Monday, January 14, 2013

Blair McDowell ~ Sonata (a musical romance) Interview & Giveaway

Hello everyone…today we have a multi-talented romance, mystery, thriller author and a musician, Blair McDowell. Her latest release, Sonata, a mystery thriller romance, gets covered pretty nicely in our interview – Blair also offers an nice giveaway – details belowJ Before we get started on the questions, please tells us a bit about you, Blair…

I started to write soon after I found my first pencil. But I began to write for publication about 30 years ago -- professional books. I wrote six of them, all still in print and still in use. Only lately have I turned to fiction. I'd have done it a lot sooner if I'd had any idea how much fun it was!

I’ve lived in many different places. The US -- Certain cities call to me. I love San Francisco and Seattle and the wonderful Oregon Coast. Australia -- among the most open welcoming people in the world, and a wide open young country with incredible land and sea scapes, with amazing animal and bird life right out of science fiction. Canada -- HOME. The place where I belong.

I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places -- Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have spoken in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe.  I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well -- but variety is indeed the spice of my life.

I keep busy -- and I love my life. I love meeting the people who come here to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing. My interests??  Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and Writing.  And walking on the beach and swimming. At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean. I've realized that may not be possible in one lifetime -- but trying has been fun!

I currently have four published fiction novels.  I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy them:
·        Abigail’s Christmas ~ A holiday fantasy about Abigail who goes looking for a tree on Christmas Eve, and ends up with the man of her dreams in a sleigh in the Rockies --- with a wedding in the offing!  Is it real?  Is she dreaming?  Or is it just Christmas magic?
·        The Memory of Roses ~ The enduring love story of two generations of the McQuaid family unfolds on the beautiful Greek Island of Corfu.  It is a tale complete with beautiful and passionate women, handsome and fiery men, and an intriguing mystery. 
·        Delighting In Your Company ~ Delighting In Your Company is an intriguing paranormal romance set on an exotic Caribbean island, featuring a handsome ghost and an adventurous heroine who travels back in time to solve a mystery!
·        Sonata ~ Det. Michael Donovan is in love with the exotic and talented Sayuri McAllister but fears her life may be in danger. Sayuri has just arrived home to Vancouver to a series of surprises: first there has been a robbery at her family home; she has a new step-mother, Alyssa James, who she barely knows; and Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, is a charming Irishman who, unbeknownst to Sayuri, is intent on bedding and wedding her.  It’s a confusing and difficult time for Sayuri, especially when dangerous accidents happen to her father and herself – or are they accidents?

Please tell us how the idea came to you for Sonata?

I wanted to write a story set in the stunning west coast city of Vancouver and on the spectacularly beautiful and still remote Sunshine Coast. My previous books have been set in places I know well, but this one is set where I live. Once I decided on the locale, the rest followed. Vancouver is a multicultural city with a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. A musician myself, I decided to make my heroine a concert artist. And I wanted a hero who contrasted to her sharply, hence my police detective, Michael Donovan. The story followed naturally from the characters and the setting.

What drives, motivates, and/or inspires Sayuri McAllister?

Sayuri is a classically trained musician. She has studied since she was four years old. At twenty-eight she’s achieved world-wide recognition as one of the outstanding artists in her field. She has won international competitions and played with major orchestras all over the world. To say she is career driven is an understatement. Music is the only thing that natters in her life.  

Give us some insight into Sayuri. What’s a bit of her back story?

Sayuri is an exotic mixture. Her father, Sean, is a Scottish-Canadian, her mother was Japanese. Although her mother died when Sayuri was just a girl, she carries the heritage of both cultures with-in her. Now at twenty-eight, she has no life but music and she’s beginning to tire of the constant demands of her career. She wants something more, but she’s not quite sure what.

What is Michael’s job? What does he do for a living?

Michael Donovan is a Vancouver cop, like his father and his grandfather before him. He is rock solid, honest to the core, stable and reliable. The problem is that his job as a Detective in the Assault, Robbery and Arson Unit of the VPD throws him in direct conflict with the McAllister household, where a major robbery that appears to be an inside job has just taken place.

Who is Sayuri to Michael? Can you give us a bit about the first time they meet each other?

Sayuri and Michael met in high school, but their budding romance came to an abrupt end when Michael’s adolescent hormones got the better of him. She doesn’t see him again for ten years, at which point she arrives home from Paris to find him in charge of the investigation into a robbery in her home.  The following excerpt takes place upon Sayuri’s return:

Her father looked up from his desk and jumped to his feet. “Sayuri.” He crossed the room in three strides and enfolded her in his arms. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t at the airport to meet you. This mess…”
“Daddy. It’s good to be home.”
As her father released her, Sayuri became aware of the other man in the room. He was gazing into the fireplace, his back to her. He turned slowly and fixed his intense green eyes on her face. Sayuri felt a jolt of recognition, and then something more than recognition, something she hadn’t felt since she was seventeen. Since the last time she had seen Michael Donovan.

I love that first gaze, the connection, nicely portrayed, Blair.
Which scene was your favorite to write? Can you share a little of it?

I often have difficulty writing the BIG love scene, but in this book it wrote itself. Sayuri is sexually quite limited in experience and Michael has given her time and space. Finally she makes the decision to sleep with him, and he can’t quite believe his luck:

She backed away from him and started to unbutton her loose flannel shirt, one button at a time, slowly, her eyes never leaving his. She shrugged it off. Under it she wore only a delicate black lace bra.
She heard Michael’s quick intake of breath and smiled. She kicked off her shoes and slowly unzipped her jeans. Michael watched, his eyes glued to her. Slowly she slid the jeans down her long legs, stepping out of them leaving them in a puddle on the floor. She stood in front of Michael dressed only in two flimsy bits of lace.
Michael stopped breathing.
She turned to the curved wrought iron staircase and started to climb it. He watched her hips and buttocks move rhythmically as she climbed toward the loft.
Half way up, she turned back to him. “Coming?”

Yummy place to leave us, Blair *grins*
What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing Romantic Road, a woman-in-peril set in Germany, Austria and Hungary. Lacy Telchev’s much older husband, Igor, has just died, his unusual last request sending her on a perilous quest that threatens her very life. Only the intervention of a handsome stranger, Max Petersen, stands between Lacy and disaster.

Where can we find you?

Buy Links for Sonata:

“FAVORITES” Quickie Quiz –
Getting to know Blair McDowell

Mode of travel – Ship! But not those huge cruise ships. Sailing ships. The kind that carry only a couple of hundred passengers. The Windstars.

Beverage – Prosecco, Italy’s answer to champagne.

Place you’ve never been and have always wanted to go – Ephesus, the fabulous ruins in Turkey. I’ve visited the ancient ruins in Greece and Italy but have never quite had the nerve to venture to Turkey.

Pets Dogs. All sizes shapes and breeds.

A place you love to write – In my big plushy comfy recliner.

Hobby or past time – Reading, cooking, swimming, listening to music.

Writing tool – My trusty Panasonic Toughbook.

Click cover for buy link


A jewel heist…

When renowned concert artist, Sayuri McAllister, returns to the west coast of Canada after an absence of five years, she discovers her family home has been a broken into and jewelry worth two million dollars is missing. Michael Donovan, Sayuri’s old high school flame, now a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, is the officer in charge of the case.

What chance can he have…

Michael takes one look at Sayuri and falls in love with her all over again. But they parted in anger years ago and Sayuri is no longer the innocent girl he once knew. What chance can there be for a Vancouver cop with someone as famous as Sayuri McAllister?  Especially when that cop is investigating her family and friends?
An unexpected marriage…

Then Sayuri’s widowed father, Sean, marries Alyssa James, a woman Sayuri has never even met. The three live uneasily together in the Point Grey mansion until the unexpected arrival of Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, a devastatingly handsome, charming Irishman who immediately begins a campaign to bed and wed the delicious and wealthy Sayuri.

Things take a dangerous turn…

Accidents begin to happen. Or are they accidents?  Nothing is as it seems. Michael distrusts Hugh James and fears that Sayuri’s life may be in danger.

I would love to do a giveaway – an e-copy of Sonata.  One lucky commenter will win a PDF copy of Sonata.  Correctly answer the following question to be entered into drawing on Friday 1/18:  How did Michael remove the peach juice from Sayuri’s hands?

P.S. Please leave a way you can be contacted should you winJ

Click Above for Blair's Book Tour Stops

Tour wide give away 5 pdf copies of Sonata

Click HERE for Rafflecopter giveaway link :)


Kay Dee Royal said...

Good Morning everyone! Hi Blair:) Love the challenges, sparking tension, admiration, and depth of Sayuri and Michael's least what I've read so far has captured my complete interest:)

So, Blair, for such in-depth story-stars such as Sayuri (love that name) and Michael, so you have something you put them through to find their darkest secrets, foibles, embarrassing moments, tragedies, life-highlights? A questionnaire that works for you OR some other means of gathering character information:)

bn100 said...

Nice interview. He licked it.


Kay Dee Royal said...

Hi bn100 - thanks for stopping in:) I can tell you visited Blair's link;)

Blair McDowell said...

Kay Dee--My characters spring fully formed into my mind. Once I decided Sayuri was Japanese-Canadian I knew she had to be a mixture of the two cultures. I live in an area with many examples of this. Most of my character developemant comes just from watching people.

Kay Dee Royal said...

Hi Blair - interesting - the blending of multiple cultures:) I love the diversity of relative to our world today.

What inspired or influenced you toward the thriller sub-genre? I'm always curious;)

Kay Dee Royal said...

bn100 - you are the lucky winner:) Congratulations!!

Blair, thank you so much for hanging out here for the week - it's been great fun learning about story and its stars:) I hope you'll come back again with your next release.

bn100 - you will be contacted within the next couple of days with your prize:)

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