Today I'd like to welcome guest blogger Zrinka Jelic, author of BONDED BY CRIMSON. Zrinka asked me to tell you that she'll be hosting a contest for a free e-copy of BONDED BY CRIMSON. Leave a comment if you want to be entered.
Thank you, Kris, for having me here today as your guest blogger. My debut novel BONDED BY CRIMSON has been released on January 28th, and it is available in all formats at Black Opal Books, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and fine bookstores everywhere.
People often ask me what influenced me to write this book.
There were many things, but growing up in Croatia was definitely the biggest one. The story that was swimming in my head and the final product are two totally different things. My original plot wasn't catching on with my critique partners so I changed it and as I did, I remembered a tragic love story often compared to Romeo and Juliet. So I've got the idea to make my heroine obsessed with this story and she often imagined what would it be like if they were allowed to love each other. What she didn't know was the couple continued to live after their deaths, but centuries later another tragedy struck them and now the man is a widower and a single dad. This also opened a possibility for a prequel which I'm working on. It was challenging to write the descriptive passages in Croatia without making it read as if it's a travelogue. But my crit partners wanted me to describe it better, they said the readers would want to see it. But if I went into too much detail then I sounded as a page from a history book. So I had to think of how I viewed it while I lived there. Playing hide and seek on the remains of a accent Roman Forum, climbing the medieval defense walls, how to describe it to someone who never done it? But that was normal part of growing up for me.
One of your key scenes involves a coffee reading. People ask me if I ever had it done.
Yes, I had it done and I've done it for others. This is such a part of our culture, something to pass time with. At first I faked it as everyone else did. Not every symbol have a meaning so it is ok to make something up. But it is not hard to learn the symbols and it is funny how different people will see different things. But it is creepy when someone who sees you for the first time can read your life from a tiny cup.
I’m also asked what authors I like to read. And if there are any that particularly inspire me.
When I was in high school, I devoured Danielle Steel. But after a while, her books started to feel the same. Then I've got into anything with vampires. So Anne Rice was high on my list. Then I was into Highlanders and that is how I learned about RWA through Mary McCall. As you can see, I like to read any author, but for the past year I've been into Arthuro Perez Reverte and his Alatriste series. It's not a romance, but I always find romance in every book. A few inspired me but what I don't like is when I read enough of that particular author's work I just know what the next book is going to be like But many authors seem to get comfortable in their style and would not change. I like to expect the unexpected.
Some want to know how I juggle writing with all my other commitments
I'm a staying at home mom so I have time in between house work and kids. My youngest napped at the wrong time, so I spent many late nights waiting for him to tire enough so I can put him to bed. It was in those quiet hours of the night, that ideas came to me. Thankfully, he's dropping those late afternoon naps and we make it to bed in a semi-decent hour. In the meantime, we got rid of cable TV. Kids weren't watching it and neither did I. You can't believe how much you can accomplish if you don't stare at the television every night. But I discovered I am an Internet junkie and I wasn't aware of this until one day the Internet was out.
And many are interested to find out what do I miss most about Croatia, living in Canada.
The sea, I'm from the province of Dalmatia on the Adriatic Sea and my family is from island of Essa. You can take an islander from the island, but you can't take island from an islander. I miss the summers there spent on the beaches, and in the evenings met with the friends and sip cocktails till wee hours. I can't compare it to the cottage life here. The lake waters here are ice cold and murky. Mosquitos eat you alive as soon as you poke your nose out, it gets cold once sun goes down. It's not a summer if I have to pull a sweatshirt and socks on.
Where would my dream romantic vacation take me?
Anywhere where there are beaches (not sandy, can't stand sand in my bathing suit), stunning sunsets, crystal clear sea, endless sky, warm breezes playing with the trees
Cats or dogs? Which do I prefer?
My favorite movie is Cats and Dogs, and I just love Mr. Tinkles. "Catz rule". So, definitely cats, but I'm very allergic, so that leaves me with dogs. I can't stay around a cat for more than a few minutes even if I don't touch them. Once the itching starts it's time to leave
Can you share a bit about BONDED BY CRIMSON:
Love isn’t in the cards for her…
After her short failed marriage, Kate tries to rebuild her life and takes a position as a nanny to three small boys. She quickly grows to love them, but their father, terrifies her, while igniting a passion she didn’t know she possessed. Disturbed by his distant manner with his sons, Kate struggles to make him more involved in the boys’ daily lives. Her efforts are mysteriously supported by an entity that cannot really exist. Or can she? And if she does exist, is she really trying to help Kate, or just take over her body?
But when he deals the hand, all bets are off…
Six years after his beloved wife passed away, Matthias is still trying to become the father she wanted him to be. Not an easy task for a three-centuries-old immortal. His search for the ultimate nanny ends when Kate Rokov stumbles to his home and into his arms. The immediate attraction he feels for her seems like a betrayal of his dead wife, a love he’s harboured for over three hundred years. But when Kate is stalked by a deadly stranger, life he clung to in the past begins to crumble and break down. Can Matthias learn to trust and to love again in time to save his family from disaster, or will his stubborn pride destroy everything worth living for?
How about a short excerpt?
He claimed to be immortal, but that was ridiculous...wasn’t it?
Kate’s heart hammered. The experience seemed so real. A low moan escaped her and she bit her lip. Soon warmth surged through her, causing her body to go limp. Her legs gave way underneath her, but Matthias—or whoever this man claimed to be now—wrapped his arm around her waist. His sweet, musky scent clung to her. Ecstasy filled her and she felt as if she hovered in the air. If he intended to kill her like this, she could imagine no better way to die. A voice echoed through her mind, speaking of undying love in centuries old Croatian.
“Wake up,” he whispered close to her ear, his strong arms still locked around her.
“I don’t want to.” Her head wobbled, exuberant with sheer happiness, a kind she had never experienced before.
“You must.” He stroked her hair with tender fingers. “Wake up now.”
“No. I want to stay like this. Forever.” She focused on his handsome face staring at her through her haze.
His smooth cheek brushed against hers. “Me too, but you must wake.”
The fog lifted and his image appeared, clearly now. She blinked once. Twice. What had happened?
She pushed away from him and flattened her back against the wall.
“You,” he said, pointing at her, “asked for proof.”
Thanks for blogging with me today, Zrinka. Remember, readers, leave a comment if you want a chance to win a free ebook.