Black Moon Rising Paranormal Hunters Book Two by Mila Nicks - Paranormal Romance - Dreams aren’t always so sweet
An Interview with Mila NicksWelcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder. Tell us about Black Moon Rising
Black Moon Rising is book 2 in my Paranormal Hunters series. It picks up where book 1, Black Witch Magic, left off. It opens with lunar witch Selene finally free of her family curse and getting to travel and have adventures for the first real time in her life. She’s accompanying her paranormal investigator boyfriend as part of filming for his show, Paranormal Hunters. For Selene’s first case, they’re investigating the Mhoon Hotel in Maresburg, Virginia, where it’s rumored a mysterious and dangerous sleep monster prowls the premises at night. Several guests have died in their sleep over the years, and it’s up to Selene and Aiden to figure out what’s going on. Little do they know the sleep creature might be targeting one of them next.
Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing Black Moon Rising?
As I’ve written multiple books, I’ve discovered each one has a unique challenge. With Black Moon Rising, the challenge was definitely time-related. The book I wrote before this one ended up taking me longer than I hoped, which meant from the start I was behind on Black Moon Rising. I really had to take a look at my daily schedule and figure out how I could cram in as much time to write as possible. Luckily, though, the storyline kept me so engrossed, I didn’t encounter any story-related issues along the way.
Tell us a little bit about your writing career.
I’m a fairly new self-published author. I started off last May with my debut novel, a restaurant romance called Love’s Recipe about two single parents working at a restaurant together, cooking together and falling in love. Over the last year, I’ve published six other books. I mostly write contemporary and paranormal, though in the future I’d love to branch out into other subgenres. I do only write women of color as my protagonists, and that’s mostly because as a woman of color myself, I feel like there can always be more positive representation in literature.
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?
Outline! I’m a pantser, so I struggle with outlines, and have often skipped them altogether. It was fine when writing for fun, but as I’ve learned the hard way, it’s just easier to have an outline to rely on when you’re working on a manuscript meant to be published.
What was your most difficult scene to write?
I tend to struggle with the first few chapters. If there’s any part of the book I rewrite several times, it’s the prologue and first couple of chapters. I think I wrote three or four different versions of the prologue for Black Moon Rising?
Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?
Yes, though I don’t try to be heavy-handed with them. Following your dream and conquering your fears are some themes in Black Moon Rising.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m writing another small-town romance as part of a multi-author series. I’m really excited about this one, because it’s just a sweet story between two individuals who were once together and it didn’t work out, but now they’re giving their love another go.
Is there a release date planned?
The series will be out this fall! Mine in October.
Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?
Impossible to choose! I have soft spots for almost all of my characters, even some of the bad ones, ha ha. But I will say, if I had to pick a couple I “ship” the most from any of my books, it would be Aiden and Selene. I just think they are sooo right for each other. They have a lot of similarities (both introverts, bookish, clever), but also their differences make the other stronger (Selene’s compassion and strong beliefs and Aiden’s pragmatism and logic). Also, what I love about them is that they’re both introverts. I feel like we often see extroverts given the chance to shine in many stories. Selene and Aiden aren’t the type of characters who would be the life of a party, but they’re wonderful in their own way.
Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?
I was definitely a huge Dr. Seuss fan when I was little. I also remember loving Miss Nelson is Missing. When I was a little older, I was into a lot of the popular 90s stuff, like Goosebumps and Babysitters Club. The first chapter book I remember having a really profound effect on me was Number the Stars. A few years later, I got into Harry Potter, and became obsessed.
What are your plans for future projects?
I try to take things one or two projects at a time, though I can say I’m already looking forward to writing book 3 in the Paranormal Hunters series. Hopefully I’ll get to that by summertime!
Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?
Thank you for having me! I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about my book. :)
You're welcome. Good luck with Black Moon Rising, and thank you for being with us today.
Black Moon Rising Excerpt“We’re here. Time to get up,” Aiden said, but Selene didn’t budge. He draped her arm over his shoulder and lifted her into his arms, carrying her down the passage leading into the hotel.
The foyer lights were already off except for the desk lamp at the reception counter. He staggered up the stairs, keeping his balance while holding a dozing Selene. He had no clue where her key card was and didn’t have the energy to stop and search. Instead, he fumbled for his own, sliding it into the slot on his door handle. The lock clicked and the door swung open. He delivered Selene to his bed, figuring she would wake up once she realized they were no longer driving.
But she didn’t. Aiden spent the next half hour showering and shaving. He emerged in his glasses, T-shirt, and pajama bottoms and discovered Selene was still deeply asleep. A frown curled itself onto his lips as he debated if he should try waking her again. He lowered himself at her side on the bed and gave her a gentle shake.
“Selene,” he said. His insides knotted with a strange premonition. “Wake up. We’re back at the hotel.”
Selene was the lightest sleeper he knew. It was what made her insomnia that much worse; the slightest noise normally woke her. She needed a perfect temperature and often even the bed itself kept her up if not comfortable enough. She wasn’t someone who fell into a deep hibernation type of sleep.
Her only answer to him was another sleepy moan. She rolled onto her side and snuggled one of the bed pillows. She really was knocked out.
“I didn’t realize she was this tired,” he said, sighing. He unzipped her boots, tugging them off, and then pulled the bed comforter over her.
He dimmed the lights and picked up his book for some bedtime reading. Before he made it to the armchair on the other side of the room, he stopped short. Outside the door there was an unmistakable whispery sound, like the soughing wind.
It only grew louder as he stood still and listened. The low whispering noise transformed into something rougher—something borderline ragged—and then it dawned on him. The sound wasn’t the wind but one of lungs, intaking a breath. Who those lungs belonged to, he hadn’t the faintest clue.
Aiden’s heart started racing and he straightened his shoulders. The sound was going nowhere, hovering outside the door. He had to check it out, investigate what was going on. In two of his long-legged strides, he crossed the room and pressed his eye to the peephole.
The hall was blanketed in darkness. Staring into the peephole was like staring at the inside of your lids. Yet, as Aiden held his eye against the hole, another strange premonition panged in his stomach. Whatever was on the other side of this door was staring back at him. It was peering into the same hole.
Gooseflesh pricked Aiden’s skin and he backed away. The ragged breathing carried on for another few seconds, an ugly sound to Aiden’s ears, before it faded. Farther and farther away it drifted until the sound died out and silence weighed in.
Aiden hurried over to his desk, grabbing the spirit box, the flashlight, and his copy of War and Peace. The spirit box and flashlight were to detect any unusual activity in the area. The thousand-plus page book was to use as a weapon if necessary. He threw a glance over his shoulder at the bed. Selene was still fast asleep, buried under the covers looking cozy and comfortable. He marched to the door and pulled it open.
Shadows ruled the hallway. Aiden stepped over the threshold, shuddering at the arctic cold in the air. He flicked on both the flashlight and spirit box, which crackled to life. Shining the flashlight down the hall, the shadows scuttled away. Nothing was out of the ordinary. The hallway looked as it always did, a stretch of oil portraits on the walls and doily-like area rugs sprinkled throughout.
The spirit box continued to crackle, its green lights weakly blinking. Aiden scanned the hall some more, his brow furrowed. If there wasn’t anything amiss, then was he imagining the sound? Maybe he was more exhausted than he realized…
He was a second away from turning back and heading into the room. The lights on the spirit box flashed bright and the crackling noise intensified. His eyes snapped to what it had picked up on and his gooseflesh only spread across his skin in a cold wave.
Black ink dribbled from the vent in the hall. It trickled down the striped wallpaper in a slow descent. He walked over and shone his flashlight onto the vent. Selene had been right all along. Whatever it was they were dealing with wasn’t human.