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Love, in Writing

A romance by Elsa Winckler

cover of Love, in Writing by Elsa Winckler

A hardcore Science Fiction writer and a softhearted romance novelist clash on the sunny South African coast… Margaret Parker is a hopeless romantic whose fantasies fuel her writing. For Graham Connelly, science fiction is the perfect genre to express his cynical worldview. A chance meeting in a lift leaves them both interested and aroused — with no clue as to the other\’s identity.

Margaret has been looking for a face to match her new fictional hero — and Graham\’s is it. Graham has been looking for proof that innocence and optimism still exist — and he\’s found it in Margaret. But fantasy isn\’t reality, and both Margaret and Graham are used to controlling their fictional worlds. Can they step off the pages long enough to find their own happy-ever-after?

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Margaret gaped. His mouth was moving but it took a few minutes for her befuddled brain to process what he was saying. She was fascinated by his face, the movement of his lips, the taut skin of his cheeks. Her eyes couldn’t move away from him. He was really beautiful. What was he saying? Gradually, his questions penetrated her brain.

“What… Who are you? You must be mistaken. I was at a par—”

He nodded and put his hands into his pockets. “Is this how you’re going to play it? You’re going to pretend you don’t know who I am?” He was smiling, but it wasn’t a nice smile.

She had no idea what the man was talking about. All she knew was she had to get out of the elevator, and fast.

Margaret swallowed and shook her head. Breathing had become so difficult and for a minute, she worried she might faint. He was standing right in front of the door and she started to squeeze past him so she could get out as soon as the elevator stopped. He turned with her, his eyes never leaving hers. “Like I said, I don’t mind taking you up to my flat…” His voice dropped to a whisper. “You really do have the most amazing eyes.”

He walked closer, and she stepped back. And still he moved closer. She tried to step farther back, but was blocked by the side panel behind her. Their faces were about two centimeters apart. There were tiny flecks in his eyes. His musky male scent seeped through her entire being. She swallowed. He scowled but she didn’t feel threatened. His gaze dropped and a hiss escaped through his teeth.

Margaret looked down. The top of her lacy, red bra was clearly visible from this angle. Her eyes gaze flew back to his.

Leisurely, his gaze connected with hers again. The sudden flash of desire in his eyes robbed her of the last of her breath. As if in a trance, he lifted his hand and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. With a look of fierce concentration, he trailed his fingers down her cheek.

His eyes darkened; he cupped her face in his hand. Around them, the air sizzled with strange electricity. He had the palest of blue eyes, she thought. A sound penetrated her befuddled brain. It had come from her throat. His eyes mirrored the confusion she was experiencing. Then, as if stung, he dropped his hand and stepped back.

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Romances about writers hold a special place in my heart because…confession time, I met my long-time S.O. in a writers group. I was mainly writing fantasy at the time, and his thing was poetry, but the entire love-with-writing angle works for me no matter the genre/form combination. I loved how the writing became part of the relationship in this book. From unblocking writers block to influencing how the characters took action, love was in the air (and words).

Margaret and Graham’s arc was an interesting one to follow. There was a lot of tension and some truly lovely moments. They are very much opposites, and watching them work toward common ground was intriguing. I did feel a bit like they spun their wheels. They would hate each other, see the other, realize there were feelings, and then staunchly refuse to entertain any possibility, which brought everything back to the status quo. This happened several times, and I would have liked to see the characters grow in different ways. The leap from “this isn’t what I want” to “this is everything I want” felt kind of too big because the characters kept backtracking emotionally.

All in all, this is a lovely romance. There were points where I felt like the emotions were over-explained, but if you’re the type who loves big feelings, you may feel differently. I’d definitely read more from the author, whether the characters are writers or not.

An Interview With Elsa Winkler

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing while still at school but I’ve never really thought about making writing a career. I’ve always loved reading and whether it was because of the many hours reading or whether they’ve always been there, I’m not sure, but I became aware of voices in my head having endless conversations throughout the day! When I finally sat down to write what they were saying, it ended up being a story! So to answer your questions – the voices in my head 

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

Margaret Parker, the heroine in Love, in writing, has a bookshop called ‘Happy Ever After ‘ and all the books in her store have happy endings! I would love to sit there with a cup of tea and read one happy-ever-after after another 

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

She can’t think of anything else than Graham Connelly! And she doesn’t know why. He’s so not the kind of man she even likes so why can’t she stop thinking about his very sexy six-pack?

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Jen, the assistant in Margaret’s bookstore. The store is in Kommetjie and over the Summer holidays surfers flock to this beautiful seaside village because of the waves. And then they tend to end up in the bookstore where they browse through surfing magazines – half-dressed of course. I’m sure Jen would be able to elaborate on that 

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

I’d probably smile and ask him if he needs a hug. I’ve found most duels can be avoided with a smile and hug 

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Very dark thrillers. My head space is filled with stories with happy endings and kissing, I don’t think I’m wired to write about pain and psychos and killing. Murder she wrote is kinda of my threshold 

About Elsa Winkler

Elsa Winckler author image

Elsa has been reading love stories for as long as she can remember and when she ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during her English Honours studies, she was hooked for life.

She married her college boyfriend and soul mate and after 45 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 4 beautiful grandchildren, they are now fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty\’s Bay, South Africa.

She likes the heroines in her stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! Her stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

Find her online:
Facebook Profile
Author Facebook Page


Elsa Winckler will be awarding a copy of a short story to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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