Interview with Selena Laurence, Author of Love, Lies, and British Spies

Please give Selena Laurence a warm welcome! She’s visiting the virtual offices to chat about Love, Lies and British Spies, her recent release from Crimson Romance. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Selena Laurence]  Smart, motherly, ambitious, calm, sensible, impatient, bossy, introverted, unpredictable. Does any of that sound remotely positive? I should add overly self-critical and not too good at accepting praise.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Love, Lies and British Spies?

[Selena Laurence]  It’s a fun, quick read with action, comedy, and a couple of hot sex scenes! More precisely, it’s the story of a British MI6 agent masquerading as a musician, who meets an American interior designer, falls in love, and marries her, but neglects to mention his real profession. When his new wife is kidnapped by an old enemy, things get sketchy, and when he goes to rescue her she refuses to cooperate. The poor guy has to work really, really hard to get his Happily Ever After.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Selena Laurence]  A publisher had a special call for stories based on Greek Myths. I thought of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and built from that. Orpheus was a gifted musician, and Eurydice was his wife. She was bitten by a snake and went to the Underworld with Hades. Orpheus followed her and managed to convince Hades to give her back, but the return to the Upper World didn’t go so well. In my version, the Underworld is the catacombs of Paris. It’s all very fun!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Eva?

[Selena Laurence]  Spunky, beautiful, loving.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Owen had a theme song, what would it be?

[Selena Laurence]  Wow. You’d think since Owen is a musician (as well as a spy) I would have thought about this! But this is the first time anyone’s asked. Hmm…I think I’d have to say "Another Way to Die" by Jack White and Alicia Keys. But, if he were going to sing about Eva, it’d be something much sweeter, like "No One Will Ever Love You Like I Do" from the television show Nashville.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Hassam is never without.

[Selena Laurence]  His giant chair. Lol. No, seriously, he’s never without his minions and rarely without his sister.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Owen’s bedroom?

[Selena Laurence]  Flowers – because seriously, that’s really girly. A mirror – because he’s hot, he knows it, and he sees no reason to fuss about how he looks. And books – because he’s a guy of action and if he does slow down it’s to play guitar not read.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Eva’s greatest regret?

[Selena Laurence]  You know what? Eva doesn’t waste time on regrets because she knows that if you were to go back and change your history you’d change your present, and she’s quite happy with her present.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Selena Laurence]  I get asked this, or something similar, a lot. I’m not conscious about what spurs my ideas. I’m sure that all sorts of movies, songs, books, and conversations I have influence me, but it all goes into my subconscious and mixes around until something pops out and I go with it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Selena Laurence]  Music, a comfortable chair, and a drink (non-alcoholic, regardless of what people think, writing while you’re buzzed doesn’t really work that well! Lol).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Selena Laurence]  Gosh, I read SO many books it’s hard to even remember them sometimes. I like a LOT of books, but I am extremely impressed by only a few. One that I’ve read in the last couple of years that was simply phenomenal was INTO THE WOODS by Tana French. Oddly, it’s not a Romance, which is 99% of what I read, but it was an absolutely fabulous work, and Tana is a brilliant writer.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Selena Laurence]  I was virtually born reading. I can not remember a time when when I didn’t love reading, but as a teen, there were three books that really set my reading interests from that point forward: the old standby, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE; Leo Tolstoy’s ANNA KARENINA; and a somewhat obscure novel by a 17th century British author named Samuel Richardson, CLARISSA.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Selena Laurence]  Read! Lol. I also spend a lot of time watching my kids play sports. I’m a die hard soccer mom. I run and bike a bit as well.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Selena Laurence]  It’s so simple! www.selenalaurence.com From my website they can email me, follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page, check out my Pinterest boards, and subscribe to my news.
Thanks so much for having me, Julie! It was a lot of fun!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase links:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-lies-and-british-spies-selena-laurence/1115218124?ean=9781440567025

About the book:

After an engagement gone terribly awry, American interior designer Eva Anderson has finally met the man of her dreams. Handsome, charming Owen Martin is one of London’s most talented musicians, and he’s head over heels for Eva to boot. But Owen forgot to tell Eva one little detail: he’s actually a top secret British spy…oh, and there are more than a few women in his past.

From the teashops of London to the cafes of Paris and the ports of Alexandria, Owen and Eva encounter terrorists run amok, friends with the best of intentions, guns, fangirls and espionage galore. But, will love ever be enough to overcome the lies of this British spy?

Check out Crimson Romance’s Love, Lies, and British Spies page here: http://www.crimsonromance.com/new-release-romance-ebook/love-lies-and-british-spies/

Interview with Polly Holyoke, Author of The Neptune Project and Giveaway!

Please welcome Polly Holyoke to the virtual offices today! Polly is here to chat about her book, The Neptune Project, and afterwards, she has a signed copy and swag to give to one of you!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Polly Holyoke] I’m a short, cheerful, energetic writer/reader/mom with a great imagination and a good sense of humor. I’m also an excellent teacher and a terrible cook.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about THE NEPTUNE PROJECT?

[Polly Holyoke] THE NEPTUNE PROJECT is set in a future where global warming is out of control. As people fight over scarce resources like food and water, a group of desperate scientists genetically alter their own children to live in the sea. Nere Hanson, a shy dolphin trainer, suddenly finds she has to give up her entire future on land and lead her companions on a dangerous journey to her father’s undersea colony.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Polly Holyoke] I’ve always thought that if we mess up the land of our planet too much, we might be forced to live in the sea someday. THE NEPTUNE PROJECT grew out of that basic premise. What would it be like for a group of teens to suddenly give up everything they know to live in beneath the waves?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Nere?

[Polly Holyoke] Shy, brave, determined

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nere is never without.

[Polly Holyoke] Her dolphin family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Nere’s pockets?

[Polly Holyoke] Well, since she lives in the sea… matches, paper and a cell phone!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Nere’s greatest regret?

[Polly Holyoke] That her mother died before Nere could tell Gillian that she did forgive her for putting her through the Neptune transformation.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Polly Holyoke] I think the fantasy authors I read as a kid still influence me today. I loved books like Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA which transported me to other worlds, worlds that were so vividly described that I almost believed they existed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Polly Holyoke] Quiet, my computer and a good cup of tea (with lots of milk and sugar, thank you very much!) I usually have a couple of cats supervising me, too.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Polly Holyoke] I’m still thinking about Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES. That book definitely took me to a different reality with such a haunting premise (horse-lover that I am) that I can’t forget it. A book about mythical man-eating horses just shouldn’t work, but of course, this one does brilliantly.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Polly Holyoke] THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON by Johann David Weiss was one of the first books to turn me on to reading. My father and grandmother had to read it to me several times because I couldn’t get enough of the story of a young Swiss family shipwrecked on a deserted island and all the clever ways they found to survive. When my family got tired of reading this book to me, I picked it up and realized I could read it to myself!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Polly Holyoke] I love to read good books, watch good and some not-so-good movies with my kids, and take long walks. When I can get back to my home state of Colorado, I hike, camp and ski in the high country.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Polly Holyoke] They can send me a tweet at @pollyholyoke or leave me a message on my website: www.pollyholyoke.com.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Ready for your chance to win a signed hardcover of The Neptune Project and a dolphin necklace/bookmark?  Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following.  US addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win? You can order a copy of The Neptune Project from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

THE NEPTUNE PROJECT is set in a future where the seas are rising and global warming is out of control. Nere Hanson and her teen companions are shocked to learn that they have been genetically altered by their desperate parents to live in the sea. Protected by her loyal dolphins, shy Nere leads the rest on a perilous journey to her father’s new colony. Fighting off government divers, sharks and giant squid, can Nere and her companions learn to trust each other before their dangerous new world destroys them?

Polly’s social media links -

http://www.pollyholyoke.com
http://www.goodreads.com/PollyHolyoke
http://www.facebook.com/PollyHolyokeAuthor
http://www.pinterest.com/PollyHolyoke
@Polly Holyoke