Nights of Passion is excited to welcome Romance Suspense Author Eleanor Sullo.
In what moment, did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Even as a little kid I was drawn to pencil, paper and crayons. I loved making up tiny stories and illustrating them. The day I was around six or seven and my mom brought home the end of a roll of some sort of office machine paper and gave it to me, I was enchanted. Wow—all that paper! I realized I could write an eternal story and draw endless pictures on that long roll of paper, and that pretty much summed up what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Have you been inspired by other writers?
Oh, for sure. It’s why I majored in English in college, read the romance poets and the Brontes’, Jane Austen and Dickens over and over! If they could capture my imagination, turn a phrase or create a fascinating character and make magic happen, maybe I could keep trying for that, too. That’s inspiration to me.
What is your favorite book and why?
As a child, it was The Secret Garden—combining my love of flowers, food and nature with an intriguing story, and later, To Kill a Mockingbird, where justice reigns, people’s values either shine or decay, and a child’s point of view keeps innocence alive. Heroes and heroines who overcome terrific odds are my flashpoint. Love ‘em.
What is your goal for your writing?
To keep creating amazing characters who change their lives or overcome some huge obstacle to find love, mercy, peace, justice–for themselves or others—and have someone somewhere be touched by those characters and their stories.
What do you find exciting about the writing process?
I love exposing the little hidden nooks in our unconscious that hold memories, ideas, imaginings that suddenly sprout up during the writing process like a magic garden you didn’t remember you had tilled and somehow, somewhere, got planted and now feeds you and your work. I think about that a lot. I don’t know how it happens, (and I surely don’t take much credit for it) but I know the creative part of writing makes me very grateful to a generous God.
How is writing suspense romance more challenging?
In writing suspense one has to be pretty certain of where the plot is going, how it threads through the story, IS the story, and how it may just bring two people together as they go through the twists and turns and struggles. I never think of a manuscript as romantic suspense while I’m working on it, only that it’s a story where two people struggle together (or sometimes even in opposition) to come to resolution and to relationship—which is probably my overall goal in life. More relationship, better relationship, intricate, intimate relationship!
Of your own books, who are your favorite characters and why?
Since I’m still working on their stories, (Book One, Hostage is out, Book Two, Harem will be out in August, four more to come), right now the Women on Fire, my six feisty, funny menopausal heroines of the Menopause Murder series are my favorites. As they solve murders, they’re still becoming who they are, and each one has the opportunity to fall in love or become more in love with someone in her life, even though they’re about to collect Social Security. Anyhow, at any age, what could be better “social security” than love?
Please, tell us all about your books.
Moonrakers (Wings ePress) was my first published romantic suspense In it, science and the supernatural clash head on in a Victorian mystery-romance of passion and betrayal, when the lady of the Manor hires a Scotland Yard psychic researcher to investigate attacks on her father’s life and finds a ghost—and more–instead:
“Haunted by secrets, deceit and ancient evil forces, the healer and the ghost hunter draw close to save those in their care. But once in each other’s arms, he learns what will surely turn him away forever. On the rocky Devon cliffs, they struggle for the shattered glass of a moonraking mirror. Will its broken surface reflect a relationship grown strong enough to hold their differences, or merely shards that kill?”
‘Olivia! He pushed his way to the opening and froze.
“For God’s sake, woman,” he shouted, Don’t do it!”
By the light of the moon he saw her turn half toward him, face contorted. Something bright and jagged in her hand caught in the moonlight and dark moisture spilled from her fingers. Her eyes darted from where Pell stood at the cave’s mouth to a dark figure huddled against the wall beside him—the old man, softly mewling, “No, no please, don’t.”
“Olivia, my darling, come, don’t do it,” Harrison cried.
“Harry…Thank God you’re here! You were right—they’re wicked, all of them. I came to put an end—”
“Livvy! Don’t.” …
“Harrison, help me!” Her cry cut through him like the haunting cries of a motherless child, a sound he knew too well from within his own heart….
He felt her slipping from his grasp.
“…romance with sweeping intensity and spell-binding passion.” – Cindy Penn
Moonrakers is available at http://www.wings-press.com/Bookstore/Moonrakers.htm
When sensual and gutsy Alana Phoenix goes on a routine air-conditioning service call in the desert, she’s stunned to find her fiery former lover Ted Caliente, returned to Tucson after making a big name as a Mexican chef. Although sparks ignite, each blames the other for a bitter ten-year separation.
As their sizzling romance is rekindled, she’s afraid it’s just sex, and he’s scared to death it’s something more. Whatever it is, it’s as hot and hard to resist as Teddie’s famous chili peppers. Although meddling relatives and secrets from the past rock their lives, the choice is theirs–refuse to face a future with no guarantees, or step out into the storm and gamble on love.
She watched his eyes dart left and right and all the way to the mountains. She grimaced. Gripping the edge of the door at the open window she growled, causing him to jump.
“My God, why are you so anxious? Why do you keep scanning the horizon like that? I know there are dangers in the desert, but what exactly are you afraid of?”
He shrugged and bent to kiss her knuckles resting on the edge of the car door. “Let me do the worrying, will you, honey?” His easygoing grin almost convinced her.
She clenched her teeth. I don’t need another man giving me orders, taking care of me—as badly as they do it. I need to be a partner here. “You’re not getting away that easy. Come on, what’s bothering you?”
“Lanie,” he said softly, reaching into the open window and gripping her chin tenderly in his fist, stroking her reddened cheeks and swollen lips. “I didn’t want you to worry. I would have told you after I check out certain things.”
“Tell me now, Teodoro Caliente,” she demanded, her heart twisting in her chest.
He puffed out a heavy breath. “It’s Jen’s grandmother. Marva just told me today, the old lady has somebody watching me—detectives.”
“Detec—! But why? Where?”
He shrugged. “Checking that I make a good home for Jenna, I guess.” He gestured toward the hills. “Out there, somewhere. Maybe with high tech spying stuff. Night-vision goggles, the works. Old man Ferand told her.”
She shivered. “But that’s…too weird. And you let me…swim naked in the hot tub?”
He shrugged. A chuckle rose up in his throat, as he took her chin between his thumb and forefinger again. “I didn’t know you’d sneak out,” he said lamely. “At least I got you indoors before things got any more graphic.”
“Sneak? You’re the sneak! You could have ‘fessed up!” she snapped. “Get in here!” She pulled him by a hank of hair until his whole head was squeezed through the window. Then she kissed him long enough to erase the worry lines on his sweet dark face.
“We’ll meet at my place then,” she decided. “He won’t find us in those identical tin boxes. Hey, I’m gonna need high maintenance now, Caliente.”
Too Damned Hot is available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/too-damned-hot-p-3908.html
Menopause Murders: Hostage
This courageous, clever offbeat group pursues the guilty from Florida to Alaska, Hannah herself falling for a smokin’ detective and overcoming a gut-wrenching fear of flying to save her friend from the killer. Women-on-Fire turn menopause into a launch site–and they’re off!
Excerpt: “Do we, do we have coffee made, or, uh, something for dessert?” I felt my initial panic in the car returning.
“Coffee later,” Bernie Cascone said, his hand on my shoulder, one finger tucked into the hemmed neckline of my silk shirt. “…Let’s have dessert right now.” The words had rushed out of him, breathy and hoarse, almost.
I felt my resolve to remain platonic with the detective deconstructing. I turned in his arms as effortlessly as if sliding from backstroke to crawl in deep water. I faced him, rested my hands on his biceps. Nice, hard. A slight stain of red sauce on his chin, his brown eyes glowing like hot coals. So very human. And alive. I reached up around his neck and he engulfed me. “Should we, can we, umm, close the deal?” I heard his manly voice vibrate through my skull.
I tried to push the word out, “No,” and realized that all the while I was nodding, “Yes,” against the press of his lips on my forehead, cheeks, and chin. We half-danced, half-flew toward the other end of the apartment, still entwined.
As he began unbuttoning my blouse in the dimly lit bedroom he gazed down at me with a guilty expression only half-hidden by the warmth of passion on his face.
“Have to tell you something,” he said. “I lied.”…Just when I got nervous, he told me the truth.
“I didn’t make the Osso Buco. My mother-in-law did, and packed it for me to take home. She keeps saying I should meet someone nice. I think I just did.”
The bubble of laughter I felt welling up never got loose. But as it rose and ballooned, it managed to bury my fear, my tension, the last crumbs of my reluctance. As he pressed me down gently on the bed, his lips on mine kept the bubble trapped and dancing inside me for a long, long time.
Any new projects?
Yes, as I mentioned, Menopause Murders: Harem will be out in August from Wings ePress in both electronic and paper format. This time the Women on Fire take their action to a residence for the elderly, where life is clearly still hopping: Lucia just wants to make life fun again for Golden Haven’s residents. But murder in the night, too much medicine and a streaking senior stud with ogling admirers complicate matters. Trying to calm her often confused mother-in-law, Lu also fears sweetheart Tony is straying, and, once deserted, she’ll never get to open the restaurant of her dreams. Will a trip to Italy in the midst of the bedlam solve anything? Can Women on Fire really help this time?
Excerpt: ‘There were other shouts and screams, and a few women crying, and then a hush came over the room as the group formed a circle formed the two men.
“But you wouldn’t do that, would you? Play a polka for Mickey,” Zimmer snarled in a low, insinuating voice. He edged closer. “Your mother hated the old man, complained about him night and day, the poor old bugger. So you have to hate him, too? Don’t you see that he’s suffering every time he takes his clothes off. You, you–”
Devlin Doyle had come running up beside Gordon. Now he threw himself between the two men. “Zim, hey, cut it out, Zimmer. Let the guy play, for Christ’s sake. It’s a party. What the hell’s the matter with you? C’mon!”
Once Zimmer’s tirade was silenced, his cane fell downward and clattered to the floor. Ponyee jumped to pick it up and hand it back, while Richard drooped on the bench, his head pressed against the music shelf, trembling hands smashing the keyboard in discord once again. You could hear his sobs across the room. Then the crying stopped, and everything in room went still as melting ice.
Becker’s withdrawn emotion seemed to energize him and, again, he half-rose. “You!” Becker finally managed to get the words out, though by now Zimmer was ten feet away, led by Devlin. “You’re the one who hated my mother. It must have been you, you who…”
Hobbling, Ada dashed around Richard and hugged him to her chest before he could continue with the obvious accusation. “No, no, Richard, don’t.”
People edged away, silent and jittery, and I finally got past the foray.
“Lucia mia!” my mother-in-law cried when at last I reached her and her handsome white-haired partner. Nonna Rose had a mouthful of Smarties puffing out her cheeks, and the old man had somehow squeezed out of the upper part of his jumpsuit. It sagged around his hips and was on the descent, while the two of them, oblivious, danced on to their own unheard music.
It was life as usual at the Golden Age Haven.
Menopause Murders: Hostage is available at http://www.wings-press.com/Bookstore/Menopause%20Murder%20Hostage.htm
Tell us about your upcoming booksigning and/or appearances.
On Wednesday, September 22 at 7 p.m. I’ll be discussing my newer books and signing at my local library, Craigin Memorial in Colchester, CT. I also plan a giveaway of each of my previous books to someone in attendance. I love getting to know my local readers, many of whom have formed a writers’ group and are turning out some work of their own at this time. Everyone welcome. Fun!
Some of our viewers are writers. Do you have any writer’s techniques you can share?
I have lots of fun, and helpful results by “interviewing” my characters to get more deeply into them. Since I know the Meyers-Briggs Personality Inventory, I calculate their personality types from answers they provide in my imagination, then go into their childhood for any hidden events that motivate them as adults. There are often highly unexpected answers, and somehow lots of truth exposed in these interviews. And who can argue with me if I don’t quite get each person right??
Every writer needs to play sometimes. What do enjoy doing to relax besides writing?
I love traveling, not the touristy type of catching every attraction, but actually “living” for short periods, a few weeks or a month, in another place, where I can cook like the locals, shop in their stores, learn a tiny bit of their language, absorb their culture and customs a bit, maybe even a few “nights of passion” of my own!
This kind of traveling works well especially if we have friends or relatives in the area. Italy, France and England are my favorites. Thank goodness I have a very willing traveling partner, my sweetie, Joe.
Thank you, Eleanor, for being on Nights of Passion.
Thank you for inviting me. Your questions have been probing and delightful to explore!
To find out more about Eleanor Sullo, visit: