Today, I have the pleasure of hosting a phenomenal and one of the most elegant writers I've had the pleasure of reading - Poppet....
you tell us about your most recent book?
Poppet:Master of Umbra is about Ewan, the chief of
the Eagle clan in the Scottish highlands. The Frost giant series continues in
this book saturated with humor, friction, and impending war. Someone has
incited the Eagle's and Raven's to wage war with one another, the reason is
clear when Emma displays her gifts which mark her as one of the last surviving
Thurs (like Thor, but a race of them). The sexual tension is overwhelming when
Ewan finds a lost eagle and takes her home. Little could he know Deliah was on
the cusp of death, her ex boyfriend having reached her first. Given two choices
by Odin, two friends come head to head to handfast with Deliah, all while
dealing with outside stresses and drama. This is sexy, dark, and violent.
JET: What drew you to paranormal
romance? Poppet: Anything is possible in this genre, and that's why I love it. JET: What’s been your most challenging
hurdle on the road to publication? Poppet: It's still challenging. JET: What was your favorite moment in
the journey? Poppet: Being signed to Wild Wolf Publishing and finding that they are the best
group of individuals to ever own a publishing house. I love them to bits! JET: Which authors had the most
influence over you growing up? Poppet: Enid Blyton had a big influence as a young child, from there I jumped
to Koontz and King, reading them before I was even a teen, finding I love
horror. Horror movies gripped me early on in my life, I love being scared
witless. JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing
Poppet: Sometimes life circumstances leave you with just your dream as an
option. I decided to try, or die trying. JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research?
Most interesting fact you uncovered? Poppet: Drowning. I didn't mean it to be research but boy have I used that
experience! JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written
- which one is your favorite? Why? Poppet: At the moment my favorite is Ye Mistress of Baphos Hall. Why: because
it's an olde worlde classical fairytale, set in mediaeval Alba, which is also
three stories in one. No two people will read the same story. JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out
there? Poppet: Just hang in there. It doesn't get any easier, be careful who you
trust, and expect to have your heart broken regularly.
JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions,
let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with...Paper or
JET: Steak or Tofu?
JET: Beach or Mountains?
JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?
JET: Leather or Lace?
JET:Angels or Demons?
JET:Paper or Digital?
JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
JET:Twilight or True Blood:
Poppet: True Blood
JET: Coffee or Tea?
JET: Thank you for indulging me.
Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on
now? What's next?
Poppet: The sequel to Darkroom (Over Exposure), Moonshine Express (a diabolical
train ride), Viridian Vamporium (the final book in the series), Ascend in Ius (a
new PNR series), and the final novel in the Valhalla Series, The Master of
JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Poppet and
her work at the following places:
But before I let you all go, I thought I'd give you a teaser - the book blurb for Master of Umbra and an excerpt, courtesy of Poppet...
Deliah is in grave
danger, running for her life from a man who needs her dead, when serendipity
plants her in the path of the Master of Umbra.
Inducted into the mysterious Eagle clan of the Scottish highlands, Deliah is
torn between her fate and destiny when kin clash for her affections. Falling
for the scandalous villain who heads the Berserkers of the Hebrides, her
fragile hope is snuffed out early by revelation and impending war.
The only mantra she can cling to is the one uttered in heartfelt promise; that
love comes back.
Weary after setting Emma up for the night, I walk
into my chambers when a loud purr calls me to my bed. The ragamuffin stretches,
lifting her tail to pad soundlessly over my quilts, pawing at my jeans for me
to lift her.
“Hello Bella, why is your mommy sleeping in daddy
bear's bed?” I whisper, giving her a chin scratch, distracted by Liah curled
into a pillow, exposing the gun for all to see.
Circling the bed quietly, I silently take off my
bloodied shirt as I don't want to alarm her. Peering closer, inspecting her
pale cheeks, it looks to me like she's been crying.
What the hell happened now? I'm in just the right
mood to crack open a few more skulls.
Foul tempered, I shake her, “Deliah? What's the
Brown eyes as dewy as a doe's open to engage my
stare, her dilated pupils contracting against the light, when the waif jumps up
to fling herself at me, clamping my neck with skinny arms and hiding her face
in the crook, giving poor Arrabella enough of a fright to arch her back and
crab-walk to the edge of the bed.
I've expended energy this day to heal Emma and am
not inclined to deplete my reserves to scavenge her mind for the details. She
can just tell me the old fashioned way.
“Sweetheart, tell me what happened.”
“Just...” she sniffs, pulling back from her noose
tight grip to stare vulnerability up at me, kneeling on my bed, precious and
pretty and far too lithe in those thigh hugging jeans. “I feel stupid now.”
“It wasn't stupid if you decided the only safe
place in my kingdom is the king's bed. Who threatened you?”
I’ll be honest with you.
Half the time, I don’t even know what category to put the Pipe Woman
Back when I began writing Seized,
the first book, the point of the exercise was to try my hand at writing an
urban fantasy. I had read a few series
in the genre by then, and it seemed to me that its elements included a female
protagonist who finds herself with some sort of paranormal powers. With those powers, which she might not ever
figure out how to control, she is called on to take sides in what is often a
battle between good and evil. The main
character is usually also the narrator.
And usually, it seems, there’s a shapeshifter in there somewhere –
sometimes it’s the main character, sometimes it’s her love interest, and
sometimes it’s both.
As an added bonus, if there’s a smokin’ hot relationship going on,
and a “happily ever after” ending, you could also call the book a paranormal
So I designed the series along those lines. Naomi Witherspoon tells her story in first
person. She’s a successful lawyer and an
even more successful mediator; she’s got a handsome boyfriend who’s a bit of a
jerk, but he’s just proposed to her, so yay; and then out of the blue, a Lakota
Sioux goddess enhances her powers of persuasion so that she can mediate a
power-sharing agreement between the Christian God and all the pagan gods and
goddesses that His worship has displaced.
You see the problem. Who’s
the good guy? Well, Naomi is, but she’s
batting for the pagans. Does that
God the bad guy? And if religion is
going to be explored, then maybe we’re going a little deeper than the typical
urban fantasy, where the good guys always go after the monsters.
Another author recently suggested to me that the Pipe Woman
Chronicles might be metaphysical (or philosophical) fantasy. One definition of that is a story in which
the characters ponder the meaning of life and whether free will exists, and in
which deities directly influence events.
Phillip Pullman’s His Dark
Materials series is an example of metaphysical fantasy.
My author friend is right – I’ve got some of that here. My characters do talk about free will, and
the gods definitely interfere in their lives. But “metaphysical fantasy” sounds
kind of…I don’t want to say pretentious, exactly, but that’s the word that
comes to mind. Even the alternate term,
“visionary fiction,” seems a little overblown.
I’m just trying to write an urban fantasy here! All I wanted to do was to write a series that
included paranormal elements, but no vampires or werewolves. Not that I’ve got anything against either
vampires or werewolves, mind you – I just think they’ve been a tad overdone.
So maybe what I’ve written is magic realism? As appealing is the notion is, I don’t think
so. One key element of magic realism is
the sense of dislocation, of diaspora, among the characters; the magic is an
outward manifestation of the emotions that the characters cannot otherwise
express. And while Native Americans certainly
qualify as dislocated, I’m not really using magic that way in my story.
Plus there’s Joseph Curtis, the smokin’ hot shapeshifter who Naomi
So I guess I’m back to calling the Pipe Woman Chronicles an urban
fantasy, with paranormal overtones and metaphysical/visionary undertones, and
some romance for good measure.
PIPE WOMAN CHRONICLES
Naomi Witherspoon lives in interesting times. At the
winter solstice, she wasSeizedby a
Native American goddess to mediate a power-sharing agreement between all the
pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God. Then, as her relationship
with her new boyfriendFissured, sheTappeda
wellspring of strength – her Native American heritage.
any day, she must conduct the mediation of her life. Will she
succeed? Or will it all go up in smoke?
The answers to those questions, and more, can be found inAnnealed, the
final installment in the Pipe Woman Chronicles, an urban fantasy series by
at the winter solstice
And it ends...
About the Author: Lynne
Lynne Cantwell has been
writing fiction since the second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her
showed her a book he had written, and she thought, "I could do that."
The result was Susie and the Talking Doll, a picture book, illustrated by
the author, about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could
carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks. Today,
after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in
fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master's
degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. In addition, she is a contributing
author at Indies Unlimited and writes a monthly post for The Indie Exchange.