Monday, April 21, 2014

[Author Interview] Poplar Place by Ellen Butler

Title – Poplar Place
Genre – Women’s Fiction, with romance & suspense
Publisher – Turquoise Morning Press
Release Date – March 27
ISBN # 978-1-62237-274-4

Buy Links – 

Newly minted librarian, Cara Baker, effectively cuts ties with her tumultuous life in Pittsburgh, and moves to South Carolina where she embraces the peaceful, laid-back style of small town living. Everything seems to be falling into place when Cara finds the perfect house to round out her new plans. Well… perfect except for the immovable hermit living on the top floor. She throws caution to the wind, and buys the fabulous house—hermit and all—without meeting him. By wooing her reclusive renter with notes and mouthwatering meals, he caves and invites her up to the apartment. Preconceived notions are blown out of the water, when she finds Danny isn’t the nerdy Mr. Mole she envisioned.

Unfortunately, FBI phone calls from her past bring Cara’s summer idle to an abrupt halt. Will demons from a former life destroy Cara’s tranquility?

Ellen Butler lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, and she considers herself an old-new writer. In other words, she’s old to writing, new to novel writing. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy, and her history includes a long list of writing and editing for dry but illuminating professional newsletters, and windy papers on public policy. The leap to novel writing was simply a creative outlet for Ellen’s over active and romantic imagination to run wild.

You can find Ellen’s debut release, Second Chance Christmas, at Amazon. Professionally, she belongs to the Virginia Writer’s Club, the Northern Virginia Writer’s Club, and is a founding member of the Tempting Romance blog. When she’s not writing, Ellen is either, running around after her children, decorating a neighbor’s house, or holed up in her favorite lounge chair reading. Ellen is an admitted chocoholic and confesses to a penchant for shoe shopping. Book club questions for Ellen’s novels can be found on her website.


I just wanted to thank the hostesses of Flirting with Romance for having me. I enjoy reaching out to new readers and am excited to share my new novel Poplar Place with them. It’s what I like to call a Women’s Fiction with a Chick Lit style flair, and is a fun book to take with you on your spring break or summer vacation. Before we get into all that, I’ve answered a few of the ladies’ probing questions.

What’s your favorite body part of the opposite sex?
I would have to say the eyes. There is something intriguing when you stare into the eyes of the one you love. So much information can be gleaned just looking into his eyes – laughter, anger, hurt, joy. The eyes are indeed the windows to our souls.

Hey, baby! What’s your sign?
I’m a Gemini, the sign of the Twin. It’s a fluid sign, and I will admit to having a distinct public vs. private persona. (Some might call it bipolar)

How did you meet your significant other?
My sister introduced us via email. So, that’s how our relationship started, electronically (so 21st Century). We began chatting back and forth over email until my husband finally worked up the nerve to call me. The rest is history.
Every so often my sister holds out her hand and requests her matchmaking fee. I tell her she can have it on our 50th Anniversary…just to make sure the marriage took.

What’s your idea of a perfect date?
I live in the Washington, DC area, and I absolutely love when spring arrives. The trees are blooming, the sun is out and there’s no humidity in the air. A perfect date would happen on one of these beautiful seventy degree days, with a picnic on the National Mall overlooking the Lincoln Memorial.

If you could take a romantic trip, where would it be?
Italy. It’s on my bucket list to take a driving trip through Tuscany, Italy. I want to stay in wonderful old villas that serve the best Italian meals you could find and drink all the local wine. And, while I’m there, I’ll visit Rome. See the marvelous ruins, as well as stopover at the Vatican, and maybe take a selfie with the Pope!

Flirting Quickies: 

Boxers or Briefs?

Facial hair or clean shaven?
Clean shaven

White wine or red?

Vanilla or chocolate?
Chocolate, of course!

Sleep in or get up early?
Sleep in!!

Laptop or desktop?
Laptop. I like to be mobile.
Winter or summer?

Cat or dog?

City or Country?

Backpacking or luxury hotel?
Luxury hotel! I don’t like to camp because I don’t like nature. It freaks me out.

Christmas or Halloween?

Poplar Place Excerpt

I resigned myself to returning the FBI phone calls. I couldn’t put it off any longer. Both Bryant and Hutchins had left phone messages again yesterday, and their persistence made me nervous. Rolling out of bed, I shuffled downstairs to start the coffee, my liquid courage. I drank half a cup and dialed. Hutchins didn’t answer. I braced myself and dialed Special Agent Bryant.
“It’s Cara Baker.”
“Listen, I have some news. The U.S. Marshals have lost contact with Tony Rizolli.”
I paused to digest this.
“You must be joking! How the hell did that happen?”
“His tracking anklet was cut, and he disappeared.”
“Do they think he’s been whacked?”
“They’re not sure.”
“Why are you calling me? You do realize I no longer work for the DA’s office.”
“Yes, we know that.”
Exasperated I asked, “Then why are you calling to tell me this? Not much I can do.”
“I’m concerned about your safety. Tony bore a lot of hostility toward you.”
“The FBI’s concerned, or you’re concerned?”
“I’m concerned.” He stated matter-of-factly.
“What does the FBI think?”
“The FBI thinks there’s a leak in the Marshals’ office and Rizolli’s six feet under.”
“Why does Tony have so much animosity toward me? He walked into a shiny new life provided by the American taxpayers.”
“The money.”
I took a moment, rubbing a hand across my eyes. “What does he know?”
“We’re not sure. I think one of the pencil pushers at the Marshals’ office told him about the Cayman accounts during relocation. There was very little legitimate money he could take into the program. He wasn’t happy about it.”
I sucked in a breath. “Agent Bryant….”
“Call me Tom.”
“Tom, what exactly are you worried about?”
“If Rizolli isn’t sleeping with the fish, he’s a loose cannon. I don’t trust him. You may be in danger.”
“And you need to watch your back. Call me or Hutchins if you see anything suspicious. I mean anything out of the ordinary. If you see a strange car in the neighborhood, get the plates and call me.”
“I’ll take that under advisement, Agent Bryant. What about Denise?”
“She’s covered. I’ve called in some favors.”

“Fine. Please let me know if anything new develops.”

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