Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Anise Eden and her Paranormal Romance/Suspense, All The Light There Is, Book Three in The Healing Edge! Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post
Tena, thank you so much for having me on Authors’ Secrets to celebrate the release of ALL THE LIGHT THERE IS! It is such a pleasure to be here.
Anise, the pleasure it all mine. Glad to celebrate All The Light There is! Tell us what inspired this particular story.
As the last installment in The Healing Edge paranormal romance/suspense trilogy, ALL THE LIGHT THERE IS casts its group of paranormally-gifted healers into a new and galvanizing role as they uncover a deep web of subterfuge that puts them in the crosshairs. In this crucible of science and spirituality, danger and destiny, the relationship between Cate and Ben deepens, and the MacGregor Group discovers shocking truths about their true potential. ALL THE LIGHT THERE IS ties together the interpersonal connections and larger plots of the first two books, acting as both the culmination of the series and a broadening of the imagination for the future of the MacGregor Group.
Did you tell friends and family that you were writing a book? Or did it take a while to come out and tell friends and family you were a writer?
The impulse to write my first novel caught me completely by surprise, so the only person I told at first was my husband. Once it was finished, I shared my first book with a few trusted people, but the process of revealing my work progressed very slowly. Early on, it felt as though both my work and the new writer in me needed protection—a little bit like crabs that have recently molted and remain vulnerable until their shells have a chance to develop. Now, one of my greatest joys is getting the word out to readers who I believe will enjoy my particular brand of paranormal romance/suspense!
What do you want your readers to take away from your books?
First and foremost, I want my readers to have an entertaining and enjoyable experience. Beyond that, since everyone’s experience is unique, I believe we all take away different things from what we read. However, I write about characters who are misfits, living on the fringe of “normality” and feeling out of place for a variety of reasons. It is my wish that my books will inspire people to have more compassion for themselves and others; to throw open the windows of the mind and consider new possibilities; and to know that they are not alone—that there is always hope.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m something of a homebody who enjoys the simple pleasures: sharing a meal with loved ones, reading, playing with the dog. I also love traveling, especially to explore history, and taking in a really good play or concert. Those types of experiences live inside of me and enrich my life in countless ways, and I often draw upon them when writing.
ParaTrain Internship, Day Six
It’s just a meeting. Nothing to be nervous about. I wiped my damp palms on my skirt and ordered my brain to focus on something else. Like the Jag, I thought. Focus on the fact that you’re finally getting a ride in the Jag.
And not just any Jag—the British 1936 Jaguar SS100 Ben had restored. He’d found the car in a barn in Pennsylvania, sitting on blocks and covered in hay bales. Now, it looked like it had just left the showroom. My fingertips roamed across the soft leather seat as I admired each piece of shining chrome and the deep glow of the wood on the dash. The car’s transformation was a testament to Ben’s workmanship—not to mention to his patience and tenacity when it came to the things he loved.
The things—and the people, I thought, smiling down at my ring. I hadn’t exactly made things easy for Ben, but now, two gold birds were wrapped around my finger, holding a lustrous piece of Scottish agate between their wings. He’d wanted to give me a tangible reminder of how he felt, a talisman to guard against anxiety and doubt.
I stole a glance at Ben. He was completely in his element, left hand loosely holding the steering wheel, right elbow propped up on the door. Everything about him was solid and squared-off, from the angle of his jaw to the way he carried his shoulders. These qualities were augmented by his charcoal gray suit and crisp white shirt—worn sans tie, as usual. I marveled that no matter what internal battles he might be fighting, Ben always exuded a quiet confidence.
“Enjoying yourself?” he asked.
“Completely.” I closed my eyes and inhaled my new favorite scent—a mixture of fine wool, cotton, and vintage leather that clung to Ben like an olfactory tattoo. “My mom would have loved this, you know.”
His light brown eyes softened. “You think so?”
“Absolutely.” Every summer when I was a kid, she had taken me to the local car shows. Back then, we could only look, never touch. Riding along with Ben, I felt like a glamorous movie star. I struck my best Hollywood pose, and he smiled.
It was such a pleasure—not to mention a relief—to see Ben relax after the nonstop drama of the past two weeks. There had been too many life-and-death situations, too much tension. And more than anyone, Ben had earned a vacation. With that in mind, after our meeting at the Smithsonian, we planned to spend the rest of the weekend on the Eastern Shore. That evening, we had a dinner date with my mother’s cousin, Ardis, and a reservation at a nice bed-and-breakfast. Sunday’s schedule was still open. I thought we might head to the ocean; I loved the beach in the fall. Or we could take the ferry to Smith Island; wander around St. Michaels, go sailing…. As I considered the possibilities, I nearly forgot to be nervous.
Then we entered downtown D.C. I sobered as stately suburban homes gave way to modern office buildings and massive structures of chiseled granite. Before long, the Smithsonian office building came into view—ten stories of tinted glass reflecting the cloudless blue sky like a darkened mirror. It took up half a city block.
Ben caught me biting my lip. “You know there’s nothing to be nervous about, right?”
“I know,” I lied. The truth was, I couldn’t believe we were actually there. It had been less than twenty-four hours since Ben told his mother, Dr. MacGregor, about our group’s experience with the double kheir ritual. Now we were on our way to meet with her world-class paranormal research team—and not just to exchange information. We’d been asked to give a demonstration, as well.
I had dressed up for the occasion, wearing a dove gray pencil skirt and a wine-colored cashmere sweater my mother had given me one Christmas. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t belong at the Smithsonian—not as anything more than a tourist, anyway.
“Well, just in case,” he said, “let me remind you that you have nothing to prove here. None of us do. My mother already told her colleagues what happened with our ritual, and they’re keen to know more. But they don’t have any definite expectations; after all, half of them still think the double kheir is just a myth.” In a conspiratorial tone, he added, “Think of it this way. I know you have a lot of questions. Today, you can ask anything you like.”
“Hmm.” I bit the tip of my finger. “Anything?”
“Like whether The Da Vinci Code was based in fact? And whether they’re all members of the Illuminati?”
He chuckled as we pulled into the underground parking garage. “If you ask them those questions, I’ll make sure you get a substantial year-end bonus.”
“Deal,” I said, smiling tentatively. I was still getting used to the idea that my new boyfriend was also my new boss.
Ben was the manager of the MacGregor Group, an alternative healing clinic founded by his mother and housed in a repurposed church. I first met him when my former employer, Dr. Nelson, sent me to the MacGregor Group for treatment. My mother’s recent suicide had left me in pieces, unable to function. As close as she and I had been, somehow I hadn’t seen that my mother was in crisis. Her shocking loss had debilitated me, and I could barely leave my house, let alone return to my job as a psychotherapist. What Dr. Nelson hadn’t told me was that Dr. MacGregor was a psychiatrist who specialized in paranormal gifts, and that instead of “treating” me, she and Ben were enrolling me in ParaTrain, a paranormal skills training program. My first lesson had been to learn the definition of an empath—and that I was one.
Since then, my life had changed so dramatically that it was unrecognizable. Dr. Nelson, Dr. MacGregor, and Ben had all worked hard to convince me that because I was an empath, the key to maintaining my mental health was to leave my job as a therapist and go to work for the MacGregor Group. The idea of leaving my beloved therapy clients was nothing short of heartrending. But after due consideration and several persuasive paranormal experiences, I had agreed to take their advice. Before I could officially start my new job, though, I had to complete a three-week training program: one week of preparation, followed by a two-week internship.
My time in ParaTrain had flown by. Although I was starting my final week of the internship, I still didn’t feel anywhere near ready to take on my new role as an empath healer. Before I met the MacGregors, I hadn’t even known that empaths existed, so I was still struggling to find my bearings. And the unexpected romance between Ben and me was keeping me permanently off-balance. Add in the mind-blowing experience we’d had with the double kheir the previous week, and…. Well, I didn’t even know what had happened there, so I was fairly certain that I’d make a fool of myself trying to describe it to the Smithsonian research team.
That thought had me wiping my palms on my skirt again. “I am nervous, though, about this demonstration we’re supposed to give. The researchers may not have any definite expectations, but surely they’re hoping to see something. And unlike the rest of you, I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“You’ll be fine, Cate,” Ben reassured me as we pulled into a parking space. “Kai’s got it all figured out. He said he has something simple and easy planned, so just follow his instructions. Even if nothing interesting happens, that’s still useful information for my mother’s team. They’re scientists, remember? In an experiment, even a negative result is valuable.”
I had no reason to doubt Kai. He was a highly capable expert in ancient rituals, among other things. But when it came to the paranormal, I had a track record of unintentionally messing things up. “What if I forget our instructions and start reading people’s emotions?”
Dr. MacGregor had passed on a request from her project director that we refrain from using our paranormal gifts on the members of the research team without their specific permission. Apparently, they were much more comfortable observing others than being observed themselves.
“The fact that you’re already worrying about that means it’s highly unlikely you’ll forget,” he said. “And even if you do, who’s going to know?”
Only everyone, I thought. My poker face was nonexistent. I buried my face in my hands. “I’m just afraid that I’m going to embarrass myself. And you. And your mother. And disappoint everyone.”
Ben turned off the ignition. I felt him lean towards me and gently tuck an escaped strand of hair into my braid. “That’s not possible.”
His optimism was endearing, if ill-founded. “Oh, I assure you, it’s possible.”
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged All The Light There Is, Anise Eden, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Telepath by email@example.com with 2 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Casi McLean, author of Lake Lanier Mysteries, the second in the series Beyond the Mist releases in a few days on September 15, 2017!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Casi and the Lake Lanier Mysteries.
Thanks for stopping by Casi. Let’s start with what inspired this series.
A town time forgot––the eerie lore attached to a rural area sleeping beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinates me. Homes, churches, businesses and untold stories still linger hidden within it’s 38,000 acres of water, and fed by the Chestatee and Chattahooche Rivers. What Inspired Beneath The Lake? The strange phenomenon and vanishings sprarked my muse.
And Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, bared its cement stands in a recent draught. The moonshiners of the 1940’s added built-in suspense, not to mention the birth of NASCAR.
A portion of the grandstands, once submerged beneath Lake Lanier, bared its remains near the shoreline Monday, Dec. 17, 2007. As a record drought took it’s toll on the 38,000-acre man-made reservoir that supplies more than three million residents with water in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
There’s a lady of the lake who haunts the ghost town too.
Swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheared-off trees and town remains until they join her in her watery grave. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake’s unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. These stories are the basis for what inspired Beneath The Lake. The inspiration haunted me, begging for a story to be told.
What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series. Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history presented a plausible theory: what if the explosions required to excavate the lake induced a seismic shift and, given enough energy, could open a portal to a different dimension or a rip in time. I loved the possibilities.
WOW, interesting. I have friends that live on Lake Lanier and we’ve visited there, even boated and swam in the lake. I guess I’m lucky to still be here. I’ll never look at that lake the same again, that’s for sure! LOL
The first book in the Lake Lanier Mysteries is Beneath the Lake. Tell us a little about it.
A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she’s never heard of––34 years before she was born.
And your up coming release – Beyond the Mist?
Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.
The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.
Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?
Book Trailer for for Beyond the Mist. Beyond The Mist ~ star-crossed lovers survive a cyclone of 9/11 terrorism
Are you working on the next book in the series? Yes. Between The Shadows, Book #3 in my Lake Lanier Mysteries. I’m on chapter 9, so depending on my available writing time, maybe this time next year. I submitted Beyond The Mist last February and the publication date is September 15, so the process takes time. That said, the story is flowing so well now, I can’t wait to seclude myself and write away.
About the Author:
Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.
Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.
Learn more about Casi McLean at the links below:
It was wonderful having you with us today. You’ve promised to come back again on September 13th and bring Nick with you From Beyond the Mist to answer questions and provide a fun excerpt. I’ll post my review of the Beyond the Mist at that time also. See you then. Good Luck with Beyond the Myst!
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Casi McLean, fantasy, Lake Lanier, Mystery, Romance, Time travel by firstname.lastname@example.org with 16 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Karilyn Bentley, author of Demon Cursed, third in the Demon Huntress series!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Karilyn and Demon Cursed.
Tell us what inspired this particular story?
Demon Cursed is the third book in my Demon Huntress series, so it was more along the lines of continuing the overarching plot and tying up plot threads. The original book came about because the main character, Gin, kept talking in my head and wouldn’t shut up. She wanted her life’s story told RIGHT THEN. So I wrote it. I wanted a story that was a mix of mystery, paranormal, and humor.
And you found it.
Who is your favorite character of all of the books you’ve written and Why? I like Gin, the character in my Demon Huntress series. She’s snarky, quirky, and does things I wouldn’t dream of doing.
Why do you write what you write? Contemporary, paranormal, suspense, etc. I write paranormal and urban fantasy because magic interests me. I like the idea of magical creatures out there hidden from us. To be able to wield magic with a flick of my wrist would be fun. I could sit and read a book while having magic-charged brooms and feather dusters clean my house. Ah, imagine the possibilities!
Yes, know hat you mean. I love paranormal and urban fantasy. Love to be swept away from the everyday into a world of fantasy, if only for a little while. LOL
You’ve got a time machine, a cloak of invisibility, and one hour. Where would you go, and what eavesdropping would you do? Oh boy. I can come up with a bunch of things, some of which are not appropriate to put on here. Ha! Let’s see. At the moment I’m feeling nostalgic, so I would use this time machine to go back to when I was a child and see all my relatives who are now deceased. Just sit, listen to them talk, and refresh my memories.
Tell us a little about Demon Cursed.
Gin Crawford, the world’s newest demon huntress, just wants to enjoy a football game, but finds herself hunting a serial killer minion instead. When his victims turn out to be the local football star’s female fans, she must determine if the player has joined forces with the minion, but her efforts lead her deeper into danger. When her mentor, Aidan Smythe, is attacked, Gin resolves to go to any lengths to save him, even if it exposes her most tightly held secret. Minions and demons, however, aren’t the only terrors she faces. Will she realize the greatest danger lies within—before it’s too late?
How about a peek between the pages of Demon Cursed?
I shake my head at him before straightening my shoulders. And slapping a hand over my mouth and nose. Yuck. Hours-old death in humid Texas weather makes for a smelly situation. At least I’m not the only one with their hand, or handkerchief, over their mouths.
“What happened?” Smythe meets the gaze of each guard and the hyperventilating janitorial women who clearly found the body.
One of the women points to where the body lies in front of the Dumpster, flat on her back, hands resting in classic death pose on her bloody stabbed chest, a red rose clasped in her fingers. Her open eyes stare into the night, her mouth curled into a grimace of pain and death. Her clothes look like she came from a club: tight, short, and low-cut, with spiky heels. At one time, I would’ve been jealous of her hot-to-trot figure. Now all I notice is the pain and terror stamped on her face and the unfurling anger deep in my core.
Fucking murderers. I might be a fancy-assed demon huntress, but I destroy minions, not human killers. Lucky for me, I can tell which type of kill this scene belongs to with little effort.
Closing my eyes, I start to take a deep calming breath, think better of it, and focus on activating my minion sensors. Tapping into the power of the entity lying along my nerves, I open my eyes to a tactical grid display of reds and oranges, a clear indication of a minion’s presence at the scene.
Looks like I’ll get my wish to annihilate the bastard who killed this poor woman.
More About Karily Bentley:
Karilyn Bentley’s love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.
Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.
Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, a crazy dog nicknamed The Kraken, a silly puppy, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.
Where to find Karilyn
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/karilynbentley
It was wonderful having you with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Demon Cursed!
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Demon Cursed, fantasy, Karilyn Bentley, Mystery, Paranormal by email@example.com with 19 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Viola Carr, author of The Dastardly Miss Lizzie released on April 18, 2017!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Viola Carr and The Dastardly Miss Lizzie part of her Electric Empire books.
In the third book in Viola Carr’s fantastically fun and wonderfully edgy Electric Empire novel, set in the gritty world of alternate Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll must team up with her secret other half, Miss Lizzie Hyde, as her world comes crashing to a halt when a madman begins targeting the city’s most important scientists, and sorcerers threaten all she holds dear.
Crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to share a life with her rebellious second self, Lizzie Hyde. But being two people in one body isn’t easy, not when Eliza has a professional reputation to protect and Lizzie is veering headfirst into a life of debauchery and crime with an increasingly demented Mr. Hyde. Not to mention the difficulty of making a respectable marriage with Remy Lafayette–Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope–while Lizzie enjoys her own dubious romantic entanglements. And with England on the brink of war, Remy’s secretive mission in sorcery-riddled Paris grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is Eliza finally going mad?
Now, she’s confronted by her most baffling case yet: an evil genius with a penchant for theatrics is murdering eminent scientists in the most inexplicable ways. Her investigation uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories and bleeding-edge science punishable by death–and a shocking connection to her father’s infamous experiments. Desperate to learn the truth about her past, she must infiltrate a cabal of fanatical inventors bent on a discovery that will change the world–or destroy it.
With London under attack by sorcery-wielding terrorists, and the Royal Society’s enforcers determined to bury her evidence for good, Eliza needs all the friends she can get if she’s to thwart the killer and keep her head. But when Lizzie’s criminal shenanigans get Eliza fired from the Metropolitan Police, and Remy is implicated in an act of bloody vengeance he didn’t commit (or did he?), she’s on her own.
Except for wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie. But Lizzie’s got her own life now. And she’ll do anything to keep it. Even if it means attempting the unspeakable and finding her own body. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn…
Viola Carr was born in Australia, but wandered into darkest London one foggy October evening and never found her way out. She now devours countless history books and dictates fantastical novels by gaslight, accompanied by classical music and the snoring of her slumbering cat. She likes steampunk, and thought it would be cool to investigate wacky crimes with crazy gadgets…just so long as her heroine was the creator of said wacky gadgets: a tinkerer, edgy, with a dash of mad scientist.
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Fantastically fun, Mystery, steampunk, Victorian London, Viola Carr by firstname.lastname@example.org with 3 comments.