Latest Book: Merikano's Fury
Being smart and sassy with a great sense of humor comes easily for Mahalia Levey.
An avid reader of books, she found herself enchanted with disappearing completely into the worlds authors created. One day she vowed to herself she'd be one of them. Then family life came, and college right after. Swayed from her childhood course of action, it took many years for her to get back to that place she held dear as a child.
Now she is running full steam ahead to keep up with the many ideas flowing freely. She plans on taking her work to higher levels and expanding her genres. Her main focus is giving her readers variety. Her works in progress include paranormal, fantasy and mainstream romance. Taking characters and watching them grow past what she’s imagined is her true passion.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I re-read the email because it didn’t register at first. And then I screamed!
Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: Emotion is easiest for me to write. I see it clearly, the body language, expressions, I’m like a sieve picking out the best parts to show.
Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Dialogue is hard for me. I get compliments on my dialogue but it takes some work for me, to do the action tags alongside it.
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: I love Krissy in Merikano’s Fury. She has a vivacious attitude and she’s damn smart. I love how she refuses to bend to Dare’s will, her core values are important to her, and she makes him adhere to them. She is a strong character.
Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No, not at all. At times I see them so clearly I could go to a random model site and pick out someone closely resembling what I see in my mind. No one hero is the same, they each have their own issues, so do the heroines. I don’t pattern them, they pattern themselves and I work with what image I get in my head to bring them to life.
Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: Gone With The Wind. I fell in love with that book as a teen.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Merikano ‘Dare’ Varadi has finally met his match. The cheetah shifter assigned to protect and serve falls for Krissy Shuemaker, the boss’ client. Protecting her from herself seems futile, yet he’s determined to do what it takes.
Trading the comfort of home for the journey of self-discovery, Krissy is ready to follow her dreams on a new path.
When unexpected danger finds her, can the man who ignites feelings best left dead save her from herself? Or will his dark secret shatter any hope for a relationship and prevent them from joining for eternity?
PROLOGUE AND EXCERPT:
"Heathen City! You’re moving to that crime infested, God-forsaken dirty place?” Cecile tossed her favorite apple and orange-printed kitchen towel on the counter and looked at Krissy incredulously.
“Who’s going to take care of you and make sure you’re okay?” Cecile placed her hands on the counter and looked out at the packed SUV in the driveway.
“Ceci, I’ll be okay. I have Sicilian blood, remember?”
“I just don’t like it. It’s barely safe for young single women here.”
Krissy sighed. “I know—” She looped her arms around the thick, matronly mother who she loved more than dear life. “We had this same talk when I went to college, remember?”
She blew a raspberry. “You stayed in Oklahoma."
She kissed her adoptive mother goodbye. “I’ll be back to visit. I promise. I just need to get to know where I’m from.”
Cecile crumpled an embroidered hanky in her hand. “I don’t much care for that at all.”
“You worry too much, Ceci. I was fine in college and I’ll be okay in New York. My job is waiting for me!”
“I know I’m being a selfish old woman, Krissy, but why couldn’t you have just picked a local agency?”
The look on her mother’s face twisted her heart, but she knew what she had to do. She looked crestfallen over her baby moving seventeen hundred miles away. “I won a contest, remember? Besides, you encouraged me to find out more about myself. I know you hate my parents, but I need to go see where they’re from.”
“Promise me you’ll buy a gun when you get settled,” Cecile said.
“I promise, Ceci. Pepper spray, mace and a gun. Satisfied yet?”
“No, but I’ll be all right. Now, are your belongings stored in that contraption you call a car?”
“Yeah, the rental is fine. Mr. St. Paul gave me my address and it’s GPS-run. As soon as I arrive, I’ll turn in the rental and it’ll be subways and cabs from then on.”
“Okay. Well then, you should get on your way before it’s too dark. Promise to stop if you need to rest and don’t keep your doors unlocked at any stops.”
“Okay, I won’t. It’s a promise and I’ll call you when I get there.”
Krissy kissed Cecile one last time before getting into the rented SUV to take her to New York. The charge card Deryck sent her would pay for her lodgings if needed, along with food and gas.
She had never been so excited in her life. Winning the modeling and photography contest was a lifesaver. She’d be able to work and play with her camera. Life couldn’t get any better and she could hardly wait to take as many images as she could. The time of taking pictures of windmills, wheat fields, tornadoes and farms were over. It was time to see what the real world had to offer. Dibble, Oklahoma, and its population of 289, gently wavered out of existence behind her in the rearview mirror. She felt the excitement of her new life abroad racing through her blood. Finally, it was time to see what she was made of in the real world.
The day was a brisk one. The air Crisp with frigid air—enough to frostbite your lips, sealing them together if you just ran your bottom lip across them. People roamed the streets in masses, undeterred to meet their next appointment or next place of refuge. Looking up into the clear sky, even pollution couldn’t fill the air with its eroding particles drifting downward. The temperature was so frigid, it was freezing, the nastiness so that the people wouldn’t breathe the sludge into their lungs. Yet, the people didn’t notice the change, didn’t look up to see how clear the air was or to offer thanks. Nor did they scream or yell loudly, taking in huge puffs of air, even cold, into their lungs just for fun to see that they could take full, long breaths and throw their hands up in the air, acting a fool. It amazed and baffled her how they didn’t notice a thing as they made headway to wherever it was that was too important to see life for what it was. The artist in her was sure out today. So much so, that she shook her head and took the time to enjoy walking, enjoy how perfect the Big Apple was.
Starbucks coffee cups and mugs littered the receptacles as people clad in trench coats, thick hats and fuzzy gloves tossed them as they moved along. Where the buses met, the people departed. In fashion still, who on this Earth would wear stiletto’s in the winter. A New Yorker? No, not the sandal or sling-back stilettos. No…these women wore the boots, thick and lined with fur, some leather and climbing up to their knees, right where the hems of their calf-ridden skirts ended. Small patches of skin were observable to the person watching.
A giggle left her mouth as she began snapping images. Imagine crazy people wanting to freeze their asses off! She thought of the criss-cross underwear…if you could call them that. Women in this day and age and their scant pieces of fabric covering their sensitive skin were insane, at least to her. In a rush of air, walking down the crowded streets of New York, she had to think that they’d only wear such since so many people walked crowded in preventing the thick frigid air from reaching the very cells of each pore that was left bare to the elements.
For damn sure, if anyone was walking alone, they’d have long johns on. Yep, that must be why New Yorkers wore little to nothing under their garments. Who’d want to fry to death walking down the main streets? That must be why the people in the dead of winter didn’t layer up. Those who did, if they were on the inner most circle of pedestrian traffic, would be sweltering and stripping down as they walked.
Krissy was not, however, an ordinary native. She was a lurker, a keen observer, and what she observed was enough to make any pure country gal’s heart break. What she observed was the perpetual motion that stereotyped the natives as constantly on the go.
New York held so many things of pure beauty that she had to stop and snap as much as she could, just to remember. She wondered how many of these people who walked the streets each day did the same. A person reading a newspaper while walking down the sidewalk, a cup of coffee in one hand or a mother on her cell, barely cognizant of her toddler toddling off after a sparkling piece of junk, tripping and hurtling across the cement not two yards away. To her left, a man smoking a pipe, holding a cell to each ear, having two separate conversations, caught her eye. How hard in a throng of people, even with her camera now closed, was it to touch a neighbor and say hello, how was your day or even notice that each day as they walked inadvertently, they were by the same people time after time.
As she walked and space opened, giving her elbowroom, she withdrew her camera and began snapping again, the whirring of her lens creating the comforting hum of her craft and joy. She snapped regardless of those next to her, behind her, in front of her or in the far distant. With a change of lens sequence, she could shoot a multitude, yards away in any direction. No one noticed a brunette in a puffy black bubble coat and fashionable gloves holding a camera. Her face covering prevented them from seeing her soft skin and intelligent eyes while she observed and worked. She rather looked to be a felon casing a joint while dressed for the
She was casing in a way. It was amazing how people didn’t deviate in their lives while she followed the same people for a week, snapping as she went, to make a collage of sorts. Somewhere along the way, she hoped to find a contradiction by the end of her project. She hoped to find a small percent of people who conversed with one another as they walked or rode the train. She turned and headed for the A-Train with her hood pulled up and observant eye waiting for her contradiction to come.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you Marianne for interviewing me, I’ve enjoyed my time here. Embarking on a new journey is the greatest feeling in the world. I’m excited to see where it will lead me!