Author Interview – Mona Karel

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Welcome my guest today, Mona Karel author of the My Killer, My Love due to launch on May 25th  from Black Opal Press. It’s good to have you here Mona and I just love the cover of your book!  

Why don’t you tell us what your book is about, and how you decided to write Mykhael and Kendra’s story?

The short answer is: My Killer My Love is about an immortal enforcer and the woman he has been sent to punish.  It’s also about finding your true niche in life and dealing with changes.  On a more cosmic level, it’s about the Atrahasis, guardians or overlords for the sacred places in the universe.  When these places are damaged the Atrahasis send out their enforcers to deal with the situation.  Earth is not in favor at this time since knowledge of and respect for these places has all but disappeared, mainly through ignorance of the old ways.

I gathered from reading a short excerpt that Mykhael is on his second life. Does his that provide him with a unique perspective on life? On his role as an Enforcer?

 Mykhael’s father was one of the Atrahasis; his mother was a civilian, abandoned to take care of herself once he lost interest.  Hey, just because they’re all powerful doesn’t mean they aren’t jerks.  Mykhael became a soldier, then a warlord, then was captured when his employer lost a power struggle.  One of the Atrahasis offered Mykhael an opportunity not to be the main attraction for an execution, and unlocked some of his inherited powers.  From that time on he was essentially immortal, as long as he continued to please his employers.  In the beginning this isn’t much of a problem, until he wearies of the blood shed punishing people who don’t realize they’ve done anything wrong.

And what about Kendra?

Kendra’s one of those people who just gets the job done without much drama.  Her parents were very trendy, and decided she would be better off growing up with her grandmother.  This was the best choice since she is slated to inherit the powers of a select few females in her family.

What was the hardest part for you to write in this story? A character, a scene and why?

The scenes interacting with townspeople.  This story wanted to be written as the growing trust and love between Mykhael and Kendra.  Showing the threat against them and the forest was nowhere near as difficult as revealing how the townspeople felt about Kendra vs what she perceived in the past.

What would your characters have to say about you? Which ones would be comfortable hanging out with you, which wouldn’t and why? (this is more a question about the characters and their tastes and likes than you J, so you can spin this around what they would do)

I’d like to think they’d enjoy hanging out here for a while though the high desert is not the place for those who revel in the deep woods.  I would certainly enjoy knowing them better, telling the story of Kendra’s emotional growth was one of my greatest pleasures.  It would be wonderful to just see Mykhael in the flesh, as it was to meet the person who inspired his description.  Both are far more than we might first think.

Tell us a little about the conflict in this story. Obviously as an Immortal Enforcer sent to kill the heroine a strong conflict exists – what if he doesn’t fulfill his mission? Are there additional villains in the story?

In some ways the Atrahasis are the true villains.  They have become complacent in their duties and rigid in their method of protecting the sacred places.  When a few of them want to develop more power, it is far too easy for them to manipulate what they see as weak human minds.  Mykhael’s cousin Gabriel is sent to handle the final negotiations, and to reveal to Kendra what will happen to Mykhael if he is not successful in his mission.

Is this a series and do you see more Immortal Enforcer books in the works?

Maybe not more enforcers but the idea of overlords has always fascinated me. I have the bare bones of the story from another angle – a young woman lost on Earth when her family died while visiting grows up with no belief in goddesses or overlords.  She laughs at her friends who believe in Gaia, until she finds out Gaia is her ancestor, and she goes from being a fabulous weather forecaster to a weather goddess.

Have you written other books and do you find there is an ongoing theme in your books (perhaps regardless of genre)?

Yes, I’ve written quite a few – who hasn’t?  They include Romantic Suspense, Historical, Paranormal, and a few just straight contemporary romances.  One underlying them is the unseen damage done when heroes risk their minds as well as their lives protecting us.  PTSD is an unseen but very real enemy.  It seems even in my standard contemporary I torture my people.

Where do you see the paranormal/UF/Fantasy/Scifi Genre heading? Is there anything that you’re tired of reading as a reader?

I think this genre has survived attrition, scorn, and poor writing to come to greater strengths than ever before.  We all need a bit of Fantasy in our lives, and there is such a wide variety available today, there’s something for anyone to read.  I admit to being tired of rampant sexuality masquerading as writing but that’s a personal taste.

What has been your writing journey, what has motivated you to write and which authors have inspired you the most?

I’ve never been able to visit a place and not see something more than what’s in front of me. When my family visited Ft. George Washington and Mt. Vernon the standing buildings were great but I remember thinking what it would have been like to actually live in those times and conversely what it would be like to have a running gun battle around the old fort.  Authors inspired – so many and for so many reasons.  Mary Stewart and Elswyth Thane filled my young mind with romance, and really showed me how love can be expressed without going into clinical detail.  Dick Francis’s unassuming just get the job done heroes, so much like Nicholas Cage’s on screen persona, gave me a taste for less Alpha leads.  In more recent times, Patricia Briggs and Suzanne Brockmann are both on my “buy the day it comes out” list.  Alice Duncan and I were critique partners for a while.  She inspired me to just keep writing.  Rebecca Forster inspired me to write my own book, not the book I think people want to read.  And Laura Kinsale inspired me torture my characters – for their own good, of course.

I noticed that you have written a number of blogs articles about the writing life for the Orange County Chapter of RWA chapter as the member at large – evidently a member not in Orange County. Would you like to tell our readers what made you consider starting that series of articles – which I’ve noticed you’ve done over the last three years!

Ah, well that has to do with where I lived for more than twenty years.  Which even now has me shaking my head.  As a Navy brat, I was used to moving every few years and even after I (ahem) grew up, I chose an unusual lifestyle, training horses and managing kennels, partially so I could continue traveling.  I met a California teacher at a dog show, and decided this was the man I wanted to marry.  It took about five more years while I got my own stuff together, but once we were married we stayed in southern California while he finished out his teaching years.  While there I met Michelle Thorne, at that time running Bearly Used Books, who pushed me to an OCC meeting. I joined right away and for a while was very active.  When we did finally move to New Mexico, I stayed in touch and agreed to send in a blog from the “Member at (very) Large.” At that time I wasn’t writing on my own, so this was a way to keep telling myself I was still a writer.

And you have just started an author blog of your own, tell us about that and what you discuss there and how you’d like your readers to interact with you on your blog?

Since Black Opal Books asked if I wanted them to publish My Killer, My Love I’ve been on an adventure in personal promotion.  Facebook is easy enough, I’ve been a fan for a while since it’s one of the best places to share pictures. I don’t Tweet, I don’t IM, I don’t even text.  Blogging for me is keeping my journal in public and for the most part I enjoy that very much.  There seems to be a dash of Andy Rooney in my veins.  I mostly talk about what’s going on in my writing world, my books, books I admire, and thoughts about writing.  It’s always great when people comment with their own take on the subject.

 Is there anything you’d like to tell us about yourself or future books?

I’m squeezing out the time to edit a Contemporary I wrote a while back, about a woman who was essentially sold into marriage by her father, to a degenerate aristocrat.  Yes, I meant to say Contemporary.  She finally gets herself out of that situation and the story opens after she has made a life for herself as a writer for a western lifestyle magazine.  Enter the hero, or let’s say the male protagonist since we find out he wasn’t very heroic.  He is now a wildlife photographer of renown but at one time he was a hanger on to the dilettante lifestyle of, you guessed it, the person who married the heroine.  He played a significant, if unknowing, role in her life and as a result took a hard look at what kind of person he had become.  They meet when both of them have forced personal growth upon themselves; if they can overcome their mutual history they will attain a much deserved happy future.

On the fantasy front, I’m plotting out the story of a society where the warrior women were coerced into becoming decorative instead of leaders.  Their society has become weak due to this manipulation of what should be the natural balance.  To save their world, five sisters have to agree to being sent away to unlock their powers.  It started as a potential erotic novella and has mushroomed into epic fantasy.

So, where can we find you in cyberspace?

I have the original blog site on WordPress under my real world name but I’m working to translate the language of websites and profiles to introduce myself to the world.  Hey, I’m a writer, not a programmer!  So I’m making slow progress.

Paranormal Expectations

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This is the posting of a guest blog I did for Raven Corinn Carluk’s website about paranormal characters and the relatively new SciFy network addition of Being Human. Feel free to go read and comment. ~ KH


Paranormal Expectations

With the portion of my life that I don’t spend writing or with my family; I spend looking for interesting new paranormal/supernatural shows to watch. It’s just me, I prefer ‘non-reality’ shows. Being Human  has just finished its first US season on the SciFi network. I have to say I’m intrigued by this show.

The basic premise revolves around three unlikely matches for housemates: one vampire, one werewolf, and one ghost. There are other supernatural characters who weave their way through the storyline, and to be fair, this series takes an episode or two to catch on. Mainly because there is a bit of background to deliver before the viewer commits to caring about each of these characters. If you’re expecting the standard delivery of hunky guy or gal to carry these episodes with romantic tension – then this might not be your type of series. Not that the characters aren’t sexy or have relationships. They are well rounded and have surprising backstories. However, what this series’ premise leans toward is more based on the supernatural community of these beings and their risks coexisting in ‘our’ world. 

If you want some interesting takes on the paranormal lifestyle for vampires, werewolf and the not-quite-departed, then you’ll find this fun. Be forewarned, this show says there is violent content, and there is. Expect blood. However the weekly stories have unpredictable turns and the camaraderie evolves through each episode. I would recommend catching this on repeats.

And for those interested, I did run across the detail that this show has just been approved for its fourth season on the BBC – .   The actors are different for the British version of the series, and I suspect the actual scenes might be tailored to a Brit audience, but the episodes appear to be the same.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of the more traditional paranormal as well. Favorites include:

  • Supernatural. The boys – do I need to say more?
  • Moonlight with Alex O’Loughlin as Mick St. John – inspired by Trevor Munson’s novel: Angel of Vengeance. One of the most interesting characters was Mick’s friend, and more ancient vamp, Jason Dohring as Josef.
  • True Blood, based on the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris though for the life of me I’m still not certain what draws me to that show, perhaps just the weirdness.
  • Blood Ties. Unfortunately, I think I was the only one who watched this series spin off from Tanya Huff’s books about Detective Victoria Nelson and the illegitimate son of Henry the Eighth turned vampire, Henry Fitzroy. The irony, for me, in this story was Fitzroy’s daily occupation as a romance novelist!
  • Angel, of Joss Whedon creation – I admit I watched this for the same reason I watched Buffy, for Spike (I love a good villain who deep down wants redemption).
  • Witchblade TV show based off a comic book series published by Top Cow Productions.

You’ll notice a trend here, with most of these shows originating from compelling books.

Please feel free to weigh in with your favorite paranormal series and characters and why they strike your dark side. ~KH

Re: Fantasy: Dragons and Movies

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This is a replay of the guest blogging I did at Raven Corinn Carluk’s website last week, for those of you who missed it.


As an introduction, I am the author of fantasy, paranormal and futuristic romance stories. I choose to spend hours in magical worlds with supernatural beings, suspending disbelief instead of dealing with reality.

One of my great loves – dragons. Perhaps more than any other mystical being they fascinate me. My post on April 10thdetailed one of my latest favorites, The Great Dragon from the SyFy television series Merlin. While I love The Great Dragon, in my opinion, dragons still have the most impact on the big screen. Several movies stick with me for good depictions of these magical creatures who have made their mark in lore around the world. Be warned, I tend to be prejudiced in my love of dragons. I don’t mind an evil dragon, but there better be an equally formidable dragon of conscience hot on his or her tail.

Doesn’t this picture inspire stories?  

My basis for dragon assessment: large framed dragon stature, powerful, omniscient (for a creature that lives for eons this seems like a given), intelligent, scales (love beautiful scales), incredible wings, huge fire potential, ownership of a large horde, magical abilities and finally a good sense of humor (the millennia are long without humor).

My nomination for humorous characterization and a compelling dragon voice, Sean Connery as the voice of Draco from Dragon Heart. Granted the movie was a little hokey. He looked a bit much like a Stegosaurus to me, with the series of horns, but his sense of humor was wonderful and the deep, brusque voice—yes, definitely dragon quality. And fire, there was plenty of fire.

For many writers, the visualization of a scene, the characters and the action all happen in our heads like a movie screen. When I write, that scene translates to words and actions complete with the emotional impact of the images. If the result is intriguing enough, readers are sucked into the story without pausing to consider reality. For fantasy, that requires larger than life delivery of world building elements – yes, we’re taking, scales, claws and wings.

An interesting side spin on dragon anthropology is the evolution of dragon riders. For an interesting visual of a dragon rider battle I nominate, Dungeons & Dragons. The movie didn’t garner great interest or good reviews, given the number of Dungeons & Dragons RPG (role playing game) fans. The movie understandably failed to meet their expectations, though the characters were entertaining and the plot moved quickly. In my experience few movies ever meet the expectation set by a good book or, in this case, a great game.

Not being a D&D player myself, and focusing solely on dragons here, I very much enjoyed parts of this movie. The battle of the two dragon sects at the end of the movie, the good side led by dragon rider Empress Savina, is full of color and glory. Again, I’m not basing this on the game, and, given it was a 2000 movie, the graphics are not as powerful as those in movies today. But I still remember images of Savina and her dragons fighting against the legion threatening her capital.

As a writer I want to create those images on paper. My own story, Return of the Legacy: The Portals of Destiny series incorporates dragon riders. This story is first of several dealing with the Makir, Guardians of the magical portals between worlds. The dragon riders exist in the world of Tir Thar and, while not prominent in this story, they do play a critical role and appear in several other stories in the series. Because of my love of dragons, I felt the riders and their soul bond with their dragons deserved their own story. The Dragon Rider’s Princess is targeted as a kindle ebook release in June 2011.

I would love for people to comment back, to share their favorite dragons, features, and movies or TV shows which cast great dragons – and if you don’t like my selections all I ask is that you nominate one of your own.

KH LeMoyne

Betrayal’s Shadow – The Guardians of Eden Book 1

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Now available on Available on Kindle, Amazon UK, Smashwords and All Romance/OmniLit

Betrayal’s Shadow – The Guardians of Eden Book 1

What would you do to save your people from extinction?
What if your race held the key to mankind’s future?
One Guardian will risk hell to change the future.

What would you do to save your people from extinction?
What if your race held the key to mankind’s future?
One Guardian will risk hell to change the future.

Warrior Reborn – The Guardians of Eden Book 2

Available on Kindle, Amazon UK
Coming soon from Smashwords and All Romance/ OmniLit

Each created with a unique supernatural talent.
Each linked in destiny with mankind.

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