Trouble With Air and Magic

I’m delighted to welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia Rice back to the Lair.  I’ve loved her books about the Malcolm and Ives families, and she’ll chat with us today about the latest in that series, Trouble with Air and Magic.  She’ll also brief us on upcoming developments in her other series.

Welcome, Pat!  Who are the Malcolm and Ives families?

halfstance2The Malcolms are a family of females with various psychic gifts. The Ives are a family of scientific, logical males. Explosions happen when the two families are combined!

Where did readers first meet them?

In my Georgian historical romances, the Magic series, currently being reissued by Sourcebooks.

 How does Merely Magic relate to Trouble with Air and Magic?

 Hardly at all <G>. Obviously, my Georgian couples had children. Those children traveled far and wide, but at the time I wrote the historical series, the rights were tied up and I couldn’t write about them. So I began plotting contemporary stories for their descendants. In TROUBLE, my protagonists are both descendants of these families. My heroine comes from a Chinese branch that recognizes their psychic abilities. My hero comes from a scientific branch that scoffs at woo-woo but once they realize psychic abilities exist, realize they might have a touch of the same. And both branches are being jeopardized by an unknown person who is interested in their abilities, but possibly not for the power of good. 

Please tell us a bit about Trouble With Air and Magic and, if you like, share an excerpt.

Don’t ask me to reduce all those pages to a few paragraphs, please! Here’s the official blurb:

Dorothea Franklin’s life is sliding toward disaster just as surely as her house is crumbling into the Pacific. Her unusual talent for feng shui can’t bring harmony to her invalid father or prevent her brother from dying in an experimental helicopter crash. Or has he?

She turns to computer genius Conan Oswin, whose brother also reportedly died that day. When Dorothea informs Conan that she didn’t feel the vibrations of her brother’s death, he wants to dismiss her illogic… but his instinct for trouble is already on full alert. His attraction to her is almost as distracting as her nonsense about chi and harmony — nonsense that plants doubts about the deadly crash. If only she would quit twisting his head with temptation, he might be able to save their brothers and her life.

 And here’s a brief excerpt:

TroubleWithAirandMagic_200Standing in the downpour that inundated the coast, Dorothea Jai-Li Franklin watched another piece of her garden crash into the Pacific. A yew swayed at an angle over the cliff before it, too, descended in a mudslide to the roaring surf.

Once the house followed the yard, all trace of her mother would be gone. Until his helicopter disappeared, she’d had her brother to remind her of their heritage, but now Bo, too was lost to her.

Pulling the hood of her billowing rain cape over her hair, she let the wind and rain gust around her. A raindrop slid down her nose, and she wiped it while watching the crumbling cliff. Tilting and swaying, the pepper tree looked to be the next victim of the mudslide. Perhaps, if she got rid of the evidence at last…

Holding her temples, concentrating, she located the earth’s energy and shoved at the weakening tree roots with her mind.

Before she could completely grasp the tree’s chi, an irritatingly self-confident voice crawled up her spine, breaking her concentration.

“Shouldn’t you be retreating to safer grounds?”

Dorrie scrambled to hold the tree with her mind before it revealed its roots. But she had tilted it to an angle she couldn’t correct.

Cursing, she didn’t turn around until she could analyze the intruder’s vibrations and knew whether to welcome him or be wary.

She shivered at the visceral effect of a man she couldn’t see.

Sexy was her first response to his energy. But that could just be her hormones appreciating the resonance of his voice. His overconfidence could be a hazard, and his lack of sensitivity had destroyed her concentration. She was prepared to be irritated.

Mostly, she was terrified of what he would see as the rain ravaged her garden.

As he approached, she sensed the earth force shifting from left to right. Most people produced straightforward energy. Was he pacing back and forth?

The stranger’s chi possessed a creative, intriguing layer of energy. Like her brother, he exhibited no-nonsense technical vibrations.

She detected nothing overtly dangerous. Powerful, yes, but curiosity seemed to be his driving force.

“There goes ten thousand in dirt,” the newcomer commented, apparently determined to be tactless. He stood beside her and watched a clump of sod slide away.

Dorrie turned, half expecting to see a policeman condemning the property.

Instead, she met the dark gaze of a sun-bronzed surfer. She barely reached his shoulder. With heels, she might look him in the…nose.

Quite a formidable nose, she observed, fighting a twitch of her lips. “And you are?”

Instead of answering, he was looking over her shoulder. “Is that a skull?”

Succumbing to fatalism, Dorrie watched the pepper tree give up its fight and tumble into the ocean. In a single fading ray of sunlight, glimpses of filthy white could be seen mixed with the roots. He must have amazingly good eyesight.

“You want to go out there and find out?” she asked defiantly.

“You’re not curious?”

“Not curious enough to send a policeman out on that crumbling cliff to look for old graveyards.”


 Okay, now I’m curious about the skull!  You’ve written other paranormal romances and urban fantasy. What draws you to the magical elements in stories?

First, I do believe there are stranger things in this world than we understand or are willing to accept. I like exploring these ideas with my characters. Secondly, magical elements add new conflicts and unique problems for the couples to deal with. Why worry over money or status when you can fight about hunting for trouble with your sense of smell or ability to shift energy?

You’ve recently reissued some of your older novels. What has that experience been like?

I’m in awe. I’m in love with digital reissues. I have whole new libraries that I’m buying for little or nothing and can carry around in my e-reader . I’m earning money on books that haven’t sat on a bookstore shelf in decades. The only downside is that I have to re-read all those old books and realize how little I knew about craft in those days! Of course, the upside is that I can now edit and tighten those old books for today’s readers. And now I’m learning to put together print books so the books can actually sit on shelves again! Next stop…audio!

PatRice_TheEnglishHeiress_HR_150And of course we finally got Michael’s book, The English Heiress, in ebook format!  What’s next for you?

 Sourcebooks is still reissuing the Magic series, the next one will be out in April. My Jamie Quaid persona will have a new book at the end of June from Pocket–DAMN HIM TO HELL. Nick’s book in the Rebellious Sons series, THE NOTORIOUS ATHERTON, will be out in July. There’s more happening behind the scenes, but it’s too early to know how it will all work out. I have a newsletter that comes out maybe twice a year with updates, if you sign up for it at

Woot!  Not only another Jamie Quaid but another Rebellious Sons book.  Yay!

For more info on Pat and her books, you can also check out her website. She’s giving a copy of Trouble With Air and Magic to one commenter today.  While trying to organize books, I discovered I had an extra, never-read copy of her wonderful Volcano, so I’m giving that the same commenter.

So tell us, do you have a go-to genre when you have time to kick back with a book?  Do you reach first  for historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, or paranormal (either historical or contemporary), or romantic suspense?  Or do you dive into whatever first comes to hand?  Why?

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  • Barb says:

    is he coming this way

  • Barb says:

    Hi Patricia and Nancy

    Love the sound of this book….. I do read paranormal but my favourite is historical… that is mainly what I read til I came on RB and learnt about all these other genres… so of course if it is one of the bandits books I have to buy them lol

    • On behalf of all the banditas, can I just say Bless you, Barb! 🙂

    • And we greatly appreciate that, Barb. I’m reading Trouble With Air and Magic and enjoying it. Historical will always be a go-to for me, but what I reach for on a given day varies with my mood. What draws you to historicals?

    • If you’ve read historicals for as long as I’ve written them, Barb, you’ll appreciate the differences as well as the familiarity of romance in other genres. But that extra step in time does aid the fantasy!

  • Helen Sibbritt says:

    Hi Nancy and Pat

    I have to say these do sound very good I really need to look into getting them especially if they are available here in Australia :). I love my e reader as I really have run out of room for books so I keep them to a minimun these days.

    I will read any genre these days but historical will always be my favourite but then again it depends on what I fancy when choosing the next one to read I might feel like a lot of action so Urban Fantasty or romantic supsense or it might be that I want to travel to a certain country or whatever LOL, I do find it hard to choose sometimes maybe that is because I have so many fantastic books on the TBR pile

    Congrats on the release

    Have Fun

    • Helen, I’ve also run out of room for books and find the e-reader a great boon. I don’t have a particular default mode, though I do read a lot of historicals. What do you like about them?

      • Helen Sibbritt says:


        I think it is their way of life that I love their rules etc the clothes I just seem to fall into them

        Have Fun

    • I’m not entirely certain what e-readers are available in Australia, but my books are on Kobo as well as Amazon and Apple and so forth. I know I have a lot of wonderful Australian readers! That’s the beauty of digital books for me–instant international access.

      • Helen Sibbritt says:

        Hi Pat

        I have a sony and a kindle so I do get most of my e boooks through amazon and they are so easy to get so quick and I can fall into the story

        Have Fun

  • Mary Preston says:

    I used to stick pretty much to Historical, until my daughter took over. She has literally thrust books at me with a YOU HAVE JUST GOT TO READ THIS!!!

    I am reading books & genres that I would never have given a second thought.

    My first love is still Historical, but I’ve discovered a lot of amazing sub-genres.

    This is why you have children I think.

    • Mary, it’s so great that you and your daughter read the same kinds of books! Right now, the boy reads textbooks, with no time for fiction. I think there might be some overlap in our tastes, but we’ll see how things shake out when he has more time to read.

  • Amy Conley says:

    My favorite ialso historical, but saying that, there is alot of paranormal happenings in histtory, so when you combine the two, I’m in heaven.
    Of course, I have always read almost any genre, although I tend to shy away from sci-fi. I think it’s because it was/is my mother’s favorite genre and I just couldn’t see myself reading the same books she read. LOL (it’s a Mother/Daughter thing.)
    But my “go to” is almost always an historical.

    • Amy, another vote for historicals! I also read a lot of science fiction and so am curious about which authors your mom likes.

      I also enjoy paranormal historicals, like Donna’s The Trouble With Moonlight and Pat’s Magic series.

  • Hi Nancy! Hi Pat! Love the sound of the new book! And how fantastic that you’re having such a great time with the new world of publishing. Yay, you! It’s wonderful for readers to have access to older books that have been out of our reach for SOOOOO long.

    Regarding your question, I tend to pick genre depending on my mood. I tend not to read historicals if I’m deep in one of my own stories. Too much of a busman’s holiday. When I’m writing, I tend to go to mysteries or category. I read a LOT of Harlequins. But then when I’m looking for books to sweep me away and I’m having a proper break, I pick up a historical by a favorite author. Then sometimes I’m in the mood for a romantic suspense or romantic elements or a paranormal or… You get the drill! 😉

    • Anna, I also tend not to read what I’m writing. When I take a break, I want a change of pace, so my paranormal and fantasy reading has been down for the past year or so. Like you, I choose my reading based on my mood. I enjoy thrillers and RS a lot and will often default to them. Lately I’ve been on a binge reading streak–RS first and then historical, though I’ve shifted to paranormal with Pat’s book.

    • Hi, Anna, waving! I bounce from genre to genre these days, reading and writing. One of these days I’ll invent a genre that has it all!

      • Pat, I love that there are so many genres to choose from. The other day I had a cold and all I felt like was sweet romance (usually I rather like my steam!). Did I have enough books to keep me going on the TBR pile that left me with that feel-good sensation? I surely did!

  • Welcome back to the lair, Patricia and thank you, Nancy for having Patricia here today. I love the sound of this series. It’s always fun to revisit old friends and meet their offspring. I love stepping back into the same series world time and again.

    As for my ‘go to’ genre, my first love is historicals but often when I’m writing I crave really great contemporaries, for some reason. I also love mystery and I never miss Lisa Gardner’s thrillers.

    • Hi, Christina–I also like mysteries and thrillers, but I’ll always love historicals. What are some of the mystery series you like?

      • Nancy, I love historical mysteries like C.S. Harris and Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody mysteries and I love our Kate’s bibliophile series. I also like grittier stuff like Elizabeth George. In thrillers, I ove Lisa Gardner. She’s about the only thriller writer whose books I never miss.

        • I wish Kate’s next were coming sooner, but it’s almost time for C.S. Harris’ next. You know I like Jon Land’s books, and I don’t think the next Caitlin Strong will be out until summer.

  • Hi Pat! Morning Nancy!

    My fav genre has always been historicals and if I’m reading for pleasure, that’s where I turn first.

    But I also love paranormal – particularly books with a bit of magic. Can’t say that I’m really fond of vampires and shape-shifters, but magic, secret powers, and other worlds – I love.

    Finally, I’ll reach for a contemporary. I prefer light to dark so humor particularly tops my list. Every now and then, I’ll read a non-romance type mystery or YA – but nothing satisfies like a good romance.

    • Hi, Donna–

      Your tastes and mine in paranormal align (as one might guess from the books we’ve written). Vampires and shifters, popular as they are, don’t really grab me the way magic does. Secret identities, oh, yeah–I’ve loved them since discovering Superman at age 7. And one might argue Cinderella as a secret identity tale.

    • We need to start a secret paranormal club? I’m not fond of vamps and weres either, so my UF doesn’t have them. I love psychic woo-woo and the mysterious what ifs…

  • Maureen says:

    Congratulations to Patricia on her new book! It is always fun to see logical, scientific types confronted with things they can’t explain. I like all types of stories and I usually see what story appeals to me when I finish what I am currently reading.

    • Maureen, I also choose books according to my mood. I’m enjoying the dynamic between Dottie and Conan in Trouble With Air and Magic, though I haven’t gotten far enough along to know what that skull in the excerpt means.

  • Mozette says:

    I have a pile of books by my office door to look through which I have been promising myself to read for the last year and a half. Some of them have been borrowed, some are my own, while others I’ve won from here and they’ve been minded by my little red dog Clifford (the fictional childhood character who had a massive following here is now a very popular little dog). He makes sure I read at least three or four of my Promise Books Reading Pile each year. And these are the books I fall back on when I’m not reading something serious.

    • Mozette, I have far too many unread books, as our recent and, alas, futile search for one of the ones on Richard III demonstrated. I do make headway, just not enough. So I’ve been trying to do some reading while between deadlines.

      My natural inclination with books and records is to be very organized. Books, I sort by genre, shelving in alphabetic order by author’s last name and in order of publication. Records are sorted by time and alphabetized by artist. Except, as the dh points out, the system breaks down when there are too many books for the available shelves.

      My vinyl record albums are in order, but there was no space to do the CDs the same way, and many of the artists I loved didn’t make it to CD.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Hi Pat and welcome back to the Lair! When I have a decent amount of time to read, I always head for romantic suspense/thrillers I’ve been saving for that purpose. Karen Rose, Lisa Gardner, JD Robb, Tess Gerritsen are all ones I hole up with – or save for a long flight *g*. I also love Dee Davis, Cindy Gerard, Mary Burton, Laura Griffin and CS Harris for that – mainly because I like being able to lose myself in the thrilling ride *g*.

  • Unfortunately, the latest WordPress upgrade continues to wreak havoc with comments, arbitrarily holding them for approval, and that includes not only comments from our longtime visitors but from banditas. I lack the words to express the level of our frustration about this ongoing problem, but I can assure you we check the pending comments frequently.

    If your comment doesn’t appear immediately, it has likely been hung up in this mess, but we’ll go in and release it soon.

    We apologize for the inconvenience. We really hate that this is happening.

  • Minna says:

    My go-to genre is usually paranormal.

  • As usual, the banditas throw out a lovely welcome, thank you! My comments seem to be going through okay, Nancy, knock wood. I just have to pry myself out of the current proposal to remember where I am today!

    • Pat, we’re always glad to have you! I just finished TROUBLE and enjoyed it thoroughly. The number of generations between this series and its precursor has let you widen the stories’ scope in intriguing ways.

      I’m particularly happy that the Rebellious Sons series is continuing because I had feared it was over.

      • Pat Rice says:

        I couldn’t keep the Ives/Oswins clueless after all these generations! Glad you enjoyed it.

        Atherton has been sitting in my computer, waiting until I had time to let him out. His Time Has Come!

  • CateS says:

    I wish there was more time travel books written… but I enjoy almost anything, except that vampire deal that came out of Twilight…

  • diane says:

    I enjoy historicals but do read captivating fiction of all types. Wonderful post and best wishes.

    • Diane, I also read very widely, but I’ll never abandon historicals. I loved Anna C’s Seven Nights in a Rogue’s bed and have Christie’s Bewitching the Duke, Joan’s The Patrician, and Suz’s Bella’s Touch waiting.

  • Sandyg265 says:

    I read whatever I’m in the mood for. Usually UF, PNR or a mystery.

  • Anne says:

    Reading engrossing books means contemporary fiction as well as mystery. Family sagas are my ultimate escape.

  • catslady says:

    I like most genres and I do read a variety, but I do tend to like historicals first with suspense and paranormals coming next. I try to read books that are lent to me or that I’ve won first but sometimes I just grab and sometimes I do want something particular. I guess that’s no answer at all lol. Oh, and my favorite newest author writes romantic/historical/fantasy so I liked mixed genres too.

  • ellie says:

    Time travel books allow me to live in another realm, place and enjoy this interlude.

  • Janga says:

    My reading tastes are fairly eclectic. I read a lot of romance, probably more historicals than any other subgenre. (And I’m so-o-o excited that THE NOTORIOUS ATHERTON, will be out in July. I love the Rebellious Sons books!) I also read quite a lot of contemporaries and a few RS and even fewer paranormals. I don’t read urban fantasy, but I do read other kinds of fantasy sometimes along with mysteries, memoirs, historical fiction, history, literary fiction, poetry, and even sci fi when it’s Asaro, Bujold, Shinn, or Sinclair.

    I’m not a big fan of shape shifters, and I don’t read vampire stories. I love magical realism and find psychic gifts fascinating; my paranormal reading falls on that end of the spectrum. I’ll be reading The Trouble with Air and Magic later in the week. It’s waiting for me on my Kindle. I loved The Lure of Song and Magic, both for its compelling story and for its link to the Magic books. I expect to enjoy this second book just as much.

    • Janga, by now you know my tastes are very eclectic, too. I love Asaro and Bujold and several of Sharon Shinn’s books. Which Sinclair are we talking about, though? I’m drawing a blank.

      I’ve finished Trouble With Air and Magic and thought it was terrific. Like you, I’m a big fan of the Malcolms and Ives’ (Iveses’?) descendants.

  • Pat Cochran says:

    Hi, Patricia and Nancy,

    My #1 reading genre is historical, but I read whatever tops the old TBR stack! The one
    which will never be reduced! Why? Because
    our dear Banditas and guest authors bring
    us word of such wonderful books and the
    stack continues to grow!!!

    Pat C.

    • Pat, we’re happy to share the blame for your TBR pile, and thanks for letting us know you find so much here that you like. I sometimes grab whatever’s on the top of the pile, but sometimes it’s something in particular. I occasionally stick with one subgenre for a while.

  • Pat, I’ve never thought to ask–what do you reach for first when you take a reading break?

    • Pat Rice says:

      If I’m the Pat you’re asking (there are way too many of us!)–
      I usually reach for whatever I didn’t read last. Since I just finished Anne Gracie’s wonderful Autumn Bride, a historical romance, I picked up Bujold’s Curse of Chalion for a completely different experience. I’m an ADHD reader!

  • Welcome back, Patricia! Thanks for having her back, Nancy! All these re-releases sound yummy!

    Like my writing, my reading is all over the place. I have favorite authors in all sub genres. Currently I’m reading John Grisham’s The Racketeer, just finished Jayne Ann Krentz’ Dream Eyes and working through my RITA books, which are an ecclctic mix! I also have a big historical one of my daughters gave me for Christmas to start when those are all done.

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hi Pat! Hi Nancy! Pat, welcome back! :> So glad to see you here today. I’m so excited that you’re going to be able to reissue some old favorites!


  • Pat Rice says:

    Thanks for inviting me today, and I’m glad that rooster behaved! I guess it’s sleeping down under and running around after I sign off.

    Take care everybody!

  • chey says:

    I don’t have a go-to genre. I grab a book and read the excerpt and blurb to make sure it’s not too similar to any of the last few books I’ve read.

  • Ooh, another Patricia Rice book! YAY !!

    Historical romance is my first love, but a couple of my kick back and just relax genres are paranormal, thriller and cozy mysteries. I think there’s a theme in there somewhere.

    I think I am drawn to those genres because they make me think. I love puzzles and these genres usually have some sort of puzzle to them.

    Paranormal attracts me because I do believe there are places, people, things and forces we have simply lost the senses to detect.

  • LilMissMolly says:

    I love Pat’s books, especially her historical fiction ones. Regency is my go to genre. Can’t get enough!

  • Barbara Elness says:

    I tend to go with paranormal romance a lot, but I like to mix it up so I’ll alternate between historical, urban fantasy, steampunk, scifi romance, contemporary and paranormal. It’s fun to have a variety to read and most of the time I’m reading two books at a time, usually two different genres.

  • gypsylcm says:

    I tend to get a lot of my reading books from the local library. It’s easy to request new tittles / authors /genres that catch my eye from book blogs.
    So I’m often read the book that’s nearly due back or as I often find myself doing is reading the latest book that I’ve picked up from the library.
    The pile usually includes Romance, historical romance, paranormal / romance, mysteries etc.

  • Diane Sallans says:

    I fluctuate depending on my mood, but primarily historical and if I can find one something set in medieval times.