LET'S WELCOME THE AUTHOR OF: Her Baby, His Love – Lynne Marshall
Rad-Reader: How did you come to write this book?
Lynne: This story came to me in bits and pieces, but the main thing that intrigued me about writing it was putting a pregnant woman who’d been used by a scheming boyfriend in a situation where she fell in love with someone else, who had a prison background. Then follow up with the implications of that when fighting to keep her child. In the longer, original story, I actually took the threats from Clay (The conniving ex) to the level of going to court. He wants her baby and uses the fact her new boyfriend was an ex-con against her. Also in the first and much longer draft, I went into a lot more of Joe’s prison experience. Such things don’t work in romance books, right?
Rad-Reader: Everyone seems to love Joe. Does his mom live in Charity?
Lynne: No. His parents live in Whitefish, Montana. That’s where Joe was born and raised. He went off to college in California to Humboldt and got in trouble. His father disowned him at that point, but his mother, Ellen, never lost faith in him. Ellen was the one who came to visit him in prison. After prison, Joe moved to Charity for a new start, and his mother helped him finance Heaven’s Door Nursery. She always believed in her son. It took Charles, his father, much longer to forgive his son for his mistakes.
Rad-Reader: Why is he so afraid of his past? What happened?
Lynne: Joe had a very bad experience in prison where he was jumped and beat up so badly he had to go to the hospital. I had a discussion with the editors about being open about the fact Joe was also raped in prison, we decided that might be too dark for many readers, so I only alluded to it in the book. His experience in prison made him a very angry man. When he got out he was still struggling with all that had happened in prison, especially being attacked and beaten and being helpless to do anything about it. His fear is that the anger from his past will prevent him from having the kind of life he wants. The scene with him beating up his employee showed a hint of what Joe holds inside. His demon that he tries to keep at bay.
Rad-Reader: What was the town known for before the ex-cons came to it? Or was it meant for a rehab and second chances?
Lynne: Charity, Montana was always Charity. Since I’m the author and I get to name my fictitious towns, I went for irony. Taylor was looking for a second chance, too, and the town’s name may have had a little to do with her choosing the place to run away to. When, at one point, Joe said to Taylor “Maybe that’s why it’s called Charity,” after she’d asked, “What’s with this town?” in regards to so many guys being ex-cons, he was using the name to make a point, not to say “That’s why it’s named Charity.” He jabbed her a bit to get her to loosen up and be less judgy toward him and Hunter and the guys who painted her house.
Rad-Reader: Dixie seemed so grandmotherly yet she has no kids. Although, has many children. What is her story?
Lynne: Dixie was married for forty years or so to her beloved Chuck. She is a Southern Bell who moved to Montana with her husband, who has now left her a widow. She is lonely to the point of getting a cat and naming him Chuck after her husband. True, she never had children, and as many people who don’t have kids, Dixie thought of many young people as her children and grandchildren. The point is, she has a big loving heart, and when she sees how lost and lonely Taylor is, Dixie feels for her and befriends her in a grandmotherly way. Dixie is also a lonely lady, and fortunately, she and Ram find their way into each other’s lives.
Rad-Reader: What is up with her ex? With him wanting her and being married really? I pray for my girls not to end up with guys like these.
Lynne: Ha ha, yes, Clayton was a pampered and spoiled man who thought he could have everything his way. Being pressured to do what his father insisted all his life, and wanting to get ahead in his business venture, he found a woman who could advance his career. That, she did. But Clay also found a woman who satisfied his heart. He had huge flaws, but he really had fallen in love with Taylor. His problem was thinking he was smarter than everyone else, and that he could keep his little side secret just for himself, and still use his marriage to get ahead. When he discovered his wife couldn’t conceive right around the time he found out about Taylor being pregnant, he went off the deep end, thinking he could make everything work to his advantage. This story is fiction, but sadly there are men (and women) out there who do things like this. That’s why I made the point of saying Taylor had the class not to rush Joe into her bed and trick him into thinking he was the father of her kid. (I believe a woman or two on this planet may have done that dirty little trick, too).
Rad-Reader: Why was Taylor so hung up on Joe being an ex-con when he was such a good man now?
Lynne: It must be a generational thing because so many readers got mad at me for this, but when I grew up, going to prison was a huge thing. It showed someone had little respect for society’s rules. Many men and women who wind up in prison are sociopaths and know how to charm and manipulate people. Look out! Making a mistake big enough to go to jail shows a problem in judgment. Joe had done that. Yes, he was a great guy now, but let’s take a look at where Taylor was coming from. She’d just come from a relationship where the guy was wonderful on all levels, then she finds out he was engaged to someone else the whole time he dated her!!! Would you be willing to trust ANY man (ex-con or not) after that? Plus, let’s not forget the little fact she was pregnant from that conniving man. The last thing she needed was to get involved with someone new at this point in her life. She took Joe’s label of “ex-con” and used it to keep him at arm’s length, because she was so drawn to him, afraid of it, and just couldn’t let herself go there yet. Plus, she transferred some of her anger at Clay onto Joe. Can we cut poor Taylor some slack now? Lol
Rad-Reader: Arlene really dislikes Taylor. Even after Joe said he doesn’t want a relationship with her. Should he worry?
Lynne: Short answer, no. Sure, Arlene is upset when Joe turns his attention to Taylor, but it had been a long time since he and Arlene had been together. It was right after he’d gotten out of prison and she’d been a very willing participant with him. As Joe got more involved in his accountability group, he realized he was using Arlene and broke it off. She didn’t like it, and continued to hope he’d come back to her, but come on, it’s been a couple years. She isn’t a psycho lady, like in Fatal Attraction. She was an angry spurned woman, who, as you may have noticed was quite happy to go off with the private investigator.
Rad-Reader: Why is Arlene so vindictive? She gave the PI info that could have been really harmful to her, in fact, it was in the long run.
Lynne: As I mentioned above, Arlene is hurt and wants Joe back. Taylor is the first lady to come along and get Joe’s attention since he broke off with Arlene, so naturally, Arlene sees Taylor as an enemy. If she can do something to get Taylor out of the way, short of physically harming her of course, she will. As I mentioned above, she wasn’t Fatal Attraction nutso, but she definitely played the vindictive card out of childish jealousy.
Rad-Reader: What is up with Taylor’s mom? She is an odd duck.
Lynne: Jesse is a product of the me-generation. As a teenager, she wanted what she wanted and when her parents tried to stop her, she ran away. Emotionally immature, she fell in with a man who convinced her his way of life, living isolated in a commune, was the way to go. Jesse had a small epiphany, though, she had the good sense to take her daughter away from the man who had become unstable and demanding. But Jesse was Jesse and she knew one thing, how to be self-centered. Once Taylor (Free Spirit) was with her grandparents, Jesse got restless and took off with another man. She’d been troubled that way all of her life. Thankfully, Taylor had loving grandparents.
Rad-Reader: Taylor kept wanting Joe to show her that she could trust him. Yet, when he would ask her to respect his beliefs she kept walking over them. Why? His garden area for one.
Lynne: Taylor had trust issues where men were concerned. She also had Jesse as a mother, and some of that self-indulgence rubbed off on her. Taylor also ran away from home for various reasons when she was a teenager, but her love for her grandparents helped her change and choose a career with a future by becoming an RN. She’d been raised until the age of six by a father with crazy ideas. He’d also pounded those ideas into her head, so Taylor questioned and resisted matters of faith and beliefs. But you’re asking about her trespassing in his garden, and that was only in the beginning of the book before she got to know him. She only went to his garden when she needed personal time, and he let her after the first time.
Rad-Reader: Joe’s love kept steady and he stood up for her at Arlene's Diner even. Why couldn’t Taylor see that?
Lynne: She did, eventually. But during this story, she’s in nesting mode, wearing baby blinders, focusing on making a life for her and her baby. This was Taylor’s chance to get it right for her baby, even though she got off to a rough start with an unexpected pregnancy. She loved Joe for standing up for her, and caring for her, but bringing a new man into her life, when she wanted to be the opposite kind of mom of Jesse, didn’t make sense to her. Because of her background and circumstances, she needed extra time to come around to Joe.
Rad-Reader: Fear seemed to play a huge part in their friendship and partnership true or false?
Rad-Reader: What do you think was the turning point for each of them when they know the relationship was concrete?
Lynne: For Taylor, it was when Joe volunteered to go through the child birthing classes with her. For Joe, it was when she asked him why he’d never invited her to his house, and when he took her there and saw how she wanted to know more about his personal life. She wanted to know him, all of him. Then, of course, when he slipped up and took her to bed.
Rad-Reader: What is next from Charity?
Lynne: Thank you for asking? It is currently Christmas in July as I’m writing the second story in the Charity, Montana trilogy. The working title is His Baby, Her Secret Christmas Wish. I wish I had a cover to share, but it won’t be ready until August.
Extremely short and abbreviated setup for the book plot:
Hunter Wood has started his own café in Charity, Montana. Six months ago, his buddy Joe Collins married Taylor Clarke, and he catered the small event, which gave him the courage to venture off by himself. At the wedding, he worked with Tracy Blevins, who was in charge of the wedding cake. She also worked with Taylor at the local urgent care clinic as an RN. Hunter had heard Tracy baked delicious pies, so when he leased a small diner, he asked Tracy to bake pies daily for him. They’re a big hit with his customers, too. Over the past six months, they’ve become friends, but secretly each wish for more. Just after Thanksgiving, a tragic accident happens and a little boy winds up an orphan. Hunter Wood is his godfather…
I’ll let your imagination take over from there, and I hope you’ll consider reading this Christmas story, which will be out in time for the holidays 2017, a story that is quickly becoming a book of my heart!
Rad-Reader: Where can our readers buy your books?
I would like to thank you for taking the time to be with us. You had really interesting answers to my questions. It gave really good insight to the characters I wish I had while I was reading so it is nice that you are able to now share them with our readers. Please come back and use our Shout Out: An Author's Place Page to let our readers know when your next book is ready.
Char & Pat
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