ONE NIGHT . . . ONE VIOLENT, SUPERNATURAL BATTLE . . .
AND FIVE STORIES OF THE MEN WHOSE LIVES WILL BE CHANGED BY IT.
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?
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I actually started Guarding Poppy with the idea for the Men of Brahm Hill series. We meet these five heroes (some with much more screen time than others) in my first series, The Charmed. That series ended with a horrific supernatural battle that left many repercussions we explore in this series. Specifically for Guarding Poppy, our hero Alec Lambert is still trying to deal with his grief of losing his best friend when he is assigned a woman to protect who’s a little quirky.
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I came up with the titles for the series and yes I did change this one. The original title was a perfectly awful one, An Elder’s Trust, which made it sound like I was writing a love story about an eighty year old man! The first book in the series, Someone Else’s Skye, actually helped me come up with the titles for the whole series. Each story’s hero and the relationship between the five men are front and center in this series, so the cover images are focused on the hero represented. But I wanted the heroines to be represented as well so it only made sense to include her name in each title.
- Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I think this genre somehow picked me. It’s funny, I mostly read straight historical and contemporary romances, yet I love writing paranormal. I love that the superhuman world created in these books is hidden within the everyday human world. It allows for the characters to get to do extraordinary things and be in extraordinary situations but also be confined by things we are all familiar with like time, places and seasons.
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
I think I was blown away when I received my first fan email from another country. How cool it was to realize my books had affected someone halfway around the world. When I started writing I hadn’t thought about anyone reading the books past my local book club here. Pretty cool feeling.
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I am currently reading Split Second by Catherine Coulter and the last book I read was Down London Road by Samantha Young. I enjoyed Down London Road and am off to a good start with Split Second.
- What is your writing process?
I’m an outline writer, although I’m more loosey-goosey about it. I like to write plot points on index cards and lay them out on the table for like a month, switching them around every once in a while till I feel comfortable with the story and plot pacing. The character details really flush out during the second or third pass for me, once the plot is set and I can focus more on the small details.
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
Unfortunately, since I have two jobs, most of the book signings I do are for contest winners, so I have more time to think about what to write. In the beginning I wrote the same thing because I was nervous I would misspell stuff. Now I’m more comfortable.
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
That I’m an avid Fantasy Football Fanatic and secretly hope to meet Matthew Berry some day!
- How do you react to a bad review?
At first it was hard, but now I’m OK with it. Of course no writer likes to receive a bad review, but discussion on why that reader may see things differently from the writer is great. A lot of times bad reviews come because a reader doesn’t like how the author choses to characterize the hero or heroine. They would have done things differently, and that’s fine. Reading is meant to inspire conversation and ideas. As long as I know inside my own head why I wrote something the way I did (and trust me, there is always a reason for everything) and stayed true to my vision for the book, I’m OK with a bad review.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I had a party that day! I threw a release party on the rooftop deck that inspired my first Charmed book with about fifty of my friends. So technically, my first sales went to people I knew, but it was still a great feeling.
“Why. Am. I. On. A. Plane?” Poppy emphasized each word as her hands gripped at the luxurious sofa arm beside her. But the modern jet seemed determined to bounce all of them out of their seats as the cabin continued to jostle about angrily. They were definitely in the middle of some mean turbulence, which was to be expected of anyone fool enough to be flying in a small plane in winter conditions.
“Because it’s the most efficient way to get someone across an ocean,” Alec answered. “We still have about an hour or so before we land. So you’re going to have to let me know if you’re going to panic on me.”
Her gaze narrowed on him angrily as she pushed her next breath through her nostrils. “Can I just hit you instead and we’ll call it even?!”
His brow lifted as if he found that comment interesting.
Poppy leapt to her feet inside the small cabin and she noticed Alec braced his hands against his chair arm as if to steady himself. Surely he didn’t think she was really going to hit him? “You’re not going to trip again, are you?” he asked her.
Poppy glared at him and then down at herself. She was looking for any reasonable explanation to defend the innate clumsiness he’d gotten to experience firsthand within the first minute of meeting her in Joseph’s study. “These are very challenging heels!”
Yep. That was the best she could come up with.
The Elder smiled. No, it was definitely more of a smirk. “I’m sure they are,” he replied. “Now, will you please sit down before you get bounced off your feet? The turbulence may get worse before it gets better.”
“Worse?” Poppy squeaked. She might very well end up back in his lap if this turbulence got any worse. She didn’t like to think of herself as a coward, but when it came to flying she definitely was, even more so than her irrational fear of spiders. They just had too many legs. “Look—you need to understand. I don’t fly! Ever . . .! You need to find a way to land this plane, right now!”
“I can’t do that. As I explained, we’re over a lake.”
“Well get un-over the lake!”
The Elder didn’t say anything in response, just seemed to contemplate that. He removed the reading glasses that were a dead giveaway that he was human, though, he looked fit enough to give even one of his Dhampir guards a run for their money. He’d certainly felt fit enough when she had crash-landed into his chest in Joseph’s study . . . which had been utterly embarrassing. One moment, she’d been fully prepared to burst in and make her case to Joseph about why she needed to stay at The Hallow, and the next, the tip of her shoe had caught on the carpet and she was flying forward straight into a complete stranger.
“In an effort to have us all on the ground safely as soon as possible, I do not recommend suddenly veering off course to get ‘un-over’ a lake. We will be starting our descent shortly.”
“Oh God, descent . . .,” she mumbled to herself as she rubbed her hands over her face. “This is not good. This is not good.”
“It will be all—”
“Where are we landing . . . Elder Lambert?” she added awkwardly, realizing they had not actually exchanged first names.
He returned his glasses to the bridge of his nose and went back to looking at his tablet. “You may call me Alec. I much prefer it to Elder Lambert. We’ll be landing in Alberta at The Oracle, The Brethren site I’m in charge of. After discussing it, Joseph and I felt this would be the best place for you to stay.”
“Well, isn’t that nice,” she answered him flippantly. “You discussed it. By any chance—in any of this heavy dialogue—did anyone consider asking me if I wanted to go to Canada?”
Alec just sighed in that ‘you’re going to cause me a lot of trouble, aren’t you’ sort of way.
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.
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristineWenrickBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: @CWenrick https://twitter.com/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).
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