Harlequin Special Edition
How to Steal the Lawman’s Heart
Chief of police Trent Knight had it all until an accident took his wife and he was left alone to raise two beautiful girls. Now the person he always blamed for his loss is back in town, and all bets are off. But soon his anger toward Carmen Shields gives way to a very different emotion – awareness of Carmen as a woman. On one hand, it feels like a betrayal of his late wife’s memory. On the other, it could be his second chance at life – and Carmen’s shot at redemption. Maybe she can go home again – with the help of a certain lawman…
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It gives me great pleasure to interview Kathy Douglass on my blog today! Welcome Kathy!
- Hi Kathy, welcome to Amanda Writes. Please tell readers a little about yourself.
Hi, Amanda. Thanks so much for having me here. I’m married to a great man. We have two sons who are just as wonderful as their father. I practiced law before my sons were born then became a stay at home mother. I write small town contemporary novels for Harlequin Special Edition. My first book, How to Steal the Lawman’s Heart, is a February 2017 release. It is available in stores on January, 17, 2017.
- When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and what inspired your first book?
When my sons were small, they attended a preschool that was a little ways away from home. Their classes were only a couple hours long, so it didn’t make sense to go back home. The preschool was located on a university campus, so I started going to the library. I discovered a shelf that had used books for sale and grabbed up a few Harlequins which I read. They were older but still great. After a while I decided to try my hand at writing. I bought a notebook and began writing the first of many horrible stories. I recycled those notebooks and believe they are now enjoying life as paper plates.
I love small town romances and have read so many of them. When I decided to write, I knew my story would take place in a small town. And I knew that I wanted it to be a story of forgiveness and redemption. The hero and heroine came to me pretty well formed so I just sat down and started writing.
- Plotter or pantser?
I think I am a little bit of both. I don’t plot the entire story before I start writing because I don’t know the entire story. I generally create the hero and heroine before I start writing, so I know them pretty well before the story starts. I know the conflict as well and often have a picture in my mind of a scene somewhere near the end of the book. Sometimes it’s the black moment, sometimes not. Then I just have to figure out how to get there. That’s about as much plotting as I do. Then I set the characters free and let them take over.
- Your novel is titled, How to Steal the Lawman’s Heart. What influenced you to write this story and what can readers expect? Is it connected to other books? If yes, please enlighten readers about the connecting books.
As I mentioned above, I love small town contemporary novels and knew that my story would take place in a small town. I love enemies to lovers stories so I decided that Trent and Carmen would be enemies. Then I just needed a reason for the animosity. As I began to think about it, I decided that they didn’t have to hate each other. He had enough hate for both of them. Seven years ago, Carmen was involved in a car accident which lead to the death of his wife, leaving him to raise his two daughters alone. Although Carmen wasn’t driving, he still blames her and she’s filled with guilt. She’d left town soon after, but now she’d back in town for her mother’s funeral and to try and reconcile with her family.
Readers can expect an emotional story that deals with forgiveness and redemption. They can also expect to meet the wonderful people who live in this town.
This book is the first in the SWEET BRIAR SWEETHEARTS series. The next book in the series is entitled The Waitress’s Secret. It is a September, 2017 release. The third book which has a working title of The Rancher and the City Girl is scheduled to be released in January, 2018. I love the fictional town of Sweet Briar, North Carolina and have plans for many more stories set there.
- Tell us a little about your hero and heroine in this story.
The hero is a single father, trying to raise his daughters in the way he thinks his wife would have wanted him to. Trent is an honorable man even if he sees the world as black and white, good and evil. He loves his girls but he is not remotely interested in falling in love.
The heroine has many regrets and wants to make amends for the mistake that cost an innocent woman her life. Carmen has learned many lessons since she was an out of control teenager. She has a good heart and a lot of love to give to the right man.
- Do you have any favorite lines in this story?
I chose a scene between the heroine and her good friend, Joni. They are taking part in a basketball tournament, a fundraiser designed to raise money for the Sweet Briar youth center.
- What is the most fascinating thing a reader has said to you regarding your books?
This is my first book and the only feedback I’ve gotten has been from my family. My brother and my husband both liked it, so that made me feel good.
- What book is on top of your TBR pile?
My TBR pile is enormous. The next books I plan to read are A Cowboy’s Wish Upon a Star by Caro Carson, and A Fortune in Waiting by Michelle Major. And I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Breathless by Beverly Jenkins and Chase Me by Farrah Rochon.
- What are you currently working on and what other projects can readers expect from you in the near future?
I’m currently working on another book for my Sweet Briar Sweethearts series. This story features a hero and a heroine who’d been high school sweethearts whose future didn’t turn out quite the way they’d planned it. Readers can expect to read more books in the Sweet Briar Sweethearts series. The town is filled with wonderful people who deserve love and a happily ever after.
- Any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Like anything else, the more you write, the better you’ll become. Find a good critique partner. A good CP can make a difference in your writing. If you can, enter contests. Even if you don’t win, you’ll get valuable feedback. Most importantly, don’t give up. I received many rejections before I finally sold. Rejections hurt, but they are part of being a writer. But persistence pays off in the end.
Kathy Douglass came by her love of reading naturally – both of her parents were readers. She would finish one book and pick up another one. Then she attended law school and traded in her romances for legal opinions. After the birth of her two children, her love of reading turned into a love of writing. Kathy now spends her days writing the small town contemporary novels she enjoys reading.