HOPING FOR MORE, contemporary romance novella is part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press, scheduled for release on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
Welcome to my blog. My guests today are Wynne Buchanan, assistant librarian in Willow Springs, Vermont, and Dr. Daniel Eugene Stevenson, Jr., professor of history at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Wynne and Gene—thank you for taking time from your schedules to be with us today.
Wynne: Thanks, Shawna. It's nice of you to invite us.
Gene: This is the first interview we've done together.
My first question is, I think, an obvious one. Dr. Stevenson—
Gene: Please, call me Gene.
And that's my first question. Why Gene when your first name is Daniel?
Gene: Being a Jr., I chose to go by my middle name of Eugene—Gene—to separate my identity from my father's. He's also Dr. Daniel Eugene Stevenson, only in his case he's a medical doctor rather than a PhD. This was less confusing especially growing up when I was still living with my parents.
Wynne: I was curious about that, too. I asked him the same question the second time we saw each other.
I understand the two of you met when Gene presented a program at the Willow Springs community center. How did that come about?
Wynne: In addition to my duties as assistant librarian, I'm also responsible for scheduling the monthly programs at the community center. In the past, there had been numerous arts and crafts demonstrations, photographic exhibitions, and different talks about the local sports scene with emphasis on bicycling and skiing—both downhill and cross country. Even though bicycling and skiing are two of my favorite activities, I was looking for something that would provide more variety in our programs. We have an international best selling author living in Willow Springs who did a presentation about his newest novel focusing on the research he did to give the story authenticity. I decided to branch out and look beyond the local scene.
And that's where Gene entered the picture?
Gene: Right. I was in my campus office between classes when I got a phone call from this absolutely charming woman wanting me to do a program at their community center. She told me I could talk about whatever I wanted but to keep in mind that it would be a varied audience of all ages. Her enthusiasm was totally infectious. All I could think of was the opportunity to meet this woman in person would be worth the trip to Willow Springs. We worked out a date that fit in with my schedule and everything immediately fell into place. That was a little over four years ago.
Wynne: Gene's first program at the community center was about a Revolutionary War event that happened close to Willow Springs. His talk was a huge success, partly due to the topic being of local interest and partly because his presentation was both interesting and entertaining. That was on a Friday evening. The feedback was very positive. They all wanted him to come back and do another program. I called him that Monday and invited him to present a program on a regular basis, something that would work with his schedule, and he agreed.
Gene: I was thrilled to hear from her. I had spent the weekend trying to figure out an excuse to call her, to ask her out…maybe having dinner. (chuckles) The distance between Burlington and Willow Springs, while not all that far, is definitely too far to claim 'I was just in the neighborhood' type of accidental meeting.
Obviously the two of you got together personally, separate from the community center programs. How did that—
Wynne: I really wanted to see him again. That's why I took the initiative and called him the Monday after his Friday presentation. I wanted to establish an ongoing communication.
Gene: The rest of it just sort of fell into place naturally. We started seeing each other on a regular basis although it was casual—just friends.
Kind of an opposites attract situation?
Wynne: Well, I hadn't thought of it like that, but you're right.
Gene: That's something that was in the back of my mind and as time passed it ended up in the front of my mind. Wynne is very athletic, enjoys all types of sports. I, on the other hand, had never been into sports.
Wynne: We didn't have any problems finding things to talk about or to do. We'd have dinner, sometimes in Willow Springs and other times in Burlington. We went to concerts, plays, movies, art galleries…things like that. But always as just friends. Then about ten days before his most recent community center presentation, everything suddenly changed.
That sounds ominous. What happened?
Wynne: For starters, he told me he would be in town two or three days before his presentation. He referred to it as spending a couple of vacation days before his presentation. I was pleased to be able to spend that extra time with him, but he sounded…I don't know how to describe it…kind of distracted or unsettled. Then, to my shock, he showed up the next morning—ten days before his scheduled program.
Ten days early? That's certainly more than just a couple.
Gene: (laughs) She wasn't the only one surprised. I woke up that morning and the decision to travel to Willow Springs that day popped into my mind. I packed my suitcase and headed my car in that direction. But being ten days early wasn't the only surprise when I arrived.
More surprises? Anything you'd care to share with us?
Gene: (pauses as if to gather his thoughts) There was this man who made occasional trips to Willow Springs, apparently to visit Wynne. We had crossed paths in the past and she had introduced me to him. When I arrived this time, unexpected, there he was again.
A possible rival for Wynne's affections?
Gene: That's what I feared. You'll need to read the book to discover who is was and why he continued to appear on the scene.
Wynne: Gene wasn't the only one on the receiving end of a surprise…other than his arrival ten days early. He made an announcement…something he wanted me to help him with…that caught me totally off guard.
More surprises? Could you tell us about it?
Wynne: (shoots sly glance toward Gene) No…you'll need to read the book.
Gene: (laughs) I can tell you that Wynne wasn't the only one surprised. As the words came out of my mouth, I couldn't believe that I was actually saying them.
Wynne: Then he handed me yet another surprise—actually it was more of a shock. For a week everything had been perfect, then three days before his program, he suddenly announced that he needed to return to Burlington right away. He assured me he'd be back in time for his presentation. He seemed very distracted, something I interpreted as being upset but I didn't know why. Everything was fine at lunch, or at least I thought it was, but by dinner everything seemed to have changed. I watched him drive away with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It felt as if my heart was breaking, almost as if I'd never see him again.
Really? What was that all about?
Wynne and Gene in unison: You need to read the book. (laughter)
Well, I guess there's nothing left to say except thank you Wynne and Gene for being my guests.
Dr. Daniel Eugene Stevenson, Jr., professor of history at the University of Vermont, is a popular guest speaker at the Willow Springs Community Center. But that's not the only reason he keeps returning to the small town. He's strongly attracted to the assistant librarian who coordinates the programs. So far, they've been good friends, but his upcoming scheduled talk provides the perfect opportunity to take their friendship to a serious commitment. He's just not sure if the other man he's seen her with is only a friend or someone special in her life.
Wynne Buchanan is looking forward to a certain shy professor's community center presentation about a murder committed in Willow Springs almost a century ago. Their friendship these past four years has meant the world to her, but every time she thinks they're moving toward a serious relationship, he pulls away. She's determined to find out why during his upcoming visit, because she's hoping for more…so much more.
HOPING FOR MORE by Shawna Delacorte, contemporary romance novella, is part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press www.thewildrosepress.com
Scheduled for release on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, in ebook at:
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Excerpts and other information available on my website: www.shawnadelacorte.com