9 hours ago
Spotlight author- Gracen Miller
Welcome spotlight author, Gracen Miller!
A MOTHER’S NIGHTMARE
By: Gracen Miller
Thanks so much for allowing me to join you, Chastity!
Do you ever wonder where authors get their ideas for a story? Most of the time, I can find inspiration anywhere, in everyday stuff, a lyric, a photo or even a general comment. I’ve also been known to steal them from my dreams as well.
The idea for the Road to Hell series was spawned from a nightmare. Yes, a nightmare! My nightmares can be disturbing, stuff that is so troubling I won’t voice them for fear of giving them power. But I love them at times as well because they jump-start my Muse with creativity.
As for the Road to Hell series story…I was demon hunting with Sam and Dean Winchester! Woohoo! What Supernatural fan doesn’t love that dream, right? That’s more like a fantasy come to life! So, the boys were at my house trying to save me from getting eaten by a ghost, which turned into a demon. You know how dreams are, the parameters change randomly and it makes total sense in the dream! In the beginning of the dream, we were in an unrecognizable house and by the end of the dream in my current one. And this made total sense in the dream! LOL I wasn’t too worried about the ghost/demon even though Sam and Dean kept telling me I should be. I kept reminding them that ghosts visited me all the time and I knew how to handle them. Easy-peasy stuff. They were soooo not needed, except for as eye-candy. Never turn away prime eye-candy, that’s my motto. ;-) Anyway, Dean was upset, calling me a stubborn chick…I don’t remember saying thanks to that quip, but I do remember taking it as a compliment! LOL
Then my subconscious threw a wrench into the dream, altering the parameters once again. My children were suddenly mixed into the evolving nightmare. The ghost/demon targeted them, wanting to steal their soul or possess them—I’m not sure which really, all that mattered was that they were the new aim. FYI, in mother lingo that means: game-freakin’-on and I will hunt you down and kill you slowly for even turning your murderous eyes on them! *smiles sweetly*
Furious and ready to kill the ghost/demon, I demanded directions from the Winchesters on how to annihilate this sucker that endangered my babies! Dean was being snarky, calling me sweetheart and reminding me that I should let the professionals handle it. You know, I really didn’t like Dean-dream’s attitude! He was this close *demonstrates with forefinger and thumb clamped together* from getting smacked upside the head!!
He and I were going at it when I woke up. I came out of that nightmare furious, and it took me a few moments of blinking in the dark room to realize it was just a dream. My kids were okay, slumbering across the hall in their beds. When that reality set in, I was a bit miffed about not getting the opportunity to kill the creature or smack Dean. I hate the way dreams end without any finality to them. It’s like watching a romance movie where one of them dies at the end…. You’re vested, only to be disappointed at the end!
But I got to thinking…the worst nightmare any parent can endure is when their child is harmed. Especially when it’s something you cannot control nor do anything about. The absolute helplessness of this is crushing. I’ve endured this type of debilitation with my eldest son when he began to suffer grand mal seizures at the age of 3. Nothing I could do but twiddle my thumbs and watch while he endured them. We finally found the magical pill that controlled them and he outgrew them—whew!—but we were ultimately unable to help.
The nightmare got me to thinking “what if”…
What if a mother was faced with something supernatural tormenting her child? What if doctors couldn’t help? What if she had no idea what she should do? How would she react? How could she battle an unknown entity when she had no knowledge of the supernatural world? Wouldn’t she require help, guidance, and a teacher….anyone with experience to help her?
Ultimate question…How far would she go to save him and how reckless would she become?
And that’s how the Road to Hell series was conceived. My nightmare created characters that are so real-to-life in my head, I don’t question their chatter any longer. I love each of them—even the villain—as if they were my own children.
On December 18th, the final book, Genesis Queen, in the saga was released. I invite you to open book one, Pandora’s Box, for a sexy and terrifying ride on the Road to Hell. A word of caution this series must be read in order of you’ll be terribly confused. If you read it, I’d love to know what you think!
Thanks for having me with you today!
Where you can stalk me—not really!—but I would love to meet and interact with you:
Road to Hell series FB Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Road-to-Hell-series/112564408814796?ref=ts
Praise for Madison’s Life Lessons
“I loved it! Gracen has a natural talent for bringing her characters to life. I literally felt like I was right there watching and experiencing everything.”
~ Tich, Loves AllThingsBooks Book Reviews
Praise for Pandora’s Box
“Gracen Miller has definitely added spice and intrigue in to a genre that can somewhat be monotonous with the same story lines about demons, angels, succubi, and other paranormal creatures.”
~ Kathryn Grimes, Tsk Tsk What to Read
Praise for Hell’s Phoenix
“It blows J.R. Ward out of the water!”
~ Dawn Hagan, I Love Books
About the Author
Gracen is a small town girl who was transplanted to the big city almost ten years ago. She describes herself as a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a “normal” person in Southern society. When not writing, she’s a full-time basketball/football/guitar mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband. She’s addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels and movies, Alabama football and coffee…addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She is convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and blending coffee and writing generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her stories are spawned from these coffee highs. To learn more about Gracen and her writing or to leave her a comment, visit her website at www.gracen-miller.com.
"Madison's Life Lessons"
Prequel Novella - ROAD TO HELL series
(NOT required reading before beginning the series)
Fate can mark one early for a particular future.Madison Wescott’s life is Hell on earth. Her father, a Baptist Preacher, convinces her she’s morally corrupt when men notice her blooming beauty. She strives to be unnoticeable, but nothing satisfies her condemning parents.
And sometimes fate has nothing to do with one’s potential.Temptation rears its head when Micah Dominus visits her father’s church on Christmas morning, but she is unprepared for her physical reaction to him. Frightened by her own emotions, she is grateful she’ll never see him again. But when he shows up again at a friend’s funeral, and at other times in her life, she’s swayed by his charisma. Micah becomes her white knight through the good and bad, but can they create the perfect life together? Or has she just located the beginning of the Road to Hell?
Supernatural forces more powerful than fate can claim one’s destiny…
Madison’s Life Lessons Excerpt:
“You’re morally damned, Madison Grace Wescott!” Bruce Wescott screamed the outraged whisper into his daughter’s face. “It shames me to recognize you as my daughter.”
Madison shrunk further into the corner of the church bench, wishing she could shrink out of sight. Maybe if she were out of Daddy’s sight, she’d be out of his mind too, she thought as she blinked back the stinging tears. A hurried peek around the church sanctuary confirmed no one else witnessed her setback.
Unsure what she’d done to receive his censure this time, she offered a weak, “Yes, sir, I’m sorry, Daddy.”
Not that an apology ever appeased him.
“It’s not me you should be apologizing too, young lady, but the Lord,” he snapped drawing to his five-foot six stature. “If you don’t repent and alter your ways, God’ll see you burn in Hell.”
“Yes, sir, I understand.” She hoped she sounded meek enough to suit his temper or she’d find herself on her knees after church service praying for her soul. Depending upon his mood, she could pray for hours without a restroom break or a knee break. And boy, oh, boy, could her knees suffer brutal agony in that position.
It would be great if she knew what to repent so she could avoid the burn of Hell. She didn’t want to burn any more than he wanted her to burn. A typical complaint centered on her appearance. Her hair was too blonde, her eyes too blue, her boobs too big and her figure too lush for her too-tall frame. At fifteen she was already three and a half inches taller than him. All these complaints apparently forced men to sin against God by lusting after her. Not that she encouraged men to lust after her, mind you, but on the off chance that they did, it was still her fault in Daddy’s eyes.
“Brother Wescott,” Becca Slayter said with her hand extended to her father, cheap red lipstick smeared outside the lip-line of her saggy mouth. The over-abundance of lipstick did not give her the appearance of fuller lips. Reminded of another one of her father’s complaints—her lips were too full and sensual—Madison pinched her lips together. “I wanted to extol how much your sermon last Sunday enriched my life this week. Why I was telling Cynthia Jones…”
Madison stopped listening to Becca Slayter’s conversation with her dad because she didn’t much like ‘Sister’ Becca or her high-pitched annoying voice. And she was old, like thirty or thirty-five, and all Sister Becca ever did was brag about some new object she’d received.
She peeked around the sanctuary and took special care not to openly snag the gaze of any man. Opening her worn leather-bound Holy Bible to the Gospel of Luke, she began to read and mentally pray God would forgive her for whatever sin she’d committed. If she were lucky, by the time Daddy finished his morning sermon he would forget all about her morally damned soul. She sure didn’t want to spend the afternoon praying on her knees.
Book 1 in ROAD TO HELL series
(MUST BE READ BEFORE READING HELL’S PHOENIX)
Where does the road to Hell begin?What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight and your husband disappears on his way to work? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn’t believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a world she didn’t know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.
With good intentions? Or by demonic design?Phoenix Birmingham bursts into Madison’s life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed, but only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them. Even with Phoenix’s aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail while they pay the crucial price with their souls?
In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind’s liberty has begun...
Pandora’s Box Excerpt:
“May I?” He held up the medical supplies.
She nodded and watched as he doused gauze with antiseptic. “Dr. Nix at your service,” he said with a grin, two adorable dimples charming her where words failed.
Madison rolled her eyes, and tipped her head to the side to give him better access. He brushed her hair off her neck, back behind her shoulder. Such a simple gesture, yet it felt terribly personal. The air grew thick and sticky with her awareness of him. She shifted in her seat and crossed her legs.
Madison stared into his eyes. Green, she thought, his eyes were green, gorgeous and intense, with ridiculously long eyelashes women would fantasize about. If they didn’t, they should. A flicker of compassion, concern, and something else she couldn’t identify flashed in his eyes.
“Ready?” he asked.
The husky tenor of his voice forced her gaze to shift to his mouth. Nice, sexy lips, designed for kissing. She gave a mental shake but couldn’t resist wondering how his mouth would feel on hers.
“Madison?” Humor deepened his voice, a touch of a smile tilted the edges of the lips she’d been fantasizing about, and she realized she still stared at them. “You ready?” he asked again, and her eyes widened in embarrassment over her foolish stupor.
She swallowed hard. “Yeah.” She whispered past the lump in her throat and forced her vision to lock on the wall over his shoulder. Good God, what was wrong with her? Her pulse throbbed like crazy, and she felt woozy. Loss of blood! Must be why she reacted that way. No other explanation made sense.
Even though the antiseptic stung like hell, the gentle touch coming from such a gruff man surprised her. “It’s not bad,” he said, dabbing the blood away. “Just a nick.”
Well, she could nix the blood loss theory. Exhaustion and stress were the only other excuses she could come up with. “I’ve suffered worse.” Her voice sounded off, kind of hoarse. She tried to clear her throat delicately, but he must have noticed her unease, because his perceptive eyes met hers. Again, she thought she caught the edge of concern reflected in their green depths.
“This isn’t the first time he’s attacked you?”
“No. It’s the first time he’s tried to seriously kill me, though.” She sighed as she closed her eyes, ready to give up fighting, the sudden tears threatening to fall. Okay, woozy and acting strange because of strain…not because of him. Seriously, as far as first impressions went, she wasn’t impressed.
Book 2 in ROAD TO HELL series
Print – Coming Soon
Hell’s become more than just a playground for the wicked…
Going to Hell was supposed to save Madison, but knowing she’s dead because of his failure leaves Nix with only one thing to live for. Revenge. With Micah’s help he learns to use his Messianic power. Anything for Mads has become his mantra, even if it means killing innocents to gather the power he needs to succeed. A tsunami he unleashes on a Gulf Coast city is stopped with magical interference, and Nix is more than surprised to feel Madison in the opposing magic. Can he and Micah set a trap to lure her out?
Pandora’s Box…once you open it, there’s no turning back!
Madison has done the unthinkable, opened Pandora’s Box to save Nix from Hell. And failed. She’s willing to risk her own life to rescue Nix, but she worries about the welfare of her accomplice in the mission and leaving her son behind. Following up on a lead, she’s ambushed by Nix and Micah. Shocked and hurt to discover Nix has become a willing participant of Hell, she’s more certain than ever she won’t escape the demonic fate her husband outlined for her. While in Hell, she discovers denying the emergence of her succubus is futile, which means getting Nix out of Hell after embracing her inner demon just became a very real dilemma…
Hell’s Phoenix Excerpt:
“You’ll heal her promptly,” Micah growled, shifting back into his human persona, as he offered his legs as a pillow for her head. She’d have pushed him away if she could’ve managed to contort her body to that angle.
Madison gaped at the blood darkening her jeans and spreading down her thigh. “That hurts way worse than I thought being shot would.”
“I need to get your pants off, Mads, to heal you.” Nix’s fingers went to the snap of her jeans.
She knocked his hands away. “You’ll heal the others first.”
“He shot the main artery in your thigh, Madison. You’ll bleed out before he finishes with them.” Micah compressed his lips together and spoke as if he ground his teeth together. “I’ve lost you twice. I will not lose you again.”
“Death would at least grant me freedom from you!”
Micah’s mouth flattened in displeasure. “Phoenix, I would ask you to do as she requests.”
“Goddamnit, Mads, I swear I’ll heal them immediately after I take care of you.”
Madison glared at Nix. “E kawoja ciok tauqelv.” I refuse your healing. Nix spewed curses in Xapil. “Impressive, you’ve learned how to curse in demon.”
Nix scowled. “Stubborn.”
Madison clenched her teeth in silent mutiny. Nix cupped the back of her head, tugged slightly and kissed her hard on the lips. Excitement zinged through her system. Her attraction to him always presented itself at the most inappropriate moments.
“I find that stubborn trait sexy, baby.”
“Flattery gets you nowhere, Nix.” She winced at the tug against her wounded flesh as he rested her against Micah’s thighs.
“What does?” Nix jerked the hem of one pant leg up and tugged the blade strapped to her ankle out of its harness.
He brandished the knife he’d given her for her thirtieth birthday and grinned. “Does healing them count?”
Nix rolled to his feet and leveled her with his stare. “You’re a hard woman to please.”
“Cease the flirtations with my wife.” Micah’s grip on her shoulders intensified. “Heal those bottom-feeders, and then heal her.”
Book 3 in ROAD TO HELL series
Coming December 18, 2012 to Decadent Publishing and online e-book stores
Victory is hollow when fate maneuvers one as a pawn.
Madison’s mission is complete. Nix is rescued from Hell and her son safe from his dark destiny. But in the safe harbor of Nix’s love, her demonic husband warns of a murderous plot. Can she trust that it’s the truth and not another scheme to claim her for Hell’s throne?
Sometimes internal struggles can house our biggest demons.
With allies divided and prophecy heralding defeat, Madison gambles on Micah’s tenuous honor to keep their son protected. Torn between her heart’s desires and her dark requirements, Madison worries her hellish fate cannot be avoided. When betrayal comes from an unlikely direction, all their futures may be damned. In the darkest hour of Madison’s life, an undeniable providence will transpire. Who can she trust? And how far will she fall to defeat her foes?
Amid the rubble of defeat will Hell’s Genesis Queen dawn?
Genesis Queen Excerpt:
Nix located Mads in the kitchen. Bacon sizzled in the frying pan and grits were on a slow boil in a pot on the stove. She beat up a batch of pancake mix; at least he thought that was what she whipped up.
“How can you cook at a time like this?”
She did the most normal things at the weirdest moments.
“I’m not convinced this isn’t one of Micah’s attempts to bring me to heel.” She set the bowl aside and pulled out a griddle. “And cooking soothes me.”
God knew he loved her food. His belly grumbled in agreement. The way she moved as she prepared food was a thing of beauty, too. Watching her calmed him.
He handed over the photo Amos had drawn.
She wiped her hands on a kitchen towel before grasping the picture. After a long moment, she canted her face toward him. “What’s this?”
“Amos had a vision. Went glowy-eyed. That”—he nodded at the paper in her hand—“is the man he says is behind the attack.”
“An angel.” No question. A stated fact. Mads blew out a breath and leaned against the counter behind her. “He and Georgie hadn’t seen before….” She rubbed her eyes. “I thought Micah was lying. Like always.”
“He rarely lies.” The angel was painfully honest more often than not. It hurt to admit that even to himself. He wanted her to think of her husband as an unfeeling monster, but Nix’s relationship with Mads would always be built on honesty.
Her head snapped back. “Don’t defend him.”
“I’m not.” Not really, just stating the truth. He strode around the island and stepped in front of her. “We need him to help protect you both.”
“Mads, baby….” He settled his weight against her. She adjusted her stance, widening her stride and granting him space between her thighs. His fingers slid through her hair, as her hands settled on his hips, her thumbs anchoring in his belt-loops. “I want you two as safe as I can get you. If accepting that bastard’s aid is going to keep you breathing, then we need it.”