Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guest Blogger Heather Lin

Today author Heather Lin has stopped by to visit, and has bravely answered the infamous Rick Reed question! Such a brave soul! See what her answers her - if you dare! Also, she's going to tell us a little bit about her new release, Westridge, from Silver Publishing. Heather, please have a seat in my kitchen, while I rustle us up a little snack.

And now for the questions - and answers.

The Questions

1)      You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
Ooh, this is a toughy. I'd probably have to go with Eric, my fiance. As much as I would like to say Adam Baldwin in the hopes that he'd want to populate the island with me, I think Eric and I would work better as a team. And as for the one item...a loaded flare gun?

2)      Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?
Gosh, I've spent forever thinking about this question, and I just can't come up with a good answer. My life's too boring to be similar to a musical, I'm afraid. lol Rent, maybe? Because money's tight but love makes it all worthwhile. As for the guess I'd be most like Mark. Because I'm trying to find a way to balance my passion and the necessity of having a “real” job.

3)      Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them:  manhood, combustible, chumming

You see what I have to work with, right? lol Okay, let's do this:
                Damon decides to go fishing one day and is chumming to rile up the fish so he can catch them in               his net. His manhood depends on bringing the food back for his family, but he has horrible gas-- it's practically combustible--and he scares them all away. So Damon gives up and just stops at Long John Silver's on his way home.

4)      You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to do anyone you want. Who do you fuck first and why?
Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb in Firefly because...Hubba hubba.

5)      What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?
Um...Pretty much anytime we get time alone and can talk and focus on us. Whether it's sitting on the couch watching TV and eating pizza or going for a walk or whatever. As long as we're holding hands,  it's romantic enough for me.

6)      When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?
It depends. I use a million different systems, and I get inspiration from everywhere. In my novella, Westridge, from Silver Publishing the plot formed before the characters because I was inspired by the concept of childhood sweethearts in Taylor Swift's “Mary's Song (Oh My My My).” But in my Love Bite, Scandal, from New Concepts Publishing I was really in the mood to write a womanizer, so the character formed first.

7)      If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
I would love for Liv Tyler to play me. I've heard we look similar, and I think she's just so gorgeous and talented.

8)      Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
Ooh, I adore horror movies. As for my favorite...? Quite honestly, the hoodoo couple from The Skeleton Key. They were ruthless; they didn't care at all about who they had to destroy to gain eternal life. That's a movie and a pair of villains that will always stick with me.

And also Shooter from Secret Window. I like the psychological stuff more than the gory stuff. ;)

9)      Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?
Well, gosh. I wish any of the people I can think of were actually real. lol I'm all about the historically fictitious crushes. Gilbert Blythe, Robin Hood... But as for those who actually lived, I'd probably have to go with King George VI, simply because I love tortured souls. I would love to have been the woman standing by his side and helping him overcome his fear of public speaking.

10)   Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
                I've been trying to get a story published forever that no one seems to want to take on. I truly    think it's one of the best pieces I've ever written, but I think the problem is that it's too erotic for     the horror genre but it's too horrific for the erotica genre. Also, it deals with a version of a   vampire, and I think people are just getting tired of that particular monster. We'll see. I do have a      friend who's been talking about making a short movie out of it. I may just post it as a freebie      on my blog if that happens. ;)

Wonderful answers, Heather! Tell us about Westridge, please!


Gabby Jones and Jason Dawson were born only months apart in the small, country town of Westridge. For the next eighteen years, they were inseparable, but after their high school graduation, Gabby got on a bus to the city, leaving Jason with a weak explanation and a broken heart. After five years of making it a point to avoid her old flame, Gabby comes home for a funeral and, thanks to meddling parents and circumstance, she and Jason are thrown together again.   
But now Jason is an auto mechanic with an ex-wife and a daughter, and Gabby owns a successful flower shop in the city. Even if Gabby is able to admit she still loves Jason, and even if Jason is able to convince her to tell him the real reason she left, will they be able to get past the changes and broken pieces in time to start over?

 Excerpt (Unedited)

"What do you mean you can't pick me up?" Gabby Jones asked in disbelief, trying to balance her purse, suitcase, ticket, and cell phone as she boarded the bus.

"I'll send someone to get you. I'm busy helping with the funeral arrangements," her mother replied.

"What about Dad?"

"He's busy, too. We'll send someone."

"Mom," she said unhappily. "I know who you're gonna send. You can't."

"Oh, you're gonna have to see him at the funeral, anyway. And just because you disowned all of your friends when you moved away doesn't mean I have to."

Gabby had left the small town of Westridge five years ago. In Westridge, the nearest mall was forty-five minutes away, and "got stuck behind a plow" was the most common excuse for tardiness. The kids hung out at Walmart or the diner during their downtime and talked about how they couldn't wait to get away from the stupid small town where everyone knew everyone else's business. They didn't want to be stuck in the same routine, seeing the same people their whole lives, and Gabby had felt the same way — trapped, bored, insignificant. At least, that's what she'd told Jason two days before getting on a bus to the city and not looking back.

Ever since, she'd made a point of avoiding her old friends whenever she returned to visit her parents. Of course, her mother always updated her on Jason whether Gabby wanted to hear it or not. Mrs Jones had complained about the girl Jason dated after Gabby, discounted their quick marriage, gushed over their new baby, and gloated when they got divorced just a year after her birth. It had hurt Gabby to hear the news, but there was no way she'd ever admit it to her mother. Gabby tolerated her mother's gossip and was grateful she'd managed to avoid her high school sweetheart in person, if not in conversation. But this visit would be different.

Her parents and Jason's had been best friends since high school, and none of them made a secret of wishing Gabby and Jason would get back together. Sending him to pick her up today was a perfect setup. For them. Gabby rolled her hazel eyes in annoyance, even though her mother couldn't see.

"I didn't disown anyone," she said. “I just went on to bigger and better things. People drift apart. It happens."

She found her seat and threw her bags onto the rack above it. Her neighbors didn't look particularly happy about the twenty-three year old talking away on her cell phone, but she ignored them.

"Bullshit," Mrs Jones admonished. Only her mother could make cussing sound like a gentle, motherly act. "You loved it here. You were perfectly happy until—"

"Mom!" Gabby interrupted, not wanting to hear what her mother would say next.

She'd become a master of denial over the years and couldn't handle anyone breaking through the fog of her self-induced memory loss. Her mother sighed. It was a heavy sound, and Gabby didn't like it. It made her seem old.

"You're right. It's fine," Gabby's voice softened. "I'll have to see him soon, anyway."

"It'll be okay, baby. I love you. I have to go now."

"Love you, too, Mom."

She snapped the phone shut and leaned her head back against the seat, closing her eyes to fend off a tension headache. But all she could see was an eighteen year old Jason: blue eyes full of disbelief, face pale, fists balled.

* * * *

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Jason demanded, slamming the door to his truck shut.

"I'm leaving."

Gabby had to work hard to keep her chin raised and her lips from trembling.

"Just like that? And all I get is a note in my locker on the last day of school?"

He threw a crumpled piece of paper at her feet. Her parents had dropped her off at the bus stop, but they were long gone. If that goodbye had been painful, this one would be excruciating — which was exactly why she'd tried to avoid it.

"I told you in the note—"

"And now you can tell me to my face."

He was making a scene. Gabby was embarrassed, and the tears she'd tried desperately to keep at bay burned in her eyes.

"There isn't anything to do in this town. I just need to see what else is out there."

"This is bullshit, Gabby. A few months ago, we were talking about getting married."

Her voice rose as she lied desperately through her teeth, trying to keep control.

"Well, I changed my mind."

The bus pulled up, and Jason's anger turned to pleading.

"Don't, Gabby. If you need some time away from this place, I'll go with you."

"You belong here, Jason."

"I belong with you."

"Not anymore."

Then she turned and boarded the bus, ignoring the stares. She managed to hold the tears back until he was out of sight.

* * * *

The pain of the memory was scorching, surprising Gabby with its intensity. She opened her eyes. She had to get a hold of herself. She looked past the old man reading a magazine, her gaze falling on the houses outside. They were reaching the suburbs, but her destination lay far beyond that. Gabby groaned and firmly pushed the last image she had of her high school sweetheart out of her mind. The next few days were going to be hell.

Buy Link

Thank you for being here today, Heather. Have some quesadillas. And some of the crab dip.  While we snack, do you have any questions for Heather? Feel free to ask, or leave a comment!

♥ Julie


  1. Great interview and excerpt! :)

  2. Thanks, Rawiya!

    And thanks for having me over today, Julie!

  3. Thanks for being here, Heather, always a pleasure!