Please give a warm welcome to my guest Amy J. Hawthorn. She's in my hot seat today, so grab a cuppa and learn some more about her
Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A. I’m a mother, wife and work as an x-ray/CT tech in the real world. I’m hoping to eventually be able to support my family with my writing. I’m a dark chocolate and sugar addicted girl who loves things that go bump in the night and think they deserve to find their happily-ever-afters just as much as we mere mortals do.
Q. What made you write ‘this’ story?
A. ….I fell in love with Cyril in Azrael’s Light and couldn’t wait to dig deeper into his world. To do that he needed to tell his own story and I was thrilled when his heroine, Calysta appeared. She’s sweet but has a backbone of steel and she’s totally worthy of Cyril’s devotion.
Q. Tell us about your cover.
A. …..In the past I have always had trouble deciding what I wanted for my covers. This was the first time where I had a very clear picture of what I wanted. I wanted Cyril who spends what little free time he has in the wilds of Alaska to be shown standing in a snowy landscape. He’s a loner who lives and works a harsh life. Calysta, standing in the summery light is the “sunlight” that brightens his world and melts the ice in his heart. The cover is not exactly as I pictured in my head, but obviously no one can see inside my head. I think Harris did a great job with my cover design.
Q. Describe a typical day’s writing for us
A. ….Ugh. I’m not sure I have a typical day. I work nightshift 3 nights a week and my schedule varies from week to week. Basically if I have alone time, I’m sitting in front of my computer writing. Often that’s in the wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep. There’s no telling what will come spilling out of my head then.
Q. What inspires you?
A. ….I don’t know. My brain never really shuts off. Reading or writing are really the only ways to settle it. I can somewhat choose what I want to think about or create, but there is really no turning off my imagination so I choose a subject I like and then let it fly.
Q. If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
A. ….I currently have the hospital job, but I think I’d like to be a real estate agent, but probably don’t have the organization skills needed. I’m a mess. Or maybe go to school and move on to management in the hospital, but I don’t think that would make me a happy person. Writing makes me happy.
Q. Do your characters ever surprise you?
A. ….Always. I have a rough idea where the story is going but the characters lead the way and tell their own stories. I make an outline as I go to keep things organized but almost daily they surprise me. It’s one of the things I enjoy best about writing.
Q. What could not do without when you’re writing?
A. ….Uhm… Well I can write almost anywhere, at any time as long as I have my laptop or even pen and paper with me. I do have the bad habit of snacking when I write and I love salty/sweet snacks and my staple diet vanilla coke. I’m trying to cut back on that, but it’s not going too well, lol.
Q. What words of wisdom do you have for the aspiring authors out there?
A. ….Do not give up and keep pushing until you make it to the end of your book. I still fight the urge to go back and rewrite the beginning over and over again until it feels perfect. If I gave in to the urge I might not ever make it to the end. Push forward then go back and polish. Talk to other authors. Study craft and take workshops. There have been a few that were immensely helpful to me.
Q. Where do you see yourself in ten year’s time?
A. ….Hopefully I’ll be a fulltime stay at home author. My kids will be grown and I should have a little more time to myself. Eventually I’d like to have a mass market book and maybe even hit the NYT bestsellers list. If you’re going to dream, dream big, right?
Q. Do you have a favourite quote?
A. ….I wish I did, but no, not really. I’ve seen many that I can identify with, but I read them and with my short attention span I smile and move on to the next shiny object.
Q. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
A. ….A little bit from time to time. I try to move on and work on another section of the story or another one altogether if I have to. Sometimes I’ll open up a blank document and just start typing. A couple of my favorite scenes have come to me when I thought there wasn’t going to be anything exciting happening. But it’s always possible that I haven’t been writing seriously long enough for that to happen yet. Never say never, you know?
Q. What other books can your readers look forward to?
A. ….I’m about 2/3’s of the way finished writing the second book in my MFM ménage series about the lingerie store Crave. I’m really liking this story. Of course, I love them all. Then after that will probably be Dullahan’s story. You’ll meet him in Sunlight’s Kiss.
Q. And finally can you share the blurb and excerpt with us?
A. When a man of ice meets a lady of Light…
Like a common criminal, the good girl librarian is thrust into the harsh realm of Limbo with nothing more than the clothes on her back. Alone with no knowledge of why she’s been banished, Calysta has nowhere to go and no one to turn to. She wants nothing more than answers and peace until a gruff, sexy as sin, male gives her a taste of the real world.
Cyril, loner and demon hunter, is sent to track and detain an unknown misfit. Filled with suspicion, the last thing he expects to find is an amber-eyed beauty tattered and unconscious. There’s no denying when he discovers her true nature that she sparks a desire like he’s never known. And how much trouble could one sweet, sexy librarian cause?
When danger haunts Calysta, Cyril will stop at nothing to keep her safe. But what’ll happen when his only ally is a sworn enemy?
“No you’re not. You’re wearing a plastic smile. You might as well be pouting. You’re unhappy. Tell me what’s wrong.” He wanted her to tell him so he could fix it. Yep, there was more of that stuff those dreams were made of.
“I am pouting. I’m bored. I’m stressed. I have no idea what’s going on or how long whatever it is will continue. Comfort-wise this island is a million steps above Limbo. I have excellent company and every luxury I could ask for. You’ve shown me pleasures I’d given up hope of ever experiencing. I have everything except answers. I’m still in Limbo.”
“If you could go anywhere or do anything right now, what would you do?” He came to stand at her back and trailed a fingertip up the curve of her upper arm. A soft nuzzle brushed the back of her ear. His efforts at soothing her weren’t working.
She let out a broken laugh. “I’d love nothing more than to simply experience life. As long as I can remember I’ve been the good girl and done nothing except what I’ve been told. And now that I’m away from home, I can’t enjoy it.
“I’m sorry. You don’t deserve this. You’ve done nothing but go out of your way to take care of me. You’ve tried to make this bearable and all I’ve done is complain and dump on you. You must be tired of it, of me, by now.” A perfectly balmy breezed blew a strand of hair into her face. She tucked it behind her ear when really she felt like taking handfuls of the stuff and yanking it out.
“No. You’re wrong, very wrong. This is the easiest and most pleasurable job I’ve ever had.” He kissed the curve of her shoulder, but that didn’t take the sting out of his words. She tried to make herself thankful that he’d said it. She needed another reminder that’s all she was to him, a job. She wasn’t much more than one of the rogues he tracked. Sure, she was prettier, but that was the only thing she had going for her. She couldn’t let herself forget what she was.
She pulled away and paced. He followed and waited where the path met the sand.
“That’s my point exactly. I’m nothing but a burden or a job or a troublemaker. I just want to be me!” She turned and flung her hand. Equal parts pain and pleasure began in her heart, swelled, and raced through her shoulder and down her arm. Amber light shot from her palm and struck the base of a palm tree. With a thunderous boom, the base exploded into a storm of splinters. Frozen by shock, she stood and stared as the top half came crashing down directly over Cyril’s head.
“No!” In a panic, she put both hands out in a stopping motion. The tree’s remains stopped midair.
Cyril seemed as stunned as she felt. He just stood there, staring.
“Move!” Dear gods make him move. She didn’t know what she was doing. She hadn’t known she could levitate objects, let alone how long she could hold something so big. She’d die if she hurt Cyril.
Cyril blinked, shook his head as if clearing a haze from his mind, and then disappeared. Then he stood directly behind her, with his front touching her back. She was so rattled her teeth chattered and not even the reassuring warmth of his touch settled her.
“It’s okay. You did good. I’m okay. Let’s see if we can set this down”—with a loud crash the tree dropped like a stone on the lounge chairs, smashing them both—“gently.”
With her pulse racing and her muscles quaking, she threw herself into the only safe place she had, his arms. Then she burst into tears.
“What am I?”
“Not what. Who. You are Calysta, you’re my Caly. We’ll get this figured out soon. Okay?” Firm, steady strokes rubbed up and down her back in a soothing rhythm.
“No, I’m your charge, your duty. I’m a task to be marked off your list at the earliest convenience.”
“Bullshit. You are so much more than anyone has ever given you credit for. This is your opportunity to prove it. Baby, you can set the worlds on fire. This is your chance to blow your mother away and show her you are so much more than an obedient little daughter. As for me? I’m not your warden, I’m your slave. I–I’d do anything for you.”
“Then let me go. You said I can’t jump realms with the anklos on, right?”
“Ah. Yeah, I said that b—”
“Then remove it. Let me go.”
“I wish I could, but it’s not safe. I won’t release you to an unknown danger. Something is hunting you.”
“You’ll keep me safe just so I can wither away in a pretty prison? How can I set the worlds on fire in a fucking prison? Please don’t make me beg.” What did it matter? She had no pride. She had nothing that wasn’t given to her. A tight ball of frustration gathered and fisted beneath her sternum.
She flattened her palms on his chest and pushed with all her might and stumbled, almost falling into his lap. What the hell?
He’d landed on his ass in the sand. What was going on? This was Cyril. He was a brick wall. He was an immortal, a Runner for gods’ sake, and she’d knocked him on his ass?
Sunlight’s Kiss is the second book in my Demon Runners of Unearth series. It released May 14 at bookstrand.
Thanks for coming to share, Amy :-)