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Nicola M. Cameron

Nicola M. Cameron on the location of her latest novella Shifter Woods: Howl

The world of Shifter Woods comes from my road trip last year to RT in Las Vegas. I decided to drive from Dallas to LV, and it turned into an absolutely wonderful road trip through some gorgeous countryside. One of my favorite spots along the way was Albuquerque, where I stayed overnight. I hadn’t realized that I-40 skirted the Sandia Mountains until the next morning when I walked out of my hotel, looked up and realized, “Oh. THAT’S what I was driving over last night. Good to know.”

Driving back was even nicer because I had the chance to appreciate the mountains in daylight, and something about the beauty and power of the range really stayed with me. When it came time to write SW:H, I wanted to set the action in a cabin somewhere out west with stunning scenery, so placing my imaginary Esposito County and Macomber in the Sandia foothills was a no-brainer. There will be at least three more novellas set in this location dealing with other shifters in Esposito and I may well do a full-length novel with Caleb and Laurie after that, so stay tuned!


Laurie wants a news story. Caleb just wants to be left alone. But when the coyote shifters’ paths cross in New Mexico’s Sandia Mountains, Fate steps in and gives them something they never expected—each other.

Reporter Laurie Rivera is on the trail of a white slavery ring when she’s forced to run for her life in the foothills near Sandia Crest. Widowed sheriff and Alpha coyote shifter Caleb Lynch comes across the exhausted reporter and discovers to his shock that Laurie’s also a coyote shifter—and his new heart’s mate.

But Caleb never expected to have another chance at love, and Laurie has a good reason to fear being claimed, especially by an Alpha. As a snowstorm traps them in the sheriff’s cabin, Caleb must find a way around the barriers surrounding Laurie’s heart, and Laurie has to confront her past—and the humans who want her dead—if she wants a chance at her very own “happily ever after.”


Excerpt

Upstairs, Caleb stretched out in the big, comfortable bed, remembering how Paul Sleeping Turtle, Mike Ivanov and he had used some stout ropes and a lot of good-natured cursing to haul the mattress and box spring and over the loft railing. Anna had stood well out of the way downstairs, laughing at their language as they’d sweated and lugged the damn things upward. That night, however, she’d rewarded him in the newly installed bed, and Mike cheerfully baited him the next day about hearing the noise from a good mile away.

He’d never brought another woman to the cabin after Anna’s death, never even wanted to. But Laurie was different. He could smell her even up here, her essence rising with the heat from the fireplace and perfuming the loft with the smell of warm, sweet female in heat and in need of a good fucking.

He had no idea why Laurie had suddenly gone into heat while he was doing the dishes, but the change in her scent was unmistakable. Granted, sometimes an unmated Alpha could send a young, untried female into heat from simple proximity. But Laurie Rivera had to be in her early thirties, and if she was a virgin he’d eat his badge. The view he’d caught of her in the reflection of the kitchen window was of a female openly eyeing him and liking what she saw.

He grinned at the hand-hewn beams overhead. You know damn well what it means. She’s my mate, whether she likes it or not.

Which, ironically, was the problem. From what she’d told him, she was skittish as hell about the idea of being claimed. He couldn’t blame her, considering her experiences with her first Alpha. But it certainly messed up any chance he had with her, as well. And he didn’t have the luxury of taking his time and courting her, letting her get to know him over time. The moment the plows came through in the morning, Mike and this Gavin guy would be at the cabin to pick her up. After that, Laurie would be back in the city with her career and her life, never to return.

Albuquerque isn’t that far, though.

Oh, yeah? When was the last time you were there? The last time you had time to go there?

His subconscious—or his coyote, he wasn’t sure—had a point. He had to act tonight before he lost her. So, time to be sneaky.

He kicked off the blanket, bracing as the cool air hit his bare skin. He usually didn’t sleep naked during winter, but he wanted as much of his own aroma circulating as possible. He’d made a vow, yes, and he would keep it … unless Laurie gave him permission to break it. And the best way to make happen would be to tempt her upstairs with the scent of his desire and the promise of fulfilling her own.

Running a hand over his chest, he brushed the firm nub of a nipple and the crisp hair that led in a trail down to his groin. He followed it now, wrapping a hand around his soft cock and squeezing. It twitched at the stimulation; when he squeezed again, running his thumb over the upper ridge of the head, it began to thicken lazily.

He started a light, teasing stroke, not enough to get himself off but more than enough to get fully hard. Closing his eyes, he imagined Laurie climbing the stairs to the loft and his bed. The mattress would dip a bit as she climbed on it, moving on all fours to him. He knew she was the kind of female who, when her mind was made up, would stake her claim. There would be no fear, no anger, nothing but need and the deep knowledge that they belonged together.

He pictured her straddling his thighs, bending over to give him a deep, luscious kiss. Her breasts would swing forward and he could cup them, relishing the firm weight of them in each hand before he leaned up to take a nipple in his mouth. He already knew how the salt of her sweat and the sweet spice of her skin would taste, and how to rub the velvet flat of his tongue across the nub to make her gasp. He wanted to learn all the sounds she made in bed, the feminine moans and sighs that were music to a male’s ears.

His sweet female would be eager that first time, taking him in hand and guiding his straining cock between her legs. He groaned as he imagined the hot, wet squeeze of her sliding down around him, a perfect fit that would drive him out of his mind. She’d start riding him, her breasts jiggling with each rise and fall, and that perfect friction building between cock and cunt, all hot juices and slippery softness and his dick going deeper and deeper into her until he could feel the electricity rising, building at that sweet spot between balls and spine…

He pulled his hand away, half-enjoying the sparking, stuttering feeling of having his orgasm denied. Now he just had to wait.

Please, Laurie, I need you. Come to me.

Where to Buy

Amazon



About Nicola Cameron

Nicola Cameron is a married woman of a certain age who really likes writing about science fiction, fantasy, and sex. When not writing about those things, she likes to make Stuff™. And she may be rather fond of absinthe.

While possessing a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn’t until 2012 that she decided to write about it. The skills picked up during her SF writing career transferred quite nicely to speculative romance. Her To Be Written work queue currently stands at around nineteen books, and her mojito-sodden Muse swans in from Bali every so often to add to the list, cackling to herself all the while.

Nicola plans to continue writing until she drops dead over her keyboard or makes enough money to buy a private island and hire Rory McCann as her personal trainer/masseur, whichever comes first.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Facebook Reader Group | Twitter | Goodreads

What’s Coming Next for the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 8: What’s Next?

Traci Douglass

traci

BLOOD VOWED, book three in my Blood Ravagers series, just released on April 13th, so I’ve been busy touring with that the past couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I have two proposals out to continue two different series with two different publishers, and another two requested full contemporary romance manuscripts in with editors of another publisher as well. And I hope to continue writing more mythology inspired short stories for these anthologies as well, if readers like them! Lots of irons in the fire. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get all the latest news and updates (plus fun contests and subscriber-only giveaways)!

Sheri Queen

Sheri

I’ve started book two in my Sleepy Hollow Hunter series, which I aim to have out by the end of the year. I’m also jotting down ideas for the anthologies. I’m also very busy with some marketing classes I’m taking online, as well as participating in some promotional gigs for Bounty Huntress, book one in my Sleepy Hollow Hunter series.

M.T. DeSantis

MT

I’ve got a small army of fantasy novels in the works. Aside from those, I have a satirical science fiction story about a human woman, a human-looking man, and a green alien who have to travel the universe to save the English language. And, who knows? Maybe there’s a story for a future anthology wandering around in my brain somewhere…

Cara McKinnon

Cara

I am finishing up the third book in my Fay of Skye series, Memories of Magic, which will be out in mid-May. The genre is a mash-up of fantasy, romance, and alternate history set in a late Victorian Era with open, acknowledged magic. I am also prepping for more of these seasonal anthologies and starting revisions on the first book in a contemporary fantasy series starring a Latinx kitchen witch.

L.J. Longo

LJ

So much. I’ve got my first series book coming out in May or June which also happens to be an F/M fantasy romance. It’s called “Taming the Tiger” and it’s not nearly as sweet as “Seaweed and Silk.” I also have “The Scarf” coming out soon in an anthology called Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition released by Evernight Publishing which is also set in Tovar but is more of a detective noir. I have a ton of free stories I’m going to put on my website because there isn’t really a home for them. There’s more longer works in the future as well, but I don’t have dates for those yet, so you’ll all just have to follow my website to find out what I come up with next. Hint: not were-bunnies. Probably.

Mary Rogers

I am working on my full-length novel “The Last First Time” and outlining a series about Balsam Island.

Elsa Carruthers

I am working on my presentation for an upcoming academic conference, finishing up an essay on Stranger Things, to be published in November, revising my novel, Heathen Row, (featuring Rena, Nate, and Duke, yay!), and I have some poetry and short stories due to be published in June.

Heroes and the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 7: Heroes

Who is your hero? How does he see himself? How do others see him?

Traci Douglass

traci

Hermes begins my story performing the same duty he has for millennia—escorting Persephone on her yearly journey from the Underworld to a party at the Oceanus Resort. His image as nothing but a playboy trickster and rogue weighs heavily on him and he yearns to break out of the constraints others have placed on him. He has big plans on the horizon and is determined to stay focused on those goals and not let love interfere—until a chance meeting with a certain goddess on the beach changes everything.

Sheri Queen

Sheri

Edward is a talented clockmaker, in a long line of distinguished clockmakers, who finds out he’s half-fairy. He’s doing his best to come to terms with what that all means, as well as how it may be responsible for his talent of making clockwork creatures. He’s a bit of a recluse–more at home in nature than with people. But when a certain broken-winged fairy crosses his path, his life takes him in a new direction.

M.T. DeSantis

MT

Adam starts the story as a practical joker and a skeptic. When Janessa pops out of the planter and says he gets three wishes, Adam sarcastically wishes for a scavenger hunt to find his true love before dinner. Only when the hunt has begun does he really believe magic is real and that it is more powerful than he could have imagined. This mirrors how Adam feels about love. At first, he doesn’t really believe in it, but as time goes on, he starts to see things differently.

Cara McKinnon

Cara

Reed is a healer. He was coerced by his father into choosing that career, but he has grown to love it and is very adept. He feels like a rebel, though, because he isn’t very devout and sees that bending or even breaking the rules is sometimes necessary to do what’s right. Others see him as easy-going, funny, and compassionate. Leora sees him as her nemesis–though he grew up to be too sexy for his own good.

L.J. Longo

LJ

Tan is a chef, sailor, and made from stone. We only see him from Svildna’s perspective and she thinks he’s ugly and a little scary-looking until he starts smiling and feeding her. His shipmates call him a troll and he just laughs it off.

Because Tan know what he is and and that’s his secret.

Mary Rogers

My hero is a little bit full of himself, and when he gets a small comeuppance, he uses magic to get around it. A small bit alpha, but don’t worry, we can work with him. Carson is someone who may be on top, but the top is a slippery place to be. He’ll come down, and he may appreciate it better.

Elsa Carruthers

Duke is gentle and kind with a deep inner strength. Duke underestimates himself. Those that don’t know him think he’s a pushover who is easily manipulated.

Nate is out-going, charming, and tough. He is clever and strong, but sometimes overthinks his own plans. People see him as someone they want to work with or be with.

Heroines and the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 6: Heroines

Who is your heroine? How does she see herself? How do others see her?

Traci Douglass

traci

In mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn and Spring. Many historians believe that the term Easter derived from her name. Her job, in the simplest terms, is to herald each new day. At the beginning of my story, Eos sees herself as a caretaker—the rock steady center for her siblings and something of a martyr. So much so that she’s willing to take the blame for a crime she didn’t commit. Aphrodite sees her as a man-stealing slut. And Hermes—well, he sees her as the intriguing, powerful, beguiling woman of his dreams.

Sheri Queen

Sheri

Pennora is a fairy who gets her magic from nature, and is inherently beautiful. Ask any human who sees a fairy and they’ll agree. Pennora just doesn’t get that even with a mangled wing, she’s still beautiful. It takes falling in love for her to see her inner beauty through Edward’s eyes.

 

M.T. DeSantis

MT

“A Hunt for Love” starts with Janessa (heroine) stating how long it’s been since she’s been out of her planter–the item she inhabits as a djinn. From the minute she’s out in the spring sunshine, it’s clear she loves light and warmth and that she desperately does not want to return to the cramped darkness of her planter. Her needs are pretty small. She wants to be happy and genuinely cared for, rather than only used by people who want power. Adam (hero) can’t quite believe Janessa’s a djinn at first. As the story progresses, he sees what, but more importantly, who she is—someone who got handed a really crappy lot in life that she doesn’t necessarily deserve.

Cara McKinnon

Cara

Leora has wanted to be a healer like her father since she was a child. But her society is very community-oriented, and career choices are restricted to the needs of the community. So by the time she turned thirteen and could choose her career path, her father already had an apprentice–her brother’s best friend, Reed, who didn’t really want the job. Leora sees herself as someone who only reluctantly plays by the rules, and feels stymied and thwarted in her hopes and dreams. Others see her as competent, intelligent, and fair. Reed thinks she’s gorgeous, and doesn’t understand why she hates him.

L.J. Longo

LJ

Svildna is a bad-ass mermaid. She thinks of herself as plain because she’s not the sort to sit on a rock combing her hair, much more the type to gut a seal. But she still catches a lot of attention from the sailors she works for when she forgets to wear her seashells.

 

Mary Rogers

My heroine is named Carson – a moniker my eldest would have had if I had not rethought it. Carson was a character in a movie from my youth that I still love called “Shag” referring to the dance craze in the early 1960’s, and was played by Phoebe Cates. I loved that the name was both male and female, and I decided to play with what it would be like if a Carson met a Carson and sparks ensued.

Elsa Carruthers

Rena is a member of the Heathen, a nationwide network of families that are involved with a lot of underground activities. She is very loyal, even though she objects to some of the Heathen’s ways, but doesn’t really like following rules that she doesn’t believe in, and that gets her in a lot of trouble.

Element X and the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 5: Element X

What Prompted your Element “X”–Mermaids, Djinn, Fairies, etc?

Traci Douglass

traci

When Hermes Met Eos is based on the old mythology stories. I tried to stay within the boundaries of those legends as much as I could, but did bend the rules a bit when necessary for my story needs. Call it romantic license.

Sheri Queen

Sheri

Fairies heralding Spring with old magic seemed like a natural fit for the theme of renewal, but adding the twist of what would happen to a fairy whose wing no longer functioned and her self-confidence was damaged in the process, became the core of the story.

M.T. DeSantis

MT

For a while, I was very stuck on what story to write for this anthology. One day, the phrase “djinn of the planter” popped into my head. Planters are related to spring, and djinns are creatures found in fantasy. I had my main character, and the rest just kind of filled itself in.

Cara McKinnon

Cara

I actually had planned to write a different story about reunited lovers that would fit with the “renewal” part of our theme. But after outlining and starting to write, I realized that I needed at least 25-30,000 words to do justice to the story. So I put that on hold and started a desperate search through springtime rituals and stories. I happened across a mention of a dawn goddess marrying a fertility god on the spring equinox and giving birth nine months later. Thus was a kernal of an idea formed. But I decided not to tell the story of the god and goddess, but rather of two mortals playing their parts in a ceremonial ritual.

L.J. Longo

LJ

I love mermaids, but at the same time, I’m super embarrassed that I like mermaids. Everything about me is pretty butch, until I start squealing over fish-women dolls. I’ve thought way, way too much about mermaids. How they would live, what kinds of societies they would have, how they would communicate, how they would have sex and give birth, etc. One of things I wanted to bring to the myth about mermaids is the idea that they are not actually half-fish. I thought it would be more interesting if like dolphins and seals, they had to surface for air and had a very real fear of drowning. So Svildna actually has a sleek brown tail and no scales.

Mary Rogers

I am Irish, from a family of immigrants. I grew up hearing the stories, the songs, the legends of Ireland, and learned early that magic (even if I don’t have any) comes in many forms. God and nature and magic were constants, and the belief that having one did not mean you couldn’t have the other.

Elsa Carruthers

I was taking some welding classes and my mind started to wander during a particularly boring lecture . . .

Spring and the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 4: Spring

What do you like best about spring? What do you hate?

Traci Douglass

traci

No negatives for me.

Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons. I love Spring because everything is fresh and growing and it’s a new beginning, a time to break free of the bonds of winter and forge a new path.

It’s full of possibility and potential.

.

Sheri Queen

Sheri

I love the warmer weather that comes with Spring, so I can sit outside by my decorative fountains to read and write.

But I hate having to weed and mulch, and the heavy pollens are brutal.

M.T. DeSantis

MT

Spring is probably my favorite season. Things are green, and flowers are blooming. There’s a freshness to the air that makes the world feel alive. The thing I dislike most about spring is the fact that where I live now gets about a week of it. I miss weeks on end of spring so much. Now, I get something sort of resembling winter for a while, a week or two of spring, and then sweltering summer.

Cara McKinnon

Cara

I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and so winter is a tough time for me. It’s cold, and dark, and gloomy. But then things start to come back to life and there is color and light and warmth. Unfortunately there is also tree pollen and lots of rain, but nothing in life is perfect!

L.J. Longo

LJ

Confession, I hate Spring. I know, very hipster of me. I have allergies and I walk everywhere all year long. Then suddenly, right around my birthday, I’ve got to start sharing the street with both pollen and pedestrians!

Oh wait, Ghost Tours start again in the Spring. So that’s my favorite part of Spring.

Mary Rogers

As a northeasterner, I love lilacs, and miss them terribly. Gardenias fill that void here in California. I love the way it seems like spring just happens. From seemingly unending gray skies, snow melt, browned leaves you didn’t get to raking, to crocus, daffodils and pastels everywhere. I love the way it just hits your senses in every way, the look, the smell, the sight, the tastes (strawberries!) and the sounds (birds everywhere!). Here in California where we never get winter, and fall and spring are suspiciously like summer, it happens in a more clandestine way, but if you keep your senses open, you’ll see the wonders all again.

Elsa Carruthers

I love the flowers, all of the green that seems to appear overnight. It is breathtaking! I hate the pollen and the fact that I never know what to wear. 🙂

World-Building and the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 3: World-Building

Anthologies can be a good place to test out new ideas or to tell smaller stories you may not have space for in a bigger novel. Talk about the world of your story and why you picked it for this anthology.

Traci Douglass

traci

The idea for this short story has been kicking around in my head for a while. I’d done some research on Hermes and Eos during my time in my MFA program at Seton Hill University for a completely different story and the two characters stayed with me. I love mythology and I’m always fascinated by “what if” questions. My story takes these ancient figures and puts them in the modern world. It was fun taking these old stories and revamping them into my idea of what they’d be today.

I’d say it’s more of an alternate reality, happening at the same time as ours. In the story, the humans know about the Oceanus Resort and it’s something of a gathering spot for the world’s elite. Of course, being Zeus’s home away from home, it’s lavish and golden and covered in precious gems and marble, as one does when one is the ruler of all. LOL. Then the story moves to modern day Manhattan, which is basically the same as it is now.

Sheri Queen

Sheri

It seems many of my stories have some type of clockwork element to them, especially in regards to human enhancements or part-human/part-machine beings. These people are different from others in their world and struggle with love–within themselves, and with relationships. The anthology was a perfect spot to focus on a microcosm of how the natural world is constantly being altered by technology, and how we fit into that world.

Pennora’s world exists within the real world, but with magical wards that protect its true identity. The fairy inhabitants embrace most technology, but still keep their old traditions. Protecting nature is of primary importance, since that’s the source of their magic, so keeping their world secret is very important.

M.T. DeSantis

MT

“A Hunt for Love” is set in the real world with one big difference—there’s at least one djinn who grants wishes. After clearing out his grandmother’s attic, Adam (the hero) is out planting flowers. He rubs the planter, and out pops Janessa (djinn of the planter) in a burst of silver sparkles. Since this story is kind of a one-and-done, the magic is just there. Though, it was really fun working in references to Disney’s Aladdin.

Many of my stories take place in a nondescript small New England town/city with flavors of where I grew up. I doubt I’ll go anywhere else with this story world unless given a compelling reason to. It was more the fun idea of the story that got me writing. So, I guess it’s just too small for a novel and the right size for this anthology.

Cara McKinnon

Cara

After I finish my current series (in about 2-4 more books, depending on how things play out), I am going to start writing a secondary-world fantasy romance series set in a non-European-esque culture. I am pulling most of my touchstones from the highly communal Pacific Island nations, mixed with the ancient Indus River civilization and Hindu cosmology/mythology. This story was a first idea of what that world might look like if left alone to advance to modern times (well, Industrial Revolution-ish) without the monotheistic Judeo/Christian/Muslim influence. I can’t guarantee that the world will end up exactly like in the story, but it’s a start.

I’m still playing around with how magic works, the nuances of the culture, and exactly how well-developed they are. They are at least at Industrial Revolution-level technology, with factories and steel-working capabilities. Maybe not electricity yet, though. And magic is rare in humans, although magical creatures and gods exist. The society is extremely communal, and concepts of ownership are present but fluid. Responsibilities are shared and children belong to the community as much and sometimes more than to their parents. The hardest thing about writing this story was trying to make it very equal–not overtly partriarchal or matriarchal. They follow the example of their god and goddess and think marriage is sacred–and because of that, they wait to make sure they’re with the right person to get married, sometimes until middle age or longer. Taking lovers is common, and children born of those unions are treated no differently than any others. And this particular pairing is F/M, but they are accepting of all forms of love and all forms of gender expression.

L.J. Longo

LJ

So everyone in this anthology is either enrolled or graduated from Seton Hill University, where we study Writing Popular Fiction. My thesis novel is a Science Fiction and Fantasy YA novel, which is weird for me because I mostly write very graphic Romance novels. The world of my thesis, Tovar, is huge and since this anthology called for Fantasy, I figure I might as well explore other areas of the world while looking for love. Nick the wolf actually appears in my thesis novel several years after this story.

Seaweed and Silk doesn’t show off too much of the world, but Tovar is a place I’ve been writing in for a long time. I try to make it as difference from our world as I can without writing about were-bunnies. For example, Tovar is a sexist in women’s favor since witches tend to be female (men are discouraged from even trying magic). But I also don’t like it when Fantasy that gets stuck in the Dark Ages, so Tovar has big cities, metal ships, magic-powered indoor plumbing, and lighting.

Mary Rogers

I don’t like to think of fantasy worlds as that different. I think we can make a lot of our world more fantastic by just the power of our wills. I believe in self-manifestation, and thinking good things into being. My mother was right! If you believe it, so will those around you.

I admit it, I’m a total sap for – sap. I love love, love stories, lovers, and anything with sunshine and daisies. The real world is not always perfect, but we can create places that with a little work, sweat equity, and determination – become that way for lucky soulmates. You have to be open to ideas, and one was that persons of the same name could be so similar, but the fact that they’re different sexes could lead them to think differently. Men and women are more similar than they are different, but sometimes it takes a while to see it. I wanted to show young people who got it wrong finally get it right when enough time passes for them to look deeper at what they are, and what they can be.

Elsa Carruthers

“Welded” is set in the real world, but some of the characters have magical abilities. They live in Iowa and travel for business when it suits them. They rely on themselves for justice and generally like to keep to themselves, as they have been persecuted for generations, though they do have extensive outside contacts with some dangerous and often unsavory outfits.

Rena, Duke, and Nate are the main characters of Heathen Row, a supernatural horror/romance. In the novel, they are estranged with the possibility of reconciling. I always wondered how they got together, and this story was a great chance to find out!

Process and the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (pre-order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 2: Process

Was there a particular song, ritual, or something else that helped get you into the writing mood for your story? Describe it for readers.

Traci Douglass

traci

I don’t really have a process. When I sit down to write, my process is pretty much the same day to day—quiet room, instrumental tunes on my playlist, coffee in my cup, and a cozy sweater or sweatshirt handy in case I get cold. That’s it.

Sheri Queen

Sheri

Songs have more importance once I’ve started writing. I begin with my basic idea and my storyboard. I might have music on in the background or I might be in a mood for complete quiet (which is pretty hard to come by in my house, lol.). I find that once my character is firmly in my head, I notice different songs that fit my character and the plot.

M.T. DeSantis

MT

I’d love to paint an elaborately colorful portrait of deep blue skies, and green, green grass, and silver moonlight settling over all of it like fresh morning dew. In reality, once I had the idea, the story took 2 or 3 days to write with no background music or rituals of any kind. Pretty boring, I know.

Cara McKinnon

Cara

Lately instead of writing to music I write with an app called “Sunny.” There are about a half-dozen different recordings of waves, from strong frequent breakers to quiet, more lake-like lapping. You can choose to add rain, birds, and music, but I usually stick with a very light rain in addition to the surf. I love being at the ocean, and this gives me a good mix of white noise and that comforting wave crash that makes me feel like I’m sitting with my laptop at the beach instead of at my desk in my house!

L.J. Longo

LJ

I write at least two thousand words every day no matter what I have planned that day or my mood, so there’s not much room for particular rituals except ass-in-chair. In terms of music, I usually do listen to something. Most of this story I spent listening to music from Ireland, Asia, and Iceland. One song in particular, Siúil A Rún ended up in the story in a roundabout way. The title translates to “walk, my love” and the song pops into Tan’s head whenever he sees Svildna hobbling around on her crutch, so that’s the song he’s always whistling.

Mary Rogers

You’ll notice this right away! My heroine is Carson Freigh, and my hero is Carson Byrd. Can you guess what song that is? Freebird was the grad song when my husband graduated Kings Point USMMA, and I often tease him about that. I have a set of six brandy goblets (I have never used them! I don’t drink brandy!) that say United States Merchant Marine Academy Graduation – “Freebird”. Now, I used that song to bring my two characters to hate that they’re thrown together like this, and then to love it.

Elsa Carruthers

I curl up in a wingback chair and type into my Alphasmart. No internet, no distractions.

Theme and the Crazy Spring Love Authors

The authors of the stories in Crazy Little Spring Called Love (pre-order here) sat down to answer some questions for their readers. For links to the full list of interview questions, teasers, and more, visit the blog tour page.


Question 1: Theme

The stories readers will find in Crazy Little Spring Called Love are written by eight wildly different authors. However, all the stories have three common themes: Spring, Renewal, and Awakening. How did you all manage to write to the theme?

Traci Douglass

traci

Given that my heroine is the goddess of the dawn and Spring, writing to the theme of Spring awakening/ renewal wasn’t all that difficult for me. LOL. I did, though, try to go beyond that superficial connection to the anthology’s topic and explore how these characters who are so identified with their respective personas would feel about that and how they might develop beyond that into wholehearted people.

Sheri Queen

Sheri

Awakening in “Girl With a Broken Wing” is about finding a new way to live and love when you’re thrown off course. Being able to love yourself, with all its imperfections, and then be open to being loved, is a true awakening.

M.T. DeSantis

MT

My initial attempt involved a dryad who only wanted to protect the forest but was being forced to take a mate. About 400 or so words in, I realized this wasn’t working for me and let the story drop. At least another week passed before the phrase “djinn of the planter” settled in my brain. I immediately knew this was the story. It had “fun” written all over it, and it was appropriately “springy.”

Cara McKinnon

Cara

I thought I was all set for renewal with a reunited lovers story, but I ended up doing awakenings instead! “Love at Dawn” is about two people who have spent their lives seeing each other a certain way, and then everything changes in an instant and brand-new awareness awakens. The biggest theme of the story is how important it is to shine a light on assumptions and think about our lives (and loves) in a new way. Sometimes love is right there in front of you, and you just have to open your eyes to see it.

L.J. Longo

LJ

Full disclosure, I forgot the theme was awakenings and renewal. I was totally invested in the spring and the fantasy elements of the romance so I had a dozen story ideas about magical creatures during the changing season and how it would affect them. There’s a story about were-bunnies that was just too silly even for me. My favorite idea (which became Seaweed and Silk) was about a mermaid from the far North who lived deep in the darkness under the ice until she’s hired by a group of sailors as a guide. She still ended up experiencing some awakenings, since she’s never seen spring or had legs…

Mary Rogers

There is no more perfect theme for love than spring. It is when the earth, and we – awaken. Not just to growth, but to beauty, and to love. Sometimes you can have something and not give it value, but when you lose it, you recognize what it was worth. Finding it again is like spring in your heart, and love is the most precious thing you will find.

Elsa Carruthers

My main character is tough and a bit hard. At first I couldn’t imagine her having an awakening or renewal, but then I started getting glimpses of her blushing and twirling her hair… we all have a soft side, even the toughest of us. It was fun watching her soften and fall in love.

Interview with Lea Bronsen

Interview with Lea Bronsen

Somewhere in some city, some building is burning down. Amid the spits of fire and falling ashes of the structure’s sordid past, two figures sit across a burning coffee table. One of them is Lea Bronsen, amazon best-selling author and two-time winner of Evernight Reader’s Choice Award. The other is a creature of darkness who is-

L.J.: *squeals* Oh my God! Lea Bronsen, I have loved your work since Wild Hearted. So excited to talk to you!

…the worst at being dark and mysterious…

L.J.: So where you from?

Lea Bronsen slyly lifts a cup of coffee and looks around the flame-soaked room.

Lea: I like to say I’m a European because I have ancestors from all over the place – France, Norway, Scotland, Germany…

A piece of timber crashes across the room. The squalls of a baby and the bark of a small dog are heard somewhere above. Lea notices the fire flare as if acknowledging the sounds, and sips her coffee.

Oh, she is so much better at being mysterious, L.J.

L.J.: I guess, what I’m really asking is… are you actually married to Charles Bronson and just changing the name ever so slightly to avoid being accused of using it to gain popularity?

Lea: *swoons slightly* No. No. I don’t have… Nothing ever happened between me and Charlie… I mean, Charles Bronson, actor extraordinaire, love of my life… Nothing.

A door breaks and a firefighter, who looks suspiciously like Charles Bronson, races in the room taking no notice of the two authors. Instead, he rushes up the staircase.

L.J.: Right. So we’re here to talk about Fiery10-16? That’s a cool title. What’s a 10-16?

Lea: 10-16 is the American police scanner code for “domestic problems”, and I wanted to use it in the title because one of the themes of the book is domestic violence.

L.J.: That’s dark.

Lea: I prefer the edgier side of romance.

L.J. So what inspired Fiery 10-16? Brooding love affair? Daring rescue? Troubled past?

Charles Bronson coughs as he returns to the staircase cradling a little girl who looks suspiciously like the mysterious Lea Bronsen and a mini-schnauzer.

Lea: *laughs* It’s pretty funny, because I got the idea for this book after responding to a private ad for children’s clothes last year. The seller gave me an address in town…and I ended up knocking on the door of the main fire station. Of all places! The guy just happened to be a daddy selling children’s clothes online. He wore shorts and sandals, like he was on the beach.

Another piece of falling timber lands directly across the stairs and Charles Bronson is caught behind looking suddenly underdressed in shorts and sandals instead of his protective gear.

Lea: I left the station laughing and shaking my head. It was a most surreal experience, but real enough that I started the book with the same scene!  At the same time, a friend of mine showed me a pic of the excruciatingly handsome actor, footballer, wrestler, and rugby player Geno Segers.

Lea swoons a little as another door is kicked down by another firefighter, this one bearing a strong resemblance to Geno Segers.

Lea: And there and then I swore I would write him a book!

L.J. and Lea both watch appreciatively as Geno Seger sweeps Charles Bronson, the child, and the dog off their feet and carries them to safety.

L.J.: The weirdest things happen to me at interviews…. Anyway, what kind of research went into a firefighter story? Are you on any watch-lists for arson, now?

Now is when you ask her if she’s into arson, L.J.?

L.J. pointedly ignores the narrator and listens attentively to Lea. There are applauds and sounds of weeping from outside as the gathered crowd celebrates their heroes.

Lea: Research… let me see, I googled everything from firefighting equipment to the interior of a station, the trucks, the ladders, the schedules and routines… I looked up how carbon monoxide works, how a fire spreads… I visited firefighter forums and learned about their fears and hopes, personnel issues, interpretation of the law… I downloaded tons of photos from all kinds of situations… and I read a few firefighter romances to make sure I got the vocabulary and jargon right.

Lea leans closer and whispers, very mysteriously.

Lea: crucial, since I’m not a native English speaker.

L.J. looks at narrator and mouths “did you know?” Of course, not or I would have mentioned it. Do you want me to revise? Stop making faces. You have a guest.

 Lea: If I’m on a watch-list for anything, it’s not arson but “hot, sexy firefighters.”

L.J.: I’m told if you google, “not an arsonist, just a romance writer” they take you off the list. Which sounds really untrue when I say it… New topic… new topic, uh… Sex or action scenes!

Smooth, L.J. By the way… upstairs there is a creak and a groan as the support beams of the building begin to lose their fight against the flames.

Lea: Honestly, sex is complicated. You need to include so many things like emotions and senses etc. My beta readers always tell me to extend, extend, extend. It makes me pull my hair out!

Out on the street Charles Bronson shouts in a husky smoke-stained voice. ‘The roof is collapsing. Stand clear!’

Lea: Action scenes are all about choreography and maintaining an intolerable level of suspense, and I find that much easier to write. I also LOVE to add a dash of gore here and there, lol.

Above the floor gives way and what appears to be a charred corpse lands on the coffee table.

L.J.: So… you’re just an arsonist, right?

Lea: I told you I’m not an arsonist.

Lea smiles mysteriously and winks before ducking out the back of the unstable building and being lost to the flames.

 Lea: Thanks for the coffee.

L.J.: Well, I guess there’s other reasons to start fires… Thank you to Lea Bronsen for letting me interview her about her latest release: Fiery 10-16. Scroll on down to buy her sexy new novel. Follow Graceful Indecency to encourage me to meet more of these fabulous characters. Now, let me out of this firetrap!

fiery-1016_ebook-cover-400x600
She made this cover herself, folks! How frickin’ talented is this lady?

About Fiery 10-16

Runo Wiggins is a scarred man, the wounds etched into his psyche deeper than those on his skin. But he loves his job: fighting fires helps reenact his survival of a house fire as a teen, one that killed his mother and brutal stepfather.

Dawn Caravello is married to a psychotic drunk. She can take his beatings as long as he doesn’t touch their children, and she’ll do anything to put food on the table, even if it means stealing from the town hero.

When Runo meets the fiery Dawn, sparks fly. But he suspects she is victim of the same abuse as his mother was. As day turns to night, the past and the present blend in an exhausting, hold-your-breath chase to prevent another death.


Excerpt from Fiery 10-16

Dawn’s eyes shimmered with a mix of stubborn pride and extreme sadness. They seemed to be made of molten brown stone. Runo had never seen eyes like these. So vibrant, saying so many things. They revealed her life, her endurance, her dreams, her combats, her despair. And she was still so young.

While he stared, she leaned forward and kissed him, an act a whole lot more intimate than he was comfortable with. A short, hard peck, a statement. Not the tender gesture a kiss was supposed to be, but one telling him her gratitude as well as her dignity. She thanked him, but was going to go back to her life and continue fighting.

He stood shocked, his whole body rigid, didn’t know what to do. She, such a small woman thing a whole head shorter, shook him, a giant of muscle and stupid testosterones inside a hard shell.

He would definitely take care of Dawn and her kids. Any way possible. Alert the authorities and make sure they got the protection they desperately needed.

She stepped backward, her features softening, and turned on her heel.

Not so fast.

He cleared his throat and called, lifting a weak hand. “Hey, wait!” His heart hammered in his chest, blood pulsed in his ears.

She turned. “What?”

“Promise to be good. Promise it’s the last time you do it.”

“Do what?” Her eyes gleamed with humor. “Kiss you?” In the midst of this emotional turmoil, she found the strength to tease.

“Steal.”

And lie.

She pursed her lips, looking like a disappointed little girl. Maybe she still was a child inside. A child taking care of children. A child beaten savagely.

He swallowed. “Promise.”

After several long seconds, she nodded. But her gaze told a different truth.

Liar.

Copyright @ 2017 Lea Bronsen