Featured Author Friday: Shawntelle Madison

Featured Author Friday

Welcome to the inagural installment of our new monthly feature, Featured Author Fridays!  Most people are familiar with the more established authors but we’ll be using this feature to introduce you to some of our favorite authors that you might not know about.  First up is the brave and mighty Shawntelle Madison!  Shawntelle currently writes the urban fantasy series, Coveted, and the paranormal romance novella series, Hadley Werewolves.  Her newest novel, Repossessed, is set in the Coveted world but features all new characters.  Read on to learn more about Shawntelle and her books!

 

Shawntelle Tells All!

Badass Book Reviews: How did you begin writing and what made you choose the paranormal genre, Shawntelle?

Shawntelle Madison: I actually started writing in middle school, but I really didn’t get a chance to get serious about finishing books until I was out of college with children. I was a geek with aspirations of a math or physics degree so I had little time to write seriously. I’ve always loved the paranormal genre. I started out reading science fiction books in high school and never looked back. I distinctly remember when my dad introduced me to the movie Dune and I just couldn’t get enough after that.

BaBR: Who is your favorite character that you’ve created?

SM: My favorite character hands down is still Natalya Stravinsky from the first two Coveted books. When I sit down to write her story it just comes out. It flows. I don’t have to work too hard to get into her head and “feel” her. That makes writing so much fun. I get to laugh when the character laughs and even cry when they do. It’s awesome.

BaBR: How many characters have you killed or written off so far? Have you ever dispatched someone and then regretted it?

 SM: If I have to kill someone off, they are usually like the Star Trek red shirt dudes. They don’t have a name or they don’t play a major part. For the folks who do have a name and a background, well, let’s just say they had it coming. To be honest, I’m not fond of books where they kill off a beloved character. I tend to bond with my characters and to let them go I need a really damn freakin’ good reason. And most of the time I don’t have one. So it will be rare for me to off a major cast character.

BaBR: I’m sure readers will be happy to hear that!  There’s nothing worse than losing a beloved character.  What would you say the biggest challenge to writing novels set in an alternate world?

SM: The biggest challenge for me actually is falling down the rabbit hole in terms of research. I like to base my world in the “real world” in terms of geography, but then I like to twist the world with my paranormal one. I’ve wasted a lot of time reading history books or staring at Google Earth for just the right place for my battle or other major event. You wouldn’t believe the kind of time suck you can get from research.

 BaBR: Can you give us a peek into your writing space?

 SM: Once in a while I leave my house to write since it can get distracting. I do have an office with my supplies, posters, and such, but usually if the sun is out, I like to sit on the couch in my living room and work from there.

 writingspaceshawntelle

BaBR: Are there any occupational hazards you’ve found to being a writer?

SM: One of the major ones for me is hand and eyestrain. I’m a web developer so I’m already typing and looking at the computer all the time. Writing for hours on end tends to tire my poor hands out. I’ve had marathon writing days where I can’t use my hands anymore. I’m hungry to get the words out but my body can’t keep up with me.

 BaBR: What would you say are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

 SM: Ha! Good question. I’ve yet to meet a sane writer. We listen to the voices in our heads so we’re already lost. I’ve been writing professionally for a few years, but I’ve learned a bit on the way from others. A writer needs to treat the business like it’s a marathon run and not a sprint. Persistence is the key. Running out of gas happens to many of us. We get overwhelmed with life, etc. Someone who will last in this business needs to stay hungry and fresh. They have to be willing to do BIC (butt in chair) time and toss the excuses out the door. Writing is work, but it should be fun too at times. It’s easy to forget this.

BaBR: What do you consider your biggest success? Your biggest failure?

SM: I’d say my greatest success was the day I finished my first book, the day I got the call from my agent to represent me, and the day my agent called to tell me my first book sold to Random House. My biggest failure…that is a hard question. I’m an optimist so I’ll say I haven’t failed. There are some turns in my journey where I should’ve gone left instead of right, but I don’t dwell on those. That kind of mindset will mess with my head. I learned my lesson and I remind myself I’m successful at surviving.

BaBR: Has the dog ever eaten your manuscript?

SM: We are a pet-free home unless you count the beta fish that somehow has survived for the past two years. When my kids, better known as the Den of Evil, show they can be more responsible with pets, I might be able to have a dog eat the manuscript. There is hope yet!

BaBR: Do you have any favorite books or authors?

SM: I love Octavia Butler! I fell in love with her books in high school and I was so stoked when Coveted was acquired by one of Octavia’s many editors.

BaBR: Thank you for coming by today and answering our questions for us, Shawntelle!  Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

SM: Thanks for stopping by to read my interview. I can’t wait for you to read Repossessed.

 

All About The Author

Shawntelle Madison

Shawntelle Madison is a web developer who loves to weave words as well as code. She’d never admit it, but if asked she’d say she covets and collects source code.

After losing her first summer job detasseling corn, Shawntelle performed various jobs—from fast-food clerk to grunt programmer to university webmaster. Writing eccentric characters is her most favorite job of them all.

On any particular day when she’s not surgically attached to her computer, she can be found watching cheesy horror movies or the latest action-packed anime. She lives in Missouri with her husband and children.

 

Find Shawntelle Madison on the web:
Website || Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

 

Bring On The Books!

The Coveted Series

Shawntelle Madison’s debut series featuring OCD werewolf Natalya “Nat” Stravinsky, her ex-love Thorn Grantham, wizard Nick Fenton, and the South Toms River Pack

Bitter Disenchantment Collected coveted Kept Compelled

The Hadley Werewolves Novellas

Shawntelle’s novella-length paranormal romance series centered around the werewolves of small town Hadley

Bitten by Deceit Bitten by Treachery

The Warlock Repo Man Chronicles

Shawntelle’s newest release featuring warlock repo man Rob Shin and witchy matchmaker Tessa Dandridge

Repossessed

Supernatural matchmaker Tessa Dandridge knows a little mist here and a little magic there will help reckless werewolves and precocious pixies find love. That is, until her magical Smythe scroll is lost in her repo’ed car and she can’t contact her V.I.P. clients. To connect with an important client cavorting in the fifth dimension, Tessa must depend on handsome Rob Shin, a warlock repo man, to enter Limbo and find her Smythe scroll.

Rob has money problems of his own, thanks to the bank determined to foreclose on his elderly aunt and uncle’s home. Repossessing magic wands and cursed pianos from disgruntled warlocks isn’t the best pay, but the Navy SEAL works well as a repo man to pay off his family’s debts. Rob’s repossession jobs catch up with him when a powerful warlock seeks to end his life for his constant meddling, drawing Tessa in the middle.

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Enjoy a Bite of Shawntelle’s World

Repossessed by Shawntelle Madison
Chapter One

Dating Tip #24: Witches hate warlocks who want to jump into bed after the first date. Just because you can pull a rabbit out of your hat doesn’t mean you can pull something magical out of your pants.
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From behind the desk in her matchmaking agency office, Tessa Dandridge thought she’d heard it all until her client blurted, “My last date had National Geographic boobs.”
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She leaned forward, praying she had a serious expression. “Liam, you’re a five hundred year-old warlock. You can’t be picky when it comes to witches. I understand some women tend to decline and often use glamour to portray themselves as something they’re not, but you shouldn’t close yourself off from perfectly fine dates.”
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“Tessa, after all these years, I feel like I’ve obtained a status that should attract younger witches who aren’t hags—no offense, ladies.” He glanced to where Tessa’s assistant, Danielle, took notes.
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In her line of work, too many warlocks used the wand between their legs to do all the thinking. “Don’t talk that way about the women I represent. The simple fact is that you won’t be able to relate well to most of the younger women in my club. They have a lifestyle that you don’t follow anymore. I think you’d be better suited to an older witch.”
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Liam shook his head and stroked his salt-and-pepper-colored beard. The wealth and power he’d accumulated in the magical community hadn’t attracted any quality women—women who didn’t need an enchantment spell to remain in his presence. The young ones found him disgusting and the older ones weren’t going to put up with his superficial crap. Of course, she couldn’t tell him that…
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With enthusiasm she added, “Now, trust my professional judgment. Danielle will arrange a party in a week for you to meet eligible women. You’ll love who I have for you.”
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Liam had approached her agency a few days ago claiming he was tired of the old-school witch matchmakers who weren’t hip enough to find a woman worthy of his status. He was full of it—and she didn’t mean all-power magic either. He was out for sex, plain and simple. And if she didn’t need the income so badly, she’d have sent him packing.
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“Why can’t I just help you pick out the women you intend to invite?” he asked. “Then I’d be sure to find one I like.”
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“If you connect with someone, then you’re free to go out on a personal date. But, you’re not allowed to cast any spells on her and I expect the date to be platonic. If you both have a good time, you can continue on your own from there.”
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He frowned. “If you could just sprinkle in a few younger ones—”
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Tessa cut him off. “Be sure to stay open-minded over the next couple of days.”
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He tapped his finger on top of her desk. “About this no sex thing…I see no reason why two adults can’t have a good time together if the feeling is right.”
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“Because I run a matchmaker service. If you’re looking for a call girl, there are plenty of them around town. I make marriages, not one-night stands.”
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Deep furrows lined his forehead. He rose, gripping an old oak cane between long fingers. With a curt nod, he shimmered and disappeared into mist. She’d won, for now anyway.
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Danielle rose and removed a piece of lint from her tweed skirt suit. Tessa had dragged her best friend from Northwestern University in Chicago to New York City to join in this venture. Over the years, she had been the optimistic, perky side to the business. From her blonde pixie haircut to her short, dainty frame, Danielle exuded sunshine. “Two or three witches we have on file fit Liam perfectly.”
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Days like these made her long for weekends. “Thanks, Dani.”
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She nodded and left. Most likely to take care of something Tessa always forgot to do.
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Time to focus on what the day would bring. The glare of the morning sun peeking over the New York City skyline reflected against her iPhone as she confirmed her full schedule. It looked like she would have enough time to run an errand or two before a lunch with an important client. So, with a skip in her step, she left the office to enjoy a bit of the day before she had to head back to the office.
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Spring had arrived in New York City, and the streets buzzed with pedestrians flowing down the streets. April sunshine wasn’t too hot or cold, the perfect time to enjoy the city. Tessa hailed a cab to the curb. A sexy businessman in a tailored suit emerged and grinned. His emerald-green eyes glanced at her legs and ran up her skirt. Before settling on her hazel-colored eyes, his gaze lingered on her chest. If Tessa didn’t have a limited amount of time to get things done, a brief conversation might’ve been in order. Her gaze drifted to his ring finger. Not married. But he wasn’t supernatural either, so she smiled and tried to enter the cab, only to find out she wasn’t the only one eager to reach her destination.
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An older woman dressed in a dark red coat swept in like a vulture on a kill and slid into the seat.
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“Whoa!” Tessa said.
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One would expect the cab driver, or even the gentleman in the suit, to say something, but the woman gave Tessa a rude gesture, grabbed the door, then slammed it shut. Everyone left her standing on the curb gaping.
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Just another day in NYC.
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The man in the suit shrugged and offered a half-assed apology, then walked away. Wow. Good thing she didn’t do matchmaking for herself.
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She glanced at her iPhone. Since she didn’t have much time left, she’d have to walk until she caught another cab. The exercise wouldn’t kill her.
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The first stoplight she reached took forever so she checked her cell for any new messages. She got through a few before a strange sensation stirred her stomach. It was that feeling of being watched. A long shadow extended toward hers, showing the profile of someone tall and lean. Long legs. Wide shoulders. Even though he stood a few feet behind her, she could practically sense his heated gaze as it traveled from her high heels up to her calves. Caressed her inner thighs then rested on her ass.
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She shifted her weight while the light remained red. Enough time had passed for him to take in her favorite black skirt which showed off her hips. His gaze then tickled the nape of her neck beneath her shoulder-length brown hair. For a moment, she was self-conscious that he could see through her and take in the opening of her shirt.
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The desire to lick her dry lips intensified, and the urge to turn around to see the man grew stronger. Was he attractive? Would she be horrified to know he was checking his phone instead of checking her out?
Hell, wasn’t she usually spot-on with this kind of thing?
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She slowly turned around to see a gorgeous Asian man staring at her. Most of the time—like earlier—she would’ve glanced at his ring finger, but her gaze left his to linger on muscular legs wrapped in jeans before moving up to his intimidating chest. His shadow hadn’t lied. Matter of fact, it had held quite a bit back from her. This dark-haired guy was hot as hell and had bedroom eyes to boot.
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A buzzer sounded, the light turned green, and a few pedestrians began to walk across. For a second, she wasn’t sure what to do. Yeah, a shocker. Most men just spoke up and tried to strike up a conversation. This one simply walked around her and strolled across the street and this time, Tessa took in his backside. She would’ve watched the view even longer if she hadn’t stared so long the light changed to yellow. She prepared to dart across but gave up since she didn’t want a free ticket to the emergency room.
Now separated from him by a busy street, Tessa lost the mystery man as he disappeared down the street into a parking garage.
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Rob Shin rarely used his magic in public—especially for something as childish as messing with stoplights—but he couldn’t help himself. He was practically on the clock with a time limit imposed by his employer: Repossess the vehicle at the 12th Street parking garage by noon. No pit stops, no coffee breaks, and most certainly, he shouldn’t have held up all those humans so he could undress that witch with his eyes. He made a beeline for the elevator. He could practically hear his boss busting his chops. “You keep messing around and sooner or later, the wrong person will see you doing that shit, Rob. If you really want to get paid, play by my rules.”
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There really weren’t many rules to be honest. Just one in particular for his line of business: Don’t get caught.
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He couldn’t afford to break the rules right now. Not with others he had to be financially responsible for.
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His target, a Honda Coupe Civic, sat between two other smaller cars. Everything was squeezed in nice and tight, but he had more than enough room to work. He opened his worn satchel and reached into the folds.
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A whisper, followed by an old man’s chuckle, emerged from the satchel. “I’ve never seen you do that in public before, Doryeonim. What was so special about that one?”
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Rob sighed. “Oh hush and pass me what I need, Harabeuji.”
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Magic brushed against his hand like layers of electrified silk. Between the layers, his hand encountered wands, bolt cutters, and other tools. So many toys to play with—the tools of the trade for a warlock who needed to collect on the debt of others.
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The restless spirit woven into the old leather bag harrumphed. “You don’t see me casting spells to charm the Gucci bags off 5th Street.”
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Rob chuckled. “Every man has his weakness. Mine happens to involve beautiful women with long legs. You have no room to talk. You almost convinced me to let you spend the night in a leather outlet.”
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“The craftsmanship in that place was impeccable. Almost as fine as what you’d find in a Goryeo marketplace. Have I ever told you about the time I armed my handler with a grand ice staff? He stood proud against ten fire demons!”
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Rob couldn’t help but shake his head with a smile. Harabeuji had constant tales from medieval Korea to tell him, but he had work to do. First things first, he needed to disable the spell protecting the vehicle. A pretty powerful one, but he’d faced stronger ones before. After that, the hardest thing he’d have to face was the parking brake. He tried to focus on the mission at hand, but frowned when he smelled perfume. The scent was probably from the car beside this one.
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The feminine perfume filled his nostrils and then settled into his tightening groin. He couldn’t help but think about the woman he had passed on the street. Damn, she was beautiful. She’d satisfied his curiosity easily enough when she peered at him.
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Rob had been too long without a woman. He should remedy that when he got some spare time which, unfortunately, he didn’t have much of. Just one month of medical leave and then he’d have to report back to base.
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His commanding officer had been kind, yet firm. “You’re too good of a SEAL to stay down for long, Shin. Don’t get too comfortable.”
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He returned his attention to the task at hand. Finish the mission and get paid.

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