Thursday, September 27, 2012

Falling In & Out of Love with Characters! Chatting with Author Lisa Deon - The Carriage Trade (VBTC Book Tour)

Today we are pleased to introduce you to author, Lisa Deon. Lisa is currently touring at the Virtual Book Tour Cafe' with her book, The Carriage Trade. Lisa will also be giving you a chance to get your hands on a copy of her book, so be sure to enter using the Rafflecopter below. Welcome to Mass Musings Lisa!

Lisa is letting us delve into her brain a bit today, so let's get started, shall we?

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

My heroine has aphasia and ABI, (acquired brain injury) which she got as a result of an accident. And while I have an occasional lapse in word recall, I've never suffered the same type of injury. I do, however, have family and friends who have, and I utilized certain aspects of their physical traits and personality in creating my characters.

The community of characters, known as Carlin's Carriage Tribe, act like a modern, non-musical Greek Chorus, to comment on or inform the reader about information or events they otherwise would not know about. They alternately give her support and bitch-slap her with a dose of reality, too, just like my own circle of friends.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I struggle between Bill Fantazma, because he is so sexy, honorable and full of foibles, and Carlin Farley, because, like all of us, she only wants someone to love her. They both have attributes I admire, and flaws I can relate to.

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

I fall in and out of love with characters depending on what I'm reading next, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for Enzo, the dog who narrates The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I find his perception of our world to be fresh and inspiring.

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

I adore Lessa from Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern series. I think living with dragons would be an interesting life, especially being able to fly around on the back of one. Ironically, I have a fear of heights and hate to fly. It's messed up but what can I say, I love McCaffrey's voice. Her world building abilities were phenomenal. I'm drawn to female characters that kick ass and take names. That's why my heroes are Beta type, strong without being controlling.

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

I like to allow my readers to create their own image of what they think the main characters look like given the descriptions in my book.  The place holder for Nora is Queen Latifa, who I admire for her acting and singing skills, and because she is a plus size woman who looks fantastic in slinky dresses. She has an "in your face" attitude like Nora does.  The character of Richard reminds me a lot of Jon Bon Jovi, but with an Australian accent.

MM:  What can we expect from Lisa Deon in the future? Any new projects?

I'm currently finishing up The Re-Education of the One Trick Pony,  the sequel to The Carriage Trade,  and I have numerous stories simmering on my laptop. I hope one day to complete and publish my nonfiction opus, The Compendium Field Guide to Replacing the Toilet Paper Roll, which is a book that women across the universe will believe is essential to maintain peace and harmony every household.  I know it's a book that we could sure use in mine, since apparently I'm the only one with the technical skills necessary to complete the task. Or so it seems.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

I am on, twitter @lisadeon, and of course my website is My next public appearance will be at the Utah Romance Writers of America fall conference in Park City, Utah. There will be a book signing and information is available at

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

The pleasure has been all mine, thank you.

Lisa Deon told stories for years before she ever thought of writing them down. Had it not been for the invention of the PC and Microsoft Word, she never would have, because typing was just not her thing. So much so that her first novel, written in Junior High, was dictated to a friend who was a superior typist, speller and had a much better appreciation for proper grammar and punctuation. After they parted ways, Lisa shared her tales by cornering people at cocktail parties and telling them stories until someone had to give up and go pee.
Now, with the advent of the previously mentioned technological miracles, you can enjoy Lisa's yarns in the comfort and privacy of your home and use the restroom whenever the spirit moves you, without having to formulate a creative way of escaping her clutches, like faking a heart attack or pulling the fire alarm.
If you feel it necessary, you can stalk Lisa online at Facebook or send an email to which she might answer depending on if you are actually being sincere or if she thinks you are trying to sell her diet water, erection pills, or advise her she has won the Nigerian Lottery. In any case, this "About the Author" is the only place where she talks about herself in the third person.
Offline, she has three rescue dogs, a rescue husband, a daughter in the military, a mother living in her basement (of her own free will) a beloved but seldom ridden Appaloosa and is babysitting a Bearded Dragon. Or would that be Dragon-sitting? Either way, her favorite foods are wine and popcorn, her favorite color is dog, and her favorite smell is horse. Not necessarily in that order.

How do you get to a "Happily Ever After" when you can't remember where it began?

Carlin "Carlos" Farley's life is an open book. Unfortunately, she can't remember most of it. She's losing her barn manager, Bill, the guy who's been running her horse drawn carriage business while she's been in extended care recovering from an accident. Bill has always been there for her, in fact they've grown up together, but now he wants to pursue the career he put on hold and Carlin's resigned to the idea that he's leaving her.
Bill Fantazma is the kind of guy who always tries to do the right thing. But sometimes doing the right thing is not the right thing to do. He's been in charge of Carlin's care and the business he helped acquire for her, and has accepted the accident and her subsequent brain damage as a chance for a do-over, since his previous actions to attract her affection were less than honorable.
Richard Cooper appears to be the answer to their business problems. Knowledgeable about horses, willing to step in and take over the barn manager position, helpful and solicitous to Carlin, he's not put off by her sometimes bizarre and quirky behavior.
But when Richard sees an opportunity to move in and draw Carlin's affection, Bill realizes just what she means to him and must make a decision; come clean about their past and risk her anger, or step aside to allow Richard to have a romantic relationship with the woman Bill has loved all of his life.
It's a romance she can't remember and he can never forget.
Publisher Self
Genre Contemporary Romance
Release Date June 15, 2012
Chapter Nineteen
 The opportunity to use the restroom finally arrived, and Carlos took it. Bruce just pulled out, Phyllis was due back in half an hour and Amy should return any minute. She asked the two couples in line to please tell anyone else who showed up that she would be right back. She hurried to the West Gate restrooms and talked security into waiting a minute before he locked her out. We call you the Mormon Mafia, she thought as she begged him to let her use the john.
She gave him a gift certificate when she came out. She forgot to write, "Ask for Bill" across the top. Her pee stop had just cost her $11.60. That was the commission she would have to pay any other driver who gave the ride. Oh well, it was worth it, better than wetting my pants.
She scurried out of Temple Square as quickly as possible without breaking into a run, stopping short when she saw her carriage parked out front, Bill and Tony the Belgian waiting for her. He even turned her string of fancy pink lights on, which she knew he hated. Early in her driving career she had decorated her carriage, adding flowers, lights and speakers for romantic music on the Grove ride.
You're just not a pink flowery kind of a girl, Carlin," Bill remarked, inspecting what he called her 'rolling bordello'.
"You know, Bill, I'm a money making kind of a girl, and in this business the girls pick the carriage and the boys pay. If the boys picked out the carriage, rest assured I'd cover it in beer cans and boobs."
He agreed that she had a point.
She approached the carriage. Bill sat on the box, the last couple standing in the line already seated in the passenger compartment. Carlos looked at them, frowning.
"Wasn't there another couple ahead of you?" she asked.
"I gave them ten bucks to come back later," the young man replied, jerking his thumb at the girl seated beside him. "She likes this carriage. This is the one we want." The girl rolled her eyes and said nothing.
"O–kay." That kind of threw Carlos off; nothing like that had happened as long as she could remember. "Well, your driver's name is Bill and the horse's name is Tony. Do you know what ride you want?"
"Memory Grove," the man answered.
"It's already handled, Carlos. Come on up." Bill patted a spot on the seat next to him.
Carlos looked at Bill and then down at the ground.
"Come on, Carlos, better late than never, right?"
"Hey lady, could you get up there with your boyfriend so we can go? I haven't got all night." The customer's girlfriend elbowed him. "What?" he said to her.
Bill leaned down and spoke so only Carlos could hear. "Carlin, would you consider going carriage driving with me tonight?"
"I suppose," she whispered, non-committal. Standing there, clenching and unclenching her fists, she finally grabbed onto the carriage and heaved herself up, settling in next to but not touching him. She was still mad.
Bill lightly flicked the lines, "Walk on, Tony," and steered out into the lane, making sure not to clip the curb with the rear wheel on his way out.
Carlos had her iPod on with only one ear bud in. Bill picked the left one up off of her shoulder and held it to his ear. Carla Etude played softly.
"Elton John?" Bill whispered. Carlos nodded. "Nice," he said. She knew it was one of his favorite songs. He dropped the ear bud back on her shoulder. Bridging the lines with his left hand, he put his right arm around her, pulling her closer. Carlos stared at his left hand, mildly impressed. She didn't think he knew how to bridge lines. You had to be a pretty decent driver to control the horse with a twist of the wrist.
How long has he been driving carriage? She tried to remember.
He was a junior in college and had turned twenty-one the November after Oscar was born. She had dragged him into the carriage barn the day after his birthday to fill out an application and start the training process. She would have brought him in on his birthday but he had been drinking then, starting his freshman year, and they had spent the day partying themselves into oblivion. Oscar spent the night at the Sommers, cared for by the nanny.
"I don't want to be a carriage driver, Carlos." Bill told her, looking a bit green and obviously nursing a nasty hangover.
Finally she confessed why she wanted him to train. "I've had a baby, Bill, and my bladder control isn't what it used to be. I need you to be ready before Christmas so you can give me a pee break when I need it."
Bill had stared at her through red-rimmed eyes, running his hands across his face.
"You want me to learn to drive a carriage so you can pee?"
To Carlos it made perfect sense. "Yes, Bill. I need you, and I'll pay you, too. And if any of the other drivers need you to spot them for a pee I'll make sure that they pay you also. It could be a goldmine for you Bill. It's a fabulous opportunity."
So she spent the next three days training him, even taking him out and purchasing all the cold weather gear he needed to stay warm. Bill said it looked like she was shipping him off to the Antarctic.
But when the busy Christmas season rolled around and he worked outside in the cold and snow for hours at a time, he had to admit that she certainly knew her stuff. He was warm and dry and made good money from the other drivers, bringing them food and giving them breaks. She was happy because she got to drink coffee and go to the john, and when things were slow Bill would jump on her carriage and ride around town with her to keep her company. They would sit up tight next to each other for warmth and look at the twinkling Christmas lights at Temple Square and the Gallivan Center.
He's been driving for five years. Almost as long as I have if you count the time I took off to go to cooking school, while pregnant and the time I spent in the hospital. And now, but I guess I don't drive carriage any more, do I? So pretty soon he'll be driving longer than I did.
They waited at the traffic light at West Temple. Bill turned his head left to watch for traffic. Carlos studied his profile while he was occupied. He wore the standard carriage driver attire: black jeans, white button down long sleeve shirt, black cowboy hat, black boots, plain black belt. He had on one of his nice shirts, Carlos noted, not one of the usual sweat stained, dirty rags he wore to drive. That's odd; doesn't he have any clean driving shirts? Why the hell is he wearing nice clothing? She thought she smelled cologne. She leaned back and took a more thorough look at him. Does he have a girl friend? Maybe that's why he didn't want to go driving tonight. He had a date. That would explain the good clothes.
Why is he here? She had been so mean to him, attacking him like that, asking him stupid questions like, "Do you think I'm pretty?" What a pathetic idiot she was, unable to operate a small business without running to Bill. "I need help! Come drive for me tonight!" Whining  like a baby. I'm such a stupid ass. No wonder he wants to be rid of me. Who could blame him?
 He'd found Richard to replace him. And yes, while Richard was easy on the eyes, Carlos did not quite trust him. Of course, she was a half-wit. Apparently Bill trusted him or he wouldn't have let Richard get within twenty feet of her. The truth was, she didn't know what to think anymore. And frankly, she was too tired to think about any of it right now.
Traffic cleared allowing Bill to turn. He said nothing, but looked down at her and smiled. She rolled her eyes and looked away, still mad.

September 2 - Meet & Greet at VBT Cafe' Blog
September 4 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words
September 6 - Interviewed at MK McClintock's Blog
September 11 - Interviewed at The Bunny's Review
September 13 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
September 17 - Reviewed at Books, Books, and More Books
September 19 - Interviewed at Romance That's Out of This World
September 21 - Review & Interview at Black Hippie Chick's Take on Books & The World
September 21 - Review & Interview at Little Book StarSeptember 25 - Review & Guest Blogging  at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
September 27 - Interviewed at Mass Musings
September 29 - Review & Interviewed at Infinite House of Books


Lisa Deon

Thanks for having me, the interview was fun!

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