Hey! Y’all know Marci. I introduced you last year. She’s been keeping busy since the release of Unforgettable You and her saucy pseudonym Emilia Mancini’s The Rebound. Somehow, in between juggling 12 jobs and tending her family, she’s whipped another book into shape (I suspect she may have borrowed Hermione Granger’s time-turner). The Messenger is a “sweet” contemporary coming 4/9, and I think the premise is intriguing. Hold on. I’ll let Marci tell you about it.
WHO are your main characters?
Evelyn Thomas is fresh from college but she has been around her father’s newspaper all her live. Even so, her coworkers treat her like a spoiled little girl who got her way by stomping her feet. She is determined to prove to them, and her father, that she is a good reporter and deserves to be there. She does act a bit snooty some times, but most of that is self preservation. Not only is her father cold and aloof, her co-workers have made it clear they don’t want her around. Sometimes it seems to her the only people who care about her are her sister Maggie and Maggie’s husband, Jerry.
Wes Reilly has been around The Messenger for years. He’s fairly neutral on Eve’s presence at the newspaper until he realizes she’s gotten leads on the story he has been trying to break. He’s a loner and doesn’t care much for the idea of working with someone else, especially the boss’s daughter, on a story. He tries to scare her out of following up on the her leads but when the danger he’s warned her about becomes real, they both realize the only way to stay safe is to write the story and the only way to do that, is to work together.
WHAT tropes do you utilize in the story?
This is a co-worker to lover romance. Eve has just about had her fill of her co-workers and is considering quitting when she overhears Jerry talking about insurance fraud at the hospital where he works. She thinks will turn everything around. Wes is confident she can’t possibly handle herself so feels the need to keep an eye out on her.
In the process, he begins to realize she is stronger than he thought and she finds he isn’t as obnoxious as she believed. They learn a lot about themselves and each other as they work on this story.
WHEN is the story set and how long does it take to resolve?
The Messenger is contemporary and takes just over a week to resolve, but the background is set on these characters already having a working relationship, even it if was tumultuous most of the time.
WHERE is the story set and why’d you choose that setting?
This is the first book I’ve written that didn’t have a given city name. I don’t know why, I just didn’t want to put a definitive location on it, real or imagined. It’s a moderate sized city, large enough to have two newspapers, The Messenger and another corporate run paper.
I needed an urban setting large enough to have a medical center and two papers, but not so large that no one would care if doctors were caught committing insurance fraud.
I live in the Des Moines area, so I imagine it taking place in one of the larger suburbs.
WHY did you write this story?
Yikes! I wrote this book over ten years ago. It was my second attempt at a novel. My first had won third place in the Texas Writers’ League so I was convinced my big break was right around the corner. Not quite.
After my first publication earlier this year, my heartstrings tugged this one off the shelf and demanded that I clean it up. Let’s just say that wasn’t one of my better ideas. It was a mess! It took a lot of work, rewrites, and help from some author friends to get it whipped into shape.
I love this story, these characters, and the emotional attachment I have to it. But it was mostly the emotional attachment that made me want to revisit this and see if it could find its way to publication.
How is this story different than the last one you wrote?
The last book, Unforgettable You, was something I wrote recently. While I loved the characters I had created, I didn’t have the emotional tie to them that I felt to Eve and Wes. Getting Unforgettable You published was amazing; it was my first release with my name on it rather than Emilia Mancini, my pen. It was what I had dreamed of for so long. But seeing The Messenger come to fruition, even though it was an incredible struggle getting it reworked, is even more personal and feels like even more of a triumph. This poor book faced more rejections than any one manuscript should ever have to. If it weren’t for the fact that I held it so close to my heart, it never would have made it this far.
I’m excited for this to be released, but also terrified. With Unforgettable You, I had great reviews and I was so happy with the way it was received. But I don’t think I want to read reviews for The Messenger. I’ll have to have someone only send me the good ones. This one is just too personal for me.
ABOUT The Messenger
Evelyn Thomas is tired of being treated like a little girl playing dress-up. Just because she is working at her father’s newspaper doesn’t mean she isn’t a good journalist. All she needs is a chance to prove it.
Unfortunately for seasoned reporter Wes Reilly, that chance turns out to be the exact same story he’s working on.
When the journalists get separate leads on the same insurance scam, they butt heads over who gets to expose it. However, when Eve’s source ends up in ICU she has no choice but to turn to Wes for help.
Every step they take brings them closer towards the truth and each other. But the path to vindication is filled with danger and leaves Wes and Eve struggling to get out of sticky situations and fighting for their lives.
FROM The Messenger
Eve ran her hand along one of the many rows and skimmed the file tags until she got close to the numerical prefix she was looking for. She pushed the files as far apart as the overstuffed shelf allowed and tilted her head down to get a closer look. She went over each name, not finding any files which corresponded with names on the list Jerry had given her.
This was impossible, like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. She pulled a piece of paper from her shirt pocket to verify the spelling of the name before she pushed the folders apart again in case she had missed what she was looking for the first time.
Suddenly a hand roughly grabbed her shoulder. She spun around, her heart racing and her lungs tight with the gulp of air she had involuntarily inhaled. As soon as she met the angry gaze of the man who had startled her, she let her breath out with a rush and sank against the wall of folders.
Wes pressed his lips together and flexed his jaw muscles as he stared at her. “What are you doing here?”
She looked at the white coat he was wearing with a badge which identified him as Dr. Henderson. “What are you doing here?”
Wes leaned down to get eye-to-eye with her. “Answer me, Thomas.”
“I’m following a lead.”
“I don’t have to share my stories with you.”
He snorted as he leaned back. “Exactly what story would that be? How to properly file medical records?”
She felt the sting of his words go straight to her heart. Defiance set in and she stood a little straighter. “Insurance fraud.”
Wes stared at her for several seconds. He may have been trying to intimidate her, but his glare had nothing on her father’s. She simply cocked her brow in return.
“That’s my story,” he said.
Eve shook her head. “No. I got this tip on my own, Reilly, and if you think you’re going to steal it away from me—”
“Steal it away from you? I’d like to know where you got your tip ’cause I’ve been on this story since last week. You are so unbelievably—”
Eve raised her brows when he stopped mid-sentence and turned his head away. “I’m so unbelievably what?”
“Shut up,” he breathed. Her mouth opened and Wes put his hand over her lips. “Hush.”
Eve gasped when she was quiet long enough to hear footsteps. She grabbed his wrist and pulled his hand away. “What do we do?”
ABOUT Marci Boudreaux
Marci Boudreaux lives with her husband, two children, and their numerous pets. She is a freelance writer and video producer for a variety of local monthly magazines as well as a content editor for several small publishing houses.
Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn’t like when she does that in real life.
Marci is currently working on her Masters in Publishing and has plans to eventually take over the world.
Buy The Messenger here.
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