Today I’m welcoming Viviana MacKade back to the Campfire. I remember you’re a fan of Earl Grey, and since the weather is warmer there’s a blender of Margarita’s in the fridge. Unless you’ve got a new favorite, and the campfire fridge is like Hemione Grangers bag, it has everything.
I do, actually… It’s not a new favorite, really, as much as me being high maintenance these days. Can the tea be decaff, and the Margarita virgin? Waiting on a little girl here… it’s no coffee and alcohol time.
Oh my goodness! Congratulations! It's a life changing event whether the first or fifth. Tell us have you had any new camping adventures? If I recall you thought you may venture out again.
We, South Florida, *could* go out but as I’m A) almost 7 months pregnant and B) immunocompromised (I have MS), it’s still stay at home for us. My husband is the one venturing out for grocery shopping and work, but we do go to the beach or hiking. We just do it when there’s less people around. And my husband and boy do roast marshmallows outside sometimes. Does it count?
Absolutely! My neighbor just this week had a little girl. I can appreciate your concerns especially with extenuating circumstance. You need to by hyper-vigilant. Viviana, how have you been handling events of the recent pandemic? Has you writing been affected? To what extent?
Writing was hit hard. With my kindergartener to homeschool and generally at home, my time was cut in less than half. One hour a day. Way less than half. Then there’s the emotional side of it. I tried, but honestly my mind is just not there no matter how hard I push myself. So, sadly, there has been no writing. I wanted to finish the first draft of my current story before my girl arrived, but it didn’t happen. The damn bloody virus happened. I did a lot of plotting thought, so when I’m back (after baby girl), I’ll have stories to either finish or start. I’ll have work!!!
I'll bet there's many reading who are nodding in agreement, and cheering you on. The circumstances of the past few months are weighing heavily on people. My heart goes out to you. On a brighter side, a little bird mentioned you have big genre news. Tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre? What challenges have you faced, or has it been easy to change gears?
I stepped into fantasy from the home-sweet-home suspense genre. I have no title yet for the story. It’s very loosely based on Norse mythology and there’s a lot of adventure in it. And I also have a trilogy that I’m burning to start, no title as well. Plus, two stories made of 2 books each (different characters, one long story) to edit.
As a fan of the fantasy genre, I'm looking forward to you finishing and publishing. Do you have a tagline or life motto?
A very Elvis-inspired one: a little less conversation and a little more action. Too many people spend way too much time talking and talking. Blah blah blah, oh my lord. Nothing gets gone that way. So, you think it (through and fast), and then you do it. It has made my current stalling situation very hard, but from it I learned that sometimes life is bigger than you and the only thing you can do is damage control (hence, all the plotting) and wait.
Thank, Vivian, now I have an ear-worm, LOL! I guess it could be a lot worse than Elvis. Do you have any tips, tricks, or anything you specialize in that you would share with others?
I’m a hybrid, meaning I’m in between a plotter and a panster. Whatever you are, the book that helped me in a way that’s too big to say is Foolproof Outline by Christopher Downing. It changed my game. I’m plotting my trilogy with it, and it’s a whole new level. I advise all to buy it and use it all or in part. Personally, I don’t go too much in details because I like letting the character lead the way, but I love having a big picture drawn so I know where and what they move within. Just like Scrivener, it’s a solid investment.
Perfect. I'm going to look into the book. Now here are some getting to know you, getting to know all about you... Anyone get the reference?
If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?
A stake. Rare. I can only have overcooked meat now and I used to eat it raw, cool in the middle… Lord, I’m drooling….
Worst household chore?
Unloading the dishwasher.
If you could time travel, where would you go and when? Why?
I’ve always said I’d go back and meet some of my heroes. Churchill, Cavour, Boudicca… Now? I want to jump a year from now to see how we got over this mess.
What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
My husband, who knows me way too well, knows he can make me do a lot of things by triggering my curiosity. The latest was try to do a Brazilian wax. Which, of course, I did because at that point I wanted to try. The first time was a nightmare. I swore I’d never do it again. But. (Damn buts). It was kind of comfortable… so I started do it myself at home. So much better.
Most campers play board games. What games do you like?
I don’t like board games. There. I said it. I despise Monopoly and Risiko, and everything that belongs to the family. I think I’d like Trivial Pursuit though.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met and talked with?
My husband. I wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t just that. We might fight, and sometimes I might not like him 100%, but he’s the only one who stimulates my mind and never bores me.
What subjects should be taught in school, but aren’t?
Taxes, and how health insurances work.
Viviana, thank you again for joining us at the campfire. I wish you all the best with your little ones. It is a trying time for many but I think more so for folks trying to bring a new baby into the world. I hope and pray the things happening now, will be a springboard for a new and better future. And before you go, we'd appreciate knowing more about you, your books, and where to find both.
GUNS FOR ANGELS by Viviana MacKade
My sister was all the family I had. She was taken from me and now, someone wants me dead, too. Not sure why.
I’m sure I’m not going to give my life up, though. I’m not going to let them get away with my sister’s murder.
The new me will try, anyway.
You see, when she was alive I could live in brightness and peace. Now I have to accept the darkness within me. After all, isn’t life about balance? Ironically, the man who can teach me how to embrace the shadows is broken, hopeless, and angry. Mark is also the only one I trust to lead me through my heart’s night, and back into the light.
The one I trust to keep us alive.
A favor to a teammate: pick up two girls in trouble, take them to the Team’s safehouse. Should have been easy. It was not.
Then someone killed one of my team, one of my brothers. Now it’s personal.
They want me, too. I can deal with that. But they want Ann. The only person who cut through me, who woke me, who grabbed my hand and guided me back into life one smile at the time.
I’ll be damned if I let them have anything.
Not. One. Damned. Thing.
From NY to sunny Miami, Ann and Mark run into a maze of lie, betrayal, and death, where love is the only, terrifying certainty. And when truth unravels, they will have to risk all to survive.
They entered a narrow hall, its bare walls painted in a subdued magnolia. At their left, an old, dark wooden staircase led upstairs. The veil of dust on the handrail carried fresh scars where hands had touched not long ago. A strange smell saturated the house, one Ann didn’t have a name for. It was out of place and mean. It reminded her of the last moments in her house, when those men had broken in shooting and screaming. Could fear smell? Could death?
At the end of the corridor, a door opened into a tiny bathroom. At its side, another door was ajar. The afternoon sun filtered through the crack, as if the room strained to contain all the light in it.
Mark’s face was detached, set into a mask as he prodded the door with his fingertips. More light poured into the hall.
Her heart rate rocketed as they waited at the door’s side. Ann wanted to scream to fill the silence.
Seconds ticked away. Drenched air mingled with fear ran down her neck in rivulets of sweat. Mark gestured her to stay and took a step inside the room.
She peeked from behind him, saw it was empty. A laugh crawled through the ball of fear at the base of her chest, asking to be freed, but her elation didn’t live long.
“There’s trouble in this house,” Mark told her in a tense whisper after looking around in the empty room. He walked out, moved toward the stairs with light strides.
Lightheaded, Ann followed him holding the piece of paper he’d given her as if her life depended on it. Funny that it might just be the case.
And they say paper and ink are useless, nowadays, she mused to herself.
At the top of the staircase, Mark opened the door with his foot; when nothing happened he stepped inside. Ann stayed behind him.
The upstairs was as big as the whole house. Ann let her eyes run over the filing cabinets, all lined up like little soldiers along the low walls, dutifully closed against prying eyes. An open skylight looked up into the blue sky where a lonely cloud plodded away, but no air came in from it to ease the heat. The walls were plain white up here, amplifying the light and the room’s emptiness.
A body lay on the floor. It swam in blood.
Ann’s mind didn’t recognize it at first, didn’t understand it, but at some point her brain caught up with her eyes. Her senses floated away to the sound of her own blood withdrawing from her head, the outline of her surrounding faded into white. A commanding, familiar voice called her but it was muffled, and too far away. When the white completely closed in, she let go.
Ann. It was Mark’s first thought when he saw Mouse’s body.
When he turned to take her away, to spare her other memories she shouldn’t cash in, it was too late. He would protect her from any harm but he had no power against what she saw.
She paled, her eyes lost focus, and then she went down
Author bio and links:
Beach bum and country music addicted, Viviana lives in a small Floridian town with her husband and her son, her die-hard fans and personal cheer squad. She spends her days between typing on her beloved keyboard, playing in the pool with her boy, and eating whatever her husband puts on her plate (the guy is that good, and she really loves eating). Besides beaching, she enjoys long walks, horse-riding, hiking, and pretty much whatever she can do outside with her family.
The best way to know me is through my website (and the books I host):
Amazon Author page