Laced with Magic
From "a master storyteller"(Booklist (starred review) comes more magic, knitting, and love in the delightful follow-up to Casting Spells.The community of supernatural beings you've shaped in Sugar Maple is fascinating. What was your inspiration for creating such a unique town?
Knit shop owner and sorcerer's daughter Chloe Hobbs felt the Fates finally got it right when she met Luke MacKenzie. And no one could have convinced her otherwise-including the trolls, selkies, or spirits who also call Sugar Maple, Vermont, home. But then out of nowhere Luke's ex-wife suddenly shows up, claiming to see the spirit of their daughter, Steffie-a daughter Chloe knows nothing about.
Steffie's spirit is being held hostage by a certain Fae leader. And if Chloe weaves a spell to free her spirit, her nemesis will also be free-free to destroy her yarn shop and all of Sugar Maple. But if she doesn't, Steffie won't be the only one spending eternity in hell. Chloe'll be joining her, cursed with a broken heart.
It started a few years ago as a joke. I was sitting in my dentist's waiting room, thumbing through an old magazine (are there any other kind in dentists' waiting rooms?) and trying to forget what I was doing there when I saw a pamphlet on dental implants. I'm not quite sure how or why I made the leap, but suddenly I was sitting there laughing out loud at the thought of implants for aging vampires, which led to vampire retirement villages, which led to shapeshifters and wizards and trolls and sprites all living and working together in a small New England town straight out of a snow globe.
But in typical fashion the story wasn't ready to tell yet. It was still a one-note song until a rainy Labor Day when I sat down at the laptop and suddenly Chloe and Luke and Janice and Lynette and everyone else leaped onto the screen and started populating a town called Sugar Maple.
Chloe is a strong, engaging character who seems to be like many women, just with a little extra power. Is she based on anyone you know?
Don't tell anyone but Chloe and I share a smart-mouth sense of humor, a love affair with Chips Ahoy, and a certain ancient Buick that I absolutely refuse to part with. (It's a 1985 Regal in case you were wondering and it was our first brand new car. I just might be buried in it one day.)
I know Chloe's insecurities, that sense of being on the outside looking in. I get that. She has friends but yearns for a family to call her own. Maybe it's an only child thing but I still wish I had a sister or brother who shared my memories of growing up. She loves Sugar Maple and her friends but still isn't sure she truly belongs. But she's getting there.
In this book we learn more about Luke's past and see him continue to make his own place among the residents of Sugar Maple. Where did the idea behind his character, a lone human among creatures of magic, come from?
I love fish-out-of-water stories. I especially love seeing a strong alpha male thrown into a situation that's so totally out of his control that he has no choice but to let the alpha female throw him a life line every now and then. Cops need to be in control. That's a given. But not even the most decorated police officer on the planet has a clue when it comes to magic...or love, for that matter.
Knitting is a main staple of this series. Why did you choose knitting to be a common thread (pardon the pun) between the novels?
One peek inside our guest room (or any of our closets) would tell you why! It's filled floor to ceiling with buckets of yarn. Cashmere! Alpaca! Acrylic! I long ago passed into what knitters call the SABLE zone: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy. The people I write about usually are self-employed artistic types who don't live within the 9-5 confines. (An obvious case of "write what you know.") Why not indulge one of my favorite fantasies and create the perfect yarn shop, a place where knitters can congregate as much for friendship as for the fact that somehow everything they knit at Sticks & Strings comes out perfect.
Besides, knitters suffer from the same stereotyping as librarians. Trust me, knitters are hot. Very hot!
What drew you to write paranormal romance?
Actually it's more of a return to paranormal romance. I wrote three linked time travels and two paranormals back in the 1990s for another publisher and loved the experience. I dabbled with a touch of paranormal in Shore Lights and decided to take the plunge with the Sugar Maple books. Sometimes a girl just needs a little magick...
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