Today we’re pleased to welcome Constance Bretes to the 20QS spotlight.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Constance Bretes, but everyone calls me Connie. I was born and raised in Michigan, and have just recently moved out to Montana with my husband of 20 years, and four cats. I have retired from the State of Michigan after 38-plus years of service in July 2015. I have an MBA in leadership studies, and a BA in business administration. I got interested in writing about 10 years ago, when I decided I wanted to write something for fun and not write technical manuals. Besides my writing, my interests are basket weaving and jewelry making, however, writing is my real passion and I spend a lot of time with it.
My recent release, Jarillo Sunset, is situated in New Mexico. It was published in March 2015. Real estate agent Char Johnson is on her way to meet a client when she gets a flat tire. It’s a meeting she can’t afford to miss since she’s just been told she may be out of a job if she doesn’t beat out a co-worker in sales over the next few months. When Vincent Carter stops and helps her, she’s grateful beyond words and is determined to pay him back for his kindness, which is how she ends up agreeing to be his date to a wedding. Ever since his divorce Vincent has been on a hiatus from relationships, and he’s perfectly happy with that. He’s not looking to get involved with anyone, but he does need a date for a wedding. Although the two discover they enjoy each other’s company, and there is definitely an attraction, with their schedules it would be difficult to find time to pursue anything. Vincent works two jobs, and Char is working extra hours to save her own job. Then there’s the conniving ex who seems determined to win Vincent back, a whole slew of family drama for both of them, and the list goes on. The obstacles in their way seem to grow by the minute. And even if they could overcome those, Char may not be able to overcome her own insecurities, not to mention her intense dislike for Vincent’s profession. Her father’s gambling addiction destroyed their family, so for her to now get involved with someone who works at a casino…Will Char be destined to be alone forever? Or can the handsome Native American she met by chance break through her walls and ease the loneliness in her life?
3. Please share a little about your previous books.
My first release is titled Delayed Justice. Five years ago, Sami Parker’s life was changed forever when she was injured in a bombing incident which left another young woman dead—a woman who happened to be the fiancée of Sheriff Makeeta Robertson, Sami’s former lover. Initially, Sami was a suspect in the crime, but the sheriff was forced to release her due to a lack of evidence. The town, convinced that she got away with murder, turned against her. At last an arrest has been made and the sheriff needs Sami’s help to get a conviction, but can she trust him? Although wary and cautious, she wants to see this man brought to justice and wants to clear her own name once and for all. But the awakening feelings she has for Makeeta bring yet another problem. Then there’s the secret she’s kept for the last five years—one she may not be able to keep any longer, and one that may change the outcome of the trial.
My next release is titled The Last Dig. Paleontologist Caroline Priest is shocked when she finds a dead body at her dig site. When she calls it in to the sheriff’s department, her former boyfriend, Rand Callahan, comes out to investigate. The evidence quickly starts to point to Caroline being the killer, and Rand has no choice but to arrest her. It’s clear to Caroline that she’s been set up, but by who and for what reason? While Caroline is out on bail, Rand rekindles his relationship with her as they try to solve the mystery before it’s too late.
The third release is titled Love Songs. Jennifer Summers returned to the U.S. after spending two years in Africa, she has some decisions to make. Should she resume her singing career or continue to live a secluded life out of the spotlight in the hopes that her stalker won’t be able to locate her? Years ago Jake Ackerson let Jennifer go so she could pursue her dreams. When she suddenly returns to their hometown he’s determined to rekindle his relationship with the woman he never stopped loving. Jake’s band is temporarily without a singer, and Jennifer agrees to take the position, but in doing so she is once again pushed into the limelight, and she knows it’s only a matter of time before danger strikes. Will Jake be able to protect her, and can he convince her to put past hurts aside and give their relationship another shot? Note also, that Jarillo Sunset is tied in to Love Songs. Vincent Carter is Jake’s bass player, and the wedding that Char and Vincent went to was Jake and Jennifer’s wedding.
The fourth release is titled Book of Love. When her marriage came to a devastating end, Janice Meyers moved to Montana to try to escape her past and get a fresh start. She’s sworn off men, but she didn’t anticipate meeting Chris. After the death of his wife, Chris Jamisen focused all his time and energy on running his auto repair shop and raising his children. He’s not looking for love, and when he first meets Janice, the town’s new librarian, he never imagines they might embark on a relationship. Sure, he’ll admit he finds the smart, sexy blonde attractive, but the frustrating woman expects miracles from him. Her vehicle is practically beyond repair, but she insists he has to keep it running. As Chris gets to know Janice, he begins to develop feelings for her, but he’s reluctant to pursue a relationship. He’s Native American, and he worries about the complications of a biracial relationship. He’s experienced prejudice first hand, so he knows how difficult it can be. When Janice’s ex-husband shows up seeking revenge, things could reach a horrible end. Will Chris save Janice in time? And will he and Janice be able to set aside their painful pasts and give their relationship a chance?
4. Have you always written in the romance genre?
Yes, I’ve always written romance. I’ve read romance books all my life, and never get tired of reading the happy ever after endings.
5. What or who inspired you to be a writer?
My husband inspired me to be a writer. He said I had a lot of great stories to write and needed to get them down.
6. Where in the world are you?
I’m in Basin, Montana. I just moved here in September 2015.
7. What do you love best about being a writer?
I love getting the first draft down. Fleshing out the characters and having them deal with the issues and conflicts, for me, is satisfying and fun to do.
8. What’s the biggest challenge being a writer?
Organizing my time and being interrupted.
9. What’s your favorite romance trope?
Not quite sure what this means.
10. What’s your typical writing day like?
I get up early in the mornings and have coffee and breakfast with my husband, then I go into my office to check my email, promote my work and other authors’ work. If I’m reading a book for a review or a self-help book, I spend about an hour or so on that or I spend it doing my research online. I spend the rest of my late morning and early afternoon either editing or writing.
11. Where do you usually write?
I write in my office. The picture is attached.
12. When you’re writing, is it coffee, tea, soda, or water?
Mostly coffee. Sometimes a cup of hot chocolate.
13. Do you have other creative outlets? If so, what?
I like to basket weave and make jewelry with beads. I also like to travel around the state of Montana. I get a lot of inspiration visiting the different places.
14. What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a self-help book called Master Lists for Writers, by Bryn Donovan.
15. Name three of your favorite television shows.
“Ghost Adventures,” “How the Universe Works,” football
16. If you could have dinner with any author–living or dead–who would it be and what would be on the menu?
I’d love to have dinner with Victoria Holt. I kind of grew up on her books. The restaurant would be a four-star restaurant and steak would be on the menu.
17. If you couldn’t be an author, what other job would you choose?
I’d do my basket weaving full time and sell at art shows, etc.
18. What are you working on next?
I’m working on the final edits of my new book called Blue As Sapphires. A romance situated in Montana.
19. Anything else you’d like to share?
I love to hear from my readers and other authors. Please tell me what you liked or didn’t like in any of my books, and ideas you may have for me to consider in my future books.
20. How can people find out more about you?
You can find out more about me at a bunch of different media sites. The major site of course, is my website: http://conniebretes.weebly.com. Also:
Photos courtesy of the author.
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