Hi Marsha, fantasy author extraordinaire and one of my Muse and Ravencraft Romance Realm sisters. It’s so wonderful having you as the featured guest author today. Today we’ll be talking about book 2 in your Ciel’s Legacy series: Tortuga Treasure. Before we get started with the interview, here’s a little about Marsha:
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!
Marsha, you sound like an outdoor enthusiast, and why wouldn’t you, living in Florida, such a lovely state. Okay, I’ve been looking forward to our day together and have a number of questions…so let’s get started…
Please tell us how the idea came to you for Ciel’s Legacy series: Tears on a Tranquil Lake & Tortuga Treasure. Please include all the fun details.
During the winter of 2008-9, I moved my mother from NW Ohio to Tampa. It didn’t take much to convince me to stay through the winter to help her get settled before I moved my own household the following summer. My first Florida winter inspired me to write my book Tears on a Tranquil Lake. I enjoy folklore and legend, and sought interesting local tales. When I learned about the annual Tampa Gasparilla Festival I was enthralled and a pirate captain, a mermaid, and a merman became the characters of my book.
What’s Ciel’s job? What does she do for a living?
Ciel is a mermaid, and her job in the merfolk community has grown over the course of two books in the series. Between the books, she spent a long time training in mermagic with the foremost teacher, the Silver Merman. He is the leader of the merfolk community, a wise old soul. He discovers Ciel’s natural talent and helps her enhance her skills. But even he is impressed when Ciel has enough control of her powers to use the magic “kiss of life” to change a dying pirate into a merman. This process is much more demanding than transforming a woman into a mermaid. Seeing this, the Silver Merman has great plans for Ciel, which you’ll have to read to discover…
Tell us what Alvaro first means to Ciel?
Ciel first sees Alvaro when he is in a fight with another pirate. His eyes meet hers, and in the next instant, he’s fatally stabbed in the back. He drops off the pier to a watery grave. Ciel’s mermagic powers identify a connection between their souls, and she dives down, saving him with the magic “kiss of life” that transforms him into a merman.
Alvaro is much like Ciel when she was first changed into a mermaid. She sees herself, her struggles for identity, in him. She has a helpful nature and reaches out to ease his pain.
Is Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy included in a series? If so, what series and can you give us titles and a tagline for other books in this series?
Yes, it is the second part of the Ciel’s Legacy series. A third is in the works—Teega’s Tallion.
The first is Tears on a Tranquil Lake. Here’s the tagline:
Who will she choose: a smooth-talking pirate captain or a handsome merman? Ceil’s shocking transformation into a mermaid forces her to decide who holds the key to her happiness.
Can you share anything about the magic systems in the story?
There are two magical systems in this series: mermagic and hoodoo. The merfolk are naturally talented to varying degrees in mermagic, where they use their singing voices to convey added meaning. Those with basic skills can convey hidden messages that only other merfolk understand, while those advanced in the craft can manipulate, stun and maim with their songs. The extremely advance, like Ciel, also have a magical intuitive sense. She uses that through touch or vibrations transmitted through the air.
A vodoun mambo, Teega, plays a large part and influences use of hoodoo magick in the story. She is a master, helping those she considers friends, but can be extremely dark and vindictive if crossed. Pirates fear no one more than Teega. Some of the merfolk train under her to learn basic hoodoo arts.
Interesting magic, Marsha. It makes for a compelling story.
Which scene was your favorite to write? Can you share a little of it?
My favorite scene was when the vodoun mambo, Teega, takes revenge upon a ship of evil pirates who have hurt Ciel and her friends. Forming her dark spells required plenty of research, but that was fun for me to weave into the storyline. Here’s a small sample of that scene.
“Eight joined hands now call to the darkness. Come. Bring me yer magick.” Close by thunder clapped, causing all but Mambo to jump. Yellow-white bolts immediately cut the sky, extending in all directions like branches of a tree.
Needles jabbed my hands. I wanted to pull my aching arms down. I bit my lower lip and glanced at Alvaro. His face remained calm, as though he didn’t experience the same sensation. Stabbing pain brought tears, blurring my vision. I closed my eyes and focused within on the essence of my power, pure and strong.
Sesi gasped and my eyes flew open.
Teega hissed, “Be still. Dey be here for us.”
Patches of effluvium slipped wildly in and out between our hands. Unlike my sweet loa, these formed of shadows, amorphous masses of dark violet, burgundy, sapphire, and charcoal. More fearsome than identifiable shapes, these remained as unknowns, calling upon the mind’s imagined horrors.
The winds created by the bitter loa jangled her long earrings and lifted the tails of her headscarf high above her head. The whipping breeze channeled power back into the mambo. Possessed, she cried out with a crazed, garbled voice, “Me lovely dark ones—deliver dis gift to dem on dat pirate ship. Make dem all breathe deep o’ me black juju.”
The shadows spun into a funnel cloud inside our circle and removed the banana leaf. It condensed into a tiny cyclone, spun itself into the center of the bowl, and sucked up the powder.
Omarosa’s eyes opened wide like saucers as she leaned her chest and face away from the whirling mass. Her long, kinky hair blew wildly in all directions and her mouth opened as though she intended to scream, yet uttered no sound. Her white knuckles clung to the sides of the bowl. I wanted badly to touch her, support her with my mermagic, but I couldn’t break the circle.
The whirlwind rose high above us and traveled slowly to deck level of the sloop. Then, the funnel widened, gradually encompassing the entire boat. Static from the storm charged the air. Particles of juju powder glinted metallic black in the lightning. The jack flying high on the mainmast shone clear—a crimson pistol. I shivered. The Crimson Fleet still pursued their mark of revenge upon me—the Black Spot.
The HooDoo in the above scene comes across as authentic. Nice job on the research.
What are you working on now?
In the past year, I’ve undertaken a huge writing project of self-publishing a series of five books in an epic fantasy romance, the Enchanted Bookstore Legends. Two are written and professionally edited. The third is my current work-in-progress. I’ve been busy putting final touches on book one, Seeking a Scribe, which will release mid-March.
Where can we find you? List all of your links.
Fantasy Faction staff page: http://fantasy-faction.com/staff-members?uid=38
Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore
2 Things you do to relax:
I love to kayak, cycle, and do yoga. We now live in Florida and I love the climate since being outdoors is always a treat for me. I feel spoiled being able to bike ride year round.
Marsha is offering a digital copy of Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy which will be given away to one random commenter. Contest ends Friday, March 2, midnight EST. Don’t forget to leave your email addy so winner may be contacted. Good Luck!!
Click Cover for Buy Link
Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy
When Ciel first looks into Alvaro’s eyes she finds love. Bad timing. In the next instant he’s fatally stabbed in the back by one of his pirate mates. Her girlfriends warn her it will only bring on a heap of trouble to save him. Unable to resist, she gives him the gift of a new life as one of her kind—a merman.
Will their love encourage him to embrace life as a merman? Can love survive if he wishes to return to human form? Either way, her friends speak true. No matter how much mermagic and dark vodou Ciel and her friends cast, blood-thirsty buccaneers chase them across the Caribbean until Alvaro finally decides.
Warning: This book contains a magical cock-a-too, lecherous scurvy pirate dogs, hoodoo healers, the mark of the evil Black Spot, plenty of dark Haitian vodou, and passionate encounters on tropical beaches.
Genre: Fantasy romance
“Ye damned scurvy dog, Alvaro. Give me coins back,” barked a burly seaman, glaring at his mate on the far end of the long pier. His frizzled dark hair flopped as he lunged for and missed the other man, landing closer to us.
My tail fins were splayed out wide over the dock to soak up the warmth of the late afternoon sun. I quickly tucked them closer to my torso, so they wouldn’t be tread upon.
Having a well-muscled physique, Alvaro dodged with ease, his face lit with a wide grin. Obviously, he enjoyed the game of goading his partner, but seemed uninterested in fighting back. “I don’t have yer purse, ye black scoundrel. That new hand got lost in our cabin an’ likely lifted it.”
“Ye be a liar!” The heavyset man swung wide and hard. “An’ a good one—fooled me. Ye started as a crimp, but thought ye turned into me mate.”
Twisting away from more blows, Alvaro leaped close enough for me to get a better view. His black knee-high boots pounded the creaking wooden frame.
Curious, I remained where I sat near the edge, facing the row of gangplanks. Tall sailing ships stood proud, decorated with their pennants alongside Jolly Rogers. I’d seen enough skirmishes between buccaneers to take them as commonplace in this busy Tortuga port, good entertainment while my two mermaid friends and I chatted.
Dodging another fist, Alvaro jumped.
I leaned into my friend Omarosa. Her long, dark kinky hair away floated in front of my view. I brushed it away. “Quite the showman he is. So quick on his feet.”
“You ain’t lookin’ at his feet though, Ciel.” She giggled and gave my arm a playful slap.
I grinned and nudged her in turn, but kept my gaze fixed on the pirate named Alvaro. Most seamen were rather scraggly, reeking of body odor, missing a digit, limb, or many teeth. The captains and first mates often cleaned up smartly, wearing finery from their worldly travels, but not the crew. This man was neither a dandy nor a grubby hand. He wore well-fitting clothing, a faded black poet’s shirt, clean but frayed on the edges, as were his black trousers. His polished boots showed creases from hard wear. Straight black hair, as long as mine, hung over his broad shoulders to his hips, and swung out as he darted from side-to-side along the pier.
“The Jack o’ Coins just paid me that sum—me only earnings fer port. Hand it here, now,” the portly seaman yelled louder and faster. He backed the other against a stack of hogshead casks. “If’n ye don’t, I’ll be callin’ the buffer to give ye the keelhaul, tyin’ ye to a rope and draggin’ yer bones along the barnacles of the ship. How does that sound, matey?”
“I mean ye no harm, Tom. I don’t want to fight ye. Don’t force me to.” Alvaro paused, and then swung a hard punch into his gut.
Tom winced, bent forward, and clasped his hands to his stomach.
Immediately, Alvaro glanced down at me, intending to bound in my direction. When his dark eyes met mine, his mouth dropped open and he lost his balance, falling toward the edge of the pier.
In the next instant, while his gaze held mine, Tom lodged a dagger deep into Alvaro’s back. I saw shock, fear, and horrible pain in those dark eyes as well as a plea for help…and something else…a promise of friendship. In that moment, I measured the depth of his sincerity and warmth spread over me. The power of my mermagic latched onto the intentions his soul revealed and my body trembled with those vibrations.
He fell into the water, blade still buried in his torso. I jerked to dive after him, but Omarosa and Sesi held my shoulders. “Let me go,” I cried, straining against them.
“I know you want to help, but it doesn’t involve you,” Sesi cried, holding me down with her chunky, green flipper on top of mine.
Squirming against them, I wildly scanned the water. Alvaro didn’t rise to the surface. I couldn’t let him die. What I read in his soul promised so much I longed for. Determination surged adrenaline through my body, and I shoved Omarosa off me. I raised my flipper and dropped Sesi to the other side, all the while keeping sight of the shadowy form under the water.
Omarosa grabbed my wrist. “This is sure trouble you don’t need. Save that one and five others will be after you, and us.”
Alvaro remained below. I tore my arm free and dove in. The water tasted of minerals leaking from his bloody wound. With one forceful stoke of my flipper, I sped downward and located his body drifting motionless among the pier supports. His skin was blue and his open eyes had a distant stare, showing no recognition. Was he still alive? Powered by adrenaline, in seconds I assessed his state. I took hold of his arm to see if he gave a reflexive flinch. Nothing. No pulse throbbed against my fingers. I put my ear to his chest. His heart beat slowly and faintly, while mine thumped hard against my ribs. Contact allowed me to read his soul—dim, but still active.
Seconds mattered. Pulling him to the surface and letting time pass while his mates decided what medical care to give would make his death certain. There was only one hope. Could I do it?
Marsha, it’s been wonderful having you here today as one of your Bewitching Book Tour stops and I hope you’ll consider coming back for your next book release. Congratulations on the release of Tortuga Treasure, and I wish you many, many more successes.
Thank you everyone for stopping by and visiting with Marsha. Don’t forget to leave a comment for her to be entered in her drawing. You’ll have a chance to win her Tortuga Treasure.
Until Next Time, Warm Hearts & Hugs,
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