Title: Every Mile a Memory
Author: Grea Warner
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Going on tour with a band was never on Maya Shriver’s radar. But then neither was being a widow in her mid-thirties. And finding happiness again? Well, that was out of the question. When danger erupts, Maya is abruptly thrown together with Hawk Brannigan—a country singer’s right-hand man. And she finds out that, once again, life can change in an instant. Suddenly, Maya is not only in a new career but she’s also allowing herself to love again. As Maya begins to unpack her grief and move on, a misunderstanding from the past may cause the couple to travel in different directions.
And in an instant, there I was—in the baggage claim of the Nashville International Airport. It may as well have been the Statue of Liberty welcoming a foreigner to a new land. It felt so surreal…so overwhelming…yet so right.
I watched as the luggage began circling the belt. I tried to concentrate only on it—not who was going to pick me up, not meeting Reese, not signing all the agreements, not my leap-of-faith career choice. But I must have been thinking of all those things because my navy-blue suitcase with its fluorescent pink label almost passed me by. I reached out my hand to lasso it to me as, at the same time, a muscular arm stretched across mine and grabbed for it as well. I was ready to defend my possessions forthright when I looked up at the perpetrator. Then my arm went lax, allowing him to remove my suitcase from the moving belt.
“Hi.” I managed the word and a soft smile at Hawk. At least I looked nice—a blue top to match my royal blue eyes, and my makeup freshly updated on the plane. I’d wanted to make a good impression for whoever was picking me up. I hadn’t anticipated it being Hawk but so much the better.
A slow blink was his response followed by, “This it?”
“Besides what’s on my shoulder, yeah.” I readjusted my laptop messenger bag on said shoulder and went for my suitcase, propped up between the two of us.
“I got it.” He grasped the handle almost like he was a little offended I would carry it. We locked eyes for a moment, and an intensity I couldn’t quite identify vibrated through my body. “Come on,” he said. “Lots to do in little time.”
We started walking stride for stride, with him taking the mini-lead. Dressed in a light blue button-down and khakis, he was quietly weaving us in and around the mass of people, making me think how he was the strong-and-silent type. But it was more than that. He seemed so serious—not quite as much as when we were first barricaded in the hotel room, but still. I didn’t know what I had expected when I’d thought about first seeing him again. I wasn’t naïve, and I was far from a Disney princess. But even if those kisses meant nothing, a partial smile would have been at least expected, right? Had I really misinterpreted the whole thing? Had we both only been caught up in the danger and proximity of being in that room together? Or maybe that was just the way it was in the music business. After all, the vacation in the Keys had been a month and a half before. He’d probably moved on…maybe many times.
Well, I figured, I can’t keep torturing myself. I needed to get my mind in the game. I needed to make conversation. So, wanting a legit answer, I started with a casual question. “How’d you get roped in to picking me up?”
“Part of the job,” he answered plainly. “At least I didn’t need to hold up one of those cheesy name signs. I knew you.”
He stuttered in his step and flashed me the briefest of smiles—the kind if you blinked you would have missed altogether. He was hard to read, but me not reciprocating didn’t help. So, after a few more steps of silent semi-awkwardness, I forged forward again.
“Besides human shield during hotel standoffs, you are also a driver?” I tried to make light of our previous encounter.
“No.” He half-chuckled out the word. “I don’t do most of the driving. Airports, though, for special people.” And he did that pause thing to look at me again with his intense hazel eyes.
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What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
It is not so much the cold that bothers me in the winter but the shorter daylight hours. The darkness makes me feel like it is time to sleep. When, in reality, it is only time for dinner! So, it is important for me to stick to my exercise routines – hiking, Pilates, cardio - to keep energized and motivated. Then, I rely on natural lighting, lots of coffee, and my characters to power me through when I am writing.
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
The opening chapters of EVERY MILE A MEMORY take place in the month of March. Needing not only an escape from the winter weather but also from the sadness of losing her husband, Maya travels to the Keys for a girls' getaway. Journey with her as she attends a concert backstage, walks on the beach, and then spends the entire summer traveling cross country. But it is Maya’s personal, internal story that will warm your heart the most. She not only lets go of things from the past but discovers a shocking truth that has the potential of making her life whole.
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Runs March 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on April 1.
There really wasn’t any other path. Grea Warner knew from a young age that she wanted to write. She was born to write. First it was in diaries with little metal keys and in written tales that she slipped to friends in study hall. School newspapers, a college television drama, and the soap opera world were next. After producing and writing a local show, she decided to delve into the world of the novelist. When her fingers aren’t tapping out her latest book filled with angst and romance, Grea can be found hiking the trails or jamming to her favorite country artists on the radio.
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