Rad-Reader:  How did you come to write this story?

Lee:  The first series I wrote, the Cates Brothers Series, is centered around 5 brothers who come from very loving, wonderful parents. So great that many readers have fallen in love with the parents. So when it was time to come up with an idea for a new series—I wanted to explore the opposite. In my new series, the Thorne brothers grew up with dysfunctional, abusive parents and then in and out of the foster system. That’s how the series came about. GIVE AND TAKE, the 2nd book in the series, is Wyatt’s story. 

Rad-Reader:  Where did the idea come from?

Lee:  The idea for Give and Take was inspired by an article I’d read about a company that had given out office space to a start-up business. It sounded exactly like something my brothers would do. So, Six Brothers Construction decided to “pay it forward” and give unused office space to a needy start-up. Enter my heroine, Rhia Hollis—Wyatt Thorne’s complete opposite. 

Rad-Reader:  Can you give us some backstory on Rhia and Wyatt we didn’t get from the blurb/synopsis?

Lee:  I guess I can add that Wyatt is a man on a mission. As the youngest brother, Wyatt thinks he had it easy compared to his brothers. His brothers looked out for him and protected him. He feels like he owes them. So, when they give him a hard time—like big brothers do—he just takes it. And he’s studying to pass his exam to become a licensed architect so he can save their company, Six Brothers Construction, money. The last thing he wants is anything to interfere with his goal. It’s fair to say Rhia Hollis enters Wyatt’s quiet, ordered life like a hurricane.  

Rad-Reader:  How long did it take you to write this story?

Lee:  The actual writing, I’m talking about the rough draft, took me a month to a month and a half. Revisions about two weeks. 

Rad-Reader:  How did they not know there was a sister?  Is she younger than Wyatt?

Lee: Wyatt’s mother was two months pregnant when she left them. Wyatt, the youngest of the brothers, was two years old.  

Rad-Reader:  So, none of the brothers are in relationships but Beck is that right?  Why, do they have issues with fear of them?

Lee:  It’s awfully hard to willingly open yourself up and trust someone when you’ve grown up in an abusive family. They trust each other, but they saw what their parents—who were supposed to be in love—did to each other and they want no part of it.  

Rad-Reader:  What are the age ranges of the brothers?

Lee: Beck 31
Asher 30
Eli 28
Gray 27
Ryker 27 (10 months younger than Gray)
Wyatt 25

Rad-Reader:  Now Ash plays hockey and only works part-time is that due to the season? When they found him was he already in hockey?

Lee:  Yes. During hockey season he doesn’t technically work at SBC. Mostly he drops by the office to raid the break-room refrigerator and sit in on the weekly meeting when he can. Beckett, Asher, and Eli were with the same foster family toward the end, so Beck didn’t have to “track” Asher down. Plus, he’d aged out of the foster system a year after Beck as they’re a year apart. So Asher was playing hockey in college when Beck turned 21 and gained custody of his younger brothers.

Rad-Reader:  Rhia and Wyatt are the polar opposite of each other by yet they seem to have pulled toward one another why do you think that is?

Lee:  Well, there’s the physical attraction to start with. That’s pretty strong. And then the more they get to know each other the more it becomes clear they’re both traveling the same path. (Although it takes them a while to realize it.) I’m trying not to give any spoilers, but I also think even though they’re complete opposites, they fit together. The way Wyatt grew up left cold, empty cracks in his soul and everything that Rhia is fills those spaces. 

Rad-Reader:  Wyatt questions her story about the clown at his friend's child’s party yet he never asks her about it, why?

Lee: Because the next time he saw her she was moving into his office. It was too late to take back the grant for free office space. And with the worry over Beck’s girlfriend and the fire, and the idea of someone invading his space he had bigger problems to deal with.

Rad-Reader:  Wyatt said Sam saved their business, how?

Lee:    Ahhh, you’ll have to read the first book in the series, GIVE IT UP, for the answer to that. ;)

Rad-Reader:  Rhia’s family are insensitive to her.  They’re being out of line and so cruel.  How does she continue to be around them?

Lee:  It’s sadly simple: she loves them. They’re her family. I have a friend that had this similar dynamic in their family, and no matter how my friend’s family treated them—my friend always wanted the family’s approval. Craved it. They kept waiting for praise or a compliment even. And it never happened. Very sad.

Rad-Reader:  How long has Wyatt been having his baby dreams?

Lee:  Since high school. 

Rad-Reader:  It sounds like Wyatt is going for the architect to help his brothers save money for the company.  That woodworking is his true passion is that what you think?

Lee:  Trying for no spoilers here, so I’d say Wyatt definitely feels like he owes his brothers. And on Wyatt’s woodworking… they have a batting cage next to the workshop at SBC. It’s the place they all go to work things out and deal with stress. Except for Wyatt. He uses woodworking to find his center.

Rad-Reader:  Can’t it be that Rhia’s true passion is writing?

Lee:  The problem is her family has told her it’s not practical. It’s not a viable way to make a living—not one that her science-oriented family respects anyway. And Rhia is trying to be successful and make her family proud. Plus—she really is an excellent event planner. 😃

Rad-Reader:  Is her mom punking her with this event to see her fail?

Lee:  Nope. Her mom needs this event to be perfect. She totally expects Rhia to save the day even though she didn’t trust or appreciate her enough to offer her the job in the first place.

Rad-Reader:  Hope was found by Sinclair, bringing good news but also heartache.  How do the boys move on from this?

Lee:  I’m not sure. Book #3, Gray’s book, goes deeper into this—so some of the answers to that are in GIVE A LITTLE—but maybe not fully. There is definitely more of their story to tell.

Rad-Reader:  Rhia seems to be such a balm for their family during a crisis.  Yet, her family sees her as nothing.  Why?

Lee:  I’d say it’s the fact that the Thorne brothers are good guys with big hearts. Rhia’s family…not so much. Rhia is so very different from the rest of her family of brainy super-achievers that they don’t understand her. And they don’t even try—except at the end. One of Rhia’s family finally “gets” it.

Rad-Reader:  Wyatt feels he owes his brothers everything for protecting him and he feels guilty for them being put into foster care, right?  Is that why taking the test are so important to him?

Lee:  Wyatt’s guilt is because he was placed with a good foster family—and his brothers…not so much. And as the youngest, his brothers often put themselves between him and their abusive father. Beck, the oldest, did much of the everyday raising of his brothers. He definitely feels like he owes his brothers, so yes, that’s why his test is so important to him. He knows becoming a licensed architect will save their company thousands. Passing his tests is his number one goal. 

Rad-Reader:  How old is Sinclair because there seemed to be chemistry or a spark between him and Hope.  Or was I just reading into it more than I should have been?

Lee:  Thirty-ish. Oh, there were definitely sparks! Sparks I didn’t plan, but yep, hot sparks.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…?

Rhia:  Bruce Bundy

Wyatt:  Chris Pine (Younger)

Beck:  Chris Hemsworth 

Gray:  Brant Daugherty

Eli:  Charlie Hunnam

Ash:  Liam Hemsworth

Sam:  Katherine Heigl (Younger)

Hope:  Tatiana Metanova

Steph:  Sara Canning

Lee:  So, weirdly, I don’t usually picture my characters. To begin writing I need to know my characters’ names, what they do, and what they want. And maybe some background, although sometimes that appears with the writing.

But…I think most of your suggestions are great! So great, I added them to my “GIVE AND TAKE” Pinterest board. Chris Pine can play any role he wants. ;) I would only change three of them…

Wyatt:  Chris Pine (Younger)

Rad-Reader:  What song or songs best describes your couple or your book as a whole?

“Hurt Somebody Dierks Bentley ft Chris Stapleton”
Wyatt with his background needs rules and order in it.   He likes the order not to fill so out of control.  His OCD keeps him trapped, his fear of getting abandoned keeps him lonely, but when he meets Rhia there’s a connection.  That baffles him because she is everything he’s not.

“Body Say – Demi Lovato”
When she is given the grant for the free rent for a year for office space she is so happy.  But then Beck’s girlfriend has a fire and needs the room.  Now Rhia needs to share an office with Wyatt.  After weeks of torture, Rhia has to admit to herself and maybe him she wants him.  But can OCD manhandle it?

“Obsessed – Dan & Shay”
Once they take that first kiss Wyatt is hooked but they both make it clear they have a career and studying that comes first for him so purely a hookup or is it?

Lee: Oh, nice. I can totally see why you picked those songs. I love music, but I very rarely put a soundtrack together for a book. And the *only* reason for that is that I can get sucked into YouTube for hours and hours which is bad for my writing deadlines. It’s like a black hole. Sometimes I do pick one song as inspiration to help set the tone for the theme of a book just before I jump into writing it.

For GIVE AND TAKE once Wyatt and Rhia crossed the line from sharing an office to sharing…well…a lot more ;) that song was ...
“Perfect” - Ed Sheeran”

Rad-Reader:  When did you know you want to be a full-time writer?

Lee:  I wrote poetry in high school. And I remember saying as I graduated high school that one day I’d like to write a book. But then real life sidetracked me. Work, marriage, moving around with my Air Force husband, stay-at-mom to four kids. But I decided to get my college degree as my children started graduating high school. I graduated college at 40. Late bloomer! And going back to school got me writing again. A lot. So once I graduated I gave myself five years to attempt to write a book and get it published. And here I am.

*I just wanted to add, I’m not saying a person needs a college degree to be an author. You absolutely don’t! It’s just that going back was what reminded me how much I loved writing and my long-forgotten goal.

Rad-Reader:  When did you write your first novel for retail?

Lee:  During that five-year limit I gave myself. In fact, the first romance I wrote is my first published romance, BRINGING DELANEY HOME.

Rad-Reader:  What three things can’t you leave home without every day?

Lee:  Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, my glasses, and a GPS. Glasses because I’m at that age. *sigh* A GPS because I have a horrible sense of direction and I hate getting lost. (More than I hate when someone eats the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup I keep hidden in the freezer. So, a lot!)
And I’ll add in coffee if I’m leaving the house in the morning. I don’t do mornings without coffee.

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite song out right now?

Lee:  Just one? Remember that YouTube black hole I mentioned…? Ha! I’m on a Country Music roll right now, so here are just a few…

Kenny Chesney, “Better Boat” (Touching and Inspirational)

Hunter Hayes “Dear God” (Raw & emotional for when you’re in a dark place)

Trace Adkins “Whiskey Watered Down” (Not new, but one of my favorites.)
Brett Young “In Case You Didn’t Know”

Brett Young “Mercy”  (A heartbreaker)

Thomas Rhett’s “Life Changes” (adorable!)

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Lee:  The third book in the Thorne Brother Series, GIVE A LITTLE, comes out on December 25th. This is Gray’s story.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?  Links

Lee:  Everywhere! My books are digital with print-on-demand available if that’s a reader’s preference.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?  Links

Please stop on by and say hello!  I love connecting with romance readers!

Thank you, Char, for inviting me to your blog.  I had fun! 

It was totally my pleasure getting all my fangirl questions answered.  I can't wait to read more about your brothers I would like to know what is going on with Ryker when they find him.  It was fun to go through all the sexual tension that Rhia put Wyatt through by just being there.  Yet, I don't think he would have had it any other way.  Please come back when you have your next book drop so we can put it on our Shout-Out: An Author's Place page.  
Thanks again for being with us.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you fangirled over Wyatt and his brothers! And since I never "cast" my books, I had fun seeing your choices and adding a few of my own. I'd love to come back when Gray's book releases. Thank you, Char! Lee


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