Read an excerpt from Broken
Visit Maddie James' web site
About Maddie James
Multi-published and bestselling romance novelist, Maddie James, trips between contemporary, historical, and paranormal worlds, as she pens stories within, and frequently crossing, a variety of romantic genres. With over three dozen published titles, written under two (and soon three) pen names, she feels fortunate to work with some of the quirkiest characters around—those in her head, and in her life. She lives with her muses—who most days manifest themselves as four-legged furry creatures—and often laments that her cats have become her children, and she has become her mother. Que sera, sera.
Learn more about her work at www.mjnovelist.com
Also by Maddie James:
Crazy For You
Falling For Grace
Bed, Breakfast & You
Rawhide and Roses
Murder on the Mountain
Dates du Jour
Hot Crossed Buns
Mate to Order
Romancing the Scone
Hard Candy Kisses
Better Than Chocolate
Something Spooky This Way Comes
A Perfect Escape
Red: A Seduction Tale
An Interview with the Maddie James
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Maddie, thank you for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Broken. What can you tell us about this emotionally-charged story about the rodeo and two very special people that it might separate again?
MJ: Broken is about two people who share a past--a family past--but who have been separated for ten years. Garth Nash left the ranch where he was raised by Rilla's father when he was twenty-eight to run the bull-riding circuit. Rilla was sixteen then, and infatuated (if not in love) with him. Raised as siblings, it pained them both when Garth fled one night after an impromptu kiss they shared. It was the right thing for him to do, but Rilla was left heartbroken.
Now, Garth is back to pay his respects to Rilla after her father's sudden death. Ten years is a long time but the feelings and sparks between the two haven't been tamped too far down. The result is an emotion-filled quest to figure out who will win out in the end--love or rodeo?
HH: What do you like best about Rilla and why will readers relate to her?
MJ: Rilla is vulnerable, just like the rest of us, but she has a tough exterior. When her father dies, she's left with a lot of responsibility, and she's not sure she can deliver--even though everyone around her tells her she can. This is not only in running the ranch that her father left to her, but with her life-long dream of winning at rodeo. She thinks she needs Garth's help to push her, when in fact, she just needs to have more confidence in herself.
HH: What do you like about Garth and why will readers love him?
MJ: Sigh, Garth. He's all man, all cowboy. A bull rider. He's stubborn (somewhat like Rilla) and also confused. Bull riding has been his life for ten long years, and he's conquered many a bull over those years, yet this woman before him could bring him to his knees with the bat of an eye. If he'll let her.
HH: How did you bring their world so convincingly to life?
MJ: Oh, I hope I did! I actually did quite a bit of research while writing. I know a little about rodeo and have been to Durango, but felt I needed to dig deeper. I did a lot of reading, watching the PBR on TV and live when it came to town, and even interviewed the owner of an arena near Durango. I hope that all showed up in the book to some extent. I grew up in a farming community--which I know is not exactly like a ranch--but I think there are also some similarities.
HH: What do you think this story has to offer readers that similar books do not?
MJ: This book is not about sex. In fact, there is only one sex scene in the book. It is more about the romance and the emotion, than sex. I don't know if that is different than what other, similar books, offer to readers, or not, but it is what the story is. I didn't set out to write this book to be a sexually titillating page-turner. There are a lot of those out there. I wanted this one to be about the plot, the story, and two characters who shared a loving past in one way, moving it forward into a more intimate and loving relationship in an entirely different way. Rodeo, I think, is simply the backdrop.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
MJ: Convincing Nora will be coming out later this year. It is a wacky little romantic comedy about a veterinarian who opens up a new practice is a small rural community. He needs a lot of organizing and convinces Nora that she is just the person to help him get his office and his practice, up to speed. Nora--who owns a troublesome big cat who always needs attention--takes the job but isn't so sure she should have. Especially when Dr. Wyatt tries to convince her that he needs her in a more personal way...
I also have books 2 and 3 in the Dead Guys Still Want It series--Seriously Dead and Gratefully Dead--coming out this summer. They follow Freshly Dead, which is now out on Amazon. All three will be available at all retailers late summer. This series is a mix of romance, but with a smattering of ghost, a little mystery and a lot of Southern sass.
HH: How much of your life is spent on your writing career?
MJ: I've been writing freelance since the late 80s while holding down a full-time job. I sold my first romance novel in 1997 to Kensington and since then I have been balancing both the writing career and a full-time day job. In 2010--during a short sabbatical from the day job--I opened up Turquoise Morning Press. Now I juggle all three (with a great staff to support me in every effort!). So writing, and all that goes with it, make up a good bit of my day. My day job even revolves around literacy, books, reading and writing. It's a package deal, it seems, and it's what I do. I can honestly say that my most productive writing years have been the past few, when I was busiest the most. Go figure!
HH: What does it mean to you to be a writer?
MJ: To pull a story idea together, write it in such a way that it brings emotion--joy, tears, hope, laughter, inspiration, or what have you--to the reader means the world to me. If the reader can escape for a while into my world and come out with a sigh, I'm happy.
HH: What would we find in your to be read pile right now?
MJ: There are entire bookshelves dedicated to TBR--both virtual and physical--and it seems my reading time is never enough! I just picked up Elin Hilderbrand's The Island yesterday in an airport and have barely begun but I'm so far intrigued. I recently bought (for my Kindle) Cheyenne McCray's Champagne & Chaps, Silent Run by Barbara Freethy, Crescent Moon by Janet Eaves, and a book on Feng Shui. :)
HH: What plans do you have for the summer?
MJ: I travel a lot for the day job and summer is my down time for that, so I am very much looking forward to spending time at home. I'm taking a week's vacation and going no where! I'm planning to putter around the house, finishing up some projects, and doing a little redecorating and landscaping. My one conference this summer is the Lori Foster Reader and Writer event in Cincinnati in June. I'm looking forward to going, and hope to see many people there!
HH: Thank you!