Today I’m happy to introduce the charming and talented author, Linda Poitevin. She lives just outside Canada’s capital, Ottawa, with her husband, three daughters, and a varied collection of animals. In her spare time, she gardens (organically), cans and freezes the family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits (basically), crochets (better), and starts way more projects than she ever finishes. (Fortunately that doesn’t hold true of her books!) She loves spending time with her family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order.
GIVEAWAY: Linda will be giving away a pair of artisan-crafted earrings as well as a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press (a total prize package worth $20) to one lucky commenter during the blog tour. Comment here and on other blogs to enter and increase your chance to win. Ends February 5, 2010.
Linda’s newest release is A Fairy Tale for Gwyn and is published by The Wild Rose Press!
And now I’ll turn this chat over to Linda. She has a special treat for you today. Enjoy!
Chatting with Nicholas and Maggie
Today I’m expecting two very special visitors from my story, A Fairy Tale for Gwyn. They should be here soon – ah, there’s a car in the driveway now…and yes, it’s them. We’ll just wait for their mom to help them out of their car seats; those seat belts can be a bit of a struggle for little fingers sometimes.
I open the door and call out: “Good morning, Gwyn. Thanks so much for bringing Nicholas and Maggie – did you want to come in and wait for them? I have coffee on.”
“Coffee?” Nicholas wrinkles his nose and looks up at his mother. “You said she’d know kids don’t like coffee.”
Gwyn shushes four-year-old Nicholas and casts a wry look in my direction. “Unless you think you’ll need me, I’ll just wait in the car, thanks. I’m behind on a client project and brought my notebook with me.”
“That’s fine.” I hold the door wider as Nicholas and his twin sister Maggie climb the stairs. “Good morning, Nicholas and Maggie.
Thank you so much for coming today.”
Maggie removes her index finger from her mouth and offers me a shy smile. “Are you really going to give us coffee?”
“I thought you might like hot chocolate better.”
Nicholas eyes me narrowly. “With marshmallows or whipped cream?”
Feeling rather like I’m being tested, I answer promptly, “Both,” and he rewards me with a wide grin.
“I like you,” he announces as he pushes his sister ahead of him into the front hallway. “Can I have extra whipped cream? And Maggie’s marshmallows? ‘Cause she doesn’t like them.”
Ten minutes later, after the two of them have visited with the bunny, the new puppy, the bearded-dragon lizard, and both our cats, we settle at the dining room table. “So,” I begin.
“Why do you want to ask us a bunch of questions?” Nicholas asks. “Mommy says it’s rude to ask too many questions.”
Maggie nods agreement, her top lip white from the whipped cream in her cup.
“I thought people might like to know more about some of my characters,” I explain. “And I thought it would be fun – “
“What are char – “ Nicholas frowns and tries the unfamiliar word again. “Char-k-trs?”
“Characters are the people in a story.”
Maggie’s eyes widen. “You mean like pretend people?” She looks to her brother for his reaction. Nicholas is scowling.
I realize my mistake. My own children are pretty much all grown, and I’ve forgotten more than I realized about dealing with little ones. I backtrack hastily. “They can be real people, too,” I assure them. “Because lots of stories are real, aren’t they?”
Maggie nods slowly and Nicholas’ frown fades, but they both remain wary. Having narrowly averted disaster, I proceed with caution. “So,” I say again. “Why don’t you start by telling me what you did in school today?”
“It was a day off.” Nicholas rolls his eyes. “Don’t you know that? Don’t you have any kids?”
“I do, but they’re all grown up now.”
“Yeah,” he nods sagely. “I forgot you’re old.”
My less-than-fifty-year-old self bridles at the observation. Cheeky monster. “Thanks so much for noticing,” I tell him. “Fine then, tell me about your sister, Katie – “
“I thought you wanted to know about us.”
I swallow a sigh. “All right, then, let’s do it this way. What would you like to talk about?”
“Penguins,” Maggie offers.
Nicholas pokes at a marshmallow and then licks his finger. “They’re her favorite animal. But they’re not reallly an animal, you know. They’re birds. But they can’t fly. Are you married?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Mommy’s not. My dad didn’t want to be married to her anymore, so he left. My Auntie Sandy is married.”
“Do you miss your daddy?”
“I only met him once when I was a baby. Mommy says I threw up on him. I’m glad.” He scowls fiercely. “He made Mommy and Katie sad when he left.”
Maggie sighs. “I miss him.”
“You do not,” Nicholas says scornfully. “You were just a baby when he left, too.”
Maggie ignores him. “My friend Annika’s daddy reads her stories and plays dress-up with her,” she tells me earnestly. “I think it would be nice to have a daddy like that.”
“What about you, Nicholas? Would you like to have a daddy?”
He looks wistful. “Maybe a little. Mommy says we’re fine without one, but…” his voice trails off.
Realizing I may have opened a can of worms, I offer more marshmallows to distract him. He is about to accept when the doorbell rings. He sighs.
“That’s Mommy. We have to go to our swimming lesson.” He casts a forlorn look at the marshmallows as he slides from his chair. His face brightens as I fold the top of the bag closed and hold it out to him, and then pass the aerosol can of whipped cream to Maggie. “Really?” he asks.
“Really,” I say. “As a thank you for coming to visit me today.”
“We can come back, if you like,” he offers, taking Maggie’s hand and towing her toward the front door. “Maybe you could give us cookies next time.”
Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in happy-ever-after.
Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with a toddler and infant twins, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she is determined not to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak…until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap — and the hero won’t take no for an answer!
“It’s me. Did I wake you?” Rich, dark tones washed over her, velvet-smooth.
Gwyn clutched at the duvet and dragged it up to her chin. Her traitorous heart thudded against its confines. She swallowed. Cleared her throat. Managed a barely coherent, “No. I was awake.”
She wiped sweaty palms against the duvet, one at a time.
“I miss you,” he said.
She squeezed her eyes shut and coached herself through the forgotten art of breathing. Inhale…exhale…
Gareth’s voice deepened, roughened. “Tell me you’re suffering as much as I am.”
The ache that had started in her belly spread relentlessly outward. He wanted the truth. But how could she tell him something she was still trying to avoid acknowledging?
“Gwyn?” the deep voice prompted, with an edge to it that startled her. A rawness that echoed her own state.
She exhaled shakily and tightened her fingers around the receiver. “And I’m suffering, too,” she whispered.
Linda, thank you so much for making my blog as one of your stops during your virtual blog tour! It’s been a pleasure. I loved your interview with your delightful characters!
Readers, visit Linda’s website and blog to learn more! Click here to buy the print copy of A Fairy Tale for Gwyn at Amazon
Click here to buy AFTFG on Wild Rose Press.