9:51 AM

In the Author Spotlight and Contest

Sylvia Shults

Contest: Two of the heroines in Timeless Embrace get to meet men from other eras. (They also get down and dirty with these guys, which is fun all around.) Tell me, in about 150 words, whom you’d like to meet from history. Doesn’t have to be a “historical” personage, just someone you’d find interesting. And if you want to get freaky with whomever, tell me that too! The winner will get a free copy of Timeless Embrace, to further their historical fantasies, plus whatever other goodies I feel like tossing into the mailing envelope. Oh, and put your email address so I can contact you for your snail mail info.

AL: Hi Sylvia! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Sylvia: Thanks so much for inviting me!

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Sylvia: Oh my. It’s spring – well, summer, practically, since spring went by so fast – so when I’m not writing, I’m out in the Great Outdoors. I love wild-food foraging, and I try to familiarize myself with several new plants each year. This year I discovered cleavers, milkweed, and black locust, and I’m going to try to work with mallow, too. Cleavers, I’ve found, is a massive pain in the butt. It’s got alllll these itty-bitty spines on it that make it clingy and stickery. I’d rather pick stinging nettles for half an hour than cleavers for five minutes. And milkweed shoots, I’ve found out, are utterly delicious. They’ve got a very mild green flavor, milder than green beans. Oh man, they’re tasty! And black locust blossoms have a scent that’s downright seductive. The season for the blooms is about over, but for the past two weeks, I’ve been really enjoying the ride to work. The route between my house and work is practically lined with black locust trees, and on a motorcycle, you can really just get knocked out by that intoxicating fragrance. I really have had to fight to keep from just closing my eyes and getting lost in sweetness – unfortunately, that’s a bad idea on a bike.

AL: What current or upcoming releases do you have for us to read?

Sylvia: I’d like to tell people about my romance trilogy, Timeless Embrace. It’s a collection of three novellas that all center around the three ancient cultures -- Egypt, Greece, and Rome. When I first had the idea for the Egypt story (“What You Wish For”), I was absolutely convinced that it was going to turn out to be a horror story. After all, it’s about an Egyptian mummy that comes to life. Horror, right? Well…actually, it turned itself into a romance – a fun, funny, light-hearted little romance. And then the next two stories kind of followed from there. I’ve had such fun writing these three stories, and I hope my readers enjoy them just as much.

AL: Are you a writer only, or do you do other activities outside of writing?

Sylvia: Ann, I have got so much going on besides writing…I love to garden. I think I’d wither up and blow away if I didn’t have a garden to play around in. I bake my own bread, and I love futzing around in the kitchen. I make wines and cordials, and when I have time (hah!), I like making cheese. I mentioned the wild-food foraging – I like learning about edible and medicinal plants. I just recently started soaking some herbs in oil to make healing ointments. I’ve got plantain and dandelion oils working, which will get melted with beeswax to make lovely healthy skin salves. I do canning, I make jams and syrups, I make bath salts and bath bombs and lotions, I’m a voracious reader…a while ago, I came across a quote by one of my favorite writers, James Lileks. In his blog he said something about how he doesn’t fear death, because he’s reasonably sure he’ll be doing something else at the time. That is SO me.

AL: You not only like to dabble in writing romance, but horror as well? Is it difficult writing two completely different genres, or does it help keep all ideas fresh?

Sylvia: Honestly, I love the freedom that working in two genres gives me. I’ve always been a fan of horror fiction, so that’s what I started out writing. Then when I started writing romance, of course I began reading more romance too. I don’t do straight romance (either reading or writing) – it’s got to have a twist, like supernatural romance, and it helps if it’s funny, because life’s funny.

As for working in both genres, I guess I’m very lucky to be as disciplined as I am. With all I’ve got going on in my life, I do NOT have time for writer’s block. So when I sit down to work on a horror project, that’s what I do, my mind is focused on a horror story. Same with the romance. A couple of summers ago, I had the exhilarating experience of working on two novellas, one horror, one romance, each with a deadline. I wanted to finish both of these projects. I HAD to finish both of them. And I had a grand time doing it!

AL: What do you hope for your writing career in the next few years? Any goals that you have yet to obtain that you have set for yourself?

Sylvia: YES. I’ve got a list going, of projects that are going to be popping up in the next year or so. Right now I’m working on a romance novella about Greek mythology – that’s the first project. Also, a publisher in Iowa contacted me last year about doing a book for a series of ghost stories. So, I’m currently working on Ghosts of the Illinois River. I’m having an absolute BLAST, you have no idea. I’ve been a sucker for ghost stories ever since I was a little kid, and doing the research for this book just lets me wallow in ghosts! I actually got to go to several of the sites I’m writing about, and I have had a couple of encounters with Norman, the ghost at the Peoria Player’s Theater. He’s a real character; I just love him. Then I’m also planning another romance novel about witches…the list just goes on.

There is one goal that’s coming up pretty soon…I’ve got a horror novel coming out in October, called Borrowed Flesh. It’s about the Catholic Church, demonic doppelgangers, and a kidnapped little girl. Right now I’m collecting blurbs from fellow authors (and they’re all really grooving on the book, so I’m very happy). I’ve asked one of my idols, Tamara Thorne, to do a blurb, because it would just make my YEAR to know that she read one of my books and liked it enough to write a blurb for it. So yeah, that’s my immediate goal – to get a blurb from her.

AL: Now let’s get personal! J Summer is upon us! What is your favorite part about the season?

Sylvia: Heat! I love love love being outside in the summer. On days off, I just live in shorts. And I like at least the illusion of things slowing down, of summer vacation, even though I’m still working full-time.

AL: If you had to go live on an island for six months, which three things would you HAVE to take with you?

Sylvia: My husband. I couldn’t live without him for six months. A BIG stack of books. And fruit dip, like my grandmother-in-law used to make. I’m assuming there’s going to be fruit on this island, right? Right? (And I’d have to smuggle my dog Eureka in too, because I’m over three things. But I’m just nuts for this dog. I couldn’t leave her for six months either.)

AL: It’s raining cats and dogs in your house. Have you always been a pet lover?

Sylvia: Always. I was horse-crazy as a little girl, learned to ride when I was three. I’ve never had the pleasure of actually owning a horse, but I love them. Cats are okay, especially when you get two or three of them together. They’ve got such personalities! But I am a complete fool when it comes to dogs. I have cats, but I am such a dog person. My two dogs are my girls, my babies. Kirby is the smart one. She’s sort of the house dog. Eureka is not very bright, but she’s so sweet. She’s definitely Mommy’s Girl. I’ve had other pets over the years, bunnies, pet rats, even a miniature short-tailed opossum, but I will always have dogs.

AL: If you were a world ruler and you were given a choice of 3 laws to enact, what would they be?

Sylvia: 1) Take care of yourselves, as much as you can. If you can exercise, great. If you can’t, just get outside and sit in the fresh air once in a while. Don’t just sit in front of the tube. And try to eat healthy.
2) There’s a test you have to take before you can drive a car or ride a motorcycle. There should also be a test you take before having children. I’m just sayin’.
3) And for heaven’s sake, be nice to each other!

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Sylvia: Ooh, I’ve got a couple of good ones.
“Writing for him who knows it is better than all other professions. It pleases more than bread and beer, more than clothing and ointment. It is worth more than an inheritance in Egypt, than a tomb in the west.” – from The Instructions of Dua-Khety, Egypt, Middle Kingdom (2055 – 1650 BC)

“Genius flames and dies, but amiable competence can live forever.” – James Lileks

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Sylvia.

Sylvia: It was absolutely my pleasure, Ann, thank you.

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Sylvia, please visit:


Romance is timeless, love is eternal. Come experience love through the eyes of three ancient cultures in this trilogy of novellas from the imagination of Sylvia Shults. Let yourself be lost in a Timeless Embrace.

What You Wish For: Egyptian prince Ankh-Kheperu had been dead for centuries, until museum curator Emily Chase coaxes him back to life with the help of text from Ancient Egypt’s The Book of The Dead. What kind of girl could say no to being seduced by a dark, handsome, exotic Egyptian prince?

Love 101: Someone is stealing ancient Greek artifacts. When sexy detective Tony Saals signs up for professer Becca Hellenga’s art history class, he thinks that he’ll learn something that will help him catch his man. But Becca is about to catch a man of her own!
Through a Glass Brightly: When American Angela Woods moves to Europe to pursue a job as a English teacher, she never expected to find herself caught in a ménage a trois with two attentive Italians, both dedicated to pleasuring her to utter writhing fulfillment. The problem? One of them is a ghost!
Ankh-Kheperu had moved closer to me as I was shooing Brenda out the door, and now he was close enough for me to smell him. There was some indescribably spicy scent coming from him. Since he hadn’t showered yet, I could only assume that it was the smell of the unguents the embalming priests had poured over him as they had prepared his body for burial. The thought should have given me the screaming clownies, but I found to my surprise that I was okay with it. Quite possibly, the archaeologist in me was simply intrigued by the scent of ancient ointments.
“I agree,” Ankh-kheperu murmured. He brushed a stray lock of hair from my forehead.

“Agree? Agree with what?” I had completely forgotten what I’d just said. His nearness, his scent, his sheer maleness was driving every coherent thought from my mind.

“There is no need for me to put any clothes on.” He took my hand and turned it over, kissing the tender inside of my wrist. “However, there is every need to get you out of the clothes you’re wearing.”

Hoo boy. All of a sudden I was finding it very hard to breathe properly. My breath was coming in shallow little gasps as he nibbled his way up my hand. Ever so gently, he took my index finger into his mouth, first laving it with his tongue, then grazing it with tiny little nips of his teeth. A whimper escaped my closed lips. Oh, he felt sooo good!

Now there’s something you have to understand about me, if you haven’t figured it out already. I am so not into one night stands. I’ve dated, sure, but I have never brought a guy home from a bar somewhere (or from a museum, for that matter) and made wild, crazy, passionate love to him all night long, pausing only long enough for some hot quasi-sexual snacking on the kitchen floor in front of the fridge. Unfortunately, that has never been my style.

But there was something about Ankh-Kheperu that drew me to him. I mentioned before that I had felt a connection with him that went far beyond the merely sexual. In fact, there was nothing remotely sexual about it – he was still a mummy at that point, for crying out loud.

When I had made that recording, he had been on my mind. When I gave tours to groups of giggling, wide eyed schoolchildren, I saw him in his case. When I wrote up my yearly reports on the status of the Egyptian exhibit, he was in my thoughts. Ever since I had started working in that museum in high school years ago, Ankh-Kheperu had been a part of my life. Heck, for all I knew, we had been lovers in ancient Egypt in a previous life together. Don’t laugh too hard. It’s happened before. I don’t doubt that for a moment.

One thing was for absolute sure. It had been my voice on the recording, saying his name over and over through the hours for months, even years on end, saying his name with respect and maybe even with a little bit of love, that had brought this man back to life. That had to count for something.
Maybe we were destined to be together.


Anonymous said...

I would like to met King Kamehameha I the first king of Hawaii. I wouldn't mind spending time with him!

Chris R

Christine S. Morehouse said...

Anybody who knows me knows I have the worse crush on British actor Rufus Sewell. My crush is so bad that I can't even watch his work without blushing.

One night with Rufus would consist of a bunch of chocalate and a whole LOT of creativity!

Happy Reading!


Caffey said...

So nice to meet you Sylvia! I didn't know of this book and so going to change that now! Wow. I do love time travels and historicals! Love your interview. I don't have dogs (I'm afraid of big ones) but love having my cats and wouldn't know what to do without them! They're like having babies forever, but the easy kind, LOL.

There's not enough out there with Greek mythology so I'll be watching for those too. I discovered so much more genres to read with ebooks, fantasy, paranormal and so much! Thanks for the peek into this book!

I'd really love to visit Mr. Darcy. This would be before he met Elizabeth (I'm a good girl) (Couldn't find and angel icon to use here). LOL

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Sylvia, thanks for the interesting blog and excerpts! I love your paranormal twists. Although I write real-world Western historicals, my fantasy is getting whisked back to come hottie lord's castle about 1215 a.d. Go figure.

Best wishes with your writing,

Kat Hall said...

Loved reading your interview. I love animals, especially dogs.

I would like to go back to the early 1900's when one of my dad's sisters ran away from home and was never heard from again. Her grandchildren have recently found me and we are trying to put pieces together as they have found out that their grandmother and grandfather told many lies. To go back in time and get so many answers would be fantastic.

Ann Lory said...

Wow Kat. Best wishes on on finding out about the past.


Anita Yancey said...

I would like to meet Daniel Boone. He was quite a legend, and I'm sure quite sexy in his coon skin cap. Loved the interview.


Anonymous said...

Ann and Sylvia,

Loved your interview. I had not heard of your book before the inteview Sylvia, but it sounds like it is going to be a wonderful read and has went on my wishlist.

I love animals also. I have two dogs, an 11 yr old miniature Pikingnese, and a 2 yr old miniature poodle.

If I could travel in time I would like to visit the mideval or regency time period.

Anonymous said...