1.) What is your favourite thing about yourself?
My imagination. Ever since an early age, teachers and others have remarked upon my prodigious imagination so it was something I was born with. I think I augmented it by being a voracious reader since I was a kid. It’s given me a rich interior life that I couldn’t fathom living without and I’ve also used it time and again to come up with creative solutions to the challenges of life.
2.) What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?
I wish I’d been savvier about self-promoting and social media and been less embarrassed about touting myself and my achievements. I didn’t realise how hard it would be to stand out from the crowd and just how competitive publishing has become. You have to use everything at your disposal.
3.) Share a romantic moment in your life.
This doesn’t sound overly romantic on the face of it. I was sitting with my boyfriend at the time at an outdoor restaurant along the Miami seafront one balmy evening. We had some fish and wine. I was talking and he was watching me, absolutely absorbing me with this beatific smile on his face. I felt myself just slip into that smile, as if he just drank me like a glass of water. It was an incredible, no-going-back moment that reached my core. After that, I was his.
4.) Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?
I think it would have to be violence against children. It can be hard to write scenes of extreme violence to begin with but against children, it really turns my stomach. So you won’t see any of that in my books. I may allude to an abusive background, but I’m not going to have a scene of someone acting violently against a child.
5.) Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Be persistent. Don’t give up in the face of initial rejection. Find it within yourself to keep going because you can reach your goals if you persevere. Don’t let others knock you off track. I also always tell people to write what they’re passionate about because you’re going to spend a long time with that subject and characters.
6.) If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?
I have many favourite books but I confess to being a bit of a Shakespeare nut so I’d have to say “Macbeth.” I am in a constant state of admiration as to how Shakespeare came up with so many enduring lines and pearls of wisdom that have become staples of everyday English. Macbeth is a terrific play.
7.) What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
I took my mother’s car for a joyride when I was 16. My parents were away and left myself and my two younger siblings with a young woman taking care of us. At her suggestion, I took the car for a spin as she sat beside me. It was the first time I had ever driven. Unluckily for me, an undercover cop noticed my erratic all-over-the-road performance and pulled me over, thinking I was drunk. I was not, just inexperienced! I often wonder what on earth that childminder was thinking!
8.) If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?
Meat pies and pavlova. I was born in New Zealand so I would give you real Kiwi comfort food! I love meat pies and pavlova is a light meringue-like dessert, made with egg whites and sugar and topped with cream and fruit. Delicious! Oh, I’d better throw in some veg, so add a salad, too!
In the Heat of the Tropics
by Christina Elliott
GENRE: Romantic suspense
Amid a sweltering Miami summer, a serial killer is haunting the city. Reporter Ingrid Sorenson is assigned the story and her primary source is brusque detective Rick Gonzalez. The pair clash, but sparks of passion ignite. They risk their jobs to give in to their desire, but mistrust of each other’s career motives wedges them apart. Then Ingrid gets a tip that leads her into the killer’s lair. She and Rick must choose between saving themselves or rescuing their love.
She arrived before the police had erected a tent around the victim, and even standing at the mouth of the alley, she could see the silhouette of a man reclining at an odd angle in the driver’s seat of a minivan.
A man murdered in his car. Just like the John Killings. Could the John Killer have returned to mark the year anniversary of his last murder? She tried to control her excitement. If it was the serial killer, this would be a huge story. And she just happened to be working that night.
Then that detective had shown up, wrenching her incredibly good luck to incredibly bad inside two minutes. She still didn’t even know the guy’s name. But maybe he wouldn’t be working the case. Maybe he was just on duty and got the callout, and maybe it wouldn’t matter if he was on the case. Her primary contact at the P.D. was media relations. Still, it was a bad break. Developing a personal relationship with detectives was the way to scoops. She didn’t need him possibly poisoning other cops against her.
The coroner’s tech was photographing the body and the car. Detective Asshole was standing with folded arms, watching. Every now and then, he turned in her direction—checking on her. With her initial excitement fading to disillusion, a wave of tiredness overcame her. She wiped her forehead with her forearm. The air had cooled at this time of night, but it was still muggy. She trudged back to her car, posted a two-sentence brief online about a suspicious death in an alley north of downtown from her phone and headed home.
As she raced down the normally traffic-choked U.S. 1, she recalled that whole embarrassing video incident. As Mel had predicted, she’d been hauled into Marlena’s office the next day to give her side of the story. Thankfully, Marlena had concluded that it wasn’t Ingrid’s fault. Why would an undercover operative be so reckless as to show up at a media conference? Still, Ingrid had been nervous that it would be held against her when she applied for the police beat, but it hadn’t. Neither did it seem to matter to Major Montoya when Ingrid had gone to the station to introduce herself as the new Star reporter. The only person who held the grudge was the detective, although he seemed to have landed pretty well if he was investigating homicides.
Despite being an asshole, he was cute, hot actually. But being an arrogant jerk seemed to be the required personality trait of good-looking men, as if they knew handsome guys were in short supply and acted accordingly. Still, Ingrid wondered whether something could’ve developed between them if the video thing hadn’t happened.
She had felt a frisson of … what exactly, attraction? … in that look they’d shared, and he must’ve rushed to get to the door before she left the press conference for a reason. She stopped herself. What-ifs were nothing but a trap of despair. They didn’t bear thinking about.
She pulled into the driveway, tires crunching over the carpet of red berries fallen from the palm trees in her front yard. She was due back at work in a few hours for her regular day shift. She’d get some sleep and head back to follow up the homicide. If she could break the story that the John Killer had returned, and stay ahead on the story after that, maybe she could nab a promotion to a coveted slot on the investigative team. Then she’d never have to worry about running into Detective Asshole again.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Christina Elliott is a former Miami newspaper reporter and editor. She now writes spicy romantic suspense novels from Los Angeles, where she’s glad to report there are far fewer bad-hair days but sadly far less Cuban coffee. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Christina Elliott will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.