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Port Lavaca author pens paranormal romances

By Elena Watts
Sept. 2, 2013 at 4:02 a.m.
Updated Sept. 3, 2013 at 4:03 a.m.

LeTeisha Newton of Port Lavaca writes paranormal romance novels. "Murder by Ritual" is set in both Port Lavaca and an alternate reality just beyond the Seagull Hotel.LeTeisha Newton of Port Lavaca writes paranormal romance novels. "Murder by Ritual" is set in both Port Lavaca and an alternate reality just beyond the Seagull Hotel.

LeTeisha Newton lives in a fantasy world - when she writes.

Port Lavaca is her real home and also serves as the backdrop for her paranormal romance novel, "Murder by Ritual."

"Port Lavaca is a safe, amazing place with good energy," Newton, 26, said. "The people know each other - they're like family, and they inspired my book."

The novel's events are rooted in reality. In 1840, a Comanche raid left Linnville, a small coastal community southeast of Port Lavaca, a ghost town.

In Newton's book, residents of Linnville live in an alternate reality beyond the Seagull Hotel, one of Port Lavaca's early structures.

"I wanted a different ending for the residents of Linnville," Newton said.

A century later, the paranormal race called Strands reveals its existence to the Port Lavaca community.

The romance heats up between a Seer Strand and a Bleeder Strand. The seer, Eris Herrington, sees into anything she touches, while the bleeder, Ken Satou, drains emotion from anything he encounters.

From the perspective of the special core police, it is a union made in paranormal paradise. When Eris' visions at crime scenes leave her overflowing with emotion, Ken pulls the stopper.

"Her writing is sententious, and I mean that in a positive way," said avid reader Sandra-Dee Fleming, of New Mexico. "She packs so much into the story but keeps it moving."

Newton published her last four novels with Amira Press, which is also set to publish her next three. She self-published six on Amazon, and Publish America published her first two.

The main character in her first novel, Baile, was inspired by her mother, Taberoha Warner Jackson, who was reared in Victoria.

Baile is Spanish for dance, and Newton's character, Yfel Basol, is a dancer of sorts. She is an Arian, which means she was sold into sex slavery.

Yfel's first master falls in love with her, and they marry. When he is killed, she stops at nothing to locate her missing offspring.

The real and imagined mothers, both nurturing, share traits of strength and determination. They press on despite their struggles.

Newton writes full time when she can. She usually completes her stories, which range from 75 to 300 pages, in three to four weeks. She is also an editor, freelance writer, ghost writer and web designer.

A two-part series, "Theirs to Claim" and "The Fire of His Claim," is her biggest financial success.

"I hadn't read the spicier romantic paranormal novels before," said Vallory Vance, a writer from Dallas who works full time as a human resources coordinator for a market research company. "There's a lot of fantasy, but it's grounded in reality."

As a young girl, Newton was not allowed near her grandmother's collection of books. She plowed through the works in three months when she finally did gain access.

"I always loved to read," Newton said. "My grandmother read the news an hour every day, and she thought about the world around her."

Newton started writing in high school in Newport News, Va., where her English teacher became her first editor. She learned to craft and tweak her stories.

When Newton graduated, her teacher said she hoped to see Newton's work published someday.

Newton was invited to participate in the Virginia Governor's Language Academies, an immersion program.

Until then, Newton had learned Japanese on her own.

Newton attended Florida State University, where she studied business and East Asian languages and cultures.

She left school during her junior year to join the Army, where she became a signals intelligence analyst.

Her father held a Bible under her hand as she was sworn in by a colonel. A stress fracture in her ankle resulted in her honorable discharge the next year.

She soon became pregnant with her son, who is now 3 years old, and moved to Port Lavaca to be near her mother.

Her next book, "Dragon's Ward," is scheduled for release in September.



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