Tell us a bit about your short story, SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR:
NATALIE: This is a story that illustrates the healing power of physical intimacy to temper the trauma of guilt and regret. The main characters have both suffered terribly in their past – and their meeting can be seen as happenstance… a chance in life to turn things over and start living anew.
Here’s the book description/blurb:
Fifteen years ago, one fateful day bound the lives of two perfect strangers…
Melita Saari-Quinn is living the consequences of a traumatizing psychic event that turned her adolescence upside down. Now, disillusioned with her job as a psychotherapist and desiring a change from her lackluster existence, she hopes that something out of her ordinary sphere of existence – something totally uninhibited and spontaneous – will renew her zest for life.
Alex Moncado seems to have it all – good looks, a successful business, and a fun life in “party central” of theMediterranean: the island of Malta. Except for one day in the year when he can’t help but remember a tragedy that never should have been. One day he’d rather forget, because if he doesn’t, the guilt will consume him.
Can one passionate night together banish the ghosts of the past and give two lost souls a second chance?
Why should people read SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR?
NATALIE: I hope they’d get the book because…
1. It is a beautiful story of blossoming love and healing intimacy in an unusual setting and situation;
2. It is a sensual, romantic story that touches the heart;
3. The hero is hot (think a tortured Thomas Jane);
4. The paranormal element is interesting;
5. The twist revealed about mid-way through the book takes a reader by surprise and is worth the read.
I see that your story is set in an unusual location.
NATALIE: Yes, it is set in the beautiful MediterraneanislandofMalta, which is where I’m from. I do like to explore different locations in my stories – locations that play a role in both the plot and the development of the characters.
SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR tackles also elements of the paranormal. Please explain.
NATALIE: My heroine, Melita, suffers a trauma triggered by a psyching experience when she was in her teens. The rest of her life is defined by this experience whereby she connected with a world beyond all that is known and understood. After fifteen years living in darkness, she finally finds some shocking answers…
What are you working on now?
NATALIE: I’m working on polishing up and doing some rewrites on my novel, AN ETERNITY OF ROSES, that I hope will be released by end of year. It is a paranormal/fantasy romance involving immortals, witches and curses and in essence, is the tale of star-crossed lovers who are separated by an evil witch’s curse (Think Romeo and Juliet meets Snow White meets Highlander). This story features a strong heroine who fights impossible odds to get back the man she loves – and most of all, to make him remember her! Because the curse has wiped out all memory of her in the hero’s mind, except in the mysterious world of his dreams…
Again, I used several different locations in this novel, although it starts and ends in England.
When thinking up An Eternity of Roses, I asked myself: what great love wants to be forgotten? I also weave in how the main characters’ destiny also lies as part of a group of immortals called the Valthreans. (I posted the Valtrean legend on my site at http://www.nataliegowens.com/p/works-in-progress.html). But all is not well in the Valthrean world… danger lurks around every corner. This book will be the first in a series titled The Valthrean Legacy.
How can readers find you?
NATALIE: Here are my links. BTW, I love to connect with readers via Facebook and my website.
You can read more about SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR or download it here:
The solid wood front door was slightly ajar so he didn’t have to use his key. Discarding it on the inlaid wood console table by the entrance, he walked into a welcoming, classic modern sitting room steeped in earth tones. He stepped on an expensive-looking brown and beige Persian rug that covered most of the floor.
Someone had put money into this place. After looking at the outside, one wouldn’t think that such luxury and comfort waited inside. It was a two hundred year old structure, painstakingly renovated with a welcoming, state-of-the-art interior.
The large room flowed into an L-shape that carried beyond a large teak dining table with seating for six.
“You can close the door behind you,” said a lilting voice from the back of the L-shape.
His stomach made a flip like that of a schoolboy’s with a budding first crush. Laughing inwardly at the thought, he clicked the door shut and walked past the chocolate leather couch, around the table, toward the beautiful voice.
He found her sitting on a bar stool at the kitchen counter. A couple of large trays laden with cold meats, cheeses, and assorted appetizers sat untouched in front of her.
She turned toward him and looked straight into his eyes. Her eyebrows drew together.
“You must be starving,” she said.
Upon meeting her gaze, his belly did a bigger flip and he had difficulty swallowing the big lump that lodged in his throat.
God, she was beautiful.
He stared at her. Soft burnished locks flowed richly around her oval face to just below her collarbone. Tall and trim, she wore a simple silk green sheath dress that stopped above the knee and unpretentious flat gold sandals.
An artist’s muse.
The best part of her, though, were her eyes. Fine jade eyes that looked at him, into him, through him. There was something infinitely alluring about that light green gaze. It was unique, and frightening. It was… intense. Would any man be able to keep secrets from this woman?
A deeper frown creased her brow. “Is something wrong?”
His gaze fell to her full lower lip that she was now biting on. “No.”
Boy, was he charming tonight. If he went on this way, she would think him a dunderhead and call off the whole thing.
“I was saying that you must be hungry,” she tried again, while she extended a hand toward him.
“As a matter of fact, I am.” He was at her side in two strides and took her offered hand as he sat on the stool next to her. It was supple and warm against his. He briefly rubbed his thumb above her knuckles and raised her hand to his mouth to drop a light kiss on it.
She laughed, a sweet, musical sound. “Men haven’t done that in centuries.”
“Does it matter?”
“No, but you don’t need to seduce me. We both know why we’re here.”