Interview with KaSonndra Leigh, author of paranormal gothic romance Hacienda Moon
Tandie Harrison is a police medium struggling to pick up the pieces of her life after a devastating divorce that left her without her precious daughter and her psychic visions. With a heavy heart, she escapes the hustle and bustle of New York City and moves into the alluring plantation house, Chelby Rose. Here, she meets Eric, the home’s charismatic caretaker. Despite the ghostly warnings, Tandie finds herself drawn to him, and as their affair intensifies, so does the centuries-old curse haunting them both.
Suddenly, Tandie finds herself at the center of a dark and dangerous web full of deceit and intrigue. As fear begins to consume her, she must find the courage to face the demons of her past if she is to have any chance at a future. Hacienda Moon is a captivating story full of suspense and romance that will ensnare you from start to finish.
Note to readers and bookclubs:
This is the expanded and revamped edition of the Hacienda Moon that was originally published in 2012. Please be sure to add this version to your to-read list as this edition contains more gothic suspense, intrigue, and of course romance.
Excerpt from Hacienda Moon
The results of Eric’s handyman skills were beautiful. The final perk was the light rose-colored exterior paint, a shade considered original to the house. Eric didn’t say a word about my upgraded paintbrushes. He was too busy making sure I didn’t catch him watching me as I bent over to paint the lowest boards on the house. However, I turned around at the perfect moment on paint day and caught him staring. His face flushed so badly, I couldn’t resist doing something to celebrate my small victory.
“Wow, it’s so hot out here today.” I stretched my arms, lifting my tee-shirt up until my belly button was exposed, basking in the warmth of the late summer sun. Eric’s mouth fell open. Success! That move totally stole Mr. Intense’s attention. Tucking my lips, I made a move toward an even more creative tease, bending over to pick up one of the three paint brushes I’d dropped.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“What does it look like? I dropped my paintbrushes.” I shrugged and waved the brush between us. “Did I not use the proper technique for bending over and picking it up?”
He gave me a dimpled grin and moved closer to where I stood beside the house. Glancing down at the brushes beside my feet, he said, “They do look somewhat dirty. You sure you can handle that task? You strike me as somewhat of a nice girl. With that much paint and dirt all in the heads, you have to get a little rough with cleaning them.” His gaze bore into mine, smoldering me under a hazel brown sugary-colored look this time.
I held his gaze. “Oh, believe me. I have plenty of ways to clean dirty things.”
There was about a foot of space between us now. “Is that right?”
“Oh yeah,” I answered, hoping that the pulse line on my neck didn’t show the way my heart thumped inside my chest.
His gaze drifted from my eyes down to my lips and finally ended at my left shoulder. “Then why don’t you start by cleaning that big red spider off your shoulder?” An amused smile spread across his lips, but a scream shrilled out of mine.
Eric slammed his hands over his ears. “Damn it, Tandie.”
Adrenaline spiked through me. He might as well have said my breasts were hanging out. He would’ve gotten less of a response than he did with the spider statement. “Get it off me! Do you see it? Is it still there? Get it!” I shrieked, jumping around and spinning in half circles.
“I won’t help you until you stop trying to burst my eardrums,” he said, still half-way smiling. He came over and put his arms around me, pulling me into his embrace. “Calm down, Tandie. It’s gone, all right?”
Vowing to never tease Eric ever again, I waited for my breathing to normalize and for my trembling limbs to steady as I was pressed against Eric’s chest.
Interview with KaSonndra Leigh
-What inspired you to become a writer?
What inspired me to become a writer was a combination of several factors. First and foremost, I’ve always loved reading – I grew up surrounded by books and would often get lost in the worlds they contained. Writing felt like a natural extension of that passion, giving me an outlet to create my own stories and build my own fictional worlds.
Secondly, I’ve always been drawn to the power of storytelling. Whether through books, movies, or even conversations with friends, I’ve always loved the way that stories have the ability to move and inspire people. Writing seemed like an incredible opportunity to be a storyteller and connect with others through my words.
Thirdly, I realized that writing provided a unique opportunity to explore my own thoughts and feelings in a creative and expressive way. As someone who often struggles to verbalize my emotions, writing gave me a way to process my experiences and put my thoughts into words.
Finally, I was inspired by the prospect of creating something that could potentially have a positive impact on other people’s lives. Whether it’s offering a moment of escape, a new perspective, or just a few hours of entertainment, the idea that my writing could connect with readers and make a difference in their lives is a truly humbling and inspiring thought.
All of these factors – my love of reading, my fascination with storytelling, my desire for creative expression, and my hope of making a positive impact – came together to inspire me to become a writer. While the journey has been challenging at times, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
If I could visit my book’s world for a day, there’s one thing I would do: I would explore the Chelby Rose itself.
As the focal point of the story, Chelby Rose is both a character and a location. With its sprawling grounds, grand interiors, and mysterious history, it’s an incredibly intriguing place. I would love to be able to explore it in person, taking in its ornate architecture, secret passages, hidden rooms, and opulent furnishings.
One of the most fascinating features of Chelby Rose is its gardens, which are both beautiful and dangerous. I would love to wander through them, taking in the scent of the flowers and admiring the elegant topiary – all while keeping a careful eye out for any sinister surprises.
Of course, I would also want to meet some of the characters from my book as well, but my priority would be to explore Chelby Rose. After all, it’s the beating heart of the story and the key to so many of its mysteries and secrets. To be able to experience it firsthand, even for just a day, would be an incredible adventure.
–It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
My protagonist would reveal a secret they’ve been harboring for years: their true identity. They would share the details of their hidden past and the decisions they made to protect themselves and others, as well as the guilt and fear that comes with living a lie. This secret has shaped their entire life and the decisions they’ve made, and sharing it would be a huge moment of vulnerability for them. This revelation would also play a pivotal role in the story going forward, adding new depths to their character and potentially driving the plot in new directions. Pickup book 2 the Emerald Isle in July and find out more about this revelation.
–Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
If I had to choose which of my characters to go out for drinks with, it would be the librarian and leader of the mystical group the MARAS, Norma Atwater.
There are many reasons why I would choose Norma. For one, she’s a calm, intelligent, and empathetic character who has a wry sense of humor. She’s also fiercely independent, and I admire the way she’s come into her own in the story. I imagine we could have a fascinating conversation over drinks about books, history, and life in general.
Another reason I’d choose Norma is that she’s a central character in the story, and I believe spending time with her would help me to better understand and develop her character. I might gain new insight into her motivations, fears, and desires, all of which could potentially shape the direction of a new story for her. Who knows what secrets and surprises she might have to share over drinks! I have a feeling that spending time with her would be an adventure, to say the least.
Overall, Norma Atwater is a character that I admire for her intelligence, kindness, and independence, and I would relish the chance to spend time with her over drinks. Who knows what insights, secrets, or adventures we might share?
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
The idea of a dwarf challenging me to a duel in a tavern is both exciting and nerve-wracking. While my first instinct would be to try and defuse the situation, the adrenaline rush that comes with a challenge like this is undeniable.
I’d be ready to think on my feet and use every resource at my disposal to defend myself. I’d be scanning the room for anything I could use as a weapon, from chairs to bottles, and calculating my best strategy for overpowering my opponent.
Despite the danger, there’s a thrill to the challenge of a duel that I can’t help but find exhilarating. As an author, I’m used to exploring the limits of my imagination, and a situation like this would be no different. I’d be channeling all my creativity and resourcefulness into the fight, improvising solutions on the fly and coming up with as many surprises as I can to gain the upper hand.
While I’d still be looking for a peaceful resolution, I’d be ready to rise to the occasion and make my own mark on the story.
About KaSonndra Leigh
Meet your word sculptress…
Author of the #1 Amazon International bestselling novels, the Prelude and the Lost Immortals Saga, KaSonndra is also a mother, designer, reader, gardener, home renovator, and a slayer of undead Egyptian mummies in Tomb Raider. She believes in karma, coffee, and seriously wishes that the producers of Xena would bring her favorite show back.
KaSonndra was born in the race-car city of Charlotte, NC, and now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, NC, when she’s not hanging out in Bardonia (Lost Immortals Saga setting). Most of her characters are based on people that she has met throughout her travels and adventures.
People tend to stop and start conversations with KaSonndra as if she has known them her entire life. Does this freak her out? Not really. Her mom says that one day she’ll get kidnapped by one of these folks. KaSonndra’s response? She told her mom that if it weren’t for these lovely people, then she wouldn’t be able to create such fabulously romantic stories!
Visit KaSonndra’s at one of her online homes:
KaSonndra Leigh will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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