Monday, December 12, 2016

Top Fives - Bounty Huntress by Sheri Queen

Five Favorite Light/Humorous Holiday Movies

The holidays are upon us, bringing lots of classic movies to celebrate the season. 

1) ”The Santa Clause”

2) “Rudolph”

3) “Home Alone”

4)“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

5) And one of my all-time favorites, “A Christmas Story” (a must watch on Christmas day).

Notice that in all of these stories we have an element of emotional upheaval that eventually is resolved. When I write, I aim for my stories to have that as well.

“A Christmas Story” has one of the best lines ever written-- “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.” Ralphie has been hearing it from all the adults, but he’s devastated that Santa would say such a thing about his request for the Daisy air rifle.

It’s the basis of the whole movie and demonstrates how one line of dialogue can impact the story on so many levels. That’s good writing. I’d love to come up with a line in one of my stories that stands the test of time like that one. Until then, here’s the clip for showing Ralphie’s anguish about that famous line.

Here’s the link to “A Christmas Story—‘You’ll shoot your eye out kid’” to get in the holiday spirit:

That’s the lighter side of my holiday watch list and one not to be missed, however, when I’m getting into a writing zone, I lean toward the darker side of things, since I tend to have darker undercurrents to my writing.

Five Favorite Dark Holiday Movies

1) “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Pretty much anything by Tim Burton can set the mood for when I’m writing a dark scene, or looking to add something a bit different to the story)

2) “Die Hard”

3) “Gremlins”

4) “Batman Returns”

5) “It’s a Wonderful Life” (It focuses on the theme of failure and suicide. That’s pretty emotional and the holidays can often bring that out for people. Redemption and hope are what makes this movie so touching and so encouraging for anyone feeling the holiday blues.)
The darker holiday shows really bring out the deep emotions that help me tap into the well of despair when I need that for my own writing. Plus, they’re really good movies.

Five Favorites for Bounty Huntress Book Playlist

Music is also very important in helping set my mood. Once I’m deep in my writing zone, I tend to write in a quiet place, but getting into the zone is where music helps. Music, as well as movies, also help with character development.

When I started thinking about my Lykoi character and what inner turmoil existed for Janda, I instantly connected her with the song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. Listening to the song allowed me to visualize Janda and how she might feel when she falls in love with Alexander Holden.

Next on the playlist, also from Imagine Dragons, is “Bleeding Out.” 

“Bleeding Out” set the tone for Janda’s willingness to sacrifice herself and risk losing Alexander’s love to save him.

Another song relating to Janda’s character was Pink singing “Just like Fire.” When I listened to that, I saw Janda digging deep to confront her inner demons and find the determination she needed to fight for what she had with Alex. I just love the force of this song. 

I also had songs that focused on the aspect of time because playing with time in the interdimensional setting was important to Janda and Alex and the development of their relationship.

The songs I listened to the most about time also came from the “Alice Through the Looking Glass” album. In particular, I liked “Story of Time” because the instrumentals on it really created a sense of urgency and danger that fit the storyline of Janda trying to reach Alex in time to save him.  

As for Janda’s stay at the interdimensional hotel, which I envisioned as an excessively lavish environment hailing to the 1920s and 30s, I loved getting into the Jazz Age, Gilded era mindset by listening to The Electro Swingers. Janda was a fish out of water in the ritzy establishment, but she held her own, and in some ways rather enjoyed her visit there. Her encounter with Sebastian, a very ancient vampire, was a pivotal point in the story. Sebastian was a great character, who came to her aid—with ulterior motives, of course. That was a fun section to write about. One of my favorite songs for that part of the story was “Retro Electric Hoochie Coochie.” 

These were just a few of the songs that inspired my writing. It could be entertaining for readers to listen to them once they’ve finished Bounty Huntress. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks again for the chance to share more about Janda’s story.

Thank you, Roxanne for hosting me today. I hope our readers enjoyed my Top Fives.

Happy Holidays!

Bounty Huntress 
Sleepy Hollow Hunter 
Book One 
A Hotel Paranormal Story
Sheri Queen

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Wilda Press

Date of Publication: November 9, 2016

ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0692803370  
ISBN-10: 0692803378 
ASIN: B01M226DL7

Number of pages: 163
Word Count: 40,422

Cover Artist: Kelley York, X-Potion Designs

Book Description: 

Janda Gray’s a Lykoi—part werecat, part wolf—shunned by both sides of her lineage.

She yearns for the day when she can escape the disdainful glances and leave her home on the outskirts of Sleepy Hollow, NY. When she lands a lucrative bounty hunter contract, she thinks her life is finally turning around. All she has to do is lure her werecat target from the safety of the Hotel Paranormal.

Then she meets a werepanther. Her life will never be the same.

Alexander Holden, second-in-command of a powerful werecat clan, is accused of murdering the woman he was to marry. He must find the real killer to clear his name or spend the rest of his supernaturally long life on the run.

Complications arise after Janda falls for the man she’s supposed to be capturing.

Now she must decide if following her heart is worth risking everything, including the love they’ve found in each other’s embrace.

Love is about making sacrifices. Saving him is all that matters.

Bounty Huntress is the introduction to the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series, as well as a Hotel Paranormal story.

The Hotel Paranormal is THE place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure—and sometimes for both.

Amazon     iBooks      BN

Short Excerpt:

Half a block stood between me and my future happiness, but it might as well have been a mile for all the good it would do me. From the alley to the bar there was no cover, no shadows to absorb my presence. I’d scoured the surrounding area for another entry point to no avail. Barred windows and a padlocked backdoor thwarted me. I had one shot at getting inside before anyone could stop me, and that meant waiting until the barkeep kicked the last of his patrons out at closing time. While they were busy getting on their bikes, I’d make a mad dash to the front door. I was grateful the street was deserted at this hour, but it was almost too quiet. One stupid move on my part could mean disaster.
I calculated the distance from where I stood, hidden in the alley, to the bar’s entrance and figured I’d probably be fast enough to make it as long as the wolves were so drunk they wouldn’t notice me until it was too late. It was a long shot, but the only one I had. Wolves were quick, even inebriated ones. Their metabolism burned off alcohol within minutes of downing it, which meant my window of opportunity was about the size of a mouse hole. In my Lykoi state I was faster than a wolf—I’d honed that particular skill long ago with all the times I’d been chased—but I couldn’t go Lykoi. Paws didn’t lend themselves to turning doorknobs, so I’d have to do this the hard way. Nothing new there.
I leaned against the brick wall and let the cool autumn air soothe my restless body. My calf muscles twitched, and my stomach rumbled. It was tempting to give in to the urge to transform and run through the woods I’d passed on the way into town. Maybe even hunt a bit of rabbit. I let out a slow breath and resisted my primal desires.
I counted four bikes outside the bar. Mutther’s might be a neutral, no-colors establishment, but I still had to get past the owners of those bikes. Four big-ass obstacles between me and the portal to the Hotel Paranormal. I knew portals existed in most major cities—definitely in Manhattan—but, of course, my only way into the hotel would be through a wolf biker bar. My luck ranged from bad to stinking bad. I was long overdue for a bit of good luck, but I didn’t look for that to happen tonight. My usual mode of blending into the background to avoid attracting attention wasn’t going to work here. There were no crowds to lose myself in, and the glaring neon sign covering three quarters of the bar’s facade was a beacon spreading a swath of red across the sidewalk. Anyone wishing to enter the bar would be doused in light. This had to be the hotel’s idea of a joke—or a test.

About the Author:

Sheri Queen received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict as a backdrop for her stories—and enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. In particular, she loves visiting old graveyards.

Twitter: @SWQueenFlemming

Amazon author:

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Sheri Queen said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Roxanne.