My guest today is coming to us from the pages of He Loves Me Knot by Sarah McGregor. Diana Burton has graciously stepped off the page and into my interview, so let’s find out more about Sarah before we get down and dirty with Diana. Ready?
Author Sarah McGregor is an award-winning romance author. A native Midwesterner, she makes her home on the eastern seaboard with her family and an assortment of cats, dogs, and horses. She finds that the best stories come to her while sitting on a tractor or running. When all hell isn’t breaking loose on the farm and there isn’t a global pandemic, she likes to travel.
A lifelong equestrian, Sarah has been around the proverbial barn enough times to portray it authentically.
Author Social Links: Website
CHARACTER – Diana Burton
Betty: How would you describe your childhood?
Diana: I grew up in a suburban neighborhood about an hour outside of Chicago. My parents were demanding, supportive, and distant, in equal measures; I earned freedom and privileges in exchange for exemplary grades and good behavior. My horse, that I earned with those grades and behavior, was my best friend and my pride and joy.
Betty: What kind of schooling did you have?
Diana: I went to public school and got a merit scholarship to a big ten University where I was in the pre-vet program.
Betty: Did you enjoy it?
Diana: I enjoyed it right up until I didn’t. I’d always gotten good grades and liked learning. I loved animals and knew from a young age that I wanted a career involving them so being a veterinarian seemed like the logical choice. In college though, when I looked at how hard and how long I was going to have to study and then the long hours I would have to work for relatively low pay, I realized I would be unable to do what I really wanted which was to train and compete horses, so I dropped out.
Betty: When did you have your first kiss and with who? How did it go?
Diana: Nick was my first kiss, my best kiss, and the kiss that made me know how every kiss that followed should feel.
Betty: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Diana: Hmm. First off, let me say that I wouldn’t remember any of my most embarrassing moments if not for people and their damn smart phones. Me plus drinking adds up to trouble and a virtual bottomless pit of embarrassing moments. In one night out at a bar, I was reported to have: grabbed the mic away from the lead singer in a cover band so I could yell out some of my all-time favorites; maniacally whirl around the dance floor until I knocked over the bass player; and top it all off with barfing in the parking lot. I’d say it was all lies, except that my friends thought it was so funny they needed to share their pics with me and everyone else on social media.
Betty: If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be and why?
Diana: I would never ever have taken Nick’s love for granted. I would have supported him and confided in him and accepted the same from him.
Betty: What’s your greatest fear?
Diana: My greatest fear is that I can never take back the hateful words I said. That they will haunt me until the day that I die and that second chances are the stuff of fairytales.
Betty: Who else knows about it?
Diana: Absolutely no one. And they never will.
Betty: How much of your true self do you share with others?
Diana: None of it. I am tough as nails and, if you buy me a drink, a damn good time.
Betty: Are you close to your family? Do you wish your relationship with them was different in any way? If so, how?
Diana: My family gave up on me long ago. I think I always knew that their love was conditional, so when I dropped out of school to rethink my goals and my mother told me I might as well go off to join the circus, it was no big surprise. Okay, it was a bit of a surprise, and it was maybe a bit of a loss. I was lost and floundering. Nick was gone, my dreams had changed, and all I could think of—all I was good at—was training horses.
They could have tried to understand. They could have thrown me an effing lifeline.
Betty: What characteristics are you looking for in a potential lover/spouse?
Diana: Nick. He was my best friend. He was funny and kind and protective and hardworking. I measured everyone against him, and they all came out short. Until… well that’s the great thing about a second chance, isn’t it?
Betty: How do you like to relax?
Diana: Now? Now I like to read and ride and go for walks in the country. I like to count my baby’s toes, and have dinner with my friends, and spend lazy afternoons in bed with my husband.
Betty: What kind of entertainment do you enjoy?
Diana: I enjoy most anything in good company, but there’s nothing quite like a live orchestra accompanied by the rhythmic footsteps of dancers on a ballroom floor.
He loves me…
Not anymore. That was twenty years ago. I hardly think of Nick now. Seriously. I’m too busy training horses and trying to keep a roof over my head. Now they say I never met a horse, or a man, I couldn’t ride, which is a little catty but mostly true.
Until I do.
When Napoleon, a rangy gelding with a bad reputation, tosses me to the ground, my life literally flashes before my eyes. I swear the tangled knot of regrets and missed opportunities go parading past me like thoroughbreds at auction. When I come to, I’m shocked to discover I’m dressed in a fancy riding habit, and a corset, and I’m eighteen—again. But when Lord Nicholas Stanhope walks in the room looking like my Nick, dressed and sounding like he just stepped out of a Jane Austen novel… I’m on a mission.
I don’t care if this is a dream, or painkillers, or-or reincarnation. I won’t give up on this second chance. I won’t stop until…he loves me.
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Thanks, Diana, for taking time away from your busy schedule to tell us more about your experience and plans for the future. And thanks to Sarah for giving you the free rein to come visit. (That was a horse pun… get it?)
Anyway, so much for bad jokes, eh? Happy reading!
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