I’m excited to have you here today, Meghann, to talk about your debut book! Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a wife, a mom and a Christian romance novelist who loves writing sweet, happy stories that won’t make your grandmother blush!
Before settling down with my rocket scientist husband (seriously—he’s a real, live rocket scientist!) and raising three rambunctious boys, I worked as the marketing communications manager at a software company.
Although I live in the U.S. now, I grew up in Canada, and I’m always thrilled to meet Canadian writers and readers, so it’s a real pleasure to visit with you today, Laurie 😊.
We love to meet ex-pats too! Now, can you describe your story in 5 sentences or less?
Set at a charming Cape Cod inn, this sweet story features a workaholic lawyer and a wary single mother who are drawn to each other despite the fact that his career depends on convincing her to sell the only home she’s ever known. There’s an adorably precocious four-year-old, too, who takes a big shine to the hero way before her mom does!
What was the catalyst for your interest in writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader, and when I was in the third grade, I wrote a short story about the “soggy monsters” from the 1980s Cap’n Crunch commercials that got published in my school’s anthology.
That early success spurred a lifelong love affair with language, and I’ve wanted to be a published novelist ever since!
Do you have a day job? If so, how do you find time in your day to write?
I’m a full-time, stay-at-home mom, and my job duties got way more intense last spring when COVID-19 struck!
Before the quarantine, I was getting a lot of writing done during school hours, but once the kids had to transition to long-distance learning, I found it really difficult to focus on my writing. My kids are young—the oldest is entering fourth grade and the youngest just completed pre-K—so they need a lot of supervision. Nowadays, I do most of my writing on the weekends, when my husband is around to watch the kids.
Are you a night owl or morning person?
I’m pretty much the exact opposite of a night owl! I’m an extremely light sleeper, and I wake up at the first hint of dawn. Plus, taking care of my three boys can be exhausting, and it’s rare that I have much energy left after they go to bed!
Were there any surprises that came up as you wrote your story?
I write by the seat of my pants, so I’m always surprising myself! My biggest and best surprise in writing Falling for the Innkeeper was how funny the characters are! Laura and her best friend, Chloe, have a few conversations that made me laugh out loud, and Jonathan is quite taken by Laura’s sense of humor.
I like to laugh, but I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly witty person. Writing some of the dialogue for this book kept me amused for days on end!
Who was your favorite character to create?
Laura’s four-year-old daughter, Emma, was a really fun character to write! I have three boys, so imagining life with a little girl was a pleasure—especially a little girl like Emma, who is very precocious and outgoing.
I like writing about little kids, because they unintentionally do a lot of funny things, and they don’t have a filter.
Who was the first person you allowed to read your completed book?
Aside from a copyeditor, my husband was the first person who read Falling for the Innkeeper. He’d never read a romance novel before, and he was a bit baffled by the whole experience! When he reads fiction, he usually reads sci-fi, and he thought it was “obvious” from the beginning of my book that the two main characters would end up together. I had to tell him that that was a good thing—romance readers love their happily-after-ever endings!
They sure do, and here is Meghann’s gorgeous cover:
A battle for a charming Cape Cod inn… But what happens when romance checks in?
Single mom Laura Lessoway won’t accept her mother’s plan of selling her late grandmother’s inn without a fight. But when big-city attorney Jonathan Masters arrives to arrange an offer from a client, she’s drawn to him. And working together as he helps with repairs only brings them closer. With his career and her home on the line, can they ever find common ground?
Share your favorite excerpt from your book:
It’s hard to pick just one! The final scene is very emotionally intense and satisfying, but here’s a light-hearted excerpt from earlier in the book that makes me laugh:
Jonathan walked up to the counter, brush in hand.
“You find what you were looking for, sugar?” Angie asked, playing up a very transparent, very fake Southern accent.
“Sure did,” he said, taking out his wallet to pay for the brush.
“Hang on a second,” Laura said, turning to the aisles. “There’s something I need, too.” She located the mousetraps and grabbed a big cellophane bag full of them.
Jonathan looked at her and raised an eyebrow. “You’ve got mice?”
“I think so. I saw some droppings in the basement.”
“If they were big enough for you to notice, it’s probably a rat.”
“A rat!” Laura and Angie shrieked in unison.
“Calm down, ladies.” He plucked the mousetraps out of Laura’s hand. “I’ll handle it.”
Angie sighed and murmured, “My hero,” as he walked over to examine the various rattraps on offer.
Laura swatted her on the arm. “Don’t. He’ll hear you.”
Angie grinned. “He should be hearing you get all swoony.”
“Don’t be weird,” Laura muttered.
Jonathan brought the rattraps up to the counter. Laura looked at them with trepidation. “Are those for rats or small dogs?”
“Can Emma get into the basement?” he asked.
She shook her head. “The stairs are steep. I keep the door locked.”
He nodded. “Good. I don’t want her to get hurt.” He handed the traps to Angie, and Laura took out her wallet. He gave her a look that was almost offended and said, “Put that away.”
As Angie rang him up, she chirped, “If y’all have some time before Emma’s due home, you should go next door for the early bird special. Two appetizers for the price of one!”
“Thanks, Ang.” Laura gave her friend another hug.
They walked outside and Jonathan studied the neighboring restaurant. “Mr. G’s Diner,” he said, reading the sign. “What do they serve?”
He gaped at her. He looked…different this evening. He still wore his dress shirt, but no jacket and no tie. He’d left the top button open at his neck, and he looked less in control, somehow, less “master of the universe,” but also more relaxed. More free.
He was holding the bag with the dishwasher brush and the rattraps in his left hand. She had to admit that there was something kind of swoon-worthy about a man who knew how to take apart a dishwasher, and who wasn’t afraid to wrestle rats.
“That’s not a real thing, is it?” he asked. “Irish-Indian fusion?”
“Oh, yeah, it’s real. And pretty decent, actually.” Now that they were talking about food, Laura realized she was hungry.
“What’s on the menu? Curry meat loaf? Corned beef tikka masala?”
“Uh, no,” she said. “But come on. I can tell you want to try it.”
He made a face. “Is it wrong that I’m scared?”
She laughed. “Yes, Harvard. Man up. A little experimental cuisine won’t kill you.”
“Are you insulting my masculinity now?” he asked, lips twitching. He was clearly more amused than annoyed.
She gave him a friendly little pat on the arm. “There, there, Harvard. Your masculinity is fine.”
He snorted. “Just what every man wants to hear from a beautiful woman.”
Where can readers find you online?
I love to connect with readers! You can find me here:
Question for readers:
Do you prefer books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?