Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Pen & Muse Romantic Short Story Contest Winner, Kerri Nelson!

Check out our Grand Prize Winner, Kerri Nelson.
She won the grand prize for the Short Story contest in
the published author category!
Contest Entry: The Saucy Celt
Check out her interview, excerpt, and be sure to watch out for her.
She will be up and coming, I'm sure of it!

Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!

I'm from the sunny south right smack dab in the middle of the Heart of Dixie. I'm an Alabama native but I've lived all over the world, including Japan! I was born an raised a true southern belle and have the art of eyelash batting and parasol twirling down to a science. While I have always been an avid reader, I didn't start writing professionally until high school. I was the high school correspondent for my local newspaper and had my own column back then. I haven't stopped writing since.

Finally, the fruits of my labor have paid off and my first book entitled "Miss Taken" will release from Whispers Publishing on March 13th.

When I'm not reading or writing, I'm spending time with my family who is extremely active. I share my home with my romance inspiring hubby and my 3 children. You can usually find me baking up sweet treats in the kitchen. Although, my hubby does most of the actual cooking.. Lucky me!

What inspires you to write? Do you find that your muse takes over when writing?

This may sound strange, but I usually get all my ideas for stories while in the bath tub or the shower. No joke! I came up with "Miss Taken" during a particularly delightful shower.

My muse can be a dream come true. She seems to like the steam from the shower, as I said, and she whispers to me while I'm sleeping too. I keep a notebook by the bedside just to jot down notes from my muse.

I'm totally a "pantser" when it comes to writing. As in, I write by the seat of my pants. I have a general idea of where the story is going but I'm never quite sure how I'm going to get there. So, I definitely think that my muse takes over when writing.

Tell us a bit about your story Saucy Celt? I absolutely loved Cian! I think you combined to of my favorites (Pizza and a hot guy!) What inspired to you to write it?

Thank you, Denisse. I'm glad you loved Cian. He was such a sweetheart to write about. The inspiration for "The Saucy Celt" came from the honeymoon trip that I took with my hubby to Ireland. When we met, I told him that I read and write romance and that I've always dreamed of visiting Ireland. So, he surprised me with a trip to the majestic green isle. It is truly a romance novel come to life.

We actually did get lost while trying to find a restaurant, late at night and ended up eating at a local pizza place. Although, to my husband's great relief, I didn't fall in love with the sexy Irish restaurant owner. :-)

Do you have any have any other works in progress that you want to share?

Well, I just completed my first paranormal romantic suspense entitled "Soul Searcher." I've submitted it to a publisher and entered it into a few competitions. We will see what happens.

In the meantime, I'm working on a historical time travel book set in the Regency era! I'm very excited about it. I can't stop picturing Colin Firth in my mind. He's so delish!

What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?

My advice is to write what you love. Don't try to write "cookie cutter" type projects. You've got to feel the stories in your heart. A piece of you has to come out in the story.

To test this theory, I have my husband read all my work. No one knows me better than he does. When he read "The Saucy Celt", he told me that he got a tear in his eye over the ending. Awe! Good enough endorsement for me!

By the way, I just got a request for the full manuscript of "The Saucy Celt" so please keep your fingers crossed for me. Hope you enjoy the excerpt.

What are your favorite books at the moment?

Right now, I'm reading the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse books because I fell in love with the television show Tru Blood. So, I'm going back and reading the entire series of books. Also, it was helpful to read that genre to get me in the right frame of mind for completing my paranormal book.

What is your favorite word? Least favorite?

Just one word? That's tough...

Favorite Word: Concupiscence
Least Favorite Word: Putrification

Excerpt from "The Saucy Celt":

He was standing behind the counter spreading flour over the wooden work surface where he made his pizza dough. He spread the fresh dough out on the floured surface and began to knead it with his hands.

He heard her shoes clicking on the red tile floor behind him as she returned from the bathroom.

“Wanna have a look at my magic dough making skills?” he asked and raised his eyebrows at her.

She giggled and he thought it was the most magical sound he’d ever heard. She walked toward him carefully so as not to slip on the tile in her black high heeled shoes. He looked down at her sexy heels and followed her long, shapely bare legs up to the black skirt that she wore.

“What are you all dressed up for?” he asked as he worked the dough between his fingers.

She was standing beside him now watching him work.

“Oh, I was supposed to be somewhere tonight but I got lost,” she admitted and he could see a little blush creeping up on her cheeks.

“Ah, well I’m glad you happened upon my door step then,” he said and he saw her bite her lower lip with her teeth.

He felt incredibly attracted to this woman and he didn’t even know her name.

“So, what’s your name then?” he asked as he kneaded the dough a few more times.

“Sasha Adams,” she said and then extended her hand for a hand shake.

He took her hand and shook it gently. Then she looked down at her sticky dough covered hand and laughed.

“Uh oh Sasha Adams, looks like you are going to have to help me make the pizza then,” he said and motioned for her to step closer to him.

“Is that right?” she asked in a flirtatious voice that both surprised and pleased him.

“Yup, its old Irish folklore that one who touches the dough must then make the pizza,” he said with a very serious tone to his voice.

She shook her head at him and her lips pouted out ever so slightly.

Ah, God, she was a beauty.

“Well, if we are going to be work mates then, what’s your name?” she asked and he could feel her tension ease completely away as she grew more confident.

“Cian Mahone, ma’am, and this business has been in my family for three generations,” he replied proudly.

“Wow, that’s just amazing,” she said and seemed genuinely impressed.

He smiled at her and took her arm to pull her closer to him. He positioned her in front of him and facing the work surface. He gently reached down and placed her hands on the mound of dough.

His body was pressed against her back as he leaned his mouth closer to her ear and said, “You just press here with your fingers and then squeeze…”


  1. Congratulations Kerri! I absolutely loved your excerpt. Good Luck on your forthcoming book and on the submission process for The Saucy Celt.

  2. I don't believe this particular technique for making pizza is in any of my cookbooks :-) Congratulations, Kerri! Best of luck with your sparkling writing!

  3. If I had known it could be done this way, I would have made my own pizza long ago!

  4. Ooh, I want to read more of The Saucy Celt!
    Kerri, Congratulations on the Grand Prize Win. And, of course, I'll be waiting for March 13 to come around.

    Strangely, I get ideas in the shower or bath also, but also while driving (which isn't so good) and while gardening, especially when I'm pulling weeds. I, too, keep a notebook and pen by my bed. I'm not very good, though at coming out of lucid dreaming to write things down. I forget some of it. But I'm working on it.

    I don't know that my muse has a name or an image, but perhaps that's the problem! I just get flashes---sort of like on t.v. when a character is remembering something. If I don't write it down, I forget. Maybe I need to give more 'form' to my Muse so that s/he can stay around a bit longer.

    Gotta go, I'm visiting family today.
    Have a great day :-)

  5. Thank you everyone for stopping by! Yes, as you can tell I loved the recipe she used to making dough for pizza!

  6. Thanks for all the compliments and kudos everybody! It was an honor to win and I'm really excited about this story because I love Ireland so very much.

    You've cracked me up with the pizza recipe comments. Do I know how to cook, or what? LOL