Thursday, September 13, 2018

Interview with 'Taking Control: Rick's Story' Morgan Malone @mmaloneauthor

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.



About the Book:

Author: Morgan Malone
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 170
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?



Thanks for this interview, Morgan.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Thank you so much for letting me join you. I’ve been writing romance for ten years, since I retired from a thirty-year career as a judge and attorney. I write “Seasoned Romance”- my main characters are all over 35 and some are in their forties and fifties. My stories are steamy, contemporary, second chance romances about mature, men and women. I am both traditionally and indie published.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I’m an avid reader – of all genres of romance and I also love spy thrillers! I also love painting with watercolors. The most fun I have these days is chasing my two-year old grandson around – then I take a nap!

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

Chapter One
The tang of the salt air hit Rick before he saw or even heard the Atlantic Ocean. He rolled down the window of his battered green Jeep and took a deep, cleansing breath. A calm he hadn’t felt in months began to spread through him—almost, but not quite, reaching his troubled soul. Nine months since he had been down the Shore. Nine months of running away, nine months of searching.
Springsteen was singing about glory days on the radio. Rick sang along for a few bars then abruptly switched off the radio. His glory days were long behind him. Not that any of my days were glory days. Hard to glorify any of the campaigns, missions and damn stupid forays the government had sent him on over the last twenty-five years. Mud, dust, dirt and blood comprised most of his memories. The silence in the Jeep was filled by the crashing of waves and the ocean breeze. Cool air flowed through the window, blowing away the heat and humidity of the July evening, washing some of the bitter regret from Rick’s face. He glanced in the rearview mirror before he put on his turn signal to leave the highway and cut toward the shore. The man who stared back at him looked weary and old. The highlights in his strawberry blond hair appeared golden in the light but he guessed it was probably just more gray hair. His dark tan seemed to emphasize the wrinkles that creased his forehead and fanned out from the corners of his eyes. Years of facing bright sun and fierce winds were embedded in those lines.
Zipping down Long Beach Boulevard, Rick caught a few glimpses of the water between the houses. The moon hung low in the summer sky, casting a glittering path across the waves and brightening the road ahead of him. With a great sigh of relief, Rick turned down First Street, then pulled the dusty Jeep into the sand-covered drive of a three-story house facing the Atlantic. Built into the dune, the garage faced the street; access to the front of the house was up a flight of wooden stairs. Rick swung his long, jean-clad legs out of the Jeep. With dusty cowboy boots planted in the drifting beach sand, he paused for a moment. Home. Reaching into the back seat, he pulled a worn green canvas bag out and slung a leather computer case over his shoulder. Traveling light meant only one trip up the long flight of stairs to the ocean-facing deck. He paused by a loose brick to feel around under it for his spare key. Hmmm, not precisely where I left it the last time. What’s up?

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

The journey has been long and full of detours. Taking Control: Rick’s Story is a sequel to my first full-length romance novel, Out of Control: Kat’s Story. I had not intended to write a sequel to Out of Control; once it was published in 2015, I immediately moved into another, stand-alone, full-length romance. But, Rick, one of Kat’s romantic interests, the one “who got away” kept popping up in my head while I was crafting other heroes. And readers continued to ask me when Rick was going to get his own HEA. The problem was that I could not imagine the woman who could breach Rick’s defenses. My “adopted” son, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, gave me Britt, the heroine of Taking Control, when he told me about an Army nurse who he knew when he served in Kandahar. That led me to a lot of research into women serving in combat. In the meantime, the original publisher of Out of Control went out of business and the rights reverted to me. So, I decided to re-issue Kat’s story (originally titled Katarina: Out of Control) with a new title and a new cover, to be followed by Taking Control: Rick’s Story. Trust me, I made my editor and my cover artist crazy for months!

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Two wounded warriors finally let down their defenses and risk broken hearts and more to find the love that will save them both…and there is a yellow Labrador Retriever.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

It is a contemporary romance about a man who is 51 and a woman who is 42. Most romances today feature main characters in their twenties. Both my hero and heroine are veterans with visible and invisible battle scars. There’s lots of hot romance and some humor, and as I just mentioned, a wonderful yellow Lab who steals every scene he’s in. But, what I love most about Taking Control is how my main characters struggle against the attraction they feel for each and then how they both surrender, gracefully and grudgingly, to love. It took me a long time to figure out how they would overcome the trauma they had suffered in war, the after-effects of which were keeping them apart. Then I discovered an amazing organization virtually in my own backyard: Saratoga WarHorse Foundation. The Foundation matches veterans suffering from PTSD with retired thoroughbred race horses in a unique program that has helped 1000 veterans. Britt’s experience with Saratoga WarHorse provides the pivotal point in my book. I am so grateful for the help with my research that I received from the Foundation and for the incredible work they do with veterans that I am donating 25% of my proceeds from the sale of Taking Control to the Foundation.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Independence Day. The book opens on the eve of the Fourth of July, the hero’s birthday. Freedom and the price our veterans pay for us to enjoy that freedom is a central theme of Taking Control. My book is definitely a summer on the Shore and end of summer story and I feel summer really begins on the Fourth of July.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

Taking Control: Rick’s Story is the second book in what has become my Love in Control series. Out of Control: Kat’s Story is a stand-alone story and so is Taking Control: Rick’s Story. But, while writing Taking Control, a secondary character who I had not plotted when I outlined the book appeared out of nowhere. I just love him - his name is Mick and he’s Rick’s friend and former comrade-in arms. So, I have to give him his own book. Losing Control: Mick’s Story should be ready for publication in the spring or summer of 2019. And that is how a series is created: the characters in your books just demand it!

What’s next for you?

I also write romantic memoir. My first published book was Cocktales: An After-50 Dating Memoir. I was widowed at 35 and did not date until I turned 50. Cocktales was about my adventures in online dating. I just finished editing the memoir I’ve written about my late husband’s valiant struggle to survive a fatal accident. It’s based on the letters I wrote him each night he was in the hospital. It’s called The Dance and it is the prequel to Cocktales.
And I just started writing Treasure, the first of four books in a series about pirates off the coast of Maine and Florida in the years following the American Revolution. I hope readers will not mind too much that I am veering off from contemporary romance for awhile to give them some sexy pirates who are looking to retire...I’m just bringing seasoned romance to the 1800’s.
Remember: Love, like wine, gets better with age!

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