Author Spotlight: Susan Koenig

Today I’m welcoming Susan Koenig to my blog. Sue has just indie-published her short novella, NINETEEN HUNDRED, a story set on the cusp of the century.  Welcome, Sue. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Sue: Mae, thank you so much for inviting me. As a first time author, interviews are a new experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to talk about Kathryn and Gideon. Especially Gideon. :D

When I retired in 2009, I became involved with groups on the ‘net, at first to learn more about photography, then to blog and, finally, to write. Somehow I gravitated to the writers and started to blog several times a week, then met more people and it snowballed.  In the fall of 2010 I signed up for writing classes with the continuing studies branch of the local university. At the time my main characters were a very emotionally disturbed husband and wife who I had great plans for. Alas, Gideon entered my life and the couple faded into distant memory.

Let’s take a look at your book blurb for NINETEEN HUNDRED:

~ooOOoo~

The right love, the wrong time.

December 31, 1899. At a dinner hosted by her landlady to celebrate the new century, Kathryn St. Clair meets sophisticated and handsome Gideon Thomas. He is a new lodger at the boarding house where she has settled since arriving in the city for a teaching position. His air of mystery speaks to her romantic imagination. Later, over a game of Whist, they pay more attention to each other than to the cards on the table. Her honesty reaches out to him; her rare innocence touches his dark soul.

Together, they visit several city amusements. But when, in her naiveté, Kathyrn demands explanations for Gideon’s irrational comings-and-goings, wondering if he is a gentleman after all, his secrets forbid him from answering. He fears the truth would throw her into madness, and that her intelligence would not allow for his reality.

If they don’t conquer their conflicting natures, their new love will die, leaving Gideon to live with the bitter consequences of his misconceptions.

~ooOOoo~

Your story begins on New Year’s Eve 1899. As someone who loves a glimpse into yesteryear, I’m curious why you chose the turn of the century for your backdrop. We tend to think of any new year as an opportunity for a fresh beginning and, certainly, a new century would be loaded with possibilities. Your heroine, Kathryn St. Clair, has taken steps to move forward in her life by accepting a teaching position in a city away from home. She’s led a sheltered life and, in essence, is ‘starting new.’ Did you choose the turn of the century to symbolize the fresh outlook on her life, or am I reading too much into the setting?
~
 
 
Sue: I didn’t deliberately choose the turn of the century. My character, Gideon, was born in 1830, died and started to work for the devil, Mr. D, in 1860. In an earlier WIP a friend asked what I referred to when she read “The last time ended badly.” He never said another word about that ever again. I never intended to explain that line but that’s what writing classes can do. Hence working backward, I arrived at 1900. You are, and you are not, reading too much into it. I didn’t know Kathryn well when I started the story and, yes it did turn out that way: a new life and the possibilities of a new century.
~
 

Kathryn is a breath of fresh air. Innocent and naïve and, in some respects, the proverbial country mouse transplanted to the city.  But she’s also very black-and-white in her belief structure of right and wrong. Did you find her a hard character to write?

Sue: Mae, you continue to amaze me with your insights. She was easy to write.  I let her speak to me in different situations and I realized she would need strong opinions regarding right and wrong. Without giving anything away, her morality is an integral facet of her character.

Let’s talk about Gideon Thomas. When I create a character, I often dream up a complicated back story for him or her that doesn’t necessarily make its way into my novel. It does, however, give me an understanding of what motivates my character’s actions.  I got the impression you did this with Gideon. Would that be a fair statement?

Sue: Gideon and I have been living together for about two years.  Yes he has a back story not referred to in NINETEEN HUNDRED.  In fact, NINETEEN HUNDRED is the back story for my new WIP, AN ORDINARY COUPLE, which continues Gideon’s story today.

Gideon is attracted by Kathryn’s innocence which is understandable for a man with a secret in his past. Your tag line for the novella is “The right love, the wrong time.” I find that extremely clever, especially given the story doesn’t end with the closing page. You obviously have more to tell. Was that your intent when you began writing NINETEEN HUNDRED?

Sue: My intent? Lord knows. I was simply explaining his comment. As I got to know Kathryn better I realized they were a good fit. But I also had to explain the comment. And, remembering the era I placed them in, it was obvious they could not be together. He made a reverse faux pas, if you will, in that he kept to the culture and mores of the times when he shouldn’t have. I was going to call the book Faux Pas but realized that is an awful title for a book *laugh*

The dialogue of the early century was courtly, even elegant. Did you find it hard to switch gears and settle into those speech patterns?

Sue: In AN ORDINARY COUPLE he retains his formal speech pattern. First of all, it’s a readily identifiable characteristic, and anyway he’s 182 years old so he speaks like he was taught as a child.

I know you did a fair amount of research while writing this book. Given your knowledge of that time, is there anything in particular you wish would not have changed and would still be the same today?

Sue: Nothing comes to mind.

We’ve learned about NINETEEN HUNDRED. Let’s learn about Sue. Plotter or pantser?

Sue: I think it’s clear I’m a pantster – I didn’t even know the term until fairly recently. I write. At some point when I know I need structure, I do a mini plot line. Lately, friends of Gideon have been visiting and, even though I created them last year, we haven’t spoken much. So I just write and they tell me their story. When I decide to incorporate them into a new WIP, I may have to plot it out.

Aside from writing and reading, what’s your favorite thing to do when you have free time on your hands?

Sue: Love the cinema, not the theatre (unlike Gideon), photography, visiting with friends and during the summer hanging out at the pool. *shows off tanned arms*

Lovely. :) You’ve written a story about the past, so let’s pretend you could spin back the hands of time and drop in for a visit on any event in history. What would it be?

Sue: I don’t know about a specific event, but I have always been fascinated by the 20s. I belong to a peer learning group and my first course was Fashion in the 20s. In school I wanted to be a fashion designer. I was so disappointed when I asked an aunt what it was like during the 20s, and she said, boring! The other historical time that intrigues me is during WWII and the French Resistance

Well, thank you very much for the interview, Sue. Do you have any parting thoughts before we close?

Sue: Yes, for one thing, I know some people aren’t keen to read devil stories, but like vampires, they’re often used as a vehicle to deliver a message. Also, as my characters in AN ORDINARY COUPLE learn, it pays to take a risk. And lastly, thank you again for having me. I’ve learned so much from my writer friends. Writers are the busiest and most supportive group I‘ve ever met.

Susan’s bio:
Susan Koenig started writing fiction when she retired in 2009. It now has become almost an addiction, fueled by the amazing writers she has met online. Writing became a vehicle for meeting new and interesting people who she never would have met otherwise. Their support, encouragement and knowledge further induced her into discovering many writing avenues. As a result, her stories continue to evolve. Sue’s characters are a constant source of companionship and they all hope to make it into one of her (published) stories some day.

She is an occasional poet and regular contributor to a monthly Haiku site, as well as a consistent participant on the blog challenge, Blogophilia, which weekly tests her creativity. Her poetry has been featured in a local online literary magazine.

Her home is Southwestern Ontario, Canada, where, when not writing, she and her camera take junkets to explore new inspirations for incorporation into her writing.

Gideon’s story will continue in the near future.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Susan Koenig, you can find her at the following haunts:

Blog:  SassySpeaks

NINETEEN HUNDRED is available in e-book format through Amazon.com and Smashwords and can be purchased here:

Amazon
Smashwords

Mythical Monday: Beware the Ebb Tide

If you’re like most people, the thought of an ebb tide brings a feeling of tranquility. Who doesn’t love to walk along a barren stretch of beach with the glittering hem of the ocean gently receding from shore? The eastern seaboard has been my second home through countless springs, summers, autumns and even winters. I know areas of it as intimately as my own backyard. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked on sunbaked beaches or sand cooled by twilight after the sun was swallowed by the vulture-beaked rim of the Atlantic.

I’ve picked up shells, stones, and pieces of driftwood, scattered souvenirs left by the lap and kiss of the receding tide. Although I find those strolls on the beach rejuvenating, the myths of yesteryear would have me believe differently.

In days of yore, people thought an ebb tide capable of draining someone’s spirit. Anyone who dwelled by the sea knew the receding tide would steal the spirit from the body. New ventures were best embraced when the tide was high. By the same token should someone fall ill, their soul was likely to depart with the ebb tide. Plantings of any kind were done when the waters were high so that their essence was not whittled away and carried off by the vanishing waters.

For today’s Mythical Monday, I offer a snippet from a short I wrote many ebb tides ago called Kin-Slayer:

I remember the ocean, glittering with a thousand faceted eyes as sunlight kindled diamonds on its surface, the scent of salt heavy in the air, twined with the black smoke of cooking fires and the reek of fish left to dry beneath the sun. My home was nestled in a simple village. Small and secluded, Ceadon squatted on a bluff overlooking the water, a ragged sphere of thatch-roofed hovels. She was a giddy perch, erected high on a pinnacle of wind-blasted rock. As children, E’ana and I often sat on the edge, watching the tide roll from shore as it carried our father and the other fishermen from sight.  In the evening we would meet them on the beach, anxious to view the day’s catch…seaweed draped pots brimming with lobster and crab; nets so heavy they hugged the sand as the men unloaded a bounty of bluefish and tuna.

It was a simple life, fitting and welcome in those idyllic days of childhood.  But childhood, like all things, fades with the passing of time.

Old wives’ tales and superstitions aside, there is something magical about an ebb tide. The next time you happen upon the soft lap of water on sand, take a moment to appreciate the inherent mystery in the song of the ocean. The symphony is as magnetic and ancient as the corridors of time.

A Kiss Worth Waiting For

Six Sentence Sunday 7-29-2012

Hey, Everyone ~ are you enjoying your Sunday?

I’ve had a wonderfully relaxing week indulging in some much deserved vacation time. Now, with my fun-in-the-sun days winding down, I have the giddy enjoyment of today’s Six Sentence Sunday round to keep me happily distracted. Hopefully, I’m holding your interest with WEATHERING ROCK my time travel/paranormal romance releasing on October 8th. For all the delightful details, tidbits on my charismatic characters and a bodacious book trailer click here. So, um, in case it wasn’t transparently obvious from that last sentence, I’m a wee bit excited about the release. :D

For those of you who have been following along, Caleb DeCardian (hunky werewolf and former colonel during the Civil War, now residing in modern day America) and Arianna Hart (smart and sexy teacher of American history who is doing her best not to succumb to Caleb’s incredible charms :)) are having dinner together on the veranda at Weathering Rock. There’s fine china, candlelight, wine and moonlight. Dinner is over, the chit-chat has grown more intimate and Arianna suddenly finds herself in Caleb’s arms. I’ve skipped ahead a bit to reach that point but, romantic that I am, it was time to share a kiss worth waiting for:

~ooOOoo~

Her body betrayed her, enjoying the sheer hedonistic pressure of his mouth on hers, the faint taste of wine clinging to his lips. She’d be lying if she said she hadn’t wanted this, secretly hoping he would try to kiss her. She’d dreamed about it, imagined it more than once.

Emboldened, he wrapped an arm around her waist and deepened the kiss, trapping her against the porch railing. For one blissful moment, she knew only raw heat, the sensual intimacy of his tongue twining with hers, a rush of giddy pleasure that left her senseless, blindly clinging to him. His body was deliciously lean muscle, strength and corded sinew crushed against her softer curves.

~ooOOoo~

As always, thank you to everyone who drops by and comments. I love hearing from you, and reading what everyone else is posting. For a complete list of participating authors, be sure to check out the Six Sentence Sunday website and get ‘em while they’re hot!

Weathering Rock: Moonstruck! SSS 7-22-12

Welcome to another round of Six Sentence Sunday. For a complete list of participating authors, click here. Yeesh! Can you believe this is the last SSS for the month of July?
Although I am hard at work on my latest WIP which involves a sexy marine archeologist with grunge-musician appeal and an ‘older’ woman, I’m sharing again today from WEATHERING ROCK.

If you’re unfamiliar with my paranormal romance/time travel featuring a modern day school teacher and a displaced Civil War colonel (who also happens to be a werewolf), you can find the blurb, character list and a book trailer here. WEATHERING ROCK will be released on October 8th by Lyrical Press.

I’m skipping ahead this week. Caleb DeCardian has invited Arianna Hart to have dinner with him on the veranda at Weathering Rock. He’s skillfully evaded her questions about his background and she’s found him to be equally engaging and bewildering. Dinner is now over and they’re standing on the veranda looking up at the moon which Arianna believes is full. Caleb tells her it only looks full, but is waning. I’m picking up there for the six, with Arianna speaking first.

~ooOOoo~

“You can tell the difference?” She shot a doubtful glance at the moon. It made her think of long-ago legends: fairy glades, nameless winged creatures and werewolves.

“The moon and I are well acquainted.”

He leaned into the banister, his leg casually brushing hers. She tensed at the informal contact, surprised when it streaked through her like a bolt of lightning.

~ooOOoo~

I’d love to share more than six sentences but ‘them’s the rules!’ Thank you to everyone who stops by and comments each week. Sundays are always a delight with SSS on the radar!

Author Spotlight: Savannah Rayne

Hello, everyone! Today I’m welcoming Savannah Rayne to my blog. Savannah was gracious enough to volunteer for my first author interview. I hope you’ll welcome her warmly, as I’m excited to have her here.  Welcome Savannah! 

Savannah: Good morning, Mae, and thank you for having me! It’s a real honor to be here.

Can you tell us a little about the type of writing you do and why you chose that genre? 

Savannah:  My first two published stories are mild horror–nothing gruesome, but more creepy than anything. I’ve always loved a good spooky book, so it was just a given to write in a way I’ve enjoyed reading myself. I’ve also decided to try my hand at writing romance. This is another genre I have devoured over the years. I’ve flip-flopped between the two all of my life! When I was bored with the mushy happily-ever-after-life-is-perfect stuff, I’d go get something from the horror section at the book store to balance things out!

 As someone who loves a scary story as much as a romantic tale, I was enthralled by the synopses of OH, DEER and WHEN IT LEAVES, two titles you’ve already published. Although I enjoy reading about a spooky graveyard or haunted house, I love when an author can change the gentle or ordinary into something ominous. Would you like to share a bit about these two books?

Savannah: With both of these stories I have taken two things we see in everyday life–deer and autumn leaves–that are usually very innocent, and turned them into something unnatural, that should be feared. Those who’ve read the books have told me that when they see a deer on the side of the road, or children innocently playing  in fallen leaves, they remember my stories and shudder just a little.

OH, DEER
Jacob Ellis and his wife Donna live in the north woods of Wisconsin. Like most young couples, they have hobbies they enjoy. Jacob likes the outdoors, choosing four-wheeling and hunting as his forms of relaxation. Donna loves cooking, but her true passion is working in her flower garden. That is until her labor of love becomes nothing more than a colorful, tasty treat for the white-tailed deer who share their surroundings. One night, the pair experience more than the typical four legged visitor to their yard. The evening sets the path for Jacob’s decision to go against nature. After hearing a legend passed down through generations of the Chippewa Indians, Jacob must decide if it’s just a myth or a lesson in the balance of law and justice–between people and nature.

WHEN IT LEAVES
Playing in the leaves is something all children do; twins Steven and K.C are no different. One autumn evening the five year olds ask to go out and play until dinner is ready. What happens that night will haunt Steven for the next twenty years. Now with a daughter of his own, Steven is left to struggle with the painful, guilt ridden choice of keeping his daughter safe or help the brother he lost long ago, the one person Steven always thought he would do anything, to have back.

You have a new paranormal romance, WORDS OF AN ANGEL, coming soon. Can you tell us about it and when it will be released?

Savannah:  Absolutely! I am very excited about my latest story WORDS OF AN ANGEL which will be published soon by Hellfire Publishing. WORDS OF AN ANGEL is a paranormal romance that has situations in it that we all go through in life…only with a twist :)

Rayanne Bradley experiences some life changes. She struggles with new choices that affect both her personal and professional life. She’ll also find the man of her dreams. As the worlds of dreams and reality collide, the two struggle between choosing to do what’s right, or following their hearts. One will be faced with giving up everything they’ve ever known, a choice that if made, will result in never going back. The other feels it’s too great a sacrifice to ask someone to make. How far is too far to go, when you love someone?  As of right now, I don’t have an exact release date, but it should be before summer ends.

Oooh, very nice! I love the cover on all three of your books but, WORDS OF AN ANGEL, is definitely delicious! I know that in addition to being a writer, you’re also an editor for Hellfire Publishing. Is it hard juggling two roles, especially when your e-house is also pubbing your work?

Savannah: Interesting question! Being with Hellfire Publishing is the best thing that has ever happened to me. As an “editor” I am truly blessed in having a great boss and I work with some of the most wonderful writers out there. The word “work” doesn’t really seem right; I enjoy my job and can’t imagine doing anything else now. As for writing for HP, again, it’s amazing. Even though I work for them, I go through the exact same thing every other writer does. I don’t get special privileges or treatment. I have to wait my turn and go through the editing process just like all HP writers. You would think being an editor/copy editor I would be more aware of errors I make when writing. But I can tell you, as careful as I try to be I still make mistakes just like everyone else, LOL.

Is there one you enjoy more than the other?

Savannah: No, not really. I have come to enjoy writing more than I thought I would and plan on doing it as long as I can. As for editing, I work with such great writers, it’s a pleasure to help them get their already awesome stories into the best shape as possible. Really, is there a better job than getting to read these great books?

Okay, technique time:  do you write as time permits or do you have set hours/days devoted strictly to writing?   

Savannah: Oh, definitely when time permits! It’s my biggest battle–trying to balance all that I do. Wednesday is my scheduled day off from watching the children I do day care for. I try very hard to set that day aside to do my writing. But, if there are edits/copy edits that are pressing, they come first. Every once in a while my muse shows up waving a baseball bat and says “WRITE”…I never argue. It doesn’t matter if it’s winged or wooden, I don’t mess with bats! Oh, and I always have coffee within reach!

I often get asked where my inspiration for a story comes from. What about you?  What inspired WORDS OF AN ANGEL? Anything else in the works you’d like to share with us?

Savannah: I was doing some research on angels for another project for my blog, when I came across the angel of writers–Ecanus. That got me to thinking and the story just developed from there. It’s kind of funny, but sometimes I’ll be doing dishes or taking a shower and a title for a story will pop into my head…then the story seems to grow from there. I always have titles first! I also never really know how the story will go. Sometimes I’m as surprised by what happens as everyone else!

As for works in progress–I have fifteen other manuscripts I’m working on. They are equally divided between horror and romance. I am currently working on the prequel to WHEN IT LEAVES which is titled WHISPERING BREEZES. It will explain how Angie Leiberman received her powers and what, exactly, they are. There will also be a sequel titled HOWLING WINDS OF AUTUMN, that will tie up the “loose ends”. At this rate, I’m going to need a lot more Wednesday’s, LOL

Your author bio on Amazon states you used to go to the library a lot as a kid. Me too! Writers often get asked to name a favorite book, but I’m going to ask you to name a favorite book from your childhood–one of those stories that lingers years later. For me it was THE WICKED PIGEON LADIES IN THE GARDEN What’s yours?

Savannah:  I think I would have to go with BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS by Mary Norton! I always wanted to find my very own Miss Price and have my bed take me away on some really cool adventure. Now that I’m older, I just want my bed to help me have a good-night’s sleep : )

I also loved The Borrowers as well. Hmmm, I’m also thinking I need to read these to my grandson Logan when he’s a little older!

Today, when you read, do you stick with one genre or read across several? Do you have a favorite?

Savannah: Lately all my “reading” seems to be done during editing/copy editing, so it’s work related. I read any genre that comes my way. I don’t think I’ve read a book for “fun” in the past year. I can tell you that I do truly love Robin Renee Ray’s BLOODBREEDERS series! I can’t wait to get working on the third book! LOL Even if I wasn’t Robin’s editor, I would be a huge fan. That girl tells some pretty awesome and gruesome stuff…and I love it!

And now for some silliness:

You’re stuck on that proverbial island in the middle of nowhere, bored to tears.  A plane flies over and drops enough gourmet food for a week, your favorite adult beverage and three novels attached to a parachute. Yes, novels. What are the three titles you’d most like to see when you pluck them from the sand (we’ll pretend the parachute didn’t get tangled up in the palm trees!).

Savannah:  My all-time favorite book is Gone with the Wind, so that is a definite! Hmmm, now it gets tough. I would for sure want to read the rest of the BLOODBREEDERS series, but they’re not ready yet. Anyway, can I get a rain check? Another drop in the future? LOL But if I have to wait, I’d like to read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough again. I also really love Terry Brooks’ Magic Kingdom of Landover series…but that’s more than one isn’t it? This is really hard! I guess for my third choice I would want it to be something I haven’t read…I’ve been dying to read Stephen King’s 11/22/63.

I’ve been eyeing that one up too. The Powers-that-Be have just granted you a super power. What is it?

Savannah: The ability to tell if someone is lying or telling the truth. Boy that sure would have saved me a lot of drama in the past and would probably be very helpful in the future! Can you imagine me interviewing politicians? LOL

You just got cast as the female lead in a romantic mystery movie. What actor would you choose to play your leading man?

Savannah: Oh there would be two delicious men my dear… the very sexy Gerard Butler (P.S. I Love You) would be the hero who saves me from the ever evil and seductive Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries) who kidnaps me and tries to have his way with me…although he really wouldn’t have to try all that hard. I wonder how many “takes” there would be to get the scene just right? :)

LOL! Great choices! Thanks for being such a good sport, Savannah, this was fun! Thanks too for bravely wading into the territory of being the first author interviewed on my blog. I really enjoyed having you.  Before we close, do you have any advice for authors wanting to break into your genre?

Savannah:  Never give up! Do your best at writing the story and have it in the best shape possible before you submit it. Listen to constructive criticism with an open mind, and check your ego at the door. Always be respectful, whether it’s to your publisher, editor, fellow authors or your readers.

Sage advice. If you’d like to find out more about Savannah and her spine-tingling titles, you can find her at the following haunts:

Hugs and Nightmares Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Facebook Author Page 

Facebook~WORDS OF AN ANGEL Fan Page 

Goodreads

Available now:

OH, DEER 

WHEN IT LEAVES

Coming soon:

WORDS OF AN ANGEL you can watch for it at Hellfire Publishing’s website.
Be sure to check out all their great reads while you’re there! :)

Mythical Monday: Walking with Werewolves

So it’s Monday. Ugh! If you’re like me, you’re probably not overly enamored of the first day of the work week. I love my weekends but Mondays can be rough. In an effort to make this much-maligned day more appealing, I’m introducing “Mythical Mondays,” wherein I hope to briefly examine a specific myth or something related to myth each week.

Oh, the possibilities! You’re talking to a girl who loves folklore in many forms. Some of my favorite tales are spun from Nordic and Celtic legends, sea creatures, winged beasts, and hollow hills. But my favorite? The werewolf.

My upcoming novel, WEATHERING ROCK, features a lead character who is cursed with lycanthropy. Since Caleb DeCardian is a werewolf, I thought that would be a great launching point for my first Mythical Monday blog post.

Drum roll, please…

The werewolf legend has been kicking around for centuries so I won’t rehash it, but I will share how I became interested. Two words: Dark Shadows. Yes, I know it was a cheesy show, but it had a brooding vampire, ghosts, a vengeful witch, and, most importantly, one hunky werewolf. There wasn’t anything remotely like it on television at the time and it had great spooky theme music. Okay… maybe not so great, but memorable. Who could forget the gloomy shots of Collinwood Manor jutting from a ragged New England coastline with waves pounding against black spines of rock?

I had two older sisters in their teens who watched the show and, somehow, I ended up watching too. That’s when I saw him–Quentin Collins. Conflicted, uber-sexy werewolf. My six-year-old heart went pitter-patter and I was hooked. 

Since then, I’ve seen countless ‘were’ movies and shows (*yawn*) many striving for shock value (yuck) but it’s a corny gothic soap-opera with a cult following I think of when I imagine full moons, bright silver, and werewolves. Fondly, I might add. 

Why is it that so many productions today feel the need to dump gore and blood all over the place in an effort to be frightening? I’d much rather have an atmospheric setting, tense music and crack timing to invoke a chill.  

So, for my first Mythical Monday, I give a hat tip to Dark Shadows and David Selby who brought Quentin Collins to life. He made me realize a man cursed to a tortured existence can make one heck of a smoldering, romantic hero.  

Werewolves aside, do you have a favorite myth?

Weathering Rock: SSS 7-15-12

Happy Sunday, everyone, and welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday! If you haven’t been by for a visit since the last round of SSS, you probably noticed I’ve done some remodeling. WEATHERING ROCK has a cover and I had to splash it everywhere. Isn’t it gorgeous? It took a few days for my husband to peel me off the ceiling, but I’ve gradually come back to Earth. *happy sigh*

Since Caleb DeCardian and Arianna Hart are sharing a delicious near-kiss on the book cover, I thought I’d get back to their date. Arianna has finally agreed to have dinner with Caleb and (last week), was impressed by the lengths he went to make everything perfect.  If you’re unfamiliar with WEATHERING ROCK, my paranormal romance/time travel featuring a modern day school teacher and a displaced Civil War colonel (who also happens to be a werewolf), you can find the blurb, character list and a book trailer here. WEATHERING ROCK will be released on October 8th by Lyrical Press.

I’m jumping ahead a bit after last week. Caleb and Arianna have been conversing over dinner with her doing most of the talking. She’s finally cornered him about what he did for a living in the past, and he’s told he was in the infantry, in command of a regiment. Picking up there with Arianna speaking first:

~ooOOoo~

“That would make your rank–”

“Colonel.”

Arianna balked. At most, she had imagined him a captain. By no means was she an expert on military procedure, but she’d dated a staff sergeant several years ago and knew there were only a handful of full bird colonels in the entire state, all of them over forty. “Aren’t you awfully young to be a colonel?”

~ooOOoo~

Leave it to an inquisitive woman to put a man on the spot! :)

I hope you enjoyed my six. Thank you everyone who stops by each week to comment and share your impressions. It’s such a treat to have you visit!

More great reads can be found at the Six Sentence Sunday website. Go forth and devour literary gems!

The Next Best Thing Challenge

Cool things are happening! I’ve been tagged by the wonderfully talented L.J. Kentowski, author of GUARDIAN OF FATE to participate in the Next Best Thing Challenge.  And hey, as an extra bonus, in case you didn’t know – - you still have a chance to win a free ebook copy of GUARDIAN OF FATE on LJ’s blog, LJ Writes. Her contest ends tomorrow, so check it out while there’s still time. It’s a great read!

Now let me tell you about the challenge.  Here’s the breakdown:

Answer the 10 NBTC questions below
Spread the fun and tag 5 awesome people to participate!

So . . . ready, set, go!

What is the title of your book/WIP?
Weathering Rock

Where did the idea of this book come from?
A photograph and a passion for civil war history.

What genre would your book fall under?
Paranormal romantic suspense with time travel.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The hero is a no-brainer.  Remember that photograph I mentioned?  I’ve always had a passion for Civil War history and, one day while surfing online, I happened on a photo of David Soul from a part he had in Manions of America. It was enough to make me start spinning story ideas of my own. Toss is a name I had tucked away (Weathering Rock) that I intended to use for an old home, and it was enough to spur my muse into action. Here’s my “cast” list:

Caleb DeCardian
David Soul

Arianna Hart
Felicity Jones

Wyn DeCardian
Jim Caviezel

Rick Rothrock
Chris Hemsworth

Lauren Talbot
Scarlett Johansson

Lucas Drake
Tim Daly

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Former Civil War colonel, Caleb DeCardian, is thrust forward in time to the present where he meets fetching Arianna Hart while searching for the former friend who cursed him to live as a werewolf.

Is your book published or represented?
WEATHERING ROCK will be published on October 8, 2012 by Lyrical Press.

How long did it take you to write it?
Eight months. Then I set it aside for several years, dug it out, dusted it off, and did three rounds of edits in seven months, whittling 27k from the original word count. A friend of mine encouraged me to submit it to a publisher, and I decided to give it a shot, thinking ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’

What other books in your genre would you compare it too?
Hmm…that’s a toughie. I’m not sure there really is anything I could compare it with apples-to-apples. Certainly any author doing time-travel or writing about werewolves. In my case, Caleb is not part of a pack, and there is a fair amount of references to the Civil War woven throughout and underlying elements of mystery.

Which authors inspired you to write this book?
I can’t honestly say I was inspired by another author. WEATHERING ROCK was the result of taking varied elements I’m passionate about (history, werewolf folklore, old homes, romance, mystery) and weaving a tapestry from them in the form of a story. There are certainly authors I admire, but I’ve been writing since grade school, so my inspiration really comes from being driven to create.

Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.
I’ve been sharing  elements of the novel for sometime on my blog, but there is something that occurs in the book I’ve purposefully avoided mentioning. I hope it will come as a huge surprise to my readers when they stumble across it. All I’ll say is that there’s more to the time travel element than just Caleb being thrust forward into the present *sly grin*

I’m also planning on making WEATHERING ROCK into a three-book series called The DeCardian Family Chronicles. Wyn DeCardian will be featured as the hero in book number two.

WOW! This has been fun.  Thanks for the tag, L.J!

And now, the five gifted authors I’d like to tag for the next round:

Donna Cummings
Stephanie Ingram
Coleen Kwan
JM Stewart
Calisa Rhose

Cover Reveal: Weathering Rock by Mae Clair

Did you hear that sound? Just in case you missed it, I’ll reiterate: SQUEEEEEEE!

That was me screaming in unrestrained-bouncing-off-the-walls-floating-on-a-cloud-who-knew-I-could-fly excitement! Weathering Rock finally has a cover, brilliantly designed by Valerie Tibbs of Tibbs Design. Lyrical Press has amazing cover artists and I was thrilled to have Valerie working on this. Take a gander:

Yeah, I know it’s large. Okay, maybe even a little blatantly in your face but indulge me, okay?  That’s my name up there. And those are my characters, Caleb DeCardian and Arianna Hart. It took a lot of work to reach this point but every minute has been worth it. I can’t thank Valerie enough for doing my characters justice. I know it wasn’t easy to find a male cover model with long blond hair, but he wouldn’t have been Caleb otherwise. Valerie delivered!

For a lot of you, you’ve been here/done that, but I bet the glow never fades. As a first-time novelist with WEATHERING ROCK releasing on October 8, 2012, I’m happy to float for a while. Please excuse me while I go bask . . . :)

Happy Monday, everyone. It certainly is for me!

Weathering Rock: SSS 7-8-12

Happy Six Sentence Sunday, everyone! Once again, I’m sharing from my paranormal romance, time-travel, WEATHERING ROCK, scheduled for an October 8th release. For the tag, blurb, and a book trailer visit my WEATHERING ROCK page, here.

In today’s SSS, Caleb DeCardian (hunky werewolf and one time colonel for the Union Army during America’s Civil War) has finally gotten Arianna Hart to have dinner with him. At this point in the story, she’s still clueless about who and what he is.

Caleb escorts her outside onto the veranda at Weathering Rock, (an old home built in the 1800′s) where he’s prepared a lavish setting – - white wicker furniture, overstuffed pillows, glass tabletops – - beneath the setting sun. My six picks up from Arianna’s POV:

~ooOOoo~

“This is…” Arianna paused, looking at the blush-colored china, elegant stemware and white taper candles in crystal holders. There was even a vase of freshly cut roses, the creamy pink blooms likely snipped from the bushes on the side of the house. “Lovely.” She had not expected him to do anything so elaborate and wasn’t certain if the romantic setting had been intentional or merely the result of his old-fashioned gentility.

“I hoped you’d like it.”

~ooOOoo~

And I hope you liked my six. :) For more participating authors, visit the Six Sentence Sunday website and get ready for some phenomenal reads! Comments are welcome!