Today I am pleased to feature a fellow member of the Mid-Michigan RWA chapter. Tracy Brogan is a two-time finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart contest, and is enjoying the excitement of her first published novel from Montlake Romance. Crazy Little Thing was released just last week, but has already garnered great reviews, including high praise from Romantic Times magazine. She's here to tell us a big about it:
TB: Patty, thanks so much for hosting me at your blog today! I’m really pleased to be here!
PK: It's my pleasure! What inspired the book?
TB: My Great-Aunt Margaret was a flapper in the 1920’s and inspired the character of Aunt Dody. In fact, the original title was TOTALLY DODY and the first draft of the book had a lot more of her in it. Alas, I had to edit out lots of funny (and true) anecdotes for the sake the story’s pacing. She was a riot, though. She had three St. Bernards, one right after the other, but she named them all Chum because she couldn’t remember a new name. Once she found a cat and decided to keep it, so she had it neutered. Then realized it was the cat that lived next door. When we had ice cream at her house, she’d unwrap the entire half-gallon rectangle of Breyer’s and then slice it with a huge cleaver. I’ve never seen anyone but her cut ice cream with a knife. What I remember best about visiting her place was her cellar. It had this damp, musty, but wonderful smell. To this day I love the smell of old, wet basements! Hers was full to the brim with all of her old clothes, and trinkets and fascinating stuff. She even had a mink stole, which I wore pretty much every time I went there. It looked lovely with my brownie uniform.
When I started writing Crazy Little Thing, my youngest daughter had just started first grade. For years I’d said, “I’m going to write a book someday.” I’d drafted a lot of awful outlines of historical stories, but when she started school I decided to try a contemporary, foolishly thinking it would be “easier” than writing a historical. Those early drafts are pretty painful to read now, but I kept at it, tweaking things, studying the craft, attending conferences, and the work is finally paying off!
Here's the blurb for Crazy Little Thing:
If Sadie Turner is good at anything, it’s putting stuff in order. So when she finds her “perfect” life in disarray, she hopes a summer vacation at her aunt’s lake house will help her piece it back together. She wants to relax, reboot, and heal the wounds left b her cheating ex-husband. And that requires time away from men. All men.
Or so she thinks.
With two slobbering dogs and two cousins living there—one a flamboyant decorator intent on making over Sadie—it’s hard to get a moment’s peace at eccentric Aunt Dody’s house, especially with everyone so determined to set her up with Desmond, the sexy new neighbor.
Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare. Tall, tanned, muscular…and to top it off, he’s great with her kids. But he must have a flaw—he’s a man—so Sadie vows to keep her distance.
As summer blazes on, the life Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only becomes more complicated—a new career presents itself, her evil ex haunts her, and Aunt Dody reveals a tragic secret—but maybe a little chaos is just what Sadie needs to get her life back in order.
Doesn't this sound like a great read? Here's an excerpt (warning: language and adult content):
My husband had a talent for putting the dick in unpredictable, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to catch him at an office party with his hand up the skirt of a giggly, jiggly redhead. Or that he had mistletoe dangling from his belt buckle. Even though it wasn’t Christmas. Suddenly eight years of wondering if I was paranoid or intuitive were finally answered. Richard was cheating on me, and I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
I probably should have left him sooner, but I was dumb in love, plus my mother thought divorce was tacky even though she’d been through one herself. Maybe she worried I couldn’t do any better. Turns out, I couldn’t have done much worse.
Exactly one year, six days, and fourteen hours later, Richard and I signed on the dotted line and our marriage dissolved, like margarita salt on the tongue, leaving behind the bitter aftertaste of something that started out sweet but ended sour.
The details of our sordid divorce prompted a feeding frenzy for the local Glenville press. Richard was the city’s favorite son, after all, and everyone wanted the juiciest morsel for their evening headline. His job as anchorman of Channel Seven news earned him a quasi-celebrity status and a sycophantic following. I, on the other hand, was painted in a single stroke as a gold-digging Real Housewife just after his cash. No one but me seemed to remember the incident with the redhead, and somehow I became the pariah, a one-dimensional villain trapped inside the reality show of my own life. So when my aunt Dody called to invite the kids and me to spend the summer with her in tiny Bell Harbor, Michigan, it was an offer too good to refuse.
“You need a good psychic cleansing, Sadie,” Dody told me over the phone. “It’s time to purge all of Richard’s nasty karma right out of your system.”
I had zero faith in her tarot-reading, angel-guided, crystal-waving nonsense, but I was desperate for a vacation. And a chance to hide. Her pink clapboard house, perched high on a hill overlooking Lake Michigan, was the perfect spot to rest, reboot, and figure out what the hell to do with the next fifty years of my life. Sure, I’d probably be dead long before that, but I hate leaving things to chance.
Crazy Little Thing is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and several other sources. You can find Tracy on facebook, at her website, or on twitter (@tracybrogan).