It's such an honour to
have Kay Springsteen as my guest today. I've read and loved
Kay's "Heart" series, and I cannot wait to read this one as
1 - Tell us how you came up with the story for The 13 of Hearts.
Well, 13 is book #5 in the Heartsight series. I started writing that series as a kind of U.S. Marine version of the TV show Army Wives. Rabbit had a supporting role in the third book of that series, Operation: Christmas Hearts. But the quirky, superstitious marine played so well off the other characters in the book, it soon became clear he would need his own story. I didn't want it to be a story that focused on his PTSD while at the same time that disorder would play a role. So what better than a damsel in distress in the form of a young mother on the run to liven up his time in the States?
2 - The book is dedicated to the wonderful Monique O'Connor with the royalties going towards a cancer fund. Tell us a bit more about this wonderful cause.
I knew Monique from before our Astraea Press days. I knew she had lost her own mother to cancer while at a tender age, so it's one of those particular ironies in life that she would pass away with her children so young. Anyone who has read The Keepers might have seen the original cover and noticed how similar to Monique the picture on the cover looked. We all kind of joked about it at the time, but she drew a lot on her own experiences of losing her mother to write that book. Now, Monique had a sense of humor that would actually appreciate the irony here. I have no doubt she hated leaving her children and family at such a critical time in their lives. But the storyteller in her would have put her own particular spin on things and joked that this was some kind of family curse. I loved that girl! Monique and Kristine Cheney were also close. When Monique found out Kristine has breast cancer, she was devastated - it had to have brought up tons of memories. But she dove right in and offered moral support. When I wrote the dedication for The 13 of Hearts, I fully planned to donate a couple of months' royalties to Monique's family. But at the last minute, I felt a strong conviction that Monique wanted that donation to go to Kristine's fight. So with great love for both of these women, I am dedicating the book in part to Monique and offering 100% of my October and November 2014 royalties in her name to aid Kristine in her fight.