Welcome to WHAT TO READ WEDNESDAY!
Thank you to everyone returning, and if this is your first time visiting, I’m glad to have you here! Feel free to check out my blog and if you see what you like, enter your email addy to the left and receive email notifications each time I post.
Please make yourself comfortable and get ready to meet another amazing author! Today we have Sharon Cullen visiting 🙂 Her latest release, Her Dark Knight was recently released with Carina Press.
I’m a little bit of everything—mom, wife, taxi driver, laundress, cook. You name it, I do it. I have three busy kids, a husband and a dog, plus I work part-time outside of my writing career. I live in southwest Ohio but dream of retiring to Charleston, SC. I think Charleston is the most beautiful city ever. So rich with history that a romance writer could live off her ideas forever in that city. I love to go on cruises. I love the water and I love my computer—not necessarily in that order. I’m a bit of an introvert unless you get me on a social media site then something strange happens to me and I can’t stop talking.
Too funny, Sharon…I’m the same way. Quiet unless I’m online. Go figure. Winter? Spring? Summer? Or Fall?…why?
Fall. Definitely fall. I love the crisp air and the smell of leaves. I love the possibility of the magic of the approaching holiday season. I like big sweatshirts and warm fires in the fireplace.
Fall is my favorite season too 🙂 What’s a typical writing day for you?
I wake up around 6:45am, pack the kids’ lunches and get them off to school. As soon as they’re gone I head to the gym to work out. Okay, most days I head to the gym—some days I slack. However, I find if I don’t, I’m not nearly as motivated the rest of the day. Finished with the gym, I surf all of my social media sites, read blogs and comment on them, write my own blog, then I open my files and start writing. When lunchtime rolls around I fix a quick lunch and eat it at the computer while I’m writing. I don’t stop until the family starts wandering in from their various schools and work. I try to get in at least four hours of writing a day—sometimes I do eight and if I’m at the end of a story and the words are flowing I’ve been known to do up to twelve hours.
What genre(s) do you write?
Romantic suspense, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and I just finished writing a historical romance. The only ones I don’t write are science fiction, steampunk and erotica.
Where do you write?
On my desktop computer that’s set up in my bedroom. I have a laptop and occasionally I’ll write on that, but the desktop is where I spend 99% of my time. My dream is to take over my daughter’s room when she eventually moves out and convert it into my office. With a computer no one touches, with all my research books in one place. I picture a nice, cozy room that’s all mine!
LOL…sounds like a wonderful dream 🙂 Would you say you research before you write or while you’re writing?
Definitely while I’m writing. I’m a panster. I don’t plot. I don’t research until I’m forced to. I don’t know what I’ll need until I actually need it. This is why I heart the internet. So much information at the tip of my fingers. However, I’ve also been known to get lost in my research and all the sudden I’ll look up and the whole day is gone and I’ve accomplished no writing. But that’s okay, because that research will ferment in my brain and I’ll come up with some way to incorporate it.
Tease us with a blurb!!
Madelaine Alexander is on a mission. When her boss sends her to the hottest nightclub in town to meet with the owner, she won’t be deterred, even if that means standing in line for fifty-eight minutes in torturous heels while she’d rather be home in her pj’s with a bowl of popcorn.
A Knight of the Templar, Christien Chevalier was given immortality along with the responsibility of protecting the treasure of the Templars. He’s been unwavering in his task for centuries until his one true love—who died seven hundred years ago—shows up in his club, demanding his attention.
Christien couldn’t protect Madelaine when they first fell in love. She was married to a lord and he was simply a knight. Now, through some unknown miracle, she stands before him again and they have a second chance. But Christien fears that Madelaine is being used as a pawn in a dangerous game, a game of good versus evil that could affect all of mankind…
I love that teaser, Sharon! If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Oh, gosh, this is a hard one because all of my characters have some sort of bad thing that happened to them previously. Not sure I’d want to go through any of that. LOL. I think, though that Tess, in Obsession, mirrors my life better than any of my other characters. In fact, I wrote that book from the heart. She’s married to a cop. I’m married to a cop. Her cop puts the job first. Well, mine didn’t like that but there were times… A lot of the loneliness Tess talks about comes from my heart. Not so much anymore but in the beginning when my husband was first a police officer. Of course the villain in the story isn’t like my life at all, but their dog, Othello, is our dog, Winston.
Describe your hero using five words.
Christien Chevalier: Tortured, driven, persistent, honorable, sexy-as-hell 🙂
Yum! Now your heroine?
Madelaine Alexander: Determined, focused, hard-headed, sensitive, dedicated
“I have papers you need to sign.”
Those silver eyes turned hard as granite. “Show me the papers.”
She put her briefcase on his desk and extracted the envelope with shaking hands, biting her tongue to stop herself from telling him where he could put the damn papers. He snatched them out of her grasp. What an arrogant ass!
While he leafed through them, a harsh line drawn between lowered brows, she fumed. And yet, despite her anger, she had to admit he was good-looking.
Almost breathtakingly handsome with his full head of black hair, a little on the long side but not too much. And those gray eyes that went from dark to light and back again. She almost had the feeling they’d met before but that was impossible. She would have remembered meeting someone like Christien Chevalier.
The muscles in his jaw tightened and he tossed the papers on the desk. They missed and landed on the chair, one sliding to the floor.
“They’re fake. Now why don’t you tell me why you are here?”
Stunned she stared at the lone page on the floor. When she glanced through them while waiting in line she’d thought something was weird, but fake?
“All I know is I was supposed to bring them to you. I was told we had an appointment and all you had to do was sign them and I’d be done.”
“I assure you, Miss…” He raised a brow in inquiry.
“Alexander. Lainie Alexander.”
“Lainie.” Her name sounded foreign and exotic coming from him.
“It’s short for Madelaine.” She didn’t know why she was telling him this. It wasn’t any of his business what her name was.
His perusal of her sharpened until she felt like a bug pinned beneath a microscope.
If Lainie sounded foreign and exotic, Madelaine sounded downright sinful when whispered in that way. Suddenly images of a large bed with navy curtains and soft sheets invaded her mind. She suppressed a shudder of longing that came from nowhere.
“The papers,” she said, more to remind herself than him.
Those granite eyes never left her face. His thoughtful expression made her more nervous than his angry expression did.
“I only make appointments Monday through Wednesday. I would never make an appointment on a Thursday night. Those papers are a ruse.”
Confused and a little frightened, she ran a hand through her hair, forgetting the French twist she’d worked so hard to create. Of course the bobby pins fell out and half her hair tumbled down her back. Great. Wonderful.
She didn’t care anymore. “Look, Mr. Chevalier—”
“My name is Christien.”
She breathed through clenched teeth. One minute he was seething in fury and the next he was asking her to call him by his given name.
“Christien. I didn’t make the appointment, my boss did. I have no idea why she would create this…ruse.” What an odd word to use. “If there was an ulterior motive she kept it from me.”
“Don’t call me that.” Her visceral reaction startled her. She’d never particularly liked her name, believing it too different from the Lindsays and Nicoles and Megans in her class, but she’d never disliked someone using it as much as she disliked him using it.
He cocked his head. “Is that not your name?”
“I prefer Lainie.”
“Madelaine. Are you telling me you have no idea why she would send you to do her bidding?”
Okay, I loved your teaser, but this excerpt is awesome! How did you come up with the idea for your story?
I’ve always been intrigued by the Knights Templar and I knew I wanted to write about them, using a twist on the Holy Grail. Christien’s character wasn’t hard to come up with. But finding a woman who could match him was a little harder. Then I came up with the idea of merging his two loves into one person and wa-la!
I believe we draw from our own personal experiences when writing. If that’s true, how likely would it be that someone you know, or have met, might be a character, or at least an inspiration for a character in your next book?
Lots of people I know are inspirations for my books. I made the mistake once of telling someone he was an inspiration and now he won’t let it go. So I learned to not tell people. Mostly I’ll pick character traits of various acquaintances and merge them with my characters.
What was the easiest part of writing this book?
The easiest part was the historical scenes. For some reason those just came to me.
The hardest part was the bible research and incorporating that into the storyline. You can’t very well rewrite the bible and so I had to take what I had and make it work with the plot. That took some doing and lots of sleepless nights tossing ideas around in my head.
What are you working on now?
I am working on book 2 of Her Dark Knight—Madelaine’s sister’s story. I’m loving it too!
Where do you hope to see your writing career in three years?
When I first started writing I wanted to be a NY Times bestseller and while that’s still a goal, I’m happy with my publishers and publishing ebooks. I really feel that ereaders are going to be the hot new thing this Christmas and for some time to come. Traditional publishers are scrambling, trying to catch up to the times while e-authors are right there, waiting for the wave to hit. I would love to be able to quit my other job and be able to write full-time and I’m hoping to accomplish that in the next three years with the surge of ereaders and the traditional publishers embracing the epublishing industry.
Great goal! I can see that happening for you. And finally, Sharon, where can we find you and your books?
You can find my books at Carina Press and Samhain Publishing. Or you can go to my website and follow the buy links. I also have ablog that’s just getting off the ground. Like I said, I LOVE social media so you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Friend me, follow me, like me!
Now that sounds like an easy request! Thank you so SO much Sharon for joining us today. Your book sounds amazing and I know there will be great things in your future. Wishing you much success and congrats on your release 🙂