What Romance Isn’t Stormy

Marla A. White Author Interview

Cause For Elimination follows a woman in the equestrian world who’s friend is found murdered. Things get complicated when she develops feelings for the detective investigating the case. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Up until recently, I was very involved in the equestrian world and, after trying out a few disciplines, fell in love with eventing.  Spending all that time in barns and around riders inspired me to want to write about a world that is very special to me.  Many of the characters and incidents described in the book are compilations of real people or events (the bellowing voice damning someone to hell? yep, that happened) that set my imagination on fire. Thankfully no one was ever found murdered, however! 

The inspiration for Justin was part real person and part information that fell in my lap. Weirdly I stumbled upon an article about a police detective who wrote his master’s thesis on feng shui and interrogations. That seemed like an interesting combination to explore. And what romance isn’t stormy when one person is keeping a secret?

Emily faces many challenges, from a riding accident to losing her friend to a mysterious murder. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I fell off my horse once.  Well, to be fair I fell off a LOT but one accident in particular unnerved me when my horse stumbled over a very tiny jump and we both fell. We were both fine, but the next day I got on bareback just to hack around and got nervous just looking at jumps. I knew I had to at least pop over a cross rail (a small jump that looks like an “x”) or I’d never jump again.  We made it and went on to jump (and fall off) for many more years but it always stuck in my head how would a professional handle it? Do they ever get “the yips” like Dani in “Ted Lasso” and suddenly can’t ride anymore? 

Like a lot of trainers I’ve known at small barns, Emily is  just a person who loved riding, starting working as an assistant tacking up horses and riding the ones who needed exercise. Riding horses wasn’t the career she’d planned but started looking possible and suddenly this terrible thing happened.  The one thing she loved turned on her and she doesn’t know how to handle it. But you don’t have to ride horses to empathize with her confidence issue.  Everyone at one point or another gets knocked down – in love, life, career, money, health, whatever that looks like for you – and you either take get back up again or you stay down.  

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I’m really drawn to exploring second chances  in some way or another in all my books. Which either makes me very deep or not very imaginative LOL!  Emily faces the choice of stepping up to fill Pamela’s shoes or staying in her comfort zone in the shadow of some other trainer. Both choices are appealing to her for different reasons.  Dennis also struggles at a crossroad.  He’s given a chance to start his life over in L.A. but he’s torn between the pain of what he lost and knowing starting over is the only option if he wants a life worth living. 

Friendship is another important theme in this book.  Being a real friend to Emily drives Lottie to have to make some hard calls.  Would I be that good of a friend in the same situation? I hope so but… Dennis and Justin’s share a bond as co-workers and friends but is tested on an almost daily basis when ego and tempers are involved. What’s the breaking point for a friendship beyond which there’s no going back? 

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My second Cookie Book for the Wild Rose Press, “Bloodstains and Candy Canes” comes out November 30th.

I’m also working on the sequel to last year’s Cookie Book, “The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder” that I’ll finished by November (finger’s crossed!) and hope to have it out early 2023.  

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Reclaiming her life after a devastating riding accident, equestrian Emily Conners’ world shatters again when she discovers her friend and boss lying in a stall with a smashed skull. Now jobless and with a handsome cop underfoot investigating the case, she’s torn between wanting the killer found and keeping her own secrets safe.

Detective Justin Butler always gets his killer, but this victim has a stampede of enemies and few leads to go on. Stonewalled by the tight-knit equestrian world, he looks to Emily for help, but she’s strangely reluctant. Is she hiding something, or is she afraid of their growing attraction?

As the search for the murderer heats up, their hearts become entangled and their lives at risk, forcing Emily and Justin to work together to find the killer before they strike again.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 19, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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