- How would you describe OTHER THAN in only three words? Rivetingly Dark Redemption Here’s its blurb:
It only takes one drink from the Water of Immortality to kill Evie Woods—halfway. Trapped in undead flesh, the world’s last skin-slider wakens on an island purgatory where a cursed spring bubbles with immortality, and zombie cannibals crave living flesh.
Her only hope of escape rests in the hands of the one man who would see her fail. Bound to her by cords stronger than death, Lord Victor Lowell is both the man of her dreams, and her darkest nightmares. Contrary and intractable, Victor preys on others to maintain his angelic charisma and preternatural prowess. Drawn to the compellingly gallant and vulnerable soul behind his mercurial humors, Evie can only watch as protecting her forces Victor to sacrifice yet more of himself to the ancient evil long tethered to his soul.
Trapped in an ever-escalating war they can’t stop, Victor and Evie fight time for a cure, but as the long days pass blackness tears at Evie, ripping her thoughts from her one memory at a time. Victor will to do whatever it takes to prevent her from deteriorating into a rotting husk, even if it means dooming himself, but Evie won’t surrender his soul without a fight. Battle lines drawn, the soul mates resolve to find redemption or die trying.
- How did OTHER THAN come to be? What was your inspiration to write the book? I grew up reading Gothic Romances and I wanted to write one that was like them, but more—kind of an uber Gothic.
- What do you hope readers take away from your work? That people can always turn over a new leaf and begin again. I’m a strong believer in second changes and in starting over, so many times my characters are on that journey. Most often, they succeed. We all have a broken place in our past and I write the story of its mending.
- Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? I think readers want original stories. When I was writing Other Than, there were other books on zombies out there and I wanted mine to be unique. First, my zombies aren’t totally dead. After drinking cursed waters known as the Forever Bane, they are somewhere between life and death. The Bane doesn’t keep its victims from decaying. It just prolongs their existence. How they rot as well as how they respond to that rot determines what category of zombie they fall into. There are four types. Stitches lose body parts, but their minds function normally. Shamblers’ brains decay long before the rest of them. They lose their speech. Their mental processing is flawed at best and they like to perform repetitive tasks. Sneaks resemble living humans. They can think and act as they did before drinking the Bane. If you must become a zombie, this is the best category to fall into. Unfortunately, it’s temporary. Before long, you’ll deteriorate. Howlers are the last zombie type. Think of them as alpha predators. They hunger for flesh to sustain their rotting bodies. The more human or even zombie prey they’re able to eat, the more cunning and intelligent they become.
- How do you come up with your characters’ names? Names are important to me. I collect baby name books and spend too much time on baby name websites, but my favorite source is The Baby Name Survey Book by Bruce Lansky because it tells what people think when they hear a name.
- What writing advice would you give a fellow author? Keep trying.
- Do you read the same genre you write? Yes, but pretty much, I read in every other genre, too. I’m addicted to stories, and I’m always looking for my next novel-fix.
- What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)? I’m pretty much open. I work hard on my blog. I’ve done it for years, and I love it when people respond to my posts. That said, I just became a Goodreads member and I’m an avid reader, so I’m hoping to spend more time there. Here are my links:
Facebook- fb.me/ Mia.Jo.Celeste
- Where can we find Other Than? It’s available at any of these sites:
- Would you share an excerpt from your book? Sure.
Her mad dash brought Evie skidding into a wondrous sight. The whole kitchen was awash in a yellow blaze. The bread ovens’ bricks glowed a vivid orange. Sparks like fireflies rode eddies of the heated air that felt soothing under her wet quilt. The water gave her the notion of safety within the beautiful and deadly inferno.
Boots paced above her. A door swung shut.
Hope fluttered in her belly. Mayhap she might just do it—race up the steps, rescue Victor and be out of the kitchen before the flames caught her. She dashed through and mounted the stairs.
Adrenaline fueling her speed, she attempted to outrace the flickering destruction climbing the stairs along her heelsnd succeeded. Amazingly succeeded. Apparently, the fire was slowing, as though sated and content to toy with the kitchen.
Perhaps Sesha and Jessup had convinced their Almighty to aid her even after she’d reneged on her promise. She owed them—she’d save the cure in their memory. She sped into the ruined conservatory and got to the table, but the rack was empty. No vials. And the top of Jessup’s desk was clear. His journals and notes were gone.
On the floor, splattered blood led to and from the threshold. She followed it to the phoenix room and sensed Victor beyond the door.
He was alive. She’d found him.
For a moment, she gave in to giddy relief. Then, she turned the knob and entered.
Victor was before her. Surrounded by smoke, but before her.
His hair singed, the right side of his face blistered from heat, the left a deadly pallid, he slumped on the red-quilted bed and mopped at a red gushing hole in his abdomen with his torn off shirt. Seeing her, he straightened. Hope gleamed in his eyes. “You came. I called and you came.”
“You called?” She wanted to lift and twirl him in the air like he did her. Silly maybe. She was as dazed as the phoenix in the wall paper.
Real flames gnawed the hand-painted vines. “Why? Why are you here?”
“You don’t give me much credit.” His eager grin flattened. “Where is that trust, you’re working on?”
She wrung her hands. Their future depended on his next words. “You came because of the Maiden, didn’t you?”
“Damn right. I shan’t spend the rest of my life with her egregious murmurs in my mind nor can I allow her to inflict her will on others.”
She searched his eyes, and then his skin, those small tells, the nuisances of expression that hid deception. They weren’t there. He was earnest. He hadn’t intended to use the statue but destroy it. She swallowed to clear the lump in her throat.
“What did you think?” He waved a bloody hand as if warding off a blow. “No, don’t say.”
Blood. She jerked straight. Hoff had shot him. Here she was fretting over their future while he bled.
“Mayhap, I don’t deserve credit.” Victor’s lips twitched into a sardonic smile.
Always so good at wheedling out her feelings, he’d likely read her concern over his wound. Her vision blurred in the heated air.
“I know I’ve done unspeakable things. Things that need now to be set right. I began last night with you and our relationship. I thought I’d succeeded, but no.”
“You did. You have. It’s me who’s at fault currently. I doubted you, but I don’t now. It’s your health that alarms me. You, I’m sure of. Very sure.” She blinked hard and focused on the goal—Victor.
Jeans or Sweats? Jeans. I love denim.
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Chocolate or Chips? Both unfortunately.
Hot dogs or Hamburgers? Hamburgers on the grill.
Skydive or Scuba dive? Skydive.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla for ice cream. Chocolate for candy, cake and everything else.
Thanks for having me. I love talking about writing and Other Than