Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Make Stress a Thing of the Past with Guest Blogger: Grace Elliot

Welcome historical romance author Grace Elliot to the Book Boost today!

Here's what she had to say about making your stress a thing of the past...

April is stress awareness month and so it seemed only right to share with you my secret to stress relief.

I lead a double life. I am a veterinarian by day and author of historical romance by night. Now odd as it sounds, the two things are perfect partners because reading and writing romance, is my secret to unwinding after a stressful day at work.

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a vet. Horse obsessed as a little girl, through sheer stubborn determination I worked hard at school, got the grades University and studied to become a veterinarian.

So where is the stress in doing what I always dreamed of?

I work in a village surgery and have known most of the patients for many years… and that’s the rub. As they age, grow sick and have to be put to sleep, its like having little pieces of your heart ripped out on a daily basis. On top of that, there is the emotional responsibility of easing the grief of bereft owners, and often standing helplessly by as grown men break down in tears. Once, I had a prize winning boxer, a great hulk of a man, sob inconsolably over the loss of his cat…you glimpse a vulnerability in people’s eyes that is truly humbling…and a great weight of responsibility to carry on your shoulders.

In the past, there were times when I struggled to cope…until that it is, I discovered historical romance!

OK, so it’s a bit of a contrast, but that’s the beauty of it. First reading, and now writing the genre, has kept me sane. After an exhausting day, I’ve learned the knack of immersing myself in romantic characters and escaping to their world of satins and silks, of blackmail and peril, where men rode stallions and a woman with opinions was considered dangerous. I love manipulating this world, reeking havoc with the tidy order of society, and placing twists and turns on the path of true love…and much, much more.

So if you haven’t already discovered the delights of historical romance, what have you to lose? Who knows, it might do for you what its done for me, and become your secret to stress relief.

A Note from the Book Boost: Grace, I think the work you do with animals is commendable. I don't know that I could handle the emotions that go along with the sad times. But I do believe that you've been given a gift and thanks for sharing your story with us today. Please tell us more about your book!


Celeste Armitage has a plan…and that plan doesn’t include marriage.

After deliberately humiliating a suitor, Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country. But once there she discovers a sketch book of daring nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the thought of him…

Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a fa├žade. Only he can save the Charing’s from disgrace as a blackmailer seeks to ruin his late brother’s reputation. But just as Ranulf dares to open his heart to Celeste, the fury of his nemesis is unleashed… facing him with the stark choice between true love and family duty. However when Celeste guesses the truth behind his rejection, Ranulf underestimates her resolve to clear his name and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….


So be it. Ranulf gritted his teeth as he grasped the leading leg and pushed. It was like fighting against a brick wall, the calf barely moving. A lamb was difficult enough, how much more so a calf? Just as he was wondering if one man was strong enough, a shower of pebbles rattled down the bank. Concentrating on the calf, he barked.

“Don?t just stand there. Get down here!”

“I beg your pardon!” A woman?s voice answered.

With a flash of annoyance Ranulf glanced upward.

A wide eyed young woman in a straw bonnet peered down. “I say, is everything all right?”

“Does it look all right?” Muttering under his breath, all he needed was some sensitive Miss fainting on him. “Go! Fetch help from the house.”

He saw her hesitate, biting her top lip. “But you need help now.”

A contraction clamped around his arm as the cow's tail switched across his face, stinging his eyes like a cat-o-nine-tails.

In a flurry of muslin and lace the Miss slid down the bank, landing with a thud in the ditch.

“Ouch.” She rubbed her ankle. Ranulf glared back, dark eyes flashing.

“You should have gone to the house.” Damn it all, she could make herself useful then. “Hold the tail aside.”

Pulling a face she limped over. Ranulf's eye lingered for she merited a second glance. Of middle height with a tidy waist and curves where God intended them, she appeared quick witted and bright eyed. Without further ado, she stripped off her gloves throwing them onto a bramble bush. Long, sensitive fingers grasped the muddy tail. Practical, Ranulf thought, silently impressed.

“Why didn't you go for help?”

“There wasn't time.” Her bonnet slipped backwards, revealing a quirky face with a pointed chin, her lips finely drawn with an arched cupid's bow. The sort of face an artist could lose himself in, all shades of the sea to be found in deep emerald eyes framed by a tangle of chestnut hair.

Ranulf tightened his grasp and pushed. Sweat beading his brow. The calf retreated an inch.

“What are you doing?” Her voice was gentle and calm, if somewhat deep for a woman. Ranulf guessed it would be husky in bed, whispering over a pillow after a night of passion. Her eyes were on him - deep green eyes, lively and entrancing. Suddenly he remembered that he was undressed to the waist, her curious gaze on his skin as he was gripped by the idea of those lily white hands gliding over his naked chest, her almond shaped nails digging into his skin. He shook away the thought, trying to remember her question.

All innocence and interest she watched, blushing faintly in a charming way and yet, he realized, no wilting flower. He shook his head. The woman had asked a question, damn it. He would answer.

“The calf is breech.” He grunted, “I need to push her back into the womb to turn her…” He wanted to shock this stranger, to test how bold she truly was. She stared back, biting her top lip, exaggerating her snub nose.

“Ah!” Her gaze met his.

“Think of the calf as a carriage in a narrow driveway. To turn it around you push it back into the stable yard…”

“What can I do to help?”

“Nothing.” He growled.

Throwing him an angry look, she anchored the tail with a log and scrambled round to the beast's head. After a moment?s thought, she placed her pelisse under the cow's head stroking the broad nose and crooning words of comfort.

“She's relaxing.” Ranulf's arm was numb from the contractions. He fell forward, as the first leg finally slid back into the womb. "That helps." His hair had come free from the ribbon, falling thickly about his shoulders. He glanced at the Miss. She was leaning forward, her bosom straining against a tight bodice, a satisfying cleavage between her breasts. He swallowed hard. She was odd looking, he decided, not exactly beautiful but eye catching none the less. Her face showed character, determination…and her complexion too healthy to be fashionable, rosy cheeked and peppered with freckles which with a hint of sunlight burst into a profusion.

The Miss was glaring at him now, her skin glowing bright pink. Had he been staring? His heart raced as he returned to the calving.

Want More Grace?

Visit her website here: www.graceelliot.webs.com
And her blog here: http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com

Pick up your copy of her book today. Click here!

1 comment:

Pippa Elliott said...

A big thank you to the Book Boost for hosting me today, and thank you for the kind comments x

On a different note, A Dead Man's Debt' has an awesome new cover which is just about to go live.The new cover is red, white and black...so dont be alarmed if it looks different from the current book cover, it's the same page turning read inside!
Grace x