I’d like to welcome Melissa Snark today. Melissa writes erotic romance and paranormal fantasy. Her current/upcoming release is Hunger Moon.
Valkyrie Victoria Storm desires nothing more than to provide her wolf pack with a safe haven, but her position as priestess to the Goddess Freya also brings with it certain… obligations. Not to mention complications.
War with the Barrett family resulted in the deaths of her parents and most of her pack. Now, hunters are hot on the trail of the remaining pack members. Sawyer Barrett, a human hunter hell bent on revenge, is convinced that Victoria murdered his brother. He will stop at nothing to see her dead.
Victoria must defend the survivors and somehow lead them to safety. Months on the run has weakened the pack, and there are newborn pups to protect, making swift travel impossible. Ahead, the promise of refuge beckons.
Their best chance for survival lies in Sierra Pines, California: Arik Koenig, a powerful, dominant male wolf. He promises to protect and provide for the pack, something Victoria knows the pack needs for survival. His mysterious past is riddled with violence and death, including the slaughter of his entire family twenty years before. His wife died under mysterious circumstances and his son, Logan, is rumored to be her killer.
What is truth? Who can she trust? The desperate spirit of Arik’s murdered wife calls out for help, and Logan begs for assistance in clearing his name. Victoria must solve a murder that has pitted father against son, rooted in a mystery reaching back two decades. Her quest starts her on a journey from the human world to Odin’s Valhalla and back again.
Victoria will find salvation or face destruction beneath the Hunger Moon…
Congratulations on your new release, Melissa!
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you start writing?
Hi! I’m a stay at home, mother of three children, and author. Before I had my daughter, I was a claims adjuster with a major auto insurance company. (Hint: “You’re in good hands.”) I have a B.S. in Business from Arizona State University, and I’ve worked professionally at a documentation specialist for medical device companies and a technical writer for software engineering.
Before I started writing, I’d been a voracious reader for years. I dabbled in writing off and on through the years, experimenting in various genres. I’ve always wanted to tell my own stories so I eventually made the natural evolution to fiction.
What drew you to this particular genre?
I love fantasy stories of all types so it was a natural fit. I’ve read all of the Laura K. Hamilton’s early Anita Blake books, Karen Roberson’s Sword Dancer books, Charlaine Harris’ books, Steven Brust, Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs… To name a few.
Have you ever considered another genre? And if so which one?
Yes, I also write romance novels and I’ve considered trying my hand at a detective series. I dabble in humor writing on my blog, although it’s more accurate to say that I observe and report on human nature.
(Anne) I’ve read your blog – and LOVE it!
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or…?
I sit down and start writing. I usually know the beginning, middle and end in my head. Some plot points may be fuzzy but I never work from a whole story outline. At most, I might write a chapter outline but for the most part I fly by the seat of my pants.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
Egads. More than I can possibly recount. I’d say my most valuable lessons for the first novel had to do with maintaining an active voice. Very early on, I tended to slide into passive voice so it took some retraining to unlearn those bad habits. I also learned quite a bit about staying in the character’s point of view. Head hopping was also another one of my early foibles.
How many hours a day to you spend writing? Do you have a routine?
Approximately two hours a day. I’m lucky if I can manage more than that. I also spend time maintaining my blog, answering emails, managing my website. Editing eats up another good chunk of my time.
(Anne) I know what you mean. There’s never enough hours in the day.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Slay those adverbs. To misquote Steven King: the road to hell is paved in ly-adverbs.
What’s next for you in terms of writing?
I’m working on the next novel in my Norse Werewolves Urban Fantasy series. The second Victoria Storm novel called “Battle Cry”.
Would you share an excerpt with us?
Victoria felt him before she saw him. His power washed over her with the force of an incoming tide, as dark, mysterious and unstoppable as the ocean. Her wolf rose to answer his instinctive response, defiant and determined. She challenged his power and altered the irresistible flow so it passed around rather than over her. Before she reached the office entrance, the male werewolf responded to her presence and surged to his feet. He rounded the desk, demonstrating extraordinary grace and strength, and she braced for a physical confrontation. He dwarfed her in both height and weight.
As soon as their gazes met, they locked in a dominance contest. His narrowed eyes pierced hers; the light-pigmented brown irises were the color of honey and eclipsed the whites and round black pupils. Wolf eyes.
Victoria did not approach with her head low or avert her gaze. Instead, she challenged him outright, radiating defiance, posture stiff and erect. While they faced off, she regretted the tactical error, but it was too late to rescind. Her stubborn pride permitted no retreat, and it went against her nature to submit.
“Let’s take this outside where there are no humans to bear witness,” he said in a deep, resonant voice she found appealing.
Aroused, her wolf took an immediate interest in him as a fine, fit male animal. For the first time, Victoria noticed his physical appearance, and her wolf found him more than acceptable. She estimated his age as being in his late thirties. He in no way suffered for the smattering of silver hairs that peppered his dark head. He was a perfect specimen of a man.
Distracted, Victoria broke eye contact, but not to submit. She ran her gaze over his body with blatant approval, lingering on his broad shoulders and chest, muscular arms and legs. He wore a tailored navy suit with a light shirt and dark blue tie. From the way his clothing fit, there was not an ounce of spare fat anywhere on him.
His features possessed splendid symmetry, though a silver scar on his right cheek marred his perfection. The shape of his brow, nose, and lower face hinted at a distant Roman heritage. High cheekbones alluded to his Nordic blood. He cleared his throat, and Victoria scented both his arousal and amusement.
“Did you come to challenge me, or do you have something else in mind?”
His devilish smile hinted at a sense of humor, and Victoria seized on the opening. A ballsy gamble carried inherent risk, but her initial inept blundering had left her with no other graceful out. Her eyes rose to meet his once again.
“I am Victoria, daughter of Adair and Katherine, High Priestess of Freya, Lady Valkyrie, shaman, and healer,” she said, making her boast. “I am also the Alpha of my pack, and I am seeking a mate. I have come to assess whether you would make an acceptable suitor.”
“You’re kidding.” He registered surprise and disbelief.
Victoria arched her brow. “I am not.”
A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: “Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it’s the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word ‘snarky’ and B) I love Lewis Carroll.”
“For the snark was a boojum, you see.”–Lewis Carroll
As an individual, I’m sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I’m not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.
At the moment, I’m a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I’ve got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I’ve worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.
I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.
I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/
I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark@gmail.com.
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