LLBR: Tell me a bit about yourself.
JM: I’ve been a nurse in military for close to 20 years. This year I am eligible to retire and focus on what I love to do the most—write and spend time with family. I will miss my military career, though, and leave with a heavy heart. I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way and have seen the world and its cultures. But, I have a new family, my fellow writers and authors, who are just as compelling and supportive.
LLBR: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
JM: I guess I could say I’ve been writing for about 10-years now, but solely in my head. It was only about 3-years ago that I started to write my stories into physical form. Even then it was just a hobby and I didn’t really consider myself a writer. It wasn’t until my husband read one of my manuscripts and said those fated words, “You should publish this.” I looked at him as if he was crazy, not believing for a minute that it was possible. But, he had planted a seed that began to grow in bloom in my mind. I label that part of my life, as “my awakening.” I joined RWA in 2008, went to Nationals in 2009, received a full manuscript request in 2010, and released my debut novel in May 2011. There is no measure of thanks I can express to my husband for believing in me, when I didn’t even believe in myself. I am so grateful to those who have helped me hone my craft and to be able to share my story with others is a feeling like no other.
LLBR: What inspired you to write your first book?
JM: I had written a vampire series prior to joining RWA. After attending Nationals, I realized that for me to break into publication, I needed to look for a different angle to increase my chances of being published in romance fiction. I knew I wanted to write paranormal, but what was the big question. And then it came, and of all places from my kids’ cartoon. Yes, I confess. Inspiration can come when you least expect it. I started thinking about Egyptian gods. Most of what was written about Egyptian Mythos was historical romance. The more I read about Egyptian Mythology the more convinced I was that this was an untapped resource, ripe with conflict and romance and it didn’t need to be written in the past. Imagine the present day world where the Egyptian gods rise from their 5,000 year old slumber to reclaim the world. It doesn’t get much better than that.
LLBR: What books have influenced your life most?
JM: I love the classics, of course. JRR Tolkien, the father of modern fantasy literature. Now that man had an imagination and an endless supply of creativity. To create your own language for a novel is such a commendable undertaking. As a writer and author, the romance genre has probably influence me the most in my life. Jacquelyn Frank’s nightwalker series was one of my first romance experiences. It opened an entirely new world to me and inspired me to become a romance author. It filled a void that I just wasn’t getting out of standard fiction books.
LLBR: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
JM: If I had to narrow it down to one author, I would have to say I would love to have JR Ward, as a mentor. Her ability to write dark paranormal romance from the male perspective is extraordinary. I tried to emulate her writing in my Key to the Cursed series. Humbly, of course. My heroes, Gods of the Underworld, are tortured souls. Each has lost their way, and of course their salvation lies in the hands of the Carrigan sisters.
LLBR: Which of your characters is your favorite?
JM: That question is so unfair. LOL. It is hard to choose a favorite. For now I’m going to say, Asar. He is the hero in Soul Reborn, although a very reluctant hero. His mistakes of the past have returned to rip out his soul, leaving him with an empty shell of hatred. He vows revenge on the goddess and those that released her. Lilly is his salvation, but he has to get past the fact that she is responsible for his suffering. Despite being the all-powerful God of the Underworld and over 5,000 years old, he has some hard life lessons ahead.
LLBR: What are you reading now?
JM: I just finished JR Ward’s Crave and am moving onto Thief of Hope by Cindy Young-Turner, a fellow Crescent Moon Press author. Teaser: Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she’s sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.
LLBR: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
JM: I like to spend time with my husband and our three sons. I’m very much into crawling on the ground and getting dirty with them. I grew up with three sisters, but my dad raised us as tom-boys. The boy thing seems natural to me.
LLBR: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
JM: Everywhere and anywhere. I love mythology and have used it in my current series, Key to the Cursed. I’ve always had a fascination with Egypt and its many treasures. More importantly, mummies and curses. The series revolves around a curse, a key, a tomb and the Gods of the Underworld.
LLBR: What new author has grasped your interest?
JM: I’m not being biased when I say the authors at Crescent Moon Press are up-and-coming. I am honored to be counted among such a talented group of writers. www.crescentmoonpress.com
LLBR: If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
JM: I’d like to answer that question in reverse. Being an author would be my ideal career. I’d love to be able to write full time and conduct my research by traveling to the places I write about.
LLBR: What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
JM: Oh, hands down would be the chapter where my heroine, Lilly, and her sister get stuck in the Underworld and find themselves in the middle of an orgy trying to bargain for transportation to the human world. The women are in over their heads when they enter the warrior hall in their huntress uniforms of leather and steel. Needless to say the warriors think they are the night’s entertainment. It’s one of those “oh, crap” moments. Did I mention Lilly gets caught by her mate, Asar, God of the Underworld? Things get interesting!
LLBR: Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
|Buy Soul Reborn|
JM: I wanted to prove to myself and the naysayers that Egyptian Mythos can be more than just historical romance and it has the stuff to come out and play with the big boys of the paranormal genre. The Egyptian Gods of the Underworld are consumers by nature. They absorb the energy of life by blood or by soul, a hunger that must be sated to provide balance in the universe. The Underworld gods ensure those that are worthy find paradise in the afterlife and punish those with evil in their hearts. They are warriors and protectors of human souls, but are by no means saints. They are as gentle and loving, as they are flawed and hardened.
LLBR: Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
JM: Soul Reborn is the first book in the Key to the Cursed series. Asar and Lilly struggle to correct the mistakes of their past and forge forward towards love, redemption and war.
THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD. Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore. DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED. Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.
LLBR: How do you market your book(s)?
JM: You can find my marketing on various social and professional sites. Here are my primary locations:
Blog Address: www.wickedromance.wordpress.com
LLBR: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
JM: Write down a plan for success and stick with it. Believe in yourself. Don’t ever give up.
LLBR: What is your writing process like?
JM: I am a pantser at heart. I do plot, but all in my head. I know where I want the characters to go, but I let them take me there.
LLBR: How long did it take you to write this book?
JM: It took me three months to write Soul Reborn, but another year to completely edit in between being pregnant, working and caring for kiddos.
LLBR: What would you like readers to know about your book?
JM: It is available in all formats for the various e-readers (kindle, nook, sony, ipad etc…) and in print at Amazon, B&N, ARe, and more.
Amazon Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble Purchase Links:
Movement flickered in the deep shadows.
Asar stilled. Midnight skin blending into the night, he slipped easily into the gloom of the New York City streets and waited.
The human heat signature he hunted lingered in the air like a fine French perfume. He was not surprised when a trio of pale-skinned, red-eyed revens zoned in on the same body heat. The undead craved the flesh of their once previous form.
It was not the human’s flesh Asar desired.
Saddled by his own hunger that burned like fire in his chest, he raced toward the haunting scent, anxious to claim the prey before the revens. He was not about to give up such a delicious soul to those ravenous cannibals.
Still too far away, he exploded with a shot of preternatural speed on the slippery, uneven pavement. Surefooted, he hurtled a foul dumpster and sprinted around the brick building. Hunger fueled his every step. He fully expected to hear a scream from the human victim before he reached the alley, but the air remained still.
He slid to a stop on the wet asphalt. The three revens he had sensed lay decapitated on the polluted street. Gaping chest wounds indicated the hearts had been destroyed.
Fragments of shimmering light illuminated the gray, decaying flesh, rising into the night air. Normally, he would have absorbed the shifting souls, but revens were tainted and doomed never to reach the afterlife. The undead were truly dead.
Where was the human?
The sound of shattering glass resonated from above, followed by a shower of diamond shards. Asar evaporated into the shadows against the cold brick of the building and narrowly avoided the carcass of a headless reven plummeting from the upper window. The body hit the pavement like a side of meat slammed onto a butcher’s countertop. Dark, putrid shrapnel of blood and bone spattered across the roadway. The reven’s head soon followed, bounced off the cement with a loud crack and rolled slowly down the sidewalk before coming to rest inches from his foot.
He did not give it a second look. Through the shattered second story window, he caught a glimpse of glowing green eyes and the flash of silver.
His body grew taut with anticipation. The humans he typically encountered at night were criminals and opportunists looting stores or transporting illegal goods — the unsavory dredges of humankind. No one else dared to be outdoors for fear of becoming a reven’s next meal.
The criminals were easy enough prey, overconfident with their modern weapons, but this opponent utilized a more ancient form of deliverance. The reven kills were calculated and completed with the precision and stealth of a skilled assassin. This hunter was no doubt getting paid top dollar for this kind of suicide mission.
The revelation made his chest burn hotter with dark need. His prey would not go down easily. The harder the fight, the more living energy he could absorb from the human’s soul.
He looked upward. The night sky was waning to lighter shades of blue. He had only an hour of darkness left before the horizon split open with the sun’s rays. He would like nothing more than to draw out the fight for his own perverse pleasure, but he had to end it soon or face the wrath of his ancient curse.
A pain he would sooner avoid.
A loud crash of metal against stone around the corner interrupted his reverie. He launched forward out of the shadows, unconcerned with revealing his location, and did not waste any time turning onto the dimly lit street.
Only to find it empty.
Asar scanned quickly around the perimeter while turning slowly in a circle. The hunter did not have enough time to scale a building or sprint down the long block. His prey had to be a short distance from here. He walked forward, following the heat trail that vanished in the middle of the street.
“Where did you go?” Asar turned, looking for some exit the hunter could have used. The pavement shifted slightly under his foot. Looking down, he rotated his foot to the right. NY City Water & Sewer.
So, his prey had gone underground to draw him into a more cramped battle. Little did the hunter know, Asar would be the only victor in this game of cat and mouse.
He would leave with the man’s soul.
Into the darkness of the small tunnel, he followed the exaggerated heat trail in the confined space. He heard the faint breathing and pounding of a human heart. Here kitty, kitty. The hunter was foolish enough to make a stand, but not for long. He followed the arresting scent, anxious to fill his hollow emptiness. Only a few more steps and then he’d see his prize—
His gaze shifted over a female with long blonde hair whose curvy hips were loaded with an arsenal of weapons. In her hand, she clasped a long, intricately carved blade—a blade she pointed directly at him.
Asar swallowed against the sudden constriction in his throat.
Not a hunter.
Energy rippled off her skin like streamers of bright sunlight. Her powerful essence of life called to him, the very energy that fed his unquenchable hunger. All he had to do was touch her silky skin or lips to devour the luscious beauty. He had already taken a few steps toward her when he stopped.
Another sensation of hunger distracted his senses. One he had not felt in very long time, nor cared to feel again. His hardened arousal was inconvenient, considering the moment.
An inconvenience he was willing to explore a little before he dined on her soul. Heat radiated off her skin, a sharp contrast to his own cold, dead body. His skin began to burn, even at this distance. A welcome, but deadly flame. Despite this threat, he drew in like a moth to a flame. Warm, soft and most importantly, alive.