Where I talk about Conduits, writing, and other fun things. Check it out here, and thanks again to Fiona McVie for having me!
Release Date: May 17, 2019
Publisher: Extasy Books
Romantic Suspense, three flames
An Interview with Seelie Kay:
Q. Why do you write romance?
Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.
Q. Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?
I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me! However, I also love strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love.
Q. Why did you write Cult?
For two reasons. First, I have done extensive research on a religious cult a family member was involved in many years ago. There is specific type of personality that succeeds as a cult leader. They offer something others aren’t finding in their real life or through mainstream religion. Their grip on others is daunting. In many instances, however, a cult leader is nothing more than a con man with a great sales pitch. I wanted to explore that. Second, when I was in college, I had friends who got involved in cults. They gave up all of their worldly goods and submitted blindly to one man. And once in, they couldn’t get out. Fortunately, some did finally escape, but they were forever changed.
As I was doing my research, I realized that many cults treat their members as slaves, a form of human trafficking. Their free will has been taken away. Someone else does their thinking for them. As long as they submit and obey, they receive the basics—food and shelter. However, the consequences of nonconformance can be dire–physical abuse, incarceration, even death. It was not a story I could ignore.
Q. How does your former profession as a lawyer impact your writing?
My friends say I am obsessed with justice, and I guess that’s true. After 30 years, the law and the legal world are so firmly embedded in my brain that I can’t flush them out. That has become the lens through which I view the world, and that naturally guides my characters and plots. Injustice infuriates me, but it also leads me to great stories!
It’s supposed to be a simple assignment. A quick trip to a South American country for an “in and out” fact-finding mission. Unfortunately, the cult has other ideas.
When college students begin disappearing from American campuses, a notorious cult, God’s Delight, is the primary suspect. God’s Delight has been hosting shows featuring sex, drugs, and rock and roll around the country, and young people are flocking to them.
Among the missing is the President’s goddaughter, and he wants answers. When he asks Agent Cade Matthews, a member of a secret covert organization, to find her, the mission appears fairly straightforward. Find the God’s Delight compound, determine whether a welfare check on American cult members is warranted, and get out. Simple. Clean. Easy.
Cade sends newly-married Agents Dianna Murphy and Anders Mark to the University of Wisconsin to follow the trail to God’s Delight, but when they wind up in Bolivia, things go sideways. Suddenly, what appeared to be nothing more than a simple in-and-out could cost Dianna her life. When an Agency extraction is ordered, chaos erupts, and the question becomes, will anyone survive?
“But everyone can leave when they want, right?”
Tillie cocked her eyebrow, clearly amused. “Of course. But why would they? This is paradise.”
“It is indeed, darling Miranda,” drawled a deep sultry voice. A tall, well-built man dressed in a white cossack, a thick wooden cross draped around his neck, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. His loose, long blonde hair framed a tan, handsome face with a strong nose and a wicked, full-lipped grin. He turned his piercing blue eyes toward Dianna and smiled. “Hello,” he said.
The man studied her, his expression predatory.
Dianna shifted uncomfortably. So, Tillie is using another name. Meaning she’s undercover. Noted. Dianna stuck out her hand and said. “Hi, I’m Bennie. I’m one of the students from Wisconsin working over at the orphanage. You were kind enough to allow us to stay here.”
The man took her hand and stroked it, his expression suddenly thoughtful. “Tell me, Bennie from Wisconsin, what do you think of my paradise?” His hand moved to her lower arm.
Dianna flushed. My paradise? Is this Reverend John? “It’s beautiful. Peaceful. But hot. And humid. Really humid.” She gazed up into the man’s eyes, somewhat stunned at the lust she found there. My God, he looks like he wants to devour me. Dianna quickly looked away.
The man chuckled. “You get used to it. But we keep the air-conditioning on in the dormitories for the newbies and limit their time in the sun. And of course, we all take a siesta during the hottest part of the day if we need one.” He released her arm. “We worship at day’s end when the air begins to cool. Otherwise, things get a little…sweaty.” He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek, gently tugging her hair. Then he walked away. Dianna’s gaze did not leave him as children followed him, playfully competing for his attention. Just like Jesus.
Coming soon to all other major booksellers!
About Seelie Kay:
Seelie Kay is a nom-de-plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen! In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of multiple works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, the Feisty Lawyers series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, and The President’s Daughter.
When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!
Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Seelie-Kay/e/B074RDRWNZ/
Hope (Part Four, Feisty Lawyers): TBD
The Steel Empires series is a very different sort of urban fantasy series, with elements of alternate history and epic adventure. The second installment, Steel Magic, will be released in hardcopy and ebook on July 6! Until then, don’t miss out on the beginning of the story while the first book, Steel Victory, is on sale for 99 cents.
Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.
Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn’t in the cards. They’re set to become professional mercenaries—if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.
The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane’s quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.
But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.
What drives you to write?
It’s a bit cliché to say that you should write what you want to read, but in my case it’s true. I kept reading the same urban fantasy tropes over and over again and wanted to find something different. Now I’ve created a fantasy world with such room to grow that I keep coming up with different adventures for my main characters.
What’s the hardest thing about balancing writing with the rest of your life?
It always seems like my productivity periods are feast or famine. At least, it certainly seems like all of the external opportunities come my way when I’m deep in the depths of finishing a novel or cranking out the edits. At that point, the hardest thing becomes learning when to say no.
Do you have a special writing place? What’s in it? What can’t be in it?
I have an amazing home office that I practically live in for editing and marketing work. But for some reason, it’s really hard for me to actually produce words there. It’s not even an access to the internet thing, because the first thing I do when I get to one of my multitude of local writing spots (coffee shops and cafes) is turn on the WiFi. Perhaps it’s just knowing that I can’t go home until I get my daily word goal finished!
Do you write to music, or do you like silence/white noise/coffee shop? Why?
I have a carefully curated Pandora station that features things from alt rock to instrumental covers of other popular songs to video game themes. Oddly, this is also the same station that I use while running! I can’t do silence, and as a writer, I have a tendency to get distracted by other people’s conversations to gather story fodder.
Be honest—do you love or hate social media? Somewhere in between? Why?
Definitely somewhere in the middle! I accept that some aspects of it are a necessary evil, so it was mostly a matter of finding strategies that I could commit for each platform. So Facebook gets cool pictures and links I stumble across, labeled as “free story idea,” and pictures of grammatical or spelling errors in the wild that I point to as “job security” (in reference to my professional career as an editor). Instagram gets mostly pictures of my adorable cats, because I’m pretty sure pictures of cats is how the internet is powered, and I make a point of throwing whatever book I read next to the nearest cat and posting a picture of that, too. I’m not on Twitter as effectively as I could be, so that mostly gets links to my updated blog and the book/cat picture combos. I think the important thing is that I’ve found what works for me, and I’m trying to stick to it.
Do you have a favorite book? Or author? Or genre? Or is it too hard to pick?
Favorite book: The Last Herald-Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey
Favorite author: Catherine Asaro, especially her Skolian Empire space opera series.
Favorite genre: Urban fantasy. Write what you love and all that!
What do you think about MFA programs?
I don’t think that you need one in order to be an effective or accomplished author. I attended Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program straight out of undergrad (it was still an MA program back then) because my mother was convinced that I would be a waitress for the rest of my life if I didn’t go to graduate school. Oddly enough, I had never been a waitress before then, either… The program taught me a lot about the craft of writing and how to budget my time and energy while working full-time.
Do you have a favorite conference or convention that you go to? What makes it awesome?
I’ve had the privilege of being a returning panelist at Confluence in Pittsburgh for a few years now. It’s a more literary-themed SF/F convention, but there’s still something for everyone. Though literary-themed, it’s a great mix of both fans and other professionals who are all interested in learning about new books and sharing their favorites. It’s at the end of July, so there’s still time to register if you want join me this year!
Recommend a how-to book, website, or an organization with good writer resources.
My go-to book for the past few months is The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. It has definitely helped me get away from always defaulting to facial expressions to show what my characters are feeling. It’s priced very reasonably considering how much I’ve gotten in return!
What’s the next project?
My goal is always to get the next book in my editor’s hands within a week of the previous being released. Right now I’m finalizing line edits for book 3 in the Steel Empires series. I also have book 4 outlined by scene and am ready to launch into writing!
About the Author
By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. She is currently working on the Steel Empires series for Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press. Previously, she was an editor for the Far Worlds anthology.
Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her debut novel, Steel Victory, was her thesis for the program.
She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits).
Steel Magic pre-order: https://smile.amazon.com/Steel-Magic-J-L-Gribble/dp/1935738852/
Steel Victory sale: https://smile.amazon.com/Steel-Victory-J-L-Gribble/dp/1935738739/
The Emotion Thesaurus: https://smile.amazon.com/Emotion-Thesaurus-Writers-Character-Expression/dp/1475004958/
Come visit me over at Crystal Lake Publishing today, where I talk about my writing process.
From Crystal Lake Publishing’s Joe Mynhardt:
Jenn Loring, winner of the 2013 Tales from the Lake horror writing competition, talks about her winning story, “The Fine Art of Wrecking”, in Crystal Lake Publishing’s upcoming Tales from The Lake Vol.1.
Join the pre-launch event: https://www.facebook.com/events/701894416536746/
Come visit me over at Stephanie Wytovich’s blog tonight!