Happy Monday, sweeties. Today, I have the lovely +Elyzabeth M. VaLey on my blog and we're chatting about writing, reading and her latest book, Bear Heart. Stop by and check out the interview and make her feel at home.
On to the interview...
Q1) Welcome to my blog, Elyzabeth. Please tell us a little about yourself
Sure thing! I’m American but I’ve been living in Madrid, Spain for most of life. I studied journalism but sadly the industry isn’t doing too well, so I’m doing a career change and going into ESL teaching here in Madrid. I have two dogs which I adore, an almost 13 year old boxer and a 3 year old Labrador. They’re my babies. *smile*
Q2) Madrid is a city I'd love to visit soon. It's interesting that lots of people end up changing careers from what they studied. Have you always wanted to be an author?
Yes, except for a short while in second grade in which (for some strange reason) I wanted to be a judge, I have always wanted to write.
Q3) Judge is good too. :-) So, who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
I don’t think I can point to one particular writer that has influenced me. I’ve always enjoyed reading and a lot of books have stayed with me one way or another. The same occurs with favorite writers. There are so many authors I enjoy reading that I find it impossible to pick only a few.
Q4) Can you tell us what a typical writing day for you is like.
A typical writing day? That exists? *gasp* Seriously, I write whenever and wherever I can. Usually, I write at night which is when the muse is at its best. Lately, however, I’ve been taking my laptop on my commute and making good use of the time there.
Q5) I bet writing hot scenes on a busy commuter train can be tricky. LOL. Let’s talk about your new book. Can you tell us a little about it?
Of course. Bear Heart is book four of The Witches Mischief series and a Naughty Fairy Tale. It includes a scarred shifter hero, two witches, and an extraordinary heroine.
The novel can be read as a standalone, though readers that have read the rest of the books in the series will understand the witches a little better.
Q6) I love the look of it. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
I was searching for a fairy tale to adapt and stumbled upon Bearskin by the Grimm brothers. The fairy tale tells the story of a poor soldier that makes a bargain with the devil in exchange for money. The devil tells him that he will give him all the money in the world but he must wear a bearskin for seven years and not bathe, clips his nails, etc. The soldier agrees and goes through some trials before he can find his Happy Ever After.
As I read this story I started seeing Soussanna, the witch, in the role of the devil. After all, she had a dark past before she started helping lovers reunite. The story quickly turned into more in my mind…She didn’t just give the poor soldier a bearskin, she turned him into a bear shifter… And the soldier… how about if there was more to his story? How does the curse that has been placed on him get lifted?
Q7) I look forward to reading it. What is up next for you?
I just signed a contract with Evernight Publishing for another paranormal short, Arcánús Amator. And I’m currently editing another paranormal regency story. Once that is done I’ll get to work with book five of The Witches´ Mischief series. Yep, the muse is into paranormal lately. *grin*
Q8) Best of luck with your projects. What is the best piece of advice you would give to a budding writer?
There is no right or wrong way to writing. Be yourself and follow your voice. Persevere. Write, write, keep writing and remember that when it comes to submissions, one man´s trash is another man’s treasure.
Q9) What is the next book on your To Read Pile that you are dying to jump into?
My TBR pile is endless but I’m dying to read Spellbreakers by Katherine Wyvern and the newest Cherise Sinclair.
Q10) Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just want to thank the readers for being there. Without them we’d be nothing.
Favorite city: Stockholm
Favorite beverage: Milk, coffee and sugar
Favorite place you’d like to visit: I can’t pick one… Scotland, Finland, Croatia… there are a lot of places I’d like to visit.
Favorite place to write: Anywhere really.
Favorite hobby: Taking hikes with my dog.
Favorite movie: What genre? I do love 27 Dresses, Gone with the Wind, Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture show…
+Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Series: Witches' Mischief, book 4
Genre: Naughty Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Historical, Erotic, Romance
Add to Goodreads TBR
Blurb:By day a bear, by night a man.
Half a century ago Simon Lancaster loved a woman. But when he committed a crime and was seduced by a witch his fate was sealed. Forced to live as a shifter by day and human by night, he becomes hopeless.
He believes there is nothing left in life for him. That is, until he meets Margaret O'Hare. An unconventional woman, Margaret makes him feel whole again, but he doesn't know if he can allow the walls he has erected around his heart to lower, no matter how much he
grows to care for her.
As their time together has them becoming closer, he starts to trust and love again. But a happily ever after might not be in Simon's future as dark shadows emerge to destroy what he has built with Margaret.
He wandered through the woods. Head bowed down, nose close to the forest floor, scavenging for food. Then, he heard it. He froze. His heart skipped, then tightened in his chest before resuming its tempo at a speed that left him dizzy. Ears perked, he started ambling through the forest in the sound’s direction. He stopped. There it was again. Laughter. Loud, boisterous, so unladylike it warmed him from head to toe. He’d recognize that laughter anywhere, even if it had been more than a hundred years since he’d heard it.
Lifting his head, he sniffed the air. Rain washed dirt, blooming flowers, and people. His nose wrinkled slightly. He dropped his head. She was not among them. His heart slowed, beating like a sorrowful lament. She was not among them. How could she be? She was dead. He knew that. Yet—the sound of the woman’s laughter reached him again. A tingling sensation spread from his heart to his groin. Unable to resist, he headed in the direction of the sound, curious to see for himself the girl who had his late fiancées laughter but not her scent. He knew he shouldn’t be coming this way. There was a home nearby. He recalled seeing it when he first came to live in this area and vowed to stay away from it, but Evelyn’s memory kept him moving.
Evelyn. Dear Evelyn. Deep down in his heart, he knew it could not be her. She was dead. Killed by his own selfishness and stupidity. Killed by his desire for revenge. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. How many times over the years had he cursed himself for his lack of foresight? For his impulsive nature? He’d lost count. Evelyn was dead, and he was a bear during the day and a man after sunset.
He sighed. The loud sound resembled a growl and seemed to echo in the woods around him. Oblivious to his presence, the humans laughed and squealed, clearly enjoying themselves. Simon picked up his speed. Their scents wrapped around him as he got closer. Delicious. Enticing. Crashing through the thicket, he stopped, seeing them for the first time. Quickly, he hid, certain that if they saw him, they’d flee.
There were two women laughing and running about near the stream. How they could even move was beyond him for they wore long dresses tapered at their tiny waists and flowing full of ruffles to their ankles. They wore no hats, the offending garments discarded near a tree. He cocked his head, amused at the spectacle. Clearly, these were women enjoying themselves regardless of societal dictatorship. Their cheeks were glowing pink and healthy and water dripped from their hair.
The youngest girl looked to be 15 or 16. She had long black hair and a mischievous attitude that reminded him of a playful cat. He focused his gaze on the other woman. His breath whooshed out of his lungs. She was beautiful. Strawberry blonde hair trailed down her back and freckles dusted her arms. She laughed as the younger woman splashed water on her. Simon’s heart constricted. That laughter. The woman looked nothing like his deceased Evelyn, but she had her laughter. It was a sound full of unabashed spirit. Unable to stop himself he moved a little closer. He craved to hear her speak. How much time had passed since he’d spoken to another human being? How much time had passed since he’d been with a woman? The redhead was deliciously curvy and her wet summer dress did little to hide the fact. He closed his eyes and let out a slow breath. Lust like he had not experienced in ages awakened inside of him and a bear-like sound burst from his lips.
He stopped in his tracks and glanced at the women. They were no longer smiling. The smell of fear reached him. They hadn’t seen him yet or they would have run. He knew that. He’d lived it before. People always panicked at the sight of a bear. Besides, it was unlikely the women were alone. He scrambled backwards, eager to get away. There had to be others with them. Others that would hunt him and try to kill him. Strangely, the idea of dying at the hands of others did not appeal to him. At least not today.
Losing the battle to the voices in her head is her favorite pastime after annoying her younger sister with her singing. Writing stories full of passion and emotion where love conquers all is her happy pill and she'll forgo sleep to make her readers live the dream.