I'm delighted to have the lovely Elsa Winckler here today, chatting to me about her new release 'Touched to the heart'. The book sounds very interesting - fit cyclist who also happens to be a tycoon, who can resist? And isn't that cover just gorgeous?
Touched to the heart
Discover beautiful South Africa in this sweet, heart-warming Cinderella story about a blogger, a billionaire, and one chance meeting.
When it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn't have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on. While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers — hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms. Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart. They've both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.
- Have you ever been out with a hotel tycoon, like Don?! If not, what made you pick that as his career?
No, I’ve never been out with a tycoon, hotel or otherwise. I wanted the hero to be filthy rich, one who was never sure whether a woman liked him or his money.
- Can you tell us a bit more about Hermanus, in South Africa and why you used it as the setting for your book?
Hermanus is a beautiful sea village about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. When I was a student, my boyfriend’s (now husband) parents had a beach house there so I’ve always had a soft spot for the place. It has changed much over the years, from a little fisherman’s village to a playground for the rich and famous. Caitlin, the heroine has her physiotherapist rooms there and Don has inherited a house from his uncle.
- If you had a choice where would you choose to live, and why?
I live exactly where I’ve always dreamed of living – in Betty’s Bay. It’s another little seaside village, but much more rustic than Hermanus. Here are no shopping malls for instance, just long beaches, a beautiful mountain, a botanical garden and wind – gale force winds in winter J
- What comes first when you write a story?
It differs, I find. But usually, I get an idea and then decide on the characters. I like to give some background of the characters, so that the reader understands why the character behaves as she or he does.
- Can you name five characteristics we’re likely to find in your heroes, and same for heroines?
I like my heroes to be assertive but gentle, firm but loving, self-assured, except when it comes to understanding the heroine, he must be brave, honourable and above all, caring. And after he meets the heroine, no other woman will do – he is forever faithful.
The heroines in my stories are sassy, feisty, independent (financially and emotionally), brave, smart, funny, and defiant.
- What’s your idea of a perfect day?
The rare occasions when all our kids are around a table for a long, drawn-out dinner.
- Can you tell us anything about your next book?
I also publish in Afrikaans and have two stories coming out in September. At the moment I’m working on what I hope will be the next story of the Cavallo brothers – Dale’s story.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would be your next choice of career?
I’ve done many different things in my life – I started out as a primary school teacher, managed a clothing shop, somewhere along the way I studied again, taught again an ended my ‘other’ career as an administrator. At the moment I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than write.
And before you run off, can you share a little excerpt?
‘Where’s your girlfriend?’ Was the first thing that popped out of her mouth. Caitlin nearly groaned out load. She looked away and unlocked her car. ‘Sorry, none of my business,’ she mumbled and opened the door.
‘She’s just a friend.’
‘Did you enjoy your date?’ she asked.
He shook his head. ‘I was watching you the whole night.’
Stunned, she swallowed.
‘And you? Did you have a nice time?’ he asked.
‘I…’ At a complete loss for words, she frantically tried to think of a word, any word. Nothing came to mind. She shook her head. He’d been watching her all night?
He stepped around so that the car door was between them. Her hands were resting lightly on the door.
‘Thought so.’ His smile was devastating. ‘I’d like to take you out, Caitlin.’
‘As in a date?’ she asked, still stunned.
‘Yes, Caitlin, as in a date.’ He touched her cheek. ‘There is something here,’ he said and motioned with his hand between them.
She didn’t move, just stared at him. Was he really asking her out on a date?
‘I don’t know what it is, but it’s keeping me awake at night. Let’s try a date and see how we like it. Friday around seven?’ he asked. ‘I’ll pick you up and we’ll have dinner.’
Caitlin stared at him for another minute before she was sure she could string a few words together. ‘Don, you…me…’ She shook her head and grimaced. ‘We live in two completely different worlds, we have nothing in common. You are…you, the papers are full of your businesses. I’m a physiotherapist from Hermanus. I don’t think —’
‘Then don’t. Think, that is.’ He smiled. ‘You do know that you can’t believe everything you read in the papers. And I happen to like this physiotherapist from Hermanus.’
She looked at him a moment longer. This was so not what she should be doing. Hannah’s warning and her own misgivings about him swirled around in her head.
His eyes never left hers.
She was a big girl. And if she prepared herself for the worst, then surely she’d be fine.
‘Where? I’ll meet you —’
‘I’ll pick you up,’ he said and lowered his head.
‘You don’t know where I live and I always drive myself,’ she managed just before his lips touched hers lightly.
Here's where you can grab a copy of the book –
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/377-2282561-6073300?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=9780857991676
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=9780857991676
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9780857991676
Thanks for stopping by and sharing Elsa, the book sounds great. Good luck with it!
About Elsa Winckler -
I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.
I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!
I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.
Where can your readers find you?
Personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elsa.winckler
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElsaWincklerRomanceAuthor?ref_type=bookmark
Twitter: https://twitter.com/elsawinckler @elsawinckler