In the Author Spotlight
Contest: For those of you who post, Laura will enter your name into a drawing for a free download of, 'Someone to Watch Over Me'. Please enjoy Laura's interview, blurb and excerpt, and don't forget to post for a chance to win!
LS: I’m delighted, Ann. I’m excited about participating in this interview and giving your readers a glimpse of my world. *g*
AL: Tell us what’s happening with you?
LS: Much! I’m actively involved in my church and family life. I have an awesome hubby who supports my work and two boys who are turning me gray, though I love them dearly. I’m making new friends and hubby and I are losing weight together and getting fit! We’ve each lost about thirty pounds and we’re getting stronger from taking daily walks. If it’s nice outside, a walk right before sunset is the way to go! You’d be amazed at how wonderful it makes you feel.
AL: Do you have any current or upcoming releases you’d like to fill us in on?
LS: I have high expectations on a two-book proposal I’ve sent off to Class Act Books. Since I design my own book covers that is one less step toward publication. Both covers have been approved by the publisher. Recently released in to print are “Someone To Watch Over Me” (the first in my Angels of the Realm series) and “NIGHTLIFE Anthology” (two vampire short stories) at Writer’s Exchange E-Publishing. Their bookstore is at Reader’s Eden (http://www.readerseden.com/). I also have to mention that “NIGHTLIFE Anthology” was recently in the top ten finishers during the P&E Poll for 2008. It won in the Artwork category, and I’m proud to say I designed that cover. I also designed the cover for “Someone To Watch Over Me” and it tied at eleventh place. Woo-hoo! LOL I’m very excited. My cover designs are really taking off and most can be seen at either Reader’s Eden or Class Act Books. You can also view my cover designs on my “My Books” page at my site: http://www.laurashinn.com/ Give the page about two minutes to load since most of that page consists of cover designs.
AL: Tell us what you’re working on.
LS: I have several things in the works, though I’m still typing. Other than the two-book proposal, I have a trilogy about twins that I’ve outlined briefly and would like to see finished in the near future. I’ve also begun a psychological thriller, something new for me. Once my two-book series is published, I have two sequels waiting to be finished: Angels of the Realm series, Book 2: Someone To Guide My Way; and The Men of Wellington, Texas series, Book 2: Nothin’ But Trouble. I’m looking forward to finishing both of those as well. My angel series will have a third novel, but the Texas series may end with book 2. We’ll have to see about those possibilities… *g*
AL: You’re the heroine of your book, why do you fall in love with the hero?
LS: For purely romantic reasons. *g* All of my novels are mixed genre, one of which is Romance. The heroine falls in love with her hero because they are chosen for each other, destined to be mated. And my heroes and heroines come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities and personalities. If they didn’t, the story wouldn’t be interesting at all, would it?
AL: If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
LS: LOL Now, that’s a dangerous question and could get me in a lot of trouble with my muse if I don’t answer it correctly. My muse is an inspiring spirit who comforts me when my well of inspiration has gone dry and crowds my mind and emotions with potential ideas the rest of the time. I think of my muse as a sort of mother figure who pops my butt when I’m being lazy and claps with glee when I’ve finished an awesome scene. I also think my muse grows with me, learning as I learn and providing me with ideas as I type. What secrets would she tell? If she knows what’s good for her, she won’t divulge a single one… LOL
AL: If you could go anywhere in the world and write to your hearts delight, where would you go, what would your story be about and what is the title?
LS: Oh my goodness, that is difficult! I’d have to bring my family, of course. But if they’d allow me to choose the destination, it would be the Bahamas, hands down. I’d be sitting in an actually comfortable fold-up chair in the sand with a large umbrella above me and my laptop sitting squarely on my thighs with the incredible sound of the ocean penetrating my ears and calming my mind. While the kids and hubby play in the sand or ocean (about half a mile down…I have to concentrate, you know…) I’ll be writing my next novel or series, designing the cover during my down-time, just as a relaxing exercise. *g* The plot and title would be… Wait a minute. I can’t tell you until I actually get to the Bahamas. LOL Until then, only my muse knows for certain. *sneaky smile* Makes you wonder what’s in the creative noodle, doesn’t it? I can tell you it would have romance, action, danger, a possible nemesis who makes Michael Myers look like the boy next door…and a hero who is everything the heroine wants in a man, even if they clash from time to time. Love is perfect, even if our hero and heroine are not. Love would be the perfection that binds them together and enables their love to grow over the years. Hmm, now you have me wondering how much it would cost to fly to the Bahamas… LOL
AL: Best movie you've seen recently?
LS: That’s difficult since I love a hoard of various types of movies. Recently my family and I saw Paul Blart: Mall Cop (which was absolutely hilarious and surprisingly touching); Twilight (wonderful movie, eagerly awaiting the sequel); Jumper (of the many paranormal films available today, this one really delivered); Ironman (one of the best films I’ve seen in a very long time); and – don’t laugh – Horton Hears a Who! (everyone is special, no matter how small *g*). I’m hoping to go see Bedtime Stories very soon. As for later in 2009, I’m desperately waiting for Star Trek to come out in early May & Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince during the summer. I think the kids want to see the Dragonball movie and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen sequel. The previews looked good, so I’ll probably be joining them.
AL: What's your favorite music?
LS: Everything except Opera & hard metal rock. I love nearly every type of music, and I love to sing to it. Musicals are some of my favorite movies from the past. If I had to pick my favorite music from a musical, though, it would probably be The Sound of Music. South Pacific & Oklahoma run very close in second place. *g* I’m so happy to see the High School Musical movies come out as well. It’s good to see that kids today can appreciate awesome music in a movie/musical format.
AL: What’s your favorite comfort food?
LS: Here’s what’s strange… It used to be chocolate. Lately, though, when I need a comfort food I eat peanut butter (with nuts), right out of the jar with a spoon. My kids love it and think it’s cool. “Look! Mom’s eating like us!” LOL
AL: Share a favorite quote with us.
LS: Here are a few of my favorites…
-Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
-To err is human; to forgive, divine.
-Less is more & simplicity is always key.
Laura's Featured Title is: 'Someone to Watch Over Me' - Angels of the Realm Series, which is available now.
Author, Laura Shinn will take you on a journey where heavenly creatures of an unseen realm battle for the protection and happiness of mortals. Two worlds collide and an angel must make the most important decision of his existence. The wrong decision will end in his destruction.
Deep within the forest, David -- a Guardian -- watches over a hunted child and her mother. David has battled, protected and encouraged human authorities for centuries as an Avenging Angel, since the dawn of Earth's creation. But now he faces a new challenge...and a new problem. How does an Avenging Angel under new assignment become a Guardian, and how should he cope with his growing feelings for Sarah, the child's mother?
Time has run out and a hitman is on their trail. Forced to run, they must find the evidence to protect Nicole before a ruthless killer finds them. Determined to win Sarah's heart and still maintain his heavenly status, David accompanies them on their quest. Will the Lord allow David, Sarah and Nicole to be a family...a mortal one?
Outside, within the realm of supernatural creatures, David hovered easily, ever watchful over Nicole. He wasn't visible. He didn't need to be. The man, Louis, was a good protector. And Nicole, under his kind attention, was progressing at a normal rate. She smiled often and spoke several times a day. He was pleased with her recovery. She deserved so much happiness.
David turned his head in time to see Sarah in the kitchen window. His eyes followed her retreating back as she turned away. How he wished he could see beyond the cabin's walls as easily as he passed through them. Even angels had limitations.
Though Sarah was human and needed human contact and love, David's heart ached nonetheless when he remembered the sweet embrace Sarah had shared with Louis. He wished for one brief moment in time to be human as well. A man with a soul. A man with something to offer his mate. Then it would be possible for him to share Sarah's life, experience her love and return it with all his heart.
However, such was not the case. Nor could it ever be.
David looked up towards the Heavens, recognizing the Lord's voice inside his head. Immediately, he knelt on one knee. The Lord's words filtered down to him in the instant that He spoke.
Prepare for battle. Evil comes with the dawn.
David lowered his head in confirmation and understanding. Earthly evil didn't exist on its own. It was conceived and carried out from the minds and will of Satan's minions. Before the evil men arrived, there would first be a battle in the air. Only the victor there would find victory later at the cabin. He had every intention of being the victor.
Because it was imperative that Nicole listen and obey, David appeared before the child and spoke calmly, but with authority.
"Go inside. Stay there with your mother and protectors. Leave for no reason until I return. Do this now."
"Yes, I will," Nicole answered, entirely too serious for a child her age.
Louis's head popped up from his position on the ground where Nicole had defeated the bad guy...namely himself. She still leaned over him, a wooden stick at his chest: her sword.
Smiling, Louis asked, "Will what, Nicole?"
His humor faded quickly when he noticed that her attention was focused not on him but on the tops of the forest trees above his head. Who was she speaking to?
She never answered. With the speed of the very young, she turned quickly and, like a shot, began running the twenty-five feet toward the cabin.
Alarmed by the drastic change in her behavior, Louis rolled to his feet and pulled his gun from his shoulder holster, following right on her heels. A quick search around them revealed nothing. What had spooked Nicole? To his surprise, she quickly closed and locked the door behind him. She looked as cool as a cucumber. What the devil was going on?
Confused by her actions and lack of fear, he turned and asked breathlessly, "Nicole, are you okay?"
In a charged whisper, she said, "No one can leave the cabin! We all have to stay inside until I say."
Relief washed over him in powerful waves. Quietly, he holstered his gun. A game. All of this was a simple child's game...that had taken about ten years off his life.
Loosely placing his hands on his hips, Louis asked in a mock serious voice, "What if the cabin's on fire? Can we leave then?"
Nicole didn't smile. In fact, the question seemed to alarm her and Louis opened his mouth to put her fears at ease. At that moment Sarah spoke from the kitchen doorway.
"Why should we stay inside, honey?" Sarah wiped the last of the water from her hands on the old dish towel and laid it aside. She knew her daughter too well. Something was wrong.
"Because he told us to."
The adults exchanged a blank look. "Who, Louis?"
Nicole rolled her eyes. Sometimes grownups weren't very smart. "No, Mommy. My Guardian angel."
Sarah looked over to Louis and saw him release a heavy breath and relax. She, however, did not. She knew better, knew that angels truly existed. Throughout time, their deeds were clearly recorded in her worn and well-read Bible.
"Come here, honey." Sarah opened her arms. She wrapped them comfortably around her daughter. "How long has your angel been talking to you?"
"About a week, I guess. Why, Mommy?"
Sarah remembered her frightened daughter's first smile, remembered the slight nod she had believed was for Louis. She remembered all the times Nicole seemed to be speaking to what Sarah had thought was an imaginary friend. Now she wondered if she'd been wrong.
"I was only curious," Sarah reassured her daughter with a gentle hug. "Mommy wanted to thank your angel for taking such good care of us." She swallowed nervously. "Is he in the room right now?"
Nicole's smile vanished and Sarah had her answer.
"No. He told us to stay inside until he returns. Do you think something bad is about to happen?"
That was certainly a loaded question. She couldn't answer her daughter past the lump of fear in her throat. Frightened eyes rose to Louis and he easily read her expression.
"Not if Jimmy and I have anything to say about it," he answered Nicole but kept his gaze steadily on Sarah.
Louis's face changed suddenly at the mention of Jimmy and he quickly left the living room, searching the cabin. He returned a few seconds later and meet Sarah's questioning look. He shook his head. Jimmy was not in the cabin.