Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Emmie Dark to HJ!
Hi Emmie, welcome back to HJ!
What is your favorite trope to read, one you will never get tired of?
I guess “Cinderalla”/transformation style stories. Although I definitely don’t want their to be a fairy godmother — I love to watch heroines who pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and build themselves a new life.
Let’s talk about your newest release: Charmed
If you had to summarize the book for the readers here
A fun, sexy short read with a magical twist. It’s about a Mel, mind-reader who, for the first time in her life, has to work to get to know someone. And Michael, a grieving hero, who has to work to find a way to move forward.
Please tell us about the characters in your book?
Mel (Melanie) is what her Aunt Gertrude calls, “a right-proper seer”. She’s one of the few genuine psychics in the world — someone who can actually read minds. And her talents have meant she’s had a fairly lonely life — after all, who wants to hang out with someone who can ACTUALLY read your mind? She’s resigned herself to living the rest of her life alone.
Then she meets Michael, an unlikely customer in the new-age shop where Mel works. He’s an accountant, a very practical, down-to-earth guy, struggling with a recent loss that’s weighing heavily on his shoulders. There’s no way he’d ever believe in such a thing as psychic powers, but he’s at a loose-end, and what harm can it do?
It’s when they step through the beaded curtain that things start to go awry … for the first time in her life, Mel has met someone who she can’t read!
Was it love at first sight for your characters? If not what was the pivotal moment of change?
Yes, I think it was, in a way, although it takes a while for them both to realize that! There is definitely plenty of “lust at first sight”. This is after all, classified by Destiny Books as a HOT read!
If your characters could go back in time and change one thing what would it be? Why?
There’s one big thing Michael would definitely change if he had the chance. But I’m not going to tell you because of spoilers!
I think Mel would give serious thought to whether there was some way she could go back and stop herself from becoming a psychic. Her powers are definitely a double-edged sword, but I think by the end of the book she’s a little better reconciled with her life.
What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?
There’s a scene where Mel reads a magic book written by the Magic Council. The information the book contains is critical to her future, but it’s written in the most bureaucratic way possible! I had lots of fun coming up with magical “legalese”. I roped in a friend who’s an attorney to look at it too — I think it’s the first time I’ve ever asked someone to look at my writing with the aim of making it HARDER to read!
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
The scene where Mel reveals her powers to Michael. I felt very close to Mel throughout writing Charmed, and I genuinely felt myself close to tears as Mel had to talk about her lonely life and revealed her biggest secret to him. I felt so sorry for her — a life alone is pretty much the worst thing I think you could wish on someone — and I just wanted to jump into the story and give her a big hug!
How did your character spend the week just before the story starts?
Life was pretty ordinary and normal for them. Michael is on leave from work (spoiler reasons!) and bumming around not doing much, going out of his mind with boredom. That’s how he ends up in a new age shop looking at getting a psychic reading!
Mel spent the week as usual — her shifts at the shop, a few yoga classes, maybe a meal one night with Aunt Gertrude. I have a feeling Mel is a big television watcher and her favourite TV shows are all the ones about the supernatural world — she watches and laughs at them, but secretly can’t wait for the next episode. I think she’d be into Vampire Diaries, and The Originals, and Grimm, and Supernatural, and Once Upon a Time., etc.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?
The image of Michael came to me very quickly. Without doubt he looks just like Jared Padalecki (Sam, from Supernatural). He’s tall, well-built and has hair long enough to keep running his fingers through it. For me, the hair was an important part of his character. Michael is an accountant, but definitely not the staid, boring image that comes to mind when you generally think about accountants. He’s into surfing and adventurous travel, and so Jared’s good looks and, quite frankly, gorgeous hair, struck me as instant “Michael”.
Mel was a little harder to picture. I knew she was blonde and I think her looks are a little like Jennifer Lawrence. However her dress sense is absolutely like a character from an Australian drama called “Offspring”, Nina Proudman. Her style is so admired in Australia, there’s even a series of blogs called “So you want to dress like Nina Proudman”!
I usually do a Pinterest board for my books, and this one is no different! Check it out here: http://www.pinterest.com/emmiedark/charmed/
What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2013 into 2014?
At the moment, nothing I can confirm, but then 2013 has been a huge year for me with FOUR books out this year! I think I need a little time to re-fill the well, and then I’ll be back with something new very soon!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Two e-copies of CHARMED (as soon as it is released on 16 December)!
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: I mentioned earlier that I’d used the clothing of a TV character as an inspiration for the story. Is there a TV/movie character with a wardrobe you covet? Let me know!
Melanie Cook slumped against the counter. Not even the amethyst crystal on display nearby – one of the purest and largest in the whole of Australia – could counteract the negative mood she was in. Outside, rain battered against the window of the Brunswick Street shop. It scattered into splinters of blue-and-green light, reflections of the neon sign Aunt Gertrude – owner of Crystal Gaze and Mel’s godmother – had insisted on installing. It wasn’t even four o’clock, but the Melbourne winter evening was already closing in.
Mel hated winter. Maybe that’s all this strange mood was all about. Hopefully. Never before had the boundaries of her life felt so restrictive.
Restlessness forced her to move from behind the counter and do something.
She headed for the bookshelves on the far side of the store and stared at them for a while. Nope, they were already perfectly alphabetised, courtesy of her slow morning. They’d had hardly any bookings for readings this week, and while Mel didn’t mind helping out in the shop, it was the psychic readings that she was really supposed to be here for.
She loved helping people, and readings were one of her few opportunities to interact with others in a ‘normal’ way. Of course she had to be careful – Aunt Gertrude still scolded her when a particularly dazed-looking customer emerged from one of Mel’s readings, stunned by her accuracy. Top of her class at the magic academy, recent recipient of the Excellence in Service medal from the Magic Council, Mel was, as Aunt Gertrude liked to put it, ‘a right proper fortune-teller’. So she had to be especially cautious in her readings – it was fine for her to have a reputation as a pretty good psychic, but it was not fine for it to get out that she could read minds and already knew next week’s TattsLotto numbers.
Mel glanced at the books again. Paulo Coelho, Louise L. Hay and Eckhart Tolle were annoyingly all in the right spots. And the lovely, colourful display of Eat Mangoes Naked – one of Mel’s personal favourites – still looked pristine. Pity mangoes weren’t in season.
She guessed she could go into the Other Room and tidy up a little, but that was mostly Gertrude’s domain, and the old lady tended to get irritated if anyone mucked with her incomprehensible classification system. Aunt Gertrude seemed to assume that everyone was as skilled at summoning charms as she was, because for the life of her, Mel could not work out any kind of system behind the arrangement of the books, potion ingredients and grimoires that were stored in the Other Room – hidden there from the non-magical community behind a perception filter.
The chimes over the door tinkled, announcing a customer. Mel bounded over, thrilled to have a purpose again. Busy was always better. Especially with a brain like hers. That was probably the cause of her malaise – she just needed some activity.
She pounced out from behind a display of North American Indian dreamcatchers, and her customer started at her sudden appearance.
‘Welcome to Crystal Gaze,’ Mel announced, probably a little too enthusiastically.
‘Oh! Uh, hi.’ He ran his hands through chin-length chestnut hair, pushing it back from his face and shaking off the rain. He wore boots, jeans and a shirt with a casual canvas jacket that was slightly padded to ward off the chill. And he was tall – Mel was not short, but she had to look up to meet his eyes.
When he smiled, Mel’s mouth went dry. White, even teeth. Warm brown eyes. Late twenties, early thirties, with creases in his forehead that spoke of laughter and a love of the outdoors.
The man was gorgeous. And Mel didn’t think her reaction to him was purely down to the fact that her love life – or at least the series of one-night stands that made up the only kind of love life she was allowed as a psychic-seer – had been seriously lacking lately. If she pulled together an objective survey of ten randomly selected women, she was pretty sure eleven of them would rank this guy as ‘hot’ to ‘seriously hot’.
Water ran in rivulets down his jacket and dripped on the floor, testament to the heavy rain outside. They both looked down at the puddles forming on the shop’s carpet around him.
His mouth quirked up on one side and he shrugged a shoulder in apology. ‘Sorry . I’m really wet.’
A vision slammed into Mel’s head, so vibrant and so technicolour-real, she lost her breath.
She was lying down, this man poised above her. His chest was bare, liberally sprinkled with golden-brown hair that tickled her nipples when he moved against her. He lowered his lips to her jaw, pressing kisses to her face before whispering in her ear, ‘Baby, you’re really wet.’
The vision was so vivid that for a moment she could feel his hard, hot length inside her. Then he moved, a deliciously long slide against her most sensitive flesh, and Mel’s knees buckled.
‘Whoa, are you all right?’
The stranger was clutching her elbow; without his support she knew she’d be sinking to the floor.
She grabbed weakly at a nearby shelf, making a couple of Tibetan singing bowls chime. ‘I’m fine,’ she said.
That – along with plenty of other things – was one of the problems with being a psychic-seer. The ability to peer through a window into the future required an imagination beyond what might be considered ‘normal’.
When a handsome and charming stranger reluctantly enters the magic shop where perky Melanie Cooke works as a psychic, she fully expects to give him a standard reading and send him on his way. But for the first time in her life, her powers fail her and the reading goes horribly awry.
Michael Harrison was dubious about the idea of seeing a psychic, but given the attraction between them, he’s prepared to put first impressions aside. Yet as he and Melanie get to know each other, Michael is forced to confront his past, and to face the fact that Melanie may be more than she seems.
Will fear and suspicion ruin all or will the magic and power of love keep them together?
After years of writing press releases, employee newsletters and speeches for CEOs and politicians – none of which included any kind of kissing – Emmie Dark finally took to her laptop to write what she wanted to write. She was both amazed and delighted to discover that what came out was sexy, noble heroes who found themselves crossing paths with strong, determined heroines. And plenty of kissing.
Emmie lives in Melbourne, Australia, and she likes red lipstick, chardonnay, sunshine, driving fast, rose-scented soap and a really good cup of tea. Like, a really good cup of tea. She’s particularly fussy about it, and has been known to pack her own teabags when she travels. Most members of her family are too scared to make her a cuppa, in case they get it wrong.
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