Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Interview and Giveaway-Tour Blitz: Haunt My Heart by Lisa Medley

What inspired you to become an author?

I started writing in high school for newspapers and wrote a bit through the years but I didn’t start writing fiction until 2011. A friend of mine packed up and moved to LA to pursue his dream of acting. I figured if he could take that drastic a step to follow his dream, I could climb the stairs to my office and give fiction writing a go.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I think I’m fairly economic with descriptions. I let the readers fill in some of the minute details. I know I always form my own mind pictures despite what the author gives me. That’s probably one of the reasons movies made from books are often disappointing to me. I think my writing style is somewhere between Patricia Briggs and Charlene Harris.

Do you write in different genres?

No. I love the monsters most. I stick to urban fantasy and paranormal romance :D

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I wanted to make it clear the story was about a ghost and had romance. It just seemed perfect!

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

This is my fourth book and each has started with a title. The title sets the tone for the book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Never give up. No matter what the odds. That’s the great thing about paranormal and urban fantasy. Even death isn’t necessarily the end.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

This story idea germinated from the first real-life ghost hunt I participated in a couple of years ago. My husband was reluctant about the idea of me going ghost hunting. He worried, “What if something follows you home?” Of course, that only made me start asking, “What if it did?!” I went on the ghost hunt and came home with a story.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

The books which influenced my writing life most are J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Those guys! Erm…vampires! I love them hard! Once I began writing, Stephen King’s On Writing was the only book I read. You could spend a lifetime reading about writing but you don’t really learn how or why to do it until you sit down and start pounding out the words. Lots and lots of them.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Cara Bristol has been a great friend and mentor to me. She’s the hardest working author I know. She’s doing everything  right and her books are amazing.

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading an ARC of Not Quite Darcy by Terri Meeker. It’s a hoot!

What books are in your to read pile?

On my nightstand now are Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I’m also really looking forward to Cara Bristol’s next sci-fi/fantasy romance The Goddess’s Curse. Don’t even get me started about my Kindle reads.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

My next project is book four of the Reaping series. The title is Reap & Reckon.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Ha! Sure…erm…this is very green and unedited but these two just sort of started without me. Here are the first lines (so far) of chapter one of Reap & Reckon.

“You aren’t squeamish are you?”
 “No.” Samkiel answered.
“Well that’s good, because this one’s head is detached,” the officer said.
Samkiel’s stomach did an unintended lurch despite his previous answer. Not because he hadn’t seen a decapitated corpse before. Hell, he’d made plenty himself. The reaction was because if this were his partner—his friend—then Raguel would be well and truly dead.
There were two rules to being a reaper:
Keep your energy.
Keep your head.
Everything else was survivable. Mostly.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Time to do it. I generally stay up late and work from 8 or 9 p.m. until midnight. We’ll sleep when we’re dead, right?

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Those guys! Erm…vampires! I love them so much. Ward really gets into the deep end with her characters and I enjoy the multiple POVs in her work. It’s rubbed off because I use multiple POVs as well, just not as many. Her world is BIG.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Most of my travel is via Google Earth, but I’d love to do more as finances allow. I do try to incorporate places I’ve been into my stories.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Jaycee from Sweet ‘N Spicy Designs. That’s the real Chatham Manor in the background!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Stop reading books about writing and start WRITING. After you’ve written a good many words, THEN go back and see what you could have done better or differently.  Collect a gang of first readers to help you figure out what’s working and what isn’t and join a writing group for support and feedback. It will make all the difference. Finally, finish the work and LET IT GO. Don’t pick at it forever. It could always be better, but it won’t matter if no one ever gets to read it.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

There’s actually a song by David Garza called Haunt My Heart, which is good. Later into the writing I came across Coldplay’s Ghost Stories album, and I love, love, love that!

Haunt My Heart
Lisa Medley

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Big Cedar

Date of Publication: January 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9908856-03

Word Count: 68K

Cover Artist: Sweet ‘n Spicy Designs

Book Description:

A Civil War soldier dies to save his men. Can he find true love to live again?

Sarah Knight has a job she’s good at, a quirky BFF, and a boyfriend who’s bad for her. When Sarah unearths a Civil War artifact on a ghost hunt at Chatham Manor, she brings home more than a souvenir.

Lieutenant James “Tanner” Dawson fought for the Union, working as a supernatural liaison for his Major General in a secret Masonic offset called the Brothers of Peril. When he’s hexed by a witch, he learns the only way to save his men is to die himself. But death is not the end. Awakening 150 years later, he knows if he wants to be corporeal again, he has to find true love to break the hex—a task no easier in 21st century than it was in the 19th.

Excerpt: Chapter One
“Hurry up, Sarah. We’re going to miss the ghost!”
Sarah Knight rolled her eyes in the cold December darkness, but trotted after Ellie’s bouncing flashlight beam. Sarah’s heels crunched through the frozen topsoil as she crossed the lawn, and she worried about the damage being done to her only pair of sensible work shoes. Ellie had failed to mention this would be on an outdoor excursion.
Ellie had been dragging her out on girls’ nights against her better judgment since they graduated from college. Last month, they’d gone to a mixed martial arts fight, complete with blood, screaming and more than one missing tooth. And that had been the spectators.
It was only in the car on the way over that Sarah had learned tonight’s adventure would be a ghost hunt. Ellie had a strange idea of fun.
Sarah and Ellie caught up to the tour group as the leader, a tall dark-haired man in his mid-forties, wrapped up his ghost-hunting protocol explanation. She’d missed the rules. Ellie wouldn’t care about missing that part. She hated following the rules, but Sarah was a little miffed. If she was going ghost hunting, she wanted to know exactly what the boundaries were.
“Great,” Sarah whispered. “We missed the rules.”
“At least we didn’t miss the ghost,” Ellie pointed out. “And they haven’t doled out the equipment yet.” Ellie’s mouth split into a mischievous smile, and she angled up closer to the group leader.
“Again, my name is Allen, if you have any questions during the tour. Since we have such a large group tonight, we’ll split into two teams. Carla will take this half.” Allen sliced an imaginary line through the group of twenty or so ghost-hunters. “And the rest of you will go with me.”
Relieved she and Ellie were on the same side of the line, Sarah snuggled up closer to her friend and surveyed the rest of their team. A middle-aged couple, a grandmotherly woman, and a group of ten sorority girls—exactly the type of girls she’d avoided in college—made up Team Allen. The girls sported matching Greek-lettered sweatshirts, scarves and mittens and tittered incessantly. Sarah was fairly sure their chance of seeing a ghost with this group was nil. Fine with her. Ellie was the one who went for the paranormal stuff.
“We’ll walk the path where the Lady in White has typically been spotted. Carla’s team will cover the grounds around the house,” Allen said. He nodded to Carla, and she gave him a little salute, then led her team around to the side of the building. Allen’s group stayed put in the doorway.
“First, I’ll need a couple of volunteers,” Allen announced.
Ellie’s hand shot up before Sarah could register what was happening. “We’ll do it.”
Classic Ellie, leaping before she looked. She didn’t even know what she was volunteering for. It could be anything. If Allen wanted virgins to sacrifice, however, he was out of luck.
Allen pulled two little handheld meter devices out of his messenger bag. His brows lowered a bit as he studied Ellie, cast his eyes around the group, then settled back to her. Ellie’s enthusiasm won out and Allen handed one device to her and the other to Sarah.
“This is the Anomaly Detector,” Allen said with all the reverence of presenting the sword Excalibur. “It measures EMP and temperature. If these lights change, it’s your job to let us know. I’ll be taking photos and interacting with the ghost, trying to draw her out. I can’t keep my eyes on all of the devices at once. Can you manage this?”
“Absolutely,” Ellie squealed.
Sarah resisted rolling her eyes again. She accepted the detector and did her best to reduce her scowl.
“It’s okay to be skeptical,” Allen said. “It makes it all the more exciting when we convert you to a believer.” His smile warmed and Sarah realized he was actually handsome. Old, but handsome. What an otherwise normal and attractive man—who was way old enough to know better—was doing leading a bunch of ghost hunters, she had no idea. People were strange. She supposed she’d have to include herself in that judgment, considering she now held a ghost detector.

About the Author:

Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters, and now she writes about them, because monsters need love too.

She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig.

She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.

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bn100 said...

sounds interesting

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today :D Happy haunting!

Glenda said...

Congratulations on the release of Haunt My Heart, Lisa!!!! It's on my wishlist!