My special guest today is Penny Ehrenkranz. Penny, thanks for including me and my readers on your blog tour.
Hi Elaine, thank you for having me as a guest today.
1.Penny, could you tell us a little bit about you and your work?
I have been writing stories since I was a child. In fact, my mom saved some of them and when I go to book signings, I bring them along to share...especially when I'm promoting my children's stories. I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. I adore my grandchildren and hope someday to live closer to them, although they are only about three hours away from us by car, we don't see them nearly often enough. When I'm not writing or editing, I enjoy spending time in my garden, hanging out with my friends and family, and crocheting or other craft projects.
I am a line editor for MuseItUp Publishing and Damnation Press and sometimes it seems like I spend more time working on other people's manuscripts than my own. This is not a bad thing, though, as I have enjoyed meeting other authors and developing relationships with some of them beyond the editing process.
I write for both adults and children. For many years, I wrote only short stories and magazine non-fiction articles. My daughter told me (she was around ten at the time) that I wasn't a real writer because I didn't have a "book." I decided to write a middle grade novel and my first novel, Ghost for Rent, was published. I have a collection of short stories, A Past and A Future, which contains both fantasy and soft science fiction stories and is suitable for both young adults and adults.
I have three novelettes coming this year from MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, August 2011, Lady-In-Waiting, November 2011, and Mirror, Mirror, December 2011.
I have several children's books under contract with 4RV Publishing: Funny Dog, Boo's Bad Day and Many Colored Coats, all picture books; and Ghost for Lunch, a middle grade novel and sequel to Ghost for Rent.
Today, I'm promoting the release of my contemporary romance, Love Delivery.
2.You're a busy woman! Where do you go when you write?
I generally work in my office which is located on the lower floor of our home. It is a small room, but it has everything I need, including a window through my greenhouse to my garden. I have a wrap around desk where I keep the supplies I need to access. There are also shelves on two of the walls where my reference books and small pieces of art and family photographs are displayed.
I also have a laptop which I use when I want to be out in my garden writing or editing. I have a lovely patio area which overlooks one of my gardens and the woods. We have six acres, most of which is treed.
3.It sounds perfectly wonderful. So peaceful to watch the garden when you write. What is your favorite genre? Have you tried to write in others?
My favorite genre is fantasy, however, I also enjoy writing soft science fiction, romance, and children's stories. I feel comfortable switching genres and like being able to switch things up. Variety keeps my work interesting, I think. All of my adult fiction does tend to have a touch of romance as I think relationships are crucial to most, if not all, of my stories.
4.I enjoy soft science fiction too. I have a manuscript just waiting for a home, and it has a romantic element as well. Describe your hero and heroine in your latest release.
Tom is in his mid-twenties. He's a hardworking guy and earns his living as a delivery man. He was married right out of high school, but is now divorced and ready to get back into a relationship.
Ann is also in her mid-twenties. She waitresses and manages a small donut shop. She meets Tom through her work, as he delivers supplies to the shop once a week. She was also married before, and while she's attracted to Tom, she's also hesitant to take a chance on love.
Both Ann and Tom love cats, going to movies, and eating out. Unfortunately, they have some obstacles to overcome before love can find them.
5.Those obstacles are the fun part of writing! What are you reading right now?
Right now, I'm reading Blue Nude. I belong to a book group and this is our selection for the month. I enjoy the book group as many of my long-standing friends are members and I have been introduced to several new friends. I also like being introduced to novels I would not choose for myself. I tend to read a lot of fantasy, so the contemporary literature is a break from my normal books.
6.Would you share your links with us?
My website is: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com
My blog is: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com
My Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/penny.ehrenkranz
My Twitter is: http://twitter.com/pennyehrenkranz
My author page at MuseItUp Publishing is:
Love Delivery, contemporary romance, August, 2011
Lady in Waiting, historical romance, coming November, 2011
Mirror, Mirror, time travel romance, coming December 2011
A Past and A Future, a short story collection
Dragon Sight, a YA illustrated chapbook
Funny Dog, picture book, coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, MG novel, coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, picture book, coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, picture book, coming June, 2015
7.We’d love to read an excerpt. Don’t forget a buy link.
Buy link: Love Delivery, contemporary romance, August, 2011
“Here it is,” he said, steering her to a quiet corner. Candles lit the table. A bottle of red wine stood open. Tom held the chair for her, and then sat close so their knees touched. “Would you like a glass of wine?” he asked, reaching for the bottle.
“No thanks,” Ann said. “I don’t drink.”
Tom poured a glass for himself. “Here’s the menu.” He handed it to her.
“I know what I want.”
“Fettuccini Alfredo.” Ann shook out her napkin and placed it on her lap.
“This chicken dish is good,” Tom said, pointing to an item on the menu.
Ann grimaced. Is he a control freak? I already told him what I want. “I don’t eat meat.” Her voice sounded harsh in her own ears.
“Ah, well, okay, then. Fettuccini Alfredo it is.” Tom called the waiter and ordered the Alfredo for Ann and a spicy chicken dish for himself.
I guess we don’t agree on everything after all. He drinks and eats meat, too. I hope he doesn’t drink a lot. Maybe we weren’t made for each other. Not knowing what else to do, Ann took a sip of water and smiled.
Tom smiled back. “You’ll have to come meet my cats one of these days. Tyra, a gorgeous, long-haired black female, is my bathroom kitty. Whenever I’m sitting in there, she has to be in my lap. There’ve been times when my pants have been around my feet, and she’s curled up in my underwear.
“Then there’s BeeBee. She’s a Siamese. When I first got her, I thought she liked to cuddle, but it turned out she was just scared. It took me a long time, with lots of persuasion, to get her to come close to me. Finally, I was able to pick her up. I had her in my arms, and I put my face down to smell her fur. Suddenly, she turned and bit me on the nose.
“I think my favorite, though, is Loki. He’s the smallest of the bunch. He has allergies, and if I don’t get him to the vet for a shot in time, he loses his fur on his rear quarters, right by his tail. He loves to ride on my shoulders. Looks just like I’m wearing a fur collar.
“Then there’s the two new ones, they’re the kittens. They haven’t developed personalities yet. You should always get two kittens instead of one,” Tom said when the food arrived.
“Why?” Ann asked. Her face hurt from laughing at Tom’s cat stories. Mittens never did any of the things Tom’s cats did.
While she ate, Tom continued to share funny stories about the cats and kittens. “Kittens play with each other so you don’t need to play with them. You can just sit back and watch them. When I have kittens in the house, I don’t even turn on my T.V. set.” Tom twirled pasta on his fork. He lifted the fork halfway to his mouth and stopped. “Looks like we have company,” he groaned.
Ann turned. Maria and a curly-haired blond child entered. Ann watched Maria’s smile turn to a frown. Maria pulled the child toward their table. Ann gulped. Now what? Can’t she leave us alone? How can Tom and I ever get to know each other if she’s always showing up? She pasted a false smile on her face and clutched her napkin tightly.
“So you decided not to listen to me,” Maria spat at Ann.
“Daddy!” the little girl cried, holding up her arms.
“Hi, Kitten,” Tom said, scooping the child into his arms. He gave her a bear hug, and she giggled. “I want you to meet my friend, Ann. Ann, this is Kitten.”
“Hi, Ann. Daddy calls me Kitten, but you can call me Catherine.” The child put her arms around Tom’s neck and hugged him.
“Hello, Catherine,” Ann said, finding her voice.
“At least you could have gone somewhere else, Tom. We always ate here,” Maria accused and pushed Tom’s shoulder.
Tom moved Catherine to his other knee and glared at Maria. “Do we have to fight in front of Kitten?”
“Hey, Mr. Nice Guy, you’re the one who left us, remember?”
Removing Catherine from his lap, Tom stood up and faced Maria. “You’re creating a scene. Why don’t you leave before things get ugly?”
“Maybe you should have thought about that a long time ago.” Maria poked Tom’s chest with her finger.
Ann watched in fear. Only moments ago, she and Tom were enjoying dinner. Maria’s face now looked hard and dark. She swore at Tom and poked him again. Then she shoved him on the shoulder.
Tom grabbed her hand. Maria spat at him and reached up, clawing his face with her other hand.
“I hate you,” she screamed, grabbed her child, and ran out crying.
Tom turned to Ann. There were bloody scratches on his face. Ann dipped her napkin in her water glass and dabbed his cheek. “I’m sorry, Ann, I guess this spoiled dinner.”
This is never going to work for us, not as long as Maria is in the picture. Ann nodded her head. “Sure did. I’m not very hungry now. I think I’d better just go home.”