Thursday, May 27, 2010

Everyone, say "HI" to A.Y. (Anne) Stratton!

Ms. Stratton will be giving a FREE ebook to the first five people to comment on this post! Good luck!

CJ: Hi, Anne! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us for a bit.

Hi, CJ. Thanks for hosting me. I love chatting about my debut romantic suspense novel.

Q: Well, obviously, your novel, “Buried Heart” is the main reason you’re here today. What can you tell us about this exciting new release?

Set in frigid Milwaukee and in a Mayan ruin smothered by the rain forest,
Buried Heart is a breathless race between greed and passion. It begins one winter night, while PR consultant Lauren Richmond hunts for her car in the university’s parking garage and winds up rescuing a man from muggers. The mysterious victim is Luis Hernandez, the notorious archeology professor, whose quest is to find an ancient document more valuable than gold. After Luis expresses his appreciation with a kiss, danger, death and desire explode around them.

Q: I think everyone, including me, wants to know more about the Main Characters in your novel. Can you give us a description of them?

In her early thirties, Lauren Richmond is blonde and slim from her daily three-mile runs. She is descended from generations of artists with broken marriages, a chain so old her artist parents called it “The Jinx.” Compulsively controlling, she keeps her life simple, remodeling the building she inherited from her grandfather, and making sure her clients produce grammatically perfect documents. Though she keeps her heart on ice, she secretly writes love stories. No way will she let herself be ruled by desire.

Dark, handsome, also in his early thirties, Luis Hernandez is a Mexican-American who grew up in Chicago. His interest in archeology bloomed during summer visits to his grandparents in Mexico. Though he is an enthusiastic teacher at the university, he lives for his annual semester at the university’s dig site not far from his ancestral village. His goal is to unlock the secret of the map he inherited and track down an ancient Mayan Codex.

Q: Do your characters have any fun habits or memorable flaws? Can you tell us a little about them?

Flaws, aren’t they the most interesting facets of a character? Lauren is too controlling of her emotions, too bossy, especially about other people’s grammar mistakes, and ultimately, too curious. Luis is na├»ve about people, too open, too easily attracted to women and oblivious of others’ feelings.

Q: What makes your characters unique? Why will we fall in love with them?

My brand, if you could call it that, is to concoct unlikely lovers and put them in dangerous situations. I particularly like to use dialog to make the reader feel as if she is eavesdropping as my characters fall in love. From the first meeting Luis and Lauren are lit up from inside, and it shows (I hope) as they talk. Neither one has met anyone like this before. They are opposites, and they are literally smitten. Lauren fights it, and of course, and Luis gives in immediately.

Q: I am a fan of memorable quotes. Do you have any favorites from “Buried Heart?”

My memorable quote from “Buried Heart” occurs when Luis visits Lauren under the guise of thanking her for rescuing him. Because he rudely kissed her that first night, she announces that he can’t come into her apartment until he promises not to kiss her again, which he does, with a laugh. After some chitchat Luis describes how the Conquistadors burned Mayan documents and that only a few have survived, and Lauren is obviously fascinated. She asks if he thinks there might be another Mayan codex somewhere. He answers, “I do.” And then he says, “Are you sure there’s no kissing here?”

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to write?

The stories that have always been in my head, that keep me awake at night, inspired me to write.

Q: Is there one particular thing you have to do in order to “get in the groove” before/during writing?

To get in the groove for writing each day, I need no interruptions, no music, no phone calls, no INTERNET--just me watching my characters getting into and out of bed and in and out of trouble.

Q: If you could be a fictional character for one day, who would you be? Why?

What fictional character would I be? Joan Wilder (played by Kathleen Turner) in Romancing the Stone.

Q: If your book were made into a movie, who would direct it?

Has Harrison Ford ever directed a movie? I think I’d need him, even if he doesn’t direct it, maybe he can just sit around. Or, better yet, Colin Firth…

Q: Ok, one last question before we let you go today, (Author Name). Finish this sentence in a way that best describes you: “People would be surprised to know that…”

People who know me are surprised that I write spicy romantic suspense stories. People who don’t know me well are surprised that I am a baseball nut who attends about 30 Milwaukee Brewers games a year.

CJ: I want to thank you, again, for visiting with us today, Anne. Before you go, I’m sure you want to give us a little excerpt of your novel and some links to where our readers can find out more about you and “Buried Heart”.

Available now at:

Here is the address for my web site and for the latest review (which is wonderful!):

Excerpt from “Buried Heart” by A. Y. Stratton

He rubbed his hands on his knees and his eyes sparkled. “The whole caper is an adventure I’ve dreamt of since my grandfather first told me there were temples hidden in the caves.” He grinned and touched her shoulder sending a jolt of heat down her arm. His smile was sweet.
“Break your date and have dinner with me. Let me pay you back for having the guts and the brains to do what you did.”
Guts and brains. God, the man was a schmoozer. Lauren felt her nipples stirring and hoped he couldn’t tell. “Sorry,” she said, and rose to her feet.
His eyes followed her and the crooked grin reappeared. “I’d like to see you again.” He stood and reached for her elbow.
She looked into his pleading eyes with those long lashes. “My boyfriend wouldn’t like that.” She had to stay away from those eyes.
“Boyfriend wouldn’t like it? Hmm. I’m wondering whether you’d like it.” His hand slid down her arm to her hand. “There’s some sort of connection here, wouldn’t you say?”
That was her opening. Right then and there, she should tell him she had no interest in him at all. She shook off his grasp and escaped to the hall. “Of course we’re connected. We shared a frightening experience, but that’s over now.” She reached for his jacket and held it out to him.
“I’m just glad you’re okay.”
In the tiny space, it wasn’t hard for him to crowd her until they were chest to chest. She took a step back.
He moved forward. “I believe in building friendships slowly like the craftsmen
who built this place.”
The words sent her into a panic, not because she had a clue what he meant, but because he so obviously was not about to leave. Anxious to jump to another subject, she said, “Did you figure out what those men were after last night?”
Luis took his jacket from her and slipped it on. “No.” His eyes narrowed and his lips parted in a slow smile.
“Did you call the police when you got home?”
He shook his head, his eyes steady on her lips. “My guess is the goons mistook me for someone else.” He said the words too quickly, as if he’d rehearsed them.
“What if they were trying to steal information about the codex? Have you thought of that?”
“They were just a couple of muggers.” He inched even closer. His breath touched her forehead.
“But you said they weren’t after money.”
“I said that?” He whispered. “Maybe they couldn’t wait until I got out my wallet.” He laughed softly and reached for her hand. “They’d have been really ticked off if they’d gotten my wallet.”
Lauren tried to wiggle out of his grip, but he held on. “This is serious, Luis.” She spoke loudly to break the crackle of sex in the air. “If the police knew how dangerous the parking garage was, don’t you think they’d put a patrol there?”
Hoping he’d finally let go of her hand, Lauren squeezed his fingers, but instead he put his other hand on top of hers. Lauren caught her breath as his hot fingers tickled her wrist. She wondered how those fingers would feel on her breasts.
“I’d like to read one of your novels,” he said softly. “I’ll bet you have quite an imagination. “
Her ears were buzzing so loudly, Lauren could barely hear him. “Thanks,” she whispered back, mesmerized by his eyes, by the scent of him. With her hand still trapped in his, she retreated until her back was against the closet door. Luis moved in quickly.
She meant to push him away, but his lips were so soft Lauren kissed him back, without thought, certainly without logic. His kiss flashed from sweet to hot. She matched his burst of passion, every nerve alert for his next move.
As if she’d thrown a match on gasoline, Luis’s body burned against hers. Fire spread wherever he touched her. His chest crushed the air from her lungs. His hands slid up to her neck. His fingers locked in her hair.
Lauren wanted those lips everywhere, Luis’s wonderful, fluid lips. His tongue teased and begged, and Lauren breathed him in, urgently, needing more of him, her body alive, her knees melting beneath her, the ache for him growing, overpowering her.
She wanted all of him. Right then. Right there.
Luis tore his mouth away still cupping her head between his hands. The tiny hallway seemed to lift off the earth. Luis whispered to her burning lips. “I want you.”
She wrapped her leg around his and pulled him against her. “Oh, God, I want you too.” She couldn’t believe the words had come from her mouth.


  1. Oh, your characters sound yummy. Romancing the stone was one of my favorites, also.
    Great interview,thanks for sharing a bit about your novels.

  2. C. J - Thanks so much for having the author interviews. It's nice to find new authors like A.Y.
    A. Y. - I enjoyed the excerpt. It sounds like a book I'd like and will check it out.

  3. Hi, Anne! Fellow rose and WisRWA here. Great interview! Have to read your book.

  4. I like the excerpt. The book sounds very interesting.

  5. Thanks, everybody, for your nice comments. I really like this web site. It makes me want to join all those characters and see what happens next. Since this is my debut novel, all this publicity stuff is very exciting.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Thanks to all you vistors for your great feedback and support!

    A.Y.~ You are more than welcome! It's been a pleasure having each and every author here and you were no exception!