Monday, March 12, 2012

Please Welcome Author Allison Merritt


Please put your hands together and help me welcome author Allison Merritt.

*The roar of clapping fills the room as Allison walks through the red curtains. Piercing whistles and the thunderous stomp of many feet greet her as she makes her way down the red carpet. With a red face, Allison steps up on the stage and she embraces Brenda before she clips on her microphone and takes a seat.*

*Someone yells out, "I love you, Allison!"

A woman in the front row screams, "I want to have Abel's baby!"

Okay, let's settle down so we can begin the interview. *Brenda smiles at Allison* Wow, you have a lot of fans. *Another round of applause fills the room. Brenda laughs and lets it go on until the audience calms down.*

Let's begin. Welcome to Nocturnal Nights, Allison Merritt. It's such an honor to have you here. I'm excited for readers to discover you and your fantastic book, Treasure Hunter's Lady. Although, judging by the audience's response I'd say it's a safe bet you and your book have already been discovered.

1) Tell us a little about your novel, Treasure Hunter's Lady.

The Treasure Hunter's Lady is set in 1884 between Boston and what was then Dakota Territory.
Romy Farrington appears to have the perfect life—a world-famous archeologist father, a pretty dowry and an upcoming marriage to a wealthy businessman. But to Romy, her new life among the elitists is like a punishment.
For years, she traveled the world at her father's side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society.
Everything changes again when she's saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he's harboring a secret—he's searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy's father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archeologist's fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap.
In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all—love.
The Treasure Hunter's Lady has kind of a crazy story behind it. A few years ago after a long break, I decided to start writing again and I was researching a historical romance set in Australia. I fell in love with everything I learned about that country (unfortunately, I've never been) and around the same time I was re-watched The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I thought, wow, I would love to write a story with crazy paranormal elements and cool technology set in Australia. So the first draft, which is way shorter than the finished MS is set in Australia. When I started pitching and trying to get an agent, they all seemed repulsed by the idea of setting it out of the country and I ended up writing a version set in America.

2) How would you describe your hero in one word? Your heroine?

Abel – cavalier
Romy - tenacious

3) How did you come up with the idea for The Horned Serpent?
The Horned Serpent, also known as Uktena, is a Native American legend. It's told by Cherokees and the Sioux say the world was once inhabited by a lot of giant demons snakes that were destroyed by the Thunderbirds, leaving only the smaller snakes and lizards we see today. In legend, the Serpent breaths out toxic air that can kill you. In hindsight, I probably could've added some really cool gas masks to the story, but I figured the characters had enough on their plates without that.

4) I fell in love with Abel---*screams and whistles from the women in the audience erupt*---while reading Treasure Hunter's Lady. Not only is he good looking, sexy and smart, but he has a good sense of humor. My question is, who in your real life is Abel's personality most like? What about your heroine?

Abel is sort of a reflection of my dad, who always had a sense of humor no matter how bad things looked. He was a put-your-head-down-and-get-the-job-done type of person. But Abel's devil-may-care and I'm-gonna-have-you attitudes reflect my husband. Romy reminds me of my maternal grandmother. She wasn't afraid to stand up and say whatever was on her mind.

5) I'm such a big fan of yours. What's next for Allison Merritt?

Aww, thanks, Brenda! Right now I'm working on a follow-up novel to The Treasure Hunter's Lady called The Sky Pirate's Wife. The hero is none other than Captain Alwin van Buren who flew Romy and Abel to Dakota Territory. He's called a sky pirate by his business rival and because there's a series of dime novels about him in which he undertakes some shady deals, but he's really good at heart. The captain meets his match in the goddaughter of his sworn enemy and business rival. Sophie Barnes volunteers at the hospital were Van Buren is taken after a horrible airship crash caused by paranormal creatures. He doesn't realize who she is until later. He cooks up a scheme to marry her for her dowry and once he has her, finds that she's not the mousy little bride he expected. I haven't quite figured out the end, but it deals with a lot of the same mythical/paranormal conflict that The Treasure Hunter's Lady has. 

6) I heard through the grapevine (from facebook, and facebook knows everything) that you like hats--wacky hats. Describe the weirdest hat you've ever seen. And if someone paid you $20 to wear it for a full day--out in public--would you?

It's true, I love hats. And heck, yeah, I'd wear a wacky hat for $20. You're talking to the woman who got gothed up to go to her monthly unemployment government-enforced job search. Usually I'm very even-tempered. With that aside, by and far the weirdest hat I've seen was a steampunk-themed red hat with a optical fibers and a dead mouse on it. Yes, a dead, stuffed mouse. The creator said he/she saved it from being snake food. Also, there's a pair of real quail leg earrings for sale on Etsy to go with the creepy dead mouse hat. You're gonna have to pay me extra for that though.

You have to choose one. Which of these would you rather have as a pet? Remember, you have to pick one.
A) spider
B) scorpion
C) snake
D) a hairless rat with huge fangs.

Final answer: D. I really hate the hairless ones, but at least it's an animal with the appropriate number of legs. The fangs might be kind of quirky. I'm sure in spite of its flaws, it's a very sweet-natured rat.

7) The word on facebook is you want to try and take over the world. I too have wanted world domination. How would you go about obtaining it?

My first rule of thumb is, don't ask, tell. I know maybe everyone had other plans, but I AM taking over the world, so everyone will just have to make do. But like Romy in The Treasure Hunter's Lady, I think if you maintain a sense of innocence, flash a little cleavage, you can really hook 'em right off the bat. Hmm, I'd better go buy a push-up bra.

8) Do you believe in aliens? If so, describe what you think they look like.

There is no possible way life doesn't exist out there somewhere. I just hope they aren't all creepy and slimy like in the movies. *ahem* Don't tell me husband, but if there are aliens, I kind of hope they look good in snug jeans and sport six-packs.

9) If Treasure Hunter's Lady was made into a movie, who would you choose to play Abel? Romy?

I almost said Chris Helmsworth! But then I remembered he would make a way better Van Buren. So then I picked Lucas Black, because that man has a killer smile and a natural drawl. He was a get reluctant hero in Legion. We're just going to have to figure out how to get him to dye his hair blond. I always pictured Rachel McAdams as Romy, but Kate Bosworth in The Warrior's Way, was really brilliant and she had a lot of spunk, so I'd have a hard time choosing.

10) If you could be transported back in time just to visit, what time period would you choose and why?

There are so many periods I'd love to visit. I'm going to pick the 1940's though. I love the fashion from that time and the Yes, we can! determination of the people. It was a great time for America even with the war effort, or maybe because of it.

11) Where can fans connect with you?

Facebook fanpage – http://www.facebook.com/allisonmwrites 
Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merritt
Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

12) Links where readers can purchase Treasure Hunter's Lady.

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/The-Treasure-Hunters-Lady-ebook/dp/B0076ZE4W2/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_4 



Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1108643191?ean=2940014022002&itm=1&usri=the+treasure+hunter%27s+lady 


Allison, thank you so much. I enjoyed Treasure Hunter's Lady very much and I HIGHLY recommend your novel to others.
*The audience stands up and applauds Allison.*

Blurb:

Romy Farrington seems to have the perfect life—a world-famous archeologist father and upcoming marriage to a wealthy businessman. But to Romy, her new life in the city is a punishment.
For years, she traveled the world at her father's side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society.
Everything changes again when she's saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he's harboring a secret—he's searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy's father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archeologist's fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap.
In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all—love.



Bio:


A life-long love of reading turned Allison Merritt into an indie author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.


Excerpt:

Romy’s eyes locked on Abel's necklace. “What's that around your neck? A fossil of some sort?”
His hand flew to the pendant and stuffed it back down his collar. “Nothing.”
“As someone who's seen a lot of nothing, I can tell you without a doubt it's something. Full of secrets, aren't we, Abel?”
Blue eyes widened then narrowed, as she looked between him and the maps he'd lifted out of the drawer. Her coyness fell away like leaves in the fall. “You're a treasure hunter. You found out that Papa is going to search for the Diamond of Uktena, but you plan to steal it first.”
“Why would I want to steal a—” He gave up the pretense. “First of all, it isn't stealing if it isn't in anyone's possession. Second, I'm not a treasure hunter.”
“It is stealing if you're going to sell a priceless artifact to the highest bidder on the black market.”
Abel frowned. “I don't need a lecture from some little chit whose daddy is the biggest treasure hunter in the world.”
Romy poked a finger into his chest. “Take it back. He's an archeologist and an adventurer. When he finds valuables he turns them over to the proper authorities.”
He pushed her finger away. “I'll bet you a thousand dollars he's not going to do it this time.”
Her eyes narrowed into slits, half-hidden behind a thick fringe of lashes. “You're wrong.”
“It would be the biggest discovery of our time. Of any time. It's no mere gem, no ornament to put on a shelf.”
“I have some knowledge of the Diamond,” she defended.
The admission was too nonchalant. Had mere curiosity led her to follow him?
He patted the fang inside his shirt. “I doubt anyone could put a price on its worth, but there are those willing to try.”
She stared at him dubiously. “Because it's supposed to come from a mythical serpent?”
He debated telling her. It wouldn't benefit Romy to know what he was doing. After tonight it was unlikely he'd see her again.
“Ask your father. He might know more than I do. I have to leave now. I'd appreciate it if you kept our little rendezvous quiet.”
He snatched up the papers, flashed a grin and started for the door. The rustle of skirts alerted him that she was right behind him, but he didn't slow down. Not until a cold metal barrel pressed against the center of his neck.
“Stay where you are.”
Romy's voice was hard and all business. Abel raised his hands. She drew the gun back and came around to face him. The pistol was no little thing, not the type a dainty female would carry for protection. Romy was a woman of many facets, like the fabled Diamond.
“I can't give you the fang.”
“I have the feeling it's an intricate detail in your mission, Mr. Courte.”
He sighed. “I don't know for certain.”
“Tell me what you do know.”
“The fang is solid proof that Uktena exists.”
She frowned. “And who is Uktena exactly?”
“Uktena isn't your typical serpent. Rumor has it that this sparkly rock stuck in its forehead can bring power and riches to whoever wields it. Better still, the Diamond cures illnesses. Any disease you can think of.”




My Review Of Treasure Hunter's Lady  By Allison Merritt.


Ratings and their meanings:
1 star) Don't bother cluttering up your e-reader.
2 stars) Meh. Thought it had potential, but it fell flat.
3 stars) Not bad. I liked it, but some issues bothered me.
4 stars) I liked it and would highly recommend to my friends.
5 stars) An absolute must read for all.


I give Treasure Hunter's Lady a big ol' 5! This book is one you should definitely check out. It was one of the best I have read lately. Treasure Hunter's Lady has it all: action, adventure, myths, danger, strange creatures, sex, and above all, love.

From the first chapter to the last, this book held my interest. I actually got annoyed when my kids bothered me or when the dog had to go out and pee. I stayed up late--until 11:00pm, which is late for me considering I'm usually in bed by 9:30pm.

If you are a fan of movies like The Mummy, Indiana Jones, and Romancing The stone--and even if you're not--this book is one you do not want to miss.

I guarantee you will love it--that's how much I enjoyed this book.




28 comments:

Allison Merritt said...

Ha ha! You're so awesome, Brenda. That's the most applause I've ever gotten in my life! Thanks for interviewing me, it was one of the most fun interviews I've done. You need a radio show or something!

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Wonderful interview, ladies! Enjoyed the excerpt! Book sounds awesome. Adding it to my TBR list! Thanks for sharing :)

Brenda said...

LOL, Allison, I would love to be a DJ. I really enjoyed interviewing you. You and I share the same sort of weird personality so I knew I could be myself.
Thanks for agreeing to the interview.

Brenda said...

Jennifer, thanks for stopping by. I do hope you get to read THL--it is seriously that good!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Those were great interview questions. It's always nice to learn more about the author behind the book. The excerpt is wonderfully written. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Sheri Fredricks said...

Those were great interview questions. It's always nice to learn more about the author behind the book. The excerpt is wonderfully written. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Christine Warner said...

YAY...this was an awesome interview ladies!

Allison, I wish you all the luck with your quest for World Domination...but I think if you wear the hat along with your push up bra and the other things you mentioned...you'll be a shoe in! lol

Book sounds fun...and so does the sequel..congrats!

Brenda said...

If you guys don't hear from me that means our power went out--we are having a massive windstorm.

Kristina Knight said...

Such a fun interview...you definitely hooked me for Treausre Hunter and Sky Pirate!

Neecy said...

Nice interview ladies! Treasure Hunter's Lady looks to be a good read.
Neecy

Sharon Cullen said...

Great interview! Love the premise of this book. Will definitely have to add it to my TBR pile.

Sara Walter Ellwood / Cera duBois said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara Walter Ellwood / Cera duBois said...

Great intervew, ladies... Loved the excerpt!

Sara Walter Ellwood / Cera duBois said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martha Ramirez said...

Very awesome interview! Great questions and great answers.

Sharon Bayliss said...

Thanks for the awesome interview! I tagged you on my blog.

Brenda said...

Sheri, thank you for coming by. I tell you, Allison Merritt was a fantastic interviewee, lol.

Brenda said...

Ahhhh, my favorite Christine in the whole world! Thank you so much for coming by and giving Allison some love.
LOL...LOL, you just made me laugh. I pictured Allsion with her weird hat, complete with dead mouse--and a pushup bra, signing books for all her fans.
And then after she is finished signing autographs, she will try and take over the world.
It reminds me of that cartoon called: Pinki and the Brain.

Brenda said...

Kristina, thank you for coming by, and thank you for enjoying our interview. We tried to keep it fresh and funny.

Brenda said...

Hi, Neecy. Thanks for coming by. Treasure Hunter's Lady is a fabulous read.

Brenda said...

Hi, Sharon. Glad you added THL to your TBR pile.

Brenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda said...

Sara, glad you stopped in.

Brenda said...

Mart, I'm so happy you made it by!

Brenda said...

Sharon, oh wow, thank you so much!!!
And thank you for stopping by.

Maggie O'Malley said...

I love cowboys. Sounds like a fantastic read.

Lisa Kumar said...

Great interview, ladies. Loved learning more about Allison.

Btw, Allison, bought your book. Just have to sit down and read it now!

Brenda said...

Thank you, Allison for being such a great sport and allowing me to interview you. And thank you to everyone who took time out of your day to come by and leave some love for the fantastic, Allison Merritt.