Tag Archives: Magic

An #AuthorInterview with Debby Grahl

Lately, I’ve been featuring new-to-me-authors who happen to write for the Wild Rose Press – as do I. Today, I’ve got another newbie, but by no means a new author. Just check out her Amazon author page and you’ll see what I mean. Let me introduce you to Debby Grahl, who has  new book coming out soon titled HIS MAGIC TOUCH – and isn’t that a great title?! Debby agreed to be interviewed by me and she’s also giving us all a little peek at her new book, so sit back and learn a few things about this prolific author.

Here’s Debby.

Debby Grahl, the Writer

  1. What drives you to write?

I have a disease of the retina called Retinitis Pigmentosa which causes gradual vision loss. I lost the ability to read in my early twenties, but even when I had sight, seeing the printed word was always difficult for me. Reading a book would take me twice as long as  a person with normal sight. I became frustrated with this and  began to make up my own stories. It wasn’t until the invention of computers and wonderful screen reading software that I was able to put my stories into words. Everything I type is read back to me aloud. This enables me to do my research, use the online dictionary, post on Google Plus and Facebook. This has truly opened a new window of opportunity for me.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you write, and why?

I write both contemporary and paranormal romance. I’ve always liked reading books with ghosts and witches.  In writing, I like using them because they’re so versatile. You can have nice or mean ghosts.  You can have those who can be seen or not. I also enjoy using ghosts of historical characters. My witches are normal people with different levels of power. With contemporary books, I like to set them in interesting places. Rue Toulouse and His Magic Touch are set in New Orleans. My work in progress, Mountain Fire, takes place outside of Asheville NC.

  1. What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?

Again, I love paranormal books with ghosts and witches. I’m a history nut and love visiting England, so Regency books are a must read for me. I love reading the queens of mystery cozies: Agatha Christy, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy L Sayers.

  1. What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day?

I do my best writing early in the morning. I usually get up around five-thirty, work out, then start writing. If the words are flowing, I’ve been known to  write nonstop until dinner time.

  1. Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

A few years ago I had back surgery. Recovering at home, I found my desk chair too uncomfortable. I discovered sitting in the love seat with my feet up worked best for me. I got so used to this, I still write with my feet up.

  1. Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?

No, not at all. I get distracted too easily if there’s any kind of noise or commotion around me.

  1. Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

Sometimes I listen to  a certain kind of music to get me in the mood, such as Cajun or jazz if my story takes place in New Orleans. Normally though, I find music to be too distracting. I find myself singing along and not writing. I’m amazed at the number of authors who write with music blasting.

  1. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

My husband and I love to visit New Orleans. It was while we were there for a conference which took place in a historical hotel known to be haunted that the idea for His Magic Touch was born. (Peggy interjecting here: I lovelovelove New Orleans, too!)

  1. Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?

The plot. I choose my setting, outline the story, then add the characters.

  1. What 3 words describe you, the writer?

Determined, imaginative, disciplined.

Debby, the Gal

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I met my husband doing Civil War reenacting.

Who was your first love and what age were you? Boy I’m going to be giving my age away, but my first love was an actor named Ben Murphy. I was thirteen when Alias Smith and Jones was on TV and I didn’t miss an episode. (Peggy here – sorry I keep interrupting but I LOVED THAT SHOW, too!!!!)

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and….This is a hard one, but I think it would have to be the day I received my first book contract. After going through so many rejections, finally receiving an offer was the most incredible experience.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? LOL! Commando!

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Dyeing my hair.

What three words describe you, the person? Loving, courteous, energetic.

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? I Did It My Way

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She could teach me magic and how to go back in time.

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it: 

 

  1. Favorite sound: ocean waves.
  2. Least favorite sound: an animal is distress.
  3. Best song every written: I am woman. Hear me roar! (Peggy again – I adore Helen Redy!)
  4. Worst song ever written: Tip Toe through the Tulips.
  5. Favorite actor and actress Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead): Katherine Hepburn. I loved her style and personality.
  6. What turns you on? A good looking man, slow sexy music, and a crackling fire
  7. What turns you off? Overbearing pushy men.
  8. Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”): How can you eat that?
  9. What’s your version of a perfect day? A day in which everything goes smoothly!

 

HIS MAGIC TOUCH

The night before Jared Dupre’s wedding, a spectre warns him that the demonic witch, Adam Montief, has kidnapped his brother, threatening  to kill both him and Jared’s fiancée, Kendra O’Connell, in a centuries-old vendetta Jared knows nothing about. A powerful witch himself, Jared tracks Adam from New Orleans to a remote island off the coast of Connecticut. A sword fight ensues where a final thrust of Jared’s blade sends Adam over the cliff into the sea below.

But when Jared returns to New Orleans, he finds a triumphant Adam alive and intent on seducing Kendra. Kendra, not knowing Jared was forced to break off their engagement to save her life, has turned to a new man, unaware he’s Adam who has vowed to kill the man she truly loves.

With help from his grandmother’s spirit, Jared discovers the motive behind the Montiefs’ vengeance, while fighting to win back Kendra before she is drawn into Adam’s world of sadistic evil and assure Adam’s final destruction .

Excerpt

In the stifling heat, Angelique Montief flicked her wrist and set the bamboo ceiling fan spinning. Kneeling on a woven mat with sweat coating her body, she lifted a small wooden brass-bound casket from the bottom of a large trunk, inserted a gold key, and opened the lid. Inside two objects lay wrapped in thick cloth. She carefully unwrapped the smaller bundle to reveal a pentagonal mirror, a gift handed down to her by her grandmother, its ancient oak frame carved with tiny pentacles.

She glanced over her shoulder at her locked bedroom door, then stared into the mirror and whispered, “Show him to me.”When the glass remained blank, fear clutched at her chest. Again, she said the words, and the image of a plantation house engulfed in flames appeared. “No, please, he can’t be dead. ”Tears blurred her vision. The fiery image changed to reveal a human form lying beneath flowering bougainvillea. “Show me his face.”

She saw his indigo blue eyes blink open.

“I’m coming, my love.”

She rewrapped the mirror and placed it into the smaller casket among cloth bags of herbs and potion-filled vials. Relocking the lid, she hung the key on a chain around her neck, dropped a jeweled dagger into her pocket, and tucked the casket under her arm.

Augustus had locked her in, placing what he thought would be an impenetrable shield across both doors. Her husband’s biggest mistake was underestimating her.

Buy Links Wild Rose Press  // Amazon // B&N //

A little more about Debby

Debby Grahl lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David, and their cat, Tigger. Besides writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach and a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida, the Cotswolds of England, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and, of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books.
Her first published book, The Silver Crescent, won the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice award. Her second book, Rue Toulouse, a contemporary romance set in New Orleans, was a finalist in the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award and was selected as a May, 2016, ‘local read’ by Hilton Head Monthly.
Her most recent book, Decorated to Death, is a holiday mystery cozy. She also has stories in three anthologies, The Haunted West, Never Fear / Christmas Terrors, and Ebb and Flow from the local Island Writers’ Network
Debby was featured in the January, 2016, Hilton Head Monthly article ‘Intriguing People of the Low country’. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Florida Romance Writers, and First Coast Romance Writers.

Connect with Debby here: Amazon // Website // Facebook //

Peggy here for the last time!!! I promise. Debby, it was an honor getting to know you. I feel like we’re sisters from other misters! Good luck with your writing and I’m proud to have you as Wild Rose sistah!)

 

 

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Meet #author Denise Carbo….

 

Today, I’ve got another one of my new Wild Rose Press sistahs, Denise Carbo, visiting me. She’s got quite the tale to tell. If you’re a lover of paranormal stories, witches, and fantasy, this is one interview and book excerpt you don’t want to miss!

Sit back and let’s learn a little more about this versatile writer.

Denise,  The Writer 

What drives you to write?   

I’ve made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember. It’s a part of me, simply who I am and what I do. And it’s fun!

What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why?    

The supernatural and anything out of the ordinary has always fascinated me, thereby leading me to write Paranormal. Suspense because I love solving mysteries and figuring out the details and motivations behind them. I write Contemporary for the emotional journey.

What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why?                                                        

All of them! It depends on my current mood.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday?

I write every weekday my kids are in school. Their schedule runs the household.

Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?

I am fortunate enough to have a dedicated office, so I can close the door and immerse myself in whatever manuscript I’m working on. Of course the kids, the dog, and cat all like to follow me in there.

Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnel-vision?                

Typically, I prefer the quiet but if the muse is in a demanding mood I’m capable of ignoring everyone and everything.

Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not?

No, I love music, but I get distracted by stories forming in my head to coincide with the lyrics rather than my current WIP.

. How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP?

I’ve always been interested in witches and what it would be like to have magical abilities. What would happen if a seemingly normal woman suddenly discovered she was a witch and magic was real? How would she learn to control her powers? How would it affect the people around her and her relationships with them? What other witches existed? Are they good or evil?

Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why?     

Plot. An idea/sentence/line of dialogue pops into my head and then I start weaving the story from there. The characters naturally develop after the initial idea.

What 3 words describe you, the writer?    Plotter, introvert, dreamer ( Peggy here: Love that!!!)

Denise, the Gal

Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing!  Okay, I turn bright red if I eat anything with vinegar in it. Amuses my kids because I simply have to have ketchup with my fries which of course my face will match the color of.

Who was your first love and what age were you?    My husband. We’ve been together since I was 16.

If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. One particular day sticks out in my mind here, Christmas Eve 2011 because the point of the movie is to change it, right? My Dad was in a car accident that day which he was never able to recover from and passed away six months later. I would make sure he never got in the car.

Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando?   Boxer briefs

If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Frizz Ease hair serum. Humidity is not my friend. (Peggy here: I Hear ya, sistah! Curly, kinky hair here, too!)

What three words describe you, the person?   Mother, Wife, Writer

If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be?   Oh Lord, I cannot hold a tune, but if I could “Unstoppable” by Sia.

If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together?       Ooh, interesting, just one? Let’s see, Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s dark hunter series because he’s a god and can do pretty much anything. I would see all the exotic places I dream of visiting.

Bonus round

I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:

Favorite sound       My child’s laughter

Least favorite sound       Nails on a chalkboard

Best song every written     Because you loved me by Celine Dion

Favorite actor and actress       Meryl Streep and Hugh Jackman because they possess that rare ability to portray the character rather than just a version of themselves in a role.

Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead)  The Queen of England because who wouldn’t want to be Queen for a day?

What turns you on?       sense of humor

What turns you off?       arrogance

Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”)   “I don’t dislike you.”

What’s your version of a perfect day? A sunny Spring day with a gentle breeze and flowers blooming. My husband’s and sons’ laughter filling the air as we spend a happy, fun filled day together.

Here’s Denise’s new book for a little look-see

Legacy of Magic

Divorced, jobless, and homeless, Cory Bishop moves to Connecticut to begin anew. She gets lost along the way and causes a car accident which does not bode well for the next chapter in her life. The reconnection with her great aunt provides her with direction and purpose. While solving a mysterious family secret, she is pursued by a charming lawyer and her exasperating neighbor who thinks arguing is a form of foreplay. But those circumstances are the least of her problem

Cory soon discovers she is a witch and must learn to control her new-found powers. An ally, a confidant, and a surprise supporter guide her, but she is almost out of time. An immortal evil wants her powers for his own and will stop at nothing to obtain them. When the battle lines are drawn, Cory must choose who is friend and who is enemy. Will love save her or endanger her even more?

Excerpt

His normal blue jeans were replaced with black. The customarily tight T-shirt was now a blue, button down shirt opened at the throat. Damn, it matched his eyes.

Eyes that were making a very slow, thorough, perusal of her before meeting her gaze. “Must admit, I thought you might stand me up.”

Now why hadn’t that occurred to her?

“The thought never crossed my mind. I follow through when I say I’m going to do something. Although, technically I don’t think I actually accepted your invitation.”

“Sure, you did. You said 6:15. That implied acceptance.”

Cory rolled her eyes. “We both know if Aunt Addy hadn’t been there, I would’ve said no very clearly.”

“Maybe, but then we’d both be left wondering what the two of us together might be like. Personally, I prefer a more direct approach.”

Her foot began to tap. “Oh really? Maneuvering me into a date is direct? And for the record, I wouldn’t be wondering about anything. You and I are not going to get together.” Her hand waved back and forth between them. “We can’t even be in the same room for a few minutes without arguing.”

Finn laughed. “This isn’t arguing.”

“Oh really, what would you call it?”

He leaned toward her and whispered, “Foreplay.”

 Buy Links

Amazon // B&N // iBooks //  Wild Rose Press 

A little more about Denise

 

Denise Carbo writes Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Contemporary Romance. She is a voracious reader, loves to travel, is fascinated by the supernatural, and enjoys figuring out the culprit of books and movies before the ending is revealed.

She lives in a small, picturesque New England town with her high school sweetheart and their three amazing sons.

You can connect with Denise here:

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Bookbub // Amazon // Goodreads  

 

 

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#TheGreatAmericanRead: Other Worlds


 

Welcome back to the final week of The Great American Read. In just one more week, PBS will announce the book voted upon by the pubic as the #1 American Read. I can’t wait, and I have my own suspicion of the winner. More about that later.

This week’s episode was titled Other Worlds . All the books in this category fell into the Fantasy, Science Fiction ( or speculative Fiction), Historical Fiction and magical realism realm.

I’m going to be honest and tell you I’ve read exactly 1 book on this list and I didn’t exactly like it. Okay, like isn’t the right word. I didn’t understand it would be better. That book was 100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s listed as a Worlds Beyond or Magical realism story. I think the reason I didn’t get it is because I have enough trouble with real realism, never mind magical realism, but that’s just me. I struggled – struggled – with this book several years ago when it was an Oprah Book Club selection. I didn’t get it then but now that I’m older ( waaaay older) maybe I’ll tackle it again. (Maybe not!)

The other book listed in this category was THE SHACK, a mega-hit a few years ago when it was released as an indy pubbed book. Both of these books deal with family, death, dying, what comes after death and questions do we ever truly die?  The major themes in the Shack are forgiveness, redemption, and hope. 

So, I’ve already established that I’m not a sci-fi fan. I never knew it was also called Speculative fiction, but that moniker makes sense, since stories in this category propel us into the future in order to explain the present – and help us make wise choices in the here and now. Books in this category included: Ready Player One, The Martian, Atlas Shrugged, The Foundation Novels, and Dune.

  

 

 

Each of these books tries to explain how society has come to be what it is in the future and each book paints a terrible picture of where the human race is heading. Impressive in this theme is the fact that 2 of the books, Atlas Shrugged and the Foundation Novels, were written decades ago but were able to pinpoint the exact issues we are dealing with today as a society. If I ever get a month free from my life I just might read these two tomes.

Fantastical worlds and Magical places have a few entries in this episode as well. Every teenage boy’s favorite book, The Lord of The Rings falls in this category. As do the Chronicles of Narnia, Gulliver’s travels, and The HitchHiker’s guide to the Universe. Total honesty here again, peeps. I tried to read The Lord of the Rings once. Couldn’t get past the second page. Seeing the movie didn’t help. I just didn’t understand it. Hubby, and daughter, though? Loved the book and the movies!

 

 

 

The last category explored in Other Worlds was HISTORICAL FICTION. I have to admit, I’m not sure why this category was included with the others, but I will tell you the books listed in this category are favorites of many people I personally know – including one entire Romance Writing group. LONESOME DOVE and OUTLANDER are the books mentioned here. Both deal with the past ( although  I really think Outlander could be considered Time Travel more than anything else, but again, that’s just me) and explore history and historical events through the eyes of fictional characters.

Get any two historical romance readers or writers together and one – if not both- have much to say about Diana Gabaldon’s epic tale of Claire and Jamie. Put any number of modern day cowboys together and you might just get a tale similar to Lonesome’s Dove depiction of a great cattle drive and the men who attempted it. Both of these books are on my #TBR list for 2019. And you will notice they are the only ones that are from this category!

SO, that concludes last night’s selections. Now, I mentioned in the beginning of this post that I had a sneaking suspicion which novel was going to be voted number one. My prediction? TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Tune in next week to see if I’m correct!!!

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