Uncaged: Can you tell readers more about your Elemental series?
The Elemental series is sort of like my baby. I originally dreamt it up something like twelve or thirteen years ago – of course, it looked a lot different then! – and I’ve worked really hard to get it where it is today! Before publishing the Elemental series, as you see it now, with the wonderful Evernight Publishing, it was available through another publisher (now defunct, and whom I won’t mention by name). That experience was very insightful. Ultimately, I am incredibly grateful I’ve had the opportunity to revise these books and re-publish them. I’m so proud of the end result. I’ll even tell you a secret. Dirty, my most recent release, was actually my least favorite of the originally published set. I was just never truly satisfied with it. Because of that, it received the heaviest revision of the series thus far, and I have to say, I am THRILLED with the result! So I hope my readers are, too!
As for more on the content of the series, I worked very hard with the Elemental series to pace it out so that not everything is revealed in the beginning. It’s not until book 2 (Blown) that the main characters even learn exactly who they’re up against! But I also wanted to leave little nuggets of clues along the way for the readers, so it was entirely possible for them to have figured it out before-hand. Dirty is the third, and essentially middle, book of the series – there will be five in total. One book for each brother, and then a final book for their sister, Angela. Now that the readers know more about the antagonists’ identities, and some motivations, it’s time to learn about their histories. I also might reveal some other histories more connected to the protagonists and the overall elemental world, as well. But you’ll have to stay tuned to see how that all unravels!
Uncaged: What do you have coming up next that you can tell us about?
The next Elemental book I’ll be working on is Dean’s book. I very much love Dean’s book, and I think my readers will, too! But before I get that out to my publisher, I’m first working on the third installment of my Dark Light series. The Dark Light series is set in a world heavily entwined in the conflict between demons and angels. In fact, Dark Light 2 (Sparks of Blue) was my first award-winning novel! Dark Light 3, which I’m calling ‘Burning Midnight’ right now, stars Gwen Manning – who was a prominent character in Dark Light 2, so readers will quickly recognize her. Her hero will also be familiar, but I’m not going to spoil that surprise! The premise of the book directly follows her storyline from the previous, but will be recapped well enough to keep any new readers from feeling terribly lost if this is their jumping-on point. And for those who did read Sparks of Blue – it turns out, surviving the curse was only the beginning of Gwen’s story!
Uncaged: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
I’ve received a few pieces of helpful advice over the years. Most of us have heard some variation of ‘don’t write for the market,’ and I do agree with that, but I always fall back on a quote I don’t even know the origin of. “Write the story you want to read.” It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Haven’t we all really wanted to read a certain kind of story – maybe with specific characters, or in a specific type of setting, etc – and just never found something that quite satisfied that desire? That’s what you should write. Every time. Because for as much as you want to garner a big, enthusiastic audience, the first person who has to enjoy your work is you. So write for yourself. Make it something you’re willing to revisit, not as the author, but as a reader. And, yeah, practice makes perfect, so write a lot. Then write some more. Then write until your eyes blur and your fingers hurt (okay, not literally), because the more you write the better your writing becomes. Your readers will see it. You’ll see it. Then that story you wanted to read, that you wrote, will become something a grateful reader can’t put down – and that’s what we all want.
Uncaged: Are you nervous, scared or excited (or all three) when you release a new book?
I’m excited! Most of my nerves kick in when I hit ‘send’ on a new submission, and the fear hits when I get that first round of edits in my inbox. But by the time the book is polished, tucked behind shiny cover art, and ready to go? I’m excited. I’ve worked hard on that book. I want the world to love it. I want it to do well. What if this is the one that puts my name out there? You never really know, after all!
Uncaged: Do you read your reviews? What do you take away from them?
Of course I read my reviews! At least the ones I find, when I find them. Reviews are an interesting thing. For starters, they’re great! Even if the content is depressing, just knowing that there’s a new review out there (they’re so hard to come by) is nice on its own. But sometimes they kind of leave an author baffled. I haven’t had the experience of a truly negative review (and I’m not complaining!), so it might be easier for me to say they’re mainly good than for others. Still, at the end of the day, someone took the time to review my book and I’m appreciative of that. But I sincerely hope they liked it, too!
Uncaged: What is one of the nicest things someone has said to you about your books?
Oh wow. Honestly, I’m incredibly humbled and flattered with every compliment my books – or I – receive! But if I really had to pick a single nicest thing pertaining to my books, it actually wouldn’t be something that was said in words. The truth is that, like so many others, I suffer from more than fair share of insecurities. And who doesn’t wonder if there are really that many people reading their books? So in 2016, when one of my personal favorite books of mine won Best in Category for that year’s Reader’s Choice Awards, I was amazed. And so touched. That was proof that people – actual strangers – read my books. Not only read, but like! I became an award-winning author and I immediately felt so good about myself and my product. It was beyond words. So in a way, all of those readers who voted said to me “we love what you’ve given us,” and I cried tears of joy.
Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?
My favorite part about being an author? That would have to be the ‘being a professional writer’ part. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, since I was a little girl, and while I certainly can’t afford to quit my day-job right now, just being able to do what I’ve dreamt of doing is wonderful.
As for my least favorite … that’s trickier! Sort of. But I think the answer is promo. I am horrible at promo. I’ve never been good at ‘selling myself,’ I always feel like I’m just nagging people, and it makes me self-conscious. So I end up making maybe a grand total of five posts about every new book and crossing my fingers that I did enough.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? Where is one of your favorite places on Earth?
When I’m not writing, I’m a big TV and movie watcher. I get a lot of my inspiration from media – sometimes just from a line of dialogue, or a passing visual, but whatever it is, it’s unpredictable. Plus, it’s a great escape. I can let the show do my thinking and just relax!
One of my favorite places on Earth is Old Station, California. It’s a small mountain town where I go for vacation every year. Formally, it’s known for its fishing, hunting, and camping. (And I do love camping.) For me, though, it’s just so relaxing. I typically get a lot of writing done there, but sometimes instead it’s where I get my best reading done! It’s great for peace of mind – and soul. Also, there’s a local diner (JJ’s Café) with some of my favorite food and even better people. If you’re ever in the area, go there!
Uncaged: What can you tell us that is very unique about you?
Very unique? Gee, no pressure! Well, I’m a not-so-closet anime fan with a leaning toward adventure and romance stories. I probably never will stop fangirling, since I don’t intend to try! I’m also a long-time comic book/superhero fan. Yes, I have a favorite. Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing. (I recommend Google Images if you don’t know who he is!)
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
To my fans, I would like to say a sincere thank you. Your continued readership is invaluable. I hope you continue to enjoy my work! I have many more ideas to keep you entertained for quite a while!
Behind the scenes Rose is a quiet personality. She enjoys spending her non-writing time with her German Shepherd, Shadow, her mom, and her friends. Be it a fun game of Cards Against Humanity or a relaxing movie night, Rose believes everything is better with company. As for her own romance, she’s still searching for her hero (and hoping that, when she does find him, he’ll be willing to cook).
Clarabelle Buchannon never imagined the secret Logan Hawke and his family kept. But no amazing secret would change how she felt.
The real problem wasn’t that the man she wanted controlled the earth – it was that he was as stubborn as a rock. And he had some lethal enemies who’d recently bumped him to the top of their hit-list. Now that she’d inadvertently foiled an attempt on Logan’s life it seemed Clare was in their sights, too
She’d have to think fast if she wanted to keep Logan from doing the heroically stupid thing and pulling away.
Clarabelle blinked up at the broad-shouldered man before her. She was as surprised to see him standing on her doorstep as she was to see him standing there with a box of pizza and a bouquet of colorful flowers. The overall sight had sufficiently tangled the frustrated lecture she’d planned to greet him with the next time she saw him. “Logan…?”
It wasn’t like he’d called first. Or answered her call from that morning. Or even said a word to her at all before leaving his family’s home the day before, apparently in a hurry to catch up on missed work. He’d been obviously avoiding her, and frankly, it hurt. He’d never treated her so rudely before.
But he’d never shown up at her door, unannounced, with pizza and flowers either.
Logan cleared his throat, possibly the most self-conscious sound she’d ever heard him make, and said, “I, uh, I owe you an apology. A big one. And I thought maybe you’d take it better with pizza.”
Her lips twitched. She couldn’t help it. “Pizza’s a start,” she relented, stepping aside and holding the door open for him. “Come in.” She waited for him to pass, telling herself it was the pizza or the flowers she was drawing a quick, deep breath of, and not the man carrying the items, before shutting the door and moving toward her kitchen. “Plates are in the cupboard to the right of the fridge,” she offered. “I’ll take the flowers.”
“Clare,” Logan said as she arranged the flowers so that each color spread out as evenly as possible. “I’m sorry.”
Clare paused, keeping her gaze on the flowers, and swallowed. “Thank you,” she said. She wasn’t sure what about her learning his family secret had upset him, or if it was just that she’d stayed to wait, or if it was something else entirely. She still wanted to know. But she didn’t want to push him either. It was his secret, after all. Still, he could’ve been a little more grown-up about this whole thing.
A warm presence settled beside her, drawing her out of her thoughts, and Clare glanced over to see Logan had moved in closer. Much closer. She felt her heart skip a beat.
“Please understand,” he said, his voice quieter than usual. “The more you know, the more involved you get, the more likely it is you’ll be targeted. The Matthews’ aren’t rational. If they think there’s a chance they can get to one of us through someone else, they’ll take it.”
Clare swallowed and turned to properly face him, inadvertently putting herself inside his personal space. She looked up in order to maintain eye contact and said, “And you being rude before protects me from that somehow?”
Logan looked away, turning his head slightly, but otherwise remained as he was. “No,” he said, “it doesn’t. That was just me reacting poorly.” The muscle in his jaw twitched as if he were clenching it too hard.
Without really thinking about it, Clare reached up and curled her palm around his cheek, angled so as to press the flat part over that area of his jaw. His eyes widened and she felt her own cheeks flush as he looked immediately back to her, but it was too late. So she plowed ahead. “I appreciate your apology, and I accept it.” She paused, took a breath, and added deliberately, “It’s not your job to protect me, you know.”
Logan’s blue eyes flashed, darkening slightly, and the next thing Clare knew he’d backed her into the counter and covered her lips with his in a firm kiss. His hands, strong and hot, landed on her hips. He held her against him as she twisted her fingers in his shirt and kissed him back. After a moment his tongue swept inside, rolling along hers before moving to explore as he angled his head and deepened the kiss.
Clare moaned and adjusted her grip until she was digging her fingers into the muscles over his spine, her back partially arched into his chest. She’d never been kissed this way before—as if she were some long-desired reward—and it was making her head spin. To say nothing of what each sensuous stroke of his tongue was doing to parts further south. And the way his thumbs had begun rubbing circles over her hips while his fingers dug in just a little deeper… Clare could hardly feel guilty for her instinctive responses.
Logan’s chest rumbled as he leaned a bit more into her and the kiss broke, but he didn’t step away or release her. He trailed feather-light kisses up her jaw to her ear, and, breath still heavy, whispered, “I need you … to understand. Associating with me right now endangers you.”
Previously released with the title Rock Steady, Dirty was reworked for it’s release with a new publisher. The paranormal part or fantasy part of book are the elementals. The family of five siblings are born, with four sons and one daughter. The daughter is the healer, and also the one in the family that will bear the next generation of elementals. Each son has an element, fire, earth, water and air. This book centers on Logan, who controls Earth.
Logan has blamed himself for years for the deaths that were not his fault, so he keeps to himself and doesn’t allow anyone to get too close. Along comes Clarabelle – a woman he’s admired since high school, and who smashes through his walls.
I didn’t get real attached to Logan, maybe because he was too depressing most of the time, and angsty like a teenager. I really enjoyed his family almost more than him. But he and Clarabelle are a good match, and she’s strong enough and stubborn enough to persist. When a feud with another family reaches its peak, Clarabelle and her family will be in the crosshairs.
This is book 3 in the series, but it holds up well as a standalone, with plenty of suspense and action. I am really looking forward to reading more within the series and the other elementals. Reviewed by Cyrene