Angela Wallace

Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Worth Your Christmas Money

Over the past 13 months of this blog’s life, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing and hosting many talented science fiction and fantasy authors. If you received some money for Christmas or some Amazon gift cards, and they’re burning a hole in your pocket, check out these authors.

Kait Nolan and Werewolves

Randy Ingermanson and Mars

Angela Wallace and Elementals

Myndi Shafer and Glowing Trees

The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook

I’m officially on a blogging vacation over the holidays, but I’ll be back with all new posts in the New Year 🙂 And I have some exciting things planned.

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Elemental Magic and Underwater Panthers

Mishupishu EyeI’m very excited to welcome back Angela Wallace to guest post. I interviewed her when she released the second book in her suspense-filled urban fantasy series Elemental Magic (click here to read Behind the Scenes: Angela Wallace and Elementals), and now she’s agreed to come back and tell us about the frightening mythical creature that wreaks havoc on a small Alaskan town in the third book in the series–Earth Tones.

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The Mishupishu (Bless You)

Okay, lame pun. One of the things I like doing in my Elemental Magic books is playing with a not very well known piece of mythology. Going into Earth Tones, I knew I wanted some kind of vicious cat. Actually, the inspiration came from the Honda Odyssey commercial with the black van in a ring of fire and a flash of a black panther with glowing eyes. Anyone remember seeing it? Yep, that’s exactly the image I wanted in the book. So I began my research trying to find a mythological black cat. There were a few possibilities, but I eventually found the right one for this story.

The mishupishu (one of many spellings), also known as the underwater panther, is a piece of Native American mythology. It was perfect because Nita, the main character in Earth Tones, is Native American. However, I did take some liberty in geographically relocating this myth from its home in the Great Lakes region to Alaska.

True to its name, the underwater panther has both feline and aquatic characteristics. Its name means “Great Lynx”–a huge black cat with scales down its back and horns atop its head. In some cliff drawings, the horns are long, but I made them shorter. The drawings also show upright scales down its back and tail, but I refined it so the creature only had spikes on its tail, which it used to skewer its victims’ legs, dragging them to the ground before going for the kill.

In Algonquin legends, the mishupishu had control over the elements of water and air, particularly related to its home. It could summon a storm or melt ice in order to drown people who didn’t pay it proper respect. The mishupishu’s offering of choice? Tobacco. Cat loved its smokes. Tobacco is used in Earth Tones as a way to lure the panther. The creature could also be benevolent, and sometimes offered up the copper in its horns for shamans to use for healing. In Earth Tones, the panther has no supernatural abilities, just a mean—and poisonous—bite. But the horns are made of copper, and it does contain healing properties, which is important in the story.

In my adaptation of the myth, the underwater panther is pure evil. It had been sealed under the lake until someone let it out. Then it goes on a killing spree, but Nita eventually learns that the cat isn’t hunting on its own. Someone is leading it to specific victims. And when a deadly disease breaks out in the town (surely not a coincidence), the hunt for the mishupishu becomes a race against the clock.

My gaze landed on a huge, black cat standing in the middle of the road. Its body glinted with scales covered in harsh looking bristles of fur.  Spikes extended from its long tail like a mace.  Its eyes glowed yellow as it stared down at us, and hot, putrid breath puffed from its open maw.  It did have what appeared to be horns: two short, rusty brown ones on top of its head, the tip of one broken off.” ~Earth Tones

Earth Tones Angela WallaceEarth Tones, Elemental Magic Book Three

Book Description: Nita Young doesn’t know if she has a future with college sweetheart Keenan Donovan—two star-crossed lovers of opposing elements—but she invites him up to Alaska to see if Earth and Water can rekindle their old flame.

When a series of wild animal attacks strike the inhabitants of Yakutat, Nita has to put her romantic plans on hold. Mangled bodies are turning up, and a mysterious black panther has been spotted in the woods. Fur, scales, and a venomous bite suggest the cat is supernatural in origin—and evidence indicates that someone not only summoned it, but is using it to target those Nita cares about. It’s the perfect murder weapon: no fingerprints, no evidence. And in a town this small, the killer is someone she knows.

Nita’s strength will be put to the test as she faces losing her friends, her town, and the man she loves.

You can buy a copy of Earth Tones on Amazon.

Angela WallaceAngela Wallace loves gun-toting good boys and could have been a cop in another life except for the unfortunate condition of real blood making her queasy. Good thing writing gun and sword fights isn’t a problem. In her books you’ll find the power of love, magic, and redemption.  You can connect with her on her blog, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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Behind the Scenes: Angela Wallace and Elementals

Today I have the privilege of interviewing Angela Wallace, author of suspense-filled urban fantasy, to go behind the scenes on her Elemental Magic series. Dry Spell, the second book in the series, has just been released.

Dry Spell by Angela WallaceAileen Donovan is an elemental with magical control over water. When Aileen finds a mummified body at a scientist’s convention in Seattle, she suspects supernatural foul play. Her amateur sleuthing, however, isn’t the romantic getaway her human boyfriend, Colin, had in mind. Breaking into crime scenes and fending off black magic doesn’t really set the mood.

As more bodies turn up, Aileen’s insatiable desire to solve the mystery not only pits her against a serial killer, but also a cunning vampire lord, and an elemental agent with ulterior motives.

But the closer Aileen gets to the killer, the further she finds herself from Colin. Can she try to salvage their relationship and stop a murderer, or is she out of her supernatural league?

Welcome, Angela 🙂

Thank you for having me on your blog, Marcy!

I’m so glad you could stop by 🙂 I’ve been looking forward to your visit since I read the blurb for Dry Spell.

In your Elemental Magic series, Aileen Donovan is a water elemental, meaning she can manipulate water and communicate with sea creatures. How did you decide what special abilities to give each of the four types of elementals?

I saw four episodes of Avatar, the Last Airbender and thought that was cool. Wield a whip of water? Oh yeah. I also like limitations on powers, so Aileen’s ability to manipulate water does have to follow the laws of physics. The more she tries to go against that, the harder it becomes. Being able to talk to the animals of a specific element also ties in to your next question regarding how elementals came about.

I love the history you’ve developed—that hundreds of years ago God created the elementals to care for the earth. Where did you get the spark for this idea and how did it develop from there?

I’ve been in love with the elements ever since I went on a youth retreat where the theme was the four elements and how they were metaphors for God and spirituality. It just automatically flowed that my elementals would be stewards over their powers and the natural world. I’m a big thinker when it comes to stories, and like to have every detail and angle that I can think of covered. And though I don’t write “Christian” fiction, there are certain aspects of my faith that show through in my books, such as being created for a specific purpose.

If you could be one type of elemental, which would you choose and why?

Earth. Earth is pretty powerful because some form of it is almost everywhere. Plus, I would love not to kill my plants.  😉

You and I both 🙂 I’ve even tried naming my plants so they last longer. I’ll spare you the gory details of Miranda’s death…

Can you give us a sneak peak at the next book in the series?

Sure! I am very excited for Elemental Magic 3 because we’re getting a new main character and a new element! Nita is an earth elemental, and she’s got her hands full with a newly made werewolf, and a creature scary enough to take one down.

Excerpt:

It took me a moment to notice the sudden stillness of the clearing I had just stepped into. Not a single pine needle or blade of grass seemed to move. Everything was silent. I cocked the rifle and turned in a slow circle, watching for any disturbance in the woods. The few animal presences I detected were huddled in their holes, not moving. A predator was near. If it were a normal land animal, I would have sensed it, but since I didn’t, that left the werewolf as a strong possibility.

I knelt on the ground and braced the rifle barrel on my knee so I could hold it with one hand while I dug around in my sack with the other. I pulled out a fresh kill—goose, feathers intact—and tossed it several feet away. If he was in wolf form, he would smell the blood. With my eyes scanning the tree line and my rifle still braced on my knee, I took my free hand and dug my fingers into the soft earth. The soil hummed at my touch, thousands of tiny voices from centuries of rock and clay singing out to me. My fingers coiled around them like a lifeline. If that wolf attacked, this was my defense: my earth wielding.

Watch for it this fall.  😉

One thing that everyone always wants to know (okay, maybe it’s just something I always want to know) is why each writer chose their individual path. What made you go the route of self-publishing?

It’s kind of a long, complicated story, one I definitely see God’s direction in. Basically, I queried Elemental Magic and my other novel, Phoenix Feather, for a year each. Both racked up 20+ rejection letters. But hey, J.K. Rowling got that many, right? So no worries. I didn’t even know self-publishing (for free) existed until someone told me (that’s the long, God-had-a-hand-in-it part). I have loved it ever since. It’s more my style, my pace. I love maintaining creative control. There are a lot of pitfalls and things to learn along the way (I’m still learning hard lessons), but it’s been rewarding too.

We all love to talk about what we’d do in the case of a zombie apocalypse or other crazy disaster, but my thoughts always go to how I’d make sure my pets survived too. I know you have a go-bag for your cat in case of an emergency, so what essentials would you suggest pet owners keep packed and ready in case they need to evacuate?

Great question! And I recently learned there were a few items I was missing in that go-bag. Btw, the go-bag is the cat carrier. First, a leash and body harness. Suppose you’re stuck in a house with a wall missing, or a shelter. You can’t keep your pet locked in a carrier 24/7. A body harness works better than just a leash around the collar because it’s harder to wriggle out of. I also have a small fleece blanket stuffed inside. Finally, a Ziploc baggy of food. We probably don’t think about it, but our pets get used to the brand of food we give them. Relying on handouts from friends may not work if your pet refuses to touch a different brand. A bag of treats is also a good idea; you never know when you may need to bribe your animal into something.

That’s a great tip about a Ziploc baggy of food. Our youngest cat was one we took in as a half-starved stray, so she’ll eat anything (including green beans), but our Siamese would rather go hungry that eat a new food.

Thanks for taking the time to give us a behind the scenes peek!

Angela WallaceAngela Wallace has been penning adventures ever since she was sucked through a magical portal as a child. She has since come back down to earth, only to discover this mortal realm has magic of its own. Now she is quite at home in the world of urban fantasy, though she believes that love, faith, and hope are of a stronger magic than fire wielding and sorcery. She loves gun-toting good boys, and could have been a cop in another life except real blood makes her queasy. She’ll have to stick to solving supernatural mysteries. You can find out more about her at her Elemental Magic blog, or connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads.

Dry Spell is currently available as an ebook from Amazon or as a paperback from Amazon. More formats coming soon!

Which elemental would you like to be (earth, air, fire, or water)?

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