Hi, you’re just in time. Have a seat. I’m having a nice talk with Lisa Alexander-Griffin, a dear friend of mine and fellow Pink Petal author.
Janice: Tell us about yourself? *making a gesture with my hand* Whatever you’re comfortable telling.
Lisa: Hi, Janice! Thanks for having me over today. J There’s not a lot to tell. I’m a N. Alabama native. A mother to three children, two of which are grown, and the youngest is twelve. She keeps me hopping for sure. I’m also a grandmother to three delightful grandchildren. I’ve been married thirty-four years to the same wonderful man. [Sometimes not so wonderful, but hey, neither am I.] Life is hard, but we’ve managed this far, so we must be doing something right.
Janice: I guess so, 34 years is very long time to be married and you don’t look old enough to be a grandmother.
When did you start writing?
Lisa: About twelve years ago. I was going through some dark times and really thought journaling would help, but nothing is sacred here at home, so that idea was struck out rather quickly. I started a story to channel my feelings, and along the way, discovered my love for writing; how I could breathe life in characters, give them real personalities and flaws, a happy ending, when in life that’s not always possible. Realizing that I needed to learn the craft, I searched for, and found a few online groups. That’s when I really started to learn.
Janice: Same here and we meet on one of those groups, too. I remember reading an excerpt of Daniel’s Touch two years ago, when it was still a work in progress, and was very impressed.
Who was the biggest influence on your writing?
Lisa: Can’t say there’s just one. I read a lot of Danielle Steel’s work when I first started reading romance. But I also grew up on Harlequin’s passed to me by my grandmother. Then there’s Cassie Edwards. I love her Native American Romantic tales. She was a major influence, and of course Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Fern Michaels and Jude Deveraux.
Janice: How do you go about your writing? Do your prefer pencils to pens or is it all straight computer work.
Lisa: Really, how I go about writing varies depending on my mood. Lol. Some days I’ll write caveman style with paper and pen, other days my preference is the computer. If I’m really stuck on a scene, it’s back to paper and pen. *blushes* Yes, I still have creative blocks at times.
Janice: Oh that happens a time or two to me too. *grin* What influences you in your writing? Music, movies, reading, or straight research?
Lisa: Mostly research and people watching. You can learn a lot just listening. A phrase from a song, or a friend or family member’s problems might trigger a scenario in my mind, and from there, a story develops.
Janice: When do you write morning or evening, or are you a late into the wee hours of the morning person, like me?
Lisa: Every spare moment I get! Being a mother and grandmother, I never know what the day will bring. Nighttime is my preference. It’s quiet and there’s no one to call my name or break my concentration.J But with Morgan still in school, that’s next to impossible except on holidays or weekends.
Janice: Oh, yes, I like night for writing too. Who in charge you or your muse?
Lisa: Definitely me. I’ve always said I don’t have a muse, and I really don’t. What goes on paper/computer is up to me. Sad but true.
Janice: Use only one word to describe your writing style? Or at least what you want your readers to take away from your writing.
Lisa: Dark, but always with an HEA. Lol.
Janice: Getting to that HEA is really worth it, when your story is dark. What other books have you written?
Lisa: My first contract was for The Unexpected Gift in One Touch, One Glance, A Sweet Romance Anthology at Freya’s Bower, and soon to follow, a contemporary romantic fantasy titled A Celtic Lover’s Magic where old and new worlds collide. Shattered Illusions released in May at Pink Petal Books, and my latest title, Danielle’s Touch, debuted in ebook format at Passion in Print August 1, 2010. In ten to fourteen days it will be out in print at Amazon and Barns and Noble. Maybe even an independent bookstore near you, so check it out!! J
Janice: Oh, I already have Daniel’s touch budgeted in on the next week’s shops list.
What influenced your recent book, the one you are promoting here today?
Lisa: Oh, wow! This is the first story I’d ever written. As I improved my craft, I tweaked, and then tweaked some more. Danielle’s Touch deals with domestic violence issues, how people overcome and survive such a horrific event. Every cloud has a silver lining, IF we look hard enough to find it. Ethan and Danielle found theirs. J
Available at Passion in Print
Rebuilding her life after escaping an abusive marriage, Danielle Courtland throws herself into her new decorating business. Men are the last thing on her mind…until a Stetson-wearing cowboy enters her shop, that is.
The hazel-eyed cowboy needs her help. Restoring an old Victorian-styled plantation house, he realizes the job requires a feminine touch. Caught off guard by the sexiest woman he’s ever laid eyes on, Ethan’s vow to never love again is all but forgotten as he falls hard for the tempting decorator.
Passion simmers, and love is no longer a dream. But hidden in the shadows, danger waits, threatening Danielle and Ethan’s chance at a life together. Will a man, twisted by his obsession, separate them forever?
A lazy half smile on his face, Alex leaned against the porch post like he owned the place.
Danielle’s stomach churned. With a hand clutching the doorknob, she moved cautiously onto the porch. God, have I ever screwed up.
Panic erupted inside her, and her body trembled. “What do you want, Alex?”
Alex’s smile widened, his eyes gleaming with a predatory light. “Just dropped by for a friendly visit, Danielle.”
Danielle forced a breath past the constriction in her throat. “You’re not my friend. Say what you have to say and be gone. I didn’t invite you here.” Her knees threatened to buckle, and her pulse pounded in her ears. She edged back against the door to steady the tremble of her body. “I want nothing to do with you.” She fumbled for, and twisted the knob, eager to escape back into the house.
Alex pushed from the post. “It hasn’t been long since you wanted a great deal to do with me,” he drawled.
Her hand slipped, and the door lock clicked, vibrating in the night. Danielle flinched, and the door slammed shut, barring her escape to the inside. Swift in his movements, Alex yanked her against him.
She jerked free and rubbed her arm. “You have no right to disrupt my life. In case you’ve forgotten, we’re divorced.”
He inched her backward, against the door, molding his body to hers. “I told you, Danielle, I’ll never let you go.”
Danielle pushed with all her might. Familiar and overwhelming, the stench of alcohol permeated the air. His grip tightened, and in the dim moonlight his eyes glinted with lust, his erection rigid against her thigh.
“I came for what belongs to me,” he whispered, his hot breath moist on her cheek. “A man has needs.”
The porch plank creaked under his weight, and a dog barked in the distance. Frantic, Danielle scanned her surroundings. There was no visible help in sight. No neighbor or a passerby. Nothing.
“I’m not your wife,” she croaked, and with the realization that she was trapped, terror slammed through her. She had no place to run, hide or seek refuge.
Wrenching her arm to the side, she tried to break free. “We’ve been separated three years, divorced for a year and a half,” she said in an attempt to jar his alcohol-hazed memory.
He glowered down at her, his eyes darkening.
Ice balled in her stomach—whenever she’d seen that look in the past, she’d paid dearly.
Alex snickered. “Those stupid papers mean nothing. You will always be my wife. No paper, no dim wit judge, is ever going to change that. No one,” he snarled, “will know the pleasure of having you but me.” His lips slid across her neck, hot and repulsive. “I know you want me, babe.”
She twisted her body, attempting to dislodge his hold. “Let me go. You’re drunk, and I don’t want you here.” She jabbed an elbow into his ribs and raked her fingernails down the side of his face. “Leave me alone!” she shrieked.
“You bitch.” He stumbled back and grabbed her again, his fingers digging into soft flesh, bruising her arm. Cold and blue, his eyes glinted. “You’re not going anywhere, Danielle. Unless I go with you.”
Tears burned her eyes, clouding her vision. She squirmed and shoved against him.
“Not so fast, princess. You haven’t given me what I came for.”
Brutally, he seized her mouth, his lips crushing hers. The pressure on her arms intensified, and large hands, capable of so much cruelty, yanked her closer.
She gagged, bile rising in her throat. With renewed effort, she fought to be free.
Pinning her to the wall with the weight of his body, he tangled his hands in her hair, forcing her head back. His mouth violated, his tongue forcing entry. Releasing his grip on her arm, he circled his fingers around her neck in a vise grip.
Oh, God! Not again!
Danielle tried to scream, but the pressure of his kiss stopped her. She drove her knee upward, aiming for his groin. He deflected the maneuver with little effort. Determined, she slammed her foot into his shin, and he released a guttural growl.
Open palmed, he struck her face. A starburst of color exploded behind her eyelids, and she bit back a groan.
Alex had the upper hand. He was the predator—she the prey.
She traced her bruised lower lip with her tongue, tasting blood. Desperate, she prayed for the strength to fight him off. Kill him for what he’d done to her—what he kept doing.
With her robe askew and her chest heaving, damp night air caressed her breasts. Alex’s hungry gaze settled on her exposed flesh. He chuckled low, licked his lips, and she shriveled inwardly. He grasped a nipple between his thumb and forefinger and squeezed. Pain radiated outward, and she fought not to cry out. His putrid breath caressed her face.
“God. Alex. Stop!”
“I’ll have my wife tonight,” he whispered, dragging her toward the front door.
His words jolted through her. Dear God, don’t let him rape me. She planted her bare feet but found no leverage. Scrambling, she dug in again, and he laughed. He was too strong, impossible to fight.
Danielle panted, each breath ragged. She resigned herself to the inevitable and went limp in his arms. A scream rent the air, and she recognized the voice as her own.
Alex would do with her what he wanted. There was nothing she could do to stop him.
Tires screeched, and Danielle scanned the streets, hope surging inside her. Nicole Lawson emerged from her car. Her face distorted with rage, she raced around the vehicle.
“Let her go!”
Surprise widened Alex’s eyes. He reinforced his grip, looking over his shoulder.
Nicole jogged up the sidewalk, stopping a few feet from the porch. “Leave or I’ll call the police.” Hatred blazed in her eyes as she held herself ramrod straight.
Alex’s hold faltered, his fingers loosening. Anticipation swelled in Danielle’s chest.
Nicole tilted her chin in defiance. “I seriously doubt you’d welcome trouble. Let. Her. Go.”
Arms tense and his biceps bulging, Alex dropped his hand.
Danielle’s knees buckled, and she collapsed to the porch, the air rushing from her lungs.
He stepped back and pinned Danielle with a frigid stare. “This isn’t over by a long shot, Danny girl,” he growled and pointed a finger at her. “It will never be over for us. You’d do best to remember that you’re mine.” He shot Nicole a hate-filled glare and strode into the night.
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