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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kelly and the Candidate by Fran Shaff


Title: Kelly and the Candidate
Author:  Fran Shaff
Release Date:  May 1, 2010
Publisher:  Wings ePress
Blurb:  Reporter Kelly Graham, who isn't the least bit fond of politicians, finds governor candidate Brett Conifer completely irresistible. Brett, who can't stand reporters, makes an exception where the lovely Kelly is concerned. Scandals, fist fights, miniature matchmakers--Kelly and Brett are in for one very complicated love affair.

Welcome to Sizzling Releases, Fran. I’m so pleased you could join me today. What is your Sizzling Release?  
Kelly and the Candidate, a contemporary romance is one of my May, 2010 releases.

What is Kelly and the Candidate all about? 
Kelly is an intrepid, award-winning reporter whose editor assigns her to cover the candidacy of boring, third-party gubernatorial candidate Brett Conifer.  She describes him as being so clean “he can disinfect a surgical room just by walking through it.” Good character in a politician is death to a newspaper woman’s career, but Brett’s integrity is as attractive to the woman in Kelly as are his handsome face and fine physique. It doesn’t take long for these two natural rivals to fall in love.  Of course, scandals and other complications quickly arrive, placing their love in jeopardy.

That sounds like a fun read. How did you come up with the idea? 
I enjoy pitting opposites against each other in my romance stories.  A politician who dislikes reporters, and a reporter who can’t stand politicians seemed like two perfect, polar-opposite characters.  Interesting because they need each other professionally, yet they hate having to cooperate with each other to get a job done.  Since conflict is the name of the game in any compelling story, I took the idea and went with it.  The challenge in writing the story and the fun in reading it lies in finding out how opposites will fall in love.

As a multi-published author, what advice do you have for those just beginning their writing career? 
There is so much to know about writing from craft to publication and beyond.  Most importantly, anyone who wants to be a published author should never give up. Work, write, study, write, research, write.  Keep learning, keep improving.  Never give up.
Tell the readers about your backlist.  

My books include contemporary and historical romance and young people’s novels.  They are available in hardcover, paperback and e-formats.  Most are available at Amazon.com.  For a complete listing of my books I hope readers will visit my web page at: http://sites.google.com/site/fshaff 

There you’ll find book descriptions, links to excerpts, interviews and guest blogs and even a picture of the family bulldog.  J  Be sure to take advantage of my free e-book Change of Heart, an acclaimed historical romance.

What are you working on now?   
Currently I am working on For Love of Maggie a contemporary romance due out in July and Christmas Cruise, another contemporary romance which has not yet been scheduled for release.  I’m also working on a non-fiction series Novel Workshop.  In this series, the teacher in me meets up with the writer to produce workshops writers can use to hone their skills.  I hope to have the first book available later this year.

Is there something in particular that sparks you to write something new? 
Not any one thing.  Sometimes I get an idea and run with it.  Other times I have a terrific idea and can’t make it go anywhere.

What do your family and friends think about you being a published author? 
Hm…I’d have to say it doesn’t mean much to them one way or the other.  I used to get discouraged because I didn’t receive encouragement from those close to me, but eventually I decided to just do what I wanted to do--write.  That change in attitude made all the difference in sticking to my goals.

It’s May-do you celebrate Cinco De Mayo?  
I do speak a bit of Spanish, but I don’t celebrate Cinco De Mayo.
Speaking of Cinco De Mayo, have you ever been to Mexico?  
No, I haven’t, but it seems like a beautiful country, especially the beaches.

Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?  
A few things, yes.  Thanks for asking. 
In addition to Kelly and the CandidateStolen Son, another contemporary romance, is being released in May.  Look for it in paperback and e-formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo and other places on the Internet.
Readers who enjoy historical romance should know my book Change of Heart is available for free download in 10 formats at Smashwords.com, bn.com and kobo.com as well as other places on the Internet.

I’d love to connect with readers at Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Readers can find excerpts and writing tips at my blog: http://blog.myspace.com/franshaff  Contact me at: writerfran@gmail.com and visit my web page at: http://sites.google.com/site/fshaff 


And before we go, can we get a juicy excerpt from Kelly and the Candidate? 
Most definitely!  Look for more excerpts at “Kelly’s” web page: http://sites.google.com/site/kellyandthecandidate 

EXCERPT:
Setup:  Brett, while protecting one of his children, has engaged in an altercation with another man. Kelly has spent the evening caring for his little girls, waiting for him to return home after having been arrested.  It’s late when he arrives.

      “What happened?”
      He inhaled deeply and winced when he did so.  His ribs were obviously hurting from his beating.
      “It took a while, but the ambulance finally arrived.  They took Caldwell and me to the hospital.  After the doctors patched us up, the police took us to the precinct and questioned us.”
      “No, that isn’t what I mean.”
      He looked away.  “I know what you mean.”  He gazed at her once more.  “I’m not going to tell you what happened.”
      She straightened her stance.  “Yes, Brett, you are going to tell me what happened.  You’re going to tell me every detail.  You and this man Caldwell were beating the life out of each other right in front of your daughters.  I deserve to know why.”
      He nodded toward her.  “Yes, you do, but not tonight.  I won’t explain a thing to you tonight.”
      This was outrageous.  She walked closer to him and looked up at him squarely.  “If you think I’m going to wait for an explanation, then Caldwell must have beaten all sense of reason out of your brain.”
      “Kelly,” he said firmly, “not tonight.”
      “Yes, tonight,” she said just as determinedly.  “Do you know what I’ve been doing since we left you in the park?  I’ve been worrying myself sick over you.  Yet I didn’t dare let Becca and Ally see that I was at all upset.  They were distressed enough without having to see me fall apart.”
      “I’m sorry,” he said, his voice taking on a surprisingly angry tone.
      “Ally was beyond grief.  She was convinced you were going to die.  Do you know how frightened a little girl gets when she believes her last remaining parent is going to die?”
      “I’m sorry,” he said again, peppering the angry tone of his voice with regret.
      “I’ll tell you how frightened she gets.  She gets so frightened she gets sick to her stomach, so sick she won’t eat any supper.  Then she starts throwing up.”
      “Kelly, stop it!  I said I’m sorry.  What do you want from me?”
      “I want an explanation.  You owe me an explanation.”
      “Not tonight!”  He whirled away from her.  “Go home, Kelly.”
      “No!”  She went to him, took his arm and made him look at her.  “I won’t leave until you tell me why the two of you were fighting.”
      “Kelly, go home,” he said firmly.
      “No.  I won’t leave.  I won’t let you bully me and send me on my way.  I want to know why my evening turned into one of fright and worry.  I need to know why you had to make me heartsick with grief over what I saw you go through.”  She squeezed his arm as hard as she could.  “Brett, I’ve never been so frightened in my entire life.  With all of the misery I’ve seen because of my job, I’ve never experienced anything that scared me the way seeing you hurt scared me.  Brett,” she said softly, a tear sliding down her cheek, “tell me what happened.”
      He pulled her gripping fingers from his arm and tugged her closer to him.  In the next moment, Kelly found herself wrapped tightly in his arms.  His lips came down on hers and demanded she surrender to him.
      Kelly inhaled sharply.  She hadn’t expected him to touch her like this.  For a brief moment, she considered pulling away.  But when his mouth spoke to her in this intimate, wordless manner, she was powerless to move away from him.
      Brett’s kisses made her want more of him.  She slid her arms around him and ran her hands up and down his strong back.
      “Kelly,” he whispered into her ear when his lips left hers, “Kelly, I need you.  I need you so much.”
      He kissed her more passionately, and she felt her insides beginning to ignite.
      What was he doing to her?  What place in her heart did he find that even she herself did not know existed?
      She should pull away from him.
      This was not right.  He should not be kissing her.  She should not be urging him to do more than hold and kiss her.
      In the next second she was in his arms again, and he was trailing kisses along her cheek and down her throat.
      “Brett…”
      He kissed her lips hard and drove her wild with passion.
      She pulled back slightly and gasped.  “Brett, Brett…”  She needed him more than she needed her next breath of air, and she didn’t understand why.  Weren’t they arguing a few minutes before?...............

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