It’s day six of the Rebel Elite Holiday Hop with Donna Steele…
ATW: Tell us a little about yourself.
Donna: I’m not as interesting as my characters – maybe that’s why writing is such fun. I’m an empty-nester now with my beloved best friend and hubby. But the kids are coming in for Christmas – just not the same weeks – LOL! I work full time as an Executive Assistant, so I never know what’s going to hit my desk at work, but it’s never boring. Some of my coworkers might find themselves here…
ATW: When did you begin writing?
Donna: For real a few years ago, but I’ve actually enjoyed writing since I was a little girl. Some of those manuscripts are safely hidden away in a box at the top of one of the closets. At least I can see how far I’ve come.
ATW: Can you tell us about your most recent publication?
Donna: Homecoming is contemporary women’s fiction, which is a departure for me. I usually write science fiction/paranormal romance. It’s the story of a young woman who has survived neglect and abuse as a child. When she returns to clean out the family home upon the death of her grandmother, she meets Matt who has been helping around the estate. He has escaped a job which gave him little satisfaction and fallen in love with the architecture and design of the grand old house. Together they work to get their lives in shape
ATW: How did you get the idea for the book?
Donna: I had the task of cleaning out my parents home after they were gone. Fortunately my experience was vastly different from Ashley’s but the idea was born and wouldn’t go away.
ATW: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?
Donna: Finding the time to sit down and get it out of my head. I work full time and sometimes I can’t get that part of my life to leave me alone. When is that retirement date?
ATW: Which authors have inspired your writing?
Donna: Geez, ask a hard one. I read everything – Stephen King, Larry Niven, J. D. Robb, Lilly Gayle, Lila Munro, Nancy Badger, Cyn Hadyn, Andris Bear, J. K. Rowling – and I get something different from each of them. Maybe the fact that they all love what they do. It shines through.
ATW: What projects are you currently working on?
Donna: I have a science fiction romance that I’ve finished called The Melting. Two people torn apart by what is nearly the end of the world. I’m working on the sequel – hope to get it ready for submission over the holidays.
ATW: Where can my readers go to learn more about your work or to purchase one of your novels?
Donna: Everyone’s welcome to come by my author page – www.steelestories.com. There is a page for each book with a little something to read. I’m also on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DonnaSteeleAuthor and Twitter – steele_donna. You can find my books at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and AllRomance.
Ashley trailed him up the stairs, obviously torn between eagerness and fear. Matt reached for the doorknob but stopped at the last minute and stepped back. She looked at him questioningly.
“It’s your princess room, or will be, you should open it.”
Okay, now fear definitely grew as the top emotion. He could feel it coming off her in waves, but he stood by as she squared her shoulders and opened the door.
Well, she’d been right about using the place as an attic. Dust and cobwebs were everywhere. But the piles of stuff caught even him off guard.
“Man, you called it.” He stepped into the room and brushed some of the webs aside. He moved cautiously toward the window and moved the curtain. It shredded in his hands. “Damn, I’m sorry.”
“No problem. Not my style anyway.”
He only nodded and levered the window open, then moved to the next one. Once all four of the windows creating the bay were wide open he turned back. “Do you want me to haul this stuff downstairs or go through it here?”
“Here. But I think we’re going to need another box of trash bags.”
“Yeah, you think? I’ll go get them and a broom. Will you be okay?”
She nodded. He headed for the door, but her hand brushed his arm. “Thank you.”
He winked at her and kept moving. Jesus, what had she gone through?
Returning he brought the broom, trash bags, wet wipes, rags and a stool for her to sit. This would take a while, maybe a lifetime.
He tied a rag around the broom and used it to bring down the webs around the ceiling. No need to sweep yet, and no room.
Ashley pulled open the closest box. The cardboard had dried out and the tape no longer stuck, so it wasn’t hard. “Jesus.”
“These are my grandparents canceled checks.”
“1947 on this one.”
“19 . . . ” His voice trailed off. She was serious. She held one up for him to see. “Do you need a shredder?”
“This bank went out of business before I was born. Do you think there’s anything that would bite me in this box?”
“I don’t think so, but give me a minute.” He took the broom handle and shoved the stacks of checks around. “It’s all checks. I swear, I never—”
“This can go to the curb, if we can get it downstairs without the box ripping.”
“Let’s put it in a bag anyway. You don’t want checks floating around town.”
“No, you’re right.” She shook her head and helped him shove the box into the bag. He tied it tightly and headed for the stairs.
“Wait for me.” He turned before he started down the stairs.