Kacie Morgan has had her fill of arrogant military men since the last one left her with a shattered heart and one heck of a career rut. Now, with her prestigious fellowship starting in the fall, all she has to do is survive the summer—and her little sister’s wedding.
When an ill-fitting bridesmaid dress has Kacie wanting to temporarily shake things up in her carefully planned life, she knows just the man to call. They agree to a no-strings, summer fling, although it isn’t long before Michael wants Kacie for forever.
But to win her heart, he’ll have to confront the nightmares from his past if they’re to have any chance at a future.
Q&A with Cheryl
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I really enjoyed the early interactions between Michael and Kacie for this book but especially the scene where they have sex the first time. The conversation is so shallow and matter-of-fact since they’ve agreed to just use each other for sex.
I also loved the argument between Michael and his sister-in-law. Bree has been more like a sibling to him for so many years that it’s only fair they’d argue in the same way he and his brother argue. Politeness be damned!
What gave you the most trouble with this story?
When I started this book, I hadn’t planned on Michael suffering from PTSD. But when I began the editing process and reading it from the beginning, I realized all the clues were there. He doesn’t really talk about his issues although it’s clear those who know him best realize something is a bit off. And whenever the suggestion is made that he speak to a therapist, he blows it off because he doesn’t believe his problems are bad enough to warrant treatment. Which I think, sadly, is an accurate representation for so many of those who serve in special operations units.
Name three things on your desk right now.
A small crystal pig with pink wings named Penelope. I have always loved the expression “When pigs fly!” and have always taken great pleasure in proving people wrong.
A two-year-old fortune that says “You’ll never know what you can do until you try.” I found it in my fortune cookie at a time when I was debating whether or not I was read to query literary agents.
A small Galah figurine given to me by the Australian family I lived with while on foreign exchange in high school. They had rescued an injured Galah, which is a type of cockatoo, and taught this bird to say my name. That damn bird made me crazy because he would sometimes escape when I came home from school and then proceed to hide high up in a tree while calling my name over and over, taunting me.
If you could have dinner with any three authors (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
My first instinct was to say Jane Austen, but I fear she’d end up being a disappointment and ruining my perception of her. Ernest Hemingway would have to be my number one since his personal life was as exciting as his stories. Second would be Dorothy Parker since she had zero problem saying exactly what she thought. Throw in the fact she was blacklisted in Hollywood, I can only imagine the dirt she knew. Number three would have to be Stephen King. I’d love to know what his childhood was like and whether or not his own writing gives him nightmares.
What are you favorite types of stories to read?
I absolutely adore historical romances. They are always my go-to read when I’m in a bad mood or a writing rut. I love all that despite a ton of societal rules, there were women who willingly ignored them and threw caution to the wind. Personally, I like to think had I lived during the Regency era that I’d have been one of those women who wore pants and rode astride and basically thumbed her nose to everyone who dared say “You shouldn’t do that!”
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
There was a built in desk in my bedroom growing up and it being the only desk in the house, that’s where the Selectric typewriter lived. When I was in elementary school, my mother would write youth soccer recaps for the local paper and when she was done I would sit down and mimic her. I don’t recall ever writing fiction. Instead, I wrote recaps of the Olympics and Super Bowls. In school I always excelled at creative writing but it wasn’t until I was in college, at the encouragement of a professor, I switched from Accounting to Journalism. After graduating, I always wrote for work, but never for myself. Then when my oldest was born, I quit writing altogether for about six years until I found an online community and began writing fanfiction. Through that I made a friend who was a member of RWA and encouraged me to attend the national conference with her in 2011. The rest is history.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
When I began working on this story five years ago, it was the story of a doctor who’d just left the army and was trying to find his way in the civilian world. Sadly, my hero was, in a word, boring. He was too nice. Too polite. He was just… ugh. But I kept at him and gave him a brother and father and he began taking shape. By the time I actually started to like Michael MacGregor, I realized his story would be better if his younger brother’s story came first. So I went back to square one and began working on ONCE AND FOR ALL. When I returned to Michael’s original story last year, I had to scrap most of it because some scenes were more like Danny and other scenes were more like Lucky (the hero in HERE AND NOW). So I had to practically start completely over, but this time I knew exactly who Michael MacGregor was and what he’d been through.
What do you do when you are not writing?
As a mom of three, I’m usually pretty busy when I’m not writing. There’s always a kitchen to be cleaned or laundry to be folded or a kid to be driven somewhere. And now my oldest has her learner’s permit and I’m the one she drives with the most. So that’s always fun. Not really.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I love that I was given the opportunity to bring Michael and Danny’s mother to life in this book thanks to my editor suggesting I include a flashback. If there is one couple I would love to write, it would be their parents. I would love to see Mac MacGregor fall head over heels in love with Lily.