Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Phyllis Campbell: Historicals are my favorite genre, and I hope you'll see why when reading my October 6, 2009 release, SPANISH EYES. While writing this story, I had one particular actor in mind. I've been a huge fan of Antonio Banderas, and since he's the perfect hero... Need I say more? I wanted a hero who was sinfully handsome, and who could charm a rattlesnake with just a wink of his eye. My hero has fulfilled my desires, and I hope he satisfies yours.
Here is the blurb - Lady's man Anton Carrera is smitten with Rebecca from the very beginning. He wants nothing more than to seduce the stiff Miss Wakefield, until he learns she's investigating him for a crime he didn't commit.
Rebecca is innocent and na?ve; convinced Anton is the villain her superiors have painted him. But her over-zealous determination places both of them in danger and he is forced to play the honorable rogue.
Sweeping her away to Padre Island off the coast of Spain seemed like a clever idea at the time. But how can he protect them both from his uncle's murderous games when Anton's heart falls victim to a woman as full of independence as she is desire.
Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Phyllis Campbell: I'm an award-winning, multi-published, and best-selling author with Bookstrand Publishing, Champagne Books, The Wild Rose Press, and Carnal Passions. Most of my reviewers have given me the title of "Queen Of Sexual Tension". Married with kids (and three grandchildren), I have lived in Utah all of my life and enjoy family activities when I'm not writing my next sensual story.
Tammie King of NOR: If you could be one of the characters from this book - Who would you be? And why?
Phyllis Campbell: Oh, I'd definitely be Rebecca - my heroine. My hero is soooo yummy, I'd want him to charm me all the time. Anton, my hero, is so sensual, so loving and caring... (dreamy sigh) Any woman would want him!
Tammie King of NOR: Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc?
Phyllis Campbell: Before I started writing SPANISH EYES, I was watching a lot of Antonio Banderas movies. He is such a great actor! I reallized that I had not written a story about a Latin Lover... So that is how this book was created. While writing, the 1960's song by Engelbert Humperdinck kept playing through my mind - "Blue Spanish Eyes...prettiest eyes in all of Mexico..." Even though the song is about a Spanish woman, I still thought the title fit my story because of this line - "Say you and your Spanish Eyes will wait for me."
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
You bet! Here is an excerpt -
As Anton adjusted himself on the seat, he growled softly. How could he get these images to leave? Especially when her jasmine scent lingered in the air, teasing him, tempting his every thought.
He blew out a gush of air and opened his eyes. Her wide, luminous gaze rested upon him, but she quickly turned her head. The glimpse of interest he detected in her expression didn't lie. Why did she fight her feelings? Damn it, she was just as attracted to him as he was to her, so why couldn't she admit it?
In a way, she had confessed her feelings. She'd said his singing had hypnotized her at the opera. An idea rooted in his mind, making him straighten in his seat. Maybe he'd change his seduction tactics a bit.
He moistened his throat and prepared to sing one of the Spanish love songs he'd performed in the opera. To begin, he hummed the tune. Her head turned slowly in his direction, her expression guarded, but she remained silent. When he started singing, he kept the volume low, knowing the rider following would not be able to hear. He detected a hint of question in her wide eyes, but she didn't speak.
As he sang the Italian aria, he held her gaze prisoner. He put all of his feelings into the song as he tried caressing her with each word. His mind drifted to the place where men couldn't hunt him and where he could be free...and where one special woman wanted to love the real Antonio. Once again, music soothed his soul.
Soon, her expression softened into a smile, and her body relaxed. Eyelids drooping, the lines of her forehead smoothed out. The song came to a low finish. To the corner of her eye, she touched a finger, removing a tear.
He moved from his seat and sat next to her, putting his arm across her shoulders once again. With tender care, he took her hand and kissed her fingertips. "Would you like me to sing you another song?"
Her smile widened. "If you don't mind."
Keeping her hand in his, he began singing. Moisture collected in her eyes. Because she'd seen the opera every day for two weeks, he was certain she knew this song well. Emotion gathered in his chest, causing it to ache. She remained quiet as he sang, and just as before, he put feeling into his words. Tears fell down her cheeks, but this time she didn't stop them.
When he finished, his heart swelled. "I take it you remember that song," he whispered.
"That was the last song you sang to your true love before your character died. Every night when I sat in my box seat and watched you sing, I cried at that point." She hiccupped. "In fact, I don't think I was the only one. Everyone in the audience had been affected."
He swiped a tear from her cheek with his thumb. "You must have a very passionate nature to cry so easily."
"No, just when I go to sentimental operas."
"I will try not to make you cry ever again."
She smiled. "If you continue to sing to me like that, you'll break your promise."
His chest tightened, and he wanted her more now than before. It wasn't very often he witnessed a woman so affected by his performance, especially one that made him want to curl up like a kitten and long to have her stroke him with a loving touch.
"I am afraid you have tempted me to break another promise given to you." He leaned closer and brushed his lips against hers. "Because I want to kiss you so much right now, it hurts." He placed a brief kiss on her tender lips. "Seeing you like this has made me insane with wanting. Your presence has controlled my every thought and action, and I feel as if I could sing to you forever."
He kissed her again. This time she welcomed his mouth by opening hers. His heart cheered with victory, yet the emotion was a different kind of triumph than before. Instead of just seducing her for the thrill of conquering, his feelings ran deeper. He wanted to please her and teach her how to please him. He wanted to hold her in his arms and enjoy her body...not just one night, but several.
He wanted her to know the real Antonio.
He dropped his hand against her breast and covered her fullness. Gently, he squeezed. She groaned, arching and pressing into him for more. He wanted to give her more. So much more.
The coach jerked to a stop, bringing him back to awareness. In silence, he cursed his wandering thoughts. He must be insane to feel this way about a woman who didn't trust him...and whom he had a difficult time trusting himself.
Rebecca pulled away and looked out the window. She let out a heavy sigh. "We're home. M? casa es su casa."
Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next?
Phyllis Campbell: Well...I just signed with an agent, so hopefully my ghost story - Waitng For You - will be the next story released. If not, I have another book with Bookstrand Publishing, my historical western, Queen Of Hearts which was previously published. I'm also trying to find a home for my Regency, my historical paranormal, and my pirate story. I'm just a busy lady, aren't I? heeheee
Tammie King of NOR: What would you like to tell your readers?
Phyllis Campbell: I want to thank you all for your wonderful words of encouragement. I had one particular reader keep pushing me to write my ghost story when I'd mentioned it one day during an author day chat. If not for her, I may not have finished my ghost story. So you see, my readers are very important to me, and I'd love to hear from you.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Phyllis Campbell: I belong to a couple, in fact. I wouldn't be where I am today if not for the wonderful groups I've been with. I'm with a historical group right now that is helping me so much. I don't know what I'd do without them. I have never thought of critique groups as a hindrance. In fact, I encourage new writers to join one - or two. My groups are priceless!
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Definitely! This is an excerpt from my ghost story - Waiting For You (the one with the agent)...
"Excuse me if I'm intruding."
Another feminine voice broke his concentration. He spun around and faced his unknown visitor. A woman rose from one of the two brown leather chairs in front of his desk. Confused Nick glanced from the woman to the closed office door and back again. When had she arrived? Embarrassment poured over him as he realized she must have been in the office when he'd arrived with Vanessa. Thank the Lord he hadn't complied with Vanessa's wishes to christen the room.
Nick did a double take as his gaze slid the length of the woman. She definitely wasn't someone displayed in a style magazine. Instead it looked as though she'd stepped off the set of an early 1900's motion picture.
The woman smoothed a hand down the side of her ankle-length cream-colored dress decorated with too much lace for his tastes. It contoured her body nicely, yet beyond the point of modesty. Her brown hair was swept up beneath a flat hat decorated with three outlandish pink flowers. White-laced gloves encased her hands-the women he knew only wore gloves when it was freezing outside or if attending an elegant social function. Even her proper posture spoke of an old-time society dame. Yet her smooth, young face told him she wasn't old at all. Probably in her early twenties.
Lifting her chin, the oddly dressed young lady cleared her throat and stepped closer. "Forgive me for interrupting."
Despite the musical lilt to her voice, the trace of British intonation brought to mind the high-and-mighty aristocrats he'd rubbed elbows with at his last firm. With quick fingers, he straightened his tie and came forward.
"Uh, no, Ma'am. You didn't interrupt anything important. I'm sorry you had to witness that...umm, display just now."
Her lips remained stretched in a thin line, color darkening her cheeks. "Are you Mr. Nicholas Marshal?"
He maintained a professional smile, but after what she'd caught him doing, it was hard to keep embarrassment from burning through his body. Maybe Vanessa had set out to sabotage his first day in a new town after all. Well, he'd be damned if he let his former girlfriend ruin this for him. It amazed him the strange woman hadn't commented further on his inappropriate behavior. "Yes, I'm Nick."
Solicitor? Who used that term anymore? "I'm a lawyer, yes.
And you are..." She took another step toward him. "I'm Abigail Carlisle."
He sauntered closer, but when her eyes widened and face paled, he stopped. Maybe she was claustrophobic or had a fear of getting too close to people. Of course she would. She'd probably be afraid they'd ruin her vintage looking outfit. "Nice to meet you, Miss Carlisle. Are you seeking my services?"
Her brilliant green eyes flashed, and color crept into her face as a blush dotted her cheeks. "I'm seeking your professional...I...I mean, your services as a solicitor."
He grinned over what he supposed she'd misinterpreted. Damn that Vanessa! He motioned toward the chair. "Please, then, have a seat." Straightening his suit jacket, he walked around the desk to his chair. "I want to apologize again for that scene a few minutes ago. She was an unexpected visitor."
"No need to explain, Mr. Marshal." The woman arched an eyebrow. "I understand perfectly."
As she sat, he slid his chair closer to the desk. In silence he berating himself for not seeing her when he'd entered the room. Perhaps he was not as immune to Vanessa's distractions as he'd hoped.
"I'm surprised I didn't see you. I can't remember passing you in the hall."
Her expression remained solemn. Unwittingly his gaze fell to the delicate shape of her mouth. Mind out of the gutter, Nick. He looked back to her eyes.
"Going unnoticed is something I have become accustomed to as of late, sir."
Unnoticed? Not dressed like that! Once more he took in Miss Carlisle's garb. The woman would stand out in any crowd.
"What can I do for you, Miss...or is it Mrs. Carlisle?"
"I'm not married."
"Then Miss Carlisle it is." Her stiff, aloof behavior pricked his curiosity. In an attempt to draw her out, he flashed his most charming smile. She did not so much as bat an eyelash in return. It stung his ego just a bit, women usually melted beneath that smile.
She repositioned herself on her seat, pulling her shoulders back primly as she faced him. "I have searched for you for a long time. You are the only person who can help me."
The urgency in her tone made him pause it was in total contradiction to her outward, ice queen, appearance. Just the same, what an odd thing to say. "Really? Why do you think I'm the only person who can help?"
"I don't think, Mr. Marshal. I know."
He cocked a skeptical brow. "How do you know?"
A flash of hesitation, or perhaps embarrassment, skirted across her face in a subtle gesture. "My maternal grandmother was a-" Miss Carlisle paused to draw a short breath. "-A gypsy. She told me one day I would find the man with the initials N.M. and he'd be the one who could help me."
Nick should have been amused at the absurdity of her story, but just the same he was intrigued. His eyes narrowed. Disturbing tingles crawled up his back, the sort of sixth sense sensation one experienced while walking through a cemetery in the pitch dark of night or after a scary movie. Nick he shook off the feeling. Gypsy's, please, he'd never believed in fortune-tellers or that sort of hocus-pocus. "So how do you know N. M. is me?"
Finally, a smile touched her mouth. "Because you are speaking to me right now."
He shook his head in overt confusion. "I'm afraid I don't quite understand, Miss Carlisle."
She closed her eyes as though in pain. "I knew explaining my situation," she spoke the words carefully, as though testing its meaning, "would be difficult, but I find myself at quite a loss for how to clarify myself."
"Please try, Miss Carlisle, because I'm quite confused. Why exactly do you need an attorn-er, a solicitor? And why do you believe I am the man your grandmother spoke of?" More to the point, why the hell are you dressed like someone aboard the Titanic? The last bit would have to wait until he ascertained her reason for seeking him out. He could be patient when necessary.
The pattern of her breathing quickened as a touch of trepidation touched her stony expression. "Mr. Marshal, the reason I know you're the man who can help is because you...can..." She cleared her throat. "You can actually see me."
He held in a laugh at the absurdly obvious statement. "Of course I can see you. You're sitting right in front of me."
"True, but your lady friend could not."
He chuckled, hoping to ease the delicate topic, and in silence damned Vanessa again. "I don't think my friend was paying much attention at the time." He flipped his hand. "I do apologize for that. Vanessa can be a little self-absorbed."
"No, you don't understand. The reason she couldn't see me is because...well..." Huge liquid eyes locked on his with something akin to fear shadowing their depths. It brought about a surge of protectiveness he was not entirely used to experiencing.
"I'm a ghost," she ended in a whisper.
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I have many. lol Website - www.phyllismariecampbell.com
Email - email@example.com
Newsletter - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PhyllisCampbell
My Space - http://www.myspace.com/phyllismariecampbell
Tammie King of NOR: When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
Phyllis Campbell: I had been writing for a good six years, only letting friends read it. I finally decided this wasn't a hobby any longer, and that I should see if I could get my stories published. It was my friends at work who encouraged me to take the big step, and I'm so glad I did. I met a woman who'd been studying how to write women's fiction. She'd been studying for six years at this point. She became my tutor, and she taught me a lot. From there I joined online critique groups, and the rest is history...
Tammie King of NOR: Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Phyllis Campbell: First and foremost, my heroes have to have these qualities: charm, sex appeal, and humor. They also have to be muscular and gorgeous. lol They are caring, understanding, and will walk an old lady across the street if given a chance. heehee Humor plays a lot in my stories, and this helps me to develop my heroes into those men I adore!
Thank you for this opportunity!