Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Character Interview with Marla Danaher from Heart of a Marine by Patricia Campbell

Where do you live now and what do you do for a living?

I live in Spring Grove, CA. That’s in Ventura County, north of L.A. I had a great childhood, mainly because of Dad. He always claimed I was an old soul. We’re very close. I’m a real estate broker and property developer. I recently took a big financial risk when I bought an old apartment building in town for renovating into individual condos. Some for sale and some for rent. I love what I’m doing, but it’s a little scary to have so much on the line.
A lot scary. I’m in the middle of the project and the contractor, Dwayne Dempsey, is driving me crazy. He’s accustomed to giving orders—not taking them. The big lout argues with me about every little detail, and on top of that he teases me endlessly, claims I micromanage the project to the point where he’d like to throw in the towel and walk away. Not only that, he makes fun of Skippy, my teacup Chihuahua. Dwayne calls him my mouse.

Is there someone special in your life?
Unfortunately, the someone special is Dwayne. In addition to being the most arrogant jerk on the planet, he’s the sexiest guy I’ve ever met. I don’t want to be attracted to him. I’ve got my entire life mapped out and it doesn’t include him, or any other man for that matter. Not for a long time.
How did you meet?
We met as children. Our fathers have been best friends forever. The Danaher and Dempsey families were close for many years, until his parents divorced. He was about fourteen at the time, and when his mother decided to move back to the family ranch in Wyoming, Dwayne went with her. His older and younger brother stayed in California with their dad. I actually had a crush on his big brother, Dylan, in high school. I didn’t see Dwayne again until his dad retired and asked him to come back and take over the construction business. Dwayne has built the company into the most respected one in Ventura County.
I have a fraternal twin sister, Charlene. She’s the one Dwayne should be flirting with, not me. If he crooked a finger, she’d follow him anywhere. I’ve often questioned Charlene’s taste in men. We have identical twin brothers, Harry and Barry. They’re six years younger than us. They’re absolutely perfect in every way. I love the dickens out of them. When my parents brought them home from the hospital I took over. They were my boys from then on.

What’s keeping you two apart?
I pity any woman who thinks she can compete with Dwayne’s little girl, Amber. He’s raised her alone from infancy, she’s six and they’ve got a very special bond. In his favor, he’s a great dad. I don’t see how a woman would fit into that relationship. He might want a wife at some point, but I doubt Amber would like to give up her position as number one in his affections, without making it very uncomfortable for any woman who’d be dumb enough to fall in love with him. Like me, for instance.

What could I do to make the relationship, assuming there ever is one, work out?
Holy goats, that’s a big one. I do love Amber, she likes me and she’s crazy about Skippy. I suppose if I were willing to settle for being Dwayne’s girlfriend with benefits, we could be together. But why would I settle for that?
Last comment
He told me flat out the other day, “I want you in my bed, Danaher.” That nearly knocked me over. He could attract any number of women, far prettier and less prickly than me. Women like Charlene, who goes for the big alpha macho types. Is he really attracted to me? Or is it just him having fun teasing, to get another rise out of me?
Book Blurb:
Falling in love wasn’t part of the contract...

Single dad and wounded warrior, Dwayne Dempsey, has no idea what he’s bargained for when he signs a construction contract with the curvy Marla Danaher to honcho her condo conversion. The last thing he needs is a sexy property developer breathing down his neck every step of the project. Her strong-minded bossiness should turn him off, but oddly, only makes her more desirable to him.

Marla Danaher has no time for dates, flirting, or marriage. She leaves that up to her twin sister, Charlene. Building a solid financial future and determining her own destiny are her top priorities. Unfortunately, the former Marine running the construction project she’s poured everything into only complicates everything. His teasing sexual innuendos drive her to distraction, and she can’t ignore his raw physical strength and masculinity. They’re on each other’s nerves day in and day out, but that does nothing to diminish their strong attraction sparking between them. Too bad love scares them both.
When the mother of Dwayne’s daughter suddenly reappears, things take a nasty turn as she fights for sole custody of the child she’d abandoned. There’s no way he’s giving up his daughter, but when a series of break-ins and threats begin, his protective side flares to life. How can he protect those he cares for most without driving them away?

Big-boned, big girl, full-figured——how Marla hated those stupid metaphors. At five-foot-six she weighed one hundred sixty pounds. Size twelve, just like Marilyn Monroe, but unfortunately due to the nubile teenage models marketed by Victoria’s Secret, Marilyn’s charms were no longer fashionable.
Her fraternal twin sister Charlene, on the other hand, was the same height, with one hundred twenty pounds of runway-model curves. Charlene wore her thick golden blond hair like a privileged princess. Rusty brown eye color was the only thing they had in common. Victoria’s Secret, eat your heart out.
Marla got the brains. She dearly loved Charlene, but she sometimes wondered what was going on upstairs, except her insatiable appetite for men. To give Charlene credit, she was very successful in her quest.
“Oh, lordy lord, Marla. How can you stand it? Is he here every day? That man makes my mouth water and my knees quake.”
“Give me a clue, Char. Is it the leer, or the tool belt?”

Author Bio

Patty Campbell owned and operated a travel business and coffee bar for many years in L.A. She lived in Simi Valley, adjacent to the mythical Spring Grove. She’s a widow with two grown sons, and always had a hankering to write love stories. After nine-eleven she decided to sell her businesses and move out of California. A change of scene and some clean fresh air brought her to Jackson, Wyoming. She joined a writer’s group there and between learning to fly-fish, exploring the marvelous parks and natural wonders of the Rockies, she began to write in earnest.
Patty always had a keen interest in military veterans and their families. A lover of American history, she understood this country was built with the blood of patriots, willing to give their lives to protect and preserve America. After moving east, she contacted Wounded Warriors of South Florida. They put her in touch with veterans who were willing to share their stories. That was the beginning of the Wounded Warrior series.
Book 1 of the Wounded Warrior series, Heart of a Marine, is now available in digital version from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance Books. Print version will be available soon.

Buy Links:
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  1. Enjoyed the interview. Marla is my kind of gal but then Dewayne is my kind of guy. A great read.

  2. I'm reading Heart of a Marine right now, and I'm loving it! Patty Campbell has created two wonderful characters in Marla and Dwayne. She's also thrown in some suspense that makes a reader keep turning those pages. Might I just say how nice it is to have a heroine who is not a size zero? Thank you for a wonderful read!

    1. Thank you, Lynette. Yes, how many size zeros do we really know?

  3. Pat, just one question about Heart of a Marine: Is there a shower scene in it?
    (Hafta know!)

  4. Just started reading it--2 thumbs up so far :-) Loved the interview, Patty. Much success!

  5. I really enjoyed sharing time with Marla, Dwayne and the rest of the colorful characters in this book. Will the next two books in the series be completely unrelated stories or might we read more about these characters?

  6. All my heroes were wounded in the same Iraq battle, so even though a different veteran is the featured character in the upcoming books, you won't lose track of Dwayne & Marla. Next up is Cluny McPherson.

    1. I was hoping we'd see Cluny in the next one! :)

  7. My thanks to everyone who read and responded to Sharon's blog. Happy reading.