Linda, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend with us. Though we've never met in person, our email communication has built our friendship, and let me tell you readers, this one FUN lady!
And, she'll select a winner out of the comments made here by Friday for a choice of one of the Hex books!
So, come on gal, dish the dirt and tell us about yourself and your current projects.
The Magick In My World
Mega thanks to Lizzie for having me here!
First off, I’ve been published for 30 years writing for Silhouette and Harlequin books, Dell Candlelight Ecstasy, Bantam Loveswept, and a single title romantic suspense with Kensington. I think all I wrote in the past prepared me for now.
What more fun can an author have than witches who’d been in the world for the last 700 years?
I’ve always enjoyed witches be it Looney Tunes Witch Hazel (I totally love her laugh), Samantha Stevens (even if she gave in to Darrin too much on her power), Veronica Lake’s old Salem witch in My Favorite Witch and moving up to the sisters in Practical Magic, which is one of my favorite movies. I wanted witches that did more than cast spells and dispelled the rumor they ride brooms or wear pointy hats. I think my series does that.
Jazz and her fellow witches took life in 2005. My agent at the time wanted me to write dark edgy vampires and while I love reading them I knew I couldn’t write it and I didn’t want to make myself crazy (okay, crazier) trying to write it. Then Jazz popped into my head with “you really need to write about me”. Cute, sassy, snarky, and totally fun. My kind of witch. I saw Irma, her ghostly sidekick, Fluff and Puff, her fangy bunny slippers, and best of, Nick, the sexiest vampire around.
The premise behind the series is that the class of 1313 of the Witches Academy was expelled after one of the students performed an illegal spell on a local nobleman and no one would own up nor snitch. The girls stood together. So they were banished for 100 years as long as they behaved. And 700 years later they’re still out in the world. And more time is added to the 100 years each time they do something the Witches Council doesn’t feel is appropriate.
Instead of a series featuring the same characters, I hope to write all the witches in the class. Each with their own distinct personality and power. So far, I have Jazz, the witch who can eliminate curses and lives in LA, because Hollywood needs her. Stasi, who deals in romance, creates love spells and owns a lingerie/romance bookstore in a small mountain town. Blair, Stasi’s housemate, who owns a retro shop and very gifted in revenge spells. If your husband or boyfriend cheats on you she’s the one to go to. Maggie, my kick ass witch, who’s a member of the Cerberus Guard, protectors of all creatures. She’s happiest when she’s fighting someone. And Thea, the diva romance novelist, whose day is dreary if she’s not on the NYT bestseller list or she breaks a nail.
As for the men. Total yum! Jazz has vampire Nick, her on and off again lover for the past few hundred years. Stasi has wizard attorney Trev, who’s got sex appeal. Blair’s honey, Jake, a local carpenter with some furry secrets. A hot half fire demon named Declan for Maggie and a demon archaeologist who’d give Indiana Jones a run for his money for Thea.
What can I say? I can’t make it too easy for them, can I? And I don’t. But that also can mean I don’t make it easy for myself.
It’s not just researching spells, I’m also researching the past, because these witches have a long history and I need to make sure the historical facts are correct. Not that they’ve been noblewomen in the past. Jazz spent the longest two hours of her life as a carhop. Stasi was a seamstress for a duchess. Blair had been a parlor maid. Maggie was able to work as a bodyguard for female nobility and Thea wrote novels under various pen names.
Magick means you can’t use it for personal gain and they, especially, couldn’t. They could protect themselves and even protect the weak.
Along the way, they learned a lot about themselves and many times had fun doing it.
I also wanted to create characters that I hoped my readers could identify with. Women they’d want to hang out with, go shopping, and have lunch with. Sure, they have great magickal power, have creature sidekicks most of us wouldn’t think of, and they’ve been on earth a long time, but they also have their Starbucks addiction and Jazz can’t live without the creams from The Body Bakery. They’re still thrust into very human situations and I love to play with how they’ll deal with them.
A high praise for any author is to hear her readers love her characters or want a pair of magick bunny slippers. As for me, not only do I have a couple pair of bunny slippers that seem to scoot around during the night, but they’re also tattooed on my ankle as is Horace, Stasi’s perv of a gargoyle.
By now, they’re friends and very real to me. I hope that any of you that read my books will feel the same way.
And what about you? Do you enjoy snarky and sexy? Or something darker? And would you want a pair of bunny slippers that can eat a man if they’re so inclined?
You can always find me at my website www.lindawisdom.com and my blog http://linda-wisdom.blogspot.com that includes flash fiction about my favorite creatures.
And for an added treat, I’m including a deleted scene from Blair’s book, Hex in High Heels.
HEX IN HIGH HEELS
“Okay, where is Mountain Ridge Trail?” Blair muttered, peering out the windshield at the elaborately carved signs announcing either a homeowner’s retreat or road name. While easy to read during the day they were next to impossible to see after dark. “Light my way, make it day, make it so.” She smiled as a ball of light shimmered on the SUV’s roof, sending out enough wattage to illuminate the steep private roads she knew led to vacation homes set along the base of the mountain. She blew out a breath of relief when she finally spied a carved sign declaring the paved road on the left was the one she wanted.
While she normally didn’t make house calls, the message from Yvonne Gates had been cryptic enough to tempt Blair into making the trip.
Cristal Phillips said you’re fantastic when it comes to providing payback to those who deserve it. Can you come tonight? You’re the only one who can help!
“Yeah, yeah, I’m a regular Obi-Wan with a cauldron,” she muttered, slowly driving up the driveway. It was lit with solar lights, so she extinguished her light spell and slowed to a stop in front of a large two-story cedar planked house ablaze with light. “I really should charge for my services like Jazz does instead of asking the clients to donate to charity.” She climbed out and headed for the front door.
“I’m Blair Fitzpatrick,” she informed the uniformed maid who opened the door.
“Mrs. Gates and her friends are expecting you. They’re in the solarium,” the maid informed her, taking her coat from her and gesturing toward the rear of the house.
Blair skidded to a stop. “Friends? If Mrs. Gates has company, I can just come back.”
The maid shook her head. “Oh no, Mrs. Gates and her friends are waiting for you.”
Bair swallowed her unease and followed the chattering sounds. When she reached the doorway to the octagonal shaped glass-enclosed room she stared at ten women who stopped their talking to gawk at her.
Terrific, I’ve stumbled into a hen party! If this is one of those cookware pyramid schemes I am so out of here. She pasted a smile on her lips as a woman who was Botoxed, lipoed and tucked to extremes glided her way.
“Blair,” Yvonne Gates greeted her with a smile that stretched like plastic. “I am so happy you could come.”
“Would you care for some wine?” The perfect hostess guided her toward a bar set up with a variety of wine bottles and crystal stemware.
“Yvonne, what is going on?” Blair kept her voice low and tried to avoid the smiles and whispers of the assembled ladies who lunch. “I thought you wanted me to come here to talk about some private payback. I wasn’t expecting an audience.”
Yvonnne offered up a small smile that could have passed for embarrassment. “Yes, well I’m afraid I told a tiny lie about that. But I do need your help and so do they.” She waved a French-tipped hand to encompass her friends. “And since we all basically have the same problem, we thought it best to do it all at once. And we will all donate to whatever charity you request, so it’s more money, right? I hope you don’t mind.”
She smiled as if she was convinced Blair wouldn’t dare mind
Which proved she didn’t know Blair.
Blair accepted the glass of wine and drank half the contents in one gulp. “Are you saying you all have husbands cheating on you?”
Yvonne gazed around at the near carbon copies of herself scattered on settees and chairs around the room. “We don’t want revenge against our husbands.”
Blair resisted the urge to go ballistic. Couldn’t anyone just spit it out?
“Yvonne’s right. We don’t want revenge against our husbands.” One brunette with collagen-enhanced lips and a diamond necklace whose worth would feed a small country agreed. “Cristal told us how fabulous you were in getting payback on that realtor who cheated her on the sale of her estate. We want that kind of service.”
Blair felt her temper rising by the second. “Mine isn’t a service, it’s a need for those seeking justice. So tell me, just what kind of justice are you all looking for?” She’d give the woman ten seconds, which was nine point nine seconds more than she deserved and then Blair was outta there and back home before the opening credits of Supernatural finished because she feared she hadn’t set the DVR.
The women looked at each other in silent communication before Yvonne, obviously chosen as spokeswoman, said, “There is a man who has greatly wronged us.”
Your plastic surgeon because all of you really had way too much done. “They can be troublesome.”
“Serge is our Pilates instructor,” another woman chimed in.
Blair’s gaze flitted from one woman to the next. “And –“ She waited for the other Jimmy Choo to drop.
“And we recently learned he’s been giving all of us private lessons.” Yvonne’s eyebrow twitched a bit.
Blair didn’t need further explanation and she honestly didn’t want any. The plastic surgery may have made it difficult for them to display their emotions, but their eyes told the story. Not one look upset or hurt. They were all royally pissed and they wanted this Serge’s balls on a silver platter.
“He’s cheated on all of us,” Yvonne rushed in to explain. “And he needs to pay for his transgression. That’s where you come in.”
And what about you cheating on your husbands? Oh wait, obviously that’s a given in your social circles since there’s a good chance hubby has a honey on the side. Blair wanted out of there fast.
“This is not how it works,” she raised her voice so all of them heard her. “I craft revenge spells to be used against people who truly deserve a little punishment. I don’t do anything that would endanger their lives or health and the spells generally have a short shelf life, so to speak. I’m sorry, ladies, but revenge against your Pilates instructor because he cheated on you with each other is not what I do. I look for justice, not something that’s straight out of high school. Fine, you’re all pissed at him. The next time he wants to set up a private,” she used her fingers to form quotes “lesson, make sure all of you show up then pound on him with your Hermes and Coach bags”
“I don’t want him to get it up for anyone for the next five years,” one Chanel-clad woman growled with venom in her voice. Pretty soon the others chimed in with their demand that Blair do the witchy thing.
“I’m sorry, ladies, but you called the wrong witch.” Blair set the wine glass down on the bar and turned to go. Damn it! She should be home curled up on the couch drooling over Jensen Ackles in Supernatural.
Yvonne looked about as panicked as her nipped and tucked face would allow. “You don’t understand.” She grabbed Blair’s arm. “Serge was completely out of bounds with his behavior. He made fools out of all of us and he needs to be taught a lesson. Cristal said you could do what we want.” Her dark eyes glittered with fury.
Blair glanced down at Yvonne’s hand glittering with diamonds and fire opals and gave the other woman just enough of a magickal zap to make her point. Yvonne jerked away and backed up rubbing her hand.
“Let me make this very clear. What I do isn’t a parlor game,” she announced to them all. “It’s not to be taken lightly or used against someone just because he was a total horn dog and stupid. And yes, your precious Serge was stupid in having sex with women who obviously enjoy sharing confidences about their conquests. You know what? Be grateful it wasn’t your husbands contacting me about your affairs. That’s a job I would have gladly taken. Good night, ladies.” She headed for the door.
“We’ll pay you $10,000 along with whatever you want as charitable donations!” Yvonne called after her.
“Don’t you get it? I don’t do this for money. I do it for justice.” Blair shook her head at the conceit of a woman who thought money could solve all her problems.
“We’re the ones being wronged here! Why don’t you get off your high horse and do what you’re asked?” the growling woman shouted at her back.
Blair had her hand on the doorknob when she stopped and turned around.
“Justice be deemed for those who cackle against one whose nature matches their own. Let their true selves show. Let the selves they hide from the world be revealed to all. Make it so.” She threw her hands out and smiled at the waves of magick that danced on the air then wrapped around the women in streams of gold and silver.
“Wha—what have you done?” Yvonne cried out, as the glass darkened to mirrors and she faced the reflection of a Prada-wearing gangly girl with a serious case of acne.
“No,” another woman whimpered in fear as she curled up tightly on the couch with her arms wrapped around her body that had morphed from taut curves to stick-straight while the woman who had to be a size double zero blossomed into what Blair judged to be a lovely size four. The woman took one look at her body and fainted.
“My extensions. My highlights,” another woman moaned, as she ruffled her fingers through limp dishwater blond hair that hung to her shoulders. She screamed as her chin suddenly jutted out in a sharp point and sported red spots.
One woman started sniffling, absently wiping her runny nose with the back of her hand. “Is there a cat in the house?” she muttered. “I’m really allergic to cats.” She looked around. “And plants. I can’t be around plants. There are too many plants in here.” She rubbed her nose again. “All of this isn’t good for my allergies.”
Yvonne looked at her friends with horror as they each transformed into their teen selves when all their insecurities must have hit them like a tidal wave.
She wheeled around on Blair. “What have you done?”
Blair winced at the glass-shattering shriek. “Justice. Just look in the mirror, Yvonne. This is what justice can do. And if you want this to go away you’ll all consider a nice donation to the local children’s hospital.”
Yvonne spun on her heels and almost fell to the floor as she ran over to the mirrored wall. “No! I got rid of this nose in middle school!”
“Some people never listen,” Blair muttered, stopping up short when the maid appeared. The older woman looked past her with eyes wide as saucers. “Oh good.” Blair smiled and took her coat from the woman’s hands. She closed the French doors behind her and then shrugged on her coat. “Don’t worry, they’ll be back to themselves by morning and hopefully they’ll think twice,” she said as she walked to the door.
“That one never thinks twice. Too bad the mister isn’t coming up tonight. He’d have a good laugh over this,” the maid muttered, staring into the solarium.
Blair hurried out to her SUV and climbed in, cranking up the heater as soon as she turned on the engine.
“No more house calls. From now on they come to me.”