Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guest Author Ursula Grey

Today we have Ursula Grey visiting, a very talented author who writes in several different genres.
Just a side note before we start things rolling, I found out today that my publisher, Noble Romance Publishing, will be having a big giveaway on Valentine's Day, the major prize being a Kindle. There'll be lots of other goodies to win as well, I'll post the details in the coming days. Now let's get on with it!

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about who you are.
Hello! I'm Ursula Grey. I write romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, erotic historical romance, mainstream, women's fiction ~ I'd like to think I'm an author who has the ability to cross genres, and maybe play a little so that some of my titles contain elements of different genres all within the same book. Perhaps that sounds confusing, but I've always admired authors who could transcend one particular genre and come up with something totally different in their work.

Please tell us a bit about your book.
Second Chances is my baby. It's my first novel length work and I would categorize it as more of a mainstream work with elements of romance, suspense, chick lit, and more. The women in the book will hopefully appeal to a broad age group as we have a teen, a 30 something, and a 50+ character ~ all who find love, I might add. In the process, they get the opportunity to travel to France.


What was the motivation/idea behind this book/these characters?
I love France. It is a country I never tire of visiting. It's not surprising that a few of my stories take place there. The characters? They are a little bit of every woman I think. One of the characters, Jeanne, reminds me a lot of an old friend of mine. She never thought about her age; she did what she wanted to do, when she wanted to do it. I found that to be an admirable character trait and imbued Jeanne with the same joie de vivre as my real life friend.

Did you enjoy writing this book, or did you have some tough times with it?
I enjoyed writing Second Chances. The writing flowed and the plot fell into place. Don't get me wrong, writing is hard work, but it is also very rewarding to complete an actual novel! Writing Second Chances proved to me that I had the fortitude and determination to realize one of my personal goals. For that reason, this book will always be special to me.

When / Where / How do you write?
I usually settle in after work and write for a few hours, trying to accomplish more on the weekends. I have a little writing room set off from the rest of the house…I'm one of those people who require as little distraction as possible when writing! I'm definitely a pantser and find my story moves along as I write. That's when the ideas come. Or shall I say, that's when the characters decide to take me where they'd like to go.

What book/s are you reading at the moment?
Right now, I'm reading Parrot and Olivier in America, by Peter Carey, (in print), and on my Kindle, it's Gothic Blue, by Portia da Costa. They're both excellent reads!

Do you have any authors who were your inspiration/hero?
Some of my favorite authors are Rose Tremain, Margaret Atwood, and Joyce Carol Oates. As far as erotic romance, I do love Nancy Madore, Portia da Costa, and Jess Michaels.

What are you working on right now?
I'm currently working on a novella set during the Victorian Era. The heroine is an amnesia victim ~ at least that's what she tells her doctor…Still much work to do, but it's coming along.

Do you have any other books out you'd like to mention?
The Divine Matches Anthology was recently released by eXcessica and my short story, Heph’s Revenge is included. The story revolves around Hephaestus, and what happens when he discovers the antics taking place between his wife Aprhodite and the god of war, Ares. If gods and goddesses and all things mythological intrigue you, I urge you to pick up a copy. I enjoyed writing it ~ I should mention that this is an erotic story...
I’ve also another work with eXcessica entitled, A Day in April 1944. It’s about a French woman working for the Resistance who shelters an American pilot who awakens her sexuality. Again, it’s an erotic romance, which I’m proud to say, garnered Recommended Reads at the Literary Nymphs, Fallen Angel and Dark Diva review sites.
Also I'm pleased to say that my novella, Adelaide's Adventure, will soon be published with Noble Romance. It's an erotic romance that takes place in the Old West…in a stagecoach...Check my website for updates!

Is there something I haven't asked that you'd like to tell us?
Only that Second Chances is special to me. It was my first full-length novel and is filled with characters any woman can relate to regardless of age. I hope that readers will give it a chance and let me know what they think! Thanks for having me Jess. I enjoyed visiting your blog and look forward to your visit!


Thanks so much for dropping in, Ursula, it was a pleasure having you here!

Second Chances Blurb:

Chance encounters bring together three women from very different walks of life and with little in common—except for the desire to obtain a second chance at life…and perhaps even love? A mysterious birthday gift, a husband’s devastating deception, and a secret past during World War II send the women on an unforgettable journey to France that will change their lives forever.

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Chances-BookStrand-Publishing-Romance-ebook/dp/B0035YDM30/

EXCERPT:

Always an early riser, Jeanne rose with the sun, regardless of the time her head hit the pillow. At exactly five, her eyes popped open. Just as well. There was plenty to do. She donned her bathing cap and swimsuit, and before six had completed ten laps in the pool. Harry had given her a difficult time about installing it, but she knew if she could convince him it would be good for business the pool would be hers.
The only form of exercise that didn’t bore her, swimming sculpted her fifty-four year old body. The result was a sleek and toned look—all the incentive she needed to jump in each morning at exactly five fifteen. All thoughts drifted from her mind as her body took over, her breathing rhythmic and the movement of her arms and legs, synchronized.
* * * *
Gwen stood near the bedroom window and watched Jeanne complete lap after lap. Why, the older woman was in better shape than she was. She examined herself in the mirror and frowned, turning away. No wonder Jay left me for another woman. Look at me! Lumpy clusters of cellulite formed pockets around her thighs, and her muscle tone reminded her of one big bowl of Jell-O.
Admittedly, she had allowed all those society luncheons to go straight to her hips and thighs. Her sallow complexion gave no indication that summer had arrived. After throwing on a robe, she plopped onto the side of the bed and felt the tears coming on. A knock at the door constructed the only barrier between her composure and another crying jag.
“Gwen, are you awake?” whispered Delia. The wind chime effect of her voice surprised Gwen each time she heard it. She rose and opened the door. There stood Delia. The freshness of youth belied the effects of the festivities of the night before. Oh, to be young again.
“Hey, what do you say we go for a swim? I know it’s early, but I just love the water and I figured you could use a swim.”
“You noticed, huh?”
“Noticed what, Gwen?”
"That I need to drop a few pounds, that I need some exercise, that I’m overweight, and just not what I used to be?”
“Well, no, that’s not exactly what I meant, Gwen. You look fine to me. I just wanted some company. But, hey, if that’s how you really feel, then it can’t hurt to join me, can it?”
Gwen found herself at a loss for words. I suppose she’s right, she thought. Before she could respond, Delia interrupted.
“Larry never appreciated my opinions, but I was never one to hold back on them. I tell it like it is most times, Gwen. Now I’m going to throw on a T-shirt and shorts and I’ll meet you down there.”
Delia was already in the pool when she arrived downstairs. Jeanne, in the kitchen preparing breakfast, hummed to herself.
“Go on, Gwen. Go for a swim with the girl. She could use some company. Seems to me she’s had a hard life for a child so young.” Jeanne made a clucking sound with her tongue and shook her head. “I don’t know what the world is coming to. God only knows where her mother and father are, but I tell you, if she were mine, she wouldn’t be running around almost getting herself killed.”
“You’re right, Jeanne. She can use the company, and I can use the exercise, so off I go. But look, let’s talk later. I don’t know what Delia has in mind as far as where she’s headed, but I can’t see dropping her off on some street corner and leaving her in the hands of who or whatever is out there. She’s got a good head on her little shoulders, and you know I’ve grown quite fond of her in this short time.” Gwen knew that she couldn’t allow Delia to put her life at risk on the streets again. “Funny, though, here I am giving advice and I don’t even know where I’m going!”
“Oh, you’ll find your way, dear. You’re young and attractive. Why, you have your entire life ahead of you,” said Jeanne, sorting through a colander filled with blueberries.
“Do you really think so?”
“Have you ever looked at yourself?” Jeanne wiped her hands on the apron tied around her waist and turned to Gwen. “You probably don’t even realize how lovely you are.”
Gwen’s eyes grew moist. “Thanks, Jeanne. I really needed to hear that. Now I’d better get out there before I change my mind.” She wrapped her towel around her waist and snatched a blueberry from the sorted and washed batch. Smiling at Jeanne, she made her way down to the pool.
Delia floated on her back then broke into a leisurely backstroke when she arrived. “Come on in,” she shouted, “the water’s fine!” At home in the water, she slid under then emerged. Hair slicked back and glistening in the sun, her smile revealed even white teeth.
“Okay, Miss Mermaid, give me a moment, won’t you?” Gwen shed the towel that covered the shorts and tank top she’d hurriedly stuffed into her small luggage bag. Delia giggled and continued gliding across the sparkling surface of the water. She slipped into the pool and began the process of becoming reacquainted with the water. Never comfortable in water, it took her a few moments to get her bearings. I must have drowned in a past life, she thought as she tried to coordinate the movement of her arms and legs in addition to trying to breathe without inhaling water. She’d do okay in a swimming pool with a lifeguard nearby, but if she happened to go overboard on a cruise or sailboat in a real body of water, she’d be a goner. It wasn’t long until those swimming lessons she’d hated as a girl came back to her with each stroke.
She counted the laps in her head and decided that six would be enough for today. She lost her concentration when she detected what she thought was a muffled scream. Gwen lifted her head above the water in time to see Delia dragged—kicking and screaming—toward an old Chevy by a giant of a man.


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