Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Special Guest: Lorhainne Eckhart

Today I have a treat for you readers. Author Lorhainne Eckhart is here at The Cozy Page to tell us all about her debut novel, The Captain’s Lady. As soon as you read about this unique romance I guarantee you’ll be as fascinated as I am:

Captain Eric Hamilton is a powerful force in the U.S. Navy, having earned himself a reputation of being a hard-nosed chauvinist. He’s commander of the USS Larsen, a destroyer, currently deployed in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Abby Carlton has just escaped from the man who held her captive for a year. Abducted while traveling in Paris, she was given to an Arab man as a gift, until one night she makes her desperate escape.

While on patrol one morning Captain Eric Hamilton discovers a dinghy floating aimlessly. Abby is found, battered and in an advanced state of pregnancy, lying in the bottom of the dinghy. From the moment she lay on the deck of his ship her innocence finds a way to penetrate his hardened heart. But time is running out. Eric is falsely accused of sexual assault and the CIA wants Abby and the baby for bait to flush out her captor.

Hi, Lorhainne! Welcome to The Cozy Page and thanks so much for sharing with us!

Thank you Amber for having me.

I was pulled into this premise just as soon as I read the first few lines of the blurb. Who knew the Iraqi War could be a fresh, intriguing backdrop for a love story? What convinced you?

When I wrote the book, the Iraq War was headline in the news. Emotions were high surrounding the war, especially around the men and women who were sent to invade Iraq. The backdrop of the story, actually came to me in a dream. With the heightened emotions and the support for the troops to me it was a story that needed to be told.

Just from the above description, there is a TON of conflict sprinkled throughout this story. How did you envision a story like this and what made you want to tell it?

Well that is a good question. The premise of the story came to me in a dream. The conflict appeared as I was writing the novel. There is a lot of controversy still with women in the military. The old boys network is strong, and some men still view a woman’s place is in the home. But that can be said in most male dominated industries. It’s an old world view, which some men still carry. Generally it comes from their childhood, how they were raised, society and beliefs around them. But in that there are two sides to every story.

What can happen when a woman is confronted by a man who has clearly defined roles of a woman’s place. How will she react? An evolved woman, would generally handle it diplomatically, some react straight from emotion. But then so do some men for that matter.

Unfortunately what stems out of this is there are instances of false accusations, as was portrayed in The Captain’s Lady. Done only out of spite, to fight back for some perceived wrong, which ends hurting innocent women in the long run.

It’s the two sides to a story, sometimes it’s unexpected.

The Captain’s Lady features a military hero—and that alone, in my opinion, is reason to buy it ;). Tell us more about Captain Hamilton!

Captain Eric Hamilton, he is an interesting man. Flawed. He carries baggage from his past, his mother abandons him, so he grows up in the system. A troublemaker in his teens, he bounces from one foster home to another, in trouble with the law until his social worker, the only woman he has any respect for steps in. He’s given a choice: jail or join the military. The military was his saving grace. It taught him discipline, gave him his roots he never had before.

But Captain Hamilton, carries with him a resentment of women. Viewing them all as selfish if they choose a career, as it would take away from their family. He voices his opinions and doesn’t care how it comes out. He believes women belong in the home looking after their children. But he also has an Old World Honor, where he believes as man’s place is to look after a woman. If there is an injustice, he is the first to step in. He is conflicted, moody, opinionated, argumentative, he feels emotions deeply. He’s also honest, sharp in his role as Captain, and takes pride in his ship and crew. He cares for his crew, and the few friends that he has allowed in, past the well suited armour he keeps erected around his heart.

Now let’s talk about your heroine, Abby Carlton. With that kind of turmoil, she must be struggling with some mental toil. Why would readers like Abby? What are her strengths and weaknesses?

Abby is a survivor. She has an emotional strength to get on with it. She won’t give in. She has been through a lot in her life, searching to find herself. She suffered from a lack of self confidence. She feels deeply and takes life quite seriously. All she wants is to be loved. She has been through a woman’s worst nightmare, but she looked for an opportunity to escape and she fought to get away. Even with that emotional trauma she is caring, she cares for those around her, and still wants to believe the best in people. She has the ability to care deeply, but she also is quite naïve about life even after what she has been through.

Since we love a good romance around here, we’d be tickled to know a bit more about the love story between the captain and his lady. What makes them mesh?

They have a similar past, but it’s not just that. He desires a woman to protect. That honest, special person he sees in Abby.

She wants and desires his protection. It’s the way he focuses all of his attention on her, listens to her, even when he protects her in overbearing way to keep her out of the loop. She can see past that

She sees him as the man she has always been looking for. The heart of gold, the goodness and honesty, decent and caring. Even that protective wall he erects she has some understanding of why, she can see into his heart.

Congratulations! According to your website, The Captain’s Lady was your first manuscript. Most writers never publish their first stories. What made you keep the faith with yours and what kind of advice would give other writers on this subject?

I believe in this story. Although I continued writing my next novel. I believed this one would be published. That it was a story that would want to be heard. Something good that could come out of the Iraqi War.

If you believe in the subject you’re writing, then pursue it, make it the best it can be.

Do you plan to write any other Iraqi War romances? If not, what genre would you like to write next?

I have no plans to write another Iraqi War romance. My second novel is a contemporary romance. It surrounds a single rancher with his autistic son, the woman who helps him recognize this devastating neurological disorder and advocate for his son.

My third novel is a work of women’s fiction with paranormal elements that delves into the moral issues surrounding the world of BC Bud.

Now for the fun part! What’s on your zodiac for today?

“Try not to worry too much about whether or not you’re dealing with work issues properly – you should see later that you’re doing the right thing now. Others may not be so sure, though.”

I see that you live on Vancouver Island. Brainstorm with us for a moment: what kind of romance would you set there? Sweet/sexy contemporary or exciting romantic adventure or suspense?

My second novel, The Forgotten Child, is set on Vancouver Island, a heartwarming contemporary romance set on a ranch.

If you were a mixed drink, which would you be and why?

I would be a Baileys and coffee, intense like the coffee and smooth and creamy like the baileys, and after a sip or two all warm and fuzzy.

Who is your favorite romance hero of all time? HeroiItalicne?

Hero - Devil Cynster from Stephanie Laurens' Devil’s Bride
Heroine – Kathleen Hayley from Catherine Hart's Fire and Ice

What recent read has wowed you?

Death Angel by Linda Howard

What’s your favorite smell and what makes it significant?

Roses. They make me feel good.

And last but not least: if you found the end of the rainbow, what would you find if you had your way?

The Pot of Gold

Thanks again for making The Cozy Page a stop on your blog tour and having fun with us today, Lorhainne! I personally can’t wait to read The Captain’s Lady! Best of luck and wishing you many sales! To close, would you mind sharing a taste of The Captain’s Lady?

“We have no reports of a ship in distress in the area, Captain.”

“What about fishing boats?”

“No, sir, no reports.”

Looking once more at his first officer, Eric issued curt orders, the harshness grating in his
voice. “Send a rescue team to check it out.”

Handing the binoculars off to one of the crew members, he strode with determination off the
bridge, heading directly to the ship’s launch. His well-trained crew scurried about. Joe appeared at his side and they watched from the rail as the small rigid hull sped off in the direction of the
dinghy. His pulse rose and the dampness on his back soaked through his short-sleeved shirt.

“So what do you think?” Joe leaned on the rail, uncertainty clear in the crinkle of his brows.

“Don’t know, dammit.” Eric focused on the scene unfolding in the distance. Again he
commandeered the binoculars from Joe and scrutinized the three-man team approaching,
then securing the boat to the dinghy.

His senses were keen; over the years, he’d learned to trust them. The uneasiness that crept
its way into his gut, the hairs now standing up on the back of his neck and the racing of his heart;
this unshakable feeling was telling him that things were about to change—drastically.

Puzzled, he felt the mounting frustration build inside, along with something else he could not
quite put his finger on. Shaking his head, he realized it was not a feeling of dread.

The crackle of the radio interrupted his speculation. A voice from the rescue team came
over the line. “There’s someone in here, a woman, and she’s in bad shape.”
Comment to win the September issue of Cosmopolitan magazine!


Anonymous said...

Good characters--complicated which makes them interesting and easy to relate to.



I love the premise of this book and cannot wait until I read it. Good luck with the book.


Lorhainne Eckhart said...

I truly enjoyed writing this book, thank you for the positive feedback, I hope you will enjoy reading The Captain's Lady. And Thank you Amber for this interview.

Lorhainne Eckhart

Chiron said...

Great premise! Wonderful interview too. Bailey's and coffee. *grin*

Wishing you great success and many sales!!

--Chiron O'Keefe
The Write Soul: