Monday, August 09, 2010

Meet Lisa Alexander-Griffin

Hi, you’re just in time. Have a seat. I’m having a nice talk with Lisa Alexander-Griffin, a dear friend of mine and fellow Pink Petal author

Janice: Tell us about yourself *making a gesture with my hand* Whatever you’re comfortable telling us.

Lisa: Hi, Janice! Thanks for having me over today. There’s not a lot to tell. I’m a N. Alabama native. A mother to three children, two of which are grown, and the youngest is twelve. She keeps me hopping for sure. I’m also a grandmother to three delightful grandchildren. I’ve been married thirty-four years to the same wonderful man. [Sometimes not so wonderful, but hey, neither am I.] Life is hard, but we’ve managed this far, so we must be doing something right.

Janice: I guess so, 34 years is very long time to be married.

When did you start writing?

Lisa: About twelve years ago. I was going through some dark times and really thought journaling would help, but nothing is sacred here at home, so that idea was struck out rather quickly. I started a story to channel my feelings, and along the way, discovered my love for writing; how I could breathe life in characters, give them real personalities and flaws, a happy ending, when in life that’s not always possible. Realizing that I needed to learn the craft, I searched for, and found a few online groups. That’s when I really started to learn.

Janice: Same here and we meet on one of those groups, too. I remember reading an excerpt of Daniel’s Touch two years ago, when it was still a work in progress, and was very impressed.

Who was the biggest influence on your writing?

Lisa: Can’t say there’s just one.  I read a lot of Danielle Steel’s work when I first started reading romance. But I also grew up on Harlequin’s passed to me by my grandmother. Then there’s Cassie Edwards. I love her Native American Romantic tales. She was a major influence, and of course Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Fern Michaels and Jude Deveraux.

Janice: How do you go about your writing? Do your prefer pencils to pens or is it all straight computer work?

Lisa: Really, how I go about writing varies depending on my mood. Lol. Some days I’ll write caveman style with paper and pen, other days my preference is the computer. If I’m really stuck on a scene, it’s back to paper and pen.  *blushes* Yes, I still have creative blocks at times.

Janice: Oh that happens a time or two to me too. *grin* What influences you in your writing? Music, movies, reading, or straight research?

Lisa: Mostly research and people watching. You can learn a lot just listening. A phrase from a song, or a friend or family member’s problems might trigger a scenario in my mind, and from there, a story develops.

Janice: When do you write morning or evening, or are you a late into the wee hours of the morning person, like me?

Lisa: Every spare moment I get! Being a mother and grandmother, I never know what the day will bring. Nighttime is my preference. It’s quiet and there’s no one to call my name or break my concentration. But with Morgan still in school, that’s next to impossible except on holidays or weekends.

Janice: Oh, yes, I like night for writing too. Who in charge you or your muse?

Lisa: Definitely me. I’ve always said I don’t have a muse, and I really don’t. What goes on paper/computer is up to me. Sad but true.

Janice: Use only one word to describe your writing style? Or at least what you want your readers to take away from your writing.

Lisa: Dark, but always with an HEA. Lol.

Janice: Getting to that HEA is really worth it, when your story is dark. What other books have you written?

Lisa: My first contract was for The Unexpected Gift in One Touch, One Glance, A Sweet Romance Anthology at Freya’s Bower, and soon to follow, a contemporary romantic fantasy titled A Celtic Lover’s Magic where old and new worlds collide. Shattered Illusions released in May at Pink Petal Books, and my latest title, Danielle’s Touch, debuted in ebook format at Passion in Print August 1, 2010. In ten to fourteen days it will be out in print at Amazon and Barns and Noble. Maybe even an independent bookstore near you, so check it out!!

Janice: Oh, I already have Daniel’s touch budgeted in on the next week’s shops list.

What influenced your recent book, the one you are promoting here today?

Lisa: Oh, wow! This is the first story I’d ever written. As I improved my craft, I tweaked, and then tweaked some more. Danielle’s Touch deals with domestic violence issues, how people overcome and survive such a horrific event. Every cloud has a silver lining, IF we look hard enough to find it. Ethan and Danielle found theirs.

Danielle’s Touch

Blurb: Rebuilding her life after escaping an abusive marriage, Danielle Courtland throws herself into her new decorating business. Men are the last thing on her mind…until a Stetson-wearing cowboy enters her shop, that is.

The hazel-eyed cowboy needs her help. Restoring an old Victorian-styled plantation house, he realizes the job requires a feminine touch. Caught off guard by the sexiest woman he's ever laid eyes on, Ethan’s vow to never love again is all but forgotten as he falls hard for the tempting decorator.
Passion simmers, and love is no longer a dream. But hidden in the shadows, danger waits, threatening Danielle and Ethan's chance at a life together. Will a man, twisted by his obsession, separate them forever?

Excerpt: A lazy half smile on his face, Alex leaned against the porch post like he owned the place.
Danielle’s stomach churned. With a hand clutching the doorknob, she moved cautiously onto the porch. God, have I ever screwed up. Panic erupted inside her, and her body trembled. “What do you want, Alex?
Alex’s smile widened, his eyes gleaming with a predatory light. “Just dropped by for a friendly visit, Danielle.
Danielle forced a breath past the constriction in her throat. “You’re not my friend. Say what you have to say and be gone. I didn’t invite you here.” Her knees threatened to buckle, and her pulse pounded in her ears. She edged back against the door to steady the tremble of her body. “I want nothing to do with you.” She fumbled for, and twisted the knob, eager to escape back into the house.

Alex pushed from the post. “It hasn’t been long since you wanted a great deal to do with me,” he drawled.

Her hand slipped, and the door lock clicked, vibrating in the night. Danielle flinched, and the door slammed shut, barring her escape to the inside. Swift in his movements, Alex yanked her against him.

She jerked free and rubbed her arm. “You have no right to disrupt my life. In case you’ve forgotten, we’re divorced.”

He inched her backward, against the door, molding his body to hers. “I told you, Danielle, I’ll never let you go.”

Danielle pushed with all her might. Familiar and overwhelming, the stench of alcohol permeated the air. His grip tightened, and in the dim moonlight his eyes glinted with lust, his erection rigid against her thigh.

“I came for what belongs to me,” he whispered, his hot breath moist on her cheek. “A man has needs.”

The porch plank creaked under his weight, and a dog barked in the distance. Frantic, Danielle scanned her surroundings. There was no visible help in sight. No neighbor or a passerby. Nothing.

I’m not your wife,” she croaked, and with the realization that she was trapped, terror slammed through her. She had no place to run, hide or seek refuge.

Wrenching her arm to the side, she tried to break free. “We’ve been separated three years, divorced for a year and a half,” she said in an attempt to jar his alcohol-hazed memory.

He glowered down at her, his eyes darkening.

Ice balled in her stomach—whenever she’d seen that look in the past, she’d paid dearly.

Alex snickered. “Those stupid papers mean nothing. You will always be my wife. No paper, no dim wit judge, is ever going to change that. No one,” he snarled, “will know the pleasure of having you but me.” His lips slid across her neck, hot and repulsive. “I know you want me, babe.”

She twisted her body, attempting to dislodge his hold. “Let me go. You’re drunk, and I don’t want you here.” She jabbed an elbow into his ribs and raked her fingernails down the side of his face. “Leave me alone!” she shrieked.

“You bitch.” He stumbled back and grabbed her again, his fingers digging into soft flesh, bruising her arm. Cold and blue, his eyes glinted. “You’re not going anywhere, Danielle. Unless I go with you.”

Tears burned her eyes, clouding her vision. She squirmed and shoved against him.

“Not so fast, princess. You haven’t given me what I came for.”

Brutally, he seized her mouth, his lips crushing hers. The pressure on her arms intensified, and large hands, capable of so much cruelty, yanked her closer.

She gagged, bile rising in her throat. With renewed effort, she fought to be free.

Pinning her to the wall with the weight of his body, he tangled his hands in her hair, forcing her head back. His mouth violated, his tongue forcing entry. Releasing his grip on her arm, he circled his fingers around her neck in a vise grip.

Danielle tried to scream, but the pressure of his kiss stopped her. She drove her knee upward, aiming for his groin. He deflected the maneuver with little effort. Determined, she slammed her foot into his shin, and he released a guttural growl.

Open palmed, he struck her face. A starburst of color exploded behind her eyelids, and she bit back a groan.

Alex had the upper hand. He was the predator—she the prey.

She traced her bruised lower lip with her tongue, tasting blood. Desperate, she prayed for the strength to fight him off. Kill him for what he’d done to her—what he kept doing.

With her robe askew and her chest heaving, damp night air caressed her breasts. Alex’s hungry gaze settled on her exposed flesh. He chuckled low, licked his lips, and she shriveled inwardly. He grasped a nipple between his thumb and forefinger and squeezed. Pain radiated outward, and she fought not to cry out. His putrid breath caressed her face.

“God. Alex. Stop!”

“I’ll have my wife tonight,” he whispered, dragging her toward the front door.

His words jolted through her. Dear God, don’t let him rape me. She planted her bare feet but found no leverage. Scrambling, she dug in again, and he laughed. He was too strong, impossible to fight.

Danielle panted, each breath ragged. She resigned herself to the inevitable and went limp in his arms. A scream rent the air, and she recognized the voice as her own.

Alex would do with her what he wanted. There was nothing she could do to stop him.

Tires screeched, and Danielle scanned the streets, hope surging inside her. Nicole Lawson emerged from her car. Her face distorted with rage, she raced around the vehicle.

“Let her go!”

Surprise widened Alex’s eyes. He reinforced his grip, looking over his shoulder.
Nicole jogged up the sidewalk, stopping a few feet from the porch. “Leave or I’ll call the police.” Hatred blazed in her eyes as she held herself ramrod straight.

Alex’s hold faltered, his fingers loosening. Anticipation swelled in Danielle’s chest.

Nicole tilted her chin in defiance. “I seriously doubt you’d welcome trouble. Let. Her. Go.”
Arms tense and his biceps bulging, Alex dropped his hand.

Danielle’s knees buckled, and she collapsed to the porch, the air rushing from her lungs.

He stepped back and pinned Danielle with a frigid stare. “This isn’t over by a long shot, Danny girl,” he growled and pointed a finger at her. “It will never be over for us. You’d do best to remember that you’re mine.” He shot Nicole a hate-filled glare and strode into the night.

Visit Lisa Alexander-Griffin


Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thanks for interviewing me, Janice. I had a blast! :)

Natalie Dae said...

I adored Danielle's Touch. Super excitement that it's coming out in print!

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thank you so much, Natalie!:) Means a lot that you stopped by. I hope others enjoy Danielle's Touch as much as you did. :) And you're right, lots of excitement that it's coming out in print. lol.

Tess MacKall said...

Danielle's Touch is an awesome book. Can't wait to get my hands on it. And don't forget my picture of you holding it!

C. Zampa said...

Enjoyed your interview, Lisa! I bought Danielle's Touch and can't wait to read it.

Congratulations! And wishes for lots more good books from you!

Sarah Ballance said...

I enjoyed the interview, Lisa. It's great to learn new things about you, and Danielle's Touch sounds like a powerful story. Congrats again!

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thank you, Tess! You'll be the first to get a photo of me holding the book in my hand. lol. I'll never forget all the help you,Em and Laura gave, to get Danielle's Touch polished and ready for publication.

C- be sure to let me know what you think of DT, and thank you for all the support. You're a sweetheart.:)

Sarah- thank you for stopping by. And yes, to me, Danielle's Touch is a powerful story. One I hope touches the reader's heart. :)

Janice said...

Hey Lisa,

I'm glad you finally agreed to be interview by me. I told you I'd make it painless, lol.

I want a photo with D.T. in your hot little hands too, okay?


Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

It was pretty painless, Janice. lol. And I'll send you a pic too. :)

Janice said...


I look forward to getting it, lol.


D L Jackson said...

Thanks for sharing the excerpt, Lisa. I enjoyed it a great deal and I'll have to add your book to my TBR pile.

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thank you for stopping by, D.L.:) I really hope you enjoy DT. When you read it, drop me a line and let me know what you think!

R. Paul said...

Congratulations on your new book, Lisa! I was interested to see in your interview that you take on issues that include domestic violence...I have worked for the last couple of decades to raise awareness about that issue, and it is always important to explore emotional healing, and reclaiming of vibrant sensuality for those who have been touched by violence in their lives. A HEA is truly possible in the real world as well. Again, my heartfelt congratulations on your book!

Laura G. said...

Congrats on the Danielle's Touch coming out! I know how hard you worked on it! Enjoyed the interview, too. Nice! :)

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thank you, R. Paul. Domestic violence issues are a subject, near and dear to my heart. No woman, or man, should ever have to go through that...and yes, there is still life after the storm, and an HEA, even in real life. I really appreciate you stopping by. Glad you too, are working to raise awareness.

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thank you, Laura! You're a wonderful editor. I couldn't have done it without you! We both worked very hard to get it just right. :)

Lex Valentine said...

Great interview, Lisa. You and Janice make a good team! ;) Congrats on the release of Danielle's Touch. There is nothing like holding your first print book in your hands. :D

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thank you for stopping by, Lex. Danielle's Touch wouldn't have the beautiful cover it has, if not for your creativity and insight. Thank you so much! :) Can't wait to get my copy in the mail. lol.

Nita Wick said...

Hey, Lisa! Great interview! My jaw dropped when you mentioned Cassie Edwards. The only book of hers that I've read was the one that encouraged me to start writing--but for a whole different reason. I affectionately refer to that book as the worst romance I've ever read. And I decided to try my hand at writing because surely even *I* could do better than that. lol (I've heard that some of Cassie's books are good, I just never could bring myself to pick up another after that terrible one.)

Anyway... I love all the excerpts of Danielle's Touch I've read. Can't wait to read it!

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Thanks for coming by, Nita. :) As for Cassie's work. I've read lots of it, but most before I learned the craft. She could always entertain me, but I'll admit,some stories were better than others, as I'm sure ours will be too. Reading is subjective, just like most anything else. What one of person likes, another will hate. lol. I just hope most readers like Danielle's Touch. I feel the characters are as real as they can possibly be, and most people can relate to them on one level or another.

Good luck with your new release at Passion in Print. A Real Husband sounds like a fantastic read!! :)

Nita Wick said...

Lisa, after writing my first book, I quickly realized how much work went into "the worst romance I've ever read." LOL I have much more respect for it now. Trust me.

Thanks for the good luck wishes. I hope we both set records with our sales!

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Don't we all, Nita. It's some of the hardest work I've ever done. lol. But I love it!! Like you, I'd read one and thought, maybe I could do better, or at least as good. ROFL. Oh, boy! Don't even remember the author though.:)

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Lisa and Janice,
Sorry i'm late but I had to drop by and say a huge CONGRATS on Danielle's Touch. It's definitely on my TBR list. Loved the interview and the excerpt.