J. M. Davies - Action-Packed Paranormal Contemporary Romance
Author J.M. Davies, Jen to her friends, writes hot, action-packed paranormal and evocative contemporary romance. An avid reader since a teenager, she is passionate about creating as many twists and turns for her tortured characters creating uniques stories written from the heart. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Capturing the Last Welsh Witch.
Please give us a short introduction to what Capturing the Last Welsh Witch is about.
Capturing the Last Welsh Witch centers around my protagonist Ella Masters, who is a tortured character and a cursed, soul-shifter born into the clan of Ariana, the Moon Goddess. Her soul is five hundred years old. In her first life, she was hung as a witch, and in each life since, she has suffered and been hunted by the Elusti, a secret order driven to hunting and harnessing the power of all supernatural creatures. In book one, you meet Ella on the run for the murder of her boyfriend, “the Professor,” chased by the Elusti and FBI agent Marcus Drayton. It’s a fast-paced, cat and mouse thrilling ride to the end to see who captures the last Welsh witch.
What inspired you to write about a witch who has a 5 hundred-year-old soul?
Ha, I had just finished writing a YA trilogy and half-way through the last book, Power of the Gilgamesh (Children of Annwn series under my pen-name Jennifer Owen Davies ) I had the burning desire to write a steamy paranormal for adults. You see, as a reader, I love a variety of books and I think this has transferred into the kind of author I am. Anyway, I knew, I wanted my female character to be a witch, but not an ordinary witch, I wanted her to be so much more. My roots are from Wales where I was born, so I began researching about witches there, and I discovered a person that became the basis for Ella’s first life. I knew, I wanted to make Ella Masters a witch/soul-shifter with the ability to live several lives, exciting right. The more, I read and researched, the more ideas I had for this incredible character. I created the soul-shifter curse, that gives them the chance to have up to five lives, and in each one, they are searching for their soulmate who is tied to their destiny!
Who is Ella Masters? What makes her tick?
Ella Masters is a soul-shifter/witch, born into the clan of the Moon Goddess, Ariana. She’s an extraordinary, magical creature with the ability to heal others, sense other supernatural creatures, create fire, draw energy from water, and can step outside of her physical form in a dream state, (astral projection) to name a few of her abilities. In book one, Capturing the Last Welsh Witch, when you meet Ella, she’s an independent woman, used to taking care of herself, but hunted and suspicious of everyone. She has had to learn how to survive alone, and her goal is to stay alive. To survive. But her character changes throughout the series, and by the conclusion, Destiny of the Witch, (due out on April 10th) she is driven by her love for her soulmate and son to protect those she loves at all cost. She has become a warrior.
Which of your characters was the most challenging to create?
I think each character, for each book is a challenge. I start by gathering basic details like name, age, and looks writing these details down on a sheet of paper. I also undertake research, which helps me develop the character more, but it’s not until I start writing that I feel I get to know each individual. I am discovering, however, the more research, I do upfront, the better, I know my characters going into the writing the story. Right now, I am writing the second book in my contemporary romance series, Bound By Love called Stormy Love, and I have been watching video’s about a singer, that I have based my female character on, to help me develop the main protagonist.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Hm, I can make Swarovski beaded rings, necklaces, and earrings. I have attended several local fairs selling my jewelry in the past. I also love renovating old furniture and giving it a new lease on life. I also like to organize and I’m always looking at ways to bring readers and authors together, which is why I am on the committee for the Fall in Love New England Author/Reader conference up in Nashua, NH, in October 23rd/24th, 2020. I also started a local “romance only” book club, where I meet readers once a month and we chat about the book we have read. It’s so much fun.
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
Aw, the cover. I have worked with several cover artists over the years for various projects. But with The Rise of Orion series, I worked with the very talented Gabrielle Prendergast. She worked with me to design the covers. For Capturing the Last Welsh Witch, I had a very clear picture in my mind for Ella and I came across this image which totally captures…ha,ha, the essence of Ella Masters. I think it draws you in and makes you want to know more about her and her story.
This is the first book in a series. How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Okay, so this is funny, when I wrote Capturing the Last Welsh, I did not intend to write a series. But, by the time, I was halfway through writing, I knew there would be a second book, and then a third and so on. While writing, like most great saga's, I thought it would be fun to write a prequel...Hence, Becoming the Witch is set in the nineteenth century, and it explores Ella's life as Lady Elizabeth Dempsey.
So, in fact, there are now five books in the series. Becoming the Witch, (prequel, free on Kindle) Capturing the Last Welsh Witch, The Witch’s Heart, Revenge of the Witch, and Destiny of the Witch, due out on April 10th, 2020. The series, centers around Ella Masters, her life, her loves, her betrayals, her challenges, and triumphs, which concludes in the final instalment Destiny! However, I already have the cover for a spin off called The Vampire’s Witch.
Why romance? What drew you to the genre?
Oh, easy to answer, I have always loved reading romance, since I was a teenager. I devoured Mills and Boon, Harlequin, Barbara Cartland, Nora Roberts, and Jackie Collins, anything I could get my hands on. The reason, I enjoyed them was because I’m fascinated by people’s love stories. It doesn’t mean that the characters in these books were perfect, far from it. For the most part, they were flawed and had hurdles to climb, but their stories were satisfying and that made me happy. In a world, filled with negativity and huge challenges, diving into a good romance book, perks you up, and makes you smile. It’s one of the cheapest ways I know to provide self-love!
What do you think is the most important part of creating seductive heroes readers can't get enough of?
Honestly, I create heroes that will be the best match for my heroines, but creating sizzling friction and heat in the plot is a great way to draw readers in, so you need to build chemistry between the characters. Usually, I like to start by the hero rubbing my protagonist up the wrong way, and as time passes, they blend together. All my characters both the hero and heroine make mistakes, and I like to show how they redeem themselves in the story, which brings them closer. I will also say that each story has a different requirement for the hero, for example, in The Rise of Orion series, Ella Masters is a strong heroine, but she meets her match in Marcus Drayton, who is an alpha-male who is used to taking charge and doing things his way…so you can see at times these two are going to butt heads, but as the series progresses, you see Marcus almost take a back seat, and Ella pushes forward. They have a relationship that swings back and forth, they work together as a team.
In real life, do you believe love conquers all?
Yes, of course. I have been married for twenty-four years this year, yay. Mr. Davies is my strongest supporter, and he is my person! We need more love in the world.
Do you have a favorite line from the book, and can you explain what that line means to you?
Ooh, there are so many, and okay I cheated as I submitted two lines but it’s to put it into context. Marcus Drayton is a sexy but hardened FBI agent and he’s been undercover at the Ultimate Perk, a coffee shop, with the task of befriending Ella known as The Witch. His undercover name is Nate, and it’s his job to bring Ella in when she goes on the run, after her boyfriend is murdered. She’s the only suspect. This is the beginning of a cat and mouse chase. At one point, he tracks her back to her home and locks his handcuffs on her wrist only for shots to fired putting them both in danger. When Marcus catches up with Ella, she’s in disguise and she looks nothing like the shy, innocent girl he met before. They have both lied to each other, and for me, it’s where the games start, and it changes the course of their relationship.
“The last time I served you coffee, you were a preschool teacher. Today, you’re wanted for murder, and you’ve turned into some kind of sexy Mata Hari.”
Talk to us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
It really depends on what I have going on day by day. Right now, I have a release coming up in April, which means I’m spending more time promoting and getting ready for the big day! But, typically, I spend the morning reading over my work and writing. I try not to self-edit until I have finished at least the first draft. I will write for hours in my office, while the ideas are there, aiming to get at least 1500 words or more done each day. When I’m in the zone, I can easily surpass that number, but I will stop even when I know what is coming next, because it is good for the next day to know what to start off with.
I have tried to write at other locations, for example, the library and various coffee shops, with little success. If I am not able to write in the day because I have a meeting with my author friends or a meeting to attend, then I will write in the evening. If the weekend is quiet, then I will sneak away somewhere quiet and write then. I would write every single day, but I have a husband and family who come first, so I will fit it in around them.
What are you working on right now?
Ha, never a dull moment. I finished the first draft of my Christmas sweet romance, An Unexpected Christmas, and will start re-writing in April/May. Right now, I am working on book two in my Bound By Love Series, Stormy Love and it will be a gripping story. It centers around my main characters Niall Miller, medically discharged from the military, now a co-owner in a survival camp up in Maine and Evie Watts, aka “Storm” a global singing phenomenon. This couple first met years ago, at different stages on their careers and lives, but oh, how things have changed.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I am always on Facebook, far too much, but I have several pages and groups there, so I am around to chat with readers. I love that. I have listed and linked several ways to stay in touch with me. For every new reader who signs up for my newsletter, I will provide a free eBook.