Now that i have your attention, if you don’t know already her i’d like to introduce Freddy Mackay. I was fortunate enough to meet Freddy in the Goodreads MM Romance group, and now she’s come visiting with her new anthology. She and two other authors have just released their latest–Horns & Halos. First is a little info about the book and then Freddy gets a little more personal–and there’s an excerpt and a giveaway at the end!
Thanks, Freddy, for stopping by and bringing your otherworldly friends with you!
Demons and Angels have been among us for thousands of years, in many cultures and in many forms. What happens when you set the Mischief Corner authors loose on the vague prompt “Write a story about angels or demons?” The poor unsuspecting world is about to find out.
From Freddy Mackay – Internment
Tadashi’s life spirals out of control, and he hides away on his mountain taking care of the one place he knows he is safe, and people are safe from him. But the world has a way of interrupting life.
From Toni Griffin – Archie’s Accidental Kidnapping
Hell may not have any fury like a woman scorned, but even that’s nothing compared to a Hell Hound when you get between him and his mate.
From Angel Martinez – Hell For The Company
Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves, has reconciled himself to exile. He has a grand time careening around the galaxy as a high-end, intergalactic purloiner of pretties. Everything’s going just fine, thank you very much, until he comes across an injured angel in a psychedelic alien jungle.
Internment was a different kind of story for me. Different as in I have only ever written contemporary stories before. I had no idea what I was going to do but I figured to give writing a shifter/paranormal story was worth a shot.
What happened was my friends and I wrote an anthology together, Cabin for Two. Those stories were inspired by our weekend together in the Smokies on a writing retreat. Once we wrote one anthology together, we were hooked. We wanted to write more together. We are all over the spectrum when it comes to our writing and writing styles so we like to think we offer a good mix to the readers out there. Plus, we like doing the anthologies together. So we decided more is better. Now all of us don’t participate in every anthology. If it works with our schedule we write for it, if not then we don’t. Sometimes life interferes too but it’s about taking a theme and seeing what each one of us comes up with.
Horns & Halos (which Internment appears in) is our second anthology, and the theme was actually picked by our readers. We were chatting at Dawn Roberto’s LR Cafe and decided to throw it out there, and people wanted Angels and Demons.
I had a heart attack.
Because what could I write about? The theme screamed paranormal. I write contemp. Talk about walking outside your comfort zone. Once panic subsided I thought about the things I enjoy, what I read and did some research. I came back with a story idea steeped in Swedish folklore. … Internment is about a kitsune in the US after World War II. Kind of a jump no?
I did write the other story, but it didn’t feel right for the antho so I took another stab at mythology and legends. This time I came back with yokai – Japanese demons. The idea festered and poked until a novel later I have a kitsune protecting a squirrel at a shrine in the California mountainside.
Stepping outside my comfort zone was scary because I had to challenge myself in what I wrote. I had to make a believable world where characters could transform, and I knew I had to make the readers be able to believe me too. I hope I achieved that. Writing in a genre that I don’t normally touch gave me new perspective and helped me grow as a writer so it has left mea little wiser as well. The story and experience weren’t as scary or horrid as I imagined they would be and I ended up with some characters I love and am excited to share with everyone else.
Thanks Charley for having me! *waves*
I appreciate being able to stop by. The other Mischiefers and I are holding a Blog Hop that has prizes. You can find more about it at The Mischief Corner.
Here’s a little excerpt for all of you to enjoy:
Part One — Monsters on the Mountain
Spring was alive and well on the mountain. Green buds covered the tree tops, bushes bounced with the breeze, tulips and daffodils poked through the ground, and the smallest of forest creatures skittered about looking for their treasures from the previous summer and fall. Tadashi smiled as a familiar young squirrel scampered around his feet, chirping and squeaking at him furiously.
“I didn’t take your nuts,” chastised Tadashi, switching his broom to one hand. “You’ve forgotten where you’ve put them. Or they’ve decided to become wonderful new additions to the forest in the form of trees.”
The squirrel stopped its angry barrage of noises and looked up.
“I’m telling the truth, Kou,” said Tadashi. “I haven’t hidden your nuts.”
Kou chirped once.
“Look over there, by the arches.” Tadashi pointed at the gate. “Why do you think a Black Oak is sprouting? I didn’t plant it there.”
The squirrel’s nose twitched. He stared at the seedling then took off in the opposite direction for his oak by the temple.
“Aren’t you even going to say you’re sorry?” called Tadashi, shaking his head.
Kou climbed up his tree and went straight into his nest.
Tadashi chuckled and went back to his sweeping. “Little pest.”
He didn’t mind the forgetful little squirrel. The temple would seem big and empty without him. Company, in the form of the squirrel, was a welcome reprieve from his duties. Tadashi would have to remember to procure some of Kou’s favorite treats. He had some hidden away. The spring was always a rough time of year for the small forest mammals like Kou, the poor squirrel could use a break.
Though he wasn’t so small anymore. Kou had just turned a year at the end of April. It felt like just a moment ago that Tadashi had been up nursing Kou back to health after his mother abandoned the litter early. Kou had been the only one to survive. He’d been a fighter and would continue to thrive, though Kou had to be hungry. The winter had been an unusual one, the cold extreme even for the mountain, and food was hard to come by at the moment.
Definitely not an easy time for the animals, their were stomachs empty, and they were looking for a mate. Tadashi stopped sweeping the grounds and searched for the squirrel. No wonder Kou was so upset. He must be preparing to lure a female. Were there any around? Tadashi scanned the trees and the forest floor beyond the gates. He couldn’t see them, but he could smell them. Quite a few in fact. All of them were scurrying about looking for food.
Kou knew what he was doing, wanting his nuts. Sneaky devil. But then, Tadashi raised him. He only had himself to blame for the squirrel’s cheeky behavior and slight, oh, awareness.
A squirrel raised by a kitsune. He must be getting lonely. Him, a messenger of the god Inari, taking in such a small pest. What is the world coming to?
Tadashi picked up his broom and headed back toward the small building next to the temple. At the same time, Kou popped back out of his nest, pinecone securely between his teeth. The little pest did have food. Kou ran by, dragging the pinecone with him.
“Be careful once you pass the gates,” warned Tadashi. “It’s not as easy to protect you once you leave the shrine.”
Kou stopped and tilted his head, observing Tadashi.
“Here at the shrine, my powers protect you,” said Tadashi. “Step off the sacred grounds, only my luck travels with you.”
It wasn’t the good kind though. Hadn’t been for years, not since the Japanese engaged the Americans in the World War seven years ago. But Kou didn’t need to know that. His happy aura was one of Tadashi’s only lights. He didn’t want to damper it.
“Go, have fun.”
Kou chirped and ran off, scampering away with a sense of purpose.
Tadashi faced the temple and bowed, asking a favor from his god, Inari. “I know you and I haven’t been on the best of terms, but please, protect Kou.”
Charley here: Don’t forget to visit the Blog Hop at The Mischief Corner.
And the Back To School Blog Hop I’m a part of!
I thought August was supposed to be a lazy month!