Hello and welcome to my blog for another round of Meet the Characters! Today I am featuring a guest blogger who has graciously agreed to let me do a character interview, which is my favorite kind of interview. Join me in welcoming author, Sara Walter Ellwood, and her characters from Heartstrings. It’s a fantastic contemporary western romance with wonderful characters so without further ado here is the interview with Seth and Abby.
Abby: This is so exciting! Our first interview. It’s also release day for our story and we are so thrilled. Thanks for having us here today, Jennifer.
How did you first meet your writer?
Seth: That was a long time ago. Let’s see, Sara was cleaning her house, when I first came to her. She was none too happy to meet me because she was still writing A Hunter’s Angel. But I wouldn’t let her alone and soon Abby and Emily joined in, demanding our story be told.
Abby: Oh, I remember. I kept bugging her in particular. She barely finished A Hunter’s Angel before she started writing our story.
What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Seth: I’m a country singer. My new album was just released, and I’m planning a world tour.
Abby: I’m a registered nurse and work in the dementia/Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home in McAllister, Texas. I also have a 300-acre ranch I raise cattle on. Not to mention, I’m a single mother of one very precocious 14 year old daughter.
Seth: (laughs) Emily sure is something. She’d be a full time job all in herself.
If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Both of them at the same time: NO! (they both laugh)
Abby: Uh… Let me explain. Sara rewrote our story about 15 times. No kidding. She cut scenes and added scenes and changed scenes so many times it’s not funny. Heck, she even changed my back-story and characterization. I’m a totally different person in the published version.
Seth: She actually cut one of my favorite scenes. It was set in my Nashville recording studio and I was recording Emily as she sang covers of some of my biggest hits. I loved that scene. But I like the way the book turned out.
Abby: (smiles at him) I liked that scene too. You have to admit she tried to make it fit, but it just didn’t.
Seth: She did give me the scene of Emily and me writing a song together, until you come blazing in like a Bantam rooster with his beak crossed.
Abby: (narrows her eyes on him) You know what I was afraid of. Mike was blackmailing me to keep you two apart.
Do you like the way the book ended?
Seth: I would have preferred not to have—(strokes his goatee). Emm, I guess I can’t really say or it would give too much away. So let me just say, I would have liked to have been in a different place at the end. (he smiles at Abby and squeezes her hand) But I do love the very ending.
Abby: (smiles back at him) Me too. Even though, it was really scary for the last couple of chapters.
What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Seth: (grins) Now that’s a question every one of my female fans would love to know. But for you, I’ll answer it. Nothing at all.
Abby: (laughs nervously and tilts her head until her dark hair partially hides her face) Uh, I wear shorts and a t-shirt. But they don’t usually stay on too long if Seth’s around.
Seth: (sings a line from one of his hits) Oh, baby, you know that’s how I like you.
Who was your first girlfriend/boyfriend and what do you like most about them?
Abby: (looks at Seth) Well, though we never officially dated, Seth and I were each other’s first. First kiss—I was fourteen and he was fifteen, first sexual experience—I was seventeen, he eighteen. First love. (she reaches up and touches his face. He takes her hand and kisses the palm.) I have always loved his voice. He used to sing to me all the time. My favorite place was in the gazebo on his father’s ranch with him singing and playing his mother’s old guitar.
Seth: (clears his throat) I love her strength. Abby’s life has never been easy. She’s always been the victim of prejudice—not just because she’s Native American, but for her parents’ sins. But she never lets it get her down. She’s also the only person who was truly proud of me. It helped me realize my dreams even when my father put me down and beat me for having them. She’s my hero.
Abby: (wipes away a tear) You never told me that.
Seth: (kisses her) It’s true. Why do you think every love song I’ve ever written is about you?
He’s determined to set things right, no matter the cost.
The last person Abby Crawford wants to face down is country music superstar Seth Kendall. Last time she did, she flat-out lied so he’d go to Nashville without her. She’s never understood why their mutual best friend proposed, but she went with it so her baby wouldn’t be fatherless. Now she’s a divorced mother of a teenager, and secretly Seth’s biggest fan.
Seth is home in McAllister, Texas for his father’s funeral…and a chance to meet the daughter he’s never known. He’s willing to face the music of his own making and admit he’s known about his little girl all along. For fifteen years he’s kept his distance because Abby told him to follow his dreams without her, insisting she didn’t love him. But now he won’t leave until he knows his daughter and she knows him, even if it means facing the woman who broke his heart for good.
Confessing she’s lied about her daughter’s paternity all these years won’t be easy for Abby, especially with her ex blackmailing her to keep the secret. And Seth doesn’t know the hardest truth of all: Every love song he plays on his guitar still plucks her heartstrings.
CONTENT WARNING: Spicy sex.
Seth leaned in. His lips were close enough to kiss, and his scent of sandalwood and something exotic enveloped her, taking her back to that night on the beach. His eyes flashed with the dangerous fire of his temper. It was similar to the flame of the passion she’d once seen in the green depths. Abby didn’t expect or want the heat curling in her belly, and shivered with a sudden and fierce desire.
“I’m her father, Abigail. I wanted to be her father after she was born. It was you and Mike who insisted I had no business messing things up.”
“I never said any such thing. You never tried. You just left.”
He pounded a fist on the counter top so hard she jumped. “Yes, I left! I wasn’t welcome at home. Dad ran me off with a shotgun. Mike wouldn’t even let me see my daughter. He made it quite clear you and he were happily married, and I had no place in your life. I was under contract to be in Nashville to start recording my first album.”
What did he mean, Mike wouldn’t let him see Emily?
Before she had a chance to voice her question, his eyes darkened as the pupils dilated, obscuring the stormy green. “But I’m no longer nineteen and scared shitless. I could make things very rough for you and this fantasy you’ve got working.”
A cold lump quickly replaced the tangle of heat in her belly. “What-what do you mean?”
He backed off and tapped the countertop. “I’m talking a custody battle. I could have a judge order a paternity test. I think we both know the media hoopla the results would cause.”
Her heart slammed into her chest wall. “You wouldn’t do that.”
“Try me. Now that I’ve met Emily, I want to get to know her.” He walked over to look out the kitchen window. The hard line of his jaw melted, and he swallowed so hard his throat moved up and down. “I was a fool when I let Mike talk me out of being in her life after she was born.”
“What do you mean?”
He glanced at her. “Don’t pretend you don’t know.”
The strings of guitar music provided a soft counterpoint to the hard tension in the kitchen. Emily was outside on the patio playing around with her guitar, waiting for them to finish with the dishes she and Seth had insisted on doing.
“All I want is to have some time with my daughter. That’s all I’m asking for.” When he looked over his shoulder at her, sadness replaced the anger in his eyes. “I’ll keep your little secret. I’ll just be her favorite singer. The family friend who made it big in Nashville. I don’t want to hurt her. As much as it galls the hell out of me, I see what Mike means to her.”
He moved toward her and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Besides, I don’t want to hurt Carolann or Frank any more than you do.” He glanced outside again, his voice husky as he spoke. “But I’ll sue you if I have to.”
A part of her wanted to give in to him, but a larger part wanted to punish him. Let him take her to court; she’d make sure the world knew what kind of jerk Seth Kendall really was.
She gritted her teeth and fisted her hands by her sides. “I’ll let you have tonight, Seth. But don’t ask for more.”
She turned away and strode through the French doors.
Buy the Book:
Lyrical Press: http://lyricalpress.com/heartstrings/
Barns and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/sara-walter-ellwood
Sara Walter Ellwood is an award winning author whose novel Gambling On A Secret was named by bestselling author Carolyn Brown in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today as one of her favorite romances of 2012. Although Sara has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her stories. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for nearly 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia.
She also writes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name of Cera duBois.
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FOR THE SIZZLING PR and SELF-BOOKED TOUR STOPS:
~~I will be giving away two ebook copies of Heartstrings at the end of each week of the tour, so make sure you leave your email address.
~~Tour Grand Prize is a swag pack full of goodies! A signed copy of Carolyn Brown’s Just a Cowboy and His Baby, an ebook copy of my last release Gambling On A Secret, a notebook, a pen, custom jewelry set, $5 Starbuck’s gift card—all tucked into a keepsake box. (Sorry, only US residents are eligible for Swag Pack. Comparable International Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card.) *Swag pack(gift card) is for the entire two-month tour. Winner will be announced on June 1, 2013
Thank you for joining us today! I hope you enjoyed this round of Meet the Characters and will join us again next week!