Guest Author: Sarah Westill and Nicole Zoltak

This month I’m featuring two more of the thirteen authors who joined me in the paranormal romance anthology Gateways to the Paranormal. Sarah Westill, author of the story “Frozen Flowers Fallen” is already known to many of us as the talented cover designer Elaina Lee. Under this newest pen name, she’s written a series of books called Gen-Heirs: The Guardians of Sziveria. “Frozen Flowers Fallen” is apparently a companion story to the series. Nicole Zoltak is a prolific author in several different genres, all while raising six young children! Her story in the anthology is called “Love’s Fortune.” I asked both ladies to share their inspiration for the story in the new anthology, so we’ll get a double treat this month!

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Let’s Start with Sarah. Here’s the blurb for her story “Frozen Flowers Fallen”: In a country obsessed with genetically inherited gifts, Bella Fenwick is no one special. Then a handsome Ruthenian walks into her life, a wolf at his side. He won’t let Bella hide behind her desk and discredit the evidence she’s discovered that could help him find a murderer.

Here’s what Sarah had to say about her story:

My fictional main characters Bella and Markus came to me as a fun idea when I met their son, Deklan, in course of writing my current The Guardians of Sziveria series. Through Deklan I learned this couple had been very blessed in their union and he was one of eleven children. I also knew, through their oldest son, Darius, that they’d been very involved in solving murder crimes as a team. Their children however, were far more powerful in their paranormal abilities than either of them, which begged the question, how did their story begin?

I’d been toying around with the idea of serial series following the same couple for over a year, but I wasn’t sure who would be a good fit. The anthology gave me the push I needed to decide, and to start, Bella and Markus’s journey. They come from different countries and different cultures, and learning about them has been so much fun for me as I world build. 

As for their first story itself, “Frozen Flowers Fallen,” the inspiration came to me from a song. Specifically Type O Negative’s “Burnt Flowers Fallen.” Now, I should caution listeners about the band (which name probably gives a lot of what one can expect from them, ha!), they are a dark, gothic rock style. “Burnt Flowers Fallen” tells the story of a man who has lost the love of his woman, and in the process of their disintegrating relationship, she burns all the flowers he’s ever given her. I loved the idea of flowers being the catalyst to a story. Instead of burning, the flowers are frozen. And instead of a woman leaving a man, I have a secret stalker who obsesses over his victims by leaving them flowers. The eventual death of his gift is what spirals him into taking their lives. 

I have had such a wonderful time creating Bella and Markus’s relationship. So much that I’ve been struggling to write two of their children’s stories, which will finish out the Guardians series. I have to keep reminding myself they aren’t going anywhere, and I can write them for years to come if I wish, as eleven kids means a full, happy marriage! *grin*

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Here’s the blurb for Nicole’s story, “Love’s Fortune: Elizabeth needs a job, but being a fortune-teller for a traveling circus seems iffy.

Nicole says:

What little kid doesn’t think at one point about running away to the circus? I’m not a little kid anymore—I have six of my own now! Three boys (13, 12, 10) and now three girls (6, 2.5, and almost 2 months)

It was because one of my boys mentioned the circus to me one day, thankfully not with plans to run away to join them, that made me think of the idea of a circus that had a paranormal slant. A lion shifter was the first thing I thought of, and it was from expanding on this idea that my short story, Love’s Fortune, came about! Can you imagine being an ordinary young woman, getting a job at a traveling circus, and then learning that the circus is far more extraordinary than you ever could have thought possible?

To read “Frozen Flowers Fallen” along with thirteen other great stories, order Gateways to the Paranormal at Amazon!

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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5 Responses to Guest Author: Sarah Westill and Nicole Zoltak

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    A hearty “Hound” welcome to 4F1H for Elaina — who created my first three fiction covers — and Nicole — a writing colleague at two publishing house I’ve shared.
    Glad to see you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Welcome Elaina,/Sarah, and welcome, Nicole!
    I almost said ‘Welcome back” to Elaina as I thought for sure that I had you in as a guest, Elaina. You were on my list…what was I thinking?
    Anyway, congratualtions to both of you and this all sounds right up my alley!
    My best to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pamelasthibodeaux says:

    Both sound like amazing stories!
    Good luck and God’s blessings to you all
    PamT

    Like

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Welcome ladies! Elaina, you created a Clean Reads cover for me. Laura, Your story sounds good.

    Like

  5. Welcome to both of you. Both of your books sound amazing. I do have a copy of this collection and am looking forward to when I have a chance to sit down and enjoy all of the stories that are in it.

    Like

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