One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a runner up will receive autographed copies of Someone Else’s Skye and Guarding Poppy (US only). Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.
Interview with Christine Wenrick
Susana: What inspired you to start writing?
Christine: From the rooftop of the building where I live, I had a very clear image of the final scene of my first novel The Charmed. So clear, in fact, I went out the next day, bought a laptop and began writing the scene down that night. Once I started I couldn’t stop until I completed the trilogy. It’s funny how the simplest thing can kind of burst out of you like that.
Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out
Christine: Don’t get discouraged! Believe in your work. Trust your instincts. This is a tough business we are in and it is impossible to please every reader. But that is also the great thing about reading . . . that people care enough to have an opinion, and that they discuss those opinions. Reading is such a great gift to all of us in that way because it encourages conversation, thought and ideas.
Susana: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Christine: Yes, when I’m stressed by life. You can’t force anything when it happens. I usually have a couple of novels going at one time so I will switch to one where the story is already written. I find, even with writer’s block, I can read through chapters and make minor edits. Writer’s block, for me anyway, usually happens when I am trying to figure out major plotting points, action scenes or character development.
Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?
Christine: What a great question! Plot is very important to me. I write steamy paranormal, but the golden rule for any of my novels is that I should be able to take out every love scene and there would still be enough story left for the readers to love.
With that being said . . . if the reader does not connect to the characters, your book will fall flat. It doesn’t matter if you have the most outrageous action scene or steamiest love scene. It won’t work.
Characters come first.
Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Christine: For fans of the previous books, you will get to visit with some old friends.
Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?
Christine: Just paranormal right now, but yes I would consider another romantic genre. I love to read historical romances by authors like Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn. I think that would be fun to write. But I respect how much historic detail authors of this genre have to have for it to be done well. With paranormal you can be detailed, but there is no real life precedent for any of it. You can go anywhere you want with it.
Susana: What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?
Christine: Ice cream, especially coconut gelato. Absolutely adore the stuff so I never have it at home. I make myself have to go out for it. There is a great gelato place next to my favorite sushi place on Capital Hill (my second favorite food).
I hate cilantro. It has just such a strong taste that I can’t stand. I avoid most Mexican food because of it.
Susana: What are favorite pastimes?
Christine: I love spending time with my friends, especially playing poker. I’m a terrible poker player! Cannot bluff to save my life, but I love to play. I’m not a big television watcher, but I love to go see a movie at the theatre or once in a while catching a movie on Netflix.
About Guarding Poppy
One night…one violent, supernatural battle…and five stories of the men whose lives will be changed by it.
Alec Lambert was born to lead. He’s a ruling Elder of The Brethren, possessing steely confidence, natural smarts, and decisive problem solving abilities . . . and he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Everything in his life has gone exactly according to plan—until the night of Brahm Hill. Alec loses his best friend at the hands of the uncle he trusted like a father, along with his previously unshakable faith to lead those with whom he’s charged. Despite this, he continues to press ahead, and for his next assignment he’s asked to protect a very beautiful but very clumsy Dhampir who’s being hunted by a powerful warlock. Suddenly, he finds his whole Brethren world is turned upside down . . . and he finds himself harboring a desire for her he can’t explain.
Poppy Honeywell knows she’s far from perfect. Bad things tend to happen when she’s around. She’s more than a little clumsy, with a phobia or two mixed in. Not to mention that her name is certainly unusual. But she doesn’t have time to worry about all that because she’s on the run and not about to back down from the arrogant Elder who’s just been assigned as her protector, claiming he has all the answers to her problems. The real problem, though, is . . . she’s irresistibly drawn to this man who faces constant danger and takes charge so naturally. But Poppy also sees that taking charge of others helps Alec mask his own very deep pain.
Will Alec find his way out of the darkness and surrender to his feelings for Poppy before the warlock chasing her catches up to them both?
“Why. Am. I. On. A. Plane?” Poppy emphasized each word as her hands gripped at the luxurious sofa arm beside her. But the modern jet seemed determined to bounce all of them out of their seats as the cabin continued to jostle about angrily. They were definitely in the middle of some mean turbulence, which was to be expected of anyone fool enough to be flying in a small plane in winter conditions.
“Because it’s the most efficient way to get someone across an ocean,” Alec answered. “We still have about an hour or so before we land. So you’re going to have to let me know if you’re going to panic on me.”
His brow lifted as if he found that comment interesting.
Poppy leapt to her feet inside the small cabin and she noticed Alec braced his hands against his chair arm as if to steady himself. Surely he didn’t think she was really going to hit him? “You’re not going to trip again, are you?” he asked her.
Poppy glared at him and then down at herself. She was looking for any reasonable explanation to defend the innate clumsiness he’d gotten to experience firsthand within the first minute of meeting her in Joseph’s study. “These are very challenging heels!”
Yep. That was the best she could come up with.
The Elder smiled. No, it was definitely more of a smirk. “I’m sure they are,” he replied. “Now, will you please sit down before you get bounced off your feet? The turbulence may get worse before it gets better.”
“Worse?” Poppy squeaked. She might very well end up back in his lap if this turbulence got any worse. She didn’t like to think of herself as a coward, but when it came to flying she definitely was, even more so than her irrational fear of spiders. They just had too many legs. “Look—you need to understand. I don’t fly! Ever . . .! You need to find a way to land this plane, right now!”
“I can’t do that. As I explained, we’re over a lake.”
“Well get un-over the lake!”
The Elder didn’t say anything in response, just seemed to contemplate that. He removed the reading glasses that were a dead giveaway that he was human, though, he looked fit enough to give even one of his Dhampir guards a run for their money. He’d certainly felt fit enough when she had crash-landed into his chest in Joseph’s study…which had been utterly embarrassing. One moment, she’d been fully prepared to burst in and make her case to Joseph about why she needed to stay at The Hallow, and the next, the tip of her shoe had caught on the carpet and she was flying forward straight into a complete stranger.
“Oh God, descent…,” she mumbled to herself as she rubbed her hands over her face. “This is not good. This is not good.”
“It will be all—”
“Where are we landing…Elder Lambert?” she added awkwardly, realizing they had not actually exchanged first names.
He returned his glasses to the bridge of his nose and went back to looking at his tablet. “You may call me Alec. I much prefer it to Elder Lambert. We’ll be landing in Alberta at The Oracle, The Brethren site I’m in charge of. After discussing it, Joseph and I felt this would be the best place for you to stay.”
“Well, isn’t that nice,” she answered him flippantly. “You discussed it. By any chance—in any of this heavy dialogue—did anyone consider asking me if I wanted to go to Canada?”
Alec just sighed in that ‘you’re going to cause me a lot of trouble, aren’t you’ sort of way.
About the Author
Christine is a graduate of Washington State University where she received a BA in Interior Design. And true to form of using mostly her ‘right brain’, she splits her time between her commercial design career and her imaginary world of writing. She lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, camping and photographing many of the wonderful places that served as inspiration for her writing. Her biggest reward in life is any given day when one of her books connects with a reader because she herself is such a lover of reading. Some of her favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kimberly Derting.