Software developer Honor Macklin believes she’s equal business partners with her philandering ex-husband, but when family responsibilities take her to Florida, she discovers her ex may have cheated her in more ways than one. Spirits at the Belleview Biltmore hotel try to help Honor by invading her dreams to share memories from the life of Darcy Loughman, a young Victorian woman with big problems of her own. When the two worlds collide, Honor and her new lover, Josh, along with his clairvoyant four-year-old son, try to figure out how Honor can use lessons from the past to change her destiny.
The setting for this novel is the famous and currently endangered historic Belleview Biltmore Resort in Belleair, FL. The hotel was built in 1896 by one of Florida’s founding fathers, Henry B. Plant. The author is working with preservationists, hoping to find investors willing to save the wonderful, 820,000 sq. ft. hotel from demolition. For additional information, please visit: www.
Since you are a new to me author, I am hoping to bring you to the light of others! So let’s share! Why don't you tell us a little about yourself.... something that we cannot Google about you, LOL!
My name is BonSue Brandvik - I was named by an angel who visited my mom in the hospital. Well, sort of, anyway. You see, I was born in the old days, when women were given good drugs and stayed in the hospital for several days after the birth of a child. As the fifth of six children, and the second girl, I was almost doomed to being named after my grandmother: Bertha Agnes. No kidding. Then my drugged-up mom dreamed an angel kept calling-out the name: Bonnie-Sue. The next morning, she decided to obey the angel’s suggestion. Later than night (after the drugs wore off) she heard the head nurse yelling for a candy-striper named… you guessed it… Bonnie-Sue. Although a far better name than Bertha Agnes, Bonnie-Sue was still too southern for my Leo personality, so I cut out the middle of the name and became BonSue. It suits me…unique, but a bit weird.
I grew up fast. I married and became a mom at the age of 17 and I was divorced before my 23rd birthday. I focused on being a single mom to my daughter, which included stints as a Girl Scout Leader, Room Mother and Big Sister. I also mangled a few romantic relationships. Then, when I least expected it, I met John - the true love of my life. We’ve been together for 28 years and will celebrate our 23rd anniversary on New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t ask for a better husband or friend.
I’ve also held a wide variety of jobs in my lifetime – from babysitter, cake decorator and door-to-door cookware saleswoman, to a cook at Taco Bell. I worked my way through college as a cocktail waitress and entertainer before taking a job as a secretary and then developing a successful career in the field of Human Resources. Several years ago, I became disillusioned with being a workaholic executive, so I resigned to become a part-time HR Consultant, a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer for children, and novelist. I draw upon my assortment of career experiences to create great characters and complex storylines.
I hope my novels will spark the imagination of my readers, encouraging them to look beyond this world into the unknown, while at the same time, embracing some simple truths I have learned along the way: No matter what trials and tribulations this world brings to your doorstep, you are never alone unless you choose to be; No one knows for sure what comes next in the eternal journey of life; and Love really can be true and everlasting.
Tell us a little about your book?
“Pearls” is the first novel in the “Spirits of the Belleview Biltmore” series. It’s a paranormal, women’s fiction with romantic and time-travel elements. The setting is the real, haunted Belleview Biltmore Hotel, which was built by Henry and Margaret Plant in 1896.
“Pearls: Spirits of the Belleview Biltmore” – Software developer Honor Macklin believes she’s equal business partners with her philandering ex-husband, but when family responsibilities take her to Florida, she discovers her ex may have cheated her in more ways than one. Honor’s life becomes even more complicated when spirits (not to be confused with ‘ghosts’) at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel start invading her dreams to share memories from the life of Darcy Loughman, a young Victorian woman with big problems of her own. When the two worlds collide, Honor and her steamy, new lover, Josh, along with his clairvoyant four-year-old son, try to figure out if Honor can use lessons from the past to outwit her ex-husband and change her destiny.
“Pearls” book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uvcIzpprp0
I hope my novels will encourage readers to join the ranks of preservationists, hoping to save the hotel from demolition by developers hoping to build townhomes on the property: http://www.SpiritsOfBelleviewBiltmore.com
How much emotion does it take from you to write?
If I want my readers to run an entire gambit of emotion when reading my stories, I have to go there first. I love rereading a scene I’ve written and finding that it makes me laugh or cry or melt, because I’m certain it will have the same effect on my readers.
What is your favorite part of the book?
Wow – that’s a tough question. I guess my favorite part is when Honor Macklin (the present-day heroine) finally discovers who she is and what she wants out of life. Of course, you’ll have to read the entire book to get to that part!
You can only pick 3 words for your main characters…what would they be? *to describe your main characters*
“Pearls” is really two books in one. The entire story takes place at the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, but the storyline moves back and forth between the Victorian Era and the present.
In the Victorian Era, the heroine is Darcy Loughman: Tragic, Stoic, Admirable.
The heroine of present-day half is Honor Macklin: Insecure, Smart, Loving.
One spirit, Margaret Plant, ties time periods together: Busybody, Curious, Wise.
Which was the easiest character to write and the hardest ~ and why??
Easiest – Josh, Honor’s new lover. He was likeable and has a huge family – nine brothers, all of whose names start with the letter J. He’s also a single dad.
Hardest – Honor, because she had such a long road to travel to become the person she can become. She is pretty, intelligent and sexy, but for several years, her ex-husband has made her feel she is none of those things. She has to regain self-confidence, learn to trust, and then decide what changes she wants to make in her life.
How many books are you shooting for in this series??
Currently, I have four stories outlined for the series. In each book, someone will check into the Belleview Biltmore hotel with serious problems that will resonate with various spirits who inhabit the hotel. Only one character will appear in all four books: Margaret Plant, the wife of Henry Plant, the railroad baron who built the Belleview Biltmore Hotel. I’m currently writing the second book in the series, “Ripples”, which will involve spirits of the Prohibition Era. Future books include “Redemption” which is set in the WWII Era (when the hotel was occupied by the army) and “Nails,” which harkens back to Florida’s pioneer days, when the hotel was first being built.
What are you currently working on?
I’m writing the second book in the “Spirits of the Belleview Biltmore” series, titled “Ripples.” This storyline involves a woman who has been unable to cope with the traumatic loss of her young son in a car accident. She is called to Florida when her grandmother suffers a stroke and checks into the Belleview Biltmore. There, she connects with bootlegging spirits from the Prohibition Era and meets a handsome biker who tempts her to end the relationship with her estranged husband.
Do you have anything due to release soon?
I’m hoping to release “Ripples” at the first of the year.
What's one thing that you enjoy about writing?
I absolutely love world-building. I enjoy creating alternate possibilities about what happens when you die and what choices you might have regarding how you spend your afterlife. Perhaps that’s because I’m a Leo and love making all the rules!
Since we're cover hussies....what was your first impression of your cover?
I was fortunate enough to work with a wonderful, independent graphic artist, named Cathy Castelerio. She read the synopsis of my book, then designed a cover that incorporates images of the past and the present heroines, as well as the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, where both stories take place. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
What do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks?
Paperbacks. I enjoy the convenience of reading books on my iPad, but I guess I’ll always prefer to turn ‘real’ pages. Also, I enjoy using a few special bookmarks that remind me of the girlfriends who gave them to me.
Is there a genre you would like to write but are a little apprehensive to try?
I have outlined 10 books that I want to write. Most of the storylines are in the paranormal genre, but one is a mystery, one is a sci-fi and one is a biography of my grandmother’s life. My apprehension comes more from worrying I won’t live long enough to write all the books I want to write than fear of trying other genres.
Okay.... personal time!!!! Oh yeah, I go there... Hahah...
If you thought you were safe... Nah... Forgot it... Not a chance! We will start off slow and easy, I promise!
What is on your night stand/dresser?
My iPad, iPhone, a bottle of water, a notepad/pen and a flashlight. When I wake up with an idea, I have to write it down before I forget it (without waking my hubby.)
What are you listening to you right now?
My hubby is snoring next to me (I write mostly at night.) Otherwise, just the sound of the keyboard.
What are you reading right now?
I’m one of those people who reads several books at one time. I keep paperback books in each of the bathrooms in my home, an audio book in my kitchen and several e-books on my iPad at all times. I also try to mix genres and read selections from both well-known authors and those who are just getting started in their writing careers. This is my current list:
“Raeliksen” – Renee Vincent (a Viking warrior romance)
“Best Little Stories of the Civil War” – C. Brian Kelly (real letters/journal entries from the Civil War)
“I Love This Bar” – Carolyn Brown (a cheeky cowboy romance)
“Seduced by a Werewolf” – Terry Spear (a paranormal romance)
“Concentric Circles” – Aithne Jarretta (paranormal fantasy/adventure/romance)
“Cross” – James Patterson (mystery/cat ‘n’ mouse – cops verses murderer/rapist)
What is your favorite season?
I live in Florida, so the seasons don’t change much, but I do love the fall. That’s when the heat dies down enough that flowers really begin blooming and I can plant my vegetable garden.
I’m a sucker for Christmas. My house is decorated with so many lights and decorations; it belongs in the movie, “Christmas Vacation!”
And what has been your best b-day present ever??
My birthday was just a few days ago (August 17th) and my only child gave me a sonogram photo. I’ll have a granddaughter at the end of January. I think that gift just moved to the top of my list.
Hard and Quick Time! Don't think... Just answer! Okay, before we go this route, I will get us a refill on our drinks... I will be right back...
You know you do... Quickie time... Think fast....
Are you a quickie kind girl?
Nope – Anything’s that’s worth doing is worth taking your time to do it right!
Dark or Milk Chocolate?
Whipped or Melted?
Straight up or with a twist - sex?
Straight-up and romantic
What's ur fave drink - in a glass or on him?
Beer in a bottle; but he can buy!
Spank or Flogger?
No pain, no pain
Junk or Health Food?
Do pumpkin seeds count as health food?
Ties or Chains?
Leather or Lace?
Soft or Hard... Bed, where was your mind?
Hard – in bed and otherwise
Control or Be Controlled?
Did I mention I was a Leo? Hate being controlled.
Hot Wax or Whip Cream?
Vampire or Werewolf?
I don’t like the cold, so have to go with the wolf
Twitter and/or Facebook?
Both: Twitter – BonSueB Facebook – BonSue Brandvik Author
Pinterest or not?
Yes, but still a novice
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