Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, January 7, 2013

For the Love of a Sphynx ~ by Heather Sharpe

My lovely and talented guest on Vintage Vonnie today is Heather Sharpe. Look at her sweet face. Mercy, she doesn't look much older than my oldest grandchild. 'Course we all know I'm older than dirt, but we don't need to go there, now do we?

Heather lives on six acres in Central Kansas with her husband, perfect baby boy, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. In case the house isn’t full enough, it also includes four noisy dogs, one cat who inspired For the Love of a Sphynx and another who torments him, and a lizard. At night, all of them think they need room on the bed (except the lizard, thankfully). Up until the birth of her son, Heather taught elementary school. Now she chases around her toddler and writes whenever he naps.


But today, we're here to parrrr-ty. Heather's release day is tomorrow, which is always cause for a celebration. I've got a few luscious treats and a little bubbly to get us in the party mood. So, grab a flute of champagne and a plate full of chocolate treats. Heather's agreed to answer some interview questions.

1.   What is your life like away from the computer? Tell us something about your household.

In a word:  Noisy. I stay home with my seventeen-month-old, four dogs, and two cats. We live on six acres, and the dogs bark at every leaf that twitches anywhere on the property. It’s crazy, hectic, and so much fun.

2.   Now before you tell us what authors and genres do you like to read, won't you have a truffle?  

Well, maybe one or two. Hmm, these taste great. Now, to answer your question, I prefer paranormal romance the most, especially Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Kerrilyn Sparks.
 
3.   What is your writing schedule like?

 I used to teach, so I would write in the evenings and on weekends. Since my son was born I’ve been trying to squeeze writing in during nap times and after bedtime. Unfortunately, the little monster doesn’t like to sleep, so my writing time is a very small window every day.

4.   What is the story behind your book title?

My husband came up with the title For the Love of a Sphynx for me. It started with the idea of a character who is both cat and man, and grew from there.  

5.   How do you research your storylines or locations?
 

The internet is my closest friend. I’ve used everything from Google Earth to tourist websites.

 
6.   What part of the writing process brings you the most pleasure? The most angst?
 

I get the most pleasure from the first opening chapters and the last. I despise transitions between the major scenes. I always have a plan in my head, but hate trying to connect the dots between them.
 

7.   What is one of your most embarrassing or laughable moments?  

My husband and I went together when I was a Freshman in High School. The very first time he came to my house to pick me up I was outside reading in my favorite spot—on the back of a horse. Unfortunately for me, that day I’d chosen my sister’s horse instead of mine for some reason; I can’t remember. When my husband stepped around the corner of the barn, it was in time to see the horse take off running and me clinging to his back. I didn’t have a saddle or bridle, so when he came to the end of the lot I clutched his mane and started to lean into the turn—only to fly over his head, flip over, and land on my back on the barb wire fence when he screeched to a stop. I limped into the house, mortified. Fifteen years later, I finally admitted to Travis that I’d sliced the heck out of my back, using up almost half a box of bandages!  

8.   How do you see your career in five years?  

Hopefully I’ll have a set writing schedule since Little One will be in school, and I’ll have quite a back list established.

9.   Before you tell us what you're currently working on, have one of these.
 

I’m currently working on a sequel to my full-length novel that will be released this spring from Etopia Press.
 

10.    Has your road to publication been a walk in the park or a steep mountain climb? Give us some details?  

More like a small mountain. I’ve only been writing for about two years, and I consider it a major success to have three contracts with publishers in that time. I did receive over sixty rejection letters and had one publisher with two contracts close-down twenty days before they released my first book. Thankfully, those books have found new homes and I’m still expecting all three of my completed works to be released within six months of each other.  

11.    Tell us about your current release…or soon to be release.  

I am so excited about For the Love of a Sphynx. It’s very dear to my heart since it was inspired by my beloved cat, Marbles, that we adopted from a shelter six years ago. Once he settled into our family, my husband and I joked that he must be a man from the Middle Ages trapped in a cat’s body because he was fascinated by indoor plumbing. He would jump into the foot of the tub and stare at me while I was showering. Our jokes got me thinking, and after a dream of a witch surrounded by vines moving as if they were alive, the story was born. I can’t tell you how excited I am that Marbles’ story is going to be available for others to enjoy. And all the details of the cat’s antics—including sleeping with a water gun—are based on real life! J
 

TAGLINE: When time’s the enemy, there’s no room to pussyfoot around.

 
Blurb: Betrayed by her fiancĂ©, Mahri Lassler swears never to risk losing her heart again. She’s convinced she may as well collect cats since she’s on the path to spinsterhood. She adopts a tomcat, and just as they’re beginning to learn each other’s idiosyncrasies, the cat bolts out the door, disappearing without a trace. Her quest to find the darn cat leads her to a confused, naked man writhing on the street. The hopeless look in his eyes touches something deep inside Mahri. Can she trust her heart enough to risk it on a man with no past? Will her love be enough to break his curse? 

Excerpt: 

Unimaginable agony ripped through him, searing every nerve, and igniting his blood. Contorting in pain, his muscles contracted independently, twisting his body into impossible positions.


What seemed an eternity later, he lay gasping in the dirt. He pulled his lips back in a painful grimace as he sucked air into his aching lungs and looked around for Brigid. He would think twice before giving her an opportunity to hurt him that profoundly again. In all the battles he’d fought, he’d never felt such pain.

 
The clearing was empty. Brigid, the cottage, his horse, the small garden where they’d spent hours talking; all of it, had disappeared without a trace. A shiver of unease raced through his limbs.

 
The breeze, gentle now, ruffled his hair playfully. Testing his muscles tentatively, he noticed only a slight tenderness remained after the unbearable agony of before. His muscle and joint pain paled in comparison to a sudden thirst.

 
Climbing unsteadily to his feet, he stumbled to the brook. Whatever she’d done to him had messed with his vision. Everything seemed skewed. While trees and other still objects appeared fuzzy, anything that moved snapped with clarity, instantly claiming his undivided attention. A silver sheen blanketed the world before him. It dampened the saturation of the forest colors, but he noticed more small animals scurrying about than ever before.

 
Closing his eyes to offset the dizzying effects of this visual phenomenon, Morgan stretched toward the musical bubbling of water over stones and lapped several mouthfuls before daring to crack his eyes open. After the tortuous eternity and weird theatrics, he was unsure what he’d expected, but it definitely wasn’t this.

 
A furry black face with two short, pointed ears and feline eyes stared up at him from the surface of the water. What the hell?

22 comments:

Heather Sharpe said...

Oh, my goodness, you outdid yourself. Thank you so much for the party! The truffles are divine, and I'll definitely be back soon for more!

Angela Adams said...

Hi, Heather,

All good wishes as you celebrate your new release!!

Nancy S. Goodman said...

Great interview! Congratulations on the release
Nancy

Sheri Fredricks said...

I can't WAIT to read this story! Congratulations, Heather - good things come to those who wait. It sucks about your previous publisher but look at you now :)

Daryl Devore said...

Ouch! On the horse throw. Great excerpt. Best of luck with sales.

Marlie Bridges said...

The excerpt really makes me want to read your book! And, like you, those dang transitions! :-)

Brenda said...

FANTASTIC!! Your story sounds very intriguing. And I love your cover.
Congratulations!

ellaquinnauthor said...

Great interview. I tweeted.

Heather Sharpe said...

Thank you Angela!

Heather said...

Thank you for stopping by, Nancy!

Linda Carroll-Bradd said...

Heather, Your life sounds chaotic and full, and you are to be commended for sqyeezing in writing time.

Heather said...

Thanks Sheri! (a little bird told me you might be mentioned in the dedication even).

Karen Wilson said...

Great excerpt.

Heather said...

Thank you Daryl. Needless to say, we haven't forgotten that first date. :)

Heather Sharpe said...

Marlie you are so sweet! Thank you!

Heather Sharpe said...

Thank you for coming by Brenda. I thought thy did a great job on the cover too!

Heather Sharpe said...

Thank ou for spreading the word Ella

Heather said...

Hi Linda! It is crazy and hectic, but completely wonderful. :) between the baby and writing, I am blessed that my mother-in-law doesn't mind doing most of the housework!!

Heather said...

Thanks for stopping by Karen!

Jenna said...

Great interview and fantastic excerpt. I'm a cat person and this has definitely intrigued me. Going on my TBR list now.:)

Heather Sharpe said...

Jenna, I am so glad! I hope you like it!

Heather Sharpe said...

Hello everyone! Thank you for joining us yesterday. I just hopped by to announce that For the Love of a Sphynx is live on Amazon, Still Moments Publishing, and Smashwords!