Today my guest is Loretta Laird, author of The Passer. Please tell us a little about yourself, Loretta.
I am a romance-aholic! I love to get lost in a book though seldom get the opportunity being a busy mum. I enjoy cooking, mostly cakes as that’s what I love to eat. My ambition is to buy a cabin by a lake and sit and write all day, creating worlds and stories that are enjoyed by many.
What inspired you to start writing?
I just thought I would give it a try and see what happened. I think turning 40 made me want to give something new a go.
How long have you been writing?
About a year.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
If you’ve got a story inside that wants to get out, set it free! Always good to have an honest friend that will give their opinion – not just one who tells you what you want to hear!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes, I do. I work full-time so I am not always in the mood when I sit down at night. I find it helps to re-read the work I did the night before then it sometimes inspires me. If not, I just switch off and do something else. Usually, I then find that I can’t sleep as ideas bombard me at night!
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
The plot, with me. The characters just grow from there. Then I like to go back and give them a back story.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
The chemistry between the two main characters is electric and I loved the sexual tension that built up.
Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?
The second book in the trilogy and a story about a woman who finds herself in court tried with running a brothel. It is called M.I.L.F.
What are you reading now?
I am reading Matilda with my daughter.
What author or authors have most influenced your writing?
Julie Garwood tells a ripping historical love story and Christopher Paolini is a talented writer of fantasy.
What is your work schedule like when writing?
Busy! I work full-time and have 4 daughters so not much time left for anything else.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher. That is what I am!
What is your favorite food? Why?
It’s got be cake. I just love the luxury and comfort of it.
What would we find under your bed?
Nothing! I have just moved in to a new house and it is still spotless. Ask me again in 3 months.
If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?
Niagara Falls. I love the sound of all that water.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
“Come up and see mu sometime!’ Mae West
Describe the ideal romantic evening.
I don’t have them anymore; I just write about them!
Fellnisia is the setting of my book and I have created a world that I would love to live in. Kins are categorised by the colour of their eyes and they have characteristics unique to each group. Blue eyes are Water dwellers. They live in mountain hamlets near cool, clear mountain streams.
Green eyes are our Air dwellers. They live in treetops homes deep in lush green forests.
Brown-eyed kins are Earth and they are where our Passers warriors spring from. They live in villages at the base of The Fire Hills of Dargoon, home to the noble freegan who are dragon-like beasts that have been enslaved by the evil Greenflack.
About The Passers
From the dawn of time, the passing of a soul has been treated with dignity and respect. The process of ‘passing’, where a soul leaves the body and travels to that of a trained warrior or Passer, has been the way of the land of Fellnesia for generations. The Passer’s task is to then transport the soul to its final resting place. That place is dependent on the kin of the deceased, Air, Water or Earth.
One such kin, Air dwellers, find their beloved leader has died. His soul is duly ‘passed’ and, as his family mourn, Greenflack; a rival claimant to his throne arrives with an army bent on death to any remaining kinfolk. The young Passer king, Lambord, recklessly rescues Fernella, the beautiful young princess, from her certain doom.
Several years later, Jadara; a young girl born in the kin-home of Water faces her father and the truth of her birthright. She is the rightful heir of the Air kingdom that has been ruled so cruelly for many years by Greenflack.
Jadara must now face her destiny and embark upon on a quest with her childhood friend, Thanly, and the group of nomadic, tattooed Passers led by Lombard, her father.
Jadara learns to fight and love under the guidance of Adamen, a handsome young Passer, as she travels towards her destiny.
Betrayal and pain come her way before she finally faces Greenflack, saves her people and steps up to her destiny.
Adamen appeared with the carcass of a freshly slain dapple draped over his shoulder. Its antlers had been sliced through and were carried in his left hand, as was the custom for the killing of such a beast. Even animals had the right to a Passing and there were ways to respect the order of life. Removing the maleness of the creature ensured its passage to spirituality. Slinging the body of the creature to a nearby flat stone, Adamen withdrew his cleaned weapon and took up a stance worthy of his experience. He flashed Jadara a fearsome grin.
“Princess,” he confronted her with a quick bow. “Shall we?”
“Warrior,” she inclined her head whilst keeping her eyes on his and backing a safe distance away. Her pulse throbbed in her neck at the closeness of this raw male. He was obviously fresh from a hunt and this made him dangerously tense and alert.
Adamen sniffed the air, catching her scent on the soft breeze. He was a skilled hunter and could read the instincts of animals intuitively. His Earth upbringing close to the Fire Hills of Dargoon, served him well as a Passer. He had had to survive a harsh world since birth and only the fittest made it this far with Lambord. Adamen’s sire and older siblings, all boys, had trained him well so nothing could distract his focus in a fight. Nothing until now. The fresh smell of apple blossom on the wind caught him off guard. For a split second, his thoughts paused on how that scent would taste. That was enough for a sharp pain to course through his thigh. Amid hoots of laughter and taunts from his peers, Adamen saw the retreating blade of a bow sword. Sticky sweet blood seeped from his wound and trickled down towards his knee.
With a growl equal to a fire freegan, Adamen pounced, swinging his long sword over his head. Jadara was quick and dodged several potentially fatal blows before she felt a stinging in her shoulder. Lambord, who’d seen enough stepped forward and held his hand between the two.
“Peace!” he ordered. “Blood for blood and now rest.” He shot Adamen a warning glare just to ensure the younger man’s compliance.
Adamen nodded and offered his hand to Jadara. She extended hers then recoiled quickly as she felt the warm pulse that Adamen’s touch had stirred within her. It spread like liquid through her body and brought an instant blush to her cheeks.
Arrogant in his victory, Adamen’s smile widened at the response he had stimulated in Jadara. His own body hardened automatically at the attraction he felt.
Jadara looked away, furious with her body for betraying her in front of this warrior, again.
She stormed off into the woods with Lambord’s voice behind her saying, “We leave as soon as we mount up.”
Jadara walked until she reached the babbling stream and stood for a moment, allowing the rhythmic sounds to sooth her temper. She was unaccustomed to the feelings that betrayed her when Adamen was nearby. Thanly, her truest friend, deserved her loyalty and if anyone was to claim her as a Primary Mate, shouldn’t it be him?
As if to taunt her further, her skin began to prickle and her heart rate increased as she heard footsteps behind her.
“A lucky strike,” she murmured not turning her head for fear of the troublesome blush reappearing.
“I’m flattered you knew it was me,” teased Adamen crouching down to the stream with a white cloth in his hands. She watched as he soaked it through then squeezed it out, folding it over to make a pad. She gasped as he stood up, towered over her and applied the pad to her shoulder.
He mistook her gasp for pain and had the grace to look ashamed. “Does it hurt?” he asked gently.
“N..no,” she replied. “The water is just cold,” she added. The first thing she could think of to cover her true emotion.
“So brave,” he crooned, rubbing the cloth seductively over her shoulder and across her neck.
His lips were so close to her ear that the words made their own light caress across her cheek. He moved in closer and she turned her head towards his.
Adamen could fight it no longer, he leaned in to the soft lips before him and kissed.
It was hard to describe who was more shocked at Jadara’s passionate response. She returned his kiss with fervour, moving her lips in response to his. His kiss deepened and hardened and hers matched the pace. Her body pressed into his hard chest and a soft moan escaped from her.
“Damn!” cursed Adamen, pulling away and stepping back with his hand raking through his hair.