Monday, August 26, 2013

Guest blogger Ellen Parker and Giveaway!

Hey everyone! Today, I'd like to welcome Ellen Parker to Wicked Authors with an interview and a giveaway of her debut romantic suspense novel STARR TREE FARM! I'm giving away one eBook copy of the book through Amazon or B&N. Winner's choice. Check back on next Monday for the winner!

Introduce yourself to the Wicked Authors readers.
Thanks, Shawntelle, for inviting me. My name is Ellen Parker and I write sweet romantic suspense. My aim is to write stories you’re willing to share with either your mother or your daughter – or both.

How long does it take you to write your books?
Starr Tree Farm, my debut book, took more than three years from initial idea to finished novel. This includes several times when I set it aside, sometimes for months, to work on other projects. I sincerely hope that the next one comes together a little quicker.

What do you think makes a story great?
Characters. I enjoy realistic characters, a mixture of flaws and perfection, placed in unusual situations. And it’s a bonus if I come away from a story feeling that I’ve learned something about a new place or time.

Can you describe your book “Starr Tree Farm” in one sentence? I love one-liners that snag me to read.
A young widow finds danger and love in unexpected places.

Tell us a little about “Starr Tree Farm.”
One year after her husband’s murder, Laura Tanner’s grief has turned to frustration at the stalled police investigation. She accepts an invitation from relatives to leave St. Louis and tend their Christmas tree farm near Crystal Springs, Wisconsin for two weeks.
Brad Asher’s military career ended when he lost an arm in Afghanistan. He’s returned to Crystal Springs and when he learns that Laura, the girl he admired during her childhood visits, plans to visit and perhaps settle in the community he decides to make the most of this second chance.
But Laura’s arrival from St. Louis disturbs secrets surrounding her husband’s murder. Can Brad keep her safe and in his life?

I’d love to know more about your research for this book. What did you have to learn to write it?
I researched and learned many things that did not appear in the final draft. The internet introduced me to licensed private investigators and upper body prostheses. I visited my hometown, the inspiration for Crystal Springs, and talked with long-time friends about changes since I’ve lived there. The most interesting portion of my research was a visit to a commercial Christmas tree farm and learning how labor intensive this crop is.

Do you have a favorite author? Or a favorite book?
It’s difficult to just pick one author. I think Joanne Bourne would top the list for historical and Sharon Sala for contemporary. The most recent book that I had difficulty putting down was Where Angels Rest by Kate Brady.

What do you do when you aren’t writing? What are some of your pastimes?
I try to stay active in small groups at my church. I also take a lot of walks – a great place to work through plot problems – and mess around with a tiny garden.

What are you currently working on next?
My current project is another story set in Crystal Springs. I’ve been researching apple orchards for this one.

Is there anything that I didn’t cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?
I’d encourage readers to try new things, to pick up an occasional book outside of the genre they’ve been reading.

Want a free preview of Ellen Parker's STARR TREE FARM? Check out this preview.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Claudia Shelton said...

Always wanted to own a Christmas tree farm complete with holiday fun, cookies and caroling. But, all that work throughout the rest of the year can be daunting! I'm just getting into Starr Tree Farm, but love the setting already.

Claudia Shelton

Barbara said...

Ellen, your story sounds delightful. The book is on my TBR pile (make that list for ebooks, huh? :) Best of luck with it.
Barb Bettis

Christine said...

Ellen, your story sounds great. Nice interview.

Chris Cannon

Lynn Cahoon said...

I loved Starr Tree Farm. Great interview.

Martha Lawson said...

The newest Jayne Castle book that I preordered, should be here in a few days! Never miss her books.

Your book sounds really great, thanks for the chance to win.

mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com