Welcome to Fresh Fiction! Tell us about yourself and the second book in your Must Love Babies series, I’VE GOT YOU, BABE.
Thanks so much for having me here with you today to talk about my new release. I know a mom isn’t supposed to have favorites but…this book really speaks to my heart! I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming, Florida, and Georgia and throw a little of each of these places into my writing. Now that I’ve traded teaching for full-time writing, I can truly fall into my books and it’s a wonderful thing.
In I’ve Got You, Babe, Tucker Wylder is looking forward to the coming weekend in an isolated cabin, just him and his fishing pole, when his world is sent spinning out of control by a damsel in distress, one who comes with a precocious, three-year-old daughter. Tucker has no desire to play the knight in shining armor. I’ve Got You, Babe is a story about healing and redemption. It’s about hitting rock bottom and struggling to find a handhold. It’s about both the hero and the heroine accepting that, sometimes, a helping hand is exactly what’s needed. Most of all? It’s a journey to happy-ever-after, even when it comes in the most unexpected. . . and unwanted. . . package.
Elisa Danvers and her daughter Daisy are en route to Elisa’s mother’s house when she has car trouble and passes out in the arms of Tucker, thus beginning this adorable new romance. After her horrible marriage is finally over, Elisa has been struggling to make ends meet for her daughter as a single mother. When Tucker offers to help them out, Elisa is reluctant and not used to someone offering to take care of her, but she also sees a chance and takes it. How does this decision to accept Tuck’s help change things for Elisa and Daisy? How does Elisa cope with a stranger coming to her rescue?
For everyone involved–Tucker, Elisa, and Daisy–Elisa’s reluctant decision is life-altering. Her trust has been trampled by her ex-husband, her mother, and her father, people she should have been able to count on, so it’s almost beyond her comprehension that Tucker would willingly help a complete stranger. Elisa quite literally drops into Tucker’s life when she’s at her most vulnerable. She doesn’t want to owe anyone anything, yet she has nowhere else to turn. And Daisy? She takes to “Tut” like little boys to mud puddles–much to this confirmed bachelor’s dismay.
Former Marine Tucker Wylder is back in Misty Bottoms, GA, after a devastating deployment and wants nothing more than to focus on working on vintage cars. Elisa and Daisy awaken emotions he thought he’d never feel again. What does returning to his hometown mean to Tucker? And with Elisa and Daisy there, how are his expectations changed?
Tucker loves his family and enjoys being around them–when he wants and on his own terms. He’s a lone wolf; he likes his own company. Add in a touch of OCD and PTSD? We’re talking about a man destined to live a solitary life. He came home from the Mid-East emotionally wounded and bought a home that needed as much work as he did. Never in his wildest imaginings could he see himself as a married man, let alone a daddy. Then Elisa walked into his garage bay. Here’s a short excerpt:
Tucker slid a sidelong glance toward the front of the bay and about swallowed his tongue. Framed in the narrow window between the garage floor and the car’s bumper were a pair of legs that would have any red-blooded man drooling…and they crossed slowly toward him.
The final blow to his bachelorhood came moments later. A high-pitched wail split the air. Panicked, his head whipped up, and he glanced toward the beater parked out front. The driver’s side door hung open; in the back, strapped into a child’s seat, sat a little girl with her mama’s pale blond hair—a little girl winding up for one heck of a crying jag.
Following the ambulance into town, Tucker groaned. The day had started so well, his head full of the planned trip to his friend’s isolated cabin. Just him and nature. Then, everything had gone to hell in that proverbial handbasket. He’d never quite understood that saying, but as he pulled onto the two-lane rural road and glanced in his rearview mirror at the child slobbering on the backseat of his beloved Mustang, he swore that handbasket had hitched a ride with them.
I loved how the small town of Misty Bottoms, Georgia, truly came alive throughout this novel! What did you love most about creating such a quaint and tight-knit community for this series? Were you inspired by any real small towns while writing this novel?
I grew up in Kane, Pennsylvania, one of the greatest small towns ever, then spent quite a few years in Rock Springs, Wyoming, another warm and friendly small town. I live now in northern Georgia, and the people couldn’t be more wonderful. When I created Misty Bottoms, I took the best, along with some of the not-quite-so-great aspects, of small towns everywhere, tossed in some unforgettable characters—I love eccentric, warmhearted Desdemona Rosebud Hamilton in this book—then stirred in more than a pinch of trouble for them. What could be more fun?
Writing children in novels can be difficult, but I enjoyed that Daisy, Elisa’s three-year-old daughter, acted like an actual toddler and wasn’t a distraction from the plot. In fact, she was an integral part of it, and brings Elisa and Tucker together in surprising ways. Did you find it challenging to write Daisy in a way that was authentic, but still worked within this novel?
Daisy Elizabeth Danvers was a true gift. She was one of those characters an author is occasionally blessed with who simply comes alive the moment we meet him or her. Daisy was so full of spunk and so precocious that she made writing this book a true pleasure. There were days when I swore she was sitting in the room with me eating her cookies and asking for a dog. . . or eating that dog’s food and losing her own cookies! We’re surrounded by babies and children every day. Watching and observing goes a long way when creating characters–and my niece’s four little ones certainly helped!
The hero of this book works in a garage and restores vintage cars. Do you have a favorite old car?
I had a ’65 Corvette convertible, black with red leather interior, that I drove in college. That would have to be, hands-down, my favorite, and I’d give (almost) anything to have it still. I have a passion for cars. Right now, I drive a black rose Corvette, and, yes, it’s a convertible. Writing about the Wylder brothers and their car restorations is right up my alley.
What can readers expect from you next?
I’m at work now on the third book in the Must Love Babies series. For Baby and Me is Gaven Wylder’s book. He’s the youngest of the brothers and has watched both Brant and Tucker fall into the matrimonial abyss, and he’s bound and determined not to get caught up in that same tangle. Trouble comes looking for him, though, when an oh, so sexy redhead shows up—with three-year-old Nicky, his ex-wife’s baby. Oh…make that his dead ex’s baby. I am having so much fun writing this book!
Rapid Fire Random Questions
Favorite candy: I love, love, love peppermint patties.
Favorite way to be kind to yourself: I sometimes need to take a deep breath and remind myself that not everything has to be perfect. . . or done today.
Best compliment you recently gave to someone: I told a friend that she made my life better by sharing it with me.
Favorite flower: A pink peony
Random interesting fact you like to tell people: The original London Bridge was taken apart, stone by stone, and moved to Lake Havasu, Arizona, where it was reconstructed over the Colorado River. When you boat beneath it, you can still see the scars left by the strafing from German airplanes during World War II.
Best vacation you’ve ever taken: My husband and I rented a house in Camden, Maine, for a month. It was about a two-minute walk to the water and maybe five minutes from the quaint little downtown area. If you’ve ever been to Camden, there’s no way you can ever forget that beautiful bay. Every evening, we walked to a small deli and sat overlooking the bay, eating one of their fabulous homemade desserts. My favorite? Their whoopie pies. When it comes to fun vacations, a close second was a trip to Ireland with two of my BFFs.
Earliest celebrity crush: That would have to be Paul McCartney.
Cake or pie: I prefer pie–lemon meringue. But then there’s red velvet cake! Oh, and hummingbird cake. Do I really have to choose?
Last book you read that you really LOVED: Under Currents by Nora Roberts. The book was absolutely mesmerizing. And (a big grin) I’d say that even if I wasn’t doing a book signing with her and some other truly incredible authors at Nora’s husband’s Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland, September 14th! I’d love to see you there!!!
You have a totally free afternoon – no deadlines, no obligations, no Twitter notifications! What do you do?: I’d drop the top on my car, drive to the nearest Starbucks for a java chip frappuccino (I’m assuming calories don’t count in this dream afternoon, right?), and take a drive, listening to my favorite country music.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below to enter to win a copy of I’VE GOT YOU, BABE!!
Must Love Babies #2
Where do you go when you’re at the end of your rope? Former Marine Tucker Wylder wants nothing more than to work with his brothers in their vintage car restoration business and be left alone with his nightmares and regrets. The last thing he needs is to take on someone else’s troubles. . .
Then Elisa Danvers and her young daughter arrive in Misty Bottoms, Georgia. Elisa has reached the end of the line–flat broke, engine trouble, sick in body and spirit. Tucker steps up to the rescue and finds himself reluctantly taking care of a feisty preschooler and her independent mother, who doesn’t seem to want his help. And Tucker isn’t sure he’s ready for the way precocious little Daisy and headstrong, beautiful Elisa herself capture first his bachelor household and finally his carefully guarded heart. . .
Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: August 27, 2019, Mass Market Paperback, ISBN: 9781492694205 / ]
About Lynnette Austin
LYNNETTE loves long rides with the top down and the music cranked up, standing by the Gulf of Mexico when a storm is brewing, and sitting in her local coffee shop reading, writing and enjoying a cappuccino. She grew up in Pennsylvania, accepted her first teaching job in New York, then moved to Wyoming. Now, she splits her time between the beaches of Florida and the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia. She’s been a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse. Writing for Grand Central and Sourcebooks, she’s published thirteen novels.
Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser is an avid reader, lackluster-yet-mighty crafter, and accomplished TV binge-watcher. Once upon a time, she was a publisher publicist and continues to cultivate her love of books and reading by chatting with the best authors in the business. She lives in Chicagoland with her very own romance hero husband, darling daughter, and two tempestuous cats. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @dj_dresser.