Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Meet the Character: Grant Hill from Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

I was revving up for the big interview with Grant Hill, one of the stars of Marie Lavender’s Upon Your Return.  The makeup artist was doing final touch-ups.  I had taken a drink of water.  I did my run through of the musical scale just like all good interviewers do.  You never want an off-key note during a show, do you?  Before I got off on a tangent and got distracted with a mental image of what occurred on ‘Bruce Almighty’, this is what happened.  So, I was oh so comfortable in my chair when all of sudden I heard a loud gasp.  That’s Jennifer, one of the new girls.
I focused my attention on the mess of papers on the floor, but a pair of black boots easily sidestepped the chaos.  And then he came into view.  My jaw just dropped open.  A total hottie had just walked onto the set.  The man was very tall with very broad shoulders, and he was full of muscles.  He had dark brown hair, was dressed in black trousers and a white shirt, which was partially open for the naked eye.  Before I started to drool, he crossed over to where I was.  
“Are you the hostess, Mademoiselle?” he uttered in a strange accent.  Hence I said strange, but not bad.
The hostess?  “Uh…yes, yes, I am.  I mean, this is my show.”
He nodded.  “Bien.  Mademoiselle, let me introduce myself.  I am Capitaine Grant Hill.”
“Oh!  Where are my manners?  It’s so good to meet you.”  I reached out to shake his hand, but my breath caught when he raised it to his lips.  “Oh.”
“The pleasure is mine, Mademoiselle.”
A flush rose up over my face.  What in the world was wrong with me?  I stammered, “Well, I…should we get started?”
Oui, of course.”
I motioned for the cameras to start rolling.  It was time.
“Today we have Grant Hill, the hero from Upon Your Return, with us.  Isn’t this so very exciting that we get to meet one of Marie Lavender’s characters in person?”  Cue the applause.  When it all quieted down, I gestured for Grant to sit down.  He did, of course, but where I expected his tall frame to find hardship in the task, he managed it very well.  “Now, I’m sure the audience is wondering, as well as I, why you would consent to such a public interview.”
“Ah.  I was actually encouraged by the lovely Fara Bellamont.  She insisted it would be good for me.”
As he ducked his head, I wondered if he was blushing.  “Fara is your co-star in the book?”
I reached over and produced the lovely tome.  “Now, I’ve read the back of the book.  I’ve even skimmed it a little.  Can you give us any details of what goes on in the book?  Can you offer any spoilers?”
He cocked his head in inquiry.  “It is not my story to tell.”
“Whose story is it then?”
“It is Fara’s.  It will always be Fara’s.”
The warmth in his voice was hard to miss.  “So you do have feelings for her.”
“Even if I did, Mademoiselle, I would not bring the lady in question under any scrutiny.”
“I understand.  Let’s steer this conversation in another direction then.  I had Eric Carron on here not too long ago.  You are acquainted with him?”
He flashed a grin.  “Indeed.  He is a good friend.”
“He claims to be your valet.”
“He is that as well, Mademoiselle.”
“Well, he certainly had a lot of good things to say about you.  I am tempted to believe him, if the book is any indication.  So, can you tell us what it is you’re keeping from Fara?”
I leaned away as it was hard not to miss the scowl that descended on his features.  He looked formidable suddenly.  He was not a man I wanted to cross.  “A man is entitled to his secrets just as he is his opinions.”
“Indeed,” I said, coining his phrase.  I cleared my throat.  “Don’t misunderstand my curiosity.  I haven’t read too far into the book.  It just seems there is a lot you don’t tell her.”
“Perhaps there is a good reason for that, Mademoiselle.  Would you not protect those you loved from the truth if you must?”
I didn’t answer.  How could I?  I attempted a smile.  “Let’s say they make a movie of the book.  Who would you like to play you?”
He grinned.  “I have had discussions with the author.  She is thinking of Gerard Butler.”
“But, you don’t agree?”
Grant lifted a shoulder.  “It is not my call.”
“But, if it was?”
“Perhaps I might recommend Henry Cavill.”
I nodded.  “So, you are a captain.  Do you like your job?”
Grant shrugged.  “Sometimes it is hard work.  Sometimes it is an adventure of sorts.”
“Is there a lot of danger in what you do?”
He scratched his chin.  “Perhaps there is.”
“How does Fara feel about that?”
He frowned.  “I’m not certain.  She has not asked me about it yet.”
“Well, this has been an experience, to say the least.  It has been a pleasure meeting you, Grant Hill.  But, we’re out of time now.  I hope you can return sometime.  Oh!   Before you go, there is something I want to ask.”
Oui?” he queried, though I could sense a wariness to his features.
“Do you think there will be another book?  Will you and Fara come back?”
He gave a small smile, a secretive one.  “Oh, I know our story isn’t over. “
“Great!”  I stood and he seemed to repeat the gesture.  It was startling really.  I offered my hand and he lifted it to his lips once more.  As he smiled at me, I finally noticed the color of his eyes.  Gray.  How often did you see someone with gray eyes?  They were nice, and could be intimidating.  I shivered.  I drew away slightly.  “Well, as I said, it was a pleasure meeting you, Grant.”
“The pleasure was all mine, Mademoiselle.”  He bowed, then left the studio.
Breathless, I sat back down.  “Well, viewers,” I managed.  “There you have it.  Grant Hill from Upon Your Return.  A mysterious man, to be sure.  I hope you will read the book.   It sounds like a hit.“  
The cameras stopped rolling, and I retired to my dressing room.  As I readied myself to leave the studio, I remembered the breathless feeling that Grant Hill invoked.  I laughed, put off by the fact that he’d had such an impact on me.  If he could do that to me, then Fara Bellamont would not know what hit her.  She was sure in for a surprise.  

Maybe tonight I would curl up next to the fire and read the rest of the book.  That sounded like a fine idea.  A fine idea indeed.
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats.  She has been writing for over twenty years.  She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories.  Her imagination fueled a lot of her early child’s play.  Even growing up, she entered writing contests and received a certificate for achieving the second round in one.  She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted – to be a writer.  While there, she published two works in a university publication, and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal.  After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.

Since then, Marie has published sixteen books.  Marie Lavender’s real love is writing romances, but she has also written mysteries, literary fiction and dabbled a little in paranormal stories.  Most of her works have a romantic element involved in them.  Upon Your Return is her first historical romance novel.  Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.webs.com/ for further information about her books and her life.  Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender:  Upon Your Return

Erica Sutherhome:  Hard to GetMemoriesA Hint of ScandalWithout YouStrange HeatTerror in the NightHauntedPursuitPerfect GameA Touch of DawnRansom

Kathryn Layne:  A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse:  Express Café and Other RamblingsRamblings, Musings and Other ThingsSoulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things 

Purchase Upon Your Return from Amazon, B&N and Solstice Publishing. You can find Marie on her website and Facebook page.

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