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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Interview with Elisabeth Staab, author of Acts of Creation

Acts Of Creation
Elisabeth Staab

He’s living a lie.

Dante Ramos: Champion. Ladies’ man. Party animal. Women want him, and men either want to be him or put his lights out for sleeping with their girlfriends. It’s all an act. Inside, he’s so full of self-loathing he’s on a fast-track to self-destruction.

She’s living in the shadows.

Meeting Michelle at a support group for assault survivors shows Dante a new world of possibilities. Finally, someone in his life might understand him, and she creates in him a fierce need to protect. Trouble is, Dante lives his life in the spotlight, and the only thing Michelle wants is a place to hide.

Good morning!  So today I have a quick interview that I did recently with author Elisabeth Staab.  In the next few days I'll have a review for Acts of Creation, but I can tell you right now - it's fantastic!  It definitely has all the magic that At The Stars has, so I know you all will enjoy it as much as I am! I hope you enjoy the interview in the meantime!

Hi Elisabeth!! Congratulations on your new release, Acts of Creation.  I absolutely LOVED At The Stars, and this is Dante’s book – so can you sum it up in one sentence for us?
Thank you, and thank you for having me on your blog today!
I guess I’d sum the story up as: Self-destructive but loyal boxer meets a wounded college student, and they fall in love while helping each other to overcome their violent pasts.

So how is Dante in book 2 different from Jake in book 1?
In At the Stars, Jake was hiding in Evergreen Grove from his past—a terrible event that had ended his boxing career—but he had created a life for himself. He tended bar, he fixed cars, he had unfulfilling flings with women (until he met Cassie, of course!). He wasn’t thriving, but he was getting by.

When Acts of Creation opens, Dante is on a fast slide toward destruction. He drinks too much, he’s sabotaging his training, and doing other things to hurt himself. He shows everyone the face of a guy who’s on top of the world, but inside he’s losing his grip.

There are hints to Dante’s past in At The Stars, and he’s undergone some trauma. What was it like to write a character that is in as much pain as him?
It was definitely tough, and I can only hope I told his story well. And Michelle’s, although in spite of the fact that she experienced trauma also, her story felt a little easier to get on the page, maybe because it was from a female POV and I could more easily imagine it. Dante’s head was a scarier place, and he’d been sitting with that blackness for so long. I cried a lot while writing Acts of Creation. HOWEVER – Dante and Michelle both brought a lot of strength and wit, and for all of their pain they made me laugh too. Dante had a great sense of humor, and Michelle kept tripping and knocking things over. This book, in my extremely biased opinion, has wonderful light moments in it. Which was kind of the point. Yes, life has dark places, but there’s always light.

Ok – you know I have to ask – AJ.  I LOVE AJ!!!  When are you going to give us (um, me)  more AJ??
LOL. Thank you. I adore AJ. You see a little more of him in Acts of Creation. In fact, he and Dante have some friction, but they come out okay. :) I am also planning AJ’s book. I haven’t had time to start it, but I he’s a persistent guy. Always rising above the other voices in my head, telling me how much he hates the co-hero I’ve picked out for him (He’s silly - he only thinks he does!). So no worries, he won’t let me forget.

Out of all your books, who do you think is your favorite character to write?
No! Shenanigans!! That’s like trying to pick your favorite kid or your favorite finger. That said, I totally fell in love with Dante while we were spending time together. I think he’ll be a hard one to beat. <3 font="">

Can you give us any hints at what is to come next in the Evergreen Grove series?
Well like I said I’m already mentally planning AJ’s book – it’s hard not to, even though I know I can’t sit down and write it just yet. I also have books tentatively in mind for one other female character who has been briefly introduced in At the Stars, and one who will probably be introduced in AJ’s book.

Are there any other projects you are working on that you can share with us?
Well I have to take a little breather after Acts of Creation comes out to handle family issues and other obligations, but when I can I plan to pick back up on my other ongoing series, my Lone Wolf shifters, and my contemporary office romance. I’ve also got a couple of projects sitting on my hard drive that are in the “random” category – a dystopian novella and a wacky paranormal—that are mostly done, and I don’t know when I’ll have the time to polish them off or if anyone will actually want to read them, lol. If only I had more hours in the day!

Ok, I think that’s it for today – we will keep it short and simple!  Thanks so much for your time, and I can’t wait to read Acts of Creation (which I have on deck in the next couple days!)
Thank YOU!! And happy reading. I have no doubt you’ll fall in love with Dante just like I did. <3 nbsp="">

About the cover:
Cover Photography by Michael Stokes
Cover Model – Quentin Elias

Cover design by Babski Creative Studios

I plod down the church steps, taking my time heading into the parking lot. A quick summer storm must have passed through while we were all inside, and the evening is cool and damp with the smell of fresh rain. I love that scent. I love the electricity in the air before a big storm, and the way it makes everything smell fresh and brand-new after.
I’m so busy lifting my nose to the sky to take a big whiff, wishing the rain could make me shiny and clean like the streets, that I don’t at first notice Dante standing by his car. I jump a little. He’s so big that I can’t believe I missed him.
Mental head smack, Chelle.
He looks apologetic when he says, “Didn’t mean to catch you off guard.”
“You didn’t.” My mother always said I should never sell used cars. I don’t agree with her about much, but she’s right that I’m not a good liar.
With my face burning, I expect him to call me out on the fib. He doesn’t. He only gives me a winning smile and pushes away from the car. He’s got two takeout cups in his hand. “Okay. So I couldn’t make it to the meeting tonight, but I didn’t like the idea of you out here waiting alone for the bus. Wanted to make sure you got home okay. Also…” He holds out one of the cups. “I broke down and picked up a milkshake, and I hate to drink alone.”
Wow. That’s either a little weird or really nice. Under the circumstances, I decide to go with option B. I’ve always thought Dante was a player, but I’ve never thought he was a bad guy. After the last couple of weeks, I’m not even sure what to think. “What kind of milkshake?”
“Double chocolate cookies and cream. Unless that’s not your thing, in which case I’m willing to trade you my birthday-cake flavored. And I don’t give up my rainbow sprinkles for just anybody, Michelle.” He leans in and whispers that last part with a gravelly suggestive something in his voice, and even though he stops short of touching me I’m surprised at the flush of heat his nearness and his words bring to my body.
“That’s…” Ooh. Maybe he is a player. I don’t know why else he’d be acting flirty with the likes of me. I know my loose clothes and long, un-styled hair don’t do much to attract guys. I dress the way I do for a reason.
I recover and grab hold of the first cup he held out to me. “Thanks, but I wouldn’t dare ask you to make that kind of sacrifice. Anyway, chocolate is one of my favorite food groups.”
“For you, I would. But I’m glad I made the right choice.”
His eyes gleam when he smiles and leans into my space. My snap-fleeting thought is that he’s definitely being flirty. The idea nearly makes me snarf my first drink of shake. No way. “I… Hey, this is really good,” I say, pointing to the cup. Maybe I’m being a dork. Probably.

I’m not sure what surprises me more. The idea that he could possibly be making a move on me, here of all places, or the idea that I kind of would like him to be.

Elisabeth Staab loves passionate stories and happy endings. Her books have been called “emotionally delicious,” “action-packed,” and “gloriously snarky.” When not writing romance, she enjoys date night with her husband, reading Harry Potter with her kids, and marathoning her favorite books or TV series.

Find Elisabeth Staab Online

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