Monday, January 9

Guest Post & Giveaway: Heather Long


Splinters of Me

First up, thanks to Melissa Schroeder (as well as a very happy, belated birthday to her as well!) for having me as a guest today.  I had planned a blog about my latest release that was unavoidably detained when the publisher decided to shutter its doors last month.  That left me in a bit of a pickle, so I threw the question out there about what people would like to know if they could ask me a question and I received a windfall of so many that I’ll have some great guest blogs in the future (at least that’s the game plan). 

So for today, the question comes from Chandra Ryan on Twitter: 

“Do you ever put little pieces of yourself, or others you know, in your stories?”

I have two answers for this question; the first is I rarely put myself into my stories, because writing is as much an escape for me as I hope reading my stories will be for you.  That said, one of my first novels Prime Evil (not currently available) features heroine Chance Monroe and a lot of Chance’s snarky attitude comes from yours truly.

She will literally say what I am thinking, so that makes writing her both fun and challenging, because just how politically incorrect can I be before it’s intrusive for the reader.  I like to think I have a nice mix.

As for the second answer, well here comes the confession.

Of course, I put people I know in my books.  Life is the most fascinating classroom I’ve ever attended.  I love to sit and watch people whether we are at a conference, a restaurant, a party or just kicking it at Starbuck’s for coffee.  Many a one liner has made the leap from conversation with me to a story I was working on.

I’ve even cast friends in roles, not necessarily their looks, but sometimes their attitudes.  They don’t always stay the same, most times the character grows beyond that initial inspiration, which is as it should be.

Recently I’ve been working on a series of shorts for Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series (by the way, there are some truly wonderful and charming stories in these shorts if you haven’t checked them out).  Anyway, my series of shorts are subtitled Always a Marine and yes, they focus on a lot of Marines and I had so much fun writing these stories.

During a conversation with a friend of mine about them, she mentioned that the services often have fun by making an acronym out of their branch of the service.  Case in point, the Marines are “My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment” - well I couldn’t resist.  In one of my upcoming stories, the hero and heroine are enjoying a night out and get to know you session when she mentions she loves cruises.  His response? “My Ass Rode In enough Navy Equipment.” 

So yes, Chandra, I definitely borrow from real life because that helps me keep it real with my characters.  Fortunately, my life is populated with zany, wonderful people who keep me entertained and maintain a loving tolerance for my penchant of “…oh, I have to write that down…”

Coming Soon

Next month, I have a release coming out from Siren-Bookstrand entitled Cassandra’s Dilemma, the first in the Forbidden Legacy trilogy.  The book was actually inspired by a conversation, but that’s a story for another day.   I thought I would treat any readers who hung around to a sneak peek of that tale.  Be sure to leave your thoughts, I’ve got a ten-dollar Amazon gift card for one lucky commentator.

Excerpt From Cassandra’s Dilemma, February 2012

Cassie faded away from the conversation, divorced from her own body. It was better to not feel the icy burn crawling through her veins. She floated between one moment and the next.
Appropriate since she was Underhill.
“Truce?” Helcyon’s voice whispered along her consciousness like the gentlest of caresses.
“Peace.” The agent’s voice moved closer. “Did it mark her?”
“I see blood. I thought we moved her away before it could.”
“It was there for her.”
“I agree.”
“Why were you there, Elf ?”
“Why were you there, Wizard?”
“My job.”
“Mine as well. Her leg… See the mark—poison in the blood.”
“What the hell was it?”
“It doesn’t matter now. We must get it out. You draw the poison. I will ease the pain.”
Cassie drifted along, listening to their odd conversation. Warm fingers cupped her cheek. The scent of vanilla and soft spices tickled her nose. Opening her eyes took extreme effort, but she managed to drag her eyelids open.
Helcyon’s face was just centimeters from her own. She looked into eyes the color of the deep, green forest. She’d thought his eyes were black, but they were dark, like the woods at night, filled with mystery and promise. The scent of vanilla mingled with pine, loam, and rich earth. She inhaled deeply, sighing at the heady combination. His breath whispered across her face. Her lips parted in anticipation. The soft velvet of his lips rushed across her mouth, capturing the gasp of pain she released as jagged ice and fire ripped through her leg.
The fingers on her cheek caressed away the tears. Her mouth parted under the tentative probing of his tongue. Pain faded away, leaving only the sensations of his lips moving on hers. Languorous heat spread through her body, leaving her limp. She whimpered a soft sound as he pulled away, but his finger stroked across her lips. “Sleep, Cassandra. Sleep.”
Robbed of the effort to fight the compulsion, Cassie slept. Somewhere beyond the thick wraps of satin and silk muffling the world she heard a snort of derision.

About Heather Long

Heather Long is a full time writer, mother, friend and student.  She can often be found at 4 a.m. hiding in her garage with a cup of coffee and a new story idea unfolding on her laptop.  Her Fevered Hearts series launched in October 2011 with Marshal of Hel Dorado and the second book, Brave are the Lonely, will release in March 2012.  You can keep up with these and all of Heather’s upcoming releases via her website, Facebook page and occasionally, Twitter although she swears she’s pretty bad at remembering to Tweet even when she reads them.

18 comments:

daydrmzzz said...

Just finished your Marshal of Hel Dorado and loved it! Now after reading this excerpt I can barely wait to see whats next from you! I love finding new authors ;)

marybelle said...

Great questions & answers. I did enjoy the excerpt thank you.

I wonder if people who provided inspiration recognize themselves at all.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

IdentitySeeker said...

Loved this pot and intriguing excerpt! I think it' impossible to write without adding knowledge gained through personal experience and interactions with the people close to us. Writing requires that we leave a very personal part of ourselves in each piece of work. Best wishes for the new year:)

sarah.setar@gmail.com

Angela Peters said...

I like the excerpt, it's definitely on my to read list and I'll check out your other books too.

angpet76(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

CrystalGB said...

Great excerpt. Cassandra's Dilemma sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway.

Heather Long said...

Thank you daydrmzzz, I am so glad you liked it! Mary, some of them do and a couple I know I told them point blank they were the inspiration and it's always a little nerve wracking for me when they read it. Sarah, thank you and yes, it can be hard not to incorporate those things we love or like or are even a little intrigued by! Angela, thank you! I'm very excited to be sharing this first real look at Cassie, Hels and Jacob. My pleasure Crystal!

And as always, thanks to Mel for having me!

virg_nelson said...

Great blog! I giggled at the Marine comment. Loved the excerpt :)

kog said...

Heather - sorry to hear about the delay in your upcoming book. I can only imagine how frustrating that would be.

I am hooked by the excerpt for Cassandra's Dilemma. I am definitely going to add this one to my TBR list.

Can you add a plot summary of the book as well as links to where it will be sold and when exactly it is going to be released?

Chandra Ryan said...

Thanks for answering :) I always love hearing how authors come up with the bits and pieces that make their characters come to life.

I'm sorry to hear about your trouble with your latest release and hope it all gets cleaned up quickly. I can't imagine the heartache and headaches that would accompany a publisher closing shop right before a release.

But the excerpt you posted sounds great. I'm going to have to go look it up.

Thanks again!

Heather Long said...

Hey Virg, glad you liked that line *wink*.

Kog, the official blurb isn't approved yet, but here's a quick little snippet of the blurb for you:

Media consultant Cassie Belle was thrilled to be making the reveal of the century until a bomb ripped her world apart. The danger puts her on a sensual collision course with Fae Lord Helcyon and Special Agent and Wizard Jacob Book.  Her passion for her protectors reveals a forbidden legacy that threatens all of their futures.

The book is due out in February, I'll be sure to post more info and links as soon as I have them. But it's releasing from Siren-Bookstrand so keep an eye on their site too.

Angi Morgan said...

I have to 2nd Marybelle's comment: "I wonder if people who provided inspiration recognize themselves."

Hubby's totally starting recognize things he does. >>grin<<

~Angi

Heather Long said...

Thanks Chandra! And thanks for the great question! It definitely got me chatting.

Thanks for dropping by Angi! Always good to see you.

Erin T said...

Very nice excerpt!! I love finding new things to read!! I will definitely browse the kindle store for your books.

Celtie said...

Hey Heather it seems strange to come to Melissa's blog to read one of your blogs. Anyway I can't wait to get my eyes on you next book. I am glad I was able to get Prime Evil before the publishers closed and for all of you out there it is a great book. See you around RP or Fb

Colleen said...

Life is full of interesting people and events... I can see how inspiration comes from it to create great reads... thanks for sharing!

Cathy M said...

Great blurb for Cassandra's Dilemma, Heather. Love a sexy paranormal romance, so this story is right up my alley.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

June M. said...

Hi! You are a new author to me but this book sounds really good. I am sure that I will be looking into your books.

I would think that all authors draw from people &/or events in their lives, whether intentionally or subconsciously.

manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Tiss said...

Thanks for poating. Hope the New year gets better for you.

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