Thursday, February 25, 2016

AJ Norris: Rust City Book Con Featured Author

Conference Thursday is back, kicking off the third round in the Five Words Fiction game, and featuring another fabulous Rust City Book Con author.  Today, please welcome:

Hi AJ! Wanna tell us a little about your writing?

Hi Nicola! My romantic suspense, Healing Hearts, was released in January 2016. This is my debut novel and it's about two lovers with dark pasts trying to heal old wounds while her dangerous ex-boyfriend is on the loose. You can check out my website for a detailed blurb and excerpt link.

I'm currently working on the second book of my paranormal romance series. The first book, Her Black Wings, Book One of the Dark Amulet Series, is due to be released on July 12, 2016.

A new series! That's such great news! And it will be out just in time for RustCity!  Are you ready for the RustCity questionnaire?

I was born ready!

1. Fill in the blank: "I used to be really good at enjoying my day job , but these days I'm pretty rusty." I definitely know those feels, my friend.

2. Eminem or Aretha? Explain.

Aretha! The queen of soul all the way, baby.

3. Choose One:
I'm confused. And not from around here.

4. What are you looking forward to most at the RustCity conference? I'm looking forward to meeting other authors, but most importantly, readers.

5. Which is NOT an actual community in Michigan? (no googling!)
Bad Axe
Mullet Lake
(The correct answer is "Hero." I got very tickled at some of the names, especially when I saw that "Alpha" was one!)

6. Your latest work of fiction features a wealthy industrialist and an R&B singer. What's the first sentence? "Really?" Simone rolled her eyes, "and why would I believe you?"
OK, I'm intrigued.

What's it about? Struggling unsigned R & B singer, Simone, isn't looking for love, only a music contract. Mr. Calvin, a wealthy industrialist, wants to help her anyway he can after watching her perform. He claims he has connections in the music industry, but will he able to make her dreams come true or does he just want to steal her heart?
Hmmm. I think Mr. Calvin sounds like someone you get warned about. Risky!

7. And finally, would you like to participate in the Alpha Heroes Five Words Fiction Game?

Absolutely!  Bring on the paranormal, Alpha Heroes!

Excellent!  You'll be writing Part 3 of the ALCHEMY RUSTS story, and your challenge words are:  kaleidoscope, casserole, astrolabe, riot, susurration, and, per the delightful Ms. Usher, bonus points for using Belle Isle Aquarium-- which just so happens to have been a summer job for my own alpha hero, a/k/a, my husband.


Part 1, by Laura Bickle

Part 2: by Calandra Usher
Mara slammed the Book of Spells shut. “Dammit. How in the hell am I supposed to get you off?” She stared at the dragon. It shook its whole body starting with the head and ending in a tail waggle. The sharp point on the end grazed the inside of her wrist. “Ow.” The little creature sat down, its bottom scorching her hand. She walked away from the stand where the Book lay.

Spike’s tiny silver talons held onto to the flesh of her palm like burnt leftovers stuck to the sides of a casserole dish. Maybe if she ran her hand under the faucet… The basin tap shuddered and dirty water sputtered out. Air bubbles caused the nasty mess to splatter the front of her clothing. Luckily, she wore her cloak today; a mainly black, full cape with a kaleidoscope of different color threads woven throughout the fabric. When the water ran clear, she stuck her hand into the stream.

The dragon beat its wings frantically but remained attached. Blood oozed from around the claw wounds and dripped into the sink. “Now what? Think, Mara.”

She pushed her cape behind her hip and shoved her empty hand into her jeans pocket for her cell phone. Unfortunately, the iPhone was on the opposite side and she had to reach across her body to get it out. “Really?” Why did that always seem to happen? Her phone was always in the wrong pocket. Mara set the phone down on the Book of Spells. She dialed the only person she could think of who could possibly help her. Izyk. He wasn’t really her friend, as alchemists and mythical creatures generally didn’t run in the same social circles. When she’d first met him while gathering special herbs, he’d been sleeping in his non-human looking form in the woods on Bell Isle. He worked at the Aquarium. Mara thought he was just one of those white deer found on the island. Okay…he had wings, but still… She thought about his mesmerizing ice-blue eyes for a moment as the phone rang.

“Hello,” his deep voice resonated in her ear. Her soul.

“Izyk, it’s me—”

He sighed and spoke under his breath. The susurration said her phone call wasn’t well received.

“Don’t hang up, I need your help.”

“What is it this time? I’m at work.”

“A dragon,” she squeaked.

Izyk sighed again. “…Don’t tell me, it’s silver and stuck to the palm of your hand.”

She squeezed her eyes closed and scrunched up her face. “What do you know about it?” His chuckle surprised her. Was he mocking her? “This isn’t funny.”

“Yeah, it is, you’re a riot.” He laughed into the phone.

“Stop laughing, this sooo isn’t funny. What do I do?”

A few minutes passed before he could say anything comprehensible. “Come to the Aquarium after dark and bring an astrolabe.”

“An astro-what?”

“Figure it out.” He ended the call before she had a chance to ask more questions.

“Dammit.” Mara had little choice but to do what he told her. She cursed the day she met him and rued the night she made love to him. Love…ha! A sliver of longing stabbed her heart…or actually more like an iron stake drilled her chest.

She raised her hand so she was eye level with Spike. His beady cobalt eyes locked onto hers. “You’re hurting my hand and still not half as annoying as Izyk.” Oh, God… Mara sighed; she missed her deer-man. There was no sense in denying she still had feelings for him.

Hmmm, a deer-man? Sounds like we've got a bit of a Cernunnos/horned-god thing going on, I like it!

You can find me on Twitter or visit my website.  I look forward to meeting everyone at Rust City Book Con in 2016.

Thanks so much for hanging out with us here, A.J.!  See you in August!


Be sure to keep up with all things Rust City 2016, by following it via your own personal social media drug of choice: Facebook |Twitter | Google+ | Tumblr | Instagram | RSVP at the Facebook Event.

1 comment:

Calandra Usher said...

A kelidascope of threads... That's brilliant. And well done adding in Belle Isle. I can't wait to see where the next person takes it. And if they ever get Spike off her hand :)


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