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Friday, May 27, 2011

20 Questions & A Contest with Author Shannon Leigh

Shannon will be giving away a copy of her book, EROTIKOS, to a commentor.  Be sure to give your email addy to enter the contest.
Now here is Shannon Leigh, multipublished author.

1. Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.


http://shannonleigh.org/

MORE THAN PROPHECY
PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN: 1-59279-324-X (Electronic)
ISBN: 1-59279-807-1 (Paperback)
GENRES: Romance/ Paranormal/Time-Travel Romance/Interracial
PURCHASE URL: http://www.amberquill.com/MoreThanProphecy.html

Prophesied to bear a child to end the warring between the Andreas and Ramekah clans of planet Zandar, Cheyenne is whisked away from Earth by a magical zephyr and deposited in a valley between the grassy knolls of the Rhian Mountains and the dreaded Goetic forest. It’s there that Lord Darian Andreas, ruler of the mighty Andreas Clan and master of the powerful Andreas Territory, finds her. Although all seek to sire her child, Darian has already claimed her for his own. And he intends to win.


STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN: 1-59279-414-9 (Electronic)
GENRES: Paranormal/Erotica/Mystical Beings
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/StairwayHeaven.html

When Rhea, a biologist for Providian Pharmaceuticals, travels to the Amazon Forest in search of a cure for cancer and discovers a secret Stairway To Heaven along with the Guardian who protects it, can she deny her scientific education and allow him to fulfill the biggest desires of her heart?


CHINATOWN BUFFET

PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN: 1-59279-421-1 (Electronic)
GENRE: Contemporary / Erotica / Interracial / Multicultural
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/ChinatownBuffet.html

When Mei Ling orders a late night meal from the Chinatown Buffet, the last thing she expects is for her delivery boy to be a Texas native sporting a black Stetson, levis that cling to all the right places, and seafoam eyes. Seems her food isn’t the only package he’s prepared to deliver.

Also available in audio format:

PUBLISHER: Audio Minx
PURCHASE URL: http://www.audiominx.com/books/chinatown-buffet/


GREENWOOD MANOR

PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN: 1-59279-433-5 (Electronic)
GENRES: Paranormal / Erotica / Ghosts / Hauntings
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/GreenwoodManor.html

When Laura arrives at Greenwood Manor for a much needed vacation, the last thing she expects to find is a strangely familiar mansion inhabited by ghosts, one of which claims to be her dead husband. Memories start resurfacing, but is she prepared to face the truth of a past life?

Also available in audio format:

PUBLISHER: Audio Minx

PURCHASE URL: http://www.audiominx.com/books/greenwood-manor/


NANA’S LITTLE BLACK BOOK

PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN: 1-59279-441-6 (Electronic)
GENRES: Fantasy / Erotica / Paranormal / Witchcraft / Magic / Shapeshifter / Demon
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/NanasBlackBook.html

When Catrina finds a little black book hidden within a secret vault in her dead grandmother’s room, she has no idea it’s a mean of summoning demons. That is, not until one is standing within her living room, butt naked and more than willing to fulfill all her needs.

Also available in audio format:

PUBLISHER: Audio Minx

PURCHASE URL:
http://www.audiominx.com/books/debut-tuesday-nanas-little-black-book/


LYCAN LORE

PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-137-1 (Electronic)
GENRES: Dark Fantasy / Erotica / Werewolf / Shapeshifter / Series
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/LycanLore.html

Cassandra always believed that lycanthropes were nothing more than mental patients with schizophrenia, until she finds herself running for her life through Redwood National Park’s campgrounds with a fur-sprouting, fang-wielding, moon-constrained juggernaut from Hell intending to have her for dinner. Much to her initial chagrin, her savior comes in the same form. Only, unlike his bloodthirsty counterpart, Cray can control his werewolf form. Before he can claim her as his one true mate, the wolf that hunts Cassandra has to be stopped, for once a lycan scents its prey, it’ll never relinquish its quest to complete the kill.


EROTIKOS

PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-217-0 (Electronic)
GENRES: Dark Fantasy / Vampire / Shapeshifter / Time Travel / Action / Adventure / Interracial / Multicultural
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/Erotikos.html

It’s girl’s night in, three horny women and an evening of drinking and gossip. Mina has brought Erotikos, a strange game that promises to fulfill their every sexual desire with their choice of eight gorgeous men. With a simple roll of the dice, they’ll embark on a series of adventures where reality ceases and fantasy begins.

Also available in audio format:

PUBLISHER: Audio Minx
PURCHASE URL: http://www.audiominx.com/books/erotikos

CHASING BOOTY

PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-267-5 (Electronic)
GENRE: Science Fiction / Futuristic / Action / Adventure / Interracial / Multicultural
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/ChasingBooty.html

When cops can’t catch the most wanted criminals, they hire Gaelyn. She thrives on adventure. Only one other hunter matches her status, Reese, a Trøndite from the small planet of Sør-Trøndalag. The man had a knack for stealing her contracts. While chasing her latest mark, she runs into Reese on Quaoar. He not only has the information she needs to catch the bad guy, he’s got a business proposal that’s too tempting to pass up. A partnership with Reese just might prove rewarding in a way she never expects.

Also available in audio format:

PUBLISHER: Audio Minx
PURCHASE URL: http://www.audiominx.com/books/chasing-booty/


LYCAN LORE 2: OFFSPRING

PUBLISHER: Amber Quill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-360-3 (Electronic)
GENRES: Dark Fantasy / Werewolf / Shapeshifter / Ménage (M/F/M) / Group Sex / Series
PURCHASE URL: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/LycanLore2.html

On the run from Cray, a werewolf hunter determined to eliminate her and her unborn child, Heather flees to the crowded shores of South Beach, right into the arms of a man who could prove more than a one-night stand. Despite his own lycan heritage, Cray has taken a vow to protect humanity from his kind. With a new lead on his target, he plans on hunting her down. Cassandra knows what her best friend has become, but refuses to accept Heather’s fate. If she hopes to save her, she must find a way to protect her from Cray.


DARK TALES 1: VAMPYRESS

PUBLISHER: Wild Child Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1-935013-10-5
GENRES: Vampire Horror
PURCHASE URL: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=71&products_id=231

Cursed to harbor the beast that drove the Prince of Walachia to perform unspeakable acts of cruelty upon her loved ones, Ivona Knight has spent the last five hundred years eliminating all descendants of the Dracula line. Trapped within a remote tavern by a hammering storm, she engages in a storytelling game with her fellow patrons. But as she conveys her tale, she senses a familiar presence emanating from one of the others that stirs emotions deep within her which only one other has ever evoked. Has she found her next target? Or has she become the hunted?

BIO:

Shannon Leigh is a practicing registered nurse who graduated with a B.S.N. R.N. from the Indiana University School of nursing in May of 1996. She lives in Indiana with her husband, four sons, dog, and cat. Shannon and her family enjoy camping, fishing, and sitting out back while a cozy fire crackles in the fire pit. In her spare time, Shannon likes to decorate cakes, scrapbook, draw, read, write, and watch movies.

Along with reading other romance genres, Shannon loves suspense, fantasy, and horror, but paranormal fiction remains her favorite. She has several stories available at Amber Quill Press, Audio Lark, and Wild Child Publishing. While most involve some paranormal aspect, she has dabbled in contemporary, and more recently, science fiction. With such an active imagination, she always has something in works.

2. How do you usually come up with a story idea? Dreams? Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations? Newspaper?

A little bit of everything, really. Usually something I see or hear will spark my imagination. Sometimes just a topic will get me going.


3. What is your process from idea to first draft?

First I work on characters and setting. I research names, descriptions, era detail (when appropriate), and anything else I need to make the plot believable. Once I figure out who I’m writing about and where the story takes place, I pick a starting point, usually with one of the characters, and go from there.

4. Who or what inspires you when your creative mojo is lagging?

Usually reading or watching a movie with content similar to my storyline.

5. Who is your Yoda—your seasoned mentor?

Not sure I have a Yoda. I love so many different authors that I can’t say who influences me the most anymore.

6. What importance do you place on writing workshops? What workshops would you recommend to us?

I haven’t attended any (but I probably should). I would think basic grammar and punctuation are a good place for every author. Unless you’re an English major, most people can’t remember all the rules for punctuation. Secondly, point of view is imperative. Most editors are pretty good about catching things like that, but I still see a lot of slips that shouldn’t have gotten through. I make them myself.

7. What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations? How did this person help you?

My dad. He’s always encouraged me to do what I love. It doesn’t matter what the topic, just write it. Yes, he’s read at least one of my stories that I know of. I was mortified when I found out!

8. Have you ever used songs for inspiration?

Yes, I had to write for a story using a popular song title. That’s how Stairway To Heaven was created.

9. Do you play music when you write? If so, what kind? Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?


I have to have silence and no distractions. I get easily sidetracked so I do my best writing when I’m either at home alone, or after everyone else has gone to bed.

10. Do you read in a different genre than you write? If yes, why? If you read in the same genre that you write, do you feel that it influences your writing in any way?

I read pretty much any genre. Sometimes it does influence my writing, or sparks an idea.

11. Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer? Has another writer ever come to your aide? How?

Yes, I’ve given editing/writing advice many times. I’ve also asked fellow authors for opinions/suggestions on writing projects. Several years ago, I used to have an editing group, just a handful of authors. I got a request to join one day from a young girl who’d written a little and wanted some help. What began as an editing favor grew into a close friendship and a co-writing endeavor that will hopefully be finished and contracted this year.

12. What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

Just getting a single book written and published is awesome. Each story I write still invokes that sense of pride.

13. If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money? Would give any of it to charity? If so, which one?

Yes, I would donate to the National Tourettes Syndrome Association (http://www.tsa-usa.org/index.html). There are so many charities that need funding, but that one really touches my heart, for many reasons. So many people don’t understand Tourettes and automatically envision someone yelling obscenities, which is a form of Tourettes. My second oldest son was diagnosed earlier this year. I’d noticed some strange hand contracture and facial movements for quite some time. I suspected Tourettes because his father has similar symptoms but was never diagnosed and it tends to run in families, particularly in boys. While my son’s is pretty mild and a lot of people wouldn’t even notice unless they spent some time with him, a lot of other children have much worse cases. There’s no definitive reason for why their bodies have these “tics”, no specific treatment (they are usually treated for secondary conditions like anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.), and no cure.

14. What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Educate yourself on the craft of writing, then pick what you like and write it. Don’t get discouraged when someone tells you “no”. Keep at it and you will eventually succeed.

15. If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be? What do you admire about this animal? Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal? If so, what are they?

Since you didn’t specify if it has to be a real animal or not, I’d say a unicorn. I’ve always had a fascination with these magical creatures. They are so pure and beautiful. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself either pure or beautiful, but I do try to be creative and one of those people that make an impression, in a good way.

16. If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

Forensic Science, Oceanic Research, Scientific Paranormal Investigation

17. If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

To visit every country, stopping in every famous city and getting to know the people and their culture.

18. What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

My heroes must have a sense of accountability and responsibility. I want heroes who can love (or learn to love) and who aren’t afraid to let their feelings show without looking like pansies. He has to take charge, but not be a bully.

My heroine has to have a sense of self-worth and value. She’s not a self-pitying type and isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She’s self-sufficient, but knows when to let her man be in charge.

19. If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?

Is this a loaded question? I hate politics, but I think ours need a drastic change. What happened to the day when politicians were actually for the people and not their own selfish agenda?

The second would be education. So many young adults fall through the cracks on getting a college education. Yes, there is funding available, but the middle class seems to miss out on a lot of it. You have too much money to get aid, but not enough to be able to afford school without student loans. There’s got to be a better way.

20. If could have a super power for a day, what would it be? Why?

The ability to heal any mental or physical ailment with my touch. Because I’m a nurse and my nature is to heal. Sure I’d love to fly or read people’s minds, but that only helps me. I’d have to help others first.



BLURB:


It’s been a long time since Renee and her two friends have gotten together for a girl’s night in. What could possibly be more fun than drinking margaritas, gossiping about their recent bed-partners, and playing drunken rounds of Twister until they all pass out? But when Mina shows up toting a bottle of José Cuervo Gold in one arm, and a strange game named Erotikos in the other, the girls’ evening is about to get a lot more interesting.

Even before they remove the contents, Renee senses something amiss. This is no ordinary game. Erotikos promises pleasures galore and adventures filled with sexual delight. But how can a cardboard pastime with its small stack of cards, two oddly marked die, and eight pewter men accomplish all this?

After reading the instructions, the girls select their character pieces—an Indian, a selkie, and a vampire. Three men of varying backgrounds, but all sexy as sin and tantillizing to the eye. With a roll of the dice, the game begins, and the three women soon find themselves pulled into a place where their wildest fantasies come to life...


EXCERPT:


Mina inclined her head, squinting as the white swirling words within the orb’s center began to take shape. “What’s that say?”

Almost against her own will, Renee felt her upper body sway forward, too. Unable to deny her curiosity, she deciphered the hazy message. “It looks like…‘Do you three agree?’”

“Agree to what?” Candi asked as she deflated back against the couch, her momentary thrill in danger of expiring to her characteristic boredom.

“Well, to the adventures, of course,” Mina snorted. “What else could it be?”

They all fell silent, exchanging looks of agreement, excitement, and unease in a room that suddenly seemed void of all objects and sound. It was almost as though a vacuum had sucked away everything but the three of them and this game. Renee felt weightless and drunk, but she sensed her surrealistic state wasn’t caused by alcohol.

Something else was amiss.

Mina and Candi nodded in unison, their wordless affirmations a bold and persuasive declaration to her instinctive rebellion, which screamed at her to decline. Obligation weighed on her like a woolen cloak soaked by rain. Before she could rationalize her behavior, she felt her chin dip forward in consent.

The room started to spin in a fashion similar to times when she’d awakened in the morning after having far too much to drink. But unlike then, her mind wasn’t distorted; rather, everything around had begun to move. Shifting, turning, the colors melding together like they did on one of those spinning art trays that slug paint together in a fashion no human hand could create.

Renee’s vision strained against the ambiance, searching for her friends, whom she knew were seated a mere few feet away. Panic rioted her insides when she saw that Candi was gone. Before she even looked, she knew Mina would be, too.

Pressure surrounded her on all sides, making it near impossible to move. She fought the resistance, struggling to turn her head to the right. She managed an inch or two, enough to confirm her fear.

Tears blurred her already fuzzy gaze as her terror grew. They slipped from the corners of her eyes, but never reached her cheeks. The air around her sucked them from her skin and into the ever-growing vortex around her.

Renee opened her mouth to scream, but the words seemed also lost in the churning eddy. She felt herself being lifted off the ground and drawn forward, pulled toward the coffee table. And as her paralyzed frame hovered in the air above the game, her nose mere inches from the now-wordless orb, she realized how they would complete their turns.

We’re going in.

9 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

What an impressive backlist you have, Shannon. Erotikos sounds really steamy. :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I loved your answers. a magical unicorn for a mascot sound wonderful to me. I see you are a nurse--I'm a retired ER nurse. I wonder if your healing power for a day stems from your nursing?
I had to laugh when you said your father read one of your stories and you were mortified. I wish my dad could have read my story, The Violin. I wrote it in honor of his brother.
Did I get it right that EROTIKUS has one woman and 8 men? It hardly seems fair for one woman to get all that male attention.
I wish you every success, Shannon.

Michael said...

Wow, nice books there Shannon.

I really would like to get more into Paranormals. Your stories sounds like a great one and a nice interview as well!

Continued success on your stories!

S.Lira aka Michael Mandrake / Rawiya

Adele Dubois said...

Shannon--Love the title Erotikos. I'm always intrigued by a strong title. Best of luck with your release and your writing career.

~Adele

Shannon Leigh said...

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. It encourages me to keep writing!

Brenda Hyde said...

Wow, that's a lovely cover on your new book:) Is it warm in here? I see you also have shifter stories, which are my favorite; I'll have to also check those out. Thanks for the excerpt!

Delaney Diamond said...

I enjoyed getting to know you, Shannon. My father has also always encouraged me, but he's never read any of my work (thank goodness!).

Shannon Leigh said...

Thanks, guys. I forgot how much sex was in the book my dad read. But since I've been going through and revamping it (no pun intended) to send for republish, I'm even more mortified than I was before!

Fiona McGier said...

Wow, you've got some very interesting paranormals published! I don't write them, but I sure like to read them. Once the school year is up, I intend to give my Kindle a very good work-out! Thanks for sharing the blurbs and the excerpt.