Wenrick, Christine: Guarding Poppy, Men of Brahm Hill, Book Two
by Christine Wenrick
AND FIVE STORIES OF THE MEN WHOSE LIVES WILL BE CHANGED BY IT.
Alec Lambert was born to lead. He’s a ruling Elder of The Brethren, possessing steely confidence, natural smarts, and decisive problem solving abilities . . . and he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Everything in his life has gone exactly according to plan—until the night of Brahm Hill. Alec loses his best friend at the hands of the uncle he trusted like a father, along with his previously unshakable faith to lead those with whom he’s charged. Despite this, he continues to press ahead, and for his next assignment he’s asked to protect a very beautiful but very clumsy Dhampir who’s being hunted by a powerful warlock. Suddenly, he finds his whole Brethren world is turned upside down . . . and he finds himself harboring a desire for her he can’t explain.
Poppy Honeywell knows she’s far from perfect. Bad things tend to happen when she’s around. She’s more than a little clumsy, with a phobia or two mixed in. Not to mention that her name is certainly unusual. But she doesn’t have time to worry about all that because she’s on the run and not about to back down from the arrogant Elder who’s just been assigned as her protector, claiming he has all the answers to her problems. The real problem, though, is . . . she’s irresistibly drawn to this man who faces constant danger and takes charge so naturally. But Poppy also sees that taking charge of others helps Alec mask his own very deep pain.
WILL ALEC FIND HIS WAY OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND SURRENDER TO HIS FEELINGS FOR POPPY BEFORE THE WARLOCK CHASING HER CATCHES UP TO THEM BOTH?
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“Why. Am. I. On. A. Plane?” Poppy emphasized each word as her hands gripped at the luxurious sofa arm beside her. But the modern jet seemed determined to bounce all of them out of their seats as the cabin continued to jostle about angrily. They were definitely in the middle of some mean turbulence, which was to be expected of anyone fool enough to be flying in a small plane in winter conditions.
“Because it’s the most efficient way to get someone across an ocean,” Alec answered. “We still have about an hour or so before we land. So you’re going to have to let me know if you’re going to panic on me.”
Her gaze narrowed on him angrily as she pushed her next breath through her nostrils. “Can I just hit you instead and we’ll call it even?!”
His brow lifted as if he found that comment interesting.
Poppy leapt to her feet inside the small cabin and she noticed Alec braced his hands against his chair arm as if to steady himself. Surely he didn’t think she was really going to hit him? “You’re not going to trip again, are you?” he asked her.
Poppy glared at him and then down at herself. She was looking for any reasonable explanation to defend the innate clumsiness he’d gotten to experience firsthand within the first minute of meeting her in Joseph’s study. “These are very challenging heels!”
Yep. That was the best she could come up with.
The Elder smiled. No, it was definitely more of a smirk. “I’m sure they are,” he replied. “Now, will you please sit down before you get bounced off your feet? The turbulence may get worse before it gets better.”
“Worse?” Poppy squeaked. She might very well end up back in his lap if this turbulence got any worse. She didn’t like to think of herself as a coward, but when it came to flying she definitely was, even more so than her irrational fear of spiders. They just had too many legs. “Look—you need to understand. I don’t fly! Ever . . .! You need to find a way to land this plane, right now!”
“I can’t do that. As I explained, we’re over a lake.”
“Well get un-over the lake!”
The Elder didn’t say anything in response, just seemed to contemplate that. He removed the reading glasses that were a dead giveaway that he was human, though, he looked fit enough to give even one of his Dhampir guards a run for their money. He’d certainly felt fit enough when she had crash-landed into his chest in Joseph’s study . . . which had been utterly embarrassing. One moment, she’d been fully prepared to burst in and make her case to Joseph about why she needed to stay at The Hallow, and the next, the tip of her shoe had caught on the carpet and she was flying forward straight into a complete stranger.
“In an effort to have us all on the ground safely as soon as possible, I do not recommend suddenly veering off course to get ‘un-over’ a lake. We will be starting our descent shortly.”
“Oh God, descent . . .,” she mumbled to herself as she rubbed her hands over her face. “This is not good. This is not good.”
“It will be all—”
“Where are we landing . . . Elder Lambert?” she added awkwardly, realizing they had not actually exchanged first names.
He returned his glasses to the bridge of his nose and went back to looking at his tablet. “You may call me Alec. I much prefer it to Elder Lambert. We’ll be landing in Alberta at The Oracle, The Brethren site I’m in charge of. After discussing it, Joseph and I felt this would be the best place for you to stay.”
“Well, isn’t that nice,” she answered him flippantly. “You discussed it. By any chance—in any of this heavy dialogue—did anyone consider asking me if I wanted to go to Canada?”
Alec just sighed in that ‘you’re going to cause me a lot of trouble, aren’t you’ sort of way.
It is my pleasure to feature Christine Wenrick, author of Guarding Poppy, on Room With Books. I know your time is in great demand during a tour and I appreciate you letting our readers get to know you better!
Please tell us about Guarding Poppy and what inspired you to write it?
Thanks for having me here today, Patricia!
Guarding Poppy is the second book in my Men of Brahm Hill series. The characters in this series are all dealing with the aftermath of one violent supernatural battle that actually ended my first series, The Charmed. This story in particular, our hero Alec must deal with the grief he feels after losing his best friend, and how that grief affects everything in his life, even meeting the right woman. I really wanted to write a story of a man dealing with grief, because I think our society expects men to not show as much emotion in these situations as women. But it has to affect them somehow. I thought that was a fascinating place to start a story.
When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?
I outline the story. I have the outline in my head for the series but when it’s time to write a specific story, I will write the plot points on index cards and lay them out on my tables for a few weeks, move them around periodically until I have the story progressing as I want. Then I sit down and write.
Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?
While writing them, yes. But it depends on the character. For instance, Celeste, who is a six century old bad-ass vampire from my first series that reader’s loved to hate, controls everything in her world. That’s how she survives. She would win any argument between us.
What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?
That I love Fantasy Football and have a secret wish to meet Matthew Berry so I could convince him to let me into his ESPN Man’s League.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
Jane Austen. I would love to be able to go back in time and just see how her literary mind worked. Does that sound creepy?
When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up and why?
An interior designer, which is my day job so that worked out well. Then by the time I was in high school I wanted to be a writer. If I set my mind to something and am passionate about it, I just do it. I’ve always been that way. So it seems fitting that now I am doing both.
When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
I always had interest in writing, but I really wasn’t serious about it until I had a very clear image of the final scene of my first novel, The Charmed, pop into my head. It was one of those things that was so vivid, I knew I was supposed to do something about it. I went out the next day and bought my writing laptop and pretty much haven’t stopped since.
What music inspires your writing?
Oh, all kinds from Top 40 to orchestral. I usually have a song or two that I play throughout the course of writing a novel that I connect to that book. Music help me see scenes and the characters, almost like a movie.
What is your favorite breakfast? Pancakes. Definitely, pancakes.
What is your favorite color? Red, although I love just about any color.
What is your favorite movie? I just can’t pick one. I have to do it by genres. A few are:
- Horror: The Shining
- Comedy: Office Space
- Romantic Comedy: Sleepless in Seattle (of course!)
- Cartoon: The Lion King
- Classic: Gone With the Wind
- Comic Book: Man of Steel (Hello Henry Cavill!)
What is your dream car? I had a silver Audi TT and I never should have turned it back in to the dealer. I loved that car! I’m sure I will own one again . . . but maybe this time I’ll get the convertible!
Thank you, Christine, for allowing Room With Books to be part of your book tour!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Christine is a graduate of Washington State University where she received a BA in Interior Design. And true to form of using mostly her ‘right brain’, she splits her time between her commercial design career and her imaginary world of writing. She lives in the scenic Pacific Northwest where she enjoys hiking, camping and photographing many of the wonderful places that served as inspiration for her writing. Her biggest reward in life is any given day when one of her books connects with a reader because she herself is such a lover of reading. Some of her favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Kimberly Derting.
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristineWenrickBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: @CWenrick https://twitter.com/CWenrick
One randomly chosen Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a runner up will receive autographed copies of Someone Else’s Skye and Guarding Poppy (US only).
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