Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book Tour: Tasting Fire by Shelly Holt

I've got Shelly Holt on the hot seat today. She's here as part of her blog tour for Tasting Fire, her new paranormal romance. Enjoy the interview and excerpt and don't forget to leave a comment or question.

Shelly will be awarding a $20 Starbucks Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment for a better chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

Q – Shelly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Shelly Holt – Absolutely, I am originally from Southern California, but right now I live in rural Nevada.  Culture shock?  You betcha!  The first six months I lived here I would drive down the street in disbelief shaking my head saying, I can't believe I live here, over and over.  Basically I moved here because my parents were in declining health and needed me.  My mom passed in 2010, but my dad, thank goodness is still with us.  I've acclimated at this point, I still hate the summers though.

Q – When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Shelly Holt – Very recently, I started last December with a children's book and several short stories.  I was rejected by over 40 publishers and agents.  It broke my heart, as the stories are extraordinary, but I had to come to terms with the fact that as a writer I needed to make money.  I did quite a bit of research and found out which genres are selling.  I quickly realized that romance was a booming industry and downloaded a few novels on my Kindle and was delighted to realize how far the industry had come.  I started writing Tasting Fire in March of 2012 and published in September 2012. 

Q – Where do you get your ideas?

Shelly Holt – After I decided I would be doing a paranormal shape-shifting novel, I had to figure out what animal I wanted to focus on.  I knew I needed to stand out from the multitude of other shape-shifting novels and needed something really different.  Now something you should know about me, I love books, not so unexpected, I turned out to be a writer didn't I?  Fiction I buy on my Kindle, but reference books I buy second hand.  I love to haunt the library bookstores where I live.  I had bought a book about Snow Leopards several months earlier as a discard in Las Vegas.  After perusing though the pages and viewing one of the most magnificent hunters ever to evolve from the Himalayas, I knew which animal was to be the focus.  I researched folklore from the Himalayas and learned that many nomadic tribes believed in a legend of mountain spirits called the Pari.  From that, I wrote my outline surmising what would happen if they really did exist?  What would happen if modern science found them out?    

Q – Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Shelly Holt – I work with an outline.  I don't always follow it as the process of writing occurs, but I can't write from nothing.

Q - Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Shelly Holt – Have I ever met a sexy, shape-shifting snow leopard?  (laughing) Not to my knowledge, but there was one part of the book that very definitely was based on a real life experience.  During chapter twelve, Rae and Kai meet a middle age woman struggling to push her mother in a wheelchair across a rock strewn path in Sedona.  That actually happened when my parents and I took a trip to Sedona, Arizona.  I had a hell of a time getting her into the shops while trying to push her wheelchair into a charming little shopping plaza.   A monsoon had strewn rocks all over the walkway, well, we made it, but unfortunately no handsome shape-shifter or human man for that matter helped me.  My dad was there, but he has his own health issues and was in no shape to help.  That turned out to be the last real vacation we took with her.

During the same chapter, when Rae is saddened by the thought of not being able to take care of her mother in old age, you are very definitely hearing the author in her, although I lost my mother when I was 41, I was considerably older than Rae was in the story. 

Q – Are there certain characters you would like to go back to?

Shelly Holt – Nawang Wangdu was such a strong character that I have a feeling that he will pop up in a novel somewhere, maybe a prequel.  Vincent Tsu as well, I have to tell you he is one pushy shape-shifter.  I remember I was finishing up the chapter that he appears briefly in very late at night, and I was utterly exhausted.  I know this sounds strange, but I could almost hear him in my head telling me “sweetheart, I know you're tired, but you're not done writing yet.”  He made it very clear he wouldn't let me go to sleep until I added him into the scene.  I know Vincent has a bigger part to play somewhere. 

Q – Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Shelly Holt – Thanks for having me on today.  It is my hope as an author that although Tasting Fire is obviously a work of romantic fiction,  I inspire my readers to get involved in the conservation efforts of the highly endangered  Asian Snow Leopard, there are several organizations that can be contacted on-line that help educated the public on what they can do to help. 

Tasting Fire

by Shelly Holt


Shape-shifters have always walked the earth. Shrouded in myth and folklore, hiding in the shadows, watching and waiting. Advances in modern science are now about to reveal them to the world. Kai Tenzin is the self appointed leader of the Pari people. He and his kind evolved from the most reclusive predators on earth. They live and hunt in the most fearsome and rugged terrain known to man, the Himalayas. Kai leaves his small village where the mountains touch the heavens, determined to do anything to protect his people. When he is forced to enlist the aid of the beautiful American scientist Dr. Rae Hales, the last thing he expects to find is a woman who will ensnare his heart and endanger them all. Their action-packed adventure will take them around the world to discover the truth behind the legends and reveal the future of humanity.  


The short ride to Kizhi island was exhilarating on the open hydrofoil.  Kai helped Rae off the boat as it docked at the seven mile long island.  The tour group followed their guide off the dock and onto the island.  They listened intently as the guide in stilted English advised them that the site had become a  world heritage site in nineteen-ninety.  There were more than eighty pieces of wooden architecture that made up the outdoor museum’s collection.  The guide then gestured for the large group to follow him.  The tour group was led up to a magnificent structure.  The center piece of the collection that was known as The Church of Transfiguration. 

Rae felt as if she had stepped right into a storybook.  The guide started his official recitation on the history of the structure “the Church of Transfiguration has twenty two onion domes.  It was built during the reign of Peter the Great.  No nails were used in the construction and it was created by using interconnecting wood pieces only.”  Kai stood back taking picture after picture of the breathtaking silver domes.  The guide then indicated for them to enter and put his finger over his mouth to indicate silence.

As Kai and Rae walked in they could hear why the guide silenced them.  A trio of singers were performing a deeply moving mass.  Behind them a gold leaf Russian icon painting glinted in the light that was streaming in through the dusty windows.  The effect transported the tour group back in time.  They were now in a time before digital cameras, before cell phones, to a time when the Tzars ruled Imperial Russia with an iron fist.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

My name is Shelly Holt and I live in the middle of the harsh and unforgiving Mojave desert. I write my stories looking out of a window that shows sweeping desert views. Outside is a barren and severe landscape, yet inside my head lives a world filled with exotic shape-shifters come to life, pulled from the pages of myth and legend, ready to entice and seduce any reader brave enough to take them on.

It's funny, I never wanted to be a writer!  In 7th grade English, we were given an assignment.  We were told to write an original poem and turn it in the next day.  I was determined to turn in not a good poem, but a great poem.  I spent the whole night working on it instead of watching my favorite show, The Waltons.  (Hey! it was 1980.)  I turned it in the next day.  Apparently, I succeeded a little too well and was accused of copying it from a book. (1980 remember, no internet yet).  The teacher stated and I quote "this is too good for a seventh grader, where did you copy it from?"  Well, I didn't write for 30 years after that. In my 40's, after a life changing move to rural Nevada as a caregiver to my father, I realized I needed a way to earn a little money on the side.  I did some research on the internet and read all about a certain little book, about a certain little college student and a handsome billionaire with some ahem! (issues.)  I decided after reading that book, I could do that, and Tasting Fire was born. I'll admit it's been strange revisiting a talent buried deep inside for so long, forgotten, but apparently not lost. It's been an important journey and one I am quite thankful for and excited to see where it takes me.

Shelly Holt

P.S. Mr. Jordan, I really did write that poem!





Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Catherine Lee said...

Congratulations on your publication and on finding your niche. I'm so glad that you persevered--past that 7th grade teacher and those publishers and agents who rejected your manuscripts. It seems like writers really do need to have a tough skin!

Shelly Holt said...

Thanks for having me on the blog today, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all.

pc said...

Lovely interview and blurb...thanks for sharing! Happy and safe holidays!