Today I have the lovely Elf Ahearn joining me. Elf writes Regency romances and her ‘A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing’ is published by Crimson Romance. Elf is kindly giving away a copy of her book to one lucky reader.
Hi Elf and welcome! J Would you tell us a bit about yourself?
Elf is my real name. I live in New York State with a wonderful husband and a pesky (yet irresistible) cat named Sufie. Learn more about me at elfahearn.com.
What type of romance do you write?
My tag line is “Regency romance with a Gothic twist.” I consider it my warning label because my books are darker and more dramatic than most Regency romances. I like to put my heroines through hellacious adventures and then have them triumph in the end. And my endings are boffo – big, cataclysmic events with tons of drama.
Are you working on anything at present?
A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing is the first in a planned series of four books about the Albright sisters. My publisher, Crimson Romance, actually purchased the second novel, Lord Monroe’s Dark Tower, before it bought Rogue. Lord Monroe is super dramatic and exciting – my heroine is pitted against a psychotic hoarder. Now, I’m busy writing the third book, which will have more twists and turns than a crazy straw.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Here’s what I wish – I wish I were one of those people who wrote super fast, like Nora Roberts. It takes me forever to get anything down on paper and then I rewrite it and rewrite it again... ad infinitum. Plus, I’m a little dyslexic, so my reading is slow, my writing is snail paced and when I do research, I tend to keep reading way past the point where I’ve answered my question. Maybe that’s why I like writing fast-paced drama, to make up for my turtle gait.
What made you want to be a writer?
Because of my dyslexia I was a dreadful speller. Nobody knew about dyslexia when I was growing up, so my school papers are covered in snarky comments from my teachers. They couldn’t seem to look past my “word interpretations” to the images I was creating, the plots I’d invented. The one person who did was my older sister, Tevi. She was a straight-A student who famously got only one word wrong on a spelling test in her entire academic career – she forgot to dot the “i” in president. Tevi was my proof reader, and she never failed to tell me I had talent, bless her heart.
It was another sister, Jenny, who encouraged me to write romances. I got laid off from a corporate communications job and the market had nothing to offer a gal with my skills – newspapers were dying, companies were only hiring Web-savvy scribblers – so she handed me a book by Sabrina Jeffries and said, “Give this a try.” The chance to write something with sweeping adventure, sexual tension and a happily-ever-after was entirely too tempting. I read every romance I could get my hands on, but The Rake, by Mary Jo Putney sealed the deal. That is an awesome book, and it has an emotional depth that I wanted to replicate.
My first step was to take an online course. Alice Duncan was the teacher – I’m mentioning her name because she was super sweet, super smart, a super good writer, and she encouraged me to join RWA. On her advice I became a member of the Hudson Valley RWA chapter. I’m now its president. So, here’s what I really love about being a romance author; you get to hang out with terrific, supportive people. I adore my chapter mates, and they’ve helped me shape a book, and hopefully, a career, of which I’m truly proud.
How about you all? I’d love to hear from blog readers about what turned them on to romance – either as writers or readers. The best answer gets a free copy of A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing!
To be in the running for Elf’s book, please leave your answer in the comment section at the bottom of this post.
You can find Elf’s A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing on Amazon, iTunes and The Book Strand.
Thanks so much Elf for sharing your new release with us J
And as always – thanks to everyone for dropping by!
In Lord Hugh Davenport’s opinion, women of the ton perpetually hide behind a mask of deception. That’s hard for Ellie Albright, the daughter of an earl, to swallow – especially since she’s disguised herself as a stable hand to get back the prized stallion her father sold to Hugh to pay a debt. If Hugh learns her true identity she’ll lose the horse and her family will go bankrupt. Somehow, though, losing Hugh’s affection is beginning to seem even worse.
Already only a step away from being snagged in her own web of lies, Ellie’s deceit threatens to spin out of control when Hugh’s mother invites Ellie and her sisters to a house party. Now Ellie has to scramble to keep Hugh from knowing she’s the stable girl he wants to marry, while simultaneously trying to win his trust as herself. Can she keep her costumes straight long enough to save her family? And even if she does, will it be worth losing his love?
Here’s a Snippet -
A stiff breeze swept up the massive stone edifice bringing the scent of heather, gorse, and a tinge of the dank salt sea. The beauty of it sobered her. “My God, it’s magnificent,” she said, feeling the sun’s warmth and the chill of the breeze on her cheeks. For miles around she saw only the dip and rise of the yellowed moors disappearing into soft, distant gray.
Hugh joined her cliff-side. He settled on a patch of thin, wind-whipped grass. Ellie plopped down beside him and took a deep whiff of the heather he’d picked for her on the trail. “Ah,” she said. “It smells like England.”
Hugh broke off a branch of the plant and put it between his teeth. “Tastes like her, too,” he said. Ellie laughed.
Then they grew silent, listening to the rustle of grass, feeling the hot sun, and breathing the rich smell of sweet flowers and fecund herbs.
“This is my day,” said Hugh, lying back in the grass. “You may have a piece of it.”
Ellie swatted him with the stalk of heather. “I shall take your captain’s salute on horseback.”
“And I shall take this moment, right now,” he said, closing his eyes.
They were silent again. Ellie lay back and snuggled into the grass. The cool wind couldn’t reach her here – just the thick heat of the sun. She closed her eyes, too.
A fly tickled her forehead. She brushed it away. It came back and tickled her again. She opened her eyes in time to see Hugh leaning over her, the branch of heather in his teeth. He flicked it away from her face.
“You’re the annoying fly,” she said, lunging to pull the heather from his mouth. He caught her wrists and rolled onto his back. She struggled, enjoying the feel of his large, callused hands. “I suppose if I were really clever,” she said, giving up and leaning on his chest, “I could get that branch without using my hands.”
“Oh yes, and how would you do that?” replied Hugh, a glint in his eye.
Ellie leaned over and, bringing her face close to his mouth, pulled the heather from his teeth.
A bolt of electricity raced through her. She hadn’t meant to be so intimate – hadn’t anticipated the heat of his flesh against hers, or the soft velvet of a corner of his lips. Her heart beat fast and her face grew hot. She looked away, dropping the heather from her mouth. “I’m never getting married,” she blurted.
Hugh studied her. “Then I’m not either.”
Gently, he brushed a bit of heather from her lips.
The caress stirred a small fire. She closed her eyes and lay back down on the grass. Joy washed over her. “That’s wonderful,” she sighed. Hugh’s hand closed on hers.