Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Welcome - About Face

I'd like to welcome Amy Lee Burgess today. She's come along with a lot of things to share with us and has brought along Stanzie Newcastle, who is the protagonist of the Wolf Within series. Stanzie's answered some really neat questions. 

Let's find out a few things about Amy Lee first...

Amy Lee Burgess is a transplanted New Englander living in Houston, Texas with two dogs and lots of DVDs. In an attempt to bond with the city after being forced out of New Orleans post-Katrina, she turned to her writing. Determined to finally finish that novel she'd been hacking away at since high school, Amy managed to come up with a wolf shifter character named Stanzie Newcastle. She and Stanzie have been BFFs ever since.

In addition to Stanzie, Amy has also forged a relationship with several vampires, a witch or two, and other assorted supernatural creatures she hopes will entertain her readers. But she will always have room for coffee and butterscotch squares with Stanzie.

Recently, over butterscotch squares and coffee, I asked Stanzie a few questions.  These are her answers.

Q. If you were granted three wishes, what would you wish for?
I’d wish for Murphy back. He’s my bond mate. I love him so much.
I’d wish for my wolf to be happy. After everything she’s been through, I hope that now things are different, she won’t be so unhappy. She tried so hard for me and Murphy. We had no idea what the matter was and if we had, we never would have pushed her the way we did.  I hope she forgives me and she’ll be happy again. She used to be so happy. I want that back for her.
I’d wish for Wren, my mother, to find herself. She always defined herself through my father and came up short and I wish she would really see herself for who she is and who she could be. She’s such an awesome woman and she’s never been allowed to express herself. Now she has the chance and I can’t wait to see what she does with it.

Q. When you walk into a room, what do you notice first?
If there are people in the room, I notice their shoes. I have a thing for shoes. You can actually tell a lot about a person from what kind of shoes they wear.  You can tell if they are rich.  You can tell if they are adventurous or conservative. If they keep up with the latest style or if that doesn’t matter to them.  If they are outgoing or shy. So many things.

Q. What really moves you or touches you to the soul?         
Music. Harp music. It’s been so long since I’ve played. I miss it. 

Q. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done? What would happen if you did it?
I’ve always wanted to have a baby, but with my wolf being the way she was, I figured I never could because my baby’s wolf might be different like mine and I didn’t want that to happen.  But now things could be different, so if I did it, I would get a chance to see the world through a child’s eyes again and a chance to be a different kind of parent than mine were. 

Q. How do you feel about your life right now?  What would you change if you could?
It’s not fun living in limbo like I am. Because I’m Pack, I need a bond mate to be a part of things. I was a loner for two years and I hated every minute. So if I could change anything, it would be to fix things with Murphy so I could be safe in a pack.  Plus, you know, I’d get Murphy back. If I had a second chance, I’d make things very different.

Q. What part of loving comes easy for you? What’s difficult?
I’m good at the little things in love. I’m the one who makes sure life runs smoothly. Bills are paid, meals are prepared, clothes are clean. I love to surprise my lover with little gifts and surprises. The day to day stuff, I’m really good at.  What I don’t seem to be able to do is say I love you first. I should have told Murphy I loved him. Maybe if he’d known I did, he would have stayed. Who knows, right?

Q. How about a fun question? What’s your favorite song in the world right now?
Beneath the Skin by Collide.  Here’s a YouTube video of it. You want to watch and listen with me? While you’re distracted, I’ll snag the last butterscotch square!

Great answers, Stanzie. Good luck with getting that mate of yours. 

Stanzie’s job as Advisor to the Great Council is discovering other people’s secrets. When those secrets are being kept by the ones she loves most, can she find the courage to expose them?

Under orders from a Councilor, Stanzie journeys to Dublin and the MacTire pack. Her mission: warn her estranged bond mate, Liam Murphy, to abandon his overzealous search for the man responsible for the death of his first bond mate. Not only is he endangering himself, but also disrupting the delicate balance between opposing factions in the conspiracy threatening to tear the Great Pack apart.

Liam needs Stanzie’s help to protect their Alpha, who has entangled himself in the conspiracy’s deadly web. But he also desperately wants her back. In a race against time, Stanzie and Liam discover enemies often wear the faces of friends.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, sexual situations, some violence
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance

Our fingers were still linked when I opened my eyes hours later. The bedroom smelled of sex--of us--and while he wasn't snoring, Murphy’s breath was slow and heavy, the way I remembered from the nights we’d spent together in America.
For a moment I was filled with such aching happiness I almost expected to levitate off the bed. But then I remembered everything, and black despair bit into me so hard I wondered I didn't bleed.

He’d rolled off me at some point, but we were still on top of the covers. I let go of his hand and slid off the bed. I found his t-shirt and my panties, put them on and fled to the living room.

The remains of our dinner had congealed on our plates on the table. The lights were still on, and I got as far as the sofas before my legs went out from beneath me and I couldn't breathe.

Murphy appeared like a ghost in the bedroom doorway. His eyes were very dark.

“Can we talk about it, Stanzie?”

“What’s to talk about?” I drew one of the throw pillows defensively close to my stomach.

I loved him but he didn't love me. I’d tried so hard not to let that overwhelm me and make peace with it. Of all the people in his life he protected, I was the last on the list and that’s not where I wanted to be. “You chose Paddy and Mac Tire over me, and I guess I get that, but it hurts.”

“I had no idea you loved me.” His tone was raw and desperate. “I thought I was doing the right thing. You didn't need to be put at risk in this, and I thought I could--”

“What? Don’t lie to me, Liam. You didn't want me involved because you’re going to do something stupid to save Paddy and your father. Why should you martyr yourself for them?”

“Paddy came to me for help,” Murphy shouted and the muscles in his face strained as he struggled to regain control. “He had nowhere else to turn, don’t you see? It’s not like I could tell him to go screw himself. He’s my best mate.”

“But it’s okay to tell me to go screw myself, I guess. I’m your bond mate. You wouldn't come to my tribunal. You threw me out like so much garbage when Paddy told you his problems. And you couldn't even tell me why. You’re so hell-bent on saving everybody, but it’s always on your terms and you have to be the one to give help--you never want it in return. I would have helped you. I would have done anything for Paddy--he’s my Alpha--but you decided what was best for me in your typical high-handed Liam Murphy fashion, and to hell with what I thought, what I wanted.

“And then tonight you take advantage of the fact I love you so you can, what? Have sex?

Haven’t you screwed anyone in four months, or have you just screwed people over?”

His face blanched of all color, and he stared at me, his dark eyes bottomless.

“That wasn't just sex. Did that feel like just sex to you?”

“No, not to me. I love you. But that’s what it was to you. Will you please leave me alone? I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.”

“Stanzie, I know you’re tired, but we've got to talk about this.”

“In the morning. Maybe.” I turned away from him because I couldn't stand to look at the entreaty in his eyes. In a heartbeat I’d be across the floor to him, and screw that.

He abruptly gave in. “Look, you take the bed, I’ll sleep out here.”

“No, I’ll stay out here.” I was ten seconds from tears, and I wanted him gone so he wouldn't see.

“Stanzie, take the bed.”

“No,” I shouted, and the damn tears poured down my cheeks. “It smells like us in there, don’t you get it? And us is a lie. Just let me do what I want, goddamn it.”

He opened his mouth to argue, but then, defeated, retreated and did as I asked.

Best wishes with About Face, Amy Lee, and  thanks for visiting Nancy Jardine Features...


  1. LOL! It's not a book trailer for Beneath the Skin, it's really a video by a group called Collide. Although I do admit I listened to this song a lot while writing Beneath the Skin!

    1. Sorry! It's now deleted. I was in a hurry to post very early this morning and had no time to check the link. :-)