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Monday 3 October 2016

ℚ The Congressman's Wife: The Congressman Trilogy [1] - Charlene Keel & Arie Pavlou

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Congressman's Wife (, Red Sky Presents, 226 pages), a Contemporary Romance / Political Suspense, book one of The Congressman Trilogy.

“The beautiful wife of a would-be congressman falls for a sexy chef in this steamy debut novel . . . A spicy outing that should feed readers’ hunger for romance.” –Kirkus Reviews

“. . . One of the best books I have read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-written romance that is also a thriller.”

Synopsis | Teaser | Authors Q&A | About the Authors | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Charlene Keel and Arie Pavlou; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Congressman's Wife?

"Char: It was my co-author, Arie, who came to me as a ghostwriting client. He had the characters and a basic plot but as a chef, the only experience he’d had was writing cookbooks. He brought me on board to put his ideas into a solid format and embellish them."
"Arie: I would have to say it’s all the famous, infamous and not-so-famous people I’ve met throughout my life, here in the U.S. and in my travels, including some politicians. Also the gossip and innuendo that abounds in the Hamptons, especially in summer."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Char: For me, it’s professional expertise, since the ideas that formed the foundation of the book were mostly Arie’s. In writing the character of Mitchell Bancroft, the smarmy politician in The Congressman’s Wife, we drew on our observations after watching political campaigns over the years, and in following the reports about the indiscretions and shenanigans of some of the players we’ve observed on the field. Readers will find more of my personality in book 2 (The Congressman’s Mistress). The heroine, Alice, grew up in similar circumstances, which is why I understand her needs and her motivations. She’s a supporting player in book 1 but comes fully into her own in book 2."
"Arie: Well, they say you should write about what you know. Most of the Kaleb character is based on my own experiences growing up in New York and Cyprus, and becoming a world traveler when I was a boy. For other characters, including Eden (who’s married to the congressman), I incorporated bits and pieces from all the interesting people I’ve met in my work and my travels."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Congressman's Wife - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Both: Jesse Sanchez is the amazing artist who designed our cover. We love the concept because with the view of the congressional dome in Washington, DC, it’s clear that it’s about politics. Also, the font looks like it would be on the cover of a secret government dossier. And we love the red background, which implies scandal. Jesse has designed award-winning covers for many top publishers."
Why should we read The Congressman's Wife and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Char: What makes it unique is that, unlike tabloid stories about senators, congressmen, even presidents who cheat on their spouses, The Congressman’s Wife is about a beautiful woman who cheats on her high-profile politician husband. "
"Arie: Readers who are looking for sheer entertainment and escape will enjoy this book, especially what Char calls, “the naughty bits.” There are some highly-charged love scenes."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Congressman's Wife, its story and characters?
"Both: What’s quirky about it is that Eden Bancroft, the heroine, is not your typical 18-year-old virgin. She’s married, with three children. By the time she starts to cheat on her ego-driven, abusive husband, we really don’t blame her at all."
Who would you recommend The Congressman's Wife to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Char: As Arie said, readers who want entertainment and escape will enjoy this story but they should be aware that there is a scene where the congressman rapes his wife, refusing to take no for an answer."
"Arie: Ditto."
If you could / wished to turn The Congressman's Wife and the The Congressman Trilogy series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Both: We’d like Charlize Theron as Eden, Joe Manganiello as Kaleb and James Franco as Congressman Mitchell Bancroft. For Delia, Mitchell’s domineering mother, we like Susan Sarandon or Judith Light."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Char: I love exploring different genres. Recently I discovered I like writing for young adults. I pitched an idea to HCI Books, along with J. Gabriel Gates. They bought it and we wrote The Tracks Trilogy (Dark Territory, Ghost Crown and Shadow Train). Now I’m intrigued by political stories and blended genre books like Lost Treasures of the Heart, which I wrote with Charles Alexander. Red Sky Presents is releasing it in October."
"Arie: Since this is my first attempt at fiction, I’ll stick to the romance/political suspense genre for now (except for my cookbooks)."
What is your writing process?
"Char: When I work with a co-author, it starts with a lot of communication, in person, on the phone and vast amounts of emails, to get the story pretty much set before we begin the actual writing. I like to outline my books, at least roughly, but nothing is set in stone. Sometimes the characters insist on doing things I hadn’t envisioned. When I write alone, I pretty much go into hibernation. The characters and plot become my reality and I don’t like it when real reality intrudes."
"Arie: I’m still getting used to the process. For now, I throw all my ideas at Char and she puts them in order and embellishes them."
What is in store next?
"Both: The Congressman’s Wife is the first book in The Congressman Trilogy. Next will be The Congressman’s Mistress, and the series will end with The Congressman’s Executioner."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Char: I have two adorable, spoiled dogs—a Pekingese and a Chihuahua, who always look concerned when I aim my phone at them."
That sounds about right; look concerned or walk straight at the camera! That's what my little monsters do :-)
"Arie: The dog in The Congressman’s Wife is based on my dog Temme, a German short hair I named for Artemis, goddess of the hunt."
Love it - and she fits the profile:-)

Thank you both for sharing those pictures with us, and lots of cuddles to all four fur-babies!

I hope you are having a great tour and look forward to seeing you back for book two!

The Congressman's Wife
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for such a delightful interview, and for letting us tell your followers about The Congressman's Wife. Co-author Arie Pavlou and I love the graphics on this, also. Kudos to your designer. My two puppy pals are very excited to see their photos online (like they don't already get enough attention). Thanks again!
Charlene Keel

CJ said...

This was an awesome and in-depth interview! Almost all of my usual questions were already asked! LOL. Definitely something for my TBR list. Thank you for sharing with all of us! :)

Unknown said...

This is sensational! Well drafted; well presented, and you should be very pleased with it. Hopefully it will get the audience it deserves.

Rita Wray said...

I liked the interview.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - thanks for sharing the photos of your beautiful fur-babies!

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nikolina - Thanks for reading the interview. Chef Arie and I had fun doing it.

Anonymous said...

My co-author Arie and I really had fun with the interview. I hope you enjoy the book!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your good thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Rita. We liked it, too. BooksChatter asked great questions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nikolina - Arie and I are having a blast with this blog tour.