Earthbound by Melora Johnson –
(@MeloraJohnson) #ParanormalRomance #UrbanFantasy #RomanticFantasy #TirgearrPublishing
Hi, thanks for hosting me! I thought I’d share a little bit about me, my writing process, and the book itself.
Honestly, I can’t imagine anything much better than what I am doing right now. I am writing the stories that I want to write. Sure, I wish I had a little more time to do that in but I also have to get out there and live a life that gives me ideas to create stories worth writing about. I also love helping people and being a librarian gives me the chance to do that on a daily basis. I’m infinitely lucky that the particular library position I have allowed me to develop an adult writer’s group.
I started the writer’s group 11 years ago and it was hit or miss whether anyone would show up at first. Now, I have around 20 people that gather weekly to share their writing. (Sometimes I refer to it as the party for introverts.) It’s incredibly supportive group and I definitely get as much out of it as I put into it. It has helped me keep my focus on writing while working full-time and raising a daughter with my husband.
I like to write in lots of different genres and let my curiosity lead me wherever it wants to go. I’ve written a middle grade mystery novel based on spending my vacations at my grandmother’s house, where the old abandoned house on the next hill fired my imagination. I’ve also written a science fiction trilogy of books that dealt with a genetic modification to crops that made them less than food to a swath of people, a bioengineered virus that wiped out a large segment of the population, and a post-apocalyptic aftermath.
I write poetry that I self-publish and share a new one every Friday on my blog and Facebook. That’s my emotional outlet, a snapshot of life. I’ve also written short stories. One story grew out of a very old phone in my attic. I thought, what if a person hung that back up in the kitchen and someone from the past started calling them on it?
My method of writing has developed over the years. I used to, and still do, often simply start with a picture in my mind then see where it leads me. I have a tendency to write everything I can think of then chop the pieces up and rearrange them. I am not one of those wonderful authors who slowly and methodically write the perfect sentence. Things pour out of me in a torrent, sometimes because I’m excited about an idea or sometimes because it’s my way of dealing with strong emotions that I’m having about a situation.
I’m writing paranormal romances right now. The first book, Earthbound, started out as an urban fantasy but the romantic relationships kept creeping back in. With this story, I knew that Ally was lonely and that would drive a lot of her decisions. At the same time, she had to hide her secret so that she didn’t get carted away in a straightjacket. I hoped that she would end up with a love interest, maybe a long term one, but I didn’t know exactly who that would be or how it would all work out. I also knew that there would be demons involved but I didn’t know what their goals would be or how they would affect the story until they did so.
Everything about this book surprised me! I started out with a simple image and the title “Something About Demons” then jumped in and started writing. I am big on grabbing whatever is happening in life and putting it into my stories. I love coffee so there is a scene that starts with Ally getting her morning coffee, I honestly never expected what happened when she sat down with her mug. I was just writing along and suddenly there was this invisible creature outside leaving footprints in the morning frost on the grass.
I was raised Catholic but I wasn’t particularly one to just sit back and accept what I was told. I was lucky to grow up in a church where I was encouraged to think, question, and research. I took a mythology course in college, read lots of science fiction that played with mythology, and my father was very interested in the Joseph Campbell mythology interview series with Bill Moyers. I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection between different religions and mythologies. Where do angels and demons come in and how are they treated the same or differently in different cultures? So it’s something that I found myself exploring in my writing.
I find Zyriel one of the most interesting characters. He’s a demon but as we know, demons were once angels. Why did he become a demon? Can a demon be returned to an angelic state of grace? What would that take? He’s definitely not totally evil. He’s not the main character but I think he will have his own book in the future.
I would say this is a pretty optimistic book though that may depend on your point of view. I believe in ideals and striving for them but I also believe that there may be some things that will never work out the way we want them too. I like stories that don’t necessarily end in “happily ever after” because I don’t think that’s realistic. Relationships take hard work and you have to be willing to do the work and make compromises. But, these books will definitely end in a “happily for now.” The goal is always moving, you walk toward the horizon and you may arrive at a point but the horizon has moved, now it’s over there. Things will be resolved and there will be moments of joy, but that may be as simple as sharing breakfast with someone you love.
I hope some of you reading will give it a try, and let me know how you like it. Thanks!
“Has the worm turned so soon?” I heard from behind me.
I turned to find my demon lover with a merry smile on his lips and a twinkle in his eye.
“You, give me one reason I shouldn’t banish you right now.” I took a step forward with my hand up and found myself facing empty space. He had rolled up like a snapped shade, leaving a line of smoke.
“Now, now, play nice, or I won’t share what I know and, trust me, you could use a friend who knows what the other side is planning right now,” a disembodied voice chided me gently.
I crossed my arms again. “Why should I believe a single word you say?”
He appeared so close in front of me that I inhaled sharply and took a step back, putting up my hands to ward him off. “Darling,” he said reproachfully. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll let you touch me as long as you promise not to exorcise me in the next ten minutes.”
I snorted. “And why would you trust me?”
He stepped closer as I backed up until he could lean over me with a hand on the wall. “Because right now, I know you better than you know yourself, apparently.” He smirked. “I certainly know your body better than anyone else, even if it is a human version.” He leaned down slowly as if to kiss me; I ducked out of the way.
“Fine, I promise I won’t exorcise you in the next ten minutes…”
He turned to follow me with his eyes. I tilted my head forward and glared, trying to look menacing. “As long as you don’t do anything to hurt me or anyone else during that period of time.”
He raised both hands in a gesture of surrender. “Fair enough.” He spread his legs and grinned, keeping his hands up. “Come and touch me.”
The sexual overtone he gave it made me hesitate, but I needed to know if I could trust him at all. He was offering information from the enemy. I took just a few steps until I could touch his chest with my fingertips at arm’s length.
He let out a moan of pleasure and gripped my shoulders. We were no longer in the elevator.
“Do you remember this?” I heard his silky voice and felt his breath in my right ear.
Her healing touch could start a fire.
Ally Reynolds is a veterinarian specializing in raptor rehabilitation in New Hampshire. Other than one horrific incident in her childhood and a little extra “spark” for healing in her hands, both of which she has kept secret from even her best friend, her life has been singularly boring. It has also been extremely lonely. Ally longs for someone to share her life with, but how can she trust anyone with her secret?
Matthew Blake, an ornithologist at Cornell University, calls Ally, asking for her help with an injured raptor. Matthew grew up in New Zealand and has lived around the world. He has read about Ally’s high success rates in raptor rehabilitation and suspects there is more to it than is generally known.
Matthew has some secrets of his own; he is a demon hunter. He suspects Ally’s healing powers could benefit him. He wants her to join him and thinks they’d make a great team.
Can Ally trust him or is he just using her? Matthew definitely has more secrets, and some of them are about Ally.
Melora Johnson is a poet and novelist living in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, a black cat, and quite a few chickens. Her most recent published work includes A Sanctuary Built of Words: Poems of Peace, Grief, and Passion, and publication in The Sexuality Poems from Foothills Publishing. She also runs a large and thriving writer’s group for adults. Of course, into every life a little rain must fall as well as the occasional tornado, but you’ll find that amply covered in her writing. Find out more about Melora and her writing –