Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Interview with Margay Leah Justice!

Please welcome Margay Leah Justice to my blog today.

Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?

Margay: In many ways, I had a typical childhood. I grew up in a large family, my mother was a stay-at-home mom, and my father was in the Air Force when I was real young, then worked in a bakery when I was a little older. That was pretty fun because whenever he brought us to the bakery, they’d give us freshly made bread or snack cakes, whatever we wanted. So that was kind of fun. My favorite memories, though, were of the years that my older sister and I danced together. We danced everywhere – at recitals, in parades, nursing homes, at the grange halls, in talent shows. And when we weren’t dancing somewhere, we were creating and producing our own plays/musicals. We had a huge porch on our house, which was perfect for performing on. So after we got the details all sorted out, my sister would go round up all the neighborhood kids, we’d charge them about a nickel or a dime for “admission” and serve them brownies and lemonade (when we could) and then perform for them.

Alisha: What a beautiful childhood memory! Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.

Margay: Nora Kendall lost her faith in all things angelic when she was just a girl and her brother died after a long battle with cancer, despite her vigorous prayers for the opposite. The day of his funeral, she purged her room of everything remotely angelic, but periodically, the images begin to reappear in her life, inexplicably, usually at times when she is under some sort of duress. At the beginning of Nora’s Soul, her life is turned upside down by two pivotal events: She is dumped by her boyfriend for an older woman and she leaves her job following a crisis she doesn’t feel prepared to handle. Enter the angels.

Kyle Cameron is facing demons of his own. He is trying to raise his two young children on his own while shielding them from the knowledge that they were the result of a scheme to trap him into marriage – and that their mother’s death was the result of another scheme to keep him there. Embittered by his experiences, Kyle has no intention of allowing himself to get close enough to another woman to repeat that mistake. Even if the woman is Nora Kendall.

Alisha: Wow! This story sounds wonderful. You had me at Angels! If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?

Margay: In the spirit of keeping it light and fun, I would have to say: 1. Meet Johnny Depp, 2. Have an endless supply of chocolate, and 3. See something I wrote made into a movie.

Alisha: If you could go anywhere to tomorrow, where would you go?

Margay: I’d love to go to Australia.

Alisha: If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?

Margay: Johnny Depp.

Alisha: He IS rather yummy. If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?

Margay: The cast of Lost. They’ve already been there for four years, so they have a lot of experience with surviving on an island! Besides, they each have great characteristics that would make the experience memorable.

Alisha: What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?

Margay: Well, I am in love with the written word, so it is almost impossible for me to choose just one. There is a phrase that my younger daughter, who suffers from Asperger’s, used to describe how she feels in school, which I am particularly fond of and am using in the title of a book I am working on currently. She said she felt like a “rose in a patch of sunflowers.”

Alisha: What a perfect description. Your daughter sounds lovely! If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?

Margay: I always wanted to try out a day spa. A nice massage sounds very appealing.

Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?

Margay: I don’t think I would change anything because everything that happened to me in the past led me to the point where I am now and I’m afraid if I changed anything in the past, my present might be totally different. I wouldn’t want to risk not having the children that I have by changing anything that led to their being.

Alisha: Excellent answer! What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?

Margay: I think the sexiest thing a man has ever done for me was taught me how to kiss. We worked together and we had a teasing, friendly relationship. Well, one of the things he used to tease me about was kissing. I think he knew, somehow, that I didn’t have much (okay, any) experience in that department, but I kept bluffing about it until, finally, he called my bluff. And taught me how to kiss. To this day, that ranks as one of the all-time best kisses I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. That guy could kiss!

Alisha: Oh my! That is EXTRA HOTTTTT!!! Thanks for sharing!

Excerpt from Nora's Soul

Published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC and now available on Amazon.com.

“I don’t want there to be any misconceptions or hurt feelings between us, Nora.”
The sound of his harsh voice snapped her attention back to him. “Misconceptions?” she repeated, confused. “About what?”
“About what you and my sister expect is going to happen here.”
“I don’t – “ Her protest died on her lips when he placed a fingertip over them, silencing her. She nearly choked on a shallow breath at the fireball of sensation that roared down to the pit of her stomach at that minute touch. Thankfully, he withdrew the finger before she could do anything really damaging to her pride – like suck it into her mouth – but the fiery sensation lingered in her stomach, quietly banking a fire of old sensations into full life.
“I don’t need a social secretary,” he said, seemingly unaware of her reaction to him. “If I did need a secretary, I’d find one through a headhunter, not my sister.”
“And I certainly wouldn’t take one whose background is in social services.”
“Well, then, it’s a good thing I’m not here to be your secretary.”
“Good. Now that we’ve got that established, let’s move on.”
“Please do.”
Kyle ignored that last comment as he launched into his speech. As he spoke, he made a leisurely circle about Nora, pausing to lean toward her in punctuation of each sentence.
“I’m not looking for a wife or a new mother for my children – “
“I’m not – “
“ – so if that’s the little scheme you’ve got going with my sister, you can just forget about it now.”
“I don’t have any ‘little scheme’ going with Joelle - or anyone else, for that matter!”
“Glad to hear it,” Kyle said, his tone belying his words. “Let’s move on, shall we?”
“Oh, please do.”
“I live alone. I like that.”
His breath skimmed her right ear as he leaned in close to her, front to front. She tried not to shudder at the pleasurable sensation it sent shimmering down her neck and into her stomach, where it joined the fire still banked there. She feared that she failed miserably. She almost didn’t hear his next words in the aftermath of the sensations he aroused in her.
“I throw my clothes on the floor when I undress.” He slipped around her right shoulder, but circled close to it – too close. “I leave the toilet seat up. I squeeze toothpaste from the middle. I sleep in the nude.” He leaned over her shoulder. His lips pressed to her ear, his breath searing a path down the left side of her neck now that, oddly enough, brought chills to her spine. “I like that.”
As the chills rippled through her, Nora swayed, slightly off-balance. Kyle righted her equilibrium with a quick, painless jab of his knees to the backs of hers. Then he pulled back, abruptly, completed his circle as he drilled home his point. “I don’t want anyone picking up my clothes. I don’t want anyone putting down the toilet seat or telling me where to squeeze my toothpaste.” He paused to quirk his lips in what could almost pass for a smile at the suggestive statement. “And I don’t want anyone buying me silk pajamas. I don’t want to be reformed.” He leaned his face so close to Nora’s then that his features filled her entire realm of vision. “Got that?”
Well, of all the arrogant, insufferable – ! Nora was trembling with rage by the conclusion of Kyle’s little speech. Just who the hell did he think he was, anyway, making demands like that?
“That’s what I missed about you all these years, Kyle,” she said with hard-won calm. “That charming personality.”
Kyle smiled then, but it was just a flexing of the muscles; there was no warmth to it. He leaned nearer to Nora, the tip of his nose in a position to touch hers should either of them make the slightest movement. It was an oddly intimate pose; a slight twist to the left, or a slight twist to the right, and their lips would be touching, even if no other parts of their bodies were. But the heat of his body – emanating from his skin in a wonderfully male scent that reminded her of warm summer days at the beach – did touch her; like a brand, searing another impression of him on her heart. The urge to melt into him wasn’t as hard as the urge to pull away; it took all of her strength to resist it. Oh, no, she wouldn’t give him that.
“Oh, I can be very charming.” He dropped the smile. “Or not.” Withdrawing, he stared down his nose at her, pointed a finger toward her collarbone. “Your choice. Just remember this – I don’t want to be seduced.”
“Oh, I don’t think there’s any chance of that,” Nora said, her voice so thick with sarcasm she nearly choked on it. She thought she detected a flicker of something – admiration, perhaps – in his eyes when she stated, “I’m here to take care of your children’s needs, not yours.” But whatever she thought she saw in his eyes was gone before she could name it. Must be my imagination, she decided.
“See that you remember that.”
“Oh, I will.”
They faced off for an eternal moment, two battle-scarred warriors at an emotional impasse. Each waiting for the other to flinch first. When that didn’t happen, they simultaneously relaxed their stances, as if by some silent agreement.
Kyle took a wary step backward. His eyes never left her face. “Good. Then there’s nothing left to discuss. Is there?”
“Just one thing,” she said when he would’ve turned away. She ignored the annoyed look he cast over his shoulder as he paused on his flight up the stairs. She started down the hall toward the sounds of merriment emanating from the kitchen, but paused when she came abreast of Kyle on the stairs. “I take my responsibilities very seriously.” She hesitated, for effect, then drove the statement home with, “All of them.” And then she was gone, leaving Kyle to stare after her in wonder.

Margay Leah Justice

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ddurance said...

I love stories with single fathers doing the best they can for their kids.


Margay said...

Deidre, thanks for stopping by! I love single father stories, too, so of course I had to write one. There's just something about a guy taking care of his kids that shoots straight to my heart.


Lisa said...

Hi Margay,

Loved the interview and must say love the sound of this book. I love single fathers and love two scarred people finding each other.

Margay said...

Lisa, thank you! I'm glad you liked the interview, it was fun to do.