Welcome to the blog, Anna! Could you tell us a little bit about your novel?
Guilty As Charged is the first book in the Bradford Sisters Trilogy. Nicole Bradford has had the responsibility of raising her two sisters since their parents died in a tragic accident seven years ago. Now her sisters are all grown up. She can finally concentrate on a life of her own.
Max Paradis is returning home after two long years away. He left to escape the pain of a bitter divorce. He’s back because he misses his family and friends. It’s time to start over. Passion ignites between Nicole and Max the second they lay eyes on each other.
Nicole is sweet and loving and everything that Max is looking for. But when a secret from her past is revealed, will she be found innocent or is she guilty as charged?
What led you to write this book?
I had this idea for a story about a woman who had a secret in her past that she didn’t want anyone to know about. As the idea mulled around in my brain, I asked myself a series of questions: What would happen if suddenly, years later when she had finally made something of herself and she had a man in her life that she loved, her past came back to haunt her? What if someone who knew all about her shameful past blackmailed her? What would she do? And what would happen if her secret actually came to light? Would her lover understand? Would her family disown her? The story grew from the answer to those questions.
How did you create a strong emotional payoff in Guilty as Charged ?
The hero of the story, Max Paradis, has emotional baggage from his past. He thought his ex-wife was everything he’d ever wanted in a woman and they’d be together forever. He finds out, after they marry, she was only after him for his money and didn’t really love him at all. He’d made a complete fool of himself. How could he have been so wrong about her?
Now, two years after his bitter, painful divorce, Max meets Nicole. Once again he thinks he’s found his true love, and, miracle of miracles, she feels the same way about him. But Nicole has a secret in her past and once again Max finds that the woman he loves is not what he thought her to be. All of the old insecurities from his past come back to haunt him.
The emotional payoff comes at the end when Max decides if Nicole is innocent or guilty as charged.
What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book, and how did you overcome it?
With respect to Guilty As Charged, my biggest challenge was finding a secret for Nicole’s past that I could weave a story around. It needed to be plausible and traumatic enough to Nicole that she never wanted the secret to come to light, but I also needed be able to resolve the situation in the end. I went through several scenarios in my mind before I settled on the secret I selected. Once I had that, the story fell into place.
Another challenge came when I decided to write stories about Nicole’s sisters, Natalie and Kate. I needed to make sure I developed the beginnings of a story line for each of those books while maintaining the plot of Guilty As Charged.
I think the readers will enjoy the story I have created, but, in the end, they will determine if I successfully overcame my challenges.
What is your best advice on writing?
Believe in yourself and in your writing and never give up, no matter how many times you get rejected.
I was born in Connecticut and lived there until I was nine years old. My family and I spent the next eleven years living in Williamsville, a suburb just outside of Buffalo, NY. I returned to Connecticut after receiving my associates degree in Engineering Science and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I continue to live in Connecticut with my husband and children. I am a romantic at heart and enjoy reading and writing romance novels.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Anna!
Anna James can be found on her website, Facebook, and Manic Readers.
Guilty as Charged is available at Sugar and Spice Press.
Amazon – not available until after 4/23/2011
All Romance - not available until after 4/23/2011
Coming Home – Available April 23, 2011 Melange-Books
To Love and Trust Again – Available January 2012 Melange-Books
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