Today it’s my pleasure to feature and interview Lisa M. Owens, author of If Only.
About If Only…
What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?
Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.
She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?
SKY: What inspired you to write this book?
LISA: I am a survivor of domestic violence. I wanted to write a novel that combined my love of romance novels with the aftereffects of being in an abusive relationship. I feel that too many novels merely gloss over the subject. I wanted to write a book that would tell the truth.
SKY: How did you come up with the title?
LISA: I think we have all at some point of our lives wondered If Only I had done this, If Only I had done that. The title pretty much speaks for itself.
SKY: Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
LISA: Bree Sexton gets the chance that she has always dreamed of. She gets to go back and be with the man that she has always regretted leaving. But when happiness is just within her grasp, her cruel ex-husband appears to destroy everything that she holds dear. Will she lose her second chance for happiness?
SKY: If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?
LISA: “Maybe fate is giving us a second chance to be together.”
SKY: Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
LISA: I am currently working on two. One is the continuation of my If Only series and the other is a story about a Marine who returns from fighting in Afghanistan to discover the woman he loved has left him.
SKY: How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?
LISA: I have been writing since I was about seven years old. This is my first published novel.
SKY: What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?
LISA: Right now, I am mainly writing contemporary romance. I write some poetry and I have a few manuscripts that I plan on revising and trying to publish in the young adult genre. I would also eventually like to try writing a children’s book.
SKY: Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.
LISA: If Only is the first book in a series that I am currently working on. What If is the continuation of the series and it should be ready for submission to Liquid Silver Books soon. I plan on there being five books in this series, all about different women who get the chance to correct their greatest mistakes.
SKY: Great interview! Thanks for sharing.
Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for
years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
“Scott,” she whispered.