Thursday, August 18, 2011

Author Icy Snow Blackstone

Today I welcome author Icy Snow Blackstone

Tell us a little about yourself:

Thanks for having me on your site, Marie. Here’s my “official” biography: Icy Snow Blackstone was born in1802, in northern Georgia where her father, the Reverend John Blackstone, was prominent in local politics. She married a minister, raised at least seven children, one of whom also became a minister, and lived there all her life. Two hundred and five years later, her great-great-great-great-granddaughter began using her name as a pseudonym for her romance novels. The present Icy Snow Blackstone (that’s me!) lives far from her Southern roots in Lincoln, Nebraska, where’s she’s a practicing grandmother, artist, photographer…and writer.

What do you like the most and the least about writing?

Other than actually writing the story, I like talking about it. By that, I mean going over the plot with a fellow writer, hashing out the problems with scenes or dialogue. That’s a good way to discover what you’re doing wrong and also to get help with places in the story that are being difficult to write. I have a friend who also writes and she and I do this all the time. It really helps.

What don’t I like? Mainly, waiting to get the next story started! Guess I’m an “assembly line” writer. Once I put “The End” on a story, I can’t wait to go on to the next one and get it in the computer.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

My newest novel is scheduled for a September released through Class Act Books. It’s entitled Runaway Brother, and I consider it a fun read. I enjoyed writing it and I hope people have as much fun reading it. Since it’s set in the South, I didn’t do all that much research about the geography of the story, and I also used a lot of the knowledge I accumulated while working in San Juan Capistrano where the Mission famous for its swallows is located. I worked in the Trading Post there, where Native American jewelry, pottery, and figurines are sold. Since one of my characters is a former rodeo cowboy who now collects Acoma pottery, I used a lot of that information in the book. Other things I had to look up: Arabian horses and motorcycles…two methods of transportation my hero comes in contact with (in more ways than one) in his ride through the South.

Here’s the blurb:

At the age of twenty-two, newly-graduated Nicolo Liguori is forced by his three brothers to become care-giver for his father, who suffered multiple strokes. For the next ten years, Nick gives up his own ambitions , working during the day in the family jewelry business in Vanderhoek, New York, and returning to the Liguori mansion every night, to be at his father’s beck-and-call. Then Papa dies and Nick is free…or is he? Carlo, Marco, and Pietro expect him to continue life as usual, but Nick has other ideas. Secretly buying a motorcycle, he starts to work one day and… disappears.

Nick gets as far as the southern coast of Georgia before an accident disables his bike. Stranded, with no idea of the South except what he’s seen on TV, Nick isn’t certain what kind of reception he’s going to get. Then, a pretty Southern miss and a white tank disguised as a temperamental horse named Shazam change his life as they and the citizens of Oceano teach a runaway Yankee about life and love in a small Georgia town.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’ve several writing projects open at the moment and I haven’t chosen which to pursue yet. One is another novel in the Three Moon futuristic romance series, or possibly another entry in a new series, Lovers of Leonesse, which follows the development of a fictional country through the romances of its young people.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Just be on the look-out for Runaway Brother. I should have a trailer featured on some time soon.

EXCERPT from Runaway Brother:

He was paying so much attention to the scenery he didn’t realize the coast-road had narrowed considerably and turned to dirt. Looking around, Nick saw trees on both sides, short-leaf pine mixed with sugarberry and water oak and the only reason he recognized them was because the Liguori estate had a small grove on the property filled with the same trees. Along one side ran a fence with barbed wire strung between high thick posts painted black with creosote. Behind that was a meadow filled with purple flowers, stretching into another stand of trees on the other side.

From far off to his right came a faint sound as if someone was beating a drum.

Nick raised his head, looking around, then gave a loud sigh of exasperation. Okay! So I’m lost! He’d just follow the road to wherever it went, probably to some farmer’s front yard. When he got there, he’d apologize, turn around and get himself back to the main drag. If he could find it.

A broken branch loomed ahead, and he turned his attention to it, guiding the bike around it. The drumming came closer.

A second branch and several twigs littered the roadway. Nick was so concerned with maneuvering around them he didn’t see the horse sail over the fence, wasn’t even aware it was there until he looked up and found the white shape almost directly in front of him.

He jerked the wheel to the right, forgetting to apply the rear brakes first. The bike skidded, its back wheel rising off the ground as the front one stopped rolling. He had a brief vision of the animal leaping forward, its rider clinging to its back, wide, frightened blue eyes, flying blonde hair...

The motorcycle went off the road, sliding into the ditch and running up the other side, the front fender striking one of the fence posts. It bounced and rebounded, and Nick went flying over the handlebars, flipping in mid-air and hitting the same post with his back. The bike wavered a moment, then toppled onto its side. Nick slid down the post, landing upside down in the ditch, his shoulders crushing coffeeweed into an aromatic mass.

The pounding hooves stopped. He heard running footsteps, opened his eyes and saw someone running toward him. He closed them again.

“Are you hurt?”

This time when he opened his eyes, he was staring at the upside-down face of a very pretty girl, at least she’d have been pretty if her face wasn’t screwed into such a dismayed scowl.

Am I hurt?” He managed a growl as he slid further into the weeds and rolled over. “I just hit a fence and got tossed into a ditch! What do you think?” Clambering to his knees, while she plucked ineffectually at one arm, he jerked out of her grasp. “I can get up by my— Ow!”

He’d gotten upright, took a step, and his leg buckled, turning at the ankle. He sat down a little quicker than he intended, back into the weeds again as he ran a hand down his boot to touch his ankle. He could feel angry throbs of heat pulsing through it.

“Maledicta quella ferita!”

“Here.” She slid into the ditch, offering a hand. Reluctantly he took it, being careful not to put too much weight behind it as he let her pull him to his feet. He could see she was worried and he really wasn’t hurt all that bad, but he was angry because she’d been so reckless.

Jerking away, he demanded, “What the Hell’s the matter with you? Jumping in front of me like that! If I’d hit that horse--”

“What are you doing riding this road? This is private property.”

She was too pretty for him to pretend to stay angry, so he toned it down, answering her question. “I got lost. I only wanted to find the end of the road and turn around.”

“You have a way to go. The house is about a quarter of a mile that way.” She nodded toward a group of pines thrust into the road, hiding the rest of it from sight. Nick looked in that direction, then back at her. She, in turn, looked at the motorcycle, still on its side in the weeds. “You seem okay. Is that hurt?”

He limped over and inspected it. The front fender was smashed and ripped upwards. The tire has an impact-split in it and the spokes were bent and twisted. That isn’t too bad, he told himself. Jojo had given him a basic tool set and a crash course in Motorcycle Care 101. I can straighten the spokes and the fender. Get a new tire and be on my-- Hold it! The headlight was smashed, hanging out of the socket like a dislocated eyeball, and the clutch cable... Somehow it had been severed.

“Well?” She appeared to be awaiting his diagnosis.

“Gas tank’s got a hole in it, clutch cable’s severed. Is there a motorcycle shop around here?”

“No, but Marshall’s in town can probably repair it. He does everything from lawn mowers to farm machinery.”

Oh Lord, deliver me from small town handymen! He was about to tell her he didn’t want Marshall touching his bike when he realized, What else am I going to do? Do you have a better idea, Mr. Runaway?

“So which way is town?” He straightened, looked around as if expecting to see the city limits a few feet away.

“Too far for you to push that thing,” she answered, gesturing at the front wheel. “Not with it twisted like that.”

“What do I do then, Miss Not-So-Helpful? Since this is your fault--”

“My fault?” Hands went to her hips. And deliciously slim ones they were, too. Nick had a moment to think she looked anything but angry, though it was apparent she thought she did. Cute, maybe. Hell, he might even say adorable with those blonde wisps floating around her face, but angry? Nope! “Who’s the trespasser? Who had his head down, studying the ground when he should’ve been looking straight ahead?”

“You weren’t ahead of me,” he countered. “You and that white tank of yours jumped a fence and came in from the side.

She stared at him, taking a deep breath and getting ready for some type of vitriolic response. Memories of The Dukes of Hazzard and how the Duke Boys always verbally got the best of Boss Hawg came into his mind. Well, this Daisy Duke wasn’t getting the best of him. He wouldn’t allow it.

“Never mind. Just let me get the bike upright and point me in the right direction, and…”

“I’ll do no such thing.” That made him stare at her, wondering if she was going to walk away, mount her white steed, and leave him stranded knee-deep in Kudzu or whatever-the-Hell these weeds were. “I’ll ride back to the house and get my grandpa’s truck. We’ll put the motorcycle in it.”

She clambered up the bank, running toward the horse now grazing on the other side of the road. Catching the reins and a handful of mane, she swung into the horse’s back--very gracefully, Nick noted--then turned the animal’s head and trotted it back to him.

He liked the way the jolting gait made her breasts bounce under the jersey tee. Damn, they’re perky little things! Che pezzeta saporita! He forced himself to hide his appreciation. Barely stopped his tongue from coming out and licking his lower lip. Hoped he wasn’t drooling.

“You stay right there,” she told him. “I’ll be back in a jif!” She kicked the horse in the ribs and sent it galloping down the road.

He liked the way her butt bounced, too.

They dodged a tree limb, took the turn and vanished from sight, though he heard the sound of hoofbeats for a few minutes more.

Nick turned his attention back to the V-Rod. It hadn’t moved. Did he expect it to get up and limp over to him like a dog with a hurt paw, whimpering for sympathy? Shaking his head, he leaned against the edge of the ditch, back against a fencepost.

Welcome South, Brother!

Thanks for being here today, Icy.


Anonymous said...

I have read Icy Snow’s Three Moon Station and enjoyed it enough to read it in one sitting on a Saturday (and night). Runaway Brother promises to be another great read. I enjoyed learning more about the author, too. The excerpt whets one’s appetite that’s for sure.

Mary Marvella said...

Ditto what Nitethyme said.

Icy creates or finds the most intriguing characters.

Mary Ricksen said...

That excerpt was fantastic! One well written story that I swear I am gonna download!!
Icy/writer, you know how to spin a yarn and suck your reader into the story. Literally.

Beth Trissel said...

I love your bio Icy Snow. Wonderful, and that your story is set in the South. This sounds like a very good read.

Toni V.S. said...

Thanks,everyone! I, writing as Icy Snow, appreciate the good words!