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Friday, November 30, 2012

Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway - Volcanoes by Nicole Hamlett

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Title: Volcanoes
Series: Grace Murphy #3
Author: Nicole Hamlett
Date Published: August 6, 2012

“I needed something big. I'd found a dormant volcano in my earlier exploration. Yeah – that would be big and in typical Grace Murphy fashion, I didn't think this one through, I just blew it.”

Be careful what you ask of Fate - sometimes she gives it to you. When we last saw our heroine, she'd watched her faithful pet rip off her new best friend's head to save her son's life and Atlantis was rising from the depths. Now, Grace Murphy is back in the third installment of the Huntress series, but this time she's facing an all-out war. It's critical that Nyx (and Atlantis) stay buried, but her psychotic brats will do most anything to get her back.

You didn't think that was all, did you? Of course there's more! With Hypnos invading her dreams, Dylan caught up in the throes of his "change" and juggling her relationships with two hunky Gods, Drew and Heph, to say Grace's hands are full would be an understatement.

Grace wished her life would just go back to the way it was before, and that she wouldn't have her powers or responsibilities anymore. Unfortunately, it looks like Fate answered this time. The results aren't pretty.

Write What You Know:

After publishing my first book, I had an old friend tell me that they felt like they knew me better.  I gasped, gurgled and felt like I was going to pass out.


I was not / am not Grace Murphy!  At least that's what I told myself and everyone else.  She's a whiney brat with little to no self-control and a stubborn streak a mile wide.  But she's also a loving mother and a determined fighter for what is right. She's flawed and… oh so very human.
I think that what makes Grace so relatable is that she's real. Well, as real as she can be with superhuman powers in a fictional setting. 

When I began writing her, I would ask myself – "Nicole, what would you do here?" Sometimes I would write that into the book and sometimes I would do the exact opposite.   There is a scene in Huntress where Grace is writing and she's absentmindedly twisted pencils into her hair while she sits and thinks about a scene.  I cannot tell you how many pencils have ended up stuck to my head like porcupine needles just waiting for me to find them.

There are also conversations that my son and I have had almost verbatim. He and I had a conversation about girls.  It ended up in a book. It was too good not to write. I can tell you though, that as soon as he's old enough to actually read my books I am going to catch so much Hell.
Once I'd gotten past this inconceivable horror (People may actually see into me? Good God no!) I began to realize that these personal touches have put an extra level of patina onto the story. She's weathered and sometimes spunky. 

Write what you know – even if it's a map of your city or creating your characters based on aspects of friends, they bring more realism into your work. They make your characters and plots a little more relatable. 
As a flawed human being, I want to see my heroes struggle a little so that I can feel as though one day I too may be able to overcome any obstacle.

With that said, it's not easy to expose yourself.  I still huddle under my desk and rock back and forth before I push the button. The thought of even revealing the tiniest bit of my weaknesses to thousands of readers induces a level of panic in me that I can't begin to explain. 

But on the other hand, those readers will see your strengths as well.  You're a creative being who happens to have entire worlds floating about in your brain.  Once you inject pieces of yourself into those characters and places, you get to bring those worlds to life!

How amazing! 

Volcanoes Excerpt by Nicole Hamlett:

The smell of an abandoned house hits you in phases. First, you get the dried musty smell of dust and mildew spores. Then any lingering scents from left-over dinner or the last occupants hits the senses. I scrunched up my face, trying not to exclaim that Dylan and Drew hadn’t lived up to their promise of cleaning up after themselves on their last Xbox foray. This wasn’t the time.
The last scent hit me by surprise as I traveled to the kitchen to see what they’d left out. It had a metallic tang with undertones of rotting meat. I was transported immediately to the night I’d walked into my house to find my carpet had been soaked through with the blood of Geb’s monsters.
It occurred to me with sudden panic that we didn’t have Scooter with us. I would feel much safer with him here to guard my son. I’d ask Heph to make that happen as soon as I figured out what the smell was.
My feet slowed of their own volition. They knew that even though I was stubbornly still moving forward, my mind wouldn’t want to know what the smell was. My subconscious was terrified of what I would see and it was trying to protect what had become my very fragile mind.
Really, what else was I expected to take? What else did I have to go through before I broke?  Hadn’t the last nine months of my life been enough? It was like I’d been pregnant and the baby I’d carried was an intact sense of sanity. 
Congratulations, Ms. Murphy, it’s a bouncing baby –
The words cut off in my head as I spied what was causing the smell.

Author Bio:

"Nicole Hamlett is a single mother from Colorado Springs, living in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not writing books she enjoys reading, cooking and video games and can often be caught enjoying indie alternative music."

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