Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interview with Author Maeve Greyson

I am thrilled to be chatting with the winner of RT’s Writing with the Stars, amazing author extraordinaire, fellow chapter sister of CHRW and my friend, Maeve Greyson.
Welcome, Maeve! I’m so happy to have you here for a visit. You’ve had quite an exciting jump start to your career and I’ve been amazed by the amount of support you’ve received surrounding the contest. Did this surprise you?

MG:  Before I answer, thank you so very much for inviting me over for a chat at your lovely blog, Victoria, and you are too kind with your lovely praise. I’m blushing!  I’m so glad to be here. Now --did the amount of support surprise me? Yes and no. I’ve always found the writing community to be a warm friendly bunch so I wasn’t really surprised by all their help and enthusiasm at the beginning of the contest. However, I was amazed, awe-struck, gah-gahed and all those other words you might use to describe a state of total disbelief when they all continued to rally around me throughout the duration of the contest. The challenges lasted a grueling six months and I couldn’t believe the patience of all my wonderful supporters. Even though they must’ve been sick of listening to me beg for their votes, they still supported me and didn’t hire a hit man to shut me up.

VR:  *waves hand in air in dismissive gesture* Of course we didn't hire a hit man! Your husband has done some pretty amazing things to show his support. Care to share some of his most supportive moments? (Can you tell the Stefan Pinto is my boyfriend story? That is hilarious!)

MG: Hubby is undoubtedly my biggest fan and supporter. He’s nudged me when I needed a push, held me back when I was ready to throw it all away and always reminded me that I matter. I have worth. I never had that before I met him so he’s worked miracles with my self-esteem. And yes, we still laugh about his “boyfriend” encounter at RT.

Hubby and I were at the Kensington morning mixer at RT in Los Angeles. Of course, Hubby was snapping photos of me with my new Kensington editor, my wonderful mentor, Rebecca Zanetti, and a host of other talented Kensington authors.

Stefan Pinto, a VERY NICE cover model and contestant for Mr. Romance, was also there and he was more than happy to have his picture taken with a shy writer from the backwoods of Kentucky. While Stefan and I stood there smiling into Hubby’s camera, Stefan asked if this was my first RT. I replied that it was. He gave me a quick hug and whispered in my ear, “Watch this. It will be very funny.” He dug around in his bag and pulled out two promotional buttons decorated with his scrumptious, bare-chested photo and some words written around the edge of the button. He pinned one on my collar, gave me a wink, then walked up to my hubby and pinned the button high enough on my husband’s shirt so that he couldn’t bend the button to see it. Then Stefan patted Hubby on the shoulder, grinned and walked away. I joined Hubby, read the button and started giggling. After twisting the button every way possible, Hubby finally looked at me and asked, “What does that thing say?” I winked at him and patted him on the chest. “It says that you have a new boyfriend and his name is Stefan Pinto.”

VR:  *giggles* Your husband is definitely your biggest fan and supporter. It's heartfelt to see that he remains by your side every step of the way.  Beyond a Highland Whisper was your first release and I could not put it down! What was your favorite part of the story?

MG: I love the part where Latharn is jealous of Nessa’s date with Gabriel. A jealous Highlander who’s not about to allow ANY man take what belongs to him is just my idea of a yummy scene. I adore a man who’ll fight for what he wants and then be damned if he lets anyone attempt to take it away.

VR: I loved that scene as well. Verra alpha male. When will your next book, The Highlander's Fury, be released? Are you able to give us a little sneak peek?

MG: I don’t have a release date yet for The Highlander’s Fury. Edits have gone well with this one as well as for Eternity’s Mark (release date: April 2012). Here’s a snippet from The Highlander’s Fury that I hope you will enjoy. But keep in mind – we’re still in edit mode, so this could very well change. ;-) In this scene, Ciara finds out exactly what her goddess mothers would like for her to do in order to save the world.

At Brid’s nod of encouragement, Cerridwen passed her hand over the waters once again. A new image shimmered into view. Wild. Furious. Pure, unadulterated strength. The man’s aura pulsated power and control. Sleek black brows knotted over angry flashing eyes. Hair the black of a raven’s wings perfectly matched his surly demeanor. His square jaw was shadowed with a day’s growth of beard. Nostrils flared on a slightly crooked nose that must have been broken at some earlier time. Full, sensuous lips curled back into a sneer. Teeth clenched in barely held rage. Ciara didn’t know who this compelling human was but it was obvious he was sorely displeased.

“Who is he?” Ciara leaned closer to the waters. This mortal might be worth her interest.

Brid smiled, nodding her approval. “That is the chieftain of Clan MacKay, their powerful and well respected leader, Faolan.”

Now she knew they plotted something. Brid loved dabbling with Scotland. Straightening from the cauldron’s edge, Ciara crossed both arms over her chest and fixed the smiling goddesses with a suspicious glare. “Laird Faolan MacKay. And in what year exactly does Laird MacKay reside and what does he have to do with your solution for Danu’s world?”

Cerridwen circled the massive black cauldron, bent to scoop her hen from the nest of pillows, and cradled the chirruping bird to her chest. “Ye are currently looking at the year 1415 in the Highlands of our beloved Scotland. As to our solution, perhaps Brid could explain the plan we’ve put together better than I.”

Brid turned to glide across the polished floor and held out her hand for Ciara to join her at the balcony. Gazing out across the mist swirling over the dusky waves, she smiled as the whorls of sparkling fog formed into her beloved eternal spirals. “The MacKay family has been very dear to my heart now for many a year. Many of their clan is mystically blessed and they’ve kept the legends and rituals alive. However, Faolan has experienced a great deal of loss in his life. Grief and heartache has turned him away from the Ways. He has abolished the workings of magic and ritual among the clan and has forbidden the practicing of the old religions.”

Ciara ran her hands across the smooth surface of the railing; the velvet-like marble soothed her emotions with its cool, solid touch. The life force embedded deep in the stone called out to her, begging her to save the beloved earth and all its denizens. “So, you want me to talk to him? Convince him to turn back to the Ways? You do realize diplomacy is not one of my strongest traits? And just how exactly is getting one man to return to the old religions going to save the fate of the world?” Ciara tapped her fingertips on the railing. She couldn’t believe they’d called her back through the veils for this. She could’ve vanquished at least three dozen unrepentant mortals and punished who knows how many lower level immortals in the time she’d been here at the keep. Why had they called her here for this task? Cerridwen and Brid were slipping.

Cerridwen joined them at the railing after shooing the fussing black hen back through the veils into the room. Cerridwen’s gaze met with Brid’s and she gave a subtle nod.

“We need a child, Ciara. Fathered by the magical wolf and blessed with the talents of an immortal mother. Such a child could help ensure the old religions would never be forgotten and the magic would never die.” With this statement, Brid faced Ciara and waited for her reaction.

They couldn’t be serious. Ciara opened her mouth then closed it again. No. Surely, they had something else in mind. Her mothers couldn’t possibly be suggesting what she thought they had just said. She looked to Cerridwen and then turned back to Brid. Taken aback at what she thought Brid proposed, she repeated the words to ensure she understood what Brid had in mind. “Fathered by the wolf? Born of an immortal mother? Are you actually asking me to join with that mortal from the Highlands and bear the man a child?”

“Is he not pleasing to the eye, Ciara? Any man able to hold such fury must be capable of great passion as well.” With a wave of her hand, Cerridwen floated the cauldron to where they stood so they could gaze once more down upon his image.

Faolan MacKay electrified the waters. He was dark and dangerous, a delightful temptation to watch. The man towered over most in his clan, the breadth of his shoulders balancing his mountainous height. Ciara’s palms itched to touch the cut of his muscles straining against the leather of his tunic. Her gaze traveled lower, appraising his fine narrow hips and his powerful, well-muscled legs. Cerridwen was right. Faolan pleased the eye and Ciara would bet her finest torque he pleased in bed as well.

VR: *fanning self* That was a great excerpt! I can't wait to read it! Since we are kindred spirits for our love of all things Scotland and Highlanders, what was your most awe-inspiring moment on your recent trip to Scotland?

MG:  It had to be the moment I walked onto the field at Culloden.

I felt such a sense of sorrow and loss that I couldn’t control my tears. I started shaking and felt a bone-chilling ache and the longer I walked among the clan stones the worse the feeling became. I finally had to leave the field and take refuge in the gift shop at the entrance to the memorial. It’s so difficult to explain but it was almost as if the land cried out. Almost as if the blood spilled from long ago wanted to make certain the carnage that occurred that day never would be forgotten.

VR: Extremely powerful words, Maeve. Can you tell us what's next for Maeve Greyson?

MG: Hmm…well. I’m working on the second book in my “Mystical Gateways of the Highlands” series. Eternity’s Mark is book one. I’m nearly finished with book two and book three is pestering the daylights out of me the rest of the time.

VR: Maeve, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today and sharing your stories. Maeve will be checking in today and answering any posted questions or comments.

MG: Thank YOU, Victoria. You’re a true gem and I appreciate all you do.

For more information on Maeve Greyson or to purchase her books, she can be found: 




The Wild Rose Press:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

I am a firm believer in practicing random acts of kindness.

An elderly woman lives down the street from us and is basically home bound. All of her care comes to the house 24/7. During the winter months, my dh plows her driveway so that her caregivers are able to bring supplies and see to her needs. During the summer months, he cuts her grass. 

In the mail today was a card addressed to my husband from this woman. As he opened it, a smile played the corner of his lips.   

Apparently, when he visits this lonely woman, he offers her a listening ear. One day she told him that she really enjoyed fresh pineapple. Last week without my knowledge, my dh went down to cut her grass and bought her a fresh pineapple. 

The card read: "You were so kind to give me that delicious pineapple and you really took me by surprise. My prayers are for the safety of you and your dear family as you travel to and from the beautiful country of Canada. May God bless and keep you and yours in his loving care. In gratitude for your kindness and generosity."

It brought tears to my eyes. It is incredibly touching that one random act of kindness is rewarded with another. I've been with my husband for 21 years and he still surprises me.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Canadian Escape

The clan and I recently traveled to Niagara Falls, Canada. What an amazing time! The temperatures were in the low 80's, low humidity and no rain. Who could ask for more? The sound of rushing water was so incredibly peaceful--all 600,000 gallons of water per second. I wished we could've bottled it up and brought it home with us. *chuckle* I could have sipped some on the way home when it took us three hours just to cross the border, but that's another story...
We hit the usual jaunts such as Journey Behind the Falls, Whirlpool Aero Car and Clifton Hill. This year we tried something different and actually hiked down to the bottom of the gorge. Twisting trails led us through breathtaking views of the Niagara River. When we reached the bottom, I found a huge rock and sat for a long time. Clean air, no cars, just the sounds of nature herself. *sigh* The picturesque views of the Niagara River were truly beautiful.

We journeyed north through the wine vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you're ever in the area, the scenery alone is worth the trip. One does have to wonder what these residents do for a living. Passing two red Ferrari's and too many sports cars to name, it was definitely the Rodeo Drive of Canada. 
The charming little shops along Queen Street beckon any passerby. Of course, this Scottish historical author could not pass up her stop into The Scottish Loft. I believe some MacGregor and Campbell items may have fallen into my basket. The dh claims too many, but hey, it's research. Right? I also found a charming little shop called Irish Design and knew some of my writer friends would have loved it (Maeve and Pat!)
Have you been on an exciting trip lately?