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Welcome to my blog, where I share my love of books and anything bookish, including my own novels every now and then, but mostly I share **Book Blog Tours** **Author Features** **Guest Posts** **Book Blitz's** **Give-Aways** and **Competitions**

Thanks for visiting ~ Bella x

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Thursday Profile: In The Limelight featuring Guest Author L.Z. Marie



Before we begin today's post, I just have to wish our featured author

L.Z. Marie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!


Now that's done, we can proceed

Welcome to

In The Limelight

Starring not ONE, but TWO fabulous Novels ~ so let's get started and find out about...



Pub date: August 17, 2012
Publisher: Flores Publishing

Blurb:

Myth, history, and science collide when an empathic professor is hired by a mystical organization to find a desperate killer.

Genre:

Mystery ~ Suspense ~ Occult ~ Supernatural
Think: Romancing the Stone in  The Twilight Zone or
Stephanie Plum in the Xfiles

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THE MERKABAH RECRUIT FREE FOR TODAY!

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Links:



Excerpt:

THE MERKABAH RECRUIT

Chapter 1 
(somewhere in the middle of )

“I need to speak with you, Professor Daphne Sites.” The deep smoky timbre of his voice was unusually soothing.
“What’s this concerning?” He appeared too old to be a co-ed, too young to be a parent, and too muscular to be a stuffy intellectual. Evidently, some Greek God had gotten lost on the college campus.
He stepped into my office, sat down on the metal chair, and crossed his arms; a crisp tailored shirt revealing a chiseled physique. Not that it mattered to me.
Handsome hunk or not, I began feeling uncomfortable. I watched enough movies about sexy looking killers to be wary about any late night visitor.
Worried and uneasy, I fussed with the papers on my desk. This stranger knew my name and location of my office; although, he had the professor title wrong—maybe someday, if I ever complete my dissertation.
There had to be a specific reason for his visiting at this unseemly hour. Evening classes are not held on Fridays, and there were no productions scheduled at the performing arts center located at the other end of campus. Most suspicious. I usually had reliable intuition about people and could discern their true feelings or motives. From this stranger I sensed nothing. Seconds later, it happened.
Tingles. Pins and needles. An icy hot tightening at the back of my neck. An early warning system. Strange premonitions and eerie intuitions usually followed.
I was defenseless in this shoebox-sized office—not good. Determined to indicate my intention to leave, I gathered a few stray papers.
“I have come to train you.” The stranger’s tone was most determined and assertive, commanding deference.
Train me? “Sorry, I don’t understand.” The tingle crept upwards. My jaw clenched—according to the doctor, this was the reason for all my TMJ headaches. The muscles contract whenever I’m nervous or worried or angry or annoyed—seemed any negative emotion caused the tightening. Sometimes the tingle triggered a panic attack. Of course, people often told me I have a tendency to overreact. I took slow deep breaths. Although friendly, this stranger had an aggressive air. Something wasn’t rightsomething was causing this feeling.
The stranger appeared to be gauging my reactions. “After your training, you will be able to help us.”
OK, now I was definitely confused. “Who are you?” 
He leaned over, placing both hands on the desk in a pose that was equally intimidating, encouraging, and—some other behavior I could not identify.
“My name is S.J.”
That’s nice. Greek God has a name. Or rather, initials. I tried appearing calm and unafraid by attempting a little smile. He was infuriatingly cryptic; setting off alarms in my head. The open door—located a mere four feet away—beckoned to me. Could I make a run for it? His muscles might slow him down.
He stroked his chin in thought, perhaps sensing my unease. Resting against the chair, he flashed a wide grin and held one hand up. With brown eyes fixed on me, his other hand slowly pulled an item from his trouser pocket. “You will need this.”
A small ring box of polished wood was set at the edge of my desk. I followed the movement of his hand as he slid it across the metal surface. Oddly enough, curiosity overcame my fear; ring-sized gifts tended to have that effect on most women.
I was both intrigued and concerned by his demeanor. My logical brain screamed danger, my emotional mind expressed fascination, and my body whispered temptation—first impressions that surely did not go together. Or did they? One of my many problems—and I have many—is that I over analyze everything. It drives my family and friends crazy.
I stood, not understanding my politeness towards this mysterious and possibly dangerous visitor. “You caught me at a bad time. I was just getting ready to leave.”
Once again, I sensed he was assessing my emotions and judging my reactions. His manner quite unnerved me.
I pursed my lips, assessed the situation. It was ten o’clock at night. I was alone. In a vacant building. A Greek God look-alike wanted to give me jewelry. Or a psychopathic killer planned on harming me. It was a no-brainer. The second option made the most logical sense. Men bearing jewelry are a rare breed. The box was probably an attempt at a distraction.
I surveyed the items on top my desk. Can you kill someone with a sharpie? Boring him to death while I recite some 18th century English poetry was another option. It worked with my students! Throwing a pile of essays into the air to create a diversion while running from the room might do the trick. Or just maybe I should stop assuming the worst—I’ve also been accused of having an overactive imagination.
His mouth spread into a bright smile, white teeth flashing. I notice teeth because my ex-husband is a dentist. This S.J. possessed a disarmingly brilliant grin.
“I am here to help you, Daphne. Please, take the box. You are really far too,” he laughed, then gazed up as though the word might be written on the ceiling, “…un-reactive.”
Oh? On a first name basis so soon? I might look calm on the outside, but my insides were a churning mess of nameless fears and irrational anxieties. “Who are you and what do you want?” My heart thumped wildly.
“The answers to your questions will take a while to explain.”



Pub date: July 11, 2013
Publisher: Flores Publishing

Blurb:

Daphne's adventure continues when legends, lies, and lust thwart the empathic professor’s attempts to stop an insidious evil from its release into the world.

Genre:

Mystery ~ Suspense ~ Occult ~ Supernatural
Think: Stephanie Plum in the Xfiles

Buy Links:




Excerpt:

THE MERKABAH DECEPTION 

Chapter 1

Quito, Ecuador

Sixteen was too young to lose her mind, but Pilar couldn't stop The Darkness. Shadows seeped into her head. Slithered in slowly. Infiltrated her thoughts. A quiet invasion over which she had no control.
It—the void, the nothingness—seemed harmless at first. A momentary zoning out. Attention disengaged. Pilar blamed her condition on the flu—already two schoolmates were infected. Easy to catch in a boarding school. Headache, nausea, vomiting; the normal symptoms. No big deal.
She lifted her t-shirt and scratched, the angry red stripes crisscrossing her stomach a testament to increasingly irritated skin. A persistent itch.
Her leg jerked.
Not again!
Pilar stared at the five classmates huddled around a geometry book. Gossip about the super-sexy gardener had taken precedence over memorizing math formulas.
Chatting with friends about boys and clothes and celebrities one minute; gone the next. Almost. A tiny part remained. To observe. To wait.
Like now.
Her arm twitched. The Darkness was invading: It silenced her voice. The other limb trembled and an odd sensation forced its way past her lips and emitted a terrible noise. A gurgling, raspy mew.
Pilar watched as her friends laughed, tried imitating the sound. They couldn’t. Except for one girl. Maria.
Quiet, studious, pious Maria regarded Pilar with dark eyes and repeated the unholy growl. Or rather, Maria answered. And Pilar understood.
Let us out.
That’s all it took. Pilar tumbled on top of her. Arms grabbing at each other. Pilar clawed at the buttons on Maria’s shirt.
“Stop it!” Shouts from far away reverberated down Pilar’s spine.
Pilar felt someone tug on her arm. Observed her own hand smash into a horrified face. Blood exploded from a nose, poured over quivering lips, and dripped off a trembling chin.
Pilar wondered at the force exerted by her fist; astonished to have hit her best friend.
The others fled the dorm, their screams echoing down the hall.
Sisters Grace and Monica raced to the room. They stopped short, stunned at the sight before them. Sister Grace’s hand flew to the Crucifix she wore over her vestments. Bile choked her rebuke.
The evil was spreading!
Arms locked together, legs coiled around hips; Pilar and Maria twitched and writhed. Both were naked, clothes strewn about.
Sister Monica grabbed an ankle. Sister Grace clutched an arm. Yanking and pulling their snarling charges apart until an eerie silence descended upon the room.
“Call the archdiocese!” Sister Monica gasped as she dragged Maria’s now limp body through the doorway.
Pilar spoke to Maria. Not with words. Not with growls. With thoughts.
Let us out!


L.Z.Marie

Blogging about life--often sassy, sometimes scholarly @ www.lzmarieauthor.com 

Follow on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and GoodReads @lzmarieauthor


Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/AuthorLZMarie



Author Bio:


Blogger. Wife. Mom to 4 snack-happy children and one spoiled-pooch. Chocoholic. Mocha drinker. History buff. Occasional treadmill walker. My current project is a historical fiction. 

I love wine, chocolate, ice cream, cheese, cheese puffs (see the trend?), and ethnic food–from Indian to Ecuadorian to Greek to Italian. Actually, I just love food!  Exercise? Not so much. The treadmill sits in the garage—sometimes I climb aboard to watch TV  on NETFLIX.

I’m amazed by the links between ancient history and mythology. The two are so closely intertwined we don’t often make a distinction between them. And modern scientific theories only continue to prove the existence of the weird and fantastical!

An avid reader, I savor well-crafted, witty prose that makes me laugh, challenges conventionality, and stirs the imagination. An intriguing mystery-thriller, historical fiction, or urban fantasy will have me reading into the wee hours of the night.


Author Interview:

Hi L.Z. welcome and Happy Birthday again!

Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself?
I can tell you what other people say about me.
My four children say I’m crazy and yet they love me anyway.
Hubby claims I’m high maintenance—he has no idea what he’s talking about.
My students adore my class although they know I make them work hard.
My mom claims I need a vacation!

How long have you been writing?
I began scribbling the moment I held a pencil...ah, crayon. Or so I’ve been told. I wrote my first story when I was ten years old...it’s in a box somewhere...very boring.

What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
Smart suspense/thrillers and stories with occult/mystical aspects are some of my favourite reads.
 The 2nd day after earning my M.A., an idea just BAM popped into my head while I was driving to school! I ran into class, jotted down the idea, and started writing immediately!  (I might have parked the car first)
My idea? A believable supernatural tale that melds science, myth, and history—a story that explores the blurry line between reality and mysticism.
Oh! And I wanted a flawed, believable heroine!

Are there any other genres you’ve written?
 My work in progress is a historical fiction set during Roman times. I’m finishing the 2nd draft and plotting out the 3rd in the MERKABAH series.

What motivates and inspires you to write?
I love to write, embrace editing, and adore tweaking a sentence.
 Word nerd—you know it!
 Asking what motivates or inspires me is like asking why I love chocolate. I just do!
 I’m fortunate—four children, earning degrees, and having a demanding job forced me to acquire the discipline of writing on-demand.   I can write anytime, anywhere—angry or happy—hungry or tired. Not  drunk, though. Wish I could write in my sleep.

Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors  just starting out?
Build a platform. Attend a few conferences. Learn the craft of writing and study the art of fiction. Discover the nuances of symbol, motif, tone, syntax etc.  Write everyday.
Make sacrifices to the God of creativity and writing—Thoth.

What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us?
I just finished The Third Gate by Lincoln Child and Inferno by Dan Brown.  Loved them both!

How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?
THE MERKABAH RECRUIT took forever to title.  I wanted something catchy and short. Since it’s the first in a 5-novel series, something memorable and series-sounding was required.  (Like the Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Identity, etc)
I threw out a few ideas to family and friends who—of course—generated too many suggestions.
The title isn’t really decided upon until it grows on me and the peanut gallery gives it a thumbs up.

Do you have a day job, other than writing – if so what is it?
I teach advanced literary analysis and writing in the rigorous International Baccalaureate program.  It’s  fun and demanding, and keeps me on my literary toes!

What is your preferred method of writing:-  The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
As a teacher, I preach the importance of an outline. “Once you have an outline, your essay will write itself.”  I practice what I preach. I never finish a scene and think “what now?”
There’s a 6-ft white board propped over the fireplace with the timeline of my historical fiction.  I also use an excel spreadsheet.   I know, nerdy.

Do you like to write while listening to music and if so, does your book have particular playlist you’d like to share?
Quiet is good...but not always.  For the bar-hopping scene in THE MERKABAH RECRUIT, I listened to reggae, salsa/meringue, and blues. The rhythm, tempo, and dances helped create the mood of each bar the main character visits.

For THE MERKABAH DECEPTION my playlist included: So Amazing by Kenye West, 1000 Years by Sting, Adele, Lisa Gerrard, Taio Cruz, and Gregorian Chant music (for the creepy catacomb scene).

Which type of book do you prefer to read?         
Ebooks for fun reads. Paperbacks for analysing and annotating. Any reference book must be a hardcopy—I have a stack sitting by my side now.  I list most of my reference books on my website.

How many novels/books do you typically read in a month?
I’m a  fast reader, so when I manage to drag myself away from the laptop I’ll finish a book in about 2 days. 

What is your favourite genre to read at the moment?
Any genre that’s “chew-worthy” or “mind-candy.” 
  
Which of the following suits you best?
a.      Thrill Seeker
b.      Mildly Meek
c.      Totally Chilled

Where’s D?  Coffee-agitated compulsive neurotic
  
How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?
When I’m on break from school, I write from early morning until the computer screen starts to blur—the screen, NOT my eyes—late into the night.
Once school begins, I write the moment I come home, and of course, I write all weekend long. Sometimes hubby makes me stop to eat dinner.

“You have a nice hobby.” Someone once made this comment to me.
Hobby???
 No!!! An obsession. A passion. Another 8-hr a day profession.

Are you a:
a.      Laptop Writer
b.      Desktop Writer
c.       iPad Writer
d.      Pen and Paper Writer

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Rome! It’s the setting for my historical novel.  And Venice. And Bali.
 Oh!! There’s so many places I want to visit!  A recent trip to Ecuador helped bring the Ecuadorian/jungle setting to life in THE MERKABAH DECEPTION.

Who would be your dream cast if your novel was made into a movie?
Ooohhh...all my friends have their favourites for the actress playing Daphne—most think Jennifer Lawrence is a good match!  S.J.—it’s still a “hot” debate. Tall, sexy, muscular, dark...mmmm...

What is the one book you can’t live without?
The Thesaurus!!! 


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Join in on Twitter

TweetChat scheduled with @SezoniWhitfield at 4ET, and a Merkabah blog facts TODAY

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Thanks so much to L.Z. for joining us today with her fantastic novels, and revealing some fascinating insights into the life of a writer, teacher, mother, career go-getter and everything else she does. (I think secretly she's Superwoman! Is there something you're not telling us L.Z.????)

Wishing you an awesome day and please can we have some cake? 
Hands up, who wants cake?

Especially if its 

♥ chocolate 

I'll be back on Saturday with a little something for younger readers

So until then, Keep Calm and have chocolate cake

Bella xx 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much Bella for giving this new author some media coverage! I had fun answering your questions! Thanks also for the birthday wishes!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lynn, anytime, it was my pleasure to share your novels with my readers ♥

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  2. I just finished reading The Merkabah Deception- and I cannot praise this book enough! This author knows her stuff and has such a way with words. I'm ready for the next one LZ!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Samantha, thanks for your great feedback on The Merkabah Deception ~ I'm adding L.Z.s books right now at Goodreads! ♥

      Delete

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