First Chapter: One Night with You by Francis Ray
Book Suggestion: One Night with You by Francis Ray
Interview with bestselling author Francis Ray
by Ella Curry, EDC Creations
National bestselling author Francis Ray is a native Texan and graduate of Texas Woman's University where she was twice nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Award. INCOGNITO, her 6th novel, was the first made-for-TV movie from BET. With the release of THE TURNING POINT, her first mainstream, she established The Turning Point Legal Fund to assist women of domestic violence. The fund is administered by The Family Place, a woman's shelter in Dallas. Her writing awards include the EMMA, Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, Atlantic Choice, Golden Pen as well as several awards from libraries and book clubs. NOT EVEN IF YOU BEGGED, her 37th title, is the fourth book in the popular Invincible Women Series was released January 24, 2008 and made Border's and WalMart bestselling list. September 2008 saw the release of THE WAY YOU LOVE ME, Book One in her new Grayson Friends Series. In November UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, Book One, in the Graysons of New Mexico Series was reissued.
2010 promises to be a busy year for Ms. Ray. NOBODY BUT YOU, Book Two, in the Grayson Friends Series was released March 03, 2009 and went on make both the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists.. Her 40th book, AND MISTRESS MAKES THREE, Book Five in the Invincible Women Series, hit book shelves June 23, 2009. Closing out the year is ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, Book Three of the Grayson Friends Series.
ELLA: Tell us about your passion for writing.
FRANCIS: Although writing is a challenge, I'm almost compelled to. It's wonderful being able to tell a story of love and triumph where the good guys wins and the bad guys get theirs. I began writing many years ago because I didn't see people of color as main characters in literature. I wanted to change this. I had a wonderful father, a loving family, a great husband, but I didn't see "us" on the pages of books I was reading. I wanted to show the world that black people have honor, integrity, intelligence, and love in abundance.
After 40 plus books, I receive mail from all over the world. In reading my books people come to know and understand what motivates people of color and learn that we're no different that any one else. We love and want the best for our family and children.
ELLA: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence-
FRANCIS: My writing offers the legacy to future readers to learn that, as a race, African-American have contributed much to society, and continue to do so. In my book they'll find strong family values and men who stand up for women, their family and their country.
ELLA: Introduce us to your book, One Night with You.
FRANCIS: ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, is Book # 3 in the Grayson Friends Series. Duncan McBride is a successful Montana rancher, who, after a disastrous marriage, stopped believing that there was a woman out there who could love him and his sprawling ranch past the first, hard winter with six feet of snow. When Raven LaBlanc, a stunning archaeologist, shows up at his ranch to authenticate primitive cave drawings on his property, Duncan wants her gone. He doesn't want to feel the attraction to a woman he knows has no intention of staying. As for Raven, her main reason in going to Duncan's ranch was coming one step closer to tenure at St. Johns' College in Santa Fe. She wants permanence in life. Her attraction to Duncan, a hard, but good man, is totally unexpected and unwanted.
FRANCIS: Each has to learn to trust their heart and accept that there are honorable men and women in the world. It won't be easy, because both have been betrayed in the worst possible way. But as Duncan and Raven are thrown together more and more on the working ranch, they see the good in the other, and the faith that they had lost in the opposite sex begins to be rebuilt. But an unseen force is determined to keep them apart. Their fragile love will be tested to the limits.
ELLA: Introduce us to your message in One Night with You and the main characters.
FRANCIS: I hope you'll enjoy ONE NIGHT WITH YOU. Duncan and Raven, two people who didn't expect love. They would like for you to know that, like them, love sometimes happens when you lease expect it. Always keep your heart open.
ELLA: What issues in today's society have you addressed in the book?
FRANCIS: In Montana, as in many states, there are fewer and fewer ranches. The land is being sold off to developers, the young people leaving for the city. In ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, Duncan is exactly where he wants to be. He resists selling one inch to a developer. The land is his legacy that he intends to leave to his niece or nephew since he never plans to marry. He is aware that his life is hard, the land unforgiving, that predators roam the land, but he relishes and looks forward each day to living in a country blessed by God.
ELLA: How difficult was it to complete the novel?
FRANCIS: The book was very difficult to write, but it was also a pleasure. I had to do extensive research on ranching in Montana, the livestock, the land and predators. There was even the birth of a colt. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of writing the book was the authenticating of the primitive drawings on Duncan's ranch. I have a notebook of symbols, what they mean, how they were drawn and by whom. The Ancient Ones followed the water and mountain rims for food and game. They left behind an indelible print of their lives centuries before.
Love sometimes needed a helping hand, Ruth Grayson thought as she studied the wedding pictures of her five children on the mantle in her living room. Ruth had taken great pride in seeing that each child found the one person for them to love and be loved in return.
First, there was Luke, the protector and the oldest. For him, Ruth has chosen Catherine Stewart, a noted child psychologist. Catherine possessed a quiet spirit except when it came to championing abused children or her husband. For Morgan, the defender and her second born, the ideal match for him had been Phoenix Bannister, a renowned sculptress, who might appear quiet, but who burned with an inner fire.
Ruth’s gaze moved to the third photo of her middle child, Brandon, the nurturer. The perfect woman for him was Faith McBride. Faith possessed the same warm, caring spirit as the man she adored. Pierce, the thinker and her fourth son, learned there were no rules in love when he fell in love with Sabra Raineau, a Broadway star.
A smile curved Ruth’s mouth upward as she stared at the last photo. Sierra, her youngest child and only daughter, still believed she had chosen her life partner, Blade Navarone, without her mother’s help. It didn't matter. The important thing was that Sierra, gifted with a knack of discernment, had captured the heart and soul of Blade Navarone, the only man whose passion matched hers.
Ruth’s fingers touched the smiling faces of Blade and Sierra, and thanked God and the Master of Breath for keeping them from harm when Sierra was kidnapped. Ruth would forever be grateful to Shane and Rio, the two men in charge of Blade’s security at the time, for their expertise and help in bringing everyone home safely.
Ruth’s gaze moved to the picture of Shane and his smiling bride, Paige Elliott, on the coffee table. After Shane and Rio’s help, Ruth had begun to think that they deserved the same blissful happiness that her children had found. It had only taken Paige’s mother asking Ruth for assistance in keeping Paige from becoming engaged to an unscrupulous man for Ruth to set the wheels in motion to bring Paige and Shane together.
Ruth sighed and thought of Rio - silent, watchful. He would require more in-depth thought and study, but there wasn't a shred of doubt in Ruth’s mind that the woman for Rio was out there, waiting. She and her sister-in-law, Felicia, wouldn't rest until they'd brought the two together.
In the meantime, Ruth had another opportunity to possible give love a helping hand.
She picked up the picture next to Shane and Paige’s, a wedding photo of Cameron McBride and Caitlin Lawrence. The picture included the couple’s cute and precious son, Joshua, the groom’s brother, Duncan, their sister, Faith, and Brandon, and the groom’s divorced parents, Paul and Stella McBride, who stood as far away from the other as possible.
Ruth’s heart went out to Stella. She'd learned too late that the grass wasn't always greener on the other side of the fence. A tough lesson to learn at any age, but particularly daunting for a woman past sixty. Divorcing Paul, as Stella readily admitted to Ruth more than once and again during her unexpected phone call an hour ago, was the worst mistake of her life.
Stella lived with regret each moment of every day. Loneliness, not the man she loved, was her companion. She didn't want the same hopeless existence for her oldest son, Duncan. While Duncan wouldn't take his ex-wife back on a platinum platter, his unhappy marriage hardened his heart toward women in general and love in particular. The McBride family curse - successful in business and unhappy in love – probably wasn't helping him move forward.
Duncan’s brother and sister might have beat the odds, but Ruth could understand as the oldest, he probably thought, looking at his unhappy parents that the family curse couldn't be escaped.
Ruth believed otherwise. It wouldn't be easy to make him see the possibilities instead of the pitfalls. It would take a special woman to stand up to a strong, commanding man like Duncan McBride on his Montana ranch.
The opportunity to do just that had just presented itself. Ruth replaced the photo and moved to the telephone in the kitchen and dialed Raven La Blanc’s number. Brilliant, perceptive and as independent as they came, Raven was a friend and a fellow professor at St. John’s College in Santa Fe. She had once told Ruth that she wanted stability and permanence more than anything in the world.
Raven needed to learn that security wasn't always a place.
Ruth straightened. Time would tell if she was able to help another mother’s plea to aid her child. “Raven, its Ruth. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity just presented itself and I immediately thought of you.” ##### Pick up the book for the rest of the story...LOL.
One Night with You Details
November 03, 2009
Series: Grayson Friends Series