Today I’m thrilled to have fellow caver, Elaine Violette, here to give us some insight into a writer’s life and to tell us about her newest book, A Kiss of Promise.
First, Elaine, tell us about your latest book.
A Kiss of Promise, a historical romance, continues the story of the Blackstone brothers, introduced in my debut novel, Regal Reward. While Regal Reward tells of York Blackstone’s struggle to regain the title lost to him when their father is falsely accused of treason, A Kiss of Promise tells of Martin Blackstone’s desire to free himself from his family scandal, escape the stuffy rituals of England and seek adventure in America. He leaves the beautiful and desirous Alaina Craymore broken hearted in order to realize his dream, rather than seek deeper reasons for his need to escape. It’s only when he discovers that she is in danger that he is forced to face the truth.
Alaina is willing to sacrifice herself to save her innocent brother from prison. Only the man who spurned her can save her from a black mailing scoundrel and a ruined reputation. When the strong-minded, independent Alaina chooses ruin over a marriage proposal offered out of duty rather than love, Martin must leave his past dreams behind to win her back.
A Kiss of Promise will be released on April 3rd, 2014, by Ellora’s Cave Publishing under their Blush imprint. It is presently available for pre-order on Amazon.
Back Cover Blurb
Suffering under the scandalous circumstances surrounding her father’s death, only Alaina’s love for Martin and the memory of their one stolen kiss have kept Alaina steady. But she hasn’t heard from Martin in far too long and cannot wait forever in the hopes that he will return from America.
Just as Alaina begins to recover, one of her father’s associates emerges from the shadows with a choice—she must pose as his fiancée in America or he’ll send her brother to prison on charges of forgery. Willing to endure ruin and an uncertain future, Alaina agrees—she can do no less for the brother who’s spent his entire life protecting her.
Martin hasn’t forgotten Alaina or the kiss they shared. When word of her sacrifice reaches him, he’ll move heaven and earth to find the woman he’s been building a future for. Martin will make her his, no matter the cost.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Pantster, for sure, but with a vague plot in mind when I start tapping at the keyboard. My preliminary attempts at plotting might create a sketch of situation, but it is usually dry and more a mental exercise than a passionate one. Once my characters develop their personalities, their desires dictate the twists and turns of the plot. Their dialogue and behaviors– often a surprise to me as the story moves forward–create tensions that deliver much more than my preliminary plotting mind could have imagined.
What (or who) inspires you to write?
I began writing poetry at such a young age that it would be difficult for me to pinpoint a person that inspired me to write creatively. Credit must go to our creator. A desire to put into words my thoughts and feelings felt as natural as breathing. I believe God bestows on each person unique gifts and expects us to actively use them and perfect them as much as our abilities allow. He gave me a love of language and I became an English teacher. I was given the desire to read extensively. Reading historical romance was my guilty pleasure when I wasn’t studying the must-read classics for my profession. One day I decided that I could write a romance. With my mom’s often repeated saying in the corner of my mind: “You can do anything you put your mind to,” I began writing my first Regency, Regal Reward. After publication, the wonderful reviews I received inspired me to begin another and another…
Describe your writing space.
I wish I could say that it is a neat, orderly office. Instead, it is a cluttered room, but it is my own. My husband has his man cave and understands that any interruption when I am in the midst of writing a chapter can cause serious injury to the intruder. Within the chaos of clutter– books, teaching materials, filled folders, pencils, pens, post it’s, and scattered notes, I really do know where everything is. I also have my most meaningful items that wrap my space in love and inspire me—children’s and grandchildren’s pictures, porcelain dolls that remind me of my children’s faces and personalities, over a dozen of photo albums, favorite books tucked into book shelves, art supplies, and always a box of Crayola crayons. Everyone should have a box of crayons. It’s a reminder to find time to play. My writing space is comfortably messy and private. I just need to shovel it out on occasion.
For you, what is the hardest part of writing a book?
I would have to say blocking out time to write without interruption. I can make excuses very easily for putting off my writing. I question why I do this and it isn’t because it’s difficult or tedious. Rather, it’s totally absorbing and deeply desirous, but time consuming. For women, nurturing ourselves can sometimes cause us to feel guilty unless we are nurturing others. Writing is, after all, a solitary activity, and takes our full attention. People close to us and things, essential and unessential, demand or divert our attention. Family issues and teaching responsibilities usually come first for me. I can go on a guilt trip when I hideaway for too many hours writing. As a wife, mom, daughter, teacher, friend, and caregiver, I can easily drown in busyness. And, of course, promotion and marketing has become a huge responsibility on authors’ shoulders. Writing nurtures me but other responsibilities often make it difficult to close the door, avoid social media, silence the phone, and just write.
What do you like most about your hero?
Martin has an untamed, adventurous spirit but with a strong sense of duty. He runs from commitment but stop in his tracks when those he loves face danger. With humor and cunning, he moves with stealth and fearlessness to capture his prey. And, despite his stubborn will to create his own destiny, his heart won’t allow him escape from the one woman who has captured his heart. Only with her, can he find his true destiny.
You typically write historical romance, correct? What about the genre draws you?
I give credit Mary Balough, Victoria Alexander, Jane Feather, and so many other wonderful authors whose historical romances have inspired me to focus on that genre. I love their plots and the passion they create in their characters. Reading a variety of Regencies and Historical romances and noting author styles has helped me to gain a greater sense of the writer that I am. I enjoy reading a suspenseful plot rather than a humorous romp. That is not to say that my novel don’t include some humor. I love creating silly aunts or foolish situations my characters sometimes find themselves in. For the most part, my heroes and heroines are usually broken in some way and need heart healing before they can accept or give love with their whole heart. My job as their author is to help them find the true love they desire.
What is your favorite indulgence (food or spa treatment or other)?
Chocolate! And it’s definitely an obsession. I can be really, really good and have just a piece of dark chocolate in the evening to satisfy my chocolate craving. Or, I can be really, really bad and indulge without concern for my waistline or a migraine. I try to keep those bad days to a minimum. I’d say my most favorite treat is chocolate/peanut butter mixed. That combo is hard to resist, diet or not!
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
I am really excited about my new project. My first two novels take place in England. The characters in my newest release, A Kiss of Promise, journey from England to America and back. The manuscript I am working on presently takes place in New England in the 1800s. I’m not ready to divulge the title yet. The story is developing nicely but my characters haven’t led me yet to the final conclusion. In this manuscript, I delve into a serious social issue that the hero and heroine must face and resolve before they can have even a chance to be together. I am anxious to bring it to closure but the characters have a ways to go before their journey is complete.
Buy links for A Kiss of Promise:
Ellora’s Cave – http://www.ellorascave.com/a-kiss-of-promise.html
Kindle – http://amzn.com/B00HQH99V6
Elaine’s website – www.elaineviolette.com
Follow Elaine on Facebook at www.facebook.com/elaineviolette/author
and Twitter at https://twitter.com/elaine_violette
= = READER CONTEST = =
For A Kiss of Promise readers: Win a print or ebook copy of Regal Reward, the original Blackstone brothers’ saga. All you need to do is send in a short review for A Kiss of Promise on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other official review site. Readers simply need to message me on Facebook that their review has been published. The drawing will be held on April 30th for two lucky winners.
Elaine is a veteran English teacher and holds a BS in English Education from the University of CT and an MS in Educational Leadership from Central CT State University. She presently teaches public speaking part time at a local community college. Her debut regency novel, Regal Reward, finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Her second regency, A Convenient Pretense, illustrates her ability to create emotional depth in her characters and plot as well as her ability to write poetry that can be both heart-wrenching and humorous. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, CT Romance Writers (CTRWA) and Charter Oak Romance writers (CORW). She resides on the Connecticut shoreline and especially enjoys being a wife, mother, and grandmother to six grandchildren.