(Episode 3)

by Elisabeth Naughton

Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.

Lacey Salt’s world shattered with the death of her brother, and now the usually sweet-tempered girl is determined to take back some control—even if that means sabotaging her best friend, Mallory, and Mallory’s new boyfriend, Luis.

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An Exclusive Interview With Elisabeth Naughton:

~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog

I loved your installment of the Rising Storm series, Crosswinds. I was struck by how seamless the transition was from one author to another. Was that a difficult task?

Not really. Julie Kenner and Dee Davis did an amazing job putting together the story bible for Rising Storm, and it was very easy to step into the world they created and pick up the characters. They also gave each author detailed outlines for their episodes, so all I really needed to do was read the episodes before mine to get a feel for the character traits, then incorporate those traits into the episode three outline I was working from.

As soon as I was done with CROSSWINDS, I couldn’t wait to see what the next author did with my story threads. The fun part about this project is seeing what each author does with the characters. Even though Julie and Dee are giving us specific turning points that have to happen in each episode, how the authors make those plot points happen is really up to them. So even though I may know what’s coming, it still feels like a fresh story when I read the subsequent episodes because the way the characters get to those points is really the exciting part of this series.

What did you think when Julie Kenner and Dee Davis approached you with this awesome and different project?

I was immediately excited to be a part of Rising Storm and flattered to be asked to work with such amazing authors. I truly love all the authors in this group and think they write incredible books. (Go buy them! They’re all awesome!) The hardest part in working with such a big group is always scheduling. We’re all on different deadlines. But Julie and Dee have been great about working with our timelines so we can all get our episodes done.

What were some of the soap-style shows you watched, or still do?

Oh man…I’m addicted to soap-style shows and have been since college when I used to schedule my classes around Days of Our Lives. My biggest addiction right now is Game of Thrones. I know the show is “technically” fantasy, not soap-opera, but it fits all the classic soap elements—romance, sex, scandal, secrets, lies, deception—it just happens to include other things such as dragons, magic, and zombie-like creatures.

Other soap-style shows I enjoy…X-Files (restarting in January!), and Friday Night Lights (when it was on—major teenage soap-opera.)

(Oh, and if you haven’t already figured it out…Netflix is awesome if you’re addicted to soap-style shows!)

How much fun was it coming up with some of the drama these characters have to deal with? (insert evil laugh)

Deliciously fun!

Honestly, I was a little worried when I read the CROSSWINDS outline and discovered that it centered on the teenagers of Storm. I’ve never written a book about teens. In fact, I purposely don’t write about teens because 1) I was a teacher for so long that I lived the teen drama on a daily basis, and 2) because I’m now the mother of teen children (so I’m living that teen drama way more up close and personal.) It’s odd how your perceptions change when you realize the characters you’re writing about could be your own kids.

Julie and Dee were great, however, when I expressed some concerns about the plot points in my episode, and they really let me be creative with the characters and their journey. After brainstorming out some ideas for how to get my characters to hit all those plot points Julie and Dee needed me to hit, I wound up writing CROSSWINDS in four days—probably the fastest I’ve ever written a book. I also totally fell in love with the characters and am dying to know what happens to them. (Julie and Dee…please be nice to my teenagers!) Will I write another book about teens outside of Rising Storm? I have no idea. But I can honestly say that this was the most fun I’ve had writing in a long time.


naughton-newsletterBefore topping multiple bestseller lists–including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal–Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A voracious reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time. Besides topping bestseller lists, her books have been nominated for some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the RITA® and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home.

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