Welcome to Sugarbeat’s Books – The Home of the Romance Novel!
Today we are welcoming Elizabeth McKenna to the blog! She is the author of Cera’s Place, a new historical romance novel. Elizabeth is offering up an ebook for a giveaway. Just enter your information in the form below to be entered! Good luck!
Now, lets learn more about Elizabeth and her new book!
Barb – Tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing
Elizabeth – Well, I am a full-time technical writer/editor, a full-time mom, and a part-time historical romance writer. I live in Wisconsin with my husband (I’ve loved him since I was sixteen), two teenage girls (smart, talented, and beautiful), and a yellow lab (beautiful, definitely not smart, and extremely sassy). I telecommute, so I’m able to fit in my professional, family, and creative writing duties throughout the day. I’ve always wanted to write a fiction novel and finally did it with Cera’s Place.
Barb – Tell us about your new book, Cera’s Place.
Elizabeth – Cera’s Place is set in San Francisco 1869. Cera runs a saloon but, unlike other such businesses of the times, she doesn’t allow prostitution. Over the years, she has helped women escape their terrible lives and become “respectable.” Jake is an ex-soldier haunted by his Civil War experiences. He’s on a mission to find the daughter of a friend who died in battle. One of the subplots of the novel is based on actual events. During this time period, since the majority of the Chinese population in California was male, Asian women were kidnapped and forced into prostitution in America. The Anti-Prostitution Act of 1870 made it illegal to import women for criminal or demoralizing purposes. Cera and Jake team up to fight a gang that is kidnapping Chinese girls for the local brothels. Of course, in the process they fall in love.
Barb – Who are your cheerleaders? Who continues to encourage you to write?
Elizabeth – My two girls are my cheerleaders and the main reason I started writing fiction. When they were young, they asked me what I had wanted to be when I grew up. I answered an astronaut, until I realized I was claustrophobic. Then I decided I wanted to be a best-selling author. They asked why I wasn’t one, to which I replied, “Technical writing pays the bills.” A few years ago, I decided I needed to show them it is never too late to follow your dreams (there was also a scary psychic involved, but that’s another story). I love sharing every success, no matter how small, with them. I also share the failures because they’re important too.
Barb – When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate and with whom?
Elizabeth – I think I celebrated with myself by doing a small victory dance in my home office. I self-published Cera’s Place thinking if only one person bought it, I’d be happy. At the moment, I’m ecstatic. My girls wanted to celebrate my 100th book sale when it occurred, but life kept getting in the way. We don’t have a lot of free time.
Barb – What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
Elizabeth – I struggle with finding the time to write. I tend to write slowly and I look up everything from a historical point of view because I want to be so accurate. Sometimes I’ll find the perfect word or phrase only to discover it wasn’t used until the 1900s. Then I have to start over. I’m getting so impatient with my current novel. I see it clearly in my head but I can’t find the time to get it into the computer.
Barb – What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
Elizabeth – I love writing dialog. I’ve been told my dialog is very natural sounding.
Barb – Which scenes were the hardest to write?
Elizabeth – Definitely the love scenes. I’m shy, so it was very hard to write them knowing that friends and relatives would be reading the novel (though my 85-year-old mother didn’t bat an eye while reading it).
Barb – How long did it take you to write your current book?
Elizabeth – I wrote Cera’s Place on and off for about four years. I submitted it numerous times, which is a slow process since most agents take weeks if not months to respond – it they respond at all. At one point, I went back and forth with an editor at Carina Press who asked for revisions before finally passing on the manuscript. I also had Cera’s Place critiqued by several other writers and a professional editor, so that took time.
Barb – Who is your favorite character in your new release?
Elizabeth – I love Jake. He’s honorable, rugged, and sensitive.
Barb – Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Elizabeth – I’d like to think I was Cera in a previous life, but she has better breasts than me.
Barb – What were the challenges in bringing this book to life?
Elizabeth – I hadn’t written fiction since college, so I had a lot to learn about creative writing in general. I made many newbie mistakes. Luckily, I found numerous strangers via the internet who took the time to give me advice and encouragement. I’ve now learned a lot about marketing. I think my next novel will go smoother.
Barb – Do you have an all time favorite book?
Elizabeth – I love the Harry Potter series. The hardcovers sit on my bookshelf like priceless art.
Barb – Where can your fans find you?
Elizabeth – I think I’m everywhere but Twitter (actually, I do have a Twitter account, I just don’t use it). You can find me on my author website, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn. Cera’s Place also has its own Facebook page.
Barb – Where is your work available?
Elizabeth – Cera’s Place in paperback: CreateSpace and Amazon.
Cera’s Place in ebook: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, Sony and Diesel.
The Gypsy Casts a Spell (short story) in ebook: Amazon.
Barb – Anything else you’d like to add?
Elizabeth – I’d like to thank you for introducing me to your blog followers. Being an indie author, I truly appreciate the opportunity. I hope your readers find the plot of Cera’s Place intriguing. I think they will really enjoy Cera and Jake’s love story – I know I had a great time writing it!
Barb – I’d like to thank Elizabeth for dropping by and sharing with us! Be sure to fill in the form to be entered to win a copy. I’ll leave you with the blurb for this interesting sounding book.
San Francisco saloon owner Cera Cassidy offers redemption to any woman looking for honest work. At Cera’s Place, men can get a decent hot meal with a whiskey, but if they want anything more, they have to take their desires elsewhere. One summer night, a distraught Chinese girl bursts through the swinging doors with a shocking tale of murder, kidnapping, and prostitution. Outraged, Cera vows to set things right.
mission to fulfill a friend’s dying wish. The trail has brought him to Cera’s door.
Captivated by her Irish beauty, he wants to join her fight – but will she let him?