Hi Cathryn and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Secret Between Them!
Hi, everyone! Thanks for hosting me, Sara.
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Please share the opening lines of this book:
From the moment he’d left home, Kyle Northrup had fantasized about returning, triumphant, to Wallis Point.
Until that fantasy died two years ago on April 19th. The day the Humvee he’d been driving had run over a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. After that, Kyle decided he would never go home again.
He thought nothing more about his discarded fantasy, until a call came from a Wallis Point, New Hampshire exchange.
Kyle gripped his phone in sweaty palms…
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- There is figure-skating in this book. (Since I’m also an adult figure-skater, I’ve been trying to sneak in a figure-skating theme in one of my romances for years—that day is finally here!)
- There is a “will-reading” scene, of sorts. (Don’t you love will-reading scenes?) In this case, Kyle must work with Jessica to keep open a dilapidated town ice rink. Too bad that Jessica, traumatized from her teen years, had sworn that she’d never step foot in an ice rink again…
- Kyle is the strong silent type. He doesn’t communicate well with people—except for his brother Marines and their families. Part of the fun in this story is watching Jessica help to bring him out of his shell, and back into the flow of civilian life.
- If you’ve read The Long Way Home (my first Wallis Point book), you’ll recognize that hearing-impaired lawyer Natalie Kimball is back—now with Bruce as her husband, and a little girl, Hannah. But if you haven’t read The Long Way Home that works, too—both books are completely stand-alone stories.
- I always include real-life pets in my stories. In The Secret Between Them, Simba, the stray cat that Kyle takes care of, really does live in my neighborhood.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
Kyle has always loved Jessica from afar, beginning in his teen years when he helped his stepfather run and maintain the town ice rink and Jessica was a nationally-famous young figure skater who trained there. He’s most attracted to her kindness, the way that she easily brings other people—especially misfits—into the fold.
Jessica has always sensed that Kyle is a kindred spirit to her. She’s hidden her difficult background from everyone, but only Kyle seems to see in her what others haven’t. She’s attracted to him because he is strong and silent. He doesn’t judge.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
Overcoming secrets, growing closer…love.
The First Kiss…
Surprising, emotional, passionate, game-changing dilemma.
(See a snippet, below…)
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
My favorite is the first-kiss scene! Here’s a snippet:
“Don’t be sorry for me,” he said harshly.
“I’m…” I’m not, she wanted to say. But her voice was lost. Her throat hurt. And her hands were shaking.
Why didn’t I put two and two together?
He was so cagey about keeping her from his truck. About not climbing ladders in front of her. About hiding out in his locker room. He’d been hiding a lot of things from her. It must have taken a huge effort to maintain his deception.
She reached out and smacked him on the chest. “How could you do this? Hiding this from me like you didn’t care. How could you, of all people, be such a jerk—?”
He rose and pulled her to him. Lowered his head and kissed her on the lips.
She was so stunned that for a split second, she froze. The tips of her breasts were pressed to his chest, his strong hands gripped her upper arms.
And then a current went through her. A rush of desire. Her nerve endings felt alive. With a soft noise coming from her throat, she melted into him and kissed him back. Opened her mouth and let her tongue find his.
His kiss turned surprisingly gentle. Cupping her head, he sifted his fingers through her hair. She felt the soft tickle of his beard against her cheek, the brush of his warm breath on her skin.
She clung to him, her back against the wooden door, her hips pressed close to his. She felt sexy and alive in a way she never had before, and never with anyone besides him.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.
The sound of knuckles rapping on the door behind Jessica snapped Kyle to his senses, and he drew back, separating from her.
What had he just done?
She backed away, too, a hand to her lips. Her eyes were hooded and she looked dazed.
They stared at each other, breathing heavily.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
Here’s a scene that my editor picked out. This snippet comes the day after the kiss scene, above:
“What are you hiding, Kyle?”
When he didn’t answer, she walked around him to the back corner of the room.
Leaning against the wall was the missing poster of her, performing on the ice in her skating costume from the World Junior Championship.
“Why…?” she asked him.
“Why didn’t I throw it out?” he filled in the blanks dully.
Jessica nodded. “Yes. I asked you to.”
He shrugged. “It’s a good picture. Maybe I wanted to decorate my locker room with it.”
“I don’t get it, Kyle. It’s an embarrassing picture. I was a stupid girl who did everything wrong back then—”
“Like hell you did.” He uncrossed his arms and ran a hand through his hair. He wasn’t looking at her. “I had a crush on you.” In a lower voice, he added, “Maybe I still do.”
She clutched her throat. “You do?”
“You think that kiss was by accident?” he shot at her.
She focused on his chest. His beautiful, muscular chest that she’d laid her cheek against less than a day ago. A small noise came from her throat. She didn’t want it to be so, but that kiss had been a nicer kiss than the one her boyfriend—fiancé—had given her after he’d proposed to her. Her cheeks flamed.
Readers should read this book …
…if they love emotional romances that touch their heart and leave them with hope. That’s what I aim to do with every story I put out there!
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2016?
I’m currently working on story revisions for The Good Mom, which will be published in October, 2016. This will be Ashley’s story, the heroine’s sister in Out of His League.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Two paperback giveaways of The Secret Between Them, with swag. This is open to all readers, Internationally.
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Does your town or region have an ice skating rink? Have you ever been inside?
Excerpt from The Secret Between Them:
This is from the first chapter, when Kyle first comes home and sees Jessica again:
THREE DAYS LATER, Kyle was back in New Hampshire. Friday night, in the dark and cold.
He was glad he’d practiced walking with his prosthetic leg so many times in the rehab center that it had become second nature to him. Because in mid-February, the sidewalk in Wallis Point was mounded on either side with snow and ice. The wind from the crashing ocean at high tide body slammed him and threatened to knock him off kilter.
He’d forgotten his gloves, so he kept his fists balled inside his coat pockets. Hunched his shoulders in the thick navy wool coat.
His boot slipped, and for a moment fear gripped him, but he stayed upright. Trained his gaze on the dark sidewalk, gritty from rock salt and sprinkled dirt.
He was a tough New Englander born and bred. He could handle a bit of snow.
With renewed determination, he headed back toward the one establishment open on the boardwalk. The Grand Beachfront Hotel, where he’d just finished checking in.
Kyle had always liked the place. Had even worked a second job washing dishes at the hotel one summer, when he’d been sixteen and saving money for hockey camp.
The turn-of-the-century hotel had been so busy and popular that an army of teen workers had been employed as valet-parking attendants, bellboys and lobby help. That was during the high season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Now, in February, the arcades on the boardwalk were closed, the fried dough stands shuttered. In the dead of winter it was usually a ghost town.
Not tonight, though. The hotel lobby had even been fairly busy. Kyle had left his truck idling out front while he’d checked in with his single suitcase. But when he’d gone back outside to park his truck, he’d discovered that the hotel parking lot was full and valet parking closed for the season. He’d been forced to squeeze his truck into a spot on the street about six blocks away.
Maybe Wallis Point had become more popular since he left. As he approached the rear of the hotel beside the attached restaurant, he heard noise inside from a large crowd of patrons.
He flinched, but he didn’t know where else to go. He’d kept in touch with no one here. He’d blown out of town on a hot summer night, the week after high school graduation, and no one had come after him.
Other than Joe, Kyle had no living relatives. Nobody he knew of, anyway. Kyle’s friends…old platoon mates…they were scattered over the country. He just wasn’t big on staying in contact with people.
After he left the Marines Kyle hadn’t known what he was going to do, just that desk work wasn’t for him. He’d kill to be manager of a hockey rink, especially this one. Now, if he didn’t screw it up, he had his chance.
Trudging along, slow and careful, he made it to the hotel entrance, opened the door to the lobby and went inside. The plan was to order takeout food from the restaurant and then hide out in his room for a quiet dinner. He needed to mentally prepare for the funeral tomorrow. Get his head together. Figure out how he was going to handle public perceptions of his below-the-knee, left leg amputation.
It still made Kyle sick to think about it. In the military world, with other wounded warriors, it was one thing. In the civilian world…frankly, the thought of their reactions terrified him.
Kyle had never even told Joe what had happened to him.
Swallowing, Kyle followed the familiar path past the concierge desk and down the hallway toward the restaurant. But within a hundred feet, he knew that the situation was worse than he’d realized.
The place was packed. As in waiting-for-tables packed. The crowd was so thick in front of the bar that people could barely pass through to the hostess table.
Kyle stood in the middle of it, overwhelmed. A harried waiter pushed past him, moving Kyle ever so slightly off balance. Kyle caught himself and widened his stance.
Another guy brushed past carrying one of those black plastic squares that flashed red lights and sent off an alarm when the table was ready.
Kyle moved carefully to a pillar and backed against it. This place was nuts.
And then he noticed, really noticed his surroundings…red heart-shaped balloons at the hostess station. Pink bunting edging the doorway leading into the dining room.
It was Valentine’s Day.
Kyle groaned. Just great. The biggest date night of the year.
He stood pressed against the wall, painfully cognizant of his left foot beneath his pants leg and stiff new boot.
Everyone was coupled up.
He closed his eyes. He had not touched a woman since he’d left for his last tour in Afghanistan. He doubted he would touch one again.
Frankly, like this, he didn’t want to.
He edged away. His palms were itching. He had to get out of here. But instead of escaping, he heard the voice of the one woman he most wanted to avoid—Jessica Hughes.
He’d been thinking about her since the lawyer had mentioned her, even though Kyle hadn’t wanted to remember. But the laughter and lightness in her voice as she spoke was so uniquely hers. She was conversing with someone in the crowd nearby, hidden from view by the coatrack. Judging by her tone, she seemed happy and hopeful, though he couldn’t catch what she was saying.
He could have left right then without her seeing him, but curiosity got the better of him. Kyle edged closer.
If he hadn’t heard her first, he would never have recognized her.
She was…heavier than she’d been when he last saw her. She’d taken her coat off and was hanging it up, and he could see she was wearing leggings with a baggy tunic on top. Was she pregnant?
She lifted her hand, and he could see she had a big, pink, glittery rock on her ring finger. His heart sank.
Ridiculous, he told himself. Why shouldn’t Jessa—Jessica—be married? Or have kids? Or be happy?
She’d never been his, not really. He’d never even kissed her.
Still, his feet seemed rooted. She’d always had the most expressive brown eyes. A way of looking at people with her head tilted, as if she was really paying attention to them—really seeing them.
God, he’d ached for her. Disgusted with himself, he shook his head.
He knew the moment she sighted him. She gazed at him with confusion in her eyes, which slowly dawned into recognition.
Yeah. He no longer looked like Kyle-the-high-school-hockey-star, either.
He had a beard now, as well as a couple dozen extra pounds, which he liked to pride himself was all muscle.
He didn’t get a smile from her.
A man stood beside her, chatting with the hostess, oblivious to the fact that Kyle was staring at his date. What did Jessica see in this smooth-looking player of a guy wearing an expensive business suit and overcoat? Fancy-pants, even for a Valentine’s Day date.
Or maybe Kyle was just jealous. But he couldn’t bug out now even if he wanted to. He was itching to reach down and adjust the sleeve that covered the top of his prosthetic leg, beneath his pants, but he couldn’t. No way.
Not in front of Jessica.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
They share more than a past
Wounded, weary and wiser, Kyle Northrup had planned to stay far away from Wallis Point. But after his stepfather’s passing, he must return home and claim his unexpected inheritance: the ice rink he grew up on.
Except he has to share ownership with Jessica Hughes, the hometown girl who got away and whose figure skating career he ended. He’d hoped the rink would save him once more, as it had when he was a grief-stricken youth, but working with Jessica will be hard.
Meet the Author:
Cathryn Parry’s first piece of romantic writing was a love letter she wrote to the boy who sat next to her in first grade. By the next Christmas, she was asking for a typewriter to organize her growing collection of adventure stories inspired by Nancy Drew.
But it wasn’t until Cathryn was an engineer working a less-than-inspiring job in a ball bearings factory that she dared to write her first novel, a romance about a woman who found the courage to pursue her deeply-held dreams. After that, Cathryn knew for a fact she was a novelist, and was hooked on the writing process.
Now Cathryn is the author of seven published novels. Her long contemporary romances have received such honors as a Booksellers’ Best Award, HOLT Medallion Awards of Merit, and several readers’ award nominations. She enjoys writing about flawed but noble characters who find healing through love.
Website | Facebook | Twitter |