Thursday, 17 July 2014

Toil, Temptation And Trouble Blog Hop, And Contests Galore!

Now that Mocha Memoirs Press has released four new urban fantasy shorts, including my very own Call From The Grave, fellow author Carole Ann Moleti and I decided on a blog hop to talk about our recent work and how much it means to us. You can find my half of the tour here on Carole's blog, and anyone who leaves a comment on both blogs will receive a prize! More details on that are below, but first I'll welcome and introduce Carole.

 Welcome, Carole! Tell us a little about yourself.

I live and work as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining my fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. My nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women's issues. But my first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.

My work has appeared in a variety of literary and speculative fiction venues. Short stories set in the world of my novels are featured in several of the Ten Tales anthologies. The Widow's Walk, a Cape Cod paranormal romance, will be published by Soulmate Press in September 2014.

Excerpts of my memoir, Someday I'm Going to Write a Book: Diary of an Urban Missionary range from the sweet and inspirational in A Quilt of Holidays to the edgy and irreverent in Not Your Mother's Book: On Being a Woman.

What do you write?

Much of my day involves academic non fiction, which is not much fun to write or read. Creative non fiction, my memoirs, and essays are ways to explore important themes for me—women's health, politics, and environmental and ecological issues--without footnotes, in a way readers can grasp the universal elements in the situation. Writing fantasy is a way to explore themes in a new way, and urban fantasy is perfectly suited to what I observe during my everyday life on the streets and in the subways of New York City.

What inspires you?

Most of my fiction has a basis in real life—and I certainly have seen my share of real life horror riding ambulances and working in the ERs of hospitals in The Bronx, Harlem, and Washington Heights. I've been out on the streets and in the botánicas both working and doing ethnographic research, immersing myself in normal, everyday activities and places to absorb the essence of the experience. I'll leave you to figure out what's real in my stories and what's not.

Can you give us some background on The Ultimate Test?

The Ultimate Test
was the first horror story I've ever written. I recall having a long discussion about it with my long term critique partner supernatural horror writer Andrew Richardson, who gave me a tremendous amount of support and encouragement. I scared myself by embracing all those dark thoughts. Since then, I've dabbled on the dark side with The Dhampir's Kiss in Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires. And my novel in progress Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams is a very dark urban fantasy heavily based on Santeria. Mishmash Magick in Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft and Dance With the Devil in Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance are short excerpts of Boulevard adapted to a short story format.

How about an excerpt from The Ultimate Test?

Caution: This excerpt is mild but the story might be disturbing to sensitive readers.

The sweet, floral essence of magic swirled through the botánica. Candles flickered in front of a riot of statuary.
"Muy buenas, mi amor." A shriveled woman hoisted herself from a chair in the corner and hobbled over.
"Hola, Señora." Aramis handed over a list of the herbs she needed.
 "¿Tu eres santera?" The woman's gnarled finger traced down the list. Her eyes narrowed to read the tight English script.
"No. I study herbology. Las plantas."
"One who use these do more than study, mi amor." The lines in the crone's face deepened with a broad smile. "Una bruja, tu estas."
"Not only witches use herbs." If she associated with anyone who practiced The Craft, they would all be subject to discipline. Memories of wise women being brutalized and dragged from their homes tickled her brain.
"No ten miedo, mi amor. I no tell. Las santeras help las brujas. Somos hermanas. Sisters." She gestured Aramis into a chair and lowered herself into a seat.
Her attention focused on a bowl of cloudy water beneath the icons. She picked up Aramis' hands rubbed the palms. "Vengeance. You seek vengeance."
"Yes." Aramis followed as the woman wandered around the shop collecting several packets and tiny brown bottles.
A pencil scratched as the santera totaled the order on a scrap of paper. "To aid you, burn this candle until it's done, then return to me so I can finish it and give you further instructions. $75.00."
Aramis took the black jar. The wax pillar inside swam in murky liquid that bubbled at her touch. She left a $100.00 bill on the counter.

Talk about mysterious! I'm eager to get a copy right now!

Onto the goodies: You can enter the MMP contest for tons of great swag, but Carole has been gracious enough to offer even more. If you leave a comment both here and on Carole's blog, you have the chance to win a free download of Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft (featuring her urban fantasy Mishmash Magick) or Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance (featuring Dance with the Devil). We'll announce the winners at the end of this week. You can find Carole on her Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and Author Page.

Thanks for joining us, Carole! 


No comments:

Post a Comment