Cate: Please welcome Sonya to my special Halloween celebration. Sonya, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sonya: I love music and magic and things that go bump in the night, so those are the things I write about. My urban fantasy titles are Bring On The Night, Mojo Queen, and it's forthcoming sequel Red House, all with Lyrical Press. I also write an online paranormal serial called The Bradbury Institute. I was raised an Army brat and now live in Tennessee with my husband and baby daughter. You can learn more at www.sonyaclark.net.
Cate: What do you love most about Halloween?
Sonya: This is my favorite time of year for many reasons. The weather is cooling, or it's supposed to at any rate, the leaves are turning, and everything just feels different. It's the time of year when I feel the change of seasons most acutely. Even in the daytime, you can feel the darkness approaching. But it's not a darkness that I find frightening. On the contrary, it feels full of possibility. There's also this wonderful sense of the unknowable in the air, especially at night. I like that mystery, the shiver and the spook of it. Halloween is the culmination of all these things.
Cate: Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Sonya: No but I'd love to, especially since Roxie Mathis, the main character of Mojo Queen and Red House, uses her magical abilities to hunt and expel ghosts. She may not need an EMF reader but I'd love to have one. J
Cate: Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Sonya: Hoodoo and high magic are on a collision course.
Roxanne Mathis isn't like everyone else. Not only can she see auras and spectral entities, she can mix herbs and roots for spells to do good or ill. She can even light a candle without the benefit of a match. But when she’s hired to exorcise a demon from a young girl, she discovers the limits of her powers.
With her vampire cousin at her side and a sexy sorcerer chasing her on the rebound, Roxie sets out to send that evil entity back to where she came from.
Nothing is as it seems and Roxie’s in over her head. It’s not going to be enough for her to just be a paranormal investigator and old school root worker – to defeat this demon, she’s going to have to be the Mojo Queen.
Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Sonya: Here's an excerpt:
I sat in the chair opposite the loveseat, placing the candles on the coffee table. Glanced at him to make sure I still had his attention, which of course I did. One side of his mouth still curled up in a smirk, eyebrow quirked. I sat back, let myself sink into the comfy chair and relax as much as possible. First the candle on the left. Focusing on the wick, I visualized a tiny flame erupting from it--concentrating my will, pouring energy into my intention. I could feel myself sliding further into exhaustion as energy curled inside me, but after a long, agonizing moment the candle came to life. I let out a breath before I could stop myself, avoiding his gaze. I didn’t want him to know how much this was taking out of me, but I had a bad feeling it was obvious. I turned my attention to the other candle and though it took even longer this time, it too lit. I felt almost as bad as I had this afternoon.
Blake reached for a backpack on the floor I had not seen in the darkness. He opened it, fished something out, and tossed it to me. I didn’t so much catch it as let it fall in my lap. A chocolate candy bar.
It was my turn to quirk an eyebrow. Waving the bar at him I said, “What, is this to ward off dementors?”
The smirk became a genuine smile again briefly. “Something like that. You need to eat.”
I gave him a skeptical look.
“You know you’re using energy with that.” He gestured at the candles. “The energy needs to be replenished.”
I rolled my eyes but tore open the wrapper. The chocolate tasted, well, damn, like mainlining something illegal. Maybe he had a point. I was halfway through the bar when he spoke again, as if there had been no pause.
“Especially since you don’t really know what you’re doing yet.” Even in the low candlelight I had no trouble seeing the wicked amusement in his dark eyes.
I managed to finish chewing without choking, tossed the remainder of the candy bar on the coffee table and sat up straighter. “Why don’t you tell me why you’re here? Or better yet, tell me where I can find your demon lover? So I can send her back to Hell.”
“Well, actually, that’s exactly why I’m here, Roxanne.” Like we were discussing insurance or something. “I want you to find my demon lover.”
Gob-smacked, all I could manage was, “Huh?”
“And I want you to send her back to Hell.”
Cate: I loved this book! Your writing style is incredible. What inspired you to write about the theme?
Sonya: There were a few different things that came together in the writing of Mojo Queen. One was the initial question that started my brainstorming for the story: why would someone choose to be possessed? The story I originally started writing was very different from the finished version but that question always stayed a part of the plot. The other thing was Roxie's particular type of magic, hoodoo. Not to be confused with the religion of Voodoo, hoodoo is a type of folk magic associated with parts of the South. I first learned of it from old blues songs, particularly Robert Johnson. In fact his song Hellhound On My Trail inspired one of the scenes in Mojo Queen. Blues played in a big part in the writing. I listened to a lot of RL Burnside while working on the book and my playlist for it is almost all Southern music - blues, soul, and a bit of classic country.
Cate: The musical influences really come through in the story, too. Anything else you’d like to share?
Sonya: The follow-up to Mojo Queen will be released in December. Titled Red House, here's a little about it:
There's high water everywhere and she's about to drown on dry land.
Roxie Mathis has lost her home and her livelihood to a devastating flood. She knows she's lucky to be staying with her vampire ancestor Daniel but she wants to put the pieces of her life back together. Trouble is, Roxie's lost her mojo. The trauma of almost drowning and losing her home has left a deep mark on her.
Blake Harvill left a mark on her too and she's been missing him in the four months since he left town. Now he's back with plans to stay. Roxie wants him like she's never wanted anyone else but can she trust the sexy sorcerer with her guarded heart?
Hired to evict ghosts from a bed and breakfast called Maple Hill, her confidence takes another hit when she encounters a violent spirit she's crossed paths with in the past. When the spirit traps innocent people in the house Roxie's going to have to tap reservoirs of magic she's never touched before. In magic, like physics, everything has an equal and opposite reaction, and Roxie can only hope her desperate spellwork won't kill her - or conjure up something even more dangerous.
Cate: Can't wait for that one. :) Guys, you’re in for a treat! Sonya has a giveaway~
Sonya: I'm giving away a copy of Mojo Queen to one commenter. Just leave your email and what format you'd like to have - pdf, epub, or Kindle.
Thank you for having me on your blog, Cate, and Happy Halloween!
Cate: Thanks so much for being part of the Halloween silliness, Sonya! And this is for you. :) Looks like someone put some voodoo on Jack!