Cate: Please welcome Deanna Jewel. Deanna, will you please share a short bio with us?
Deanna: Besides being an author, a few of my previous occupations were spending, uh oh…I’m going to age myself here...thirty years in the insurance business, including having my securities licenses. At one point I let them both lapse and moved from Michigan to Idaho. Once in Idaho, silly me, I decided I wanted my insurance and securities licenses back and to do that, I had to retake all the exams. Now for someone to put themselves through all that torturous studying should make one stop and think first, but I thought, at the time, that was what I needed to do since that was what I knew. I’m now in the process of letting the licenses lapse again because - I’ve found where my heart is and it isn’t in selling investment or insurance contracts anymore but I’m still in sales.
Cate: Great point. :) Tell us about No Turning Back and where it's available.
Deanna: No Turning Back is set in England 1778 and involves two main characters who have suffered tragic heartache and aren’t sure they can ever love again. Nathan poses as his long lost brother in order to find the man who murdered Clarissa. Finding love a second time after a losing the love of your life IS possible and I like to bring that out in my books.
My books are available on my website: http://deannajewel.com and there are other links there to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Deanna: I’d love to, thank you:
North Yorkshire, England, 1775
Michael ‘Nathaniel’ Clairmont, the Fourth Duke of North Yorkshire, crumpled the missive he’d received from his fiancée’s parents as he raked his fingers through his shoulder length hair. Fear tightened his chest as he stepped to the door and called to his squire. “Prepare Caesar, now!”
Stepping back into the room, he addressed his longtime friend, Anthony Faulkner. “I’m going to see Lady Stockholm’s parents. Clarissa is missing. Are you with me?”
Faulkner jammed his tricorn hat atop his head. “Bloody right I am!”
Moments later, after meeting with the Stockholm’s, Michael urged his bay Barb to greater speed alongside Anthony’s. An unnatural scattering of branches and leaves strewn about the road ahead caught his attention. He reined Caesar and dismounted for a closer look. Footprints of horses and men marred the dirt and led deeper into the woods where the underbrush lay trampled and broken.
After tethering Caesar to a branch, he motioned for Faulkner to follow him along the path. A piece of green silk shimmered atop a briar bush, and Michael grabbed up the soft material. It was the color he’d last seen on Clarissa. The fragrance of jasmine assailed his senses. His eyes widened in recognition of the scent...the same one Clarissa wore!
He gripped the material in his fist. Bile rose in his throat as fear knotted his gut. Though afraid of what he’d find ahead, he pushed forward; low-hanging branches slapped at his face and caught at his shoulder-length hair. He pushed the foliage out of his way and tromped the underbrush in his desperate search.
When he reached out to block another branch, a silk stocking skimmed his face and he grabbed the stocking for inspection. Michael looked at Faulkner’s worried face, swore under his breath and moved on but a foreboding feeling ate at his senses, almost like being watched.
He couldn’t miss a gown strewn atop the bushes. The shock that tore throughout his system stopped Michael dead in his tracks, his muscles recoiling in reaction. Meticulously arranged over the waist-high bushes, as if in preparation for wear, lay a dark green silk gown, a vicious tear low in the neckline. His gaze moved slowly over the material. Tightness gripped his chest, feeling as though someone had reached in and squeezed his heart, the pain so intense it burned. He touched Faulkner’s arm, and gritted his teeth. “It’s the gown Clarissa wore at the ball last night,” he said in a gut-wrenching rasp. His gaze searched the area until the very thing he wanted to avoid seeing lay before him. His body froze.
A bare, delicate ankle peeked from beneath the underbrush.
Lunging forward like a wild beast, ravaging the area, throwing branches and uprooting ferns, he uncovered her body...clad only in her white satin chemise, splattered with her own blood.
His tortured scream echoed throughout the surrounding forest as he fell to his knees beside her battered body. Praying she might hear, he whispered her name. Touching her bruised cheek--he found it still warm. A flicker of hope ignited within his heart as he pressed his fingertips against the slim column of her throat. Moments later, finding no trace of a pulse, that slight flicker of hope extinguished itself. His mind was a whirlwind of thoughts at who could be her killer.
Cate: Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero?
Deanna: Interesting question. I have a special place in my heart for Nathan, but all writers do the same for their main characters, I think. I have a photo on my website of what I think Nathan looked like and his eyes are to die for. He can look at you and melt your heart…mmmm….among other things! He’s also honorable, stands by the promises he makes, is a one-woman man, as are most heroes and he loves a strong companion.
Cate: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Deanna: I take the reader to many different locations which turn into mini vacations for them as they read. They will visit not only parts of England, but they’re also going to Tangier in Morocco to purchase Arabians with Vanessa as well as sail along the African coast. Who wouldn’t want to do that with a captain who looks like Nathan?
Cate: What's next for you?
Deanna: I have several books in the works and more popping into my head all the time. My upcoming book is about a ghost in an abandoned lighthouse, will be set in Wilmington and Southport, NC and the ghost is…..Nathan from No Turning Back but over one hundred years later. I have more info on my website where the readers can visit and get the feel of the locations. The working title is Whispers at Ghost Point and involves reincarnation, as did my first novel, Never Surrender.
Cate: What inspired you to draft your first story?
Deanna: Never Surrender came to me when I visited by brother and his family in Dubois, Wyoming back in ’95 and ’97, although it didn’t get published until 2009. Readers have told me they fell in love with the hero, Taima, from the get go. He’s also a one-woman man and a protector of all in his tribe. He’s a loving father to his son so he wants to make the right decisions on his future because ultimately, it will involve his son, too. I’ve created Kate to be a strong female and a fighter. She doesn’t give up nor does she take no for an answer; she stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. I’d like my readers to know they can be as strong as my characters. They just need to change the way they think…think strong and know you can do what you set out to do, then do it.
I believe the soul is reincarnated as time goes on and it searches each era for that one true love, whether we think we’re a match at first site or not. I also seem to pull in the reasoning that love CAN happen a second time; it may not be the main theme in the story but we can all relate to that as teenagers with our ‘first love’ and then actually finding love a second time after that first heartbreak. For others, it may be losing the love of your life and thinking you can’t continue on alone. I hope readers will always be able to relate to the themes of my stories.
Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Deanna: I fear that question! Currently I don’t have a routine but try to write every day. I do my own marketing, ad pieces, promo, websites, social networking sites, mailing, set up my book signings, post interviews with other authors on my blog site, my own newsletters…I know I left out much more. I also help my husband at the office once in a while when I can. In the mornings, its coffee first and I head straight to the computer for email, online updates, Twitters, and online things that I spend too much time on when I should be writing. I also have a monthly contest on my main website, be sure to enter today, as well as contests on blogs and chat rooms.
Cate: So long as you keep writing! That's more important than a routine.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Deanna: I am on MANY sites on the net but here are a few, others can be found on my main website along with sign up for my newsletter and reader group:
Blog site: http://deannajewel.blogspot.com
FanPageFB: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=371589027638 (chk my events tab for what’s happening and where I’ll be)
Follow me on Twitter: @DeannaJewel
Authors Den: http://authorsden.com/deannajewel
Coffee Time Romance: http://coffeetimeromance.com
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Deanna: Cate, thank you so much for having me today, I’ve enjoyed it. To the readers, thank you all for stopping in today and I look forward to chatting with your readers today if they’d like to leave a comment. I’ll be around to comment back.
I’d like to know what makes reading romance satisfying for YOU?
Cate: Readers, Deanna is giving away a signed book to a random commenter but you must state the TITLE of her OTHER WORK IN PROGRESS which can be found on her ‘About Me’ tab on her website ... so hop over to her website, grab the title and return here to start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Sunday afternoon.
Thanks for being my guest, Deanna! Best of luck to you.