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Elsa Winckler: Touched to the Soul #Giveaway

Elsa is giving away a copy of Touched the Heart, the first book in the series, to a random commenter.

 Interview with Elsa Winckler

Susana: What inspired you to start writing?

Elsa: All those happy endings! I’ve always loved to read and loved the happy endings but I didn’t always like the way the two would get together, so I decided to write the kind of story I like to read. I was thrilled to discover there were other people who also enjoyed reading it

Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?

IMGP9652 copyElsa: For me it’s the characters. I try to figure them out, sometimes I even use the Mayer Briggs personality test to really try and understand them! Once I know what makes them tick, the storyline falls into place.

Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Elsa: A pantser, I’m afraid. It used to bother me but I’ve made peace with the way a story unfolds itself. I have a vague idea of what should happen and then I let the characters tell their story – sometimes with twists that I haven’t foreseen.

Susana: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Elsa: I knit. My hands always have to be busy, so when I don’t type, I knit – in front of the television, in bed, in the car (when I’m not driving). When I concentrate on a tricky pattern, my mind wanders and it’s often then that I’d get an idea or realize how to solve a problem I was having with a story.

Susana: Is there a writer you idolize? If so, who?

Elsa: I love Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, the Brontë sisters. If I have to pick a favourite story, it would be Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South – a beautiful love story between two complex characters unfolds against the backdrop of a newly industrial England – simply breathtaking (there is also a wonderful BBC DVD available with Richard Armitage as a to-die-for Mr Thornton J )

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Elsa: Up until now, I’ve written mainly category-length love stories but would like to try my hand at something with a little bit of suspense thrown in. 

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About Touched to the Soul

Zoe Sutherland can’t stand the pushy, arrogant architect David Cavallo. He was just too damn sure of himself, too handsome, too…everything. Maneuvered into working as the interior decorator on his latest project, a glamorous new hotel, Zoe can’t keep her mind on the job. And worse, the strange man won’t give her access to the hotel’s floor plans. How is she supposed to finish the design when she doesn’t have the plans? And when the obnoxious man distracts her with every smoldering look, every touch…

David has one goal: get rid of the pesky interior designer. Since he’s been forced into close proximity with the beautiful Zoe, everything’s gone downhill. And to make matters worse, she’s only out to further her own career—and he’s not about to give her the hotel’s plans so she can steal his ideas. He needs to get her out of his system, and sleeping with her seems like the best way to do that. When it comes to women, he’s found the best way to handle them is to love ’em and leave ’em. But something strange is happening…because after a night of loving Zoe, he’s finding it harder than ever to leave…

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Excerpt

And then she swallowed. He bit the insides of his cheeks to prevent him from smiling. So, the lady wasn’t as cool as she pretended to be.

“I tried to contact you after Don and Caitlin’s wedding but you never answered any of my messages.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You know perfectly well why I ignored those messages,” she said primly.

He leaned forward, enjoying her obvious discomfort. “You see, that’s just it. I don’t know. You kissed me, stormed away, and ignored all the messages I sent you.”

Her lips trembled slightly. “You were the one who kissed me,” she said, her eyes stormy.

“You didn’t kiss me back?” he asked, not quite understanding why he couldn’t stop baiting her.

She inhaled audibly, bent her head for a few seconds before she opened the file. “We can go ahead with the contract. That is, if you still want me to.”

“Oh, I still want you…” he said solemnly, waiting a millisecond before he added “…to.”

Her flared nostrils were the only indication that she’d caught his meaning.

“Good.” She got up. “I’ll ask Susan to contact you for the next meeting. Please make sure whoever you send has all the information available—budget, timeline and of course if…”

He also got up slowly. “Seeing that my brother suggested we make use of your firm, I will be working with you. Directly.” He emphasized the last word. “I don’t mind doing favors, but when money is involved, I have to protect the investment we’ll be making. I have to make sure you are not just a pretty face but can actually do the job. You obviously don’t really want to work for me, but you’ve realized it’s good for business. Therefore, I have to make sure our business doesn’t suffer because of yours.”

About the Author

I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

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Elsa Winckler: Touched To the Heart

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Elsa: I love to read and I read just about anything but I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I’ve always loved reading romances and when I “met” the classic authors like Jane Austen, Mrs. Gaskell, Henry James, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, etc. while studying, I was hooked for life.

I entered an Afrikaans romance competition in 2008 and was fortunate enough to win it. The prize was having my story published. Since then I’ve published ten Afrikaans romances, one English romance and the second one, Touched to the Heart, has just been published.

Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

elsaElsa: The best advice I think is that if you want to be writer, you must write. It’s that simple and that hard. 🙂

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Elsa: I’m working on what I hope would be the next book in the series that started with Touched to the Heart. The four Cavallo brothers own and manage boutique hotels in South Africa, London and in the Seychelles. Don’s story is told in Touched to the Heart and I’m now working on Dale’s story.

Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?

Elsa: On a good day I try to write at least 3 000 words. ‘A good day’ is what I hope to have every day but unfortunately life happens in between—the washing has to be done, hubby wants to eat, I have to see my grandkids, etc. When I begin with a story, I know the characters, have a vague idea of what will happen but then the story kind of writes itself after a time. When I get to the point where I don’t have to think about what I’m writing, I know it’s going to work. But that normally only happens towards the end.

Susana: If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?

Elsa: Oh, to Tuscany, of course! I live in South Africa, a beautiful country, but there is just something about the Italian lifestyle that gets to me – probably the food. I love to eat!

Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Elsa: There is one quote that has helped me through the ups and downs of life—”this too shall pass.” It somehow reduces even the worst of times to the small incident you’ll eventually recognise it to be – one that has to end at some point.

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?

Elsa: At the moment I only write contemporary romance. I’ve tried my hand at an inspirational story in Afrikaans, which will be published next year. Paranormal stories amuse me and I think I’d like to try one at some point.

About Touched To the Heart

Discover beautiful South Africa in this sweet, heart-warming Cinderella story about a blogger, a billionaire, and one chance meeting.

When it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn’t have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on.

While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers—hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms.

Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart.

They’ve both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.

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Excerpt

Touched cover_Final copy‘I have a question,’ he said.

‘Yes?’ she said, hoping her knees would not buckle underneath her. This close, he was even more overwhelming.

‘The massage I’ve just been given, is that what you usually do?’

Her face flamed, but she ignored it and squared her shoulders. ‘You have a back problem. I tried to ease your pain. That’s it.’

‘You haven’t answered my question. Is that the usual treatment your patients get?’

‘I…yes.’ She nodded and opened the door quickly. ‘I’m sorry if you didn’t like it.’

He smiled. This time her knees did buckle and she gripped the door more firmly. His smile was devastating.

‘I didn’t say I didn’t like it.’ He bent down till his face was centimetres from hers. ‘As you very well know, I liked it just fine,’ he said, his brown eyes dark.

Link to Longer Excerpt 

About the Author

I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I “met” the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

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GoodreadsPinterest • WattpadGoogle+