Mystic Maples by Tena Stetler makes its Deerbourne Inn series premiere!

Welcome, Tena!

From Tena: “Mystic Maples is my contribution to the multi-author series The Deerbourne Inn. If you haven’t read any of the series, I highly recommend them. Each story is written by a different author and share scenes within Willow Springs, Vermont centering on The Deerbourne Inn and its cast of quirky characters.”

(Jean here…I second the above! What a great series so far!)

What inspired this (specific) story? 

After reading all the original information set out for the multi-author series The Deerbourne Inn, Mercy and Sil began chattering in my mind. They claimed the setting was perfect for their story. Once I did the character worksheets I always do before starting a story, I discovered they were right.   I love writing small town stories and putting a paranormal twist on them.  

Any interesting discovery or tidbit of info while researching/writing this book?

I had to research the process of making Sugar Maple sap into Maple syrup, so I would know the equipment used, the buildings used and the time of year. My hero took over Mystic Maples the family maple business in Willow Springs, Vermont. Did you know sugaring season for maple syrup is from early February through late March?

Fun Facts:

  • It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.

  • Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids – making it good for your health and a great alternative to refined sugar (in moderation of course). 

  • REAL maple syrup is 100% fat free and contains no preservatives.

  • Buy extra! You can keep maple syrup in the freezer for a very very long time (like forever)! It will never freeze solid. Always keep your open bottle of syrup in the refrigerator. 

  • There is actually a law in Vermont making it illegal to label a product on a restaurant menu or food package as “maple” if it is not pure maple syrup. Vermonters take this stuff seriously!

Tell us one unique thing about you many might not know.

I was a radio DJ for two years on a Classic Rock Station KKFM. It was a fun job, the perks of attending the rock concerts and meeting the bands rocked, but the pay sucked! It was an experience I enjoyed.

Mystic Maples…  Earth/Fire witch Mercy Rose's insatiable curiosity always gets her in trouble. After a break-in at her Colorado flower shop, and a court battle that comes to a screeching halt in her favor, she arrives at Deerbourne Inn for a much-needed getaway. Looking for peace and quiet, she finds just the opposite in a startling handsome but mysterious man and his dog.  Silvanus Forrest's gypsy/fae heritage is a double-edged sword. The land he inherited from his parents is rumored to be enchanted. But when Mercy discovers the truth, his well-ordered life unravels, and they're catapulted into the past to right a wrong. Along the way their lives intertwine, and they discover the true meaning of family and love. Will they change the past in time to save their future?

Mystic Maples…

Earth/Fire witch Mercy Rose's insatiable curiosity always gets her in trouble. After a break-in at her Colorado flower shop, and a court battle that comes to a screeching halt in her favor, she arrives at Deerbourne Inn for a much-needed getaway. Looking for peace and quiet, she finds just the opposite in a startling handsome but mysterious man and his dog.

Silvanus Forrest's gypsy/fae heritage is a double-edged sword. The land he inherited from his parents is rumored to be enchanted. But when Mercy discovers the truth, his well-ordered life unravels, and they're catapulted into the past to right a wrong. Along the way their lives intertwine, and they discover the true meaning of family and love. Will they change the past in time to save their future?

Find Mystic Maples: Amazon, AmazonUK, AmazonAU, AmazonCA Barnes&Noble and itunes

Speed-dating round:

Oxford comma, yes or no?  Yes, but not willingly.

Ice cream (favorite flavor)? Chocolate

Tena’s work cave

Tena’s work cave

Coffee or tea or wine? French Vanilla Tea

In an alternate reality, what would be your dream job (besides author)? Well paid DJ.

Where is your favorite place you've visited (or wish to visit)? I’d love to visit Scotland and Ireland.But  I love Monterey Bay, California.

Beach, lake, or mountains? Mountains

If you could meet one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? Steve Jobs

Morning rooster, night owl, or midday lark? Night Owl

What comes first, character or plot (or other)? Character

Now for an excerpt…

Once again her insatiable curiosity overwhelmed her good sense.

He reached out. It all happened like slow motion, he grabbed her arm pulling her out of her thoughts. Reflex action on her part caused a jolt of magic spark to snap from her palm. A direct hit to his solar plexus. Uh-oh—there goes the offer of his cottage. “I’m so sorry,” she blurted.

Doubling over, he gasped for air. She had to admire him. He stayed on his feet.

Adrenalin surged through her veins, the fight or flight response alive and well. A final glance at him to make sure he was recovering, then she snapped her fingers and disappeared.

Back in her room at Deerbourne Inn, she paced around, stopped and stomped her foot. “Damn it!” Then she returned to pacing. Grabbing her phone, she scrolled to her sister’s number, turned it off silent, then froze. Her sense of self-preservation and good sense kicked in.

She could just see her sister, arms crossed over her chest, lips pursed, and shaking her head. Then in that condescending tone Hope would say, “Again.” She tossed the phone on the bed. Fell backward onto the handmade quilt and stared at the ceiling.

A whoosh of cool air washed over her. She shifted her gaze toward the window. It was closed. A woman’s filmy outline floated across the floor, taking a familiar shape. As the apparition settled onto the bed a slight indentation on the covers appeared. She sat up.

The ghost touched her hand. “My, my, what has you so upset?”

The specter’s touch was cool, sending shivers down her spine. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out. At her second attempt to speak only a squeak was audible.

“Come, come now, girl, spit it out.” The ghost’s smile was reassuring.

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About Tena…

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance novels. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends.

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and strong mystical males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Lion Dancing for Love: the latest in the Deerbourne Inn series

What inspired Lion Dancing for Love?

I wanted to write a story that reflected the multi-cultural world we live in, and how, as human beings, we have far more in common than we have differences. I have a number of Chinese friends and I have always been intrigued by their culture, and the process whereby immigrants are absorbed into the mainstream culture and what they retain and what they lose from their culture of origin. My heroine Caitlin’s family is typical of many immigrant families in that her granny, who was born in America to Chinese immigrants, is still very Chinese. However, her mother married an Anglo American, so Caitlin has a foot in both worlds. My hero Corey, however, is a born and bred Vermonter several generations back.

As a city dweller my whole life, I am also always intrigued by the differences between large and small towns and how individuals used to the hustle and bustle of large cities adapt (or don’t) to the intimacy of smaller towns.

Licking her wounds after a bad relationship, San Diego accountant Caitlyn Summers travels to Willow Springs to help her friend gear up for the annual Maple Sugar Ball. She isn't planning on staying long, but one encounter with the delicious Corey Duncan has her re-evaluating her plans. 

Corey swore off love when his wife Annie died from breast cancer. Caitlyn is too young, too citified, and vibrates with a passion and energy that will upend the safe, comfortable rhythm of his life. Corey has to choose between playing it safe and taking a risk on love. Caitlyn needs to find the patience to let Corey lead. If not, the Maple Sugar Ball might end in a sticky mess, instead of a slow dance with the man who has captured her heart. 

Will their fire burn hot enough to erase doubts and past hurts?

Did you learn any interesting discovery or tidbit of info while researching/writing this book?

Lion Dancing costume similar to Caitlyn and Corey’s in the book

Lion Dancing costume similar to Caitlyn and Corey’s in the book

So many! However, the ones tied to the lion dance were most interesting. I’m familiar with the color and pageantry of Chinese New Year celebrations, but it wasn’t until I started researching the topic that I found out that a Lion Dance is performed to usher in good luck and fortune. It is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals – including the opening of new businesses. That’s the link that allowed me to tie a Lion Dance to the Maple Sugar Ball held in Willow Springs.

I also discovered that 1.5% of Vermont’s population is Asian in origin, of which at least some are Chinese, so I felt comfortable introducing Chinese characters despite its French colonial history and association with maple sugar, maple syrup and skiing.

Tell us one unique thing about you we might not know.

I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and a bookworm, so many people are surprised to find out that I paid for my university education with a tennis scholarship.

How about an excerpt?

Caitlin gulped in a cooling draught of fresh morning air. She didn’t want to get off to a bad start with Annette’s friends and neighbors, but she would not, could not, say anything good about that show.

“So not a fan of reality TV, huh?” Corey sounded amused.

She bristled. “No.”

“Up to people what they want to do with their time, isn’t it? Popular entertainment has been around since the Romans fed gladiators to the lions. I’m sure some Romans found other entertainment, plays and suchlike.”

“It’s the biggest con job, on both participants and audiences. The only people who get rich are the producers who dream up the rubbish.” She gave him a sidelong glance. “I suppose I’ve offended you.”

Corey shook his head. “Not me. I’m hard to offend. Besides, I like to watch sports. Also reality TV, but not scripted.” He winked at her.

“So they say,” she muttered, but her tension eased.

“Don’t tell me you’re one of those conspiracy theorists who thinks every match is fixed?” He clutched at his heart. “And I thought we were developing a beautiful friendship.”

“We can’t be friends if I don’t like sports?”

He shrugged, but his lips tilted up, and his eyes twinkled. Built and a sense of humor. Why couldn’t he live in San Diego?

 

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Laura Boon stole her first romance from her father’s bookshelves as a teenager, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss, and was immediately captivated. After holding a variety of positions in publishing, from bookseller to sales rep and publicist, she eventually found the courage to write her own stories. She was born in Zambia, grew up in South Africa, and went to university in America. She now lives in Australia with her husband and their fur babies Beau and Arro. When she is not reading or writing, she enjoys sleuthing for artisan chocolate and beautiful stationery, watching tennis, and walking alongside Sydney’s beautiful harbor. Laura was name 2018 Australian Romance Readers of Australia Debut Romance Author of the year (The Millionaire Mountain Climber).

You can find Laura on her blog or Facebook page and on Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads, Bookbub and Amazon.

 

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