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So to start, can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?
Oh, gosh, where to start? I’m SoCal born and raised, currently living near the beach with my hubby and Gingerella JuneBug, our rescue tabby cat. I’m a self-professed wine snob (a pretentious, ridiculous hobby that I am devoted to), I love the ocean and I can’t cook to save my own life. My ideal day involves sleeping until noon, fuzzy socks and a bathrobe, bacon, cheese, multiple glasses of red wine and a car chase involving a naked Ryan Gosling.
Ha, I think I really like your ideal day, and what a great name for your tabby. :) How long have you been writing? And what inspires you to write?
I’ve been writing my entire life. Reading and writing are the only two things I’ve ever been good at. (If you ever saw me attempt to rollerblade/ice skate/play tennis/dance/walk without falling across a flat surface, you’d understand.) I’ve kept a daily journal since I was 15 years old, and let me tell you, it’s frightening what my 15-year-old-self thought about. I also keep a dream journal, which is very disturbing to read and also the source of a lot of inspiration. The subconscious is one effed up animal, and a rich source of creative material.
What first inspired me to write a novel was my deep and abiding love for Edward Cullen. I loved Twilight. I read it four, maybe five times, each time realizing more clearly that (in my opinion only) it wasn’t particularly well written. Then I thought well, hey, if Stephenie Meyer can do it, why can’t I? She’d never been published before writing Twilight and it didn’t stop her, so I gave it a shot. And I’m very glad I did.
We each have our own reasons as well as what inspires us, so sounds good to me. What was the first thing you did once you learned you would be published?
I don’t remember. I know that’s very anti-climactic, but the road to publishing was so long and arduous with so many hiccups along the way, all I remember now is signing the contract and thinking, “Crap – this means a lot of people are going to READ MY BOOK.” No one had ever read it except my agent and the editor at Montlake Publishing who bought it. That thought was terrifying, because I am acutely self-conscious.
I love the cover of Shadow’s Edge. To be honest, the cover is what grabbed my attention while shopping for books on Amazon. Did you have any control over the cover?
Yes, I had final say over what the cover would look like, and I’m very glad I did. My agent negotiated that into my publishing contract. I was adamant that it not be one of those bodice-ripper covers with a bare-chested guy and a swooning woman, because I wanted to think outside the box and do something more contemporary and cross-genre. Like you, I’m definitely influenced by the cover, so I wanted it to be special.
Mission accomplished, in my opinion. It’s quite an appealing cover. How did you come up with your ideas of the Ikati, the race of people in your story? It was definitely a new take on the world of shifters.
It all started with a stray cat. I own a business located very close to a large feral cat colony, and have adopted three strays (so far) that have wandered in, looking for food. (As anyone who’s ever fed a stray cat before knows, once you feed them, they never leave.) So one day an incredibly sleek, beautiful female cat appears out of the blue, demanding a meal. She looks like a miniature panther, all black with bright yellow/green eyes. I fell in love. I named her Angelina (after the equally slinky/beautiful Ms. Jolie) and adopted her.
This cat has an uncanny ability to disappear. One minute she’s there, looking at you as if she’s just about to say something, the next she’s gone—poof!—as if she was never there at all. It must be a feral cat trick, but it got me to thinking.
I’d written a book (never published) about angels and demons and other supernatural creatures, so I thought shape-shifters might be an interesting thing to try next. And what better shape-shifter than one that can disappear into mist? Like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, or Dracula, the original shape-shifter who could turn into mist (and a bat). And because I’m one of those crazy cat ladies who will die alone in a one bedroom apartment with dozens and dozens of cats and has never lived without at least one cat since I was five years old, I put the idea of shape-shifting cats into motion.
Two things occurred to me immediately: one, there are a lot of people who hate cats. Two: the Egyptians revered them. Put those two things together and mix in a big bowl, and you’ve got a race of cat shifters worshipped as gods by the ancient Egyptians who’ve had to hide because they’ve since been hunted by humanity. I spiced it up with some historical nuggets about Egypt, the Inquisition, witch hunts, religion, Rome…it goes on, but you get the idea.
Wow, that’s quite a story! I really can’t help but like learning how writers come up with their ideas. Usually it entails a fascinating story. :) Can you share one of your favorite passages from Shadow’s Edge? Why do you favor this one, in particular?
My favorite scene in the book involves sex in a tree. (I know, the logistics are mind-boggling, but no one gets splinters.) It’s the moment when Jenna finally realizes her true feelings for Leander:
"He eased forward, elegant and deadly, perfectly silent on four huge, silken paws, and brought his face to hers. With the barest of pressure, he rubbed his cheek against her face. His whiskers passed over hers with an electric current that was close to a shock.
Startled, she drew in a breath and froze.
He froze as well, his gaze slanted down to hers. Another heartbeat, another moment that she didn’t move, then he slowly lowered his head to hers again, stroking his cheek against her face. She closed her eyes and accepted the pressure, let him rake his face against hers a little harder, until he stepped closer and they were shoulder to shoulder and he was making a low growl of purring pleasure deep in his chest.
And oh, this feeling, this aching, this burning bright happiness—she’d never known anything like it. She opened her eyes, took a sharp, cold breath into her lungs, and Shifted back to woman.
“Don’t,” she gasped, tottering with her hands held out, trying to find her balance again with human feet that seemed outrageously weak and frail.
He Shifted as well, a flash of black dissolving into vapor, which coalesced into the naked, muscled form she was beginning to know so well. He reached out and caught both her wrists as she flailed, teetering dangerously close to the sloping edge of the massive branch. A cool breeze ripe with moisture and the bouquet of the forest caught her hair, blowing from behind to lift it in heavy tendrils that reached out and flickered over his chest, caressing.
His voice was a spare, low growl as he fixed his fingers hard around her wrists. “Don’t what?”
She looked at him. Time slowed to a standstill.
She looked at his beautiful face and his hooded eyes, staring aslant at her through a fringe of coal-black lashes. She looked at his shining jet hair stirring around his shoulders, one long strand caught at the corner of his full lips. She looked at his resplendent, nude body, dusky skin patterned with shadow and light, and nearly stopped breathing.
She took him in, all of him, fully. She suddenly felt this was the first time, the very first time, she actually saw him. Her heart jumped. The skin on her arms rose in gooseflesh.
“Stop,” she whispered, her voice a thin echo of itself. “Don’t stop.”
And she stepped into his arms that easily."
Thanks for sharing that terrific excerpt. It’s a very primal, yet sensual scene in the book. Love it! I know Shadow’s Edge is part of the Night Prowlers Series. Trust me, I am anxious to read more. Do you have any works in progress at the moment? Can you tell us a little about what’s to come?
Book Two, Edge of Oblivion, is Morgan’s story. Sentenced to death for treason, she’s given two weeks to find the headquarters of the Ikati’s ancient enemy, the Expurgari. But there’s a catch: she’ll be accompanied by Xander Luna, the tribe’s most feared assassin. If she fails in her mission, her life is forfeit, but as they race against the clock through the heart of Europe, their attraction becomes undeniable. Suddenly more than just her life is at stake: so is love.
I’m currently working on book three in the series, titled Edge of Surrender. Each book will follow a new set of characters but will have some reappearances by previous characters as well.
I can not wait! Just saying. :) Now, from reading your biography, I’ve learned you are an avid wine collector. Is there one or two particular wines that are your favorites? And how would you best describe them?
My all-time favorite wines are from the Bordeaux region in France because my preference is for silky, aromatic, well-balanced red blends and no one does that better than the French. My husband prefers the more muscular, tannic cabernets of Napa Valley, but I’m old world all the way. I drink so much wine that my favorite constantly changes as I try new things, but I always love Chateau d’Yquem for special occasions. It’s a little taste of God.
Also, I read you are addicted to books and reading. What are a few of your favorite books and what makes them your favorites?
I’m currently reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and I want to stab my eyes out it’s so good! I’m an evangelist for Everything Matters by Ron Currie, Jr. because it’s brilliant, and I also love Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. It’s narrated by a bald, hunchbacked albino dwarf, and it’s amazing.
I’ll have to check those out. I’m always up for new reading material. Right. So. Since we are talking fiction after all, if you could be any shape shifting animal, what would you choose and why? (Personally, I’d be a polar bear, and I would run around biting trees just to see if I could snap them with my uber powerful jaws only because I’m a weirdo like that.)
I’d be a falcon. I’ve always wanted to fly.
Last question, I’ve read from a previous interview, you own a flower shop, correct? Which combination of flowers would make the perfect bouquet for you? I know each person has their favorites.
A giant bouquet of white peonies would do me just fine. I also love gardenias, garden roses and orchids. When I got married I carried white peonies, garden roses and lily of the valley, and the bouquet was so beautiful I cried.
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Joyce. You're a very interesting lady and great author. It's been a pleasure to get to know you a bit better, and I can't wait to read your next release. Wishing you all the best of luck with all your releases.
|Night Prowler Series: Book 1|
Jenna spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from someone—or something—her parents refused to discuss. She trusts no one, not since her father’s mysterious disappearance, not since her mother’s sudden death, and definitely not since she began exhibiting strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander appears, promising answers to the mysteries that shroud her past, she knows she shouldn’t trust him either. But their connection is undeniable, and as powerful as the enemy hell-bent on destroying every one of their kind…
Review: You guys already know I'm a book browser. So while doing what I do best, I saw this cover, and it totally grabbed my attention. So, I checked out the book, and then the blurb made my finger click that "purchase" button. Ha, I'm sure you all know how it goes.
I'll start by saying, I was very surprised with this book. I thought it might be "good", but for me, it was "awesome". The writing was quite poetic in some scenes, in my opinion.
The book was well developed and full of beautiful description. The author did a fantastic job creating sexual tension between the hero, Leander, and the heroine, Jenna. It was quite enjoyable to read the two of them dancing around each other.
Also, Jenna was such a strong, independent heroine used to being on her own. It was nice to read her hesitancy where the hero is concerned. Usually it's the hero fighting the attraction to the heroine, in this case, it's quite the opposite. For a change, I really enjoyed the role reversal. She didn't allow the hero to push her around one bit. As for Leander, his character was quite likeable as well. He's the leader of his people, and used to carrying a heavy burden, but Jenna bought a lightness to him he'd never felt. He knew he wanted her from the start, and I liked he didn't waver from that decision.
All in all, I thought this was a fantastic read. I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series. I'll be sure to have it set to buy as a pre-order when it's available because I know I won't be disappointed. If you haven't checked out this book yet, I would highly recommend that you do so.
Please be sure to visit J.T. at: Website
Available for purchase at: Amazon
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