Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Congressman's Wife by Charlene Keel and Arie Pavlou (VBT, excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of a guest post by author Charlene Keel, who answers my question...

ELF: What do you do to mentor others?

CK:  Mentoring other writers is exciting for me, especially when I find someone who has a real (and sometimes raw) talent for it. As soon as I started getting published, from my first short story in a teen magazine to my first book (The Sky’s The Limit) I had friends and acquaintances ask me to help them get started on the book they’d always wanted to write.

I enjoyed giving tips but more often than not, they asked me to do it for them, offering to split the proceeds with me if and when “we” sold it. As much as I wanted to help, I had to make a living. This led me to start a ghostwriting business (in addition to writing my own books).
As a ghostwriter I don’t always get a credit on the cover, but that’s okay. What I get (in addition to my fee) is the great feeling that comes with helping someone else’s dream come true. The other benefit is that I meet a lot of fascinating people.

So far, I’ve ghosted projects for a doctor, a stripper, an international spy, a corporate leader and a medical therapy dog, among others. My specialties include fiction, biographies, self-help, philosophy and politics. I also adapt books into screenplays and screenplays into books.

Working as a ghost is how I met my co-author on The Congressman’s Wife. World traveler and professional chef Arie Pavlou first came to me as a client. What he had when we started were a basic storyline, some entertaining characters, and a compelling hero and heroine. We soon realized what a great team we were and became co-authors.

While the tabloids are full of 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, abusive, politician husband. That’s not the only thing that makes it different from the typical romance novel, and we’re getting great reviews. It’s the first book in The Congressman Trilogy, with The Congressman’s Mistress and The Congressman’s Executioner to follow.

One of the best perks in working with Arie has been that through him, I get an inside track into how men really feel about a great many things, including love, romance, women and commitment—especially commitment—which helps me write a better, sexier and more believable hero.

Recently married, Arie and his lovely wife Liz never get enough of exploring the world, looking for exotic dishes for him to re-create in his pop-up restaurant, Bistro Eté. It had a successful summer season in the Hamptons and will pop up again soon in Manhattan or Miami—or possibly somewhere near you.


The Congressman’s Wife

by Charlene Keel


GENRE: Contemporary Romance



All Eden Bancroft has ever been to her high-profile politician husband is a trophy wife, born and bred for the part. She believes she has no choice but to play it—until she meets a talented chef and restaurant heir who makes her feel loved for herself alone. The more her husband uses and belittles her, the more deeply Eden falls for Kaleb. Even with Mitchell’s congressional campaign in full swing, the lovers manage to find brief stolen moments together. When her husband is wounded by a bullet from a disgruntled lobbyist, Eden must stay by his side. What she learns can set her free, if she has the courage to take a stand.



A Moment Alone

Kaleb had been standing close enough to hear it all—not that he’d intended to eavesdrop.  He only wanted to try and give her some kind of signal—to beg, if necessary—to get a moment alone with her.  When he heard her husband’s caustic words, Kaleb wanted to punch him.  He wanted to take Eden’s hand and lead her out of there, away from the complete jackass her husband seemed to be.

Instead, he followed her into the room where coats were checked for the evening.  The maid who’d taken them was nowhere about, and Eden was digging through the racks when Kaleb walked in.  She looked up, surprised.

“We need to talk about it,” he said.

“About what?”  She found her wrap and Mitchell’s Brooks Brothers overcoat, draped them over one arm and turned to face him.

“About this thing between us.”

“That’s not very original.”

“I feel it and I know you feel it.”

“Look, I’m very flattered,” she began but he cut her off.

“We don’t have much time.”  He moved closer, aching to touch her.  “Your husband will come looking for you any minute.  Just tell me when and where I can see you again.  Alone.”

“You can’t,” she said.  “My husband is running for congress.  It’s . . . it would be impossible.”

“No,” he insisted.  “I don’t know why we met or how we’re going to pull this off but I do know one thing.”  He was speaking so softly now that she had to move closer to hear him.

“What?” she asked, her lips just inches from his own.  They were of equal height and he could see how well, how perfectly, they would fit together.

“I won’t give up.  I want to make love to you.”

“At least once?” she countered.

He moved closer still.  “Once will never be enough for us.  You know that, too.”

She sighed, lightly, and her sweet breath lingered on his cheek for a moment before she moved away and broke the spell.

“My husband is waiting for me,” she said.  “You’re a little crazy, you know?  You need to forget about this.  I’m married.  I have kids.  I don’t have time for an affair.”

“Have lunch with me.”

“Sorry—too busy.”

“Just let me talk to you.  Give me two hours—maybe over the weekend.  Then if you never want to hear from me again, that’ll be it.  I swear.”

She didn’t say anything for a moment, as if she was considering it.  “As intriguing as that sounds, I’m afraid it’s impossible.  I’m going to the season opening at the Village Resort up in Hunter this weekend, with my best friend.”

“Your husband going too?” Kaleb persisted.

“No.  He has a previous engagement.  Not that it’s any of your business.”

He opened his mouth to answer but Mitchell’s voice rang out in the foyer.  “Edie—let’s go.  Where are you?”

She flashed Kaleb a warning look and called out softly, “Coming, Mitchell.”  Then she left, quickly, before her husband could see Kaleb standing in the shadows.


AUTHORS' Bio and Links:

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books as well as multiple episodes of popular TV shows such as Fantasy Island and Days of our Lives.  Her Dell book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera.  Recently she co-authored The Tracks, a YA supernatural trilogy.  Shadow Train, the final installment, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award.  Keel has also written screen adaptations of novels by bestselling authors, and has worked as editor or managing editor for a few international magazines.  In her spare time she ghostwrites books and screenplays for celebrities, doctors, corporate moguls, spies, strippers and anyone who has an interesting story to tell.

For more information:
Follow Charlene on Twitter
Charlene Keel on Facebook

Arie Pavlou is a popular chef who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and then perfected his craft at some of the top-rated Michelin restaurants in France and New York.  He has lived and worked in France, Cyprus and the U. S. and is an avid world traveler who speaks five languages.  He enjoys all sports and has a talent for knife-throwing, which he perfected at Le Cordon Bleu.  

Currently Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Bridgehampton Inn in New York, his specialties include Caramelized Baked Alaska, Winter Salad, Roast Lamb Fondue, Wild Game and Poached Pears with Mint Ice Cream.  The Congressman’s Wife is his first novel, and he’s currently writing a cookbook.

For more information:
Arie Pavlou on Facebook



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here



  1. This was a great guest post! It must be so interesting working as a ghostwriter and helping someone share their story properly, especially with biographies, etc. I really enjoyed reading this, thank you! :)

    1. Thanks! Yes, working as a ghostwriter is interesting and sometimes inspiring. Everyone has a story to tell and I enjoy helping my clients tell theirs.

    2. Glad you enjoyed it, clojo. Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment!

  2. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Thank you for checking out my guest blog. Good luck on the give-away.

    2. Thanks for dropping by, Lisa!

  3. I think this sounds like a good story. Enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway too.

    1. I'm so glad you liked the excerpt. Good luck with the giveaway.

    2. Happy you enjoyed the excerpt, Marcy. Thanks for popping in!

  4. Replies
    1. Great to see you, Victoria! Thanks for coming by!

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Victoria. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt.

  5. Replies
    1. You're very welcome, Tammy D. Thanks for popping in!

    2. Hi, Tammy - thanks for stopping by. It's a gift to be able to share the news about our book.

  6. Replies
    1. Happy to share, Rita. Thanks for taking the time to read it!

    2. Hi, Rita. Glad you liked the excerpt. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Loved reading the guest post, thank you! :)

    1. Hi, Nikolina - Glad you liked the guest post. I've had such fun with my ghostwriting career. I meet so many interesting people! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Replies
    1. Hi, Mary - Thanks. We feel The Congressman's Wife is very timely, what with the current campaigns going on. I enjoyed researching politics for this book. Thanks for stopping by.