Are you ready readers for some more fun? Well, the Mistress is away so we get to play. This time it is with a wonderful author. I would like to introduce Sloan McBride. She is going to tell us about her new series and her life in general. This lovely author has included an excerpt of the book, so keep a look out in the interview for that! Without further ado, I am pleased to introduce Ms. Sloan McBride!!! (Rousing applause from the collective audience).
Thank you for joining us. Why don’t you start by telling us a little about The Fury?
The Fury is Book One in my Time Walker Series. The time walkers are an army of warriors sworn to protect the human race from Kur, the creature of the Underworld, who hates humans and specifically hunts descendants of the gods to take their life force. In The Fury you meet time walker, Dagan, who tracks some galla, minions of the Underworld, to Colorado in the 21st Century (did I mention time walkers walk through all time periods?) trailing Reese, a descendant of Enki (the Water God).
My research in finding the right premise for these books led me to Sumerian mythology. I did two years of research before penning the first book and found a lot of interesting stuff.
I love Mythology! How did you come up with the Time Walkers?
I was driving home from work one day and the idea started swirling around in my head. I knew what I wanted from the army of warriors, so I had to find the right mythology to go with it. I didn’t want to do Celtic or Greek because they had been done so much. I settled on Sumerian.
I noticed the intricacies of the novel, especially the wording. How did you come up with the language?
I would take what the word was supposed to mean and play around with it, using different variations or combining two words until I got things like doghume (which is god/human). Some I created just because I liked the way it sounded like go’ras.
You stated earlier that your main focus was on the Sumerian Mythology. But is the main paranormal world based on anything in particular?
My time walkers can walk through any era, so you will see the stories taking place on Earth in different time periods. The demons are from various religious cultures (there are demons in practically every one), and Kur and the gods are from Sumerian mythology. Of course I have used some creative license to make these things fit my storylines.
Both of the main characters are pretty intense. Is Reese based on anyone you know? What about Dagan?
No, actually, Reese and Dagan were both developed in my mind. Okay, so I might have developed Dagan’s character based on icons of various mythology and tv shows I’ve seen (like Kevin Sorbo as Hercules), but still it was all me. Reese embodies all the heroic (kick ass) women I’ve ever seen or read about (and wished I could be).
This is only the first novel in the series. How many books are you planning on writing?
Well if the stories take off (as I hope they will), I hope to write at least ten books.
Now that this book is done, what are you working on next?
Right now I’m working on Book Two of the Time Walkers. It’s titled “The Treasure” and takes place during pirate times. You actually get to see an infamous pirate that most everyone has heard of. It’s been slow going because my regular life has been extremely busy and complicated over the last two years, but things are looking a bit better as this year closes. Maybe that means I’ll be releasing something in the not too distant future.
Sometimes authors like to crossover to different areas of writing. Have you written any other genre besides paranormal?
Well I did finish writing a book the beginning of this year that was supposed to be romantic suspense with a little paranormal (the heroine is an empath). However, my editor was not as pleased with the book as I would have hoped and she rejected it. I’m setting that one aside and writing The Treasure while I deliberate how to rework it.
At the same time as crossing to another genre, there are many times when authors would never pen a specific genre. Anything you would not want to write?
Inspirationals, steam punk, non-fiction.
You seem to really enjoy writing in the paranormal world. Is there anything you have not written yet but would like to try?
Nothing comes to mind. I’m lucky in that paranormal gives such a wide range of areas to use that I will probably never have to look outside paranormal for something.
I have to say I really enjoyed poking around your website. Do you want to tell the readers about your new blog? .
My life experiences have been diverse, interesting—bizarre to say the least. It happens on a regular basis. Melanie Carroll (one of my critique partners) once suggested I write a book about my life. She thought it would be hysterical. While I don’t share her gusto and enthusiasm about that (having lived the whole thing), I thought maybe a monthly blog would be a better idea. So on September 1st, I launched my new blog “McBride’s Mayhem.” (Melanie helped me pick out the name.) It covers things that happen in my daily life. Sometimes I talk about writing and sometimes it’s about family or work or more recently, I did one about my eye doctor. It is a way of showing people that writers have normal lives and bizarre things that go with them.
You seem to be extremely busy. Do you belong to any other social networks?
I belong to Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death (RWS suspense/mystery chapter), I am a member of MoRWA (the Missouri chapter of RWA). I belong to various groups that involve readers and writers like Coffee Time Romance, The Romance Studio, Night Owl Romance, and Bitten by Books. My critique partners and I have meetings twice a month and have a website where we provide tips, review books that we’ve read, give you partial peeks into our works in progress, and post various other things with Sassy Scribbles.
Can you tell the readers anything that is quirky about you? Maybe something no one else knows?
According to my daughter, the better question would be what is normal about me. There’s not really anything that people don’t know. I’m pretty much a what you see is what you get person. I tell it like it is and embrace my weirdness with fervor.
If you could travel back in time to any period, which period would you travel to and why?
That’s kind of hard to say. I like the renaissance era when there were knights and men of honor. Don’t get me wrong. I know there were more treacherous, murdering, scoundrels too but the romance of the time calls to me. The time of King Arthur is always a lure. And on a different level, World War II. I’ve always been fascinated by the stories and the heroes. Do you see a trend here? Heroes are important to me. I don’t think we have enough of them today.
I absolutely love werewolves. What is your favorite paranormal being?
You mean besides my time walkers? (wink, wink). Favorite is a strong word, but I like the werewolves and vampires of today. I like how they have evolved. They are not all hideous and evil. I also like shapeshifters and dragons.
With your plate full already I cannot imagine you get much time to read. But if you do, what are some of the books you enjoy reading?
I have many, at least one or more for each author I like. For example, I like all the Black Dagger Brotherhood books by J.R. Ward, the Dark-Hunter books by Sherrilyn Kenyon. The list definitely goes on.
I know you said you like paranormal. Can you tell me who some of the authors are you like to enjoy on your downtime?
There are many. The aforementioned J.R. Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon. But also others like, Heather Graham, Robin Popp, Kay Hooper (her series with Noah Bishop and the specialists team of FBI agents is awesome), Suzanne Brockman, Lynn Viehl, Amanda Ashley, Iris Johanssen, Jude Devereaux, and Johanna Lindsey. This list goes on and on as well.
If you could be one supernatural being, what would you be and why?
I’ve never really thought about it. Maybe a goddess of some sort so I’d have untold power at my fingertips and the ability to change the directions of people’s lives for the better. Maybe the goddess of love so I could bring fairytales to life.
One last question I like to ask all of my interviewees. If you were to be described as a flavor of coffee, what would it be and why?
I don’t drink any kind of coffee and never have, so I’m unfamiliar with them. But I could say I’m kind of like a Mudslide (made with Kaluha…the frozen kind with whipped cream and chocolate syrup added). I’m sweet, smooth and delicious, a welcome treat that lifts your spirits.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my sometimes zany questions! I had so much fun.
Well readers, what do you think? Are you ready to learn more about these fascinating characters? Check out my review of The Fury, Time Walkers Book 1. Still can’t get enough? Well check out this teaser! Don’t worry…it is PG-13, so no hot flashes today! *Wink*
Loud music drifted out the doors and across the parking lot as they pulled up. A Temptations song greeted them when they got out of the car. On the outside, the place looked like a huge warehouse made from old wooden boards salvaged from dilapidated buildings. An enormous sign hung above the door. She couldn’t see it clearly, but as they drew closer, the words came into focus. Slow Burn. Underneath the name in gothic lettering it said, Into the fires of hell ye be walkin. Was that a warning?
Reese looked over at Dagan.
“Interesting. Should I be worried about this place?”
“You have nothing to fear here,” he assured her. “Neither Kur nor his followers can enter this place. It is protected by several powerful spells. That is why my kind can come here and relax without worry.”
“Okay.” She wasn’t relieved at all, but she’d give him the benefit of the doubt.
“Dagan? I’ll be damned.” The burly man standing guard at the door had a deep burr to his voice.
The bouncer looked like a brick building with arms the size of CO2 canisters, the big ones. His dark skin shined and he had an enormous tattoo that started at the wrist on one hand, went up his arm, disappeared under his shirt and came out of the sleeve on the other side, stopping at his other wrist. She had no idea what the tattoo represented but it reminded her of ancient writing she’d seen on tablets in a museum a long time ago.
“Haven’t seen you around these parts in about fifty years. You had one of those redheaded nymphs from Lysara as I recall.”
Reese turned her questioning eyes in his direction. His arrogant demeanor kicked in and he winked at her.
“Yeah, Bethany liked this place too.”
The other man turned his attention to her. “So who’s this sexy number?” He moved up close to her and sniffed.
“I’m Reese.” She moved back a step. “Are you sniffing me?”
“Human?” Seamus asked.
“Yes,” Dagan replied. “Reese, this is Seamus. He’s a blood hound, literally.”
“Nice to meet you,” she said then frowned at Dagan.
Seamus took her hand and kissed it. “Pleasure. You have some powerful blood flowing through your veins, miss. Best watch who you hang out with.”
“Thanks for the warning, Seamus, but you do see the company I’m keeping at the moment, right?” she all but yelled over the music.
Seamus broke into deep, resonating laughter.
“Come on.” Dagan gently shoved her through the metal doors.
“So what did you mean he’s a blood hound?”
“I’m not at liberty to say. I can’t reveal all our secrets to a human.”
She stopped walking and narrowed her eyes on him. He clasped her fingers in his and urged her forward.
When they got inside the place opened up and bodies gyrated to Beatles’ music. A semi-circular purple stage stretched onto the dance floor about three feet. It had a long horizontal walkway with platforms on either side. On the raised platforms were three-sided cages where blond girls in white go-go boots danced. In front of the cages but down another level sat large green disks with stairs leading up to them so that showcase dancers could strut their stuff. Down another level lay the very crowded wooden dance floor. Beyond that were tables and chairs to sit, and on both sides of the seating area were bars that ran approximately sixteen to eighteen feet. Four different bartenders handled each side and they seemed to carry the burden of the crowd with ease.
“This is amazing,” she said over the music blasting from several floor to ceiling speakers.
“I know, that’s why we love coming here.”
He shuffled her to the only empty table near the back.
The music changed again to a Marvin Gaye song and she said, “So tell me again why we’re here.”
“I need to see someone.”
His vague answer irritated her. With everything they’d been through already, surely he didn’t thing anything he’d say would frighten her. Before she could ask anymore, he got up.
“Wait here,” he ordered and left.
Reese’s temper bristled. Did he really think she would sit like an obedient child while he mingled and ignored her?
She watched him walk toward the bar closest to her and approach a tall, slender brunette. The woman had extremely long legs, a pair of black boots that went up over her knees and a skirt that barely covered her butt. If her boobs were any bigger, Reese mused, the neon tube top would be irreparably misshapen. A waitress came to take her order. A few moments passed before she glanced to where Dagan had been standing. He had disappeared along with the brunette.
Reese tapped her finger to the beat of the music and sipped her amaretto sour. She’d been really looking forward to coming here. Okay, so the events of the last twenty-four hours had been bizarre and frightening and her bodyguard irritated the crap out of her, but it had been forever since she’d actually gone on a real date. She missed dancing.
Dagan had been gone for some time and she wondered if she should go look for him. Sighing, she turned her attention to the dance floor. A hot, good looking man approached her table.
“Would you care to dance, miss?”
His voice was smooth like Vermouth and carried a European accent. Penetrating blue eyes beckoned her and she couldn’t resist. “Thank you, I’d like that.” She took the hand he offered.
People parted as he led the way to the dance floor. Everyone stared at them as they passed. The band changed the tempo to something slow and the man pulled her close. He wound his left arm ar4ound her waist to the small of her back with fingertips splayed across her backside. The previously overrun floor now seemed deserted, or maybe she’d lost all concept of anyone else in the room. How could that be? She fought the urge to lay her head on his shoulder and let him negotiate the dance floor carrying her along. His movements were intoxicating and seductive and yet he’d not spoken to her since he’d asked her to dance.
In a charismatic voice, he whispered in her ear. “What’s your name?”
“’Tis beautiful and so are you.” He smiled and she felt a sudden need to kiss him. This was the second man in the last two days who had that kind of effect on her. She needed to get a grip.
“I think you’ll be taking your hands off her now, Abu.”
Reese stiffened at the steely voice. She turned to see Dagan glaring at the man holding her.
“We’re having a nice time, Dagan. I hesitate to let it end so soon.”
His cordial tone didn’t fool Reese, the warning had been crystal clear. Abu pulled her closer to the hard muscle and strength coiled in his body, ready to strike. If he and Dagan knew each other she’d bet him to be another form of mythical being and this could get ugly, real quick. She tried to pull away but Abu wouldn’t release her.
Dagan’s nostrils flared and his eyes darkened. Abu smiled, but not with humor. His eyes changed color, first to dark blue then silver, like a kaleidoscope. She had to do something. Using all her strength, Reese stomped down with her heel and dug it into Abu’s foot.
“Shakaah,” he yelled and shoved her away.
Reese straightened up, readjusted her blouse and slung her hair back so she could glare at both of them. They treated her like some kind of possession and were acting childish.
“Number one—,” she pointed at Abu who was rubbing his foot, “—I’m not a piece of meat and I’m certainly not someone who chooses to be in the middle of all this male insecurity.” She turned on Dagan who still glared at Abu. “And you are a piece of work. He and I were dancing. You have no right to stop me from dancing with him or anyone else?”
“You are under my protection.”
Abu chuckled and Dagan stepped forward. Reese put her hand on his chest.
“You need to stop. This is ridiculous.”
Abu reached around her waist and pulled her flush against him. He leaned down and nuzzled his nose against her neck. “You are fiery and brazen. I like that in a woman.” He gently bit her shoulder. “Your blood sings to me, Reese. I want to taste it.”
Her eyes flew wide. Dagan leapt toward Abu and grabbed him by the throat, using his other hand to snatch Abu’s ponytail and yank it.
“Don’t touch her ever again.”
“You know there are better ways to get my attention,” another voice called out in a lilting accent.
Dagan and Abu both turned in the direction of the sound. The onlookers parted to admit a well-built mountain of a man. Were there no normal people in this place?
Dagan let go of Abu. He grabbed Reese by the arm and walked toward the other man. “Where in the name of Nammu have you been? I was just getting ready to kick your brother’s ass.”
The new man laughed. “You two never give up. It’s been what, several thousand years? You’d think you could just let things go.”
“Not likely.” Abu fixed his gaze on Reese. “Until we meet again.” He bowed, turned and disappeared in the throng of people.
The music started playing and the mob broke up.
“Come on,” the blond guy said, and led them to the opposite bar at the very end, away from the music as much as possible.
“So what brings you here, Dagan? And who’s your pretty friend?”
Dagan ordered a whiskey straight up for himself and another amaretto sour for Reese.
“Nazi, this is Reese Whittaker. Reese, meet Nazi. He’s who I came to see.”
“Nice to meet you, Reese. Please excuse my brother. He’s used to taking what he wants.”
“Nazi.” She inclined her head. “Another one with no last name?”
“Yeah, well, your brother was a complete gentleman. Dagan, however—” she focused her glare on him, “—has a lot to learn about manners.”
“You are so right, but don’t let Abu fool you. He would have taken you out back and fed on you for a while.”
She coughed and Dagan patted her back. “Nazi.”
“Why don’t I take Ms. Whittaker out of your hair, boys?”
Reese turned watery eyes to see the same woman Dagan had spoken with earlier.
“Don’t worry.” The woman cuddled up to Dagan. “I won’t let anything happen to her. Come on, sweetie.”
She waited for Reese to pick up her drink and follow her away from the bar. “Damn tired of getting tossed around like a salad,” Reese murmured as she followed the beautiful woman, whom she hated on principal.
“Don’t sweat it, hon. You’d think that as long as they’ve been around they would realize that the female of the species,” the woman smiled, “any species, is the better part of the deal.”
“I’m Ninti. Nazi and Abu are my brothers.”
“I feel for you.”
Ninti chuckled. “You’re spunky. Beware of Abu. He’ll snatch you up the first chance he gets.”
Nazi and Abu were so totally different, not only in looks, but in personality and demeanor as well. Vampires. Did vampires exist? Not too long ago, she had no proof that gods existed. She wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“Let’s play some pool.”
Reese took a long drink from her glass. “Okay, lead on.” She glanced back to where Dagan spoke to Nazi and wondered why she couldn’t be around for the discussion.
Well? What did you think? Doesn’t this story sound just fascinating? Oops! I gotta go. I can hear the Mistress’ boots clattering down the stairs. Until next time, drink lots of coffee and read some fantastic books. I know I will!