Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lets meet Elaina Lee

Dear Readers: This has been a great week. First you've been introduced to two wonderful authors, Elaina Lee and Sarah Ballance, now you're having an opportunity to know more about them. An interview of my guests is my favorite part of having a blog. (If you missed Sarah's interview and why both authors are visiting scroll down the page and read about her and their charitable cause.)

Today, we’ll interrogate Elaina Lee. I have an advantage as to knowing her writing ability because I’ve already read her latest ebook To Urn Her Love. Do we know near enough about her? I think not.

Elaina's book To Urn Her Love features a romantic story that we all can relate to — what if we had done things differently years ago? Did we miss the one? Fast forward 10 years and we find our heroine's life is an uphill struggle. Both of her parents are dead and she's trying to raise a sticky-fingered little brother. Then she comes face to face with him. Was the right decision made all those years ago? Is she glad she escaped or wish she had been caught? This is a must read for anyone who has siblings, especially for big sisters, and heartening for those who are an only child. lol

Before I launch into the nosy questions, Elaina, please tell us a bit about yourself.

Oh goodness, what to say!  I live in Alabama, with my husband and our two sons.  We have two goats, though they're rather useless, except as very 'green' lawnmowers. *grin*  By day I'm a cover artist, by afternoon, a mom, wife, chef and maid, by night I'm a writer.  Well… I try to be.

Now on for the grilling, I mean interview. Elaina, I’m curious as to where an idea comes from be it a book or a movie, so I have to ask. What was your inspiration for your release To Urn Her Love?  

I actually just blogged about this with Sarah Ballance.  *grin*  When my grandmother died, the Monday before the tornado's struck, we had her cremated.  The morning of Wednesday, April 27th, we went to pick up her urn.  The tornado's hadn't happened yet, we were in fact getting everything taken care of before the worst of the weather was projected to hit.  At the car, my mom and I debated about where to put grandma… in the backseat or the trunk?  We didn't really want to put her in the trunk, she may have been in a metal container, but she was still grandma!  However, my mom laughed and said "But how would we feel if someone stole her?"  I told her I'd been thinking the exact same thing, so into the trunk she went.  I commented to my mom what a funny story that would be, if someone really did steal an urn.  So, To Urn Her Love was born.  J

Loved the characters, especially the little brother (I’ve got one too). Are your characters based on people you know, made up or a combination of both?

Kyle (the teen brother) is a combination of all the teen information I've gleaned over the years, including the things I'm learning about sons’ behavior, LOL! 

You’re known as a romantic suspense author, is there another genre burning inside you to be written?

I actually just finished a southern romantic comedy, if you can believe it!  Now that it's completed though, I'm hoping to go back into the genre I do love writing the most, and that's romantic suspense. 

Oh boy, humor. Can’t wait to read that story. Or perhaps you have written different genres already? Share.

I have a contemporary romance published with Decadent titled, First Kiss.  Nothing dark or dangerous in that story, just fun, and really romantic!

Love the title. Some day I hope to write about time travel, is there a genre that you hope to tackle one day?

Historical. I started out writing historical and vowed to never write anything else.  But upon critiques, I kept getting slammed for my vocabulary in dialogue. When I can figure out how to please everyone, I'll try my hand at historical again.  After all, I have seven manuscripts that need rewritten. *wink*

Historical has darted across my mind. Elaina, I know you have young children, yet not only do you write but you’re a cover artist as well, how do you manage?

Well, I have a toddler AND a teenager, LOL!  My toddler keeps himself amused when I do my cover design, as I only work for about five hours a day on it (anymore and my head begins to pound).  In the evenings I sit on the couch and write when he's not climbing all over me.  My teenager is pretty self-sufficient J

Toddler and teen!! Bless your heart. Do you have another talent we should know about?

I don't think so… I can't sing, I can't draw, I can barely keep my house clean… *grin*

Have you ever killed off a character because you were angry at someone?

Actually, I can say no to this one!  If I kill a character off it's because they have to die to progress the plot.

Sometimes names just pop into my head and other times I struggle to find a name I’m happy with for a story. Where do you get the names for your characters?

I get a letter.  My characters always want their first names to start with a certain letter.  From there I go to various baby naming  websites (don’t we all?) until I see one that just fits or my character starts jumping up and down and pointing. 

A certain letter? That’s different. What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know beforehand and you wished you had?

Comma splices and Impossible Simultaneous Actions…  Crit partners are invaluable, but nothing compares to what you'll learn from a good editor.

Remind me to tell you about the Comma Splice & Tense Police Patrol organized just for me in my crit group. Lol What was the best writing advice someone gave you?  

My first six months in a crit group are a blur of constant professional advice… I can't remember which one was best.  J

What was the worst? Did you know it at the time?

Studying someone else's style to write by.  And no, I did not.  I was actually rather offended by the suggestion.  Don't tell me to write like someone else, just tell me what you felt was missing or how I can improve the scene. 

True, true. Your voice is your voice. Any WIP? Care to share?

I am about to start the sequel to my romantic suspense, Written in Blood, tentatively titled, Written in Fear.

Thank you for being such a gracious guest.

Thank you for being such a gracious guest and having me!!!


Caylie Abrahms bad day gets worse when the teen brother she's responsible for proudly hands her a gift.  Just wanting to show how much he appreciates all his sister does for him, Kyle steals what he believes is an ornate glass vase.  The gift is anything but however, and now Caylie has to find the owner of an urn.  Worst yet, she has to explain her dear brother stole someone's loved one.

Against all odds she learns the urn belongs to Rick Marshall, her best friend from college, the man she'd poured her heart out to and been rejected by.  She never thought she'd see him again, let alone have to hand him back his father in glass.  Will her resolve remain strong in his presence, or will she suffer another broken heart?


In silence, they walked the corridor flanking the stairs to the second story. Kyle stayed behind, digging through the plate of refreshments. They passed two doors and Caylie began to wonder just how large his home was. She dared not look around too much, afraid she'd grow jealous and feel even more insignificant than she already did. There were no disillusions in her life, she knew she was poor. Never before though had she felt impoverished. Until now. However, she did keep a roof over hers and Kyle's head and  they never went without a meal. Those were at least things she could be proud of. He opened a door to the left and motioned inside.

“On the desk. May I ask first though, who you're calling?"

With a sheepish smile, she held up the card. “A cab, I...accidentally locked my keys in my car this afternoon."

He stepped inside and closed the door. “I can give you a ride home."

Shaking her head, she took the card between both her hands and stared down at it. Anything not to look at him and his way too handsome face and the body that proved he did hard labor. A few strands of gray stood out in his dark brown hair, slight lines
appeared when he smiled, but other than that, the man was still dangerously good-looking. Only now he had a few years that took away that fresh-from-school look and a filled out frame that came with manhood. Alone in a room with him was so not where she
wanted to be.

“I couldn't possibly ask for anything more from you. We have done more than enough."

“No," he said softly and the light, musky scent of his cologne filled her nose as he moved closer. “Your brother has done enough. You did nothing but return what was stolen, hours after it happened, I might add. You did me a huge favor, especially since
my mother happened to show up to get a good look at the urn."

“Something you wouldn't have even had to worry about if my brother hadn't taken it in the first place." She shook her head and put some distance between them, moving towards the phone.I'm sorry, I can't accept anything else from you. Agreeing not to
press charges and then giving my brother an opportunity to do some's more than enough, more than I could thank you for."

Before she could reach the phone, his hand wrapped around her upper arm. His touch sent waves of longing through her body. Not wanting to feel anything stronger, she brushed his hand away, thankful he released her without hesitation. His eyes darkened
with anger and something she couldn't place and wasn't sure if she wanted to.



Sarah Ballance said...

Oooh, oooh! I'm so excited to hear you're starting the sequel to WIB! Can't wait to read that one, girl!

Elaina Lee said...

For being such a gracious HOST and having me... OMG I'm losing my mind!!! Thank you so much again, Cassie!!!

Thanks, Sarah! I'm so excited to write it... nervous, but excited!

Cassie Exline said...

Thank you both for such a great beginning to my week. May you both sell lots of books and raise lots of money for a good cause.