Welcome to my crib today--Tricia Schneider!!! She brings us an insight to her Merriweather Witches Series. Please leave her a little love and comment at the end of the post. Take it away Tricia!
When I started writing The Witch and the Wolf, I never intended it to be the beginning of a series. In fact, one of the reasons I wrote it was because I learned of a contest that The Wild Rose Press was running and I desperately wanted to enter it. I didn’t have a lot of time to write an entry, since the contest was well under way when I learned of it. So, I wrote the short story in a little over a week with a little rough editing to finish it off. Since I had spent such little time on the story, I had little hope of it winning any sort of contest, but I felt an immense amount of satisfaction that I had done it. The story was written and I had submitted it.
Well, it didn’t win the contest. No surprise there. But it did capture the attention of one of the editors who was judging the contest. She suggested a few changes to strengthen the story and I was asked to resubmit it as a regular submission. Gladly, I did so. Not long after, the story sold!
I began to think about the characters in The Witch and the Wolf. Set in Regency England, the heroine, Lillian Merriweather, was on the run from her evil uncle who was trying to marry her off to his lecherous friends with the hopes of gaining the funds to continue his obsessive alchemical work. Turning material into gold was more important to her uncle than his niece’s happiness. So, she and her sister run away. They go separate ways, thinking to outsmart their uncle. While stuck traveling in a snowstorm, Lillian discovers the home of Lord Jeremy North and seeks sanctuary there. She doesn’t realize she might have jumped into a situation far worse that what her uncle had planned. Lord North has his own share of problems and the moon is one of them. With the full moon on the horizon, he has no desire in saving a woman who is obviously in need of assistance. But, his honor compels him to help her and she soon wins his heart as well. Of course, that makes his situation much more difficult since on the night of the full moon he turns into a vicious werewolf who yearns to kill anyone within sight. Having a woman as his guest on this particular night is simply asking for trouble. Even if that woman is a witch with power of her own.
Without giving too much away, I assure you, Lillian and Lord North do find their happily-ever-after. This is a romance, after all! But it didn’t take me long to wonder about what happened to Lillian’s sister, Melora. I left her running from her evil uncle. Whatever happened to her? Did she escape him? Or did he find her? And did she find her own romance?
So I wrote Melora Merriweather’s story. This time, it took me a lot longer than a week. I had a lot more to think about with her story in The Witch and the Vampire. Melora has a letter she found in her deceased parent’s belongings. And the contents of the letter lead her to a man she is certain will help her escape her uncle. Only, the man isn’t a witch as she thought. He’s a vampire. Now Melora has a new problem. She fears her uncle will exploit Sebastian Collins, using him for his experiments. Vampire hunters arriving add to the complications, as well as Sebastian’s unbearable hunger for Melora’s blood. Melora has a great deal to overcome beside the fact that her attraction to Sebastian pulls them both into a situation for which neither was prepared.
There I thought I was finished. Two sisters, two stories. Nice and neat. Wrong! Suddenly, I began thinking about Lillian and Melora’s family. What was it like to grow up as witches? How did they learn about their skills? Who taught them? What other stories did their family have to tell? And so a paranormal family series is born. Yes, I’m continuing the Merriweather Witches. I currently have two more stories in the works dealing with Lillian and Melora’s older brothers, hopefully to be released sometime next year. And who knows? There might be more to come. There are more witch siblings, after all.
Here’s an excerpt from The Witch and the Wolf:
A woman stood on his doorstep, covered in a layer of snow, her bright blue eyes silently pleading to him just before her eyelids fluttered closed, and she crumpled at his feet. He managed to set the candle down safely on a table in time to catch her before she cracked her head on the stone beneath her. He lifted her effortlessly into his arms, brought her into the house, slamming the door closed with his foot. He hurried into the library with his unexpected guest. North had returned earlier seeking the warm oblivion of yet another glass of brandy. He grimaced at the memory of countless other sleep-deprived nights spent in much the same way. Sans an unconscious woman, however.
He placed the bundled woman onto the sofa, ignoring the fact that the snow was bound to create a water stain on the fabric once it melted. He leaned over her, pushing the curly brown strands of wet hair off her face and checked to see if she still breathed. Satisfied when he felt her breath on his hand, he went back to the corridor.
“Amery!” He roared.
Turning back to the woman on his sofa, he again felt the necessity to blink his eyes, wondering if they played a trick with his senses. He lit more candles to brighten the room and added more wood to the fire. Then he walked back to the woman and knelt at her side. He found her hand dangling over the edge of the sofa and took it gently in his, the digits frozen stiff. He inhaled a gasp. He cupped both of his hands instinctively around hers, hoping to lend her his warmth.
He heard the shuffle from the hallway and Amery’s muttering, then a noisy yawn.
“Bloody hell! What is this?” Amery bellowed from the doorway.
North ignored the query. “We need blankets,” he said, instead. “She’s frozen through.”
Amery nodded and left.
A muffled groan from behind drew his attention, and he turned to see the woman’s eyelids flutter open. He inhaled sharply as her bright blue gaze fell upon him.
She studied him for a moment.
And then, she smiled.
~Tricia Schneider is a paranormal and gothic romance author. She worked for several years as Assistant Manager and bookseller at a Waldenbooks store. Now she writes full-time while raising her 3 young children. She lives in the coal country of Pennsylvania with her musician husband and 2 neurotic cats.
To learn more about Tricia and her books please visit:
Her website: http://www.triciaschneider.com
To purchase her books:
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=666
Thanks again Tricia and I hope you honor me again and stop by my crib for your next release! Don't forget everyone--leave Tricia some love!