Thanks so much for dropping by. Today, I have the pleasure of chatting with Gemma K. Murray, author of the Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart. This book is one of the Cedar River series of paranormal romances which take place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Welcome, Gemma. I’m so happy to have you here. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in a small town in lower Michigan. A farmer’s daughter, my greatest ambitions were to become a large animal vet and to read every book ever written. The veterinarian dream fell by the wayside, but I’m still working on reading every book I can get my hot little hands on.
But I’m a dreamerâ€¦I love to sit and look out the windows, daydreaming about what could be. I love getting tangled in my dreams when I fall asleep at night. That is how Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart came to be. It started with a dream and spun into something beautiful.
That’s quite a goal. You still live in Michigan, but if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
I think I live in the most perfect spot on this earth. The Upper Peninsula has everything I require to keep me happy: forests and water. There is so much peace to be had here and I honestly canâ€™t imagine living anywhere else. This is my idea of heaven.
I have friends from there but I’ve never visited the UP. I’ll have to put that on my travel list. Now tell us something about yourself that others might find surprising.
Iâ€™m a HUGE football fan. It happened only after I married my husband. It was either spend a lot of time apart or learn to love the game. I chose to love the game. We donâ€™t cheer for the same teams, but our fall weekends are filled with lots of fun.
Ah, a little family rivalry isn’t such a bad thing 🙂 Now let’s get to the writing questions. When did you start writing?
Iâ€™ve always been a writer. I started writing at the age of eleven or twelve. I began to take it seriously about ten years ago.
What inspired you?
My husband. He knew I loved to write, but I was clueless on where to start. I sat down with a pen and some paper one night. A love story came pouring out across the paper. It was amazing.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve ever received?
The toughest criticism was from a publisher who thought Keeper of the Golden Dragonâ€™s Heart should be made into a YA novel and nitpicked every little detail of the 3 chapters she held in her hand. The biggest compliment? My husband (who is not a reader) picked up my book and began to read. He loved the story and began to ask me questions about the characters and the storyline. Weâ€™ve been together for 20 years and NEVER have we discussed a book before.
That’s quite a compliment. What are you working on now?
Currently, Iâ€™m working on books to continue the Cedar River series. Book 3 will contain an opportunity for a spin off series so Iâ€™m working on the stories for that as well.
Can you tell us about your upcoming release(s)?
Keeper of the Golden Dragonâ€™s Heart is out now from Leap of Faith Publishing. It is the story of a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan called Cedar River. The town is home to shifters of every shape and size. The main characters in Keeper are Bowie Golden, a dragon shifter and sheriff to Cedar River, and Anastasia Plum, a puma shifter/witch hybrid. Bowie and Ana have been friends for years, but their feelings are changing. A religiously fanatical group wants to wipe out the shifters and targets Cedar River.
Book 2 doesnâ€™t have a title yet (Iâ€™m waiting on edits). It is the story of Adam Thomas, a black puma shifter, and his childhood sweetheart, Luna McIntyre, a wolf shifter/pack shaman. Someone is bound and determined to keep this sheriffâ€™s deputy and the chocolate shop owner apart.
The series sounds intriguing. Tell us about KEEPER OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON’S HEART.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan seems like it is another country. The rawness and beauty of the land draws people from every walk of life. What most people donâ€™t realize is there is a little town nestled on the banks of Lake Superior that an entire group of supernatural beings call home. Shifters of every shape and size live there. They raise their families there. Tourists come from near and far to visit the quaint town of Cedar River, Michigan. The tourists never realize they are walking among some of the most unusual beings on earth.
Bowie Golden is a dragon shifter who is in charge of Cedar Riverâ€™s safety. Until now, the biggest threat to anyoneâ€™s safety was Anastasia Plum, a witch/puma-shifter. She has been the town hellraiser since she was a teenager. Now someone has discovered the secret the residents of Cedar River keep for one another. These radicals are determined to eradicate the entire town. Itâ€™s up to Bowie to keep them all safe.
Ana has always idolized Bowie. She may have stirred up trouble from time to time, but Bowie or one of his brothers would always get her out of the trouble she was in. One day, it happened. The unthinkable, the unimaginable occurred. Anastasia Plum fell for the â€œgoldenâ€ boy. What an unlikely duo- the sheriff and the hellraiser!
Just as these two discover their passion for one another, a group of people is determined to keep them apart. Itâ€™s up to Ana to prove that she is the only Keeper of the Golden Dragonâ€™s Heart.
My name is Anastasia Plum. Iâ€™m the only living child of a puma shifter and a witch. I grew up in this incredible community of supernatural beings on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. From the tall pines that grace our forests to the most amazing body of water I have ever seen, there is no better place on earth. My earliest memory is of laying my head against my fatherâ€™s chest and hearing him purr. I was three years old. Two years later, hunters killed my father, who was hunting in puma form, leaving my mother to fall into a deep depression. I was twelve when a spell my mother had worked for a human went wrong and the person returned in the night to burn our home to the ground, killing my mother.
Looking back, I think she was ready to meet my father wherever his soul was wandering, especially since she was able to get me out of the burning cabin. At the age of twelve, I was alone in the world except for a family of dragon shifters who had befriended my parents before I was born. Bernard Golden took me to the puma shifters who lived on the edge of our village. The pumas turned me away because I was a half-breed. There were no other witches in the community so the Golden family took me in as one of their own. With four boys, Lorelai Golden welcomed another female presence. To me, she always smelled of sugar cookies and cinnamon. Bowie, the oldest son, was my chief defender. He is seven years older than me and he took my protection very seriously. Brady, the second son was my trainer. He taught me to fight and hunt, which is hard for a dragon to teach a puma, but he did his best. Callum and Colin are the youngest. A set of twins, a rarity in the dragon world, they were allowed to get away with a lot. Being only a year older than I am, we three managed to get into the most trouble. They were, and are, my best friends.
I’ve enjoyed talking with you today, Gemma. Please come back and visit any time.