What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?
Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.
She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?
Skylar: What do you consider the biggest challenge of writing?
Lisa: For some reason, I struggle the most in beginning a chapter. I can end up with half a dozen starts, and not like any of them. Eventually, I write the words the exact way I wanted to say them, and then when that happens, the scene flows quickly from there. But the beginning is always the most difficult for me. Don’t ask me why…
Skylar: What do you do to set the “writing mood”?
Lisa: First of all, I lock myself away from all distractions. Usually, I write when everyone else in my household is either asleep or gone for the day.
The music I play depends a lot on what I am writing at the time. If I am working on a sexual or romantic scene, I play Celine Dion or Mariah Carey. Songs overflowing with love and emotion. If I am writing a scene where there is anger or even hatred, I listen to Pink, Avril Lavigne, or Kelly Clarkson. Songs that are woman-empowered and more likely to get you in the mood to kick a little ass.
Skylar: What are you working on at the moment?
Lisa: I am currently working on two manuscripts. One is the continuation of my If Only series, about a woman who chose to marry for love instead of marrying for money. Years later, she wonders if she made the wrong choice.
The second is about a Marine who returns home from Afghanistan to discover that things are not the same as they were when he left. After his wife walks out on him, he finds love where he least expects it.
Skylar: What is your favorite quote and why?
Lisa: That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger by Friedrich Nietzsche because it’s true. After working with victims of domestic violence and being a survivor myself, I wanted to write about a strong female character that had to overcome her traumatic past before she was able to build a future with the man that she has always loved.
Skylar: What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever been given?
Lisa: Show, don’t tell. If you tell the reader about a climactic scene instead of showing them, it loses quite a bit in translation. I feel that some of my most powerful scenes are the ones where you show the reader what your character is feeling and why they feel that way.
There is a very physical scene in my book where my heroine is confronted by the villain. He traps her and she is forced to fight her way out of that situation. Hopefully, readers will find it to be a moving and powerful scene. But it wouldn’t have been as dramatic or as entertaining if she had simply told another character about it and not shown the inner rage and turmoil that she was feeling at the time.
Skylar: If you get writer’s block when you’re writing, how do you get around it?
Lisa: I am currently working on two novels so normally, if I get stuck on one, I switch to the other. But when the ideas just aren’t flowing, I take a time out and do something else. Watch a movie, clean my house, promote my current novel.
Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for
years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
“Scott,” she whispered.
The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.
A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.
Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.