Thursday, May 26, 2016

Virtual Book Tour: Fire Up My Heart

Please welcome my good friend and fellow author, Nicki Markus, here to talk about her new release, Fire Up My Heart! And she fearlessly agreed to answer my questions!

The Questions
1)      You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?

The Doctor and the Tardis!

2)      Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?

Gosh, that's a hard one. I love so many shows and characters. Plus I need to make sure I pick one that doesn't make me seem like a psychopath.... I think the title character in the Austrian musical Elisabeth. If you don't know it, find it and watch it—it's awesome.

3)      Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scene using them:  hammer, saucer, traffic lights

The kids screamed and shrieked in the backseat. This racket was the last thing she needed after a long day at the shops. Her concentration lapsed and she nearly failed to stop at the traffic lights. She slammed on the brakes, but the car skidded and hurtled toward a worksite. One builder dropped his hammer and dove to safety; the second stood frozen in place, a teacup half-raised to his lips and the saucer in his other hand. Luckily, she came to a halt just meters from him. The kids were now silent.

4)      You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to do anyone you want. Who do you fuck first and why?

Oh no, more choices! How about a threesome... or a fivesome? Okay, I'll be good and try to stick to one. Let me see. It's tough, but I think it will have to be Valmont from Les Liaisons Dangereuses, because there's a man with the right skill set. I do note you said 'first', so after Valmont, I'll move on to Loki (Marvel), Mr. Rochester, Mr. Darcy, Enjolras (Les Misérables) *continues ad nauseam* Hmm. Having not wanted to appear like a psychopath in question two, I fear I've now come across as a nymphomaniac in this one. Ah well, what can you do?

5)      What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?

Dinner and theatre. I'm a classical girl at heart. Can't beat the good old standards.

6)      When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?

Honestly, it depends. I have worked both ways. Sometimes a story idea comes and the characters follow; other times a character talks to me and a story takes shape from there.

7)      If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?

Kate Winslet would be my first choice. Or else Kirsten Dunst.

8)      Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?

Not sure if this will really count as horror (I don't watch a lot of pure horror), but if you allow thrillers, I'd say Hannibal Lecter. He's always appealed to me. He's cultured and debonair and would be the perfect companion on the dinner and theatre date I mentioned earlier. Sure, there is the chance he plans to eat you afterwards; however, you can survive if you hold his interest, so I think it will work out.

9)      Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?

Oh dear, I have several. I guess my top three are Major John André, Maxim de Robespierre, and Percy Grainger.

10)   Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?

                Absolutely. I can't give you an example off the top of my head, but I do get ideas from time to time that I know I'd never be able to sell to a publisher for one reason or another.  However, I can sometimes take elements from them and turn them into something else that is later accepted and acceptable. As a writer, you want to be true to your ideas, but you do need to consider the market and the current socio-political climate too.

Fire Up My Heart
Asta Idonea
25 May 2016
Dreamspinner Press
Novella - MM Sci-Fi Romance
Heat Level: 2

London bartender Fane thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he finds a rare and expensive service Bot discarded in a dumpster, and he takes it home to get it working again. The Jo-E brings some much-needed companionship to Fane’s lonely life, but there’s something different about this Bot, as indicated by its odd behavior. Fane’s developing feelings toward Jo-E trouble him, and things go from bad to worse when a robotics engineer arrives on Fane’s doorstep, demanding the return of his property. Fane is forced to choose between a hefty reward and following his heart. Giving in to his forbidden desires might get him killed—or change his life 

It was raining cats and dogs when Fane Maddox left the club and made his way through Soho’s neon-lit streets. His shift at Spunk, London’s rundown retro gay bar, had finished at 2:00 a.m., and his weary feet ached as he commenced the long walk back to his flat in Finsbury Park.
On foot, it was a journey of a good hour and a half, but it wasn’t as if he had any other options. The first tube service on a Sunday morning didn’t begin until gone seven, and since a lack of customers, combined with a recent petrol shortage, had led to the cancellation of all London’s night buses, it was a case of walking or taking a taxi. Thanks to the fuel hike, the cost of a black cab was extortionate these days, and the trip home in one would use up all his tips for the night. Therefore, he had no choice but to rely on his own two feet. At least the long walks kept him fit.
He would have passed the alley without a second glance. However, at that moment, the neon sign that wrapped around the corner of the building flickered, drawing his gaze. He started to turn away, then looked back, convinced he must be seeing things. Either he was losing his mind, or there were a pair of legs dangling over the side of the huge garbage bin at the entrance to the alleyway.
Fane dithered. He was tired and sopping wet. The last thing he wanted was to be responsible for finding a dead body. He’d have to call the cops, and who knew how long it would take them to show. If they turned up at all. In the meantime he’d be left standing in this downpour and, knowing his luck, would probably catch pneumonia. Then again, maybe the guy was merely drunk or injured and in need of assistance. Could Fane live with himself if he walked on by?
Heaving a sigh, Fane shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his jeans and crossed the street. Once he reached the alley, he glanced left and right. Then, seeing no one around, he boosted himself up and into the dumpster.
The bags of rubbish crunched and shifted beneath him. He lost his balance and shot out a hand, grabbing hold of the rim of the bin to steady himself. One of the bags must have split under his weight, because a foul smell wafted through the air. Fane screwed up his nose. Determined to make a speedy exit, he scrambled two steps forward to reach the body.

Even in the dim, stuttering neon glow, it only took him a second to realize his mistake. This wasn’t a body. At least not a human one.

Audio Excerpt:

Dreamspinner Press:
Amazon US:
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Author Bio & Links
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.
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