Today, please join me in welcoming my friend, Betty Bolté, back to Preternatura. Betty is dropping by today to talk about her love of reading and how she got started writing. Betty’s most recent release is Traces. Traces was published April 26 by Liquid Silver Books and is the first book in her Ghosts of Roseville series.
Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a masters in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. You can learn more about Betty by visiting her website. on facebook or by following her on twitter.
ABOUT TRACES: Love is never lost … it haunts the heart. Architect Meredith Reed is determined to bury her grief by demolishing her family’s ancestral home. But her conniving sister, a hunky lawyer, and a spectral lady all have other ideas. Will she be able to carry out her plan before they have the time to teach her the lessons of family and love she so desperately needs? Betty Bolté presents Traces, Book 1 of her new paranormal romance series, Ghosts of Roseville. Meredith Reed, a forty-year-old architect turned demolition expert, desperately searches for the means to bury her grief. When she inherits her family’s historic plantation home in Tennessee, she decides to start anew by razing the antebellum house and replacing it with a memorial garden. A plan met with outrage from her family and her grandmother’s estate lawyer. James Maximillian “Max” Chandler needs two things to complete his life plan: become a senior partner and find his soul mate. He’s been promised a promotion once his proposed legislation to protect all of the county’s historic properties is approved. The wife part he finds more challenging, having never met the right woman in all of his forty-six years. If only the talented and attractive Meredith weren’t so aloof toward him and didn’t want to destroy the very property he’s grown to cherish. Meanwhile, Meredith’s estranged sister moves in and refuses to leave. The memories of their childhood spent there causes turmoil between them. And while Meredith struggles to reconcile her past and her future, she learns a lesson from the spectral Lady in Blue that may save both her family and the family home from destruction.
And now, let’s hear from Betty…
Mimosa Trees and Gazebos
By Betty Bolte
Reading is my all-time favorite pastime. Books are comforting, exotic, sometimes even instructional. Reading a variety of stories is what started me thinking I wanted to write and fueled my own imagination as to situations, places, possibilities. As a kid, I’d ride my bike to the library and come home with a basket loaded down with an assortment of fiction and nonfiction titles. Then I’d select one and climb the mimosa tree in the side yard of my childhood home, settle in, and read while the breeze gently swayed the Y-shaped limb I nestled upon.
I started writing as a child, starting with the weather forecast and progressing to reports on dog breeds, horse breeds, and cat breeds. Those reports included tracing labeled pictures from encyclopedias that detailed the parts of the animal, too. By middle school, I was dabbling in short stories featuring horses, of course.
Years passed and I grew too tall, old, adult to climb trees. To this day, I still enjoy being outside to read, though. And of course to write! I’ll nab a notebook and a pen and settle onto a comfy chair on the deck or in the screened porch and scratch away until forced inside by hunger or other need. My love of being outdoors shines through my writing, too.
In Traces, both Meredith and Paulette, two sisters who are working on becoming friends again, both enjoy spending time together in the beautiful wrought iron gazebo situated at the back of the plantation home:
An owl hooted from outside the kitchen, dragging Meredith’s attention from loading the dishwasher. She leaned onto the sink and stared out the window. The black, velvety sky sparkled with untold stars and a sliver of moon. She let her gaze slide back to Earth, touching on the white gazebo gleaming in the night.
The dishes could wait. She closed the door of the appliance and dried her hands on a towel. Flicking the light switch by the back door, she peered through the window. Yes, the fairy lights glowed across the ceiling of the gazebo. Hurrying, she strode through the house.
“Paulette, where are you?” She poked into each room she passed and then took the steps two at a time to the second floor and went down the hall where light peeked from beneath Paulette’s door. She tapped twice before pushing it open. “There you are. Come on, it’s a lovely night to sit outside and share a bottle of wine. You game?”
Paulette lay on her bed, her head propped on two pillows, a book open and resting on her tummy. She laid the novel aside and pushed to a sitting position, a grin on her lips. “If you insist.”
Before long they rested beneath the mass of tiny white lights, an open bottle of merlot between them. The soft glow of a citronella candle flickered on the table. Crickets chirped in the background.
“I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed sitting out here,” Meredith said, stretching her legs and crossing her ankles.
“Grandma had great taste in vino too.” Paulette sipped the dark red liquid.
“Her latest interest, apparently.” Meredith angled her glass, watching the candlelight dance in the reflection. She sipped, swallowed. “So, want to share why you came here? What happened to Mr. Perfect?”
The cricket symphony hushed in anticipation as Paulette sighed. “He’s probably wrapped up in a parka somewhere in Alaska.” She shook her head, peering into the darkness surrounding them.
“Alaska? Really? Whatever for?”
“His dream job. Wildlife journalist for National Geographic. Ugh.”
“I can’t imagine you among the polar bears and penguins, anyway.” Meredith chuckled. “You’re too much a hothouse flower.”
Paulette laughed. “You’ve got part of it right. First, there aren’t penguins in Alaska. Second, you’re dead-on about me needing a warmer climate. That’s why I’m here.”
“I thought you wanted to make me squirm.” Meredith sipped her wine, imagining the crickets rubbing their legs to create their unique music like a symphony orchestra warming up.
“I love seeing you squirm, but that wasn’t why I really came to find you.” Paulette scooted back in her chair, sitting more upright. She leveled her gaze on Meredith, resting her wineglass on her tummy. “Truth be told, I missed you. Or more accurately, I missed our friendship.”
“That was eons ago.” Meredith looked away. Although she longed for the closeness they once shared, she would never allow her sister to maneuver close enough to hurt her ever again. The emotional barrier she’d erected had to remain in order to protect herself from Paulette’s barbs.
The sisters have a lot of history to sort through and work out before they can be friendly with each other again. It takes time and patience for their relationship to heal, but the outdoors provides a place, a setting, where they are reminded of who they once were to each other.
Now it’s your turn. Do you read under a tree or lounging on the beach? Maybe you paint by the lake or seashore or gazing over a mountain range. Or you swing in a hammock or porch swing and play an instrument. Do you have a favorite place to read or be creative?
I love sharing with my readers, so please visit my blog and use the subscription box at the upper left to be sure you’re notified of new content.
If you’d like to be informed of breaking news and contest winners, please subscribe to my newsletter. As a thank you, each quarter I’ll draw one name at random to win a gift, too. I promise to not overload your inbox, but only send out a broadside when there is news worth sharing. The next drawing is September 1.
If you would like to purchase a copy of Traces, click on the link below:
Traces (Ghosts of Roseville Book 1)
Thanks, Betty! It is always a pleasure having you stop by Preternatura. And, Betty has a gift for one lucky commenter. Betty is giving away your choice of a digital copy of Traces or a print copy of Hometown Heroines. In order to be entered to win, you must leave a comment. Tell us your favorite place to read! Mine is at night just before lights out. I used to curl up with a book; occasionally I still do. Usually now, though, I curl with my Kindle. Yeah, not quite as tactile!