To kick off this new feature on my blog--Meet the Authors--my first guest is an old friend. (Please wait while I take my foot out of my mouth.) Let me rephrase that. Our friendship goes back a long time. I met Nancy at my very first Mid-Michigan RWA retreat in 1993 when I was such a newbie I didn't have a clue about this industry. I was in awe that she'd been published for over six years. Make that multi-published. Then, I discovered we were neighbors in Portage, Michigan. I'm still in awe that she now has over 50 books published. I've always admired her generosity in helping new writers. Advice, programs, workshops, critiques, chapter officer. Fun fact: she's a fellow Firefly enthusiast. You can read her "real" bio on her website.
Please welcome back to my blog Author Nancy Gideon.
Nancy, please tell us about your latest release.
SEEKER OF SHADOWS is the 6th book in my ‘By Moonlight’ shape shifter series with Pocket Books. To bring a reader who is unfamiliar with the series up to speed, the first four ‘Moonlight’ books follow the same hero and heroine, New Orleans detective Charlotte Caissie and former mob enforcer/prophesied shape-shifter leader Max Savoie. The ‘Shadows’ books continue within the same paranormal world and build on some of the same underlying plot lines but feature a different hero/heroine and a unique storyline in each book. Each book in the series can stand alone but warning, you’ll want to know more. SEEKER OF SHADOWS debuted in print and e-book on May 29, 2012. Here’s a peek:
“Rich and complex. Gideon delivers. Enticing new dimensions to the Shifter world keep things fresh (with) well-crafted prose and page-turning tension” – Publishers Weekly
How can he trust his future to the woman who stole his past?
Shifter club owner, Jacques LaRoche is fiercely protective of his freedom. Stripped of his memories of a former life, he instinctively longs for the mate stolen from him. Until a mysterious visitor from the North stirs desire in a heart he thought belonged to another.Pursuing an unexpected key to her research, Chosen geneticist, Susanna Duchamps risks discovery in New Orleans when her presence ignites a deadly clan confrontation. Forced to choose between the rediscovery of forbidden passion and the fate of a species, can she risk all to reclaim the love of the man she’s never forgotten? Or will she have to betray him once again in order to save the secret she protects?
If he knew the truth, would he still claim her?
"This dark and seductive story is rife with the delicious possibility of a happily-ever-after for an unlikely pair. Conflict keeps things exciting and plunging forward as the plot twists and turns. Don't blink, the book will be over before you know it." Romantic Times Book Reviews
Get in the mood with my SEEKER OF SHADOWS book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=s-ez7m5LffQ
Wow. Cool trailer. What makes this book special?
SEEKER takes readers to the previously alluded to Chosen in the North. Introduced in Book #5, HUNTER OF SHADOWS as the intellectual yin to the rough and primitive Shifter yang, they use mind control to dominate the more basic shape-shifters and are searching for a way to permanently separate their species. The relationship between the hero and heroine crosses those boundaries, expanding the ‘By Moonlight’ world and upping the danger to the New Orleans clan. Plus there’s everything one looks for in a ‘By Moonlight’ book: suspense, action, humor and, oh yeah, heat!
Writers say their heroes are like their children and they can't pick a favorite. Personally, I loved Jacques LaRoche. What a tortured soul. I felt his anguish so much I almost hated you for what you put him through. LOL What makes him different from your other heroes?
He’s tough. He can take it. I LOVE Jacques! He started out as just a big, bruiser of a shape-shifter club owner/dock foreman, but I couldn’t resist adding layers of intrigue with each book. He has a past he doesn’t remember, a mate he doesn’t know how to find. There are facets to his personality that he doesn’t understand (like a fondness for classical music!). The only female he’s drawn to is one he instinctively senses is an enemy who will shake the new world he’s created for himself with secrets she alone can share. There’s a depth, loyalty, and solidity to Jacques that I found very earthy and appealing. He’s just a really good average shape-shifter guy forced into extraordinary acts.
You have recurring characters from previous books in Seeker of Shadows. Where did Jacques first appear and will he have a role to play in future books?
Jacques has been in the ‘By Moonlight’ world since the first book and he’ll appear in the next one. The thing I love about doing this series is bringing back characters for more than just a cameo walk-on. I love my secondary characters and have purposefully established each one of them with a thought to eventually giving them their own story. Readers seem to like the sense of community created by an ensemble cast (I know I do!). And it’s so much fun expanding the characters into sometimes surprising directions. Jacques was always my editor’s favorite, so I simply had to feature him with a romance of his own.
You wrote many books about vampires (first vamp novels I ever read, btw) and now you're writing about shape-shifters. Will you return to the vampire world? Will the two worlds ever mingle in your book(s)?
After nine books in my ‘Midnight’ vampire series, I’d gone as far as I felt I could go within that world. Occasionally, I’ll think about digging them up again (snort!) but I’ve got too much else on my plate right now. The nice thing about the paranormal is that you can do anything you want within its parameters as long as you make it believable. I could easily populate my ‘By Moonlight’ world with other preternatural creatures, but I don’t think the stories really call for it. So the chance of my shape shifters taking a vampire out for a bite is fairly slim . . . at least for now.
When you wrote Masked by Moonlight, the 1st ‘By Moonlight’ book, did you set out to write a series? How did it come about?
MASKED BY MOONLIGHT was that Book of the Heart that literally ran away with me. I’m a rabid plotter (I never touch the keyboard without an outline) and yet the minute I started typing Chapter 1, I was writing with pants on fire without a plan. What started out as a solo book became four before I knew it, carrying the same hero and heroine (in what’s typically a romance no-no) through all four books. The world is as complex as the characters and the potential for additional books or spin-offs is endless, and to me, exciting. It’s a series I could enjoy continuing . . . indefinitely!
Your "Moonlight" series and "Shadows" books take place in New Orleans. What is it about that city that seems appropriate for shape-shifter stories?
New Orleans is the ultimate paranormal setting. It’s mysterious, sultry, steeped in history and diverse cultures and religions. I fell in love during my first visit at a writers’ conference back in the early 1990s and it’s still one of my favorite destinations. On one block you’re in a bustling metropolitan city and on the next are exploring narrow streets lined with gas lights from a different century. The food, the patois, the legends, the mix of seedy and sophisticated . . . what’s not to love? When the fog rolls in off the Mississippi onto the Square, you can believe there are things in the shadows you’d best not mess with.
That gave me chills. Better move on. In Seeker of Shadows, your characters leave New Orleans for Chicago. Will you set any of your future books in a place other than New Orleans?
New Orleans will remain the home base, but my characters will be traveling from the bayou up to Chicago, Memphis and out to Reno and Lake Tahoe in the next couple of books, as rival clans families begin to play a more important role. I love to set books where I’ve visited and thoroughly enjoyed time spent in the Windy City, Reno and Tahoe (as anyone who has heard my “Save the Quails” story will attest). Memphis . . . oooh, I feel a road trip coming on. I’m a Gemini . . . I thrive on variety. And I’m ADD . . . always on the lookout for that Oh, shiny!
What's next for Nancy Gideon?
The next two books in the ‘By Moonlight’ series will be in the new E-exclusive line from Pocket. BETRAYED BY SHADOWS will be available on 12-18-2012 and PRINCE OF SHADOWS is currently burning through the pre-dawn oil on my laptop. I recently obtained the rights back for dozens of historicals and contemporaries written under my pen name Dana Ransom so I’ll be spending some time trying to decide how best to get those back out to readers when I’m not wearing my daily 9-to-5 as a legal assistant cape.
Now, for those who haven't read Seeker of Shadows, here's a taste.
Jacques threw open the hinged pass-through at the end of the bar, gratified by the sudden startling noise it made as it slammed against the counter. The jarring sound echoed through the empty cathedral of his new life and through his equally shadowy soul.
What the hell is wrong with me?
He stopped before the small sink and twisted the cold tap, filling unsteady hands and splashing his face with the bracing chill. It failed to cool an overheated body or his wildly inappropriate thoughts.
He refused to glance up toward the dark blank of his office window where she was probably still shivering in dread and disgust. Because he was exactly what she feared.
A rude brute. An unmannered beast. An untamed animal. Growling, grabbing at what wasn’t his to take or desire. A primal, inferior species unable to harness his carnal needs.
Jacques started to reach for one of the jewel-like bottles stacked in tempting rows, but let his hand drop away. He stared at the face in the mirror behind them that had been that of a stranger when he’d first seen it seven years ago. He’d had no idea who those features belonged to before that moment. He could have been anything, anyone. What he’d become had been born in that instant of non-recognition.
What he did know was that he’d belonged to them, to those pitiless users in the north, who’d obviously trained him and directed in to serve their capricious whims. The scar between his shoulder blades told him that much. Had he pleasured their females? Had he hunted and killed his own kind the way the Tracker who’d died in the hallway had? Had he been a mindless drone who went about their business with a blind obedience? Was he so conditioned to their commands that he had no self-control even now?
Resentment simmered as he paced, movements dangerously predatory even as his thoughts panted in raw confusion.
Why can’t I get a grip? This isn’t me. This isn’t what I’ve made of myself. Why am I letting her get to me? She’s one of theirs, not one of mine. She belongs to one of them, not to me. Not to me.
So why was every primal pulse of his blood denying that fact?
SEEKER OF SHADOWS is available at bookstores and at Amazon.
One last question. Where can readers find you on the web?
I’m all over the place! Find out more about me, the series, and my backlist on my website: http://nancygideon.com . I also have a blog that you’ve shamed me into getting back to at: http://nancygideon.blogspot.com . I’m always on Facebook under Nancy Gideon or Nancy Gideon-author, Tweet on Twitter under Nancy Gideon, and am listed on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/282919.Nancy_Gideon . Come visit and say ‘Hi! Diane sent me!”
Thanks so much for visiting, Nancy. We'll see you back here in December when BETRAYED BY SHADOWS comes out.