On Conversations: #awardwinning #author Jami Gray

Please join me in welcoming the award-winning urban fantasy and paranormal suspense author, Jami Gray to Conversations today! Jami is here to talk about her two new summer releases, Shadow's Moon, the third book in The Kyn Kronicles series, and Hunted by the Past, the first book in her PSY-IV Teams series. So be sure and check out the covers and blurbs below and don't forget to check out Jami's guest post "It's a Family Thing"!

Lisa ~

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K8AZZES/?tag=crlaofsu-20SHADOW'S MOON
The Kyn Kronicles, Book 3

Even a wild heart can be broken…

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.

It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage frays an already thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny, and ensures she can’t escape the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis.  Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.

As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for a killer, he has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect her or his pack. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves, along with anonymous threats against him and his Pack, begin to jeopardize his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur, leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf.

As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.

PSY-IV Teams, Book 1

Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past…

A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.

Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledging relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call.  The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list--Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.

The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw.  Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her.  A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart.

To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves.

It's a Family Thing
by Jami Gray

Whenever someone actually reads my bio and notes the amount of siblings—36—I grew up with, there tend to be a few questions.  Such as:

“Ummm….is that a typo?”

“How many wives did your dad have?”

“All from the same mom?”

My answers are—Nope, totally accurate—Just one, the same woman he’s been with for forty plus years—and for the last question—Seriously? If that was at all possible, I don’t think my mom would go anywhere near a man, I know I wouldn’t.

For logistics I do need to explain that we do have three generations since at one time our ages spanned newborn to mid-thirties. I was part of the first batch—the older generation.  By the time I left for college we had turned over the torch to the middle generation. Now that most of the older gen’s have families of our own and the loss of our dad a couple years back, my mom is left with the younger generation, all thirteen of them.

I was twelve when I became part of the mock United Nations clan that masquerades as our family. I slid right in to the fifth eldest spot, which was huge considering most things were done based on age.  Of course, my sister who’s two months younger probably has a different outlook on the whole situation, but still… My arrival meant over the next few years our family could proudly boast about having at least one child in a University, in High School, in Middle School, in Elementary School and Pre-School.  Yes, we helped keep our local educational institutions in business.

Strangely, Lindsay’s been the only one to ask about how being from such a large family impacted me so I was tickled do this post.  There are tons of stories, and yes, I have been asked when I’ll do a book.  Here’s my answer…never.  Let’s be honest, I write Urban Fantasy for a reason, I like fiction.  Besides, every single one of us in the family has a different point of view of our various experiences, so since I’ve got the fiction market covered, I’ll let someone else tackle the non-fiction!

Growing up in a large family comes with its own set of challenges and rewards, but I thought I’d share a some life lessons I garnered during the ride.

Time Management

I am proud to admit that I can be ready to go anywhere faster than my husband.  It’s a holdover from having to share a one sink bathroom with seven other teenagers all through high school. The concept of having that special alone time with a hot shower was never a reality.  Seriously, I don’t think there’s a water heater out there even now that could hold that much hot water.  So when I finally managed to either sneak in or body check someone else out of the bathroom, barricade the door, it was hop in, get wet with luke-warm water, soap body with one hand, shampoo hair with the other, quick rinse, then shave, shave (I did have to slow down a bit there otherwise I came out looking like my legs went a round with a lawn mower), hop out as water turned arctic and snicker at the impending misery of those to follow me, dry, throw on lotion and clothes and then yank open the door before the homemade battering ram of older brothers and younger sisters made it through my barricade. Total elapsed time-10 minutes.  Make-up application was a luxury and tended to resemble a mosh-pit in front of the downstairs hall mirror.  And using a hair dryer? Puleeze, that’s for wussies. Nope back then it was mousse it up and let it go!  Now, decades later, I can still manage make myself presentable in under fifteen minutes, including make-up and a hair dryer.  And the sink in my bathroom is all mine!

Bargaining skills (includes: compromising, negotiations, trading, and occasional blackmail)

As you can imagine (you’re readers and/or writers, you have great imaginations!) growing up in my household there were certain survival skills that were quickly acquired.  Bargaining , also known as compromising, negotiating, and occasionally blackmailing, was key in getting what you wanted.  There were so many opportunities to sharpen this skill, and some of us were way better than others at it.  Take for instance, chores.  Say you were up as part of the dishwashing team on Friday night, but your friends were hitting an early movie.  Your social life was a priority but if you failed to do your part in the home office, your bosses (mom and dad) would hear the grumbles of your co-workers (jealous partner who had no social life) and your friends would be left hanging while you ended up doing dishes a lot longer than you expected. So the key was to find that one irresistible lure that would convince your co-worker that doing all the dishes by themselves was a rewarding endeavor.  Experience gave you an edge, because the older you were and the younger your partner, your ability to make doing the dishes by themselves sound like winning the lottery was pretty high.  If you teamed up with some with equal bargaining power, then it was like a meeting between two opposing factions.  Treaties were drawn up so neither side could get out of their obligations and official documentation of ownership would exist for various objects of worth.

Investigative skills (Including, but not limited to: eliminating suspects, tracing evidence, uncovering manic plots of evil, property retrieval, and treasure hunting)
When you have a household of teenagers one key element guaranteed to start any argument was the disappearance of personal items.  The ability to track down your stuff, identify the culprit and exact restitution was a specialized skill, one I made sure to excel at.  Let me share one particular case—The Missing tank top.  I was putting away laundry and realized I seemed to missing an article of clothing—my white tank top.  It was a necessary item as it went with a variety of outfits, not to mention the fact that I bought it myself.  So after going through the clothes belonging to my roommates (3 girls to a room!) and coming up empty handed, I determined that a laundry mix-up was out of the question.  I began a series of interviews with eyewitnesses (all  14 kids in the house).  Each one swore they had no idea where the tank was, nor had they seen it. However, there were mentions of possible sightings.  Culling my suspect pool down, I began to hunt for trace evidence.  Room by room, I swept for any sign.  White cloth teased me in various locations, but each turned out not to be the one I was looking for.  Then I struck pay dirt. Waded up in the back of closet belonging to a younger brother was my tank—stained beyond redemption with oil.  The horror was almost unbearable.  The need to find the culprit burned and I went after each of my suspects without mercy.  I was able to cross off the younger brother whose closet it was found it.  No way was he wearing something that would hang like a dress on him.  The next two crumple and began to point me in the right direction.  Finally, a confrontation with an older brother revealed that during an auto repair session, he needed a shirt and lo and behold there was a white tank top just sitting there.  When he was done with his repairs he noticed the stains and realized whoever the owner was, they were not going to be happy about it, so he disposed of the evidence, burying it a closet not belonging to him.  I made sure to relieve him of a very nice, white dress shirt and make it mine.

My family consists of every skin color, every nationality, every disability, every physical attribute and every emotional state you could probably imagine.  Probably the greatest gift my family has given me is the ability to see the world around me without restrictions.  No matter what you look like, where you come from, what you’ve had to deal with in the past, or what you can physically do—it will not define you.  Instead your individuality comes from the decisions you make, how you treat others, and what you do with your place in the world.

Jami Gray grew up on the Arizona-Mexico border, and was adopted at the age of 14 to suddenly become the fifth eldest of 37 children. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and three minors-History, English, and Theater. (Decision-making was not her forte at the time.)  Shortly after marrying her techie-geek hubby (who moonlighted as her best friend in high school) she completed a Masters in Organizational Management from University of Phoenix Oregon.

Now, years later, she’s back in the Southwest where she’s outnumbered in her own home by two Star Wars obsessed boys, one Star Wars obsessed husband, and an overly-friendly, 105-pound male lab.  Delving into the wild paranormal worlds where romance collides with suspense and Urban Fantasy is queen, manages to salvage her sanity. Or so we let her believe...

You can find Jami at:

Black Opal Books: www.BlackOpalBooks.com 
Muse It Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com
Website: www.JamiGray.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamigray.author
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JamiGrayUFWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamiGrayAuthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/JamiGray
Google+: https://google.com/+JamiGray
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/LvoZn  

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