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by Barbara Sheridan
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity
To submit articles of interest to our readers Email Barbara.

December 2002
A Romance for all TIMEs!

Judi McCoy

I have always felt my life has been blessed. I've been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years (would you believe me if I said we were wed at the tender age of twelve?), raised two beautiful intelligent daughters, Sara and Carey, and still judge the exciting sport of women's gymnastics whenever I can fit it into my life. In my spare time (Hah! As if I have any) I attempt raising orchids and currently own 16 beauties, every one of which has rebloomed for me in their own sweet time.

I've lived in Illinois and New Jersey, Worth but right now I reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. Because my husband's job requires that he travel almost every week, I have lots of time to write. My two dogs, Rudy and Buckley, keep me company.

Ever since I discovered the magic of books, about the time I was five years old, reading has been my passion. If you enjoy reading about true to life heroines who are built like "real" women, then you'll love the characters I create. Each of my ladies is curvy and statuesque, and not one of them has a waist the hero can span 'with his hands'. My heroines could be angels or goddesses, or come from another planet, but they're still independent thinkers who take charge of their lives, and the men they fall in love with, in various imaginative ways.

Though my heroes aren't dark and dangerous (I don't relate to alpha males) they are adorable men who somehow manage to get themselves caught up in situations which can only be overcome by the ingenuity and hi-jinx of the right woman. They'll be good looking, of course, but their most important personality traits will be their sense of humor, their joy for life, and their ability to fall head over heels in love with the woman of their dreams--no matter her unique personality or imperfections.

If you enjoy stories that make you smile, have intriguing plot twists and fairy tale endings, I think you'll find my books a perfect read.

An Interview with Judi McCoy

PNR: What inspired you to become a writer? To write paranormal romance?

Judi M.: I've read romance since I was a teenager. I love a happy ending and could never imagine a story without love in it, so I was pretty much hooked on the genre from the get-go. I tried several stories (a historical, a straight contemporary, a dark contemporary) before I found my voice. Once I did, every story that popped into my head had a paranormal element in it. I remember explaining a series I was writing to my agent about 3 aliens (women) who come to earth to find their perfect match. My poor agent said, "Golly, Judi, can't you just write NORMAL stuff?" I said, "No" and she laughed and said, "Don't worry, I'll sell it."

PNR: LOL, that's fantastic! Your first two novels, I DREAM OF YOU and YOU'RE THE ONE struck a note with our listers. You took a P.E.A.R.L. Honorable Mention for Best New Author in 2002. Tell us a bit about these titles.

Judi M.: I wrote I DREAM OF YOU because I always wanted to have the chance I gave Maddie, to find a man who would make all her dreams come true. Ben is a hero I would die for, the perfect man.. In YOU'RE THE ONE, I was into Cassandra, I really felt her pain as a bartered bride and the agony she went through. When Rand popped into my head, the book practically wrote itself.

PNR: Your newest paranormal romance, SAY YOU'RE MINE has yet another theme. Still there are similarities. Although the main part of the story takes place in our present, one of the characters in each book hales from an era gone by, a ghost, a genie, and a man who has lain dormant for over two thousand years in your new release. These characters face a "fish out of water" experience. What do you like about that particular plot twist?

Judi M.: I disliked "time travel" books, mainly because of the vehicle the author used to get the hero/heroine back/forward in time. It always seemed the same, a knock on the head or fall off a ladder, or another trite device that never rang true. But I did like the concept of people being put in challenging situations and rising to that challenge, so I thought up the "fish out of water" angle. Then I decided I didn't want them to have to worry about going back in time or gettingtheir true love to travel with them. In each of these books, the hero/heroine moves to the present and stays there. No worry about them ever going back and being separated.

PNR: I also noticed that you heroines are women who are, shall we say, sadder but wiser when it comes to men, having had previous bad experiences. They are very independent and not particularly trusting. How does this effect your romances?

Judi M.: I think all women have had at least one experience with a man they couldn't trust. I do plan to write about women who haven't had that problem, but for these first three it just seemed to work out that way. To me, trust is a huge part of any relationship.

PNR: I read that you do not particularly like alpha heroes. What kind of heroes do you like?

Judi M.: I like heroes who make me laugh while they are knocking me off my feet. To me, a good sense of humor is more important than charisma. As a relationship grows and the participants age, sex slows down, but you'll still be happy together if you can laugh. I also like a hero who knows when he's met his equal, a strong woman with a mind of her own who isn't afraid to stand up for herself and help him if he's in trouble.

PNR: Let's talk about SAY YOU'RE MINE. We won't give away the device, however we can say that the hero gets to be the "fish out of water" in this tale. Declan O'Shea is a privateer whose activities had been disrupted by the War Between the States. Now that the war is over, he has very definite plans. Tell us about them?

Judi M.: Declan's sole goal is to find his treasure and make a place for himself in the world. He feels that way, even after he comes to grips with his new life.

PNR: How are these plans disrupted?

Judi M.: The moment he lays eyes on Libby, he feels the connection. Part of his struggle is knowing that he has a treasure on the Key and a destiny to fulfill, which he thinks is finding that gold. Falling in love with Libby and her son was definitely NOT a part of his plan.

PNR: Libby Grayson is a single mother who has left New York City and her shallow long-time lover behind to return to her roots on Sunset Key. How does she happen on Declan O'Shea, and what happens when she finds him? What is herfirst reaction to him?

Judi M.: Libby doesn't trust men. When she sees Declan on that ledge in the cave and he wakes up, she's positive he's running some kind of scam, though she isn't sure what it is. She's a real nurturer, so she takes it upon herself to guard the senior citizens of Sunset Key from a swindler, while she's actually protecting her own heart.

PNR: How does he explain his presence? How does he react to finding himself in another time?

Judi M.: He's disbelieving of his situation, of course, but he's always been a practical man. When he sees that he has no ship or a way to return to his old life, his sole goal is his treasure...and Libby. At first he thinks he can bluff through his reasons for being on the Key, but Libby doesn't give up. She keeps hammering at him to explain himself. When Declan realizes he wants her in his bed, he takes a chance and tells her the truth. Libby really wants to believe him, but she simply doesn't want to be hurt again. And she's a Mom. She's also thinking of her little boy, who was terribly hurt when his father left.

PNR: What is his reaction to Libby?

Judi M.: Since he thinks he's on his ship when he awakens, he thinks Libby is a prostitute in the process of stealing his money. He's attracted to her, but doesn't realize she is his destiny.

PNR: Cut adrift from the life he has known and without resources how does he make his way?

Judi M.: Odd jobs from the senior citizens, of course. Most of them are too old to do heavy work, so Declan is the perfect answer.

PNR: As you said, he still has every intention of recovering his treasure. What obstacles does this present?

Judi M.: He first needs to locate the treasure and since 250 plus years have passed, that isn't easy. Landmarks are gone, the scenery has changed, etc. He is shocked when he finally learns where his treasure is buried.

PNR: Moral codes for woman were pretty strict in Declan's day. He quickly realizes that in this time he can't judge a woman by her scanty clothing, however Libby is still an unwed mother. How does he react to this situation?

Judi M.: At first, when he finds out she's had a child out of marriage, he thinks she's little better than the lightskirts of his day. Then he sees how much she loves her child, and how much the people of Sunset Key love and respect her. He realizes that if he's going to live in this new century he'd better get with the program.

PNR: After her bad experience with a long term relationship Libby is going to be cautious about getting involved again. Naturally her son is her major concern. What is the boy's reaction to Declan?

Judi M.: JP idolizes Declan for so many reasons. Declan takes time with him, teaches him manly things and doesn't talk down to him. JP knows instantly that Declan is a man he can love and respect. Like so many children can do, he sees directly into Declan's heart and sees him for the man his is.

PNR: In spite of his former occupation, Declan is a gentleman through and through, hardworking, kind to women, children, and the elderly residents of the Key. He’s definitely the kind of man women love, and Libby needs. If she loves him, why is it so important to him that Libby believe he hales from another time?

Judi M.: Trust. It was supremely important to Declan to be taken for his word. In
his time, a man was only as good as his word and he felt that if Libby didn't believe him and trust him, they would never have a future together.

PNR: We won’t spoil the story by giving any more details. I understand you have plans to continue writing in the paranormal venue, an angel trilogy I believe. Tell us about your works in progress.

Judi M.: My first angel book, HEAVEN IN YOUR EYES, is out May 2003. It's a little
complicated to explain, but it involves the mob, a female federal marshal and a man who returns from the dead. Annie's guiding angel makes it all happen.

In the second book, HEAVEN SENT, due out in the fall of 2003, one of the angels from the first book becomes human and has to make a choice between living her life that way or going back to her heavenly self.

In the third book, A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN, spring of 2004, an angel from book two has to make one final match before he can earn his guiding angel wings. Problem is, he has to match two very opposite and stubborn humans.

All of the angels show up in each of the books, as do the characters, so the reader has a recurring cast of characters and a theme. Guiding angels are with us always, and their goal is to help us make the right choices in our lives. Love, of course, is the most important choice of all.

Judi McCoy



Winner: P.E.A.R.L. 2001
Honorable Mention
Judi McCoy
Best New Author

Buy it now!

Zebra Books
September 2002
320 pages
ISBN: 0821771426


Not another nut case.

That's all Libby Grayson can think when she meets devastatingly handosme Irishman Declan O'Shea. She's had some bad luck with unstable men, but this takes the cake. It isn't just that that roguish hunk says he knows where there's a buried tresure...or that he swears the medallion he wears is a magical amulet given to him by a gypsy...or that he confessed during a night of amazing, toe-curling passion that he's really an Irish sea captain, swept onto Libby's Florida beach after a shipwreck more than two centuries ago. It's that the guy hobnestly believes every word of it.

Worse than that, Libby's starting to believe it too...

Other Titles

Buy it now!

Fantasy Romance
Zebra Books
April 2001
336 pages
ISBN: 082177140X

Buy it now!

Ghost Romance
Zebra Books

December 2001
300 pages
ISBN: 0821771418



Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with:
Lisa Cach
Dee Davis

Samantha Gail
Melanie Jackson
Judi McCoy
























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