Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This Week's Special Guest Barbara Clark

This week's special guest at the Tiki Hut is author Barbara Clark. Barbara stops by this week to talk about her paranormal romance series and to celebrate her 80th birthday with us!

"All dreams lie beyond defeat." That quote has inspired Barbara Clark to keep writing and creating new stories set in a variety of locations from California to a glittering penthouse in New York City, a working cattle rance in Arizona, the Sahara Desert, and the heat and danger of a Brazilian Rain Forest.

Writing as April Reid, her erotic romances plunge into fantasy worlds where dragons speak and magic rules. Her readers have come to expect deep emotions, simple joys, and heart-stopping peril in her award-winning books.


Today, I'd like to talk about the second book in my Sons of Earth and Wind paranormal romance series, A BREATH OF HEATHER.

Sonds of Earth and Wind Book II
In her second paranormal romance, Barbara Clark tells us more about Heather Carter who was introduced in Book I, TEARS OF THE HAWK .
Heather Carter, a gentle psychic with a painful secret, struggles against danger and her attraction to the former covert agent, Quinn Archer.

Quinn, betrayed in the past by a woman with secrets, is stunned by his desire for Heather, a desire he fights. But as he takes on the self-appointed task to protect her, will he learn too late that loving Heather will free him from the chains of the past?

The idea for A BREATH OF HEATHER began when my daughter was a substitute teacher at another school in the same district where I was teaching at the time.  

She was in the middle of a lesson when the school Principal rushed into her classroom, said, “Emergency lockdown, lock the door,” and left, closing the door behind her. My daughter locked the door and switched off the lights while two students closed the classroom windows, and the rest of the children dropped to the classroom floor.  

She answered the classroom telephone and learned a carload of gangbangers were driving around the outside perimeter of the school grounds, shouting threats and pointing weapons at children laying flat on the blacktop.  

Her classroom was situated with the back only a few feet from the street. As everyone in the room huddled, in the dark, on the floor, keeping silent so they wouldn’t become targets, they heard the gang members slowly passing the building; even heard them talking. Minutes later the sound of sirens announced the police cars in pursuit.  

I changed the setting to the school where I taught and used that threat as the opening of the story:


Something’s wrong.  

With a growing sense of urgency, Heather Carter searched for the source of trouble among the hundred and fifty first and second grade students playing in the warm California sunlight. Everywhere she looked she saw only normal activity—the joy and restless energy of children.  

And yet, to her inborn special perceptions, the earth vibrated with a sense of menace. The slight breeze hushed as if holding its breath. In the park beyond the chain link fencing, a flock of crows suddenly took flight, voicing their warning calls as they soared above the eucalyptus and pepper trees.  

Few cars used North Street in the morning, so the midnight-blue van with tinted windows cruising slowly toward the school caught Heather’s attention.  

Probably a parent bringing a child late, was her first thought. But some internal warning shouted danger.  

Instead of pulling into the parking lot, the van stopped in the red zone parallel to the playground. A window on the passenger side slid down and a young Hispanic man with a shaved head pointed a handgun toward the children on the swings. At the same time, the driver stepped outside the van and aimed across the metal roof.  

All sound died.  

“Emergency lock-in,” Heather shouted, motioning for children near the buildings to run for the nearest door.  

Someone yelled, “Vipers!”  

Children screamed and scattered. Some dashed into classrooms. Others ran to the bathrooms or down the open hallways between classroom wings. Heather watched in numbed horror as one boy tripped and two more fell over him. They jumped up and scrambled to safety. A few children raced to Heather sobbing in terror.  

She clutched them tightly for a brief moment, then said, “Quick, get down.”  

Boys and girls farther from the buildings threw themselves flat, face down on the grass or blacktop. Abandoned balls rolled across the Four Square and Handball courts.  

One lone girl stood, a bewildered expression on her face, her blonde hair a bright target.

After Heather pulls Brianna to the ground to protect her, someone else comes to guard the child’s other side: 

A few paragraphs down, we learn about Heather Carter’s paranormal ability to call and manipulate the wind:

Heather knew she had to do something now, and broke her own vow to hide her special gifts.  

Whispering a chant, she sent tendrils of energy fanning out across the nearby park and found a curl of breeze. In a low voice, she called, “From the soil, from the sand, from the windswept sky,” coaxing the energy away from a small updraft, and toward the heat and sand under the swings. It cheerfully picked up speed and swirled between the children on the ground as it gathered a column of brown dust and grit.  

With the leashed power in her control, Heather slid her right hand along the ground, stretched her fingers toward the gunmen, and released the wind. It raced around them, plucked at their hair, tugged their clothes, and blasted sand at their faces.


 “Where are the police?” Heather asked through trembling lips.  

“Probably on silent running.” Strong fingers clasped her left shoulder.  

She looked across Brianna’s blonde head into clear, winter-gray eyes set in a tanned, harsh face. A jagged scar slashed in a curve from the corner of his right eye up into coal-black hair. He had the aura of a man who’d looked into the depths of hell and survived, stronger than ever.  

Heather licked her dry lips. “Who are you?”  

“I’m Quinn Archer, Brianna’s dad.” He glanced at the precious little girl sheltered between them. “I can’t thank you enough for coming to her rescue.”


The attraction between Quinn and Heather will grow until a time of great danger when each will willingly put their life on the line for the other.  

This book has been selling in print and ebook since 2002 at: Amber Quill Press     

Come back tomorrow, Wednesday, to learn what a nose snapper is and my venture into Karate—with photos . 

Remember—leave a comment for a chance to win the giveaway. 

Good Luck,


WIN - Leave a question or comment anytime this week to get your name in the hat for a box full of of items from assorted authors--things Barbara picked up for this purpose at the RWA National conference this summer. Each box includes a tote bag, water bottle, and books. Barbara will also include an autographed copy of one of her books!



  1. Hello Barbara!

    I love to hear about how an author takes a idea and turns it into a book. And what a story about the idea for A BREATH OF HEATHER - your daughter had to be terrified!

    Did you do research into Psychic abilities for this series? Or did you create your own "rules" for this world?

    And I must say, I was thinking about your series - Sons of Earth and Wind - while Sandy was blowing by! Not often the Cleveland area gets hit by a hurricane! Lake Erie looked like the ocean! 90 foot waves - unreal!

  2. I've always been interested in Psychic Abilities and I did do some research for the book. Also, I had read the Zenna Henderson books about The People and found inspiration there. My special, "rules," for those with paranormal gifts are basically the healer's oath, "To do no harm."

    I'm happy to hear you survived your storm with its terrible winds. We lived in Charleston, South Carolina many years ago and experienced one hurricane. Don't want to do that again.

  3. Happy birthday! How are you celebrating?

    Thanks for sharing about the inspiration for the book. The book sounds intriguing.


  4. Thanks for the Birthday wishes. My celebration started on Sunday when my daughter and son-in-law drove me to San Juan Capistrano, about a 45-50 minutes drive from here. We went to the Capistrano Trading Post, my favorite place for buying authentic Native American items such as kachinas, Hopi and Zuni made fetishes, story teller figures, jewelry, and more. I bought a sweet-faced corn maiden of pottery and a seahorse carved from alabaster and set in a background of the mother-of-pearl part of an abalone shell carved into lacy seaweed--a truly unique piece.

    Today, my son flew in from out of town to take me to lunch, then 2 hours later he had to catch his flight home, so it has been a great extended birthday.

  5. Happy belated birthday. Sounds like you had a great birthday. it's always nice when family can be with you.