When I picked up a copy of Leanne Treese’s novel, Their Last Chance, I expected a sweet romance. I got so much more. The roller-coaster ride that Will and Hannah Abbott’s relationship takes had me flipping pages because I had to know what happened next. I groaned out loud when a character did something regrettable because their “wrong move” came about so naturally. I could see myself making the same choice. She has a talent for showing how people can take a small incident and, through misunderstandings and bad timing, blow it up into a potentially irreversible situation. The wonderful thing about her characters is they are fleshed out, multi-dimensional people, and I wanted to spend as much time with the supporting cast as I did the main couple. I cared about what happened to them.
We writers love all our characters. Sometimes the most troublesome child can be a secret favorite. Is there one character you find especially troublesome, and are they your favorite? What makes you love them? Or do you wish they had never wriggled into your book?
David Dewey, one of the lawyers in Their Last Chance, is my favorite character. You want to hate him, but you can’t. And the more that’s revealed about his backstory and who he is under his tough lawyer exterior, the more likable he becomes. I’m thrilled he’s made his way into my book!
Can you give us an example of a piece of research for a book that you especially enjoyed doing? Why was it so much fun?
With Their Last Chance, I stuck with the adage “write what you know” so I didn’t have much research to do. That said, I really enjoy creating funny scenes where I can. One of my favorites in this book is a side character’s explanation of a phenomenon he is featuring on a cable news show called “Cowboy Pigs.” It’s about a woman who sews cowboy outfits for pigs and uses pictures of them for calendars and other gear.
What is one trait or habit your character has that would drive you crazy in real life?
Will Abbott, the husband in this book, is frequently late. Given that I am always super early, this would drive me crazy (and does – my daughter is always late).
Everyone loves to laugh. Can you share your favorite joke?
I love jokes that are so bad, they’re good. Here are two that are in Their Last Chance:
What Cinderella say when her photos did not show up?
Some day my prints will come.
Why was the broom late?
Because it overswept.
You get the idea!
Many books, especially cozies, have recipes. I, myself, have bought mysteries for the recipes! Do you have a favorite recipe that you can share with readers? Especially one that character would love to make or eat. Extra points if it’s under five ingredients.
Their Last Chance takes place outside of Philadelphia, and cheesesteaks are featured in the main characters’ first date. The secret to good Philly cheesesteaks is giant, soft rolls. If you have those, any steak and cheese combination you put in will be delicious.
What piece of advice would you give your character when everything seems hopeless? Advice you would give your best friend.
I love this quote from the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: “Everything will be alright in the end so if it’s not alright it is not the end.” I am a sucker for happy endings so this quote is perfect for my characters. That said, it is also advice I would give to a friend. You never know when the next page in your life chapter will change for the better. Keep your head up until you get to the good part!
If you could hang out with one of your characters, which would you choose, and what would you do?
I would like to hang out with Will Abbott’s Mom, Constance, and just chat. She is based on my own mother.
What is your favorite word or phrase that serves as a substitute for swearing?
Dagnabit. Now that I’ve written the word, I realize I have not used it enough. Note to self!
Out of the books you have written, which is your favorite, and why?
My favorite book is actually one I am writing right now, Saving Christmastown. It’s a romantic comedy about a mismatched couple trying to save a Christmas-themed amusement park. It’s funny, and I’ve had a blast creating what this park would look like, i.e. a sky ride where the cars a giant ornaments and the cables that hold them up big red bows. This book is flying out of me so it should be ready this Christmas. Yeah!
Note: I am a Christmas-themed book addict, and I can’t wait for Saving Christmastown to come out!
Thank you so much for taking the time to be here, Leanne. A link to order your copy is below the book. 🙂
Their Last Chance
Hannah and Will Abbott define the American dream: two kids, a home in the suburbs, and a seemingly perfect marriage. But discontent lurks beneath the surface of their outwardly happy lives. Will and Hannah each suspect the other of infidelity. When they independently consult divorce attorneys, the conflict escalates and Hannah flees with the children against a court order. Hannah’s snap decision starts a social media firestorm and, suddenly, the Abbott divorce is big news. With family stress and legal fees rising, Will and Hannah accept an invitation to appear on a reality television show for divorcing couples. During filming on the beautiful island of St. John, the Abbotts must decide once and for all: can their love survive their past?