Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
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Monday, July 1st, 2019
Interview with Author Jayelle Morgan #paranormal #romance

Interview with Jayelle Morgan

Today, I’m excited to welcome Jayelle Morgan to my blog. According to Jayelle, she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, where powerful men melt. Sounds like a load of fun to me!

Hi, Jayelle. What drew you to write paranormal romance?

Hi Shelley! Glad to be here.

I have always read every kind of romance, but what drew me to write paranormal romance was my love for the idea that sometimes the world isn’t exactly what it seems. I like the thought that powerful beings could hide in our world, only revealing themselves to certain individuals. Added to the idea of fated mates/soul mates, and PNR seemed a natural place for me to be.

Part of your bio states you fuel your creativity with the three writer staples. I’m curious and wondering if I’ve missed something. What are the staples? Should I get some too?

Silly me, I thought they were in my bio! My staples are the things that fuel my body, mind, and creativity. Coffee first, always, followed by chocolate and daydreams. I’m not sure I could write if you took one of those away. :)

You write a series about Elementals. What exactly is an elemental? If I were to visit the Elemental world, what would I discover?

An Elemental is a being of pure energy from a realm separate from our own. Their energy takes a specific form (fire, water, air, etc.). They’ve traveled to our world many times before, to create or destroy, or just to adventure. They’re hidden in our stories and mythologies. My Elementals are mainly warriors, sent here to fight the forces of chaos that hurtling the world toward permanent destruction.

These warriors come from the elemental world, a stark but beautiful place made of a material like obsidian, nestled in the heart of a glowing nebula. Elementals are born in the nebula, as all things are. Their world is always lit with a dusk-like glow. Parts of the world are civilized, while in other parts, wild Elementals roam free in their natural state.

What comes next in the Elemental Hearts series? Can you give us a few hints?

Oh, gosh. I wish I could write faster, because I see the next 3 books in my head already. I’m anxious to get to last book because it’s going to be epic. Before then, we will watch Rowan, the Plant warrior, Terrel, the Lightning warrior, and Walker, the Water warrior and commander of the others, fall in love. The ups and downs I see coming will mean they won’t have an easy time of it, but I promise readers that every book and the series as a whole will have a very happy ending.

Ask any author, and they’ll tell you writing is hard work. What is your favorite thing about working on a story? Is there any particular part of writing that you find challenging?

My favorite part of writing is when a story or scene appears in my head as if by magic. The ideas and words come hot and fast as I watch it all unfold in my head like a movie. I love that part. Right then is when the book seems the most engaging, the most emotional, the most sweeping. The most perfect.

The most challenging part of writing for me is meshing all those scenes and ideas into an actual story. What comes next? It’s hardest for me when I can’t see or hear the characters and scenes in my head. Sometimes I struggle for months, writing in the dark before I figure out if I’ve written the right thing or the wrong thing.

I understand you have a free story called Ice Hot, which is part of the Elemental Hearts series. How do readers get their hands on a copy of this?

Everyone who joins my newsletter can download a copy of this super steamy short story. Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/b_TYO1

What is the best place for readers to learn more about you and your upcoming releases?

My newsletter is probably the best way to keep up to date with my books. But readers can follow my author page on Facebook if they prefer. https://www.facebook.com/jayellemorgan/

Burn by Jayelle Morgan

HE’S GOING TO SET HER WORLD ON FIRE…

Brooke Simmonds moved to the isolated mountain town of Topaz Ridge to start her ideal life. The day she gets everything she’s been working towards, her life goes up in flames.

Literally.

Her rescue is a haze of pain and smoke, but she remembers the handsome stranger that carried her out of the blaze. Are her memories clouded by smoke inhalation, or did she really see him manipulating the flames to save her?

SHE’S GOING TO BURN HIM UP WITH DESIRE…

Levi takes an instant liking to Brooke, whose smile makes him burn hotter than the fire inside him. When her apartment building bursts into flames, he springs to the rescue. As one of the elite Elemental Warriors sent here to fight the forces of Chaos, he’s got the power to do it. His control however, is… unpredictable. He gets her to safety, but not before revealing himself for what he is.

When the enemy turns their sights on Brooke, she’s sucked into a world, and a war, she never knew existed. The burn between her and Levi is undeniable, but will it be enough to help them conquer their foes, and their differences? Or will they both go down in flames?

Grab your copy here.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019
Star-Crossed with Scarlett, Available for Pre-Order

Star-Crossed with Scarlett

I’m excited to announce Star-Crossed with Scarlett is now available for pre-order. In this book, my two series House of the Cat and Middlemarch Capture collide with a character from each series getting together and going on a quest.

Here’s the blurb:

A dragon shifter determined to save his people…
…must sacrifice his potential mate.

The moment the resonance traps Ransom, he’s tossed into a living hell. Everything meaningful to him is in danger unless he follows the orders of a prince lying in stasis.

But that’s not the royal’s only demand.

Prince Kalim expects Ransom to deliver Scarlett—the woman Ransom’s dragon desires.

Captured by a dragon. Scarlett Mitchell can’t believe this twist of fate and, once she learns of the dragon-man’s quest, she struggles with the blast of excitement and yearning that seize her imagination. She’s the queen of lists and measures the pros against the cons in every decision—a lesson taught by experience. Life works better when she reins in her spontaneity.

She should turn her back on this dangerous journey, but she can’t.

Romantic sparks fly between Ransom and Scarlett as they travel to the final showdown with the prince. Painful secrets from the past poke at weak spots and emotions run high while a volcanic eruption threatens to annihilate everyone and everything in its path.

Two star-crossed lovers…

Courage, determination, and pure grit are required to save the day before this ill-fated quest turns into another impulse gone wrong, or worse—a death trap.

You’ll love this shapeshifter romance because it contains a fiery dragon, a sassy feline shifter, and a villain who wants it all. Failure is not an option.

Pre-order Star-Crossed with Scarlett

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019
Love Paranormal Romance? One week left to grab these Freebies!

Sexy Shifter Summer Reads

Grab one or more of these FREE paranormal romance reads. Seven days left before they’re gone.

Get your FREE paranormal romances here.

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019
The Scarlet Macaw #research #travel

One of seventeen species of macaws, the Scarlet Macaw is becoming increasingly rare. In Costa Rica, Central America, we visited the Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary where they rescue, breed, and release the Scarlet Macaw.

I was very excited at the thought of seeing macaws. When our tour around the reserve started, my anticipation turned to disappointment because the Scarlet Macaw and the Blue and Yellow Macaw were in a huge aviary. Not great for photographic opportunities, although their aviary is HUGE.

But it turned out the sanctuary releases some of their macaws. Some of these pairs have returned and nest in boxes placed around the grounds. The Scarlet Macaw come and go as they please and have been successfully breeding, adding to the population. These ones provided excellent photographic opportunities.

The sanctuary houses many other animals such as jaguar, sloth, deer and other birds. Many of the animals are recovered from poachers or rescued when the animal butts up against man encroaching on habitat. Our guide was passionate and knowledgeable, and I enjoyed our visit very much.

Scarlet Macaw

Facts about Scarlet Macaws.

Scarlet Macaw

1. They live in the rainforest.

2. Their beak is perfect for cracking nuts and seeds.

3. The male and female look the same with white faces, scarlet and yellow.

4. They live to around 50 years of age in the wild. In captivity, they are known to live much longer than this.

5. They are intelligent birds and are popular pets but can be quite aggressive.

6. They usually mate for life.

7. Both the male and female look after the young.

8. Their bright colors help them to blend in the rainforest.

Scarlet Macaw Pair and Nesting Box

Star-Crossed with ScarlettI spent ages watching the macaws and found them fascinating. Already, they’ve found their way into my upcoming release Star-crossed with Scarlett. The birds make an appearance in the story and, of course, there is the heroine’s name, which is Scarlett.

Monday, June 10th, 2019
The Adorable Sloth

The Adorable Sloth

Before our visit to Costa Rica, my knowledge of sloths was limited to the Ice Age cartoons. I thought of sloths as adorable and a little clumsy but with a great deal of charm.

The Natuwa Macaw Sanctuary is a refuge for other animals as well as the Red Macaw, and this is where I had a close-up view of two orphan sloths.

Natuwa Sanctuary

Sloth

They are the cutest things, and I spent ages watching them.

Here are some facts about Two-toe Sloths:

1. Sloths are herbivores and eat mainly leaves. Their diet is low-energy, so they don’t move around very much.

2. Their natural habitat is the rainforest in Central and South America.

Sloth

3. They are called two-toed sloths because of the two claws on their forearms. In fact, all sloths actually have three toes!

4. Predators such as the ocelot, the jaguar, and eagles are their enemies.

5. A sloth sleeps for around 15 hours a day.

6. They spend most of their time hanging upside down in their tree.

7. They go down to the ground to toilet and usually do this around once a week.

8. They are excellent swimmers and enjoy the water.

Sloth

Sloth

Sloth

Sloth

Sloth

As I said, I loved the sloths. They are mega-cute, and I am determined to write a sloth into an upcoming romance. Watch this space!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019
A Research Visit to Barista Cats, Auckland, New Zealand

Barista Cats

These days, many families live in rental accommodation or high-rise apartments are unable to keep pets. Enter – a business opportunity. Barista Cats in Queen Street Auckland is one of the new cafes where animal lovers can go to have a coffee and get their pet-fix without having the responsibility of a full-time pet.

Barista Cats has fifteen cats who live at the café and mingle with the café patrons as they chill with a tea or coffee. All the cats are ex-SPCA cats, and all have had tough lives, so they lap up the attention and care they receive at the café. One is deaf while another is blind. One or two of the cats wobble as they walk or climb, but all are healthy and happy.

Barista Cats Cafe

A visit to the café must be booked online beforehand, and only children over the age of fourteen can enter the premises. They must be with a guardian.

Hi Cutie

A Barista Cat

On arrival, all visitors are introduced to each cat, and the rules are explained. The cats have loads of toys and different bedding, but most are happy to plop down and enjoy a stroke or two from their visitors.

Each session is one hour, and the café hosts special sessions with kittens. They also have yoga and movies several times a month. You get to do yoga or watch a movie with a cat on your lap.

Dinner Time at the Cafe

Want to chill out and destress? If you’re a pet-lover without a pet, this is definitely the place for you.

Military MenI enjoyed my visit, and some of my experience will go into my current, as yet unnamed work-in-progress, which is part of my Military Men series. Watch this space!

Saturday, June 1st, 2019
Interview with Author McKenna Dean #paranormal #romance

Interview with author McKenna Dean
Today, I’m excited to welcome McKenna Dean to my blog. McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally, she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.

She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.

Hi, McKenna! Your website tagline is “Paranormal lives here.” Please tell us a little about yourself and what made you write paranormal romance.

I’ve been writing for about 10 years now, having cut my teeth in fanfiction. I had a hard time settling down to one genre at first—I love so many! Romance, mysteries, science-fiction, historical romance… finally, I realized that most of my stories had that little extra twist that comes from the supernatural—and my experiences working with animals just lent itself to writing about shifters.

I also love exploring that sense of “other” you get with paranormal romance. It’s such a great genre for examining our social structure. Not to mention, my favorite stories center around found families and finding your tribe. Paranormal romance has such wonderful scope for world building, too.

You write several series, but let’s focus on your Redclaw Security books today. You’ve won awards with these books, so please give us a little background. What was the inspiration behind your series?

I’m so glad you asked! Redclaw Security is an elite firm of paranormal agents who investigate and solve shifter matters. Prior to the use of nuclear weapons in WW2, there were very few shifters, mostly of the mythological kind, such as phoenixes, dragons, and griffins. Nuclear testing activated dormant shifter genes in the rest of the population, creating the wolf, big cat, and bear shifters (and more) we all know and love. At the same time, artifacts of great power were triggered as well, many of which can only be used by those with the shifter gene. The Paranormal Council formed Redclaw to collect, study, and isolate such artifacts, as well as serve as a kind of law enforcement for shifters as they can’t take their problems to the regular police. The Redclaw books can be read as standalones, and each of them feature a member of Redclaw in some form or another, showcasing a different set of characters with each story.

I’m also working on the origin story of Redclaw. Set in the 1950s, the Bishop and Knight books feature a pair of human agents working within Redclaw in its early days. Henrietta “Rhett” Bishop is a former socialite in desperate need of a job, who’s been tasked with recruiting a brilliant but discredited scientist, Dr. Peter Knight, to work for Redclaw. I’m having great fun writing these stories, which I liken to Nick and Nora meets Warehouse-13. The first in the series, Bishop Takes Knight, should be out in June or July 2019.

I’m very excited about another planned series, however! Whereas the Redclaw books feature different characters within the agency, the Better off Red series is going to focus on the Major Shifter Crimes division within Redclaw. Tiger-shifter Morgan Delaney is in charge of MSC, leading her teammates fox-shifter Jason Fox (yes, people make jokes about his name), hedgehog-shifter Mark Mabry, honey-badger shifter Lex Reeder, and ocelot-shifter Perdita Hansen as they tackle the gritty crimes of the paranormal world. Her first big case on returning to duty after killing her ex in self-defense involves shifters being murdered for their DNA—and all signs point to wealthy industrialist Rian Stirling, who happens to be her boss’s half-brother—as well as her fated mate. I can’t wait to share those books with you guys!

What is your favorite paranormal creature to write? Do you like felines or wolves best, and what research did you do to write your shifters?

I’m a biologist and have worked as a dog trainer and a vet tech. Writing animal scenes are the easiest part of my stories! I do spend a fair amount of time online researching specifics—such as the length of a grizzly bear claw (Two to four inches) and whether or not tigers can purr (they can’t! Cheetahs are the only big cats that purr). Picking between the two is like asking me to choose between dogs and cats. Um, both? Though given the number of cat shifters I have in my stories, it looks like the felines are in the lead right now.

What comes next in the Redclaw Security series? Can you give us a few hints?

People have been begging me for bear-shifter Andy Grant’s story, and I promise it will come. I’ve been eyeing Morgan’s younger sister as a potential mate for him. Can you imagine how hard it would be to live up to your big sister, who’s a tiger-shifter and head of one of crack teams within Redclaw, when you’re ‘only’ a cat shifter and a forest ranger? Bridget is going to learn not to compare herself to her sister, and find love along the way.

Ask any author, and they’ll tell you writing is hard work. I like to have a cup of tea on hand before I start my working day. Do you have any rituals to get you in the mood to write, and what is your favorite time of the day to add to your word count?

My favorite time to write is in the morning, but that rarely happens. I hit the ground running and am at work by 7:30 am each day, often putting in ten to twelve hours. I like the idea of rituals, but mostly I’m sneaking writing in here and there, in between other things. My idea of heaven is a weekend in a cabin, where I take the dogs for long walks in the woods (the best time to brainstorm!) and write all afternoon and evening.

I understand you have a free story called Snowfall, which is part of the Redclaw Security series. How do readers get their hands on this and does it standalone?

Oh, that’s easy! You can sign up for my newsletter and get Snowfall for free when you do so. It’s a short story set in the Redclaw universe, but I love Paige and Nicholas so much I’m planning to give them their own full length story someday! And yes, like all the Redclaw Security books, it can be read as a standalone. The Bishop and Knight books, as well as the Better off Dead stories, will be more traditional series.

Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/c8GDYX

What is the best place for readers to learn more about you and your upcoming releases?

The best place is to follow my blog—I tend to post about once a week with snippets about life on the farm and upcoming plans. I’m far more disciplined about posting there than sending out a newsletter—most of the time those are featuring stories on sale. If you go to the right sidebar on my blog page, you’ll see the subscription box for the website. You might have to scroll down before you see it, especially if you’re on your smartphone.
http://mckennadeanromance.com/blog

Links:
Newsletter
Website
Amazon
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Instagram
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Snowfall by McKenna Dean Snowfall (A Redclaw Security Universe story)

The storm of the century. That’s what the forecasters called it. No problem. Peyton Grant was ready: books, food, wine, and a wood stove. The only thing she could have wished for was a little company. With heavy snow on the way, that was unlikely.

The last thing she expected was to run into celebrity, Nicholas Lang, stuck in a ditch near her house. What could a small-town veterinarian and a movie star have in common? The answer just might make all Peyton’s fantasies come true.

Get Snowfall, free at Amazon

Other books in the Redclaw Security series:
1. The Panther’s Lost Princess
2. Ghost of a Chance

Monday, May 27th, 2019
Background Research: Meet the Alpaca

Background Research Alpaca

Love at first sight. That was me and the alpaca. “If we ever purchase land, we’re getting alpacas,” I told my husband.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I still don’t have any alpacas. Some of my characters, however, do own alpacas.

Facts about farming alpacas:

1. They’re closely related to the llama, although they’re not as large.

Alpaca at Sydney Royal Show

2. They are grazers. While they can survive in harsh conditions, they do better with quality pasture or hay.

3. Fencing suitable for sheep works for alpacas. While they don’t tend to jump, if they’re stressed by for example a dog, they’re very capable of leaping over a fence.

4. They should have trees for shade.

5. They require fresh drinking water.

6. Shearing takes place once a year, usually during the spring.

7. Most alpacas are shorn while lying down. They are shorn on one side and turned over to complete the shearing.

8. Alpaca fleece is soft and durable and highly prized.

9. Alpacas come in many colors—white, fawn, brown, gray and black. Their color does not usually change as they age.

10. They are usually fairly disease free.

11. They make good pets although they don’t generally enjoy being held, especially on the head.

Chocolate Brown Alpaca

12. Alpacas do not usually bite or kick, but it can depend on the individual animal.

13. They do, however, spit. The spit is regurgitated or recently chewed grass, and it’s normally stinky.

14. Alpacas are herd animals and do better with company. They can be run with sheep or goats, but they prefer other alpacas for company.

15. Gestation is 11.5 months. The cria is around 6 – 8 kilograms at birth and stay with their mother for around 5 – 6 months.

16. They seldom have twins.

17. High quality breeding alpaca can be very expensive.

Alpaca

Stranded With EllaDillon Williams from Stranded with Ella farms alpacas. Ella, the heroine of Stranded with Ella is learning to spin. She wants to spin alpaca fleece rather than sheep’s wool.

Stranded with Ella is book 4 in the Military Men series, and can be read as a stand-alone.

Sunday, May 19th, 2019
Background Research: Black Moon Dragon, a paranormal romance

Black Moon Dragon, my New Zealand-set romance, contains dragons or taniwha. In this particular book, I’ve used more Maori mythology than usual and terms that are perhaps unfamiliar to those who live outside New Zealand. I’ve solved this by including a glossary with links to a Maori online dictionary for those who’d enjoy hearing the proper pronunciation.

One scene in the book contains a powhiri, which is the ceremony performed to welcome visitors onto a marae. A marae is a meeting place. Sometimes the collection of buildings around a courtyard where the meetings take place are also defined as a marae.

This video below describes a powhiri and it is an excellent depiction of what a visitor might expect when they visit a marae.

Black Moon DragonBlack Moon Dragon is the third book in the Dragon Investigators series. It is due out on 21 May.

Her life has taken a turn to Crazy Town. She has caught a weird disease. Now, this scary big dude is offering help. There’s trouble here somewhere, right?

Available wide. Get your copy here: https://books2read.com/u/38xWa6

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
Hobbiton, Part Two

This is a continuation of my post about my visit to Hobbiton in Matamata. Part one is here.

Pheasant in the Vegetable Garden

I was busy taking photos of Hobbit holes and my surroundings and saw something moving. It took me a moment to realize the pheasant was real and it was busy feasting on the vegetables.

The Frog Pond

This is the frog pond. During filming the frogs made it challenging to hear the actors. Sir Peter Jackson paid someone to catch all the frogs and relocate them elsewhere so filming could continue without issue. The frogs found their way back…

The fake tree

This tree, which grows above Bilbo Baggin’s home in Bagshot Row is the only fake tree. All the rest are real. A few days before filming Peter Jackson visited the site and decided the tree’s leaves had faded to the wrong color. A man spent two days spraypainting each leaf. The trees are resprayed every few years.

Bilbo Baggin's Home

Bilbo Baggins is one of the more prosperous hobbits. We know this because his home has lots of windows, and Hobbits are taxed by the number of windows in a dwelling.

Shelley and the Hobbit Hole

There are two different sizes of Hobbit holes. I think the guide said they were 60 and 90 respectively. The Hobbit characters were filmed in front of the large doors, and the tall characters such as Gandalf were filmed in front of the small doors. I’m standing in front of a small door.

Each of the Hobbit holes is empty inside since the interior shots were all filmed at studios in Wellington.

Green Dragon Inn

This is the view of the Mill and the Green Dragon Inn. We walked across the bridge to the Green Dragon and finished our tour with a drink.

Drinks at the Green Dragon Inn

The drinks are all brewed especially for Hobbiton. I tried the apple cider, which was delicious.

If you’re ever near Matamata, I recommend a visit to Hobbiton. It’s pure fun and whimsey, and I loved every moment of my visit.