Hello and welcome to this stop on Elise's tour!! I was quite happy to catch Elise for a quick interview. Lets take a look on the inside of the great author:
How old were you when you first realized you wanted to write? I love answering this question! When I was a kid I loved to read…don’t most authors say that in these interviews??? Well, it’s true! I started reading at 4 and have had my nose buried in a book ever sense. I wrote my first piece of fiction when I was twelve. I was obsessed with Olympic figure skating; Michelle Kwan was my hero! I wrote a novel called ‘Tiffany’s Dream’, about a girl’s figure skating dreams. My mom loved it!
I can relate. I loved to read as well!! Most authors have an unusual story or way that they come up with their ideas for books…Do you have one? I don’t know if I’d call it unusual. It’s kind of like a ‘light bulb’ moment. I’ll be sitting around either reading or watching TV, or even just playing with my kids and an idea strikes. And when it comes to series, they are never planned. As I write a book, sometimes the secondary characters just jump out at me. They wave their arms around and say ‘look at me! Tell my story!’. If they get annoying enough I listen to them and then one book becomes two or three.
Secondary characters are important too!! What was your biggest influence that steered you towards writing? I hate to sound cliché, but reading influence me to writing. I loved diving into the worlds that books offered me. I could be anywhere I wanted to be, and even put myself in a heroine’s shoes if I liked her enough. Somehow reading turned into storytelling, and that turned into writing.
Not cliché at all, honest. I have to ask, what are the hardest scenes for you to write? I’m real good at the emotional stuff, mainly because I’m an emotional powder keg myself. Give me a good fight scene or a few pages of people crying and screaming…piece of cake! The hard part for me is showing, not telling. It’s easy to say ‘he was mad’….but how do you portray that without actually saying ‘he was mad’? It is something that I try to take the time to do.
Pounding fists and scrunched eyebrows maybe? LOL. Are sex scenes difficult for you to word? Heck no! The words are hard, however finding variety can be. If I write a 100,000+ word novel and the characters make love at least 4 times and I’m giving details, I try to remind myself to keep it fresh. Was it missionary position the first time? Maybe the second time it’ll be the cowgirl. Was there oral involved the first time? If not, maybe this time I’ll throw it in! I also like to build on sexual tension, so there tend to be scenes where things ‘almost’ happen but don’t. It makes it a lot more explosive when the hero and heroine finally get it on.
Repetitive sex scenes do throw some readers off. Do you see yourself writing in another genre? Romance is really my focus right now, and probably will be forever because I love it so much! The cool thing about romance is that within that genre there are a lot of sub genres to dip into. Right now I’m writing Historical and Paranormal romances. I have tons of ideas for branching out into Rubenesque (plus sized heroines, if you don’t know what that means), Urban Fantasy, Suspense, and Time Travel. So while I’ll do a lot of hopping around, romance will always remain the central theme.
I understand!! Romance has a variety of faces!! Has your family been supportive? It’s funny you ask, because earlier in this blog tour I wrote a post for another blog about coming out of the ‘romance writer’s closet’. When I was a teen my parents would take and throw away my ‘trashy’ romance novels. I thought my conservative mom would blow her top when she found out I was writing sexy stories. Boy was I surprised when she, my grandmother, and a slew of aunts and even an uncle turned out to LOVE my books! My husband tells everyone he can to buy them. My father is a graphic designer and does all my cover art for free. So, in a nutshell, the answer is YES! I’ve got the best family a girl could ask for.
Aww…That is just awesome!! Are any of your characters reflective of you? I actually think that Isabelle, the main character of ‘The Second Son’, is a lot like me. I’m a princess, I’m gorgeous and everyone caters to my whims…NOT! Seriously though, she’s a tough chick who’s been through a lot and at some point in her life decides to stop letting others dictate what her life should be. That’s exactly who I am!
I loved that book by the way!! What do you like to do when you're not writing? In my kitchen, I think I’m Emeril Lagasse! I love to cook and create in the kitchen. I’m also an avid ‘Just Dance’ and ‘The Michael Jackson Experience’ player because I love to dance. And I love to read, of course.
Reading and cooking always mix well!! Who is your favorite book heroine? I don’t have a main favorite, but I love my heroines smart but not superior, strong but not bullheaded, and independent without being TSTL (too stupid to love).
Agreed! Do you have any unusual habits that revolve around writing? No, I’m actually pretty boring in that regard. I need silence and a computer…and maybe a coke and a chocolate bar or two.
Coke is a must have for me too!! What is your favorite mystical creature? I’m actually just starting to get into Faeries!
Ahh..The Fay!! J What were some of your biggest challenges at the beginning of your career? Honestly, I’m still at the beginning. I haven’t even been published a whole year yet. The biggest learning curve has been marketing and blogging effectively. I’ve learned a lot through other writers .
Authors do tend to help each other out. I think it’s great!! How do you feel about reader comments? I. Love. Reader. Comments. I can’t stress this enough .Writing a review after reading a book is one of the best things you can do for an author. Even if you hated it. I learn a lot from reviews. It helps me see my hits and misses, and it shows me whether or not the desired effect was achieved.
Do you have any advice for new authors? Write, write, and don’t stop writing. Put on your marketer’s hat at least once a day and ask yourself what you can do that day to get your book out there. Even if it’s just a Facebook post or a Tweet. Even if it’s finding blogs to hang out at. Do it! And then write some more!
Where are your books available? Right now my Historical novels are exclusive to Amazon until the end of March. But I also have Contemporary and Paranormal reads available at other sides. Here are the buy links:
What can we expect from you in the future? Books! Lots of them! You know how Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors? Well, I am hitting the book world with my own 31 flavors…maybe more…I’m still deciding if I like Shape-shifters or not!
Where can we reach you and become informed of updates?
You can go to my website: www.elisemarion.com
Or check out my blog: http://theromancewritersreads.blogspot.com
Or like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/elisemarion86
Or follow me on twitter: @elise_marion
Or be my friend on Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/elise_marion
And here are the book details:
Princess Isabelle has spent her entire life bending to the will of those who have planned her life out for her. Sent into hiding when she was just an infant to protect her from the rebellion in her own homeland, Barony, she was betrothed to Prince Lionus from the neighboring province Cardenas when she was just an infant. Despite the forced engagement, Isabelle has loved Lionus all of her life. When a devious plot against the royal family results in her husband’s death, Isabelle is left with a broken heart and an uncertain future. Only one year after his brutal murder, she has no choice but to choose a new husband and return to her homeland to take her place as queen and repair the war-torn land.
Prince Serge has secretly loved Princess Isabelle his entire life. The fact that she was promised to his brother has brought him no end of pain and suffering. The second born son of the king, he has resigned himself to a life of living in his brother’s shadow. After a deadly plot against the royal family leaves Serge hovering on the edge of death, he awakens from a coma one year later to find that his older brother has died and his youngest brother has taken the throne in his stead. His future is now uncertain, but Serge is determined to find his own way in the world now that he has been given the gift of new life. When it is suggested that Princess Isabelle take him as her husband, Serge begins to hope that all of his most secret dreams will now come true.
Despite unexpected spark of desire between them, Isabelle resists the new path her heart is taking as she clings desperately to Lionus’ memory. Can Isabelle let go of her past and learn to Serge return, or is she destined to a life tied to one man as she still mourns the other?
Once united as king and queen, Isabelle and Serge face the monumental task of rebuilding her broken homeland and rescuing it from the clutches of those seeking to destroy it. Can the pampered princess find the strength to stand beside her husband and fight for her people? Will the second son of a king finally get the chance to prove his worth? Can either of them learn to let go of the ghosts of the past and find love?
Set in a world of kings and queens, palaces and royal courts, warriors and battlefields, book two of Elise Marion’s ‘Kings of Cardenas’ family saga continues with a story of love, passion, and destiny.
Isabelle dipped her hands in the cool water of the stream, grateful to be out of the carriage after a long day of riding. They were only a few more days from Barony and she would be ecstatic when they finally reached their destination. For the first three days there had been nothing but dirt, rocks, and the occasional tree to look at through the carriage window. Today, the bordering mountains between Cardenas and Barony finally came into view, signaling the half-way point of their journey. Isabelle splashed some cold water on her face and turned back toward camp which was only a few feet away through a line of trees.
As she made her way up the embankment, she saw Primus coming toward her.
“I trust that the journey was not overly hard on you, my lady,” he said as he approached.
Isabelle smiled. “I found myself a bit restless being stuck inside the carriage all day. Do you think it would be all right for me ride a bit tomorrow?"
Primus frowned. “I do not think that would be a very good idea, Princess. We could encounter danger at any moment and I believe that His Grace will agree with me in saying that it will be much safer for you inside the carriage.”
Isabelle nodded reluctantly. “I suppose you’re right.”
Primus glanced pointedly at Francis, who stood guard a few feet away. “A few moments alone, my lady?”
Isabelle turned to Francis and waved him off. “I’ll be perfectly safe here with Lord Primus, Francis,” she assured him.
Once he was gone, Primus turned back toward her with a smile. “I was hoping we could discuss the subject of husband hunting while we have a few minutes alone. Have you given any more thought to your possible candidates?”
“I can assure you I’ve been considering the matter very carefully. I hope to have made a decision by the time we reach Barony.”
“If I may be so bold I’d like to offer a suggestion.”
“It certainly couldn’t hurt.”
He paused for a moment. “Me,” he said quickly, as if trying to get the words out before he changed his mind. Isabelle felt as if the ground had fallen out from under her. He held a hand up to silence her before she could respond. “Allow me to plead my case before you say no.”
Isabelle forced a smile despite the uneasy feeling at the pit of her stomach. She wasn’t sure how she felt about Primus proposing to her. “I wasn’t going to say no,” she assured him. “Please continue.”
“I hope you know how much I admire you,” he said, grabbing one of her hands in both of his. “I hope that you at least feel the same for me.” She nodded, which only encouraged him to continue. His thumb was drawing slow circles against her hand and he was moving closer with every word. Isabelle held her breath and waited. “I know I could make you happy, my lady, and I know that I could rule Barony well.”
“I have no doubt of that,” she said, finding her voice finally. “You have been doing so these last twenty years.”
“Please do not think that this is an attempt on my behalf to gain the crown. I really feel that we could be good together, Isabelle,” he said, using her given name for the first time. “I care for you very much, and in time I hope you could come to care for me too.”
Before she knew what was happening, he was tugging her hand until she was in his arms and kissing her gently. Rather than fight him, Isabelle allowed him to kiss her and attempted to participate in the kiss as well. If she was going to consider him for marriage, she might as well see whether or not she could even be attracted to him.
The kiss was nice enough. His lips were soft and gentle, and while she had been worried that his mustache and beard would tickle her, they did not. His hands rested respectfully on her shoulders and his mouth opened only slightly. When it was over Isabelle felt fine. Not good, not bad. Just fine. She couldn’t help but compare the experience to another kiss and hated herself for it.
“Primus,” she began, “I am very flattered but I-“
“What the devil is going on here?”
Isabelle turned in Primus’ arms to find Serge standing a few feet away, his hands balled into fists at his sides, his expression murderous. Isabelle stepped away guiltily.
“The princess and I were having a private conversation,” Primus said, grabbing her hand possessively.
“I did not hear very much talking,” Serge countered, stepping closer.
“I hardly see how it is any of your concern.”
Isabelle looked back and forth between the two of them, certain she had been all but forgotten in this little drama.
“As Isabelle’s brother-in-law, I would have to say that it is my concern. I hardly think your advances are appropriate considering that she is to be choosing a husband soon. Have you no care for her reputation?”
“How dare you insinuate that I would sully my lady’s character?”
Isabelle, who at this point was quite annoyed at having been accosted by both these men in the last few days and then having to watch them fight over her like two rutting stags, growled in irritation. “For God’s sake, both of you shut up!”
They both grew silent and Isabelle inwardly smiled in satisfaction.
“Primus, I will most certainly consider all that you have said. I hope you will excuse me for a moment so that I can have a word with my brother-in-law.”
Primus, still glaring at Serge venomously, left reluctantly. Isabelle turned on Serge the moment he was out of sight.
“What on earth is the matter with you?” she practically screamed, poking him in the chest with her index finger.
“Me?” he shouted back. “What about you letting that fool kiss you? How long has that been going on?”
“Why should it matter to you?”
“You know why!”
“I never agreed to marry you!”
“You damn well will, mark my words,” he said, taking a step closer and lowering his voice.
“Your arrogance is astounding. You certainly are sure of yourself.”
“Does he make you tremble the way I do, Isabelle?” he said softly, reaching up to stroke her cheek. “Did you kiss him like you kiss me?” His fingertips traveled down to her throat and he lowered his head until his lips hovered inches from hers. “Do you want him like you want me?”
Isabelle swayed and fought to keep her balance. Her lips were tingling, and she was but a breath away from leaning into him. His scent enveloped her and his towering presence weakened her. Her lips parted. “I don’t want you,” she said hoarsely against his mouth.
His lips brushed her lightly. She trembled. “Liar,” he whispered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In high school I developed a talent for writing and discovered romance. Needless to say I combined my love for both and am now a published Indie author. After almost a year of peddling my book from agent to agent with no success I decided that my work was good enough despite the constant rejection. That's when I discovered the world of indie publishing through e-books. I couldn't have made a better decision than stepping out on faith and doing something for myself instead of waiting around for someone else to do it for me.
A little bit more about me: My husband Kevin and I have been married for 4 years and have two beautiful children, Haley (4) and Gavin (4 months). We are a military family, which means I spend a lot of my time alone with two children. People often ask me how I deal with the military life. I simply say, someone's got to do it, right? I am proud of my husband for serving his country.
When I'm not reading (which is almost always) or writing (I try to every day), I am watching movies (which I love), cooking (which I love even more) or watching someone else cook on TV (love me some Paula Deen). I have been singing my entire life and enjoy being my church's choir every Sunday. My large, extended family is close and means the world to me.
A Big Thank you to Elise for taking the time to answer my questions. This book was amazing. I really enjoyed it! And now you have a chance to win a copy!! Just fill out the rafflecopter!! Good luck!
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