Thursday, December 4, 2008
An Interview with Beth Caudill and a Contest!
Please welcome Beth Caudill to my blog today! She was scheduled to be on my blog a couple of weeks ago but I was too ill to post. What I thought was food poisoning turned out to be ulcers! Like my friend Michele said, those little gems probably go along with the writer's life. Seems we're always stressed about edits, deadlines, our characters, etc. Sorry for the delay, Beth! I'm so happy you're my guest of honor today!
Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?
Beth: I grew up in a two bedroom, Pepto-Bismol pink apartment. It was university housing in Morgantown, WV. My dad studied for his PhD and my mom worked. I played with the kids in the complex. Some special moments I remember – Being just as clumsy on roller skates as on shoes and falling and chipping a tooth. Having a charity marathon and spending hours (even at night) seesawing. And my first grade teacher - Mrs. Hupp. She was an older woman who taught me to love flowers.
Alisha: Wow, that's some serious seesawing and hooray for Mrs. Hupp! Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.
Beth: Connor is a lone wolf seeking his mate. Melinda is a human oblivious to the paranormals around her, particularly her boss who sets her up to become Connor’s mate.
Everyday Melinda Jenson goes to work at Formally Yours, a high-end formal wear store, unaware the customers and owner are members of the local supernatural community. On Halloween night, Melinda's boss asks her to make a simple delivery. Unwilling to disappoint her niece and nephew, she arrives late and has an unexpected encounter with a wolf. Now she's chasing cute, furry forest creatures, and mated to a man she barely knows. “May you live in interesting times,” just took on a whole new meaning.
This is my second excerpt – the first can been read on my website.
When she regained consciousness, Melinda opened her eyes and looked around in wonderment. The world had changed. The woods emitted a dark green glow that pulsed as if it were alive. She could hear insects burrowing and small animals scurrying away. The cry of an owl sounded as close as if it were next to her, yet she could see it circling high above the trees.
Unfamiliar with her new body, her movements were slow as she gained her feet—all four of them! Stunned, she fell back on her haunches and examined her paws. They were covered in a cream-colored fur, and if she concentrated, she could force claws to extend.
Suddenly a nudge from another animal almost knocked her over. Looking around, she nipped at the large gray wolf next to her. It nuzzled her face as if in apology. The wolf ran off a few feet, stopped, and looked back at her. She ignored him. She wanted to sit and examine her new senses. Smell and hearing were the most affected, while sight was crisper but essentially the same. The other wolf returned growling, then nipping at her behind until she got up and followed. She gave a half-hearted growl. She would go for a run if it would get him to leave her alone.
Her limbs seemed to know what to do, carrying her faster than she could imagine. Although she had been following the gray wolf, the fresh scent of a rabbit scurrying across the trail snared her attention. Yipping to let the other wolf know she stopped, her wolf senses filtered out the smell of moss and pine forest. All that remained was a fresh rabbit trail to follow on the right. With stealth, she picked her steps with care where moments before she'd been bounding through the forest.
Eventually she came upon rocks where the rabbit sat licking its paws. Melinda crawled into position ready to pounce.
An image came into her mind of her attacking the helpless animal, sinking her teeth into tender skin, breaking bones, and eating the tasty morsel. Acting on instinct, her body lunged for the rabbit but a tiny voice in the back of her head cried "NO!" The thought of eating Thumper was too disturbing.
Melinda lost her concentration and ended up falling short of the rabbit. She crashed onto the rocks. As she watched, the rabbit dashed into the safety of its burrow. She picked herself up and worked her way to the forest floor before issuing a frustrated growl.
It would take a bit to adjust to this new body. She enjoyed running through the forest, but devouring cute little forest creatures would take a little more time.
Alisha: Whew! I'm glad Thumper got away! If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
a) Lots of money – I need a bigger house to put the library because I need more space to store all my books.
b) I’d like to fit into a size 8 dress.
c) And World Peace (channeling Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality) – can’t we all just get along?
Alisha: If you could go anywhere to tomorrow, where would you go?
Beth: San Francisco – My husband and I honeymooned in SF. This year is our 10 year anniversary and we said we would try to go back every 5 years. We made it at 5 years but this year just hasn’t worked out. Maybe at 15 years.
Alisha: If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
Beth: Amelia Earhart – I’ve been fascinated by her since I was a little girl. The evolution of flight is interesting to me and she played a part in that history. Some of it was the mystery of her disappearance and some was in awe of the challenges she overcame.
Alisha: What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?
Beth: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.
Alisha: *Giggle* Oh how I love ice cream! If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?
Beth: I would sit and read all day and not feel guilty about it.
Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?
Beth: I would go back to high school and listen to my dad and consider perusing Chemistry as a major in college instead of Aerospace Engineering. This would be a big change because I only went to my college because of the AE program and I met my husband there. Ahh time paradoxes. That would mean my two kids would not exist (or not exist the same way). Don’t ask whether or not that is a good thing.
Alisha: Oops...yeah, I see what you mean. Every tiny detail in our life happened because of a curve in the road we decided to take. Hey, I have tons of bumps I should have avoided.
Leave a comment for Beth today and you'll be entered into a drawing for an e-book of Informally Yours.
Visit Beth at Beth Caudill
Lady Karee Wilmore is about to be married. To a Prince no less. Yet she is unhappy, all her life she has dreamed of being a Dragon's Mate. She is resigned with her match to the Prince until circumstances land her kidnapped by an Air Dragon. Will all her dreams come true on the cusp of her wedding?
Karee stood on the battlements high above the rippling green lawn. Under her hands the cream-colored stone provided support as she gazed across the countryside that would soon be hers to oversee. The wind carried the crisp, clean scent of spring, and her thoughts drifted to the sky where sunlight glittered off iridescent dragon scales as they flew overhead, safeguarding the land.
Ever since her first encounter with dragons as a little girl, she’d dreamed of being a dragon’s mate. Of flying high in the air and having one man love her forever, something rarely seen in the noble world she was born to. Yet here she was, in her white and gold wedding finery, hours away from marrying Prince Marcus of Alleon; forever tied to the land while yearning for the sky.
“Karee, it’s time.” A familiar voice called from the stair entrance.
Sighing in resignation, she spun around to reply, “Coming momma.” After a last longing glance up, she slowly crossed to the stairs, feeling as if she were going to a funeral and not the joyous occasion of her wedding.
It wasn’t that she didn’t like Marcus; in fact, he was one of her dearest friends, but he did not inspire her with passion. Growing up together, he’d always been there for her—a comforting presence, almost like a brother, but not. From what she’d overheard, from servants and friends, their joining should be a burning fervor, yet his touched warmed and soothed, nothing about it inflamed her passion.
“You look lovely, my dear. I’m so happy for you,” her mother greeted, pushing errant strands of Karee’s windblown hair back in place.
“Thank you momma,” she answered dejectedly.
“Oh, sweetheart, your father and I thought this union would meet with your approval. You and Prince Marcus have known each other a long time and are such good friends.”
“I know, momma. Some dreams just can’t come true. I promise everything will be fine. Marcus is a good man.” But he did not love her and never would, based on what she had seen two days ago. But then if she felt a stronger connection to a stranger then Marcus, what did that say about her?
Melinda Conley was the last of three magical sisters to marry. After failing to find a mate in the supernatural community, she falls for a mortal. So what happens when her magic garden says he's not her one true love?
Melinda puttered around the apartment pretending to pack things up. Her thoughts were on the events of the weekend and not on her collection of inconsequential things. This was a pre-furnished apartment and since she was trying to fit into the mortal world, she never bothered to bring any of her private items from the family home. She gave up the pretense of packing; most of the stuff would fit into one box anyway. Overnight, she had come to grips with the fact that although they may not share a love deep enough for true love, they still loved each other and she would continue with the wedding. She was more concerned over his comments about what he would do with the family property if he owned it. It was their third walk through the garden maze on Sunday afternoon.
Eric turned to her as they sat on the bench and said, “I don’t understand why your family has kept this garden around. This might have been nice at the turn of the last century but it’s the 21st century. You have more than enough space for a swimming pool, tennis court, or a massive deck with a nice hot tub in it.”
She was too stunned by the statement to even respond. She couldn’t imagine not having the garden to come out and stroll in day or night. Besides it was also tied into their magic – as much as they poured magic into the property, it also provided them with power when they needed it. “I don’t think it has occurred to any of us that we should do something besides have the garden. It’s a part of our history.”
“You should mention it to your sister Sarah. I know she doesn’t spend much time here what with Marcus’s house. We could hold business meetings or outings here if there were something for the guests to do.” He smiled brilliantly thinking of the points he could win at work having a place like to impress the Board.
She grimaced at the memory; steps would need to be taken to make sure Eric didn’t find out that she owned the estate. He assumed that Sarah as the oldest child had inherited the property. But when her parents had died, Sarah had already been married to Marcus, who had a family home of his own to manage. Carla lived in the faery mound with her husband Gabriel since he was a prince of the realm. Her parents had left her sisters other things that they could use in their marriages and she had been given the responsibility of taking care of the house and land. Sarah would help her perpetuate the myth that the house belonged to the oldest sister, and Melinda would make sure her will specified the house went to someone other than Eric.
Looking at the time, Melinda saw that it was ten o’clock in the morning. Feeling good about life at the moment, she decided to make a picnic lunch to eat with Eric in the office. He had told her on the trip back last night that he wouldn’t be available to eat lunch out today, so she thought she could take it to him. With a spring in her step, she went about digging out the basket and preparing subs for lunch with a fruit parfait for dessert.