Unwrapped: When Lightning Strikes!

Intimate Conversation with author Michele Cameron

Michele Cameron, a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, is a graduate of North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro with a B.S. degree in professional Writing and English Education. Ms. Cameron currently teaches high school English in Orlando, Florida.

Cameron’s first novel, Never Say Never an interracial deals with sexual harassment in the workplace (Genesis-Press, Inc., January, 2008) Her second novel, Moments of Clarity… touches on themes of adultery, adoption, and the betrayal of someone close to you and how to overcome the hurt. (Genesis-Press, Inc. October 2008)

Her third novel titled When Lightning Strikes! -August 2009 and touches on the Brown vs. Board of education decision that ruled separate but equal in the school system is unconstitutional. Her second interracial novel titled, Unclear and Present Danger was released February 2, 2010. This highly anticipated novel deals with the love between an African-American woman and Arab-American policeman living in New York City. It deals with the social question, What is a true American?

Introducing When Lightning Strikes! by author Michele Cameron
When Lightning Strikes!  is a contemporary romance that sizzles from beginning to end deals with a deep, committed love triangle between one woman and two men. Grace Foxfire had given up on ever finding the love of her life. A not so chance encounter in a nightclub in Atlanta whereas she literally falls into the arms of Livingston Lockhart. From the moment she set eyes on him she felt as if she had been struck by lightning. The icing on the cake was that he was an Omega Psi Phi fraternity brother to her play brother Jethro Newman.

Grace’s life is complete with the reuniting of Jethro but he’s a changed man. Gone is the timid youngster who she grew up with and she finds herself fighting and having to come to terms with the special love she has always had in her heart for him. When Lightning Strikes! deals with a woman who has to decide what to do;  if lightning does indeed strike twice for a woman and the two wonderful men who cherish her and want to build a life with her. This realistic novel deals with the social themes of betrayal by in-laws, and coming to terms with baggage from an embarrassing childhood.

BPM: Who did you write When Lightning Strikes! for and why?

I wrote this novel for all the women in the world who have given up on finding Mr. Right. I wrote this novel for all the women in the world who refuse to settle down with Mr. Wrong. I wrote this novel for all women who feel they’ve been betrayed by relatives or someone you felt close to. I wrote this novel for all women who have become dependent on something and feel as if they can’t get rid of their demons. I wrote this novel for all people who have had a rough childhood and just can’t seem to let go of the demons. I wrote this novel because there is so much of me in it.

BPM:  Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite and why?
Grace Foxfire, the heroine is a teacher in Atlanta. I also teach school. Grace has a love in her heart for children. Because of that I feel an affinity for her character. I don’t have any children but for some reason even when I’m not working I am surrounded by them. Grace leaves her job in order to recuperate from tragedy and somehow she finds herself raising another person’s child. I can see that in my future.

Livingston Lockhart loves Grace from the moment he laid eyes on her. He can’t believe that she’s single and swoops her up changing his life to be near her. I like a man that know what he wants and who he wants. His Alpha personality is to die for.

Jethro Newman is a one of a kind man. He is Grace’s play brother and has always known that his love for her was not one of family but one for lovers. Despite his love for her, he steps aside because he puts her happiness in front of his. But when tragedy strikes he becomes her knight in shining armor saving her from all harm. My favorite character is Jethro Newman. Not only is he a wonderful man like Livingston Lockhart but he doesn’t let a tragic childhood stop him from being a keeper.

BPM: Are your characters portrayals of real people?
Yes and no. The main characters are fictitious but the setting and events cited in the novel are real. The setting is Lake City, South Carolina the birthplace of my parents. During the fifties, Reverend DeLaine, a minister and principal is the small suburb of Summerton initiated with Thurgood Marshall the petition that separate but equal school system is unconstitutional. After the KKK found out they burned his house down and the family moved to Lake City. There his son B.B. DeLaine, met my parents and became their friend. I use Lake City as the setting because it is the home of my family ancestry and very dear to my heart. Also I want to emphasize to readers that in order to make changes in the world and make it a better place you can live anywhere.

Also, in the novel one of the social themes that I address is prescription drug addiction. One of the main characters fall into a deep depression after a tragedy and without warning becomes hooked on sleeping medication. This is a common occurrence in today’s society with all the daily stress of trying to cope and make it in today’s tough world. Another social them I deal with is family counseling. Every person that I know has baggage from childhood. Some more than others and this can stop one from being the happiest they can be in adulthood until they deal with the issues that haunt them.

BPM: What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
The main character has a recurring dream. Every time there’s a loss of someone important to her in her lifetime she dreams the identical thing. In the novel she tries to warn her loved ones to be careful but they dismiss her worries. I think that there are times in every person’s life when they know that something bad is going to happen and because there isn’t concrete evidence people dismiss their fears.

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
My fourth novel Unclear and Present Danger-Genesis-Press, Inc. was released February 1, 2010. Solange Montgomery- an African American woman living in New York is the manager at Microsysterms Computer. She is happy and in love with Ali Marks, a New York City policeman who was born and bred in Brooklyn. Problems arise when Ali decides to follow his father’s dream and goes to Florida to enroll in sniper school. Meanwhile, Solange becomes weary of traveling back and forth to visit him while trying to balance a career that she loves and hates as she has to deal with corporate downsizing because of the recession. The minute they seem to get things back on track when Ali’s relatives from Iraq visit. Ali is torn between his love for Solange and his mother as she seeks approval from family members that are strangers to him. The question, Is their love strong enough to withstand another crisis?

BPM:  How may our readers contact you online? Do you blog or use Twitter?


Romantic Times Book Review--Four Stars
Cameron’s lovely story has an interesting twist, and readers will enjoy watching two beautiful and successful people find love at first sight and ask themselves if lightning dies indeed strike twice. This book will bring tears to your eyes and revive your belief in happily ever after.

Summary: When Grace Foxfire literally runs into Livingston Lockhart in an Atlanta nightclub, their chemistry sizzles. Eventually, they buy a home together and plan their storybook wedding, yet Livingston’s best friend and fraternity brother, Jet Newman, secretly wishes he was the one who held Grace’s heart.

The night before the wedding, disaster hits. With all hope lost, Grace must deal with greedy in-laws. Jet tries to help her get through her grief, but will his feelings for her be reciprocated? Will her sisterly love for him change into something more?  -- Leslie Frohberg, Romantic Times

The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers
Grace Foxfire's life was struck by tragedy at an early age. Her mother used alcohol as a way to deal with her father's tragic death, which essentially robbed Grace of both of her parents. Her best friend, Jethro, lost his father in the same accident as Grace's dad. Jethro's mother stepped in to help care for Grace, which in turn transformed Jethro into her play brother. Jethro harbored a crush on Grace for as long as he could remember but as a teenager he was way too shy to act on his feelings. But adulthood brought a newfound confidence to Jethro, as well as shorter name, Jet, and he's decided to finally go after his first love.

As a grown woman, Grace still finds herself unlucky when it comes to love. At a chance encounter in a nightclub, Grace meets the man of her dreams in Livingston Lockhart. Livingston just so happens to be Jet's frat brother and Jet can do nothing but sit back and watch as Grace and Livingston begin to build a life together. An unfortunate tragedy befalls Livingston that puts Grace at odds with Livingston's family. Grace must now rely on the only family she has left for support.

Jet tries to assist Grace in her time of need but finds it very difficult. It's not only the feelings he still harbors for Grace that stand in the way, but it's also the wall Grace has built around herself. The constant tragedy of losing everyone she's ever loved has hardened Grace's heart. She's not only unwilling, but unable to let Jet into her heart for fear of losing yet another loved one.

Michele Cameron skillfully takes a simple romance novel and develops it into so much more. Although the plot may seem cliché, the realism contained within the main characters and their actions especially those of Grace, Jet and Livingston's sister Delilah added depth that will keep readers enthralled. Fans of contemporary literature who usually shun romance novels will also be won over by WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES because it successfully combines romance with the drama romance books are usually devoid of.
-- Reviewed by Delonya Conyers, for The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers

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