I'm very pleased to feature Markie Madden today. She is the author of Fang and Claw, a paranormal crime novel and the first book the Undead Unit Series. If you have read J.D. Robb's Detective Eve Dallas series, you will want to make sure to check this one out!
Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortals like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmares about the attack.
Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s coven. She’s unaware of this, but she doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one another as partners must, or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?
A mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice but to rely on her enemy when her very life is at stake!
He stalked out of her office, fuming inside. Sure, she gets to do the easy part, he thought. I can see it now, from here on out, she’s gonna treat me like an AIDE! Damn it, I’m a full detective, why do I get all the grunt work? He retrieved the tablet from his tiny cubicle in the bullpen, then looked in the direction of the break room. What the hell.
He stuck the tablet in his pocket and reached for his coffee mug. Unscrewing the lid, he went across the bullpen and into the cluttered area of the unit’s break room. Droplets of coffee and tiny grains of sugar littered the counter top. Colton reached for the coffee pot, yanking it from its warming plate harder than he’d intended to.
One whiff of the dark brew was enough; immediately, he poured it down the sink and rinsed the pot. Putting grounds into a fresh filter, he placed the carafe back on the warmer and hit the button that would allow filtered water into the machine. While he was waiting for the machine to finish brewing, he helped himself to another powdered donut, devouring it in just a few bites, licking sweet, white confectioner’s sugar from his fingers.
He returned to Lacey’s office. She was again engrossed in her laptop, the keys clipping cheerfully under her fingers. She didn’t look up. God, you’d think she doesn’t even know I’m here! Not seeing another flat surface in the room except for her desk, he set his mug on the small table just inside the door, where Lacey always kept her car keys and other odds and ends.
Turning the big, black screen on, he turned to his tablet and began transferring the “book” from his it to the screen. At the moment, it contained a brief report from the EMS team in the field, Lacey’s almost finished assault report, and his own notes and impressions from the scene. Later on, it would also include lab reports, mug shots of potential suspects, and the sketch artist’s composite from the victim’s description.
At the moment, there was very little in the way of arranging the information, so he skimmed over the partial report that Lacey was still working to complete. Colton saw that she had added the victim’s impression of a smell similar to cinnamon or ginger as an exact quote. She’s a stickler for details, that’s for sure, he thought. She might not even be that bad to work with, if it weren’t for that ugly...incident back in Greece.
Though Wolves were included as Immortal persons by humans, as adults they did age, but at a rate much slower than anything the humans had encountered before; the humans often regarded them as Immortal along with other species who never aged. Of course, their children grew at a very rapid rate, until they hit adolescence and became independent.
Wolves had almost instinctual ancestral memories that could be traced back many hundreds of years into their past. Though Colton hadn’t been born yet, the pack of his ancestors had been the one to destroy Lacey’s coven. It was something of an embarrassment for his pack today, a vicious blood feud so old that no one even knew what had started it.
With the humans forcing anger management classes on all Wolves before they could work alongside humans, violence committed by Wolves had gone down. In recent decades, the classes had become mandatory for any Werewolves attending school, including grade schools and universities.
Now, they were attempting to push it on pups at day care centers. He shook his head at the thought. They’re always trying to make us into something that we’re not. But I do wonder why she didn’t fight harder not to be partnered with me. How can I work with her and this huge white elephant in the room?
His tablet beeped, drawing his attention back to the task at hand. He saw that Lacey’s finished report had been entered into the system, so he touched a few buttons on the tablet, calling the information into his notes and from there onto the case board.
He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, and when he glanced behind him, he saw Lacey standing very close to him, her eyes focused on the board. Again, he felt a bit unnerved by her motionless manner. She rarely blinked, and stood, still as a statue, her hands clasped behind her back as she studied the information presented on the screen.
“You got a way of sneaking up on people, don’t you?” A corner of his mouth turned up in a sneer.
“I just walk the way I walk.” He couldn’t tell by her tone if she had meant to do it, or if it was truly just the way she moved. He shivered, his skin crawling. Vampires were no longer conscious of the need for personal space. At least the older ones weren’t. Maybe they should make Vamps take a class in manners. Yeah, like teach them out of the Emily Post primer or something. This thought amused him.
To get just a bit more personal space, he stepped to the side and studied the board as intently as she was. Well, two can play this game, he thought with derision. If she doesn’t have to be friendly, then I don’t have to be friendly.
Please check out The Undead Unit Series Home Page
Marguerite Madden, called Markie by friends and family, was born August 19, 1975, in Midland, Texas. She grew up in the small town of Flushing, Michigan. While in high school, she took creative writing and was a photographer for the school newspaper. In 1993, she won the National Quill and Scroll Society award for best photo in a high school paper. She began writing her first novel, Once Upon a Western Way, while still attending school.
Markie is now married with two teenage daughters, three rescue dogs, and her horse, Athena, who is featured on the cover of her horse care guide, Keeping a Backyard Horse. She tried many times over the years to publish her novel, first on her own, and then hiring a literary agent, all without success. In early 2012, after getting her first smart phone and e-reader application, Nook, she discovered the world of self-publishing through a website called Smashwords. She finally published Once Upon a Western Way through this distributor in April, 2012.
In the late spring of 2013, Markie came down with a mysterious illness, which was ultimately diagnosed as leukemia (AML specifically). She underwent a rigorous treatment of chemotherapy, during which, at one point, her life was endangered. While she was hospitalized, an old high school friend who is also a published author reconnected with her. Since cancer and the treatment of cancer forced her out of the traditional workforce, Markie turned her attention back to the world of writing.
By December of 2014, Markie was the successful publisher of three books, her first published work, Once Upon a Western Way, now available in print as well as e-format, as well as a self-help guide to horse care, Keeping a Backyard Horse, available in print and e-format, and her cancer memoir, My Butterfly Cancer, available in print, e-format, and audiobook. Her other two will soon be available in audiobook format as well. Markie has founded Metamorph Publishing, in order to publish her own books, and she is now working with two other independent authors as well.
Currently, Markie lives in the small town of Fisk, Missouri, with her family, her dogs, and her horse. She is still writing and is working on a crime/paranormal series called The Undead Unit Series. Book one of the series, Fang and Claw, is releasing October 4, 2015. The second book of the series, Souls of the Reaper, is expected out in 2016, along with a thriller novel entitled Cured Delusions. You can find her at her website: https://metamorphpublishing.com.
1. Great to feature a fellow author also writing in the urban fantasy/crime genre. I'm curious about what authors influenced you to choose this genre. Some of my favorite authors write in this genre.
JD Robb and Kay Hooper have been great influences of mine and I hope I can even come close to emulating these great ladies!
2. Tell us about your publishing experience and what led you to Metamorph Publishing.
I had leukemia, a blood cancer. It was June of 2013 when my life forever changed. I spent nearly 8 months off and on in Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. I spent over a week in the cancer ICU. You know you’re sick when they move you from the cancer ward to the cancer ICU! I was bleeding internally and they couldn’t find the source, or give me enough blood transfusions. It was during this time that I reconnected with a high school friend, you know how it goes. “I heard from so-and-so that you were sick, etc.” She is a published author, and I had published Once Upon a Western Way through Smashwords in 2012, but I had no idea how to get it into print. She helped me, and that’s how I got the idea for my cancer memoir, My Butterfly Cancer. Not only did I mean to refer to the butterfly effect, the theory that one tiny action on one part of the world can cause a catastrophic event by the time it reaches the other side of the globe. But also, butterflies have a special meaning to my friend, and so I wanted to honor her as well. So, Metamorph Publishing was born. Now we have a total of five books published through us, and more to come.
3. I notice you have four books planned for this series. Do you have an idea how it will end? Do you plot everything out in advance or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I think I’m up to six books planned now, but I might not have posted all of them on my site just yet. I have no idea how far the series will go or where it will end up. There’s an almost infinite amount of possibilities with the Undead Unit. All of my Immortal characters will be based on supernatural beings that exist in actual lore or legend, and there are many, many stories scattered throughout the history of the world that I can base characters on!
4. What have you learned since you first started writing that you wish you knew at the beginning.
I’ve been writing since about the fourth grade. I wrote all through high school. I had a high school English teacher who was self-published (back in a time when he had to pay the printer to print up X number of his books, and then sell them himself). His words to me many times were “Don’t ever give up. What’s not possible now may, in fact, become doable in the future.” Those words came true, and look where I’m at now. He passed away a few years ago, I wish I could tell him just how much he influenced me.
5. What are three things you love about this book and what would you say to someone reading this to convince them to give your book a try?
I love this book because it’s a blending of crime and paranormal, but my Immortals don’t drink blood or eat human hearts (well, they’re forbidden by law from harming humans), and they’re portrayed as being as “normal” as possible. They eat, sleep, and go to work just like everyone else. Another point is that, though my characters seem so normal, they suffer prejudice from the humans around them, just like people of any minority anywhere in the country. It’s meant to make a simple statement: why can’t we all just get along? And last of all, my characters have come to me with a very rich back story, in some ways. So there’s more going on behind the scenes and who knows what will come to pass later on!
Follow Markie Madden at these places (It's an impressive list)
Official Website: https://metamorphpublishing.com
The Undead Unit Series Home Page: https://metamorphpublishing.com/the-undead-unit-series/
Square Store: https://squareup.com/market/metamorph-publishing
Zazzle Store: http://www.zazzle.com/metamorphpublishing*
Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/booksbymarkie
Facebook A-List Street Team: https://m.facebook.com/groups/873491482694797
Google+ personal: https://plus.google.com/+103793638053436988384
Google+ business: https://plus.google.com/+metamorphpublishingMP
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaDYw5Ocjq3zynC7LTOwXUw
Amazon Author Page: http://geni.us/3ZSX
Google Play/Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Markie+Madden