Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Promo- Emma Lai

Welcome, Emma Lai.

Emma likes nothing more than a challenge. First,she tackled the male-dominated field of engineering. Next, she expanded her understanding of the world by studying international relations. Finally, her husband dared her to use her experience and knowledge and devote herself to writing. She accepted his challenge and has been writing ever since.

Writing keeps Emma sane. Her characters demand their stories be told and nag her incessantly until she complies. The characters are very insistent about her remaining faithful to their individual adventures. As a result, Emma writes a range of genres and levels of heat. She never knows what the next set of characters will demand!

Readers can find her at her website: and her blog:

How does a degree in engineering help you write a book?

Generally speaking, my engineering degree taught me discipline and patience. Both are crucial to be a good writer. Since I work at home, discipline is needed to make sure my butt is in the chair and typing away at the keyboard instead of doing any number of other enticing things. Patience is needed to make sure my characters develop fully. It's so tempting to just shoot a story off once it's finished, but stories need more time. They need polish, critiquing and editing.

Specifically speaking, I pursued my Electrical Engineering degree with a handful of other women. When I started looking for a job, I went where the money was. When you live in Houston, TX, this means oil and gas, specifically a large service company. The industry has always been male dominated with a healthy dose of chauvinism. My first day at work I had one engineer ask me if my daddy put me up to this…meaning a career in engineering. For the entire five years I was with the company, one engineer outright refused to speak to me…even if we were supposed to work together. However, as with the bad, there is good as well. My manager did an excellent job of helping me grow professionally. I took the remembered frustrations, grouchy characters, and silent support of the few and used them in His Ship, Her Fantasy. My hope is the reader will see Ellie’s strength and understand her quiet determination. She is a part of me.

What about the dark paranormal intrigues you to write in that genre?

I've long been a fan of science fiction and fantasy thanks to my father. We used to spend the weekends watching Star Trek and monster movies. Honestly, I believe people are traveling through space and monsters do exist, just not in our reality. So, I write their stories. It's a continual challenge. In each story, I try to do something a little unusual, whether it be pushing the boundaries with a character or twisting a scene to make it surreal or be surprising. I like to pull my readers into the story and then keep them there wanting more.

What do you have in the works?

This question always stumps me. I literally have a dozen or more stories started at any given time. Currently I'm focusing on finishing a contemporary romance. I also have Book 3 in the Mates of the Guardians series almost completed. It's the story of Eallair, who is in my most recent release, His Hope, Her Salvation. I always intended the Mates of the Guardians to be a series of short stories showing how the Guardians met their mates. However, in the course of telling their stories, a sinister plot developed in the background. It has inspired another series I hope to make into full length books. Currently, there are four separate stories, and they are developing at their own pace. I don't foresee any of them being completed in the foreseeable future, but maybe within the next couple of years. I also have a romantic suspense I'm working on. Since I've never tried my hand at the genre, it's rather slow going.

Those are the stories I'm actively working on, but I also have a young adult sci-fi/fantasy I want to get back to. You could call it my pet project. I'm in love with the world and the heroine. I plan on a trilogy. Then there are probably another half dozen stories I've got on the back burners. I've forgotten most of their plots, but occasionally, I'll go read through them and add some more thoughts or polish what's there. I never know when I'll be inspired to finish one of them.

His Hope, Her Salvation - now available from The Wild Rose Press

Promised in marriage to an abusive oaf, Judith resolves to find out if there can be passion without love. Snatches of conversation overheard at the local inn lead her to a mysterious American merchant who might be able to satisfy her carnal curiosity and capture her heart.

Donovan, a Guardian Hunter, is on the trail of a rogue Elysian in Georgian England. As the son of the First Hunter, he long ago gave up hope of finding his heart's mate. When Judith appears in his study, his inner beast and his heart demand he answer her plea for help.

Will their passion answer their hearts' pleas, or will it wither under the threat of reality?


The voices in the taproom of the Horse and Hound deafened us as we entered. A large group of men stood packed together in the center of the room. A roar ripped through the crowd as it surged inward.

I shoved my way through the mass of sweaty bodies with Eallair following in my wake. I stopped when confronted with the scene that held the crowd enthralled.

A large, older, well-dressed gentleman gripped my mysterious guest from earlier by an elbow. He shook her and yelled, “You little whore!” He raised a hand and slapped her across the face with his open palm.

The crowd cheered as she collapsed to her knees, her shoulder wrenched as the hand on her elbow restrained her from crumbling into a heap on the floor.

The dead look in her eyes and the lack of any outward emotion testified to the regularity of similar scenes she must have suffered. With a bellow of rage, I swooped forward and scooped her to her feet just as the old man raised his hand to strike her again. Placing my body between them, I snarled, “Release her.”


Emma Lai said...

Thanks for having me over, Paty! I'll be giving away a $10 TWRP gift certificate to one lucky commenter who posts before 10:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve.

I just read my first review for HIS HOPE, HER SALVATION. Check it out at

Happy Holidays!

Beth Caudill said...

Hey Emma. Yeah Engineering certainty has a lot of issues with men. I was in Aerospace Engineering for most of my college career and one of the Chinese teachers was not the most pleasant of men. Most of the profs were great but this one was not....and I hated the subject he taught (electronics) so it wasn't a fun time.

One nice thing about eventually switching majors was not feeling the contest need to challenge every person I met. I'm not really a competitive person and feeling that constant need to prove yourself was a huge weight.

Even working in the computer industry, I never felt that same weight. Yeah, it was still mainly guy dominated but they respected what you had to say.

Congrats on the release.

P.L. Parker said...

I love Science Fiction. Friday nights at my house are SciFi channel night. I'm already toying with the basics for a SciFi idea for my next adventure. Good luck with sales.

Cate Masters said...

Woo hoo, congrats on the great review, Emma! "Brilliant" - wow. Well deserved.
And kudos for your tenacity. Definitely a needed trait in a writer!
Have a wonderful holiday!

Emma Lai said...

Having worked in both engineering and IT, I know where you're coming from Beth. The guys in IT tend to be more buddy buddy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Patsy! Good luck with your story!

Sarah Simas said...

HI Emma!!

Congrats on HHHS release and review!! I'm going to head over and check out your review next. :)

My degree is based in the Agricultural world (Dairy Science.) You want another example of the "Good Old Boys Club"- there you have it! It's hard to be a female and try to compete in that arena. Seriously! At the plant I worked at, it was probably 75% male! Sheesh! That's a lot of testosterone! (and stinky men!)

I knew when the time came to have kids, I'd have to stay home or get another job because I would be expected to work as many hours as I did before! And having a new born and working 50-60hrs would NOT be fun for anyone involved. (mainly me! LOL) If I ever go back to plant life, I'd have to be ready to adopt the "plant first" mentality. There is no flexibilty of schedule in a man's land. LOL They have wives who take care of their needs!! I don't and can only imagine what my house would look like w/o me there to clean it! LOL

Emma Lai said...

LOL, Sarah! I used to listen to the guys complain about how they worked hard all day and then went home and their houses weren't clean. What were their wives doing all day? Well, let's see. Feeding the kids, running errands, after school activities, cooking dinner, etc. Or worse, they'd complain because their wife would want them to look after the kids while she *gasp* took a shower! Heaven forbid the wife get a shower! Luckily, though my husband is an engineer, he loves being a dad and takes the baby as soon as he walks in the door so I can get my shower! :)

Viola Estrella said...

Hi Emma and Paty!
Congrats on the great review, Emma!! Loved your excerpt too. It drew me in and made me want to read more.

Happy Holidays!!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Viola! Happy Holidays!

Paty Jager said...

Great Review, Emma! I always enjoy having fellow TWRP authors at my blog.

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Paty! I was super happy when I got the Google Alert.

J K Maze said...

Yours is a fascinating story. Not only has your past contributed to story ideas, I imagine there's creativity in engineering. I too like the paranormal and work on more than one story at a time. I'm putting yours on my list of "to buy.


Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Joan. My husband and I have discussed how engineering is actually quite a creative field...especially if you're in design.

Cari Quinn said...

Congratulations on your release and your review, Emma! And I hear you on always having a lot of projects - I probably have 5-10 WIPs at any given time. :)

Happy Holidays, Emma and Paty!

Emma Lai said...

Thank, Cari! 2010 resolution is to whittle away at the wips and get some more submissions.

Marie Tuhart said...

Congrats on the review and release, Emma. I don't know how you do it, have so many WIP's going at one time. If I have 2 going at once I go crazy.


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Emma,
Great excerpt. My you are a busy lady with all those on-going projects and a newish mum as well. We should call you super woman. All the best for the festive season. Hope your little man enjoys his first Christmas.

Emma Lai said...

Marie, I never claimed to be sane! :)

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Margaret! I never feel as if I'm doing enough though!

Emma Lai said...

Congratulations, Viola! You won the $10 TWRP gift certificate. Please send me an

Viola Estrella said...

Woot!! Thanks, Emma!!