Jen: Today we welcome Laurel Greer to Romancing the Book. Laurel, will you share a short bio with us?
Laurel: Hi there! Thanks for having me. I was raised in a small town on Vancouver Island, and grew up skiing and boating by day and reading romances under the covers by flashlight at night. I love to write books with snapping sexual tension and second chances–and am fully committed to the proper placement of the Canadian ‘eh’. I live outside Vancouver with my law-talking husband and two daughters, and drink more tea than is probably advised for human consumption. I love to hear from readers, so please come find me on any of the links below, or via my newsletter.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Laurel: From Exes to Expecting is the first in my Sutter Creek, Montana miniseries with Harlequin Special Edition. When footloose photographer Tavish Fitzgerald comes home for a family wedding, he convinces himself one more night with his ex-wife, homebody doctor Lauren Dawson, will be the closure they both need. But those stolen, sexy moments make it impossible to avoid their feelings for one another–and result in a nine-month surprise. If they want to create forever together, Lauren and Tavish will have to redefine everything they’ve always believed about home, family, and love.
Lauren and Tavish actually came about as secondary characters in a different (permanently living under the bed in a box) book, and they promptly informed me that yes, they had married in a secret Vegas wedding; no, their families didn’t know about it; and are you kidding me, of COURSE they weren’t going to get back together again. But I knew better! On a road trip to Montana with my writing wife (bestie critique partner), I explored Big Sky country and got a feel for where Sutter Creek is fictitiously located. And characters + setting = magic!
Stupid long weekends and the abrasions and lacerations that came along with them. She picked the clipboard out of the Lucite holder and glanced at the patient file.
Her already complaining gut lurched and the font blurred on the page.
Feet frozen two feet from the door, out of view from the patient inside, she stared through the door frame. Only the patient’s legs were visible, golden tan skin over defined calf muscles. Muddy biking footprints marked up the white linoleum. A two-inch-thick black tattoo ringed one ankle. At first glance, it looked like a series of interwoven spirals, but she knew closer study would reveal the second and third stanzas of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. Even marred by a fresh, index-card-size scrape, she’d recognize Tavish Fitzgerald’s legs anywhere. Difficult not to, given the nights she’d spent sliding her toes along those hard calves while he’d driven her out of her mind with ecstasy.
She leaned against the hallway wall and swallowed. He must be in town for her brother’s bachelor party. So much for him not coming home until a day or two before the wedding. The wedding where Lauren would have to once again stare at Tavish across the aisle. But as the maid of honor this time.
Not the bride.
Lauren’s brother was marrying Tavish’s sister on the Fourth of July weekend, and Lauren was thrilled to be getting a sister-in-law. She just didn’t want to have to see her ex-husband in the process.
Telling herself to get a Godzilla-size grip, she stuck the clipboard between her knees and took the time to redo her ponytail. After a quick wipe under her eyes to check for afternoon mascara remnants, she clutched her clipboard between both hands, threw back her shoulders and marched through the doorway.
A millisecond after she met Tavish’s gaze, her bravado tumbled into a heap around her feet. He regarded her with a simmering look as he lounged in the patient’s chair next to the examination table. His violet-blue irises pierced through her layers of preservation.
Eyes that color were wasted on a man. Ditto his thick, dark eyelashes and the sun-streaked, tawny hair he never bothered to keep tidy. A navy bandanna, rolled to a hand-width and tied around his forehead, kept the windblown strands from falling in his face. He wore a technical shirt and baggy cargo shorts over black Lycra bike shorts. It was enough to make a woman’s heart stop.
But no, Lauren’s pulse went into overdrive, thumping loud enough she’d have worried he could hear it except she knew was it impossible. Shrinking under his silent observation, she forced herself to snap into medical mode.
“You did a number on your leg,” she said.
Shrugging, he shot her a half smile. “An unruly pine.”
Judging by the scrape on his left cheek, the rip in the short sleeve of his shirt and the bandage on his arm, the tree reigned victorious. His chart noted that he needed stitches for a laceration already dressed by one of the mountain first-aid attendants, but her hands were shaking so badly she didn’t trust herself to pick up a needle quite yet, no matter how quickly she wanted him out the door.
“Tree, one, you, zero?” She forced out the joke.
“Yeah. Blew a tire. Landed in a snowberry bush, thankfully. Could have been worse. But where are our manners? Afternoon, Dr. Dawson.” He bit out her last name.
She flinched at the emphasis. Considering she’d once shared his last name and his bed, the use of her professional title seemed overkill. “Seems silly to bother with the formalities with me.”
“You’re working. I respect that.”
“I don’t think it matters where we are. I’ll always be just Lauren to you.” Her voice came out way softer than she’d intended. Fighting the need to get closer to his hard, muscled body, to offer to kiss him better, she broke her gaze from his and methodically counted the eleven parts of the ear illustrated on the poster over his shoulder.
“You’re never just anything, Lauren.”
Jen: Who is your celebrity crush?
Laurel: Oh, geez. That is freaking tough. Chris Hemsworth with short hair, Channing Tatum performing Pony in Magic Mike, and Tom Hiddleston wearing a shoulder holster. Richard Madden galloping on a horse. Idris Elba in any form. That all counts as one, right?
Jen: Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Laurel: Cookie dough. Ice cream part optional.
Jen: Favorite place to vacation?
Laurel: Scotland, New York City, Disneyland… That’s almost as hard as celebrity crushes. Which reminds me, I forgot about Oscar Isaac pretending to be Mr. Darcy, coming out of a pool in a white dress shirt. How dare I?
Jen: Favorite form of exercise?
Laurel: Reading about athletic characters. Yoga or running if forced.
Jen: Favorite childhood story?
Laurel: The Babysitter’s Club series.
Jen: What is your phobia?
Laurel: Tryptophobia – seeing irregular patterns of dots (pictures of small pox, clusters of most things) makes me gag.
Jen: What food you couldn’t live without?
Jen: Where are you in family order?
Jen: Most surprising item on your bucket list?
Laurel: It’s too full of future travel destinations to leave room for anything surprising.
Jen: Print or ebook?
Laurel: E-book, usually.
Jen: Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Laurel: Night owl.
Jen: Picnic or elegant restaurant?
Laurel: Elegant restaurant.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Laurel: Books two and three in the Sutter Creek miniseries will be out with Harlequin Special Edition in August 2019 and November 2019. In the meantime, I’m working on writing a single-title Hollywood-and-hockey romance series, and will be publishing a serialized novella in my newsletter starting in April 2018–I couldn’t not write an HEA for Tavish’s sister, who’s the bride in the wedding in From Exes to Expecting. I also have an Olympic novelette, Better Than Gold, available this month for newsletter subscribers.