Author: Elizabeth Fisher
Published: December 1st, 2014
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Adult Sexual Content
Age Recommendation: 17+
Southern unsophisticate Elzetta Swan has gained the ability to see auras and the more lucrative ability to clean revenge curses from those auras. Embracing the gift faster than grass through a goose, Elzetta is about to finish her first year as a legally licensed bodywasher with a trendy new lifestyle and a countrified inner child that’s skipping all the way to the bank. But when a routine cleansing suddenly turns ugly, she begins to wonder if a powerful invoker has come to town—one who’s hooked on the rush of setting particularly nasty curses.
As Elzetta attempts to track down the culprit, she faces two fateful confrontations. Each will threaten her trendy new life and the hallelujah hankering she’s formed for the unlikeliest of urban white knights, but together those confrontations could do much worse. They could create in Elzetta a vengeful rage all her own.
“Cal. Call me Cal.”
For some reason I blushed when I said my own name and mentally kicked myself for getting flustered. I knew I was as countrified as he was citified, but there was something about him that either made me see red or go red.
“I can check with other bodywashers as well,” I added to cover my reaction. “Maybe someone has heard something or seen a similar situation.” The frustration and worry building inside me leaked out. “I don’t understand it. Invokers know what happens to them if they whip up major curses. Minor curses have enough kickback, but invoking major curses is like selling your soul. No. It’s like giving your soul away for free.”
Flustered again, this time from venting like a loon, I consoled myself that maybe my worry would rub off on McGrath long enough for him to see things through. But as I watched him, my stomach sank. His body language clearly stated he had made up his mind about something. That was why his next words threw me into next week.
“You’re right, you know. You do owe me.” Seeing he now had my complete attention, he grinned ruefully. “This evening I have to sit at a table with four area business types and their spouses and make small talk. I think it’s only fair you share my fate.”
“Huh?” I swear that was all I could come up with.
“Front Page Follies. Have you heard of it?”
I nodded numbly. I’d read about the event in the newspaper. Spoofing local politicians and other news makers, the Follies was a popular annual event in town that helped fund local journalism scholarships. According to Vittore, the stage show could be hilarious, but my mind was busy wrapping itself around the fact Captain McGrath, no, Cal, had asked me out on a date. I was torn between being insulted by the last minute invitation and jumping up and down at the thought of a night out with such an attractive man. Outwardly, however, I had the good sense to pretend nonchalance. I didn’t want to have to confess my cornball excitement to Vittore when I told him about all this later.
“Well, I don’t know,” I said slowly. “Going out for dinner, drinks, seeing all you community leaders roasted on a journalist’s spit…you’re asking quite a lot, you know.”
Cal grinned in that self-satisfied way men do when they know they’ve gotten their way.
Putting the back of my wrist to my forehead in mock despair, I peeked over at him. “Very well. If I must.”
About the Author
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As a debut author, the most important lesson I’ve learned so far has helped me no end. It’s simple. Love writing. Don’t love money. Don’t love fame. Love writing.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first story in second grade, and my teacher made a point of praising my imagination to my mother. At least, I hope it was praise and not a suggestion Mom seek counseling for me. The story was entitled (misspellings included) “Christoper Columbus and The Miricle of the Hamburger.” I’ve been writing ever since—short stories, essays, professional copywriting, whatever.
What made you decide to write your first book?
Strangely enough it was my own desire to read something new in the paranormal romance genre. I needed a break from vampires and werewolves.
What motivates you to write?
I’m a “discovery” writer. That’s the term I’ve learned describes my particular style of writing. I create plot and characters as I go along. I actually don’t know what’s going to happen until I’ve written it—which makes the process a hoot!
Do you ever feel frustrated with your work?
Not frustrated so much as occasionally stymied. Of course, figuring out what happens next is followed by those great eureka! moments that I love almost as much as white wine!
How do you get over writer's block?
The few times I got blocked while writing Curse Me Not, I’d step away from the keyboard for a few days. If that didn’t work, I’d try a glass of Chardonnay, playing with the cats or reading what I’d written so far from the very beginning.
How do you handle negative reviews of your books?
So far I haven’t had one, but I’m sure one will come along sooner or later. When it does, I’m going to pay it a lot of attention. Reviews—good or bad—are the best thing since chocolate cream pie. What you can learn from them can’t be taught in a classroom.
There's a lot of distractions around, especially with social media. How do you block it out and write?
Oh, that’s easy. I’m not social. LOL! Let me rephrase that. I have great friends, a Facebook page and a cell phone, but I prefer chatting with friends in person and using Facebook just to share photos. As to phones, I find their ringing to be akin to fingernails scraping a chalkboard. I turn the blasted thing off. My real distractions come in the form of two very vocal cats and a cutie pie husband.
What do you enjoy, outside of writing?
Freelance graphic design, oil painting (very therapeutic!), volunteer work at the public library, hiking and Candy Crush (mindless but very relaxing). Oh, and did I mention I had a cutie pie husband?
What's something about you that most people don't know?
I was a journalist in the army for four years. It’s not a secret per se, but the few friends who know were surprised. I think they had a stereotypic view of soldiers that I didn’t fit. I’ve since explained to them the attraction of being around a bunch of men in uniform.
Did you ever have to rewrite portions of Curse Me Not because the characters decided to be someone other than you intended?
Once, early on in the process, I wasn’t “seeing” this mid-level character well enough and I had to do some rethinking. My aim was to make all my “boys and girls” as real to me as family.
Where do you come up with the names for your characters?
Family members, friends, phone books, player names on PokerStars.com, dreams, anagrams, accidental misspellings . . . I could go on. Lordie, names are fun!
Did you ever think you'd be a published author?
No way, Jose. I’ve thought up the beginnings of stories often enough, but I never thought I could stick with one long enough to finish it. Curse Me Not is a landmark achievement for me.
What are you working on currently?
I’m actually a chapter shy of finishing a novella that will act as a bridge between Curse Me Not and book #2. I’ve had a ball with it, making myself laugh and getting silly with the romance. It’s a damn cute story.
Do you ever write characters you hate?
No. As I mentioned, my characters—good, bad and ugly—are all family to me. Besides, I’m not good at hate. We’re all human. We all make mistakes.
Who is your favorite character that you've written?
Ever? That would be Slapnutto. He’s a dinosaur from a tale I wrote in middle school. LMAO! But seriously, folks, in Curse Me Not, I identify most with Elzetta, the heroine. She hot flashes at the worst possible times (check!), she’s clueless the other half of the time (check!), she’s insecure (check!), and she has an inner child that’s as healthy as a horse (check! check! check!).
Where did you get the idea for Curse Me Not?
Why don’t we say the pretercosmos, because in truth I haven’t a clue. I will say the concept of auras—of there being a non-physical side to ourselves—has always fascinated me.
Were there any scenes in Curse Me Not that were difficult for you to write?
Yes, two scenes, but I won’t say more (no spoilers!). The difficulty came not from writing the scenes but the fact one scene kept making me “frisky” and the other held so much pathos I’d make myself cry.
Do you have a favorite genre to write? Is there a type of genre you refuse to write?
I write what I like to read—paranormal romance—but I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at other genres. Although I suppose I would rather gnaw an arm off than tackle a cookbook. I’ve accidently set fire to two kitchens. I’ve learned to stay out them. They’re evil.
Do you prefer your books in print or e-book format?
I can just imagine what the sand would do to my e-reader at Myrtle Beach, but I’ve found the seaside is about the only place I don’t take it. So much choice in such a portable little device!
What are you currently reading?
The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer. Sometimes a girl just needs a classic.
What is your favorite book?
Only one? Of all time? Forever? Lordie! Ummm. Okay, I’ll just be impish. My favorite book is Curse Me Not. Ha!
Who is your favorite author?
Don’t worry. I won’t be impish again, but this is still a hard question. As of this particular minute in this particular hour of this particular day, I’ll go with Stephen King.
Humor me, because this is my favorite (mythical) animal: Would you ever consider putting a platypire in one of your books?
Those platypires are just too cute! Do they get along with cats?