Shannon here: Romantic Suspense author, Alison Stone shares how she met her husband and how her fictional characters met in her debut e-book, Random Acts. Every time you comment, your name goes in the drawing. Deadline: April 14, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Alison:
I met my husband on a manufacturing plant floor, not exactly a romantic venue. Both of us were engineering students on co-op assignment. As co-op students we alternated between school and real-life work assignments.
Our first job together was to make process improvements at an assembly station. I made off-the-wall suggestions just for laughs. I was a freshman engineering student after all. What did I know anyway? Twenty-some years later, he still remembers how I made him laugh. I’m not sure if that’s what first caught his eye or the stylish safety glasses. I guess it doesn’t matter because we’re still together after all these years. I eventually gave up engineering for motherhood, but I never regretted my choice in college majors. If I hadn’t studied engineering, I would have never met my husband.
My first novel Random Acts, an inspirational romantic suspense, will be released this month. I often smile at the strange paths our lives take. From engineer to author. Who would have guessed?
Danielle, the heroine in my story, met her hero, Patrick, when she was a freshman in high school. He was a senior. She had moved in with her grandmother and he was the boy-next-door who reached out in kindness as she struggled to adjust to her new life. Their relationship blossomed the summer after she graduated from high school. When he was home on summer break from college, they shared a sweet kiss. However, Danielle’s heart was broken a year later when Patrick married his college sweetheart before being deployed to Iraq.
Fast forward fifteen years, Patrick is a widower with a young daughter living at home. Danielle returns to town when her sister is in a horrific car accident. They are blessed with a second chance, but sometimes second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.
The following excerpt occurs when Danielle and Patrick, now a police officer, meet again for the first time in fifteen years. Distraught, Danielle is standing by her sister’s bedside in the hospital.
EXCERPT from Random Acts:
A creak sounded behind Danielle so she swiped a hand across her wet cheek. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling, even though she knew the nurse would understand. Drawing in a breath, she turned on her heel and her heart stopped. Instead of finding a nurse in scrubs, she found Officer Patrick Kingsley standing in the doorway, dressed in a white uniform shirt and black pants, hat in hand, a solemn expression on his face.
“Glad you made it.” He tossed his hat on the seat near the end of the bed and took a step toward her. Her body stiffened at his proximity.
“She’s my sister.” Her traitorous heart fluttered. She hadn’t seen Patrick in fifteen years. Hadn’t heard his voice until a few hours ago when he had called with news of the accident. In her hazy state of mind, it had taken her a few moments to understand why the person who had crushed her teenage heart all those years ago was calling in the middle of the night. What she had thought was a warped dream had quickly become a real-life nightmare.
“Any change?” Patrick seemed to be studying her face. She was sure her neck and cheeks were beet red by now. Was he, like her, amazed how time had a way of transforming a person’s features? He appeared the same, yet different somehow. As if not only time but life’s journey had subtly changed nuances of his features. The room suddenly felt smaller. A warmth flowed through her body. Maybe he wouldn’t notice the pulse leaping in her neck.
“No. No change in Jenny’s condition.” Danielle’s words came out strained. Being in his presence reminded her of the insecure teen she had once been. The one who had been abandoned by her mother, yet still had clung to the magical idea of happily-ever-after. Patrick had made her believe. Until he’d left her too.
The sting of that summer had the potential to slice her heart, even now. Unable to raise her eyes to meet his, Danielle shifted her attention back to Jenny. She was deeply angry with herself for even thinking about Patrick while her sister lay broken and battered.
About Alison: Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison sold two manuscripts that will be released in 2012. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Random Acts is her debut novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit www.AlisonStone.com.
About the book: Second chances can have a terrible sense of timing.
As a child, watching her mother always pick the wrong man left Danielle Carson wary of opening her heart to anyone—except Patrick Kingsley. But circumstances came between them and left Danielle with a broken heart. Now she buries the pain of what might have been by channeling all her energy into her career. When a family crisis brings her back to her hometown, she is forced to face the past—and the disturbing fact that her sister’s car accident was staged to mask a brutal beating.
A police officer and widower, Patrick guards his heart as fiercely as he guards his beloved daughter. Seeing Danielle again unexpectedly reignites their old flame, but no way will he introduce a woman into his daughter’s life. Certainly not one whose values on faith and family are so different from his own.
Despite their best intentions, they are drawn together—until Danielle learns Patrick had a hand in putting her sister in harm’s way. Her fragile trust is crushed, but Patrick is the only man who can help her stop the villain before everything they both love is destroyed. Faith, family…and their second chance at forever.
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Available for Pre-order NOW:
Come back April 4th for Alison’s romantic interview.