Monday, June 24, 2019

SPOTLIGHT w/INTERVIEW - PNR - A Gift of Jacinth (Wishes and Dreams, #2) by Allie McCormack

A Gift of Jacinth
Wishes and Dreams, #2
by Allie McCormack
Date of Publication: June 4th 2019
Cover Artist:  Dar Albert of Wicked Smart Designs
Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Tagline:  Douglas needed a miracle. What he got was a genie...


Veterinarian Douglas McCandliss considered himself an ordinary kinda guy with an ordinary kinda life. He had no idea why he'd bought the old silver teapot, and when a young woman appeared before him claiming to be a genie, he almost wished he hadn't. If only she wasn't so damned cute.

Ebullient and cheerful, Jacinth loved granting wishes and helping people. So she was thrilled when her teapot's new owner, a single father with custody of two young children, asked her to stay until he could find a nanny. The problem was, the longer she stayed, the more she was attracted to Douglas, and she was certainly not willing to turn over care of Ben and little Molly to just anybody. But she was a 900 year old genie, and had no intention of falling in love with a mortal man. None whatsoever.

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It wasn’t going to be all that easy, after all, he thought as he looked at Benny’s scared, apprehensive face a few hours later.
“Benny.” He squatted down to the boy’s level, holding his gaze reassuringly. “It’s very safe. Planes don’t usually crash, or fly into buildings, I promise. Those were accidents.”
“Mom said they did,” Benny told him, fear in his voice. “She was always watching plane crashes on the news. She watched them over and over.”
Was that how Lilian had planned to keep him from taking the kids if he found them? Douglas had to wonder. Certainly, she’d always had a taste for the morbid and the sensational, but to deliberately implant a fear of flying in a young child when she had taken the children the width of the continent away from him, was going too far. Molly looked scared too, even abandoning Jacinth to cling to her brother’s hand. Tears welled up in those bottomless blue eyes, and her lower lip trembled ominously. If he was going to put these two on the plane, it was going to have to be by brute force.
Exchanging a glance with Jacinth, he saw his opinion mirrored in her face. They had two choices. They could find another mode of travel to New York, or carry two screaming, terrified children onto the airplane. Douglas had never considered himself lacking in courage, but his nerves quailed at the graphic image that conjured up.
“Okay, okay, don’t panic,” he told them. “Give me a couple of minutes here and I’ll think of something.”
He moved a few feet away from the car where they all stood, still in the parking lot at the zoo. Jacinth followed, and he lowered his voice to consult with her.
“What am I supposed to do? Dammit, we’re three thousand miles from home! Did Lilian do this on purpose?”
Jacinth gnawed on her lower lip, feeling her brows pull together as she pondered.
“Probably,” she agreed. “I think you’re going to have to rent the car all the way to New York, Douglas.”
His grimace was rueful. “That distressing possibility occurred to me. At least that would be better than taking the bus or the train, which are our only other options. Four days in a car with two young children, though, is my idea of a nightmare. They’re so little, and it’s been so long since we’ve been together, we’re complete strangers to each other. This is definitely not how I’d choose to get to know each other again.”
Jacinth twinkled at him. “You have a nanny,” she reminded him. “And once you’re home, you have your job to go to. This might turn out for the best for both you and the children. By the time we get to New York you’ll have established a rapport with them.
Enthusiasm fired in her, and she felt a burst of excitement. “It’ll be fun, Douglas. We can play car games, and I can read them stories, and we’ll buy some of those children’s sing-along CD’s. We can eat at truck stops and roadside diners along the way, then stop at motels in the afternoon. The children can nap, then we can go to dinner, and maybe swim in the motel pool in the evening. We can buy postcards and a camera and take lots of pictures.”
She watched Douglas hopefully as he thought this over. Driving across America wasn't something she'd ever have thought of doing, or even wanting to do, but now she was seized with a great longing. Perhaps it was because of the presence of Douglas and the children, having someone to share this great new adventure with.
“It doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, when you put it that way,” Douglas admitted. “Maybe this could work after all.”
Hope sprang up in her breast as another thought occurred to her. “If we’re not going to fly out from here tonight, could we stay one more day and go to Disneyland tomorrow?”
Douglas broke into laughter. “Okay, yes, we’ll go to Disneyland.”
Hearing him, Benny let out a whoop of excitement, and Molly’s eyes shone like stars. Douglas held up a hand for silence.
“But we’re not staying late,” he warned them. “I’m not fighting this kind of traffic on a Monday morning. We’ll leave Disneyland before it gets dark so we'll be well out of the city before we find a motel for the night. No arguments when I say it's time to leave. Agreed?”
He noted with amusement that Jacinth joined in with Benny in assuring him that was fine, while Molly nodded her head vigorously, the curly blond bangs flopping in her eyes. She was so adorable, he wanted to scoop her in his arms and hold her tight. His chest constricted, and his eyes stung a little as he looked at his kids. He loved them both so much.
“I owe you,” he told Jacinth, his voice hoarse with the emotion he couldn’t suppress. “I owe you a lot. There’s nothing in the world that means as much as my kids.”

Author Info
A former career medical transcriptionist and disabled Veteran, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. As a single mom, she raised a wonderful daughter who's recently married and there are plans afoot for grandchildren. Allie now lives in the beautiful Sorona Desert in southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full-time.

Allie says: "A writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories."

The Book Junkie Reads . . .  Interview with Allie McCormack . . .

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
My goals for writing/publishing this year are (in order of priority):
  1. Publish Castles in the Sand, the 2nd book in my Sons of the Desert multicultural romance series (scheduled for August 6)
  2. Finish major revisions on A Cat for Troy, the 3rd book in my Wishes & Dreams paranormal romance series, and get it through a final round of beta reading. I’d really like to get this book published this year but… that’s more of a hope than a goal, as there’s still a lot of work to be done.
  3. Put everything else aside, and dive into my first round of major revisions on When Darkness Falls, my 16th century paranormal/vampire romance trilogy (yes, trilogy!). It’s been through one round of beta reading; I’d like to finish these major revisions and get it into round 2 of beta reading by the end of the year.
  4. Participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November… I have NO idea what my project will be! Last year, the idea for the new WIP came to me barely a week before November started, LOL.
Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
It’s kind of both. In general, my writing is Muse-driven, but that only goes so far. At some point you have to hunker down and *work* … get the timeline organized, transition between scenes and chapters, do characterization work, make sure everything flows, there are no plot holes, etc.
I’m a pantser…. That is, I write, as they say, “by the seat of my pants.” I don’t write in sequential order from page 1 to the end (that’s a plotter). I write scenes as they come into my head, then fill in the spaces between. Rather like Connect the Dots. In fact, if  you sit me down with a blank piece of paper and say, plot out a new story, I can’t. I mean, literally, I am unable to do it, because I don’t know what the story is. I don’t know what’s going to happen. My mind doesn’t work that way. What happens next after a scene, generally comes to me as I’m writing the scene. I don’t *think* about it, it just… arrives in my head.
Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?
Oh my gosh, yes!!!! Well, okay I’ve gotten past the “isn’t quite ready” part, the manuscript is mostly written but needs a lot more, and I still am filled with excitement to work on it! This is When Darkness Falls, my 16th century story… in fact, I was SO excited to work on it that it turned into a trilogy, LOL!
Going back to the basic premise of the question, it took me two YEARS of WANTING to write this story, and not being able to figure out how to make the 2 main characters come together in a way that was satisfying and NOT putridly cliché. You see, the hero is the Dark Lord, an ancient, powerful vampire, and the heroine is the human Scribe of the city that’s located smack in the center of the lands the vampires claim as their ancestral homeland. She’s fiercely loyal and devoted to the Sultana who rules the city. And I couldn’t see how to get them together for a Happily Ever After without 1) having him Turn the heroine vampire <gag me>; or 2) “redeem” him into a good guy <ewwwww>. You see my essential problem. And then one day… the answer just came to me out of the blue! So I dove into this world and didn’t surface for weeks, LOL! Which is why I want to get the other two books published before I dive back in; so I haven’t got anything that’s going to distract me from really diving back in, because this world, this hero and heroine… they pull at me. I need to tell their story, and I need to tell it right.
If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional characters, who would they be?
  1. The MacGregor, from Nora Roberts’ MacGregor series
  2. Galadriel, from Lord of the Rings
  3. Armand, from Anne Rice’s vampire books (the Armand of the books not the movie)
  4. Elizabeth, from Madam Secretary (CBS)
  5. Miles, from God Friended Me (CBS)
Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere? What would you do with this time?
Cairo, Egypt. I’d take a flat with a balcony overlooking the Nile! In the evenings I’d go walk along the Corniche El Nil, buy jasmine flower necklaces, eat warm peanuts and take carriage (hantuur) rides, and then late at night retreat to my balcony and write into the night, looking out over the river and watching the dinner boats go buy and the water taxis and… and… and!! And be totally inspired! 😊
Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
Oops, I kinda did that a couple questions above, but here we go. This is my 16th Century paranormal/vampire romance in an Arabian-Nights style setting. It takes place in a fictitious country set between the Persian Empire under the Saffavids and the Mughal Empire in India. The city, Al-Khair, is set in the center of a vast desert; the only way to get to it is weeks-long travel by caravan, which passes through twice a year. The culture, food, clothing, are a mixture of Arabic/Persian/Indian. Religions are Islam, Buddhism and Hindu, with Christianity also represented by travelers from further west who stayed to settle in Al Khair. The culture leans more heavily toward the Arabic, since that’s what I know from my time spent overseas in Egypt (exchange student) and Saudi (hospital contract). Anyway this blend of peoples live peacefully under the benign rule of the Sultana, and in shaky truce with the clan of vampires living beneath the mountains just to the north. The vampires claim the entire land as their ancestral homeland of all vampires, the first of their kind coming here to make it their home many thousands of years before. The Dark Lord watches over the lands, and a thousand years before had agreed to allow the humans to build an outpost (caravanserai) at the oasis in the desert… which grew into a village, then into the walled city it is now. The city is also home to a number of supernatural races; Djinn, shapeshifters, magi, witches and warlocks, and more; it is known as a place where all supernaturals can come to visit in safety so long as they come in peace.
Oops, I’m going on. You see how I get caught up in it? Anyway, the basic storyline is that Alyssa, orphaned at an early age, outcast and beggared, makes her way to Al Khair on the Great Caravan when she is 18. She has dreamed of coming here all her life, to make a new start, a life for herself without the stigma of her past. There she meets Nicholas, the High Scribe of the city. Impressed by her thirst for knowledge and bright intelligence, he recommends her to the Sultana, who appoints her to be the Royal Scribe. Stunned and unbelieving of this good fortune, Alyssa is fervently grateful, and vows privately to do all she can to prove herself worthy of the Sultana’s trust in her.
Okay I’m going to leave you hanging here <wicked grin> I could go on and on, for 3 books worth! Oh! Wait! I already did!!!!
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having A Gift of Jacinth on your blog! This is my first tour, I'm so excited! :)