By Nancy Lennea
First of all, I want to thank Lisa for hosting me today. Second of all, I want to discuss a topic that many readers ask and authors answer in several ways. One of the questions I get the most from readers, and fellow authors, is “where do you get your ideas?” The simple answer is that I follow the age-old adage, “Write what you know.” The last time Lisa hosted me here on her blog, I explained how my parents inspired me when I decided to write. Many aspects of my younger years manifested into my contemporary romance debut novel, SECRET LOVE MATCH.
My latest book, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, was released today by Red Rose Publishing. Many ideas for the story stemmed from memories of my college years. The New England town my school was situated in lay beside a beautiful river and at the foot of glorious mountains. My memories of hiking in those mountains and swimming in that river became integral parts of my romantic suspense, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN.
However, one aspect of my life bellowed like an angry muse and urged me to add it to my story. After my children were older, I trained for and became an emergency medical technician. I volunteered my services to my rural town’s medical squad and responded to medical emergencies and motor vehicle accidents…anything 9-1-1 sent me to. I joined the ranks of the local fire department along with my husband. Together, we battled forest fires, chimney fires, and devastating house fires.
Many years later, an opportunity to join the ranks of the 9-1-1 emergency medical dispatchers arose and I sailed through the interview process, preliminary tests, and then survived months of intensive classroom training. On-the-phone training came next. I discovered every call to 9-1-1 in the state of New Hampshire came into one, small room. Calls for help made on cell phones came in from bordering towns in Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont because they hit some of our state’s towers, so we learned how to get appropriate help for them as well.
I learned many things, including how many types of emergencies were handled by each town. And how they handled them. Several towns were staffed by volunteers, so I sometimes had to stay on the phone during a twenty minute medical emergency until these responders woke, dressed, scraped ice off their vehicles, and sped along, dark, snow-covered roads.
I handled desperately ill callers, victims’ family members, teary children calling for help for an unconscious parent, strangers attempting CPR on a beach on Christmas Day, a woman needing help after she delivered her own baby. Alone. These calls were different every single time. Some sounded silly, others unwarranted, but I was there to answer each and every call.
After nearly nine years, I retired when my husband and I sold our home in New Hampshire and moved closer to family in North Carolina. This doesn’t mean I stopped thinking about the job. Whenever I hear a siren, or watch an ambulance speed by, I remember my part in sending them out. I remember how I felt on the phones and I still miss the wonderfully dedicated people who still protect my former neighbors. DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN contains secondary characters that are paramedic-firefighters. I include them because they are important…to me and to my heroine, who is rushed to the hospital near the end of my book.
Because I actually wrote this story while working among my fellow dispatchers, and because several stepped up to the plate with their honest critiques of my story ideas, I have dedicated this book to all the men and women of New Hampshire 9-1-1. I can’t think of a better group of people who have taken on the challenge to learn and use amazing tools—which change over time with added technology—only to help during storms and national disasters when they would much rather be home caring for their own families.
Just last weekend, a 3.1 earthquake struck central New Hampshire is a very populous area. Hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls were made in the wee hours of the morning, all carefully, compassionately, and quickly routed to local police and fire. My former co-workers and the dozens who have joined their ranks since my retirement, got the job done. Without them, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN would not be as exciting and as picturesque as it is. I invite your readers to visit my blog and website for more excerpts or…just buy the book!
In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire, new art history professor Jacob Oliver hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced, and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and re-injures his knee.
Destiny Blake heard a noise. Someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon assumptions tear them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.
When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, while another spirit’s voice urges Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten as the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny’s Mountain…alive?
Good Lord. Will he ever stop thinking of Destiny? She invaded his dreams each night, causing him to awake hard, hot and ready.
He’d reach for her in the dark, but every dream ended the same. She’d smile her sweet smile of pure innocence then fade into mist. And he’d awaken with a curse on his lips. To regain control of his body and his thoughts, he ended up pacing his bedroom until dawn.
“How can she still have an effect on me? It’s been two Goddamn months!” Jacob’s very personal war with sleeplessness showed signs he was losing the battle. His hallway mirror reflected the dark circles under his eyes. Sometimes he nodded off in class.
She’s just a woman I slept with. We’re practically strangers.
Shrugging off such painful thoughts, he set the alarm and then locked the front door. As he stood on his porch, he recalled only a fleeting reunion between them. When he caught her picking out a paperback book at the drugstore, her scent had filled his nostrils. His eyes locked on hers. She’d met his stare and he’d lowered his lips toward her luscious mouth. If Destiny’s friend hadn’t called out, breaking the spell, he may have taken it further—a dangerous proposition.
He couldn’t get her out of his head.
“Passion and love will save her.”
“Damn you! I certainly don’t want you in my head.” This time, he directed his sharp retort at a faceless, feminine entity who urged him to action. Exactly what she wanted him to do, she never said, but she alarmed him enough to stay watchful.
He had a horrible thought. Was Cindy Nelson the woman the voice referred to? No, she couldn’t be the one. Cindy lay cold and stiff in the county morgue. No one could help her now. If she was the woman the voice demanded he help, he’d failed her.
Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island then attended college in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She worked during college in their dining hall while earning a degree in art education. After meeting her husband there, they raised her family in a small, nearby town. She volunteered as an EMT/firefighter on their small fire department then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Retired from public service, Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes paranormal romance, such as her recent release, DRAGON’S CURSE, as Nancy Lee Badger.
How can my readers buy your book?
DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN releases today and is available for download from Red Rose Publishing. The buy link is: http://bit.ly/a4NOHE
Visit my website at: www.nancylennea.com
Visit my blog at: www.nancylennea-inlove.blogspot.com