Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Katherine Rhodes’ character on September 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie Alder, the author of Crewel Work, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, J.P. Ryan, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Natalie in a bit, but now we have on the stage…J.P.!
Marie Lavender: Hello, J.P. Please have a seat.
Character J.P. Ryan: Hello. Thanks for having me.
Marie: Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: What is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
J.P.: Race Horse Trainer. I love it and I am damn good at it.
Great! So, what is your family like?
J.P.: My mom passed away from breast cancer when I was seven years old. My dad passed away from emphysema when I was seventeen years old. He smoked a lot. I didn’t have any brothers or sisters. The foreman, Tanner Ford, at Bridgeton Pass Farm, where I work, is my cousin.
Marie: Oh, so sorry to hear about your parents…
Let’s try something else, okay?
What did your childhood home look like?
J.P.: A small, dingy two bedroom apartment in a nowhere suburb.
Marie: Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?
J.P.: I like riding. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like. And I like hanging out on the porch drinking beers with my cousin, Tanner, on the occasional Friday night.
Marie: Okay. So, what is your greatest dream?
J.P.: I’m living it. I didn’t know it until I got the apprenticeship to be a race horse trainer, but this is a dream job. And I got the girl. (Smiles.)
Marie: (Sighs.) I love romance…
Okay, so, what kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
J.P.: I want to be a good father, one who’s there for the kids, teaches them things, someone they can look up to. What’s stopping me? I don’t have one yet. I’m working on that, though. (Laughs.)
Marie: All right. I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
J.P.: Nellie Watson in the first grade. I think she’s a teacher now…
Marie: So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
J.P.: My mom died.
Marie: Again, I’m so sorry you went through that. 😦
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
J.P.: My dream growing up was just to have a good, steady job and not worry about money. Didn’t matter what I did. I’ve more than achieved that dream.
Marie: That’s great! And I think we all want that for ourselves.
So, who is your role model, J.P.?
J.P.: My cousin, Tanner. He’s level-headed and easy-going. I tried to be like him.
Marie: Wow, that’s wonderful!
Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
So, what is your deepest desire, J.P.?
J.P.: To have a child.
Marie: Well, I can certainly understand the urge. And I’m sure you’ll have that some day. (Smiles.)
So, tell us, J.P…what is your greatest fear?
J.P.: Getting hurt so that I can’t work – doing hard physical labor – have kids or provide for my family.
Marie: That’s understandable. No one wants to be out of commission like that.
Well, we’re out of time, Thank you for visiting us today, J.P. It was so interesting getting to know you! (Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Natalie Alder on the stage today. Hi, Natalie!
Author Natalie Alder: Hello. Thank you for having me here.
Marie: My pleasure! We just got to talk to the hero of your story, J.P. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?
Natalie: He’s an all-American, good guy who was raised in a home without much love and is a hard worker.
Marie: Nothing wrong with that package! 😉
So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
Natalie: His natural talent with horses, patience and sexy good looks.
Marie: (Fans herself.) Oh, do tell us more…
(Clears her throat.) I mean, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are J.P.’s greatest weaknesses?
Natalie: He can fly off the handle at times.
Marie: I see.
Let’s try something else…
What are some of his favorite foods?
Natalie: Pizza and BBQ.
Marie: Can’t blame him there.
So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Natalie: He isn’t aware of how gorgeous he is.
Marie: Love that! Conceited ones aren’t appealing…
So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Natalie: They will like him. He’s the boy-next-door cutie and a good soul.
Marie: Can’t go wrong with that description! I’m dying to learn more.
Well, now that we have a real taste of J.P., we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for your book?
Natalie: Daydreaming as a teen.
Marie: All right.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Marie: Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Crewel Work or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Natalie: I had a bit of difficulty being sure to keep the timelines straight. I’d probably use a computer program that can help with that.
Marie: I hear you. I think with each project, the writer stumbles across a new set of issues. And that’s great advice. Being organized is never a bad thing!
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Crewel Work appears to be. I certainly want to learn more about the hottie J.P…ahem, I mean, the story! (Chuckles.)
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Natalie Alder, a very talented author! 🙂
Here is the blurb for Crewel Work:
The key to a successful horse farm is the trainer. At Bridgeton Pass, J. P. Ryan is that key. William Becker is determined to protect his farm and keep Ryan on the job.
That goal is threatened by two things – a sinister act by another employee and the fact that his only daughter has fallen head-over-heels in love with J. P.
Becker can’t allow either of those things to threaten his legacy.
Audra grew up around the handsome trainer and fell in love with him at a distance, enchanted by his kindness and honesty. When they began stealing private but innocent moments, she found that she didn’t want to live without him. Audra is heartbroken when she has to choose between honoring her father and pursuing love.
J.P. wants Audra by his side, but he finds himself with a hard decision.
He is forced to choose between his career and the love of his life. Between the problems caused by the trouble-making barn hand and the frustration caused by his desire for Audra, J.P.’s job has become a ‘crewel’ work.
The story of the Becker family is woven as an intricate Tapestry. It is beautiful as a whole, but like any tapestry, you have to turn it over and look at the back side to see how the threads of love and family relationships are woven together into one intricate whole.
Welcome to the Tapestry series…
Natalie is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
“Audra, don’t.” J.P’s voice was sharp. He was on edge. He was afraid to look at her. He knew he’d have no control if he did. And he didn’t want to see her cry. Grabbing her upper arms, he pushed Audra against the wall. When he did, his left hand grazed her breast. They stood for a moment, neither moving. J.P. let his thumb trace the curve of her breast, then slide over her pebbled nipple.
A small moan escaped her. She arched her back, wanting to feel more. He swallowed hard. Silently, she begged for him to kiss her, touch her, anything. Her need and desire were evident.
Inwardly he hated himself for touching her so intimately and bringing them to this emotional place where they shouldn’t be. He closed his eyes, dropped his arms and left the tack room.
Ooh, I definitely want to read more! 😀
Universal Amazon link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00OFCK10S
About Natalie Alder
I write stories about romance. They center on learning about the characters backgrounds, personalities and life circumstances that mold them into who they are and how they love.
I am a sassy 40-something year old. I live in a quiet farming town in New England with my husband of fifteen years and our three rescued cats. After college I facilitated improvement in the physical abilities of children and the elderly, then took the opportunity to enjoy my creative side. I love to sew, knit, write…sing and drink martinis (not necessarily at the same time).
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Natalie Alder, here are some of her author links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Alder/e/B00OG20DOG/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, J.P. Ryan, the male main character of Crewel Work, and Natalie Alder, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂