Monday, February 27, 2017

Interview + Giveaway: Rescued by the Wolf by Kristal Hollis

UFI welcomes Author Kristal Hollis. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I’m fairly candid about myself in my bio, which I had to re-read when trying to answer this question. One thing missing is that I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland. I struggled for years before a proper diagnosis was made and I started treatment, which I’ve found is only partially beneficial. I continue to struggle with chronic fatigue and because of a sluggish metabolism, keeping a healthy weight has become a battle I’m too tired to fight at times. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the sheer force of will. Thankfully, I have grit and determination in spades.

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?
In addition to writing, I work a full-time “day” job so my down time is very limited. But,
whenever possible, I involve family and friends in interesting or unusual outings. I’m curious by nature and enjoy experiencing new things.

One of the most memorable nights I had with a friend was at Halloween one year. Online, I found a group hosting a ghost-story-telling event in a nearby town. But, we arrived to discover that I had misread the event description. Instead of the group telling ghost-stories about the haunted district, they were ghost hunters armed with EMF readers, EVP recorders and all that jazz.

What is your favorite part of writing?
This question makes me think of Dorothy Parker, who was credited to have said, “I hate writing, I love having written.”

While I don’t “hate” writing, it can be a hair-pulling in frustration task for many reasons. Too little time, sagging middles, storylines that take off in a direction you hadn’t intended only to totally undermine weeks of careful plotting, characters who refuse to adhere to the attributes noted on the development sheets created for them. It’s a bit like herding cats.

But, I love the first inklings of new characters and their story. It’s like taking that first breath of life again—a soul awakening to fulfill its purpose. And, I’m awe-struck by the moments of unexpected discovery, such as finding out something about a character I didn’t previously know or a sudden solution to a plot issue I’ve been wrestling to fix.

Probably, the best part of the process is, just like Dorothy said, to have written it at all.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?
If I did, I might get a lot more writing done. But, I write in snatches so it’s difficult to keep to a routine. I do, however, need to be comfortable so I migrate around the house. I might start in the home office, move to the recliner in the family room, then on to the dining room before finding my way to the chaise in the sitting room, only to end up in the bedroom with the pillows fluffed all around me. Wherever I am, I do need for the environment to be quiet with minimal distractions. Although I meet up with friends at the coffee shop or library, I rarely get any writing done. I’m a people watcher so I’m not focused on writing when in public.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?
The first paranormal romance author I remembering reading was Kinley MacGregor aka Sherrilyn Kenyon. I picked up the first book in the Lords of Avalon series, at the grocery store of all places. Immediately fell in love with the genre and eventually discovered the Dark Hunter series.

I also love Debbie Herbert’s Bayou Magic series, featuring Native American characters and folklore.

How would you pitch RESCUED BY THE WOLF to someone who has not heard of it before?
Here’s an “elevator” pitch:
RESCUED BY THE WOLF is about a widowed werewolf who collides with a spirited woman whose zeal for life just might be his saving grace—except someone wants him dead.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that RESCUED BY THE WOLF is set in?
RESCUED BY THE WOLF is set in our contemporary world. The wolf shifters, called Wahyas, keep their nature secret from the human public. They could be your neighbors, co-workers, doctors, anyone really.

The location, or setting, is a fictional Appalachian town in Northeast Georgia, somewhere between Helen and Hiawassee. The characters are down-home people living ordinary lives who find themselves in extra-ordinary situations while falling in love.

Do you have a favorite scene in RESCUED BY THE WOLF?
I absolutely love the scene where the widowed hero, RAFE WYATT, loses his home in a devastating fire. Everything in his past is being stripped away, leaving his emotions raw as he deals with reconciling who he was with who he wants to become. He feels utterly alone in this endeavor until the heroine, GRACE OLSEN, shows up at the scene of the fire. She becomes his strength, his solace and his sanctuary. This scene is a definite roll reversal, with the heroine becoming the knight in shining armor for the hero.

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about?
I’ll start with the hardest, GRACE OLSEN.
Grace’s character underwent dramatic changes through-out the story development. It was a difficult process to get a good bead on her which eventually led me to understand that she was a woman without roots. Once that realization occurred, the struggle to get her on the page became easier.

My favorite character to write---actually hasn’t been written yet, or rather his story has been written. Nineteen-year-old Shane MacQuarrie, is a first year college student when he is introduced in AWAKENED BY THE WOLF, the first book in the Wahyas of Walker’s Run series. There are only hints given to his past in that book since the story isn’t about him. He does make a casual appearance in RESCUED BY THE WOLF, but it will be several stories down the line before Shane gets his HEA. He needs to season and his heroine needs to come of age. When they, I expect their story to be explosive.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?
Last month turned in CHARMED BY THE WOLF, book three in the Wahyas of Walker’s Run series. It features Tristan Durrance, a wolfan sheriff deputy, who has made appearances in the two previous books. Here’s a brief blurb:

Tristan Durrance is an avowed bachelor. But, when Penelope Buchanan’s elicits his help to accomplish her bucket list, he discovers a fine line between lust and love. And, once his heart crosses it, there will be no escaping the deadly rival determined to end their affair, permanently.

And, with Tristan’s story off to the publisher, I’m rolling right into book four. It’s still in development, but I hope to introduce the Wahyas of Walker’s Run to a new shifter species. Keeping my fingers crossed that my editor will embrace the new idea.

Thank you for inviting me to visit the Urban Fantasy Investigations blog. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our chat, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my new release, RESCUED BY THE WOLF, with you and your readers.

Raised in a small Southern town, Kristal Hollis has spent most of her life helping people and animals. When a family medical situation resulted in a work sabbatical, she began penning deliciously dark paranormal romances to escape the real-life drama. After the crisis passed, her passion for writing love stories continued. An RWA 2015 Golden Heart® Finalist, Kristal lives with her husband and two rescued dogs at the edge of the enchanted forest that inspires her stories.

Find Kristal and her books

Rescued by the Wolf
Wahyas of Walker’s Run #2
Amazon        BN       Kobo        iTunes
She's not afraid to run with his wolf.

When a poacher killed his mate, Rafe Wyatt lost his future. While the Wahyas of Walker's Run have been pulling him back from the brink, he's certain he won't have another chance at love. That is, until Grace comes to town.

Grace Olsen is a woman without roots. That's exactly how she likes it, until a sojourn in a small, close-knit Appalachian community gives her a new vision of what home could be—and so does Rafe. He was supposed to be nothing more than a casual lover, just as wary of commitment as she is. When their raw attraction becomes something deeper, more complex, they could be looking at a new future together. But someone close to them both would rather see Grace dead than let her be with the man—and the wolf—she's grown to love.

“Rafe, wake up!”
He didn’t move, snort, or otherwise acknowledge her presence.
Grace eased off the Murphy bed, slid her feet into pink slippers, maneuvered between the coffee table and couch, and reached over Rafe to the alarm clock balanced on the top frame of the couch, the LED face flipped so that the time flashed into the cushion instead of into the room.
In a sudden whirl, she slammed onto the couch seat cushions. Rafe’s steely fingers clamped around her wrists, pinning them over her head. She stared into icy, cobalt blue eyes that would’ve stolen her breath if she hadn’t lost all air when he plastered his hard, hot body onto hers.
    The short crop of his auburn hair stuck out in different directions. A pillow crease cut across one high cheekbone and dipped into the reddish stubble dusting his strong jaw. His firm, full lips would look much more kissable if he smiled.
    Squared shoulders rose above a sculpted chest swirled with soft tufts of hair, and a quarter-sized scar marred the taut, tan skin over his right ribs.
    Her gaze slid over the ripples of his abs and the sharp indents of his hips. She couldn’t follow the treasure line that arrowed down from his belly button because he was lodged intimately against her pelvis.
    A giddy heat rushed her body and struck her with the acute awareness of a virile man in his prime.
    “Never sneak up on me, Grace.” Rafe’s laser-intense eyes burned holes straight through her body. “It’s dangerous.”
    No doubt.
    From his deeply etched scowl to his silent, panther-like movements, she needed no further warnings. He was dangerous on all levels.


    Rafe sat on the couch in the living area of the suite, opened the fast food bag and methodically set three wrapped sandwiches, an extra-large order of fries, napkins and a plastic spoon on the small round table.
    “How you can eat like that and not have an ounce of fat?” She knew he didn’t because she’d seen every inch of him.
    “I run almost every night.” Rafe unwrapped the first sandwich, wadded the paper and dropped it in the bag.
    “You don’t look like a runner. They’re usually lean and lanky.” Grace pulled a bottle of water from the small in-room refrigerator and placed it on the table for Rafe. “You’re thicker, more solid.”
    Elbows on his knees, holding the sandwich in front of his face, he took a giant bite, chewed slowly and swallowed. “You think I’m dense and slow?” His gaze lifted to her with a challenge in his eyes.
    “No.” She joined him on the couch. “Think of greyhounds and rottweilers. Greyhounds are sleek, elegant and fast. Rottweilers are—”
    “Blocky and stout?”
    Neither of which described Rafe.
    “I was going for strong and durable.” She picked up the spoon and shoveled a big scoop of delicious, soft, vanilla ice cream drowning in hot fudge into her mouth.
    Her entire body cheered.
    “I could give a greyhound a run for its life.”
    “Keep eating junk and you won’t.”
    Eying the sundae in her hand, he halted before taking another bite of his sandwich.     “Who’s the pot and who’s the kettle in this conversation?”
    “Hey. This is my only vice.” She savored another bite. “Ummmm.”
    “What about coffee?”
    “Isn’t a vice. Coffee is as essential as oxygen.”
    “If you stopped breathing, which would you rather have, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or a cup of coffee poured down your throat?” Rafe’s gaze lingered on her mouth.
    Her lips tingled. She gave her spoon a slow, sensual lick. “Depends on who’s providing the rescue breathing.”


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