Monday, July 9, 2012

Living in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean, SHONA HUSK is blessed with a lively imagination. She spent most of her childhood making up stories, and as an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn't looked back. Drawing on history and myth, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have a heart of gold--sometimes literally. That’s why today we want you to hear all about Shona’s amazing series, THE SHADOWLAND.

1. Tell us about the first two books in The Shadowlands series, THE GOBLIN KING, and THE KISS OF THE GOBLIN PRINCE.

The Shadowlands series is about six Celtic men who were cursed by a druid. The curse bound them to the Shadowlands, gradually they learned to cross back into the Fixed Realm (or our world) but here they appear as ugly, grey skinned goblins (I love it when Eliza sees Roan as a goblin for the first time in The Goblin King).

Book 1, The Goblin King, is about Roan’s struggle to break the curse before he loses what’s left of his soul and becomes fully goblin. It’s very much a Beauty and the Beast story with Eliza, the heroine, having to look past the goblin exterior to see who Roan really is.

Book 2, Kiss of the Goblin Prince, picks up where book one ends but this time from Dai’s point of view. He’s kept a lot of secrets and has quite a dark past, he’s also very smart and knows more than a bit about magic—which gets him into trouble. With Amanda he learns to trust and then love.

Cursed by a Druid millennia ago, Roan lives a bleak existence in the Shadowlands, desperately trying to retain his soul and not succumb to the goblin horde.
When a beautiful human summons him to grant a wish, he sees a glimmer of hope. But will she ever agree to be his queen?

Read excerpt here -

Trapped for centuries in the bleak Shadowlands, Dai clings to his humanity with a thirst for knowledge. But now he's free of the goblin curse, and some would say he knows too much- he can make nature bend to his will, influence the minds of others, and command magic. Yet love eludes him. Then he meets Amanda, a single mother with a sick daughter whom he feels compelled to protect. But could she possibly place her trust in the kiss of a goblin prince?

Read excerpt here -

and as a special treat and exclusive excerpt here -  

“I wasn’t expecting to see you here.” Amanda stood in the doorway, as if unsure whether she wanted to come out and join him at the table.
He wasn’t sure if he wanted her to join him. It was one thing to dream of her, another to see her in the flesh—even if she was bundled up in a jacket against the cold. The memory of her bare legs lingered, something he shouldn’t have seen without invitation.
“I wasn’t expecting to see you either.” So much for being gone before anyone arose.
The dog ran back and sniffed Dai’s toes and up his leg. Dai offered his hand to the dog’s wet nose. The dog snuffled and licked and it was disgusting. He kept his face neutral, since Amanda was watching with a faint smile on her lips, and he hoped he passed the dog test. He never had as a goblin, since dogs would attack him—hell, everything had attacked him, a creature born of shadows and misery.
“He won’t bite.” Amanda snapped her fingers and the dog trotted to her side and lay down.
Dai wiped his hand on his jeans. It wasn’t the dog he was worried about. It was the woman who’d slipped into his dreams, and made him question the vow of chastity he’d taken over a thousand years before, who was now within touching distance. His fingertips whitened on the cup. Gods help him, he wanted to touch her. While he was sure the god who had taken his vow would release him, he didn’t know if he was ready to release himself. He wasn’t sure he knew what to do anymore. Was he ever?
Amanda sat so they faced each other across a corner. “So, you’re staying here still?”
How to explain? The truth was probably not the best option. He took a sip of his tea as he thought of an answer.
“I stopped by late last night to pick up a few things, then crashed.” More literally than she needed to know, but he wanted to tell her. He watched as an arrow of birds flew over the garden. How could he ever be honest with Amanda when there was so much he couldn’t say?
It didn’t seem fair to either of them. While he knew life wasn’t fair, love should be.

2. And in January 2013 the third installment will be out, FOR THE LOVE OF A GOBLIN WARRIOR. What can you tell us about it?

This is Meryn’s story and the last book of the series. I think it has been the hardest story to write because it is such an emotional journey. Meryn gave into the curse and has been a goblin for nearly two thousand years. He has to find his way in a much changed world and rediscover what it means to be human—the lovely Nadine is just the woman to help him, but she has her own secrets and nightmares to face before she can learn to love.

Centuries ago, Meryn was thought to be utterly lost--all traces of his soul given up to the ravening goblin horde. But with the curse that enslaved him now broken, he must once again learn to walk in the realm of men. Nurse Nadine Gilbert likes working the night shift to avoid her disturbing dreams, but her mysterious new patient looks hauntingly familiar. Meryn knows he doesn't deserve a second chance, but Nadine brings out his long-buried human side. Telling her the truth about his violent past could destroy their fragile trust. Could she ever believe in the love of a Goblin Warrior?

3. Writing about goblins in a romance isn’t done a lot. What turned you in this direction?

I’d been writing vampires and I needed a change, and goblins seemed like a good idea at the time (it was 2am and I did have restless baby when I came up with it). Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite stories, so having an ugly hero with a heart of gold (literally in this case) was fun for me to write. I didn’t realize The Goblin King was going to be such a hard book to sell and I came so close to putting it in a box at the back of my wardrobe before I got the call. Readers seem to be enjoying my goblins, so I’m glad I didn’t give up.

4. We were so happy to meet you this year at the RT Convention in Chicago. (Shonna here – *G* Yep I even had you autograph a book just for me) What was your favorite part about going to the convention last April?

I’d never been to an RT convention before, actually I’d never been to the US before, so it was all very exciting. I got to meet my editor and visit the Sourcebooks offices which was great. But I also really enjoyed the book signing it was such a buzz—plus I got to sit next to the lovely Larissa Ione.
5. Having a day job, writing at night, plus a family to take care of, do you juggle?
With difficulty. I’ve recently reduced my hours, so I only work 3 days/week. I hoping this makes everything run a little more smoothly. I’m also lucky that my hubby helps around the house a lot and is supportive of my writing career. It would be much harder without his support.

6. The book covers for Roan and Dai are pure eye candy! Is what we see on the cover how you see them in your head? Did you have a lot of input towards the cover production?

Ah, no. I send in character descriptions, cross my fingers and hope for awesome, So far I’ve been very lucky—the cover for Meryn’s story is also rather hot.
7. (Shonna here) For me, Dai, was a very complicated and deep character, was he difficult to write and express for your readers to understand him the way you wanted him to be created in our minds?
He became far more complicated during the writing process than I first envisioned (that whole story became more complicated than my first notes), but I really enjoyed writing him as he had such an interesting journey and really did deserve a HEA. I had to walk a fine line between making him damaged and too damaged to recover. Readers had to believe he was going to heal and be capable of loving Amanda the way she deserved.

8. Living in Australia, do you find that the writing industry and market is different than the way it is in the US?

All of my publishers are American. I know the Australian publishing industry is more interested in women’s fiction than romance (particularly rural women’s fiction at the moment—think farms and a hint of romance), but that just means Aussie romance readers buy their books online or from one of the specialist romance shops (I have had huge support from the specialist shops; Rosemary’s in Brisbane and Temptation in Perth) and Aussie romance authors try to get picked up by US publishing houses.

9. All authors have to deal with positive and negative criticism. Do you feel you, as an author, handle harsh comments easily or do you take it to heart?
I used to take it to heart more when I only had a couple of novellas out for the simple reason I was so new to writing. These days I don’t care so much. If someone wants to tear apart the book that’s fine, that’s their opinion and we all have books we have hated for one reason or another. Then of course one reader will hate the same thing someone else loves, so it helps to not get too caught up in the details as long as the trend is positive.

10. As much as we all enjoy reading about The Shadowlands, we look forward to some future reads from you headed our way. What can you tell us about them?

I have a new paranormal romance series starting with Sourcebooks next year, the working series title is ‘The Court of Annwyn’. It’s sexy and dark and full of fairies, scheming, affairs and intrigue as the upheaval at Court starts damaging the human world. I’m writing book 2 at the moment—those fairies throw some wild parties. I’m also continuing my western style fantasy series with Carina Press in ‘Dark Secrets’ (working title) in 2013. And I have a few more novellas in the works with Ellora’s Cave if you like a bit more heat ;)

Oh, WOW! That sounds awesome. We look forward to that. Please keep us posted with updates. (Shonna here) “I LOVE FAIRIES!! They are my favorite. *dancing in a circle* I definitely want to hear more about this so YES, please keep us informed.
(Wendy) - Shona, we didn’t even got to touch on your up and coming DARK SECRETS, you will have to come back and tell us more!
(LT) - For sure,.. and for our followers that like a little spice *nodding with a wicked smile on her face as she clears her throat* we will have to hear about some of your future novellas.
*Bursts of Giggles, as LT gives out high fives*

Shona is hosting a giveaway today, a copy of 

Leave a comment or question for Shona along with your email address to be entered in this drawing, and yes, Shona said she will make this international (YEAH).  Also please don’t forget to support us by being a follower of this blog. Thanks and good luck to all.
Don't forget to stop by and visit Shona's links 
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  1. I've only read a few books whre goblins were minor characters. Thanks for bracnhing out and finding something new to write about. I added you to my TBR ;)

  2. What was your favorite book to write and why?


    1. They tend to be my favorite as I write them, then I move on to my next WIP and it is my new favorite :)

  3. Who is your favorite author?

    1. I love Katherine Kerr’s Deverry series. At the moment I’m really enjoying the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

  4. wow this sounds really good.. havent read anything like it.. and very ready to read them right now

    1. do you have a novella also? was looking up your books and saw something the summing

    2. There is a free prequel, The Summons, to give you a taste of series.

  5. added to my TBR list- it was a pleasure meeting you at RT. Thank you for stopping by

  6. So looking forward to the third installment of THE SHADOWLAND.

  7. I'm really happy to see goblins getting some attention in the paranormal romance genre. I'm a big fan of all things fae, so I'm really intrigued to start with this series!

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    iuliadragan26 (at) me (dot) com

    1. I love vampires but goblins need love too :)

  8. Hi shona! What's the first thing that popped out in your mind're at RT convention?

  9. I've never encountered a goblin hero so this is very interesting. Also I'm intrigued by the curse and will like seeing the men try to break it or endure it.


  10. First I have heard about goblins. Thank you for stopping by and I have added them to me TBR pile to see how the story works out.

  11. I've never read any books where goblins took the lead. They've always been minor characters and rather nasty creatures. Did you find it difficult to get a publisher to want to put out a book on goblins based on this common perception?


  12. Great excerpt. Definitely adding this series to my wishlist.

  13. Hi Shona aside of goblin what is other paranormal creature that you would like to create a novel based on? ArethazhenATrocketmailDOTCOM

  14. I think stories featuring Goblins is very unique and I'm looking forward to reading this series.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com