Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guarding Poppy by Christine Wenrick: Interview with Excerpt



What is the hardest part of writing your books?

I think making sure your characters feel fresh and that you are not repeating something from a previous book. As much as you love a specific hero or heroine you’ve created in the past, every new one has to feel different, has to have his/her own characteristics that make them attractive and interesting to readers.  

Where do you research for your books?

Locations for my Charmed series came from places I lived and backpacked with my dad for years, so that was very personal and very easy for me to describe from experience . . . though, it’s still in the confines of a fictional world, which is fun. My new series, Men of Brahm Hill, takes places mostly in Canada and some remote places I’ve never been which requires much more research about the areas, the people. Most of that research I do is on the web. Then I blow it all up for my fictional world, lol. (Just kidding . . . sort of.)

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I have a reading group local to me in Seattle who read and review the books about 12-18 months before they are released. We get together for what we call our ‘Book Summits’ and talk about what works and what doesn’t work about the books. They have been reading and critiquing my books from the beginning and I don’t know what I would do without them. They challenge me in many ways and they love these characters as much as I do. They are such a blessing to have.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

How real some of my characters feel to me. I swear I just expect to see Caleb and Olivia walking down the street one day, holding hands and laughing. For me, they are two friends who live here in Seattle that I revisit every once in a while.

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

I do hear from readers and I love hearing from them! Mostly they ask me about what’s coming up . . . which, of course, I can’t tell them. But it’s fun to hear their excitement for the next book. I get a lot of questions about my tree house from The Charmed series as well. Is it real? Do I have floor plans for it? I actually do have floor plans and was going to share them, but I’ve sort of changed my mind on that. I’m torn on whether it is just best to let the readers have their image of the tree house in their head. Is anything in life as great as what we visualize in our head? 

What do you think makes a good story?

Anyone who read my work knows I love a good plot twist. They are a must for me along with real and interesting characters. I personally dislike when I read a book and feel like I could write the next page because you know exactly where it’s going. That is especially true in a romance novel because, let’s face it, we know exactly how it’s going to end 90% of the time. By adding twist that you really didn’t see coming (you know, the kind where you throw the book down and stare at it for five minutes while you think about things before you continue) you create tension with the reader, which means you are creating engagement. By far, my favorite thing to hear from reviewers is ‘I didn’t see that coming’.

What are your favorite TV shows?

I don’t watch much television. I don’t even have cable. I like football and I watch series that I can catch on Netflix. My favorites have been Breaking Bad and The Tudors. I love Henry Cavill!

Guarding Poppy
by Christine Wenrick
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?
BUY LINK: Amazon 
Sovereign Elder Joseph Davin stepped forward to embrace Poppy. “You’re not safe here, little flower.” Now Alec really felt like he was intruding on a private conversation. “I must protect you the best way I know how. I promised your mother.” He then motioned back to Alec. “I trust Alec. He’s a former Guardian—and a very good one. You yourself said that you can feel Irina getting closer. Let Alec take you someplace where he can protect you and you can know what it feels like to be safe. In the meantime, I will find a way to deal with Irina.”
Poppy dropped her head quietly, and for a moment it seemed she wasn’t going to answer him. “I feel safer here with you than I will with a stranger.”
“He’s right,” Alec finally said as he came slowly to his feet, realizing he needed to do something to gain this woman’s trust—though he could hardly blame her for being guarded after spending a lifetime on the run. “I may be a stranger to you, but I can protect you. And more importantly, I can give you all the tools at my disposal so you can protect yourself. If you have a sense for recognizing the warlock who’s threatening you, your Dhampir instincts are telling you that you’re in danger. You need to start trusting those instincts.”
Those huge gold eyes of hers locked on him fully with a look of utter determination as she walked right up to him—thankfully, straight this time. He had to admit, he flinched just a bit with the possibility she might trip again. “I don’t want any part of witchcraft, Dhampirs or vampires. That’s not who I am.”
“Yes, it is,” he challenged her without hesitation. “That’s exactly who you are.”
Her eyes narrowed as if she were preparing to blast him with a thousand different reasons why that was not true, but instead she replied, “I will agree to go with you on two conditions.” Alec simply crossed his arms in front of his chest. What was it about women and their conditions? Why couldn’t they just agree? “One, you’ll agree to never disagree with me again.” Alec’s brows arched high at that rather impossible request. “And two, I will only go with you if it doesn’t require us crossing an ocean in an air-”
Poppy’s words were cut off by her small squeal when Alec caught sight of Joseph sticking a needle into her arm. Her eyes widened in shock and she tried to turn to Joseph, but her limbs gave out from under her almost immediately. Alec reached out and caught Poppy when she would have otherwise collapsed to the floor. “What in the world did you do that for?”
“No worries,” Joseph assured him. “It’s just a little something to help her relax for the trip.”
Alec blinked at him. “Relax? She doesn’t like flying?”
Joseph shook his head. “Terrified of it, actually. Unfortunately, Poppy lacks an appreciation for the severity of her current situation. We need to get her out of London tonight—hence, something to relax her. But once she’s someplace safe she’ll be no trouble at all.”
Alec’s gaze narrowed shrewdly. By what he had already witnessed in the few scant minutes he had been in this woman’s presence, she was the very definition of the term high maintenance. 
So he doubted that very much.
BUY LINK: Amazon 
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.
Twitter: @CWenrick

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).



Lori Franklin Hopkins said...

Finding another new-to-me author that I want to read!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

stacey dempsey said...

Thank you I enjoyed the interview

Bev said...

I enjoyed the excerpt! "Guarding Poppy" looks like a great read!

Marcy Meyer said...

The excerpt sounds great! And I love the cover!

Amy Adams said...

I enjoy this nice interview! Thanks Laurie!
Have a great day,

Ebooks as a gift

Serena91291 said...

Thanks for the excerpt! I'd love to read these books.

Christine Wenrick said...

Thanks for the Q&A Laurie and having me here to talk about my latest release! Best of luck to all of your followers in our tour giveaway.

Lee Todd said...

loved the interview
thanks for the giveaway

Mary Preston said...

I enjoyed the interview.

kiwi_chick_2882 said...

Super cool to get to know a little bit about the author behind the book :) Thanks for the great giveaway and interview :)