Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Seleste Delaney - Searching For Answers In The Holidays of Yore

Searching for Answers in the Holidays of Yore

            I love guest blogging. It’s a fabulous way to reach out to new readers and hopefully introduce some of my readers to another wonderful author. The only problem for me comes in trying to figure out something interesting enough to talk about (it’s a problem I have with my own blogs too LOL). Thankfully this time Leslie saved me and gave me a topic, so here goes…

            Our publisher, Decadent, put out a call for holiday stories a few months ago and I really—I mean really—wanted in on it. The only trouble was, I didn’t have a story. I’d already decided to take my debut short story Of Course I Try and build it into a series, but the idea I had for what came next was 1) not holiday related and 2) far too long for an anthology. So what is the troubled author to do?
Duh. I ranted to a friend about how if I wanted it to be a Jocelyn story it had to fall between the events of OCIT and the planned novel. So we poked at the original story and prodded it and generally drew a lot of blood and ashes.

            Then we kind of scrapped the idea of a sequel and instead attacked things from the classic holiday story angle. I figured if I wasn’t doing a sequel, surely I could come up with something to submit.

            Rudolph? No. I’m kinky but reindeer sex just doesn’t appeal.

            Frosty? Um…trying to explain frostbite there to your doctor might be funny, but it isn’t the kind of thing that sounds fun to write, just painful. And cold.

            Santa Claus is Coming to Town? Please cue the puns. One or two are amusing. An entire story full of them? Uh no.

            Holiday Inn? More puns. I see more puns! Make them stop!!!

            Miracle on 34th Street? *blink* My initial thoughts were evil and

dirty and oh so very wrong, so this one was passed by without a second

thought.

            It’s a Wonderful Life? Maybe. We were getting closer with this. I definitely do better with stories that have a hint of darkness to them.

            A Christmas Carol?  Hold it right there. I can use this.

            That was the point where the germ of The Ghost of Vampire Present formed. So instead of an all new story, with the help of my friend and fellow Decadent author, PJ, I found my sequel. And through the sequel a character who had been a one-off came back, and another feisty old woman was introduced. Because of this one holiday story, the planned novel was re-plotted because so much changed, and changed for the better. I can’t wait for its release, and I hope you all enjoy it too. And fear not, most of the questions raised will be dealt with in the novel (just make sure the powers that be at Decadent know how bad you want those answers ).


I’d like to thank Leslie for having me and to all of you for reading
my ramblings. Oh, and as for that whole Miracle on 34th Street thing? It

did eventually develop into another story idea. Yes, Alana, There Is a

Santa Claus is coming as part of Evernight Publishing’s erotic holiday

anthology.
For those who want to keep tabs one me, you can find me at my website (http://www.selestedelaney.com/Seleste_DeLaney/Welcome.html), blog (http://selestedelaney.com/wordpress/), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10000120308139 , and Twitter (http://twitter.com/SelestedeLaney).   

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Twenty Questions Tuesday with Kelly Yeakle!!!

Good morning everyone! Today our guest here at the Dusty Rose is Kelly Yeakle, author of The Legacy Keeper's Treasure.

Let's start our 20 Questions!
1.      Do you have a favorite author or book? What about them appeals to you?  I love Nora Roberts, and she is actually from a town just a half hour from where I live J  I love the way she writes.  I haven’t read any of her books written as J.D. Robb, but anything with her name on it, I like to add to my bookshelf.
2.      Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  I think the message I was trying to convey with The Legacy Keeper’s Treasure is that you don’t need fame or fortune to have “treasure” in your life.
3.      Favorite literary character? Why them?  I don’t really have a favorite literary character, but I do love to read about a strong heroine.  I like female characters to be able to hold their own, not be dependent on a man.  That doesn’t mean I don’t like a strong, healthy man in novels I read though, hehe J
4.      What book are you reading now?  I’m not currently reading anything, which is shocking.  I just finished Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur which was fantastic!
5.      What genre is your favorite to write?  I write romance, but I like to write paranormal romance best.  I am willing to try new things and have begun a sci-fi short which is coming along nicely.
6.      What do you think makes a good story?   I think a good story is anything that makes you feel like you’re a part of it, that touches your emotions and makes you feel something.
7.      What are your current Works In Progress?   Right now I am on the verge of wrapping up a full length novel which I’ve named Timeless.  It’s a nice little action packed romance about vampires and you meet some other interesting characters, too.  I’m also wrapping up a holiday story called The Sweetest Gift which I am hoping to be released during the holiday season in 2011.  And I’m toying around with that sci-fi short, we’ll see where that one takes me J
8.      What is the hardest part of writing?  The hardest part of my writing is showing, not telling.  Sometimes when I get wrapped up in the story, I don’t realize I’m just telling the reader everything without showing them and pulling them in.  Editing is still a challenge for me, but I’m getting better with that one.
9.      What’s one guilty pleasure you enjoy?  Guilty Pleasures, hmmm definitely wine and chocolate.
10.  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?  I like to put a little piece of me in each of my female leads.  It may be something small, like something I say all the time, or something larger like how I bite my lip when I’m nervous.  It’s fun to stick a little tidbit about myself secretly in my stories!
11.  If you could live in a book’s fictional universe for a day, which book would you choose? Wow, there are just too many to choose from, but being the big geek that I am I would want to live one day on Esme’s Isle from Breaking Dawn.
12.  What do you like to do when you're not writing?   If I’m not writing, you’ll probably find me spending time with the kiddos doing anything from crafts to crazy karaoke.  Check my oldest and I out on http://www.karaokeplay.com/ where we did a duet of Justin Bieber’s Baby.  We got like 5 stars I think haha.  I even rap….it was a lot of fun to be silly.
13.  Tell us about your current book.  Right now I have one published mini-novel, The Legacy Keeper’s Treasure which is available through Decadent Publishing.  It’s about a twenty eight year old divorcee, who is tired of being deceived by the men in her life.  She travels to Ireland in search of real treasure and gets swept up in a love affair with the man who works at the castle she’s stationed at.  Of course it can’t all be peaches and cherries!  However, I don’t want to give too much away.  Just know that haunted dreams and an old Irish legend bring some turmoil to the story!
14.  How did you come up with the title?  That’s a good question, and honestly it was easy to come up with the title.  I just pulled from the story and thought of the best thing that could describe it and so TLKT was born.
15.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?  Writing a book is a lot harder than it looks.  It’s not just getting your story down on paper.  It’s writing and rewriting, cutting and adding, changing dialogue and creating characters that people can relate to.
16.  Where and when do you write?  I try to write at least an hour every single day.  My typical writing schedule is Wednesday through Sunday from 8pm-11:30pm while the kids are tucked away in bed and the hubby is working.  On Mondays and Tuesdays, I try to find time in the morning before work to write.
17.  Have you ever suffered from writer's block and if so, how do you overcome it?  I do have times where I step away from a story I’m working on and when I come back I just stare at the screen and nothing will come to me.  What I do is walk away from it for a few days, try to get something else going so I’m not just simply not writing, and then come back to it when my mind is clear.
18.  If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?  Anything by Shakespeare
19.  Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? If so, what are they?   Write because you love it, not because you’re determined to be successful at it.  Be prepared to face rejection, not everyone will feel the same way about your stories that you do.  Be ready to work with your editor, they probably know a lot more than you do (until you’re a well seasoned author J).
20.  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?   Welcome to my world J

Blurb: When Alexa took a job in Ireland searching for the lost O'Shea treasure, she had no idea what she signing up for. Between vivid dreams, ghosts, and the old Irish legend that surrounds the castle, she is overwhelmed.

When she finds out the man she's been working so closely with is actually the heir to the O'Shea fortune, she is upset that once again a man has surrounded her with lies. Their relationship is further tested when a friend from the United States comes for a visit and Liam believes she's been telling her own tales.

Will their love prevail? Will Alexa find the missing treasure and discover her heart's desire?


(Thanks for joining us here today, Kelly!!!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Twenty Questions Tuesday with Rita Hestand!!!

Welcome to Twenty Questions Tuesday, everyone! Today we've got Guest Author Rita Hestand here. She's the author of the novel Beyond The Dream Catcher.


So let's get started with the questions. Here we go!
1.      Do you have a favorite author or book? What about them appeals to you?

O'Henry has always appealed to me, because he knows human nature. He also has a sense of humor I enjoy when reading.  Hemmingway, Faulknew all know characterization well.  They have their people down pat.  I can appreciate that.

2.      Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Well, I use the family unit, the coming together, the sticking together and coming together of characters. I not only want them to say I love you I want my characters to come alive on the page for the reader. The message is unity, loyalty, freedom, and even forgiveness.
  1. Favorite literary character? Why them?
This might sound like it's typical, but I don't think it is. I like Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler. Because they were deeper people than you first see on the screen. He comes off as catty and smart and cagey, deep down he's got a soft heart for the woman he loves and his children. Gotta love that. She comes off as mean and self centered, but take a closer look at Scarlett, would Tara have ever been rebuilt if it hadn't been for the determination of Scarlett. Would the businesses she engaged in work had she been mamby-pamby. No. They wouldn't. So these characters are very deep and layered and you can't just look at Scarlet and say, she was a brat. She was a clever, loyal, determined brat. And Rhett wasn't just a male chauvinist, but a man who loved his family and did everything for them.  I like when a book or movie shows growth and we saw Scarlett go from a whinny spoiled kid, to a work savvy woman who knew her business. We saw Rhett go from a carefree smart-aleck to a caring soldier and family man.  This is what makes a book, character.
  1. What book are you reading now?

Sorry, I've been way too busy lately to read a book. In the past two years I have written 5 historicals one contemporary, and several short stories for Anthologies. So reading is not something I can indulge in when I'm writing. I'm writing my own so I don't have the time to indulge in a good book.
  1. What genre is your favorite to write?

I love the western, it has so many possibilities. I love how the men were tough and the women could turn anything into a big meal.  I love to research it and to learn new things about the west and how our ancestors had to work so hard to make it better for generations to come. 
  1. What do you think makes a good story?

Again I go back to characters. If you create an unforgettable character, the reader won't forget your book. Naturally there has to be a plot or plotting, but to me the character is of the utmost importance.
  1. What are your current Works In Progress?

Love Rules, Always Remember, just sold Better Off Without Her, Sweeter than Wine is a contemp I need to finish, and Mail Order Nanny too. Plus I started a spin off of Beyond the Dream Catcher and have another Indian story to tell.  A lot of work ahead of me.
  1. What is the hardest part of writing?

Hardest part, I'd say the editing, because you are going back over for the millionth time what you wrote and it gets tiring, plus you have to really pay attention to catch all the mistakes that can slip by.
  1. What’s one guilty pleasure you enjoy?

Oh Geez…..chocolate…and cokes…but lately I've given up the cokes again because of the old kidneys.  But a chocolate bar can be heaven. I like plain  Hershey bars.
  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Not sure what you mean. In my wiring itself, I always instill a family unit.
In as a writer, I have a messy desk and if I clean it off, I can never find anything. So I like to leave it alone so I am not disrupted. Because the minute I try to get organized, finding anything is chaos for me.
  1. If you could live in a book’s fictional universe for a day, which book would you choose?

Gone With the Wind again, because I'd like to actually feel what the people were feeling back then, and know what they were thinking and I'd sure help Scarlett rebuild TARA and I'd have kept that baby from the horses till she was much older.
  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I enjoy going to a movie, watching oldies on tv, having get togethers with my grandkids.  I enjoy bowling.
  1. Tell us about your current book.

Beyond the Dream Catcher started off like a typical western. As the third chapter was the beginning at first. The paranormal effects in the book made that change and I created a new character to introduce it, At first there were no dreams or dream catchers.. But I wanted to add an element in the book that I could make the couple keep up with each other. So I invented Burning Tree the Shaman of the Shawnee tribe. I invented the theory that he went beyond the dream catcher to pull these two together so that Chase Rivers could bring her back to her people. Katherine Hightower was raised a white girl. Chase Rivers was a half-breed.
Once Chase Rivers enters the picture, he is constantly heading her towards the tribe. But it is Burning Tree's magic that throws Katherine and Chase so intimately close to each other that love is inevitable.  Never in all her nineteen years has Katherine been intimate with a man, and to be thrown into Chase's arms during a dream, an erotic dream I might add, is beyond her comprehension. But Burning Tree is determined to keep these two together until Chase can bring her back to the tribe. She has special powers she knows nothing of.  She can save the Shawnee tribe. But Katherine has to first accept the fact that she's herself is part Indian.
Chase encounters problems with the Comanche and the U.S. Army, and then a loco thief steals Katherine away and Chase must go after her and save her. But even with the erotic dreams and the fact that he does save her, she hesitates going with him. She must choose whether she accepts her true heritage, and whether her real life feelings are as strong as the dreams she shares. 

  1. How did you come up with the title?

After I invented the erotic dreams, and Burning Tree I realized the legend of the dream catcher is basically to keep bad dreams away. So one must go beyond that to bring two people together and keep them together. Dream Catchers are not normally used by the Shawnee, but Burning Tree tells of a northern tribe that gave him the dream catcher and him being a Shaman he was open to using anything to save his people. Being blessed by the Great Spirit he was able to use the dream catcher to ensnare Katherine and Chase in erotic dreams that would make them pull together for survival. The dreams were always pleasant beyond belief and bonded the two in a union that couldn't be broken. Chase saw mainly visions of the dream, Katherine was the dreamer.  Once I stretched the dream catcher to go beyond, the title came naturally.

  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

   That the dreams turned erotic, however, I think they had to be. Because it had to pull Katherine towards Chase at all times. Merely a few kisses would never do this. When one comes together in love a bond is formed. Thus their erotic dreams were a bond to keep them together, to let each other know they were alive and loyal to each other. Katherine at one point is kidnapped and Chase must stay in touch with her, so he doesn't lose her to the loco thief. The dreams keep them aware of where they are, what is going on, and pulls them towards each other, and not apart. Even when Katherine thinks Chase dead, she is still pulled by the dreams.
  1. Where and when do you write?

I write on my desktop in my bedroom. Sometimes on my laptop, but I don't like writing on it as well. I write sometimes early in the morning, sometimes very late at night. Sometimes I write all day.  When the vibes are good, I can write a lot in one sitting. Several Chapters in fact. When I come to a halt, I do something else until I can straighten the problem in my head and go on.
  1. Have you ever suffered from writer's block and if so, how do you overcome it?

Before I wrote Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, I had just finished Nick's Baby and wondered where I would go from there. I did. I prayed. I sat down in a comfy chair and closed my eyes and talked to God about it. He told me in my brain to search out what I liked to write, to make it twist and turn to be different. And Chief Cook and Bottle Washer was born from the prayer.  Sometimes I do housework to make my brain kick in, because I hate housework. I'll do anything to get out of that…including think of a new book.
  1. If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?

I really liked the book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven."  I thought that was a thoughtful, well written book. I enjoyed it and I think it has a much better direction than The Shack.  I'd love to try to write a book like that.  Although I'm not sure I could write one better.
  1. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? If so, what are they?

Oh, I guess I could tell them to never give up, but I've learned that a real writer won't. They'll go on writing no matter what.  A wanna be writer will quit.  I'd say hey, learn all you can about this business, meet people, listen, don't talk, not until you know what you're saying, but listen to others. Many others, not just one, but many, so you have more than one idea to start with.  And by all means….write, and keep writing until you get better.  Because if you keep writing, you will get better, I'm living proof of that. So when you finish that manuscript, start another, and then another. And finish them. Don't just start one and go to another one. Finish it.  Then learn all you can about publishing and which way you want to go with it. Be patient, because you won't get answers immediately. And good luck.
  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope beyond anything else, I touch your heart with my books. I hope my characters shine enough so you remember them. I wish you'd write me and tell me what you think, good or bad.  And when I do get letters from readers and they say something like, "I loved that book, I could not stop, and didn't want it to end."  Then I am truly paid for my efforts. Thank you one and all. And thank you for having me here. I've enjoyed it.
(Leslie: Also, since I couldn't resist, I asked Rita Hestand a few more questions. These ones were more specifically about Beyond the Dream Catcher - which is an excellent novel!!!)
How long did it take you to write Beyond the Dream Catcher?

I started the premise for Beyond the Dream Catcher several years ago, however, it had no paranormal elements in it at the time, it was a just a western. I wrote about a chapter and stopped. It sat there festering for a long time. Then I began working on it again, just a few months ago.  It took about 2-3 months to finish it.  Once I came up with the idea of the Dream Catcher, I realized I had the direction going and took off with it.  I visualize my books in my head like a movie playing, I could see them moving about. I could see Chase building the travois, I could see the scorpions dancing in the hot sand.  The erotic side of the story came later, and made it all gel.
Only because they needed something strong enough to hold them together since they were strangers from the beginning. 


2. How did you come up with your characters?

Katherine was the star at the beginning of the story. But once I established her plight I had no direction to go with her.  When Chase came along, it began to mesh.   Most of the time I have both characters down first before I write, with this one, I began with Katherine and her brother, and it stalemated until I could find the key ingredient, and that ingredient was the erotic dreams.

I knew I would have a half breed Indian in the story, but I hadn't foreseen how they would come together. Once I invented Burning Tree and the Dream Catcher, I had found the entire story and moved with it.  It hit me much differently than most of my books.  However, I usually don't even write anything until I have the entire plot figured out and can go with my characters. 

It is strange sometimes how we form our characters. Once you have the idea down right, the characters invent themselves and you can run with the book. That's what I did.  The hero was named after my grandson, Chase.  But since he was Indian, I had to find something to go with
Chase.  They say that sometimes the Indians name their children after the first things they see when they are born.  Chase Rivers clicked with me, right away.


3. Have you written historical fiction previously?

Before Beyond the Dream Catcher, I wrote Jodi's Journey, a cattle drive with a woman along. That book is with Whimsical Publications. It's a sweet romance with no paranormal elements.
It's a tale of lost pride, and regained dignity during a time of defeat.

4. Did you have to do a lot of research for this novel?

Actually, there was a lot, but it came sporadic. I needed to learn the differences in the Indian tribes because Chase was born Shawnee, captured by the Comanche. In the story, Chase tells the Captain the differences in how they treat their captives. And the Captain being a West Pointer and not from the west is awed in that the Indian tribes are so different. I looked up the spelling of the names for God, and Great Sprit and several Shawnee expressions I found a list of words and worked from there I could use throughout the book, they are spelled as the tribes write them. 

I researched the Butterfield Stage Line thoroughly, I found it so interesting that this stage line did not last long. And it was partly due to the Comanche and Apache raids through out the country during that time. Butterfield was going broke too, and the war between the states was at hand.

It was also interesting that during the civil war, the forts in Texas were nearly abandoned, leaving the settlers little protection from the Indians and the Indians took advantage of this during the time. There were a lot of changes going on at the time. Butterfield had a good thing going, but others followed with more money and he was left with nothing. Comanches and Apaches raided the Texas frontier regularly during this time, even though the government at the time was trying to get them on the reservations.

Shawnee Shamans had no dream catchers, but it is logical that in their travels from the great Ohio region, they had befriended others who did. The Shawnee were one of the most feared tribes at one time, and yet during the earlier wars they actually helped in American wars.

I studied the Shawnee tribes, looked at pictures of their living quarters. Compared their religion to the others, and their beliefs. And it is strange but our own, "love thy neighbor" is one of their beliefs too. One of their strongest beliefs. They think to do harm to your neighbor is to do harm to yourself.  Their religion and ours are close in many ways, which I found strange, and interesting.

Dream Catchers were widely used by the Navaho and they believed that if placed above a baby cradle it would keep all the bad dreams away.

I also had two scorpions mating during a waiting period in the book, I researched that and found it so fascinating how the scorpion can go days at mating in the heat, almost doing a dance together.


5. Did you discover anything during the process of writing it?

I never used a paranormal element to write with. But this story seemed to need it. I was fascinated with the dream catcher, and it hit me I could use it as a tool to keep them together.

I respect the Shawnee greatly for their beliefs, and way of living. Aside from their warring with the Ohio Valley people, and being pushed from their land, I think they might have been a more peaceful tribe had they not been driven out so much from their own lands.

When Katherine's white father got the station in West Texas, he was proud to be a part of it, and his daughter grew to be too. People put a lot of stock in land always have but so much of the time the land worked against them.

I discovered that sometimes adding a paranormal element into a story makes for a more interesting and fulfilling kind of book. I found that by letting them have an erotic dream, it pitted their real world against the paranormal world. A lot of what this is about is soul mate material to some.

My Captain in this book started out being almost mean and very intolerant, but his personality changed because he learned something from his experience, and he also realized he had to put his pride away.  He grew, secondary character  that grew too.

I discovered many fascinating facts about the Indians, the way a character can appear and then change in a book so drastically, Insects, Mr. Butterfield.

My fascination with Mr. Butterfield was that he did something, one of a kind back then, he built a stage line west, he was the first. I felt sad when I learned he'd gone bankrupt. His loss of men and horses was devastating to his line. He rode out on the line when he first built it.

I think I learn a little more with each book I write. And love that, because it broadens my knowledge and keeps me on my toes to learn more.  It is one of the reasons I enjoy writing the west. But come on, the west is a romantic idea and so many tales can be told. I can't wait to finish my next one..


(Leslie: Thanks for joining us here today, Rita!!!)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Twenty Questions with Clarissa Yip!

Welcome to The Dusty Rose! Our guest author is Clarissa Yip and I'll be asking her....twenty questions! I'm posting this a bit early, so I didn't want to write in "Twenty Questions Tuesday" since it's still Monday night. So...it's Twenty Questions Tonday (Monday/Tuesday). Woo Hoo! Here we go:
  1. Do you have a favorite author or book? What about them appeals to you?
Hmmm….That’s a hard question. I’m a big JR. Ward fan, but I don’t write paranormal. My fave is Zsadist from Lover Awakened. I have a thing for tortured heroes. (shhhh…don’t tell anyone!)
  1. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My books are pretty laidback and easy going. I’m a love junkie. I like the whole falling in love idea, but it has to be believable to me. Even Love at First Sight has it’s appeal, but I haven’t experienced that…yet.
  1. Favorite literary character? Why them?
Literary makes me think of school. I’m anti-school right now. LOL. But if I were to pick I’d have to say Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Dark, mysterious and totally disturbed.
  1. What book are you reading now?
LOL. I’m not going to lie. I haven’t had the time to read. In between editing, writing, and keeping my head above the water. But I could use a good book. Any recommendations?
 (Leslie: Well, since you asked, I hear Blood Moon by Ellen Keener is really good!)
  1. What genre is your favorite to write?
*blink * Is that a trick question? LOL. Contemporary Romance. I love writing about romance and seeing character relationships grow and change.
  1. What do you think makes a good story?
That’s a toughie. I think everything is important: plot, character development, relationships, themes, pacing, etc…the list could go on and on.
  1. What are your current Works In Progress?
Well, the only thing I have going on is a Christmas Anthology I have collaborated with my awesome crit partners. We’re hoping to ‘wow’ Decadent Publishing. They’re short stories with different characters from contemporary to paranormal, but it all takes place in the same town.
  1. What is the hardest part of writing?
Getting the words on paper. Without them, there’s nothing to work with.
  1. What’s one guilty pleasure you enjoy?
Umm….how many can I list? I tend to overindulge and spoil myself. Cupcakes! I have a bad sweet tooth.
  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Writing quirk? I have issues with editing as I write. It’s a bad habit. I don’t recommend it, otherwise you’d never get any story done.
  1. If you could live in a book’s fictional universe for a day, which book would you choose?
Hmmm…these questions are hard. I’m going to have to say fairy tales, where everything is perfect. I’d go hang out in Little Mermaid, if I only knew how to swim.
  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Editing, editing, editing, eating cupcakes, coffee, more editing. No that’s a lie, except for the cupcakes part. I enjoy hanging out at the beach and just relaxing. It’s hard to find time.
  1. Tell us about your current book.
My current release that came out September 30 is a high school reunion story, about Cara Standford who’s been traumatized in her high school years by Brant Thomas, the popular guy back then. Ten years later, she goes to the reunion to seek revenge, only to have the tables turned on her when things don’t go her way. Oh, memories…* sigh *
  1. How did you come up with the title?
Since it’s a reunion story, I knew I had to stick close to that idea. And ‘Unforeseen’ just seemed to fit.
  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
The hard work doesn’t really start until AFTER you write ‘the end.’
  1. Where and when do you write?
Usually, at home, but I have hidden out at the beach or quiet corners anywhere I can find. I travel a lot, so you’d never know where I would be.
  1. Have you ever suffered from writer's block and if so, how do you overcome it?
LOL. Writer’s block? I think that’s everyone. My muse likes to run off to the beach without me and go on random vacations without permission. I don’t really have any specific way of dealing with it. I remember there was one point I went from having a Friends marathon to playing Wii for hours to see if it’d spark anything.  Guess it depends.
  1. If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
I love Pride and Prejudice. I know there are so many versions of it, but it’s so hard not to love that book and the characters and the plot.
  1. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? If so, what are they?
Well, I’m going to say never give up. Have faith and keep up the perseverance, motivation. Just be inspired and write! I don’t like giving up. I think if a person works hard at it, then things will happen. I’m a go-getter. No excuses for anything.
  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
For all those hanging out here, just to have fun and live a little!
Thanks so much for having me!
 (Leslie: Thanks for joining us here today, Clarissa! And to our readers out there, check out Clarissa's latest novel, Unforseen Reunion!)


Home for a high school reunion, Fashion Editor-in-Chief, Cara Stanford has ulterior motives: make childhood crush and womanizing playboy, Brant Thomas, pay for the hell she endured ten years ago.

Except he doesn't remember her. 

Though publically embarrassed by Cara at the reunion, Brant is intrigued by the beauty, who rejects his every pick-up line and charm. Never allowing a woman through his carefully erected barriers, she stirs up his past with her return, along with an undeniable passion. He sets out to seduce her until a series of accidental mishaps forces him to question Cara’s intentions.

Taken aback by her enemy’s suave attention, will Cara continue with her planned revenge or risk reopening her heart to Brant?

Excerpt:

“I remember you.” He gave her a thoughtful look as if contemplating her words.
She grunted. After all she’d been through, he’d better remember.  
“Did we date back then?” he asked.
Her eyes narrowed, and she shook her head. He'd barely noticed her when she wasn't doing his homework or chasing after him at the football games—dating her hadn’t even been on his radar. The nerve! “You're unbelievable.”
“Thank you. Was it sophomore year?”
Her fingers clenched around the stem of the wine glass, quelling the temptation to douse him with her drink. He really didn't remember her. The horrible memories of how he’d used her for his schoolwork, laughing at her with Sheila, and acting like she didn’t exist erupted in her mind, reminding her of what a lovesick fool she’d been. Anxiety and rage boiled in her chest. She couldn't do this. She had to get away. Hopping off the chair, she stood straight. “Nice talking to you.”
Brant's hand shot out and latched onto her elbow. “Wait. What's your name?”
Cara saw red. Picking up the white wine, she did the unimaginable. Brant sat, open-mouthed, blinking his eyes as the chardonnay ran down his face and seeped into his black, tuxedo jacket and white shirt.
“Maybe that'll jog your memory.”