Welcome to the seventeenth day of my Almost Heaven West Virginia Blog Bash.

  Reedy Creek, Wirt Co. WV  taken by Bo Wriston.     This is how a WV sunset looks.

Here are some pictures of a sandstorm in Iraq that Denny took.     

Welcome to all my followers and visitors, I am having a month-long celebration in my husbands honor. My husband Denny is retiring from the Navy after serving for 24 years. We are packing up one last time and moving back to his home state of Wild Wonderful West Virginia. Each post will start off with a picture to showcase West Virginia.  Everyday their will be a prize up for grabs and at the end we’ll be giving away some chocolate.

Please follow the rules posted at the end of each post to enter the daily contests and remember you don’t have to subscribe to win but I hope you decide to stick around. Also any post that contain super erotic material will carry the warning label so as not to shock or offend anyone upon opening.

Today is a Super Sunday, tow posts today I hope you like them.  I want to introduce you to one of my favorite authors and a friend Melissa Mayhue.      I recently did a review on Highlander’s Curse you can read it hear http://wp.me/p1HH6W-6g . I first Melissa two years ago as we were both checking in to RomCon, we had been coresponding via email so I was surprised when I turned around and there she was.    Here she is in the Victoian Fashion Show.   I love Melissa and her books so much that I told Denny that he could finally get a tatoo as long as it was the Mark of the Guardian from Melissa’s books.   Bio:

Faced     with telling you all about me, I realized…I’m not very interesting!     So, rather than bore you with useless trivia about my life, [I was an only child, born and raised in Texas], I’ll share the     story of how I came to be a writer.

First and foremost, I am a reader. Some of my     best memories are of my mother taking me to the local library     every week during the summer to check out armloads of books. I     could hardly wait to get home, dive into the stories, and get     lost in a whole new, wonderful world. My prized possession as     a girl was an entire shelf of Nancy Drew Mysteries. I adored Nancy     Drew.

My first experience with     writing a book came at age 13. I developed a fascination with     genealogy and, after spending time visiting older relatives     to gather information, I found I had all sorts of wonderful     family stories. What on earth could I do with all those [mostly     false] tales? Why, I’d write a sweeping, 600+ page novel of     course! A tale of life through several generations, spanning     two centuries. It would be fantastic.

Armed with purpose and     enthusiasm, I sat down at my big typewriter, [yes, I’m dating     myself…typewriter, not keyboard], and began Page One. Hours     later I had almost completed two whole pages. [double spaced,     of course]. Hmmmmm… An entire day and I had barely two pages     to show for it? [rather boring pages, at that].

Maybe I wasn’t cut out     to be an author after all.

In spite of my writing     setback, I retained my passion for books. I simply concentrated     on reading other people’s books. Lots of books. All kinds of     books. Until I discovered Romance. Finally, a world I could     escape to where I knew I’d always find a happy ending! I devoured     them, literally reading hundreds.

Years passed before the     writing bug seriously bit again. I was working in downtown Denver     and, as so many writers advised, every lunch hour I took my     pad and pen [actually, I preferred a pencil] and headed for     my favorite coffee shop to spend my 50 minutes writing.

Unfortunately, my favorite     coffee shop was in a book store. Invariably, I’d end up writing     nothing. There were too many fascinating people to watch, too     many interesting conversations to hear and then, of course,     there were all the books to distract me.

Still, I had these two     characters living in my head, wanting their story told…

Then came the summer we     took our second family vacation to Scotland. On the Black Isle     [ which isn’t black or even an isle ], near the pretty little     town of Rosemarkie, we parked our rented car and hiked back     into a magically beautiful placed called Fairy Glen. Resting     on a large rock at the edge of a waterfall and pool, lulled     by the lush nature of the setting, I suddenly realized THIS     was the place for Cate and Connor. For the remainder of that     trip, I’d catch glimpses of them, in a castle, standing at the     foot of a crumbling staircase, or riding through a highland     meadow.

Once I finally sat down     at my keyboard and decided the time had come to give those two     life, I found, amazingly enough, they weren’t the only characters     running around in my head. There were a bunch of them… all     clamoring for their own turn!

My GOAL, as a writer, is     to give each of those noisy characters a life in their own story.

My HOPE, as a writer, is     that you’ll enjoy reading their stories as much as I enjoy writing     them!

If you’ve read my review you know how much I love Melissa’s writting and how she makes each book seem like it was written just for you. Here is her cover art for her Daughters of the Glen Series.

                                                     

   And her newest release Warrior’s Redemption   is her first cover with  that has a man on it.  See the new mark his chest….yep pretty soon Denny will have one of those too. It’s a Viking symbol of protection.

So lets read a bit about a Warrior’s Redemption.

Will the magic of modern romance help him defeat an evil ancient   power?
MALCOLM MACDOWYLT sees himself a failed warrior, haunted by the death of   the woman he married to become laird of Clan MacGahan.  Neither his Viking   heritage nor his claim to descend from Norse gods can restore his confidence in   his ability to protect his people.  His sister is held captive, her life in   jeopardy, and his Magically powerful half brother wants him dead.  The last   thing he needs is more responsibility, but that’s exactly what he gets when his   Faerie mother-in-law arrives seeking justice for her daughter in the form of an   enticing woman from seven hundred years in the future.
DANIELLE DEARMON has waited fifteen years to discover the life she is   supposed to live.  She just never dreamed she’d end up in the thirteenth century   with a handsome Scot bent on saving everyone but himself.
With the lives of those most dear to him hanging in the balance, Malcolm   sets out to battle a powerful evil Magic, only to learn that the redemption he   seeks exists only in the arms of the woman he loves.
Sounds like a winner Melissa can’t wait to read it.

Ok so let’s hear what Melissa has to say to my questions.

Z:  Did  you choose your gendre or did it choose you?

M:  I  suppose I’d have to say it chose me. I  write what I love to read. I won’t waste  my time on reading a book without a Happy Ever After, so that pretty much  directed me into Romance. I also love a  good fantasy to send my imagination wandering, which led me to Paranormal. And what could be better than a handsome  Highlander to protect and cherish you?So, yeah. Writing what I do is a  given. J

Z:  What  is your favorite comfort food?

M:  Potatoes. Definitely.I love a good baked potato with all the fixin’s, though, if I’m really  down, I’m more likely to dredge up a typical meal from my childhood, with fried  potatoes and chicken fried steak. Is it  any wonder, really, that I struggle with my weight??? J

Z: I like fried potatoes too.

Z:  Do you have a comfort read? Tell us about it.

M:Anything  with a Happy Ever After. I’m not usually  one to re-read a book, but that’s mainly because I have so little time to read  and SO many books in my TBR pile!

Z:  Were  you a bookworm growing up?

M:  Absolutely,  I was a bookworm growing up. As an only  child, my books and my Barbies were my favorite companions.

Z:  Who  did you read?

M:  I  read everything. Voraciously. From the earliest readers in school [Jane and  Dick and Spot] , I went on to discover enduring favorites like Pippi  Longstocking and then Nancy Drew. From  there I graduated to Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. [Loved Stewart’s Moonspinners!]. Around the time I was thirteen, I decided I  was old enough to plow my way through the classics and I spent my summer reading  the likes of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind and Somerset Maugham’s The  Razor’s Edge. All of which confirmed for me the necessity of a Happy Ever After  if I really wanted to enjoy the time I put into reading. Then, after all the  literature classes I took in college [where I was convinced they assigned every  depressing book they could find!] I made up my mind that I would never spend my  precious time reading another book I didn’t enjoy.

Z:  I enjoyed Dick and Jane, Pippi and Nancy.

Z:  What is something that scares the heck out of you?

M:  Spiders. Stupid, I know, but they freak me out. J Though I have to admit, since I realized the  vacuum makes a wonderful Spider-Fighting Weapon, I seem to be developing a  backbone where they’re concerned.

Z: If  you could go on the Ultimate Vaca where would you go and who or what would go  with you?

M:  I’d  head back to Scotland for an extended visit, with a few days in Ireland and then  swing down to explore Stonehenge. As to  who I’d take, well, I’d have to take my husband.He’s my favorite traveling companion. [Even after all these years, the  man still makes me laugh!] I’d also love  to take my two younger sons and their wives.Took my oldest son and his wife the last time I went and though all my  sons have been, I’d love to show my favorite places to my lovely  daughters-in-law.

Z:  Who  are some of your favorite authors?

M:  Wow. I don’t know if your blog page is long enough  for the whole list! J To name just a few… Lynn Kurland, Karen Marie Moning, Christina  Skye, Charlaine Harris, Janet Chapman, Christina Dodd… there are so many  wonderful authors and fantastic stories out there, really, it’s hard to think of  them all. Oh! I’m reading a brand new author right now, L.L.  Muir, [a time travel – Going Back for Romeo] and though I’m only on chapter four  of her first book, I’m totally enjoying it.

Z:  Research?  How do you prefer to do it; plane/train/automobile, laptop or  library?

M:  All  of the above. First off, let me admit that I’m a  confirmed research geek and get that out of the way. I can spend HOURS hunting  for one tiny fact to make sure it fits in the story. I enjoy writing  about places I’ve been and seen [makes description SO much easier]. But I also spend lots of time with research  books and Google. It’s amazing how often  in searching for one thing, I bump into something else that sends me on an  entirely different tangent. [That’s the  magic part of writing, to me].

Z:  Do  you attend conferences?

M:Yes,  I do try to attend a few every year.

Z: If  so where can we “stalk” I mean go to find you and which is your favorite to  attend?

  M:  One  of my favorites is RomCon in Denver every summer. First off, it’s close enough I can drive, so  I’m not limited on how much ‘stuff’ I can drag along with me! More important, it’s been very reader-focused  and has allowed me the opportunity to spend time with my readers… just visiting  and getting to know them.

Z:What  do you like to drink, nibble on or listen to while you write?

M:  Drink: Sweet Iced Tea. My absolute all-time favorite. [Another hangover from my childhood in Texas].     

Listen  To: Lots of Celtic instrumentals. [No vocals – I can’t concentrate on MY story  if I’m listening to the story in a song].For battle scenes, the absolute best are my Albannach cds. [You can hear a clip for yourself at http://www.albannachmusic.com/music/]     

 Nibble  on: Cheese and crackers, chocolate, nuts [pecans and cashews are my  favorites]

Z:  Do you have kids?

M:  Yes.

Z:  If  so are they toddlers, school age, teens, college bound or “Hey Mom, I’m home  again! or are you an empty nester?

M:  I  have three grown sons, each married, and two of which [as of last year] have  sons of their own. I am, by the way,  finding that being Nana is much more fun [and much less work!] than being  Mama. J

Z:  If you could have one of your books or series to be made into a movie which  would it be and who do you see staring in it?

M:Tough  question. I’d love to see any of them  made into a movie [or would I?hmmm…] I’m not sure I can cast  them, though. Since I “see” my characters  as I write them, it’s difficult to imagine any other faces on them than the ones  already in my imagination. Oh… I know  one. I could totally see Gerard Butler as  Robbie MacQuarrie in A Highlander’s Homecoming.         Just couldn’t help making the picture of Gerard in a kilt BIG.

Z:  Favorite TV shows?

M:  Justified [love that accent]; Thirty Rock [they always  make me laugh and the one-liners are so quick, and so clever, I really have to  pay attention!]; Almost any space thing  on Discovery or Science Channel – I especially enjoy the Wonders Of… episodes  with Professor Brian Cox. [Think maybe  it’s the accent???] J

Z:  To finish off, describe your self in 5 words.

 M: Wife,  mother, grandmother, author, happy.

If you want to check Melissa out go here to her website, Denny’s picture is on her extras page.  http://melissamayhue.com/index.html

Since today is my #6- Zinnia’s b-day I’m going to give someone a copy of Melissa’s newest book Warrior’s Redemption and someone else a copy of Thirty Nights With A Highland Husband.

Sorry for any misspelled words, my spell check is out. I also have a migaine so off to bed I go.

Z Seawitch

Rules:

1. You must leave a meaningful comment, something more than Hi, Hello, or Great Post.   Ask a question, squee like a fan girl or whatever you want as long as it’s appropriate.

2. Every comment counts so chat away. Please include your email in your comment.

3. Winners will be drawn 3 days after each post and a master list will be posted on Feb 17th. You will have until Feb 29th to email me at SeawitchReviews @ yahoo (dot) com. I will also send an email to each winner but if I don’t hear from you by the 29th a new winner will be drawn.

Z Seawitch

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