I have a treat for y’all today. I’ve twisted –erm, asked, a fellow paranormal romance author to come sit down and talk with me. I find her books intriguing because she deals with…well, Norse Myth. :) Say hello to Melissa Snark!
Thanks for being here, Melissa, why don’t you start by telling my readers a little about yourself?
Melissa Snark: Juli, thanks for having me as a guest on your blog today. It’s always hard knowing where to begin. I’m a stay at home mom who writes erotic romance and paranormal fantasy novels between dishes and laundry. I have three kids, (four if you count Mr. Snark), and three cats. I have a B.S. degree in Business from Arizona State University and I worked for a number of years as a medical device documentation specialist and a technical writer for software engineering in medical device and satellite engineering. I’ve also been a claims adjuster for a car insurance company. All in all, I have a pretty eclectic background, which I try to bring to my writing.
What can you share about your Norse Werewolves series with our readers who may not be familiar with it?
Melissa: When I decided to write paranormal fantasy, I wanted to come up with a fresh angle on a creature. Hopefully, something that hadn’t been done before. I stumbled into the idea for modern day Viking werewolves due to my love of Norse mythology and history. According to Norse myths, the great wolf, Fenrir, is descended from the god, Loki. I simply extrapolated—what if Fenrir had sired descendants and they were werewolves? My origin story went on to include Viking colonies along the coast of North America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. My werewolves were driven from the Norselands and settled in the New World. Many mated with Native Americans, so the werewolves in my series have a mixed heritage of Norse and Native American blood.
What inspired the Norse Werewolves series?
Melissa: Lake Tahoe in the winter. My family goes up there every January or February on a ski vacation. The snow covered mountains and lake are simply breathtaking. My imagination wanted to conjure a story set there so Victoria was conceived during a vacation about four years ago.
By what authors would you say you are influenced?
Melissa: That’s really hard to answer. I read a lot and have since I was a child so I tend to take my influences from all over the place. I want to say that Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors, but then so are Steven Brust and Jennifer Roberson. Each one does something different but equally magical for me.
Any interesting stories to share about your road to publication?
Melissa: I don’t know. I have the typical roomful of rejection letters, enough to paper my office. Through the years, I just kept writing and honing my skills until it eventually paid off in terms of a contract offer from Wild Rose Press. So, no, nothing interesting or inspirational. To unpublished authors I’d say…don’t give up.
Now that is out, what can curious fans expect from you next?
Melissa: I have four things in the works right now.
- The Mating Game. An erotic paranormal romance novel revolving around… You guess it! (Werewolves). TMG is 79,000 words long and is currently with my publisher, being considered for contract.
- Battle Cry. Paranormal fantasy and #3 in my Norse werewolves series. This is the sequel to Hunger Moon and it is only about 50% of the way through the first rough draft.
- Hell on High Heels. Currently at 60k. An erotic romantic suspense novel and the sequel to Learning to Fly, my romantic suspense title published with The Wild Rose Press.
- Hearts of Thunder. Currently at 10k. This is a paranormal romance novella that I’m co-authoring with my critique partner, Lisa Ryans, author of the Wanted: Vampire series. It’s about a Native American woman who is a Thunderbird and a very proper British gentleman.
You also write erotic romance and romantic suspense. Is there anything special you do to switch gears?
Melissa: No, not really. I feel like there should be but I switch gears between genres pretty easily. I guess I’d say the hardest thing to write is the erotica scenes because it requires quiet. I can’t work on sexy love scenes with a houseful of hollering children. Lol
I could see that would ruin the mood. ;) Do you have any advice for aspiring Romance authors?
Melissa: Keep reading, keep writing. And don’t give up.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Melissa: Yes, I write humor also on my blog and I’d love to have new readers drop by. Please check out my family oriented humor at: http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/
Finally, my novella, The Child Thief, is the start of my Norse werewolves series. It should be free on Amazon and everywhere else by the end of June.
Favorite Ice cream: Double chocolate gelato
Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction
Favorite band: Led Zeppelin
Spring, Summer, or Winter? Fall—no rain, cooler than summer, warmer than winter. And my favorite day of the year is when the kids go back to school! ;-)
Romeo, Dracula, or Thor? Loki –Heehee
High Heels or Tennies? Flipflops
Follow fashion? Or make your own? Fashion? What’s that? I’m frumpy. *G*
Woohoo, another Zep fan! ;) Tell us a little about your books:
“Help me! Please. The child thief has stolen my son.”
Valkyrie Victoria Storm has werewolf hunters hell bent on revenge trying to kill her. She can barely keep her own downtrodden pack alive, let alone respond to the pleas of a murdered mother.
Can she set aside her differences and work with her sworn enemy to save a little boy from a Christmas nightmare?
Barnes & Noble:
All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hungermoon-1190970-140.html
Valkyrie Victoria Storm desires nothing more than to provide her wolf pack with a safe haven, but her position as priestess to the Goddess Freya also brings with it certain… obligations. Not to mention complications.
War with the Barrett family resulted in the deaths of her parents and most of her pack. Now, hunters are hot on the trail of the remaining pack members. Sawyer Barrett, a human hunter hell bent on revenge, is convinced that Victoria murdered his brother. He will stop at nothing to see her dead.
Victoria must defend the survivors and somehow lead them to safety. Months on the run has weakened the pack, and there are newborn pups to protect, making swift travel impossible. Ahead, the promise of refuge beckons.
Their best chance for survival lies in Sierra Pines, California: Arik Koenig, a powerful, dominant male wolf. He promises to protect and provide for the pack, something Victoria knows the pack needs for survival. His mysterious past is riddled with violence and death, including the slaughter of his entire family twenty years before. His wife died under mysterious circumstances and his son, Logan, is rumored to be her killer.
What is truth? Who can she trust? The desperate spirit of Arik’s murdered wife calls out for help, and Logan begs for assistance in clearing his name. Victoria must solve a murder that has pitted father against son, rooted in a mystery reaching back two decades. Her quest starts her on a journey from the human world to Odin’s Valhalla and back again.
Victoria will find salvation or face destruction beneath the Hunger Moon…
Victoria felt him before she saw him. His power washed over her with the force of an incoming tide, as dark, mysterious and unstoppable as the ocean. Her wolf rose to answer his in instinctive response, defiant and determined. She challenged his power and altered the irresistible flow so it passed around rather than over her. Before she reached the office entrance, the male werewolf responded to her presence and surged to his feet. He rounded the desk, demonstrating extraordinary grace and strength, and she braced for a physical confrontation. He dwarfed her in both height and weight.
As soon as their gazes met, they locked in a dominance contest. His narrowed eyes pierced hers; the light-pigmented brown irises were the color of honey and eclipsed the whites and round black pupils. Wolf eyes.
Victoria did not approach with her head low or avert her gaze. Instead, she challenged him outright, radiating defiance, posture stiff and erect. While they faced off, she regretted the tactical error, but it was too late to rescind. Her stubborn pride permitted no retreat, and it went against her nature to submit.
“Let’s take this outside where there are no humans to bear witness,” he said in a deep, resonant voice she found appealing.
Aroused, her wolf took an immediate interest in him as a fine, fit male animal. For the first time, Victoria noticed his physical appearance, and her wolf found him more than acceptable. She estimated his age as being in his late thirties. He in no way suffered for the smattering of silver hairs that peppered his dark head. He was a perfect specimen of a man.
Distracted, Victoria broke eye contact, but not to submit. She ran her gaze over his body with blatant approval, lingering on his broad shoulders and chest, muscular arms and legs. He wore a tailored navy suit with a light shirt and dark blue tie. From the way his clothing fit, there was not an ounce of spare fat anywhere on him.
His features possessed splendid symmetry, though a silver scar on his right cheek marred his perfection. The shape of his brow, nose, and lower face hinted at a distant Roman heritage. High cheekbones alluded to his Nordic blood. He cleared his throat, and Victoria scented both his arousal and amusement.
“Did you come to challenge me, or do you have something else in mind?”
His devilish smile hinted at a sense of humor, and Victoria seized on the opening. A ballsy gamble carried inherent risk, but her initial inept blundering had left her with no other graceful out. Her eyes rose to meet his once again.
“I am Victoria, daughter of Adair and Katherine, High Priestess of Freya, Lady Valkyrie, shaman, and healer,” she said, making her boast. “I am also the Alpha of my pack, and I am seeking a mate. I have come to assess whether you would make an acceptable suitor.”
“You’re kidding.” He registered surprise and disbelief.
Victoria arched her brow. “I am not.”
All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hungermoon-1190970-140.html
A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: “Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it’s the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word ‘snarky’ and B) I love Lewis Carroll.”
As an individual, I’m sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I’m not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.
At the moment, I’m a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I’ve got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I’ve worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.
I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.
I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/
I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark at gmail dot com.
Where to find Melissa on the Internet:
Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0076EEQIU
Thank you for being with us, Melissa. Best of luck in the future. Folks, don’t scamper away yet. Melissa is offering a copy of “Cat’s Tale”, her erotic romance, to one lucky commenter. So leave her a comment or question below.