Friday, August 12, 2011

Q&A With Rhiannon Ellis and Giveaway (International)

Author Bio:

Authors are supposed to have bios. Agents and editors ask for them, websites seem to demand them. Essentially, I'm supposed to utilize this page as a form of bragging station where I list off all my great and varied accomplishments, hoping to impress or sound important. This isn't that kind of bio.

Truth is, any list I'd conjure up would be rather short. But here are a few highlights of stuff that matters...

Chad and I married in 2003 after a short--and I mean short--courtship. What can I say? I swept the poor guy off his feet.

We remained in my hometown of Williamsburg, Virginia, for the first couple years but have since lived in Las Vegas and Wisconsin, which is where we now reside.

We are blessed with three terrific kids: Chad's daughter and my stepdaughter, Taylor. And our daughter and son, Cameron and Dane. Ages range from 3 to 13. I'd say more about these wonderful people but when I get sappy about my children...I cry.

To sum it up I'll quote my husband, because he has a way with words: "Life would suck without our kids."

My days resemble those of most stay-at-home moms with young children, except I use my limited free time to write.

My ultimate dream: To own a fabulous RV and live like gypsies.

My more practical dream: To own a secluded house in the country with no visible neighbors. Not sure where, but I want skiing in winter and the ocean in summer.

The dream I'm living now: Staying home with my precious babies and pursuing my passion for writing.

Book Description:

Family is everything …

A few missed loan payments, and a family of Brazilian vintners stands to lose the fruits of four generations of labor. To save the business, devoted daughter Eliana Menino strikes a deal of her own to work off the family debt in service to the man she calls demonio—devilishly handsome private investor Hale Forester

More than she bargained for …

Uprooted from her childhood home in exotic Brazil to work for Hale at his sprawling Napa Valley estate, Eliana soon realizes that the ruthless man who can make or break her family has a secret past … and the power to break her heart.

Rhiannon, Welcome to Romance Author Buzz.  Is there a back story to Bonded in Brazil?

I started Bonded in Brazil after completing my very emotionally-draining first novel. I found a great writers group that I wanted to join. I felt I needed the input of other writers to help me improve, but I needed something to submit. Bonded in Brazil was supposed to be a “fun practice project” but, within a few weeks, I fell in love with my characters and storyline and decided to take the manuscript seriously.

How did you start your career? Who was your first publisher?

My career started in 2008, when I finally found the determination to achieve a goal I’d had since childhood—to write a book! I fumbled my way through my first novel, managed to land an agent, but the manuscript has since collected dust.

My second novel, Bonded in Brazil, with the help of my fabulous agent, got me my first publishing contract in November of 2009 with Camel Press. I got another contract from Cobblestone Press not even two months later for Dark Wolf Protector, a paranormal romance novella.

In March of this year, I became a multi-published author.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

If you haven’t already begun writing your first book, take the time to research the genre you’ve chosen to write. Read A LOT. Take notes. Google everything. And, by all means necessary, brush up on your grammar skills.

If you’ve already written your first book, find other writers who are willing to comb through it and give you an honest, thorough critique. You’ll love them for it, I promise.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, nothing much. I have two fabulous projects I set aside for the summer. We have long winters here in Wisconsin, and I decided to take the summer off to play with my kids. Come fall, I have a mainstream project to wrap up and a women’s fiction manuscript that I’m about three chapters into. I like having a couple projects going at once…change of scenery, you know?

What news would you like to share with your readers?

I’m very excited to tell you the sequel to Bonded in Brazil has been contracted! Although Bonded in Brazil is technically a single-title romance, there were two minor characters who demanded their own spotlight. Expect to see the sequel hit the shelves next summer.

How do you build the relationship between these two characters so that it feels real?

It isn’t easy to create authentic chemistry. I usually start off with my heroine, develop her and decide what kind of man would be her perfect match.

Do you identify with the characters you write about?

On some level, I relate to every character I write about, even the minor players. I think each character is an extension of his/her creator. We ask ourselves, “If I were in his/her shoes, what would I do?” Authors can’t help but to inject at least a tiny bit of themselves into their characters.

Tell us a little about your favorite “hero” type guy.

I love complex, alpha heroes. Confident but emotionally vulnerable. Tough but sensitive. I like heroes who are honest—integrity is a must! And a protective man easily wins my heart.

Would you please describe the heroines you love to write?

Heroines are where it’s at! My heroines are strong, warm-hearted, affectionate women. They might be in need of some personal growth, but they’re always self-sufficient and goal-oriented. I make it my primary goal to create relatable heroines who readers can see as their best friend.

In the sequel to Bonded in Brazil (did I mention that it’s due out next summer?) my heroine is deeply affected by her first marriage, in which her husband cheated on her. I know so many women out there will be able to relate to her on a personal level! I’m really excited to see how they respond to Ainsley. I’m sure, for a lot of women, the connection will be pretty intense. Unfortunately, infidelity is something that hits home, but a happy ending will save the day!

How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

Busy. Loving. Satisfying. Adventurous. Hopeful. Cozy. Bright. Blessed.

What is your motto?

I always say to my family, “As long as we’re safe, healthy and together, everything will be fine.”

How would you describe perfect happiness?

I’d love to own an RV and travel on a whim, wherever and whenever.

What’s your greatest fear?

As a mom, my greatest fears revolve around my family’s health and safety. I really don’t worry about much else.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

I’d choose one of two places: In Virginia, where most of my family lives, or at Disney World with my kids.

What are your most overused words or phrases?

A lot. I say a lot a lot.

What do you regret most?

There’s nothing in my past I dwell on long enough to say I regret it. So nothing, I suppose. There are things I would’ve done differently—better!—but what’s done is done!

If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

Is eternal youth a talent? No? I pick public speaking, then. I’d love to be a powerful, effective orator—or, at the very least, not a terrified one.

What’s your fantasy profession?

Author, of course!

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

Fudge marble cake with chocolate frosting!

Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

Keep reading, keep writing, and keep dreaming!

What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

“I couldn’t put your book down!” I love to hear that my readers enjoy my work. They truly inspire me to KEEP WRITING!

Where can readers find you?




Author Rhiannon Ellis will kindly offer an Ebook.  The contest is International.  To win a copy, "Like" Rhiannon on Facebook and leave your email address so that you may be contacted.  Contest will end August 31st.

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