Ing: Hey ATPT peeps help me welcome author Heather Beck to the blog this morning! Heather is joining us this morning so I can pick her brains about Whispers in the Shadows and about her. Whispers in the Shadows is a collection of short stories from her Legends Unleashed series. Heather, can you give a snippet to the readers of this blog what stories they would find in Whispers in the Shadows. What can they expect plot, pace, sex etc from these short stories?
Heather: From the Legends Unleashed series comes Whispers In The Shadows – a paranormal romance anthology that contains five otherworldly stories. Below is a snippet from each story.
Where Feelings Go To Die
While on a working vacation at Black Heart Lake, journalist Ashleigh uncovers a century-old story about a love triangle that turned deadly. Upon coming face-to-face with the vengeful ghosts, she learns the hard way that some feelings just won’t rest in peace. Adding to the danger is the return of Ashleigh’s recently deceased, cheating ex-boyfriend who wants more than just her love. Trapped in a haven for ghosts, her only defence is to find their weakness.
Hot Egyptian Nights
While on vacation, Hailey falls in love with Egypt’s awe-inspiring beauty, fascinating history and Zade, her sexy tour guide. Hailey’s new relationship is magical until Zade tries to sacrifice her in a hidden pyramid that’s filled with bubbling oil. Hailey’s intense encounter with him the next day reveals that her kidnapper is actually Said, Zade’s twin brother. Since entering an ancient tomb, Said has been cursed by a king who won’t rest until Zade, and everyone Zade loves, is dead. Hailey will do anything to destroy the curse, even if it means betraying Zade.
Rival To Survival
There’s something special about the Dark Forest, and its secret can be found in the magical mushrooms which forever sustain life. Two hundred-year-old Harv will do anything to ensure that his mushroom supply is abundant, even if it means betraying an old friend. Harv’s passion to live forever is intensified when he meets Scarlet – a woman whose passion matches her great beauty. All he has to do now is convince the skeptical Scarlet to embrace his mysterious, dangerous world and, of course, survive in it.
The Truth About Fairy Tales
Lila would do anything to find her prince charming, even if it means using a cheesy internet dating service. Matched with the handsome and courteous Phillip, Lila thinks she’s found a man who is the epitome of perfection. When Phillip is ambushed and taken away by a secret government agency, Lila fights back. What she uncovers is an advanced technological prototype that proves Phillip really is too good to be true.
Lure Of The Merman
A sudden storm strands Bree on the beach, forcing her to take shelter in an old cave. When she falls into a watery hole, she is rescued by the mysterious Sandy who appears from the ocean. Through romantic letters and unusual gifts, Sandy slowly wins Bree’s heart from afar. When she finally sees him at the beach, she boldly kisses him. That’s a big mistake because Sandy is a manipulative merman and Bree’s kiss transferred her legs for his fishtail. As a mermaid, she must navigate a new and dangerous world while preparing for the ultimate showdown with Sandy.
Like all the titles in the Legends Unleashed series, Whispers In The Shadows was created from my love of paranormal romances and fantasy worlds where anything can happen. The plots are well-developed, fast-paced and filled with unexpected twists. Whispers In The Shadows features strong, multifaceted female protagonists who transcend the ordinary to find a beautiful life. It’s definitely an escapist series inspired by imagination and boundless possibilities.
Ing: Can you tell the readers a bit about the leading couple from each short story? What about each couple do you think will make the readers fall in love with them?
Heather: In Where Feelings Go To Die, Ashleigh and Drake have a strained relationship because he’s a money-hungry, manipulative cheater. While on a working vacation at Black Heart Lake, Ashleigh gets entangled in a ghostly love triangle that serves as a warning of how unhealthy relationships can turn dangerous. This is definitely a dark, cautionary tale about love. Readers will be cheering for the female characters to make the best decisions for themselves by leaving their current partner. It’s about female empowerment and self-respect.
Hot Egyptian Night’s Hailey and Zade have a fun relationship fuelled by passion, but things become complicated when she discovers he’s actually a 10 000 year old mummy. Hailey is a very strong character who goes after what she wants, while Zade is a hopeless romantic. I think readers will enjoy this fast-paced tale because it has a vibrant couple, an ancient curse and an exotic setting.
Rival To Survival is a literary romance that deals with complicated emotions and life-changing decisions. At the beginning, Scarlet is dating Trevor – a gorgeous, wealthy guy who treats her great. However, she’s just not that happy. When Scarlet gets a new job and meets Harv – the office cleaner – they have an instant connection and both of them fall hard and fast. Scarlet makes the difficult decision to leave Trevor but the drama doesn’t stop there; Harv has several secrets and he’s anything but ordinary. Rival To Survival will make readers believe that true love can happen at any time and overcome any obstacle.
In The Truth About Fairy Tales, Lila becomes so tired of dating jerks that she signs up with a dating website and meets Phillip – a man who seems too good to be true. Unfortunately, he’s not quite human. This is a romantic comedy with light science fiction elements. It addresses the question, what would you sacrifice to have your prince charming? Readers will love Lila’s confidence and proactive approach to getting what she wants out of life. Although this is another female empowerment story, it also places a strong emphasis on the importance of friendship.
Lure Of The Merman’s Bree and Sandy have a doomed relationship from the start since he’s actually a merman who only cares about becoming human. When Bree is turned into a mermaid, she learns to fight back and unleash her inner siren in order to save herself. The theme of superficial love versus true love is explored in this story through Bree’s relationships with the conniving Sandy and Luke (her loving best friend). Readers will like the contrast of Bree’s two relationships as well as the underwater adventure filled with merpeople lore.
Ing: Which of the short story was your favorite? Why was it your favorite?
Heather: I love all the stories so it’s really hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose, I’d say Hot Egyptian Nights. I love using Egypt as a setting because it seems so timeless, exotic and romantic. Yet, with its vast deserts, awe-inspiring pyramids and unique lore, the setting also provides great opportunities for adventures and paranormal mysteries. The storyline of Hot Egyptian Nights has everything I love in exotic paranormal romances, including a romantic man, a strong female, an ancient curse and jewellery with magical properties. It’s a fun, sexy, lore-filled story, and that’s why I enjoyed writing it.
Ing: How many stories are in the Legends Unleashed series?
Heather: Yes. Whispers In The Shadows contains volumes 5-9 of the Legends Unleashed series. It was preceded by What Legends Are Made Of which contains volumes 1-4. Here’s a blurb from What Legends Are Made Of:
Travel to Sir Tristan’s Estate, a place where ghosts roam freely and enter your dreams at night. Step aboard the Blue Oceana, a ship that will lead you to the world’s last merman. Get a ticket to Frank’s Freak Show to discover the truly disturbing main attraction. Finally, enter the doors of Karyn and Max Shield’s Costume and Magic Shop. It’s a place where you can buy merchandise that is out-of-this-world. These tales will leave you spellbound and yearning for more. Are you ready to find out what real legends are made of?
Ing: Was there a scene that stood out for you when writing any of these stories? Why did this scene stand out for you?
Heather: My favorite scene is from Rival To Survival when Scarlet and Harv finally kiss. I love this scene so much because it’s sweet, loving and passionate. Also, it’s the outcome of emotions that have been repressed for quite some time. Creating the perfect kiss is a fine art that relies on an emotional need and desire that runs deeper than undeniable physical attraction. Additionally, timing is crucial so that the kiss doesn’t happen too soon or too late. With Scarlet and Harv’s first kiss, this is what I’ve tried to achieve.
Ing: What are you working on now? Can you give us any tidbits on upcoming projects for 2012?
Heather: I am currently working on edits for the remaining books in The Horror Diaries series. The next book, Creatures Of The Night, will be released June 2012. I have started writing Assorted Candies (an anthology of literary romance for teens) as well as two young adult paranormal romance novels entitled Siren and Fairy Dust. Additionally, I will shortly begin work on What Fairy Tales Are Made Of, which will include the last four volumes in the Legends Unleashed series. On the screenwriting side, I have written several short scripts that are scheduled to go into production in 2012. They include Too Sensible For Love – a dark romantic comedy with social commentary running throughout it, Love’s Folly – a romantic comedy that will keep viewers guessing until the end, and Circular – a chilling social commentary about war.
Ing: Now on to questions about you. We want to know more about Heather Beck. What are 5 things you could never do without?
Heather: I’m not materialistic, so other than the essentials needed to sustain life, there isn’t anything I couldn’t live without. I’m being difficult, aren’t I? :p What I love the most and would therefore hate to lose are those who have been unbelievably supportive of me, writing, hiking, fishing and my cottage.
Ing: Where is your favorite place to write and why?
Heather: My favorite place to write is the outdoors, preferably on the dock at my cottage, at the beach or near water. I love being in nature and find it so inspirational. That’s where I am most happy and get my best ideas for books and screenplays.
Ing: What was the best advice that you’ve ever received from someone in the writing industry that has stuck with you?
Heather: I always find this question difficult to answer since it hasn’t been just one person who has given me advice. Rather, I’ve spent ten years learning everything I can about the writing industry from seminars, book events, books, business connections, publishers and, of course, my professional experiences. I think the best piece of advice to those interested in entering the writing industry is to be hopeful yet realistic. It’s an extremely tough business to break into, and making a living from it is an even bigger challenge. Therefore, it’s crucial to have another job while you thoroughly research the industry, attend events, make contacts and work on your creative properties. Being a published author or produced screenwriter isn’t easy but it is possible with passion, drive and a hell of a work ethic.
Ing: If you weren’t writing what else would you be doing right now for a career?
Heather: Writing is my love, my passion, my life – it would be devastating to give it up. However, being less dramatic I would say working with non-profit organizations is what I’d devote even more time to. It’s a huge passion of mine and something I take great pride in. It’s a beautiful thing to make a difference in someone’s life.
Ing: Heather thanks so much for stopping by today! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Do you have any last words or questions you would like to pose to the readers of this blog?
Heather: Thanks for interviewing me! Please be sure to check out my official website at: http://heatherbeck.tripod.com/
Fall in love, if you dare…
Inside these pages are jilted ghosts who seek revenge, a sexy tour guide with deadly secrets, cunning mermen who emerge from the ocean, a magical forest where love truly can last for eternity, and a new breed of men who are too good to be true.
Filled with chills, twists and boundless passion, Whispers In The Shadows explores the beauty of love along with its darker side.
Heather recently received an Honors Bachelor of Arts from university where she specialized in English and studied an array of disciplines. Currently, she is working on two young adult novels and has six anthologies slated for publication. As a screenwriter, Heather has multiple television shows and movies in development. Her short films include Young Eyes and The Rarity.
Besides writing, Heather’s greatest passion is the outdoors. She is an award-winning fisherwoman and a regular hiker. Her hobbies include swimming, playing badminton and volunteering with non-profit organizations.