My author this month is the lovely Mardi Maxwell, who has a love of old sci-fi movies like me! J Over to you…
Thank you, Jen. What can I say? Writing about myself is the hardest thing to do mostly because I'm afraid people will be disappointed when they find out I'm just a regular person like everyone else…I just happen to be able to write books. I'm lucky enough to have people who like to read them and believe me I'm grateful for that.
So, I'm the youngest of five children which means I was mostly left on my own as my older siblings had worn our parents out by the time I came along. They paired up, two boys and two girls, which left me to bond with all the pets and strays I brought home including a baby skunk, a cat, several dogs and of course the requisite hamsters. Oh, and don't forget the farm girl's favorite animal, my horse.
Our farm was out in the middle of nowhere and we didn't get very many TV channels and only one radio channel so reading and playing outside were my only options. I read outside! J I read everything I could get my hands on and then I wrote books in my head while I watched the clouds drift by.
I was and still am a great fan of black and white horror and sci-fi movies. When I was a kid they were shown on Friday nights on the only channel we got on a regular basis. They, along with the books I read, helped form a great imagination filled with fictional characters and fantastic landscapes. Back then I let the stories go but now I write them down and send them out there for others to read.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Eating sliced frozen strawberries. I love them and can't seem to get enough of them. I sprinkle a little sugar on them and eat them frozen. Yum!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I spend time with my family and friends. I read zombie novels (my not-so-secret addiction) and I like to travel around and see what's going on in the world. Most of my books are plotted while I'm driving.
One thing about yourself you would like to change?
I wish I was less reserved. Really! When I first meet people I'm reserved until I get to know them and then I'm an extrovert. I just wish I could be one of those "out there" people.
(know what you mean. It has taken me half my life to gain self esteem and confidence – now people can’t shut me up!)
Tell us about your latest book.
Tell us about your latest book.
Soren's Bondmate, the 3rd book in the Zarronian Warriors series. For those of you who have read the first two books this one is about Thorn Valanson's twin brother, Soren Valanson. Poor Soren is a level six warrior. That means his chances of finding a compatible mate is zero. Lucky for him one finds him, and things heat up from there.
What makes a great hero?
I like my characters to evolve as people. My heroes are always tough alpha males who think they know what they want and how to get it. They're jerks in some ways although I always try to give them some redeeming qualities. What changes the hero is the heroine and her love for him.
What are you currently working on, or what’s on the horizon?
Book four in the Zarronian Warriors series, Ronin's Bondmate, is up next. By the time you read this Soren's Bondmate should be published.
Quick Fire round
Tall skinny or short but muscular? Interesting. I always go for the man with the most to say.
Hawaii or Norway? Hmm, maybe Norway. I like the seasons to change.
Turquoise or mauve? Turquoise
A juicy grilled steak with garlic butter or vanilla & raspberry cheesecake with white chocolate? Meat, every time.
Historical or sci-fi movie? Both.
George Clooney or Brad Pitt? Brad Pitt although I'd rather go for Sean Connery, Russell Crowe, the young and beautiful Robert Redford, Marlon Brando, or Rock Hudson. (Yum – we are clearly on the same wavelength….)
Flogging or paddling? Soft flogging.
Bouquet of roses or bunch of wild flowers? I grow roses so wild flowers.
Links of how fans can find you on the internet/buy your books?
My website: www.mardimaxwell.com
And here is an excerpt from Soren's Bondmate:
Skye leaned against the cool wall of her habitat while she watched the familiar but dreary terrain of her sanctuary. Loneliness ate away at her soul while the need to find a mate burned through her veins increasing the beat of her heart and the rhythm of her breathes. With every cycle that passed she felt herself weakening and had to fight to keep from giving into the hopelessness that filled her. Like many Krystali enchantresses before her she would die young without a mate to love and sustain her. She'd never be the mother of a strong son, or a precious daughter who would carry on her line. Only her twin brother, Berit, would honor her memory but eventually she'd be forgotten. As was right, she thought, then said, "Screw that. I don't want to be forgotten. I want to live."
Catching her reflection in the krystal window she stared at the black tattoo that surrounded her left eye. The damn thing marked her as a krystal enchantress and was the reason she lived alone and isolated on Tundra. Seeing it brought back memories of the times she tried to remove it by scrubbing her skin until it was raw and bloody. Of course when it healed the mark had always remained.
A small sigh of resignation coated the krystal with a haze of fog and she cursed the males who kept trying to abduct her but especially she cursed Merykh of Cymerryn. After his third attempt her brother, Berit, had hidden her on this frozen planet while he searched for a mate for her.
"Merykh, you bastard," she muttered while she drew a crude gesture in the fog on the window. "It isn’t my fault you're a disgusting bastard."
With a slight shudder she wished again that she'd been born a krystal healer or even a krystal conjurer. They didn't have this much trouble finding a mate which meant they didn't die young the way she would.
On Krystali a healer could heal common injuries or illnesses but she couldn't conjure white krystal. A krystal conjurer could conjure white krystal for any male to throw as a weapon. She could also heal a wound made by white krystal or manipulate it into needed items such as shelters, clothing and food.
She was the rarest of the rare. She could do everything a healer or conjurer could do but she could also conjure dark krystal, a substance so deadly that the smallest shard would kill a person within micro-units. If she'd been able to find a mate she would've given him the ability to cast dark krystal. That ability alone would've made him one of the most invincible and powerful warriors in the galaxy, perhaps in the universe.
She drew a circle around the crude drawing then fed up with herself she mumbled, "Stop being pathetic." The action drew an involuntary smile from her. With a laugh she began to turn away when a silver object falling from the sky at an angle caught her attention. Dark smoke trailed behind it as it seemed to slow down just before it hit the middle of a frozen lake, skidded across the surface and crashed into the shore. A geyser of ice flew into the air but she didn't see it settle as she was already scrambling into her outdoor wear. Black leather pants, shirt and boots covered by a black hooded cloak and gloves to protect her fingers from the freezing temperatures.
Excited, that something was happening to break the intolerable boredom, she leapt down the steps of her shelter to the lower level. With a sweep of her hand she conjured a door, hurried through it and ran as fast as she could toward the crash site. As she followed the path she thanked the gods for breaking the monotony of her existence.
Frowning at the memory of how everything always went wrong she ran around several large boulders then squeezed through a crevice in the rock. When she stepped out her boot slipped on a patch of ice and sent her tumbling down the path. A sharp screech of pain echoed in the valley when an inconveniently placed rock at the edge of the lake stopped her fall. Winded, she lay there for a moment then forced herself to get up. She held her bruised side while she hobbled toward the object unaware that several dead weeds were tangled in her braid. Finally reaching the object, she bent over and moaned with pain while she caught her breath.
It was about the size of a small glider but oval in shape. She made a circuit around it with the ice cracking with each step she took. Finally, she approached the ship, touched it and jumped back when it wobbled then settled again. She laughed at herself and touched it again then made a fist and tapped on it. It sounded hallow.
Heat rose from it filling the air with steam and forming a puddle of melting ice beneath it. Standing back, she chewed on the tip of a gloved finger and decided it must be laying on the door. She pushed against it and rocked it until it rolled over and revealed another rounded and dented surface but no door. Frustrated, knowing she was running out of time, she ran her hands over the scorched surface and found a small area that felt different. She pressed on it and with a hiss a section swung open revealing a cockpit filled with smoke. Wires hung from a smashed panel sending out a shower of sparks toward the lone occupant.
Thank you for being the latest author to sit in my interrogation chair, Mardi! I wish you lots of success with your books. Next month is the turn of Lily Harlem.