Today it’s my pleasure to interview Nancy Gideon, author of Unleashed by Shadows, By Moonlight, Book 10.
Genre: dark paranormal
Date of Publication: 10-26-15
Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 105,000
Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus
He feared no man, no foe, no obstacle or challenge . . .
Burdened by the weight of his secrets and his father’s sins, the need for redemption pulls Cale Terriot from his duty to his clan and the arms of his new mate into deadly intrigues in a rival territory. His dangerous masquerade in a high-stakes Shifter fight club is about to be exposed to those who would show no mercy – if he can survive in the ring.
How to protect a prince turned king made pawn?
Fearing she’ll lose her soulmate to the darkness he carries inside, Kendra Terriot, newly made queen in the Shape-shifter House of Terriot, must provide him with an heir in order to save his life . . . and his soul. But first she must risk all to coax him back from the edge of violence inherited with his crown.
Can her love tear him from an unbreakable vow that can only end in death?
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“Every delicious word Nancy Gideon puts on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted.”
—Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author
“Complex characters, vivid writing and intriguing plot twists keep readers coming back to Gideon’s magical NOLA.”
What inspired you to write this book?
I was intrigued by the short, fierce, and uncompromising Terriot prince who appeared in name only in an earlier book in my “By Moonlight” series to threaten that book’s hero’s gentle cousin Kendra with a forced mating in order for to save her family and him to claim his clan’s crown. The Terriots, unlike the disorganized clan of shape-shifter in New Orleans, were brutal warriors who took what they wanted and wanted whatever they saw. And Cale wanted Kendra. Then I got wondering what kind of past would draw two such unlikely opposites together. That was explored in PRINCE OF SHADOWS. When they had their happily-ever-after, I felt things were still unresolved. There was too much bad blood between their family and too much guilt over deeds done for them to settle down comfortably to rule their clan. And then Cale gets a call from Kendra’s cousin asking for his help . . .
How did you come up with the title?
Thinking up unique yet similar words to go into a series title gets complicated. UNLEASHED seemed perfect for this story because it’s about letting go of the past as well as regrets and restraints. And, when he’s fighting there’s that control collar on my dog of war.
If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?
"Don't make the mistake of thinking I'm not in control. Those who have in the past regret that error. Those few still alive. I am a Terriot king. I am never weak when strength is demanded. You'd be a fool to believe otherwise." - Cale Terriot, House of Terriot
Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS is my second self-published book out of 58 (!) so developing the cover was as important to me as writing the story. It had to be just right. I was looking for something that would blend with the other covers in the series but standout at the same time. After spending hours and hours looking at “sexy male torso” graphics, I finally found one that represented both the driven and the softer side of my hero. But my graphic artist, Patricia Lazarus, who has done tons of great stuff for me, wasn’t sure the dimensions would work for the cover. So, back to torsos . . . We both kept coming back to the mysterious figure in the hoodie, but I still wasn’t sold until she worked up both graphics and I knew that was the one. I got her to compromise by using the other as the back cover and in my promo and book trailer. Best of both worlds!
Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
I’m putting together a novella series called “The House of Terriot Foursome.” Once you meet Cale’s hot stuff brothers, you’ll understand why. Their conflicts are set up in UNLEASHED and it was hard for me to concentrate on doing edits with their individual storylines distracting me. I can’t wait to get to them.
Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.
I have a loft office in my apartment dedicated to my craft (and my reading/writing clutter). I hit the computer every morning at 5:00 a.m., armed with my Keurig coffee, and tackle my work-in-progress until I have to leave for my 9-to-5.
I’d lost steam writing UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS and took a break to visit one of my critique partners who lives in Arizona. Borrowing her desk for a week, looking out over desert creatures at sunrise as they came to get water and food right outside the window was just what I needed to revitalize. Talk about inspiration! I think I wrote five chapters while I was there. Environment is everything when it comes to creativity!
It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?
I actually LOVE doing promo. I’m OCD so organizing and list making is my thing. I enjoy wading into the planning process, setting up blog visits, creating content for playlists and book trailers, doing the back cover copy, hunting for those elusive graphics—the whole enchilada. Example: my Haunted Open House Book Party that’s going on this week. That’s a lot to put together along with a self-pubbed book! Thank goodness for my virtual assistant, the Novel Difference, for taking my ideas to fruition. I’m an idea person, so I guess my favorite tool is the mighty list to follow.
Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.
My “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shape-shifter series started with the book of my heart and a fabulous hero in the dark, dangerous and yet still vulnerable Max Savoie. Once I started, I was in the middle of book four before I came up for breath. Those books were unique in that they contain the same hero and heroine—Max, bodyguard to a mobster and possible Prophesied One to an outcast Shifter clan in New Orleans and NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie who is determined to bring down his boss/mentor. The series branched off from there into the “Shadows” books developing secondary characters and the same underlying story arc while exploring new plotlines. Readers hounded me to bring Max back in his own book, which I did with REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT and when Cale, my hero in PRINCE OF SHADOWS, appeared in it, he started to run off with the book so I had to promise him more of his story in UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS. Though the books are all intertwined, each can stand alone.
If you could make changes to a story you’ve already written, which would it be and why?
I’ve gotten the unique opportunity to revisit the books in my “Touched by Midnight” vampire romance series. The first three of the nine book series are finally back in print after being buried in the ‘90s. ImaJinn Books, who picked up the original series with books 4-9, is repackaging all the books with new covers (which I’ve gotten to help design!) and a chance for me to spruce up my prose. The first three were hardly edited at all and there were a lot of glaring errors as well as passive “was”s and bouncing point of view. It was the ‘90s, after all, and we didn’t know any better! It gave me a chance to fall in love with the series all over again. Book 4, MIDNIGHT ENCHANTMENT is a late October rerelease.
I was able to do the same when Bell Bridge, another imprint of BelleBooks, reissued my four Dana Ransom contemporary romances, providing them to a whole new audience.
I’m hoping to self-publish my old Dana Ransom western historical series next year, so that gives me lots of books (and torsos) to play with!
Excerpt from UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS . . .Cale
He feared no man, no foe, no obstacle or challenge. He’d learned to stand his ground and take it without a wince while growing up with the most to prove in the House of Terriot. He’d been schooled beneath the heavy heel and meaty fists of Bram Terriot, bearing the marks of those lessons scored into his skin and once tender psyche. He understood intimidation better than he did compassion. Had once indulged in every savagery Lee now expected from him. Would have become a brutal, heartless monster walking the same path his father followed had it not been for the two things that called to his latent decency: The brothers who’d fearlessly stood beside him and the female brave enough to believe his claims.
He owed them. He owed his family prosperous lives without fear and subjugation, where pride wasn’t measured in cruelties. He owed the woman he loved the fulfillment of promises made by a starry-eyed boy. He owed them a future in which they bowed to no one and had no reason to expect the worse from one another. And to achieve those things, all he had to do was right the wrongs of the man who’d desecrated the crown he now represented.
All . . .
With a weary laugh, Cale closed his eyes.
His debt. His burden. His to carry and complete alone. No whining about the costs to body, heart or soul. No crying over what couldn’t be changed, repaid or repaired. No shirking from sacrifices sure to cost more than he’d ever thought to wager. The blood on his hands would never come clean. There was no forgiveness for his sins—the sins of the father now those of the son. He was lost but he wouldn’t drag those he loved and respected down with him. Not while he still had strength and breath and opportunity.
He couldn’t save his people hiding on their mountain top. He couldn’t purge his guilt without a willingness to surrender his life.
And he couldn’t protect his mate if he couldn’t provide her with his heir.
About the Author
Nancy Gideon is the award winning author of over 58 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix, and is currently testing the “Hybrid author” waters. She works full time as a legal assistant in Southwestern Michigan, and when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. She’s also written under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings, and is a member of the Mid-Michigan, PAN and FF&P Chapters of RWA.