Friday, June 1, 2012

Interview & Giveaway Elaine Levine

Hello, My Sweets! Today we have the fabulous author of Edge of Courage on My Secret Romance, Elaine Levine. She has taken some time out to answer our questions and has graciously offered to give away 10 ebooks! How awesome is that?? You can read Lee Anne's review and then the interview below. 

One last hot is this cover? 


Oh My Goodness!  Oh MyGoodness!  This book has so many thingsthat make a book wonderful!  We haveromance, soldiers (in and out of uniform), mystery, suspense, danger…….Thisbook has it all!

Rocco is a soldier back from Afghanistan suffering fromPTSD. He shows up at Mandy’s ranch, at the request of his friend and herhalf-brother, to figure out why she’s having so many problems on her ranch.Along the way they get drawn into intrigue and danger, all while dealing withhis PTSD.

I love books with soldiers, whether they’re broken from waror all in one piece.  There’s justsomething about a man in or out of uniform. Elaine Levine does a fantastic job of building a soldier who’s sufferingfrom his time in Afghanistan. Others have given up on him but Mandy sticks byhis side. She has a healing and gentle touch that works wonders with Rocco.She’s gentle and understanding while not letting him back down and hide fromthe horrors he needs to face. I fell in love with Rocco and I’m happily married!Elaine created a character so real and brought to life the many problems andhorrors so many of our soldiers face when they come home. She also gave aglimpse into what happens to them when others don’t understand what it’s likefor them. She also shows how a little understanding and patience can go a longway to helping them.

The story was fast paced and Elaine Levine painted a veryreal world.  I could easily picture thearea and everything going on around the ranch. The characters she created were realistic and enjoyable. I especiallylike how the team mates of Rocco were not all dreamy and gorgeous. Shedescribed them as real people with individual and distinct personalities.

Elaine Levine did an excellent job of taking current eventsand bringing them to life in the story. I held back on giving this one a five star rating as I had a hard timeunderstanding Mandy. I completely understood Rocco and the problems he wasfacing. Mandy fell a little flat for me. She was patient and understanding butI didn’t get much of a sense of her past or why she was building thehippotherapy center. It was a long ways into the book before we learned she wasa trained physical therapist.

Last but not least, Elaine Levine put my favorite thing in abook that is part of a series……a CLIFFHANGER! I can’t wait to read the next story in the series and find out whathappens next. But sadly, the next book is not out yet and so I must wait……


Hey Elaine, thank you for being here today!
         Thank you! I was soexcited when I was asked to do this.

 You describe some very real PTSD symptoms and horrors that Rocco is facing. Do you have any real-life experience with  PTSD or was it all research?

One of the fun things about being an author is that I get to delve into the secret lives of characters that interest me. I wanted to explore what some of our returning service men and women might experience if they were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Rocco volunteered to let me inside his heada dark, confused, and angry place. My descriptions of his problems came about through 10% research and 90% listening to the story he told me.

        What made you decide to use the Red Team for Rocco’s military background?  Why not use Special Forces instead?

Creatively,I wanted more latitude to take the series where it needs to go. I wanted to play with a cohesive unit of paramilitary heroes, see what happens as they fight their enemies and find their own happily-ever-afters.

 I’m supposing the next book in the series will tell Ty Bladen’s story and hopefully soon we’ll get Kit’s story.  Are you  planning to include to other teammates of Rocco, Kit and Ty with their own stories? And will we continue to see Rocco and Mandy in the future stories?

The next book is Ty’s (SHATTERED VALORto be released late August), followed by Kit’s (HONOR UNRAVELEDto be released late November). I do intend to write stories for each of the members of the Red Team. I’d like to publish three each year. We’ll see how that works out...

One thing to note:  the Red Team will definitely be a series that you have to read in order. Each story will build on the last,picking up where the previous one left off.

What was your favorite part of Edge of Courage and why?

That’s a tough question!! I loved seeing Rocco come to terms with his ghosts and, in the process, learn to lean on Mandy and come back to life. And I loved Mandy’s no-nonsense, unemotional reaction to his irrational behavior. She was a light in his darkness. But I also enjoyed getting to meet the rest of the team and seeing the group dynamics begin to emerge.

 How did you get your start in writing? What made you decide to be an author?

I’ve always loved making up stories. My fictional worlds seem more real to me than reality. I guess, when you’re a little crazy, you just have to go with it. I can either give myself an outlet through writingor sit in a padded room and talk to people no one else can see.

 Who is your favorite author?  What about them appeals to you?

Another tough question! I have so many favorite authorsI can’t pick just one! One thing all of my favs have in common is that they are fearless. They write the story that needs to be written. Their work is authentic and thought-provoking. It stays with you long after you finish reading the story. 

 What project are you currently working on?

I’m working on Ty’s story, SHATTERED VALOR. I don’t know why I am constantly surprised by what my characters do, but I always am. I love discovering who the hero and heroine really are as people. As soon as Ty’s book is finished, I’ll have to step right into Kit’s story, HONOR UNRAVELED.

Just a quick note for those of my readers who enjoy my historical western series,The Men of DefianceI’ll be publishing the next in the series by late March of 2013. It’s Chayton’s story. I’m trying to decide whether to title it “AGNES AND THE RENEGADE” or “VALLEY OF DARK HORSES.” Can’t seem to pick which one works the best.

When will the next book be published? Whose story is it?

If all goes well, SHATTERED VALOR will be available late August 2012 and HONOR UNRAVELED late November 2012.

        Do you have any advice to aspiring authors?

Believein yourself, your work, your right to be a published author. Your dreams may not be realized quickly, but you will achieve them if you NEVER QUIT. Breaks are okay. Stopping entirely isn’t. Your path to publication will be entirely your own, so don’t rush it. Work hard on your craft. Believe. Find your voice.Believe. Write a full-length novel. Repeat. Don’t publish before your work is ready. And, perhaps most importantly, read JA Konrath’s blog about legacy publishing and self-publishing ( wish I had known what he does before I began publishing.

   Where do you write?  Do you write at your desk or do you have a writing nook?

I have a home office set aside for my day job and for writing. I prefer to work at my desk, typing the story. Sometimes, when I’m feeling stuck, I take a notebook and go some place different to shake things loose.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been your greatest compliment?

I have been very fortunate to be critiqued by sensitive, intelligent people who respected my work even when it wasn’t quite ready for prime time. I can’t say I’ve ever received harsh criticismalthough I have received plenty of useful feedback. The most helpful came from the late, great Kate Duffy, who was my first editor. She edited the first three chapters of my RWA Golden Heart winning manuscript, which she later bought and published as RACHEL AND THE HIRED GUN.

Ina nutshell, here’s her advice:

·       Don’t repeat yourselfreaders are smart. They get it.
·       Don’t state the same thing differently. Readers are smart. They get it. Besides, the thought should always be communicated the right way to begin with.
·       Don’t throw in orthogonal thoughts. It detracts from the story.
·       Don’t be overly dramatic. It’s tedious and detracts from the story.

I’m sure she had different advice for other authors, but these were my bads.They’re weaknesses I still have fight off in my prose.

As for the greatest compliment I’ve ever received...well, I get that in every email a reader takes the time to send to me. I have the very best readers in the world. 

To find out more about Elaine, you can visit her here- 

To enter the contest, all you have to do it leave a comment or a question for Elaine and LIKE my Facebook page. The first 5 people to comment will win Edge of Courage and then 5 random winners will be chosen. YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO WE CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU WIN. The contest will run for one week.Thanks! 


Tessa N said...

Great interview, as usual! I'm intrigued that is for sure. I can't wait to read this. Thank you, Elaine for taking the time to do this for My secret romance book reviews. Best of luck in your future writings.

Mel Bourn said...

Wow! What a great interview! I have just started to read stories that have the PTSD component. That does seem to be a very prevelant problem. I like seeing real situations in my books.

Great advise to writers. I will say repeatition is one of my pet peeves.

I will look for this series for my summer reading.
bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

sienny said...

hi elaine! excellent cover! loved it

i really hate war.. there's nothing good came out of it. but human nature did not make a world without a war possible. at least not now..

Maureen said...

I recently read a story where a woman suffered from PTSD and it really brought home to me how much our soldiers have suffered from these recent wars. The book sounds like a good one.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

amandakgc said...

Great interview! Book sounds good and the cover is a hot one. Pick Me!

Nikki said...

I enjoyed this post, and I really like that cover. The book sounds like a very emotional, wonderful romance. I look forward to it.

Maria D. said...

Great interview! I've enjoyed reading Elaine's western romances and can't wait to read the Red Team books. Thanks for the great giveaway!

junegirl63 at gmail dot com

Elaine Levine said...

You ladies rock! Thanks for stopping by today! Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs did the cover for the series. I love her work.

PTSD is a big problem. I really wanted to increase awareness of it with this book. And I wanted to honor the sacrifices our service men and women made on our behalf. They are true heroes.

I'm at Lori Foster's Reader Author Get Together this weekend. If you're here, stop by and introduce yourself. I may be slow to respond, but I'll be checking back in today, so keep the comments coming!

Taryn and Lee Anne--thank you for letting me visit today and for the WONDERFUL review!!!

Mrs Condit said...

Wonderful interview!

Under the Covers said...

This looks really good!!! I haven't heard of this author before but will be adding this to my to-read list.


Harlie Reader said...

Your advice comes at a time when I was rejected again. Keep writing, keep writing and don't ever give up. Thanks again for the reminder.

Congratulations on the release. You have tackled a subject that is revelant today.


Elaine Levine said...

Marika--This falls under the category of BELIEVE. When no one else does. When the gatekeepers shut the gates. When they tell you no one's buying your subject/sub-genre. If you felt compelled to write what you did, there's a reader for it. Keep doing what you're doing.


Elaine Levine said...

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by today! I hope you'll enjoy to the story!


chey said...

Great interview!
The book sounds good!

chey127 at hotmail dot com

NHeimberg said...

book sounds fantastic!

Nancy DeVault said...

Can't wait to read them!

C.S. Maxwell said...

I am reading this book right now :) and I can tell that this will be an emotional whooper of a story. The writing so far is very vivid and I am enjoying the sparks flying between Rocco and Mandy.

Kelly said...

Great interview and the book sounds terrific. A wonderful start to a new series. Love the cover! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the opportunity to read this for free!


ClaudiaGC said...

Dang, I'm too late but I'm adding my two cents anyway. I love Elaine's Western books and I can't wait to read her new Romantic Suspense series. I wish her so much luck on her new self-publishing career! I hope it works out for her.
claudigc at msn dot com


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