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An excerpt from Hell in Heels
About Mary Frances Gualandri
Mary Frances Gualandri has been writing since she was eight years old. She dabbled in fan fiction and young adult before she ventured into her favorite genre to read, romance. Hell in Heels is her first novel. She lives in North Central Illinois with her family.
An Interview with Mary Frances Gualandri
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Mary Frances, thank you for talking with us at TRS. You featured story is Hell in Heels. Where did you get the idea for this sensational new story?
MFG: My grandpa and I used to tell stories when I was younger, and this was one of the ones we came up with oddly enough. I’ve had the story idea in my mind for years, and when he passed away last year, I figured that finally writing the book would be the perfect tribute to him.
HH:What do you like about Amy and why will readers identify with her?
MFG: What I like about Amy is that she’s a tough, independent career woman but she’s still vulnerable when it comes to the man she falls for. Even though she can be hard in the board room, she’s a typical woman when it comes to Nathan. Readers will be able to relate to her because she acts just like any other woman would in the situations she is thrown into. She’s irrational when she sees something suspicious, and for good reason, and has a hard time admitting she’s wrong.
HH: What do you like about Nathan and why will readers love him?
MFG: I love that Nathan is in a situation that men are not commonly put into in romances: he, not the heroine, is the victim of sexual harassment. Readers will be able to sympathize with the fact that he can’t do anything about it for fear of ruining his reputation because of his public image. He’s your typical sexy guy: dark hair, blue eyes, and a great body. Plus, he’s a dad and there are a lot of sweet moments in the book with him and his daughter, Lily.
HH: Tell us about your journey to publishing this book?
MFG: I started writing it last August and I was finished the week before Christmas. I spent about three months editing and the last couple of months polishing it up. I had decided before even starting the book that I would self-publish it as an e-book because it was so much easier, quicker, and cheaper to do so, and that was proven correct. I published my book on April 23rd.
HH: What do you think readers will enjoy most about this romance?
MFG: I think they’re going to enjoy the fact that it is a new twist on the classic forbidden office romance. Everyone loves a story where the hot CEO falls for someone working for him. However, Nathan doesn’t see Amy every day and is actually fighting for her to get the job with his company. Plus, we also have the jealous woman competing with Amy for the job and Nathan. There are a lot of great twists to the classic tale.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
MFG: Lucky readers can look forward to the story of Nathan and Amy to continue in supporting roles in the next four books in my Love, Windy City Style series as well as a price drop when I release my next book, Private Dancer, later in the year.
HH: What else can readers look forward to from you?
MFG: Readers can look forward to the stories of some familiar characters in upcoming books. My next one will feature Jake Bradley and Natalie Warner. The third book, The Greatest Love of All, will feature Alex Slade and Jennifer Alexander. The fourth will be about Robert Winslow III and Molly Stanhope. The final book in the series will be a little darker and will feature Rafe Coulter, who readers will meet later, and Beth Pinchot. All of the characters are interconnected and readers will be able to keep up with couples from previous books. After those are done, I will be doing some stand-alones that will take a slightly different path.
HH: What hobbies or interests do you have outside of your writing?
MFG: Like most writers, I’m a major reader, so I spend most of my spare time reading. I also love listening to music, which helps with a lot of the inspiration for my books, and watching Hawaii Five-0. I’m pretty much addicted to that show.
HH: What's your favorite quote ever?
MFG: My favorite quote is from my all-time favorite book, Paradise by Judith McNaught, when Matt Farrell says, “I’ll give you paradise on a gold platter. Anything you want—everything you want. I come with it, of course. It’s a package deal.” It’s a line every woman wants a man to say to her.
HH: What's your favorite social media and how to use it to let readers know about your books?
MFG: Most of the time, I use Twitter because it’s the quickest way to let readers know something or even sometimes to just say a random thought. I have it connected to my author page on Facebook, so it also eliminates a lot of extra work for me. My Twitter is @MaryFGualandri.
HH: Thank you!