Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Under Her Spell -- A Visit with Eliza Daly

Today it's a pleasure to welcome one of my friends and '007 Golden Heart sisters, Eliza Daly, to Brant Flakes in celebration of her debut novel, UNDER HER SPELL! She’s going to tell us a little about her book, share a story excerpt and offer a fun giveaway: one commenter will win Godiva chocolates and another will get an e-copy of her debut story!! (Winners' names to be randomly selected by Eliza on Saturday, November 3rd and I'll post them here by Sunday the 4th.) But first...here’s a little bit about the author and her book:

Eliza Daly’s first attempt at creative writing was in fourth grade. She and her friends were huge Charlie’s Angels fans and she would sit in her bedroom at night writing scripts for them to act out at recess the following day. She was Kelly Garrett. Fast forward to the present, she’s still writing stories about beautiful women who always get their men. The journey from fourth grade script writer to published author wasn’t an easy one, but it was always an adventure and the final destination was well worth it.

When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home in Milwaukee working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband Mark, and her cats Quigley and Frankie. You can find Eliza on the web at Website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.  UNDER HER SPELL is available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble (coming soon) or iTunes .

About the book:
When a series of failed relationships and business ventures have Monica Jackson doubting her self-worth, she turns to spell casting to attract positive energy and the opportunities needed to achieve her goals.  But can Monica’s belief in spells restore her belief in herself? 

Monica creates a spell to find her soul mate, and one to ensure the success of her new romantic event planning company, Enhance Your Romance.  Monica is confident she has found her niche until divorce lawyer Reed Walker opens a practice next door to her office.  The anti-marriage slogan plastered on his office window, and his down-on-love clients, quickly prove detrimental to Monica’s business.  When his arrival appears to trigger a string of bad luck, Monica fears one of her spells sent negative energy into the universe and it has returned to her threefold.  Although Reed is beyond sexy, and she admires his self-confidence, she’ll do whatever it takes to get the universe back on her side, and Reed out of her life. No way is she losing another business.

Reed finds himself attracted to Monica’s beauty and her optimism. His job and his parents’ divorce have made him a pessimist, especially when it comes to love. However, he soon finds that Monica’s pro-love attitude is rubbing off on him, causing him to lose his edge.  If Reed doesn’t distance himself from Monica, he’ll likely destroy his reputation as a pit bull divorce lawyer.
Can Monica and Reed look past what they might be losing to realize the love they have found?

Happy Halloween! Thank you so much to my friend Marilyn Brant for having me here today and helping me celebrate the release of my first book. Halloween is the perfect time to talk about my new contemporary romance, Under Her Spell, which contains elements of spell casting. I can trace my curiosity in spell casting all the way back to the first movie I ever saw in the theater, Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The thought of my bed whisking me away to exotic places sounded really cool. Maybe that’s where I also got my love for travel.

Practical Magic, with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, has become one of my must-watch movies at Halloween. Their ancestor casts a spell cursing any man who falls in love with an Owens woman to an untimely death. Sandra Bullock’s dad dies when she’s young, and she’s convinced in the curse’s power. Not wanting her love to one day be some man’s death sentence, she creates a love spell listing qualities she believes could never exist in a man, so she’d never fall in love. If you’ve seen the movie, you know how well that spell worked for her.

However, a soul mate spell seems to work for the heroine Monica in my book Under Her Spell.  She casts a spell, which includes a letter to her soul mate describing qualities she does hope to find in a man. When divorce lawyer Reed Walker opens a practice next door to her office, he appears to possess all the qualities in her letter. Yet, the anti-marriage slogan plastered on his office window, and his down-on-love clients, quickly prove bad for Monica’s business. Monica fears the Dirtbag Spell she created sent negative energy into the universe and it has returned to her threefold.

I was reading my final galley for Under Her Spell a few days after watching Practical Magic and I found the book’s opening scene with the Dirtbag Spell playing through my head like a movie. My book hadn’t even been published and already I was casting roles for the movie. (It’s part of my creative visualization process.) In the scene, Monica’s cousin Hope wants to cast a spell on her cheating hubby. Monica is reluctant to send negative energy into the universe, yet initially she doesn’t believe Hope will cast the spell anyway. Here’s a brief excerpt.

Monica set down the bowl of salt and grabbed a pencil and pad of paper off her desk and handed them to Hope. “Write this down. It’s called,” she tapped a hot pink nail against her lip, “the dirtbag spell.”

“Like it already.” Hope jotted down the title as she perched on the edge of the bed’s purple floral comforter.

“Take one of Kyle’s socks, fill it with dirt, and add a photo of him. It’s critical you aren’t in the photo.” Monica paced, tightening the sash on her lavender silk robe. “Include something of his like…”

“His new Rolex?”

Personally, Monica would list the watch on eBay and pray for a bidding war. But Hope, no matter how ticked off, was too timid to sell Kyle’s precious watch, and too frugal to risk damaging it by mixing it with dirt.

“That’s fine. Sew up the sock and bury it in your front yard. It’ll warn all women he’s a dirtbag.”

Hope poised the pencil against her lower lip, reviewing the spell. “Don’t I have to say something when I bury it, like a chant?”

What happened to being spell ignorant?

“Bury it in the moonlight while saying…” Monica scrambled for a few rhyming lines, “moonlight, glowing bright, warn all women in your sight, the man who lives in this house, is a dirtbag and a total louse.”

“Perfect.” Hope sprang from the bed, looking inspired. “Kyle’s at work. I’m going over to the house right now to bury that sock.” She turned and marched out, a woman on a mission.

Monica nibbled nervously on her fingernail. Hope wouldn’t seriously go through with casting the spell, would she? A big part of spell casting was psychological, focusing all your energy on making something happen. Monica had never seen Hope look so determined, or vindictive. Hopefully, if she did cast the spell, the negative energy didn’t return threefold.

What was the worst that could happen?

Monica’s question is quickly answered with Reed’s arrival in the next scene.

Not that I’d have a lot of creative input if my book became a movie, but I picture Zoey Deschanel or Amanda Seyfried playing the quirky Monica. Rachel Bilson or Katie Holmes would look the part of Hope. Jake Gyllenhall would be a good fit for Reed, the down-on-love divorce lawyer. He’d fill out an Armani suit quite well. I’d considered Matthew Bomer, but he’d need to bulk up a bit and not sure if he has enough box office appeal yet in his career. The book is set in Milwaukee, which probably wouldn’t fly in a Hollywood movie, even though Bridesmaids was set there. I could picture it being set in San Francisco with all the book’s new age ideas. And I love San Francisco. They’d probably want it to take place at Halloween instead of in the summer, for promotional purposes. I’d need to add a few Halloween scenes, or likely they’d just have their screenwriter add the scenes. Hopefully the movie would still resemble my book in the end.

I once saw James Patterson speak and he mentioned being on the set for the filming of Kiss the Girls. He was surprised when a character appeared, who wasn’t in his book. So if James Patterson doesn’t have much creative input, I’m sure I wouldn’t. But will I really care? My book will be a movie and I’ll be on David Letterman promoting it. There’s that creative visualization at work again. Have you ever seen a movie that was a lot different than the book? If you can't think of one, then what's your favorite Halloween movie?

Thanks for stopping by today. Please check out the upcoming stops on my blog tour, October 22-November 26. I’ll be giving away a variety of gifts, such as e-books, writing journals, and Amazon or B&N gift certificates. If you comment on 5 or more of my 20 blog stops, and are a Facebook fan, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of two $25 Amazon or B&N gift certificates at the end of my blog tour. Winners will be announced on my website’s news page the end of November.
Thanks again for joining us, Eliza!! It was a treat to have you as a guest :). And to everyone visiting, don't forget to leave a comment in answer to Eliza's question about movies so you can be entered in the giveaway here. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!


Edie Ramer said...

Eliza, I love that dirtbag spell. lol Great rhyme, too. Good casting ideas, too. If was fun reading about your book.

Elle J Rossi said...

What a fun excerpt! And, yes, how cool would it be to have your book made into a movie? I can see you on the red carpet. Oh, I bet you'd request a purple carpet instead!

Sandra said...

And what a fun movie this will be! My favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus- I fell in love with it many years ago when my kids were young. There's that spell-casting theme!

Eliza Daly said...

Edie--I think everyone could us a "dirtbag" spell at some point in their lives.

Elle--Lol, yes, I'd prefer a purple or a fuchsia carpet. Hopefully I'll be such a big name they'll accommodate that request.

Sandra--I actually mentioned Hocus Pocus in my post but it was getting to wordy and I had to cut it. Love that quirky movie.

Thanks so much for stopping by today ladies and Happy Halloween!

Pamala Knight said...

I loved that excerpt! This sounds like a wonderful book! I wish there was a spell you could cast so that the movie deal would come about because I would be there on opening day.

Thanks to Eliza for the excellent interview and post, and thanks to Marilyn for hosting you.

Good luck with your blog tour!

Eliza Daly said...

Thanks so much Pamala! I wish I could cast a spell for a movie deal also, along with a few other things. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post. Happy Halloween!

jilliebeans said...

Now if only I had a sock from my horrid ex. I do have a t-shirt though. Do you have any tshirt spells? He really was evil...

Eliza Daly said...

Jill I think you could substitute a T-shirt for a sock. Just lay it out, drop dirt on the center of it along with a pic if you have it, and knot the sides together. Don't forget the chant. :-) Thanks for stopping by! Happy chanting and Halloween!

Marilyn Brant said...

Eliza, so thrilled to have you here so we can celebrate your debut!! Congrats, again ;).

Edie, I laughed at the dirtbag spell, too!

Elle, LOL! Wouldn't a purple carpet be fun?!

Sandra, I've never seen "Hocus Pocus" -- I can't believe it! I should finally watch it this fall...

Pamala, I think that's a spell that many of us would love :). Hugs to you, my friend.

Jill, sorry to hear about the evil ex...sigh. There are a couple of people I know who are deserving of that dirtbag spell, too.

Hope you're all having a great start to Halloween! Sending virtual candy miniatures your way today ;).

Ingeborg said...

I don't have a favorite Halloween movie, most of them are too scary, I'm a chicken when it comes to horror.

Shannon Ro said...

Hmmm....some movies where it seemed like they cut out the best parts of the book, but not entirely different. My favorite halloween show is “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. I don't do scary well

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Eliza Daly said...

Ingeborg--I go for the lighter Halloween movies also. I did the Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street flicks back in my youth.

Shannon--Oh man,I haven't seen "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" in years. I need to try to catch that next year. Do kids still watch it? I hope so. :-)

Thanks so much for stopping by ladies and Happy Halloween!

Robin Bielman said...

Hi Marilyn! Hi Eliza! Congratulations on your debut, Eliza! Under Her Spell sounds awesome. And I just have to tell you when I was young, my friends and I used to play Charlie's Angels all the time, running around the neighborhood, and I was always Kelly!

Best wishes and happy blogging!

Happy Halloween!

Eliza Daly said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog yesterday Marilyn. And thank you to everyone who popped by and commented. Had a great time and hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

Marilyn Brant said...

Ingeborg - I'm a total chicken when it comes to scary movies, too!! There are so many classic horror/Halloween films that I'm far to easily frightened to ever see...

Shannon - oh, yes! It's been a long time since I watched that particular Charlie Brown show, but it was very cute ;).

Robin - I'll bet you made an AWESOME "Kelly"!! xox

Eliza - the pleasure was mine! So glad you were here!!

Eliza Daly said...

Lol too funny Robin that you were Kelly also. But she was the best, smart and sexy. I just came across my Charlie's Angels scripts a few years ago while digging through a box of childhood stuff. Made me laugh. So glad I kept them. :-)

Thanks for the congrats and for popping by!

bn100 said...

Don't really read a book and watch the movie for the book, so don't know.


Marilyn Brant said...

Glad you took time to stop by!