I want to thank JM Powers for taking the time to stop by and answer some questions for me.
I had the opportunity to review Basket of Hope by JM back in August. I really enjoyed this book. It’s a great Halloween read. You can see my review by clicking on the title.
Now on to the fun!!
Do you have a routine when you are writing? Do you have a set time you write, certain number of days a week, word count, etc?
I usually write after the kids are in bed and continue until the sunrise. That way I can write for hours without interruption. However, sometimes my characters demand time when chaos is rampant in my household, so it’s not uncommon to see me writing while cooking dinner…I burn stuff a lot.
I’ve heard a lot of author’s mention play lists they listen to while writing, do you listen to music while you are working or do you have to have the quiet?
I listen to my muse, so it doesn’t matter what is going on—tv, music, a fireman carrying me out of the house…I’m oblivious to my surroundings when I write. (Okay, I made up the hot firefighter; I just liked the visual.)
I’m a Twitter junkie and I’m bad about reading Twitter posts when I am supposed to be working. Do the social networking sites tempt you away from work when you are writing?
No, but I tend to instant message when I should be writing. Do you allow yourself time on them or do you have to stay away from them completely while working? I allot time each day for Twitter, Facebook, my blog and yahoo groups. It’s necessary to keep in touch with my readers and fellow writers.
Some authors like to read books in completely different genres than the one they write. What types of books do you find yourself reading? Do you think these books influence what you write?
I actually read mysteries, epic series, historical romance, memoirs—just about every genre. I believe I glean knowledge from every book in one way or another.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Historical Romance.
Why? The different eras are a peek in another world. I love learning about the social ways, foods, customs, expectations, and all the aspects of life in each era. Medieval is my favorite period—there is something hot about a powerful knight showing his loving and tender side.
Who are some of your favorite authors to read? Hannah Howell, Johanna Lindsey, Terry Goodkind, and Jean M. Auel.
“Be careful or you’ll end up in my book!” Do your characters have traits of friends and family? Or are they completely new individuals?
I don’t consciously use characteristics of my friends and family, but sometimes they come through in my books.
Are you a full time writer or do you have to make time to write?
I wish I could write full time, but I must keep my day job until I hit big time status. Is it difficult to juggle working, writing and family life? Well, not really. I just have to section out time. Sleep is the only thing that suffers.
Favorite color? Purple!
Favorite beverage? Sweet tea
Favorite Food? shrimp scampi
Favorite animal or pet? Squirrels in my backyard (what is with all the S answers?)
Sweet snacks or salty? NEED both (almost said salty, but that is another S)
Morning person or night owl? Night owl
Mac or PC? pc
TV, Radio or Nothing when you are writing? kid chatter
And because you’re a romance author: Sweet or smutty? Depends on mood
Now – will you tell us a little about BASKET OF HOPE?
Sure! I loved writing this paranormal romance. It is set in the medieval era. Kara, a scullery maid, has loved Machias most of her life. Problem is, he is a man of royal blood… Here is the blurb:
All Hallows Eve looms near, and encroaching evil shall have its way if a marriage filled with true love and pure magic does not take place. Machias must choose a witch, something Kara never hopes to be.
Machias’s father will do anything to ensure his son chooses wisely—lies, beatings, and even an attempt to soil Kara’s innocence is not past the man.
Machias’s marriage announcement promises to burn Kara’s hope to cinders…unless something truly magical happens at the All Hallows Eve ball.
Just to entice you a bit, here’s an excerpt:
The thump of Thaddeus’s sword faded as Kara’s gaze traveled from him to Machias. Coveting his body, she perused it until she reached his buttocks, resting her gaze upon the curve and firmness, and following down to where it met his legs. Leather breeches accented his form, caressing his lean muscles like a lover and pronouncing his sinewy limbs with each of his movements. The way the sun glistened against Machias made her wish she could conjure magic, if only to make his clothes fall away. Kara squinted, trying to imagine Machias naked while she slipped another berry in her mouth. Naught could possibly compare to his beauty…in her imagination, anyway. Her heart ached with love, and her body seemed to vibrate with the want of him. Each morn, the memory of his stolen kiss so many years ago still remained her first waking thought.
Kara dabbed her brow with Stella’s apron, feeling her cheeks heat at the reminder of her solitary attentions while fantasizing about Machias. Though she prayed for forgiveness, Kara could not help but touch herself as soon as she woke from her wanton dreams, her body still trembling with need. Stella caught her once and told her she needed to offer a village boy a good rut to ease her tension. Kara found the suggestion disgusting.
“I shall die a virgin,” she whispered. Ah, if he but knew how I love him.
The men seemed to be done with practice. Machias rested his arm on the top of the pell, talking to his brother. Her heart skittered when Machias’s gaze met hers from over Thaddeus’s shoulder, seeming to feel her scrutiny.
Hoping her expression belied her thoughts, Kara quickly turned her back to him and resumed picking berries. She concentrated on each tiny orb within the fruit, forcing innocent thoughts in the stead of reckless ones.
She glanced at the checked pattern on the apron, spurring a childhood memory of a game called Queek. Though his father, Lord Tanner, discouraged their play, Machias would meet her in the meadow, hiding the checkered cloth underneath his tunic. Out of sight, they would spread it onto the ground and collect small stones. After guessing whether the stone would land on dark or light, they would toss it upon the cloth. She suspected Machias peeked, especially if she began to call Queek too often, but he never admitted it. She did not care if she won or lost. She simply relished the time spent with him. Over the years, Kara began to love him more than the game.
When Machias reached ten and five, bordering on the verge of manhood, he departed for training. He kissed her, among the first rays of sunrise, whispering his fare thee well. Be it innocent, ’twas a true kiss, and though her heart was young, it knew of her love for him even then.
Adrift with loneliness, Kara awaited his return for six years. She would inconspicuously lean closer while serving the evening meal, hoping to hear snippets of Machias’s life through his parents’ conversation, but they did not say much in her presence.
She bordered on giddiness when Machias returned. Although she had grown into womanhood, Kara was ill prepared to see the difference in him. Ah, what a true shock when naught of the lad she knew entered the gates, but a man. Muscles, perfectly sculpted as the marble statues in the gardens, seemed to flex with the smallest of movement. His angular jaw, sporting a hint of a beard under his dark complexion, only accented his rugged looks. Moreover, his voice…his voice, deep and tender at the same time, defined a grown man. Had it not been for the single dimple on his left cheek when he smiled, Kara often wondered if she would have recognized him at all.
At first, Kara believed he had the same issue with her, for the most attention he paid was discreet thanks when she served his meals or a request for a refill of sweet mead for his female guests. However, one day, he whispered a childhood endearment as he passed her in the garden. G’day, Kay-Kay. Oh how those words made her swoon, though she did a fair job of hiding her joy at the discovery that Machias did recognize her. He just saw her differently—beneath him. As did she, but in a sinful way.
Kara crumpled the apron in her fist, no longer finding joy in the pattern.
Ah, Machias, social standing became everything ta ye, and I became naught.
Machias waved from across the meadow. Kara looked to see who approached but saw no one. Smiling so hard her cheeks hurt, Kara slowly raised her hand. Spotting her berry-stained fingers, she snatched them down.
His smile flashed, bright and inviting. Mayhap the inviting part was simply her imagination. Just the same, Kara decided to join him and started his way.
At a poke from his brother, Machias turned away and blocked the next jab.
Kara’s grin faltered and she pretended her intention was to give her mare a few berries. She grabbed a handful from her basket and outstretched her hand to Dunny. She peered over at the sound of Machias’s voice. His broad back was to her, muffling his words to his younger brother, but she simply listened to the euphoric melody of the deep yet soft tones. Dunny snorted, seeming to ask for more of the sweet treat, but she returned back to the bushes.
“Why do I torture myself so?” she whispered, ripping berries from their hold. She did not even care that the thorns bit her fingertips. In a way, she welcomed the pain, for ’twas preferable to the ache in her heart.
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