Rad-Reader:  How did you come to write this story?  What made you want to tell it?

Judith:  I love the idea of a young romantic realizing she must learn to take care of herself before giving her heart away for good.

Rad-Reader:  Where did the idea come from?

Judith:  Readers love my 'Salty Key Inn' series, so I had the idea of having a special place in that area where people would come and go with their own stories. In this stand-alone story, I thought it might be fun to have a helpless romantic end up at Seashell Cottage with the idea of being anything but romantic there. 

Rad-Reader:  Can you give us the backstory on Em and Devin?

Judith:  Emerson Jordan, Em, is a hopeless romantic, seeing the best in everyone, taking a situation and turning it into something wonderful in her mind. Having been stung by a recent breakup, she knows it’s time for a change of heart, for her to be more careful. When she’s forced to share Seashell Cottage with Devin Gerard, she’s determined to keep a distance. Devin Gerard is a pediatrician whose romance was broken by a woman who wanted him to change his emphasis on work in underprivileged countries and go into a more lucrative practice. He’s done with dating and wants to concentrate on his work, but has agreed to come to Seashell Cottage to share expenses to help out Em and to get some well-deserved rest. 

Rad-Reader:  How long did it take you to write this story?  Are you a pantser or an outliner?

Judith:  I’m definitely a pantser and can usually get a first draft done in 3-4 months. But a lot of work goes into a story from that point on refining, rewriting, editing, etc. 

Rad-Reader:  How long had she been dating this Jared?  Was he a hometown boy or one she met in New York?

Judith:  Em had been dating Jared for almost a year having met him in New York at work.

Rad-Reader:  Can’t Em find a happy medium between reality and dreams for her future, not one or the other like it seems everyone wants for her?

Judith:  Em’s romantic ways have made for some very poor choices in dating and relationships in the past. Her family has always known how eager she was to have a family of her own, but are becoming concerned about her choices of men and want her to take a deep breath and slow down. They also want her to leave New York and “come home” to help her grandmother and begin to think again about her dream to have her own business.

Rad-Reader:  Everyone keeps mentioning her taking over the flower shop but has anyone ever asked her if that is what she wants to do?  If not, why?

Judith:  Growing up, she and Gran were very close and she’s always enjoyed working in the Flower Shop. In fact, she’s always said it was something she’d continue to do to help Gran. 

Rad-Reader:  How could this so-called friend of Em start something with Jared when she knows how fresh the wound of being dumped still is?

Judith:  Kat is someone who loves to have a good time and dates around. Having been dumped recently herself, she’s surprised by the connection she has with Jared and though she’s happy about it, she’s worried about telling Em because she knows it will hurt Em. Still, my readers understand Kat isn’t a good friend. Em, herself, admits they’re more work friends and apartment-mates then close friends.  

Rad-Reader:  Is her grandma stepping on her fairytale dreams because she wants her to stay around to take over the flower shop?

Judith:  No, definitely not. Gran loves Em and recognizes how alike they are. They’re dreamers, romantics, and people who always want things to work out for the best. But Gran is worried about Em getting hurt because she isn’t always realistic about things. 

Rad-Reader:  Her sister sets up the roommate situation with Devin.  Makes sure to tell her he wants nothing to do with her romantically.  Yet, the sister seems disappointed as well as Devin that she doesn’t want to be with anyone right now.  What is up with that?

Judith:  Like many a happily-married woman, Elena, Em’s sister, wants her sister to be happy too. She’s always known how much Em has wanted her own family. I believe she purposely tells both Em and Devin that neither is interested in a relationship so that if there’s a chance that things could develop it would come from reality, not hopes and dreams. Devin had declared he wasn’t interested in a new relationship but he’s attracted to Em from the beginning. 

Rad-Reader:  Why did Devin kiss Em on the last day then bail?  He went all out for her on the last night too.  Why?

Judith:  He knows he has to give her space, that she’s a romantic and he needs to know any relationship with her is for real.

Rad-Reader:  Why didn’t Em’s mom do the flower shop since she used to work at the shop instead of ruining Em’s vacation?

Judith:  Em’s mother worked at the flower shop then decided it was better to do something on her own rather than work with her mother-in-law. She’s a school teacher. 

Rad-Reader:  Gran falls, I get she wants to come home to help her no problem.  No, one even asks if she wants to flower shop, they just act like it is already hers, so she needs to handle it.  Why is that?  They all know this is not her dream.

Judith:  Whoa! The flower shop has always been her dream, and, later, she would open her own landscape business, tying it into the flower shop. Being in Florida and experiencing life there, Em has some doubts about her long-term plan and then decides to move ahead with seriousness to open her landscape business. So, yes, she had a few moments where she was frustrated by her family’s acceptance of her working in and eventually owning the flower shop but it was part of the process of her figuring out what she wanted out of life.  

Rad-Reader:  It seems like Gran is doing this booming, business that goes far and wide.  So, why is she so paranoid?  After all these years you would think she would be doing well.  Right?

Judith:  I’m not sure what you mean by paranoid? If you mean why does she worry about the shop being open, then yes, she would worry. A flower shop has a tough job of making it with grocery stores competing in a way that didn’t happen not too many years ago. Online businesses also compete with an individual small business. The fact that she was smart enough to build commercial accounts helps, but small businesses have to keep on their toes to keep going and to be successful in a very competitive field. 

Rad-Reader:  Kat called Em to tell her about Jared.  What did she expect?  And she really expects Em to trust her ever again?  Really?

Judith:  Kat knows Em won’t be happy, but she is a self-centered young woman who thinks what she’s done is okay because it was unexpected and Jared sought her out. 

Rad-Reader:  Em really likes Devin and vice versa but something is holding them both back.  Is it really their jobs or fear of their past relationships?

Judith:  The thing that is really holding them back is their past relationships. Even so, their commitments to their jobs are real. Devin already lost a woman he loved to his determination to work with poor nations as a means of paying back to others for all he’d been given. And Em loves her family and her grandmother and isn’t about to walk away, especially when she has to be sure her feelings for Devin are reciprocated. 

Rad-Reader:  Devin gives her a gift that saves her life is it because he’s in love or being a good friend?

Judith:  Devin loves Em, is attracted to her from the beginning, but understands that neither of them wants to move too quickly, that they are in a new phase of their lives and that the reality is they live in different parts of the country. I love the idea that he is worried enough about her safety to secretly hire a guard to watch over her for a few days until neighbors move in. 

Rad-Reader:  Most of Em’s problems are due to her not asking for help and her not telling her family her limits.  Why does she feel she need to shoulder it all for her family?

Judith:  Em is a very nurturing person. She’s always been that way (having dolls she takes care of, etc) She and Gran have always been close and she is bound to keep her promise to her. However, as she becomes stronger, she tells her family and her grandmother that she is going to hire other people to man the store because she’s going to run her own business. And they have no problem with that. 

Rad-Reader:  Now she’s backed into a corner.  Tinker can’t manage the shop for her so why won’t she bring family into the mix?

Judith:  There really is no other family member able to take over the store.  

Rad-Reader:  Why hasn’t she shared all her plans for the business long term, her life, and for adopting ever unmarried with anyone but Devin?

Judith:  I think you meant to type even instead of ever…. The only thing Em hasn’t shared with her family is the idea of adoption as a single mother. She’s not ready to do that until she gets the business up and running successfully.   

Rad-Reader:  The night of the intruder had a huge impact on Em in more ways than one.  Devin played a part in that too.  How had he accomplished it?

Judith:  After staying at the condo, seeing how isolated she seemed, and meeting one of the guards, Devin secretly hires him to keep an eye on her for a few days until her neighbors move in. When she realizes what he’s done for her and how it may have saved her life, she knows how much Devin really cares for her. 

Rad-Reader:  For the Christening his plus one is totally unexpected.  Will the surprise be the gift she always wanted or the game-changer that starts a nightmare?

Judith:  Devin’s plus one is a female who is the dream child Em has always wanted. With her arrival, Devin’s intentions are clear for now and for the future. 

Rad-Reader:  Why am I getting the feeling that he took on this responsibility of Ava because the mom asked it of him, but it was more than he could handle.  Now he is willing to change his life around on his terms for his needs.  To get help with Ava.  Am I wrong?  He seems demanding in a way, I want things my way.

Judith:  I think Devin took on the responsibility of Ava from the beginning because that is his nature and with his connections, he could find a good home for her. Then, after meeting Em, he realized he may have found the best home for her.  For them, both, really– the home of her heart. I don’t see him as demanding at all. He’s fulfilled all her wishes for a family with a child who needs her and a man who adores her. (It takes several weeks for this all to work out with a lot of serendipity.)

Rad-Reader:  Why does he want to rush the wedding when he knows she always wanted, A Valentine’s Day wedding?  Seemed so rushed and demanding to me.

Judith:  I think they are both thinking of Ava when they talk about getting married quickly. They want her to settle into the community comfortably. And with Devin, Em realizes she doesn’t need a special holiday to have the wedding she’s always wanted because she has the man she’s always wanted. 

Rad-Reader:  The question in her head that she has at the time that bothered me throughout is... why doesn’t she ever speak up to whatever character it is that the issue is with?  I wish she was more empowered.

Judith:  I believe she does quietly speak up when it’s necessary…she fights for her job, she makes sure to hire Tinker and Bart, she tells off the two women who are mean to Ava, she tells off Kat when she meets her in New York. And though she is reticent about hurting Gran, she quietly but firmly takes care of any issues. 

Rad-Reader:  How long did it take you to get your first book published?

Judith:  I believe she does quietly speak up when it’s necessary…she fights for her job, she makes sure to hire Tinker and Bart, she tells off the two women who are mean to Ava, she tells off Kat when she meets her in New York. And though she is reticent about hurting Gran, she quietly but firmly takes care of any issues. 

Rad-Reader:  Is writing your full-time job or do you have another job that you have to fit in with your writing?

Judith:  This is my full-time job…24/7. 

Rad-Reader:  What are the three things you make sure you have in place when you start to write?

Judith:  The title, the location and the internal/external goals of the characters. 

Rad-Reader:  What does your family think of your writing?

Judith:  They are very proud of me.

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

Judith:  COMING HOME, Book #2 in the Chandler Hill Inn series will be out this fall. 

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

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

Judith:  If you go to my website, all the links to all my books are there.


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Thank you for being with us.  We know how busy you are with work on your next book.  It was a pleasure working with you.
Thanks again,

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