First of all, I’d want to thank Gracen, and Moonlight, Lace, and Mayhem for having me as a guest on your blog.
I’d like to introduce myself: My name is Janice Seagraves, I’ve been writing for publication about ten years now. I still live in the same small town where I was born and grew up. My home is a hundred year old haunted house (I’m not kidding) where I live with my husband and daughter. We share our home with three cats and a pet pigeon that’s in love with my husband.
GRACEN: Let’s start with some trivia about you...March has a few popular dates to celebrate. Which one are you more apt to celebrate, St. Patrick’s Day, or the First Day of Spring, or both and why?
JANICE: I’m part Irish, so I like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. When my daughter was still in grade school I would take a couple of VHS tapes of Irish dance, a book on Celtic art and shamrock cookies. Some of the other classes would ask to look at the tapes too, and they got passed around quite a lot.
I still have to wear green even at home on St. Patrick’s Day (green PJ’s), because my daughter is taller than I am and can pinch me before I’ve managed two steps, lol.
I also plant flowers on the first day of spring. I love color. Right now, I have a daffodils patch blooming and a lovely bowl of pansies.
GRACEN: Because of it’s Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a big party day in Wisconsin (and many other areas) in which everyone gets in on the action from free pub crawl busses to breweries making green beer/spirits and some stores selling green colored/decorated food and sweets. Does anything similar occur in your area? Even if you do not participate, please tell us what activities are going on around you. Anything you feel is unique or especially interesting?
JANICE: My home town is rather small, so there isn’t a lot of celebrations here expect for the major holidays. If you want to go to a pub crawl you head over to Fresno, the next city south of us. There you might get green beer, but you’ll have to drive yourself. Unfortunately, Fagan’s Irish pub is now closed.
In Sonora CA they have a Celtic festival this weekend. If possible, I plan on going. I have a lovely new green bodice I’m going to wear.
GRACEN: Do you like to decorate for spring/St. Pat’s Day or is this the time of the year where your house has a break from special décor?
JANICE: *grin* If I can drag myself out of my writer’s cave long enough, I’ll put out my Celtic decorations. And I assure you they’re not just green shamrocks. I have some very nice cream colored ceramic candle holders, a plate, and frame decorated with Celtic knots. I love Celtic knots. My husband just bought some new ceramic wall plaques for me in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
GRACEN: Ireland is steeped in myth, legends and lore. Do you have any favorites? Please briefly share them with us (include links to other information for interested readers).
JANICE: Oh, anything about the Sidhe (mound people), or Merrow's. Merrow they're like mermaids.
GRACEN: Spring is considered a time of renewal, a time of rebirth. Do you do anything “special” to commemorate this idea such as planting flowers or cleaning out your house? Please share with us your way of celebrating this time of rebirth.
JANICE: I do spring cleaning; I dust and organize my things. The mold on my bathroom walls is taunting me again. It’ll have to go. Also this is the time of the year we go through our closets then take unwanted items to our local thrift store. Unfortunately, our local Salvation Army store just closed.
I also have two rather large seed packages of sweet alyssum and wildflower mix that I’ll be planting soon.
GRACEN: Magic is often tied into Celtic myths and legends, or at least we like to think it is. Why do you think that is? Why, in your opinion, does Ireland carry so much mystery and magic for the rest of us?
JANICE: Their culture is old. The Roman’s didn’t invade Ireland like they did England, so their oral history wasn’t disrupted and continues on to the present day. And aren’t we lucky it does too.
GRACEN: Please tell us some of the favorite/best books you’ve read with Celtic myths/legends or ties in them. (They can be fact or fiction, just be sure to indicate what type of books they are in case our readers might want to check them out.)
JANICE: My friend Lisa Griffin wrote Celtic Lover’s Magic, which ties in an Irish fairy tale with a modern hero.
Another friend of mine, Connie Wood, wrote the fae as fallen angles, The Fallen Fae, which gives an interesting spin on an old tale.
JANICE: Romance, I love the happily ever after aspect of it, or at least the happily for now. But I switch sub-genres with every new manuscript I write. I like to challenge myself and find out what makes a good fit with my writing style.
The only thing I haven’t written so far is vampire or were-wolf, though I have part of a were-cat story. It’s the tongue and cheek adventures of Jared the Fierce Were-Tabby and his girlfriend the high spirited, Megan. I posted a link at the bottom of this post to my website; there you can read a short story with Jared.
GRACEN: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
JANICE: Damn good. Oh, wait a minute, that’s two words wasn’t it?
Honest. As in honest feelings of love and friendship which develops between my couple.
GRACEN: Do you prefer magical or human ingenuity for problem solutions? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
JANICE: Human. My book, which will be out in June, is a contemporary romance and human perseverance wins the day.
Not that I don’t love magic, but it would be still human/fae thought and action behind the enchantment.
GRACEN: Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one strumming the harp?
JANICE: Ha. Good question. It would have to be my muse, Anna-Bella. I dance to her tune.
She gives me a flash of something, a dream sequence or, if I’m lucky, a whole chapter. Then she says, “Got it?” and runs off, damn her. Then I’m left trying to figure it out until she returns with another flash.
Last Christmas I had enough and put her in a bird cage next to my desk so she wouldn’t run off on me again. Now she swings in her cage and sticks her tongue out at me. Back at ya, sweet heart.
GRACEN: What was the character or creature that you had the most fun creating and why?
JANICE: Seth Dawson in Windswept Shores. He’s a shameless flirt, but also strong, kind, and very handsome. He’s also an Aussie and working with his strine or colloquialisms was a real challenge.
GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your character/creature creations in real life, who would it be and why?
JANICE: Megan, she’s also in Windswept. She makes baskets which help them to survive. I’d like her to teach me how to weave. I took a class but it was back in HS.
GRACEN: Which of your character/creature creations would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
JANICE: The Boar, El Diablo, on Windswept. He’s a mean one. Also the pirates aren’t something I want to meet in a dark alley, either.
JANICE: Windswept. I loved writing the sexual tension between Seth and Megan. Megan keeps fighting her feelings for Seth, but he finally wins her over.
GRACEN: As writers, inspiration comes from everywhere. What, specifically, inspired your latest story, the one we’re promoting here today?
JANICE: All I can say is I watch way too much Gilligan’s Island as a kid, and then became addicted to survivors when it first aired. I kept thinking, what if?
What if a couple washed up on the same deserted island? How would they survive? And would there be love between them?
Windswept Shores by Janice Seagraves
will be available in June.
Windswept Shores Blurb:
The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan’s alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor this time from a boat wrecked. With only meager survival skills between them, will they maintain a suitable co-existence?
Drawn to Seth’s sexy Aussie accent, rock hard body and general good looks, his close proximity takes a toll on her. With her husband’s death haunting her every thought, she struggles to remain detached.
Although Megan is several years his senior, Seth is attracted to her. Her will to survive, his guiding post, and her shapely body, gorgeous smile and bright green-eyes, something he craves.
In the harrowing aftermath on Windswept Shores will she accept his offer of love?
If she had to spend one more day on this godforsaken island, she would go stark raving mad. That thought spurred Megan into rolling a large log with one foot then the other, until it was near her bonfire. "God, this thing is heavy." With a grunt, she lifted one end until it teetered upright then gave it a shove. It landed in the fire, and embers swirled in the air.
Breathing hard, she flicked a glance at the teal-colored sea. She'd thought a vacation to the Bahamas would be the perfect getaway, would be a solution to the problems she and Jonathan had faced. She'd been wrong—dead wrong. Tears of grief filled her eyes. The never-ending crash of the waves on the beach, and the cries of the seagulls seemed to mock her with the reminder she was utterly alone.
She'd felt like a tiny speck of sand last night when that violent storm had swept across the island. It had made a mess of her meager campsite which had taken all morning to fix, and had demolished her seaweed SOS sign. She'll have to recreate her SOS. Sighing, Megan trudged toward a pile of kelp. As she got closer, she saw a figure wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. Her stomach lurched.
Oh, God, it’s another body washed up from the plane wreck. That would be number twelve. As always, she couldn't help but wonder if the next one would be Jonathan. He hadn’t been wearing jeans on the plane, so she knew she’d been spared seeing his corpse this time. Thank God. She approached the body with dread. Tightening her resolve she knelt. Suddenly the "dead body" coughed and rolled over. With a scream, Megan jumped back. She clutched her chest and pressed a shaking hand to her mouth.
Biting her lip, she stared down at the still-breathing man. His drenched t-shirt molded against his broad shoulders and well developed upper body. Short, golden brown hair stuck out in all directions.
Megan, get control of yourself. Don’t wet your pants the first time you finally see a living person. She got on her knees, plucked the seaweed off of him and wiped the sand from his face. His day old whiskers scratched her palm. Reddened skin stretched across both cheekbones and over the bridge of his nose. Her thumb caressed his parched full bottom lip.
She patted the side of his face. “Hey, are you okay?” That’s a dumb question. He isn’t okay.
“Hmm?” Gray eyes fluttered open. He stared at her a long moment, frowning slightly. “G’day.”
“Hello there.” She hated the sound of her voice. It sounded rusty, unused.
Abruptly he rolled away from her to heave onto the sand, making a loud, ugly retching noise.
He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand then looked at her. “Sorry, mate, I swallowed too much sea.” His gaze went over her shoulder in the direction of the bonfire which crackled and popped not far from them. “Mite big for a barbie.”
Sitting back on her heels with her hands folded in her lap, Megan glanced to the fire then back to him. “My signal fire.”
“Signal for what?”
His accent intrigued her. Was he English or Australian?
“G’darn,” he looked around, “where the bloody hell am I?”
“Don’t know. There’s no one here to ask.” Megan shrugged helplessly.
Windswept Shores available in June from Pink Petal Books (its not actually on the website yet, but it will be.)
Janice’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice’s main blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/
Even though it's still a bit early for my book launch I still through it would be fun to have a contest. The first five people who can find my email address on my blog (above link) and emails me with your address--wins a autographed post card with my sexy book cover, and a magnet.