Normandie studied sculpture in Italy before receiving her BA, summa cum laude with special honors in English. Known for her women’s fiction—Becalmed(2013), Sailing out of Darkness (2013), and Heavy Weather (2015)—she ventures into the realm of romantic suspense with the release of Two from Isaac’s House. In early 2016, a novella, From Fire into Fire, will continue the Isaac House saga. Normandie and her husband spent a number of years on board their 50-foot ketch, Sea Venture, sailing in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico. They now live in coastal North Carolina, where she takes care of her aging mother. I was 18, impressionable, willful, and
a little (okay, maybe a lot) rebellious when I moved to Perugia, Italia, to
study sculpture. And, honey, I was ready for adventure. I spoke schoolgirl
French but no Italian, which meant I needed a quick course at l’Universitá per
Those years and the friends I made in
Perugia remain in my memories, making the town and the school a natural choice
as a backdrop for the protagonists in my first romantic suspense, Two from Isaac’s House, which takes us
from the hills of Italy to the Jordanian desert and from there to an Israel on
the brink of war with Hamas.
Picture me: new to Italy, new to the
language, new to life on my own. I’d met a Canadian named Helen at the Terni
train station and bonded with her immediately (and stayed friends for decades
until her death a few years ago). We managed to survive the convent boarding
house for a week before we moved out and found an apartment together, often
congregating with other students who spoke English. It was at the apartment of
one of these—a Scottish student—that we met some of the town’s Palestinian contingent.
There, the conversation was lively, the wine and espresso flowed, and a bat
flew in the open window.
I subsequently became friends with
several of those young men and listened to their banter and their anger. I’ll
never forget the day one of them announced that I was probably on an Israeli
watch-list merely because we were friends. Can you picture my head jerking
around in surprise? I mean, why? What
had I done? (Do remember that I was still a teen.)
Years later, when I shifted gears from
sculpture to fiction, I remembered that moment and decided to capture the sense
of it in a story. Here’s the thing. I’d always read, but rarely had I picked up
popular fiction. Now I began to devour bestsellers because I wanted to know
how, why, and what sold. I was surprised to discover that nearly all those
books had macho men and kick-butt women, a group into which I’d never (ever)
Remember that bit of the rebel I
mentioned? It came to the fore as I imagined a story in which the heroine and
hero were normal folk, with no karate/kickboxing/gun-slinging abilities. What
if my heroine were a teacher from North Carolina who unexpectedly inherits enough
money to go adventuring as she’d always wanted? Let’s say she’s naïve and
engaged to some guy who keeps putting off the wedding. And what if my hero were
an engineering geek who has been conned into a little undercover work by his
Israeli cousins? And what if the two of them meet up in Perugia just as bodies
begin to drop?
Because you remember those guys who
said I might be on an Israeli list? Well, what if they’d said that because they
were actually not just boys longing to be in the fray but actually part of a
terrorist recruiting cell?
You see where I’m going here?
I first wrote this story in 1991 and
set it in the context of the Gulf War. In 1994 it won me the Alpha Award as
Best New Fiction Writer of the year according to some rather prestigious judges.
But it didn’t sell.
In 2014, Hamas started bombing Israel,
and I knew it was time to get that baby out of mothballs and rewrite it.
Check. Solo trip before getting
married? Check. Dangerous hot guy she shouldn't get involved with in a thousand
years? Oh, honey, that's a check.
From author Normandie Fischer comes a
new romantic suspense that takes the reader from the hills of Italy to the
Jordanian desert and from there to an Israel on the brink of war with Hamas.
Rina Lynne has never traveled far
from Morehead City, North Carolina. So when she inherits her father's secret
stash, she's ready to kick up her heels and go adventuring before she settles
down to marry her long-time fiancé. First stop, Italy.
Enter Tony (aka Anton), an
engineering geek conned into helping his Israeli cousins as a sort-of spy. From
the moment he meets Rina, he's distracted, which is not a good idea when
there's already been murder and theft. And from the moment Rina meets Tony,
she's fascinated, which is also not a good idea. He's an Arab-American, and
she's half-Jewish. And engaged. And then there are all those bodies dropping
around them, each linked to the gathering storm in the Middle East.
Many years ago, my
three-year-old son discovered a love for food preparation. He’d come up with all kinds of
concoctions. Here’s one of them:
gallon of milk
quart chocolate milk powder
8 tbsp salt
can of pepper
jar of onion powder
box of petit fours
In a saucepan, mix all
ingredients together on medium-high heat, stir, and enjoy. Note: In order to
capture every subtle flavor of each ingredient, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to
prepare before 6:00 am, before anyone else is up. I promise it will fill your
home with a mysterious yet enticing scent, guaranteed to bring the rest of the
family scurrying to the kitchen.
Doesn’t that look scrumptious? A
half-gallon of milk mixed with chocolate powder sounds like a promising
beginning, doesn’t it? Funny how life can imitate recipes. In my own case, life
as a single parent started out not so bad. Once I rid my home of my alcoholic
husband’s toxic influence, the
atmosphere lightened as if the house itself breathed a big sigh of relief.
But then life threw a lot of
salt into the mix. And way too much pepper. One of my sons began getting in
trouble at school for disruptive behavior, at only 6 years old. His grades nosedived
and his behavior grew increasingly unruly as the long year wore on. As this was
happening, another son, the chef wannabe, was diagnosed with delayed
Sweet had turned to bitter.
I had eliminated one problem –
abusive husband – but had acquired umpteen more. Child support was erratic, at
best. Financial problems, like onion powder, is only tolerable in small doses.
Life had turned into a disaster
that made me gag.
I decided I needed a way to
sweeten up life again, and thought of the perfect solution: a delicious new
romance! A purely selfish, yet pleasurable way to make life bearable again.
Of course, it didn’t work.
Petit fours soaked in salt, pepper and onions aren’t so delicious anymore.
Neither is romance when the rest of life isn’t working.
But here I am, twenty years
later, my sanity still intact—at least, I hope it is. My son the aspiring chef
is on the verge of graduating from college. My unruly son made it through
school and has been on his own for many years.
So, you might wonder, how did I
get from there to here?
It’s a long story, one I’ll
have to save for next time. But it’s a testament to God’s grace. His merciful concern
for the widow and the orphan.
She's a winsome poetess looking
for work. He's a moody songwriter asking for trouble. When their
lives collide, explosions are bound to follow.
There's only one problem.
He attracts trouble like Pike Place
Market attracts tourists. Why would smart, gifted Luna want to be with a lying,
thieving dreamer like him?
But without Luna,
Howard faces a future as bleak as a Seattle winter. Will God give him a
second chance to win the girl of his dreams?
SFF: Dawn is hosting a giveaway for her ebook, When Lyric Met Limerick. How it works: She'll take the names of all new followers--subscribers on her blog, or followers on
FB, Twitter, and Pinterest, and choose one name next week. They just need to
have a Kindle or Kindle app, and live in a country that has access to Amazon.The
details are here.
Felix Riley's brother, Dale, had it in for Claire. She never could figure out why, but the man made it his life's work to harass her, embarrass her, and foil her plans. Unfortunately, he was successful at it.
Claire and Patsy had been friends since kindergarten. Most of the folks in Chapel Springs had been raised there and went to school together. Of course, that means everyone knows all about Claire. Still ... friendship is a gem of great value to her.
I'm over visiting on Southern Writers Magazine's blog, Author Visits. Come to this site, http://authorsvisits.comtoday and say hello. Look for the name of my favorite coffee is and then email me at anemulligan [at] me [dot] com, telling me what my favorite coffee is. If you are right, your name will be put in the a drawing for a signed copy of my new book, Chapel Spring Survival.
Did you know that all Claire's friends got together and published a cookbook? They did, and it's filled with their favorite recipes, along with several little notes to Claire. And a few anecdotes about what happened to a couple of characters from Chapel Springs Revival.
I got to work with the narrator and she's a delight! She brought Claire to life. It was such fun to "hear" the characters that lived in my head for so long. Actually, they still do, since I'm working on book 4 in the series now.
Chapel Springs Survival will release Dec 3rd, and in May of 2016, Home to Chapel Springs will release. The final book of the series will be Life in Chapel Springs.
Hubs is hard at work on the cover for Home to Chapel Springs, and I think you'll love it. I know I do!
With a friend like
Claire, you'll need a gurney, a mop, and a guardian angel.
Everybody in the small town of Chapel Springs, Georgia,
knows best friends Claire and Patsy. It's impossible not to, what with Claire's
zany antics and Patsy's self-appointed mission to keep her friend out of
trouble. And trouble abounds. Chapel Springs has grown dilapidated and the
tourist trade has slackened. With their livelihoods threatened, they join
forces to revitalize the town. No one could have guessed the real issue needing
restoration is their marriages. Claire and Patsy embark on a mission of mishaps
and miscommunication, determined to restore warmth to Chapel Springs —and their