My guest today is paranormal author, Margay Leah Justice. She's answered six questions I threw at her.
What authors and genres do you like to read?
I love to read YA paranormal romances, some contemporaries, and especially Regency romances. Some of my favorite authors are Julia Quinn, Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, Marilyn Brant, and Luanne Rice. Pretty eclectic!
Do you ever dream of writing in a different genre?
I think eventually I might like to write something historical, like the Regencies I love to read.
How do you research your storylines or locations?
Well, I set a lot of my writing in my home state, Massachusetts, so I’m pretty familiar with the territory! But my favorite research tool is the internet. It’s amazing what you can discover just by going to Google. And of course, I love to go to the library to get more research materials.
What part of the writing process brings you the most pleasure? The most angst?
I love the part where I’m developing the idea for the story and just getting to know my characters – it’s amazing! What’s not so amazing is figuring out the best way to start each book. Those first lines, first paragraphs can be grueling, but once I get past them, the fun starts!
Has your road to publication been a walk in the park or a steep mountain climb? Give us some details?
It’s been a long, kind of challenging journey. After years of trying to get published by the big, traditional publishers, I became aware of small presses and decided to give them a try. I have truly enjoyed the process of publication with my current publisher, Muse It Up Publishing. They really nurture their authors and ascertain that they present the best representation of the author’s work. After all of the disappointments earlier in my career, it is a refreshing change.
Tell us about your current release…or soon to be release.
I’d love to! Sloane Wolf is the story of Shiloh Beck, an empath, and Micah Sloane, a wolf shifter, and the legend that brings them together – and the Institute that threatens to tear them apart. It is actually the first book in a series about the Wolves of Destiny Falls.
For more than a hundred and fifty years, the gray wolf has failed to roam the hills of Massachusetts, leading to the belief that they are extinct. But with a spattering of sightings across the Berkshires, the legend of the gray wolf comes to fruition. The product of that legend, Micah Sloane will go to great lengths to protect his kind from the threat of outsiders, who seek to exploit the legend for their own interests. One thing he didn’t count on, however, was finding his soul mate in the company of such men.
From the first time she predicted a stranger’s imminent death when she was little more than a child, Shiloh Beck knew she was different. Wishing to cultivate her gift, her parents made the fateful decision to enroll her in a private school for paranormally gifted children. Unbeknownst to them, the school was just a front for a research facility simply called the Institute, whose secret board members weaned gifted children from their families to exploit their gifts. Shiloh has spent the better part of her life trying to escape the Institute and reunite with the family she was told had abandoned her.
From their first meeting, Micah and Shiloh share a connection that goes beyond the normal to bond them in a way that love alone cannot. But before they can build a life together, they must deal with the fall-out when the legend of the wolves collides with the men behind the Institute.
Shiloh nearly leapt off the sill as his hand touched her knee. It took every ounce of willpower she possessed to remain seated and appear undaunted by the gesture. “I am…much better now…thank you,” she said, becoming more unnerved by the presence of his hand by the minute. Oh, this was not good, not good at all. The longer it remained there, the stronger her impulse to bolt became. Oh, no…
What was it about this man that rattled her so and with so little effort on his part? Sharing the same air with him was enough to send her pulses to the moon—and her mind somewhere else, something new for her. Being this attracted to a man was beyond her realm of experience. She didn’t know what to do with it—or about it. Should she do anything? Should she pretend indifference? And why wasn’t he so deeply affected? It wasn’t fair.
Still confused, she gave him a weak smile, intent on backing up her previous claim with the gesture. She feared it failed miserably. When Micah returned her smile and lifted his hand from her knee, she felt precisely one second of relief before he shook her world again by caressing her face in parting.
She stumbled back against the frame of the window, her lips parting on a startled breath as a lightning bolt shot through her at his touch. Something flickered in his eyes at her reaction—pain, perhaps—and he retracted his hand, balling it into a fist as he turned away from her, preparing to depart.
In an instant, she realized her mistake. Along with it came the knowledge she couldn’t let him go away angry or upset. After everything he and his family had done for her, she owed him that much. She grabbed him by the shirtfront to stop him, and a shock of awareness shot from her hand directly into his heart, just beneath it. She could see it in the gaze he leveled on her then, could hear it in his breath trapped within his lungs, feel it in the missed beat of his heart. But then, all sense abandoned her, and her heart skipped a beat as he held her hand firmly to his chest with one of his own and lifted the other to her head, anchoring it against the window frame. Slowly, his eyes never straying from hers, he leaned across the space separating them. His lips brushed hers, like a whisper, before he withdrew, tilted his head to the side, and advanced again. This time the kiss was fuller, penetrating her every defense, both physical and emotional, but still not long enough for her. He retreated once again after a fraction of time and hovered before her, scarcely an inch away. Watching her. Waiting.
Her heart beating a frantic tempo now, Shiloh abandoned all of her reservations and her good sense to swoop in for a more vigorous kiss. So vigorous, in fact, she knocked him off his perch through the open window. Only quick reflexes honed to perfection at the Institute prevented her from tumbling after him.
Bracing herself against the sill, she leaned out the window as far as she was able and watched his descent from the slanted roof to the ground below. She lost sight of him the moment he slid beyond the reach of the light from her window. But then she heard him land with a thud —and a howl—on the ground in front of the back porch when he failed to catch himself on the roof edge. She clasped a hand over her mouth to silence her reaction and waited. When he didn’t rouse right away, panic shot through her and she leaned out another few inches.
“Micah? Are you okay?”
“Fine,” he answered after a few moments, appearing beyond the overhang of the roof as if to prove it to her. “Nothing hurt but what’s left of my pride.”