Happy Valentine’s Day to all our wenchy readers. Today, I am pleased to feature Patricia D. Eddy, one of the Writing Wenches, who has a brand spanking new release out called Love and Libations just in time for the holiday.
Patricia, thank you so much for taking time to talk with us about your new book, Love and Libations. Let’s get down to it.
Jennifer-This book is part of a not so typical series, will you tell us a bit about it?
Patricia-I wanted to write a short little novella for the holidays—Christmas in particular. Mac and Devan decided to tell me their stories and that turned into Mistletoe and Mochas. The reception of that book was phenomenal. People loved it. There’s something about holidays and military heroes that really gets people going. So a few weeks after the release of Mistletoe and Mochas, I started planning out an entire series.
Each book focuses on a different couple. Small interactions between the couples are definitely possible, so even though Mac and Devan’s story is over, it’s really not. Readers will see them again. They get a little mention in Love and Libations.
I wanted to focus on military heroes for this series. Usually that will end up being the male hero, but I’m going to do at least one book where the veteran is a woman. I’m thinking that will be next year. Each hero is a little tortured. Either they’ve got PTSD, were injured, or are only just out of the military and need to adjust back to civilian life. Their love interests have issues of their own, and there’s usually a little bit of suspense mixed in to keep things interesting.
Jennifer– Sounds good. I loved Mistletoe and Mochas, so I am pleased to hear we will see more of Mac and Devan in future books. What do you love about your MMC for Love and Libations?
Patricia-Garrett James is strong, sexy, and tattooed. He’s also a veteran amputee. I loved writing him. He’s got his flaws. Because he’s been injured and is missing most of a leg, he’s terribly insecure about actually being naked around a woman, even though he’s outwardly cool, confident, and very much in control. He owns his bar, crafts inventive cocktails, and is generally an all-around good guy. When he’s clothed, he’s on top of the world. No one even knows he’s missing a leg. But he spent quite a while after his injury feeling sorry for himself, so he knows what it’s like to have to start over.
Jennifer-Ooh, I like him already. Sounds like a great hero. I can see how his insecurities would be very relatable to anyone that has been left scared. What do you love about your FMC?
Patricia-Lilah McKinney is sweet, spicy, and strong. She’s been through hell—physically and emotionally, but there’s a strength to her that even she doesn’t understand. She finds herself trapped in an abusive relationship, which takes most of who she is and shoves it so far down inside that she doesn’t know how to fight her way out again. This is pretty common in these types of relationships. When she meets Garrett, she starts to remember who she used be—who she wants to be again. I love that spark that catches inside. She has to remake herself, no one can do that for her. Not even Garrett.
Jennifer-Yes, I was once in an abusive relationship myself, a long time ago, and that is exactly what happens. You lose yourself and any sense of self worth, and it’s a fight to get those back. I’ve heard you say this book is very personal to you. Can you tell our readers why?
Patricia-Many years ago, I was abused. My ex never laid a hand on me, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t abuse me. I was made to feel like nothing, like a failure. He isolated me from my friends, made it a point to bad mouth my family. And he played the victim. My successes at work were all to hurt him. My time with my friends was excluding him. I didn’t really set out to write my own story when I started Love and Libations, but after the first draft, I realized that’s what it had started to become. At that point, I embraced it and went deeper.
Jennifer-Wow that must have been really hard. Isolation, yeah. That really hits home for me as well. Powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing that. Did you use personal situations as inspiration for this book?
Patricia-Yes. I was lucky that my ex never actually hit me, but there were bits of dialog that I put in the book that were almost exactly what he’d say to me. I wanted the book to be real. Emotional abuse is something that I think we don’t always understand. I certainly didn’t know I was in an abusive relationship until the end. I think a lot of women (and men) are in that boat. You fall in love with someone, or think you have, and you don’t see their flaws. The comments start, little things that you brush off. You’re stupid. You did something wrong. You made him (or her) mad. You should try harder. Sometimes that’s as far as it goes, but sometimes it goes further.
So yes. This book is deeply personal to me.
Jennifer-Very true. You don’t really know you are being abused because is starts out so slowly, but then bam, you wake up one day afraid. My understanding is this book ended up being around 40K words and you were only planning on 20K. What happened? Did the characters take over or was there just too much story to tell to fit into 20K?
Patricia-Ha! The story took over. What started out as a semi-light romance quickly turned into this deep, dark, emotional journey for both of the characters and for me. I worked through a lot of my own backstory while writing this. Even though I’ve been out of that relationship for almost a decade, I hadn’t really dealt with a lot of the fallout from it. I wrote some pretty dark scenes, some of which didn’t make it in to the book, but I had to get them out on the screen so I could heal. I couldn’t be prouder of this book and what it represents.
Jennifer– That’s wonderful. I know you write fantasy, romance, paranormal and erotica. This is a contemporary romance. What heat level would you give this book? Who is your audience?
Patricia-This falls right in the middle of the road. There’s some heat, don’t get me wrong. The primary sex scene in the book might be one of the hottest ones I’ve written, but it’s not overly graphic either. On a scale of 1-5, this would be a solid three. The romance and the healing that both characters go through are definitely the stars here rather than the sex.
My audience is anyone who loves stories of healing, redemption, and growth. I think these two characters change more than any others I’ve written over the course of the book. They both come into their own and truly discover who they are.
I will warn readers that if you have triggers for emotional and physical abuse, this book may be difficult to read at times. It’s meant to be, because it’s meant to be real. I couldn’t fake it and hide those parts from readers because they’re important. While I didn’t set out with this as a goal, if this book helps people understand what emotional abuse is and how harmful it can be, then I have done my job as a writer.
Jennifer-I think sometimes reading or watching a movie that involves abuse is what can give women, and men, who are in abusive relationships the courage they need to get out. Can you give us a little taste of the book? A deleted scene or an excerpt?
Here’s a little excerpt.
A week later, on Valentine’s Day, Garrett was suffering through his sixth night in a row behind the bar when the door opened. The winter storm brought in a swirl of leaves, rain, and a man with a redhead tucked in the crook of his arm. Lilah. Garrett didn’t even see Danny Brogan. His entire focus was on her. Her gaze flicked around the room, landing on him for an uncomfortable pause before her boyfriend released her. “Go sit at the bar, baby. I’m gonna hang with the boys.”
“Danny. You’re not supposed—”
“I’m not fucking driving. Give me a break. I need to let off some steam. Have a glass of wine or two.” Danny dug out his credit card and shoved it into her hand. Without a backwards glance, he left her for a table of businessmen in the corner of the room who were on their second round of boilermakers.
Lilah glanced at Danny. A brief glimmer of sadness appeared in her eyes, but she blinked it away. She took a seat at the corner of the bar, as far away from him as she could, and withdrew an e-reader from her bag.
Garrett wiped down the bar and set a glass of water and a bowl of pretzels in front of her. “Lilah. A glass of wine?” He turned around, perusing the bottles on the shelf. “Wait. Let me guess. A French 75?”
Lilah snorted. “Maybe for brunch. Or if the only alternative is white wine. Knob Creek. Neat.”
Holy shit. That’s sexy as hell. He stuttered his acknowledgement, unable to keep the disbelief from his tone.
“Women can drink liquor too, you know. And if I’m going to drink, it’s going to be the good stuff.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He poured her a double, punched in a single, and set the drink and the receipt down in front of her.
“Thanks, uh…?” She raised a reddish-blond brow.
“Do you serve food?” She looked around the room, her gaze lingering on her boyfriend and his cronies before she shook her head and met Garrett’s eyes once more.
“Nothin’ that you’d want to eat. Why?”
“Because I’m probably going to be here half the night and I haven’t had dinner yet. I had to drive him here right after work. So much for Valentine’s Day.”
Lilah snorted again. It was the cutest little sound and Garrett tried to hide his smile behind a glass of water. “He lost his license. I’m his chauffeur for the next few . . . well . . . I don’t know how long. His trial isn’t for another month.”
“Can I ask you somethin’?”
Her pale green eyes narrowed. “If I say no, you’re just going to ask anyway. I know your type. Nosy and all self-righteous. I bet you were in the military.”
Garrett shrugged. “Army.”
“Figures. So ask.”
“Why are you with him?” He leaned on the bar, his bare forearms drawing her gaze.
“He takes care of me.”
“He’s left you alone, at a bar, while he drinks with his buddies. After a DUI. On Valentine’s Day. That doesn’t sound like he’s all that responsible.”
“Danny has his faults. We all do.” She took a sip of her bourbon and her eyelids fluttered closed. “I’d like to be alone, please. If I have to sit here for the next few hours, I’d rather not spend the whole time defending Danny or my own choices.”
He held up his hands. “You’re the boss.”
A last snort and Lilah returned her attention to her Kindle.
Jennifer-I’m totally intrigued. Thank you for that teaser. A woman who drinks Knob Creek Bourbon, she’s a smart one. Okay, I know you enjoy mixing drinks. Did you come up with any original cocktails for this book? Were there any drinks mentioned in the book that you would like to share the recipe for?
Patricia-I’ve been known to create drink recipes for my books. Coffee and liquor are things I enjoy, after all, and so my characters naturally enjoy them too. Garrett is a bartender, so it was only natural that I spend a little more effort as part of this book to come up with some truly spectacular drink recipes. The one I’m most proud of is the signature drink for the book, Seattle’s Long, Wet Kiss. Want the recipe?
Seattle’s Long Wet Kiss
- 1 oz bourbon
- 1 oz peach liqueur
- Lemon sage bitters
- Splash grenadine
Mix the bourbon, peach liqueur, and lemon-sage bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a rocks glass with or without ice and top with a splash of grenadine.
Jennifer-That sounds good. What is coming next in the series?
Patricia-Ooo. Well, I’m not entirely sure. The next book is tentatively titled Fireworks and Flirtations. It will be set in Boston, because I can’t think of anything better than seeing the Boston Pops live at the Boston Esplanade. I can tell you that Mac and Devan from Mistletoe and Mochas will make an appearance.
Jennifer-The Boston Pops, that reminds me of when I was young and watching them on PBS with my mom. Where can we find Love and Libations?
Patricia-Love and Libations is available on Amazon. You can buy it, which would earn you my undying love, but you can also borrow it on Kindle Unlimited. For that, I’ll send you a virtual hug and a virtual glass of most excellent scotch. Say an 18-year old Macallan? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RSDC1RM
Jennifer-Macallan is good, I prefer Glenlivit. I’m adding it to my TBR list right now. Thank you so much for joining me, Patricia, and Happy Valentine’s Day to you.
You can find Patricia online at any of the links below.