It's my pleasure to introduce you to Molly Harper. Molly showed signs of the future at a tender age when as an eight-year-old she set up an office in her family's living room, including an old manual typewriter and toy phone, then proceeded to slowly type a story of her third grade class traveling around the world, losing a student in each city. As an adult, following a stint in journalism, Molly created a series of books about an accident-prone, single, librarian who is mistaken for a deer, gets shot by a drunk hunter and wakes up a vampire. (Love this woman's sense of humor!) Molly's current series of books are contemporary romances set in Kentucky and including My Bluegrass Baby and her October 7th release, Rhythm and Bluegrass. You can read more about Molly and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.
Please give Molly a warm Romance Dish welcome!
People often ask me whether my mother characters are anything like my mom. Considering how passive-aggressive, regular-aggressive and sometimes criminal my mother characters are, that’s not very nice.
Honestly, my mother and I enjoy a good relationship. She is my biggest supporter and “the person who makes sure I don’t walk around conferences with my skirt tucked into my pantyhose. “ She is the source of my sarcastic humor. A life-long romance reader, she is the reason I became interested in romance novels. Mom kept a whole closet full of paperback romances in our linen closet. I was smuggling books from her collection long before I probably should have read them.
So when it came time to write an older, wiser character to help my heroine, Bonnie, navigate the small-town politics of Mud Creek, Kentucky in RHYTHM AND BLUEGRASS, I decided to write my mom. But I wrote her about 20 years from now.
Bonnie’s landlady, Miss Martha, is what I imagine my mother will be like as an older woman. She’s opinionated and wears exactly one shade of lipstick no matter what the occasion. She’s known for making random, but completely honest, observations, whether they hurt someone’s feelings or not. And she spent her lifetime sewing, though, as far as I know, my mother never stitched together elaborate costumes for burlesque dancers.
Bonnie, a historian for the fictional Kentucky Commission on Tourism, needs Miss Martha’s guidance as she settles into a strange new town to try to salvage musical artifacts from the long-abandoned McBride’s Music Hall. Before it closed, McBride’s was a stop on the country western performance circuit and the rhythm and blues circuit, putting it at a crossroads in American musical culture. All the greats played there. And they left behind all sorts of historical goodies Bonnie needs to snatch up before the site is bull-dozed to make room for an underwear plant. Mayor Will McBride – who happens to be the grandson of the original owner - is desperate to secure this factory to provide much-needed jobs for his neighbors. And the musical artifacts Bonnie finds put that potentially town-saving proposal in jeopardy. Bonnie must find a way to compromise with Will to save McBride’s and the town… and figure out the strange growing flirtation between them.
Miss Martha is there to lend Bonnie a (somewhat) sympathetic ear and give her the backstory on the weird personal histories that make Mud Creek residents behave as they do. But she also tells Bonnie when to put her big girl panties on and deal with the messes she has made. Much like my own mother does for me. Almost daily.
So who is the Miss Martha in your life? Who keeps you out of trouble or deals you to suck it up and fix said trouble when you find it?
Molly is generously offering a digital copy (Nook or Kindle) of Rhythm and Bluegrass to three randomly chosen people who leave a comment on today's blog before midnight (EST) Thursday, October 10, 2013.