Interview with Alyssa Montgomery, Author of Echoes of the Heart

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Alyssa!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Alyssa J Montgomery] Creative, Manic, Organised, Loyal, Reliable

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Echoes of the Heart?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] Absolutely! Media Tycoon Jake and Legal Secretary Amanda were torn apart by circumstance. Both married others and it seemed hopeless that they’d ever find their way back to each other. Now Jake is divorced and Amanda is widowed. Having never forgotten Amanda, or forgiven her for walking out on him, Jake wants her back to achieve closure on their relationship so he can finally move on with his life. Meanwhile, Amanda hasn’t been leading the easy life Jake imagines. She’s been through her own private hell.

There are many twists and turns, lots of secrets revealed throughout the book that hopefully will keep readers wondering and wanting to turn those pages! Jake has to learn to trust and be prepared to make himself vulnerable rather than being set for revenge. Amanda has to stand up for herself and believe she’s worthy of love. Ultimately she’s rewarded with a hero she can lean on when she has been carrying the weight of responsibility for another for so long, and they both overcome the odds and achieve their happy ending.

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Can you share your favorite scene?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] Gosh, that’s a hard question! Maybe the opening chapter at the cemetery because it’s charged with emotion and there are a lot of questions raised there that are answered throughout the book. There’s a small glimpse of Jake revealing his heroic potential as he stands up for Amanda even though he really doesn’t like her at that point and is seeking closure on their relationship. The scene also starts to reveal just how much stress Amanda’s been under and gives an insight into her personality in that she can feel a little empathy for a woman who would attack her publicly. And…despite the setting (a funeral), there’s the sexual tension and awareness that still thrums between them and promises to heat up as the story moves along.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] Jake’s pain. He’s been devastated by what he believes is Amanda’s betrayal of his love. Carrying around that hurt has really stunted his ability to move forward and have a decent relationship. He’s bitter and twisted and hell-bent on revenge and he lashes out at her with some extremely unkind words and treatment. I went over and over it needing to strike a balance—hoping he wasn’t coming across as too nasty with his bitterness and that the reader would understand and forgive him because of the depth of his hurt. But I also wanted him to be cutting hoping that the reader would empathise with how Amanda was being gutted by his misconceptions. I want the reader to feel the pain they’re both feeling and to wonder how they’re ever going to heal all the scars of the past wounds they’ve suffered. I hope I’ve succeeded in bringing forward Jake’s heroic traits early enough so the reader knows he’s there unconditionally when Amanda desperately needs support and that the reader will end up loving him!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] My iPhone.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Alyssa J Montgomery] A vase of red and yellow roses; a photo of my three fabulous children at the Matterhorn Mountain in Switzerland posing with two St. Bernard dogs, and a long “To Do” List.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] Maria Sharapova in a grand finals match of a Grand Slam Tennis Tournament (preferably Wimbledon). I love tennis and I’d love to be able to walk onto a court and experience her amazing range of shots and skill. I’d also love to feel super fit for a day (not to mention enjoying being trim, taut and terrific)!!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] Supernatural Speed! The ability to physically zip around as if someone put me in fast motion. That would be awesome. Imagine how much I’d be able to achieve! The house might actually be spotless and the ‘To Do” List might end up just a blank piece of paper…although I can just imagine the dog watching me with a very perplexed expression and getting dizzy!

(I guess I’d just have to tone it down when I was driving or I might find myself broke from fines!)

If you have a number for a hotline that can grant this wish please forward immediately!!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] The entire Anne Gracie series featuring “The Stolen Princess”; “His Captive Lady” etc {Berkley Sensation}

Michelle Condor “The Most Expensive Lie of All” {Harlequin Mills & Boon}

Lynne Graham “The Dimitrakos Proposition” {Harlequin Mills & Boon}

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Alyssa J Montgomery] I’d love to hear from readers. My webpage is www.alyssajmontgomery.com My email is alyssaj.montgomeryromance@gmail.com and I’m also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlyssaJMontgomery and Twitter @Alyssaromance

Excerpt

Amanda Bennett is waiting in your outer office.

Jake froze as he read the note handed to him by his personal assistant. After Bennett’s funeral, he’d instructed her to notify him as soon as Amanda made contact. But he’d been expecting a telephone call, not a personal visit.

He was sitting in a meeting at a critical stage of negotiations that could seal the acquisition of a national television network into his media empire — common sense demanded he keep Amanda waiting. But his usual ironclad control deserted him and he couldn’t focus on the meeting any longer.

Amanda was here.

Each of his senses surged into an acute state of alert.

‘Jake, are you okay?’ his ex-wife asked him quietly. The other people in the room were too caught up in a troublesome clause to notice the exchange. Sophie was sitting in on this meeting as a representative of the Board of Directors. Upon their marriage, she’d taken her grandfather’s seat on the board.

He looked at her with regret. Sophie was a stunningly-attractive redhead. She was smart, sexy, talented, loyal and kind — everything a man could want in a woman. He wished with all his heart he could have felt the same degree of attraction to her as he did for Amanda.

‘Jake?’ Sophie pressed.

He passed her the message he’d received. The instant she read it, she turned troubled green eyes to his and shook her head. ‘You’re not going to see her are you?’

‘I asked her to come.’

It had been a month since Bennett’s funeral. In that time, he’d telephoned the Bennett household only to find the number was disconnected. He’d driven to the Bennett estate a couple of times but nobody answered when he buzzed for admission. Short of scaling the high, wrought-iron front gates and contending with the two Dobermans that stood growling at him from the other side, there was nothing he could do except bide his time and wait for Amanda to come to him.

He’d been sure she would. The passion burning between them was too hard to ignore. Hell! He’d tried and failed dismally. Amanda had been a thorn in his side — a lover he’d never been able to forget, or to forgive.

‘Jake, what in God’s name are you thinking?’ Sophie demanded quietly with a frown of concern.

‘Mr Formosa?’

All the men and women seated at the long conference table looked at him, waiting for him to respond to whatever it was that had been suggested. It was impossible for him to keep his mind on business proceedings. He had to go to Amanda.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, you’ll have to excuse me. An urgent matter requires my immediate attention.’ He glanced at his watch. ‘We’ll resume our negotiations after lunch.’

A peripheral part of his brain registered the surprised reactions of a few of his executives and a ripple of irritation from the representatives of the television corporation, but he didn’t care. Amanda was waiting for him. That was all that mattered. Finally she was here, ready to acknowledge their mutual attraction. Ready to become his lover again.

As he rose from his seat at the head of the table, urgency gripped him, making his heart pump harder. Barely able to contain his anticipation, it was hard to restrain himself from sprinting out of the conference room to meet her.

It was Sophie’s hand on his arm that made him pause.

‘No. Don’t do this to yourself,’ she pleaded in hushed tones as she waved away hovering employees who would have approached him.

‘I have to,’ Jake said.

She grabbed his hand, steered him into a small soundproof room off the conference area and closed the door. ‘Just what do you hope to achieve, Jake?’

About the book:

 

She betrayed him and left him to be with another. Now that she’s alone again, nothing is going to stop him from coming for her.

Australian media tycoon Jake Formosa does not believe in forgiving…or forgetting. So when he discovers that Amanda — the woman who once broke his heart — is newly widowed, he immediately enacts his revenge.  Jake is intent on making Amanda remember him, and making her suffer for what she did. He will leave her broken and alone, and finally have his closure. 

But Amanda is not the sweet girl that Jake remembers, and her life is far from perfect. As the web of lies surrounding her begins to unravel, Jake finds himself once again ensnared. Can he learn to overlook the past and risk his heart again?