I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Corinne LaBalme. Today, Corinne shares her creative journey and new release, Summer People.
What was your inspiration for this book?
The beach… and specifically the beaches of Cape Cod. I believe that our first contact with the ocean becomes “The Beach to which all others are forever compared. My UR beach is on the Nantucket Sound, in Harwich Port, at the end of the road where my maternal grandmother lived.
However, my French father always thought that the Riviera hotel beaches – with three-course restaurants and deck chairs arranged in mathematical precision – were the rule. I’ve been to some beautiful beaches – from the Gulf of Mexico and Greece – but IMO, Rick and Jessica hit the sandy jackpot when they chose to meet on Cape Cod.
Which authors have inspired you?
Every book I read has an influence but writers I wish to emulate are not always in my genre. I’m mad about the gotcha moments that make me catch my breath. John Le Carré, in the first pages of THE RUSSIA HOUSE, has someone telling a long story to a guy named Harry… and suddenly we get: “Though Harry is not my real name.” It’s a throw-away line that totally establishes the fact that we are deep in the world of espionage.
What is your favorite quote?
I am not a sports buff but I’ll go with the hockey super star Wayne Gretzky:
“YOU MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU DON’T TAKE”.
In SUMMER PEOPLE, Nancy has the quote engraved on her ID bracelet.
If you had a super-power, what would it be?
I do have a super-power. I just don’t know how to harness it. I can speak directly to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. When I was being courted by a bunch of guys in their eighties, I asked for a younger man. How did I know she was listening? On my way into the metro,, I was propositioned by a 14-year-old with a skateboard. When I turned him down politely, a grade-school kid in the subway car started stroking my hair. You see, I have the super-power… I just don’t formulate my questions correctly. I just said ‘younger’ but didn’t specify ‘past puberty’ or only ‘high school graduates need apply.”
What are you working on next?
Last January, I published a rom-com cozy mystery about a ghost-writer who gets stranded in Paris when the evil French movie star who hired her to write his sleazy memoirs dies under suspicious circumstances. That was FRENCH GHOST. Now I’m fine-tuning the sequel, FRENCH TOAST, in which our amateur detective gets involved with the high stakes (steaks?) of fancy French cuisine when she signs up to write a cookbook for a famous TV chef.
Jessica Stratton’s long-cherished dream of opening her own Folk Art gallery in an idyllic Cape Cod setting finally comes true. However, her start-up is anything but smooth sailing. Her ten-year marriage hits the rocks and, when the hunk next door to her shop – a brooding ecologist on a mission to save the planet – proves too irresistible to ignore, she’s got to relearn the rules of the dating game while working overtime to lure clients to her boutique. Unfortunately, someone’s already far too interested in a 19th century example of advertising art in her collection and will go to any means – legal or illegal – to acquire it. Maybe the planet isn’t all that needs to be saved…
“To you…” he began.
Jenna leaned forward, both hands cupping her wineglass.
“To you and…” Wait a second! Where was that humongous gem she had on her left hand ring finger this morning? What kind of crazy game was this woman playing with him?
“Yes…?” prompted Jenna.
“To you… and to the unexpected,” said Rick slowly.
“To unexpected pleasures, at any rate,” said Jenna brightly after the pause threatened to become uncomfortable. “Like this marvelous homemade chili. I think the toast should be to the chef.” She raised her glass and took a sip.
Plan B. What the hell is Plan B? wondered Rick as he watched her intently. He didn’t detect any come-hither in her straightforward gaze. In fact, her smile conveyed nothing except neighborly concern that he might have been struck deaf and dumb all of a sudden. He raised his glass again, took a long swallow, and turned to his plate. Plan B is all hers, he decided.
Author Bio and Links
Corinne LaBalme lives in France and loves everything about it… except eating snails. Her articles about European fashion, food and fun destinations have appeared in The New York Times Travel section, Diversion, La Belle France and France Revisited. Her favorite place to write? Any Parisian café with a good croissant connection…
The setting for SUMMER PEOPLE is founded on childhood memories of vacations on Cape Cod and based on my mother’s (very real) house in Brewster.
The romantic hero of SUMMER PEOPLE — Rick Martell — is the kind of guy who exists only in our sweetest & beachiest dreams…. sigh!
Corinne LaBalme will be awarding $10 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.
Follow Corinne on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.