Sunday, December 10, 2017
I’d like to welcome Hannah Meredith, author of Song of the Nightpiper, to my blog today.
RW: What’s your most embarrassing experience?
HM: I’ve worn glasses since I was a child. Without correction, I see only different colored blurs. But when I entered high school, I decided “being seen” was more important than “seeing.” I wanted to look as alluring as a chunky fifteen-year-old could, so wore my glasses only for classwork. This led to much awkwardness. Every morning I greeted a little boy waiting for his bus, only to discover, weeks later, it was a child-shaped sign holding a School Zone placard. I sat on a girl who was wearing a flowered dress and sitting in a floral upholstered chair. Of course, if she’d been more animated, she would have been safe. But it was when I couldn’t find my date at a school dance—every boy there seemed to have on the same blue-shirt, khaki-pants combination—that I gave up on vanity and put my glasses back on.
RW: If you were stranded on a tropical island, who would it be with? You can choose any living, deceased or mythical figure.
HM: My husband! Yeah, this sounds like a cop-out, but the man I married fifty years ago would be my choice. He’s the kindest, most interesting, most understanding man I have ever met. He “gets” me. He makes me laugh. And I suspect together we could figure out how to get off that island.
RW: What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
HM: Travel! I’m infected with wanderlust and simply must know what is on the far side of the hill. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit all fifty states and to travel to six of the seven continents. Sorry, Antarctica is not on my list—too cold. But all the different people and places get my imagination working. And my creativity is exercised figuring out how to do all this on the cheap. 😊
RW: Tell us about your latest book. Where do your story ideas usually come from?
HM: My latest solo novel is Song of the Nightpiper, a fantasy romance with a quasi-medieval setting. Although this is a departure from my usual, straight historical romance novels, the characters of Faulk and Anlin arrived in my head fully formed and I couldn’t resist writing their tale.
Most of my story ideas just pop into my mind in this manner, most often when I’m doing some necessary but mindless task like vacuuming or folding laundry. I clearly envision characters involved in a specific situation—in the case of Nightpiper, this was in the middle of the tournament that starts the book—and then I expand from there by asking a series of “what if” questions. I suspect I have primed the pump by a lifetime of reading and imagining,
RW: What kind of research do you do for a book?
HM: Probably way too much. 😊 I have an inquisitive mind that wants to know everything my characters know, even if most of this will never appear in a book. The internet has made all this information easily retrievable, although I still like to use period books. For instance, I used my antique copy of Paterson’s Roads (a Regency era travel guide) to carefully trace the journeys of both main characters to “the house by the sea” in Home for Christmas which appears in Christmas Revels IV. I know what they saw, where they could have stopped, etc. But none of this minutia appears to bore the reader silly.
RW: Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.
HM: You’re very welcome. It was a pleasure.
SONG OF THE NIGHTPIPER
Magic is disappearing from Fallucia and Rennic. Each country blames the other and hoards what power remains.
In a world where only Magical Talent is prized, Lady Anlin and Sir Faulk lack any ability—yet their unlikely alliance will reshape nations and challenge long-held beliefs.
Although she’s finally free, years of enslavement in Rennic forged Anlin’s iron will. She is determined to rescue the half-Rennish son who was taken from her. But to do so, she needs one thing—a champion.
Faulk is a landless knight whose life has stripped him of all illusions. But he still harbors two impossible dreams—to have a fief of his own and to find someone to love who will love him in return.
His fighting skills have given him the first of these dreams. The journey into a hostile land with Anlin may give him the second.
The two men met with a tremendous clash of metal. The surrounding crowd quieted. It breathed in and out like a great beast in time with the laboring combatants.
Sir Charl logically kept pressing the advantage of his greater reach, making the smaller man move back. Then the green-clothed knight appeared to stumble, and Sir Charl lunged. Anlin, like most of the spectators, gasped. This must be the end.
But the smaller man deftly sidestepped the blow and returned with his own stoke, low and across the legs. Even with the swords padded, the stroke must have been punishing. Sir Charl’s knees buckled and he crumpled to the ground. The green knight moved to a dominant position over his opponent and the referee called an end to the match.
The spectators broke into a frenzy of cheering. Anlin remained frozen in place. This, then, was the man who would have command of her body until the day she died. Cold uncertainty leached into her bones. Then she reminded herself this could only happen if this warrior agreed to bend to her will. She felt her shoulders relax as the man approached. She yet had control of the pieces in play.
Hannah Meredith has a BA and MA in English from Southern Methodist University. For over a dozen years, she taught at the high school and university level. Then she discovered more people wanted houses than grammar and switched to a career in real estate. She remained a successful real estate broker for the next thirty years.
After retiring, she returned to her love of words and began writing. Under another name, she initially wrote award-winning short fiction for many of the major science fiction and fantasy magazines. Now as Hannah Meredith, she writes primarily historical romance. She has five individual books available, as well as a novella in each of the four Christmas Revels anthologies.
As an historical romance author, Hannah has found her niche. She loves the history. She loves the HEA. She’s always been a storyteller, and these are the stories she was meant to tell.
Contact Hannah At:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-Meredith/e/B00E5FZLG4
Sunday, December 03, 2017
I’d like to welcome Mia McKimmy, author of The Sons of Sivadia Series to my blog today.
RW: Tell us about yourself, your family, where you live, etc.
MM: I’m just a simple southern girl, born and raised in Georgia, northwest of Atlanta. The countryside is beautiful and referred to as the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I’m married to a wonderful man, have two daughters and four grandkids, who I have a real problem not spoiling rotten. I’m a retired RN, but work two days a week caring for a delightful elderly gentleman.
RW: How many hours a day do you spend writing?
MM: I’m the type person who gets easily distracted at home, either by housework, television, phone calls, pets… you name it, and I’m distracted. The only place I can stay focused is at my local library. I usually spend around six hours a day, three to four times a week.
RW: Why did you decide to write? When did you submit your first manuscript and what genre was it?
MM: I’ve always been an avid reader. About six years ago, after I retired, I decided to write a story. There was no question about what genre I wanted to write, since I loved reading paranormal, sci-fi, and romantic suspense. Over the next year I wrote a book that had all three. After attending my first conference, I discovered I knew nothing about writing, and spent the next two years taking classes and reading books on writing. After several re-writes, I published Leaving Sivadia a novella prequel to the series. The Sacrifice is the first full length novel. Crucify My Heart is the next novel and will release February of 2018.
RW: Has your life changed since you became a writer? What’s the best thing about being a writer?
MM: It’s changed a lot since my first idea for this series. If I’m not writing, I’m constantly thinking about the plot or characters. I’m never far from a notebook and have filled a suitcase with ideas I’ve jotted down.
One of the best things about writing is starting with an idea and watching it develop on paper. There’s no better feeling than being in the zone, when the characters take over and send you in directions you never thought of before that moment.
RW: Who are your favorite authors? Who influenced your writing?
MM: Anne Rice, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, Darynda Jones, Kim Harrison, Lindsay Sands, and Christine Feehan are some of my all-time favorites. I devour anything written by them. As for who influenced my writing, I’d have to say Sherrilyn Kenyon for her characterization skills, and Darynda Jones for her humorous voice.
RW: Who are your favorite characters among the books you’ve written?
MM: I think you have to be in love with the hero and heroine of the book you’re writing, but during the course of writing The Sacrifice two of the secondary characters stole my heart. Kam and Iggy. And of course, they will both be the stars of their own books. Kam is the hero of Crucify My Heart the next book in the series. And Iggy is not far behind.
RW: What makes a good book? A great romance? Is humor important in fiction and why?
MM: A good book makes you cry when the characters cry, laugh when they’re happy, and root for them when they’re down. If you feel like you’ve lived the story right along with them, then that was a good book. And who doesn’t enjoy watching them fall in love and get the happily ever after they deserve?
RW: How much does reader feedback matter to you? Do your fans’ comments and letters influence you in any way? Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
MM: Reader feedback means everything. There’s no better feeling than readers loving your story and characters as much as you do. While negative feedback may hurt your feelings a little, it’s also a learning process. As long as we’re learning, we’re growing. And it takes growth to become a better writer.
RW: How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
MM: Most of my characters have bits and pieces of my personality, likes and dislikes. Crystals and gemstones are a passion of mine, and according to their healing properties, I work a few into every storyline. For instance, bloodstone can be crushed and placed in a wound to stop bleeding, and since rapid blood loss is the only way Sivadians can die, every Protector is given one to wear once they complete training.
RW: Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from? What genre is it? Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
MM: The Sacrifice is the first book of the series. It’s a story of love, revenge, sibling rivalry, and the lengths we’ll go to save the person we love.
I wanted to write a book about vampires, but there were so many already written, I needed a different twist on the vampire mythology. One Saturday an Ancient Aliens marathon was on TV, and the idea for my guys to be from another planet was born.
All of the books are part of The Sons of Sivadia series but can be read in any order. The Sacrifice is paranormal romance with a twist of sci-fi. Crucify My Heart is paranormal romance/urban fantasy with a heavy dose of suspense. It releases February, 2018.
RW: What can we expect from you in the future? Where do you hope to be five years from now?
MM: I’m currently working on a prequel to book three, followed by the full-length novel. I’m also planning a prequel before book four. I’m not sure how many more books will be in the Sons series. I have an idea for a spin-off series that I’m itching to write.
RW: Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.
MM: You’re very welcome. It was my pleasure.
Will their love survive the sacrifices that must be made?
Almost three hundred years ago, a race of immortals fled the planet of Sivadia and came to Earth. When a war divided their race, each side was led by twin sons of the Sivadian king.
From the moment Riana Martin meets Cy, the dangerously sexy Sivadian Protector, she knows it will be hard to resist him. From the first touch, Cy sets off a firestorm inside her heart and soul.
Cy knows Riana is his destiny, but since their father named him successor to the throne, his twin has been determined to destroy him.
Can Cy protect Riana from his brother…one of the most evil beings to ever walk this planet?
Cy opened the door leading out of the game room and entered the main part of the pub. Alcohol, sweat, and lust filled the air. Ladies night. Scantily clad women lined the walls like trophies waiting to be taken home by whomever they deemed most worthy.
Lust bombarded Cy as a slew of eyes with heavy liner focused on him. He waved his hand through the air and the lust stopped—at least the wanting directed at him. The ability to control a human’s mind had its advantages, but could be a dark and murky place. It definitely was not somewhere he wanted to hang around for long.
Maggie, a large-busted human with flaming red hair, owned the pub and was bartending tonight. Heavy lines on her face were proof of far too many years in this line of work.
“Hi, handsome. What’ll it be?”
“Just give me a house draft, please.”
She grabbed a frosted mug and pulled the tap.
“Things been calm around here, tonight?”
“It’s all good, long as you and your boys come around occasionally to help keep these yahoos in line.”
Cy took his beer and handed her a twenty.
Maggie patted a nine-millimeter pistol holstered on her right hip and grinned. “Between y’all and Bessie here, I don’t get much trouble.” Her southern drawl was slow, characteristic to people who had lived their entire lives in the Appalachian Mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina.
Cy’s cell vibrated against his hip. He dug the phone from his pocket. It was Oz, probably calling to give him their nightly assignment.
“Hey man, what’s up?”
“One of our scouts spotted two feeders downtown.” Oz’s deep voice boomed in Cy’s ear. “The feeders transported to several sites around town before the scout lost them.”
“Shit. That’s not good.” Cy lowered himself onto a bar stool. “Do you think they know we have a class of females coming in tonight?”
“If they’ve located our compound, I’d bet my life on it. I hope none of the girls came in early to sight-see.”
“Where was the last place the feeders were seen?”
“On South Spruce Street, but I’ve already sent four teams of Protectors to cover that area. Take your team and start on the west end of Patton, and work your way toward them. I’ll send more guys your way. And Cy, just in case Vind’s in town, watch your back.”
“Will do.” Cy rolled his shoulders against the tight muscles in his neck. Damn my brother! It’s past time to bring this war to an end. Three centuries of fighting Vind’s army is enough.
Cy had enjoyed living in Asheville, but if Vind had found this compound, they would have to change locations again. If feeders got their hands on a compound full of trainees, their once-bright futures would become nothing more than misery and eventual death.
Mia writes paranormal romance novels reflecting her belief that everyone has one great love, and when you find them, there’s no denying you have met your destiny.
Mia counts herself lucky to be married to her true love. She is Mom to two grown daughters, and Nana to four grandkids who have her wrapped around their fingers. She has a large collection of crystals, and believes in their healing abilities. That’s why you’ll always find them worked into her stories.
She is a former hairdresser, and has a degree as a Registered Nurse from Georgia Highlands College. She’s a native of the greater Atlanta area, and has always loved living between the north Georgia mountains, and the beaches of Savannah. She believes it’s the best of both worlds.
Contact Mia At:
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/miamckimmy