Lynn Crandall and her two characters join me today to give us a taste of Lynn’s newest release with Crimson Romance. I love hearing directly from your characters Sterling and Lacey, Lynn.
Elizabeth, I'm happy to be a guest on your blog and to share a bit about my latest romantic suspense, .
|Author Lynn Crandall|
Always and Forever Love is the second book that focuses on the private investigator sisters, Lacey and Sterling Aegar. While the first book, Dancing with Detective Danger, focused on Sterling, Lacey is the focus of the second. In Always and Forever Love, Lacey is taking refuge from grief and fear of loss in a relationship with her dead husband, Nicholas, who appears to her as a spirit body. After two years of this relationship, he is urging her to expand her idea of life beyond the limiting one she has with him. But Lacey can't think of losing him again, even though Jackson Carter is prompting feelings she'd rather ignore.
Here's an excerpt:
Here's an excerpt:
Brought out of her reflection by the sound of a car horn nearby, she realized Nicholas’s remark was part of a developing pattern he’d been presenting lately, and she wanted to nip it. “Jackson Carter is a snake who comes from a long line of snakes. I want nothing to do with him.” Initially she’d felt self-conscious about talking to Nick in public, but he’d suggested that most people didn’t notice because they were busy with their own thoughts, and she’d found out he was right. She glanced at the passenger side and smiled. “How long have you been watching, Nick, my love?”
“Long enough. I wanted to see Tyler off. But stop changing the subject.” He set his eyes, the color of crystal blue quartz, on Lacey. “Tell me about Jackson.”
Her heart clenched. “I don’t want to talk about him. The only two men in my life are Tyler and you.” She wanted the traffic driving by to distract him but she suspected his attention was elsewhere.
“You forget, I’m dead. I’m just a ghost. I can’t even keep you warm on a cool summer evening.” The wind flowing in through the open window lifted strands of Nick’s ash- blond, wavy hair. His face turned to savor the breeze, and he looked every bit alive enough to Lacey.
“You make me happy. It’s as simple as that.” She reached for Nick’s hand. He took hers in his, brought her fingers to his lips, and brushed them with a kiss. She savored the feel of his lips, never taking his very solid presence for granted
“You deserve more, Lacey. You’re young, you’re alive. I’m not. Not in the same sense you are.”
His pressure on her to consider different options than the perfectly lovely and satisfying one she had with him made her stop breathing. “Stop.” She let out her breath as she turned into the parking garage across the street from the Aegar Investigations office. “You are alive. Just not in a way anyone would get. I do. And I get you. And if that means I get you as a ghost, as you put it, I’m grateful.”
Lacey is working out how she'll go on with her life and her sister Sterling is her major support. But the sisters
Me: Lacey, what is your favorite thing about working with your sister?
Lacey: (chuckles) It would be easy to say the coffee she brings in occasionally. I love coffee. But really, it's just very comfortable to work with Sterling. Our personalities are as different as our looks, but we complement each other. She's edgy and direct, where I'm more inclined to feel my way through things.
Sterling: Oh come on, you make me sound hardnosed. I have my soft spots, too. Working with Lacey is something special. She's got my back and she understands me. (looks down thoughtfully) We've been through a lot and she understands sometimes I'm not my best self, but she doesn't care.
Me: That does sound nice. What about Jackson Carter? How is it, Lacey, to have one of the most powerful and eligible bachelors in town in your life?
Lacey: (chews at her bottom lip and shifts her gaze) I'm still figuring that out. I'm not sure he's very in my life.
Sterling: (smiles and winks) Lacey's husband Nicholas will always be her always and forever love. But Jackson is certainly someone to figure out.
Me: I see. That sounds interesting.
Lacey: (shifts in seat) Hmm…Jackson is interesting and kind and attractive, but Nicholas will never be gone from my heart.
Sterling: I know. That doesn't rule out romance with Jackson.
Me: Well, I can see you're right; you do have different ways of seeing things. It must make life interesting.
Lynn, it is so fun to “hear” your characters talk to you! Thanks for giving us this insight into them, and best of luck with Always and Forever Love.
Thank you for having me on you blog!
Lynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her two cats. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don't back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love.
Buy Lynn’s books at:
Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/always-and-forever-love-lynn-crandall/1117506755?ean=9781440574733
Visit Lynn at:
The presence of a ghost in her life doesn't alarm Lacy Aegar, in fact it makes her happy. Two and a half years ago when her dead husband Nicholas reappeared in her life as a full-bodied spirit, she questioned her sanity. But with Nicholas' explanation that there are things about life that are not as she's always believed, she settled into a pleasant routine of working with her sister at their private investigation business and enjoying home life with her now 10-year-old son – with Nicholas never very far away.
Lacey's complacency and sense of stability is sent topsy-turvy when she runs into Jackson Carter, the son of powerful and influential business tycoon, William Carter. Typical of the Carter reputation, Jackson's slick new private investigating business is siphoning off clients from the Aegar sisters' business, creating financial difficulty. It's a recurring nightmare for Lacey, who has already seen damage done by the Carter family, and when she encounters Jackson, she wants nothing to do with him.
But things are not what they seem when it comes to Jackson Carter, either. Unbeknownst to Lacey and her sister, Jackson is fighting a battle to preserve his business, too, and his integrity. For him, it's a fight for his soul, and he enlists Lacey's help because of her unique investigative skills and open heart. When she uncovers a mole in his business, she also discovers that one of his clients' drug trials has been given the green light to go to the next phase based on falsified data. As they work together to save both their businesses, Jackson and Lacey not only face death, they must come to grips with their feelings about love and life.
She couldn’t imagine what he wanted. He seemed completely composed, except for the indications that he wasn’t. She decided to dive in. “So, Jackson, what’s on your mind? Is this a meeting? Are you still going to offer me a job?”
He fumbled with his napkin, his eyes still downcast and his voice soft. “To be honest, asking you to stay with me came out kind of spur-of-the-moment.” His gaze lifted, and he
continued, almost hesitantly. “I want you to know, Lacey, that though I don’t like your opinion of me, I understand. But unlike you, I have been thinking about you.”
Parts of her drew down to complete absorption with the moment between them. It was mesmerizing to listen to his words and feel his sincere need to convey the right message. She didn’t speak, feeling if she did, something inside him would break.
Which was silly. Jackson Carter was anything but fragile. Or so she believed. The idea that she believed she knew him from his father’s works made her shoulders tighten. His gaze flicked around the room, but landed back on her face.
“I’m not going to bore you with details about my past and my family. I think what I want you to know is that I am not my father. I have things to amend for, if only because of my blindness. But the truth is, I woke up about four years ago. I chose another path, and I did it simply because I didn’t belong on the path I was on. It didn’t fit. My father is a liar and a cruel person. There’s only so far I could go with him before I had to say enough is enough.”
Lacey felt like there was no one else in the room. His words carried weight and she knew the moment was sacred. He bared his soul, with no expectation of anything but the hope of understanding. She had to ask. “Why are you telling me this?”
He chuckled. “Good question. Nothing like laying it all out there when we hardly know each other.”
She let the moment hang, waiting for a sincere answer, not knowing if he had it in him.
There is a lot of regret in me. I feel the weight of my legacy. My values have not so much changed, as I’ve come to grips with reality. That’s a hard truth that not many people can appreciate.” He sipped his coffee and again shifted his gaze around the room, but she knew he didn’t see it. “You see things. You see things people miss. I just want you to know that I know much goes before me. It sounds clichéd, but I am different. Maybe you can see that and give me a second chance.”
It was easy to pick up that he carried deep feelings, some of them tender and painful. Lacey understood how devastating—as well as completely life changing—awareness of awful truths could be. Still, she knew firsthand of the shattering that could occur at the hands of the Carter family. She couldn’t forget that.
“Speechless, huh?” He tried to shrug off the intensity of his admission, dipping his head and suddenly busying with the saltshaker. “What do you say to something like that? I’m sorry I put you in that position.”
Again with the defenses? “Jackson. Stop. Can I say something now?” She ducked her head to catch his gaze. “I see that you’re sincere. Thank you for that. And you’re right. I know all about what your family has done to people in this town and out in the world. Your father is a very powerful and influential man. He could have done much good, but he didn’t. He’s put people out of work, destroyed their reputations, ruined lives of people I care about. How do I get beyond that? Why would I want to? Your family is dangerous.” She trembled with memories of the ills caused by William Carter. How could Jackson ask anything of her?
He squared her with his eyes again. “I need your help with finding out why my business is running into so many problems…"