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Beneath The Covers, Past
A Romance Column

An interview with Canadian romance author, Chris Grover

       This month I had the pleasure of chatting with Canadian romance author, Chris Grover. Chris has special reason to celebrate this Christmas with her paranormal holiday anthology, Enchanted Holidays, newly released by HardShell Word Factory.

ELAINE: You have an intriguing recipe for relaxation. Please tell our readers what it is.

CHRIS: It's really quite simple. Find a book that has equal parts of mystery, suspense and intrigue, add a little romance and an exotic European location, then pick up the cat, find a comfortable chair and put your feet up...


ELAINE: You’re quite the world traveler. How did you end up in Canada?

CHRIS: My husband and I were both born in England, and when he finished his stint with the RAF (British Royal Air Force), job opportunities in England at that time were very limited, so we decided to try life in Canada.


ELAINE: How have your travels and English and Canadian background inspired your stories?

CHRIS: Locations can sometimes suggest story ideas. For example, numerous trips to Paris, France gave me the idea for Without a Clue which revolves around an antiquarian diary that disappeared just before WWII and resurfaced some years later. And my English background plus a love of Las Vegas was the inspiration for my latest release Seeing is Believing .


ELAINE: You have two Persian cats and mention a cat in your recipe for relaxation. As a cat lover, do you ever feature cats in your stories? If so, which ones? Please tell us about them.

CHRIS: In Enchanted Hearts, a paranormal romance anthology just released by Hard Shell Word Factory, the heroine rescues a tiny black kitten from being frozen to death. Except Spiky is not quite the kitty he first appears to be... And in Seeing is Believing we meet Mr. Chivers, a ginger tomcat. Mr. C's former owners gave him to the neighbors when Liz Moretti bought their house, but Mr. C has other ideas about where he wants to live.


ELAINE: What are your most recent releases? Please tell us about WHERE’S MICHELLE.

CHRIS: My most recent release is Seeing is Believing in which Liz Moretti, an American-Italian woman from Las Vegas who is living and working in Britain, is arrested for murdering her business partner. This is the first book in a series involving Liz and her friends. Earlier this year, I had a short paranormal romance included in Flights of Mind, an anthology of sci fi and fantasy tales released by Mundania Press. In Where's Michelle, which was my first published book, the heroine takes her young daughter to Britain to meet her late husband's family--family she had no idea existed until after her husband died. She's really looking forward to meeting them--until her daughter suddenly disappears, she discovers the British police think she's involved in blackmailing a British politician, and the address and phone number given to her by her father-in-law don't exist.


ELAINE: I see you’re part of a holiday romance anthology. Did you enjoy working with an anthology group? Were there any particular challenges working with a large group on an anthology?

CHRIS: Enchanted Holidays, the paranormal romance anthology just relesed by Hard Shell, is the combined effort of six authors. For me it has been a wonderful experience that I hope to repeat with Enchanted Holidays Vol.2. The fact that we all like to write romance stories that contain elements of mystery, suspense and the paranormal has made working together very enjoyable and produced a fantastic book that we can all be justifiably proud of.


ELAINE: I see the anthology, Enchanted Holidays, is a seasonal and paranormal anthology. Please tell us the story behind this intriguing mixture.

CHRIS: I don't really know how it got started except that one of the contributing authors who is a long time online writer friend asked if I'd like to take part by writing one of the stories, and the rest, as they say, is history.


ELAINE: When did you begin to write? Have you always written mystery and suspense novels?

CHRIS: I started writing category type romance in 1984, then gradually expanded to include elements of mystery and suspense.


ELAINE: Have you always been a devoted fan of mystery and suspense? Why?

CHRIS: I've always loved reading mystery and suspense, probably because I love complicated puzzles.


ELAINE: I see you do a lot of research, especially into police procedures in foreign lands. Please tell us how you go about it.

CHRIS: For me, research is a very important aspect of writing. In fact, nothing will make me lose interest in a book quicker than one where it's clear the author hasn't bothered to check his/her facts and assumes the reader won't notice. Research does take time, but I’ve found that it's much easier to go direct to the source rather than ask around in the hope that someone will know. When I started Seeing is Believing, I contacted Scotland Yard who put me in touch with a CID detective with 30 years experience who was able to arrange for me to be shown around the prisoner facilities at High Wycombe and chat with the custody sergeant (not an easy thing to do in the UK). I probably drove the poor man crazy with all my questions, but at least I know I have all the technicalities right.


ELAINE: Please tell us about some of your works in progress.

CHRIS: Like most writers, I probably have more ideas than I'll ever find the time to turn into short stories never mind full length novels. But currently, I'm working on my next contribution for Enchanted Holidays No.2--this time it's a Christmas story set in Quebec's Laurentian Mountains. I've also started the next Liz Moretti mystery--Seeing Can be Deceiving. One of the main characters in this book has just been released from jail after serving a 20-year sentence. I've only made a couple of very brief visits to London in the past 20 years, so I went back in June and spent 3 days trying to put myself in my character's shoes and see the changes through his eyes. It was an amazing experience that I won't soon forget. I'm also working on a short erotica for a ghost series due out sometime next summer.


ELAINE: Please tell us about your publishers and how to log onto their websites.

CHRIS: My 3 full length books have all been published by Amber Quill Press
AQP has been in business just over 2 years now and is a great company to write for. Mundania Press who published Flights of Mind is another great company and quite new. Hard Shell Word Factory, the publisher of Enchanted Holidays, is one of the original e-publishers and has been in existence for quite a long time.


ELAINE: What is it like to live near Niagara Falls, Canada? What is it like during the Christmas holidays where you live?

CHRIS: Living near the Falls means we have to make like tour guides on occasion. The Falls is also the nearest border crossing for us to go over into the US.

For some people, I imagine Christmas in Canada conjures up visions of snow and ice and skiing etc. etc. and in many parts of this great country that's exactly how it is. However, where I live, across the border from Buffalo in a bend of Lake Ontario, our winters are often quite mild and a "green" Christmas is not unusual.


ELAINE: How do you normally celebrate the winter holidays?

CHRIS: Quietly, as a rule. We have friends who come over on Christmas Eve and sometimes we spend part of Christmas Day with them, but as long as dh and I are together with our kitties, Texas and Toby, that's all we really want.


ELAINE: Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers?

CHRIS: I hope they all have the best Christmas ever. I also hope they buy a copy of Enchanted Holidays for each of of their closest family and friends.


ELAINE: What is your website url?

CHRIS: --unfortunately, it desperately needs updating.


Enchanted Holidays
By Kim Cox, Elizabeth Delisi, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper
Maureen McMahon, Sheryl Hames Torres

Hard Shell Word Factory- 2004

ISBN: 0-7599-4716-3 - e-Book

Buy a Copy

Reviewed by Faith Smith, MyShelf.Com

   Enchanted Holidays is a wonderful collection of holiday stories. The six authors are all different but blend romance suspense and paranormal together for a mini-marathon of reading delight.

   In Kim Cox's "Haunted Hearts," Lana Malloy's first adventure into the private eye business is to solve the twenty-year-old murder of her aunt. The kicker is that her Aunt Lucy still resides in spirit form in Lana's home. Her aunt wants to find the real killer and set the record straight; she did not kill her fiancé. Time is running out, and the murder must be solved before midnight on Valentine's Day or Lucy will miss her chance to move to the next realm.

   "Mistletoe Medium" author Elizabeth Delisi's heroine, Lottie Baldwin, moves to North Dakota and finds the earthly and handsome sheriff Harkin Erikson, who singes her blood. She wonders why her psychic abilities didn't warn her about the law-enforcement officer. When a series of robberies take place and her home and life are threatened, she turns to the seductive Harkin. They combine forces to find the burglar, combat both their vindictive ex's, and hopefully discover love.

   Rianna Gordon takes possession of "Valentine's Inn" and finds Josh Byford, a rescuer of bedraggled kitties. He tries to convince her not to sell her inheritance, and his claim that she could run it herself keeps running through her mind. Could she make a go of the inn? After further consideration, she takes his advice and meets with an investor. The investor spins a strange tale: his father Josh Byford died in the fire that gutted the inn years before. Author Chris Grover combines ghosts, real estate ploys, and love in this unique story.

   In Elaine Hopper's "Curse of Osiris,"Alexis Hart must rely on a childhood love to save her from a demon-god. Prophecy decries that she will become the bride of Seth and she will be sacrificed so he can rule the world. It takes one dominating American male, Zane Ryan, to convince her that his love is true and that she belongs to him for all eternity. He proves this by battling a half-demon, half-human monster and hopes the battle for Alexis's heart will not be a battle to the death.

   "Ghosts of Auld Lang Syne"author Maureen McMahon takes us to a spooky mansion where journalist Stacy Christian joins forces with her friend Holly to find out who is haunting her new home. Together, they discover that a jilted ancestor needs to be released to rejoin her lost love. To make matters more explosive, someone is taking pot shots at the housewarming guests. When Peter Mansfield, Stacy's former lover, turns up, the peril she finds herself in is the danger of losing her heart, as well as her life.

   Sheryl Hames Torres paints a poignant picture of a heroine, Gemma McKinsey Fuller, who hates Christmas. The holiday had never brought her anything but grief and betrayal. A tragic accident during the yuletide seasons took the lives of her husband and child. It also left her without her hearing and with the ability to hear pain in others. When a little girl speaks to her mind, she gives both the child and her father refuge, only to discover that the man who threw her over for another love is the little girl's father.

2004 Past Columns

Chris Grover

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