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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Twilight Thursday

Welcome Author
Rebecca Savage

Rebecca Savage

Please forgive me for this week. As I mentioned on Monday and Tuesday, and then again today, I have been extremely distracted by basketball playoffs since my team (Milwaukee Bucks) is not only playing in round 1, but returns home with a chance to win the first round at home in Milwaukee tomorrow night (Friday). I'm so excited that, as I've told a couple of people already, my nerves are raw with anticipation and my brain doesn't quite want to think of anything else. Fortunately, when I woke up this evening, reality set in and I still have time to post my interview with Rebecca Savage and share it with you. Rebecca is an author I stumbled upon with a chance email in one of my WisRWA chat groups and eventually, I decided to bring her into the moonlight. It's even more important now that she has won a very prestigious award with Champagne Books - Best Selling Author 2009!

Congrats and way to go Rebecca!

ME: As you know by now, we've asked our authors the same set of questions this month and as April 15th was the ever important date for us Americans to turn in our taxes, there were 15 questions. Let's begin. Speaking of taxes, are your taxes finished, or do you procrastinate with them? Do you do them yourself or do you have a taxman do them for you?

REBECCA: My taxes are finished, and I’ve gotten my meager refund. Ugh! Now that my kids are out of the house, the refunds get smaller every year, although I can still show a loss with my business of author…hmmm...wonder why that isJ

I don’t procrastinate when it comes to taxes, but I do sometimes have to wait for my employers to get the documents that I need to me so that I can complete the forms.

The main reason I don’t put taxes off is the fact that I do my own. I worked as a tax professional for ten years, and I do taxes at my home as a side business, so actually enjoy tax season. I’m so weird, huh?

ME: As it says, “April showers bring May flowers”. What flowers do you hope to see the first thing in spring?

REBECCA: My favorite flowers are Easter Lillies. My grandma planted them, and I have them all around the border of my yard, so I never have to wait long for my favorite. They’re up when the snow is still on the ground sometimes.

ME: Do you plant your own garden? Why or why not and where is it (are they) located? What type(s) will it (they) be and where is it (are they) located on your property?

REBECCA: I plant my garden with my uncle. He has a small garden in the back of my house, and I help him. He loves to plant and plow, and I cook whatever he brings in from the harvest. Works out well for us! J

ME: Do you prefer plants or seeds? Does it matter where you get them, or do you have a favorite place to go? What’s the name of the place and why do you prefer to go there?

REBECCA: I prefer things that already have some sort of start: tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries. I like to plant in hills, and my uncle is very good at softening up the soil. The richer the soil the better. I plant in various time periods as well. We are getting ready to put in the first round of crops, then we’ll still have turnips and things like that toward the end of the fall.

ME: What will you plant (or have already planted) this year and why?

REBECCA: We’ll like to plant by the beginning of Spring then go in levels of others things that can be planted as certain crops are picked in stages and the soil is plowed under for the next item. We try to work with natural fertilizers, and we don’t like to plant the same things in the same place and deplete the soil of its nutrients. We also have flower gardensJ

ME: Do you have any plants that are must haves for your garden, ones that it just won’t be complete without?

REBECCA: Tomatoes! Gotta have them. Can’t stand the ones from the store because home – grown are so great!

ME: Have you ever considered getting involved with a local community garden? Why or why not?

REBECCA: My uncle is involved with a community garden, and he loves it, but I’ve hesitated because of the stress of dealing with the other gardeners and those in charge. He doesn’t like that part of it, so we usually deal more with our own garden than the community one.

ME: For your produce, is the local grocery store just fine, or do you like to hit your local farmer’s market? What is your favorite fruit or vegetable that you do like to get?

REBECCA: I like the produce from local farmers’ markets, especially the watermelon and things I don’t grow much of on my own.

ME: Now that we've learned a bit about you, let’s switch gears and focus on your writing. What is your main genre (erotica, erotic romance, romantic suspense, etc.)? What was the draw for you?

REBECCA: I write contemporary Romantic Suspense, but a couple of my books are erotica, and I’m working on a dragon/fantasy right now. I like to read a wide variety of books and genres, s o I am branching out, but I started with Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Intrigue because I copied Morse Code in the military(USAF) for ten years...

ME: Besides your main genre we just discussed, what elements do you prefer to use in a story and why those elements over others?

REBECCA: Romance is great, and I’m a woman, although not a typical one, so I love heart- felt stories, but they also have to have a fast paced plot, hence the suspense.

ME: Do you prefer red roses or black roses? If so, does that show in your writing? If so, how? If roses aren’t your style, what flowers are? Do they influence your writing? If so, how?

REBECCA: Funny you should ask about roses;) I have three stories with roses, the last of which uses black roses as symbolism, since the fiancĂ© of a murdered loved one places a black rose on the spot where the person died…L
AND: I have a tattoo on my left ankle with the colors of the four roses in my series of three books, trilogy, and my kids’ names in between the roses and vines.

ME: The jury’s still out on this question, so we’re still asking it! - Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one planting the seeds? How do you cultivate those seeds regardless of who plants them?

REBECCA: I’m a control freak, so I’d like to think I have total control, but at times, when I’m in the actual story and writing away, I have to say it’s just the inner creativity flowing. I’m not a plotter really, so my muse has to be good!

ME: In your opinion, what author had the most influence on your writing? What about their writing did you find so influential and why?

REBECCA: I have to say Nora Roberts, although that seems unfair since she's not the only author out there, but I like her and she’s big, and I write suspense, and so does she…so… I like the fact she’s fast-paced and fun to read. That’s what I want to be. Fast-paced. Fun. Never boringJ

ME: While authors can definitely influence us, inspiration can be everywhere for a writer, but specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits or things that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, Guard My Body, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?

REBECCA: My first stories came from my real life settings and jobs, especially the ones involving Morse Code, which I copied in the USAF for ten years with a Top Secret SCI Clearance. So those stories came easily to me, as did the ones about stalkers, since one is about a lawyer, and I’m the Mock Trial Coach at my school, and the banker, since I do taxes, and the nurse, since I have a friend who lives, sleeps, eats, and breathes nursing, and we discuss it a lot. So lots of people and settings come from my personal life, friends, family and observation.

ME: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like? How do they meet (or “did” if this is a second book with these same characters)? What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two? Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this. (Not much, but just a few lines and from a different section than the main excerpt – Thanks!)

REBECCA: I’m going to work this from the angle of my latest release: Guard My Body. The heroine is a librarian, and the hero is a CIA covert operator, and she is asked to implant secret information in her mouth and transport it for her sister, the hero’s partner. They can’t leave where they are, so they need a courier, and the heroine volunteers. She has a bit of a wild side for a librarian, but that’s stereotyping. So is the fact she’s a redhead. He’s tall, dark, and handsome, and a biker dude… She gets shot, and the hero says with a scowl, “All the good ones are either married, taken or have holes in their heads.”

ME: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like? What’s unique about them? What is their relationship to the hero/heroine? Have any of these gone on to become scene-stealers? If so, who and how did they do it? (Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!)

REBECCA: Since this a series of six books, and this is book number two of the trilogy, the secondary characters are very important. One is the sister of the heroine, and one is the partner of the hero. They’ve known each other a long time and used to be a team of covert operators in Colombia, South America, so the other stories are the follow ups of that. They all derserve happiliy ever afters, right?

ME: Intrigued yet? Let's check out the blurb and excerpt for Guard My Body:

Guard My BodyBLURB: A hard core CIA covert ops expert like Nash Kincaid takes everything seriously, especially his mission to retrieve classified information from his contact, take it to the right people, and stop the deaths of thousands of children at the hands of home-grown terrorists.

A librarian with a wild side could throw a ringer into his plans, but Ayden Devlin takes most things seriously, too, even when she decides to live out the lives of the characters in the books she reads by helping her sister Leigh, a spy for the CIA. She lets Leigh insert classified information into her mouth where there’s a missing tooth, so she can safely transport the info to Nash.

Nash and Ayden meet in a biker bar, and a hit man tries to kill Ayden. Nash throws his body in the path of a bullet to save her. A bullet grazes Ayden’s head and knocks her out cold. When she comes to, she and her rescuer have to establish trust. They don’t know each other, and the mission has gone awry. It takes time to convince each other of their respective honesty and identity.

It takes no time at all for them to realize they’re hot for each other, and not much more time to realize it’s more than heat. Love blooms, stoked by building passion, the flames rising higher with each new dangerous encounter.

Will they survive to share their love and lives?

EXCERPT: His movements halted abruptly when he noticed her first name – at least he assumed it was her name – tattooed in a fancy scrawl above a chain link of green leaves – were those ivy leaves? – encircling her delicate, limp ankle. Ayden. He scowled, and hoped that was her name etched in permanent elegance above her shapely foot. He hoped the name wasn’t her boyfriend’s or husband’s – hadn’t he heard of guys named Ayden, too? – or girlfriend’s name, or some amazing coincidence. All the good ones are either gay, married, taken or have bullet wounds in their heads. The grim thought penetrated his fuzzy mind, but he refused to let the distraction settle in. He shook off his wandering thoughts and got down to the business of attending to her wound – her very ugly yet only-skin-deep, nasty-and-probably-painful yet not-really-dangerous wound. The blood no longer drained out of the narrow slit. It had already clotted. Thank God.

Please, don’t let her be out too long. Please, don’t let her lose her memory.
The woman gasped, and her eyelids fluttered. She opened her aqua eyes wide – wide enough that Nash thought they might pop right out of their lovely sockets: sockets set so perfectly in her heart-shaped, slightly-freckled face that Nash thought for a moment that the vision before him might not be real. He blinked. Of course she was real. Her real blood spotted his real T-shirt like rust-colored, copper-scented polka dots. Sounding almost hysterical, certainly alarmed, she squeaked, “Where am I?”

Nash’s heart sank to the bottom of the sea. Had she lost her memory? Then he realized that she wouldn’t recognize his place. Maybe he needed to ask her something she would know, to verify her memory remained in tact. Please, God. “My house. What’s your name?”

She blinked, narrowed her eyes, and glared at him as menacingly as her petite self could. “Not telling you.”

She crossed her arms over her more than ample breasts, stubbornly, with a pouty look that defied her exotic beauty. Nash doubted that a spunky, trim, well-endowed woman like her could truly be a librarian. A stripper maybe. But not a librarian.

“I need answers, and you damned well better cough them up. Right now.”

“Forget it.”

He stood, loomed over her, and scowled, as he had back at the bar, trying to look stern and hard-nosed. His hopes sank to a new level. It hadn’t worked then, and it didn’t look as if it would work now either. He couldn’t understand it. His withering look and harsh manner usually did the trick. He could look pretty mean and sound pretty gruff when he had to administer the intimidation factor to convince someone to submit to his rigid demands. Instead of quaking in her low-heeled shoes, the damned woman frowned more deeply, wrinkled up her cute, button nose and stuck out her already-protruding bottom lip even further. All that did was make him want to suck on said bottom lip, and every other damned body part of hers he could get his mouth, lips, teeth and tongue latched onto. Holy shit.
“Why the hell not? I told you my name back at the bar.”

“So what?” She lay prone on his bed, her delightfully shaggy head propped on his pillow, but she managed to look determined, even if she did look nervous, too. It made him cringe. He didn’t want to scare her, if she was his contact, one of the good guys. A damn goodie-two-shoes.

9 Moonbeams (comments):

Nancy said...

Great blog. Sounds as if this is an action packed book. Good luck.

Gillian Layne said...

What a fun interview! And I love your excerpt, and your hero's attitude. :)

Rebecca Draco-Savage-Giallongo said...

Thanks for checking out my blog!
It's my birthday so what a gift!
Anyone who leaves a comment should go to my website and email me and enter the contest to win a free pdf:)

Allison said...

Great interview. I couldn't agree more about the tomatoes, but around here the mocking birds eat them before I can, so I've stopped growing them.

Allison Knight

SilverWolf said...

Happy Birthday Rebecca, hope you have a good one. Thanks for inviting us to share it with you. What an interview.

Cathy M said...

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful birthday week. Loved the excerpt, can't wait to read more about these two.

Ilona Fridl said...

Rebecca, great excerpt! Fellow Wisconsinite and writer here. With the weather we're having this year, you're garden should be beautiful.

Carrie said...

Hey Ilona! We'll have to connect as I'm from WI too!

Ciara Gold said...

Hey Rebecca, Happy late b-day. And congrats again on your best selling author status. Cool feeling, isn't it? Anyway, enjoyed reading your entry.

I wish we had room for a vegetable garden, but I did plant flowers and they did very well this spring. Best of luck with future endeavors.