I'm happy to welcome Nancy Gideon to my blog today. Not to mention, she was kind enough to let me quiz her about her new release, Betrayed by Shadows, which is the new release for her By Moonlight Series. She also has a great tour-wide contest with some goodies up for grabs. Be sure to enter. :)
Nancy, so very glad to have you on my blog. Without further ado, I suppose we'll jump right in.
Melissa: I’ve read your bio on your website, and I have to say you are a busy, productive lady. To start, can you tell the readers a few things about yourself that they might not know? I think I read something about movie theater popcorn and independent horror movies?
Nancy: Yes, popcorn! Now that I have a big screen TV, that’s the only reason I’ll go to the theater – unless it’s a big action film that requires ‘the full experience!’ I am a movie-aholic. Love, love, love movies of all types, genres and budgets (sometimes the mini-budgets are the best – Take that, Michael Bay!) I really enjoy Indie films because of the unexpected quirky factor. They do things that a big budget could never sneak past all the bean counters . . . kinda like the difference between a Big Six and a small press publisher . . . more creative freedom to explore. That’s where the fun is. I had an absolute blast working with a local Indie film maker, doing a novelization for his horror film and tinkering with the screenplay. A movie groupie’s dream come true. I even got a cameo as Bar Extra that has me listed on IMDB as an actor. Seeing my name in Fangoria magazine gave me incredible street cred with my son’s friends. The acting career is over, but I’d love to do more screenplay work.
Melissa: Ha, I bet you that did make you popular with your son's friends. :) Now, I’ve also discovered (aka read. The internet is quite astounding) that you have a number of books published under different names. Historical romances published under Zebra, as a matter of fact. Can you tell us a bit about that? And how did you branch out to suspense and paranormal from Historical?
Nancy: Historical romances were my first love, so that’s what I started out writing as Dana Ransom back in the romance boom of the mid-‘80s and continued as Rosalyn West for Avon. During those years I was a stay at home mom/writer and crazy prolific. To keep me busy, my Zebra editor asked while we met at a conference if I’d ever thought about writing a vampire romance. I never had. But while I was easing my aching feet in my hotel room, I drew up a three book proposal to pitch at him that afternoon. That was the start of my “Midnight” series, writing for the first time under my own name so I could get more titles out in a year. Still I wanted to explore other genres and love suspense so I branched out into doing Silhouette Intimate Moments. Because the romance industry is constantly changing, I’ve changed along with it, putting out different projects with different houses to keep doing what I love to do. FYI, I just got the rights back to those Zebra historicals and am looking at the best way to get them back into readers’ hands.
Melissa: Well, I love historicals. Just putting that out there. :) So, how on earth did you come up with the By Moonlight series and the character Max Savoie? Which idea came first, the characters or the plot? Do you happen to hold a soft spot for him as a favorite hero from all of your books?
Nancy: The “By Moonlight” series was born from an entirely different werewolf story I’d submitted. The publisher loved the prologue but wanted a new plot and characters to go along with it. I built the whole series off that prologue by just writing as the story came to me . . . one book, two books, three books and four. It was the first time I’d EVER written ‘organically’ without a detailed outline and the plot just kept rolling just like one of my favorite movies. By then the story concept had outgrown the original publisher and I found a home for those books and the four that followed with Simon & Schuster. Max? What can I say? I adore him. He’s one of those characters who can take a writer in unexpected directions, who is dangerously unpredictable and yet consistently loyal. He’s one of my top three heroes along with Harm Bass from my Texas historical series and Cale Terriot the hero in PRINCE OF SHADOWS, my next “By Moonlight” book.
Melissa: I have to ask this, since I’m an unorganized writer. How do you keep all your characters, the world you’ve built, and all those pesky minor details in order and consistent in your novels?
Nancy: I’d have done a better job if I’d known upfront that I’d have an eight book series! Thankfully I’m OCD and a rabid list maker so I keep a list of plot points, character sketches and plot arcs. It’s the little things like how tall is one of the secondary characters or when was this fact first disclosed and to whom that keep me jumping. I’m due for another read through the all the books just to freshen up the story in my mind.
Melissa: I'm always find myself a bit more intrigued with stories where I'm thoroughly acquainted with the place settings. And Granted, it is steeped in history, both good and bad, and has a certain charm, but what drew you to base your By Moonlight series in New Orleans?
Nancy: How could you go to New Orleans and NOT think about the paranormal? It’s my favorite place to visit. The wealth and diversity of its culture and history presents infinite avenues for creative adventure. The atmosphere becomes a character of its own. Every alley, every open doorway, every twist of the river in the bayou sparks a new story. And then, of course, there’s the fun researching and eating your way from one side of the Quarter to the other!
Melissa: Ha, yeah, I won't lie. I love the food. But you are right. It does have a certain atmosphere that's all it's own. So, in the first few books of the By Moonlight series, the story centers around Max and Cee-Cee. What made you expand your next books in the series to other characters such as Brigit and Giles in Betrayed by Shadows, for instance?
Nancy: I’d planned the whole series to center around Max and Cee Cee, but my publisher wanted to keep the series fresh by expanding it to feature new couples while continuing the same underlying story arc within the same world. Thank goodness I had lots of secondary characters I enjoyed enough to give them their own story. I get the best of both worlds, exploring new characters and getting to revisit Max and Charlotte in each book.
Melissa: Not to say I judge a book by its cover, but there are many that will draw my eye. And I have to say the covers of the By Moonlight series are quite appealing. Have you had a lot of say with the content and design of your book covers?
Nancy: I’ve been VERY lucky to be included in all the major planning for the early books of the series, including pitching ideas for a progressive cover concept. The settings and character poses were mine and the art department brought them deliciously to life. I’ve also written all or most of the back cover blurbs and picked the teaser scenes. It doesn’t get much better for an author.
Melissa: Ha, that's awesome. Now, what does the future hold for your By Moonlight Series? Can we expect more intriguing characters? Possibly some characters revisited? I know I saw an upcoming Book Eight in the works. Can you tease us a bit here? :)
Nancy: Oh, yeah! Cale Terriot, my rowdy, tattooed, rock and roll prince in PRINCE OF SHADOWS . . . le sigh! It will be out 5-27-13 (my birthday!) as another Pocket Star e-exclusive. I could have gone on to do three more books with him . . . For a change of pace, it takes place in Lake Tahoe (another favorite spot!) instead of New Orleans and spotlights the rather dark and dangerous Terriot clan that causes so much trouble in BETRAYED BY SHADOWS. Here’s a tease . . .
Held hostage until she chooses a mate, Kendra Terriot must play a careful courtship game when choosing from among dangerous Shifter heirs. As a prince in the House of Terriot, Cale knows with Kendra at his side he can be the leader his clan needs, but first he must learn to become the kind of man she desires. In a treacherous race for the crown, where weakness means death, for Cale to prove he’s not the beast his gentle beauty fears, the only way to win her trust could mean surrendering his throne. But the only way to win her heart could mean letting her go.
As far as more books in the series, I could go on forever. I would love to do that Max and Cee Cee book my readers have been dying to get their hands on. We’ll see . . .
Melissa: I can't wait to check out Prince of Shadows. Right. Now since we are talking fiction after all. So you walk into a Shifter bar and find yourself surrounded by Shifters. You… (Take it away, Nancy.)
Nancy: . . . won’t be back to answer any follow up questions! And don’t expect to see me at the office anytime soon, either. Sorry, I have priorities, after all.
Melissa: Hahaha great answer and I can't say that I blame you. :) Thank you for stopping by today, and I wish you lots of success with Betrayed by Shadows. I look forward to reading more from you, and perhaps, I will see you back here again soon.
Blurb: Balancing a criminal empire and a preternatural clan war, reluctant front man Giles St. Clair doesn’t need a problem like Brigit MacCreedy . . . How much trouble can the head-strong and manipulative Shifter beauty get into in two weeks? Plenty when her schemes range from kidnapping to fleeing the retribution of her dead lover’s clan.
With her family’s lives on the line, Brigit is willing to do whatever it takes to save them. The only thing standing in her way is an immovable stone wall of a man she can’t bully or beguile . . . a human, no less, who has promised to protect her from the secrets and dangers she conceals.
Risking her own safety gets complicated when an honorable and annoyingly desirable man puts himself between her and her powerful enemies in a battle he can’t win in this Taming of the Shrew meets Shifter Goodfellas on the Bayou tale of consequences, redemption and finding love in all the wrong places.
My Review: Since I typically start things off this way, let's just go ahead and incorporate this in reviews from now on.
Preamble - I could kick myself for now reading this series sooner. I've always had them on my ever-growing TBR list, but I just don't have the time to read like I used to. And I would occasionally look at the covers and drool. Yep, who feels like a jackass now.
Thankfully, I've read the blurbs and kept up with that was going on in the other books, so I wasn't lost coming in this late in the series. From page one, it was easy enough for me to dive right into. After finishing Betrayed by Shadows, I clearly need to go back and read the whole series. Not because I was lost, far from it, but because the book was so good. I wanted to read about the other characters and know everything about them.
I loved our hero, Giles St. Clair. I wasn't too sure about Brigit in the start, but it didn't take me long to understand her a bit better as the story progressed. Once you gain insight as to why she acts the way she does, it's easier to sympathize with her character. Personally, I loved these two characters together. Giles is just the type of man Brigit needs in her life. Now, if I just had my own Giles, everything would be A-Okay.
All in all, I really enjoyed the writing style, storyline, and characters. I'm looking forward to going back to read the rest of the series, and then I'll anticipate the next book in the series, Prince of Shadows.
Brigit slit her eyes open to the brightness of midmorning. She was alone in the bunk. Harsh-smelling coffee warmed on the hot plate, and Giles was nowhere in sight. Then she heard the unmistakable crack of ax into wood.
Feeling tired and sticky and . . . fabulous, she stretched and reached for the crimson-colored sweatshirt Giles had left folded on the edge of the mattress. Harvard? She slipped it over her head to swim in generous folds that came almost to her knees. Rolling back the cuffs, she found the shoe she’d tucked Boyd’s cell phone into, discouraged to see no message from Silas. She tucked it under the sleeping bag on the top bunk, pushed bare feet into her shoes, and went to pour coffee. Her whole body ached gloriously, making her smile as she stepped out onto the tiny back porch.
Because she could still hear his voice, rough with passion.
Giles had his back to her, splitting wood in the glare of morning light, a beautiful sight in his revealing muscle shirt. Strong, sexy. A light sweat had broken out on his shoulders, gleaming amid scores of scratches, some nearly healed from their passionate tussle in New Orleans and some raw stripes from hours ago. Chagrined, she put a nail trim and manicure on her agenda for the day.
He’d taken the batteries out of the flashlight to power an old cassette player and was timing his swings to the raucous beat of a late-eighties hip-hop tune that probably dated back to days spent here in male bonding. Something ridiculous about Humpty Dumpty dancing? Her gaze followed the suggestive rock and bump of his hips as the sassy backup singers crooned, “Do me, baby.”
Oh, yay. Good idea.
Time to whip up something for breakfast.
She’d taken a step forward, intending to initiate some moves of her own, when the music dialed down and muted as another sound reached her.
The cup fell from her hands, shattering on the wood planking, as all her senses trembled and went taut.
And a single cry ripped from her.
“Giles, behind you!”
Giles spun, continuing his momentum with the ax so it caught his assailant midleap in the upper chest, flinging him to the ground. Even as he wrestled the blade free, his attacker was gaining his feet, falling into a menacing crouch as his lips pulled back from a mouth full of dagger-like teeth.
Alarm became coldly dangerous intentions when he recognized the disfigured Shifter from Brigit’s description.
“Brigit, get inside!”
He didn’t look around to see if she obeyed. There was no time as the creature sprang.
Driven to the ground on his back, Giles couldn’t angle for another swing as he was forced to grip the ever thickening throat to keep those deadly teeth away from him. A battle he knew he wasn’t going to win as the beast completed its change of form into something monstrous and impossibly strong.
Run, Brigit! That was all he had time to think. Run!
All he had to do was stay alive long enough for her to get a head start.
There was a deafening report from the porch, and suddenly, the figure hunching over him was plucked off and sent rolling away.
Giles risked a glance toward the cabin to see Brigit with her feet planted wide, his pistol braced in both hands. The pistol he’d wisely loaded with silver rounds.
As he scrambled to his feet, his attacker was gaining his own, obviously struggling not to revert back into humanlike form from the effects of the silver. Brigit’s shot had taken him in the other side of the chest. Giles’s first blow from the ax had already healed. Making him no less lethal as he sprang a second time. No less quick.
And this time Giles didn’t respond fast enough."
Available for purchase at:Amazon
Author Bio: An author of over fifty novels since 1987, Nancy Gideon thrives on variety. Under her own name and several pseudonyms, she’s written award-winning series suspense, historical and paranormal bestsellers, earned a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure”, and has had two original horror screenplays optioned for film. A Michigan native, she works full time as a legal administrative assistant and feeds a NetFlix addiction.
Be sure to visit Nancy at: Website
Giveaway: Be sure to enter the rafflecopter to enter Nancy's tour-wide giveaway. She's offering a $15 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of Betrayed by Shadows. You can follow her tour at Buy the Book Tours. Good Luck!