Friday, February 1, 2013

S. Durham, The Jaguar Sun, #giveaway, #ebook

AUTHOR: S. Durham
BOOK TITLE: The Jaguar Sun, Wild Magick Series ~ Book Two
PUBLISHER: Muse It Up Publishing
GIVEAWAY?: Give away 2 e-copies of The Jaguar Sun

Tell me a little about your book.

The Jaguar Sun, Wild Magick Series, Book Two, is a spinoff from Book One ~ The Lycan Moon. The Jaguar Sun, delves into Aiden Pierce’s story (Dana’s adopted brother) and jumps right into the murder of his Mentor, the Chief Prosecuting Attorney of Seattle. 

Here is the tagline:

When his mentor is found murdered, and a desirable suspect drives his latent magick toward flashpoint, Aiden Pierce is forced to confront his mysterious past.

What gave you the idea for this particular story?

Well as I drew near the completion of The Lycan Moon, I found myself very interested in Aiden as a character, and I wanted to know more about where he came from, what magick he truly possesses, and what his challenges would be, so it was a natural progression to begin his story after The Lycan Moon was finished.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I would describe myself as a three quarters time writer as (suffering sigh) I have to fit writing around my day job. On my days off, I tend to write in the morning, take a break, then write in the afternoon. I work every other weekend, so I’ve been known to marathon write over the weekend I’m off. I’m more disciplined now than I was three years ago, which has helped me reach more of my writing goals.  I still have a ways to go, however, because I would like to finish a novel (research and editing included) within six months rather than over a year. This is one of my 2013 goals :-) I’ll let you know how that pans out.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? 

I dreamed about being a writer on and off for many years after taking a creative writing class in high school, where I received encouraging comments from the teacher on one of my stories. Practical life won out though :-) A satisfying nursing career and my wondrous family blossomed instead. Over the years, I’d take pen and paper out, work on something, then throw it back in the drawer, thinking I was wasting my time. Nine years ago, I started writing in ernest, dedicating time to the craft and wrote my first novel over two years. I was hooked. Oh did I mention? I’ve been an avid reader since I can remember.

What do you hope readers will take from your writing?

I want the readers to get lost in the story, have the characters stick in their memory long after the story is done, and crave more afterward. Also, I hope they learn a bit of history along the way.

Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?

Currently I’m partial to romance with paranormal, or supernatural aspects, but I also love to weave history, suspense, and modern day grit into my stories. I guess I’m drawn to those elements because that’s what I love to read :-)

What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

Two things: the marketing end of publishing, and self doubt :-) I think I echo many writers in regard to these two elements inherent in the craft. I’ve learned a lot about on-line marketing from fellow writers, the Marketing For Writers yahoo group:, and from other authors’ websites. You just have to make yourself take advantage of the online social media, blogs and writers sites, in order to get yourself out there. It can be daunting, but once you’ve established yourself in a few places, you can pick and choose what works best and what you’re comfortable with. As for self doubt, I think it is best to just keep writing and learning, these two things are a talisman in themselves. 

How much is your protagonist like you? How different? 

In this case, the main protagonist is male, but like me, Aiden is an idealist in that he expects people to do the right thing, but is pragmatic enough to know that there is a load of gray in his world, where he deals with violent crime on a daily basis. He’s fiercely passionate about family, and he is driven. Unlike me, he can wield fascinating magick and turn into a jaguar at will (yeah that would be kinda cool, I have to admit).    

What kind of research did you do for this type of story?

My research began when I dove into a book titled: Legends of the Plumed Serpent, Biography of a Mexican God, by Neil Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin’s fascinating narrative regarding the evolving myths and legends of Quetzalcoatl’s history in Mesoamerica, was hard to put down and provided me with a wealth of information. In addition I read up on the daily duties of prosecuting attorneys, on drug trafficking and routes through foreign countries, on Guatemala’s history and civil war. I frequented temple ruins on-line. Wandered around the House of Representatives website, and most importantly bent the ear of retired Oregon State Police Detective, Mark Ranger, regarding all things having to do with crime scenes, jurisdiction, evidence handling and plausibility of my murder investigation (thank you again Mark!) . 

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?

Fortunately, sexual intimacy is a part of who we are as humans. Unfortunately, so is violence. If the characters or the plot call for either, I have no problem writing the scene, as I feel the scene will not only enrich the story, but if done well, should stir up the reader’s emotions ~ which is what we writers are after :-) Let’s face it, you only have to read the daily news to understand real life is often times far worse than what you read in fiction.  

What about your book makes it special?

Aside from being a torrid romance, The Jaguar Sun, combines murder, Mesoamerican legend, magick, political corruption, colorful characters and a good dose of adventure to entice a variety of readers. 

What is your marketing plan?

I currently have ads up on: Deep In the Heart of Romance, The Romance Reviews, and Romance Junkies websites, and I have a self serve ad on Goodreads. I’m fairly active on Twitter and Facebook, and I’m also spending more time over at Coffee Time For Romance, and even have an author’s group started over there:  I love hearing from readers, and with this group I’ll be able to chat with them too.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?  

sdurhamauthor @

Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?

Join a writer’s group, whether online or locally, because allowing one (or more) pair of objective eyes on your work is invaluable to the serious writer. When you are in the midst of a story, even when you’ve arrived at that glorious point of completion of your story, you are too close to it to see it as the readers will (trust me on this). It is your baby, your child, and no matter  how objective you think you are, you won’t see the flaws that an honest critique partner or partners will. 

If you research, be sure of your sources. The internet can be a good place to start, but the library, university libraries (online or local), and real folk, is where the good stuff lies. Check your information with at least three different sources. Also it doesn’t hurt to check the trends of what’s selling in the grocery store, or online, or on an agent or publisher’s blog. Though you don’t want to chase trends (you want to develop your own style and voice, and write what moves you, or the emotion won’t resonate), you can get a better idea of what type of stories tend to remain steadfast over time. And of course ~ read, read, and read more, in the genre you want to write in, because that’s how you will learn what the successful writers have in common, and what brings their readers back for more, time and again!

What’s in the future for you?

I’ve just finished the first draft of a contemporary romantic suspense ( with supernatural elements) that I started four years ago. I will let it rest a bit, then edit, polish, polish and polish some more before starting the submission process. I’ve also started the 3rd installment of the Wild Magick Series, and have been brainstorming another unrelated project. And I’m thrilled to share that my first ever published short story: Stella, will be released from Muse It Up Publishing this month.


The proverbial prosecuting junkie, Aiden Pierce’ sole purpose in life is to convict the guilty and make sure they get what they deserve. He has little interest in his supernatural abilities and past, until a persistent internal fire begins to dog his every waking moment. 

When his mentor, the Chief Prosecuting Attorney of Seattle, is found murdered in his home, and the only person of interest, seems to escalate that unnatural fire within him, Aiden is forced to confront his mysterious past and burgeoning powers before his career goes up in flames.

Sonja Walker has been her own woman since she escaped the brutality of a powerful man thirteen years ago. Running a ‘high end’ and discreet professional escort service, Sonja has gained independence from all men. That is until a past lover, and dear friend is murdered, and she becomes the prime suspect. As her world unravels around her, the police and the prosecuting office’s scrutiny not only serve to threaten her livelihood, but the puzzling and potent attraction she has to the assistant P.A., Aiden Pierce, just might undo her completely.

As they try to ignore the simmering passion between them, Aiden and Sonja find themselves drawn into a battle against an undeniable evil, ultimately leading them to the jungles of Los Angeles and Guatemala, to an ancient sect that has been fighting evil since a time before the Mayans. In a race against time, Aiden must embrace his legacy before he loses the one thing that has become more important to him than his career...or his life. 


  1. Sounds like a great read, intrigue, romance and shape shifting.

    Great interview with some very good advice. Good luck with your new release, love the title!

  2. Good morning Penny, thank you again for graciously hosting me on your blog! I always love visiting here!

    Hi Yolanda,

    Thanks for stopping by and taking a look:)!

    Cheers, Sara

  3. Great post, Sara, the excerpt pulled right in. I can't wait to read it.

  4. Sara, as always a pleasure to have you visit.

  5. Hi Marian,

    Glad you could stop by! I hope you get a chance to read TJS.


  6. Hi Penny, Hi Sara! I'm in total agreement with your pick of two toughest things about writing - marketing and self-doubt are so true to so many;) I have TJS on my kindle...need to read Aiden's story - I love, love, loved Lycan Moon:) (AND, The Powers) - You have a great style and strong voice in your work. Congrats on this newest release, Sara:)

  7. Sounds like an exciting read! Nice interview!

  8. Kay Dee! So glad to see you here, and such nice praise of my stories:) from you the author of some pretty hot Lycan stories:):):)

    Hugs, sara

  9. Hi Cheryl!

    I'm glad you stopped by, Penny did ask some insightful questions:)

    Cheers, Sara

  10. The winners of the two copies of The Jaguar Sun are Yolanda Renee and Cheryl Dale! Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by:) I will email the winners soon.

    Cheers, Sara