AWRW: Hi Marsha, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed on A Well Read Woman Blog! Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.
MM: “I love to write fantasy and paranormal romance. The magic of art and nature often spark life into my writing, as well as into my watercolor painting and drawing. I’ve been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and am a registered yoga teacher specialized in work with veterans.
After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, I’ve transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. I’m crazy about cycling. I live with my husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking my kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. I never have enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with my toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!”
AWRW: Sounds wonderful! Please give us the title and genre of your latest book, and a short tagline meant to intrigue.
MM:“Shadows of Serenity is a mix of genres, best described as a women’s fiction paranormal mystery.”
Can Joyce Runsey guide her class to become yoga teachers in her new studio, when the ghost inhabiting the old Victorian house has other plans?
AWRW: I recently read and reviewed your book, Shadows of Serenity, an excellent paranormal novel about a haunted yoga studio. What was your inspiration behind Shadows of Serenity? As a registered yoga instructor, did you pull a lot of your inspiration from your experiences?
MM: “Shadows of Serenity was inspired by my experiences while completing a yoga teacher training program. I was overcome with joy seeing the incredible, positive transformations of my classmates. I wanted to create a story that would show this amazing growth. To do so, I created a force of evil that the power of yoga must overcome. The negative energy manifested through a ghost who haunted the yoga studio and was tormented by her former husband, a man capable of dark witchcraft.”
AWRW: Please give us some insight into the main character of Shadows of Serenity, Joyce Runsey. What does Joyce do that makes her worthy of the title, “heroine”? What does she do that makes her interesting?
MM: “Joyce is a good heroine because she’s a compassionate leader and goes to great lengths to keep her students safe. She’s interesting because she has flaws she must overcome in order to help her students reach their personal goals. With a malicious ghost and a very real mass murderer on the studio’s property, she must rely on her own yoga training in order to lead her to the only key that will dispel those threats. A calm and tranquil mind escapes Joyce when faced with these dangers. Her determination and will are certainly challenged.”
AWRW: Excellent answer. I agree that Joyce is a great heroine and I enjoyed living vicariously through her while reading Shadows of Serenity. 🙂
Speaking of her, if a movie adaptation was made of the novel Shadows of Serenity, who would you like to see play Joyce Runsey?
MM: “I could imagine Jennifer Aniston playing Joyce. She has the ability to be both calm and flustered like a light switch, which is just what Joyce goes through in this story.”
AWRW: Who designed your cover art for Shadows of Serenity? Do you use the same designer for all of your books? And do you think a book cover plays an important role in the buying process?
MM: “I like to do my own cover art. I tend to create something a little different than the current trends so my covers are more memorable. I think that’s critical to catch readers’ attention.
For Shadows of Serenity, I wanted a cover that contrasted the forces of good and evil in the book. The soft, white lotus represents yoga’s positive energy. The angular black graphic represents the dark witchcraft influence of the ghost’s former husband. Between those two images, is the vaporous ghost who haunts the yoga studio and is caught in the struggle between good and evil.”
AWRW: It’s a beautiful cover. What genre of books do you write?
MM: “I write mostly fantasy and paranormal, usually with a subplot of romance. Shadows of Serenity was a bit different, without any romantic element, and more of a mystery subplot. Also, the magical elements in the book are used in the style of magical realism, where the magic is accepted as commonplace by the characters. I enjoyed playing with that treatment of fantasy elements.”
AWRW: What draws you to this genre?
MM: “I like the complexity of weaving fantasy elements into reality. That has always appealed to me. When I was a child, as young as five, my favorite story-time activity with my dad was to make up fantasy tales. Together we created some amazing adventures in the Land of Wicky Wacky.”
AWRW: Please tell us what books you have written.
MM: “I’ve written a high fantasy series, The Enchanted Bookstore Legends. There are five parts that tell the entire story.
The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1,200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.
Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.
When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.”
AWRW: Wow! The Enchanted Bookstore Legends sounds like an EPIC read! What are you working on now? Could you please tell us a little bit about your work-in-progress?
MM: “I’m super excited about my upcoming release, Witch’s Moonstone Locket: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale. The release date will be March 24.
I can’t wait to share this new series! I’ve been writing this one in my mind for several years. It’s set in southern Indiana, south of Bloomington, where I spent my favorite childhood years surrounded by the love of a big family. The book is rich with a warm Hoosier down-home feel. Here’s the book blurb:”
Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead.
Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him. Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger.
AWRW: I can’t wait for the release of Witch’s Moonstone Locket! Thank you again Marsha for sharing information about yourself, and your work. Where can readers discover more about you?
Google +: http://google.com/+MarshaAMoore
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/marshaamoore
Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore
MM: “Thank you, April, for interviewing me today! And for your readers who are interested in reading Shadows of Serenity, it’s on sale through February 18th for 99 cents on Amazon. ”
AWRW: Thank you, Marsha. 🙂
I HIGHLY recommend Marsha’s novel, Shadows of Serenity. I read A LOT of books, but this one stuck with me. You DO NOT want to miss out on the opportunity to read this novel for only .99$!!! Purchase, here!!!
If you are interested on my thoughts of this novel, you can read my review, here!