I am a retired military wife and homeschool mom. My husband retired recently after serving twenty-one years in the military, and is now home full time. I graduated our daughter from high school last May.
It was about three years ago that my daughter started urging me to write. “You have a great imagination for storytelling!” She insisted. I didn’t think so, but decided to give it a try. We spent many hours sitting at our local Wendy’s brainstorming the storyline for my books. And while she insists I have such a great imagination, she is the one that has given me so many fantastic ideas to incorporate in my books.
My books have become a family affair. My husband runs my website; I would have never been able to set it up and have it running smoothly. My daughter helps me keep up with emails, and keeps track of facebook and the website while I am writing. The fact that the family is involved in this endeavor makes it just that much more fun for me to write. We can be found sitting around the table tossing around ideas for stories, or how a story can be improved often.
When not writing, I love to read, and play games with the family. Friday night is family game night. I make homemade pizza and we play cards, board games, or WII tennis and bowling. I have broken at least ten WII tennis rackets from hitting the ceiling fan or furniture. I’ve even come close to hitting my own daughter! She doesn’t think it is very amusing, but still loves to sit on the couch and watch mom and dad at war.
VAMPIRES AMONG US
What does a young woman do when she finds herself trapped in an abusive relationship with a vampire? She runs straight into the arms of another vampire family!
Erica knows she needs to leave her abusive, alcoholic, vampire husband. But just how does one go about doing that? It’s not like she can go to the police and state; “I need a restraining order for my vampire husband!”
She has befriended a guy at college, and not seeing any other choice, asks him for help. Little does she know she is running away from one vampire, and straight into the arms of another!
Kevin O’Rourke is the leader of the VCTF (Vampire Crime Task Force). The only reason he sits in college classes half the day is because his team has been called in to make a major drug bust. When he sees the bruises on Erica, he knows she is in trouble. A little investigation reveals Erica is married to one of his own that has gone rogue. When she finally agrees to leave him, Kevin is quick to offer her shelter at his family’s home. The only problem is Erica doesn’t know what he and his family are. And she doesn’t know she is his mate. Hmmmm……
They were sitting on the couch in his living room. The television was on, and they were watching a movie. A bottle of wine sat on the coffee table in front of them. “Would you like some wine?” He asked solicitously, as he reached over and poured a bit of the dark red liquid into two glasses. Out of habit, he sniffed the contents, just to be assured it was pure wine they were drinking, and not a blood mixture.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” She asked softly, as she glanced up at him through her lashes.
Not necessarily drunk, but loosened up couldn’t hurt. “Would it help?” He whispered seductively in her ear.
He watched as she closed her eyes and a light shiver went up her spine. He leaned towards her, placing a gentle kiss on the side of her neck. A slight “mmmm” vibrated up from deep within her throat.
He let his tongue swirl around the spot he had just kissed, as he listened to her heart beat pick up in intensity. She turned her head in his direction, as he lightly nibbled his way to her lips. When he reached his destination, he started their kiss tenderly, seducing her with his lips as he went. He waited until she was comfortable enough to wrap her arms around his neck and pull him tighter against her, and then he picked up the intensity.
“Oh God Kevin, I want you, but I….” She started, as she grabbed both sides of his head, forcing it upwards.
“Shhh, baby, I am not going to hurt you. I won’t do anything you don’t want to do. You are in control tonight. Just tell me to stop, and I won’t go any further.” His words came out as a seductive whisper as he trailed kisses down her cheek. Yes, he was well aware of her cautiousness, but he was also a man on a mission.
He waited, allowing her to relax in his arms again. He didn’t need to wait long. As he continued running his fingers lightly through her hair and across her forehead, she seemed to melt into him. “That’s it, sweetheart, just relax and enjoy. I’ll always take care of you.”
As Jennifer reached over and pushed a button on the dashboard, she was regretting having to make this call. She knew her brother would be livid the second he found out they were in trouble. There were only two options though, call Kevin, or take care of the problem herself. She felt fairly confident she could wipe Shawn’s face across the pavement. After all, he didn’t have a clue she was a vampire. The problem was, neither did Erica. Better to let Sir Romeo take care of this situation. Kevin’s voice was immediately on the speaker.
“Jennifer, what is it?” His voice came across low and stressed. He knew instantly something was wrong.
“I’ve got company following us home. Shawn picked us up as soon as we left the mall,” Jennifer stated. She purposely kept calmness in her voice, and tried keeping a calming atmosphere going
. “How far away are you?” Kevin inquired.
“About seven minutes out. I can make it safely, just be ready for when I pull in.”
Kevin was relieved to hear Jennifer keeping a calm head while she was driving, and she seemed confident that she could get the two of them back home safely. It was Erica who wasn’t so calm. He could hear her mumbling about not making it through the speaker in the car, and he knew his sister would have already tried throwing a calming atmosphere around her. Erica was fighting the imposed atmosphere. She was scared, and rightfully so.
As Jennifer continued talking with Kevin on the phone, Shawn came around to Erica’s side of the car, trying to force their car off the road once again. Erica could see the road narrowed up ahead, and terror caused her to freeze up. She shut her eyes tight and sent a quick urgent prayer above that they would live through this nightmare. Erica forced one eye open and looked Shawn directly in the eye. There was only one word to describe the look on his face, murderous hatred. As the next minute ticked by, it was blatantly obvious that Shawn was not going to stop until he had succeeded in killing both girls. He was irate over Jennifer outmaneuvering him, which was causing him to act irrationally. He continuously veered sharply over, trying to ram his car into Jennifer’s, only to become even more enraged that Jennifer was able to avoid him every time. Even Erica was amazed as she realized that he hadn’t been able to hit them once.
As Shawn became more aggressive, his actions became more violent. Finally, feeling she couldn’t take another second of torture, Erica screamed at Jennifer. “Slow down so I can jump out, and then you can make a run for it. It’s me he wants. Let me out and he’ll let you live!”
The next sound that was heard was Kevin roaring over the speaker, “Hell no, don’t stop!”
Kevin’s roar was deafening as he lost all self-control when he overheard Erica tell Jennifer to stop the car so Shawn could have her, and then drive away. As if his sister would actually ever do such a thing! He knew as soon as he roared that it was a mistake, and quickly concentrated on controlling his temper and calming himself down. It was imperative that he communicate to Erica that they had the situation under control.
Kevin could be heard taking a deep breath over the speaker, and then with deliberate calmness, pitched his voice to softness before speaking again. “Erica, Jennifer is bringing you back to the house. When the two of you arrive, she is going to pull up to the back door. I want you to jump out and run into the house as fast as you can. Charles and I are ready and waiting for Shawn. I need to know you are safe and sound in this house before anything happens. Trust me sweetie, we have been waiting on him to show his face. I have this situation under control.”
“Kevin, no, you don’t understand.” Erica wailed at the speaker. Oh God, how was she supposed to tell Kevin that he was getting ready to die, right along with his father, and probably Jennifer also, for just trying to help her? How was she supposed to tell him that he was getting ready to face the devil himself, literally?
BEHIND THE SCENES
Q. Is there a word or phrase you catch yourself overusing?
A. Yes! The word is “growl” as in he growled…. I used this multiple times in the Vampires Among Us and the editor kept writing little notes on the side stating that it was physically impossible growl more than 2-3 words. My daughter’s response, “I need to talk to your editor mom, because she has obviously not met my father who can growl an entire paragraph when he gets mad!” Needless to say I forbid my daughter from contacting my editor and changed the growling to make them happy.
Q. How do you know you’ve written a good book?
A. I start out “Yeah, this book is fantastic!” and then by the time I’ve gone through edits and it releases, I am starting to think, “Well, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.”
My spirits jump immediately the moment I get a good review, and then I level out to “Yeah, it’s pretty darn good!”
Q. How do you keep your characters and stories organized?
A. This is probably not a good question to ask me because I am still trying to keep organized. Currently, I have a folder for each book I am working on which contains notes, names, etc. and then I also have a copy of those notes on One Note on my computer.
Thinking back on your first book, is there anything you would have done differently?
Well, since I re-wrote the first book so many times, and it has gone through so many revisions and changes I don’t even remember what the beginning book looked like; I might have done things differently. I am my own worst enemy on my books. I finish them, leave them sit for a few months, then pick them up and reread them, making changes all along the way! I need to learn to do more books like I did The Music Box which will be coming out Nov. 7th. I wrote that book in a little over a week, went through and edited it once and sent it off!
Q. Has your perspective on the writing process changed since you became published?
A. Yes, it has changed. I have a whole new respect for indie authors and what they have to go through to get their book out and noticed. I had no idea of the time that is needed to set up good advertising, keep up with your readers and followers, keep up with a website, etc. I am just now feeling like I am starting to catch up, which all takes time away from writing. I try at least once a week to put my foot down and say no to everything so I can get the writing done.
Q. What is the one thing you must have to be able to write?
A. Peace and quiet. No radios, phones, people talking, TV’s…nothing!
Q. What are you currently working on? How is it different from other books you’ve written?
A. I have started a new shifter series (this will be a first for me). It is going to be shifter Doberman Pinschers. I figure if we can have shifter wolves, bears, lions, tigers, etc. why not dogs also? I am also working on a bit of a secret project with my daughter but it won’t be ready until next year. I will give you a bit of a hint, just don’t tell her I told you, “Shifter dragons”! So, I anticipate 2014 to be a very busy year!