Emily is also a mom, busy preparing for an upcoming college graduation and wedding, a devoted foster mom to rescued boxers (dogs, not athletes) and an avid supporter of Texas A&M University, her Alma mater. I've decided not to hold it against her that her beloved Aggies are playing my beloved Florida State Seminoles tomorrow night in the second round of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness! *grin*
For more information about Emily, visit her website, like her at facebook and follow her on twitter. Be sure to also check out her Emily March Madness contest, with great prizes and daily winners during the entire month of March!
But now...on to the interview!
PJ: Hi, Emily! Welcome to the Romance Dish and congratulations on all the praise you’ve been receiving for your new Eternity Springs series! Angel’s Rest, the first book in this series, was released February 15th and is the story of John Gabriel (Gabe) Callahan and Nicole Sullivan. Please share a bit about their story with our readers.
Emily: Thanks for the invitation to join you! I appreciate having the opportunity to talk about Angel’s Rest and my Eternity Springs series.
Now, about the story... you know, I could never be a reviewer because I have a terrible time summarizing my stories. How about I quote a wonderful reviewer? (This would be you.) Angel’s Rest is “an emotion-packed, heart-wrenching and, ultimately, uplifting story of loss, hope, friendship and love.” To me, Angel’s Rest is a journey of emotional healing taken by two wounded souls set against a backdrop of a small Rocky Mountain town with a big heart.
PJ: Readers, you can find my full 5-Star review of Angel's Rest here.
I love the title of this book, Emily. Did you choose it? Is there any special significance behind it?
PJ: You’ve captured the essence of a small town perfectly in Angel’s Rest. Are you a small town girl or just a small town girl at heart? Why do you think readers are so drawn to small town/community stories?
Emily: I’m a little of both. I grew up in a relatively small town, but I’ve lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex since graduating from college. I think the appeal of small town stories isn’t so much that that the town is small, but that the author builds an appealing world and fills it with interesting characters. I like to draw a parallel between small town stories and the sitcom Cheers. The writers created a world with Sam’s Place and filled it with great characters. Eternity Springs is like Sam’s Place, without so much alcohol and with a quilting bee.
Emily: I have a strong sense of family that I believe comes through in all of my work. Romance readers especially like their happy endings, and in the case of the Callahan family, romantic happy endings weren’t enough. Readers wanted a happy ending for the family. (PJ nods her head in agreement.)
I was surprised—and gratified--by the number of readers who wanted John’s book. Considering I had a subgenre and pseudonym switch, it wasn’t the easiest thing to pull off, but I did the best I could to complete the story between A Callahan Carol, the Christmas story (free download at http://www.emilymarch.com/) and Angel’s Rest.
PJ: I read Angel's Rest first then followed it with A Callahan Carol and was very satisfied!
Emily: I loved Elizabeth Lowell’s books about the Donovan family—Amber Beach was the first one, I believe. She left a couple brothers unmarried as I recall and I’d love to see more in that series. The Donovans were a strong, interesting family—I guess that’s why it appeals to me. I’m a sucker for families.
PJ: You're in good company! Most of us here have multiple family series on our keeper shelves.
Emily: The old Julie Garwood historicals are hard to beat.
PJ: I'm with you on the Garwoods! Her medieval, Saving Gra
Dogs play a special role in the Eternity Springs series because they play a special role in my life. My husband and I foster boxers for a local rescue group, Legacy Boxer Rescue. We adopted our dog, Doc, from Legacy four years ago--despite the fact he walked into my house and had explosive diarrhea on my dining room floor--and he's been such a joy in our lives. Three years ago after Legacy sent an email (with photos) begging for new foster homes for dogs on death row, my husband and I decided to help out that one time. "Yeah, right," she says, eleven dogs later.
We’ve recently placed our latest foster, Angel, named for ANGEL'S REST. Angel came to us last June after being hit by a car. She had a broken leg and fractured pelvis, hookworms and unfortunately, heartworms. Poor Angel totally captured my heart. She remained on strict crate rest for weeks and in mid-August, we discover that she was expecting some little Angels of her own. Angel gave birth to six puppies, three boys and three girls. Mama and the Angel Babies did great and LBR set about finding the perfect forever homes not just for one dog, but for seven.
Because Angel had so much going on, she was with us longer than our other fosters. Last month, she found her wonderful forever home with a family who has two young children and another dog. I couldn’t be happier for her. It’s such a rush when you see the dog you rescued and nursed back to health find a loving home. I miss her dreadfully, especially during the days when I'm at work in my office and Angel isn’t there at her "Angel's Rest" gazing out the window at the world, but her crate is now empty so we’ll soon have a new foster to love on. That's what rescue is all about.
To all my readers who are also animal lovers, I encourage you to consider fostering for a rescue group in your area. It's truly rewarding. If you have any questions about our experience, please ask!
PJ: I have great admiration for people who foster rescues until they find their forever families. Both of my dogs are adopted rescues and if I ever live in a neighborhood that doesn't restrict the number of pets to two, I'll be first in line to sign up as a furry foster parent.
Emily, I share your love of college football and understand you’re something of a tailgating legend down there in Texas. I’m always on the lookout for yummy treats to take to the game. What’s your favorite tailgate dish? Will you share the recipe with us?
Emily: It’s a toss up between baked jalepeno poppers and a dip made with candied jalepeno relish mixed with cream cheese. Can you tell we like things hot in our house? Making the relish takes some effort, but the poppers are easy. Seed peppers that you’ve sliced in half lengthwise. Stuff with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar, minced onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper—all done to taste. Wrap in a bacon strip, secure with toothpick, and grill at the tailgate. The aroma will make your tailgate the most popular on the lot.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day and I’m all about hoisting a pint to celebrate the Auld Sod. If you could take five fictional friends on an Irish pub crawl, who would you choose and why? (And if five isn’t enough, feel free to toss in a few extra!)
Emily: Well, I’ll tell you what. Because it IS St. Patrick’s Day and I’m focused on family while answering your interview questions, I’m going edit your question a bit. I really, really, really wish I could go on a pub crawl with my favorite Irishman ever, my father, John Edward Dawson. We lost him right at a year ago and I dedicated Angel’s Rest in his memory. He truly was the greatest storyteller I’ve ever known, and he inspired me to write. Tonight, I’ll be drinking a Guinness to Dad.
Emily: Hummingbird Lake comes out next week. Yikes! Here’s the ad line:
Heartache Falls is a marriage in jeopardy plot.
Emily: Other than to please go buy my books?
Emily has generously offered to give a copy of Angel's Rest to two random commenters (US addresses only) and because I loved the book so much, The Romance Dish is going to give one copy of Angel's Rest to a randomly selected international commenter. (must be from a country on Book Depository's approved shipping list). Please include "U.S." or "International" in your comment so we know which draw to put you in. Thanks!