Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top 14 Songs From Where’s Sailor Jack? By John Uttley

Where’s Sailor Jack? is about two guys, Bob and Richard, born as the war ended, whose identity is forged in the north of England in the early sixties. The working class energy from then remains with them through their lives. They see that era as the only time when the white, working class had a shout in society. They cheerfully admit to it being mainly a male phenomenon. Everything that followed, right up to today’s cultural scene, is too middle class, as epitomised by the glam rock of the early seventies. Bob, when asked to listen to a Yes album, says he’d “rather listen to bloody Mantovani.” Throughout, the book has allusions to songs that help create this mood in their heads.

Both the guys would describe themselves as much the last Victorians as the first baby boomers. The glorious music from Hymns Ancient and Modern and from The Great American Songbook is also playing in the background, but with one exception I won’t include any of that. 

Sticking with old money, I’m doing a top 12, just as the first NME chart did in 1952, including both songs when equal. I’ll list them broadly in the order they appear.

1. Elvis Presley - Girl of my Best Friend, 1960. 

This is Richard’s choice. Bob would have had Heartbreak Hotel, believing with John Lennon that Elvis died when he joined the Army. Bob’s pretending he’s older than he is. When these two guys are teenagers, Richard’s choice is the top Elvis song.

2. Buddy Holly- Learning the Game, 1959

One of the songs Buddy recorded at home just before he died, overdubbed and released later, and the best ever in both their opinions about the joys and otherwise they find on discovering girls. This is while they’re learning how to solve simultaneous equations at school. Who says men can’t do two things at once?

3. Bob Dylan - Tangled Up in Blue, 1975. 

Both guys have a past that isn’t too far behind. No song describes a relationship that lives and dies at all points in time like this one. I’m only picking one song per artist, but Dylan’s presence broods over the whole book.

4. Leonard Cohen  - Alexandra Leaving, 2001

This is quite a late song, written not long before the main action. At some point you can say goodbye to the girl leaving, but it takes longer to say goodbye to the idea that you’ve lost her for good. That’s too poignant to want to lose.

5. The Cryin’ Shames  - Please Stay 1966. 

A Burt Bacharach song, produced with the unique sound of Joe Meek. “This time , be different, please stay, don’t go,” is the perfect prayer for a young Bob to offer up to the doubtful girl of his dreams, as is “...please go, don’t stay” many years later when he begins to share the doubts.

=6. Dusty Springfield - My Colouring Book, 1964. 

The early sixties were mainly about the guys, but there were exceptions, Dusty the most notable. She got right to the heart of a song. What can better express the hurt a young folk singer, Margy, feels when carelessly dumped by Bob once he thinks he’s learnt the game?

=6. The Everly Brothers - Let it be me, 1960. 

And what better revenge could Margy take but to sing this gorgeous song into the eyes of her new love in front of Bob?

7. Roy Orbison - It’s Over, 1964. 

In later life, Bob gets his comeuppance again. He never does quite learn the game. By the Thames, “You’ll see lonely sunsets after all.”

8. The Beatles - In My Life, 1965.  

Bob also has to learn in his life to love the girl more than the place, even if it’s enshrined in his DNA.

9. Carolyn Hester - Every Time, 1964. 

A Tom Paxton song, Bob mourns his father’s passing as he remembers Margy singing that the birds will still be singing “when we are gone.” Both Bob and Richard feel that their fathers are in them.

10. Elvis Costello - The Birds Will Still Be Singing, 1993. 

At death, this song has the birds singing “if I’m lost or I’m forgiven,” which stirs but doesn’t shake Bob’s faith.

11. Bob Marley - Redemption Song, 1980. 

The early sixties in the north were about white singers. Bob and Richard with their deep voices tried to mimic Paul Robeson, dug Ray Charles, and quite liked Motown but it isn’t their music. Bob is forced to confront some of the blinkers he’s worn through his life. As this song plays at his son’s wedding, he realises that he doesn’t have to be a slave to his past.

=12. Eddie Calvert - O Mein Papa 1954. 

This is the trumpet version that Richard’s son plays at the grave of his father at the funeral. As he plays he can hear Richard singing Eddie Fisher’s vocal version to his own father.

=12. Bing Crosby - When the blue of the night meets the gold of the day 1931. 

Bing was a superb whistler. After Bob’s death, his son finds this lovely song in his iTunes. He listens to it and knows that it was his own father that Bob heard whistling.

Where's Sailor Jack?
John Uttley

Publication Date: April 15, 2015


Print Length: 324 pages

Book Description:

A family saga that takes in three generations of two families and all the struggles, tribulations and fireworks that you would expect as well as plenty you wouldn’t. Where’s Sailor Jack is the story of Bob Swarbrick’s journey from Northern-grammar-school-boy to business magnate through the break up of his marriage, the arrival of a new lover and an unhurried, consistent search for meaning in his life.

Bob and Richard are grammar school boys ‘done good’. Starting life in similar working class homes they have progressively climbed the ladder until they are able to both sit comfortably as champions of industry, and look back on their achievements and failures with the keen Northern wit that never left them, even after years of exile life in the south.

As they reflect on their lives, loves and business decisions both try to find an explanation to fit their lives: Bob seeks purpose, Richard meaning. While soul-searching, the reader is witness to an exemplary part of British history - from their childhoods in post war Northern England to the boom years in a prospering South (before survivors guilt starts to bite in their latter years and they wonder just how their opportunities would have worked out if they were born a few decades later).

The book covers and takes a unique look at romance, religion, business sense and social mobility but does so with wry tongue in its cheek whilst looking for a laugh, not a deep and meaningful conversation.

Excerpt from Where’s Sailor Jack? By John Uttley
Second edition, published by Matador, released April 28th 2016

Chapter One
On a Sunday soon after his move north-west, Bob was flying high on Virgin, to LAX, as everyone but he knew Los Angeles airport was called. His last long-haul flight had been on Atomic Futures’ business in the bulkhead with British Airways. At over six foot and heavily built, he could make good use of the leg room. In an unflattering lavatory mirror he saw receding, grey hair and many wrinkles above a jaw line a boxer could break a fist on. He’d never quite understood how his rugged looks had charmed the several-to-many women along the way. The seating arrangement in Virgin’s best seats made the cabin look like a beauty salon, but he’d played safe and eschewed the offer of an on-board facial. The Journey Information on the monitor told him there was about an hour of the flight to go, confirmed by something looking like the Grand Canyon out of the window, though it looked bleak enough to have been the surface of another planet.

He was trying not to sleep on the way out, nor to go to be until at least ten o’clock Pacific Standard Time. He’d flicked between the films on the in-flight entertainment system, and found nothing he’d wanted. He’d then settled down to listen to some music, first Elvis, then Ray Charles and finally Abba, who’d bounced along merrily at first until a cold sweat told him that he was the loser standing small alongside seventies woman. He switched Agnetha off to pick up the book he’d brought, Ian McEwan’s Saturday, which he immediately put down again. His eyes were tired.

He reclined the chair to be alone with his musings on his return to Lancashire. Blackpool was making a good fist of doing itself up, despite New Labour lousing up the Las Vegas style casino scheme, the place was alive with young ladies joyfully, sometimes even decorously, celebrating their hen nights with like-minded friends. The folk who lived in St Chad’s hadn’t changed that much. The young people at church had the same freshness that he’d once had, full of their multimedia world and excited about their opportunities, though the ladder had been pulled up since his day, leaving cows from the Fylde fields with more chance of going through the eye of a needle than any ordinary kid entering the kingdom of riches he’s inherited. Lancashire wasn’t at the centre of things the way it had been back then, with Blackpool the Mecca for comedians, Liverpool the capital of music, the mighty Granada television like a second BBC, and the Manchester Guardian thinking about what the world would do tomorrow. He saw The Guardian moving to London as an even bigger betrayal than John Lennon’s sleep-in.

The summer of 1963 with Freewheelin’ on his turntable and the Mersey sound on every radio was forever to remain his Archimedean point. Martin Luther King was dreaming his dream accompanied vibrator by Joan Baez and civil rights were coming. Bras weren’t being burnt though. Much later Jane challenged him why not. He’d answered that women’s liberation hadn’t come out of nowhere. She’d generously agreed that it was only fair for apes like him to have had their day in the sun before the real business got done.

He’d had a vacation job in Stanley Park and that had given him an affinity with the old codgers from the Great War who came for the brass band concerts. Though they were sitting in God’s waiting room, they were cheerful, talking for hours about space travel and the like but not of course about their health problems or the trenches. He thought of his never-liberated Grannie who died at the start of the pivotal year. She’d make him green jelly with bananas whenever he went round as a kid and had knitted most of the jumpers he was still wearing through university after he death. His sister had in her kitchen the old milking stool from Grannie’s farm-girl days, with more than a thousand years of history stored in its battered wood. Like the religion his ancestors had shared, its purpose had been endorsed by the long passage of time. To lose either would be to lose his soul. He didn’t want to live so long that his memory of Grannie dimmed.

About the Author:

John Uttley was born in Lancashire just as the war was ending. Grammar school educated there, he read Physics at Oxford before embarking on a long career with the CEGB and National Grid Group. He was Finance Director at the time of the miners' strike, the Sizewell Inquiry and privatisation, receiving an OBE in 1991. Shortly afterwards, he suffered his fifteen minutes of fame when he publicly gave a dividend to charity in the middle of the fat cat furore. More recently, he has taken an external London degree in Divinity while acting as chairman of numerous smaller companies, both UK and US based. This is his first novel. He is married to Janet, living just north of London with three grown children and dog.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Interview - Waiting For You by Melissa Kate

Hello all you beauties and Thank You so much to Roxanne’s Realm for hosting me on your blog today.

My name is Melissa and my debut novel just released. Eeeep! So exciting. It’s a dream that I never ever expected to come to fruition and I still pinch myself to bring me back to reality that this is actually happening. To me. A small town girl from Durban, sunny South Africa.
So here’s a few nuggets that you may not know about me.

1.     Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a 30 year old homebody with a flair for words and an affinity for my fur babies. I have been writing for as long as I could string words together, creating stories and alternate realities. When I was younger, I used to watch day time soapies and always hated it when my favourite couples would break up and so began the tantalizing tales I would create, always closing with a happily ever after. When I am not furiously tapping away at my keyboard, I can be found browsing the popular online stores. Confession! I am a (just a little bit) shoe addict and really now, who doesn’t love a new outfit or two (or five!).

2.     What were you like at school?

I was a tomboy. I have two older brothers who were my only influencers so I was a real tomboy, fighting with the boys and being outspoken. Changed a lot since then! College blossomed me into a lovely flower (snort).

3.     Were you good at English?

Oh yes! I loved English! Full disclosure though… I would sleep through my entire English class in Matric. Really! Head on the desk, dreaming and the whole bit. I would soak in Shakespeare through osmosis. I loved Creative Writing though! Best start to my story process.

4.     What are your ambitions for your writing career?

To be honest, I never ever expected to get published. When I started out, I had big hopes and dreams but the publishing machine is a tough one to get on to. I was rejected – A LOT. I tried to brush it off and pick myself up but it tends to knock you down from time to time. My ambitions? I definitely want to write more. I have so many more plots twisting together.

5.     Which writers inspire you?

I am a sucker for a contemporary romance novel and my favourites are Jill Shalvis, Marina Adair and Lauren Layne, purely because they write with such heart and humour, creating characters that are so different from the last. My love for writing novels started with Rachel Gibson though. Her storylines stay with me years after I have read and re-read her books.

6.     So, what have you written?

My debut novel, Waiting for You came out on 24 May 2016, which is super exciting. (Little happy dance and pirouette). Outside of that, I have a local blog off my website www.melissakatebooks.com which chronicles the arb ramblings of life and other helpful titbits.

7.     What are you working on at the minute?

I have another book in the pipeline called loosely, “Friends with Benefits”

8.     What’s it about?

Um, friends with benefits? Hehe, I don’t want to give too much away but I’m having a lot of fun with this one.

9.     What genre are your books?

Contemporary romance – I know I’m such a romantic sap!

10.  What draws you to this genre?

I love a happy ending. I love the sexual tension, the angst, and the emotions! A well written book can leave you happy and light hearted for days.
Keep your eye out for my debut novel. 

Thank you so much for your time darlings!

Next stop on the book blog tour is http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com tomorrow. Don’t forget to stop by!

Waiting For You
Melissa Kate

Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

May 24, 2016

Book Description:

Audrey Kelly finds her way back home to Crystal Valley with her bruised pride and a shattered dangerous past mocking her rear view mirror. What she didn’t expect was to be face-to-face with Adam Parker, resident bad boy, sexy Navy SEAL and one of the reasons that Audrey ran all those years ago.

Audrey was the last person Adam had ever expected to see back in Crystal Valley. Over a decade ago, they shared a sizzling night together before he received the worst news of his life and he hasn’t seen her since…until she’d moved back unexpectedly. She was no longer the sweet innocent girl he once remembered, but Adam has his own problems without having to deal with Audrey’s ice princess recital, no matter how tempting the auburn haired seductress may be.

Sparks begin to ignite between them but can they accept Audrey’s past when it threatens to engage them in a dangerous twist? Can they save each other from themselves and stop running once and for all?

About the Author:

Melissa Kate is a new author who lives in a small town along the coast in sunny South Africa. She writes for the pleasure of living in a new story and all the quirks and crazies that go with each character. A true romantic at heart, she loves the moment of falling in love. Her pet Beagle and maniacal lovebird keep her company while writing and often inspire senseless moments in her stories.

When she’s not furiously typing away on her laptop, Melissa can be found cooking or baking up a storm. Even she has to admit, she’s a pretty awesome chef. She has a small addiction with shoes which she attributes to her petite stature or as she likes to call it “Short girl problems”.

She balances her day job and conjuring up new romantic tales with a local personal blog with arb ramblings about her life in Durban. She’s been writing for years now, any bits that she can and she can't wait to share that with you!

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A Midsummer Night’s Mechanical by Kirsten Weiss

A Midsummer Night’s Mechanical
Sensibility Grey Series 
of Steampunk Suspense Book 3
Kirsten Weiss

Genre: Steampunk/suspense

Publisher: Misterio Press

Date of Publication: May 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-944767-00-6

Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 69,000

Cover Artist: Kirsten Weiss

Book Description:

A Midsummer Murder
The California Territory, 1849

Blamed for burning down the San Francisco wharf, clockwork inventor, Sensibility Grey has spent the last three months in hiding. Now all she wants is to depart the gold-crazy boomtown for a new life in the East. So when the owner of a traveling theater offers her work embellishing his mechanical stage, she turns him down. Then he turns up dead on her doorstep along with his enigmatic stage.

An explorer of the mysteries of aether, Sensibility has her own secrets to keep, and adversaries who’ll stop at nothing to learn them. Is the mechanical stage a part of a bigger game? Or the key to unlocking her true, magical potential?

A Midsummer Night’s Mechanical is book three in the Sensibility Grey series of steampunk suspense.

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San Francisco, California Territory, June 1849.

Sensibility sat cross-legged upon her bed and tried not to think. She tried not to think of the ache where her stays pinched her back. She tried not to think of tomorrow’s journey across the American wilderness. She tried not to think about the clamor of banging drums and tootling fifes and—
“Oh, good gad!” She clenched her fist, pieces of quartz crystal biting into her flesh. Sensibility sprang from the bed and threw open the boarding house window. Oppressive heat, acrid from the nearby outhouse, rolled into the room. Wrinkling her nose, she leaned out over the fenced back yard and craned her neck. The afternoon sun streamed through the laundry, hanging limp on the line. From her position, she couldn’t see the street procession. But neither could she avoid hearing their blasted parade.
Something scuttled near her elbow, and she jerked away, slamming her head on the window frame. White pain arced through her skull.
A baby raccoon, not much larger than the palm of her hand, cowered on the other end of the narrow sill. It scrabbled, hunching into a tight ball, trapped on the high ledge.
“Ow.” She winced, rubbing her throbbing head and glad her chignon had taken the brunt of the blow. “How on earth did you get up here?”
The raccoon mewled.
“You shall have to make your own way home, for you cannot come inside. Mrs. Watson has a strict rule about animals inside her boarding house.”
Gently, so as not to disturb the creature, she shut the window. The raccoon peered over the ledge then looked at her, his expression plaintive.
Attempting to ignore the animal, she paced the denuded room, her brown skirts swishing.
They had ample space to swish. Nearly all her belongings lay compressed into a single carpetbag, set before the empty wardrobe. The bedroom had an air of abandonment.
Unsettled, Sensibility rattled the quartz crystals in her hand and glanced to the window.
The animal stared inside, forlorn.
She tugged at her collar. It was such a small thing. But rules were rules. “You found your way onto the ledge. You can find your own way down.”
Sensibility turned to the journal open on the desk. Her sketch of an unworldly creature she’d once encountered scowl from the page. Frowning, she slammed the book shut. It had been careless of her to have left it open. Strange, she couldn’t remember examining the journal before she’d gone downstairs to retrieve her luncheon.
The crystals pressed into her palm. She was so close to a breakthrough in aether technology, but the clues remained buried. Buried in the remains of her father’s last journal. Hidden in a journal from a traveling occultist. Scattered throughout her own notes and theories. One day soon, she would fit those pieces together. It was madness to hope she could solve that problem today.
Sensibility opened her hand and gazed at the quartz crystals. She’d mastered the use of aether to power small devices. But aether had other applications, such as distance control and distance vision. These applications eluded her. “There has to be a way…”
She glanced at the window.
The animal raised itself on its hind legs and pressed its tiny black paws to the glass.
Sensibility groaned. “I know I’ll regret this.” Pocketing the crystals, she opened the window.
The raccoon cowered.
“You,” she said, “being a wild animal, will attempt to bite me if I rescue you. But I will have none of it. I shall pick you up, I shall take you outside, and you shall neither bite nor scratch. Do you understand?”
In a swift motion, she grasped it by the scruff of the neck and lifted it inside. It writhed, and her grasp on it loosened.
She gasped. “Don’t….”

The raccoon dropped to her desk and shook its head. Whiskers twitching, it scuttled to her abandoned luncheon tray and made free with a bit of toast.

About the Author:

Kirsten Weiss worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and in South-east Asia.  Her experiences abroad sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes steampunk suspense and paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine.

Sign up for her newsletter to get a free copy of the full length urban fantasy novel, The Alchemical Detective, and updates on her latest work at: http://kirstenweiss.com

Twitter: @KirstenWeiss

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Men of Machismo The Bad Decision Legacy by Morgan Kay

Men of Machismo
The Bad Decision Legacy
Men of Machismo Series
Morgan Kay

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Sleeping Dragon Press

Date of Publication:  May 12, 2016

ISBN-13: 978-1-944712-94-5

Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 81,503

Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique

Book Description:

The Men of Machismo series revolves around nine friends who worked together in a male revue. Each book follows the life of a different former dancer seven years later. The Bad Decision Legacy is Will and Tonya’s story.

Tonya’s psychotic ex is stalking her. Not the best time to meet men, still her best friend begs her to show up for blind date dinner. Her plan includes the meet and greet, then heading home. Of course, she never expected a man who sent every hormone in her body into high alert. Will looked like her next bad decision.

Will’s work as a divorce lawyer included discouraging embittered women from ramming their soon to be exes with the car or setting fire to their husband’s latest girlfriend. No wonder he fell hard for Tonya. The first woman he met with no agenda, well almost none. It’s obvious Tonya is knee deep in trouble, but refuses to ask for help. Instead of running the other way, he contemplates dashing into the tornado she refers to as her life. With any luck, he might survive.

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Lynne merely lifted an eyebrow as she opened the front door. Her friend waited for them both to pass, before speaking.
Their hostess babbled as entered. “Ah, well, we got the awkward introductions out of the way. I forgot to mention to Tonya that Marc invited you. I forgot until you arrived.” Lynne managed to deliver the words with a straight face, but winked in Tonya’s direction.
Tonya sucked in her lips, controlling her laughter. Unfortunately, her friend would never be a great actress. Her words sounded as stiff as any business owner who attempted to make his own cut-rate commercial.
Tonya excused herself by pointing in the direction of the bathroom, not trusting herself to resist laughing. Lynne acknowledged her signal while guiding Will to the family room, where mellow jazz music and glassware tinkling emanated. Marc must already be making his special martinis. The memory of various drinks in brilliant colors, with exotic names, made her regret her detour to the bathroom. After shutting the door with a little more energy than needed, she turned on the faucet full blast, covering her laughter.
Seriously, did Lynne think she was fooling anyone? Did Will think she showed up on her own, with no hint a single man might be the lure? A quick glance in the mirror revealed a flushed face. It was hard to tell if it was from laughing or playing her part in this farce. Dampening a washcloth, she patted her face. Thank goodness, she hadn’t bothered with full makeup. Her goal was to look like she hadn’t expected to encounter an eligible male. Well, she accomplished that all right with her ponytail and jeans.
 Nothing she could do about it now. She stuck her tongue out at her mirrored image. Her goal was not to encourage the man, but to score a free meal. A small sigh escaped as she turned the doorknob. Remembering the spark that zipped up her arm when he touched her hand, the man had potential. Try not to think about it. The last thing she needed was the emotional roller coaster that came with dating. She never managed to exit the horror ride called Clint. It was still going, whether she wanted to be on it or not. That would be a hard thing to explain in a budding relationship.
God, listen to me. Budding relationship. Get a grip, chick. Michelle pointed out the man must be a mess if his own fiancĂ©e abandoned him to become a man. Will would be smart to avoid me, because I’m a train wreck in the making, with a full-time stalker and the possibility of unemployment in the near future.

About the Author:

Morgan K Wyatt writes steamy romances with a side of laughter under the name of Morgan Kay. The wisecracking heroines and hunky heroes are similar to the ones in her mainstream novels, but in the Steamy Interludes series, the bedroom door is left open.  Real life issues, humor, dogs are also staples in Morgan Kay romances.  

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Cover Reveal Dancing with Flames by Susan Illene

Dancing with Flames
Dragon’s Breath Series
Book Two
Susan Illene

Genre:  Dark Fantasy/New Adult/

Date of Publication:  June 24th, 2016

Cover Artist: Jeff Brown and Claudia McKinney

Book Description: 

Four months ago, fire breathing dragons invaded Earth from an alternate dimension, wreaking havoc on modern civilization.  Bailey Monzac has been training to kill them ever since discovering she was impervious to their flames, but when some of the beasts begin targeting children, she can’t hold back any longer and must hunt them down.

Her ally, Aidan, would help, except the shape-shifter has his own troubles.  His clan is battling for territory against the pure dragons and his father—their leader—is dying.  As the shifters fight for the pendragon position, fierce rivalry takes over. Aidan’s own brothers aren’t above blackmail and murder if it will get them to the top.  He must stay one step ahead if he is to survive and keep his clan safe from the pure dragons who threaten them all.

Bailey and Aidan may be natural-born enemies, but working together might be the only thing that saves them from the danger that lies ahead.

About the Author:

Susan Illene served in the US Army for eleven years and worked as a human resources specialist and an Arabic linguist. She served two deployments to Iraq, and after leaving the army, she studied history at the University of Oklahoma. She and her husband currently live in Oklahoma with two high-maintenance cats doing their best to help her write her books.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Interview and Giveaway - Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb by Lexi George

Do you have a specific writing style?

Writers generally come in two flavors: plotters and pantsers. A plotter has everything nailed down before they start writing. A pantser writes by the seat of her pants. I am somewhere in the middle, and call myself a plotser, meaning, I do both. Generally, the characters and the title come first, and then I try to hammer down the story’s hook. For example, Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb is a fish out of water story. Sassy, the heroine, a pampered, privileged young woman from money, comes to town to sell the family timber mill, meets Grim, the demon hunter, and gets fairyfied. I knew all of that before I started writing. The details and everything in between came later.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes! The first book I ever wrote (actually, the first two) was a fantasy with wizards, trolls, hunky warriors, and dragons. Here’s the blurb:

Raine Stewart is dying, and no one can tell her why. For twenty-five years, she’s been poked, prodded, and tested for every disease known to man with no definitive answer. Lately, Raine’s convinced the culprit is a brain tumor. What else would explain the sudden appearance of her long-dead aunt and a vision of a strapping, dark-haired warrior in her bedroom mirror?

But a tumor can’t explain the arrival of a wizard dressed like a Renaissance Faire reject—a wizard who invades Raine’s home and carries her off to a land where magic and monsters are real. He has his reasons, he tells her—and really, “kidnapping” is such an ugly word.

Then again, abduction may have its upside. Raine feels better than she has in ages… too bad she might not live long enough to enjoy it. The Dark Wizard wants her dead. And what the Dark Wizard wants, the Dark Wizard gets.

I pitched that story for years without success, and then turned to my other love—romance!—in frustration. The demon hunter series followed. I still haven’t sold that fantasy, but I have high hopes!

I love both romance and fantasy, and am an avid reader of both genres. When it comes to romance, I read across the board. I love historical romance, but I also enjoy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance. My love of fantasy goes back to childhood. I loved fairy tales. And, in the seventh grade, I discovered The Hobbit in the school library and was hooked. I am also a huge Harry Potter nerd.

Do you title the book first, or wait until it’s completed?

Both. When I wrote Demon Hunting in Dixie, the first book in the demon hunter series, I originally called it Dark Encounter. That quickly went out the window when the book turned snarky. I wrote down a list of things that screamed “southern to me,” and the title emerged from that. The rest of the demon hunter books, the titles came first. With my fantasy, the title came after the book was written.

What book are you reading now?

I work full-time and write, so my reading time is limited. I solved this problem with audio books. Right now, I’m listening to Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer. Next will be Cotillion by Heyer, because it’s in my queue, but I listen to all sorts of books, including mysteries and urban fantasy.

What is your current work in progress?

Book five of the demon hunter series!  It’s called Demon Hunting with a Sexy Ex, and it’s the story of Duncan, a Dalvahni demon hunter, and Cassandra McKenna, a demonoid “witch.” Duncan and Cassie go way back, and they have a history. They are reunited and sparks fly, but Cassie is leery. She’s been burned by Duncan one time, and she’s not eager to repeat the experience. They get embroiled in a werewolf turf war, and discover they still have feelings for one another.

Is there anything you find challenging about your writing?

Pretty much all of it. I’m not kidding. I am a linear writer and I don’t write drafts. I start at the beginning and write and tweak until the darn thing is finished. It makes me pull my hair out, let me tell you.

Sex scenes are difficult, because I want them to be sensuous and emotional, and hit the right note. And also to happen at the right time, for the right reason. In Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, for instance, my heroine was engaged to another man. She couldn’t very well fall in the sack with my demon hunter until she was free. So, Sassy and Grim have to wait a while. I really stress over sex scenes!

Do you have advice for other writers?

Write NOW. Don’t wait. Start today. I started writing in my thirties, but I didn’t get published until I was over fifty. It took me that long to find my voice and learn the craft of writing. Writing takes practice. It takes trial and error. It means trashing what you’ve written and starting over . . . maybe a dozen times, until you get it right. So, write and write every day, if you can. The more you write, the better you’ll be at it. And read. You can’t write if you don’t read.

Finally, write what you love. Don’t try to write whatever’s selling, unless you already love it, because, if you don’t love it, the writing will suffer. Readers are smart. They will know. Writing is hard work, so find your joy by writing what calls to you.

Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb
Demon Hunting Series
Book Four
Lexi George

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Kensington

Date of Publication: May 24, 2016

ISBN: 9781601831774

Number of pages: 452
Word Count:  105,000

Cover Artist: Lyrical Press

Book Description:

Deep South legends. Deep fried curses. Deep dish revenge . . .

This Debutante Is Having A Ball!

Way down south in the land of cotton, one belle's plans are soon forgotten--when Sassy Peterson drives her Maserati off the road to avoid a deer and lands smack-dab in the proverbial creek without a paddle. The Alabama heiress should have known something weird was going on when she saw the deer's ginormous fangs. Hello, Predator Bambi!

But nothing can prepare her for the leather-clad, muscle-bound, golden-eyed sex god who rescues her. Who wears leather in May? That's just the first of many questions Sassy has when her savior reveals he's a demon hunter named Grim. Also: Why would a troop of fairies want to give her magical powers and rainbow hair? Why would a style-challenged beast called the Howling Hag want to hunt her down?

Most importantly, what's a nice debutante like Sassy doing in a place like this anyway? Besides feeling Grim . . .

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“Sugar,” Sassy murmured. She laid her head on Grim’s shoulder. “Fairies.”
With a drowsy sigh, she relaxed against him and went to sleep.
Grim stilled. A surge of lust hit him, hard and fierce. Sassy smelled delightful, a dizzying combination of summer roses and female. Curling tendrils of her hair lifted to caress his jaw, like flowers reaching for the sun.
I am her sword and shield. The vow rose unbidden in his mind. Here and now I vow to protect her, from anyone or anything that threatens her.
An admirable sentiment, I am sure, the Provider said, but hardly necessary. She leaves tomorrow, and you return to the hunt. That is good, is it not?
Yes, of course.

Then why the hollow ache in his chest?

About the Author:

Lexi George writes snarky, Southern-fried paranormal romance for Kensington. Her debut novel, Demon Hunting in Dixie, was released in 2011, and a novella and two more demon hunter books followed. Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar, the third book in the series, was nominated for a RITA in 2014. The fourth book, Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, is due to be released May 24, 2016. Lexi enjoys reading and writing romance, but her first love is fantasy. A Meddle of Wizards is the story of Raine Stewart, a sheltered, sickly young woman who comes into her own when she’s transported to a magical world, discovers her burgeoning powers as an adept, and faces the evil wizard who killed her parents. Lexi’s day job as an appellate attorney requires reading transcripts filled with murder, mayhem, and worse. Perhaps this is why she enjoys stories filled with humor, action, adventure, and magical creatures. She has a violent aversion to sad movies, having been scarred by Old Yeller at the age of nine. She drinks tea, not coffee, and has never seen The Exorcist, because she is a world-class chicken. She is the third of four children, with all the attendant neuroses.

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