“I’ve fainted two times in one week, Roman. That says something.”
Roman’s heart kicked up a beat. “And the faint dreams?”
“Ugly. Scary.” Color drained from her complexion. “I can’t breathe. I’m dying.”
“Oh, baby.” He touched her cheek, wanting the color to return.
She pulled in a breath to steady herself, her hand gripping Roman’s arm for support. In a voice so soft he had to watch her lips move to track her words, she said, “If Stan changed because of me, he’d want to meet me. Like I said, I need to believe he was a good man, brave enough to face me, know me.”
“So suicide is out.”
“What else is there?”
“In my dreams, I’m being suffocated. Maybe someone killed him.”
Excerpt from SWOON, Rolynn Anderson
Besides creating a unique, tasteful ceremony that celebrates the departed, Jan suffers from syncope (abrupt fainting spells, usually brought on by stress or shock.) They only last a minute or two, but in that time she dreams snippets of murder and mayhem which sets her on a mission to find out what exactly happened to the dearly departed.
Along for the adventure are a cast of amazingly quirky characters, including her black Scottish terrier, Elwood, who tracks shadows, senses villains and predicts her fainting spells. Add in her tumultuous relationship with super-hot Roman Keller and you’re caught up in a unique, fast-paced novel.
Hello again, Rolynn! Both FADEOUT and SWOON are chalk-full of interesting characters. Jan’s father ‘The General’ is written with authenticity and authority. Did you grow up in a military family? I did! My father was an Army officer, dragging five kids and a harried wife through 27 moves, Maryland, Wisconsin, Georgia, Germany, Japan and Korea, to name a few. He loved serving, and luckily, we were resilient enough to manage the upheavals in our lives.
I enjoy how Jan Solvang journals snippets of her obituary. Have you ever done that? Or know anyone who has? My father updated his obituary regularly, but the idea of using an obit as a goal-setting device was mine. I used this concept as a lesson plan for my high school students in English class, because many teenagers have such a vague notion of the future along with low ambitions.
My students were attracted by the lesson because it was a tad ghoulish. My theme: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up someplace else.” This is a lesson on specificity, too. I promised them (always the idealist!) the more detailed they made their goal-setting obit, the more likely they would get to their designed future.
Pete is a forensic investigator who is legally blind. What is a forensic investigator and how difficult is it for you as a writer to have him help solve mysteries and murders blind? I learned about a blind forensic investigator in a New York Times feature and was boggled by the concept. Pete works freelance for private and public agencies. He studies all the evidence of a crime, giving a fresh ‘eye’ to it. His forte is interrogation of any and all parties involved; he’s known for ‘seeing’ what no one else observes. Pete is bright, funny and calm, a perfect foil for Jan. My editor is in love with Pete and wants me to give him his own book!
How did you dream up the unnaturally perceptive Elwood? A friend of mine has a black Scottie named Charlie who actually DOES track shadows. What does he see, I asked myself…and that’s the path that led me to Elwood’s prescience.
I read up on Mary Tyler Moore’s dog and other animals that are able to help their masters (Mary’s dog warns her when her blood sugar is low). I ended up giving my dog a growth arc; can you believe it?
I’m also intrigued you added syncope as an issue Jan struggles with. What made you think of that? I’m a pantser as a writer, remember, so I make up a lot of stuff as I go along. I needed to have Jan faint so Roman could touch her…connect with her quickly.
I didn’t want to show her as weak or flighty, so I gave her the disease. Lots of research later, and meeting up a woman who has Syncope but still SCUBA dives…I used the disease as a challenge Jan had to overcome.
Favorite place in the world to visit/live? The Tuscany region of Italy.
Me too! Favorite movie? Last of the Mohicans; An Affair to Remember
(Sigh…Daniel Day-Lewis with long hair…I think you and I are twins, Rolynn. 🙂 ) What’s next for you? My editor has asked for the novel I’ve just completed, entitled LIE CATCHERS.
The setting is Petersburg, Alaska, a real-life fishing village settled by Norwegians in the early 1900’s. My heroine, from Petersburg, and the hero, a U.S Treasury agent from Fresno, have two unsolved murders dogging them. One is real and occurred in 1932 (talk about a cold case) and the other is recent (made-up).
My husband and I cruise on our trawler to Alaska in the summers…I can’t wait to tell the world about hot romance in cool, rainy Petersburg, Alaska!
Thanks for visiting us today, Rolynn, and good luck with LIE CATCHERS. For more on Rolynn Anderson’s funeral planner series please visit:
SUSPENSE SPIKED WITH ROMANCE!
Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of SWOON! Check back on Thursday for the winner’s name. Question of the Day: What’s on Your Bucket List?
wins an e-copy of Rolynn Anderson’s newest release
Congratulations, Morgan! Just click on the Contact Us page and let us know which address to send it to. A special thank you to everyone who stopped by to share their ‘obituary’.
TOMORROW: In honor of Halloween we are posting a special blog! Join Carey Baldwin and the rest of us as we celebrate “FREAKY FRIDAY GHOSTS AND GIVEAWAYS!
You’ll hear TRUE paranormal encounters from Lena Diaz, Sharon Wray, and Carey Baldwin!
Be prepared to tell your best (real) ghost encounter or your favorite Halloween memory. Lots of prizes!
See ya tomorrow…
- FADEOUT’S heroine, Jan Solvang, just might be YOUR funeral planner. What’s one phrase about you she MUST include in your obituary?
- (Answer in our comment section for a chance to win an e-copy of FADEOUT, the new romantic suspense novel by Rolynn Anderson!)
Hmm…I guess mine would be: Sarah Andre always felt tremendous joy when a friend achieved the dream of publishing a novel.
And it’s true (although that question was harder than I expected!) For me, the coolest part of being a writer is connecting with others, watching their careers launch and applauding their successes.
So picture this: Spanking New Writer goes to a conference and lines up to pitch to her first agent. (Translated: uncontrollable trembling, dry mouth, clammy hands, whispering the blurb over and over.) Smiling Writer behind her introduces herself and chats so amiably New Writer almost forgets her anxiety, which ultimately makes for a much better first pitch.
You guessed it! Rolynn Andreson stood behind me at the Desert Rose RWA chapter’s Desert Dreams Conference waaay back in 2006. And we’ve reconnected at that conference every time since. So imagine my thrill this year when she told me she’s now published! It is an absolute pleasure to introduce you to my friend, Rolynn Anderson.
Hi Rolynn, thanks for joining us today! In your debut novel, LAST RESORT how did you come up with a terror plot involving the Winter Olympics (which is plotted out realistically enough to give me the chills!)
Rumor has it this huge, posh fishing resort in Big Bay, B.C., was once owned by drug lords. Now it’s owned by London Drugs! I mean the place HAD to be written about. The other rumor I heard from the locals: CBS was going to house its crew at the big lodge for the Winter Olympics and fly them to Whistler by helicopter. That never happened…except in my novel. Don’t you love rumors?
Is there another novel in the works involving any of the primary or secondary characters from this story?
Not yet, but I’d love to give Rena another adventure with Nora riding shotgun.
My father died of Alheimer’s in 2005. My sister, brothers and I were planning his funeral in a traditional way until I realized how many young children were attending the memorial. We dumped old rituals in order to properly honor my father and teach the children gently about death. The event was so successful, I began thinking about the value of a ‘boutique’ (my term) funeral planner. Jan Solvang’s story emerged, and of course I had to add suspense and romance to the mix. Jan’s got a fainting disorder called Syncope and she’s inherited a Scottish terrier (Elwood) with some quirks, too.
Who are your favorite RS authors? Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockman.
SWOON, the second in the funeral planner series, comes out November 15th. Can you give us a sneak peek?
Jan’s been a boutique funeral planner for over a year, and her dead clients still refuse to rest in peace. She’s supposed to bury a missing woman and an infamous man, but her research on them disturbs family secrets, unmasks killers and imperils her relationship with Roman.
Wow! Sounds terrific. (Reader, please note Brenda Novak’s testimonial for Swoon below!)
Rolynn, tell our readers a bit about your fascinating retirement (summer adventures.)
My husband and I spend the four summer months living on our boat (a 46 foot trawler), cruising from Washington State, up the breathtaking Inside Passage, all the way to Alaska and back. We fish for shrimp, Dungeness Crab, rockfish, salmon and halibut, but mostly we enjoy the beauty of the area and the friends we reconnect with every year.
Do you ever get ideas for a story from those summer months?
Absolutely. I’ve just finished a double murder mystery called LIE CATCHER that takes place in Petersburg, Alaska. Liv, the main character, is a “Tlingwegian”…great grandma was a Tlingit Indian; great grandpop was a rough and tough Norwegian fisherman.
How do you spend your winter months besides writing?
We love to travel in the U.S. as well as abroad, but I also enjoy my half acre of fruit trees and garden in Central Coast California. I golf once or twice a week and I’m tournament chair of our golf club, as well.
Favorite food? Peanut butter and chocolate.
If you had a career do-over and had not been a teacher/principal…what profession would you choose?
A wine-maker; an athlete (golf?); a CEO.
~ Brenda Novak, NYT and USA Bestselling Author of WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES
Don’t forget to leave a comment below:
What phrase should funeral planner, Jan Solvang include in YOUR obituary?
Stop back Thursday to see if you’ve won an e-copy of FADEOUT.
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