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Blurb from Torment:
Magic has always been part of Torrey’s life, but without a mentor, her mastery of nature is decidedly inept. When a werewolf kidnaps her sister and demands payment for mystical medications, Torrey’s life takes a turn for the worse. She doesn’t have the money, and the medication did more harm than good.
At her most desperate moment, a mysterious stranger appears. He presses a piece of paper bearing an address in her hand. When Torrey arrives, she finds another werewolf.
Shade is convinced Torrey is the reincarnation of the witch he loved—the witch his twin brother murdered all those years ago in a ritualistic sacrifice designed to steal her powers. Torrey doesn’t remember. She wants Shade to find her sister and let her handle the issue.
Can Shade convince Torrey of who and what she really is in time to stop her from offering her powers and her life to his brother again?
Let's get to know, Michele...
1.) Your new cover for Torment is hot, hot, hot. What's this new series about?
I think it's going to be difficult for Jinger to top this cover. It's amazing. The Daughters of Circe series focuses on a group of powerful witches who must find the soul mates from which they have been cruelly separated. Only when her daughters achieve the impossible can Circe recover her memories and her powers--and save her lover from an eternal hell.
Look for future novels in this series to include clues as to Circe's whereabouts, who caused this centuries-long sorrow, and how she'll overcome the odds to ensure she and her daughters are never again separated from the wolves they love.
2.) Do all your books have a paranormal element? Why are you drawn to the sub-genre?
I tend to write in two genres, contemporary and paranormal. All the books I read and all the TV shows/movies I watch tend to belong to one of these genres. I'm not sure why. My contemporary novels are, so far, all part of my Awakenings series. The Awakenings series focuses on women who are finding out what they want in life and taking it. They are everyday women--a marketing executive, an accountant, an artist, a psychologist--who've been dealt a rough hand in life. Even when they seem to have everything together, there's always something holding them back. When they find love, they must deal with those demons in order to truly be happy. Letting Go was the first in this series. Hanging On released in June. Two Masters for Samantha comes out around December, and I'm working on Time to Pretend, which I think will be the last book in the series. I have too many ideas floating around in my head that I want to try out.
I'm drawn to the paranormal because it gives us a way to talk about some really big issues in ways that are non-threatening. Shifting shape is a metaphor for how we change our behavior or appearance depending on a situation. It can also be the way we deal with emotional stress or unexpected developments. The external conflict always reflects an internal conflict. My literary hero is Joss Whedon, and not only because he's a bona-fide feminist. The man is brilliant.
3.) I have your book, Hanging On, in my TRP after the great reviews. Did you have to research for it?
Yes, I did a lot of research. More than just statistics, though. I needed to know how women who've been raped deal with the psychological problems that arise. Emotional trauma on this scale, whether from a violent encounter or systematic abuse, results in PTSD, the same disorder from which our returning troops suffer. In Hanging On, Sophia is trying to hang on to the happiness and love Drew offers even when everything inside her wants to push him away to ensure her emotional safety.
It's funny that you mention the great reviews. While most of the reviews have been positive, Joyfully Reviewed just ripped Hanging On because the reviewer didn't like the amount of emotional turmoil Sophia experiences. It's not a fluffy, feel-good read, at least not until the HEA. Sophia's journey is realistic. She doesn't feel she's worthy of being loved. Her family and friends enable her self-destructive behaviors. It's not until Drew pushes her that Sophia is able to work through her problems. This is one of those books that stays with you because it's not an easy read.
4.) Is it true? Are you coming to the dark side of menage romance?
It's true. I experimented with the concept in Hanging On, but I wanted to see what it would be like to have a true menage where everyone is involved in the HEA. Two Masters for Samantha began as an experiment. I wondered what kind of woman would want to deal with two men in her life on a consistent basis, and I wondered what kind of men would really want to share a woman. I've read a couple of menages, and I think the concept is hard to sell (at least to me, it is.) I'm curious as to what kind of reception it'll get.
5.) What are you working on now and what can we expect from you in the future?
I'm mostly working on Time to Pretend, the 4th in the Awakenings series. It focuses on Daniel (Sophia's brother) and Alaina. They had a disastrous date in Hanging On. I thought it would be neat to throw them together again. I'm also outlining the second in the Daughter's of Circe series, Desiree. And I've written half of the follow-up to Tomorrow Cries, my mainstream paranormal (vampire) romance due out at the end of this month under the name Debora Ryan. I think it will be awhile before any of it gets done, though. The school year started and I'm back to work.
Thanks for joining me, Michele! Good luck on all your wonderful books!