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Today we’re back on the All Things Romantic Suspense Blog Tour welcoming Elaina Lee to the stage.  Her novel WRITTEN IN BLOOD is one of my favorites, and we’re about to talk about one of the reasons why.  *Grin.*

Thanks for joining me, Elaina!  I’m going to dive right in with the big question.  WRITTEN IN BLOOD has a controversial scene – one I found to be incredibly HOT, by the way – between the two main characters.  Did you plan the scene, or did the characters demand it?  Does the controversy surprise you?

I did plan that scene.  You’ve read the book, so you know, it really couldn’t have happened any other way between them. *grin*  The controversy didn’t surprise me, I expected it actually.  I tried my hardest to make sure, despite the (oh how do I say this without ruining anything) forceful nature of my hero, that my heroine wanted every second of the moment to happen.

I have to admit, I was uber impressed with the clarity of that point.  You handled it beautifully – I just KNEW she wanted it, but the scenario was absolutely incredible with that “forceful nature.”  Just … yum.  Now, while I cool off a degree or ten, LOL, tell us a little about FOR THE MUSE DESIGNS.  How did you get started?  Did the idea for designing covers come before or after you began writing novels?

The idea to design covers came to me when a friend of mine received a really bad cover.  She was devastated.  A couple months later another friend received a mediocre cover that she simply settled for.  I didn’t want that to be me.  So I knew if I wanted to make sure I always had a decent cover, I’d better learn how to make them.  They’re a lot harder than I ever thought and it took me two years before I had one that was worthy to be showed off, LOL!

I’ve got to say, you’ve done some incredible work!  I’d love to have that streak of genius in me – you are certainly multi-talented, but I’ve got to say the book is a work of art in itself.  WRITTEN IN BLOOD is a romantic suspense.  Which genre are you drawn to as a reader?  Do you prefer to read in the same genre as your WIP or do you mix it up?

Actually, believe it or not, I love action novels.  I’m fairly addicted to Matthew Riley.  I read his books in one sitting.

Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself?  What makes it so alluring?

Ummm, probably the one I just wrote, LOL!  Sex on the dining room table during a thunderstorm… oh yeah… How is that not alluring?

Consider me allured.  ;c)  Have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits?  If so, who won – you or the character?

Yes, and usually I win because they don’t get written, LOL!  If a character can’t follow their mold to a certain degree it throws everything off for me, including my plot points.

Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it?  Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?

Oh yes.  In fact, Written in Blood was 60% rewritten and resubmitted to Noble based on the acquiring editors notes to me, and then my crit partners who had further issues with the final version.  I’m very glad I did.  The story is strong, and I’m confident about it.  When someone suggest a change, and I can see it and get excited because of how much better it will be, I  make it.

I love how a revision will do that – it’s amazing how much stronger it can make a story.  As a suspense writer, how do you keep track of the clues and plot twists?

I don’t… when I go back through and do my edits I make notes to myself where I need to add another element, or where I didn’t mention or continue a twist.  It’s really hard to write suspense, and I don’t usually get it right the first time around.

Which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer?  Why?

Probably First  Kiss, my heroine Michelle, is really insecure and truly believes no one cares for her, except those who have to because they’re family.  I think a lot of us have a little Michelle in us.  J

Oh, boy, do *some of us* ever, LOL.  (Hey, ya’ll quit looking at me!)  What are you currently working on?

I’m this close to finishing a Southern Romantic Comedy and then I’ll be working on a relief novella for Japan for Astraea Press.

Awesome cause, Elaina, and I hope to join you in that venture.  ;c) Thanks for coming over to hang with me today.  Readers, if you want to keep up with Elaina, you can find her in the following hot spots.


And before you go, check out the blurb for WRITTEN IN BLOOD – I even threw in the link to my reader spotlight for your viewing pleasure.  (It’s a good place to go if you want to know what I really think about that controversial scene!)

Lyndi Crisdean is assigned one of the hardest cases in her career as a defense attorney. A serial murder case. Investigating is Alek Trevian, the lead investigator for the district attorney, and a handsome and supremely dangerous man. Lyndi finds herself in over her head when she chooses desire for Alek over common sense. If they’re caught, Lyndi will lose everything she’s worked for. Circumstances beyond her control pull her toward Alek, for he turns out to be the only one who can help when threats start to mount against her.
Lyndi may be the key Alek needs to bring down a murderous cult running loose in his city. When her beach house is broken into and a man begins to tail Lyndi, Alek can’t help but reason Lyndi may be next on the cult’s hitlist. The question is, will he discover the identity of the cult, keep her safe, and still win the case against the serial killer she’s defending, all while losing a battle against the strong, untamable desire she alone ignites within him?
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