Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of Christian and sweet romance novels; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. She’s been with a Christian publisher since 2010. Between those and her others, she’s published 30 heartwarming, on-the-edge-of-your-seat stories and broadened her readership by writing mystery/suspense, humor, time-travel, paranormal, along with her love for historical romances. Her readers have dubbed her "Queen of Tease", because of all her twists, turns, and unexpected endings.
Welcome back to my blog, Marie. This book sounds like it has mystery, suspense, and romance all tied into one. How intriguing! Please tell us about your new book.
Nicole Bastian is a Secret Agent—as her father and brother—working for President Grant in 1875. She loves her job, and she’s great at hiding secrets. When a string of train robberies occur, she and her family are placed on the assignment, eager to catch the thief stealing money the government is sending to help repair the old South. But when the man of her dreams, Ashton Lee, turns out to be their top suspect, she’s devastated. Desperate to remain cool and impartial, Nicole strives to keep her suspicions quiet until she learns what he’s keeping from her. At the same time, she’s determined to keep her own secrets from being exposed.
See my book trailer - http://youtu.be/2S-lIHgKTzM
Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
The inspiration for this story is quite comical, I think. I’ll start out the tale by confessing that I have an addiction. I LOVE historical romance book covers, especially the ones my cover artist Sheri McGathy creates. One day I was looking at her premade covers (big mistake!) and I saw one I knew I had to buy…even though I didn’t have a story for it. So I bought it anyway and put the cover on Facebook. I asked my FB friends to tell me what they thought the story behind the cover was about. I turned it into a contest. I told my FB friends that if I liked their ideas, I would make them characters in my book. I had a handful of comments, and some I really liked. Just reading what people were thinking started my creative juices flowing, and pretty soon a story idea popped into my head.
A guy I’ve known since junior high—Lee Parry—made a great comment, which eventually became my tagline. Her love for the man of her dreams wasn’t the only thing she was hiding… Because I loved the tagline so much, I told Lee that he could pick the first name of my hero and the last name would be Lee. He picked the name Ashton. Another online friend of mine, Nicole Laverdure, gave me several suggestions, so I made her my heroine, Nicole. Another lady I’ve known since she was a teenager is also a character in my book, and I used her full maiden name Emily Thornock (I even used Emily’s parents as the character’s parents). A guy I’ve known since I was 17, Steve Larson, is also one of my characters, as well as my coworker, Glen Nickerson. The more I write the story, the more the plot thickens. I’m loving it!
That is so interesting to find out that the motivation of this story was from a book cover. What kind of research did you do for this book?
I love doing research for my historical stories. For this one, I researched the train lines that ran through New York going South to Georgia. That’s why I used Conrail Railroad. I also researched the history of Secret Agents and discovered the organization was started in Washington D.C., 1865. Another little bit of research I did was about gunshot wounds and what the doctors back in those days used to stop the bleeding. In my research, I learned that the name Lee was not used as a first name, which is why that’s the hero’s last name. And my coworker Glen…I had to change the spelling for his name to Glynn because Glen was not used, either.
Wow! You did some great research. You love to write clean sweet romances. What intrigues you most about writing this genre?
Writing sensual romance takes away the reader’s imagination, in my opinion. When I write a romance, I write just enough to tease the reader, but still leave the rest to their imagination. Not only that, but when people read my stories, they know they are going to get an interesting plot with twists and turns, but without swear words or sex scenes. Readers tell me all the time how refreshing it is to read a story for the plot – and not the sex.
That’s exactly how I feel, too. It’s refreshing to find authors who write “sweet romances.” Where can my readers find you online?
I have a blog – http://mariehiggins84302.blogspot.com
Facebook – facebook.com/marie.higgins.7543
Twitter – @mariehigginsxox
Remember, to enter this contest, you must tell us why you like to read romance books. Don’t forget to leave your email. Thank you for visiting my blog, Marie.