Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Author Interview & Contest: Lorraine Nelson

First let me just say, I HATE LONG DRIVES! Okay, not entirely true. I LOVE long drives... when I'm not doing all 11 hours of the driving! But I'm here in Colorado, ready to start this new chapter in my life.

Blah blah blah, Renee, get to the cowboys!


Today I have someone very very special with me, Evernight Publishing debut author Lorraine Nelson! I've been stalking following Lorraine's publication journey through a message board and our mutual friend/superstar Ju Dimello, so I was delighted when the post came up that she was offered a contract!

When/How did you decide writing was something you just had to do?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve written poetry, short stories and children’s books. It’s always been an integral part of me. A bit of a loner growing up, my reading and writing kept me occupied. When my children were younger, I wrote for their age group. Now they’ve grown, I write for mine.

What steered you to romantic fiction, or your particular flavor of romance?

I’ve been an avid romance and mystery reader for many years. It seemed natural to com

bine the two and try writing one. Romantic suspense is a growing market and, as most of my novels end up with an element of suspense in them, that seems to be the genre for me... although some, such as Zakia, are quite hot. Writing romance and/or suspense is the one thing I’ve always wanted to try my hand at, but I didn’t complete my first manuscript until March 2009. To be able to combine the two and craft a believable, entertaining story gives me a great sense of satisfaction in what I do.

What is your writing routine? When/where is your preferred time to write? What obstacles do you deal with, if any?

Routine? I’m supposed to have a routine? LOL

Oh thank goodness, I thought I was the only one without a routine!

When I sit down to write I tend to read over the last couple pages I wrote to get back into the right mindset for that story before I start writing. If I need to research something, I do it as I go. It isn’t uncommon for me to be working half a dozen stories at a time, so it helps keep them straight. And if I stall out on one, there’s always another beckoning me from the background.

I write at my desk in my home office anytime the muse strikes. Peace and quiet is essential for me when I’m writing. Lately, I tend to write more at night to avoid interruptions, especially if I’m editing someone else’s work.

My youngest son moved home, complete with girlfriend and baby girl, my precious granddaughter, Alexis. I love having them, but it sure cuts into my writing time.

What is the most important thing you've learned, either in writing or publishing, or both?

Anyone can do it if they want it bad enough. When I started writing for adults in 2008, I thought I knew what I was doing. I mean, I’ve always had a good command of English grammar, and read mega loads of books, so what was the big deal? Well, let me tell you, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way! My first attempts were riddled with head-hopping and a few other things. Needless to say, writing is a continual learning experience and I’m enjoying the challenge.

As to publishing and being published, I’m loving it. Zakia and the Cowboy involved a fair amount of editing, but I didn’t have any trouble making the deadlines. My editor, Emma Shortt, is terrific; my cover is fabulous and everything has been done with efficiency. The Evernight team is great to work with! I find that I’m even enjoying all the promoting that comes with having books for sale.

On Thursday, October 13th, my Christmas novella went live on Amazon. I enjoyed learning the process of self-publishing and even designed my own cover. I’m toying with the idea of putting another one on Amazon, a full-length Christmas novel, in November.

That's so exciting to take that step into self-publishing already! (And awesome choice on the cover dude, how adorable!)

What do you currently have your bookmark in?

LOL, Renee! I haven’t had much time to read lately. I’ve started A Question of Impropriety by Michelle Styles, which I keep in my purse. If I have a lengthy wait anywhere, that’s what I read. I’m loving the hero in that story… a reformed rake, and of course, the heroine has a hard time believing he’s changed and tries to keep her distance.

Are we going to see more smexy cowboys?

I’m working on books 2 and 3 of the Thunder Creek series, the sequels to Zakia.

(YAY :D)

The following is a scene from chapter two of Zakia and the Cowboy.

Her pace slow as she rounded the front of the truck, she paused for a moment to let reality sink in. She was home.

Strange to feel that way when she’d been gone so long but she now realized how much she’d missed the place, the country air, the smell of fresh cut hay… and the man. Once the shakes and numbness subsided, she strode purposefully in his direction.

She felt his eyes on her as she approached, the stream of light provided by the bare bulb hanging behind him highlighting her journey yet keeping him in shadow. Only a few feet away from him she paused, her husky voice cutting through the quiet of the night as she simply said, “Hello, Luke.”

Brisk and to the point, he acknowledged her presence. “Zakia. What brings you out here? Slumming these days?”

Zakia sighed, hurt but unsurprised by his words. “I never considered living on the ranch as slumming, Luke. My leaving had nothing to do with the ranch.”

“It had everything to do with it. You left for a better and brighter social scene. Why are you here now?”

“We’ll talk about my reasons for leaving later. Right now I have a long story to tell but the short answer is this…” Looking him in the eye as best she could in the near dark, she put all the emotion and desperation she could into her voice when she replied, “I’m in trouble, Luke. I need your help.”

“Hah! If that’s all you came for you might as well head back to town. Daddy’s money always seemed to be more comfort to you than I ever was.”

“That’s not true, Luke! As miserable as I was living way out here with only the bunkhouse cook to keep me company during the day, I was just as miserable alone in the city. I was packing to come back when the divorce papers came. I thought you didn’t want me anymore.”

“Nice try, but I’m not buying. You left without a word or a warning and you show up again the same way. I don’t want or need you in my life. Now go. Get off my property.”

* * * *

Turning his back on her was the hardest thing he’d ever done, other than watching her drive away. She’d been sick that morning and he’d rode home on Prince at noon to check on her, only to pull up short as he’d seen her car pull onto the road. Frantic, he’d dismounted and ran into the house hoping to find a note, something, anything to tell him where she was going and when she’d be back. Nothing greeted him except an empty dresser and closet.

Now she was back. Damned if she wasn’t more beautiful than ever. Her delightful teenage curves had filled out nicely, fulfilling the promise he remembered from their time together.

“Luke, please! I came here because you’re the only man I trust who can help. I can’t leave until you hear me out. Then, if you still want me to go, I’ll be out of here so fast, you’ll wonder if it was all a dream.”

As hard as it was to refuse her anything, even now, he had to for his own sanity. It had almost killed him when she left the first time. She wasn’t going to have the chance to do it again. “Trust? You wouldn’t know the meaning of the word. I don’t have time to listen to some trumped up story, Zakia. I’m busy.”

What would you like to promote here?

I’m pleased to announce that Zakia and the Cowboy is a Featured Title at All Romance Books and numbers in the top 40 on their bestseller list. It’s available at the following locations:

Evernight Publishing


All Romance Ebooks


1 Place for Romance

If you’re interested in a Christmas novella, His Christmas Wish is available at Amazon for 99 cents.

Where can readers find you?

I’m usually kicking around on Facebook, but they can message me directly through my website and/or blog. I love to hear from readers, so if you’ve read my work, please take a moment to contact me and let me know what you liked or didn’t like about Zakia and Luke’s story.






Please post a comment and your email addy to be entered in the draw for a free download of Zakia and the Cowboy. Winners will be announced on my blog tomorrow.

Thank you for having me here today, Renee.

Thank you so much for coming by today, Lorraine!
I'm flattered to have had you here, and wish you much success with this series!

Guys, go ahead and comment to win; this is a BESTSELLER!


  1. Lorraine, just wanted to tell you. The book was great, worth waiting for. Please hurry with the next two!!! Do you have an expected release date? Is the next one about Blake and Sam?? No need to enter me for the contest, as I already haave the book.

  2. Nice to learn even more about our writers, with new and interesting questions!

    adonis.devereux at gmail dot com

  3. Thank you for stopping in, mnj!(Missy, right?) I'm so glad to know that you enjoyed Zakia and Luke's story. And yes, the next one is about Sam and Blake. I'm still working on it and will submit it soon. :-)

  4. Adonis, thank you for dropping in. Renee doesn't ask easy questions. lol I've compiled a list of FAQ from the blog tour interviews and have posted them on my website. Any kudos for that idea goes to Seleste Delaney. :-)

  5. Hola girls :) You're all having fun here and how could I miss it :)

    LOL about the routine! Ideally we're supposed to have a routine ;) but if only characters would comply....I can only imagine what would happen if we force the characters to talk... I have loads of MS's shelved and waiting in backburner for my attention to fix! :shakes fists at those characters who didn't talk to me in the first place:

    Kudos to you, Lorraine! Since you learned the craft of editing, which many, many writers struggle with (incl me..:p)

  6. It's great to see the journey. Working out the issues with earlier writting shows the growth. That you can even figure out where you missed it must be valuable in sight.

  7. Hi, Ju, DJ! Thanks for dropping in. :-)

    If only I could get back to a 'routine' of some kind. lol With the kids moving in, quiet time is virtually non-existent these days.

    I do enjoy the editing process, figuring out how to make the story more emotive, the characters more real and the plots just a little more believable. It's been quite a journey, but I've only achieved success with the help of a few dedicated online friends. ;) You know who you are!

    And yes, being able to read through those earlier manuuscripts and pick up on my mistakes shows how much I've learned in the past couple of years. Writing is a continuous learning journey and one which I very much enjoy.

  8. The winners for the second round of my blog tour for Zakia and the Cowboy are:
    Renee Silvana - boundlessasthesea.blogspot
    Elyzabeth M Valey - inadreambeyond.blogspot
    Fiona - angelinarain.blogspot
    Adonis Devereaux - reneesilvana.blogspot
    Congratulations! Thank you for your support!

  9. Hey Renee. I have another award for you so please stop by my blog to pick it up.