Character Interview: Olivia Harmon (Lotus Petals) by Gina Drayer ~ Excerpt

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Character Interview

Hello and Welcome!


Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Olivia Harmon from Lotus Petals.

Hello Olivia, thank you for agreeing to this interview. 

Introduce yourself to our audience?

Thank you for having me. My name is Olivia Harmon. Many people in Sycamore Springs may know me as the funeral director at Armstrong’s Funeral home. But recently, I accepted a position with the County Coroner’s office. 

Both these jobs are extremely important to me. The Harmons have been part of Sycamore Springs community for generations, and while I wasn’t able to carry on as the town’s healer like so many generations before, my powers give me a unique opportunity to provide a valuable public service.

What’s it like having empathic powers?

That’s a hard question to answer. I’ve always been an empath, so I don’t know what it’s like not to have this power. I’ve had people say they’d love to know what everyone is feeling, but in practice, they’d hate it.

It’s like a panic attack disguised as a party. It might seem great from the outside looking in, but in reality, picking up other people’s feelings is overwhelming. 

What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?

I’ve seen the dateline specials. I know there has been some concern that people with inane abilities  take advantage plebs—um, non-magic users. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on the news. 

Trust me, people with gifts like empathy or precognition spend more time trying to stay out of other people’s private lives than not. Honestly, I don’t want to know what other people are feeling all the time.  While there are advantages—I’ve never had to worry about getting cheated when buying a car— I spend more time trying to block out people’s emotions than I do reading them.

What was your childhood like?

I had somewhat of a nontraditional upbringing.  I didn’t attend an academy like so many young witches do these days. I was home schooled and worked with my grandmother in her clinic. Luckily for the town, I was only expected to fetch supplies. I never developed the skill for healing. To be honest, I wasn’t a very good student, so I’m thankful that Terry Armstrong took me on as an apprentice. 

Can you tell us a little about this hidden family past? We all would love to know more!

I think every family has secrets. It was a different world before the Witch and Psyonic Rights Act. A lot of witches hid their powers. The Harmon family was always open. And while most of the family were healers, I’ve come to find out I may not have been the only one in our line to have an innate gift. 

What’s your author like?

Gina’s a geek. She always gets my Star Wars references! And she’s a huge reader.  I love perusing her library and borrowing books.

How do you feel about your author?

I can relate to her devotion to public service and family. She helps run a family owned home health agency.  I’m sure it’s exactly what Gran always envisioned for me.  I think if she lived in Sycamore Spring we’d get along well.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience today?

Not everything is as it seems in Sycamore Springs. Don’t believe the gossip. Like any small town, the stories get distorted. If you want the truth, read Lotus Petals.

I hope everyone has enjoyed this insight into Olivia Harmon. Thank you Olivia for stopping by and sharing with us. 


Lotus Petals

by Gina Drayer


Genre: Urban Fantasy

Book Length: 258 pages



Olivia Harmon feels safer separated from everyone else. Her empathic powers not only lets her experience other people’s feelings, but also influence them. It’s a heavy burden to carry, and the main reason she’s always been more comfortable around the dead. As a small town funeral director and assistant county coroner, Olivia is able to keep her distance from the day to day drama of the living. 

But after a series of seemingly unrelated deaths, Olivia discovers a hidden connection that puts her right in the middle of the investigation. In order to stop a killer, she must face a menacing dark magic and her own family’s hidden past. When confronted with the truth, Olivia will be forced to choose between the carefully constructed life she has tried to maintain and the reality of who she really is.


Goodreads link to book: Lotus Petals

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“The vehicle swerved, perhaps to avoid a deer or some other wildlife, and dropped off the embankment, coming to rest there.” Officer Richardson indicated the car’s current position. “The passenger was ejected, and the male driver appears to have died on impact. We’ve identified him.” He paused and flipped through several more pages of his notebook. “Scott Malone of Indianapolis. The female passenger wasn’t carrying identification. I’ll notify Mr. Malone’s next of kin, and hopefully they can help me ID the woman.”

“Thanks. I’ll do my reading, and then we can all go home.”

“I’ll wait by my car for you to finish.” Brad still wasn’t comfortable with the fact I used magic on the job, even after months of working together.

“It shouldn’t take long,” I shrugged, trying to put him at ease. “That is, if the weather holds out.”

It was overcast, and the starless sky added to the grim mood on the ground. The heavy clouds crouching over the scene threatened snow at any moment. The moisture screwed with the energy flow, making it harder to gather power, so I needed to wrap this up quick.

“I should be able to make a ruling in a few minutes,” I said, and with a renewed sense of urgency headed toward the Toyota. As I followed the path the car had taken, nothing seemed unusual. I opened the door, and the metallic tang of blood assaulted me. The driver was hunched over the steering wheel. The head wound looked serious, but blood wasn’t always a clear indication of damage. The only way I’d know for sure was an examination.

I snapped a few photographs and slipped off my rings, dropping them into my pocket. With my new ink, I didn’t have to draw spell glyphs on my hands anymore. I pulled on my gloves, ready to do the reading. I gathered power and drew it through the caduceus on my wrist. Images flashed behind my closed eyes.

Liver damage from habitual drinking. A healed knife wound. Two fractured ribs. A compound fracture of the wrist. Two burst fractures of the lumbar spine. A fractured skull and brain trauma.

The injuries were jumbled together in such a short span of time, it was hard to tell which one came first, but the brain trauma was clearly the cause of death. Everything seemed to be in line with an auto accident. I took a few more photographs and moved on to the body on the ground, removing the white sheet.

The unidentified girl was pretty. Strawberry blonde hair splayed around her head and a sprinkling of freckles dotted her baby face. She looked far too young to end up with me.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, smoothing the hair from her face. “I’ll take care of you. I promise.” I placed a hand over each of her eyes, and a hot flash of power surged up my arms. I jerked my hand back.

What the hell?

My fingers burned from the contact. Shaking them, I gave it a second try, but this time I avoided touching her directly. My hands hovered just over her eyes, and I sent out my power. There was resistance, and the images never came. Something wasn’t right.


Gina Drayer is an avid reader, writer, and Ubergeek. Her latest book Lotus Petals, a Gina_Drayer_Authorparanormal thriller, is forthcoming in July 2014.

Growing up a Navy brat, Gina has traveled extensively, living all over the country, but now she calls Indiana home. Currently she spends her days running the family’s Home Health Agency and her nights creating fantastic world.

Gina writes gripping, fast paced thrillers with a magical twist and steamy contemporary romances. She creates stories centered on strong, witty, independent women facing situations that test their will. And of course their male counterparts have the depth and character to keep up with these leading ladies.







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I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

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