Avast ye me hearties and blow me down!
Today we welcome Western Contemporary Romance Author Loralee Lillibridge on the deck of our fair ship to thrill us with a tale of Western Romance spun in Texas.
All hands on deck to welcome her aboard. But first a teaser...
BUSINESS BEFORE PLEASURE?
"Whit sped down the road toward Peabody, cursing himself six ways to Sunday.The electricity generated between them was enough to light up all of South Texas...
But then, that would have put a crimp in his plans to obtain the lease, and he didn't want to screw that up."
"Gracie watched, her whole body tingling, still wanting,until Whit disappeared from view.What would have happened if she'd followed her urge to kiss him senseless?"
Romance author, Loralee Lillibridge, is a long-time fan of romance novels and a strong believer in the power of love.
Loralee grew up in Texas loving cowboys and rodeos, but relocated in Michigan after her marriage to a handsome Yankee who stole her heart.
She still favors country love songs, and seeing a field of Texas bluebonnets can make her cry, but she admits the West Michigan lakeshore has a beauty all its own.
Even as a child, Loralee’s love of books, combined with a vivid imagination, fueled a desire to create her own stories with characters readers could care about. Her first attempt was a neighborhood play about a pirate who rescued a princess. (Original, yes?) Needless to say, the audience only consisted of her parents and the boy next door who reluctantly played the role of the pirate.
Now she enjoys writing emotionally fulfilling stories centered on the relationship of a man and a woman and their often rocky road to love. Heart-warming stories of ordinary people and extra-ordinary love.
Thank you so much for inviting me to THE WHIMSICAL HERALD BLOG. I look forward to telling you a bit about my latest release, COWBOYS, CASTLES AND CRADLES.
Welcome aboard, Loralee!
1. Your novel Cowboys,Castles and Cradles begins with an explosion of action, stormy weather and circumstances. Was it intentional that your novel begins with a bang?
The beginning action was definitely intentional. I wanted Whit and Gracie to meet at the start of the story in order to give them more time to develop a relationship. After all, they certainly don’t have anything in common. Or do they?
2.What inspires you to write Western contemporary romance?
I’ve always loved reading about ranch life in the Hill Country. Texas history fascinates me and cowboy movies a la Roy Rogers and Lone Ranger were a Saturday afternoon must as I was growing up. John Wayne, Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott movies came along later.
3.Whit Carter Lovett the Third and Gracie Castle seem to have an instant connection. Are you a believer in love at first sight?
I believe a mutual attraction can be instantly filled with fireworks, but true love takes time to grow. Of course, there are always exceptions, especially in romance novels.
4.Take us through your typical day as an author.Do you write on a schedule?
Schedule? I’m still trying to find one. Right now I’m in the process of moving to a new home, so my time to write is usually in the evening after a day of sorting and packing. But I believe having a schedule is necessary in order to get the pages written each day. I’m motivated by my terrific critique partners who have been my inspirations for over twelve years.
5.Are you a plotter who makes outlines or a fly by the seat of your pants author?
I’m more of a pantser who wishes she was a better plotter! Actually, I’m somewhat of a daydreamer, also. But I count that as “story development”, wouldn’t you?
6.Are there authors who have inspired you to write? Who are your favorites?
Back in the day, (long, long ago), my high school English and Literature instructor banked the fire for reading that my parents started. My preacher father was also an artist and poet. As for authors who inspired me, there are too many to name. There are some in every genre. I can’t choose!!!
7. What was the first novel you published, and what advice would you give hopeful emerging authors?
My first novel was Accidental Hero published by Harlequin Special Edition in 2005 and still available in digital. Advice? Keep writing and never stop learning.
8.What current projects do you have in the works for your readers to look forward to?
I hope to write another Texas contemporary romance or two and another cozy mystery. Right now I’m taking a break until I get settled in new home.
9. There is a lot of humor in Cowboys, Castles and Cradles--what is one of your favorite scenes in your newest novel?
My favorite humorous scene? Probably the one in the pasture with the bull. Or any with the two old codgers. They’re my favorite secondary characters. I’d love to hear which one readers choose.
10. Are there other genres that you are tempted to write in?
I’d love to write an historical Western. I love reading them. I’d set it in Texas. Anyone surprised?
Well me hearties, we shall in parting splice the main brace and give three cheers for Loralee Lillibridge and her new release,'Cowboys.Castles, and Cradles! Be sure to grab a copy of this fine Western Contemporary Romance today! We thank Loralee Lillibridge for coming aboard and regaling us with her tale of complicated love mystery and family in Southern Texas.
Once again it's time to 'weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen ' as we sail off to scope out more treasure on the literary high seas!
Yo ho ho from your Mistress of Madness,
ALL HAND HOY ME HEARTIES!
Aaaaaargggghhhhh! We are weary of grey skies, but with the advent of February we are steering a course for Valentine’s Day and ,beyond that, the Spring Equinox beckons like a Siren.
Walking the gang plank today to board The Whimsical Herald is an author with an imagination as vast as the ocean and a wit to match. We welcome Author Ellen Fritz on board. She comes bearing a pirate’s chest of literary treasure and has invited all of you to share the spoils of her newest release, ’UPRISING:The Second Birth Chronicles’ .
As she takes her seat at the Captain’s table we hoist theJolly Rodger and invite you to listen in on our first author interview with the notable Ellen Fritz! Prepare for chills, mystery, romance and (wait for it, wait for it) . . . ALIENS!
“He shivered. He knew the horrors humans were capable of. Whatmight aliens do?”
"The hairs on the back of Ted’s neck stood straight up as if lightning were about to strike. He blinked his eyes a few times and pinchedhimself. Erik Ander was the first to change, then his wife…finally Collins turned into something tall, thin, with lavender skin and long pastel-colored robes. The one facing the window had eyes of deep, deep blue with spots oflight twinkling in them.”'
Ellen Fritz is a retired teacher and high school counselor. Over the years of teaching reading and English to students in grades seven through twelve before be-coming a counselor, she had the great opportunity to discuss numerous favorite books with students and also took their recom-mendations for her own reading.
She finally found herself with the time to give life to the stories that have always been patiently waiting in her head for an audience. Ellen wrote Mira to appeal to those teen readers that she found so inspiring through her career as an educator.
"I didn’t start writing seriously until I retired and found myself with the time to spend a whole day in front of the computer. The ideas had been in my head for many years, but were undeveloped and unexplored. One day, several months after my teaching/ counseling career ended, I sat down and started.
Q-Ellen there is intrigue and drama, but also a lot of humor in uprising. How did you come up with the character of Detective Ted Peterson with his tongue in cheek sense of humor?
I knew I needed someone who was dedicated to his job, friendly and brave. He had to be willing to face the aliens to save the women who were abducted. It all came from there. Using humor to cover his nervousness and fear also worked to make him seem real.
Q-Do you take a break between novels or have several projects going at once?
I can’t take a break between novels because my mind doesn’t stop working on new ideas. I had a new novel started while editing Uprising and was finishing another series. It would be easier to do one at a time, but I’d have to stop thinking of new things and that would be boring.
Q-Who inspired you to complete your first novel? Who continues to inspire your fresh ideas for characters and plotlines?
I’m a retired high school English teacher and my inspiration to start writing at all came from students. But inspiration comes from everywhere. Often, the storyline seems to just pop into my head and it’s later that I realize where it came from. I’ve known a lot of people through the years and my inspiration for characters is usually a mix of many different people.
Q-Ted’s first alien kiss was a doozy. How did you approach writing that scene?
I knew I wanted it to be a doozy, so I thought long and hard. Ted and Sindri both needed to be wowed, so I wanted her to be in her Miran form. That would wow Ted, but how would it impress Sindri? Her story of no human ever knowing what she truly was after being on earth for thousands of years, became my answer. The fact that he knew and she could be herself touched her deeply.
Q-If you had to come up with a few dating rules for humans dating aliens what would they be?
I think they’re the same rules for any relationship. Stay honest. Stay open. Remember you don’t have to rush the relationship.
Q-You seem to have a lot of knowledge about police procedures, detectives and crime scenes. What is your background and how did it figure in with your portrayal of certain scenes and characters in ‘UPRISING’?
I have absolutely no background in police work except that many of my previous students are now police officers, detectives, and state patrol officers. I think my knowledge comes from all the detective shows I’ve watched on TV. See, you really can learn from TV. Thank you, Law and Order.
Q-A certain ‘genetic eye opener’ in ‘UPRISING’ provided a unique plot twist. Did you plan that or did it happen spontaneously during your writing?
I planned that. There had to be some reason Ted could sense the other race of aliens, the Dabih. I realized then that it also gave Sindri a reason to doubt him, which added an interesting twist.
Q-Was the world building and stage setting detail of the opposing alien cultures, the Mirans and the Dabih featured in your novel a challenge to flesh out?
It wasn’t much of a challenge. Sometimes, thankfully, one idea leads to another. I established the Miran settlement in the first book, and wanted the Dabih world to be completely different. Putting them underwater while the Mirans are in the mountains helped. I went back and forth a few times, and changed some things, but it was actually easier than I anticipated. There’s also much more about the Dabih in the next book. Watch for it!
Q-Who have your mentors been on your journey to becoming a notable YA author?
I have always been a voracious reader which is one of the reasons I became an English teacher. I’ve read literary classics, science fiction, fantasy, romances, mysteries, great literature and trash. So my mentors are all those other authors that I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed. My advice? If you want to be a writer, be a reader first.
Q-Who was your favorite character in ‘UPRISING’?
Answer: Without a doubt, Ted. I enjoyed every part of making him who he is – the good guy that everyone likes and appreciates as a friend. The guy who was born to be a cop because he genuinely wants to help people that need help. Who wouldn’t like Ted?
Q-What future projects do you have in the wings for your readers to look forward to?
The third book of the Second Birth Chronicles, which is ready for editing and all the other stuff the publisher needs to do. I also have a book with Tell-Tale Publishing that is about Bigfoot. No more hints now, but it is due to be out by May. There are two more that are partly written, but the dystopia is what is rolling around in my head and begging to be finished.
Detective Ted Peterson’s investigation of a suspicious death case leads him to suspect Lexi Collins and her boyfriend Adam. What he discovers is that they’re extraterrestrials. Now he's without backup and caught up in the conflict between two alien races secretly inhabiting the earth. One race, the Dabih, is abducting women and running experiments. The other, the Mira, seem friendly toward humans – especially their attractive leader Sindri - but can Ted trust aliens to help him find the Dabih and rescue the kidnapped women before it’s too late?
Also by Ellen Fritz
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)