Bernadette Walsh, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, The Devlin Witch.
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Cover artist: Valerie Tibbs
Heat rating: hot
Tagline: The Devlin magic can bring your heart's desire...but at what cost?
Anne Marie Devlin has given up on finding true love. She'd rather just hide out in her opulent apartment on the Upper East Side. Then her grandmother is violently killed. Forced to leave her safe world, Anne Marie must survive a hot, persistent cop, her cousin Rita's hysterics and her grandmother's confused ghost.
Rita has everything: a loving husband, a beautiful house, exotic beauty, and she's a partner at her law firm. Having a baby would make her life complete, but it's not to be. Or is it? When she and Anne Marie find the ancestral Book of Magic, with powers beyond their imagining, all things become possible.
But someone else in the family wants the Book of Magic too, and they'll do anything to get it. Even kill. Can Anne Marie and Rita win the struggle for their legacy, becoming the next Devlin witch? There can be only one, and should they fail, not just their lives are at stake--their souls will be lost for eternity.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Anne Marie is a divorced legal secretary in her mid-thirties and her cousin Rita is married lawyer also in her thirties.
Rita flipped on the car's lights and the car managed to crawl the last half mile. The lane twisted sharply left. Beyond the bend the thick over-brush melted away, the sun shone and the lane widened. Rolling hills dotted with sheep greeted us and further up the road in the distance stood a gleaming white cottage, encircled by a colorful garden.
"That's it," I said.
"How do you know?" Rita asked.
"I just know. Can't you feel it?" I rubbed my brow, the buzzing having migrated from my ears across my forehead.
The car crept along. "Pull in here," I instructed. "Into the driveway."
When we exited the car Rita's heels sank into the driveway's gravel. I stifled a surge of annoyance. Why in God's name did she always dress like she was going out clubbing? But like a good little cousin, I offered Rita my arm and led her to the cottage's front door.
Except for the crunch of the gravel beneath our feet and the mournful lowing of the speckled cattle in the distance, the Mountain was silent. The buzzing in my head ceased as soon as I stepped through the cottage's garden gate. When we reached the ancient wooden front door its lock clicked and the door slowly swung open.
"Looks like someone was expecting us," Rita said, clattering through the doorway.
"Who?" I looked around but the simply furnished cottage was empty.
Rita strode through the small living room into the adjoining bedroom. I followed. The bedroom had a large wooden bed covered with a white duvet. Fresh flowers in a chipped vase sat on the side table next to a framed photo of a blond woman holding the hand of a little black-haired girl in her communion dress.
"A blonde? I thought Granny said all the Devlin Witches had black hair."
Rita picked up the photo. "Well, cuz, if a blonde was the last witch, you might have a shot. Maybe the Mountain wants a redhead next."
I took the frame from her. Both the woman's and child's eyes were hypnotic, as if they could pierce through your very soul. I returned the photo to the side table. "I told you, I have no intention of living on this Mountain and becoming a witch. You don't seriously want to be the Devlin Witch, do you? What about your brownstone, your job? Your shoe collection?"
Rita walked to the small window and pulled aside the white lace curtain. "It is a beautiful spot. Peaceful."
"You wouldn't last a month here. No Fifth Avenue stores. No corner office."
"No seven AM conference calls. No philandering husbands and their mousy new girlfriends." She looked back at me and twisted her mouth in an attempt at a smile. "The Mountain has certain advantages."
"You can't be serious, Rita. Really, what are we doing here?"
"Yes, what are you doing here?" a deep voice, male, boomed from the open front door. In an instant, a silver-haired man with deep black eyes appeared by my side.
I stepped away from him. "We--we didn't hear you come in."
"How did you get in here? The door was locked," he said, his voice flat, American and slightly menacing.
"The door, uh, opened," I said.
His black eyes narrowed. "You mean the door was unlocked?"
"No," Rita said, "the door was locked all right. It unlocked itself and swung open. Now who the hell are you?"
"I'm Simon Gardiner. This is my wife's cottage."
"The last Devlin Witch?" Rita asked.
"Yes," he said, his eyes like two black marbles in his pale face.
Rita reached into her bag, pulled out the Book and threw it onto the bed. "Well, one of us is the next one."
How did you get your start in the industry?
Six years ago I turned 40. After I drowned my sorrows with champagne and chocolate, I made a list of all the things I wanted to do before I die. Morbid, I know, but number one on that list was write a novel. I said to myself, yeah, I've really got to do that, and continued to munch on the Cadbury's chocolate that Dear Husband thoughtfully supplied.
Two years went by. I didn't lose the day job, no mean feat given that the debacle that was 2008. I continued indulging my interest in (some may say obsession with) reality TV. Not a word was written.
Then on a Sunday afternoon while Dear Husband was taking a nap, I came up with a name: Kate Ryan. Before I knew it Kate had a husband, family, friends and one big problem -- she and her husband had lost their high powered jobs and their savings. Her husband loses his mind and high tails it to Australia. Kate loses her mind and joins the cast of a local cable channel's reality TV show.
I had a blast writing GOLD COAST WIVES! I wrote what I wanted how I wanted. Then reality sank in. I joined a local writing group, figured out that I made about 100 basic writing mistakes, rewrote it, rewrote it again, entered it into various RWA chapter contests, wrote it again and after two years submitted it to some publishers. In December 2010 I got the best Christmas present ever when Lyrical Press offered me a contract!
What websites do you visit daily?
Goodreads; Television Without Pity; Yahoonews; and Facebook
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
As a nice Catholic girl I had the hardest time writing any type of sex scene and in my first book, GOLD COAST WIVES, the sex scenes were beyond vanilla. That book is a light, fun, fluffy humorous romance so I think I got away with it. However, I decided after that I needed to get over my little problem if I wanted to be a successful romance writer. I think downloaded ten of the filthiest --OK, I know as a romance writer we're not supposed to refer to spicy romance as filth, but I have to be honest, these were filthy and would put FIFTY SHADES OF GREY to shame. After my dirty book reading binge I was able to write sex scenes without blushing and even began to have fun with them. Each book in my paranormal romance series, the Devlin Legacy, got hotter and hotter and hotter!
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
RELAX!!!! I was a type A overachiever and if I could give myself any advice it would be spend more time having fun and less time in the library.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I have enough stress at my day job. I write romance ultimately because I love it. Because it's fun! I refuse to complain about something that has been such joy into my life. So I guess I deal with writer stress by denying it exists :)
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
A very bad waitress and hopefully a better lawyer.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
Sunscreen, my kindle, a pair of sneakers, my husband, and more sunscreen.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
Drinking in a dive bar with my fiancé (now husband).
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Helloooo?? Working mom here. I haven't been bored in years--but I'm looking forward to it.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with sausage
I'm always ready for gossip
When I'm alone, I read
You'd never be able to tell, but I was an Irish stepdancer.
If I had a halo it would be crooked
I can never tan because I am the palest girl in the world.
Gold Coast Wives
The House On Prospect
Devil's Mountain (Book 1 Of The Devlin Legacy)
Devil's Shore (Book 2 Of The Devlin Legacy)
Devil's Daughter (Book 3 Of The Devlin Legacy)
Books Coming Soon
The Devlin Witch, Book 4 of The Devlin Legacy (Releasing Sept 1)
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