Today paranormal romance author Shiela Stewart answers some of my interview questions, and I'm excited to get to know her better. We recently discovered we come from the same province in Canada! Thanks for being here today, Shiela!
Where did you get the idea for your new novel Secrets of the Dead?
I’ve always believed in ghosts, having seen quite a few of them. The first time I saw one was when I was 8. I saw my grandmother standing in my parents doorway, which in itself is weird because she couldn’t stand or walk. The next morning my mother found out my grandmother had died during the night.
I’ve written a few ghosts stories over the years, but Secrets of the Dead is my favorite because I know how C.J. feels when no one believes him that he sees the dead.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?
I’d like the readers to have an open mind to the possibilities of spirits among us who haven’t, or can’t pass on.
How many books do you have under the proverbial bed? Will they ever see the light of day?
Oh lord. Too many to count. LOL I have a huge box of manuscripts (Yes, real paper copies) in my storage room. There are a few I would like to bring out and put on my computer, but they are so raw it would take me forever to edit them.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m Bipolar. I’ve suffered from Depression all of my life but was only diagnosed in my 30s.
Tell us a bit about you. Where do you live, and how long have you been writing?
I’ve been married for 36 years to a wonderfully supportive man who is more than just my husband. He’s my best friend and biggest fan. We have three grown children, one daughter in law and four wonderful grandkids ages 11, 4,4 and 3. I’m a Canadian living on the prairies and have all my life. I’ve always been a storyteller. As a child, I would make up stories for my cousins and as I got older, I would jot down the ideas for stories that popped into my head. Most of my stories come from dreams or nightmares.
Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
Are you ready for this? I have 7 cats. In no particular order. Castiel, Tigger, Gizmo, Meg, Salem, Misty and Cinder. 10 Angelfish. Three glow fish. Six clown loaches.
Each one of my cats is unique in their own way. Castiel for instance has the nickname as Casshole, because, well. He’s an asshole. He knocks things off of tables, stands, bed tables and anything else he can sit on. He is also deaf. Tigger is my snuggler. He HAS to sleep in my arms. If he can’t, he leans into my face and whines until I open my arms for him. Misty and Cass play fetch. Gizmo plays flop on my feet and shows me his belly to scratch. Meg…we call her a sloth because she’s so lazy. Salem Dances when she wants milk. Cinder purrs so loud it will wake us up.
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
I love to crochet blankets, clothing, and recently I’ve been making bunnies and jellyfish. It’s really relaxing and my grandkids love them.
What do you like best about your hero in Secrets of the Dead?
C.J. Dowling is funny at times and serious at others. I love his warped sense of humor. Unfortunately, a lot of his comedic moments were taken out of the final version.
What do you like best about your heroine?
Her determination. She refuses to believe purely on the word of someone. She has to see to believe.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
I have several places. They can find my books and other info on my Website at www.shielastewart.com.
If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I recommend Secrets of the Dead because it has everything you could want. Its funny, serious, scary and lots of love.
Tell us about your next release.
Innocence of the Dead, Bk 2 in The Lost Souls series which is a continuation from Secrets of the Dead. It takes place 20+ years after Secrets about the Hero and Heroine's, (C.J. and Jessica) oldest daughter who has C.J.’s abilities to see spirits. Only thing is, she hates it and has tried everything to ignore them, including running away to become an artist. When her father suffers a heart attack, she comes home and is haunted by the spirit of a little girl who has been murdered. While trying to get information on the child she meets Ethan Montgomery and falls in love with him, despite him being married and going through a divorce. As she digs deeper into the murdered child, she discovers she’s not the only one.
Secrets of the Dead
Lost Souls Series 1
Decadent Publishing: http://decadentpublishing.com/secrets-of-the-dead/
Shiela Stewart is a paranormal suspense author with a writing history that stems back to her youth. Always a dreamer, wondering if her stories would ever reach an audience, she was finally published in 2006 and hasn’t stopped since. It is rare to find a stand-alone book as she prefers series stories. Her longest running series to date is her Darkness series, which is a vampire romance.
Her joy for scary suspense is evident in each of her books. She has had several accomplishments, including fighting for the top spot in the rankings with author Stephanie Myers, receiving glowing reviews as well as interviews on local television and reviews and interviews in The Romantic Times Magazine.
When not writing, Shiela spends her time with the love of her life, William, and their children and grandchildren. Her strong affection for animals is evident in the many cats she cares for.
Her favorite time of the day is at sunset.
Secrets of the Dead
Jessica Coltrane is a die-hard sceptic who believes that ghosts and paranormal activity are nothing more than a figment of an overactive imagination. That is until she finds herself locked inside a haunted house with the enigmatic paranormal investigator C.J. Dowling.
Born with the ability to see and speak to the dead, C.J. Dowling thought investigating a haunted house would be a job like many others. He’s prepared for anything—except smart and sexy Jessica.
Working together in close quarters, C.J. and Jessica discover it isn’t only negative tension between the two, but sexual as well. Giving into their desires seemed like a good idea at the time, until they wake and find the spirits thought otherwise. Trapped with the ghost of a child long forgotten, an amorous entity that is threatening Jessica, and a powder keg of a spine-tingling mystery that might just be better left buried.
Something tickled her nose. Using her hand, she tried to swipe it away and felt the brush of hair against her knuckles. Planting her hand, she felt the warm flesh beneath her palm.
Recognition hit and woke her with an angry slap. Eyes shooting open, she sat up quickly and instantly regretted it when the room spun wildly around her. Laying back down, closing her eyes, she waited out the dizziness the hangover caused. Her mind raced to the night before.
The soft ache in her loins reminded her of what she’d done. Carefully opening her eyes, she turned her head to see a naked C.J. beside her.
“Oh, God.” She looked over his naked body, remembering how good it felt having him inside her. She hadn’t been that drunk that she couldn’t remember the event, and lord, what an event it had been. They had literally torn each other’s clothing off. She’d been an animal, which was so not like her.
What did they do now? Would they go on as they had been, sniping at each other, treat this as a one-night fling and move on? In truth, the guy irritated the hell out of her, yet he’d made her feel so incredible the night before. How was she supposed to respond to him now, after sharing something so intimate?
“Dowling,” she spoke quietly. “Dowling.” When he moaned, she slapped his chest. “Dowling!”
“I’m awake.” He looked at her with a smile. “Morning.” Then his eyes went wide. “Holy hell.” He bolted upright and jumped to his feet, nearly knocking her over. “Oh, my God.”
“What the hell?” The sofa stood on its end, two sitting chairs slammed up right against it, all pushed against the window. The coffee and end tables stood one on top of the other, in front of the fireplace.
Carefully, Jessie stood up, waiting out the dizziness. She had to rub her eyes to make sure she wasn’t seeing things. It looked like a hurricane had blown through. “How…”
“I need to check my equipment.” He flew off, still nude, and she got one hell of a look at his ass.
She saw her shirt by the fireplace, straps torn. She couldn’t exactly wear it in its condition. Spotting his shirt hanging over the couch, she grabbed it and put it on. It barely covered her, but would have to do for now.
“This is incredible. The meters went off the scale. The temperature recorded several degrees below freezing at one point. It didn’t last long, though, as it rose exponentially. And we slept through it all. Damn, I have never seen anything like this before. It’s phenomenal.”
“You’re naked, you know?”
“What?” He didn’t even look up.
“You’re naked.” She tossed him his jeans, hitting him square in the face.
Unaffected by it, he grabbed the jeans and slipped into them using his free hand. It amused her to watch him shimmy into his tight jeans, jumping from one foot to the other. “The cameras!” He rushed to the video equipment as he did up his pants. “Do you know what this means?”
“That you were a busy boy last night.”
He looked at her, confused. “Beg pardon?”
“I don’t know how you managed it all alone, but I give you credit for a job well done.”
“You think I did all of this?”
“No, I know you did all of this. Boy, you’ll do anything to make me a believer.”
His eyes narrowed and his voice dipped an octave. “You think I did all of this just to make you believe there are ghosts here?”
“Fine.” Walking to her, he grabbed her arm and led her to the camera.
“Let go of me.”
“Not until you see this.” Taking her by the shoulders, he turned her to face the monitor attached to one of the cameras. “Watch.” He pressed play.
Folding her arms across her chest, Jessie glared at the screen. He’d recorded them having sex.
“Oh my God, you taped us making out? How could you?”
“I have my cameras set on timers that begin taping on their own. I didn’t know we were going to go at it like rabbits last night. Watch.”
“You will erase those tapes,” she insisted, then grunted when he turned her face back to the monitor. “What the hell?”
She couldn’t pry her eyes away if she tried. The furniture lifted in the air, spun around wildly before they slammed in front of the fireplace and window. “Oh my god!”
“My sentiments exactly. I need to check the rest of the house.” He left her mesmerized in front of the TV.