Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jenna Storm, The Burning Seal

Please tell us about yourself?
First off, thanks for inviting me to guest on your blog Penny I appreciate it. It’s always nice to visit with fellow Muse authors. A little about myself hmm...I have two daughters, ages 14 and 9, and a Chihuahua/Dachshund (Chiweenie) mix dog who chases our Calico cat around the house. Between my girls and the pets our house is noisy which is one of the reasons I write somewhere else. My favorite writing spot is a local Starbucks where I am able to focus because all the noise, chaos and demands are not directed to me at all!
Tell us your latest news?
In March my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, The Burning Seal was released by MuseItUp. This is my first novel length ebook and the first in a series.
When and why did you begin writing?
I remember writing Edgar Allan Poe type stories when I was in my early teens and pretty much just dabbling in writing until I had my first child. After Cassie was born I started writing again with the ultimate goal/wish of having my work published. 
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment I took it seriously and started writing daily. It didn’t take signing a contract for me to recognize myself as a writer. I got the contract because I was a writer!
What inspired you to write your first book?
I dabbled in genres when I first started writing with the goal of getting published. I started with a middle-grade story that I never finished (lost the floppy during a move), moved to romantic suspense (I swear one day I will rework and finish it) and finally settled into paranormal romance. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Don’t lose faith in yourself. 

What books have most influenced your life most?
Honestly, the books in the genres I read. Suspense, Mysteries, Paranormal Romance and Romantic Suspense. 
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I don’t have a mentor but I admire any writer who is able to take the ideas and glimpses of characters spinning through their head and create a story.
What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
I just started reading Jeaniene Frost’s books with Cat and Bones. I know they’ve been out forever but  I’m not a fan of first person point of view writing so it took me a while. It’s difficult for me to read first person stories and then work on my WIP which is written in third.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are so many talented authors emerging that I’m unable to name anyone specifically. Muse authors impress me constantly and I consider myself lucky to be part of the same publishing house. 
What are your current projects?
Right now, I’m working on book 2 in The Elements series. The Burning Seal is book one.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I could always play with words and try to find newer ways to express a character’s emotions and thoughts. 
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I don’t recall how it originated but I know why I continue to sole purpose is to entertain and provide readers with an escape from their reality which is usually weighed down with stress, work and responsibilities and pull them into the world I’ve created for my characters. 
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m a plotter so I like to have a firm idea of the scenes that will play out in the book. However, I do have a problem allowing myself to just write the rough draft and not critique my word usage, or watch my showing vs. telling. Like many authors I have trouble turning off the internal editor!
Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
Usually when I’m blocked it’s because I’ve been working too much and need to take a day or two off. If that doesn’t work then I need to sit and really think about the book because odds are something is wrong with the plot or an idea I have and my subconscious is not letting me move forward. 

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I watch movies and read. However, when I’m doing both of those I’m still thinking about my current WIP. I don’t think I ever stop thinking about it.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have a favorite but I do like Lisa Gardner’s suspense novels. I admire the way she twists a plot so the reader is constantly surprised. Anne Frasier also writes a great suspense. I love Nalini Singh’s Archangel series. Leslie Parrish’s Extrasensory Agents books. 
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Not complicating the plot and keeping the threads flowing. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep at it. If you love writing it will show in your work. And finally, just tell the story.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy The Burning Seal and feel connected to the characters, Danni and Chase who are about to have their worlds turned upside down.
Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

My publisher is MuseItUp Publishing. I pitched in an online session to Lea who requested the manuscript. Lucky me, she read it and offered a contract. Thank you!

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

Detective Danni Keegan is plunged into a dark, demonic world where survival depends on deciphering the connection between ritual killings, and a demon terrorizing her for a “gift” she wasn’t even aware she possessed. She must unravel her dreams of another woman who lived during ancient times and battled a bloodthirsty demon—the same demon who now hunts Danni. The loss of her body and soul looms imminent as her only chance to destroy the demon depends on changing her new partner’s convictions. He is a sinfully sexy man, who exudes power and self-assurance with the ease of breathing and has an iron-willed determination not to believe in the paranormal.
Danni Keegan pulled back the wispy curtain to peer through the thick rivulets of rain and search the swaying trees and bushes. She put her fingers to the glass and welcomed the chill as it traveled through her body. Maybe the cold would paralyze her tragic thoughts, end the feeling of dread, the vengeful tide that sought to drown her.
Her hand came off the glass and returned to the curtain where her nimble fingers fidgeted with the lace. For weeks now, the doomed feeling had fed on her, no better than raging piranhas hungering for fresh meat. She was the fresh meat. Every day the fear escalated, chewed off more of her flesh; exposed more of her vulnerability.
Get control of yourself. You didn’t make it as a cop by fearing the dark, or letting a feeling rule your head. Yet, her uneasiness gnawed, the cause was elusive, unsupported by evidence. Were Lucy Brighton’s and Chelsea Marlin’s unsolved homicides warping her sanity?
No matter how tough she acted, it was impossible to view ravished remains and not mourn lost lives. Question your own mortality and blame yourself for not stopping the homicides. Was she confusing her edginess with guilt that the killer remained free to hunt new victims?
Her fingers beat the glass in a staccato tempo which matched her heart’s unsettled rhythm.
No. This evil feeling, it was blacker.
More menacing. More...enduring.
She cast a wishful glance at the wide-cushioned sofa and the television. Her bagel and cream cheese lay neglected on the coffee table along with the horror novel she was reading. Anchored to the window, she scanned the looming trees and thick darkness for a shadow that didn’t fit. A forceful wind scraped tree limbs against the condo's roof and the windows wept from the torrential downpour.
She leaned forward and focused, as if she could frisk the shadows with her eyes. The bushes along the sidewalk shook in a way that was at odds with the direction of the wind. A clump of white bolted from tangled branches and frost-burned leaves. Realization dawned and the sight of the familiar lithe body made her smile, partly from relief, mainly from her foolishness.
The porch was clear except for a very drenched, very vexed cat. A stray who sporadically allowed Danni to mother her.
She hurried to the door and twisted the bottom lock, but when it came to the deadbolt she wavered,  her fingers refusing to close over it.
Don’t. Open. The. Door.
A warning slithered through her body, stroked her apprehension and added high-octane fuel to her fears. More like a premonition. Blood. Destruction. Innocence lost. She stared at the top of her fluffy-socked feet and scrunched her toes against the hardwood floor.
"This is stupid. Letting poor Independence drown in this storm because of a feeling."
Flexing her hands, she thought of her gun tucked in the nightstand drawer; thought about getting it. To what, shoot at trees and darkness?
She twisted the lock and stepped out, playing hopscotch with the growing puddles on the small cement porch. Frigid wind and freezing rain pushed at her. She sucked in a breath, pulling her robe tighter. The sensation of standing on solid ice seeped through her socks. Before she could cajole Independence inside, the cat darted to the right, into the heart of the storm.
“I’m not chasing you,” she called out and shoved her hands into her robe’s pockets, shuffling from side to side on cold, wet feet.
Damn. Now she’d have to change her socks and throw her damp robe into the dryer.
A warning sparked from the rustle of dead leaves. Overgrown bushes at her left shook.  Branches snapped. The cautionary spark exploded into a bonfire of fear. Her breath halted. Thoughts seized. Everything froze except time.


  1. Love that excerpt. Ooh, what happens next? Great interview, too, Jenna.

    1. Glad it was suspenseful and makes you want to know what happens to Danni...

  2. A great author and a great interview!

    1. Thank you Rosanna! I'm so pleased we connected :)

  3. Jenna, I'm pleased to have you as a guest today. Good luck with your writing.

    1. Thanks Penny I'm glad to be here. Wish I had figured out the sign in stuff yesterday! :)

  4. You are so right, Jenna. We don't become writers when we get a contract. We've always been writers and that's why we kept writing and learning and honing skills through rejection after rejection until someone gave us a contract.

    1. Exactly Gail! I think all writers needed to be reminded of that. :)

  5. Hi Penny & Jenna - Way to go Jenna:0) Looking forward to reading The Burning Seal. Loved the many of your responses resonated with me. It's great to get to know our fellow Musers by interviews...who knew Lea's world would be such a wonderful place to call home:0)

  6. Jenna, it is always a treat to be on Penny's blog, she asks such wonderful questions to get at the heart of a particular writer's life. It was great learning more about you and your writing. As you know I thought The Burning Seal was well crafted, and without a doubt kept me hooked until the very end, so keep writing! Looking forward to the next in the series too:)



  7. Great interview Jenna, still love this excerpt. Penny, always a wonderful host. Thanks for asking the right questions. It's great to learn more about a fellow Muse author and a terrific story.

  8. Hey everyone! Thank you for commenting! I tried to comment all day yesterday but wasn't able to and I finally figured out why...I was logged in at work and had to physically log out.

    Thank you Sara for your comments on The Burning Seal...I'm so happy you liked it. And yes, KayDee Lea's world is wonderful to be part of I love being a Muse author and can't wait for the day I get to meet some of you in person. Hopefully, I will make it to one of the conferences or we all attend another.

  9. Thanks Rosalie...I'm always a little intimidated with interviews so I'm pleased you guys liked it!

  10. Great excerpt and interview! I love hearing the more personal side of author's lives. Poe was an inspiration to so many of us, wasn't he? Thanks so much, ladies!

  11. You had me at the gorgeous cover and then when I read the blurb ... oh delightful!

  12. Great excerpt, sorry it took so long for me to catch up on these things!