Today’s guest, Patricia Yager Delagrange, is here with her powerful story MOON OVER ALCATRAZ. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Patricia and I think you will as well. She’s brought a copy of her book to give away, so I hope you’ll stick around after the close our of chat today to find out how you can win. (You’ll also learn a little something about adult dot-to-dots that’s totally worth knowing. *grin*)
**Giveaway closed** Congratulations to Hildie!
Welcome Patricia! Before we talk about your book, I have to ask about your horse! Maximus is the *perfect* name for one of those glorious Friesians! What drew you to the breed, and what type of riding do you do?
I was ready to buy a horse after several disastrous leasing situations and originally I was searching for a black Quarter Horse but wasn’t finding them on the West Coast where I live. I accidentally saw an ad for riding Friesians at Black Sterling Friesians in Sonoma, California, about an hour from my home. My family and I went to look at them and we accidentally took our checkbook with us. Friesians have a “presence” that I think a lot of horses don’t have. That’s probably why they’re always featured in movies like Alexander. Because my favorite movie and actor is Russell Crowe in Gladiator, I named my horse Maximus. I ride English and go on trail rides almost once a week with my sister-in-law who owns a Missouri Foxtrotter.
Oh, wow. I’ve had Quarter Horses half my life and I’ve adored every one, but I think you’re right. Friesians just know they’re regal! (By the way, my husband “accidentally” buys boats and I don’t know if I believe either one of you, LOL!) Your bio also mentions a affinity for “dot to dot for adults.” Does this refer to an x-rated version? (LOL! Sorry, I had to ask!)
No, definitely not. It’s the same dot-to-dot that we all did as kids, but these are created by an adult, David Kalvitis, and they’re extremely intricate with sometimes up to 1,000 connected dots that can take fifteen minutes to complete. The pictures are very detailed. I think he has about six books published and I have all of them. When I complete all six, I re-purchase new ones and start all over.
I had no idea they even existed! I think that’s one of the most unique hobbies I’ve ever heard of, which is ironic since they’re such a childhood icon. (Well, they used to be. Although I assume there’s an electronic version out there somewhere, LOL.) On to your book, MOON OVER ALCATRAZ features an extremely powerful plot. Can you tell our readers about it?
I’ve always found it intriguing and impossible to imagine how a family deals with the death of a child. So much so that I wanted to write about it. I had to dig pretty deep to portray the characters’ emotions since I have never experienced this myself.
I have six children and the thought of losing one makes me sick. I can’t imagine the strength and depth of emotion required of you. How did you personally connect with your characters as they face such a devastating loss?
Being a mom made it easier to get behind what Brandy and Weston were feeling after their child died. You always hear about moms acting like “mother bears with their cubs”. It’s true. As Bruno Mars said, “I would take a bullet for them”.
It had to be such an intense experience. Which of your characters do you feel experiences the greatest emotional growth? Why?
Definitely Brandy. After overcoming her depression from having lost her first child, she has to deal with a spouse who doesn’t want to commit to working on their marriage, then she finds herself single and pregnant. She knows she’s strong enough to work through what life has thrown at her, but it’s hard.
No questioning that. What might readers be surprised to learn about the plot or characters of MOON OVER ALCATRAZ?
That Cecilia, Brandy’s next door neighbor and best friend, is modeled after a friend I once had who, for some reason I’ve never found out, dumped me as a friend and would never tell me why. I wanted to honor our friendship by making her an integral part of MOON OVER ALCATRAZ.
What an incredibly selfless gesture—I have serious respect for that. ;c) Let’s have some fun with MOON OVER ALCATRAZ. What’s the first sentence?
“Breathe, Brandy, breathe.”
Great hook – I definitely want to read more! What’s your favorite line in the book?
After Brandy signs a copy of her book for Carol, the woman with whom her husband had an affair, Carol reads the inscription out loud, “Congratulations to the perfect couple”.
Ouch! LOL. How about an excerpt … three sentences long! Yep, that’s it. Three!
Weston opened the front door of our house on Lauren Drive just a few blocks away from the hospital and I stepped through the threshold. Every chair, each pillow in the front room, looked as if it had been reupholstered in drab, lifeless material. Walls, knickknacks, rugs took on an alien quality. I was seeing them for the first time with a new pair of eyes, filtered through a veil of tragedy and disappointment.
Wow. Incredible job of portraying the shroud of devastation for her. Which scene of MOON OVER ALCATRAZ was most difficult for you to write? Why?
The scene where Brandy admits she slept with Edward and knows she’s hurt Weston then he turns around and admits to her that he’s committed the same transgression with Carol. I had to make it real without being unbelievable.
What a heartbreaking mess for those two. Which scene of MOON OVER ALCATRAZ would you most like to experience for yourself? From whose POV?
From Edward’s POV, when Edward wakes up from the coma. That would be so cool. Not that I’d want to go through what he did getting shot, but to suddenly find yourself in a hospital bed, alive, after such a tragedy, would be really exciting.
I think I felt that way when I woke up after surgery. (I’m a bit of a dramatist. I really thought I wouldn’t make it.) As for Edward, what a thrilling moment–a true second chance! And speaking of new beginnings, what’s in the works for you?
I’m editing my fourth novel, BRENDA’S WISH. It’s about a divorced woman and her son who get caught in the middle of her ex-husband’s murder. He’s a San Francisco cop who was abusive to Brenda during their marriage and it looks like either Brenda or her son Farrell shot him.
You write some insanely deep and emotional plots, Patricia. Amazing! Let’s take a closer look at MOON OVER ALCATRAZ.
MOON OVER ALCATRAZ | blurb & links
Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty. But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.
PATRICIA YAGER DELAGRANGE | bio & links
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in the small city of Alameda, I went to St. Mary’s College, studied at the University of Madrid my junior year, and got my B.A. in Spanish at U.C. Santa Barbara. I then went on to get my Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. I came back to Alameda and am married with two teenage children, one boy and one girl, and share our home with two very large chocolate labs.
If you’d like a chance to win an e-copy of MOON OVER ALCATRAZ, simply leave a comment with your email address. For fun, let us know if you’ve ever ridden a horse, or if you’d ever want to. (Not required, but hey, what have you got against fun? LOL!)
I’ve had horses over half my life, but my coolest ride ever was the mule ride down into the Grand Canyon. As an experienced rider I got to be second in line behind the leader, whose mule was on his second trip ever and got a little crazy. I ended up leading the ride for a while, which was *awe*some.
I’d like to thank you all for being here today. Patricia, it’s a pleasure (and next time my husband wants to add a boat to our fleet, I’m totally asking for another horse, LOL). I wish you all the best with MOON OVER ALCATRAZ, and I hope everyone has a fantastic day!