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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Character Interview, Chosen Heart by Stephanie Nash & Ann Stewart

Chosen Heart
Ann Stewart & Stephanie Nash

Elyssa Hart has tried to forget that frightful night during her freshman year of college. Since then it's been hard to let anyone close, which is why she only has one friend near and dear to her heart. Forsaking all others, she lives a silent, lonely existence. That was until she jumped into the next chapter of her life; Sales Executive at the prestigious Salerno Health, Inc.

The moment she met the always calm and collected Alexander James, her life was set on a new path. One moment she's slowly falling in love and the next she's plummeting painfully to the ground with the realization that you don't marry your dirty little secret; you keep her in the closet. That was, until she found out she was not his only kept secret.

Will the enigma of Mr. James be more than Elyssa can handle? Or will she choose him, like she promised she always would.

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Today I have authors Ann Stewart and Stephanie Nash over to the blog, and they brought their interview with Alexander James, from Chosen heart!   Oooh, I bet this will be a good one!  Hope you enjoy!

Ann Stewart and Stephanie Nash are excited to be able to bring you the silent, yet self-assured, Alexander James.  Sitting in front of us at a local coffee shop, impeccably dressed in slate grey slacks, white button down shirt, Mr. James is the epitome of casual coolness.  Square jaw, defined chin and blue eyes which pierce us to our seat, he is intimidating, but at the same time we feel we’ve known him forever.

(Steph)  Thank you, Alex, for agreeing to meet with us.  I know your schedule must not permit you to be out of work too much, so we appreciate your time. 

(Alex)  It’s not a problem.  I wanted to meet with you, for nothing more than to clear up some misconceptions of me.  I’m going to be upfront with you ladies…Like I told Elyssa when I first started opening up to her, I’ll let you know if it’s something I don’t want to talk about.  I’m easy like that.  I do what I want, when I want, and I if I don’t want, then it’s done.

(Ann)  We’ll keep that in mind. 

Let's get a little history on you...

AS ~ How old are you?  And do you mind letting us know what your middle name is?
AJ ~ Since I was born on October 23, 1982, that would make me 30.  Getting personal, huh?  Not a lot of people in this world are privy to my middle name…so let’s keep it between the three of us.  My full name is Alexander Brayden James.

AS ~ Why so secretive?  Don’t you like your name?
AJ ~ Oh, I do.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice name.  It’s just a mouthful.  When I was little, hell, even now, the only people who would call me Alexander was my mom and my grandmother.  When another kid from school would hear them calling me that, they would make fun of me for a week or two after, calling me Alexandra.  Kids.  Shakes his head.

AS ~ Do you prefer Alex or Alexander?
AJ ~ Definitely Alex.  Smirking.  Don’t you think screaming and moaning Alexander in bed is a little lengthy?

(Steph) Never thought of that…but yes, you’re right.  Alex suits you in all areas. 

SN ~ We know you grew up in San Diego, Alex.  Do you miss it? 
AJ ~ I grew up in San Diego and loved the area.  My mom loved San Diego, even more so when she started to get sick; the crispness of the air by the ocean, the perfect temperature.  We moved to Las Vegas out of necessity.  My mom needed help raising me, and Nana was in Las Vegas.  After my mom passed away when I was seventeen, I stayed only to graduate high school and then got out of here quick.  I needed time to just be myself.  I hadn’t planned on coming back, but after college graduation, Nana needed me.  She’s all the family I have left, so you do what you have to do.

SN ~ Is Vegas where you see yourself growing old?
AJ ~ I always thought I’d stay here until Nana passed away.  She’s what’s keeping me here.  With her Alzheimer’s, she needs to be in familiar surroundings.  This is her home and she is my home.  So for now, I’m here.  I do love San Diego, so who knows.  I used to say that I love New York, but we all know how well that’s playing out.

AS ~ We’re sorry about your mom’s struggle with cancer.  How has that loss affected your life? 
AJ ~ When you lose your mother at such a young age, it can destroy the strongest.  But, I was lucky…I had my grandmother.  You see how great she is, right?  She’s done more for me than even my mom was able to do.  As far as dealing with losing her, after she lost her battle with cancer?  I know it wasn’t something I could control, even then.   As an adult, I know the same, yet I know of many organizations that are striving for the absolute cure.  I donate to them.  End of story.

AS ~ Losing her at such a young age must have been difficult, but to also have to deal with such hatred from your dad…shaking my head…I can’t even imagine.
AJ ~ Trust me when I say, you don’t even want to know. 

AS ~ Your dad wasn’t the most influential, perfect role model.  I don’t want to dwell on the negative, so tell me what you’ve done to overcome that obstacle?  Or have you?
AJ ~ I don't like to dwell on how someone hasn't influenced me versus actually talking about the most influential people in my life which would be my mother and grandmother. Both strong women with ailments that have hindered them yet impacted my life in more ways than I can explain. So I just strive to make them proud daily.

It’s obvious this line of questioning is upsetting him and making that gorgeous smile frown.  We don’t want to go there with this interview, so we’ve decide to move past this and get to something that hopefully he’ll be a little more appreciative of.

(Ann) Sorry, Alex.  We didn’t mean to upset you.  Alex waves his hand, effectively dismissing the situation.  Let’s move on.

Let’s talk business…
AS ~ You’ve made it far in life, having a successful career and loving grandmother who takes care of you just as much as you take care of her.  Who would you consider as your biggest influence, professionally and personally?
AJ ~ My mom was always urging me to do better when I was younger.  She didn’t make me feel like anything I did was not worth it.  Nana has been my biggest supporter, making sure I went to college and making sure I’m left with good morals.  I guess the second part of her wishes didn’t come true.  But, hey…I’m working on it.  And unfortunately when you talk about immorality, Arianna would have to come up.  I’d be lying if I didn’t mention Arianna.  I wouldn’t have the position I have, or the responsibility, so even though I got to it a different way than most, she has been there every step of the way.  Mentoring me, pushing me to be what she knew I was capable of. 

SN ~ What is your take on Arianna?  I know you’ve known her quite a while, intimately I might add, so what gives?  Why do you stick around?
AJ ~ My arrangement with Arianna was exactly that. I looked at it as a business transaction. In business, do you leave when your networks have been profitable?

AS ~ Where do you see yourself, professionally and personally, in five years?
AJ ~ That’s a hard question.  So much is up in the air both professionally and personally.  I’m going to strive to be the best VP Salerno Health has ever seen.  That has always been my goal, which hasn’t changed.  I’m also making every effort to right the wrongs with me and Elyssa.  She deserves more and I’m going to give it to her.

Let's talk about Love...

AS ~ Who was your first girlfriend? And why didn’t it last?
AJ ~ He takes a cleansing deep breath.  Sorry.  Girlfriends are a touchy subject.  I had a relationship in college that didn’t last long.  The reason it didn’t last was simple.  She wanted more.  I didn’t.  I've never considered anyone before Elyssa a true girlfriend.  As far as why we didn't last, well that's something you’ll have to ask her.  I’m not privy to that information.

SN ~ First thoughts when you saw Elyssa?
AJ ~ Brave.  Immediately I was protective of her.  When I saw her talking to the day laborer, I was ready to pounce if something went down.  But she surprised me.  He was fearless.  She was beautiful, is beautiful, and I knew from that day forward I would do anything for her.

SN ~ Why her?  Why not any one of the other women you’ve been with.
AJ ~ She never wanted to use me. She saw me for more than most women have. 

SN ~ Do you believe in soul mates?
AJ ~ He chuckles, almost painfully.  I never thought about it before.  But, if I was being honest…no, I didn't.  Having to grow up with an asshole for a dad, I didn’t think it was possible.  Now.  He gets lost in thought for nearly a minute. Now, Elyssa is every possibility I never dreamed of.

AS ~ Some say you have a little bit of an unnecessary jealous streak?  Care to respond?
AJ ~ Have they ever been in love?  If so, then they'd understand.  I've been with countless number of women, but only once have I ever been in love. So yah, I'm having a hard time getting use to these feelings.  Is it right? Wrong?  Who knows; I’m trying.

AS ~ Elyssa, not wanting to be deceitful, went ahead and told you about her past.  Why did you wait so long to tell Elyssa about your past? 
AJ ~ I've never had to explain myself to anyone.  I kept my past so far from my present that I was afraid.  When I finally had the courage, or some would say I was forced into that courage, to tell Elyssa, I hesitated out of fear of losing her.

SN ~ Speaking of her secrets, let’s talk about Cole.  Cue eye role from Alex.  He makes you literally go unhinged.  It’s obvious to me why, but explain to the readers what it is about him that makes you want to go ballistic?
AJ ~ If you didn’t notice, he’s kind of a control freak.  Elyssa didn’t have anyone else in her life besides him, and he made sure of that.  I want to be grateful to him for preventing such a brutal act, and I am, but at what cost?  And he was/is a drunk.  I can’t condone that.  Talk about jealousy?  He’s just as jealous as I am.  I really am surprised he hasn’t been around lately.  It makes me wonder.  He shrugs.  O’well.  If I never see him again, it’ll be too soon.  Good riddance.

Okay, enough with the heavy...

SN ~ Music seems to be very important to you, and you have a wonderfully sinful voice.  Have you ever thought of going public with it?
AJ ~ Honestly?  Never.  Music is very personal to me and I rarely share it.  Sure, I go to the open mic nights and enjoy sharing it with random people.  But, being on stage is intimidating, makes me vulnerable. 

SN ~ Who are your musical influences?
AJ ~ I love blues; anything with soul.  Right now I’m really into James Morrison.  I could listen to his music forever.

AS ~ What is the craziest thing you'd do for Elyssa?
AJ ~ I would do anything for her.  Anything.

AS ~ Any tattoos?
AJ ~ Wouldn’t you like to know?  Wink 

AS ~ You seem to have a lot going on in your life, professionally and personally.  How do you keep your body looking so…so…healthy?
AJ ~ How astute of you to notice.  I do have a lot on my plate.  He thinks a minute, rubbing his long slender fingers across his bottom lip.  Sex.  And lots of it.  Laughter is belted out of those dimpled lips.  That and I have a gym in my room.  Helps for the sleepless nights.

Rapid Fire...
(Ann)  We like to play a little fast round of questions called Rapid Fire…You up for it?
(Alex)  Of course…that’s what I’m here for.

AS ~ Boxers or Briefs?
AJ ~ Boxer briefs

SN ~ Chocolate or Vanilla?
AJ ~ Chocolate

AS ~ Favorite Food?
AJ ~ Gummy bears

AS ~ Books or Movies?
AJ ~ Movies

SN ~ Favorite color, sound, smell?
AJ ~ Maroon, guitar, ocean

AS ~ Most comfortable when
AJ ~ Playing or listening to music

AS ~ Least comfortable when
AJ ~ Surprises

SN ~ Biggest Regret
AJ ~ Not protecting my mom from my dad

SN ~ Biggest Accomplishment
AJ ~ Becoming VP of Sales and Marketing…regardless of my path

AS ~ 3 words to describe yourself…
AJ ~ Planner, Assertive, Confident

AS ~ 3 words to describe Elyssa...
AJ ~ Compassionate, Stunning, Gracious

SN ~ Greatest Strength
AJ ~ My shit’s together…even when it’s falling apart.  I have contingency plans for everything.  Things aren’t over until I say they are.

SN ~ Greatest Weakness
AJ ~ Being without Elyssa

Ann and Stephanie both look at each other and sigh, knowing what each other is thinking…come on Ely!  You both need each other and are meant for one another.

Alex stands up first.  Ladies, it’s been a pleasure.  If you have any clout with Elyssa, which I know you do, please put in a good word for me.  Jealousy aside, past left in the past, I want her.  I know she wants me, but she may need some encouragement.  I know you two are close, so whatever you can do.  He smiles, showing our favorite dimples.

(Ann and Steph)  Anything for you, Mr. James, anything for you.

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