Interview - Unholy Cause: A Romance Noel by Author P.L. Blair *****Excerpt - Giveaway*****
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Police Procedural/Light Romance
Publisher: Studio See Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: Sept. 30, 2017
Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 78,670
Cover Artist: Ron and Sarah Richter
Corpus Christi, Texas, police detective Tevis McLeod, an elf, must make an impossible choice: aid the evil Queen of the Unseelie Court in a quest that will allow her to become ruler over two worlds … or watch Kat Morales, his Human partner, and lifemate, die.
An Interview with Author P.L. Blair
Welcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder (or Character Madness and Musings)
Tell us about your newest book
In Cause, Kat and Tevis, now lifemates, are up against the evil Queen of the Unseelie Court. The Queen is in search of a device that will allow her to become ruler over both the world of humans and the Realms of Magic, and Kat and Tevis become pawns in her plan to achieve that goal.
Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing your newest book?
For me, there's always a struggle to find the right words to tell the story I want to tell. That and the issue of “What comes next?” I don't do a lot of plotting in advance, it's more natural for me to simply sit down and start writing, let the pictures flow in my mind and try to find the words to describe what I see. What that sometimes means is … I'll finish a scene and have no idea where the book is going from there!
So then I have to sit back and let the brain mull over where it's been and think about what could happen next … That waiting while the brain sorts through the possibilities is always very hard.
Tell us a little bit about your writing career.
I've wanted to be a writer since I was around 7 years old – maybe 8, it's hard to remember now. But anyway … I wrote a short story about a witch, and my teacher encouraged me to read it to the rest of the class, and … My classmates liked it! That was amazing to me, and I decided then and there that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
The practical side of me figured out by junior high school that I wanted to be a journalist – a reporter, both to hone my writing skills and make a living at the one thing I really loved to do – so I studied journalism in high school, majored in journalism in college, graduated with a BA in journalism and started work for my home-town newspaper as a reporter. With only a couple of brief detours, I've been a reporter for most of my life, and these days I work for Sheridan Media, an outlet in Sheridan, WY, that operates 10 radio stations and a website.
Along the way, I got so involved covering news that I kind of forgot why I'd gotten into journalism in the first place. Finally, about 10 or 12 years ago, I got to thinking that, if I wanted to make it as a novelist – my original plan – I really needed to get started. That was when I came up with the idea for my Portals books, sat down and wrote the first one – Shadow Path.
They say Hind-sight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?
Actually, I'd love to be able to go back in time, shove a copy of Shadow Path into the hands of my younger self and tell her, “Start writing this one.”
What was your most difficult scene to write?
The opening scene is always the hardest for me to write in any of my books so far. That's the tone-setter, the scene that gets everything else going – the one that pulls the reader in (or at least, that's my hope). My idea is always in that opening scene to lay the foundation for the plot that follows.
Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?
I don't really have a “theme” as such for any of my books. What I have is a continuing cast of characters – Tevis, Kat, other members of their team, including Arvandus, a wizard – and the idea that their involvement starts with the commission of a crime, or crimes, involving magic.
What are you working on now?
Book 6 in the series, A Plague of Leprechauns, is currently with my publisher, and I'm actually working on Book 7, Doomblade, involving a magic sword.
Is there a release date planned?
Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?
Both of my main characters, Kat and Tevis, are my favorites. Kat, a Mexican-American woman, is the me I'd like to be – younger, prettier, braver. Tevis, the elf, is kind of an idealized male, who's also pretty good at dealing with magic. I also modeled the character, physically at least, in the image of a favorite from my adolescent years – Illya Kuryakin from the old Man From Uncle TV series.
Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?
OMG, I had so many books that I loved! Black Beauty springs immediately to mind. I loved horses, still do for that matter, and the book is poignant – I hated what happened to poor Ginger – and bittersweet.
What are your plans for future projects?
I hope to keep writing Portals books forever! And … if I can find the time … I've got ideas for a few more fantasy books kickin' around …
Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?
A huge Thank You for hosting me and letting me talk about my books and writing!
You're welcome. Good luck with your newest release, and thank you for being with us today.
ExcerptKat Morales felt a tingle of nerves between her shoulders as she and her partner entered Miguelito's. Something watched them – not some one, not anyone in the knot of uniformed police and civilians gathered at the doors into the restaurant's kitchen. What burned at the nape of Kat's neck, and turned the greenblack amulet around her neck into ice so cold it almost burned, came from some … thing. A creature, definitely not Human. Kat stopped a couple of steps past the entrance, scanning her surroundings. Miguelito's had gone lavish in Christmas decorations: arrangements of poinsettias on every Spanish-tiled table in sight, bright-colored pinatas around the bar at the far end of the room, a six-pointed star of Magic-enhanced light strands hanging from the ceiling in the room's center, with more light strands radiating outward toward the walls in a simulation of starlight.
And overriding everything, the decorations, murals on the walls – everything –
That sensation prickling at the nape of Kat's neck, that feeling of being watched by something dark and malevolent.
“Invisible,” Tevis murmured, his gaze meeting hers.
Not her imagination then. He felt it too.
He nodded, as though in response to her thoughts. A couple of inches taller than Kat's own five-feet-six, hair a pale gold in color, eyes the most incredible shade of blue Kat had ever seen, Tevis Mac Leod at first glance could pass for a late-twenty-something Human. But then you noticed the ears, pointed as those of a fox, that identified him as an Elf – an Aalfar. One of those beings that Humans had long dismissed as “fairy tales” and fantasy until more than four years ago when Portals had opened between the world of Humans and … the Other Side … the world ruled by Magic and inhabited by all of humankind's ancient fantasies and worst nightmares …
Tevis had been Kat's partner on the Corpus Christi Police Department's detective squad for nearly a year now, and more recently – her lifemate. Although they were keeping that part secret for a while yet. The CCPD officially frowned on its officers … “fraternizing.” A corner of Kat's mouth twitched a smile that quickly disappeared as she re-focused her attention on the business at hand. All the restaurant's tables were empty, all but one. She moved toward it, Tevis close at her side.
The two men standing beside the table straightened at the detectives' approach. The third man, the one slumped over his unfinished lunch, was beyond any kind of movement.
“Morales.” Corpus Christi Police Captain James Harley nodded to her, then to her partner. “Mac Leod.” He pronounced Tevis' name “Leed” instead of the way Tevis himself said it: “Lee-ud.” The other – living – Human at the table, Nueces County's Deputy Coroner Roger Branson, gave Kat and her partner a curt nod. Kat had fewer dealings with Branson than with his boss, Paul Herrera. But Paul was on vacation this week.
Kat would've bet her next paycheck that Roger was wishing his and Paul's positions were reversed.