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This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. –Douglas Adams

Why is my guest today, Elaina M. Roberts, so amazing? Is it her exciting new urban fantasy release? Her writing tips? Well, sure, but there’s more. Her first car? Not, but you’re getting warmer. Maybe it was the time the Air Force sent her  to The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA to learn Russian. (This wasn’t terribly successful, possibly because what they taught her was Vietnamese.) Nope. I don’t want to spoil it, so just keep reading as Elaine shares her answers. Trust me. You’re going to love this one.

1. What was your first car? My first car was a 1978 Ford Mustang. It was safety orange and a hatchback.

1. What was your first car? My first car was a 1978 Ford Mustang. It was safety orange and a hatchback. Definitely not the "cool" Mustang, but I could find it in any parking lot!

Definitely not the “cool” Mustang, but I could find it in any parking lot!

2. As a child (or now!), what did you want to be when you grew up? I had many things I wanted to be when I grew up. A pilot (my eyesight is too bad), an archaeologist, and a parapsychologist. Yup, I wanted to be a ghost hunter. Perhaps that’s what guides my writing into the paranormal and urban fantasy genres?

What Elaina wanted to grow up to be: hot paranormal investigator. What Elaina's Mustang wanted to grow up to be? Hot not-orange Mustang convertible.

What Elaina wanted to grow up to be: hot paranormal investigator. What Elaina’s Mustang wanted to grow up to be: hot not-orange Mustang convertible.

3. Star Wars, Star Trek, or Firefly? Definitely Firefly, though I like the other two well enough.

Life lessons from Firefly

Life lessons from Firefly

4. Worst movie ever? [hint: and THIS is what makes Elaina the best blog guest!] There are so many, how do I choose? Um…Plunkett & Macleane was pretty awful to the point my friend and I heckled through the entire thing just to make it bearable. But the title has to go to Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (yes, it’s a real movie with Shannon Tweed and Bill Mahr). It’s so incredibly stupid that it kills brain cells while you watch.

 

5. Best guilty pleasure ever? Ice cream and potato chips. Salty. Sweet. Heaven.

...The cure for PMS

Guilty pleasure? Or the cure for PMS?

6. What is the one thing you can’t live without? I’ll be nice and say my family, but they know I’d sell them to the robot overlords for unlimited data. lol

7. What is the single biggest challenge of creating the settings in your novels?  Accuracy. If I haven’t been to the location, or haven’t been there in a long time – such as the London setting of The Fox’s Mate – then I spend days and weeks poring over street-view sections of the area I need as well as reading housing and crime information. I check the look and feel of the area. Is it clean or slightly run down? Does graffiti cover the walls or is it clean? What kind of vehicles are on the roads, in the drives, parked in the parking lots? All that sets up the economy of the area which prevents me from creating an anomaly in the neighborhood, such as a wealthy man in a fine house nestled in a poor neighborhood.

8. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever heard? I adore Chuck Wendig. His books are great and his blog is hilarious. He has several books on writing and is my go-to kick in the pants when I want to procrastinate. He also doesn’t buy into the “aspiring writer” crap. You are either a writer or you’re not. You may aspire to be a *published* writer. You may aspire to a writer published by the Big Five. But, unless you’re not actually writing, you aren’t really an aspiring writer. He even provided a handy, dandy graphic.

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giphy LIE-DAR CONTEST!

Elaina says, “My husband was stationed at Ramstein AFB in Germany for four years from 1997-2001. While there, we did a fair amount of traveling which brings us to these three statements. Only one is a lie. Can you guess which?”

  1. I toured the Cathedral of Trier, Germany, and got to view the Seamless Tunic of Christ in their treasury.
  2. I got lost in the gardens of Versailles and circled the same fountain four times before I found the path back to the palace. I just barely caught the bus to the hotel.
  3. I climbed under the ropes in the Louvre and stole a loose rock from the Roman ruins as a souvenir.

Please add your guess to your comment below, and you will be entered to win a copy of Elaina M. Roberts’ new contemporary mystery, The Fox’s Mate (coming soon from Taliesin Publishing)

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The Fox’s Mate by Elaina M. Roberts Coming June 5th from Taliesin Publishing!

Alpha Draike Weatherby has enjoyed many years of peace in his districts. He’s made agreements with the various shifter races as well as the Vampire Lord of London to keep crime down and their existence safe from human knowledge. Until now. A loyal gang of nonhuman runaways are systematically losing members. Rat shifters have grown bold, increasing crime in his area and risking their secret. Then there’s Olivia. Naked, bleeding, and fleeing a trio of unsavory characters, she runs straight into his arms…and stirs his most protective instincts.

As he digs deeper, he discovers an interconnecting web with a single common thread: Olivia. To uncover the truth, he must gain the trust of the terrified woman who entices his fox. But she guards a secret that could destroy or save her.

Excerpt:

Are you certain you cannot delay your little excursion until tomorrow?”

Draike arched a brow over the rim of his glass. Bromley’s wheedling tone didn’t match his agitated state. The man toyed with his glass—twirling the liquid inside, raising it to his lips without taking a drink, and passing it from hand to hand. His gaze darted around the room. He crossed and uncrossed his legs.

I’m certain. I’m visiting a friend who works at The Phoenix. I don’t want to miss him.”

You would give up a visit with the Vampire Lord of London for some male whore at a gay bar?” Bromley sat upright in the chair, his eyes widened to a comical degree.

You’ll never win an Olivier with that act, so stop insulting my intelligence by using it.” Draike set his glass aside and leaned back in his chair. “My reasons are my own. I don’t answer to Lord Maximus. I especially don’t answer to you.”

Of course you don’t. You are the alpha.” The change in Bromley’s tone was subtle, but telling. He’d transitioned from angry to simpering to sneering in a blink of an eye. It was another piece of a puzzle that defied comprehension. “I am simply suggesting you take this…friend…out back, get your ten pounds worth if you must, then attend to my lord as ordered.”

Is that why your scent was all over the alleyway, Bromley? Getting your ten pounds worth?” He tilted his head with a smirk. Countless emotions played over the human’s face, each more intriguing than the last. Small beads of sweat formed on the aide’s upper lip and cast a sleek sheen over his forehead. Bromley placed his glass on the desk and glanced toward the door. A smile tilted Draike’s lips at the human’s discomfort. “You really should cut back on the cologne. Even a human could have smelled it over the rotting garbage and stale sex.”

I was investigating a disturbance at that disgusting den of iniquity for my master. Doing as I was told, even though setting foot on the property offended me deeply. Burn off your urges with your pretty little receptionist, or even Franklin if that’s what you prefer, but attend to Lord Maximus as commanded.”

Commanded? Maximus doesn’t have the authority.”

He is the Lord of London,” Bromley blustered. “He can order whomever he chooses, and they would be wise to obey.”

Human, you test my friendship to your master.” Draike uncoiled from his chair to stalk toward his insulting visitor. He held Bromley’s gaze as he allowed his fangs to descend. Gripping the arms of the chair to pin his prey into immobility, Draike’s claws elongated and pierced the expensive leather.

Y-You can’t do anything to me.” Bromley’s face took on a greyish pallor as he cringed against the upholstery.

Are you sure about that?” His voice rumbled with a faint growl that sent a noticeable shudder through his victim. Draike smiled.

L-l-lord Maximus w-will…”

Let’s get a few things straight, shall we?” He jerked upright and circled the chair. His gaze never left the human; Bromley twisted and turned to watch him. “Lord Maximus rules the vampires of London. He does not rule my territory, those within my troop, or me. Especially me.”

But?”

For reasons beyond me,” Draike leaned against his desk and held Bromley’s gaze until the human looked away, “Maximus retains you as his aide instead of feeding you to the ferals. Never mistake a business arrangement for affection. Should you disappear, no one in the nonhuman community would mourn your loss.”

Lord Maximus would—”

No one.” He raked his claws along Bromley’s sleeve while reaching for the chair’s arms. The human jerked his hands into his lap with a whimper. Draike leaned forward until Bromley could retreat no farther. “Never forget what you are to me, Bromley. You are human. You are vulnerable and crunchy and tasty. You. Are. Prey. These districts are mine, and you have challenged my authority for the last time.”

 About Elaina M. Roberts

Elaina Roberts grew up in the wilds of Alabama, wearing garments sewn of squirrel hides. She saw her first motorized vehicle at age ten and was amazed and terrified at the giant, iron behemoth that ate and spat out people with impunity. She also makes up a lot of stuff, which propelled her to become an author. Truthfully, though, Elaina did grow up in a rural area just outside the city limits of a small Alabama town. She spent many long afternoons running through untamed woodlands though she doesn’t care for squirrel regardless of how you cook it. As the youngest of four, there were few luxuries purchased by her textile factory parents, but they provided her with something even better: an intense love of reading. Her early loves were the mysteries of Earle Stanley Gardner, the fantastic worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the action-packed adventures of Don Pendleton. When she discovered romance, she sought books that combined the genres she already loved with this new promise of happily ever after. Not long afterwards, she began her own tentative steps into writing. Today, she writes Urban Fantasy with a romantic flair, the genre guaranteed to offer her the greatest opportunity of creating fantastic words of action, adventure, and mystery, coupled with romance’s heart-lifting happily ever after.

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Contacts:

Please add your guess to your comment below, and you will be entered to win a copy of Elaina M. Roberts’ new urban fantasy, The Fox’s Mate.  Winner will be announced next Thursday, May 29.

And congratulations to Val Behnke (as chosen at RandomPicker.com). She correctly guessed on last week’s Lie-dar that Amanda Capper has been known to destroy innocent jello molds. As her prize, Amanda will be sending a year’s supply of her homemade jello. What’s that, Val? You’d rather have a copy of Amanda Capper’s new release, A Bother of Bodies? Well, if you insist…

***Would you like to be a guest on Thursday Lie-dar? I’d love to feature you and your work here! (interview, contest, book review, guest post) For information, send email to barbtaub@gmail.com***

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