The weeks of September seem to fly by! Here we are already in the 3rd Wednesday of the month! Today we have a wonderful author visiting. Please help me welcome J.A. Garland. J.A. is here to tell us about her release INSTINCT and she’s also giving away a wonderful lot of goods…the picture of all you’re up to win is at the end of the post. So make sure you leave comment to be entered to win this fantastic grab bag of goodies 🙂
I’m is a full time firefighter in the state of California, an addicted trail runner, a connoisseur of all things cheese puff, and an author for BURST Books. When I’m not slogging through the obstacles at a mud run, you can find me hunched over my computer unleashing demons, vampires and werewolves upon the world.
LOL…I love that you are a connoisseur of all things cheese puff! Where is your favorite place to read?
Propped up on my bed with about a hundred fluffy pillows. Preferably with chilly weather so I can get under the comforter too.
Sounds good to me! What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Steel cut oatmeal with lots of fresh berries, soymilk, and honey powder. I know, honey powder? It’s a staple of disaster kits everywhere, and one that should be set free for daily consumption. It’s that good.
I’ve never heard of it…but anything with honey has to be good right? What genre (s) do you write?
I write urban fantasy because, let’s just face it, the world is an exciting place, but it wouldn’t it be even more exciting if ‘Otherkind’ creatures existed? Like demons, werewolves, vampires, elves, and shapeshifters?
Describe your writing space.
My writing space is tidy, but I wouldn’t call it entirely organized. I have a small desk that fits in my small bedroom. On it are two printers, one color, one black and white powerhouse. (Sentences read differently when they are printed, did you ever notice that? So I like to print them out to make sure it reads exactly how I intended). I also have a little divider/holder where I keep my hard copy working manuscripts. Sometimes it gets so full it tips over, lol. In addition, my writing area must be as quiet as possible. I used to listen to music when I wrote, then I realized that the emotion of the songs carried into my writing. Which can be a good and bad thing. Maybe I didn’t want flowery and lovey when I was constructing that fight scene?
I know what you mean about things being quiet when writing. I envy those who can write with music, but I just can’t do it either. Share the blurb from INSTINCT.
Lone wolf, Rory Archer, never failed a single mission. Now the hunted instead of the hunter, Rory unwinds a twisted trail leading back to Amber Arlington, a spirited Halfling tied to a world of Shadows. Bound to vows initially forged out of necessity, Rory and Amber’s relationship surges into more than either of them bargained for, tangling them in a web of passion. Scrambling to identify their attacker before joining the casualty list, Rory is faced with doing the unthinkable, or watching Amber become a slave for his species.
Who was your favorite character to write and why?
I’m going to have to say Slade. He is a good guy, but dangerous enough that he can stay one step ahead of the bad guys.
How did you come up with the idea for your story?
If you know anything about me, you know that I am a self professed cheese puff connoisseur. I spend a lot of time researching and sampling different types of cheesy goodness. Which leads me to my next favorite thing to do…running. Thank goodness, right, or else I would be a tank! Running is the perfect time to think about new story ideas, or to come up with the next few chapters in your WIP.
LOL…love it! What is the hardest type of scene for you to write?
Romance scenes are hard for me to write. My editor tells me to ‘close the door on the intimate scenes, don’t slam it!’
The easiest are the action scenes. Those flow right along.
San Francisco, March 13, 0700 hours
Anxiety prickled Rory’s chest before fanning out to raise the hairs on the back of his neck. Dropping quickly, he pressed his torso and legs flat to the ground. Prone was never first pick, but a small silhouette was the best concealment the area offered.
Lifting his head, he scanned the beach. Early morning waves rolled onto the shore, a salty surf leaching down to darken the sand. He twisted, angling to look overhead. No birds, no surfers, no stray animals. Nothing. The absolute absence of activity confirmed his instincts.
Rory sprang to his feet in a protective half-crouch and turned, just in time to see a man come out of nowhere. Lowering his head and steeling his body, Rory head-butted his attacker square in the gut.
“Shit!” The man grunted, expelling an angry rush of air as he hit the sand.
Rory resisted the urge to leap back into the fray. He’d been in enough fights to know men with tunnel vision didn’t live to fight another day. Giving himself a buffer, he took a few steps back. “I’m not here for you.” This wasn’t the Otherkind Shadow whose dossier he’d spent the better part of the evening memorizing.
Who was this man and why was he tangling with him?
“Do yourself a favor and stay down,” Rory growled while looking around. Several distant figures headed their way from the north and the south. It was entirely possible they weren’t friends of the man who’d tried to jump him. They could be nothing more than the early morning runners they appeared. But other runners never made him feel this on edge. Just what in the hell was going on?
“You might not be here for me, Wolf, but we’re here for you,” the man said as he scampered to his feet, clearing away Rory’s doubts about the approaching men. His wide smile was reminiscent of the smug expression Rory once saw carved into a coyote totem pole.
Coyote slid effortlessly into the horse fighting stance, “Well, come on now. Don’t be shy. I promise to be gentle.”
Anger replaced nerves, tightening his jaw and coiling in his limbs. Rory lunged forward, fists punching thin air as Coyote sidestepped, displaying remarkable speed and agility. Heart pounding and pupils dilating, Rory’s wolf sensed the danger and awoke. Snapping and snarling, the beast begged to shift and attack, but Rory couldn’t allow that. Not with his exit routes being what they were.
Coyote shoved one leg into the sand for extra support, warning Rory he was going to try something. Sure enough, he kicked out lightning fast with his other leg, catching Rory in the right knee. Rory flexed with the blow so nothing broke. Using his attacker’s forward momentum against him, he grabbed a single fistful of his shirt and yanked him close. He stabbed four rigid fingers into Coyote’s throat. The man’s eyes went wide, hands pawing at his neck as his carotid sheath dilated. The immediate dump of blood dropped Coyote to his knees.
Repositioning himself, Rory wrapped his arm around Coyote’s neck and cranked until he felt the vertebrae give way with a satisfying crunch.
His heart still contracting wildly, Rory leapt to his feet. He dug his boots into the sand and raced away from the men who were closing in. In the last ten yards of his sprint his wolf railed against him, hating water the way a pump hates cavitation. Natural instinct saved his life earlier, but Rory didn’t slow, instead prevailing against intuition to hit the surf at top speed before taking a lungful of air and diving under the foamy waves to safety.
What’s a memorable line from your book that you’re proud of?
It takes one part opportunity, two parts discipline, and three parts disposition to effect a solid assassination operation. Having two out of the three this chilly Seattle evening, Slade considered himself in an unusual abundance of good fortune.
That is a memorable line! Well done 🙂 I love choosing names for my main characters, how did you come about choosing yours?
That’s a hard one for me. I went back and forth on Slade. People told me it was tired and overused. But I really liked it, my main character ‘felt ‘ like a Slade, so I decided to stick with it.
I’m glad you went with Slade, I like it. What surprised you the most about becoming a published author?
The entire process has been a surprise. You get the contract and you’re like, ‘well, hey, hmm? What do I look for, what do I need?’ Then you get your cover and you’re like, ‘wow! This is really happening!’ Then you get working on your edits, and it’s more eye opening. It’s a wild, wild ride.
Would you like to share a hint as to what your current WIP is? 🙂
I am currently working on book two of the Halfling Chronicles. Without giving anything away, this novel pursues the origins of the Halflings and the Shadow creatures who wish to control them. We learn more about the demon’s world Tykol, and their battle to save it. This book follows the demon, Slade, who tried really hard in book one to take center stage. In the Dysus Dreamer he gets full rein, and boy does he take it!
And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)?
Thank you so much for joining us today in the hotseat on What to Read Wednesday J.A.! I wish you much success with your book, your writing and your cheese puff addiction! lol
REMEMBER~~Please leave a comment if you want to be entered into the drawing for this awesome bag of goodies. Look at all the treats you’ll receive…a gift certificate for the ebook INSTINCT (Nook or Kindle formats), monogrammed jelly belly tins, coffee mug, tote bag, Ana Banana Zombie Soap, magnets, pens and more!