Thursday, July 05, 2012

Setting the Scene..with Elle Kennedy plus giveaway

Romantic Suspense author Elle Kennedy sets the scene for her latest book Feeling Hot and offers a copy of Hot and Bothered to one lucky commentator.

Know what my favourite part of being a writer is (aside from being able to work in my pajamas, that is):  Research.  Primary research, in particular.  And when you’re conducting some primary research on your setting, what else are you supposed to do but get on a plane and visit the place you’re going to be writing about?

This past winter I was fortunate enough to visit Coronado and San Diego, California, which are where my Out of Uniform books are set.  Feeling Hot, the latest (and full-length) OOU story, takes place in both of these amazingly gorgeous places, but I’m going to focus on Coronado today, because honestly, it was probably one of the nicest places I’ve ever been.

Best thing about this village?  Everything is pretty much within walking distance, which really helped me out because I chose not to rent a car while I was there.

So I spent five days wandering around, exploring this idyllic little town, trying to picture my hero, Cash McCoy, in Coronado and figure out what I wanted him to be doing.

The second I walked on the beach, I pictured my hot, hunky Navy man working out on this sand.  Jogging, swimming, doing all that fun manly stuff that would make all the female tourists drool if they had the luxury of watching him.  I also got a chance to walk down to the Navy base, which was pretty darn cool, and really helped me get a better sense of the setting.

Next thing on the agenda was finding a bar for Cash and his buddies to frequent.  My favourite place in Coronado?  McP’s.  I met so many fun (and knowledgeable) military characters there, and the navy paraphernalia all over the place was downright inspiring.

When I’m on vacation (and by myself, to boot), I don’t like walking around or going to bars/restaurants alone, but on this research trip, I did both those things.

The streets of Coronado were so quaint and pretty that I was out walking every day, exploring every inch of the town.  I think I went into every shop, restaurant, and bar I saw.  I also think a lot of the townsfolk thought I was kinda weird—in their defense, I was this strange Canadian chick who strode up to them and initiated random conversations.  Yes, my parents warned me about stranger danger, but I like meeting new people, okay?  Don’t judge me!

In the morning, I’d sit out on a patio, eat a yummy breakfast, and plot out what I was going to do with Cash McCoy.  I pretty much plotted all of Feeling Hot in Coronado, while also working on edits for my romantic suspense release, Midnight Rescue.  So yes, it definitely was a working vacation, but who wouldn’t want to work in such a beautiful place?

All in all, I got a lot of good material during this trip.  Information about the SEALs, military life, the general setting, and I took a ton of pictures that I could use as references when I got home.  When I wrote Feeling Hot, I was able to really know the setting, because I’d already experienced it.

Anyway, that’s just a little glimpse into my latest research trip.  Hope you enjoyed it!

And to celebrate the August release of FEELING HOT (Out of Uniform #7), I’ll be giving away a copy of HOT AND BOTHERED, a print anthology that features the first three Out of Uniform stories.

All you have to do is give me some recommendations about where I should set future books.  So, what’s your favourite place on earth and why?  One commenter will win a copy of Hot and Bothered, so be sure to leave a comment!

And thanks to the amazing Pink Heart Society for letting me ramble on about my vacation today J  ---Elle
To learn more about Elle and her romantic suspense books visit


  1. I can think of several favorite being Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Not only is it an interesting town to visit and wander around but you are also close to two national parks but there are also ski resorts and the National Museum of Wildlife Art. There is also things like whitewater rafting, horse back riding and dinner sleigh rides.

  2. We try to visit West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta as often as possible. The mall itself was once known as the biggest mall in the world and boasts of an indoor wave pool and waterslides, indoor ice rink (where the Edmonton Oilers practise), an underground submarine, and hundreds and hundreds (if not over a thousand) stores and restaurants.
    Jasper National Park isn't too far away either, so between it with the mountains and lakes, and the city with all its attractions, there should be lots of territory to cover in books.

  3. Great places Ty, hot cover love seals whoo
    Love Hawaii, Toronto ,
    Great giveaway thanks

  4. Hi

    This is a great post. I loved the way you were out of your comfort zone and went to restaurants and such by yourself. I have a hard time doing that.
    Of course I think Hawaii would be a wonderful place, but I also like small beach towns in California (like Coronado) San Clemente, Fort Bragg (one of my favorites) and Capitola.

    Thanks for the chance.

  5. Hey guys! Those are all fun suggestions. Beach towns are my latest fascination, so thanks to Pam for those recommendations.

    And Pam, you also won the random draw for a copy of Hot and Bothered! I will email you shortly.

    Thanks so much to everyone else who posted!


  6. Hi

    Thanks so much. I love small beach towns. Looking forward to reading this collection.

    Thanks again