"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Monday, February 24, 2014

Getting Personal With Author Dena Garson

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Dena Garson. Dena stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt from her fantasy romance Mystic’s Touch.

Dena is also giving away some fantastic prizes. Enter below for your chance to win! 

About Dena Garson 
Dena Garson loves to read romance - the hotter the better. When one of her BFF's said "one of us should be writing this stuff" she took up the challenge. If she isn't writing, she's making beaded jewelry and somehow still manages to make it into the office on a regular basis.

Connect with Dena

And now, let’s get personal with author Dena Garson

What’s the best part of being a writer?
It’s a great excuse for almost anything. If I’m researching something weird or unusual, it’s because I’m a writer (not because I like the weird and usual). If I buy something odd it’s because I may be putting it into a book and therefore need to examine it closely (not because I have bad taste). And all of those questionable websites I might have visited? You guessed it! Research for a book.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Promotion. I do not like being in the spotlight so it’s a struggle for me to push my work. No matter how much I love my stories and the characters, it’s been a big adjustment for me to get out there and say “Hey! I have this book – it’s great – take a look! Come buy it!” Uggg.

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
Writing intimate scenes knowing that someday my mother might give in and read it.

Where do you write?
I don’t have an office. I tried that once and it ended up being a junk collection site. My laptop allows me to work almost anywhere, but I usually end up working on my bed or the couch in the living room.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
It was from Candice Havens and she said “give yourself permission to write crap.” She was referring to your first draft of course. As a new writer I was very hard on myself and expected perfection right off the bat but that is unrealistic. I needed to hear someone else say that it was okay to have a messy and imperfect draft. You can fix a great many sins in edits. But you have to get your story down on paper before you can make it shine. I still struggle with turning off my internal editor, but it’s getting easier.

What are you working on now?
I just submitted a contemporary romance novella – another workplace romance – to my editor so I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear back. Meanwhile I’m working on two other manuscripts. One is a fantasy romance that will be a follow up to Mystic’s Touch. The other is a Native American (historical) romance with paranormal elements. LOL. The only thing I think I’m missing in this book is slapstick comedy.

What is your most current release and what is it about?
Mystic’s Touch is a sensual fantasy about a healer who is asked to help the prince after he falls into a coma-like state. Unfortunately, in order to heal the prince, she’ll risk revealing her greatest secret as well as her heart.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
I am a Whovian. I love love LOVE Doctor Who. I grew up watching Tom Baker as the Doctor then got back into the series when David Tennent played the Doctor. Matt Smith only cemented my addiction. I’m anxious to see how the new guy will be.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I make beaded jewelry and accessories. I love playing with the colors and shapes and creating something I can hold in my hands. Besides, it keeps me and my BFF accessorized without spending a fortune.

Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
The list of places I want to visit is a mile long and includes most of Europe. Right now, the UK is at the top of that list. I’ve got a passport and I’m not afraid to use it!! If only I had black credit card and the bank account to go with it!

Favorite food?
Homemade mashed potatoes.

Favorite book?
I have three books that I re-read periodically (at least once a year). Julie Garwood’s Guardian Angel, Stephanie Lauren’s Devil’s Bride, and Karen Marie Moning’s Immortal Highlander. I honestly can’t pick a favorite from those three.

Favorite author?
That’s like picking a favorite child! Really, though, it usually depends on my mood. If I want lighthearted romance, Julia Quinn. Action-adventure with witty dialog: Sherrillyn Kenyon. Regency romance: Stephanie Laurens. Celtic mythology with sexy heros: Karen Marie Moning. Scottish historical romance: Hannah Howell. And that is just off the top of my head!

Do you have any pets?
Yes, I do. I have a dog, Sadie – she’s a Labrador/Collie mix (or so my vet says). I have a cat, Bijous – she’s supposed to be a grey tabby mix but really she looks like a grey furry pig (and she thinks she’s the Queen of all there is!).
Thanks for stopping by, Dena!

And now, Darlings, sit back and enjoy a sample of Mystic’s Touch... and don’t forget to enter below for your chance to win some fabulous prizes!

About Mystic’s Touch
When Prince Ceros returns home to take his place on the throne, he falls prey to a mysterious malady that leaves him unable to speak or move, though his thoughts and awareness remain intact. Danet, a talented healer, realizes the prince is alert inside his body. The two are able to share thoughts telepathically. Unfortunately her connection with Ceros may bring unwanted attention to her abilities and result in her banishment from the city.

Their unique bond grows as Danet races to find a remedy for the prince’s condition. Desire turns to love, which makes Danet fear for their future when he awakens. They seek out the villain attempting to take the throne and endeavor to find a way to stay together.

Inside Scoop: Ceros’ secret shifter status adds complication and intrigue to their budding romance.

A Blush® fantasy romance from Ellora’s Cave: This is a sensual romance (may have explicit love scenes, but not erotic in frequency or type).

Copyrighted material. This is a preview only.
An Excerpt From: MYSTIC’S TOUCH
Copyright © DENA GARSON, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

By the Gods, why can no one hear me!

Ceros continued to yell until even the voice in his head began to sound hoarse. Still no one responded. There were people in the room. He could hear them moving about and whispering. Since he couldn’t turn his head, he couldn’t see anything except the same ceiling view he’d had since he’d awakened.

Could be worse. My eyes could have been closed.

He tried to move an arm, a leg, a finger. He tried to turn his head again, but nothing worked that he could tell. One of the physicians had told his mother earlier they were bewildered by what ailed him. They only know half of the puzzle. His body may not be responding to any of the pokes and prods as they tested his reactions, but he could feel everything, hear everything and see the few things that passed through his line of sight.

He simply had no control over his own limbs.

It was frustrating beyond belief to not be able to communicate. He tried to tell them he was alive and functional inside his shell of a body.

Thank the Gods his mother insisted they feed him what they could. So far it had been water and broth mixed with some kind of herbs. All spooned in small quantities as someone encouraged his throat muscles to work. Ceros knew his body would soon wither away if they didn’t find a cure for whatever was wrong.

With nothing else to do, Ceros replayed his memories of the morning and tried to discern what happened. He’d had no unknown food or drink since he and Gehiji left Shirghada. They’d packed their own rations before leaving and traveled alone.

Gehiji was no threat. He’d protected Ceros’ back more times than he cared to think about. And Ceros had done the same for Gehiji.

He remembered meeting Aleric and the council members at the oasis on the outskirts of Licosia. After that, his memory became clouded.

When he woke, his father’s old physician, Darius, was speaking with his mother. He couldn’t see her, but he was sure it was his mother who clung to his hand. Darius said he didn’t know what was wrong but promised to consult some colleagues and dig through his tomes to find an answer.

His mother came and went several times through the day, but her own physician had cautioned her against staying and exhausting herself when there was nothing she could do to help. Ceros hated being the cause of more grief for her. She had just lost her husband, the father of her children, her king. She was probably worried she would lose him too.

What if the throne were in jeopardy?

If it hadn’t already been chilled, his blood would have run cold at the thought.

His father’s death had been labeled a hunting accident. Even though he knew how many things could go wrong on a hunt, Ceros felt there was room for speculation.

Ceros had been away from the royal court and the related politics for years. There would be no reason for anyone to hold a grudge against him. If his present condition was the result of someone’s attempt to kill him, it would most likely be someone who felt he or she had a chance to gain power, or perhaps even rule over Licosia.

He ran through the list of people who would step up in power if he died or was deemed unfit to rule by the council. While he’d been away, he allowed himself to get caught up in the politics of Shirghada instead of Licosia. He didn’t readily remember all of the highest-ranking council members.

In his present condition, he couldn’t ask anyone. He couldn’t even make a list of the names he did know.

Damnation! If he got out of this predicament, he would remedy that problem as quickly as possible. He allowed himself a string of curses to relieve some of the tension he felt building up inside.

That’s a very creative use of more than a dozen curses. And all of them used in a single thought too.

Ceros was startled by the sound of a female voice inside his head. Oh Gods, I’ve finally gone mad. Now I’m hearing voices.

You haven’t gone any more mad than I, the voice attempted to reassure him.

That isn’t a comforting thought.

The voice laughed, the light sound dancing through his mind, soothing some of his frustrations.

Who are you? Ceros asked.

There was a pause before the voice answered.

I don’t think I will reveal that just yet.

Do you know who I am? Ceros asked, allowing his royal breeding to show in his voice.

I believe so.

You don’t know for sure?

I didn’t at first, no.

How long have you been listening to my thoughts?

I first heard them this morning, but mistook them for echoes from somewhere within the palace. When I realized no one else could hear you and sensed how frustrated you were, I began looking for the source.

How is it that you can speak to me? Inside my thoughts, that is.

The voice paused again. I cannot say.

Cannot? Or will not?

A little of both I suppose. If it makes you feel better, I don’t think I can hear all of your thoughts all the time.

What do you mean?

This is the first time I’ve heard anything. Today was, I mean.

That makes me feel somewhat better.

I suspect that your thoughts were projected due to your intense emotional outburst.

Ceros considered her theory. It made sense. Do you think that anyone else can hear my thoughts?

Again the voice paused. It’s doubtful.

Why you then?

The voice sighed, or so it seemed. Will you allow me to find the answer to that question before I tell you?

Do I have a choice?

The voice chuckled. Not really.

Then by all means, take your time. I’ll be here. Waiting patiently.

Now, now. No need to be petulant.

Me? Petulant?

Yes, you.

The voice laughed again, easing some of the tension that built up again. He was so relieved to have someone to talk to he couldn’t bear the thought of breaking the connection, no matter who it was.

How do I know you’re real, not a drug-induced illusion?

He felt the bed dip as someone sat next to him. That same someone grasped his foot over the linen sheet that covered him.

Can you feel that? she asked.

Feel what? He was hesitant to assume anything.

Me, touching your foot.


Do your drug-induced illusions usually touch you? Physically, I mean.

It was Ceros’ turn to chuckle. No, not usually.

Well, then, I must really be here.

I guess so. Thank the Gods. Ceros knew he wasn’t really holding his breath, but it felt like it.

I heard that, you know.

You mean I have to censor all my thoughts now?

No. But if I’m somewhere nearby and you’re upset, you might want to.

You have to be near me to hear my thoughts?

I think so. It’s only a theory. One I’ll test here in a moment, since I need to leave before anyone returns.

Do you really have to go? He hated the panic that rose with the thought of her leaving and never returning.

People will wonder why I linger if I’m seen in your room.

When will you be back?

It’s almost time for the evening meal. I need to find someone who may be able to answer the question of why we can hear each other’s thoughts. I doubt I’ll be able to return until tomorrow. Perhaps while everyone is busy with the midday meal.

Can you do something for me?

If I can.

Will you get a message to my friend, Gehiji? Him and only him. Tell him that I am alive, inside this body and I will need his skills to find out who did this to me.

What reason would he have for believing me?

Ceros thought for a moment. She was right. Even if she could get a message to Gehiji, he would likely dismiss it as the fanciful wishing of a woman. Or worse, he could become suspicious of her intentions and try to keep her away.

Tell him that I will return the telos he gambled away if he is able to find out what and who was behind this.

A telos? Do I even want to know what that is?

If you deliver my message and I recover from this, whatever this is, I will tell you the story.

Very well. I will seek your friend out. But I won’t promise to tell him how I know.

Fair enough.

A sound from somewhere nearby sent the owner of the voice scurrying to her feet. I must go.

You will return. Ceros knew it was more an order than a question, but he didn’t care. He needed her to return. As much as he hated it, he needed her to keep him sane.

Yes. I will return as soon as I can. You should sleep. It’s the best thing you can do to heal the body.

Ceros snorted. Like I have anything else to do.

He heard a door open and close but didn’t hear anyone moving about the room. Something twisted in his chest knowing she had gone.

I will return. The voice whispered in his mind, easing the knot forming in his chest.

A moment later, he heard her asking, Do you still hear me?

It was faint and he wondered if it was due to proximity or barriers between them.

Yes, somewhat.


What is?

I’ll tell you tomorrow.

He chuckled and wondered what just happened.

Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy Mystic’s Touch today from Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine eBook retailers


  1. Thanks for the interview, Gabrielle! I hope your readers enjoy Mystic's Touch!

    1. Great to have you, Dena - come back any time! Thanks for the great excerpt and a chance to win some fabulous prizes ♥