Morgan Latimar seeks a nanny for his children. Being a Creole and a shifter makes the search hazardous for him as well as his family. The woman who accepts the position can never know his secret. Yet, despite his Wolfen wisdom, Morgan falls for the passionate, Laura Sinclair.
Laura Sinclair answers the post from the mysterious man from Louisiana. Soon she’s thrown into the world of Voodoo magic deep in the heart of Creole New Orleans in 1872. How can she perform the job she was hired to do when she’s falling in love with the handsome Morgan Latimar? Will he want her once he knows her secrets? Where can she turn for help?
The title had me hooked and I enjoyed talking with the author so much I invited her to be on my blog. Here’s our conversation about Freckled Venom Copperhead with the lovely and talented, Juliette Douglas.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m not sure, all I know is that I kept waking up with these goofy westerns percolating around in my head. I guess I was going through a mid-life crisis or God was trying to tell me something. I just know as I would scrub boats I would write dialog and scenes in my head. I didn’t even own a computer or have internet when I began writing six years ago. Wow! Things have come a long way since then.
How did you come up with the title?
A very dear friend has a cousin who is a retired publisher. Not only did he love the rough, raw version I presented, he offered two titles, to replace the one I had. I chose Freckled Venom.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That when life dumps a wagon load of lemons on you and you don’t have ‛nuff sugar to make lemonade, Just keep plugging along, you will survive.
What are your current projects?
Finishing the third book in the Freckled Venom series: Freckled Venom Skeletons to be out in 2014.
Perfume, Powder & Lead
The tale of three floozies who leave the red-light district, heading for the goldfields and stumble upon four dead Nuns and decide to change their habits…so to speak and begin robbing banks masquerading as Holy Sisters.
Bed of Conspiracy: Fiction based upon fact, The Knights of the Golden Circle and Jesse James, President Grant.
And whatever else pops into my little pea-picking brain.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Excerpt from Freckled Venom Copperhead
Soft light began to fill the barn while he looked around, noting the three horses watching him with mild interest, There were three doors in the stable, the one behind him, and on the opposite wall, a single sliding door with another smaller one next to that. Turning slowly, he took a good look at the Dillard boys. The three boys looked to be in their late teens to middle twenties, maybe a little older. Lanky to husky builds. Rawley had seen nasty looking hombres before, but these boys looked like sod busters, not killers. Tilting his head, he spoke to Lacy, asking, “You sure these are the Dillard brothers?”
Lacy nodded, pointing to the first one they’d brought in the barn, “That’s Aubrey, the youngest. That one is the middle brother. Name’s Keller. The dead one is the oldest, Ed.”
“Where they from? They look like sod buster.”
“They are, were, from Missouri. They’ve killed in every territory, well, almost every territory west of the Mississippi. Like I said, ‛Satan’s own spawn’,” Lacy finished, pressing her lips together.
Hearing a groan, they both turned toward the sound. Aubrey was beginning to awaken, after being smashed in the head by Lacy.
Anger began a slow burn deep inside of Lacy. She walked over to the boy and stared at the two-legged monster. This one had the scratches on his face from the Clancy woman. That made Lacy’s temper rise to a slow boil.
Aubrey looked up to see the purtiest l’il gal he’d seen in a while, flaming hair and big brown eyes you could melt into. He could feel himself rising.
Lacy’s anger continued to grow as did the bulge in his pants. She knew exactly what he was thinking.
That flaming temper overrode whatever sense Lacy had. Straddling the boy, she whipped out her knife. Bending over, she stuck it against the boy’s throbbing neck. His eyes quickly went from lust to fear.
Lacy whispered with deadly calm, “How ‛bout I do you like you did your last victim?” She asked, sliding the knife lightly drawing blood.
The boy blanched with fear. “Or better yet…” she began, brandishing the knife at the fly on his britches. She used it to pop off the buttons. She watched as the boy pressed himself against the post. “How ‛bout I just slice off your…,” her hand laid the edge of the blade across his bulge, then lightly sawed the blade back and forth, its edge beginning to cut through the material.
The bulge suddenly wilted. He looked at the knife, then, back up at her. The boy’s eyes wide with fear, he mumbled something against the bandana, shaking his head vigorously. Lacy’s eyes dripped venom as she added, “So you can’t play no more.”
She whisked the knife away only to continue her threatening attack on his torso. “How “bout…” as she sliced the buttons off his shirt and slit his underwear, exposing his gut. “How ‛bout…” she began as she slowly and lightly, sliced his skin upward. “I gut you like a hog at killing time, but I’ll leave you alive. Take your innards out.” Dark eyes never left the boy’s face. Lacy waved at the barn rafters. “Throw them up over those beams there, so you can watch your guts swinging from the rafters. Like sausages hanging from the beams of a smokehouse. How ‛bout that?” Lacy finished quietly.
Shocked at what he’d been witnessing, Rawley couldn’t move. His boots rooted to the dirt floor like a big oak. He’d never seen a female act like that before. Regaining focus, his ground eating stride placed him at Lacy’s side in seconds. He grabbed her wrist, swinging her around as he wrenched the knife out of her hand, scrutinizing the girl’s eyes. Lacy had traveled to somewhere deep within her soul. Moments later, her eyes came back into focus, fixing a deadly stare on him.
“That’s enough, Sunshine! I’m the law here. From now on you’ll do as I say!”
Freckled cheeks scorched with anger, she blasted the lawman, “I ought to whittle your ears off for that! Sides, you ain’t the only law around,” she told him through clinched teeth. Pushing around, him she moved toward the two boys, angrily tearing the guns out of their holsters. She shoved the pistols into his belly when she walked past him. Rawley caught them, barely. His eyes followed Lacy as she struggled to slide open the barn door. He didn’t even bother to help, she’d pissed him off. The door continued protesting as the rusty wheels screeched from lack of use along its track. At last it slid open. She disappeared into the darkness.
Excerpt 2 from Freckled Venom Copperhead
Rawley’s eyes turned the color of a polished barrel,blue steel. He continued striding towardthe barn.He did not like what he saw, but kept his mouth shut as he loaded up Ed. Walking over to Aubrey, his hand grabbed a handful of hair, pulling up the boy’s head. Rawley looked into a purple and black swollen face, He was in no condition to walk. The boy needed to ride.
Lacy turned in her saddle to address the lawman, “Mount up. We got a good three days’ ride.”
Rawley advanced toward the girl, his anger flaring from beneath black lashes. “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Aubrey can’t walk! He’s too badly hurt! Thanks to you! He needs to ride!”
Lacy leaned down toward the marshal, her eyes narrowing into slits, color brightening freckled cheeks in anger. “You listen to me good, Lovett. I’m not all brawn and muscle like you, so…” taking a finger and tapping her head, “I have to use my l’il pea-picking brain. Making my prisoners walk fifteen to twenty miles a day leaves them too tuckered out to argue with me at night, allowing me a little sleep. Keeping the food and water away, makes ‛em real tame. Now, mount up!”
“Is it? I call it self preservation. No one gets killed. No one gets hurt and we all arrive alive! Mount up!”
“You can’t keep taking your anger and your hatred out on the fugitives you catch, just because you don’t have the guts to confront your grandfather for what he did to you!” His eyes already frosty with anger, turned to diamond chips. “How many times do you have to kill your grandfather, before you give it up?”
Lacy recoiled as if she had been slapped.
“You have all the warmth and welcome of smallpox when it comes riding into town! You know that? He snapped. “I don’t know where you were in line when they passed out hearts. But, you sure as hell didn’t receive one!”
He saw Lacy drop her hooded look back into place, hiding her emotions, again.
Rawley spun angrily, walking back to Aubrey. Cutting enough rope to tie the boy in the saddle, he helped him up, eased him over to the horse, supporting him as he mounted. “I’ll get you to a doctor, soon as I can, son,” Rawley stated, finishing the knots.
Hearing the metallic click of a hammer being pulled back, Rawley stiffened, continuing to face the boy as he waited.
“The boy walks.”
“No. He rides,” he said. His already deep voice dropped lower. “Go ahead. Shoot me in the back. You do, I’ll see you hang,” Rawley threatened.
It seemed like ages before the marshal heard the hammer ease down with a soft click, a gun whispering back into its holster, leather creaking as horses moved off. Turning his head, his eyes followed the girl as she moved out. Keller, his hands tied by a rope half-hitched to Lacy’s saddle horn, struggled to remain on his feet as he was pulled along.
Rawley slowly expelled the breath he had been holding, “Damn kid. I’ve had enough,” he muttered. Whipping out his knife, he ran over to Keller, cleaning slicing the rope with a down turn of his wrist. The boy fell with the sudden slack.
Feeling the taunt rope go slack, Lacy spun around in the saddle, “Lovett! You bastard!” She yelled. Whirling Fancy around, she aimed the big grey on a collision course with the marshal. At the last second, Fancy swerved, throwing Lacy out of the saddle. She landed on top of Rawley, knocking both into the snow. Keller saw his chance. Scrambling up, he ran toward the nearest horse, his teeth chewing on the rope tying his hands. At last the knots loosened enough to where he could slide out his hands. Grabbing the reins, he mounted the big grey. Kicking heels into her ribs, he rode past the two still thrashing about in the snow.
“You damn little…she-devil!” Rawley grunted, taking another blow to his ribs.
Lacy scrambled out of his grasp. Standing, she locked both hands together, straightened her arms and swung, like an ax aiming at a large tree. The movement caught Rawley across his back, surprising, him and driving him to his knees. “That did it,” he mumbled, rising again.
Lacy had whirled, watching Keller ride off on her horse. Taking a few running steps, she suddenly landed face first in the snow. Rawley quickly grabbed both ankles lifting them up so the little hellion didn’t have any leverage. Lacy twisted. Turning and flopping like a hundred and fifteen pound catfish. “Lovett! I’ll kill you for this! I swear…I’ll kill you!” She yelled.
Rawley dragged her, sliding on her belly, pulling snow with her, like a plow, over to where Keller had dropped the rope. Bending down, he picked it up. Kneeling, he not so gently put a knee in her back. “Oww! You bastard! That hurt!” He trussed up her ankles, bending legs at the knees.
Lacy kept twisting, squirming, her body digging a hole in the snow, as she struggled to break the grip he had on her. Holding her kicking legs down with one hand, Rawley’s other hand, at last caught an irate arm, pulling that behind her, adding that to the ankles. Catching the other wrist, he added that to the three making a foursome. Breathing hard, he stood and surveyed his handiwork. Lacy twisted her neck. Seeing nothing, but snow covered boots and pants, she rolled on her side. She gave him the dirtiest look she could muster, “Lovett, you’re an ass! You let Keller get away!” She declared hotly.
The marshal heaved in more air for his starved lungs. Damn kid is quick. It had taken everything he had to subdue her. Fingers brushing his hair out of his eyes, he said, “Maybe that cold snow will cool down your temper some, Sunshine.”
Turning, he walked over to his hat. Picking it up, he brushed the snow off before resettling it back on his head. He threw one more look at the trussed up girl, then mounted. Two fingers brushed the brim of his hat as he nodded toward the girl, riding past her, heading off down the hill after Keller.
“Lovett?” Lacy yelled. “Where do you think you’re going? You can’t leave me like this! Lovett? Lovett…,” she yelled, dragging his name out to four or five syllables instead of the two. His name echoed against the granite backdrop of the mountains.
Who designed the covers?
We wanted striking, different covers to draw the readers eye right away. Cover photography is licensed from JC Leacock Photography out of Crested Butte, Co. His work is stunning. Bearhead Publishing LLC designed all the graphics and fonts found on the cover and inside under each chapter.
Who is your publisher and what are a few things you like about their business platform?
Bearhead Publishing LLC out of Brandenburg, Kentucky, a small press publishing company that is family owned. I liked the fact that they want their authors to retain their own unique writing voice. They offer all the same things a big company offers, but on a more personalized level. We have become good friends.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you have as much fun reading these western adventure/romance tales as I did writing them. Enjoy the ride!
I’m Juliette Douglas, new western author. I live in Kentucky where in real life I wash boats for a living. Yes, you read that right. I’m just a crusty, rusty old fart of a boat washer who has stories percolating around in my head as I scrub boats.
I live on an old farm with a passel of kids…uh…critters. Why do I write western action stories with a little romance thrown in…Go figure! I like to say it is a God thing. I have already published two western novels in 2013. Freckled Venom Copperhead and Freckled Venom Copperhead Strikes. Both receiving the 5-star rating from Readers’ Favorite. I am working on the third sequel in the Freckled Venom series, now. Titled: Freckled Venom – Skeletons making its debut summer 2014.
Take time to visit http://www.facebook.com/author.juliette.douglas for updates and events. I love to hear from fans of my books. Email me or friend me on facebook. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Freckled-Venom-Copperhead-Juliette-Douglas-ebook/dp/B00IEUXBV8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398947507&sr=1-1&keywords=freckled+venom
Genre: Western adventure/romance Publisher: Bearhead Publishing LLC
I sat down with the lovely and talented author, Terri Hubbard Carle and asked a few questions about her latest release – Storm Warnings, which is on sale now through Sunday at Amazon. Here’s what she had to say…
What inspired you to write your first book?- I enjoyed writing in high-school. My English teacher encouraged me to continue writing , she felt I had a gift for story telling in a unique way in my writing.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?–Always hold on to faith, when faith is all you have, stand!
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?—Catherine Wolffe she is awesome!!!!
What book are you reading now?–Catherine Wolffe’s Casey’s Gunslinger- If you have not read it, you really should, it is awesome! (Not just saying that because she is interviewing me either )
What are your current projects?–I just finished writing a horror short-story believe or not, about Hell. It will soon be published more info to come I am working on a novel hopefully a little more on the lighter funnier side with a little sexy and sweet side. The name is still not definite. I have been known to change my mind on so we will see.
Who designed the covers?- Dawn Sullivan with the input of Author Nicole Garcia. They actually have a joint venture creating book covers and swag for Authors and they do an awesome job!
I am so excited to be hosting author, Kimberly Kincaid today. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a Q&A with this very talented lady.
Kimberly Kincaid writes contemporary romance that splits the difference between sexy and sweet. When she’s not sitting cross-legged in an ancient desk chair known as “The Pleather Bomber”, she can be found practicing obscene amounts of yoga, whipping up anything from enchiladas to éclairs in her kitchen, or curled up with her nose in a book. Kimberly is a 2011 RWA Golden Heart® finalist who lives (and writes!) by the mantra that food is love. Her digital “line” series is all about the hot cops and sexy chefs of Brentsville, New York. She is also thrilled to have collaborated on a Christmas anthology with Donna Kauffman and Kate Angell, titled The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap, to kick off her Pine Mountain foodie series with Kensington books, to be followed by her first full-length print novel, Turn Up the Heat. Kimberly resides in northern Virginia with her wildly patient husband and their three daughters. Visit her any time at www.kimberlykincaid.com or come check her out on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimberly.kincaid1) and Twitter (@kimberlykincaid).
When I sat down with Kimberly, she was happy to answer a few questions for me.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always loved to write, and when I sat down four years ago to write that first book, it was for pure fun. I didn’t have a clue about plotting or pacing or even how to tag dialogue! But I knew I had stories to tell, so I joined Romance Writers of America and took some online classes, and I was thrilled when it only got more fun as I went. That first book is under my bed gathering dust, but it got me to book #2, which landed my agent. So I’ll always love that inspiration that got me started!
Do you have a specific writing style or approach to writing your books?
I think, first and foremost, that writing should be fun. So I approach all my books like they’re an adventure. I write full-time, so I also take each book very seriously. I usually start with my characters—who they are, what shapes them, what their life circumstances are, and how they’ll connect. Then I do research and toy with the plot. For me, the plot is so much more changeable than the characters! But I plan everything out before I start to write, complete with outlines and storyboards.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
We already had a theme established with the “line” novellas. I usually come up with a short list, and for Pushing The Line it was no different. I bounced the ideas off my agent, her assistant, and my critique partners. My agent’s assistant is the one who came up with Pushing The Line, and I loved it on the spot.
What book are you reading now?
I love to read, and have many favorites! I just finished Kristen Callihan’s Shadowdance (the latest book in her Darkest London series), and am reading a KGI novel from Maya Banks’s backlist right now. My TBR is toppling, but I love everything about it!
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Pushing The Line is the fourth line novella, about a cocky firefighter who helps out a friend by taking over a side job at his contracting company. But he gets more than he bargained for when the owner of the candy store needing renovations is a sassy, sexy artist who challenges him at every turn.
Who designed your cover (s)?
My covers are a group effort, just like the titles. In the end, I picked the cover image (which is one of my favorites!), and photographer Robin Gansle did all the formatting.
Free-spirited artist Harper McGee is happy to go wherever the wind takes her…until her flight pattern sends her back to Brentsville, New York for her beloved grandmother funeral. Harper’s grief turns to shock, however, when she discovers her grandmother has named her sole proprietor of her candy shop, Luscious. But she has no intention of being anchored to one place, and anyway, she doesn’t know the first thing about running a kitchen or a business. Selling Luscious is the only viable option— until the shop catches fire due to old wiring. Fixing the damage requires major work, and if Harper wants to put it on the market, she needs major help.
Thrill-seeking firefighter Aaron Fisher has never walked away from a challenge or a friend. So when a fellow firefighter is hurt on a call and can’t complete a side job for his contracting company, Aaron’s quick to jump in. He’s done plenty of fix ‘er ups for his buddy in the past, and despite his silver spoon upbringing and his no-holds-barred attitude, swinging a hammer suits Aaron just fine. That is, until he discovers the client is the same impetuous woman he forcibly dragged from the flames of Brentsville’s local candy shop.
The more time Harper and Aaron spend at Luscious, the hotter their attraction burns, daring them both to shed their tough outer layers to reveal the tender desires beneath. But when a buyer makes Harper the offer of a lifetime, she must choose between roots and wings. Can two people who live in the moment learn to see past the moment, or will Aaron and Harper always live their lives pushing the line.
Thank you, Kimberly for dropping by today to visit with us. It’s been a pleasure having you.
Don’t miss the release party on January 10th. Click on the book cover above for a link to the party! See you there!
Her hair is the color of flax. Her eyes as blue as the sky. Petite and feminine, she wills a strong determination when her mind decides on a course of action. Charles Harrison discovers this when he tries to protect her from harm. No man’s going to tell her what to do. Having been orphaned as a baby, she makes her own decisions and lives her life by her own rules. A small salary as a teacher is her means of survival, until the day she unearths the truth about who she is.
In search of her father and determined to execute revenge on the man who abandoned her after she was born and her mother died, Casey arrives to find, Charles Harrison, the attorney she hired to locate her father is good friends with the bastard! Unsure if she can trust anyone, even Maggie, and Jake, who kept a watchful eye over her through the years, Casey vows to hurt Earl Loflin any way she can!
Casey’s Gunslinger – available at all major outlets and Smashwords.com.