Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interview with Angela Ashton

Tami - Well hello Angela, thanks for taking time away from your writing to come and chat with us at the Champagne Books blog!

Angela - My pleasure, thanks for the invite!

Tami - Any time Angela! I hear that you're a bit of a dreamer, and that some of your stories come out of those dreams. Tell me a little bit about that.

Angela - Many of my stories stem from my dreams and once I start a story, I dream up scenes and often jump up to grab my notebook and pen so I don't forget a thing. I'm no poet, but I've even written a couple of poems in my sleep; you know, in that magical realm between wake and sleep where you hear all sorts of things. One such poem was the night my uncle passed from renal failure and it was read and distributed at his funeral. I remembered every word!

Tami - That must have been very vivid for you to have remembered every word. I sometimes can remember things when I wake up but they fade so quickly. I have a lot of ideas between that wake and sleep realm. How do you suggest that we keep hold of that and not loose what we 'catch' there?

Angela - Keep a pen and paper beside the bed and write it down BEFORE your feet hit the floor. It really does help. And I agree, things fade with each passing second as 'reality' takes over...

Tami - Unfortunately reality does take over far too quickly. What a great idea to have the notepad handy. I'm going to have to remember to put something beside the bed. I'll have to make sure not to wake up my darling boyfriend. Now, I hear that you are a movie buff too! I was reading on your web page and said to myself, "Self, this is a chick that I could like! She likes Phantom and Highlander! Whoo hoo!" Does your eclectic taste in movies help you with your writing in any way?

Angela - Oh yes! I love anything Highlander/ Scottish and a great mystery...and hot guys are a given, lol! All of my heros are tall dark and handsome and Scottish Historicals are my all time fav's. I love everything about POTO; esp. when Gerry Butler is playing Eric--double yum!

Tami - I have a thing for hot vampire men with their pale skin, and their sharp teeth coming for my exposed neck.....whew...excuse me. I especially enjoyed Alex O'Loughlin as Mick St.John. He's a double yum for me. Who's your favorite TV or movie Yum?

Angela - Love those fangle-toothed hotties myself! I adore Victor Webster, aka 'Coop' from the last season of Charmed, and Adrain Paul, of course. *BG* Speaking of vamps, I'm working on a series of books about demons in the form of the 7 deadly sins...will have vampire elements to the story line; very exciting stuff.

Tami - OMG, you are going to have to email me when those are ready to go! I HAVE to read! (Great, more stuff to go on my TBR pile. What's another 7 to my 20,000?) OK, I've waited long enough. You have to tell me about the pirates. I have a thing about handsome alpha males. Corsair Cove is now in print and I would love for you to tell me a little bit about Jacque!

Angela - Oh my, Tami, I'm so glad you asked! I, too, am a huge pirate fan! And Jacque is by far the stubbornest hero I've penned to date. Typical cap'n, he doesn't like to hand over command to anyone, let alone someone trying to tell his story. Did I mention he was stubborn?!? I was dead set against him kidnapping King Luis, but, if you've read the story, you'll see who won that debate. Now, he wants a sequel, lol. And actually, he can be quite demanding at times. I had great fun telling Esa and Jacque's story, so who knows, I just may take him up on that.

Tami - I hate to admit it, but I haven't had a chance to read Jaques' story. **ducks** Would you mind giving me a little peek? Maybe an excerpt? And I happen to love stubborn men. (But I only love them in my stories....cause in real life I would have to train them right and make them behave!)

Angela - I LOVE them too! Here you go:

She lingered just a moment before sitting down again, careful to keep her eyes to the floor in fear of falling beneath the spell of those sultry dark eyes again. Breathe, that still voice commanded.
"Mr. LaFleur. Is that your real name?" Of course she knew it wasn’t, but she had to begin her interrogation somewhere. Hard as she tried, she made the mistake of glancing at his face. The hairs on her arms stood on end with the intimate charge that ignited the air. He felt it too; she could see it in those cinnamon speckled eyes that bewitched her curiosity.
And, although she tried to tell herself it was because of his uncivilized conduct upon their first encounter, it suddenly occurred to her why she’d been unable to get this magnificent, deranged loon out of her mind all day.
"Aye lass, ‘tis. Jacque Cherif LaFleur. Born December seventeenth, seventeen-hundred and twenty-six, in Paris, France to Jamus and Madeline LaFleur, the eldest of three brothers and four sisters."
"Seventeen hundred and twenty six, eh?" She scoffed. "Impossible. That would make you over two hundred years--"
"Two-hundred and seventy-eight, to be exact. Don’t look at me as though I’m addled, no one is more baffled than I as to by what means I arrived in this century, or for what reason." He paused, adding, "That’s where you come in."
"Me? W-What can I do?"
"The last thing I recall before seeing ye bonny face on the beach this morn was falling into the sea from aboard the Sainte-Anne. I can imagine ‘tis as difficult for you to comprehend as ‘tis for me. Nevertheless, ‘tis true. I‘ve no cause to lie."
The man was mad! 100% pure Fruit of the Loom! There was no doubting he actually believed what he was telling her, otherwise he couldn’t be so eerily convincing.
"And the ruby?" she asked, forcing her gaze beyond his earth shattering good looks and probing a sinister expression for muted answers. "Is it yours?"
Jacque eased back and cocked a guarded brow, the chair squeaked under the shifting weight. "An advance from King Louis, payment until I completed my existing commission. His Majesty enjoyed gambling almost as much as tupping the bonny wenches." His rakish smile warmed her flesh and warned her he’d been cut from a similar mold. "He owed most of his riches to the debt he’d acquired and needed my services to save face."
This guy was damn good! Taking a moment to collect her thoughts, she asked, "If the king was in such a crisis, why didn’t he use the ruby to pay off his unsettled debt?"
A slow, deliberate grin curled those sinful lips. It was hard not to think of the expert way he’d kissed her, molded himself to her body. Eyes sparkling, his voice reminded her of lazy thunder as it rolled from those skilled lips. "Ah, my delicate pet, the due prize was worth far more than the meager ruby."
Her mouth fell open. Meager ruby? He had to be the world’s best liar. She glanced sideways toward the exit. Should she get up and leave? It would be the safest choice and by far the smartest decision she’d made in weeks.
But her cat-like curiosity kept her seated. What had she really learned about the ruby? About him? Nothing.
Clearing her throat she asked, "How would you know that?"
He stared at her through a conspiratorial leer, as if he couldn’t decide whether or not to trust her. The irony almost made her laugh out loud.
"The real treasure was stolen three years prior and buried in a discreet location for future profit. A chest of treasure though a fair booty in its own right, and the only treasure me crew knew existed, was buried on the same island."
Then, as if he could read her next question just as it entered her mind, the renegade leaned forward and added in a throaty whisper that made her skin tingle, "I know because I am the one who buried it."
Her eyes grew to the size of quarters. His believing was having a domino effect on her, so lost was she in his intriguing tale. "Alright." She paused to get her bearings. Whether it was his storytelling expertise or his unwavering sex appeal, she was having trouble staying focused. "L-Let’s look at the facts for just a moment. If this were all true, if you really were the Jacque LaFleur, you would have had to travel through time to be here now, and that just isn’t possible! You are living in a dream, snap out of it and tell the truth. It’s the only way to free yourself."
"Avast, Cherie! I obtained the treasure during me pirate endeavors when I led my crew in an attack on a Spanish Galleon heading toward India. One of the merchants aboard the rebel ship had stolen the precious treasure from the king himself not long beforehand. When I happened upon it, I tucked it in my britches and my crew was never the wiser, never knew of its existence in fact, as the other booty we acquired was vast indeed. Once we anchored in Guadeloupe, I was able to slip away and bury the exquisite gem while the rest of the crew buried their trunks of riches. We were to go back and split the goods a few months later, but due to unforeseen events, that didn’t happen.
"Sita’s stone could have made me so wealthy that my grandchildren’s grandchildren could have lived comfortably and not had to work a day in their entire lives! When I turned from the perilous life pirating, Louis granted me a full pardon, so long as I accepted the Letters of Marque to pursue his pilfering for him."
A chill ran through her and for a fleeting moment, she imagined that voice sending a crew of burly men to do the Captain’s vile bidding. She opened her mouth to speak but he cut her off.
"I was left with no alternative but to disclose the truth of the treasures whereabouts once I discovered my father was unable to pay his own acquired debts to the bloodthirsty landlubber. In return for the information and the stolen treasure, my father was to be relieved of his debt."
Esa didn’t miss the flicker of pain behind his eyes at the mention of his father. He certainly didn’t seem like a man that would abandon his family in their time of need. Humph, what more proof did she need? The man was a fraud. Jacque LaFleur didn’t give a fig about his father’s welfare, else he wouldn’t have killed the poor defenseless man!
The pain transformed almost instantly into smugness as he met and held her shrewd gaze. "As for time-travel, well, were I not sitting in this broom closet with the most beautiful wench I’ve ever had the privilege to lay these cursed eyes upon, I’d have to agree with ye. As it stands, I fear I’m left no choice but to take the opposing side of the debate."
"The history books do not mention a secret treasure."
"Granted, were it so, it wouldn’t be much of a secret now, would it?" Jacque winked at her. She resisted the urge to dab her mouth and see if she were drooling.
His grin disappeared. Leaning forward again, he took on a more serious tone. "Ye don’t have to believe what I’m tellin’ ye, poppet. If my calculations are correct, I believe I can prove what I say is true."
Esa flinched. It was a trick. How could anyone prove such an extraordinary tale? To spin it was one thing, but to claim to be able to prove such an outlandish fable? Ridiculous!
Okay, she’d bite at the bait. Donning a mask of uneasy puzzlement, she asked, "Really? You can prove you’ve discovered the secret to time travel? How so?"
"Ye say ye father owns a shipping business?" Had she told him that? Oh yes, that had been the beginning of his rampage on the beach. When she nodded, he continued, "What say I give you the ruby as payment for one of ye vessels--"
"What?" The guy was a madman. Lock him up with a one of a kind key, and then melt it down to a piece of costume jewelry!
Jacque sighed heavily. "Look Cherie, I’ve no other means buy which to compensate ye, except perhaps…" His gaze wandered down her crossed legs but thankfully he steered off that line of thinking when she glared at him in disapproval. "I have but the clothes on my back, and the ruby. I don’t suppose the Letters would be of any worth to ye. On any account, if Louis’s treasure is still where I left it, I’m almost certain your felonious history book will sing a different song.
It didn’t matter how convincing the deranged stranger was, it had to be a trick. Time-travel did not exist! There was no way he could prove the wondrous lies that tumbled so freely, so poetically from his crafty tongue. But even as she sat thinking of every rational reason why she shouldn’t trust the dangerous man, the only thing she allowed herself to concentrate on was the mysterious ruby. It must be worth a fortune. Did he steal it? Perhaps if she could get her hands on it, make some calls, she could discover where it came from. And if she took the stone as collateral for the loan of a vessel, it wouldn’t be as though he was stealing from her or anything.
Correction, he would be stealing from the new proprietor of her father’s industry. A low growl formed in her belly.
She hadn’t yet received the money her father left her in place of the beloved business. It could be weeks before she saw a nickel. Her hands formed sweaty fists, so tightly clenched that her nails dug into her flesh.
Damn Rafeull! The thought of the stranger made her skin crawl. The unleashed resentment surging through her caused her to do something she otherwise might have restrained from. "Alright. I’ll make a deal with you, Mr. LaFleur."
Thick dark brows arched with interest as the ruggedly handsome privateer awaited her proposal. "We can take the ruby to a jeweler, a respectable one so as not to try and cheat you. You can pawn it in order to buy the clothing and provisions needed for your trip. If what you say is true, you can buy back the stone once you’ve returned with your treasure, if you wish."
Jacque was looking at her as though she’d gone completely mad. His eyes twinkled with amusement. Flashing a superior grin, he purred, "Mademoiselle, I’d be a fool not to accept ye--"
Esa raised a hand, halting him mid-sentence and held his gaze. With a determined stance and superior grin of her own, she stated, "There is one condition, LaFleur. I will accompany you on your journey."
He blinked as though surprised, just before throwing his head back and unleashing a deep, guttural laugh that caused his entire body to vibrate and her pulse to quicken.
God help her, but even the man’s rugged laugh held the ability to buckle her knees.
"Ah, surely ye jest, Cherie? ‘Tis bad luck for a woman to board a vessel! Any fool knows that. Besides, the only women bold enough to venture aboard a pirate leave their pouty little ‘nay’s’ at the peer."
"You forget, this isn’t the 18th Century, nor is it a pirate ship." She returned his wicked grin. "Welcome to the new millennium, LaFleur. Here, we women travel by ship, plane and any other means available to men. Some even own and operate their own boats!" Why was she letting him get to her? Of course he knew woman weren’t the meek, helpless creatures they once were.
Regaining her composure, she added, "Nevertheless, it’s your decision. Either I tag along, or I leave now and you can find your own mode of transportation. Which shall it be?" She sprang to her feet and met his ruthless stare.
A crooked smile spread the width of his perilously dark face. "Ah Cherie, ye strike a hard bargain, indeed. Under the circumstances what’s my alternative? Avast, I’ll agree to ye terms. I’m certain it shall prove to be quite an interesting voyage to be shipmates with such a fiery wench." Once again mischievous, smoldering eyes roamed at their leisure the length of her body, sending a surge of heat straight to the V of her thighs.
Good grief, had she made a deal with the devil himself?
Careful Esa," her father’s voice echoed in her head. "Sharks don’t just live in the water." Those words sent waves of anger and resentment through her entire body. It was as if she were a rebellious teenager. No shark bite could sting worse than yours Pops, she mused.
At any rate, she and the would-be pirate hadn’t sealed their deal with an old fashioned handshake. Therefore, it wasn’t official yet. She could back out at anytime.
And go back to her brooding ho-hum life of indecision, confusion and heartache. At least the pirate prince’s shadowy escapade would allow her to sail the sea, something she loved as much as life itself. And who didn’t want to hunt for buried treasure?
Of course she would insist that her own crew man the boat. Would it be the last time she would sail in a company yacht? Heart shattering all over again, Esa choked back a tear. Her decision was made.
Seeing the predatory gleam in the wolf’s eye, she almost changed her mind. She’d need more than her skeletal crew of captain and cooks to endure this journey. In fact, it might be in her best interest to procure a chaperone or two to supply companionship on her endeavor with this man that called himself so compellingly Jacque LaFleur.
"Interesting indeed, as I plan to invite a few friends along." She flashed that superior smile once more and came to her feet.
"More lovely wenches, I hope?"
Clutching her handbag beneath the crook of her arm, she snickered. "I was thinking more along the lines of a several two hundred and fifty pound linebackers. I’ll just step out and speak with the detective and see what we need to do to get you out of here. Don’t go anywhere."
Jacque couldn’t believe the nerve of the saucy wench. He was a stranger in this century, in her century. What choice did he have but to agree to her preposterous terms?
Had he heard her correctly? Women now manned their own ships? The only thing a woman could do aboard a ship was reek havoc. What purpose could she possibly serve? She was as rigid as a plank and much too assertive to provide any worthwhile companionship.
On second thought.
His grin stretched from ear to ear as he thought of one particular service she could perform, would perform, if she dared tag along.
She floated back into the room and smiled at him. Magnificent, timeless beauty at its finest. She aroused desire in him at a level he’d never known before. "Looks like you’re free to go."
If only that were true.
Perhaps the miserably beautiful mademoiselle would feel differently about accompanying him after hearing what he was about to tell her. "Avast, lass. If ye could tarry just a moment, there’s something I’d like ye to hear."
Esa’s brows raised in query.
"Please, sit down." He paused long enough for her to be seated. "As ye have ye mind set on the journey, ‘tis only fair that I should warn ye of the island’s curse."
"Curse?" Her warm brown eyes sank to a cool, skeptical black. "But of course, what’s a secret treasure without a curse?" She chuckled. "Let’s hear it."
"Indeed ye shall, then I’ll be free of any guilt should you meet your demise." He broke long enough to savor the fear that flashed across her soft features. He almost felt guilty. Almost. "Nice to see I have your attention. The island is cursed, do not doubt it. ‘Tis been labeled the Curse of the Cove down the years, avast, ‘twould be centuries now, eh? It may take a week, a month, a year, maybe two, but the cove’s curse will find ye, dare ye cross the devil’s territory."
"Alright LaFleur, what is this dreaded curse?" Now her expression was mocking.
Trying hard to keep his lip from snarling, he forced a smile and said oh so casually, "Annihilation."
She flinched as though stung. Had her color paled as well? With a heavy sigh she declared, "Nonsense. I don’t believe in curses. This is just some ridiculous ploy of yours to--"
"Unfortunately mademoiselle, I speak from experience. Until yesterday, I didn’t lend much credence to curses myself."

Tami - Wow Angela, that was absolutely FABULOUS! Now there is another book to be added to my TBR! Will it never stop? LOL! Well thanks tons for stopping by it's been so much fun having you here. I hope that you take the time to stop by again and visit.

And for our loyal readers, make sure to stop by next week and visit with us when we have Jane Toombs as our next blood sucked victim, I mean guest....see ya then!

1 comment:

  1. The books sounds exquisite but what we liked best is how the character has become alive and willful. How utterly awesome! You have to respect that in a character. Great interview, Tami. You choose your victims... um... we mean GUESTS well.