Please welcome author Christina Elliott today, who's doing a virtual book tour for her publication In the Heat of the Tropics. Christina will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour. Please use this link to place your comment: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f2532
So, what's the book about?
Amid a sweltering Miami summer, a serial killer is haunting the city. Reporter Ingrid Sorenson is assigned the story and her primary source is brusque detective Rick Gonzalez. The pair clash, but sparks of passion ignite. They risk their jobs to give in to their desire, but mistrust of each other’s career motives wedges them apart. Then Ingrid gets a tip that leads her into the killer’s lair. She and Rick must choose between saving themselves or rescuing their love.
As Ingrid opened the door, Rick thrust a bouquet of white roses at her. “To make up for being out of touch,” he said.
She was touched by his thoughtfulness. “You didn’t have to do that, but thanks. They’re lovely. I’ll put them in a vase.” They entered and she disappeared into the kitchen.
“It was either flowers or chocolate,” he called as she disappeared into the kitchen. She filled a glass vase with water and set the roses in them.
“Good choice. I love chocolate, but I try to stay away from it,” she said, exiting the kitchen to place the vase in the center of the dining table.
“I figured. Chocolate can be a double-edged sword, but you can’t really go wrong with roses.”
“White’s an elegant color, too.”
“You’re an elegant lady.”
“You know all the lines.”
“I wish it was as simple as knowing lines.”
“It’s not, is it?” She gave him a bemused smile.
“You got that right. So how am I doing so far?”
“Mmmm.” Folding her arms, she tilted her head and squinted her eyes in a mock-study of him. “B-plus.”
“What? I thought I deserved at least an A-minus.”
“There’s always room for improvement.”
“Whoa, she’s tough, ladies and gentlemen.”
She laughed. “So, you ate pizza already.”
“I was starving and believe me, you don’t want to be around me when I’m hungry, but we can get you something to eat.”
“So you can do surveillance on me as I chow down?”
“You’re a feast for my eyes.”
Ingrid groaned. “Let’s get going before your lines make me lose my appetite.” She grabbed her purse.
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist.” He held open the front door for her. “I know a great empanada place in Coconut Grove. We could get a couple of them and go eat by the marina at a picnic table,” Rick said as he drove. “We can even sit side-by-side so I don’t have you under surveillance.”
“I love empanadas,” Ingrid said. “Definitely one of the best things I’ve discovered in Miami.”
“So am I up to an A-minus now?”
She laughed, suddenly feeling carefree and totally in the moment. “Yes, I’ll give you an A-minus for that.”
I did a little interview with Christina, and here's what she answered:
a) How did you prepare for this novel?
In the Heat of the Tropics
grew out of my stint as a newspaper reporter in Miami. The protagonist, Ingrid,
is the reporter. Since I lived in Miami, I chose to set the book there as it’s
a sexy setting. Cops and reporters are always clashing on big stories—the
reporters want information, the police don’t want to give it. Also, reporters
and police have a common goal—the truth. So there’s a natural tension, as well
as a commonality, that I saw I could use as the basis for a good romance. Plus,
of course, many cops are alpha males, who make good hero characters.
b) Do you have a background in law/police?
As a reporter, I covered
cops, crime and courts a lot during my career. I’ve also dated two cops (!) and
took a citizens police course that was offered by my local police department. I
highly recommend those courses as a good way to gain insight into police and
policing. Many jurisdictions offer them and they’re free! So with all that, I
had a good leg up on the police stuff. I looked up online a few things I didn’t
know or posted queries on writers’ groups.
c) How do you deal with criticism, albeit justified?
It always stings, but I
don’t overreact. I remind myself that it’s only one person’s opinion. If more
than one reader makes the same criticism, then that element bears looking at. I
wait for a while to let the sting cool off then I go back and look at what
they’re saying with an objective eye to see what I can learn for the future.
After all, you don’t get better by everyone patting you on the back. You have
to know where you can improve to improve.
d) Is this a first novel, or have you written others?
This is my first romantic
suspense novel written as Christina Elliott. As Christina Hoag, I’ve had two
other novels published: Girl on the Brink, a YA story about a girl who gets
involved with the wrong guy. It’s about dating violence and was named to
Suspense magazine’s Best of 2016 YA list. My other is a gritty crime novel,
Skin of Tattoos, about a gang member who wants to get out of the gang life, but
finds it much harder than he anticipates for a number of reasons. He gets drawn
in deeper with some pretty bad consequences. That one was a finalist for the
2017 Silver Falchion Award for suspense.
e) What do you like to read yourself?
I read a lot of different
stuff, but I’d say I love well written fiction that incorporates crime and
romance. Those two elements make for good, emotionally intense drama. I was an
English major, so I also love reading classics and literary fiction and
exploring international authors and settings. I think writers have to read
widely and a lot.
Author bio and links
Christina Elliott is a
former Miami newspaper reporter and editor. She now writes spicy romantic
suspense novels from Los Angeles, where she’s glad to report there are far
fewer bad-hair days but sadly far less Cuban coffee. She is a member of the
Romance Writers of America.