Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bonded By Crimson

Today I want to welcome a special guest, author Zrinka Jelic. Saturday isn't usually a guest-post day for my blog, but I'm making an exception because it's the release day for her novel Bonded By Crimson. I've gotten to know Zrinka through the Black Opal Books author's discussion list, and she's a lovely person. I'm very excited that she's here, sharing some of the influences that went in to the creation of her new novel.

1. From the description of the story you sent me, I can tell you've pulled from Croatian traditions that give the book a unique feel. Can you talk a little about what influenced you as you developed the story? 

The story that was swiming in my head and the final prouct are two totally different things. My original plot wasn't catching on with my critique partners so I changed it and as I did, I remembred a tragic love story often compared to Romeo and Juliet. So I've got the idea to make my heroine obsessed with this story and she often imagined what would it be like if they were allowed to love eachother. What she didn't know was the couple continoued to live after their deaths, but centuries later another tragedy struck them and now the man is a widower and a single dad. This also opened a possibility for a prequel which I'm working on.It was challenging to write the descriptive passages in Croatia without making it read as if it's a travelogue. But my crit partners wanted me to describe it better, they said the readers would want to see it. But if I went into too much deail then I sounded as a page from a history book. So I had to think of how I viewed it while I lived there. Playing hide and seek on the remains of a accent Roman Forum, climbing the medeval defense walls, how to describe it to someone who never done it? But that was normal part of growing up for me. 

2. One of your key scenes involves a coffee reading. Have you ever had a coffee reading done?

Yes, I had it done and I've done it for others. This is such a part of our culture, something to pass time with. At first I faked it as everyone else did. Not every symbol have a meaning so it is ok to make something up. But it is not hard to learn the symbols and it is funny how different people will see different things. But it is creepy when someone who sees you for the first time can read your life from a tiny cup. 

3. Which authors do you like to read? Are there any that particularly inspire you? 

When I was in high school, I devoured Danielle Steel. But after a while, her books started to feel the same. Then I've got into anything with vampires. So Anne Rice was high on my list. Then I was into Highlanders and that is how I learned about RWA through Mary McCall. As you can see, I like to read any author, but for the past year I've been into Arthuro Perez Reverte and his Alatriste series. It's not a romance, but I always find romance in every book. A few inspired me but what I don't like is when I read enough of that particular author's work I just know what the next book is going to be likeBut many authors seem to get comfortable in their style and would not change. I like to expect the unexpected.

4. How do you juggle writing with all your other commitments?

I'm a staying at home mom so I have time in between house work and kids. My youngest napped at the wrong time, so I spent many late nights waiting for him to tire enough so I can put him to bed. It was in those quiet hours of the night, that ideas came to me. Thankfully, he's dropping those late afternoon naps and we make it to bed in a semi-decent hour. In the mean time, we got rid of cable TV. Kids weren't watching it and neither did I. You can't believe how much you can accomplish if you don't stare at the television every night. But I discovered I am an Internet junkie and I wasn't aware of this until one day the Internet was out. 

5. Living in Canada, what do you miss most about Croatia? 

The sea, I'm from the province of Dalmatia on the Adriatic Sea and my family is from island of Essa. You can take an islander from the island, but you can't take island from an islander. I miss the summers there spent on the beaches, and in the evenings met with the friends and sip cocktails till wee hours. I can't comare it to the cottage life here. The lake waters here are ice cold and murky. Mosquitos eat you alive as soon as you poke your nose out, it gets cold once sun goes down.It's not a summer if I have to pull a sweatshirt and socks on. 

6. Where would your dream romantic vacation take you? 

Anywhere where there are beaches (not sandy, can't stand sand in my bathing suit), stunning sunsets, crystal clear sea, endless sky, warm breezes playing with the trees

7. Cats or dogs? Which do you prefer?  

;) My favorite movie is Cats and Dogs, and I just love Mr. Tinkles. "Catz rule". So, definatevly cats, but I'm very alergic, so that leaves me with dogs. I can't stay around a cat for more than a few minutes even if I don't touch them. Once the itching starts it's time to leave. 

Bonded By Crimson
Love isn’t in the cards for Kate. After her short failed marriage she’s trying to rebuild her life and finds herself nursing the three lovely boys of Mr. Zrin. A man, whose idea of fatherhood is non-existent. Her efforts to bring the best out of this reluctant father are mysteriously supported by a being she cannot grasp. It takes a trip to her hometown in Croatia and an evening full of coffee-reading with her old friend to find out that there’s an earthbound spirit attached to Kate.

For the past six years, Matthias Zrin has been trying to follow his dead wife’s urging to change his ways and become the father she always wanted him to be. Not an easy task for a three centuries old immortal. His search for the ultimate nanny ends when Kate Rokov stumbles to his home and into his arms. The immediate attraction he feels for Kate sets him off. He isn’t prepared to let go of the love he harboured for one woman for over three hundred years. But when Kate offers him her loving smile, everything he clung to in the past begins to tumble and break down on him.  
Available from:
Black Opal Books
He claimed to be immortal, but that was ridiculous...wasn’t it?

Kate’s heart hammered. The experience seemed so real. A low moan escaped her and she bit her lip. Soon warmth surged through her, causing her body to go limp. Her legs gave way underneath her, but Matthias—or whoever this man claimed to be now—wrapped his arm around her waist. His sweet, musky scent clung to her. Ecstasy filled her and she felt as if she hovered in the air. If he intended to kill her like this, she could imagine no better way to die. A voice echoed through her mind, speaking of undying love in centuries old Croatian.
“Wake up,” he whispered close to her ear, his strong arms still locked around her.
“I don’t want to.” Her head wobbled, exuberant with sheer happiness, a kind she had never experienced before.
“You must.” He stroked her hair with tender fingers. “Wake up now.”
“No. I want to stay like this. Forever.” She focused on his handsome face staring at her through her haze.
His smooth cheek brushed against hers. “Me too, but you must wake.”
The fog lifted and his image appeared, clearly now. She blinked once. Twice. What had happened? She pushed away from him and flattened her back against the wall.
“You, you—”
“You,” he said, pointing at her, “asked for proof.”

Zrinka Jelic lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and two children. A member of the Romance Writers of America and its chapter Fantasy Futuristic &Paranormal, as well as Savvy Authors, she writes contemporary fiction—which leans toward the paranormal—and adds a pinch of history. Her characters come from all walks of life, and although she prefers red, romance comes in many colors. Given Jelic’s love for her native Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, her characters usually find themselves dealing with a fair amount of sunshine, but that’s about the only break they get. “Alas,” Jelic says, with a grin. “Some rain must fall in everyone’s life.”


  1. Great interview! Bonded by Crimson sounds awesome! Can't wait to read!

  2. Hi Zrinka and Liv. What an interesting interview. The excerpt was intriguing and I love paranormal stories.

    I've been to Venice twice and both times we went to the Lido and other beaches on the Adriatic sea. Absolutely gorgeous.

    Good luck and I can't wait to read it.

  3. Sounds interesting ~ Really drew me in!

    Great interview :)


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  5. Thanks Debbie, Leslie and Kim. I'm glad you liked the interview and the excerpt. And I'm sure you'll enjoy reading the book.

  6. Hi Zrinka and Liv,
    What an exciting story!
    Congratulations on your first book. I wish you much success. The story is fascinating!

    jj Keller