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Guest Post and Giveaway with Gracen Miller

Monday, August 15, 2011


Thanks so much for allowing me to join you at Live to Read today! Howdy, everyone. I’m looking forward to chatting with you today.

Where do authors get their ideas for a story? I take mine from everyday stuff a lot of times, but I’ve been known to steal them from my dreams as well. 

The idea for Pandora’s Box was spawned from a nightmare. Yes, a nightmare!  My nightmares can be disturbing, stuff that is so troubling I won’t voice them for fear of giving them power. Weird, I know, but the idea of telling them to anyone is scary. I do love them at times as well because they jump-start my Muse with creativity.

As for the Pandora’s Box story…I was demon hunting with Sam and Dean Winchester! Woohoo! What Supernatural fan doesn’t love that dream, right? That’s more like a fantasy come to life! So, the boys were at my house trying to save me from getting eaten by a ghost, which turned into a demon. You know how dreams are, the parameters change randomly and it makes total sense in the dream! In the beginning of the dream, we were in an unrecognizable house and by the end of the dream in my current one. And this made total sense in the dream! LOL I wasn’t too worried about the ghost/demon even though Sam and Dean kept telling me I should be. I kept reminding them that ghosts visited me all the time and I knew how to handle them. Easy-peasy stuff. They were soooo not needed, except for as eye-candy. Never turn away prime eye-candy, that’s my motto. ;-) Anyway, Dean was upset, calling me a stubborn chick…I don’t remember saying thanks to that quip, but I do remember taking it as a compliment! LOL 

Then my subconscious threw a wrench into the dream, altering the parameters once again. My children were suddenly mixed into the evolving nightmare. The ghost/demon targeted them, wanting to steal their soul or possess them—I’m not sure which really, all that mattered was that they were the new aim. FYI, in mother lingo that means: game-freakin’-on and I will hunt you down and kill you slowly for even turning your murderous eyes on them! *smiles sweetly*

Furious and ready to kill the ghost/demon, I demanded directions from the Winchesters on how to annihilate this sucker that endangered my babies! Dean was being snarky, calling me sweetheart and reminding me that I should let the professionals handle it. You know, I really didn’t like Dean-dream’s attitude! He was this close *demonstrates with forefinger and thumb clamped together* from getting smacked upside the head!! 

He and I were going at it when I woke up. I came out of that nightmare furious, and it took me a few moments of blinking in the dark room to realize it was just a dream. My kids were okay, slumbering across the hall in their beds. When that reality set in, I was a bit miffed about not getting the opportunity to kill the creature or smack Dean. I hate the way dreams end without any finality to them.  It’s like watching a romance movie where one of them dies at the end…. You’re vested, only to be disappointed at the end!   

But I got to thinking…the worst nightmare any parent can endure is when their child is harmed. Especially when it’s something you cannot control nor do anything about. The absolute helplessness of this is crushing. I’ve endured this type of debilitation with my eldest son when he began to suffer grand mal seizures. Nothing I could do but twiddle my thumbs and watch while he endured them. We finally found the magical pill that controlled them and he outgrew them—whew!—but we were ultimately unable to help.

The nightmare got me to thinking “what if”…

What if a mother was faced with something supernatural tormenting her child? What if doctors couldn’t help? What if she had no idea what she should do? How would she react? How could she battle an unknown entity when she had no knowledge of the supernatural world? Wouldn’t she require help, guidance, and a teacher….anyone with experience to help her?

Ultimate question…How far would she go to save him and how reckless would she become?

And that’s how Pandora’s Box was conceived. My nightmare created characters that are so real-to-life in my head, I don’t question their chatter any longer. I love each of them—even the villain—as if they were my own children. 

Come this Friday, August 19th, I hope you take the adventure with me and discover how Madison answers each of my questions!  Pandora’s Box will be available in e-book format at online stores (Amazon, Smashwords, etc.) and Decadent Publishing ( If you read it, I’d love to know what you think!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a skull pendant, but PLEASE leave your email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner!!! 

Thanks for having me with you today!



Where you can stalk me—not really!—but I would love to meet and interact with you:

Pandora’s Box Blurb:

Where does the road to Hell begin?

What happens when your son turns homicidal overnight and your husband disappears on his way to work? Do you cower in fear or fight for your life? Madison Wescott fights against the odds. Distrustful of a God she doesn't believe in, she finds herself face-to-face with a world she didn't know existed and discovers her own soul is darkened with demonic connections.

With good intentions? Or by demonic design?

Phoenix Birmingham bursts into Madison’s life in a whirlwind of sarcasm and sexual appeal. A hero for the masses—and for her jaded heart—but few will ever know the sacrifices he has made or the sacrifices to come. Discovering her entire life has been influenced by multifaceted paranormal beings, Madison is determined to defeat the apocalyptic blueprint fate has decreed, but only one man dares to challenge the supernatural forces manipulating them. Even with Phoenix's aid, can destiny be denied? Or will demonic design prevail while they pay the crucial price with their souls?

In a small, sleepy Alabama town the battle for mankind's liberty has begun...

Pandora’s Box Excerpt:

She nodded and watched as he doused gauze with antiseptic. “Dr. Nix at your service,” he said with a grin, two adorable dimples charming her where words failed.

Madison rolled her eyes, and tipped her head to the side to give him better access. He brushed her hair off her neck, back behind her shoulder. Such a simple gesture, yet it felt terribly personal. The air grew thick and sticky with her awareness of him. She shifted in her seat and crossed her legs.

Madison stared into his eyes. Green, she thought, his eyes were green, gorgeous and intense, with ridiculously long eyelashes women would fantasize about. If they didn’t, they should. A flicker of compassion, concern, and something else she couldn’t identify flashed in his eyes.

“Ready?” he asked.

The husky tenor of his voice forced her gaze to shift to his mouth. Nice, sexy lips, designed for kissing. She gave a mental shake but couldn’t resist wondering how his mouth would feel on hers.

“Madison?” Humor deepened his voice, a touch of a smile tilted the edges of the lips she’d been fantasizing about, and she realized she still stared at them. “You ready?” he asked again, and her eyes widened in embarrassment over her foolish stupor.

She swallowed hard. “Yeah.” She whispered past the lump in her throat and forced her vision to lock on the wall over his shoulder. Good God, what was wrong with her? Her pulse throbbed like crazy, and she felt woozy. Loss of blood! Must be why she reacted that way. No other explanation made sense.

Even though the antiseptic stung like hell, the gentle touch coming from such a gruff man surprised her. “It’s not bad,” he said, dabbing the blood away. “Just a nick.”

Well, she could nix the blood loss theory. Exhaustion and stress were the only other excuses she could come up with. “I’ve suffered worse.” Her voice sounded off, kind of hoarse. She tried to clear her throat delicately, but he must have noticed her unease, because his perceptive eyes met hers. Again, she thought she caught the edge of concern reflected in their green depths.

“This isn’t the first time he’s attacked you?”

“No. It’s the first time he’s tried to seriously kill me, though.” She sighed as she closed her eyes, ready to give up fighting, the sudden tears threatening to fall. Okay, woozy and acting strange because of strain…not because of him. Seriously, as far as first impressions went, she wasn’t impressed.

Thank you for posting Gracen!

Don't forget to leave a comment and email if you want to win the giveaway-an extra point to those who are GFC followers!
Giveaway will end on the 22nd of August


  1. Destiny said...:

    Gracen, this is THE BEST inspiration of a story I have ever heard! Hands down! I can't wait for the Pandora's Box release day. Congrats to you and thank you for all your hard work! (The Dean images helped too hehe!)

    Destiny P.

  1. OhMyGosh! It seems like the time is passing so slow! Lol. I am ready to read this like yesterday :)

    I love that you took your nightmare and ran with it. You rock Momma

  1. Nicole H. said...:

    I love that story, the inspiration. I'm waiting for PB (which I already love through the Life's Lessons on your blog! I bow to the Mistress! (and leave my email in hopes that I'll win) ;)

    Nicole Hicks

  1. Anonymous said...:

    WOW !!! What a dream !!! But good thing u did have it , so we can enjoy Pandora's Box !! Sorry it was so frightening though. And I dont think there is any boundary a mother wouldnt cross to save her children. Love this . !!
    Crystal Trent Dotson

  1. Desere said...:

    Wow what a wonderfully different inspiration for a book ! Congratz Gracen it sounds awesome and I am sure everyone agrees we cant wait !

    Thank you for the chance to win this awesome stunning sounding prize !

    May you have many sales


  1. Trisha said...:

    What a dream, quite the inspiration for the book. I can't wait to read this book, it sounds soooo good.


  1. rhonda said...:

    I am so excited to read this! Enter me please ;) I finally get to read it soon!

  1. Destiny, it never hurts having Dean eye-candy in your head this early in the morning, huh? LOL

    Tich, time is slowing down! I swear! All summer long has sped by, but now, creepy-crawling to Friday. lol

    Nicole, my mistress of edits, thank you sooooo much!!!

    Crystal, I agree, I don't think there is a boundary a mother wouldn't cross either. I don't always agree with Madison's decisions in my book, but giving them faults is part of the fun of writing.

    Desere, thanks bunches!

    Trisha, thanks so much! Hope you enjoy it.

    Good luck to all entrants! The skull cameo pendent I'm giving away looks a lot like the one I posted on my Road to Hell series fan page.


  1. Rhonda, sweetie, you are entered! Good luck!


  1. DhesiX said...:

    Seriously? This was awesome!!
    The best inspiration i've ever seen!
    That wasn't the attitude what i want when Dean is in my dreams hehe
    Now i kinda understand why Nix has that cool car :))
    I haven't had any dream with SupNat yet -shame on me!-
    Thanks for posting This! *Not so patiently waiting for 19th*

    ~ Instigator Hellhound
    GFC ~ Andreana

  1. I'm excited for this thanks for the chance to win this skull pendant :D

  1. Andie, I really thought I'd love to have Dean in my dreams, but he wasn't so likeable and needed his butt kicked. lol I thought about giving Nix an Impala, but decided I would prefer to avoid the Supernatural reference.

    Huggles my Instigator Hellhound,

  1. Howdy, hernameisavril! Good luck on winning.


  1. Darlene said...:

    It was interesting to read how your book was conceived. Please enter me in the draw!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Alisia said...:

    sounds really good. great post.
    GFC Follower!!

  1. gaby said...:

    GFC Fallower: gaby

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Love the way you described your inspiration for Pandora's Box, Gracen! It sounds like a fascinating story. Great excerpts, too! Huge Congrats!!

  1. Thanks, Darlene, for joining me today!

    Crazy Kitty...I laughed over your name because I own a crazy kitty that I adore. lol Thanks for entering!

    Howdy, Gaby, thanks for entering the contest.

    Hey, Kathleen! Thanks for joining me today. It means a lot to have my fellow author friends join me.

    Best of luck to everyone in the contest.


  1. Unknown said...:

    this sounds like a great book and a fun read ill def be looking out for it once i get down a few of my tbr piles

    i wish u all the success with the book many thanks for the giveaway

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Awesome! Looks like an awesome book!

    Grace M

  1. You know, working with all of the books and authors at Decadent Publishing, the only ones I really have time to read are the ones I actually edit! But I've been watching for Pandora's Box because I've heard great things about it! I'm sure it will be well worth the wait!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Wow! I think that is possibly the most awesome and brilliant inspiration for a book ever, ever, ever! I really cannot wait until I can read this! *jumps up and down with excitement* ;D I wish I had cool dreams like you (even if they are, well scary lol) as I tend to have dreams when I end up getting hurt, which is really not pleasantly fun really..*sigh* I am spreading the word about your book and FB page to ALL of my friends =) Well, I was going to say, I'm going to help you get to the magic number, but it looks like you've beaten me well to it!! Well Done! Thank you for doing this fab giveaway-especaially for doing it to the UK too! You are awesomely, fabulously, amazingly cool =)
    Well, my email address is:
    Glad to be part of the gang on the road to hell! (sorry It is long, I type and type and type, not ever looking how much I have written)
    Katie, =)

  1. Leanne said...:

    Thank you, Gracen. It was very interesting to see how the dream slowly evolved into book.

  1. Hi Gracen!!! I know I've said it before but I think Pandora's Box sounds amazing and I can't wait to read and review it!!!

    I am a GFC follower

    Luv ya Brandy

  1. Awesome!!! I loved the look inside your head, Gracen! I know PB is going to be excellent! I can't wait to read it! :)

    I'm a follower- Kristina Haecker

  1. Jacque said...:

    Great interview! Thx for the giveaway!
    twinmomx5 at gmail

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Pick me Pick me! :D Great Contest!

    Kitty Bullard

  1. AmyS. said...:

    Sounds like a great book. I will have to add it to my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

    truebloodfan AT

  1. Thanks for stopping by today, Jenny! I hope you enjoy Pandora's Box once you read it. =D

    Howdy, Grace. Thanks for joining me today.

    Valerie, thanks so much for supporting me. Means a lot that you did and your kind words. I hope I don't disappoint. =D

    Katie, thanks, but I'm not sure how brilliant the inspiration was, definitely scary though. Thanks for helping me spread the word about PB!

    Just Another Face, I have the most amazing, rockin' Hellhounds ever!

    Leanne, thanks for stopping by today. =D

    Brandy, yes, you have told me and I'm thankful for your support! I look forward to joining your blog tomorrow!

    Kristina, I can't wait for you to read PB either! lol I'm as impatient as you are. =D

    Thanks Jacque, for stopping by today.

    LOL @ Kitty! I wish it were that easy, but I always allow to pick the winners. Seems to be fairer that way.

    AmyS, thanks for dropping in today.

    Good luck to all of you!


  1. Darcus said...:

    Thanks for the giveaway! Sounds like a great book and I'd love to read it!

    GFC Follower: Darcus

  1. MeadowMare said...:

    Wow, I myself have had a few strange things turn to plot-line inspiration, but never a nightmare, lol, thanks for sharing! I can't wait to read the finished product!

  1. Unknown said...:

    LOL...Love supernatural! And that certainly is a nice twist to get the creative juices flowing! Great post!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    It's certainly amazing what our dreams and subconscious mind can come up with. I find it great that you could take that nightmare and totally turn it into a novel. Awesome!!


  1. Lupi said...:

    Name helldogs was so familiar to me..
    And at least I got the information:))))).

    One of my favourite TV-series is Supernatural. You were soo lucky that you had a dream with the Winchester brothers:)))
    I can imagine that they inspired you, I really can:)))
    Your story seems very interesting, I hope I can read it soon:)))
    And thanks for the Giveaway!!:)

    GFC follower: Lupi



  1. Liz said...:

    wow! you've some amazing stuff here Gracen and lots of folks agree with me I think! looking forward to it.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Lol I will def be there on the 19th getting my copy Can't wait so excited Love ya Ladybug


  1. I haven't read your books yet Gracen but after reading this I am definitely interested in them! It's always exciting to find out about different authors from other fans and such. =) Thanks for the chance to enter your giveaway also!

    Valerie Long ( )

  1. Thank you for stopping by, Darcus!

    MeadowMare, it's not the first time I've used a nightmare as inspiration, but it is the first I've ever built an entire series off of one.

    Sapphyria, it is amazing what our subconscious mind can create. Sometimes I get my best inspiration right before I fall asleep. I guess it's when the mind is at its most relaxed state. *shrugs*

    Hey, Lupi, I don't know that I felt lucky when the dream ended, not at first. But I'm glad I had it now.

    Thanks for stopping by, Liz! Means a lot to me to see your support!

    Reanna, you know I love ya too, my little Dragonfly Hellhound. I'm eager to hear what you think of PB when you read it.

    Best of luck to all of you for winning the pendant!

    Nikki, I loooove Supernatural too! =D Gotta love the hot Winchester boys...just not the Dean-dream one. lol

  1. Howdy, Valerie! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy Pandora's Box when you read it.

    Good luck in the contest!


  1. June M. said...:

    I love that dream. It's amazing what something subconsious can lead to, the book sounds great. Best of luck with the release, I am sure it will do good.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  1. It alsways fascinating to find just how unusual dreams are for everyone. I had a strange dream just last night that had me up and writing.

  1. ArtemisG said...:

    Very beautiful post! I love the excerpt of Pandora’s Box. Book sounds great.
    GFC follower as Diana

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    artgiote at gmail dot com

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I want a skull pendant! This was a great review :)