Today, I’m pleased to welcome one of my favorite people to Preternatura—author Moriah Densley. Moriah released a terrific historical romance earlier this year, Song for Sophia, and now she has her debut paranormal romance out, The Valkyrie’s Guardian. In the interest of full disclosure, Moriah has been one of my critique partners for the past couple of years, and I’ve had the chance to watch Valkyrie develop from first draft to final. It’s a fun story with a hot Scottish berserker and, yep, a Valkyrie!
A 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, Moriah sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. Moriah lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Learn more about her from her website and blog. You also can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
ABOUT The Valkyrie’s Guardian: “Augmented strength, lightning weapon, chronic PMS – you’re a valkyrie, Cass.” You might call them superheroes. “Extra-sentients” are one in 4.5 million with the extraordinary ability to unlock the full potential of the mind. Cassiopeia Noyon is descended from the most powerful known extra-sentient, but she’s a dud – no impressive talents except a healing ability which lands her in trouble. She’s all wrong for Jack MacGunn, her dazzling immortal berserker bodyguard. …Jack MacGunn is King of the Bad Pick-Up Line. A true blue kilt-wearing, pipe-playing Scot descended from a long line of berserker warriors; if he’s awake, he’s either hungry or itching for a fight. Lately Jack feels lost. His career as a Navy SEAL detachment agent is on a slow train to nowhere. He suspects it has something to do with his out-of-control superhuman rages. The one task Jack has never failed at is guarding Cassie from their enemies, but now he fears he can’t protect her from himself. … A chance encounter with a villain long assumed dead sends Jack and Cassie on a race to save the children secreted away at Network One, the academy for genius extra-sentients. Jack discovers a new side of Cassie when in the heat of combat she invokes unheard-of powers. Has Jack finally met his match?
Now, let’s hear from Moriah—welcome!
Thank you so much for having me on today, Suzanne. I’m a huge fan of Preternatura and the Sentinels of New Orleans series. This is quite an honor!
What is your favorite scene in The Valkyrie’s Guardian?
I had a ball with Jack’s bad pick-up lines. “Here – you take my lollipop, and I’ll improvise.” Here’s an excerpt with Jack flirting the only way he knows how:
At that moment, three pagers went off. Jack, Chief, and Pops all retrieved their phones and checked the display with identical motions.
Jack said, “CO called in the whole team. It’s probably nothing, but we have to go.”
“Run like the wind,” Cassie replied flatly, as though she had no curiosity at all about his urgent summons to headquarters. “Nice meeting you, Chief, and ah, Papa Smurf. I’ll find my own way to the barracks.”
Damned if she didn’t show them her back and strut away like a tabby cat. Of course he stared, mesmerized by the dual motion of her hips and swaying hair. A draft of her honey-anise scent lingered. Catnip. “Eighteen-hundred hours, baby,” he called, a last ditch effort to claim her with the officers observing.
She spun 180 degrees and walked backward. “Sorry, I have to polish my pistol.” Chief and Pops sucked in a breath at her suggestive tone—with that purring sound in her voice, anything sounded like innuendo.
Jack couldn’t help it. He winked. “Sure thing, darlin.’ After you polish mine.”
Heh. What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
Re-reading Absolution (yay Suzanne!) Then I have Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound waiting for me. (Suz: I didn’t pay her to say that, honest!)
Book you’ve faked reading:
Me? *blushing* Okay, I confess to quoting Tolstoy’s War and Peace (“Power is the relation of a given person to other persons, blah, blah, blah) but I’ve never actually cracked it open. It looks very pretty sitting on my shelf, making me look smart … Someday I might be sophisticated enough to read this masterpiece, but meanwhile I’d rather look at funny cat pictures.
Book you’re an evangelist for:
It’s campy, it’s “out there.” A science fiction/fantasy/romance hybrid at 2000+ pages, it’s a Tolkien-esque behemoth … and I adore it. Zaniest, most fascinating world-building ever, not to mention a sword-wielding, time-traveling musician heroine who does it all while pregnant. Are you geek enough to handle the “Symphony of Ages” trilogy by Elizabeth Haydon?
Book you’ve bought for the cover:
I’m tempted to buy any book with flames or wings on the cover; Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, Raziel by Kristina Douglas, and Cassandra Clare’s City of Ashes to name a few. I recently read Incandescent (plenty of flames!) by M.V. Freeman and loved it.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre devastated me (in the best possible way). Exquisite imagery and characterization, emotional drama and shocking controversy that scandalized our Victorian grandmamas – romantic Gothic horror at its best. I would give a year’s supply of chocolate to experience that thrill of discovery again.
Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
I remember trying to get through Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a kid. Chalk it up to being a pansy or reading in the dark – it freaked me out! I threw the book across the room and huddled under the blankets for many a sleepless night. I’m still easily spooked, the one person who screams in the movie theater while everyone else saw “it” coming.
I’ve been watching Stephen Hawking lectures on quantum physics so I can write the next in this paranormal series. Kyros Vassalos, the “boss” à la Professor Xavier of X-Men, is a three-centuries-old Greek warrior/physicist with the power to alter electromagnetism. He meets his match in Lyssa Logan, a sassy crime-fighting violinist who doesn’t even know she’s a rare “extra-sentient” with extraordinary power. Ordnance and music I can fake. Physics? No dice. Back to the classroom for me.
Your five favorite authors:
Other than Suzanne Johnson? I really can’t choose only five, and I love reading paranormal, urban fantasy, historical, contemporary, and mystery – not to mention the classics and non-fiction. I had a rough time choosing which favorites to put in my zombie apocalypse survival kit:
Thanks, Moriah! I love the idea of a Zombie survival kit!
Moriah has generously offered up a digital copy of The Valkyrie’s Guardian to one commenter. Just tell me a book you’d have to have in your own Zombie Survival Kit. I’m going to cheat and pick Lord of the Rings—since I have a three-in-one volume I can too count it as one book!
Up to five entries possible: +1 for comment (have you read any steampunk and, if so did you like it?), +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow, +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest, +1 for a Facebook follow. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog.