This week we have an interview with AR DeClerck, author of a wide range of books including The Alchemist’s Kiss, Bound to You, Desolation, and has been featured in numerous fiction collections such as Reflections of Love and Portals series of books.
In our interview with AR DeClerck, we talk about her life as a busy mom and writer along with discussing her upcoming release, Judge and Jury which she was kind enough to share a preview of!
Tell us about yourself.
I am a mother of 2 daughters, 2 dogs and a cat. I have been married to my husband for seven years and we live along the northern Mississippi in Illinois. I do have a day job, and I work in the healthcare field. I take care of people by day, and at night I try to write stories to entertain them. I like to say I’m a nerd, a food assassin and a reading ninja!
Can you take us through what a typical writing day looks like for you?
Throughout the week I work my day job like any average Joe. I come home, make dinner (or buy pizza) and after dinner is my time to open my pink laptop and get to work. Of course I have the typical writer work that has to be done, including my newsletter, my marketing and my social media addiction.
Once I’ve completed those tasks I can get down to the fun of writing. I put my feet up, put my headphones in and turn on Spotify, and I write until I get tired or the words run out. On the weekends I try to steal two or three hours of alone time and repeat the process!
What words of wisdom would you impart with your younger self if you could go back to when you were writing your first book?
Take risks, write with your heart. Don’t let fear stop you from breaking “the rules” and crossing all those boundaries that other people like to tell you about.
In PNR terms, how would you classify yourself, Alpha, Beta, or Omega? And why?
I’m that rare maternal alpha, meaning I know how to care for my family, but I can kick ass and take names when my family needs me to. I don’t like to fight, but when my back is up it’s time to run. I have a smart mouth and pretty sharp wit, and I’ll use it if provoked. The best advice is, be nice to me and I’ll be nice to you. Choose the other path and you take your life into your own hands.
Have you ever written in collaboration with anyone? If so, who, and how did you like the experience? If not, would you like to? Who would be your dream collaborator?
I have written in collaboration of a sorts with the Takamo Universe project. They are a MMORPG (video game) company that hires authors to write the backstory for their game. It gives the players the chance for fully immersive gameplay, and readers the opportunity to experience the story for themselves even if they don’t play games. It’s very difficult to write inside someone else’s world, because we are bound by the laws and rules they have set forth for that world. If it’s MY world, I can do as I please to suit the story. In someone else’s world I don’t have that luxury. I love my Takamo stories, but my favorite way to write is all on my own.
What inspired you to write your newest release, Judge and Jury?
J&J is the story of a woman with attitude and power, and the man who needs her to save the world. I wrote J&J for the Fall into Magic collection and, like all my stories, it began with the hero. Dex is tall, dark, sexy and mysterious. What better inspiration could there be?!
And now for the silly… if you were the leading lady in your favorite PNR novel, who would you be?
I think I’d be Sahara from Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh. She had a terrible life before Kaleb, but a love like theirs is a rare and precious thing. Nalini’s worlds are so flawlessly built that it’s not hard to imagine living in them!
Do you have anything specific that you’d like to say to your readers?
I write adventure romance, and I love to dabble across the genres. All of my novels will feature a cast of characters that I hope you won’t forget. I like to play outside the sandbox, and so you might find horror and scifi mixed up with a little fantasy in one book, and fantasy/steampunk/PNR in another. The one thing I CAN promise is that I write love stories filled with adventure you won’t be able to put down!
What’s in the works for you right now? When can we expect to see it released to the world?
I just completed a manuscript titled REDSHIFT, which is one of my favorite stories so far. It’s what I call ‘futurepunk’, meaning that it takes place in the future, but it combines romance and science with adventure (of course) and a heavy dose of EPIC FEELZ, which reviewers seem to think I’m a master of (lol)!
Can you share an excerpt of your upcoming book, or recently released one?
This is from Judge & Jury:
She swallowed hard. Damn. What a body. He’d tossed on a black duster in the same leather, and it made him look sinister. “You look different.”
He looked down at himself. “These are my standard garments.”
“They look… nice.” Hot. Really, really hot. She shook off her lusty thoughts and tried to keep her mind on the matter at hand.
What was wrong with her? The man was gorgeous, but there were a million gorgeous guys. Why was this one suddenly revving her engine to the point where sex was all she could think about? “So, we’re going to Jerusalem?”
“Yes. Crato and I have sensed the demons feasting on humans. They know we are here, and they will be searching for the crown and ring as well.”
The idea of the demons stealing human life forces made Jury feel a little sick. “How do we stop them without Solomon’s stuff?”
“There are ways to fight them.” He held up his hand, and a soft yellow light began to glow around his fingertips. His tattoos, which she’d hardly noticed before, grew darker, and then they, too began to glow.
“Runes?” She’d studied the ancient magical language with Maman, but she had no real head for memorizing the whirling shapes and slashing lines.
“Of a sort. They are specific to the Sayad Shaytani. Protections and offensives created just for our uses against the mutatae. They are unseen until activated.”
“I noticed them before, but the more I looked at you, the less I could see them.” She moved closer, her fingertip gently touching the whirling circle on his cheek.
“It helps us blend in when we are not among our own.”
“So powerful.” His magic was not like Maman’s, or Papa Antoine’s. It was even stronger than her great-grandfather’s voodoo, and he’d been a powerful practitioner. This was something older, something more primal than any magic she’d ever touched.
His hand covered hers, stilling the movement of her fingers over his skin. They were so close to kissing again, it was like an invisible tether between them. Jury had never felt such an inexplicable attraction to a man before. Where his hand touched hers it felt hot, electric, and delicious.
“You must be careful. The magic that Crato and I share is not like that which runs in your blood. It can be overwhelming for one not of our world.”
It was a warning for them both, she knew. She curled her fingers, and he released her hand. “It calls to me,” she admitted.
Everything about him called to her. On a cellular level, she was drawn to him. To be near him. To touch him. But then she wondered if it was his magic she was drawn to, or him. “That is quite an addictive feeling.”
“It is.” His smile was devastating to her self-control. He smashed through her walls and planted himself directly in her heart. “As younglings we spend much of our time learning to control the desire to use it. To feel it around us and inside us at all times.”
“And the magic can transport us to Jerusalem?”
“Yes.” He stepped back, putting some of the heavy morning air between them. He pulled back the sleeve of his coat, and she saw his familiar was curled around his forearm, his broad head laying in Dex’s palm. He was a tattoo but more, alive and blinking at her with his wide reptilian eyes. “Crato and I must work together to navigate the passing.”
“Do you need coordinates? A photo of where we’re going?”
Dex’s eyes were amber in the sunlight, his cheeks shadowed by his impossibly long lashes. “You will show us.” He held out his hand, his palm up invitingly. Crato slithered back slightly, making room for her hand. “We will be connected. Mind to mind.”
Jury hesitated. Did she want to join with someone so intimately, when a simple body-to-body joining was out of the question? Would it strengthen the attraction? She wasn’t sure she would be able to resist it if it got any stronger.
“We would never hurt you.” Her hesitation had offended him. The shadows in his eyes were back, as if her uncertainty had hurt him.
“I know you wouldn’t.” She did know it. He had so much anger inside, but none of it was directed at her. He was the kind of man who protected the innocent; she felt that as surely as she felt their connection.
She decided that she would rather embarrass herself than let him think she feared him. “I am only afraid that if we get any closer, I won’t be able to resist you. Physically.”
His lips twitched, and a spark of what was surely lust replaced the shadows in his eyes. So he wanted her as much as she wanted him.
She wanted to sigh and shake her head at his typically male reaction to her confession. Apparently, all men were the same, regardless of what dimension or planet they came from.
“You have only known me for a day, Ms. Parker.” He was teasing her now?
She ground her teeth together. “You can’t deny that you feel the same connection between us.”
“I do.” His smile vanished, and his playful demeanor changing in an instant. He was mercurial in his moods, that much was obvious. “And it cannot be.”
“You already said that once.” She reached for his hand, hoping her irritation might shield her from whatever magnetism he had that drew her to him. “I distract you. Distractions get us killed. Distractions make us weak.”
His fingers closed over hers as the familiar crawled over her knuckles, binding them all together in a merging of flesh at that point. “On the contrary, my people believe it is our bonds that make us stronger. We love, therefore, we fight for those we love.
“It is why we bind ourselves to our Goetia when we are young. It is a bond we can never break, except in death.” He stepped closer, his broad chest brushing over her shoulder. “But you, Ms. Parker, are most certainly a distraction.”
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