Hello, Shari, I'm so glad you can join us today.
Thanks, Doris, for hosting me. I’m thrilled to be here. My name is Shari Elder, and I’m proud to release my first novella, Shifter Trials with Evernight Publishing.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
When I am not running a non-profit organization or raising my teen-ager, I am creating new worlds—in the desert, under a domed city, on Jupiter’s moons, or just in the backyard. Then I pack them full of shifters, vampires, Olympian gods, extra-terrestrials or whatever else comes into my head, throw in large heaps of love and passion, then bake. My favorite protagonists to write (and read) about are those who have given up on ever finding love. I personally find great satisfaction in doing the seemingly impossible. Writing is a great venue for that.
Like most writers, I’m a reader, bottle fed on science fiction and fantasy. My tastes are more wide-ranging now. Unfortunately, I have so much less time to read. How like life! ;) I live a happy, although at times insane life, with a teen-ager, a teen-age dog and the elderly cat who rules the roost.
What made you write ‘this’ story?
I love mythology, and it remains a rich source for my writing. I had always wanted to do a modern version of the Greek myth, Atalanta, a woman who defied stereotypes of her age. She hunted with the men, and refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a footrace. That seemed like an interesting story to tell now as women find themselves more and more in leadership positions. So Talia, the story’s heroine, is based on Atalanta.
Tell us about your cover.
My cover is by the fabulous Jay Aheer. The story’s theme is the freedom to choose your own future, even when rules, regulations, duty and your own emotional blinders set up limits on those choices. I love how the cover really captures this. It features our couple – Talia, who has the white blonde hair of her wolf, and Hayden, her vampire physical trainer. In the top corner is an eagle in flight, in the bottom corner is the wolf in the woods, both powerful symbols of the freedom of the wild.
Describe a typical day’s writing for us
What’s a typical day? ;) But seriously, I write every morning, after I let the dog out and before my teen wakes up. It’s the time I preserve for myself, and I guard it zealously. I also manage to steal some time in the evenings and weekends among work deadlines, dog-walking, never-ending errands and child chauffeuring.
What inspires you?
Endless possibility. It’s why I like to write in paranormal, fantasy and science fiction. It lets you play with that.
If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
I think we are all always many things. I’m a writer, I run a non-profit and I’m a mother (all three full-time job as you all know). In all cases, I’m doing something I love, and I believe in. I’ll always be a writer and other things.
Do your characters ever surprise you?
Yes, but its more often the secondary characters. Probably because they’re bucking for their own story next.
What could you not do without when you’re writing?
Coffee. There’s a hot cup by my side as I’m writing this interview.
What words of wisdom do you have for the aspiring authors out there?
Word 1: Persistence. You have to be in it for the long haul. Even if life forces you to take a long break from it, you can come back.
Word 2: Professionalism. Criticism, constructive feedback and bad reviews, if you get them, can hurt. A lot. Don’t take it personally. Take it professionally, and learn from it. Most things can help advance your writing and your confidence as a writer. We all have to learn to stand behind our art. It’s hard and risky, but it is worth it.
Where do you see yourself in ten years' time?
Empty nesting and writing a whole lot more. Probably some travel.
Do you have a favourite quote?
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
-Hunter S. Thompson The Proud Highway Quotes
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Not in the traditionally way, of staring at a blank page and nothing comes. I suffer from lack of time. As a result, there are periods when the other parts of my life take over, leaving no time and energy for writing.
What other books can your readers look forward to?
I am completing a science fiction romance novel at the moment, called Race to Redemption. Here’s a quick summary.
Terran Alliance storm racing champion Elaina Carteret has it all—wealth, celebrity, respect and a god-of-a-fiancee—until betrayal and tragedy sends her into exile. Resurfacing as Lainie Carter, a medical transport driver on the isolated desert planet of Ranhar, her rule-bending approach to her job infuriates the med facility director, Dr. Erik Hansen, who runs the outpost with an iron hand, a permanent scowl and the tightest bod on the planet.
And finally can you share the blurb and excerpt with us?
On the night of the full moon, any male shifter can call the Trials to race against Talia Orion, alpha of the united wolf-eagle clans. Clan law requires Talia to marry the winner of the Trials, a grueling twenty-mile marathon through dangerous, rugged terrain. The product of an unhappy, political alliance masquerading as a marriage, Talia trains obsessively to ensure she avoids her parents’ fate. Her newest vampire trainer, Hayden Mitchell, makes her powerful even as he knocks down her defenses, and finds his way, first, into her bed then into her heart.
Hayden has loved Talia since the first moment he saw her. As the destined ruler of the vampire clan, he has another agenda – to politically unite Talia’s clans with his own—what Talia fears most, and will never forgive him for.
“I hate swimming.” Talia plopped on her back on the hard, packed dirt at the lake’s edge. Droplets of water glistened on still sun-bronzed skin, even as the world inched toward winter.
“I know how you feel,” Hayden said as he lay on his side next to her, his head held up by a bent arm. With his free hand, he pushed her wet locks behind her ear, letting his fingers glide along the soft silk of her cheek. “You are so beautiful,” he whispered, his gaze holding on to those mesmerizing eyes he could not get enough of.
“You don’t shrink from my eyes, my dominance.” She arched up, as if offering her firm, cream-puff breasts to him to worship. He bit his cheek to stop from leaning over and taking the gift he wanted with every fiber of his being.
“Why?” she continued.
He wanted to tell her the truth, to show her who he was and how good they could be together. But too much was riding on the plan. “I respect strength in any form.”
Her voice lowered, husky, seductive but also a little sad. “I like it. It makes me want things I thought I could do without.” She pushed the strap off her left shoulder exposing one creamy breast, the rose pink nipple bullet hard. “I can’t anymore.” She snaked one hand through his hair and led his mouth to her exposed peak. “I know you want this.”
The spicy scent of her arousal was an aphrodisiac, weaving through his senses, tensing his body until he thought he’d snap if he didn’t take her. Weakened by desire, he didn’t resist the treat teasing his lips. He lapped the peak with his tongue, then lashed and suckled it harder or softer, in response to Talia’s throaty moans. The salty sweet taste of her skin was a delicacy he’d been dreaming about sampling for so long.
Her hand stroked the skin on his back. Her thigh rubbed against his thickening erection, until he howled. “Pleasure me.” It was an order.
The authority in her voice hit him like a bucket of ice water. “Not now, not like this.” He moved away, and pulled the strap back up her arm. She was so surprised she let him.
“You’re turning me down?” Anger punctuated her words, but the longing in her eyes told another story. “It’s been so long since someone touched me,” she murmured, as if she forgot his hearing picked up every whisper, exposing her vulnerability to him, a gift he would treasure and protect.
“No, not at all.” He gripped her chin in his hands. “I intend to make love to you. Hard and fast. Slow and easy. Over and over again.”
Her eyes widened, and she swallowed hard. “Why not now?”
The yearning in her voice almost broke him. Her longing for touch washed over him, called to him, but he wouldn’t settle for just a physical coupling. Her beasts would never accept a non-dominant mate.
“I say when,” he said fiercely against her throat before licking gently at the pulse throbbing in the carotid artery. “I say how, and for how long.”
His hands stroked gently down her arms, calming her anger, as he flamed his own passion. Reaching to the steel-hard discipline that allowed him to survive, he nipped her neck and pulled away.
“Still no kiss?” Talia arched up again, her face flushed with hunger.
He shook his head, stood up and pulled her up with him. “We head back.” He was playing a dangerous game. If he could not win her love by the next full moon, he’d earn her hatred forever.
Thanks for stopping by, Shari. I loved learning more about you, and this sounds a fab read!
Thanks, again Doris for hosting me. I love visitors, so please come by and chat. Virtual coffee and cookies for all. You can find me at:
You can pick up a copy of Shifter Trials at:
All Romance https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shiftertrials-2069672-340.html