Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over Gail Roughton, author of Witch Resurrected, War-N-Wit, Inc., Book 1 and Mean Streets, War-N-Wit, Inc., Book 2.
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Books We Love, Ltd.
Date of Publication: September 21, 2014
Number of pages:192
Word Count: 63,858
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of five print copies of Witch Resurrected.
Ariel Anson thinks she has her life in order. She’s young, smart, and beautiful, even if she doesn’t believe the beautiful part. She’s a paralegal with a great career and a fiancé who’s a CPA. You just can’t get any steadier than that. Then she meets private investigator, bounty hunter, process server Chad Garrett.
What does War-N-Wit, Inc. stand for anyway?
Warlock and Witch? For real? Oh, yes! For real.
Her life as she knows it is over! Instead of organizing corporate documents and pleadings, she’s chasing bail jumpers and taking down serial killers. And investigating secret societies. Like Resurrection.
Not everyone can join, just the elite few who remember their past lives. Only the Seer knows if those memories are truth or fabrication. There’s just one problem. The new Seer is missing in action. War-N-Wit’s new assignment is a blast from the past! But whose past?
Available at Amazon.
“I still don’t know who you are!” I exclaimed. “You’re—you’re—talking like a crazy person and I’m sitting here listening, which I still don’t believe—”
“You’re listening because you know I’m right. So let’s cut to the bare essentials. We’ve been here before, you and I, many times, we are one, baby girl, we are each other’s eternal soul mates, each other’s other half, and I know it and you know it. And if nothing else, I intended to establish enough contact so I can find you easier next time. And if you refuse to believe it and believe in us and I have to wait till next time, then I will. But I will find you again. Because you can run but you can’t hide. I just want as much of you as I can get this time so it won’t take so long next time.” He shrugged again. “Last time I didn’t find you till we were both so much older it almost wasn’t worth it. That one was a bitch. And I don’t intend for it to happen again.”
The world stood still, closed in, retreated, kaleidoscoped back out into swirls of scenes of places and times I’d never been, never seen. Hot, bright sun beat down on an arena covered in sand and blood, my heart ripping apart as I looked at the bodies lying so still amidst the roars of the approving, raucous crowd. I felt the biting cold, so cold it burned, coming from the snow stretching out across what I knew, knew with absolute certainty, to be the Russian steppes. I cringed from the visions of the shadowed chambers filled with monstrous man-made instruments of pain and the screams rolling out of them. I stood on the mountains in the mists and heard the faint echo of bagpipes. I saw blue water and shining white sand and smelled the salt air.
I swayed and felt the blood drain out of my face. He stretched his arm out and encircled me quickly, pulling me close. I didn’t pull away.
“Oh, God! Too much too quick, huh? I’m sorry, I didn’t think you’d go into total flashback.”
I was beginning to get my bearings back a bit. “I’m fine. And it wasn’t a flashback, it was—it was—it was a whole lot of whatever it was. Which was nothing. I’m crazy, you’re crazy. This is a—shared delusion.” I sat up straight. Time to put the conversation back on a normal frame of reference. “Are you through? I have a lot of shopping to do, are you coming or are you a typical man who doesn’t like to shop?”
He raised his eyebrow. “I’m not a typical anything, baby girl.”
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Books We Love, Ltd.
Date of Publication: October 17, 2014
Number of pages:194
Word Count: 58,274
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee
Daytona Bike Week. Biker’s paradise. The perfect place for Chad and Ariel Garrett to take a few days off and relax with Chad’s buddy Spike and Ariel’s little sister Stacy.
But nothing ever goes as planned with that magical duo. Trouble just stalks them like a black cat. A missing agent riding with an outlaw biker gang, a call from Chad’s past, and War-N-Wit, Inc.’s riding again, with romance blooming in the midst of danger. From Daytona, the crew heads back to Vegas and another family wedding. Spike and Stacy are ready to say “I do!” In the Tunnel of Love Drive-Thru at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Vegas, of course. It’s become a family tradition.
But what’s supposed to happen in Vegas just refuses to stay in Vegas. And you’re not going to believe this side-trip!
Available at Amazon.
“One more time, from the top,” Chad said.
“Magic Man! It’s not rocket science! He’s just a sleazy con man parading around as a priest. Which is really low, even for a bail-jumping con man.”
“Sure is. So from the top. You’re going to—”
“I’m going to rush up, grab him and babble about a poor boy doubled over in the alley who’s probably overdosed and come with me now, I need help. That about it?”
“That’s about it.”
“Okay. I’m on it!”
I peered around the corner again. Good a time as any. I hitched my habit up a bit and headed toward him in a sprinting semi-jog.
“Father! Father, I need help—”
Before I could grab his arm, I heard an echo. Not in my voice though.
“Father! Father, I need help!” And a hand, not mine, grabbed Dapper Dandy Dan’s arm from behind.
“Oh! Thank you, sweet Jesus!” The hand dropped Dandy Dan’s arm and grabbed mine. “You’re even better! The Lord provides!”
An older nun hauled me through the door of the Rescue Center, her habit flying out around her legs.
“One of the girls—she’s in labor and I’m all by myself right now, even all our kids are gone this morning! We didn’t know she was pregnant. She’s been hiding it under big sweatshirts. I’ve called for an ambulance but I don’t know if they’ll make it, she’s been in labor for a while, I think, she’s in denial! She refuses to believe she’s having a baby!”
She pulled me through a curtain separating the front room from a back room used as a dormitory. The girl lay on a cot under a sheet she clutched close, refusing to let go. And she was all of fourteen. Maybe.
“Sister Marie! Sister Marie! It’s just a stomachache! You’ve got to let me up, I’m not—” She broke off and writhed in pain. Sister Marie dropped to her knees besides the cot.
“Sandra, you’ve got to listen to me! I’ve called for help but it might not get here in time. You’ve got to let us help you, child. You are having a baby and if you don’t listen to me and open your legs, you can hurt it. Badly. You don’t want that, do you?”
Wisps of gray hair peeked from Sister Marie’s wimple, and a harsh ray of sunlight highlighted every wrinkle on her face. Her hand, visibly work-worn and roughened, smoothed the girl’s hair back from her forehead. Sitting there in a halo of harsh sunlight, face lined with compassion and concern, she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I felt like a fraud. Until I remembered. I could help. There was no such thing as coincidence. I was here for a reason.
What inspired you to write this book?
Back in the days before I ever published, or ever thought I would, my friends used to pass my books, both those already written and those in progress, back and forth. One of my friends asked me if I’d mind if her mother read them. I wasn’t too sure about that, actually, I still had trouble believing even my friends weren’t just being polite, but I said okay. Fortunately, my friend knew her mother better than I did, and Miss Louise loved them. She sent me a message: “Tell Gail to write something funny on purpose, ‘cause she’s so funny sometimes without even meaning to be.” So I did. And that was the origin of the War-N-Wit, Inc. series.
How did you come up with the title?
The series title was easy. These were stories about a private investigator, bounty-hunter, process-server who just happened to be a warlock. So there’s the “War”. He was also on the hunt for his Witch, the soul-mate he’d reincarnated with many times in the past. So there’s the “Wit”. He always knew he’d find her, so he named his business for the two of them. “War-N-Wit, Inc.” And never mind if she didn’t have any idea she was a witch. He figured she could get her magical training on-the-job while she trained as a private investigating, bounty-hunting, process serving apprentice. For each individual book, the title just flowed out of the plot.
What made you choose the main setting for your book?
Well, War-N-Wit, Inc. is a service provider for many different areas of the legal profession and law enforcement. Some of those “enforcement” agencies they work for might be a little off the charts, by the way. You know, agencies that are more concerned with “magical and/or celestial” offenders than say, the local Sheriff. I’ve been in a law office for 40 years now, so I’m what you might call very familiar with those settings. The real ones, I mean, and I figured the more magical, celestial agencies would have to be set up more or less the same way. And while their adventures take them to different locales (for which the internet provides a wealth of information, including videos), they’re based in Georgia. I’m a native-born Georgia girl, and I really believe in writing what you know. I think it gives a reality and depth to the characters that can’t be faked.
Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
Before I start explaining, let me emphasize—the Wars are funny. Basically, providing entertainment, both to readers and for myself as the writer, is always my ultimate goal. But when I stop and think about it, the War “plots” can be described in three words. Or rather, several sets of three words. Good versus evil. Light versus dark. Balance versus chaos. I didn’t consciously set out to do that. I’m a writer. I tell stories, I don’t try to change the course of humanity. But Chad and Ariel, the Warlock and Witch of War-N-Wit, Inc. are what Chad terms “persons of power”. And persons of power have a greater responsibility than ordinary mortals to protect the good, the light, the balance. And that’s what they do at all times, in all assignments, whether ordinary assignments of a purely legal nature, or assignments from the more esoteric agencies. They guard the light. And when you think about it, isn’t that what life’s all about? Or should be about? Holding true, keeping the balance, guarding the good?
Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
First off, let me state unequivocally – I love my War-N-Wit covers. They’ve evolved somewhat, because as previously explained, they started life as four separate novellas. But Chad and Ariel remain constant, and those models are, to me, the perfect Chad and Ariel. I think they capture the essence of the characters perfectly. I love the Witch on a Broomstick logo, I love the sparkle of the stars. I think they just scream magic. But Michelle Lee, the brilliant cover artist of Books We Love, Ltd., threw one detail into that very first cover that added a whole ‘nother dimension to the War-N-Wit novels. She put a black cat on the very first cover, walking across the letters of my last name. Since these novellas were planned as a series, she also went ahead and worked on the covers of the next two Wars, and she put that same black cat, in a different pose, in different spots on each of those covers. Hmmmmmm. A black cat that moves around a lot. That black cat became Micah. And I wrote him into all succeeding War-N-Wits. He became a pivotal character in the books, a character the readers just love. As do I. I can’t imagine a War-N-Wit without Micah.
Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
I’m always working on another story, even if I’m not actually to the writing stage of it. I’ve always got a couple of plots simmering over in the corner of my brain, waiting for one of them to come to boil. Right now, I’m working on a paranormal thriller, a rather dark one, titled Black Turkey Walk. I don’t really set out to write in any particular genre, I just tell stories. I’ve written everything from humor to action to thriller to horror, and usually have elements of several genres mixed into the story line. I’ve got another War-N-Wit plot brewing but I don’t know when I’ll start it. Definitely not until I finish Black Turkey Walk, that’s gotten interrupted a couple of times already for other projects. I’ve got what I term a “real-life country comedy/drama” on simmer, too, one I hope will make readers laugh in one chapter and cry in the next, the way real life does. I’ve learned not to give myself deadlines, though. They hinder rather than help and I’m pretty sure they make the characters mad and send them into hiding, which really puts a crimp on the creative process.
Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.
I keep my laptop on the kitchen table and write there. I’ve been on a computer in a law office for so long (I’ve been a paralegal for forty years), I’m geared to think while typing in the midst of noise, bustle and chaos. My husband actually set up a little typing desk for me in our bedroom, bless his heart, “so nobody’ll bother you”. I sat down at it for about five minutes and moved my laptop back to the kitchen table. I can’t think if I’m not where I can monitor everybody’s comings and goings, follow the action on the tv show in the great room, hear the timers dinging for the oven or microwave, and see the pots if they start to boil over.
What sources do you use for research?
I really don’t research a great deal because (a) I write what I know; and (b) I’ve been an eclectic and omnivorous reader my entire life with a great love for both history and the paranormal (yes, I’m nuts, most writers are) and I’ve got this really weird memory that retains the most useless pieces of information imaginable. Sometimes I amaze myself at how frequently I can just reach in my brain and pull out what I need for a particular plot. But nobody knows everything, of course, nobody’s been everywhere. And when I need something I don’t have any knowledge of whatsoever, I fall back on two things. First, forty years in a law office has given me a wealth of contacts with fascinating people who’ve done fascinating things, and they’re invaluable for brain-picking. Not to mention my son-in-law is a K-9 officer on our county’s drug interdiction specialty force. I’m sure he hates to see my name and number pop up on his phone. Then there’s this invention called the internet – a wondrous, wondrous thing. You can take a virtual tour of pretty much anywhere and look up pretty much anything. If I’m ever suspected of a crime and my laptop confiscated, I’m dead meat. Because the search engines would show me looking up voo-doo, hoo-doo, the street value of cocaine and how to cut it, prostitution laws in Nevada, how to make a gas bomb, the most popular bars during Daytona Bike Week, outlaw biker gangs….oh, yeah. I’d be dead meat.
About the Author
Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia whose Deep South heritage features prominently in much of her work. She’s worked in a law office for close to forty years, during which time she’s raised three children and quite a few attorneys. She’s kept herself more or less sane by writing novels and tossing the completed manuscripts into her closet.
A cross-genre writer, she’s produced books ranging from humor to romance to thriller to horror and is never quite sure herself what to expect when she sits down at the keyboard. Now multi-published by Books We Love, Ltd., her credits include the War-N-Wit, Inc. series, The Color of Seven, Vanished, and Country Justice. Currently, she’s working on Black Turkey Walk, the second in the Country Justice series, as well as the Sisters of Prophecy series, co-written with Jude Pittman.
Another War-N-Wit plot always seems to be brewing on the back burner, too, whether she’s actually trying to brew one or not, and usually boils quicker when she’s trying not to brew one at all.
Visit Gail Roughton