Interview and Review with Author Elodie Parkes

27 Aug

Millie Reinvented by Elodie Parkes

It’s Monday at The Tarasphere! And we always do Author Interviews on Mondays!!! So sit back, grab your cup of coffee, and let me introduce you to author Elodie Parkes. We’re going to chat with Elodie and find out more about her novel, “Millie Reinvented”.

A brief description: Millie Re-invented is about a young woman who suddenly realizes that her husband has not really been kissing her for a couple of years. Millie is kissed by a young man who works in the same firm as she does at their Christmas party, and the kiss is so different and enjoyable it jolts her into the realization that she has been kissing her husband but he’s just been taking it. It’s not the only thing he’s been taking.

Millie finds herself assessing her relationship with her husband over the next months as the young man who kissed her at the party starts to pursue her.

The things Millie finds out about her husband astonish her.

She falls into a relationship with the young man August. He is very special and begins to love Millie entirely.

As Millie and August’s relationship deepens the reader will delight in their love scenes.

There are some fun aspects to this erotic romance when Millie meets August’s friendship group from university. The reader will instantly like the group of women in this book and fall in love with August themselves. His journey is told with tenderness by the author.

Everybody’s favorite part…..the interview!!

What was your favorite part of the book?

For Millie Reinvented

I think it has to be the very beginning when August kisses Millie at the Christmas party, the whole of chapter one that is, although I do like this book as a whole.

For Two of Them

It’s where Jet and Annabel meet in the pub garden. (smiles) I really can’t elaborate, sorry people will need to read the book to find out why.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

Millie Reinvented, just flowed along and I don’t feel any part was particularly hard to write.

Two of Them, the hard part was handling how the two brothers tell their mother the secret they have discovered about their father.

What do you wish was different about the book?

That’s a hard question. It’s what I want as a story, and the cover I want. I guess I would like it to be sitting in a better rank than it is on Amazon, LOL. This applies to both books.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

I can’t say favorite, because there are so many books I love and like. I’ve read hundreds of books.

I read a lot. This week I am reading Lair of the Lion by Christine Feehan and Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. I’m enjoying the Christine Feehan, it’s relaxing and quite hot really. The other book is extraordinary and very clever but rather depressing so far.

What sparked the idea for your novel?

Millie Reinvented,

I was talking to a young woman who was in the antiques shop where I work and she was buying a little sculpture of two lovers kissing. She said she had to have it because it was so nice to look at, as her husband didn’t even kiss her anymore. I couldn’t say anything I just wrapped the item, and stored the thought until the story burst out onto my laptop.

Two of Them,

Just came to me one day after I had walked by a complex of offices, which was situated on the banks of a river. The complex had a name very similar to Monastery Walk, which is where Jet Alexander works in the book.

How personal is your writing?

I’m not sure what this question means. If it’s about putting my own experiences in the books, well I have included some things I have seen for sure.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Neither. I confess I don’t know what a pantster is. Unless it’s to do with getting the pants off my characters and if so then there is sex in books. I use explicit sex to show the love that one or both characters is feeling.

I just get an idea and think it over for a couple of days then start writing. It generally just falls onto the page, well computer screen ,( smiles).

What is your writing routine?

Write when I can. LOL

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

They come simultaneously.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I like happy endings in books. I like happy things happening because in the main real life is so hard and harsh, and so I write romance and its sub genres, although so far they are contemporary romance there is usually a little twist in the story. Mystery, something odd.

How did you come up with the title?

For Millie Reinvented that just plopped into my brain along with the story.

For Two of Them it’s what one of the female characters says when she discovers that Jet Alexander has a brother because they are so attractive.

What project are you working on now?

The Horoscope Writer.

It’s a romance, contemporary, erotic ,a love story with a just a tiny twist of paranormal.

Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing?

Love and what people will do for it. Loneliness and how it changes people.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Be prepared for a long, hard, road. Be positive, and don’t let things get you down. Write what you want.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Toughest.

When I was querying publishers and agents a few years ago they were scathing about the amount of sex in my books, which really annoyed me as at the time I was reading Dark Prince and the first few books of the Dark series, which is chock full of sex. It’s ordinary stuff too, romantic not kinky or anything. (in my books)

Then you see books over the last year or so with a meteoric rise and you think well there goes their excuse for not liking my books. Some books these days I have to wonder how they got published in the first place.

Best compliment.

Another author who hosted me on their blog chose to read my first title and said on a Facebook post that it “was a cool story with hot love scenes”. I really like that comment because it’s exactly what I wanted my book to be.

My books are so new on the market that as yet I have no reviews.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Hell yes, number one Shakespeare, I ‘d have to ask did you really write the work dude or was it that cat Marlowe? What a trip that would be to talk to him.

Number two Buzz Aldrin to hear about piloting to and landing on the moon, cos wow, what must it be like to look back and see the earth and you are not on it!

Number three, sadly Justin Hartley eye candy I guess since he’s married, but I have a crush on him LOL

I can think of heaps of other people especially dead ones but I can only have three.

Ms. Parkes has graciously gifted us with an excerpt from each of her novels.

Excerpt from Millie Reinvented

She opened the package on her desk and spread the beautiful silk camisole on there. The only thing Millie could think as she looked at it was that she wished she would be wearing it for August that night. It was too beautiful to wear for that beastly, neglectful Peter. Millie felt tears well up. She couldn’t believe for one minute that this had been sent to her by her husband. He hadn’t given her anything in two years.

She texted August. ‘Did u send it?’

Millie felt sure that if he had, he would know what the ‘it’ was.

She hoped it was him. She waited. The text came back.

What is it?’

Millie felt the tears that were behind her eyes overflow and course down her cheeks.

In his office August put his cell phone down on his desk with regret.

He would call her later and ask her to have coffee after work. He couldn’t bear the thought of her wearing that camisole for Peter. He thought about what he would do next if he was fixing a friend’s marriage. This was harder than usual, and not just because he had little information about Peter, nor access. He sighed as he thought that probably Peter didn’t want reinventing. He probably didn’t love Millie. August shook his head. Did he need to try to fix this relationship? No one had asked. It just wasn’t in him not to try. When he went out to the sandwich shop he called one of his friends.

“Hi George, I have a problem and I only have half an hour for lunch so could I just tell you about it?”

George smiled at this. He really liked August, and the truth was he wouldn’t have his beautiful wife if it wasn’t for him. “Go for it August, what’s the problem?”

“I found a girl who is in a very unhappy marriage, and I feel I must try to help her save it. The trouble is George I want her”.

George snorted with laughter.

“How do you know her August? Did she come for help, or did the husband? Do I know her? Is it one of the gang?”

August took a deep breath suddenly realizing the reality of the situation.

“None of the above George, we work in the same company. I kissed her at the Christmas party and now I find she’s all I can think about”.

George raised his eyebrows to himself because this was unusual. His lovely Michelle had once said that when August finally fell in love he would fall hard, what a pity it was for a married woman.

“August it could be messy. I don’t see you as a home wrecker. It’s not your style”.

August agreed. “I know George, it’s my antithesis. I’ll just try a few things that might turn her back to her husband, and then I better try to forget her”.

George heard the melancholy note in his friend’s voice.

****

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2012 All rights reserved

Excerpt from Two of Them

 

“Sure Emma that will be great. I’d love to meet. When and where?”

Emma was smiling as she told him; he could hear it in her voice.

“How about the same hotel about seven what do you think?”

Jet smiled too.

“Great I’ll be there”, he told her, and they ended the call.

Jet was so happy he couldn’t get the smile off his face for about fifteen minutes. He made Melanie and Craig coffee beaming at them as he put the mugs down on their desks. Craig grinned.

“What’s so funny Jet, or have we just made a billion in one swoop?”

Jet just smiled and went away to drink his coffee by the window and think about Friday. He was grateful it was Wednesday and so he only had to wait one more day to see her. He might buy a little posy of flowers to take for her as he passed the village flower shop the next evening he thought, and then he shook his head at himself. No that was too much too soon wasn’t it?

Jet decided to talk to Falcon; he wanted to tell him about the dream anyway, and as six o’clock approached he texted Falcon.

‘What r u up to, want to call by my place’

Falcon texted back.

Sure 1 hour’

Jet drove home smiling.

When Falcon arrived, they shared a beer and sat down at the garden table in the late burst of sunshine to eat a couple of slices of tomato pizza, which Jet had heated in the microwave.

“What’s new then Jet?” Falcon asked because he knew that Jet had something going on.

“Emma rang” Jet told him.

“Emma?” Falcon inquired.

“Oh sorry that’s the girl you saw me with last night. She wants to see me Friday night”. Jet smiled as he said it, and then took a bite of his pizza.

“That’s good right?” Falcon said.

Jet nodded.

“But?” asked Falcon because he could read a ‘but’ somewhere in Jet’s eyes.

“I’m a bit rusty with girls”, Jet shrugged, and looked a little wistful.

“It’ll be okay. It’s like riding a bike you never forget how”. Falcon hadn’t thought about his choice of words.

Jet felt a little discomfort and squeezed his eyes shut.

“Oh sorry Jet I didn’t mean anything by that I just meant you will fall back into it. Come on you had your share of girls at university, well we both did. It’s only been the last couple of years that the ladies have been thin on the ground”. Falcon watched Jet’s expression.

“Yeah I know, but somehow things are different, I mean back then the whole thing was still casual. Things have changed radically, nobody does one night stands, and nobody hurtles into bed with each other anymore do they?”

Falcon couldn’t decide if that was what Jet wanted, a one-night stand or the start of something more. He looked at his brother’s face and sighed.

“I agree Jet. I was only telling mom that a few days ago when she asked why hadn’t we both found ourselves girls. You know Uncle Don’s kids are settled, one engaged, and one married. I guess mom sees us as a bit odd not to even have a ‘steady girl’ as the saying goes”. He drank the last of his beer and raised his eyebrows as he considered it all.

“I told her it was hard to meet people, and it is, isn’t it Jet? I’m pleased for you. I hope Emma is whatever you want”.

Jet sighed, he didn’t know what he wanted truth be told.

“It is hard to meet people and just recently I have thought it might never happen. I feel in a rut” he said, and smiled at Falcon.

Falcon grinned.

“It would be nice to be with a girl. I’d settle for kissing I think right now. I can’t say I dwell on sex like I used to, but sometimes I think it would be nice”.

Jet looked at his brother with an expression of amusement.

“Come on Falcon it would be great. I really miss it sometimes”.

They looked at each other and sighed. Jet finished his beer and threw the remains of his pizza slice on his plate suddenly no longer hungry.

Falcon watched him.

“Me too Jet, me too”, he said.

They made coffee but were strangely quiet as they drank it.

Falcon left after arranging to pick Jet up the next morning, and Jet watched him drive away remembering he had not told Falcon about his dream as he had wanted to.

****

Copyright Elodie Parkes 2012, All rights reserved.

As of this post, I have only read “Millie Reinvented”, but as soon as I finish “Two of Them”, I will be providing Ms. Parkes with a review here on the blog.

Now for the review!!!

I picked up “Millie Reinvented” and was pleased to see Ms. Parkes drive right into the premise of this story. Millie feels isolated, lonely, desperate for someone to notice her. It takes one small kiss at an office Christmas party to change her life. I felt for Millie, I really did, she comes across as sympathetic and you want for things to work out for her. August is good-looking, intelligent, attentive and patient. Qualities that Millie needs in a man. My biggest quibble with this, even though the husband is a guy I loved to hate, is that she was still married. It’s a personal call, lots of stories feature infidelity on both sides of the marriage bed, but coming from the heroine, there were moments when it was a little uncomfortable for me.
That’s not to say it took away from the story, but if that sort of thing bothers you, consider this your warning.

On the flipside of that, the husband was someone I wanted to put out with yesterday’s trash. Ms. Parkes did a great job of showing us just how much his indifference affected Millie. There were times when the story lagged a little, but overall the pace was fairly even. The chemistry between Millie and August was good, but there were moments when I felt the emotional quotient of their relationship was a little rushed.

The secondary characters were a nice addition to the story, and helped to push things along at some of the aforementioned slower moments. The end brought everything around, bringing Millie and August full circle, and was satisfactory. I feel this story would have been better if both the exposition and the dialogue were a little tighter. Nothing that kept me from reading, though. And after having read this, I can say that I am looking forward to reading “Two of Them” and reviewing it later.

The Good: Sweet love story, good characterization, an enjoyable read.

The Bad: Slow in parts, writing could be more concise and tighter, the infidelity may be a factor for some readers.

Overall: Looking back, this was a good, solid story with characters that I cared about. The flaws mentioned were not enough to make me walk away from reading.

4 out of 5 stars.

Two of Them by Elodie Parkes

Here is her other novel, “Two of Them”. Click the cover to learn more.

More about Elodie Parkes:

Elodie Parkes writes contemporary romance with an erotic twist and currently lives in Canterbury, United Kingdom, (of Chaucer fame), with her two dogs. Elodie loves to go to the coast whenever she can.

She combines writing with her job in a local antiques shop and says the people she meets there often spark a story idea.

Presently she is working on another erotic, contemporary romance The Horoscope Writer, expected release date September, 2012

Connect with Elodie:

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4 Responses to “Interview and Review with Author Elodie Parkes”

  1. writermirandastork August 27, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Fantastic interview-you always think of the best questions Tara! Great post you two 😀

    Like

    • tarawood21 August 27, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      So glad you liked it, Miranda! Can’t wait to have you on soon!!!

      Like

  2. Elodie Parkes August 27, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Hi Tara, thank you so much for interviewing me and reading my book. It was great fun and I enjoyed your questions.

    Like

  3. trishmarie August 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Loved it! Great interview Elodie and Tara! Another ‘must read’ to add to the list! 😀

    Like

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