Hello Readers : )
I’m featuring the author of The Sky Pirate’s Wife, Allison Merritt.
Please read below to find out more about both the author and the work she is currently promoting.
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.
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.
Allison Merritt was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for me and here’s what she had to say,
1) What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m a bit of a copycat, I have to admit, because when I was in 6th grade, my best friend declared she was going to become an author. I said, “Me too!” and that was that. While she moved on to other pursuits, I was bitten. There were short stories and essays, of course, for school and I started a very, very bad novel while I was in college, but my dad passed away unexpectedly in 2003 and I stopped writing. In the winter of 2008, I was really unhappy and turned to writing again as a distraction. I’d always written historical romances, but when I watched the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I thought I could write something like that. With romance! On top of that, I’ve always been fascinated with legends and myths, so it felt natural to add one to the steampunk story I wanted to write.
2) How did you come up with the title?
The hero of The Sky Pirate’s Wife is a Dutch airship captain with a less-than-stellar reputation. In the first book of the Legends and Lovers Series, the heroine stows away on his ship and when she’s discovered, she refers to him and the crew as sky pirates. Coupled with a little shady cargo-hauling and the rumors about him, he’s looked down upon in some circles. I actually had this title thought up before there was a book and it was the one that helped me figure out the title for the first book in the series.
3) What books have most influenced your life most?
The first book that always comes to mind is Harold Bell Wright’s The Shepherd of the Hills. It’s a romance, a mystery, a ghost story, and a moral lesson all rolled into one. Beautiful writing and it’s set very close to where I live. You could throw a rock and hit a Louis L’Amour novel, as well, and I’d tell you I love it. He wrote the most fantastic heroes and they usually got the girl at the end too.
4) Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My critique partners and beta readers. A couple of them already have some of their own fantastic books published and the rest are just waiting to be discovered—and they will be, no doubt.
5) What are your current projects?
I recently finished the third book in the Legends and Lovers Series called The Turncoat’s Temptress. I’m working on a fourth and I have a vague idea about the fifth already.
6) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The sound of her name in his accent caused her to jerk toward him like a puppet on strings. “Yes?” Was that her voice that sounded so breathless?
Van Buren’s eyes crinkled at the corners and the scar wrinkled a bit, but the light shining down on his face made him look as handsome as one of Donatello’s statues. Sophie’s heart pounded against her ribs so hard she was sure he’d see it.
He leaned across the space between them and caressed her cheek. She gave in to his touch, melting against his hand.
7) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I tend to lean heavily on dialogue. I love a good conversation—probably because I’m not very adept at it in real life—between characters. When writing dialogue, I tend to forget to add description. That’s where those beta readers and critique partners come in. They’re always say, Allison, show us what the characters are doing!
8) Who designed the covers?
I’m the guilty party. When I decided to self-publish, I started studying other covers. I don’t think I spent as much time designing as I did writing, but still took up a lot of time. I’m pretty pleased with the results though.
9) Do you have a song that you’d consider the theme for your novel?
There are two for The Sky Pirate’s Wife, which works out, one for the hero and one for the heroine. Bon Jovi’s What Do You Got is a great song that described Alwin van Buren. At the beginning of the book, he’s so focused on his business that he can’t see how much better his life would be with love. By the end, he’s willing to risk everything to save Sophie. And Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years is a good song for Sophie because all she desires is to be seen as a woman. She was so angry that Van Buren seduced her simply for her dowry and what she could give him, but when she discovers the kind and gentle side of him, she realizes he’s exactly what she was waiting for.
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Thank you Allison Merritt for agreeing to be a guest on my blog today.