charlotte, there you are.” Dad walked into the kitchen and looked at me as if he hadn’t seen me in ages. “That boy who’s working on the porch…what is his name, and why can’t I remember it?”
“Ezra,” I prompted.
“Ezra!” Dad said, snapping his fingers. “Ezra asked me to tell you he had to leave early today to check on a project he’s doing for someone else. Said he’ll see you soon, though. He seems like a nice boy.”
“Yeah, he does,” I agreed. The old Dad—as in pre-Zombie Dad—would have prodded me for information about whether I liked Ezra. He would have jabbed me lightly in the ribs and teased me until I told him everything he wanted to know. I waited a minute, hoping he might ask, but he didn’t.
“He’s a fast worker, too,” he commented instead. “I thought it would take ages to get that porch down, but he’s almost done.” I just nodded, unsure how to respond. After a few seconds, he said, “Anyway, I was going to head into town, check things out. I thought you and Ella might like to come along, but she just left. You up for it?”
“Absolutely,” I said without hesitation. I thought for sure it would be days before I’d get a chance to go anywhere, and I was eager to see what else the island had to offer.
“Great.” Dad gave me a small smile and stepped closer, running his hand down my long braid and tugging lightly on the end. “I know this isn’t easy,” he said quietly. “I know you and Mom were close…and I know I’ve been…” He waved a hand around, as if hoping to grasp the right words from thin air. Finally he shrugged helplessly, searching my face for understanding.
“I know, Dad.” My throat was so thick I could only whisper the words.
He leaned his forehead against mine and closed his eyes. I closed mine too, and felt tears slip down my cheeks.
“I’m so angry, Charlotte,” he whispered. “So angry at her for leaving us.”
I jerked back and looked at him in shock. His eyes were wide, and he looked like he desperately wished he could take back his words. The guilt in his expression made the hollow ache around my heart return. He started to back toward the door, but I grabbed his wrist, stopping him.
“I’m mad too.” My voice was a barely audible whisper now, and I prayed that wherever Mom was she hadn’t heard me. I hadn’t let myself acknowledge that particular emotion because it felt like I was betraying Mom. She hadn’t asked to get sick, and she sure as hell hadn’t asked to die, but it didn’t stop the anger.
I had made up my mind it was one thing I would never share with another living soul. My sadness, my pain, my inability to understand how life could be so unfair sometimes—that was one thing—but the anger was something I was ashamed of.
Until now. Until I realized I wasn’t alone.
Dad just stared at me. He looked like he wanted to believe me, but he wasn’t quite sure if I was just saying the words or if they were true.
“I’ve been angry for so long,” he told me, his voice quiet as if he were confessing his sins and hoping to be absolved. “It’s not fair. She was so…so young and beautiful and vibrant, with such an amazing life ahead. But it was ripped away from her. She was ripped away from us. I know it happens all the time, but it’s just so wrong.”
“I know.” I was still holding his wrist, and I could feel his pulse fluttering under his skin like a trapped butterfly. “I know.”
“But…” He shrugged and wiped at his red eyes. “That’s life. Being angry doesn’t bring her back. It doesn’t change a damn thing, does it?”
I shook my head. Without a word, he pulled his arm from my grasp, turned, and walked toward the sliding doors in the living room. “I’ll be waiting in the car,” he called. “Take your time.”
For more on Marie and her books, please visit sweetmarie-83.blogspot.ca