What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?
I studied Japanese and International Economics in college, and I’m fluent in three languages – English, Japanese, and Turkish. I lived overseas for six years, both in Japan and in Turkey. Istanbul is one of my favorite cities in the world.
What do you enjoy doing on your down time?
Reading, of course! My favorite thing in the world is to curl up with a really good book. Sadly, I can’t do it as often as I’d like.
What is your Favorite part of writing?
I love the moment when I hear the character’s “voice.” As soon as that happens, I know I’ve got it. From that point on, the story almost tells itself.
Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?
I must have coffee (it’s mandatory), and I usually set the clock so I won’t spend too much time goofing off on Facebook or finding recipes I’ll never make on Pinterest. Then I sit at my desk (next to my statue of Godzilla eating lawn gnomes and my Jane Austen action figure), wait for my black lab curl up on my feet, and start writing. Capone helps me to stay at my desk and keep working. He gets so cozy, and his snoring is so soothing – it helps the writing process.
What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?
I love Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. I also loved her time-travelling Highlanders. I admire the fact that she changed genres liked that. She’s kind of a rock star.
How would you pitch Traveller to someone who has not heard of it before?
Former beauty queen fights monsters with the help of a sexy, mercenary, gypsy warrior.
Can you tell us a little bit about the world that Traveller is set in?
Traveller takes place in York, England, where my character, Emerson is doing a study abroad. Unbeknownst to Emerson, the picturesque city of York is actually a secret battleground between the Travellers, an ancient race of gypsies with special powers, and the Moktar, monsters who survive by feeding on humans.
Do you have a favorite scene in Traveller?
I love all the scenes between Michael and Emerson, but I think one of my favorites is when she uses a “Hello, Kitty!” bandage to cover one of his cuts. The idea of a big, bulky warrior allowing this little blonde girl to take charge and care for him is touching, but I find the bandage especially amusing. I also really enjoy the scene where Emerson and Michael meet for the first time.
Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?
Emerson was definitely one of my favorites. I’ve never written a southern character before, and I had a blast studying the accents and researching phrases for her to use. I think the character in the New Adult series I’m working on right now, Samantha, is the hardest character I’ve written. She’s not as funny as most of the characters I write, mostly because she’s dealing with a lot of difficult and dark situations.
What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?
I have a contemporary romance with magical realism elements called The Enchanted Garden Café that is currently under consideration with several publishers. I’ve also finished two books in the New Adult series mentioned above. One of the books takes place in Japan, and that part of it was a lot of fun for me to write. It was like revisiting the country I fell in love with so many years ago, and seeing it in a different light. A nice trip down memory lane!
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Former Junior Miss Kentucky Emerson Shaw won pageants using martial arts as her talent and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” as her guide, but a painful secret leads her to the University of York, and puts her in the path of tattooed and pierced bad boy, Michael Nightingale.
Michael is a Traveller, part of an ancient line of mercenary gypsies who protect the world from vicious monsters called the Moktar. When Emerson gets attacked, she has no choice but accept Michael’s offer of protection or face certain death.
Traveller society, full of outdated rules and ridiculous superstitions, isn’t a good fit for the headstrong Emerson. Traveller women aren’t allowed to fight. Traveller women aren’t allowed to win. Traveller women aren’t allowed to leave. But Emerson will do what she must, even if it means losing the one person who matters most.
“Who are you and what do you want from me?”
I took a deep breath. It probably wouldn’t be a good start to tell him he occupied my every waking thought and most of my dreams, too. I decided to go with a more conventional approach.
“You’re here every morning, and I thought I’d say hello.” I stuck out my hand. “Emerson Jane Shaw.”
He surprised me by reaching for my extended hand and holding it firmly. His hand, large, warm and rough, had cuts and bruises all over the knuckles. He had faint bruises on his face, too, and some small wounds still in the process of healing. He’d been in some kind of fight recently.
It didn’t surprise me. He had the look of a warrior about him, the lean strength and watchful eyes of a predator, and he was lethal. Sun Tzu would have seen it, too. He would have recruited him without a moment’s hesitation.
“Michael Nightingale.” He stared at me with those hypnotic eyes as he continued to hold my hand, using it to pull me nearer to him.
“I know. Mrs. Burke told me.” I couldn’t focus on what I was saying while he touched me, not that I’d done such a great job up until now with my witty repartee.
He tilted his head to one side, studying me the way a lion studies a gazelle before he eats it. His face was only inches away from mine.
“Do you like to flirt with danger, Emerson Jane Shaw?”
“Not usually, but today I can make an exception.”
The touch of his hand sent an electric current through my body that made my heart speed up and my brain slow down. He was intoxicating. I almost had to fan myself.
Abruptly, Michael let go of me and stood up, shoving his books into his backpack. I stood up, too.
Michael glared at me, threw some bills on the table and stomped out of the shop. Like an idiot, I grabbed my backpack and followed him.
He walked quickly through The Shambles, dodging pedestrians and umbrellas with ease. I wasn’t quite as lucky. The rain poured down, filling the street with puddles. Michael wore combat boots and jeans. I had on a useless pair of flats and no jacket. It only took seconds for me to be soaked to the skin and miserable. In minutes, I looked like a little blonde drowned rat.
I’m pretty fast, even in slippery shoes, and I was motivated. I kept him in my sights until he reached a side street at the end of The Shambles that led down a narrow lane. I was only half a block away when he turned and looked at me, his eyes locking with mine, and disappeared.He hadn’t walked away. He hadn’t moved. He’d been there one second, and gone the next. Running as fast as I could, I reached the spot where I’d last seen him and looked down the lane and on either side of the street. My ribbon flew out of my hair, blowing away in the wind as I slid on the wet cobblestones and nearly fell. I skidded to a halt, realizing I hadn’t been fast enough. It was a dead end, and he was gone.
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