Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today we are welcoming Genie Gabriel back to the blog! She is visiting to answer some questions and share some information about her latest book, Living the Legacy! She is also giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour and a $10 Powell’s Bookstore GC to one commenter at every stop.
Sound good? Make sure you leave a comment, and to increase your chances of winning, follow the tour and leave a comment at every stop that Genie makes! I hope you enjoy Genie’s interview!
Barb – Tell us about your new release?
Genie – LIVING THE LEGACY is the third book in my Legacy Series. Collin O’Shea is the oldest of eight adopted siblings whose policeman father built a legacy of compassionate justice on the streets of small town Halo, Oregon. In this story, Collin finds love in a whirlwind courtship with cafe owner, Beth Boulanger. As unexpected dangers threaten their marriage, Beth and Collin must find way to work out their differences and protect their unborn child.
Barb – When did you begin writing? Do you have a day job? If you weren’t a writer, what you would be?
Genie – I’m going to combine these three questions, because they fit together for me–with a twist.
In addition to being a writer, I’m a graphic designer, Reiki master, dog rescuer, and animal communicator.
This journey to find passions that fuel my creativity started back when I was a kid and didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. This turned out to be a good thing.
When I was a young adult and my goal was making money, I worked at whatever came my way–waitress, state park attendant, clerk/secretary. After a few years, I decided I spent far too much time and energy working to have “just a job.” So I considered my career path a bit more, and became an office manager. I enjoyed that and perhaps that’s where my love of office supply stores was born.
However, with the introduction of computers (yes, I’ve been around that long 🙂 I discovered a passion for graphic design. I’ve designed brochures, newsletters, posters, flyers, and many other pieces.
My desire to write turned into action in 1992 while still working my “day job.” I started to read a book that I soon closed with a thump and declared, “I can write better than this.” I quickly found out writing isn’t quite as easy as deciding to do it, joined Romance Writers of America, and began learning the craft of writing.
When I “retired” from my day job, I set up my own graphic design business, which has also served me in designing materials that support my writing, such as bookmarks, Web sites, and book covers. I’ve had the privilege of designing all my own book covers, as well as covers for other authors.
Reiki came into my life when I reached a certain age and doctors started using that as an excuse for not knowing what was wrong or how to help heal it. In looking for alternatives, I discovered Reiki, which is a way of channeling or directing our life force energy (chi) to help our bodies heal. Fascinated once again, I quickly advanced to the master level.
Soon after, I gave in to my desire to help animals and began working part-time at my local animal shelter. That’s where my passion for “rescuing” bit me hard. I fostered dogs for awhile, but they had a tendency to stay at my house instead of going back to the shelter to be adopted by someone else. During this time, I realized dogs loved Reiki, and I also discovered the ability to communicate with animals. When the number of dogs at my house brought comments from several people I had my own mini-shelter, I decided I should stay home and take care of my pack of furbabies.
Nowadays, my passions intertwine. When I write, doggies and other animals with uncanny abilities usually show up in my stories. My graphic design skills come into play when I’m promoting my books. And Reiki energy keeps nudging me to use its gentle, miraculous power.
Barb – What were the challenges in bringing this book to life?
Genie – The biggest challenge in writing my LEGACY series is putting in enough information so the books don’t have to be read in order, but not adding so much that readers fall asleep from info-dump-itis.
For instance, when Collin and Beth marry, all the siblings and their widowed mother join the celebration. Yet each book in which the wedding is mentioned is unique because it’s told from a different point of view. Their widowed mother remembers her own wedding (you can read her story in November 2012) and the brother who is a priest faces his very human desires (in book #2 that was released in May 2012).
Barb – What was your favorite scene?
Genie – My favorite scene in LIVING THE LEGACY is probably the champagne love-making scene. Beth is a virgin on their wedding night and very nervous about her lack of experience. So she sneaks a lot of champagne when Collin isn’t watching, hoping to quickly dispose of her innocence. However, Collin is determined her first time will be exquisite. So the interplay between the two of them is funny and sweet and emotionally moving.
Barb – Did you do any research before starting or during of the writing of the books?
Genie – Yes and yes!
Life experiences provided a lot of research. My LEGACY series takes place in a small town. The main characters are eight adopted siblings–seven brothers and one sister. I grew up in a small town as the only girl among lots of brothers and male cousins. No, this is not autobiographical–definitely fiction. The heroine of LIVING THE LEGACY, Beth, is the owner of a cafe. I learned to cook very early in life and pulled my stint of working in restaurants. And there are other life experiences that have been helpful in writing this series.
However, I had never been a police officer, and the adoptive father as well as three of the sons in my series worked in law enforcement. Fortunately, my local police department offered a Citizen Police Academy, and I was accepted to participate. Great experiences and insight, including going through actual scenarios used to train new officers. Ever been suited up in bullet-proof gear and shot at? Thank goodness the bullets were wax and the police trainers were eager to explain how to come out of dicey situations alive.
As for research during the writing process, my characters always seem to come up with interests or hobbies that require more research–or simply details of their daily lives. So I talk to people I know or experts in my local area or search the internet for blogs and videos and even TV shows. Amazing what you can find online! However, I do remember one piece of advice from a fellow writer: confirm any information with at least two reliable sources.
Barb – Which genres do you prefer to read?
Genie – My preferred genre used to be romance, because I wanted the guarantee of a happy ending. Or self-help books, where the happy ending was up to me. 🙂
However, since I’ve been designing covers for books in a number of different genres, I like to read those books to get a solid feel of what the cover should convey. So my reading has expanded to include satires, historicals, mysteries, and some very nice young adult books.
Barb – Where can your fans find you? Where can readers find your books? How can readers stay in touch?
Genie – The best answer to any contact question is to visit my Web site at <www.GenieGabriel.com>. That site provides links to my blogs, to excerpts from my books, where to buy my books, and how to contact me.
Barb – Have you ever Googled yourself?
Genie – It had been awhile, so I did this. I’d forgotten all the places I have been online with blog tours–in addition to my Web site, my blogs, places where my books can be purchased, and the occasional site that pops up in French that’s not related to me. 🙂
Barb – How many more books can we expect in this series? What is in the works for you next? What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us?
Genie – The answer to all of these questions right now is: my LEGACY series is my life! So current projects are more LEGACY books and what’s next is more LEGACY books. LOL!
There are nine books in the series contracted–six more after LIVING THE LEGACY, to be released every other month. Each of the siblings and their widowed mother will have their own story, then we’ll see what my publisher and other characters are whispering in my ear.
Barb – Is there anything else you’d like to share to your followers and readers?
Genie – Thank you so much to “Sugarbeats” for hosting me today!
Living the Legacy
A reluctant sniper cherishes the innocence of a small-town woman, but their love may destroy them both.
Collin watched the glow in Beth’s eyes as she talked to members of the orchestra. The delicate lavender color of her formal gown and the diamond clips in the upswept curls of her hair enhanced her physical beauty. However, it was the love of music sparkling in her conversation that really captured Collin’s attention.
The scent of her flowery shampoo filled Collin’s senses and sizzled through his body. She stood close enough he would only have to take a step forward to fold her in his arms. To protect her from the angry and distraught and plainly malevolent people he met every day on his job…
The vibration of the cell phone in his pocket clearly reminded Collin of that job. Caller ID showed this interruption was a serious one.
“Do you mind driving my truck back to Halo after I stop at the station? I won’t have time to make the trip”
Doubtful hesitation crinkled across Beth’s face. “If you don’t mind.”
“I mind leaving you without a proper escort home.”
Collin drove quickly to the station and pulled into a parking spot. Then he cupped Beth’s face between his hands and kissed her gently. As the seconds ticked away, his cell phone vibrated again.
He had to leave. He allowed one more moment of regret, then said goodnight, and strode inside to confront whatever emergency was once again claiming his life.
“About time you showed up, O’Shea.” His team leader frowned. “We’ve got a town blowing up. We’re sending all the manpower we can spare.”
“What town?” Collin shrugged into his camouflage jacket.
Collin froze as a crystal clear image of Beth lodged in his mind. She was driving straight into a disaster.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
For years I’ve been fascinated by the puzzle of why some people collapse under life’s traumas and others emerge triumphantly stronger. These triumphs of the human spirit over the ugliest of adversities became the basis for my stories. Yet my dramatic stories have always contained touches of humor, and sometimes I have great fun writing romantic comedy novellas. However, in all my stories, my passion for writing romance is an outlet for the powerful messages that people can overcome great difficulties, and true love can turn life’s heartaches into happily ever after.
My Web site: www.GenieGabriel.com
My LEGACY blog: http://oshealegacyseries.