My guest today is Lexi George who also writes under the pen name Alexandra Rushe. Lexi is a fun lady to get to know, so settle back and let’s see what has inspired her to be the wonderful author she is…
Lexi George writes snarky paranormal romance for Kensington Books about hunky, immortal demon hunters and the Southern women they love. There are five full-length novels in the series, plus a novella, and she is hard at work on the latest, Demon Hunting with a Southern Sheriff. She also writes fantasy under the pen name Alexandra Rushe. A Meddle of Wizards, the first book in the Fledgling Magic series, was released in January of 2018. The second book, A Muddle of Magic, came out in October of the same year.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Lexi: I’ve always written something, starting with bad poetry in the third grade and progressing to really, really bad poetry in high school and college. My day job for nearly thirty years was as an appellate attorney, which means I wrote briefs for a living, but I didn’t begin seriously writing until my first child was four. That child is now twenty-eight. Gulp!
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Lexi: I started my first novel, a fantasy about a young woman’s adventures in a magical land, in 1995. I didn’t have a clue about the craft of writing, but I was having enormous fun. I wrote and wrote. Finally finished the darn thing in 2005 and started querying agents. Much to my dismay, not one of them recognized my brilliance, and I received over 100 rejection letters. Sobering, to say the least. Discouraged, I decided, the Universe was telling me to try something different, so I turned to my other love, romance. I joined a writer’s group and RWA and took craft classes and wrote and wrote and wrote. I was fortunate enough to get a contract with Kensington in 2010, and Demon Hunting in Dixie was released the following year.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Lexi: Georgette Heyer, for sure, and David Eddings, an old-school fantasy writer. I adore Heyer’s sly wit and memorable secondary characters. Eddings Belgariad series greatly influenced my writing style. As a result, I tend to write an ensemble of characters in both genres.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Lexi: Loneliness, I suppose. I was in an unhappy marriage and working and raising small children pretty much on my own, so I turned inward for companionship and escape.
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Lexi: I dove right in with a full-length novel, the fantasy I mentioned. It probably would have been better if I had started with short stories and moved up to full-length novels, but the story that came to me could not be told in a few words.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Lexi: I really enjoy dialogue, especially if the character talking is being lewd or snarky. Great fun. As a writer, I have trouble with what I call “filler” phrases, those physical descriptions moving a character from one point to another. Much easier for me if they just talk! And sex scenes are the worst for me! I spend days writing them and fretting that I haven’t reached the right emotional level.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Lexi: Not to take myself seriously. New writers tend to think their words are golden. Someone (I think it was Ray Bradbury) said the first million words you write are practice. I would also tell my younger self to toughen up. Rejection sucks, but you WILL be rejected, and readers will say rude things about your baby, and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. It comes with the territory.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Lexi: Oh, so many! Too many to name, but I remember sighing over Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels,and The Belgariad and Lord of the Rings were my great fantasy influences. I laughed until I had tears running down my face when I read Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money. That book greatly inspired the zany antics in Demon Hunting in Dixie. As a matter of fact, I remember pitching the book as “Stephanie Plum if she lived in the Deep South and had a Southern mama.”
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Lexi: Duncan and Cassie are secondary characters in book four, Demon Hunting with a Dixie Deb, and it only felt natural to continue their story! Duncan is something of a misfit among the Dalvahni. He has a sense of humor, and his brother warriors don’t know what to make of him.
Cassandra Ferguson McKenna, aka the Witch of Devil River, has only one thing to say to her demon-hunting ex: We are never ever getting back together. Sure, Duncan Dalvhani may be the hottest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon line. He’s got a body to die for—which is hard to ignore when he skinny dips in her river every day—and swears he loves her. But as a demon hunter, Duncan is the sworn enemy of a demonoid sorceress like Cassandra. Give him another chance to break her heart? Witch, please. But when Cassandra is attacked by a werewolf, Duncan not only comes to her rescue, he helps her take on a band of magic-drunk moonshiners, fire-breathing demons, shifty shapeshifters, and a pet Sasquatch named Sugar. Welcome to Alabama. But when a portal opens up for even more hellaciousness, Cassandra has to admit that Duncan is slowly opening her heart—to a whole new world of unearthly delights . . .
“Go away, Duncan,” Cassie said. “We’re no good for each other.”
“I could go away, I suppose, but I would only return.” His mouth twisted in an expression of self-mockery. “I fear I am a pathetic creature where you are concerned.”
Cassie gazed at him in mingled panic and exasperation. There was nothing pathetic about him. The harder she resisted, the more he would take it as a challenge. So, where did that leave them? An affair was the logical solution to their problem, in a hair-of-the-dog that-bit-you kind of way.
“Let’s have sex,” Cassie said, taking the plunge. He blinked, and Cassie felt a ping of satisfaction. She’d thrown him. Good. “Friends with benefits, you know?” She gave him a bright smile. “Want to go for a roll in the hay?”
“You wish to engage in coitus with me?”
“Yup, plain, uncomplicated sex,” she said. “Two consenting adults enjoying one another’s bodies. No mushy stuff. No jealousy or insecurity. Sex, and no strings, and then we move on.”
“Agreed, but with one condition.” His eyes were flinty. “I do not share. I have exclusive use of your body while the agreement holds.”
“Of course,” she said, striving to sound nonchalant, though her stomach was doing a roller-coaster free fall. He’d called her bluff, damn him, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about that.
He turned and strode away.
“Wait,” Cassie said. “Where are you going?”
He stopped in the doorway and looked back. “To the kitchen to prepare a repast.”
“Don’t you want to talk? About . . . you know . . .” Cassie gazed at him in frustration. “Our agreement?”
“Talking is overrated, and I would have you rebuild your strength. I mean to make the most of our bargain.”
He walked out, leaving Cassie rooted to the spot.
Wow, that sounds like such a delicious read! Thanks, Lexi, for stopping in and sharing that drool worthy excerpt with us.
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