Monday, January 3, 2011

The Steam Room is proud to present author Jillian Chantal.

TSR: Tell us about Solo Honeymoon.

Jillian: It's a story based in London, a fictional vineyard in Italy and New York City. It has an element of romantic suspense. The father of the heroine is a one-named singer based in part on the 1960s icon, Donovan. When Emma, the heroine, finds her fiancé naked with her bridesmaid three days before her wedding, her father tells her she should go on the honeymoon that was his gift to the couple. He feels she needs to get away to heal her broken heart. She goes with her best friend who encourages her to have some fun with an Italian man. Emma has no intention of doing so, but the best laid plans can go awry.

TSR: Where did the idea come from?

Jillian: Most of the time, in my writing, my heroes come to me first. This hero, Dario DeLuca, came to me as a ballroom dancer. One of my dearest friends is a ballroom dancer and her partner/instructor is Italian. He's an excellent dancer and is mesmerizing to watch. He almost seems bored but it's his job to showcase the woman and he's amazing at doing that. I've watched her dance with him and the idea of an Italian hero that loved ballroom dancing came to me. I'm a total pantser and the story just developed from there.

TSR: What are some traits that your hero/heroine must have?

Jillian: Most of my heroes are in some need of redemption or they think they are anyway. I like a very strong hero, one with ingrained opinions. He must also be deeply honest and kind- even if that isn't readily apparent.

As to my heroines, they are usually a bit sassy. I like an independent heroine as well. Ones that don't quite need a man to support them. Self-sufficient. Probably because to be otherwise would rub against the grain for me.

TSR: You’re a lawyer. How has that influenced your writing?

Jillian: I think part of it is like I said above. My heroines must be self-sufficient. I also think being a lawyer has helped me with grammar and just basic writing skills. The hardest thing for me is using contractions in my stories. As a lawyer, I have to write formally and it's hard to stop doing that and make the dialogue not be stilted when I write fiction. I usually go through my manuscripts 3-4 times and STILL find a need for contractions. I do the same thing with blog posts. In fact, all the contractions you see here were edited in after I wrote this. LOL!

I also believe that being a lawyer has exposed me to a lot of fact patterns that play well into my story lines. That old saw about truth being stranger than fiction is soooo true. I write what I like to call "Romantic Adventure with an International Flair" and I use my knowledge of criminal law, criminals, firearms, etc, as well as my love for travel in these romantic stories.

TSR: How did you spend your holidays? Any New Year’s resolutions?

Jillian: We had a quiet holiday this year. I have one son in college and one in high school. The oldest one came home on the15th and we've had a nice time with him being around. My parents live about 9 miles from us and we went over for Christmas Eve dinner as well as Christmas Day breakfast. The rest of the day was spent just reading and watching the kids play video games. It was nice. We used to do a run up to my in-laws (about 2 hours away) on Christmas Day and that made for a frantic time. My father-in-law was my husband's last living parent (out lived 3 wives) and he died two years ago. My husband's siblings don't gather together any longer. It's sad but makes for a more relaxed holiday for us.

No resolutions- about 15 years ago, I resolved to never make another New Year's resolution as they always petered out by February. So, by keeping that resolution, I guess I've made one??

TSR: I loved your blog entry about fire. I, too, love watching one burn whether it’s a summer bonfire on the beach or the one in my fireplace protecting me from three feet of snow outside. What does it take for you to light a fire?

Jillian: Thanks. I love the flames. Since I live in Florida, we don't get much weather that allows for a fire, but the least little drop in temperature and I'm there, lighting that fire in the fireplace! Wealso have a fire pit on our deck. We light it sometimes in the summer but not often as the humidity is so bad here. The heat from the fire makes for a meltingly bad time when the humidity is 100%. You know that old saying about Southern women don't sweat, they glow? It’s not true – we sweat like the dickens here!

TSR: What’s next for you?

Jillian: I have two books coming out in 2011. One is from SirenBookStrand Publishers and is called Surfer Bride. It is due to be released in April 2011. It's a contemporary romantic suspense. Here's a blurb for it:

Quincy Holt, a world champion surfer, was in love with a police officer, Fennimore Smith. He dumped her over a rumor that she cheated on him. Two years later, she’s moved on and is engaged to Percy Hicks, a British man that she believes could make her happy. Quincy thinks her fiancé is an antiques dealer but he’s actually a firearms smuggler. A smuggler being investigated by her former lover, now an ATF agent. When Percy’s private plane full of weapons is confiscated while Quincy is aboard and she’s arrested for arms dealing, Fennimore Smith flies to Bali to rescue her and get her to testify against Percy. She turns him down as she has plans of her own. She sets off to Londonon a quest to trap her fiancé and bring him down. Will she survive her mission? Will her former lover have to rescue her again?

The second book is due to be released in July 2011 by Desert Breeze Publishing. It's called Redemption for the Devil and is a historical set in 1920. It's also a romantic suspense. Here's a blurb for it:

A killing in Dublin changes the life of a Protestant teen. Lost after the senseless death of his childhood friend, he becomes a bomb expert for the Irish Republican Army. He boards the RMS Mauretania with plans to blow it up. Can a devout Irish Catholic woman help him to redeem his soul? Can she get past their religious differences and his past?

I have three other completed manuscripts that are in the pipeline and I hope to be able to announce where they will be published soon. I thank you again for allowing me to pop in, Michele. It's been fun. I want to give away a copy of Solo Honeymoon to one commenter here. All you have to do to be entered to win is tell me your ideal honeymoon destination.

Contest details: The contest will run until Jan 5th at 8pm EST. Please be sure to leave your email address with your post (members don't have to) so that Jillian can contact the winner. (Note: you must leave your comment on The Steam Room's website. Here's the address:

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