January 4, 2011

Guest Author Elaine Cantrell


Welcome Elaine! I'm glad to have you here today. Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is titled Return Engagement.  I had the plot in my head and wanted to write it a long time before I finally did, mostly because I was afraid I couldn’t do it justice.  I had fallen in love with my characters and wanted to the best job possible telling their story.  I wrote the book during a four month period and spent the better part of several years revising it.  I finally got it into a form that pleased me and sent it off to Whiskey Creek Press.  I was scared to death when I got an email from their editor.  I prepared myself for bad news, but to my great relief and delight she loved the book and wanted me to sign a contract.  Truly, it was one of the happiest writing moments of my life.  Here’s a short blurb to tell you about the story.

Elizabeth Lane has heard the call of the four most seductive words in the entire English language: what might have been.  Would you risk everything you hold dear to find out what might have been?  That’s the choice which Elizabeth has to make.

Elizabeth is lucky, for she has it all, money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancĂ©.  Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard.  Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he’ll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side.  Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won’t be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she’ll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Without a doubt it was creating my characters.  They’d been bugging me to tell their story for a long time.  My hero Richard is an alpha male who has a soft spot for his Elizabeth, the love of his life.  He’s exactly what I think a hero ought to be: a one woman man, handsome, passionate, and romantic.  He has no use for pretension and snobbery, but he isn’t a saint.  Richard is hot tempered and impulsive, a combination that gets him hot water on more than one occasion.

Elizabeth my heroine is a nice foil for Richard.  She has a peaceful center so she tempers his reckless behavior.  The thing I like best about Elizabeth is her courage.  She’s willing to risk everything she ever worked for to follow her heart.

Do you live in the mountains, desert, forest, lakeshore, city, or _____?
I live in South Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I can drive to the mountains in thirty minutes or the ocean in four hours.  Our little town is a bedroom community of Greenville, a mid size city in the upstate which offers a lot of cultural advantages including art, music, drama, and fine dining.  We live in a midcentury blue split level that was supposed to be gray.  I left for work one morning expecting to return to a gray house only to find that the painter had selected the wrong shade of paint.  My husband and I sat outside staring at the paint for a long time that night before we decided that blue looked pretty good.  Our house has been blue ever since. 

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
I like ghost stories.  Give me a haunted house and I’m hooked.  One of my favorite authors is Karen White.  She’s written two ghost stories that I especially enjoyed.  One was The House On Tradd Street, and the other was The Girl on Legare Street.  I also enjoy Barbara Michaels’ paranormal stories as well as her Amelia Peabody series which she writes as Elizabeth Peters.  They’re set in Egypt during the early 1900’s and are funny with a touch of mystery and romance.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, personality, name, etc?  
I always start with a name, and then I go on to the personality and age.  After that eyes, hair color and height.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I’d start with Return Engagement because I think it’s some of my best work.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I want them to feel happy when they finish the book.  I want them to believe that they too can find true love and romance.

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be (in six words or less)?
Writing Her Heart Out is the sanitized version, but the real deal is Doing the Best I Darn Can.

What song would best describe your life?
Since so much of my life has been in a classroom, I teach social studies, I suppose that old song School Days pretty much sums it up professionally speaking.  On a personal level, A Great Day To Be Alive by Travis Tritt works well.  In spite of some tragedies and health concerns, I’ve been incredibly blessed in my life.

If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
I’m a basket used to contain clutter.  I can’t stand things to be messy.

You can erase one experience from your past. What will it be?
I’d erase the time a lady in the community gave a reception for me, and I dropped a cracker in the punch bowl.  It was awful.

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Caution: Contents Under Pressure  ( I’m a wife and mother, and I teach teenagers.  Need I say more?)

Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Books, books, and more books.  And some nice Swiss chocolate.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
Do you mind if I refer you to my agent?  Go on someone; ask me!

Where to find me:
Coming in 2011: Kara’s Change of Heart

 BOOKLIST
 
Return Engagement
Genre: contemporary romance
Title: Return Engagement
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Buy Link: http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=819
Author Website: www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN:978-1-60313-999-1
Format: print and ebook

A New Leaf
Genre: contemporary romance
Heat rating: PG13
Title: A New Leaf
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Oak Tree Press
Buy link: http://www.oaktreebooks.com
Author website: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: 1-892343-36-3
Format: print

Grandfather’s Legacy
Genre: Contemporary romance
Heat Rating: PG13
Title: Grandfather’s Legacy
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: All Romance Books
Buy Link: due to the death of the publisher the book is only available from the author at elainecsc@aol.com
Author Website: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: 1-933548-02-9
Format: ebook PDF


Purple Heart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat rating: G
Title Purple Heart
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Buy Link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/purple-heart-p-404.html
Author Web site: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: print 1-60154-133-3
Format: print and ebook-Adobe, MS Reader, Web Html

The Welcome Inn 
Genre: Romantic suspense
Heat Rating: R
Title: The Welcome Inn
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Wings ePress
Buy link: http://www.wingsepress.com/Bookstore/The%20Welcome%20Inn.htm
Author website: http://www.elainecantrell.com
ISBN: print ISBN 978-1-59705-776-9; ebook ISBN 978-1-59705-252-8
Book format: print and ebook-PDF, HTML, MSR, Mobipocket

The Best Selling Toy Of The Season
Genre: Contemporary romance
Heat rating: PG
Title: The Best Selling Toy Of The Season
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Midnight Showcase
Buy Link: http://www.midnightshowcase.com/BestToy.htm
Author Web site: http://www.elainecantell.com
ISBN: print /555-5488 Vol. 118-16SE
Book format: print, ebook-PDF, HTML

December 18, 2010

Guest Author Ericka Scott

Holiday Spirits can mean a multitude of things.
For some, getting in the holiday spirit means shunning the materialism and commercialism of the season and embracing the “true meaning” of Christmas (i.e., Christ’s birth in Bethlehem).
For others, holiday spirits means all the fantastic “spirits” that can be found behind the shelves of your local bar or liquor store. They look forward to toasting the season with spiked eggnog, Irish cream, or perhaps a lovely holiday mojito.
For Dickens, holiday spirits were the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. Each one had a message to deliver to Scrooge, enabling him to discard his signature “bah-humbug” for a large helping of Christmas cheer.
Although holiday spirits can mean all those things, there is an often unrecognized portion of the population for whom the holidays don’t hearken in joy and goodwill, but depression and desperation. The lonely, the homeless, the ill, people struggling with addictions, and those who’ve lost loved ones and are having a hard time coping with life -- let alone celebrating. Even the most normal-appearing folk often have trouble reconciling their high expectations of the season with reality. Holidays often aren’t perfect and can often be more full of stress and strife than peace and joy.
In my latest short story, A Christmas Curse, published in ‘Twas a Dark & Delicious Christmas anthology, Frank Moran, a paramedic, runs across a long-running string of suicides. Every Christmas Eve, someone leaps six floors to their death from the same apartment. He’s shocked to find out that the deaths have been occurring for the last 20 years with only one survivor, Amanda Spaulding, who was only 5 years old when she endeavored to jump to her death. He tries to get the police to investigate but there is nothing to point to foul play, in fact, the police think the apartment is just the venue the people choose to use to take their own lives. When Frank’s wife dies, he’s pitched into his own sea of despair. The only thing keeping him sane is investigating the suicides. To do so, he rents apartment 666 and camps out on Christmas Eve, determined to break the trend or to die trying. When Amanda Spaulding shows up at his door, Frank is suspicious of her and her motives. Has he finally discovered a diabolical serial killer or is she truly the innocent victim she appears to be?
Although my story is pure fiction, it touches upon a subject often swathed in silence and not often discussed during this time of rejoicing. Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year. So, show your holiday spirit, go out to SAVE.Org, know the warning signs of suicide, and make this a more joyous season for everyone!
Merry Christmas –
Ericka Scott
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Ericka Scott is a multi-published, bestselling author of seductive suspense. She's written stories for as long as she can remember and reads anything under the sun (including the back of cereal boxes in a pinch). She got hooked on romantic suspense in her college days, when reading anything but a textbook was a guilty pleasure. Now, when she’s not chauffeuring children around, wishing she had more than 24 hours in a day, or lurking at the library, she’s spinning her own web of fantasy and penning tales of seduction and suspense. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.
She also loves friends, so come friend her at http://myspace.com/erickascott  
She's also on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ericka.scott  and Twitter http://twitter.com/ErickaScott
You can find out more about her books at http://www.erickascott.com

December 10, 2010

Battlesong by Allison Knight

Battlesong by Allison Knight (Medieval Romance set in 13th century England) Rating PG 13
This is the second of a series of medieval romances involving the ab Brynn Ffrydd family. The first book, "Heartsong" was Rhianna's story. She's the only girl in a family of six. Arthur is the youngest in the family. I'm working on "Windsong" now, the second oldest brother. Meet Arthur and his wife, Laren.
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Award winning author Allison Knight began her writing career like many other authors. She read a book she didn’t like and knew she could do a better job. She grabbed paper and typewriter (computers were not available back then) and announced she was going to write a book. Her children hooted with laughter.
“Yeh, Mom, when cows fly,” her daughter declared.
She took classes, joined a critique group and wrote, rewrote and wrote some more.
When her first book sold, she came home from her teaching job to find a stuffed toy cow rotating from the ceiling fan in the family room. It seemed - “Cows did fly!”
Since that time, Allison has written and published seventeen romances with her latest medieval romance released in August. She has a valentine novella coming out in February. Because she loves to share her knowledge and her love of romance novels she often blogs with other authors. She also loves to talk about the growing digital market.
You can find her at:
or on her blog: