The Wild Rose Press author Alicia Dean is here to tell us about
END OF LONELY STREET and a bit about herself in our interview below.
I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have three grown children and I’ve been divorced for almost twenty years, but I get along well with my ex-husband, and we’ve remained friends. I first published in 2007, a romantic suspense with The Wild Rose Press titled Nothing to Fear. I now have 24 published works, in a variety of genres from suspense to paranormal to vintage historical, to sweet contemporary. I even recently released a short ‘how to’ writing book called “Find the Magic, How to Plot a Story in Ten Easy Steps.”
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About END OF LONELY STREET
All Toby Lawson wanted was to go to college to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and the painful memories of finding her and the guy Toby loved kissing. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away, helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, and even though she knows her mother initiated the kiss, and that he didn’t kiss her back, she can‘t seem to get past what happened. He soon realizes that the true problem lies in Toby’s belief that she’s not good enough for him and in her fear that she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?
Mapleton, Tennessee, November, 1957
Toby Lawson closed her eyes and shut out all sounds of the diner, except for Elvis Presley’s voice. He was crooning about how she was the only one for him…no matter where he went or what he did… he’d spend his whole life loving her…
Rough hands landed on her waist and shattered the fantasy. She caught a whiff of hair tonic and too much cologne, and she snapped her eyes open. Wes Markham’s hateful face replaced the image of Elvis’ beautiful, crooked smile and smoldering blue eyes.
“Let me go.” She gritted her teeth, keeping her voice low. If her boss, Mr. Winstead, knew there was trouble on account of her, he’d explode. He’d barely let her have the job in the first place. Everyone in Mapleton knew the Lawson women were trouble.
“Come on, honey. If you like that hip swivel, Presley ain’t the only one who’s got it. I got it too.” He released her with his left hand so he could run it over his slicked down hair and gave her a big-toothed, wolfish smile. “Only we’d be naked.” He shot a cocky grin over to his two companions—Chuck Stenson and Billy Garfield—who were leaning against the jukebox making kissing and whooping sounds.
Toby gripped his right wrist with one hand, tightening her hold on the utensils she held in the other. “I said let me go. Now!”
“Aw, be a sport, Green-Eyes.”
The bulge of his pelvis pressed into her abdomen, and she gasped in shock. Nausea tightened in her esophagus. “Wes Markham, I’m warning you…”
She shoved against him, but he didn’t budge.
He pulled her tighter. “Your momma’s a whole lot friendlier than you are. They say the apple don’t fall far from the tree, so how’s about you cut the pretense and we go someplace quiet? Winstead won’t miss you for a few minutes.”
Her cheeks heated. She didn’t dare look around. No doubt the customers were watching, listening. Elvis had stopped singing and everyone in the place could hear what he’d said about her mother. It wasn’t like they didn’t all know, though. Constance Lawson hadn’t exactly kept her escapades a secret.
Toby clenched her teeth and brandished the utensils. She spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. “Release me this instant, or I swear, you’ll be pulling this steak knife out of your eyeball.”
He held her gaze for a split second, then gave a laugh that was somewhere between nervous and furious. “Sure, sure. Okay.” He released her and stepped back. “I was just foolin’ around anyway. I got better things to do with my time than waste it on a used up chick like you.”
Muffled laughter rose around her. Oh God, she could crawl into a hole.
“How about you apologize to the lady, then beat it?”
Toby whirled at the male voice. Noah Rivers stood behind her, looking handsome and sharp in his police uniform—even with his dark hair in the military buzz cut. Her knees weakened, and tingles swept over her skin. She swallowed against the sudden dryness in her throat. She’d heard he was back, but hadn’t seen him until now. And what a time to have a reunion.
10% of all of Alicia Dean’s net royalties for End of Lonely Street will go to
What kind of books do you love to read? Why?
I love to read thriller/suspense mostly, because I am fascinated with crime and murder (yes, I know, I’m a bit twisted), and I love the adrenalin rush of reading about danger and trying to help the characters solve a mystery.
If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be? Why?
For my friends and loved ones to be healthy and happy.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Joined the service in 1980. I was in the Army National Guard.
When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?
My first novel was called Lady Killer, and it probably took me about 6 months to write. It’s one of those ‘under the bed’ projects, but I learned a great deal from it, and it actually won a few contests. I wrote my first romance, although it was a short story, when I was 11 years old.
Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent?
I wish I could write more character-oriented books. My characters aren’t always real/relatable. I wouldn’t say I have any ‘exceptional’ talent, but I think my strengths lie in plotting and suspense.
What kind of books do you love/hate to write? Why?
I love to write any book that calls to me. Ideas come to me, and they take hold and grow and won’t let me go until I write them. I don’t hate to write anything, because I just wouldn’t write it if I hated it. J
What do you think about editing?
I think it’s a MUST. I’m an editor myself, with The Wild Rose Press, and a freelance editor, yet I still have my own work edited. It’s not exactly the fun part of the process, but you’ll have a much better book if you have it edited. I also feel strongly that you should only take the advice you agree with, unless you’re under contract, then while you can voice your opinion, your editor might have the final say.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.
I most definitely think of the plot first. The, I try to decide which characters would best fit the plot, as in, who has the most to lose in this situation? For example, in my thriller, Without Mercy, I thought, what if a seemingly random crime turns out to be something more, and targets someone for a specific reason? I came up with a bank robbery and mercenaries who have an underlying goal. I thought the best character to put in that situation would be a single mom, because she would have so much to lose if her child were threatened. For my paranormal, Soul Seducer, I knew I wanted to write about Grim Reapers, since books about those paranormal creatures are rather rare, and I find them very creepy, and I love creepy. J I knew I wanted my hero AND my villain to be Grim Reapers and I thought, who would have the most conflict in falling for a Grim Reaper, and who would have the most to lose if a Grim Reaper targeted them? I decided my heroine should be a nurse, in the business of saving lives.
Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why?
I believe I like Dimitri in Soul Seducer the most, because he’s a hot, sexy combination of bad and good, and he was modeled after Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore of The Vampire Diaries), who has the market cornered on bad/good sexy.
Tell us more about your latest release End of Lonely Street, published by The Wild Rose Press.
End of Lonely Street is a story of my heart, because it is set in 1957, when Elvis Presley’s phenomenal career was just beginning. (And, I released it on January 8, which would have been Elvis’ 80th birthday) My heroine is an Elvis fan with a troubled life, and listening to Elvis music gives her peace. I feel the same way about Elvis. All my life, when I’ve been stressed or troubled, listening to Elvis soothes my soul.
Any new projects, work in progress?
I’m very excited about an upcoming release that is now available for pre-order. Three of my writer friends and I have written a series of novellas called Martini Club 4 – The 1920’s centered around a Martini Lounge where we have been meeting every Friday evening for drinks for nearly four years. You can learn more about it here:
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