I have Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz in the hot seat.
Hi Janice, thank you for hosting me today and allowing me to talk about my latest release Love Delivery¸ from MuseItUp Publishing.
Janice: It’s very nice to have you here today, Penny. Tell us about yourself?
Penny: I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. I retired from my day job in 2008 and have been enjoying the freedom retirement brings since then. My husband and I share our six acres with our two LhasaPoo dogs and three cats. One of these days, we will be downsizing and moving closer to where our children and grandchildren are living. In the meantime, I enjoy our space and working in my gardens.
Janice: When did you start writing?
Penny: I started writing when I was a child, and I still have some of those original works, carefully handwritten, illustrated, and bound with shirt cardboard and ribbon. As a young adult, I tried submitting to magazines, but of course, I went to the top and was rejected. Not knowing what I was doing, I felt the pain and decided I couldn’t write. I put away my dreams until 1993. At that time, I was writing grants for non-profits, I was a bit wiser, and ready to try again. I took a correspondence course, sent off my work, and had my first acceptance. Since then, I’ve been enjoying moderate success with many acceptances.
Janice: Who was the biggest influence on your writing?
Penny: My father started me down the path by making up stories for us at bedtime. After that, I would spend hours entertaining myself by writing stories. During high school, my English teacher encouraged me and was perhaps my biggest influence in giving me the confidence to try my hand. After that, it would have to be the support of my family and friends.
Janice: How do you go about your writing? Do your prefer pencils to pens or is it all straight computer work?
Penny: At this point in my career, it is definitely computer work. I do, however, have a notebook which I take with me when I waiting for appointments or traveling. I only recently bought a laptop and perhaps it may replace my notebook for some of my away from home ramblings.
Janice: What influences you in your writing? Music, movies, reading, or straight research?
Penny: Life influences my writing the most. I like to observe people and watch how they interact. No matter what genre I’m writing in, I always include relationships between people. Sometimes, it’s a romantic interest, sometimes it’s platonic, but always an interaction.
Janice: When do you write morning or evening, or are you a late into the wee hours of the morning person?
Penny: Now that I’ve retired, I can indulge my late night tendencies, however, I would say I get the bulk of my work done in the afternoons. I am definitely not a morning person. I like to stay up late and sleep in. Late evening, however, is more the time to wind down, do some crocheting and watch a little t.v. Just before bed, I check my email one last time and clean up anything which needs to be taken care of.
Janice: Who in charge you or your muse?
Penny: I would say my muse is. I don’t use any outlines to write. I jot down an idea of where I want the story to go and then let the characters and plot line take whatever course it wishes to take. Sometimes it has nothing at all to do with what I originally thought I was going to write about.
Janice: Use only one word to describe your writing style? Or at least what you want your readers to take away from your writing.
Janice: What other books have you written?
Penny: I write primarily short stories and non-fiction articles. I do have one middle grad novel, Ghost for Rent, which is currently in transition from one publishing house to another. I have an illustrated chapbook, Dragon Sight, and a collection of short fantasy and science fiction stories, A Past and A Future, available from Sam’s Dot Publishing. I have two more novelettes coming from MuseItUp Publishing this year—Lady-in-Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. I have three picture books, Boo’s Dad Day, Funny Dog, and Many Colored Coats, and a middle grade novel, Ghost for Lunch, all under contract with 4RV Publishing.
Janice: What influenced your recent book, the one you are promoting here today?
Penny: I wanted to write a story with down-to-earth blue collar workers as the main characters. I wanted them to have struggled to get where they are and to have further goals they want to achieve. As I said above, I enjoy writing about relationships. Love Delivery has multiple layers: man and woman, man and ex-wife, man and child, woman and potential lover’s ex-wife, woman and potential lover’s child.
Love Delivery, by Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz
Buy link: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=115&category_id=8&manufacturer_id=57&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1
“Here it is,” he said, steering her to a quiet corner. Candles lit the table. A bottle of red wine stood open. Tom held the chair for her, and then sat close so their knees touched.
“Would you like a glass of wine?” he asked, reaching for the bottle.
“No thanks,” Ann said. “I don’t drink.”
Tom poured a glass for himself. “Here’s the menu.” He handed it to her.
“I know what I want.”
“Fettuccini Alfredo.” Ann shook out her napkin and placed it on her lap.
“This chicken dish is good,” Tom said, pointing to an item on the menu.
Ann grimaced. Is he a control freak? I already told him what I want. “I don’t eat meat.” Her voice sounded harsh in her own ears.
“Ah, well, okay, then. Fettuccini Alfredo it is.” Tom called the waiter and ordered the Alfredo for Ann and a spicy chicken dish for himself.
I guess we don’t agree on everything after all. He drinks and eats meat, too. I hope he doesn’t drink a lot. Maybe we weren’t made for each other. Not knowing what else to do, Ann took a sip of water and smiled.
Tom smiled back. “You’ll have to come meet my cats one of these days. Tyra, a gorgeous, long-haired black female, is my bathroom kitty. Whenever I’m sitting in there, she has to be in my lap. There’ve been times when my pants have been around my feet, and she’s curled up in my underwear.
“Then there’s BeeBee. She’s a Siamese. When I first got her, I thought she liked to cuddle, but it turned out she was just scared. It took me a long time, with lots of persuasion, to get her to come close to me. Finally, I was able to pick her up. I had her in my arms, and I put my face down to smell her fur. Suddenly, she turned and bit me on the nose.
“I think my favorite, though, is Loki. He’s the smallest of the bunch. He has allergies, and if I don’t get him to the vet for a shot in time, he loses his fur on his rear quarters, right by his tail. He loves to ride on my shoulders. Looks just like I’m wearing a fur collar.
“Then there’s the two new ones, they’re the kittens. They haven’t developed personalities yet. You should always get two kittens instead of one,” Tom said when the food arrived.
“Why?” Ann asked. Her face hurt from laughing at Tom’s cat stories. Mittens never did any of the things Tom’s cats did.
While she ate, Tom continued to share funny stories about the cats and kittens. “Kittens play with each other so you don’t need to play with them. You can just sit back and watch them. When I have kittens in the house, I don’t even turn on my T.V. set.” Tom twirled pasta on his fork. He lifted the fork halfway to his mouth and stopped. “Looks like we have company,” he groaned.
Ann turned. Maria and a curly-haired blond child entered. Ann watched Maria’s smile turn to a frown. Maria pulled the child toward their table. Ann gulped. Now what? Can’t she leave us alone? How can Tom and I ever get to know each other if she’s always showing up? She pasted a false smile on her face and clutched her napkin tightly.
“So you decided not to listen to me,” Maria spat at Ann.
“Daddy!” the little girl cried, holding up her arms.
“Hi, Kitten,” Tom said, scooping the child into his arms. He gave her a bear hug, and she giggled. “I want you to meet my friend, Ann. Ann, this is Kitten.”
“Hi, Ann. Daddy calls me Kitten, but you can call me Catherine.” The child put her arms around Tom’s neck and hugged him.
“Hello, Catherine,” Ann said, finding her voice.
“At least you could have gone somewhere else, Tom. We always ate here,” Maria accused and pushed Tom’s shoulder.
Tom moved Catherine to his other knee and glared at Maria. “Do we have to fight in front of Kitten?”
“Hey, Mr. Nice Guy, you’re the one who left us, remember?”
Removing Catherine from his lap, Tom stood up and faced Maria. “You’re creating a scene. Why don’t you leave before things get ugly?”
“Maybe you should have thought about that a long time ago.” Maria poked Tom’s chest with her finger.
Ann watched in fear. Only moments ago, she and Tom were enjoying dinner. Maria’s face now looked hard and dark. She swore at Tom and poked him again. Then she shoved him on the shoulder.
Tom grabbed her hand. Maria spat at him and reached up, clawing his face with her other hand.
“I hate you,” she screamed, grabbed her child, and ran out crying.
Tom turned to Ann. There were bloody scratches on his face. Ann dipped her napkin in her water glass and dabbed his cheek. “I’m sorry, Ann, I guess this spoiled dinner.”
This is never going to work for us, not as long as Maria is in the picture. Ann nodded her head. “Sure did. I’m not very hungry now. I think I’d better just go home.”
A waitress in a donut shop, Ann is happy with her single life and her cat, Mittens, until she finds herself interested in Tom, the handsome man who makes deliveries to the shop.
Unfortunately, Tom comes with some baggage, including five cats; Maria, his vicious ex-wife; and Maria’s adorable daughter he calls Kitten.
When Maria is hired at the donut shop and learns Ann and Tom are beginning a relationship, she does everything she can to tear them apart. Will Ann and Tom’s love prevail, or will the evil ex-wife win in the end? Love Delivery is a sweet romance, which will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your lips.