The Sky Pirate’s Wife
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After a tragic airship wreck, Captain Alwin van Buren makes a drastic decision to obtain a wealthy bride in order to save his flagging business. He meets his match in Sophie Banes, heiress to an airship empire. After he seduces her and ensures their marriage—igniting a rivalry with her godfather—he learns the green-eyed beauty is as headstrong as he is.
Sophie knows Van Buren’s reputation based on a series of dime novels written about his adventures. Determined to be more than an end to a means, she despises him for luring her into marriage. In fiction, he’s a no-nonsense captain on the verge of piracy, but the flesh-and-blood man wins her heart by proving she’s worth more to him than her money.
Their love is threatened when Sophie learns Van Buren’s airship accident was a result of mythical creatures. Winged predators that appear to have a grudge against him, a fact he deliberately hid by accusing her godfather of sabotage. If she can forgive him for that, they still have to face the danger when they’re cornered and at the mercy of beasts and the evil that controls them. The real test comes when Van Buren is asked to make a sacrifice that could destroy them both.
Tell us about Allison Merritt. Who are you when you’re not writing?
I recently saw a meme on the internet that said ‘I’m not Wonder Woman, but I can sure make you wonder!’ That describes me perfectly. In those moments when I’m not glued to the computer screen, I love hiking and taking nature photos. I can be found at truck and tractor pulls, watching movies, talking about my favorite desserts, or shopping for silly hats.
Do you have a day job as well?
I’m actually a catalog technician by day which is a fancy name for a card cataloger, if you remember those.
Why the paranormal genre and where do your ideas come from?
I’m a panster and a collector of random information. So when I stumble upon something that intrigues me, I get excited and think there must be a story there! Working in a library has its benefits because I’ve got a ton of knowledge at my fingertips. I’ve always enjoyed ghost stories, but I think I took a real shine to them after a college English professor had us read Vance Randolph tales. He was extremely interested in folklore and ghost stories of Missouri. The Ozark Mountains, where I’m from, has a rich history in folklore and superstition.
Who is your favorite character to write about in your stories?
While writing The Sky Pirate’s Wife, I had an easier time with the heroine, Sophie. She was more willing to talk to me than Van Buren. That’s kind of funny because this is the second (and final!) draft of The Sky Pirate’s Wife and the first go-round, he was the talker.
Do you foresee taking one of your lesser seen characters and creating a series about them?
I never saw it coming. That was exactly what happened with my Legends and Lovers Series. Right after I finished the first draft of The Treasure Hunter’s Lady (which came out in February of this year), one of the secondary characters, Captain Alwin van Buren started talking to me. It’s gone on that way. I finished the third book in the series, which had another secondary character in it who’s the hero of the next book.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I queried agents at first, but the more I thought about it, the less I really wanted one. Then I decided to try e-publishing and the first publisher I queried offered a contract. Unfortunately there was some difficulty because it was new and the deal fell through. It took a little while, but I decided to self-publish because I had the second book in the series half-finished and there’s never a guarantee the next publisher will want them both.
It started a whole new set of wheels turning because there are so many things you have to learn in order to self-publish, but it’s worth it 110%.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
There have been times when I see something and I’ll almost snap my fingers and go, That would have been perfect in The Treasure Hunter’s Lady! I haven’t really felt like that with The Sky Pirate’s Wife. But hey, that’s why in ten years I can write a second edition, right? I think a lot of authors feel that their work is never really done. You have to kind cut yourself off before it gets overdone.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
I’ve written a book I loved that I pray never sees the light of day. Somehow I just don’t have the willpower to go back to that first novel and try to clean it up. It seems like it took so long to write and I spent so much time trying to get everything right, I’m just sick of it. The realization came when my husband read it and said, “Your heroine is whiny!” I thought, I have no clue how to fix her. Thank heaven I was already working on something else.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I find that participating in blog hops draws a lot of potential readers. Character interviews always seem to be popular. It never hurts to throw out a prize too–they love free books particularly. There are a lot of good Facebook groups to join as well and of course Twitter. I’ve recently started a Google Plus page for my series as well.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
There’s a scene between Sophie and Van Buren, right after they get married and they’re aboard his airship, her for the first time. He wants to teach her to fly, certain she’ll be a natural at it, although she’s never had anything to do with airships. While he’s telling her about flying, he starts relating it to lovemaking. It’s a very intimate moment between them. It’s a great show of Van Buren’s character and Sophie’s desire to get to know him better–in more ways than one.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Being discounted as an author because I chose to self-publish. It happens more often from traditionally published authors than from readers. We’ve struggled differently, but all writers struggle to find a niche. I don’t see the difference.
What has been the best compliment?
I don’t know if there’s any one specific compliment. All my friends and family and even so many authors in the writing community have been really supportive. It’s amazing.
Here’s a couple of quirky questions for you, Allison….
What’s your favorite movie? Will you laugh if I say Tangled? What’s not to love? Magic, a love story, a handsome hero, a naive but adventurous heroine, and a smartypants chameleon.
Cake with or without ice cream? With! Especially chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream.
Date night out, or date night in? Out.
Thanksgiving or Christmas? Tough choice, but we always have fresh waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for Christmas!
Physical copy of a book or eReader?? I’m still pretty used to picking up a physical copy and feeling the pages beneath my fingers, but ebooks definitely have a place in my life.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
As always, I appreciate every download, every purchase whether you all got The Treasure Hunter’s Lady when it was free for 5 days or whether you paid your hard earned money. Thank you all. And keep your eyes peeled because I have the third book in the series written and with luck, it’ll be out next spring.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sophie looked at the book in his hands. No one held the wheel but her. “You let go!”
He grinned. “You’re doing fine, zoete. Keep her steady, she’s climbing on her own.”
It wasn’t the idea of being the only thing that stood between them and another flaming airship wreck that made her tremble. It was his smile. The kind that all women yearned to receive from a handsome man. “You should really take the wheel.”
“My hands are full.” He waved the logbook at her, but replaced it and remained standing beside her. “You’re doing very well.”
“Are you certain?” The wind blew her hair and snagged her skirt. The horizon filled her line of sight and she suddenly understood the thrill of piloting a ship. It was like having the same freedom as a bird. She could point the ship in any direction and go wherever she pleased. Nothing had ever made her feel so alive. Except kissing Van Buren. Her head turned his direction like it was on a spring. She covered the sudden movement with a laugh. “I think I’m in love with your ship.”
His eyes darkened from icy gray to the shade of wet concrete. He lowered his mouth to her ear again and put his hand on her back. “Flying is a great deal like making love, Sophie.”
She nearly melted at her name on his lips. “W-why do you say that?”
“It’s instinctual. The mind and body work together, creating a moment of beauty. The first time is a little frightening, but once you find the rhythm, the proper technique, you have something very enjoyable on your hands. Something that you feel deep within your soul. Something that you never want to give up. With the right person, the kind of relationship you’d die to protect.”
About The Author:
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.
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