Thanks Leta for hosting me and letting me share a little about myself and my book Fires of Justice. I enjoy sharing a blog with you over at Darker Temptations so I knew coming over would be great fun. Let me introduce you to my heroine and hero.
What are your names? And tell us a little about yourselves?
Hey, I’m Calista. I live in Maine in a small home over an occult book shop I inherited from my parents. They died when I was an infant and my aunt, the great queen Esmy to whom I bow in honor, raised me. I’m a fire witch, the only one in my coven, which can be a little isolating at times. I lived a quiet, disciplined life, praise be Aunt Esmy, until soldier boy over there decided to come for a visit.
Boring more like it. I got you out of the house, took you places, added a little zest to your existence. I’m Cullen and like my lady over there, I’m a fire elemental, a shifter who morphs into mythical creatures attached to fire, like a phoenix or a dragon. Fire also gives me and the little lady quite the appetite. When we met, I was a marked one, a soldier of Argenta, the guardian of justice, balance and unity, and tasked with delivering justice when magic is thrown out of balance. Callie was my assignment.
How did you meet? Was it love at first sight?
Callie: On the contrary, Cullen was a total buzz kill. Argenta forced us to work together and he hated me at first sight. Mr. Grumps and Scowls out-iced the frost giants when he arrived on my doorstep.
Cullen: In my defense, I did have a nasty history with your parents. I figured you’d be the same—DNA and all that. You surprised me and I warmed up quickly enough. You were moaning loud enough to wake the dead by midnight.
If it wasn’t love at first sight, what changed?
Cullen: After years of talking my assignments out of bathrooms and down from trees, Callie was a breath of fresh air. Not only did she not take any of my crap, she really saw me, not just the soldier holding her marching orders. All those drinks she poured down my throat to get me to loosen up didn’t hurt either.
Callie: It took my best bottle of wine to get you to finally crack a smile. When he did let loose, he had enough energy to keep a fire witch satisfied. In addition to the amazing, frigging, monkey sex, it’s the way he made me feel that had me tumbling head over heels–as if I belonged. I’d grown up without a family. My aunt barely knew what to do with me. But Cullen felt like home.
What do you believe is your worst or most frustrating quality? What about his/hers?
Callie: My sarcasm, it drives everyone around me crazy. He’s got a serious grumpy side.
Cullen: I do not. I just didn’t want to work with you. I can be unforgiving, she can be a little dreamy, which drives my practical nature into seizures.
What is your best quality? What about his/hers?
Callie: Mine is my resilience, I can handle just about anything. I survived her highness. His is loyalty, his rootedness. Before he was indentured to Argenta, he had been an earth shifter. He brought me a solidity I never had.
Cullen: I have to agree, my loyalty is my best quality. Hers is her courage—to face me, to face her past, to forgive—it’s like no one I’ve ever known. I think I fell in love with her for that.
If you could have one wish come true, what would it be and why?
That our children will have Callies’ red hair. And Cullen’s smile. And they’ll be safe, they said in unison. The why is self-explanatory.
What keeps you inspired?
My daughter. I’m finally living my dream of being a writer but it took me a long time to find my niche and drum up my courage to do so. I’m a serious late bloomer. When I think about her, and the life I hope she’ll lead, the best thing I can do for her is to model that behavior to consciously and subconsciously show her the way. In addition to my love for writing, that need to teach my daughter the importance of persistence and hard work to achieve your dreams gets me coming back to the page. And I do, every day, even if I can only find ten minutes.
What is the most rewarding aspect of writing and/or publishing? The most terrifying/frustrating?
Being able to create something that you can share with others is hands down what I find most rewarding about writing. It gives me a way to express my thoughts, ideas and feelings that others can respond to—in a dialogue or in private. The most frustrating thing is time—I never have enough and the next story always starts to emerge somewhere in the middle of the current WIP. Sometimes it feels as if I’ll never get to them all, even though the characters are screaming to get out.
What’s next for you?
I’m excited to announce that my second novella, Next Move, has just been accepted by Ellora’s Cave. It’s a contemporary second chance romance, where the characters are a little older, have scars from past marriages, and the heroine has a child. Since I think we need reminders sometimes that moms are sexy too, I wanted one to be my heroine.
Always read the fine print when swearing an eternal oath to gods and guardians…
Beholden by the sacred vows of her coven, fire witch Calista Reid agrees to temporarily mate with shifter Cullen McMahan to fulfill a mission assigned by the guardians. When tall, dark and damaged arrives on her doorstep, generating enough heat to scorch a fire witch, Calista finds herself drawn to his battle-hardened body and broken soul. His pain speaks to her own deep-rooted isolation and the intensity of his hunger slakes her passion like no other.
Cullen, scarred by a past that left him an indentured soldier to the guardians, resents yet another hump-on-command assignment…until he encounters the compassionate, fearless, incendiary redhead who detonates his body and reawakens the emotions sacrifice and loss had suppressed. But Cullen harbors a terrible secret—one that reaches back into Calista’s troubled childhood and threatens the foundation of their growing bond.
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