Childhood traumas lurk deep. Victoria Sparrow knows that. Especially when one’s father rejects one as not being worthy. Her romantic relationships founder, until Logan Doherty. He gives her reason to believe in goodness and true love, and she commits her heart and soul to him.
No longer prey to her damaged, young self, Victoria eagerly looks forward to their upcoming marriage—until she meets Logan at the altar. He informs her the wedding is off before their assembled friends and family, and will not tell her why.
Cast back into the nightmare of rejection, a devastated Victoria undertakes the momentous task of putting her life back together, her trust broken, her worst fears realized.
Meanwhile, Logan is working equally hard to deal with the secretive events that led to that cruel rejection, and then he plans to make it up to his tattered bride. If she will forgive him.
Not only does she bring a fabulous book, the wonderful Peri has answered some of my many questions! Let's talk about your book, The Tattered Bride, first.
How did you choose the title for this work? Given that The Tattered Bride is written about a young woman left at the altar, the title felt appropriate. Victoria is also in advertising and found solace in her work. The storyboards of her heartbreak-easing project entail a tattered bride.
Give us three songs that would go perfectly with your book. One is the Loneliest Number by Three Dog Night, Letters from the Wasteland by The Wallflowers and I Say a Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin.
3Hollywood is going to make a movie out of your book! Your dream cast would be: Jessica De Gouw (Victoria), Chris Hemsworth (Logan), Helen Hunt (Victoria’s mom, Margaret), Vincent Cassel (Logan’s evil dad, Sean), Clive Owen (Victoria’ bros in law, Robert), Sam Smith (Victoria’s gay boss) and Christian Bale (the match making security guard) plus a raft of supporting characters—her family has been her rock!
4 Your favorite line from your latest release is: Her trust broken, her worse fears realized…
5Why are we going to love your hero/heroine? Despite her worst fear confirmed, that she is somehow damaged and lacking, a holdover from a terrible childhood trauma, Victoria refuses to dissolve into self-pity, and carries on. Her way of coping isn’t healthy, but when a person is heartbroken it’s all one can do. And when she proves not to be vindictive, but the warm and loving person Logan saw in her, well, I think you’ll love her more!
What was the inspiration for this particular story? The inspiration rose from knowing someone this happened to. She was literally climbing out of the limo in front of the church when the groom texted her to wait. He came out and told her the wedding was off. She was devastated and blamed herself as so many of us are wont to do. I had to write something with a similar premise, only with a happily ever after.
And now, the more personal questions!
1Peri, Are you a pantser or a plotter? Most definitely a pantser. I have a thought, a vague premise and unleash my muse.
Who’s your favorite author? Why? Joey W Hill, hands down every time. She writes the human dynamic like no one I’ve ever read. I’m enthralled the entire time, laughing, crying, shaking my head. I once found myself pressing a hand to my heart.
Why did you decide to write the genre(s) you write? I’m flexible. Historical, contemporary, science fiction… As long as the story revolves around the human heart I’m good with it.
How do you name your characters? That is the absolute hardest thing for me! I’ve resorted to name searches on the Internet when I ran out of people I know (first names only, lol). I can’t believe how easy it is to repeat a name after writing several books. But I have to feel the name, make it match the character.
How do you choose a name for your novels? On rare occasions the title inspires the book. Mostly the title simply pops out as I’m writing.
Where does your inspiration come from? I sometimes wake up with an idea, other times I read or overhear a premise and a book coalesces around it.
7 Have you ever written anything based on experience? Not personal experience, no, although I have a considerable understanding of the human condition given my previous career, so I know that’s reflected in a general way, in my work.
What’s your dream? I want to write a screenplay based on my self pubbed book, The Time, After the End 1.
What would you do if you weren’t a writer? I can’t write all the time! Life interferes. I run a seasonal business with my husband and I have a family. And a one eyed cat with an Elvis smirk. I packed up my career a few years ago to be with my husband and haven’t regretted it. But writing is a wonderful outlet.
How many hours a day do you dedicate to writing? I try to write a least two hours a day and sometimes in the evening for a few hours.
Do you have a writing schedule? I try, but I fail. I’d need to book into a hotel room or something.
If you had to choose a book boyfriend from any of your books, who would it be and why? Lysett Daboort of Ruler’s Concubine because he’s an alien with human foibles and he’s hot.
Has writing changed anything in your life? Yes and no. I’m fairly private, so writing allows me to be reclusive, until I travel to promote which freaks me out.
Do you need silence to write? What kind of environment do you prefer? Peace and quiet with music playing softly in the background. Which hardly ever happens.
When did you start writing and why? I’ve written all my life from as early as I could hold a crayon I’m sure. I published short stories and poetry over the years, but nothing with a known publisher. I read an erotic romance in 2011, first ever I might add, and thought I could probably do that! I did, and was accepted. Writing dark romance under my other pen name (I keep my muses strictly separate) I then wanted to write sweeter romance, hence Peri Elizabeth Scott who is my more public face.
The world narrowed to him and her, and a little slice of churning emotions she couldn’t decipher. “You’re calling off the wedding. Our wedding. Now.” Just in case she hadn’t heard him correctly. This had the makings of a horrible, sick joke…
Shoving a hand through his hair, he obviously struggled to meet her stare. His tawny eyes were turbulent. “I am. I … just decided. It’s—”
“What?” Victoria tumbled to it, falling into the abyss of her history. Deep down, she knew why. Too bad he’d only just decided. Now. At this inopportune time. All her issues and stupid insecurities washed over her from wherever they’d been banished to, banished by Logan’s resolute pursuit and sincere belief in her. He’d addressed her fears, made her whole—and now? Now her tender underbelly was exposed—without a shred of armor—for the deathblow. The sublime lovemaking of a mere few hours earlier faded in the face of it.
“I—” Real pain and misery now seemed to burn in his eyes, and despite her terrified anticipation, she wanted to soothe him. Through set lips, he continued, “I don’t have the words to tell you why Victoria. I’m sorry. But the wedding is off.”
Still, she waited, believing he would somehow embellish, give her an explanation that wouldn’t make this about her, but he stood there mutely, now staring someplace over her shoulder. She checked out the direction of that gaze—maybe there was an answer there, but she saw only a watercolor of a pastoral scene. Please.
She let her pride crumble and begged. “Logan. This doesn’t make any sense. We… Only this morning…”
He shook his head and straightened to his full height. “It’s off.”
Deep inside there was an utter certainty that it did indeed make sense. He’d figured her out. Seen to the core of her the way others had. In despair, she gave up the fight to believe in him and their love in response to his firm declaration. The Victoria of her childhood emerged, in blind response, lashing out to hide from the truth.
“Was it the thrill of the chase? And then when you caught me, you became afraid you were settling? That there’s something better around the corner?”
She didn’t want to wait for a response. She had to leave. Now. What would get her past the sideways looks and the knowing stares? The church was full of family and friends—and others who had probably predicted this very moment…
“Victoria. You need to calm down. It’s not like that.”
“Calm. Down?” She was aware her voice was climbing as she talked over him, and the small room, the one where she and Logan would have been closeted to sign the papers finalizing their marriage, wasn’t soundproof. She modulated her tone the very best she could, humiliation and pain squeezing her very being. “What is it like, then, exactly?”
“I can’t say.”
He looked away. “I can’t.”
Dropping her beautiful bouquet of red roses, entwined with baby’s breath and white, embossed ribbon on the desk, the air currents disturbed the uncompleted marriage papers. They fluttered, mocking her. She stared up at the face of the man she loved. And faced the realization that she indeed still loved him. That part, at least, hadn’t changed despite the mortification of being dumped at the freaking altar. Love. She thought it was love. Too bad it wasn’t real.
“And I’m supposed to take that and be calm!”
“Yes, calm down.” His face was set in grim determination, his eyes hot. “We’ll … we’ll get through this.”
She narrowed her eyes and leaned into him. What couldn’t she be one of those classy women who took this kind of thing in stride and walked away without making a scene? Maybe she could be. Drawing on a reserve of strength she wasn’t aware she possessed, she said, “I’m calm. Dead calm. So shut up now. I never want to hear your voice again, let alone set eyes on you.”
Squaring her shoulders, she closed off his next attempt to speak. She avoided his outstretched hand and ignored the sudden abject despair written across his handsome features. Was he embarrassed? If he didn’t want a scene, why in hell had he chosen this public place to dump her? Flinging the door openam to the main part of the church, she surveyed the people filling the pews. Those congregated there stilled into silence, with only an occasional murmur marring the quiet. Dozens of pairs of eyes looked in their direction. Victoria stepped forward. Classy. She could do this.