Blog Jog Day

Welcome to Blog Jog, a one-day trot around the highways and byways of the blogosphere. Feel free to look around before you move on to the next blog in the jog.

With so many authors contributing their interviews to this blog, there is something for everyone. If you don’t know where to start, you can begin by reading my interviews with the recalcitrant hero of my WIP, Part I and Part II. If you are an author and would like to contribute your own interview, please check out the character questionnaire for instructions. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Everyone who leaves a comment on this post will be entered in Second Wind Publishing’s best contest ever — a chance to win a copy of every title Second Wind will publish in 2011. Wow! So, be sure to leave a comment, then jog on over to visit author Melinda Clayton.

If you would like to visit a different Blog in the jog, you should be able to find the entire list of participants at: Blog Jog Day.

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Manuel Enriques, Hero of Indian Summer by Dellani Oakes

Bertram: What is your story?

Manuel: My story is still being written, but a portion of it is chronicled in Indian Summer by Dellani Oakes.

Bertram: Who are you?

Manuel:  My name is Manuel Enriques and I am confidential aid to Governor Ferdinand Deza.

Bertram: Where and when do you live?

Manuel:  I live in the beautiful town of St. Augustine in the Florida territory.  The year is 1739.

Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?

Manuel:  What is a hero? A man who does what he must to protect that which he holds dear. I am such a man. If that makes me a hero, then I accept this role gladly.

Bertram: What is your problem in the story?

Manuel:  The problem is that there is a pesky British spy wandering around causing trouble. The beast is wily and sly, but I’ll catch him, have no doubt.

Bertram: Do you embrace conflict?

Manuel: Conflict is in many forms. If it is in the form of a beautiful woman, I embrace and make love to it. If it is in the form of this annoying little fly speck of a spy, then I spit on it and grind it to dust beneath my heel.

Bertram: How do your friends see you?

Manuel: I haven’t many friends, but those are very close. They see me as strong, intelligent, passionate with women, stubborn and capable. How do you see me, cariña?

Bertram: How do your enemies see you?

Manuel: My enemies never see me. They are dead long before that. If by chance they do catch a glimpse, it is as of the face of death.

Bertram: How does the author see you?

Manuel: Ah, my beautiful Dellani. If it were not for Gabriella, such stories we would write together! She sees me as romantic, passionate, handsome, slightly dangerous, and very well appointed.

Bertram: Well appointed?

Manuel: You will have to read my tale to find out what I mean by that.

Bertram: Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Manuel: As accurately as any woman may know a man’s heart, yes.

Bertram: What are your achievements?

Manuel: That is perhaps not a question I should answer here, eh, cariña?

Bertram: What makes you happy?

Manuel: Would you like to me say something poetic like a beautiful sunset or the seagulls above the water? I am not poetic man. What makes me happy is very simple, my love for Gabriella. It drives me, moves me to be the best I may be.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Manuel: I am afraid that what I am capable of will one day consume me. And I am terrified that I will lose Gabriella.

Bertram: What, if anything, haunts you?

Manuel: In a soldier’s life, are there not many things to haunt him? What haunts me, cariña, is better left forgotten.

Bertram: Do you keep your promises?

Manuel: Always. It is a point of honor.

Bertram: Are you honorable?

Manuel: As much as I am able to be given circumstances.

Bertram: That sounds like a very cagey answer.

Manuel: And it is the only one you shall get.

Bertram: Do you have any distinguishing marks?

Manuel: Oh, yes. I am very well appointed.

Bertram: You would love for me to ask again what that means, wouldn’t you?

Manuel: No, I would like you to read the book and find out.

Bertram: What is your most prized possession?

Manuel: My most prized possession? Must I have just one? Perhaps my pistol. Or my best pair of boots? No, not really, although I am rather fond of these pants.

Bertram: Oh? Why is that?

(All PB gets is a sly grin and a slow, wicked wink.)

Bertram:  Where can I find to book so I can read more of your story?

Manuel: You can find it at Second Wind Publishing, LLC and at Amazon.

Gabriella Deza, from “Indian Summer” written by Dellani Oakes.

Bertram: To get us started, tell us a little about yourself.

Gabriella: I am Gabriella Deza, youngest daughter of Governor Ferdinand Deza. I live in the village of St. Augustine, Florida territory. The year is 1739.

Bertram: What is your story?

Gabriella: I haven’t much of one yet, I’m only just 15, but what there is of it is told by Dellani Oakes in Indian Summer.

Bertram: Are you the hero of your own story?

Gabriella: Me a hero? Heavens, no! That would be Manuel Enriques, my father’s aid du camp and the love of my life.

 Bertram:What is your problem in the story?

Gabriella: Quite by chance, I found out a terrible secret. British spy is trying to capture the fort and take over the town.

Bertram: What did you do? Did you embrace the conflict or did you run from it?

Gabriella: I’ve never wanted to embrace conflict, but one must face it bravely. Troubles are sent by God to test us. Am I going to argue with Him? I never run when I can fight.

Bertram: How does the author see you?

Gabriella: Headstrong, demure, capable, passionate, honest, loving. I am these things and ever so much more.

Bertram: Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Gabriella: Oh, yes, Dellani Oakes portrayed me very accurately. She seems to have seen into my heart with great alacrity.

Bertram: What do you think of yourself?

Gabriella: I think I am all those things and more. For one so young, my life suddenly became rather complicated.

Bertram: Do you have a hero?

Gabriella: My father, Manuel, and Sailfish are my heroes. They are all so brave and noble. Though, in their own way, all men are heroes, don’t you think?

Bertram: I suppose they can be. But I’d rather talk about you. Do you have a goal?

Gabriella: My goal is to marry Manuel as soon as possible. I love him more than I can possibly express. I want to be with him forever. He is my own, true love.

Bertram: What are your achievements?

Gabriella: I’m too young to really have many of those. Although I have made Manuel love me and I have done everything I can to help him and my father keep their secrets and save the town.

Bertram: Those sound like achievements to me. Do you talk about what you did, or do you keep it to yourself?

Gabriella: What need have I to brag? God sees what I have done. If He deems it worthy, than others will hear of it in time. Manual and Papa know what I have achieved. For now, that is all that is important.

Bertram: Do you have any special strengths?

Gabriella: My faith in God is my greatest strength. My faith has seen me through very trying times. I would not be the woman I am without it.

Bertram: Do you have any special weaknesses?

Gabriella: My passion for Manuel is nearly my undoing. All he need do is look at me and I go weak in the knees.

Bertram: Do you have any skills?

Gabriella: I speak English and French in addition to my native Spanish. I ride a horse very well and drive a buggy as well as any man.

Bertram: What do you need most in life?

Gabriella: I need the wretched spy disposed of so that  our town will be saved and I may marry the man I love.

Bertram: What do you want to be?

Gabriella: I want to be a wife and mother, what greater purpose is there for a woman save to go into holy orders?

Bertram: What do you believe?

Gabriella: I believe in God and I believe in the love of Manuel and my family. I also believe in my own abilities to cope with any situation life presents.

Bertram: What makes you happy?

Gabriella: Many things make me happy, but when Manuel kisses me, I can’t think of anything but how happy I am. There is only one thing which would make me happier, and that would be to marry him.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Gabriella: I’m terrified of losing Manuel. If he were to die, what would become of us? Papa says only he can save us in this troubled time. If I lost him, I would have no reason to live.

Bertram: What makes you angry?

Gabriella: The fact that wretched spy is trying to kill us all! He is someone we know, a person who pretends to be our friend. He has all but ruined my life. If I had the skills, I would find and slay him myself.

Bertram: What makes you sad?

Gabriella: The loss of my mother makes me sad, as does the death of Manuel’s beloved aunt. Though they are in a better place, I miss them both very much.

Bertram: What do you regret?

Gabriella: That I with all my education, I never learned how to shoot a pistol.

Bertram: Has anyone ever betrayed you?

Gabriella: Yes, the man who spies on us, using our friendship against us. He betrays me, my family, and my home. I hope I have a hand in bringing him to justice.

Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?

Gabriella: I hope not. I will only have failed them if I do not find the spy and send him to God early for judgement.

Bertram: What was your childhood like?

Gabriella: Delightful in so many ways, but also sad because we lost Mama when I was five and Grandmama not long after. However, Papa and his new wife, Clara, have provided a loving home for the four of us. My older sisters, little brother, and I have lived in relative comfort our entire lives.

Bertram: Do you like remembering your childhood?

Gabriella: Oh, yes, very much! I have wonderful memories of my childhood.

Bertram: Who was your first love?

Gabriella: My first and only love is Manuel. I never realized how much he loves me nor I him, until he declared his love for me on my birthday. He is the most magnificent man alive and I love him more than my own life.

Bertram: What is your most prized possession?

Gabriella: My peso necklace, because Manuel gave it to me. Though my parents gave me pearls for my birthday, the peso shows Manuel’s love for me. He can’t ask me to marry him, it wouldn’t be proper, but that shows each of us our promise to wed.

Bertram: What is your favorite scent?

Gabriella: Sandalwood., because that is the scent of Manuel’s soap.

Bertram: What is your favorite color?

Gabriella: Apple green, because it was Mama’s favorite as well, and I am most like her of all three of us girls.

Bertram: What is your favorite music?

Gabriella: The flamenco I danced with Manuel.

Bertram: What is your favorite item of clothing

Gabriella: The apple green dress I wore to my party. It is the first dress I wore that showed everyone I am now a woman. And because Manuel and I danced the entire night together when I wore it.

Bertram: If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?

Gabriella: I think I’d like the Spanish and the English not to hate one another so much.

Bertram: What makes you think that change would be for the better? There would be less fighting and conflict in the world.

Bertram: If you were stranded on a desert island, would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

Gabriella: Do not think badly of me of saying this, but I would want to be stranded only with Manuel.  I can think of no one else with whom I have enough in common to spend any period of time. Only if we were married, of course. Anything else would be scandalous!

Bertram: How do you envision your future?

Gabriella: I see my future happily married to Manuel, having his children and loving him for the rest of my life.

Bertram: I hope you get your wish. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Alden Cameron Lindsay Scott, the Duke of Buccleuch and Monmouth, and the Hero of A Love Out of Time by Mairead Walpole

Bertram: Before we get started, why don’t you introduce yourself.

Alden: My name is Alden Cameron Lindsay Scott, but my friends call me Alden.

Bertram: Is it true that you are a member of the titled aristocracy?

Alden: Er, yes I was and currently am the Duke of Buccleuch and Monmouth but as my wife will tell you, that and plane fare will take me anywhere I want to go.

Bertram: What is your problem in the story?

Alden: That question assumes that I had a single problem. The story sets up several problems for me. The first problem is losing the woman I felt to be my soul mate in a freak riding accident. The second is somehow walking 129 years into the future and into the arms of the woman who my soul-mate reincarnated into. The third is getting dragged back into my own time and not knowing how or if I can ever get back to her.

Bertram: Since you are here now, can we assume that you do return to this time?

Alden: Sorry, but you’ll have to read Mairead Walpole‘s A Love Out of Time to find out the specifics.

Bertram: Can you give us just a hint?

Alden: I can neither confirm nor deny anything. Mairead will sic Taly on both of us and trust me, you do not want to deal with that guy in a temper.

Bertram: Who is Taly?

Alden: You would know better recognize him as the Merlin Taliesin but he prefers to go by Taly. He is a Formorian and the head Time Sentinel. Anything that deals in time travel has to be cleared through him before being revealed to mortals and/or humans.

Bertram: Are you saying that Merlin is neither a mortal or human?

Alden: I really can’t go into that and I fear I may have revealed too much as it is. Can we get back to the interview questions that Mairead has approved through the Time Sentinels and Guardians?

Bertram: Who are the Time Sentinels and Guardians? Not going to answer that either? Then, do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Alden: Mairead did a good job in capturing my looks and basic personality but I think she downplayed some of my confusion and discomfort with finding myself in the 21st century. I appreciate her tact but I come off as much more in control of my emotions than I really was.

Bertram: What do you mean?

Alden: Well, take the first night I found myself in this time period. I saw so much that was new and amazing like cell phones and computers, it was truly mind boggling. Then I was given clothing that in my time would have been considered laborer garb and these things that passed for shoes. I was just getting adjusted to what I was wearing when Olivia walked in the room in her low-rise jeans and that blouse…it was…um…positively shocking.

Bertram: Who’s Olivia? You’re shaking your head, so it seems that’s another question you won’t answer. Were you offended by what she was wearing?

 Alden:Oh no, offended is not exactly the word I would use. I am not sure I can use the word that comes to mind when I think of my impression of how Olivia was dressed in this forum. Let’s just say that I was seriously, um, unsettled. In my time, one did not acknowledge that women even had legs!

Bertram: What was the most difficult transition for you?

Alden: That is a hard one. I guess the hardest concept for me to accept was that a man had walked on the moon. I am still not completely convinced of that but I have experienced stranger things over the course of my acquaintence with Taly and he assures me that it did happen.

Bertram: What are you afraid of?

Alden: Losing Olivia. If something were to happen to her, I don’t know what I would do without her.

Bertram: What, if anything, haunts you?

Alden: That we haven’t seen or heard the last of Jack Horton and before you ask another question I can’t answer, you’ll have to read the book.

Bertram: Since you’re short on specifics, maybe there’s another way to let readers get a sense of who you are. For example, what are five items in your pockets?

Alden: The keys to my Porche, season tickets to the Virginia Opera that I plan to surprise Olivia with, my wallet, my grandfather’s pocket watch, and about 82 cents in spare change.

Bertram: What are the last three books you read?

Alden: EE Knight’s Fall with Honor, JJ Dare’s False Positive, and Laz Barnhill’s The Medicine People. Both Dare and Barnhill are authors from Second Wind Publishing. If I could, I’d like to use this opportunity to put in a shameless plug for all the authors from Second Wind Publishing. There is something for everyone, no matter what your favorite genre is. Mairead Walpole is – obviously – my favorite. If I didn’t say that I think she might kill me off in her next novel for this series.

Bertram: So A Love Out of Time is the first in a series?

Alden: Yes. The series is built around the non-human races that co-exist with humans. The second book in the series is about Olivia’s sister Jocelyn and an old acquaintence of mine, who isn’t what I thought he was, i.e., human. Not to worry, Lucian is a good guy and he is exactly what Jocelyn needs whether she accepts it or not. I can’t say anymore about that story, so don’t ask. Mairead is being rather quiet about it.

Bertram: I guess we’ll have to wait for more information as the story develops. Let’s go back to questions you will answer. If you were at a store now, what ten items would be in your shopping cart?

Alden: That all depends on the store, now doesn’t it? If I were in a grocery store, those items would be: cream cheese, ground lamb, patty pan squash, onions, organic skim milk, nutmeg, greek yogurt, figs, spinach, and garlic. If I were in one of those discount or one stop shopping stores like a Wal-mart or Target, who knows? I tend to go a bit crazy in those shops. 21st century shoppers have such a wide variety of items to purchase. Olivia doesn’t like it when I go to a Wal-mart or a Target. I buy gadgets we don’t really need.

Bertram: Your grocery items are a bit intriguing. It almost sounds like a receipe. Is it?

Alden: Yes, I have found that I love to cook and play around with food tastes and combinations. I was creating in the kitchen several weeks ago and created a recipe for stuffed patty pan squash that Olivia loves. When I was a boy, I loved to visit the kitchens. We had a cook as well as a chef and they let me sit by the hearth and sample their creations. Mother and Father entertained a good bit when we were in the country as well as in town, Father being a member of the House of Lords. Thankfully, Olivia also grew up with a love of fine dining. Don’t get me wrong, we both love down-home southern cooking from time to time but cooking and eating is a hobby we both enjoy.

Bertram: How do you both stay so fit?

Alden: We stay physically active. Both of us like to run and hike. One of Olivia’s sisters recently opened a gym and we both have a membership there.

Bertram: How do you envision your future?

Alden: Happy. Seriously, I’d like to say something profound but if nothing else this adventure through time has taught me to cherish the here and now because the future you think you’ll have may not come to pass and if spend time thinking of what might have been, you will miss the present.

Dante, the Hero of Nora’s Soul, Written by Margay Leah Justice

Bertram: Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Dante.

Dante: Just Dante.

Bertram: Okay. Dante. I’m pleased you consented to this interview. We are all interested in your story.

Dante: I am my story. I am the hero of every story.

Bertram: I’m not sure I understand. Let’s start with a simple question. Where you live?

Dante: I live everywhere.

Bertram: Everywhere? What are you, some kind of god?

Dante: I am immortal, but I take what I can, where I can, and live it up like a mortal. I control my own destiny. I am what I want to be.

Bertram: Aren’t you what Margay Leah Justice wants you to be?

Dante: She might think so. She’s made a good start, but there is so much about me that she doesn’t know, so much more that still I have to tell her. But I have every confidence that when I do, she will do a fine job of portraying me the way I want to be. She is such a stickler for accurate portrayals, after all. And she loves me. She just doesn’t know it yet. But I’m working on her. I’ve already convinced her to keep me around for a while.

Bertram: Do you love her?

Dante: I love only Lyric. She was all that mattered to me. My life was damned after I lost her. Now I live in the moment.

Bertram: Living in the moment must be adventurous.

Dante: My existence is an adventure.

Bertram: We don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Maybe it would be better if you just told me a little about yourself.

Dante: I like myself. I like everything about me. What’s not to love?

Bertram: Have you ever failed at anything?

Dante: Of course.

Bertram: Has anyone ever failed you?

Dante: I’d rather not get into that.

Bertram: Have you ever failed anyone?

Dante: You are obsessed with questions of failure. Why is that, I wonder?

Bertram: Perhaps if you’d just answer my questions we could get this interview over with. You don’t seem to be enjoying it any more than I am. And Margay promised you would cooperate.

Dante: It wasn’t for Margay to promise, but you’re right. Let’s get this over with. What do you want to know?

Bertram: Your achievements, fears, hopes, sadnesses, regrets, disappointments.

Dante: Those are all questions for mortals. I don’t bog myself down with petty human emotions. Disappointments? Not on my radar.

Bertram: What about favorites? Food? Drink? Music? Scent? Item of clothing. Prized possession? Favorite book?

Dante: I don’t need to eat or drink. I like classical music because it reminds me of heaven, and I love lavender because it reminds me of Lyric. I have no favorite clothes-they all look good on me. I don’t need possessions. And I have no time for reading. Anything else?

Bertram: You must do something. Do you have any special skills?

Dante: Oh, I am very skillful, but I don’t like to brag . . . Let’s just say the ladies love me.

Bertram: Do you have any distinguishing marks?

Dante: Careful. I think that could fall in the unmentionables category.

Bertram: Look. Just give me something, and I’ll tell Margay everything went fine.

Dante: Peter. I’ll give you Peter. He’s my only real problem. Why won’t he just step away and let me have a little fun, already? It’s a good thing I love to create conflict. And where better to be than right in the thick of it? Run from conflict? Ha!

Bertram: What is your most closely guarded secret?

Dante: If I told you, it would no longer be a secret. I’m no fool. But I’ll tell you one thing, life is made for living. Now I have to go see what I can do about stirring up a little conflict.

Bertram: Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to reading your story.

Dante: I’m sure that’s true. All you mortals want to live like me, you’re just too afraid to take the chance. So you’ll have to make do with the book. It will be availabe in November by Second Wind Publishing.

Siegfried Marggrander, close friend and brother-in-law of Gus LeGarde, of the LeGarde Mystery series, written by Aaron Lazar.

Bertram: Mr. Marggrander, thank you for making time to join us. We seem to have trouble getting on Gus LeGarde’s calendar. And your author friend, Lazar, is just as hard to nail down.

Siegfried: Kein problem. I mean, that is not a problem. Sorry if I speak a little in German. Sometimes it is what comes out of my mouth. And please, call me Siegfried. 

Bertram: Okay. Siegfried. Can you tell us a bit about your life on the LeGarde homestead? 

Siegfried: Home stead? 

Bertram: I mean the LeGarde property. 

Siegfried: Ah! Ja. I do. I live in the carriage house beside the barn. There is a nice room to sleep in, and a kitchen. But I mostly eat meals with the Professor and his family. His cooking is sehr gut

Bertram: You and Professor LeGarde have been through some challenging times. I’ve read the first three books that Aaron Lazar has written to chronicle your . . . adventures together and was frankly astounded that so much could happen in such a short time. Can you comment on that? 

Siegfried: How so much has happened to us? Is that what you mean? 

Bertram: It seems as if you two are magnets for danger. 

Siegfried: Ja! I know. Trouble follows Gus and me. But part of it is not just coincidence. There is evil in the world, and we must stop it where we can. 

Bertram: Can you give us an example, Siegfried? 

Siegfried: Ja. Like last summer. A little while ago we returned from Germany, where I visited my Aunt Frieda. She is not well and . . . 

Bertram: And? What happened?

Siegfried: We ran into some very bad men in Paris. They want to be Nazis, like those who killed my mother’s family in Buchenwald. Gus says they are “neo-Nazis. My mother was Jewish, and I am half. Her parents and brothers and sisters were killed there. She was the only one left. Aunt Frieda took care of her when she got out of the camp. When the Americans saved them. 

Bertram: I heard something about you and Gus getting in a brawl over in Paris, on the Champs D’Elysees. Is that right? 

Siegfried: Ja, ja. My face still hurts. They tried to make me join the parade. They were marching in Paris. The Nazis. I am German, you know. My hair is light, but I am half-Jewish. But I got mad. Very mad. 

Bertram: And their leader was killed? 

Siegfried: Ja, but I did not kill him. He had a knife. A big one. And we fought on the street. His friend tried to shoot me, but I flipped Müller over just when his friend fired the gun. Herr Müller was killed. 

Bertram: The CNN report I saw made it look like you and Gus were responsible for Müller’s death. Did that cause problems for you?

Siegfried: Too many. They took me from my aunt’s house in Denkendorf and put me in a cell. It was in the woods, in Austria. Many men came to train with guns. They shot at targets and chased people in the woods. Sometimes they died. 

Bertram: Did anything good happen to you on that European trip? 

Siegfried: Ja! We had a boat ride on the Seine, and good croissants. I ate too many. And Gus found the same church that is in the Hunchback movie, which I watch with Johnny. 

Bertram: Why is this new book of Mr. Lazar’s called MAZURKA? What does it have to do with your European trip? 

Siegfried: Aaron told me not to talk about the mazurka. Not yet. It is a surprise. But he said I can tell you that we made some unusual discoveries about Frederick Chopin. You see, Gus studies Chopin and writes a book about him. He wanted to learn more in Europe, before the bad guys got in our way. Aaron’s publisher said the book cover is ready and he is waiting for the books to be printed. 

Bertram: We’ll look forward to seeing this one, the fourth in Lazar’s series. Do you think he’ll write more?

Siegfried: I hope he does not. That would mean our lives are normal for a while, Ja? No bad guys to chase! But something tells me it might not be so easy . . .