Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Heaving Bosoms by Ashlyn Chase

Tonia, a blonde bombshell with a bust to make a Barbie doll weep, is a klutz. Wearing four-inch spike heels, and already top heavy, her center of gravity is elusive. When hunky medical student Raphael Beauchamp comes to her rescue twice, he thinks he knows why Tonia’s falling. It’s those ridiculous designer stilettos.

Tonia takes a tumble down some stairs, resulting in a nasty concussion. Since she’s new in Boston she has no one to stay with her. Raphael opts to look after this headstrong beauty rather than risk second impact syndrome, which can be fatal. Raphael discovers that Tonia’s the ex-wife of a Las Vegas mafia don. She has half an offshore bank account number tattooed on her butt, and someone’s after her. A normal person would don a pair of running shoes and get the hell out of Boston. But it’s too late for Raphael. Tonia’s not the only one who’s been falling.

Can Tonia handle it when she finds out the other half of the account number is tattooed on the butt of her ex-husband’s mistress? Raphael has to protect these two unfriendly women from the mob and from each other as they go on a madcap adventure to the Cayman Islands.

I asked Ashlyn how you go about researching a book like Heaving Bosoms. Here's what she had to say:

It has a woman who had married a mobster, a medical student, a Vegas showgirl/mistress, and a hit man. Believe it or not, this is the ONLY book I didn’t have to research. I had already done my research via a life rich in strange experiences. What does that say about me?

I was a psychiatric RN for a long, long, loooong time. About 15 years to be exact. I had two patients who were indeed, “married to the mob.” One was a beautiful woman who looked just like an aging Barbie doll. Her husband was ruthless. He turned into an abusive (blankety-blank) when her gorgeous looks began to fade, even turning her own sons against her. She was one of the few who wanted to remain on the locked ward—because she felt safer there. Her story was so sad, we actually hugged and cried together at one point, despite a strict, “hands-off” policy.

Another woman came to our crisis center when I was the director. Her hit-man ex-husband went to jail. She had been in hiding and isolated for so long, she had become extremely depressed. She was still terrified that he would have someone go after her since he’d never forgiven her for divorcing him. She didn’t think she’d ever be able to go outside without disguising herself and even so, feared he’d find her.

And then there was the mafia-connected man who came into the drug rehab when I worked the night shift. He couldn’t sleep, so he stayed up all night telling me his whole life story for two nights in a row. He thought it would make a great book. Believe me, I learned things I never wanted to know! Why, oh, why did I tell him I wanted to be a writer? So—I had a good basic knowledge of these very complicated people and the lives they led.

As a nurse who attended Newton-Wellesley School of Nursing, a Tufts teaching hospital, I worked and studied beside medical students every day. There was one particular young man who I shared some cases with and we became casual friends. He had financial problems (Tufts ain’t cheap!) and had to finish his schooling at home in Texas instead of the medical Mecca that is Greater Boston. Too bad. He was a babe! (giggles) I had my hero attend a less expensive school, work per diem as a paramedic and use his credit card to help Tonia. The two-day trip to Grand Cayman to collect an unknown amount of money from an offshore bank account was courtesy of the villain. I was positively wounded when one reviewer said my hero didn’t sound like a medical student and he couldn’t have afforded a vacation in the Caymans! Did she read my book? My uncles who are doctors helped answer my questions, and they may have gone to medical school long ago, but I trust their memories.

The only character I had no experience with was the Vegas showgirl/mistress. Oh well. That’s where imagination comes in. Besides, I’ve watched loads of CSI episodes!

HEAVING BOSOMS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 officially begins on Feb. 1, 2008 and continues all month. If you would like to follow Ashlyn's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/. Leave a comment and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of her tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this page on February 29!

This virtual book tour has been brought to you by:


danetteb said...

Lol on researching your show girl. I liked the behind the character interview, we never know what life's experiences will bring us. :)
Hugs, Danette

Ashlyn Chase said...

Hi Dannette!

Great to see you again! Isn't the whole life experience thing amazing? It's what makes us who we are and why writers all turn out different books even if the genre is the same.


Dorothy Thompson said...

Wow, I'm a firm believer in writing what you know and this interview only confirms this to be true. Really interesting..I'd love to read a true story book about the people Ashlyn came into contact with. Interesting stuff!