. . . Graeme is a powerful sorcerer who has discovered something is causing young shifters to attack and kill the potential mates essential to the continuation of the wers. The first time he’d brushed up against Margo, their essences had resonated in rare recognition. He never intended for his seduction of the enchanting brunette to begin with her being dragged into the web of dangers assaulting his world. How is he supposed to protect the stubborn woman from rogue wers and magical attacks if she insists on keeping him at arm’s length?
Wild Women Authors welcomes author Karen Elaine and Margo Aleckson from Magical Currents, book 2 from her Mythical Warriors series for Resplendence Publishing. First up is Margo.
Where are you from? I’ve pretty much spent my entire life in and around Los Angeles. I was born, raised, went to school, married and worked there until my divorce a year ago. Morro Bay may not be very far from it distance wise, but it feels like another world.
Tell us a bit about Magical Currents. It is the story of how Graeme Stone and I get to know each other while we try to determine who is responsible for the genetic poisoning of a race of shifters. Finding out that the man I’ve been slowly getting to know is a sorcerer and that shifters are real is only the beginning of what I learn to cope with. Graeme is a powerful magic user, which, believe me, brings up interesting challenges when dating. I enjoy seeing him but I’m not looking too far ahead. He’s the one who keeps trying to make plans for the future, which sometimes creates tension between us.
What did you think the first time you saw Graeme? It was strange. Of course, he is good looking, so that caught my eye, but something about him struck me as so intensely compelling. I don’t know how to explain it except perhaps to say that every time I look into his eyes, they capture me and everything else just fades away. I watched for him every day, hoping he’d come into my café for breakfast.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Attraction, definitely. I don’t believe in love at first sight. Graeme does, however. At least at first touch.
Whoa. That's a powerful and provocative statement. What do you like most about him? Graeme is incredible. I guess I love how much he cares about others. I don’t mean just the thoughtful things he’s done for me. He took on saving an entire species from extinction. Trust me, others of his kind won’t look kindly upon him for doing so. He has the courage to put himself out there and do what he believes is right. I admire that about him.
How would you describe him? He’s intense. Whatever he’s doing, he’s putting his whole self into.
This man just keeps getting better and better. How would Graeme describe you? To tell you the truth, he seems to be obsessed with my cinnamon rolls, so I guess he would say I’m a good cook.
Hah! What made you choose Cafe Owner for a second career? Transitioning from a high school chemistry teacher to owning a business where I get to bake? That was a dream come true. I love to play in the kitchen, particularly with pastries and breakfast rolls. It’s been extremely satisfying building up The Generous Cup and seeing what I can do.
What is your biggest fear, Margo? Graeme has been patient with me, but I do have trust issues. When I think someone isn’t completely truthful with me, I have a difficult time having anything to do with them.
How do you relax? It used to be baking was how I unwound. And while that is still an outlet, I’ve recently discovered kayaking. I love it. When I’m out on the water, everything just falls into perspective. I take my dog Sophie out with me and we have a wonderful time.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I don’t have much time to read lately, but I’ve always enjoyed a good mystery. The ones with Amelia Peabody are fun. She’s a Victorian archeologist. There’s a whole series by Elizabeth Peters.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My friend Sue Carrollton told me to let go of the past and concentrate on moving forward. That turned out to be pretty key for me.
This has been delightful, Margo. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself with us. Now we'd like to chat with Karen. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why?
“The Last of the Mohicans”, “Jane Eyre” and “Pride and Prejudice” were books I read over and over during high school. I still reread them periodically. They are such beautiful love stories I hate when they end. And then of course, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy got me hooked on magic and adventure. Put them all together and it’s easy to see why paranormal romance is my favorite genre.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Communication and trust are essential to any relationship. Whenever either of these isn’t present or is lacking, there will be problems. That was what I kept in mind with Margo and I used experiences in my own life to hone in on key issues.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Resplendence Publishing has been wonderful. A couple of years ago I reconnected with another writer I’d met through RWA. Janice Bennett is an editor with RP now. We spoke about what we were doing and she was generous enough to ask me to send in a copy of what I was working on. That was Twice Is Forever, Mythical Warriors book 1. It was a fortunate turn of events.
What project[s] are you working on now? There’s so much to the story of the wers and sorcerers. I’m working on book three of the series right now. Some of the consequences from what Graeme does to save the wers comes into play.
What's up next for you? After I finish the present book, I will deviate a bit to write a Victorian Christmas book to fill in the back story of some of the characters. It will still be about mythical warriors, but it will be out of sync with the present story line. After that, I will continue with the contemporary stories.
Thank you so much for having me here today. It has been lots of fun! I encourage readers to keep an eye out for the magic in their lives.
An excerpt from “Magical Currents”
“You two fledglings think you have what it takes to dispense justice?” the man sneered.
With all her strength, Margo swung her fist, digging the tip of the key into his check. He roared like a wounded animal and shoved her to the ground.
Margo landed hard on her shoulder. She heard the fabric of her shirt rip.
Her two defenders advanced forward and put themselves between her and the imposing menace. Margo back-peddled across the asphalt, tearing gouges in her palms and the seat of her pants, trying to get away. She slammed into a grounded pair of legs and looked up into Graeme Stone’s face. In the faint light, his features were sharply defined.
His intense gaze pulled her in, arrested the hostility surrounding them. Margo’s cold terror receded, and she was able to take a deep breath, collect her wits, push aside her fear and find calm. For a brief moment, warm security enveloped her.
The moment ended. Margo was again aware of the freezing rain soaking her and the unfolding violence. Stone gave her shoulder a comforting squeeze, but by a flash of lightning she saw his countenance was now set, hard and fierce. The wind blew the collar of his rain slicker against the sides of his neck.
“Hold, griffins. Don’t be so quick to pass judgment. There’s more going on here than what you see on the surface.”
The three paused with fists raised.
“Use your gifts to look more closely at him. Don’t let yourselves be blinded by actions he’s not responsible for. Smell past his own scent to the evil that’s infected him.”
The circle of tense males expanded to include Graeme.
“Who are you?” the first rescuer on the scene demanded.
“What are you?” clarified his companion. “You aren’t human or were.”
Margo was lost. The conversation was veering off in a bizarre direction. She was relieved not to be choking anymore, but it was clear her assault was no longer the focus of her rescuers’ concern. Were those three men sniffing the air?
The fellow who had cornered Margo bristled. “Sorcerer!” he snarled, rising to the balls of his feet.
“Easy, gentlemen.” Stone’s cadence was low and even. Margo felt a push of strength in his voice with his request for calm. “Don’t make any hasty assumptions. There’s far more going on here than any of you realize, and a great deal more at stake.”
With another gentle squeeze on her shoulder, Stone drew Margo’s attention. His eyes never left the others as he whispered instructions to her.
“Very slowly, no hurried movements, scoot around me. I want you behind me, and any movement I make will be interpreted as aggressive. Stay down, stay close and stay quiet. If you run, this situation will explode.”
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