Showing posts with label Character Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Character Interview. Show all posts

May 17, 2016

Coming Soon! Characters Interview & Excerpt: Welcome To Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily

Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn't right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape's life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape's life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy's friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models' parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

Release Date: May 31st

Today, I'll be interviewing two characters from my book, “Welcome to Sortilege Falls.” This feels a little weird for me. It's not everyday your creations come to life and answer your questions. I'm so nervous. What if they don't behave? Better get this over with.

Grape, Liam, would you like to introduce yourselves?

Grape: Hi! My name's Grape. I wish I had a nickname but it's pretty hard to shorten Grape. My family just moved to what I thought was going to be a cute little town in Missouri, but it totally isn't. Not at all.

Liam: Hello, Miss Heily. It is a pleasure to meet you.

Wow, Liam! Your accent is so much crisper in real life. Were you born in Eastern Europe?

Liam: I was born far away, that is most accurate.

That didn't really answer my question but I guess that's okay. Moving on. I want to let Mikky's readers get to know you guys. What are some of your hobbies?

Grape: I love watching movies. Acting's kind of my thing and I really like to watch others perform so I can pick up techniques. Especially anything with Lance Irving. He plays my favorite character, Stone Huntington, Teen PI. I want to be cast on that show so bad!

Liam: Well, my busy schedule does not leave much time for hobbies. I am a nurse and a club owner. The club is more of a coffee house really. I also have a community to watch over.

Grape: Yeah, a community of creepers.

Now, now, we promised no fighting.

Liam: Who is fighting? Grape is, as usual, just a bit sour.

Grape: I never heard that one before.

Try not to strain a muscle rolling your eyes, Grape. Let's move on. How old are you?

Grape: Sixteen. Finally! Getting my license was huge for me. Not that my mom lets me drive that often. She's a doctor and she sees a lot of car wreck victims. So...not much driving for me.

Liam: I am far older than I look.

Grape: Can you give it a rest with the Dracula thing for a bit? It's embarrassing.


Grape: Can't you tell by the way he's dressed that he wants to be a vampire?

I just thought he came from a funeral.

Liam: No, I do usually wear a lot of black. It goes well with my pale skin.

Grape: So would a tan. Maybe you should try a tan.

Getting a little heated in here. Let's keep rolling, huh? If you could spend the day with any one person, who would it be?

Liam: I had to leave someone behind when I moved to Sortilege Falls, someone very close to me. I would spend the day with her, and every day after if I could.

Weird how you answered that and didn't really answer at the same time.

Liam: Details are for friends, my dear. Generalities are for everyone else.

What about you, Grape?

Grape: My dad. Definitely my dad. He passed away a few years ago. I think that's why Mom wanted to move, to be somewhere new. My dad and I were really close. He gave me my name. I miss him. A lot. My mom and brother do, too. It would be nice to see him again.

I'm sorry to hear about your father.

Grape: Thanks.

I tell you what, let's lighten the mood. What is your favorite thing about living in Sortilege Falls?

Liam: The safety, of course. Where I come from, there is much violence. War is constant and unforgiving. Here is peace.

Grape: Wow, I was going to say the mall is okay. I feel a little silly now. We didn't have much war in Virginia. I mean, I've only lived here a few days and I don't have much to go on. There are a lot of gnomes, though. I mean, why does everyone have garden gnomes on their front lawn, and back lawn, and side lawn? They're practically everywhere you look.

Kind of a gnome infestation, huh?

Grape: I don't know. Sometimes I could swear I've seen them breathing. That's crazy, I know. I guess there are just so many of them that you start seeing things.

I'm just going to pretend like that didn't happen. Describe your first meeting.

Grape: Ugh. Well, originally, I saw him talking to a kid outside of my high school during lunch. I thought that was weird because this guy is way too old to hang out with high school kids. I mean waaaaaaaaay too old. But we didn't really meet then.

Liam: No, but I do remember seeing you.

Grape: I know, you practically stared me down.

Liam: I was sizing you up.

Grape: Whatever. Mr. Undead here and I met when I went to his “club” which is not really in town, by the way. It's more on the outskirts, in the woods, near nothing. This is the weirdest thing about Liam, and trust me, everything about this guy is weird, he has a throne in the club. Like an honest-to-goodness throne. Who owns a throne?

Liam: I bought it at a yard sale.

Grape: What?

Liam: People have expectations. I do not wish to disappoint. It is an image thing. Silly really. I feel much more comfortable on the floor but comfort does not a business make.

Grape: Yeah, well, when I went to his club we had a bit of a discussion but Liam shot down my questions pretty quickly.

Liam: You were asking me questions I could not answer in front of people, much like this interview. Secrecy is a must.

So, I take it sparks didn't fly?

Grape: Ewwww. Gross. He's like a million years old. I'm in high school, you do know that, right?

Of course I do.

Liam: Grape Merriweather is right. Love between us would be inappropriate, for many reasons. I also prefer older women. Her mother, on the other hand, is quite stunning.

Grape: Hey!

Liam: I am just stating the obvious.

Okay, let's try to cool this off before an actual fight breaks out. Favorite color? That seems tame enough.

Grape: I hate to admit it but it's purple. In no way should it be, but it is. Purple. Crap. I really wish my name wasn't Grape.

Liam: I know you expect me to say black, everyone does. But it's actually yellow. I look quite handsome in yellow. It is a shame that I rarely get to wear it.

How do you feel about the Models getting sick?

Grape: It's awful. Mandy, she's the only one who's been really friendly, is starting to get stomach aches. That means that she might only be days from dying. We've hung out a few times and I've been over to her house to watch movies. Her life isn't as easy as you would think. I mean, her mom decorated their entire house in pictures of Mandy. How weird is that? And the kids at school follow her around like puppy dogs. They've broken into the stall in the bathroom when she's, you know, peeing just to get a look at her. But despite that, she's a really good person. She stopped a group of Models from picking on me. It's just awful to watch anyone suffer, especially people you care about.

Liam: It is unfortunate, as is all suffering. The Models are paying for the mistakes of others.

Grape: There, see that? Right there? That's the most helpful he gets. You can tell he knows something, but he won't say it.

Liam: We do not reveal our secrets in public. That is how we ensure they remain secrets.

Grape: Really? How am I supposed to find a cure when this is what I run into?

Liam: Perhaps there is no cure. Perhaps there is no help.

Grape: You are such a downer.

Liam: Hmmm? Most people seem to like me.

Grape: Well, I guess I'm not most people.

Liam: You are very correct.

Well, I'd love to say this was a pleasure but, yeah, you guys have made it kind of awkward. I was hoping we could build a bridge here but I guess that won't be happening.

Grape: Sure, we can build a bridge. And then we can push Liam off of it.

Liam: So much hostility in someone so young. I do not understand it.

Grape: I don't even think his accent's real.

Okay, time to get these guys safely back in their book. We don't need a war on your blog. Thanks Mikky for having us over! I promise next time, I'll bring some characters who behave.

Stale air filled the club. The smell was so old, so ancient, that it distracted her for a few moments from the man sitting on a throne in the middle of the room. Even in the dim light, she recognized Graeson’s vampire-wannabe friend. It seemed as if he recognized Grape as well, judging by the pointy-toothed grin he gave her. His tailored black suit and red tie made him look even more like a member of the bloodthirsty undead. Stretched out in front of the throne lay a woman wearing a green bikini beneath a sheer body stocking. Her silky red hair lay splayed out around her. The woman glanced at Graeson and then sealed her gaze on Grape.

“Graeson, you brought a friend,” the vampire said in his clipped accent.

The door shut behind them, sealing out the sunshine. Dull yellow and blue light bathed the room. Candles and strings of Christmas lights provided most of the illumination in the club—that, and the faint glow of the vamp’s skin.

The few patrons in the room looked up from their board game to inspect the newcomers. They sat tucked away in a booth in the far corner. Mugs of steaming coffee were the only things on the table that Grape recognized. She wasn’t sure what their costumes were about, but she noticed that none of them were dressed like vampires, though one did seem to be wearing a werewolf mask.

“Role playing,” the vamp said, catching the direction of Grape’s gaze. “It is a specialty here, no?”

“I can see that,” Grape said, glancing from him to Graeson, the only two people in the room dressed in costumes that were suitable for real life as well. The woman on the floor could have worn hers to the beach, she guessed, but it didn’t look appropriate for an afternoon out.

“Would you like something to drink?" the vamp asked. “Or to eat? This one, I’m sure has a great appetite.” He nodded his head to Grape as he spoke.

“I’m not hungry. What do you mean about my appetite?” How the hell could he know she ate all the time?

“I meant no harm. You are a teenager. Teenagers eat constantly.”

“I’ll have some wine," Graeson said, not looking up from the woman at the vamp’s feet.

“Dear, get our guests some wine.”

The woman stretched out her lanky body. She stood in one elegant motion. Her red hair trailed down her back to the tops of her buttocks. There was no sign of the white cream that Graeson wore, but her skin was deadly pale nonetheless.

“That’s my ex-girlfriend,” Graeson whispered to Grape as the woman walked away.

“No way.” She couldn’t imagine a world where that woman and Graeson dated.

“So, Grape Merriweather has decided to speak to me again,” the vamp said, his eyes twinkling. 

“Not on purpose,” Grape said, her voice flat. She didn’t feel nearly as nervous as she had the day before in the hospital, but that was mostly because it was hard to be intimidated by a man when just behind him sat a boy in troll makeup arguing that the spell he’d used should have vanquished the wood nymph to his right.

“You know her?” Graeson asked his friend.

“We have been acquainted,” the vamp said. “Grape is such an unusual name.”

“My name isn’t the most unusual thing in this room.”

Graeson glanced quizzically from the man on the throne to Grape. “Liam, when did you meet Grape?”

“Liam?” Grape tried hard to keep herself from chuckling. “Like the actor?”

“I was Liam first,” the vamp said. “Many, many years before this so-called actor.

Libby Heily began writing after spending years as an obsessive reader. Nothing was safe from her eyes – she tore through books, magazines, cereal boxes, and shampoo bottles with equal enthusiasm. Libby's written plays, screenplays, flash fiction, short stories, and novels. When not spending time in made up places with invisible friends, she enjoys running, hiking and performing improv in Raleigh, NC. 
Enter to win a copy of Welcome to Sortilege Falls – hosted by Goodreads:

February 24, 2016

Character Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway! Wolf, Becoming by Rory Ni Coileain

Volyk learns very young that he has to hide what he is—oboroten’, shape-shifter—after his father is killed and skinned by a hunter, and the pack that takes in his pregnant mother is hostile to his kind. When Volyk is ordered to fight the pack’s beta to prove his fitness, but instead obeys his hormones and tries to mount him, he’s declared an abomination and forced to flee.

Ilya, too, hides a secret. Being young and gay in modern Russia is dangerous, and he knows it. But the truth eventually gets out, and his brothers lure him into the forest to kill him. They’re stopped by Volyk, who hides the mortally wounded Ilya in his den. The only way to heal the human is to turn him into an oboroten’. 

Unfortunately, Ilya’s gentle nature is ill suited to the life of a wolf. But when Volyk’s old pack returns, seeking to take away Volyk’s magickal den, Ilya will have to embrace – truly become – the wolf Volyk made him, to save both his mate’s life and his own.

~ Ilya ~

What’s your job like? 

Before I met Volyk, I guess you could say I was a perpetual student. Trying to put off the day when I’d be expected to find a place in my father’s business empire.

Would you rather be respected or feared? Why? 

I’d settle for just being left alone… but I don’t think I have it in me to be fearsome. Surely there are ways to earn respect, other than making people afraid of you. Though I’ll admit, as I was growing up, fear was the most common shortcut to respect.

What’s your favorite book? 

Wolfhound of the Grey Hound Clan, by Maria Semenova. There’s something about the blond boy who rises above adversity to become a mighty warrior… although I suppose being a wolfhound now would be a little, well, problematic!

If you could go anywhere, all expenses paid, where would you go? 

You’ll laugh… but I’ve always wanted to see Niagara Falls. Maybe go on the boat that goes behind the falls. Something about all that power…

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

If you’ve read any Russian folk tales, you know that the third son of the king or the rich merchant is a pretty dull fellow. *laughing* I’ve always been much quieter than my brothers, certainly quieter than my father! A dreamer, a loner… I enjoyed literature in school, but also maths, I was good at physics and chemistry. Though I think I liked chemistry mostly for my lab partner, Kirill…

And the angel said unto them, be not afraid…

Ilya was not afraid. Enraptured, yes. Entranced. But not afraid. He had been ready for death when he closed his eyes in the wolf’s embrace. Instead, he was whole, and awake, and in the arms of a man more handsome than any angel. Volyk’s long thick hair was the brown and gray of the wolf’s pelt, his cheekbones angular, his lips full. And his eyes were the same beautiful fiery amber as the wolf’s.

Maybe he had only dreamed the wolf. Or maybe he was still dreaming. Surely he had done nothing in his life to earn the gift this moment would be if it were real.

Rory Ni Coileain majored in creative writing, back when Respectable Colleges didn’t offer such a major. She had to design it herself, at a university which boasted one professor willing to teach creative writing: a British surrealist who went nuts over students writing dancing bananas in the snow, but did not take well to high fantasy. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa at the age of nineteen, she sent off her first short story to an anthology that was being assembled by an author she idolized, and received one of those rejection letters that puts therapists’ kids through college. For the next thirty years or so she found other things to do, such as going to law school, ballet dancing (at more or less the same time), volunteering as a lawyer with Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and nightclub singing, until her stories started whispering to her. Currently, she’s a lawyer and a legal editor; the proud mother of a budding filmmaker; and is busily wedding her love of myth and legend to her passion for m/m romance. She is a three-time Rainbow Award finalist.

February 23, 2016

Excerpt, Character Interview & Giveaway! The Detective's Pleasure (Cuffs, Collars, and Love #2) by Christa Tomlison

“You’ll kneel for me without me having to tell you to. And when you do, you’ll feel so much better. Trust me.” 

- Detective Sam Roberts

Officer Ryan Bennett: Ambitious and smart, Ryan Bennett is a young officer on Houston’s police force. He’s pursuing his dream of being promoted to the city’s elite SWAT team with a single mindedness that won’t accept any outcome but success. But that isn’t his only dream. Ryan wants more than a coveted position on SWAT. He wants to be owned by a strong Dominant. To give himself up to a Dom who will make him shudder with pleasure beneath a firm yet loving hand. Unfortunately, Ryan has had nothing but failure in that part of his life. Now, he’s hidden that dream away from everyone, including himself. And he refuses to let anyone close enough to see what he truly desires, and who he truly is. 

Detective Sam Roberts: Cool and calm, Detective Sam Roberts is good at reading people, during the day as a detective and at night as a Dom. He easily sees past the hard layer of arrogance surrounding Officer Ryan Bennett to the hurt submissive hiding beneath. He wants to help Ryan, even though the stubborn young man resists him. But Sam isn’t one to back down from a challenge. He’s determined to help Ryan embrace the soft, giving nature of his submissive side. Using both a gentle hand and the sting of the whip, he’ll work to coax Ryan’s submission free. But what will Sam do if he’s successful? Let Ryan go as promised? Or give the young officer the very thing he’s wanted for so long?

~ Detective Sam Roberts ~

What is the best gift you ever gave?

Well, I gave Ryan something very special to celebrate his achievements. It lead to a pretty amazing night for the both of us, so I’ll say that was the best gift I’ve ever given. But I can’t just tell you what it was.

What was your favorite subject in school?

World Cultures. I really liked studying people and understanding why their civilizations developed and functioned the way they did. 

What is the last thing you tell your partner before bed?

That I love him, of course. He knows it, but I like to make sure he keeps it in his head. 

What is your motto?

Don’t stress. We’ll get it taken care of.

What is your biggest strength?

Patience. It comes in handy when I’m playing the long game to solve a case. And it’s definitely an asset when dealing with my snooty little submissive. 

Ryan stopped picking at the wax and met Sam's eyes in the mirror. He didn't say anything. He just stood there, looking at Sam's reflection. 

“Do you need-.” Sam stopped. Ryan was on the brink of ... something. Sam knew what he said would either finally get him to open up or cause that hard shell to close even tighter around him. Remembering Ryan’s seeming aversion to needing someone, he asked instead, “Would you like some help?” 

Ryan moved his head, the movement so slight it could barely be called a nod. If they hadn't been staring at each other in the mirror, he would have missed it. Sam touched his fingertips to Ryan's shoulder, waiting to see if he would be rejected. Ryan didn’t react, so Sam moved in closer. When he laid the warmth of his palm across his back, Ryan closed his eyes and shuddered. He gripped the countertop with both hands, his head hanging low. 

“I don't know how to let go,” he said in a voice hoarse with restrained despair. 

Sam stepped forward again, moving close enough behind Ryan that he could wrap an arm around him. Ryan stood there for a second before he turned and leaned into his embrace. Sam looked at their reflection in the mirror. Ryan's blond head was nestled against him, streaks of wax down his back. For the first time he looked truly vulnerable, just as Sam had wanted to see him all along. He stroked Ryan's hair, pressing a kiss to the soft strands. 

“I'll show you, Ryan. All you have to do is trust me. I'll take care of the rest.”

Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.

Although Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History, she prefers to write contemporary romance. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters' romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.

Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a semi-retired member of Houston Roller Derby. She enjoys hearing from readers. For more on Christa's work, including deleted scenes, excerpts, and free reads, visit

September 17, 2015

Book Blitz! Character Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway! Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

For “Perfect Paige” Westfeld, today is “D” Day. As in, she just got one on her calculus test. With her dreams of Stanford, her reputation, and her parents’ expectations at stake, Paige needs to find a way to save face before everything she’s worked for goes up in flames.

Ben Franklin (yes, he’s related) is from the wrong side of town, with the wrong clothes and the wrong kind of life. He also knows an opportunity when he sees one, and he’ll be happy to tutor Paige—if she makes him into the kind of guy her best friend, the hottest girl in school, will date.

It’s the perfect arrangement. And Paige is determined not even the inconvenient—and utterly imperfect—attraction simmering between her and Ben will ruin it…

Paige Westfield

Hi Paige, welcome. How are you?

Um, tired I guess. How long is the interview again?

Not long. I know you’re busy. Speaking of which, you have a lot on your plate right now.

I do. Senior year is really crazy. So many projects. I get asked to help out a lot.

So I’ve heard. Rumor has it, though, that you’ve been spotted with a guy recently—Ben Franklin, right? Anything we should know about?

Oh, that. He’s just a friend.

So you don’t have a thing for him?

::sighs:: I plead the fifth.

Really? That’s all you’re going to say? Because someone saw you two in your car the other day. What was that about?

I was fixing his hair, that’s all.

That’s not what it looked like, but you’re blushing, so let’s move on. How are things at home?

Okay. My mom still has us on that diet, but I’ve had a lot of chances to sneak sweets lately, which keeps me sane.

And the piano recital?

Ugh, don’t ask. I’m still working on the piece.

Fair enough. Here’s a serious question—where do you see yourself in five years?

Harvard medical school. After finishing pre-med at Stanford.

You don’t sound sure.

It’s…maybe I’m not sure. I don’t know. Daddy really wants me to go to Stanford, and my mom isn’t good about changes to “The Plan.” Even if I wanted to go somewhere else, I don’t think they’d approve.

But…what do you want?

Wow. You know, almost no one asks me that. Just Zoey. And Ben. Anyway, I’m not sure what I want. I do know I want to work with Alzheimer’s patients, but maybe not as a neurologist like Daddy.

Understood. So, I heard another rumor—that you hosted a very, ahem, hot car wash at your house the other day.

Oh, God. Please don’t ask me about that.

Okay, but answer this question—did you really make Ben take his shirt off?

::mumbles:: Had to show off the merchandise. For, uh, Zoey.

One last thing—you have a real heart for helping people. Have you ever thought maybe you should take some time for yourself? Take a break?

::wistful sigh:: Yeah, actually. But there’s a lot I have to get done first.

Like fall in love? Uh huh, I see that blush.

Okay, okay. Yes, like maybe fall in love.

Ben rocked from foot to foot, then said, “Want to come in? I mean, it’s not much, but—”

“I’d love to!” she answered in a rush, before he could change his mind. He raised an eyebrow and Paige almost laughed—he and Zoey could play Eyebrow Battle Royale when they went out. A wave of cold washed over her. She had to stop thinking about how this would all end, otherwise she’d make herself sick. “Well, are we going in or not?”

Looking nervous, he let her in a side door near the carport. The first thing she noticed was the house smelled like… “Brownies? You have brownies? For real? Where are they? Can I have some?”

He hung his keys on a hook by the door and turned to her, smiling. “My mom usually cooks stuff before she goes to work. We can go look.”

They went through a tiny utility room—more like a hallway—into a small, clean kitchen. The rest of the room, because it was all one room, had a little dining table and a living area with a sofa and a TV. Paige took all that in with one quick glance, then zeroed in on the baking pan on the range. Speechless, she merely pointed and gave Ben a single, pleading look.

By now he was laughing. “If I’d known you had a brownie fetish, I wouldn’t have worried so much about bringing you home.”

He pulled the foil off the pan and cut her a big square. The first bite was heaven. “Ohhhh my God. Mmmm.”

“Okay, so fetish was the right word. You sound a little like a porn soundtrack.” He cut a brownie for himself. “What, you don’t eat brownies at your house?”

“No.” She had to eat another bite before explaining further. Heavenly bliss on a napkin. “My mother, in addition to being randomly rude—I’m so sorry for the way she acted, by the way, because she was a total bitch. No idea what her problem was. Anyway, she’s a health fiend, and an all-organic champion. No junk food is allowed in the house. When Mom bakes, it’s low-fat, gluten-free, and non-GMO. She wouldn’t even let me buy something good at my own bake sale today. I have to buy candy bars on the way to school and hoard them in my locker if I want a fix.”

“Wow…that sucks,” he said emphatically before popping the rest of his brownie in his mouth. 

She nodded, too drunk on chocolate to bother answering.

His expression softened, and he reached out to brush her cheek. Goose bumps covered her arms and she gulped down her brownie. “What is it?”

He leaned forward, looking down into her eyes, before smiling. “Crumb on your cheek.”

She flushed head to toe, not sure if she was embarrassed or something else. Good God, she needed some air. Their faces were inches apart. All she’d have to do was lean forward and tilt her mouth up and they’d kiss. Would that bother him? Scare him off? He swayed closer to her and his hand drifted from her face to her shoulder.

No, to hell with worrying about it. She wanted him to kiss her. She turned her face up to his, and their lips were a breath away from touching. He stared down at her, mouth slightly open, and any second now, any second and he would kiss her. Any second…

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important cats. This, according to the cats, is her most crucial job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.

September 15, 2015

Character Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway! If I Were Fire by Heloise West

In 18th century Siena, Count Salvesto Masello has returned home to find the family villa and his father's estate steeped deeply in debt. In order to save it, he has been selling off valuable family heirlooms, but he is running out of silverware. Somewhere in the villa his deceased father had hidden the art treasures that will pay the debt, but Salvesto can't find them anywhere.

Amadeo Neruccio has been on the run from the vicious pimp, thief, and pawnbroker Guelfetto, but his toughs finally catch him and bring him to the cellar where Count Masello is selling off his silver. When the count learns what fate Guelfetto has in store for Amadeo, he intervenes and trades the last of his mother's dowry for the young man's freedom.

Salvesto had left home over ten years ago to live the life of adventure he craved. He had also hoped to leave his broken heart behind. When he rescues young Amadeo, he did not expect to find love again, or that his adventures had yet to end.

Count Salvesto Masello 

What do you find attractive in a man?

A man must have joy in life or a passion that helps him to rise, if only for a few moments or a few hours, above the daily killing grind. I have lived from storm to storm to seek that passion in a man’s eyes and to find its equal in the flesh. A man who loves horseracing, for example, but whose excesses have dropped him into the clutches of evil men. A man who first looked upon me with despair, thinking I was another of that ilk, and then saw that I was not. Hope is appealing in a man, if his eyes are as dark as ripe olives yet sparkle with starlight. 

The first thing that went through your head when you saw Amadeo Neruccio? 

He was in duress, beaten by toughs in the cellar of that whoreson Guelfetto. I was warned not to intervene, but when Amadeo begged for my help, I had to. That I did as kindness. Desire visited me later in the form of curiosity—who was this man I had rescued? He had endured much, yet the passion for life still burned on in his soul. 

Do you think you’ll insist the author visits you again?

Indeed, She has not heard the last of us!

Before you met Amadeo Neruccio, what was your ideal man?

A robust man, one who is discreet, a man of maturity and wisdom, a fighter. A man’s actions and words will do much to make up for lack of handsomeness or manners. That was my ideal. I made do with men without names or master, sometimes chasing ruin myself, searching for—what? Those fledging feelings I’d felt with my first man were ashes until Amadeo.

You’re going out for dinner. What’s your favorite food?

I do not eat meals at inns or roadside taverns. Have you ever been to sea? No? Well, I would not pay to eat at an establishment which serves food no better than I have had to endure after two months at sea. Not anymore. My cook Leonarda keeps us well fed and happy. She makes an egg noodle in hare sauce that is sublime.

Everyone knew everyone’s business in the small hilly honeycomb town of Siena. The house the Masello had once occupied for short periods during the year belonged to a rich merchant now. The eldest Masello had died in a hunting accident in the countryside, and his father, it was said, died of grief a year later. This event had brought the new conte home to the villa with the leaky roof, the broken-backed barn, and massive debt. Yet perhaps Conte Masello was not as bad off as they said, for he had paid Amadeo’s debt to Guelfetto.

Likely Amadeo was wrong about that, too, as the conte had traded for his freedom with silver dishes and spoons. Amadeo swallowed hard but could not dislodge the lump in his throat, a combination of gratitude and resentment. Life in a Florentine bathhouse and sexual slavery to the traditional enemies of Siena was no life at all. He shuddered. He had meant it about throwing himself on the tender mercy of the river.

What kind of master was the new Conte Masello? He glanced at the man beside him and found warm hazel eyes gazing down at him. His new master’s hair was as brown as chestnuts and touched with gray strands. Whatever he’d been doing while the family fortunes dwindled—soldiering, sailing, perhaps even tramping about in the New World—had made him a man with a face weathered by the sun and muscles that strained the seams of his fine clothes. He was broad-shouldered and a forearm’s length taller than Amadeo, who felt like a willow tree beside such an oak.

“We have another stop to make,” the conte whispered. “Finish your prayers.”

The hard press of the conte’s velvet-clad shoulder and the intimacy of his warm breath on Amadeo’s neck sent a small shock through him, and his cock stirred restlessly in response.

Oh no, you don’t. You are not to ruin this chance for me either. Pardon me, dear Saint Catherine. I pledge to you I will stay away from the gaming tables and this man’s bed.

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mahem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

July 27, 2015

Character Interview & Giveaway! Shadow Dancer by Addison Kline

Some secrets should just stay buried. On the day Tristan Morrow is born her mother goes missing, prompting an investigation that produces no solid leads. Fast forward 15 years, and the Morrow family still doesn't know the truth behind Catherine Morrow’s disappearance. When 15 year old Tristan is required to write a biography on her mother for a school assignment, she learns the truth about her mother’s fate, and is hell-bent upon finding out who was responsible for her death. But when Tristan herself goes missing too, everyone is suspect, even her own father and boyfriend. Set in rural Fox Hollow, PA, Shadow Dancer unravels a web of lies, deceit, madness and corruption. Can investigators crack the case before Tristan meets the same fate as her mother? And who is responsible for the disappearances? There is much uncertainty as the investigation unfolds, but there is one thing that is certain: Tristan Morrow holds the master key to the entire riddle.

Here is Episode Two: JJ Meets Jack.

Good Afternoon Folks! This is JJ Penn from Elkhart Radio 104.9 and I am back on the scene in Fox Hollow and we’re going to see if Jack Morrow, the lead male character from the new mystery novel, Shadows of Morrow is willing to talk to us and answer some of our questions. It looks like he’s in the pasture over there with some of his workers tending to an injured cow. I’m just going to mozy on over there, and see what’s up.

JJ: Hello Jack… Mr. Morrow?

Jack turns from the injured sow on the ground, and gives JJ a glaring look.

Jack: Didn’t you see the sign? No trespassing! Now get gone…

JJ: Jack, I’m JJ Penn from…

Jack gives JJ an incredulous look, and he looks back at Frank who is gently stroking the cow’s side.

Jack: Hey Frank, this guy thinks I care who he is!

Frank growls in a Scottish brogue at JJ.

Frank: You better get going, boy… This is private property, and we don’t take kindly to visits from strangers.

JJ: I don’t mean no harm, but people in town….

Jack: People in town talk a lot of crap about stuff they know nothing about. Now son, I believe I asked you to leave.

JJ tried to step forward, but the path was blocked by several other cows, grazing in the pasture. They lazily chewed their grass and stared at JJ. Whenever JJ moved, the cows move closer, effectively creating a barrier between Jack and JJ. It was as if Jack had paid off his cows.

JJ: Jack, if I could just get a moment of your time!

The cows encroached further mooing loudly. One even went so far as to lick JJ’s leather jacket. JJ retreated in disgust.

JJ: It licked me!

Jack and Frank stared at JJ as if he had lost his mind.

Jack: Am I seeing things? This joker is still here.

Frank: Maybe we should find out what he wants…

Jack: I have a sick cow to deal with. Forget him. If he’s not gone in 10 seconds, I’ll have Adam release Ziggy. JJ, still listening intently heard the name Ziggy, and became more nervous.

JJ: What’s Ziggy?

Jack: Never you mind!

Frank stared at JJ who was still trying to get the licking cow away, but wasn’t having any luck as he was pinned between an old wooden fence and the herd of heifers. Frank smacked his tongue over his teeth and gave Jack a mischievous smirk.

Frank: Want me to take care of him?

JJ’s eyes bugged out of his head.

JJ: I just wanted to ask a few questions. Friendly questions!!

The cow was now licking the side of JJ’s face. JJ’s cringed in disgust. Jack looked at Frank with a serious face.

Jack: Yeah Frank. You better. I don’t want to have to release Ziggy.

JJ: No! Don’t release Ziggy! I mean, I don’t know what Ziggy is, but-

Frank started walking towards JJ. As he did the cows lazily dispersed, except for the one who had taken a liking to JJ. Frank had a menacing look on his face; his burly hands curled into massive fists. As JJ was sure that he was about to get the tar beat out of him, Frank slapped him on the back forcefully, but playfully.

Frank: We’re only messin’ with ya! We figured you were gonna come back up here. Tristan told us you was from the radio station.

JJ, eyes wide, all colored removed from his skin, stared at Frank in disbelief. His back still seared from where Frank had pummeled him. Jack, who was leaning over the beleaguered sow on the ground, was nearly in tears from laughing so hard.

Frank: What’s the matter? You can’t take a joke?!

On the horizon, JJ could see someone and something coming towards them. Frank looked behind him to see who it was.

Frank: Oy! It’s about time. Poor Oscar was seeing angels.

JJ: Oscar?

Frank: The poor beast on the ground. That be Oscar.

Tristan, who was leading an enormous pot belly pig on a leash towards her father, handed him a syringe as she looked at the cow on the ground.

Tristan- Poor Oscar….

Jack took the needle and jammed it hard into the cow’s hind quarter, causing it to groan in protest.

JJ- What did you do that for?! Is it going to die?

Frank looked at JJ as if he had lost his mind entirely.

Frank- Die?! What’s the matter with ye?! He got into the corn field again, and he’s allergic! That shot saved Oscar’s life!

Tristan and her pot belly pig approached JJ to say hello.

Tristan- JJ! Nice to see you again.

JJ nodded, not in the mood for social interaction any more after his encounter with Jack and Frank.

Tristan- This here is Ziggy. Say hi, Ziggy.

Ziggy looked up at JJ and snorted loudly. JJ thought the pig must’ve weighed more than he did; it’s belly scraped the ground as it walked, and he waddled from side to side.

Tristan- Don’t be afraid, he wouldn’t hurt a fly! He’s just old and grouchy… and probably hungry.

Suddenly, Ziggy was sniffing at JJ’s feet and digging his teeth into the laces of his suede Oxfords.

JJ- Hey!

JJ jumped up onto the old wooden fence to get away from the hungry pig who had chewed right through his laces.

JJ- Oh, no! That’s it! I’m going home. I’ll come back another day… When you’re back at the house!

Frank and Jack stared at each other as JJ ran back to his car.

Jack- I was just about to answer his questions, too.

Frank- What a feather weight.

Tristan, who was still standing with Ziggy, waved as JJ’s Subaru kicked up dirt as it sped down the road towards Cavegat Pass.

Tristan- Now look what you did, Ziggy. You scared him off… And you Daisy (talking to the cow that had taken a liking to JJ)… You nearly licked his jacket off.

Frank- Think he’ll actually come back?

Jack- Not if Ziggy and Daisy have anything to do with it.

Poor JJ! But don’t worry, he’ll be back next week, and he’ll be in the kitchen with the feisty and vivacious Bridgette Kilpatrick!

Addison Kline is an International Best-Selling Author who resides in Philadelphia with her husband, their children and their two dogs. When she is not writing, she enjoys watching reruns of Downton Abbey, The Walking Dead and Sons on Anarchy, traveling with her family and reading to her heart's content. 
Addison is a member of the International Thriller Writers Association and while she loves to write in a variety of genres, Addison always says "mystery is her game." Her favorite genres to write include romantic suspense, psychological thrillers, mystery and thrillers.