Please help me welcome author Alicia Dean to the blog today. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better as she takes the hot seat and lets me interview her. Afterward, please check out her latest release RUINED and then enter her giveaway 🙂 I love the sounds of this book because it takes place in the 20s, one of my favorite time periods.
Let’s get started!
Describe yourself in 3 sentences.
I am a mother, a writer, an editor, and an Elvis fan. I have a bad habit of saying ‘yes,’ and therefore, I way overbook myself, but I love what I do. I am probably a little too interested in murder and mayhem.
What’s the first thing we see when we walk in your door?
My bar area with my knick knacks (some are Elvis-related J). Beyond that, my kitchen. But please don’t look too closely, it’s a mess.
What makes you buy a book…the author, cover, blurb, first paragraph, or something else?
The cover catches my attention, then I read the blurb. If I’m still engaged, I read the excerpt, and if I am not drawn in right away, I don’t buy it. I have too many books to read, and write, and too little time to read a book that doesn’t grab me.
What character in your book did you have the most fun writing and why?
My heroine, actually. I’ve never written anyone like her. First of all, it’s set in the 1920s, and I’ve never written in that era. Secondly, she’s from England, and all my other characters have been American. But, the main reasons I had fun was that she was a prostitute, she lied a lot, and she didn’t read all that well, she was close to illiterate. Definitely a different character than I’m used to writing about.
What inspired you to write your latest release?
I would say it was a combination of the Martini Lounge where I meet friends for drinks every Friday, and those friends; Kathy L Wheeler, Amanda McCabe, and Krysta Scott. We had the idea to write novellas centered around an establishment like the Martini Lounge, and the Martini Club 4 Series was born. RUINED is my contribution to the project.
Where do you write?
In my bedroom at my desktop and in my recliner on my laptop. I always tell myself I need to get out of the house and write in different environments, but I’m a bit of a hermit.
Describe your hero in 5 words.
Strong, loyal, hot-tempered, former boxer, rugged.
Now your heroine.
Survivor, gullible, dishonest, caring, British
As a writer I love choosing character names. Tell us how you chose the names for your hero and heroine.
For my heroine, I looked at a list of 1920s names, and Eliza seemed to fit. For my hero, a friend of my son’s, Vincent, passed away not long before I started writing the story. I named my hero Vincent as a tribute. It’s funny, but it fits him perfectly. For the last names, I just ran a list through my head until something seemed to fit.
Describe your writing day.
I usually prepare the night before for whatever I’ll be writing. I don’t normally get an entire ‘day’ for writing, but I try to get as many hours in as possible. I will often silence my cell phone because distractions can completely take me out of the zone. I can’t sit for several hours at a time, so I usually write for an hour or two (much of that time is spent banging my head against the desk in an effort to shake the words loose), then I have to get up and do something. I wish I could say I get up and clean house, but that’s doesn’t usually happen. 🙂
About the Book – Just $0.99!
by Alicia Dean
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books
Genre: Vintage Historical Romance
Release Date: February 26, 2015
Length: 120 Pages
She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans…
After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.
When Vince Taggart’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing friend.
Meggie was on stage singing “Crazy Blues.” She wore a one-shoulder peach calf-length gown with a scalloped hemline trimmed in shimmery silver braid. Her eyes were half closed, blonde curls glistening beneath the spotlight.
Eliza closed her eyes and let the loveliness of Meggie’s voice soothe her. Uncanny how she could sing without the hint of an accent.
In the worst of times, Eliza used a mind trick where she traveled to another place and removed herself from whatever was happening. She’d had to use the trick many times as a scullery maid, and when Lord Renwald had trapped her in the barn, but the night he’d nearly raped her, that had been something altogether different. Rather than using a mind trick, she’d fully escaped. Meggie’s voice brought her that kind of escape. She was transported to another place.
The song ended, and Eliza opened her eyes, clapping more loudly than anyone else in the place. Meggie winked and curtsied, then went into her next number. Some day, she was going to make it big, Eliza just knew it.
“Need anything else?” Charli appeared at her shoulder, holding a tray full of empty glasses at shoulder level. She wore the Club 501 uniform—a mauve dress that came to mid-thigh with sheer voile that fell to her ankles. She’d acquired a position as cocktail waitress a few days after Meggie had been hired as a singer.
“No, thank you. Last night was a late one. I ought to take it slowly.”
Charli wrinkled her pert nose. “What a sweet deal you landed, while I’m stuck in this dive slinging booze.”
Eliza pursed her lips. “Now, Charli, this is hardly a dive. Serving drinks here might not be the wealthy lifestyle you’re accustomed to, but things could be worse—much worse.”
Sympathy shone in Charli’s brown eyes. “I know, luv. Selfish of me. I know what you’ve been through, how awful things were for you before we found you on the docks, then again when you arrived and had to take a position at that ghastly old factory.” She let out a sigh. “It’s just that I had such high hopes. I wanted so much to start a great life doing what I love most.”
Eliza squeezed her friend’s hand. “You’ll get your bakery, I know you will. You keep schmoozing Mrs. Carter, and you’re a shoo in.” Mrs. Carter was a successful businesswoman who owned a string of department stores. Charli all but panted after the woman.
Charli giggled and playfully slapped Eliza’s knee. “I do not schmooze her. I just find her interesting.” She glanced over her shoulder. “Sorry, gotta run. These blokes might perish if I don’t keep the hooch flowing.” She cocked an impish grin. “See ya, luv.”
Eliza scanned the crowd. Jess was supposed to come in, but so far, Eliza hadn’t seen her. She was feeling slightly abandoned. At least Oscar wasn’t present. Now that he was her employer, she could barely relax when he was at Club 501. She always felt she was on the clock.
Her gaze bounced over a man, then zeroed back. The bloke was looking directly at her. She caught her breath. He was leaning on the bar a few stools down, talking to Charli. He had this…magnetism, some kind of forceful presence that made it impossible to look away.
He was broad, muscular and dressed like a dock worker with brown suspenders over a yellow shirt and a newsboy cap over his dark blond hair, but what caught her attention right off was his smile. His white teeth flashed, and a dimple creased the right side of his face.
Charli moved away, and the man looked up and caught Eliza staring at him. His grin widened. His eyes were so blue—so electrifying, that Eliza could feel their allure even in the dimly lit, smoky bar.
He winked and gave her a finger salute off the brim of his cap.
A tingle ran from her toes, all the way through her body, making her head swim. My, but he was a fresh one. With superhuman effort, she dragged her attention away, but it didn’t keep her heart from racing faster than a thoroughbred at Churchill Downs.
She swallowed and took a deep breath, fingering the pendant at her neck, trying to slow her heart rate. What on earth was wrong with her? She met plenty of handsome men—men more pleasing to the eye than he with his workmen clothing and slightly crooked nose. But never had any man sent her blood rushing through her veins like this.
She gulped from her glass. Get ahold of yourself. She was not the kind of girl to pick up strange men in bars—even if they did have a devil of a smile and eyes like an angel.