Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book Spotlight for Prince of Shadows by Nancy Gideon (Interview)

Today's a great day at my blog as I get to host the AMAZING Nancy Gideon and her newest release, Prince of Shadows.  I've been reading Nancy Gideon books since the late 80's so it's a honor to have her here and to pick her brain about writing!  So get comfy and enjoy some time with the incomparable Nancy Gideon.....

TSP: Knowing what you do now about the publishing business, would you have done anything different career-wise?
NG: When I started out in publishing back in the mid-‘80s (yes, I’m an ‘80s Lady!), I knew nothing about the business and had never met a real live author.  There was no Internet and all I had was a library copy of The Fiction Writers Market to go by.  I was SO ignorant it’s amazing I ever got that first sale.  Since I can’t go back to then with what I know now, in retrospect, I think I’ve done all right. I’ve been selling consistently for over 25 years and making money doing what I love.  If there was one thing I do regret, it’s not having the courage to leave my long time publisher when my then agent told me it was time to jump. I needed the dependable income and was afraid to take the risk. Who knows if it would have made a difference, but that hesitation did prompt me to make some rather gutsy moves later on.
TSP: What does your writing space look like and do you surround yourself with any particularly inspirational items?
NG: I have the loft in my apartment converted into my home office, which is great unless my son is watching something horrific on the big screen in the living room below.  I’m surrounded by a bunker of electronics: laptop, 4-in-1 printer, iPad, iPod and docking station, big old honking TV with VHS player for those much needed research refreshers and an elliptical to encourage plotting (the sooner I arrive at a plot, the sooner I can get off!). Some days I feel like I should have a tinfoil hat on my head to ward off cosmic rays. There are stacks of plotting and PR notebooks for current, upcoming and previous books, and of course, books.  Everywhere.  And usually a cat.  To remind me of why I’m up at 5:00 a.m. drinking coffee and typing, I have a picture of my critique group to give me the “Why aren’t you working?” stink eye along with the motivational encouragers they’ve given as gifts over the years. And my “Career Achievement in Historical Adventure” statuette from Romantic Times that always needs dusting. Other than that, it’s an OCD organized chaos oasis of Post-Its and To-Do lists.
TSP: You have written in many different genres, which genre is your favorite and are there any genres you haven't yet written in that you'd like to?
NG: Suspense is my favorite, hands down.  I’ll always find a way to wiggle a little intrigue into anything I’m writing.  One of the very few things I haven’t tried is Young Adult, so that’s what I’m tinkering with now.
TSP: Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about Prince of Shadows?
NG: I’ll let a couple of early reviewers answer this one:
“Grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I think this might be my favorite book of the series. Definitely darker, grittier, more dangerous, and had a plot rife with twists . . . and I simply loved it. 5 of 5 Stars.” – Literal Addiction
“An emotional rollercoaster. Full of intrigue, danger, and an intense love story vividly portrayed with a passion that sizzles, characters that will capture your heart, and a compelling story to take your breath away.  Therewas a lot more to this than just a shape shifter romance. It swept me away. A delicious addition to a fascinating paranormal series. 5 out of 5 Stars. A Winner of a Read!” – Addicted to Romance
I’m an armchair action/adventure junkie so I loved writing the physical scenes while weaving a complex story of dysfunctional family dynamics with an old fashion first love heart-tugger. And moving the series from New Orleans to Lake Tahoe, home of the Terriot shifter clan was a creative kickstart to the ever-widening “By Moonlight” world.  It’s a good place for someone who hasn’t read the New Orleans books to jump in.
TSP: Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would play the main couple?
NG: I always envisioned MASKED BY MOONLIGHT as a film.  I wrote it, and the next three “Moonlight” books in the series, without any outline (a huge no-no for a rigid plotter like me) as if I was watching it on the big screen with the leads played by Clive Owen and Rosario Dawson a la Sin City.
TSP: Of all the heroes you've written, who's the most heroic in your opinion?
NG: I love a dark, dangerous, tortured hero so they don’t always tend to be THAT heroic – at least not in the beginning. But two come to mind as the ultimate Good Guys, the kind I always wish I’d meet until I’m dazzled by that Bad Boy.  First is Giles St. Clair from BETRAYED BY SHADOWS, the book just prior to PRINCE OF SHADOWS in the series.  From book one, he’s been a laid back, solid rock of loyalty and self-sacrifice.  It was great bringing him from the background where I’d always adored him to hottie status as a heroic hero. The other stand out hero is Jack Bass from my Texas historical series.  Honorable, brave, and a Texas Ranger to boot. Out of all 54 books, TEXAS DESTINY was one of my absolute favorite books to write.  
TSP: How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself? Do you have an eReader yourself?
NG: I’m an old dog.  It took me a long time to warm to the e-volution.  I finally got an iPad with a Kindle app and now I LOVE it!  One click – new book. Awesome!  I’m starting to get on board.  This current book and the one prior were both e-exclusives so it was a learning curve to figure out how to best promote them after working with sales force and brick and mortar stores for nearly 25 years.  Fortunately, I have a solid social media platform in place and lots of blog buddies which made the transition easier.  Working with a Big Six publisher, I’m not seeing the same strength of sales in e-only as with print and e-book because the majority of my readers were in print format and they haven’t made the transition to the degree that we’d hoped.  But the one thing about e-books -  they’re available indefinitely!  No shelf life.  So there’s still a lot of buying activity with my earlier titles.  
Another plus is getting the rights back to 20 older titles written as Dana Ransom for Zebra Books.  I have the choice of reselling them to a publisher (which I did with four contemporaries to BelleBooks for a 2014 release!) or I can self-publish the remaining historical romances myself. I have the tools and the talent (or rather I know those who do!).  
TSP: What do you think the biggest issue is right now facing authors in the business?
NG: Making smart, long-range choices.  They used to be so limited. If New York couldn’t fit you into their regimented slots, you were pretty much out of luck. With the digital boom, small presses and self-publishing have thrown off their second class status by making big noises on the bestseller lists. Authors need to carefully educate themselves to protect their interests regarding questions of do they need an agent, how to get their books into reader hands, how to manage the business of being self-employed and self-published, and is an advance better than the long tail income. For the first time, the author has the power . . . and the pressure of using it wisely.
TSP: My site's all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things/the things you can't live without?
NG: My ‘Must Haves” are my Keurig coffee maker to make those 5:00 am writing sessions go down smoother, Netflix and my iPad Kindle app to keep my creative juices flowing, my cat Jasper for the necessary warm snuggles, great bling (a girl’s gotta have great bling!), and my critique group of writer pals.  They’re my rock that keeps me rolling.
Thanks for having me, Jody!  It’s been fun!

A gentle female held hostage in a deadly play for power, Kendra Terriot’s only means of survival for herself and her family is to play to a careful courtship game. The one she chooses from her clan’s dangerous heirs will inherit the coveted crown, keeping her their prisoner forever . . . unless she can retain her virtue until rescue arrives.
Favored son of their brutal Shifter leader, the only calm in Cale Terriot’s violent world is a childhood love for his delicate distant cousin whom he’s pledged to make his queen. With Kendra at his side, he knows he can become the kind of ruler his clan needs, but first he must learn how to become the kind of mate she desires.
In a treacherous race for control, where weakness means death, Cale must prove he’s not the beast his beauty fears and still protect her, especially once her unrequited love returns to free her. The only way to win her respect could mean surrendering his throne.
The only way to win her heart could mean letting her go…even if she no longer wants to be saved.


Cale stood in the shadowed doorway. Before him was everything he’d ever wanted, there for the taking, but for the first time in a long time, he was afraid to make a move.
A blush of moonlight filtered down from the skylight to bathe Kendra’s sleeping form in a tender halo. So beautiful that it hurt to look upon her while dark, urgent thoughts prowled. His gaze adored the relaxed innocence of her features, the way her fair hair rippled across the pillow like silk. No protective bulk of fleece tonight. Something silky and shimmering detailed the contours of her graceful shape.
His soft exhale of longing was tempered by the fisting of hands that still shook. He couldn’t keep himself away any longer. His need had intensified into an agony of desire and regret.  Her scent drew him inexorably where he shouldn’t go, where he couldn’t trust himself to be. Close enough to be a threat to her. Because promises had yet to be sealed with a bond.
She stirred in her sleep, murmuring softly, rolling onto her back. That slippery gown whispered across her breasts and hips the way his hands yearned to. He watched her take unhurried breaths, unaware of how harsh and forceful his own had become.
Take her!
It was the way his family did things. Swift, purposeful action, necessarily brutal, to take and hold what was theirs. His queen, beside him. His heirs, inside her. That dizzying heat returned, scalding his brain, flaming through his body in a shuddering rush.
She’s yours by her own vow. Claim her!
She shifted within that seductive wrap of silk, and all he could think of was tearing it off her, tearing into her, feeling the warmth of her body, tasting her blood, exulting in the glorious relief of joining with her beautiful spirit.
Staining it. Bruising it. Crushing it along with her trust and any love she might ever have felt for him.
The cool touch of her voice pierced through the pounding rage of his intentions. He faded back into shadow, silently withholding his presence from her until she settled back to sleep.
He hadn’t returned.
In the warm pooling sunlight, Kendra glanced about in sinking dismay. Cale hadn’t come back. Nothing had been disturbed since she’d lain back upon the covers to wait for him.
His absence was unexpectedly wounding, but the reason behind it filled her with unease. Would another Terriot prince be moving in today to replace him? If that were the case, she could anticipate no mercy or restraint. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to block out the brutal sight of Bram Terriot growling over her mother’s back. Was that what she had to look forward to in the next few hours?
If she ran, would she have the slightest chance of escape?
If you don’t accept my protection, I can’t help you.
She’d never get off the mountain intact, perhaps not even alive. Struggling with that panicked certainty, Kendra slipped from the bed and moved anxiously into the outer room. She came to an abrupt halt at the sight that greeted her. The prayer of relief whispered from her, soft and shaky.
Cale was sprawled on the floor with one booted foot on the sofa cushions, showing every indication of a hard, hellacious night. His closed eyes were sunken and deeply shadowed, his hair stiff with dried sweat. More bloodstains covered his skin and torn clothing; perhaps he’d found more debts that needed settling. She was guiltily pleased to note that no female scent was attached to him. He didn’t stir as she crossed the room.
Carefully, she moved his foot and reclined on the cushions, resting her head on her arm as she studied him.
Cale Terriot. Treasured friend from childhood or terrorizing intimidator from the not so distant past? The lines between the two confusingly blurred. There were moments when he’d smile and the surfacing sweetness would stir in her all sorts of buried emotions, leaving her dangerously vulnerable. Then that expressionless mask would drop into place, the one he wore when about his father’s business, and from behind it he could deal out a stunning degree of viciousness, as if morality never registered. Both sides fed upon her loneliness, upon the restlessness of late-blooming sexuality.
Was she seriously considering staying with him? About bonding as his life’s mate?
That would mean remaining here, locked away from a world she’d hoped to enjoy, a pampered prisoner, but prisoner nonetheless. Sharing every little intimate detail of her days andnights with this quixotic man she didn’t understand. Trusting him to care for her, to protect and cherish her.
Then there was the sex. And that, she guessed, would be frequent and vigorous whenever and wherever he was in the mood. Just thinking about it quickened the curious stir in her center. Before she could stop herself, she put her fingertips to his cheek. And gasped as he caught her wrist roughly.
His eyes flashed open, seeming more incredibly pale and beautiful against the shaded bruising surrounding them. Once he recognized her, his words were rough. “Probably not a good idea to startle me when I’m sleeping.”
“I’ll make a note.” Kendra withdrew her hand when he released it, rubbing at her abraded wrist while he rolled his head away and laid his forearm across his eyes. “I didn’t hear you come in last night.”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t have reason to wake you.”
That flat tone deflated fragile hopes. Kendra swallowed hard. A forlorn prickle of pride refused to let her beg him. “It should only take a few minutes to pack up my things.”
“What?” His gaze flew up to meet hers, eyes wide and round and filled with a tumble of complex emotion. “You’re leaving?”
“Isn’t that what you want?”
“No.” He drew a quick, jerky breath. “Do you want me to?”
The last thing she’d expected was for him to place that kind of power in her hands, but he delivered it without any hesitation. Kendra sat up and carefully weighed her next words. “I can’t stay if I’m afraid of you.” She gave that time to settle in. His stare, so intense and still, was riveted to hers. “There have to be rules.”
A quick blink. “You’re giving me rules?”
She heard his arrogant claim in her head. I’m a Terriot prince. I do whatever the hell I want. But she didn’t back down. “Someone has to, Cale.”
“So,” he ventured carefully, “what are they?”

Book Trailers for the Series

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Nancy Gideon is the author of over 54 novels ranging from historical and contemporary suspense to paranormal with a couple of horror screenplays thrown in.  When not at the keyboard or working full time as a legal assistant, she can be found feeding her addictions for Netflix and all things fur, feather and fin.

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