Need a change of scenery? An escape from reality? These days, it seems like we’re all looking for a change of pace. If you are, check out In My Own Shadow. Read all about the unexpected adventure Lara takes to another world.
Talk about the worst day ever! Lara lets her friend Carrie talk her into a blind date, only it turns out the handsome stranger waiting for Lara after work isn’t Carrie’s cousin after all. And, when they’re chased through a portal to another world, Lara realizes Rhys really is out of this world.
Lyra, her alternate in another dimension, has left clues to the whereabouts of the Book of Secrets, explaining the mystery of time travel in Lara’s subconscious. Or so Rhys thinks. Power-hungry telepaths will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means breaking Lara’s will. To complicate matters, Lara gets tangled up in her feelings for Rhys while exploring her connection with Lyra.
With Rhys as her guardian, a bear of a man named Azle to guide her, and the spirit of Lyra haunting her dreams, Lara must find the Book of Secrets before it falls into the hands of those who want its power. Only then canshe return to her world safely.
I am very pleased to announce In My Own Shadow is available on Amazon in eBook, Kindle Unlimited and in paperback for the first time ever.Check it out!
Welcome! Come on in. Make yourselves at home. Today, I’m visiting with fellow author, L.A. Kelley. I recently finished reading her young adult book, The Rules for Lying and loved it. She sounded like a lot of fun, so I got in touch with her and was delighted when she agreed to let me feature her on my blog.
Some interesting things she has to say about herself: Although born in the North (don’t hold it against me), I went to college in New Orleans and developed a love of beignets, po’boys, and fais do-do. I’ve lived in the South ever since. I’ve been writing since old enough to gnaw on a #2 pencil, but only jumped into publishing a few years ago. I have eight self-published novels and five with an indy press. All have adventure, humor, and a little romance because life is dull without them. No graphic sex or gore so your mama would approve, but a touch of cheeky sass so maybe she wouldn’t. In my spare time, I call in fifolet sightings to the Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife. They are heartily sick of hearing from me.
Describe what you
consider your ideal writing conditions.
I write every day, but not at a desk. I’ve never found one comfortable. Instead, I prefer to hunker down in an overstuffed armchair. This is my chair. Mine only. Nobody sits there. Get your butt off the cushion or I’ll smack you.
Are you a plotter, a
pantser or some combination of both?
I wish I were a plotter, but I’m a pantser. Plotter sounds much more intelligent. I envision a writer (dressed in tweeds with a spaniel at her feet), examining a neat, organized database of characters and interconnecting plot points. She sips a sherry and pats the dog on the head. “What say, Winston, shall we give this a go?” A week later she finishes a full-length novel and takes Winston for a hike through the heather. Then there’s me. I only have a book title and that spurs an idea and then another and another and I’m off and running. Many of the characters even take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what I want. I try to slap them back into a paragraph and behave, but they spit in my eye and escape. All I can do is follow.
I completely understand. And if I don’t listen to my characters, they’ve been known to stage sit-ins.
What is the thing you
like best about being a published author?
I can work in my schlubby clothes. If anyone complains, I say, “These are my lucky writing clothes. Now, scram.”
I spend some days in pajamas…why take the time to dress when you’re on a roll?
What is the one thing
you like the least about being a published author?
People expect I to be better at grammar than I is. That’s
why me has a editor.
I hate it when people assume I’m raking in royalties.
What is the best
compliment you ever received as a writer?
One reader complained one of my books made her late for a
luncheon (and she was never late for meals.) She had to finish it before she
left the house. That’s what every writer wants to hear.
What is something
we’ll never catch you doing?
And her Bonus Questions (which I love): What inspired you to set this book in an alternate 1930s New Orleans?
It’s a blast to weave fact and fiction. The Depression
was a tough time in American history with drama of its own. Social safety nets
didn’t exist. People had to rely on each other, and it was easy for
unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of the weak and powerless. It was an
era of rapid political change, too. The problems of the rest of the world
seemed so far removed from America, but evil spread quickly with a rising Nazi
threat. New Orleans is a great place in any decade and throwing magic in the
mix with history heightens the fun.
Tell us more
about Peter Whistler. What makes him tick?
He’s a tough kid who made it his business not to get
involved with others. He has one goal in life—leave New Jersey, use his uncanny
ability to lie his way to fame and fortune, and never be responsible for
anyone. He has a hidden soft side, though, courtesy of the only person who ever
cared for him, Elsie Hart, the owner of Little Angels. When a conjuror
threatens Elsie and a little blind girl, he’s spurred to action. My, my, will
Peter discover he needs people to care for after all? Stay tuned.
well-bred southern girls, Amelie Marchand is trained in deadly martial
arts.” Why did you create her this way?
The great part of writing an alternate history is you get
to change facts from true to “Gee, I wish that was true.” Unlike the real
1930s, my New Orleans’ upper crust expects young ladies to follow rules of
correct social deportment along with protecting themselves and their families
from danger. This is also an equal opportunity era when it comes to magic.
Women can be shamans (the good guys) and conjurors (very, very bad guys).
what other secret skills do you have?
I can tell the difference between caffeinated and
decaffeinated tea just by peering into a cup and my atonal singing is known to
bring grown men to their knees. I’m often slipped a few bucks at parties not to sing Happy Birthday. I don’t
mind. Cash is always welcome.
This book is
part of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How does the next book in the
series tie in with this one?
This can easily be read as a standalone. I hate
cliffhangers, but hope I’ve piqued enough interest for a reader to go on to
Book 2, The Book of the Practically
Undead. Peter’s adventures continue in New Orleans. He learns more about
shaman life and runs into trouble with a demonic book, not to mention the
growing rise of Nazism in Europe causes unpleasant ripples in the Big Easy.
The Rules for Lying
is on sale at Amazon for 99 cents until February 14.
Excerpt: The Grimaldis knew the truth about Pike. He drove their car, so they must be involved in his scheme. A little snooping to discover the truth, and then Mrs. Hart could get on the horn to the Feds. I imagined a squad of G-men storming Grimaldi’s Market and then Nico and Carlotta’s faces peering morosely out the back of a paddy wagon as it drove through town. Maybe I could even convince the coppers to stop for Chauncey.
The unlit streets were deserted as I made my way to
the Grimaldi’s house. The black roadster was parked outside the garage. A light
shone in a downstairs window, so I snuck across the lawn and peeked in.
Pike sat at the kitchen table; fingers clasped
placidly in front, not a glowing eyeball in sight. I gave myself a mental kick
in the pants for being such a dope.
The Grimaldis huddled over a piece of paper. Mr.
Grimaldi looked up and cleared his throat. “Everything is in order. The
carriage house suited you?”
Pike slid an envelope stuffed with cash across the
tabletop. “Yes. It was private and exactly as described. We have a deal.”
Mrs. Grimaldi snatched at the bills with undisguised
greed. “We wouldn’t do this, you understand, but the Feds raided all the local
speakeasies. Our best clients shut down. Times are tough.”
Mr. Grimaldi scrawled a signature on the paper and
handed the pen to his wife. She added hers, and then Pike tucked the paper in
his pocket. “You needn’t be concerned about the girl.”
My ears pricked up. Girl? What girl? If Pike meant
Mrs. Hart, the doctor needed to get his own eyes checked.
Mr. Grimaldi shifted in his seat, a flush tinting his
fat cheeks. “People might get the wrong impression if the arrangement is
discovered. You understand—they don’t realize our actions are for her own
I sucked in my breath. Mr. Grimaldi lied big time.
“Don’t worry. No one will ever find out.” Pike’s voice
was as cold as midwinter ice.
A teensy doubt jabbed at my mind that all this had to
do with gangsters, but I brushed it roughly away. Pike and the Grimaldis rose
from the table. I darted from the window and ducked behind a tree right before
the kitchen door opened.
Mrs. Grimaldi beamed at Pike. “If you need anything
else, don’t hesitate to stop by.”
The dark man set the fedora on his head and snapped
the brim over his eyes. “I’m quite satisfied. You won’t see me again.”
For some reason, the truth shook me more than a lie. Mr.
Grimaldi closed the door, but Pike remained on the stoop. The kitchen went dark
and then a light switched on in an upstairs bedroom window.
I peered from behind the tree. Why did Pike wait? To
rob the joint after they fell asleep? If so, I had no plan to stop him. I had half
a mind to help.
The bedroom light flicked off and the yard went pitch
black. One second…two seconds…three seconds…
A yellow beam danced across the door, and my throat
nearly closed in terror. That was no flashlight.
The ray from Pike’s eyes narrowed and focused
pencil-thin. The smell of burning wood drifted across the lawn as he etched a
smoldering hieroglyphic of a flame in the middle of the door. The outline of
glowing embers flared and then snuffed out. Pike stepped back from the stoop.
He paused for a moment as if to admire his handiwork and then sprinted down the
Heart thumping, I darted to the door. My fingers stroked
the spot where I last saw the little flame. The wood was still warm.
I snatched back my hand. The wood now blazed hot, more
scorching by the second. The glowing outline flared to life again. A spark shot
out, soared overhead, and landed near the chimney. Patches of shingles exploded
A long thin spark slithered from the symbol, a fiery
snake writhing toward the keyhole. Without thinking, I reached to sweep it away
only to jerk my fingers from the scalding heat. The spark slid into the
opening. With a roar, a curtain of fire engulfed the downstairs windows.
In a panic, I banged on the door. “Wake up! The house
is on fire!”
A thick choking cloud of smoke billowed under the
doorframe, and I staggered back in a coughing fit. In a blink, the first floor
was an inferno. How did the fire spread so fast? Mrs. Grimaldi’s terrified
screams cut through the crackling fusillade of flames.
Blistering heat drove me across the yard. The
panic-stricken face of Nico Grimaldi appeared at the bedroom window struggling
to open the sash.
The wooden supports inside the house splintered and
gave way. Mr. Grimaldi vanished in a thunderous crash as the second floor
collapsed on the first. His wife’s screams cut off.
Multiple sirens wailed in the distance. I stumbled
down the alley as hot cinders rained from above. Embers lit on my clothing, and
I slapped them away. The Grimaldi house was now a nightmare of hellfire. I
flinched as all the outside walls caved in with a deafening roar.
The first of the fire trucks screeched around the
corner. Cops would surely follow asking questions I couldn’t answer. As I ran
across the street, the glare of a headlight caught me for an instant.
Tires squealed, and a man yelled, “You there, stop!”
This has been so much fun. Thanks for coming. Let’s do it again sometime.
Check out my review. The Rules for Lying. It’s a great book.