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Monday, September 10, 2012

Chat with Elyssa Patrick & Marquita Valentine +GIVEAWAY!!

The lovely and talented Elyssa!

Fabulously blurry picture of moi!

Marquita: I am so excited to be able to have fellow contemporary romance writer and Twitter pal, Elyssa Patrick, here today at Lady Scribes!  Her novel, AS YOU WISH,  debuted just last week along with mine, THIRD TIME'S A CHARM.  *throws confetti all around the, er, room*

Elyssa: Thanks, Marquita, for having me!

Marquita: I have to know, Elyssa, what did you do differently with Aubry as a rock star hero, in AS YOU WISH? Was there something you'd read and thought you could do a twist on that?

Elyssa: I'm not sure what you mean by differently? With Aubry I just wanted to delve beyond his rock star persona to show the complicated man he is--hopefully, I was successful on that end! 

And there was nothing I'd read that made me think oh, I want to do a twist on that. I have a minor in Acting/Drama so I was always heavily involved in stage productions. I just really like reading about the creative fields in romances, so I tend to explore that in my writing. I kept wanting a rock star romance but couldn't find one--and then a famous author said that romances with rock star heroes don't sell, and I thought why not, it's not like a rock star is that different from a pro athlete hero. 

So I wrote the rock star because I really, really wanted to write a rock star romance. And I had a great idea that would not let go until I wrote it.

Marquita, was there anything that influenced you with your book?

Marquita:  Yes! THIRD TIME’S A CHARM was influenced by the movie PRACTICAL MAGIC and Sarah Addison Allen’s GARDEN SPELLS. Both the movie and the book feature sisters whose relationships with each other, men and the town they lived in needed repairing. 

Elyssa: I love PRACTICAL MAGIC! The whole thing with the star that represents her true love when Sandra Bullock is a kid, and then the star with Aidan Quinn (he's a sexy cop/detective!)  . . . sigh. And that kiss! *swoon*

As anyone who knows me knows, I love a good kissing scene. One of my latest favorite movie kissing scenes is the one in CRAZY STUPID LOVE between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in the bar. And, of course, I love the kiss scene in NORTH & SOUTH. ;)

Marquita, are there any particular movie scenes you like? And tell me more about your heroine and how she comes to care for the baby? 

Marquita: Kissing Scenes are the best! One of my favorite was the cheeseburger kissing scene with Matt Damon and Minnie Driver in GOOD WILL HUNTING. Smoking hot! 

As for my heroine, Rose Holland, she's the complete opposite of the hero. She's quiet, unassuming and hates to be the center of attention, because she, somewhat rightly, assumes that what people are thinking about her and her sisters isn't very nice.  She prefers flowers and her cat, Blackbeard, to people, but does spend time making and selling beauty supplies. She also continues the family tradition of giving out "love" advice by sending couples to the tourist attraction that the town is known for.

But she's also a very giving person. The baby, Ivy, that she's caring for is her oldest sister's child. Her mother left her in Rose's care for what I know to be very good reasons.  Rose a very strong, no nonsense type of heroine that doesn't need (or want for that matter) rescuing by the hero, not in a monetary sense anyway. And while I love a good My Fair Lady type of story, the hero does NOT do a fashion make-over on her. He's not even tempted to do one, which I loved. 

Elyssa: I see that Rose and Portia share a lot of common, particularly not wanting the hero to save them when it comes to money! I definitely knew that was one thing I did not want to do--where the hero comes in, writes a check, and saves everything.

Marquita:  Exactly, write a check and save the day. Too easy!

OH! I forgot to ask what’s your favorite make-over story? And do you watch WHAT NOT TO WEAR?

Elyssa: Make-over stories? I LOVE THEM. I'm a sucker for those and anything that's a Beauty and the Beast type of story.

I love love love MY FAIR LADY, and the play (PYGMALION) it was based on. So clearly I also love the myth, Galatea. :) And actually the first book I actually wrote had a make-over theme to it centered around a reality TV show (no plastic surgery though!). 

I think make-over stories appeal to me because I love transformation stories. It's not just about a change of clothes or wearing makeup but finally being comfortable in your own skin and being true to the real you that you'd hidden away forever and ever. 

One of my favorite MY FAIR LADY trope books ever? Julie Anne Long's TO LOVE A THIEF. If you haven't read this one, you need to. RIGHT THIS SECOND. 

Marquita: Oooh! I'm adding TO LOVE A THIEF to my TBR pile right this instant! *waits for everyone else to do the same*

Elyssa: Oh, and yes, I used to religiously watch WHAT NOT TO WEAR but haven't seen it in awhile. But I love Clinton and Stacy so much. 

What other type of tropes do you like? And tell us more about your novellette! You have such an awesome title for that! 

Marquita: Let's see: I love the older brother trope, marriage of convenience (especially if it's in a contemporary), secret baby, forbidden lovers, and the fake fiance.  And thanks to you, Elyssa, I've discovered the New Adult genre (not a trope, but still) Tammara Webber's EASY and GOOD FOR YOU are my all time favs. 

Also, I am a total sucker for the Billionaire tropes, as evidenced by my novelette, SEDUCTION OF THE BILLIONAIRE PLAYBOY ACTOR (thanks for the compliment, btw).   Seduction is actually a prequel to Twice Tempted. It tells the story of Zoe and Christian's night together at a masked ball. Why should historical authors be the only ones to get to write about balls? <G>

Elyssa:  Okay. You have to spill the beans. What's in store for sexy Sebastian?

Marquita: Oh Sebastian....he's such an up-tight kind of guy, compared to his brother, Christian, that needs a really laid back kind of heroine. He makes an appearance in THIRD TIME’s A CHARM, but it won't be the last of him. Not by a long shot. Something's in the works to get him to come to the small town of Holland Springs. After all his heroine lives there. ;) I will say that she is *not* one of the Holland sisters. <G>

And did you say novella? *perks up*  

Elyssa: Yes! I'm working on a novella, ONE HIT WONDER, and plan to release it in Spring 2013. It focuses on a once famous pop singer and his personal assistant who hands in her two weeks notice. I don't want to say much else about it as I don't want to jinx it.

However, there's a brief excerpt of OHW at the back of AS YOU WISH, and it's very very very loosely connected to AS YOU WISH in that the heroes are famous musicians and share a manager. 

AS YOU WISH was really meant as a standalone. I do love connected books but the idea for AS YOU WISH was that the next book in the series would be another musician type. 

But I do envision that my characters all live in the same universe and that there's always that sort of loose connection, sort of like what Susan Elizabeth Phillips does in her books. 

After I finish ONE HIT WONDER I'm not sure what will be next. It will all depend on what I really want to write. I would love to write a New Adult one day but I would really need a story that I HAD to write. (I also started out by writing historical romance but never finished anything with that!)

Do you ever want to write something other than contemp? Did you start in another genre and find contemp suited your voice better? (That's what happened to me with historicals!)

Marquita: I love the title, Elyssa, and the premise. Sounds like another book I'll be snapping up! :)

I started writing dark paranormal but found that (to me) I couldn't have as many one-liners in them. So, I tried my hand at contemporary. One day I'd love to write a Victorian. :)

Care to give us a little snippet of AS YOU WISH?

Elyssa: This is one of my favorite scenes and takes place in Portia's florist shop, Cloud Nine. I'm sure you'll all see why I like it so much. ;)

She licked her lips. "You could have called."

"I hate phones," he whispered, his breath fanning over her neck. "Besides, I wouldn't be able to do this."

His mouth replaced the fern. He kissed under her jawline where her pulse made a staccato beat.

"I also couldn't do this."

A kiss against the corner of her lips, and her eyes fluttered shut.

"And I certainly couldn't do this."

His mouth covered hers. Hot. Demanding. Conquering. His hands gripped her waist and lifted her onto the edge of the table before resting them on her upper thighs. With a gentle pressing of his fingers, he spread her legs open. His hand skated down her leg to her calf, lifted it, and raised it around his hip.

"Put your other leg around me, Portia." He dragged wet, hot, open-mouthed kisses down the side of her neck, his hands at the buttons of her shirt. Toying with them. His tongue darted out and licked the base of her throat. "So damn sweet."

She lifted her other leg, draping it around his waist. His hardness pressed against her center. He captured her moan with another slow kiss, his fingers working one button free. Another. Then another. Done at such a leisurely place where every single pink button slid against her skin. The coolness of them made her gasp into his mouth. She wrapped herself tighter around him and ran her hands through his hair.

She moaned in protest when his mouth lifted away. Cool air whispered against her flesh, and she opened her eyes. Her shirt was unbuttoned but still tucked into the waistband of her jeans. The panels of her pink shirt fell open, revealing her porcelain skin and the flower-printed white bra she wore.

"You really do have a thing for flowers, don't you?" His eyes were dark and heavy, his breathing harsher. With every touch and kiss, he didn't hold back in his desire. He didn't hold back, period. Aubry Riley was the type of man to display his emotions, good or bad. However, Portia doubted he allowed anyone to see beyond his rock star persona.

His index finger rested against her clavicle. "I wasn't going to say any of those things. Wasn't going to call you Tinkerbell." He moved his finger down until it rested over her heart, then traced along the scalloped edges of her bra. "Beautiful. Sexy."

He caressed a path downward over her bra and circled her cotton-covered nipple. "Very sexy."

"Oh," she breathed out, as his fingers played a scale from one breast to the other. He did the same thing, treating her neglected breast to the same tease as the other--tracing a circle over her nipple. The thin cotton material of her bra was too much of a barrier. She wanted it off. She wanted to be skin to skin with him. Sun-kissed to snowy white. Summer to winter.

"I'm going to kiss you. Keep your hands on the table."

 Marquita: *fans self while reaching for a glass of ice cold water* Yet another reason I love this book. Hot chemistry!!! Portia and Aubry are sooo Meant For Each Other. 

Thanks for stopping by Lady Scribes today and chatting with me Elyssa. 

Elyssa:  Thanks so much, Marquita! It was so much fun!

Love doesn’t always follow the sheet music . . .

This Christmas, Portia Jackson needs a miracle to save her family’s generations-old florist shop. What she gets instead is a car that breaks down during a blizzard. Help arrives unexpectedly when the infamous Aubry Riley pulls over. She only expects him to drive her to the gas station . . . she never expects that kiss. But Portia lives in the real world—she knows this is only a holiday fling for Aubry. Except it doesn’t feel so temporary, and the last thing she wants is a broken heart.

Sometimes you have to sing some different notes . . .

Rock star Aubry Riley has no secrets. Thanks to the media, everyone knows about his troubled past. Six years have gone by since his world crashed, and now he’s ready for a comeback. But first he needs to reconcile with his family—starting with his six-year-old daughter. A month-long vacation at a Vermont lake house affords him the perfect opportunity to take a step in the right direction. He doesn’t need any other emotional entanglements, especially not with the bright-eyed florist he can’t stop thinking about. But no matter how hard he tries to resist her, he can’t. Now all he has to do is to convince Portia that there is nothing temporary when it comes to love.
Elyssa Patrick is a former high school English teacher who left the classroom to write fun, sexy, and emotional contemporary romances. Besides being slightly addicted to chocolate, she loves cupcakes, classic movies, and Shakespeare. She is a member of RWA. Elyssa lives in New York, where she is currently working on her next novel.
Twitter: @elyssapatrick

Kindle | Nook | Kobo

 Not even Holland Springs' Most Notorious Resident can stop this Love Spell.

Customers come to Rose Holland’s apothecary shop for three things: to hear her uncanny matchmaking advice, to buy the “magical” hair and skin products she sells, and to accuse her of trying to steal their men. For years Rose has been entirely innocent and almost content with that status quo. But that was before sexy, smooth-talking Sasha Romanov came to town and made her want to use her love potions on him… until he broke her heart. Now corrupt town officials want to seize her land and sell it to an industrial giant, and her only hope for help looks like the one man she can’t trust—or stop herself from falling under his spell. 

Alexander “Sasha” Romanov seems like every woman’s dream: charming, handsome and fabulously rich. But while the people of Holland Springs think he’s in town to generously invest in their economy (and possibly one of their daughters), Sasha struggles to save his sick mother from his vicious uncle’s plans by doing everything the greedy businessman wants. And Vlad Romanov wants Rose Holland’s land—at any cost. 

Despite Sasha’s vow to get the job done and keep his hands (and everything else!) off Rose, the blue-eyed witch enchants him. But his mother’s life remains in the balance. Sasha must find a way to protect his mother, sabotage his uncle’s plans, and win the woman who’s captured his heart without destroying everything she loves.

GIVEAWAY!!! Elyssa and I are giving away Two Copies Each


Commentors.  (Copies are e-book only.) 


  1. Hi, I have never read any of your work but would love to change that. Third Time's the Charm sounds great!
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    1. Congrats Debby! You've won a copy of Third Time's a Charm. Please email me at marquita DOT valentine AT yahoo DOT com.

  2. I'm pushing Third Time's a Charm to the top of my TBR list.

    1. L.J., it really is such a wonderful book!

    2. Congrats, L.J.!!!! You've won a copy of Elyssa's debut, AS YOU WISH!!

      Please email her at elyssapatrick AT gmail DOT com.

  3. Thanks for joining us today, Elyssa! I had the opposite happen--I tried to write contemporary, and I found that it just doesn't fit my voice at all. That's why I stick with historicals. I love that you wrote a rock star hero because you were told it wouldn't sell! LOL.

    And congrats on getting your next book out, Marquita! Can't wait to read it.

    1. Thanks. Catherine! To be fair, I wouldn't have been able to write a rock star romance had I not had such an awesome idea. Because there are a lot of times where I think oh I'd love to read that but if I don't have a story then I won't be able to write it. ;)

      And when I was actually writing AYW I had a few people tell me that the book wouldn't sell. (Of course it ended up that those people would be right, lol.)

      But you really have to write what you want to write, and not worry about what's happening in the market. I don't think pro-athlete heroes were all that popular when Susan Elizabeth Phillips shopped IT HAD TO BE YOU, and well, look at SEP now!

  4. I had the best time chatting with Elyssa, you guys. And would y'all believe that this is the severely parred down version of our chat? I think we had enough for THREE blog posts, lol!!!

    And if you haven't read AS YOU WISH, I totally recommend it. I LOVED Portia and Aubry.

    1. LOL. I think I said to you at one point that we could go on forever and ever. ;)

      And thank you so much for the kind words on AS YOU WISH.

  5. Thanks again for having me on the blog, Marquita! I'll be popping in and out throughout the day to check comments, but I'm so excited to be here. :)

  6. Welcome, Elyssa!! Congrats to you and Marquita for your releases *does happy Snoopy dance*
    Nothing makes me want to rebel more than when someone tells me you can't write something and make it work. I've always believed that if you write a damn good book, the readers will find it. Good on you for going with your gut on the rock star hero!

  7. Right, Erin? I read a blog post of yours about your books and what's not in there, and I was all: you go, Erin, for writing what YOU want to write and selling it. Romance needs rebels. :)

    And thanks so much for the congrats!

    1. Three cheers for ladies who take chances!!! I mean, where would we be if no one every said, "Forget it. I'm writing what I want to write and that's it." and then acted on it. I'm thinking there wouldn't be a lot of books written, right?

  8. Welcome to Lady Scribes, Elyssa! We're so happy to have you! I have to admit I haven't read AS YOU WISH yet, but I love the idea of a rock star hero! I don't know why that's a no-no because it intrigues me and I'll definitely add AYW to my TBR pile. Congrats on the release!
    Marquita, you already know how much I luuuurve Sasha. So excited for others to meet him and Rose! :)

    1. Oh you have to, Andris. AYW's hero, Aubry, is so hot! I think he's totally up your alley!

      And thanks. :)

    2. Thanks so much, Andris! And Sasha is delicious!

  9. Congratulations to you both. No need to enter me in Elyssa's drawing; I just won her book in another giveaway. I look forward to reading it.

    @Elyssa: Did you ever read Public Secrets by Nora Roberts? That was an epic story about the life of a rock star and the perils of fame.

    1. Oh, yay, Kim, on winning AYW in another giveaway! I hope you enjoy it. :)

      I have not yet read Nora Roberts' PUBLIC SECRETS, although I bought it earlier this year on my Kindle. But I tend to love Nora's books--she definitely got me more into romance, as I spent one summer of colleg glomming everything I could find of hers.

    2. Congrats, Kim! You've won a copy of my book, Third Time's a Charm!! Please email me at marquita DOT valentine AT gmail DOT com.

  10. Thanks for a very fun post and congrats ladies on the new releases!!!! Both of these books sound right up my alley and I've added them to my "want" list :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Erin, it was so much fun chatting with Elyssa! And thank you for your congrats! I do hope that if you get to read them, that they will work for you.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. Thanks, Erin! I do hope you enjoy both if you get a chance to read them. :)

    3. Congrats Erin! You won a copy of Elyssa's debut, AS YOU WISH!!!

      Please email her at elyssapatrickAT gmail DOT com.

    4. How did I miss this?! I visit every day! lol... thanks sooo much. I just purchased Your book and I'm so excited to read it :) Grrrr... can I have a "call in to work so I can read" day?

  11. Congrats to you both and Welcome to Lady Scribes, Elyssa! Both books sound fabulous. I love fun contemps--and so does my mom. These sound right up our alley!

    1. Thanks, Deb! So are you entering for your mom?! ;)

    2. Awesome, Deb! I'm partial to fun contemps myself. ;)

  12. Nice covers. Both these books sound good.


    1. Thanks B&N. I think Elyssa's cover is gorgeous!:)

  13. Third Time's a Charm looks great! Would love to read it.