Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Nikki Lynn Barrett, and her characters from A Masterpiece Of Our Love. It’s a fantastic romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Hunter and Becca.
How did you first meet your writer?
BECCA: On a swing….I think she saw a picture of a swing hanging from a tree and an idea formed in her mind. It took her awhile to create me and the story that makes up A Masterpiece of our Love, but that’s how it all started.
HUNTER: I kept popping up in her mind as the older character from two kids lost in the woods….boy did that one change. Big time. But I guess things happen for a reason.
What are your favorite scenes in your book: the action, the dialog or the romance?
BECCA: A mix, I think but especially the romance and dialog. Hunter has a way of catching me off guard from some of the things he says, and does.
HUNTER: I’m just in shock that Becca loves me back.
BECCA: I don’t know why it surprises you. You’ve always been there for me.
Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
HUNTER: I’d say so…she took a break from her Love and Music in Texas series to write our story.
BECCA: Actually, she started writing us last summer around the same time as her Christmas story. We just couldn’t leave her alone.
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
HUNTER: (Sighs) I wouldn’t have been so stubborn….I would have done things very differently, and maybe we’d have some answers. (Reaching for Becca’s hand, he leans over to hug her)
Would you be interested in a sequel, if your writer was so inclined?
BECCA: We’re actually part of a trilogy. I think Nikki’s muse is testing her, but I’m glad to be continuing out story with two more books.
Do have any secret aspirations that your author doesn’t know about?
HUNTER: Well, Becca keeps asking me if I’m a writer in my spare time….and I almost like the idea….
BECCA: You do have a way with words….
What do you do for a living?
BECCA: I’ve been an art teacher to young kids for the past few years. I love it!
HUNTER: I’m a pilot. I needed to get over my fear of flying after the crash…and somehow things happen that still remind me of that night.
What is your greatest fear?
HUNTER: Losing Becca, now that I’ve just connected with her on a new level. With everything going on….it’s my biggest fear.
BECCA: I’m not going anywhere, Hunter. My greatest fear? Besides airplanes and not having Hunter in my life? Right now, it’s that I’ll never get the answers after what happened recently. There’s too many questions in my head and I’m not sure how to find the truth.
HUNTER: I wish I could get those answers for you, for us.
What is your most prized possession?
BECCA: The last photo of my parents, sister and I before that crash..
What are you proudest of?
HUNTER: My daughter Sienna. And Becca. She’s overcome so much, and still manages to stay strong.
What is your vivid memory of your mother and father?
BECCA (Wipes a tear away) I was so young when I lost them, it’s getting harder to remember. My mom used to sing me a song when I was afraid. I think she also sang to my sister, Ellie. I remember my dad being kind, an funny.
HUNTER: Around my 12th birthday, my parents took me out to a basketball game. I even got to go on the court and meet some of the players beforehand, and they even let me shoot a few baskets with them. During the game, I remember my dad getting a phone call and we had to leave. That was a few days before….(Clears throat) Sorry. It’s hard to talk about. This was right before the plane crash. (Becca scoots closer and they hug)
What is your most favorite memory?
HUNTER: Holding my daughter for the first time.
BECCA: When I first started walking again after the accident, Hunter came to visit me when I was at my aunt’s. She went to pick him up, and I was trying to walk without anyone being there. I fell, and that’s when they found me. Hunter, being the dork he was said something along the lines of “I know a bunch of girls fall at my feet, but you took it to a new level” When he realized I was trying to walk on my own, he held out his hand, helped me to my feet and I took the steps to sit on my favorite swing.
HUNTER (Laughing) I was a dork, wasn’t I? I remember that. I was so proud of you. I knew it was only a matter of time before you were on your two feet again.
BECCA: You were, but you always made me smile.
Two Lives Torn by tragedy.
Eight-year-old Becca and twelve-year-old Hunter cling to each other and life after surviving a plane crash which stole their families.
Two Souls Seeking Love.
Each year, from the time she was old enough to travel on her own, Becca met up with Hunter on the island that altered their lives forever.
Until he stopped showing.
Her constant. Her link to the past. Gone in the blink of an eye.
Two Lives Bound by Secret.
Suffering more heartbreak, Hunter returns to the one place he’s always sought comfort, the island where he and Becca met. It was the place that stole from him, and in the same instance gave to him. He hasn’t been back or spoken to Becca in four years.
Though he’s sure she must hate him for disappearing, Hunter discovers the girl gone, now a woman in her place. Hunter is determined to prove to Becca he isn’t the same twelve-year-old boy of yesteryear.
But someone isn’t happy about their reunion…
Strange things begin happening. Letters start showing up in their hotel rooms and at home with cryptic messages.
Two Broken Hearts Heal as One.
With the mystery unsolved, Hunter convinces Becca to spend the remainder of the summer back home with him, both for safety and to give them a chance to discover the adults they’ve now become.
Will love get a chance to blossom, or will the past come back and tear the masterpiece of their love apart once and for all?
Becca woke up to Hunter shouting. She tried to figure out what time it was and why he was yelling. He was thrashing about. She realized he must be having a nightmare. He cried in agony, yelling her name.
She dodged an elbow before she reached for him, holding his hand down. “Hunter! Wake up!” She shook him forcefully. He was drenched in sweat. She removed the blanket and shook him again, this time even harder. Finally, he shot up and out of bed. His breathing was heavy, as if he’d just run a mile. Becca leaned over and turned on the light. That must have startled Hunter, because he yelped.
She flew out of bed and was at his side in seconds. Becca took Hunter’s hands in hers. “It was just a nightmare. You’re okay,” she soothed. Was this why he barely slept? Was he having nightmares? She never noticed this last night, but he’d mentioned being restless.
He practically bear hugged her. “Oh Becca, I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” Was he crying?
“Sorry for what, Hunter?” His heart was beating like crazy. Whatever the nightmare was, it rattled him big time. “Hey, you’re okay. It’s all right.”
“Until recently, I haven’t had one of those in a long, long time,” he whispered after a while. His breathing went back to normal.
Becca pulled back. “Had one of what?”
“I had a flashback of the accident. It was still so damn vivid. I carried you to shore. Then the-” His voice cracked.
Becca reached for him again. Hunter trembled as he fell into her arms and clung to her. She knew exactly what he was talking about. The explosion of the plane as they made it to shore. She hadn’t had a nightmare about it in a long time either. Maybe Hunter was having it because of his guilt from the boat incident. Not that he had anything to feel guilty for, but he seemed to anyway. Her heart ached for him. “Hunter,” she whispered, not even sure what she could say to comfort him.
“You’re all I have in the world,” he said very quietly.
“That’s not true. I mean, you do have me, but I’m not all you have.” Where was this coming from? What would make such a strong man feel so defeated? She had no idea how to help him right now. That’s all she wanted to do.
He untangled himself from her arms and made his way to the sink. Another burst of light made her wince as he flicked on the switch and turned on the water. He splashed his face, then reached for a cup and filled it with water, downing the entire contents in a few chugs. After he set the glass down, he turned to her again. “Did I hurt you? I know when I have these nightmares, I end up tossing around a lot. Please tell me you didn’t get hurt.”
“Hunter, I’m fine! You didn’t hurt me. I was startled and worried more than anything. It’s scary waking up to someone yelling. I just wanted to know you were okay. You want to lay back down? We can talk about it, or I’ll just hold you until we fall asleep again.”
“I’m afraid to go back to sleep at this point, but I need it. That dream was so vivid. It was like I was back there all over again. I don’t know why it’s coming back to me like this, but I hate it!” His voice rang out in the otherwise quiet night. “Shit. Sorry. I’m on the agitated side right now and I’m kinda freaking out.”
“It’s all right. You don’t have to explain yourself. I remember the nightmares and they did seem so real. It was like I relived that night over and over when they kept occurring.” Becca moved to shut off the bathroom light. She took Hunter’s hand and led him back to bed. Once they were settled, she turned off the bedside light and went to reach for him, snuggling close to him as his arm came around her. He brushed a kiss on her cheek before she rested her head on the pillow.
“Thank you for everything,” Hunter said quietly.
“I can say the same to you,” she replied.
They’d become each other’s lifeline. When everything else seemed to fall apart, when everyone looked at them as if they were crazy or fragile, they’d been the ones to bring each others’ spirits back up. She held Hunter as they both attempted to get back to sleep. Becca’s mind raced a million miles a minute, most of her thoughts revolving around Hunter, the accident, and the past few days.
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Nikki Lynn Barrett lives in Arizona with her husband and son. She’s an avid reader, a dreamer, and loves everything about books. She runs a book blog, an online used bookstore, and writes various genres of romance. Nikki can also be found outside with her camera when a storm is near, snapping photo after photo. Her dreams of becoming a writer started when she was young, when she started writing books in one subject notebooks by the fifth grade.
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!