Author Interview: Amy Olle
Title: Sweetest Mistake
Author: Amy Olle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: A Nolan Brothers Novel, Book 2
Release Date: April 16, 2016
Editor: Hot Tree Editing
When these two opposites attract, mistakes will be made. Lots of mistakes. Big, long, hard mistakes. Over and over, and over again…
When Emily Cole’s suitcase explodes on a crowded airport baggage claim in her new hometown, sexy cop Luke Nolan is the first to pick up her most intimate items, including her 7.5-inch, 20-speed, hot pink battery-operated-boyfriend!
In town to run the Winslow Inn on the picturesque island in Lake Michigan, Emily is determined to put her bed-and-breakfast in the small town's spotlight—while also keeping herself well out of it. But her sexy nemesis is bent on getting her into trouble, and when her impulsive retaliation to his teasing lands her in the local jail, Emily is ready to shove her tormentor into the lake… or the nearest bed.
Luke has one job—to keep the quiet, sleepy island town quiet and sleepy. No drama. No surprises. No tragedies. Never again. But the strawberry-blonde with the porn star mouth and interesting luggage turns his life upside down from the moment she sets foot on the island, and what began as a distraction from his memories of That Day, quickly turns into something more. Trouble is, Luke doesn’t want more with Emily—she’s not his type. She’s the opposite of his type. Until his brother Noah’s wedding, when bridesmaid Emily shows up with a sexy new look and their sweet tease escalates to a scorching hot hook-up that makes him forget why he was resisting the shy stutterer in the first place.
Getting involved with her would be a huge mistake, though it just might turn out to be the sweetest mistake of his life.
Interviewed by Hot Tree Promotions
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I studied psychology in college, obtaining both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the field, and now work in higher education. I met my husband in college and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We have a young son together, live in a fixer upper (which we’re almost done “fixing”), and live for the weekends when we get to stay home in our PJs and write and play and do projects around the house.
What inspired you to write your first book?
After I finished the long slog of writing my graduate thesis, I wanted to read something more entertaining. I picked up Outlander and discovered the genius of romance novels. I spent several years devouring romance novels in every subgenre and soon had become that stereotypical budding writer with my head full of elaborate daydreams and snippets of stories. In high school, my best friend and I would write short stories and share them, but I’d given that up while studying in college. Then one day it all came together and I knew I had to try writing a romance novel. Just a pure, simple wish to write a book. And so very naïve!
How did you come up with the title of Sweetest Mistake?
The characters came up with this one for me! It’s a line in the book that I feel captures the central struggle in the hero and heroine’s relationship. Of course, neither of them wants to fall in love with the other, but they are drawn to each other and keep making choices that pull them closer together, even despite their own wishes.
Describe one of your main character in five words.
Loyal, protective, playful, wounded, and freaking hot.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Sweetest Mistake?
I’ve learned a lot about how self-doubt and negativity impact creativity and productivity.
Have you ever done anything strange or weird in the name of research?
My internet search history could get me in a lot of trouble. For Sweetest Mistake, for example, I found myself googling an awful lot about the pornographic film industry.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I work full-time and have a young, high-energy kid, so much longer than I’d like! From first draft to a finished, edited product, it’s taking me 6-8 months right now.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
From Chapter One of Sweetest Mistake:
Emily Cole’s entire life, when tightly folded and stuffed, fit into two suitcases and one overburdened carry-on bag.
A buzz of activity swirled around Cherry Capital Airport’s Baggage Claim B, where Emily waited to retrieve her luggage. The four-hour flight from Tucson to Traverse City, Michigan, had been blessedly uneventful, but Emily was eager to collect her belongings and make the hour-long drive in time to catch the last ferry out to Thief Island.
She pulled her cell phone from her purse and scrolled through her e-mail, searching for her car rental reservation.
Lost in her task, Emily was only dimly aware of the ripple of unease that ran through the small cluster of travelers until, over the whine of the baggage carousel, a smattering of nervous laughter pierced her concentration.
Her head came up, and a sympathetic groan eased from her. Heaps of clothing littered the baggage conveyor belt and the shredded remains of a black suitcase lay among the carnage, as if a grizzly bear had mauled it. An array of dark cotton yoga pants and crumpled T-shirts inched by. A pair of dingy socks. A lone sneaker—
The air sucked from Emily’s lungs.
That was her canvas sneaker amidst the black and gray loungewear. A caretaker’s wardrobe.
Her wardrobe. She spotted her plastic-handled hairbrush, teeming with the bright strands of her strawberry-blonde hair, and the red plastic case that held her bite splint.
Emily’s legs turned to pillars of cement and affixed to the hard concrete floor. A pair of shabby panties she should’ve replaced months ago paraded along before the watchful gazes of her fellow travelers.
It was all there. Her entire life. For anyone—for everyone—to see.
With a horrified moan, she squeezed her eyes shut.
Including her seven-and-a-half inch, twenty-speed, hot pink vibrator.
A woman detached from the crowd and crept forward. She plucked a brown leather bag off the carousel and melted away again into the crush of bodies. Bolstered by her act of courage, a white-haired man in neatly pressed slacks and a crisp dress shirt stepped up to the turnstile. He lifted a black suitcase and, giving the luggage a little jiggle, shook loose one of Emily’s serviceable white bras, which had snagged on the bag’s zipper.
Emily bit back a whimper. She stayed rooted to the spot while her life rolled along the winding carousel, watching helplessly as, one by one, suitcases disappeared along with their people.
When only a few pieces of luggage remained on the conveyor belt, Emily snuck a glance left and right. The baggage claim area absent of prying eyes, she scrambled toward the massacre on wobbly legs.
Her heart thrashed against her ribs as she scooped up an armful of clothing. She dumped the load on the ground at her feet and turned back for another armload. Her course set, she snatched up clothing and objects with frantic urgency.
A hum of noise pierced the fog of panic surrounding her. She shot a glance over her shoulder, only to witness a fresh horde of people spilling through the gate and into the baggage claim area. She wrenched back around and, swallowing a sob of frustration, grabbed blindly at the scattered remains of her pathetic little life.
Her fingers brushed over the silky silicone vibrator, but it slipped through her grasp. She pitched forward, stretching to snag BOB before he slipped behind the black rubber flaps and back into the bowels of the airport.
A large, tanned hand clamped around the hot pink shaft.
For a split second, she stared at that hand, and then she lifted her gaze.
Heavily lashed bright green eyes ensnared her.
She reared back. Oh, shit.
His full, pouty mouth pushed up at one corner.
She recognized Luke Nolan immediately. Hard to forget the most beautiful man she’d ever seen in real life. Words log-jammed somewhere in the circuits between her brain and mouth while she gaped in horror at his perfect face.
The sharp, sculpted lines of his nose and jaw stood in defiance to the plump softness of his lips and the smooth, rounded planes of his high cheekbones. His richly dark hair and bronzed skin acted like a canvas that only intensified the brightness of his deep-set emerald eyes.
He pointed at something over her shoulder. “You might want to grab those.”
Emily whirled. A gasp tore from her as she lunged to snatch a bra and trio of panties off the belt before they disappeared behind the rubber curtain flaps.
With a broad sweep of his arms, he scooped her shredded suitcase with the last of her belongings from the carousel. Stooping low, he rescued the heap off the cement floor and hauled it, along with her mangled luggage, to an isolated corner of the terminal.
She wrestled her still-intact suitcase off the belt and scurried after him just as the throng of travelers descended on the baggage claim.
He straightened. “Is that everything?”
“I th-th-th-think so.” She winced at the stammer.
She’d worked hard to overcome the embarrassing speech impediment, but sometimes when she was flustered or frustrated it reappeared, leaving her to turn over words and clauses like an engine that wouldn’t start.
If Luke noticed, he pretended not to. “Is someone picking you up?”
She sagged against the wall and pushed a puff of air through her lips, lifting a strand of hair off her forehead that’d escaped her ponytail. “I r-rented a car.”
She felt his eyes on her like a caress. “Do you take cream?”
Emily blinked at him. “Wh-what?”
“With your coffee?” His smile turned mischievous. “We’re doing this all out of order, I admit, but now that I’ve fondled your panties, I think it’s expected that I at least buy you a cup of coffee.”
“I’ll take that as a no.” He appeared unfazed by her rejection. “How about your name then?”
Her frown twisted into a scowl. Either he didn’t recognize her, or he didn’t remember her. For someone who’d spent her life trying to stay invisible, that should make her happy.
It should, but it didn’t.
She dropped to her knees and began tidying the upheaval of her life.
He cleared his throat. “Let me help you get all this to your car.”
Emily shook her head. “I c-can m-m-m-manage—” She stopped when the spasm hit, and swallowed painfully. Her hand shot to the necklace around her neck.
She’d worn the silver chain with the small amethyst pendant for as long as she could remember, using it as a sort of talisman to calm herself when the stutter took over.
“Go on.” He crouched beside her. “I’ll watch your things.”
His gentle tone stabbed a pang of longing into her heart, but she pushed to her feet and set off in search of the car rental counter. She wanted to leave the airport well behind her more than she didn’t want to accept his help.
In the tiny five-gate airport, she quickly located the desk and secured her reservation. When she steered the royal-blue sedan up to the terminal, she spotted Luke waiting at the curb, her suitcases perched at his feet, and rolled to a stop in front of him.
She pulled the trunk release latch the car rental clerk had pointed out to her and climbed from the car. Luke met her at the back, and when she propped open the trunk, he plunked her undamaged suitcase inside. He returned to the curb to attack the wreckage.
She grew a little lost in watching him struggle to cram the bulk of her suitcase and clothing into the compact trunk space. His soft green T-shirt hugged the muscles of his back and biceps and the sunlight picked out threads of rich auburn hiding amidst the strands of his dark hair.
With a grunt and one last hard shove, the bundle dropped into the vehicle. He slammed the trunk shut and patted the roof. “All set.”
“Th-th-thank you.” The tips of her fingers brushed across the solid pendant.
His gaze tracked her hand. “You’re welcome,” he said softly.
Her heart jumped into her throat as she scurried round to the driver-side door.
On the curb, he leaned a shoulder against a large structural column and pulled a cell phone from his hip pocket. He bent his head over the device.
She wavered. “Do you, uh, need a ride?”
Over the roof of the car, his green gaze landed on her face and the force of it knocked her back a step.
“I’m sure I’m out of your way, but thanks for the offer.”
“Aren’t y-you h-h-headed to the island?”
Confusion clouded his well-formed features. The lines between his brows deepened and she imagined he struggled to place her among the multitude of women whose panties he’d no doubt fondled.
Struggling to recall her, or worried he might?
Suddenly, his features cleared as recognition struck.
A practiced smile teased up the corners of his mouth. “I didn’t recognize you without the pub lighting.”
At his naked relief, she frowned. “Do you w-want a ride or not?”
“Are you here visiting your cousin?” He pushed the cell phone into the front pocket of his worn jeans and straightened away from the column. “’Cause I’m pretty sure she’s still out of the country with my brother.”
“I’m not visiting. I’m m-moving to the island.” Saying the words out loud, a jumble of emotions whipped through Emily. Excitement and fear.
No, not fear. Anticipation?
Whatever. It didn’t matter. It was a change, and more than anything, Emily needed something in her life to change. Any change would do, as long as it amounted to a life different from the one she’d been living the past nine years.
The playfulness vanished from his face like mist burning off with the morning sun. All the softness disappeared, replaced by a hard glare. “I didn’t know you enjoyed our little oasis so much. Not many people find island life to their tastes.”
She’d only visited Thief Island twice before deciding to make the permanent move. Sweeping views of sand and sea, rolling hills, and a quaint downtown were all she recalled.
It was vastly different from the desert of Tucson. Nearly the exact opposite, in fact, which was fine by her. Preferred even. Maybe the foreign environment would distract her from the painful memories she’d hoped to leave behind in the desert.
She lifted her shoulders. “What’s not to like?”
His eyes narrowed to dangerous slits. “Have you spent any time here in winter?”
“I have.” It’d been unseasonably warm when she’d visited last December, but she didn’t share that tidbit with him.
“When the lake ices over, the ferry can’t run. No one can come to or leave the island for days, even weeks, at a time.”
“It’s too late to talk me out of it.” She yanked open the car door. “I bought Mina’s house.”
His expression turned incredulous. “Why did you do that?”
Her scowl deepened, and not only because she didn’t have a ready answer.
She had a lot of almost answers, though none she wished to voice for Luke Nolan’s examination. Answers such as because her cousin, Mina, one of the few family members Emily had left in the world, had lived in that house and lived on the island still. Or because last year, the most excruciatingly difficult year of Emily’s life, she’d buried her mom on that island.
No, she didn’t wish to share those answers with him, especially considering her most compelling answer amounted to “why not?” She didn’t have anywhere else to go.
She settled on the facts instead. “I’m opening a bed-and-breakfast.”
He studied her for one heartbeat, two. “We don’t get a lot of tourists.”
Her throat constricted around a rush of unspoken words. She focused on her breathing. “I’m h-hoping to ch-change that.”
His inscrutable expression suffered a crack and she glimpsed some fleeting emotion. Though gone too quickly for her to identify, it appeared suspiciously like panic.
Just then, a sleek black Chrysler rolled to a stop behind Emily’s sedan.
The woman at the steering wheel had honey-blonde hair and oversized sunglasses. She lifted her hand and wiggled her fingers at Luke, jostling the gold bangles stacked on her wrist, before she stepped from the luxury car with the ease of a long-legged gazelle. Her red dress barely gained mid-thigh, and its stretchy fabric clung to her shapely figure in all the places men seemed to find most interesting.
Luke bent to retrieve his backpack and slung the bag over his shoulder as she bounded onto the curb. His hand slipped to her waist when she kissed his cheek with her red-painted lips.
They were perfection made manifest.
Emily shoved her hands into the pocket of her drab gray sweatshirt while Luke guided the woman to the passenger side and pulled open the car door. The woman slid into the vehicle and he closed the door behind her before rounding the car.
His hand on the driver-side door handle, he lifted his head. “You okay? Do you want to follow us?”
Emily shook her head. “I’m okay.” She pointed at the sedan’s interior. “GPS.”
With a fluid motion, he slid behind the wheel of the gorgeous woman’s car.
Emily ducked into the shelter of the rental car and hauled the door shut. She slunk down in her seat. Not until the Chrysler eased past her side window and disappeared among the congested traffic did she release the breath she’d been holding.
For the first time since she decided to move across the country, unease prickled. She’d made the move, in part, because she envisioned living out her life in relative peace and quiet in the isolated small town. Now she wondered if that’d be possible with Luke Nolan prowling the streets.
A thought struck. Dread swept through her and she bounded from the vehicle, leaving the car door wide open in her haste.
In the trunk, she plunged through the mound of her clothing and toiletries. Frantic, her horror rose to the back of her throat as a whine of dismay.
BOB was missing.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I have to squeeze in writing whenever and wherever I can, so I haven’t really developed any elaborate rituals – I scribble in notebooks and write in small chunks of time in the evenings and on weekends. However, I use Diet Coke, M&M’s and music to help me power through. I’m a music lover and I create a playlist as I write a book that helps keep me in tune with the story through all months of disruptions and distractions.
What book are you reading now?
My TBR pile is ginormous! I’ve been wanting to read My One and Only by Kristan Higgins for, like, forever. I'm gonna do it, too!
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
My debut novel, Beautiful Ruin, was released in December 2015, and as a new author, I was terrified. But thank god for romance readers! By and large, they have been so positive and encouraging and I’ve been blown away by their kindness and willingness to reach out to me with their big, full hearts. So that’s a really long way of saying, thank you!
What’s in your fridge right now?
Well, this should be embarrassing.
- A half-empty box of wine
- Cheese. Lots of cheese (shredded, chunk, cream. There’s Colby, Monterrey Jack, sharp cheddar, Parmesan, feta) because cheese really does make everything better
- A gallon of milk, a half gallon of chocolate milk
- A container of worms that my boys feed to the turtle J
What song do you sing at the top of your voice every time you hear it?
Butch Walker’s cover of You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift.
Where did you last go on holiday?
New Orleans, Louisiana. I love NOLA!
If feral aliens attacked your house and they were zapping your home with their Über super bombs, what five items would you save?
1. The people in the house! I’m not leaving without my kiddo and hubby.
2. My laptop with the most current version of my WIP, which is not saved offsite at the moment.
3. My external hard drive with all of my family pictures and a crap-ton of genealogy research
4. My phone
5. My purse (who wants to replace all those credit cards, etc.? This assumes the aliens haven’t taken over and my driver’s license/credit cards aren’t completely worthless, of course. J)
99 cent SALE!!!
Amy Olle writes sexy contemporary romances filled with hope, heart, and humor. Her debut novel, Beautiful Ruin, is the first book in the Nolan Brothers series about five Irish-born brothers sent as children to live with family on a remote island in northern Michigan. She is delighted to put her Psychology degrees to good use writing romance.
Amy lives in Michigan with her long-suffering husband, brilliant son, and (female) turtle named George.
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Amy lives in Michigan with her long-suffering husband, brilliant son, and (female) turtle named George.
Sign up for Amy's newsletter HERE.
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