Rave Reviews Book Club’s Spotlight Author: Maureen K. Howard
As the Rave Reviews Book Club’s very first Spotlight Author, I really love hosting for the blog tours of the Spotlight Authors. It gives me a way of paying back for the wonderful support I received when I was the lucky author and still receive today as a member of RRBC. Today, I host Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard, a mother and daughter writing team, also known as Maureen K. Howard. Wait until you dig in to the first book in their Lake Erie Mysteries series! Looking for another great summer read? Look no further than this link to Sunny Side Up. To get things started, the authors have for you today an “interview” with their main character, Francine Orsini Egge. Then, have fun reading an excerpt from Chapter Two of Sunny Side Up.
~by Brigette Howard
Host: Welcome! Let’s get the easiest and most obvious question out of the way first. Who are we talking to today?
Francie: My name is Francesca Orsini Egge. Notice that my last name rhymes with ledge and not leg. People get that wrong all the time, but you can just call me Francie.
Host: Okay, Francie. Would you tell us a little bit about your family?
Francie: I have been married for twenty years to my wonderful husband Hammond. He is a lawyer and a really stand up kind of guy. We have two children, Beth and Ben; they are twins. They both moved off to college this year, so I’m suffering a little bit of empty nest syndrome.
Host: Is that why you spend so much time with your friend June?
Francie: I guess I never thought of that. I suppose I do like being around June and all of her shenanigans because it keeps my mind off of worrying about my kids.
Host: Speaking of shenanigans, tell us more about June.
Francie: June is my best friend, if people in their forties are still allowed to have best friends. We met while I was working as an intern to the Cleveland prosecuting attorney, and she was just starting her career as an investigative reporter for WCLV. Our paths seemed to keep crossing, and in no time we were socializing out on the town and living it up as two single career women would do. That’s also just about the time I met Hamm, and the rest is history so to speak. Look at us now. Still best friends, but with very different careers and lives than we set out for.
Host: How did you switch gears from a budding career in law enforcement to eventually heading the local college drama department?
Francie: After the twins were born, I loved being a stay at home mom spending my days with Beth and Ben when they were babies and then sharing in their youthful adventures, but I realized that I still needed something for me. I was endlessly directing impromptu plays the kids put on with their friends in the neighborhood, so I thought, why not try my hand at theater for adults. It started with just a few classes here and there when I could squeeze them in, but resulted in a degree in theater and a very fulfilling career as the drama department head in the same college where I had started out my classes.
Host: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Francie: I love to spend summers at my “Happy Place.” Hamm and I have a condo and a boat in Marblehead on Lake Erie. We spend our weekends there as often as possible. We enjoy taking the boat for short trips to some of the nearby islands. There are some great shopping destinations and really delicious food. Not to mention a wide variety of tempting adult beverages.
Host: Do you have a favorite food or drink that you would like to share?
Francie: Cheese for sure! It can be on food, in food, or just by itself, but everything is better with a little cheese. And of course, a nice glass of Pinot Noir also goes nicely with a cheese plate.
Host: I think that about wraps things up. And I’m getting a little cheese craving of my own right now. Thank you for stopping by to chat Francie.
Francie: It was my pleasure. Until next time, remember my favorite motto, “keep a drink in one hand, credit card in the other, and everything else will sort itself out.”
Maureen K. Howard is the pen name of mother/daughter writing partners, Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard. They both live in Findlay, Ohio. Maureen recently retired from a long career as a high school English teacher and now focuses her time on spoiling her three granddaughters, spending long weekends at the lake with her husband and their golden doodle, and making friends with fellow mystery writers and readers across the globe via social media. Oh yeah, she also writes books. Brigette works full time managing multiple national restaurant franchises. She enjoys taking her charcoal lab on running adventures and spends her free time reading, gardening with her husband, cooking, and planning the perfect murder.
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Side-Lake-Erie-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00Q79DB90/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434554136&sr=1-2&keywords=sunny+side+up B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sunny-side-up-maureen-k-howard/1121262131?ean=9781634432887
Did I leave my vibrator on? Oh wait, I don’t own a vibrator, so what was causing the riotous pile of clothes on my bedroom floor to buzz with such urgency? The mundane truth was that I’d switched my cell phone ringer off so I wouldn’t lose focus while trying to assemble my weekend wardrobe. Obviously that wasn’t working out so well for me.
I located the gyrating devil under some discarded tank tops and swiped the answer button on the screen just before the call was switched over to voicemail. “Hello?”
“Francie! Is it a go? Did you get the hubby to agree to run us over to the island in the boat this weekend?”
“It’s good to hear from you, too, June. And no, I haven’t even gotten around to asking him yet. He’s downstairs whipping up one of his gourmet meals, and I sure don’t want to distract him from that. I was trying to figure out what I should pack. How do you prepare for freezing cold mornings, balmy afternoons, torrential downpours and high winds—and fit everything into one suitcase? At least I don’t have to worry about bathing suits. After the winter we’ve just had, the lake probably won’t warm up until August.”
“Sorry. I’m just anxious to get to the island. My editor is jumping down my throat to get this story in before the official start of the season.”
June’s passion was hard to resist. She was like that about everything she did—she took off running and didn’t look back. I could feel myself being lured in to the promise of fun and adventure. It wouldn’t be the first time.
My best friend was a freelance writer. She worked for a consortium of specialty magazines running the gamut from Fruit Aficionado to The Neighborhood Cigar, to my favorite, Lady Sings the Tools. Two years ago she gave up her high-profile job as an investigative reporter for WCLV, the major network news channel in Cleveland. After her divorce, she bagged up all her corporate outfits, chopped off her hair, and set off on a new career path that didn’t hamper her free spirit. Her new job now requires her to spend time with all kinds of interesting people from every walk of life instead of digging up dirt on the lowest of low-life criminals.
Recently, I even got to meet Christie Browne, the beautiful model, while June was working on a story about the latest beauty product the star was endorsing. In our enthusiasm to prove our support for the much-touted self-tanning lotion, we doubled the recommended amount as well as the recommended usage time. Our skin turned a frightening shade of burnt pumpkin, and wouldn’t you know it, I had to accompany Hammond to a formal dinner party given by his firm that same evening. June, on the other hand, was able to postpone her face-to-face interview, and by the time we met Christie, we both looked sweetly sun-kissed. She got rave reviews on her piece. I got put on a prayer list.
“I get that you’re under a deadline, but if I don’t approach Hamm in just the right way, I’m fried. Let me call you back in a little while.”
“Okay, but let me know soon. If I don’t take this assignment, I’ll be stuck documenting the mating behaviors of ferrets for the next two weeks.”
About jsherwin2013Jennie has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in counseling. She is the author of Intentional Healing: One Woman’s Path to Higher Consciousness and Freedom from Environmental and Other Chronic Illnesses and is a contributing writer to Conscious Life News. She has been a teacher of English on the junior high school and senior high school levels, as well as a writer and editor in the field of public health. She has mentored writers and editors. She is certified in Reiki I and II and has studied energy therapies at A Healing Place in Richardson, Texas, working under the direction of Deborah Singleton and her healing team. Jennie also acknowledges the guidance of Christine Gregg, Australian spirit reader and healer, and Maya Page, intuitive healer, Reiki Master, and VortexHealing® practitioner, now retired. Jennie lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Roger, a retired physician and epidemiologist. They provide editorial services to university researchers in the fields of medicine and public health. Her son, Colin, lives and works in New York City with his wife, Colleen.
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