Author of the Day – Kim Cresswell

 

newkimMAYHi Kim, thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Lucy. I’m thrilled to be here!

What is the biggest difference between writing legal papers and fiction? Other than the obvious, one is non-fiction and the other fiction. 🙂

I think the biggest difference…is the tremendous amount of research when it comes to writing legal papers. Researching, reading, and citing cases can take months and even sometimes years in preparation for many types of legal actions. In fiction, in most cases, we can usually research a topic fairly quickly.

Name three topics you would like to educate adults on.

  1. Graphic Design

  2. Plotting a Fiction Novel

  3. How to Write a Book Review

Is there anything that really gets you on your soapbox?

Animal abuse. Gets me every time. I have spent a lot of years as an advocate for those who don’t have a voice and will continue to do so.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Not so much in my books but in my life…heck yes! Coffee! I will never give up my coffee. You can’t make me! <grin>

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

fish tortillasCabo Fish Tacos

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 lb fresh yellowfin tuna fillet or any other mild white fish
20 corn tortillas
4 -5 cups shredded cabbage

Diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large lime, sliced into 10 wedges
3 -4 chipotle chiles, canned, julienned (optional)
5 ounces fat-free cheddar cheese or 5 ounces fat-free monterey jack cheese (optional)

Directions:
Mix together lime juice, tequila, mexican oregano, minced garlic, onion powder, ground cumin, and 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro in a small bowl.
Place tuna fillet in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over fish.
Remove excess air from bag and seal.
Refrigerate for one hour, while you prepare your grill.
Prepare grill by spraying grill surface with non-stick cooking spray BEFORE applying heat.
Over medium-hot grill (gas, charcoal, electric) cook tuna or fish, turning once, until cooked through (you may just cook on exterior if you prefer).
(The cooking time will depend upon the thickness of your fillet; tuna can be eaten rare. Do not overcook your fillet, however.) Set aside.
Briefly heat corn tortillas carefully on grill.
Do not overcook, or they will get hard.
Break fish into small chunks or shredded pieces and place about 1 1/2 ounces on a double layer of corn tortilla for each taco.
Add shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro and squeeze a wedge of lime over the taco contents. If you like avocado, you can add some as well.

If you wish a spicier taste, add the chilies.

Those sound and look delish!

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a small taster of it?

REFLECTIONREFLECTION (A Whitney Steel Novel) is my debut romantic suspense. The book is about a reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project. The story evolved after Clonaid (a company founded by the religious sect called the Raelians, announced the birth of Eve, the “first human clone” in 2002 using the similar technique to clone, Dolly the Sheep. About 160 nations in the world have yet to outlaw the birth of human clones and others are allowing the creation of human clones as long as they are not put into a woman’s womb (how do we know they aren’t implanted?), add a kick-ass heroine, a sexy FBI agent, and a villain you love to hate, thus, REFLECTION was born.

And here is the back cover blurb.

Florida investigative reporter, Whitney Steel, has lived in the shadow of her legendary father long enough. To prove herself she needs to find the “Big” story.

She found it.

Now it may kill her.

After Whitney receives a lead pointing to the world’s first cloned human, now a small child, she vows to unravel the truth. However, sifting through the facts proves to have dangerous results, including death threats and murder.

When Whitney is nearly killed, but is saved by undercover FBI Special Agent, Blake Neely, he refuses to let her get in the way of his own objective—at least not right away.

Caught in a lethal game between a billionaire obsessed with genetic perfection, his hit man’s thirst for retribution, and a Colombian drug lord fresh out of prison determined to make Blake pay for his twin brother’s death over a decade ago…

Can they save an innocent child before its too late?

Faced with tough choices, with deadly consequences for many—Whitney soon realizes that sometimes a story becomes more than just a story.

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No, not at all. I think the title works perfectly for a book about an illegal human cloning project.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I spend some time promoting via interviews and excerpts on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr) but what works best for me is word of mouth which seems to generate the most interest in my work.

And finally, can you tell me something none has ever heard before from you? I just love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Most people don’t know this…

I’m a gamer chick! A gaming junkie. Have been since the ’80s. I’m a die-hard PC gamer and known to play first-person shooters (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), adventure, fantasy and RPG’s (Role Playing Games).

Thanks for being so open and giving me a yum recipe to add to my collection. Let me finish by reminding the readers they can buy their copy of Reflection at AMAZON and B&N

 

The Return of the Maca by Mari Collier

final return final

AMAZON | PAPERBACKNOOK

The Kenning Woman on the planet Thalia predicts that the Maca of Don will return with his son, the Blind Eyed Laird. They will destroy the Justine and Krepyon conquers and the imposed rule of the House of Sisters. Don and Thalia will be restored. She is destroyed by the Sisters. Predictions take their own course in this action packed retelling of the battle for Thalia.

The Maca and his Earth born son destroy the Justines and Krepyons. They have a new Treaty restoring Thalia’s previous rule. The Sisterhood stops the Kenning Woman and then tries to destroy all male Macas and isolate the House of Don. The Maca dissolves the Council of the Realm and proceeds to rebuild Don. Don’s main station is attacked. The son is trapped in the wilds of Don and the Maca in the Tower. Both will fight on for the chance of finding a new life and new loves.

***

Normally I introduce the author, but Mari is such a lovely lady, I would like to give her the chance to introduce herself. Take it away, Mari. 🙂    

I was born in Lincoln Township, Audubon, Iowa.

I started writing for the Audubon Advocate (Audubon, Iowa) when I was 13. The pay wasn’t much for the work involved, but I loved it. My writing continued off and on for years.  When I went to work writing took a back burner until we moved from Arizona to Western Washington. Do you know that it can rain 133 1/3 inches in one year? Not only can it do that, it does.

When I returned to work in Washington, I found the greatest employer imaginable. Nintendo of America paid me to talk, read, write, and play games. It was intense at times, but truly enjoyable.

My husband and I returned to the desert in 2001 and I found myself at loose ends. Now I’m writing and involved with the greatest little museum in the world. Take a look at www.29palmshistorical.com. How many museums would have a Weed Show? To top that, they have an Old Schoolhouse Journal for which I write two columns.

To ease the solitude of writing, I joined the Desert Writers Guild of Twentynine Palms. Our membership fluctuates between eight and twelve, but each year we publish an annual of over 100 pages.

If this got you curious about Mari, you can find her at her website, on Facebook, or connect with her on Twitter.

***

Below is a part of Return of the Maca for you to enjoy. Please read it and when you have let us know what your thoughts are.    


The Handmaiden

Is held the squirming Da and started toward the Ab compound, his thoughts bitter at the turn of events. He had walked less than a mile when he met the Handmaiden hurrying toward the backstreets and hailed her.
The Handmaiden turned her dumpy figure, fully encased in a brown robe, and let out a gasp at the sight of them.
“Did they get her already?”
“Nay.” He stepped closer to her so his words would nay carry. “She has gone with Lamar, Lad of Don, to another place. I am to give Da to ye.” Is tried to hand Da to her, but she refused to take him.
“Where did they go?”
“I dinna. Lamar said that a friend was waiting and that betwixt them they would send her elsewhere.”
“Folly!” came out of the Handmaiden’s heavy face. She was barely one hundred years of age, but she resembled the Ayran Abs rather than the Ayran Warriors with her dumpy body and face set with small black eyes. Her thin black hair was covered by a brown scarf. “Which way did they go?”
“Towards the port. Lamar was certain they would nay look for her there.”
The Handmaiden lifted her long robe in both hands and ran toward the port.
Is shrugged and followed as Da bellowed in his ear, “I want Mither.”
They were almost to the main section where the rounded shops were two or three stories high when they heard the breaking glass. Is stopped to look up and his heart hammered in his chest. Di hurdled out of the second floor of the building in front of them and dropped to the cement, landing on her left side. A wild keening noise erupted from the Handmaiden’s throat and she rushed to the fallen woman. Two of the Sisterhood looked down from the broken window and then disappeared.
Is hurried to where the Handmaiden stood disrobing herself.
“Help me move her onto this,” she hissed at him. Then clad in her thong and strap and still keening, she knelt beside Di.
“Ye have killed my beloved! Ye are wicked, wicked! Oh, my magnificent Di, my love,” and her wails grew louder. A crowd of Abs and Tris began to encircle them, hoping to catch more of the drama. Di’s left arm was bloody and immobile. Blood was coming from her left side, her left leg horribly bent, and blood flowed from her nose and mouth.
The Handmaiden looked up at him. “Quickly, I must wrap her. The world should nay see her like this.” There was desperation in her voice, and Is knelt, not sure what the Handmaiden was planning.
He stood Da beside them and asked. “Won’t we hurt her more?”
“Ye canna hurt the dead, and even had she lived, there tis nay medical for Abs.” The Handmaiden glared at him and put her hands under Di’s shoulders. Is put his hands under her hips, feeling the familiar rounding wrenched at his stomach and he closed his eyes.
“Lift,” commanded the Handmaiden.
Together they moved Di’s body onto her robe, and the Handmaiden used her belt to tie the gown around the inert body. Is wanted to believe he’d heard a moan when they moved her, but he could nay see if her eyes were closed or open.
The Handmaiden bent lower and ran her hand over both eyes. “There, I have closed her lids,” she announced to the world as two of the black clad Sisters burst through, moving the crowd back.
The sight of the Handmaiden stopped them, and they glanced at the predominantly Ab crowd. They kenned that any move against the Handmaiden would ensure a riot.
“All we need to do is make sure she does nay speak again,” said the one with the rank of Sergeant.
The Handmaiden looked up at them. “I have already closed her eyes, and the blood has stopped flowing.”
Is looked down at Di. How had the Handmaiden worked that miracle? He listened to her words.
“Since she tis Ab, she tis my responsibility. This Ab,” and she waved her hand at Is, “will help me move her to the compound. The burning will be in the morn. Please, request that the Byre Berm be open. Ye may bring word to Martin this eve about the time of the burning tomorrow.”
She turned back to Is. “Put the laddie on your shoulders, and we will carry her home.”
Is picked up the wailing child and whispered to him, and then set him on his shoulders. Wee Da continued to cry, but hung on to his hair. Is nodded at the Hand Maiden, and together they lifted Di and began the long walk to the Ab compound. Inside he was shaking. It would not have surprised him if the Sisters had arrested him and sent him to the mines of Ayran. In his mind, he blessed the Handmaiden for his salvation from that indignity.
The sun still beat its rays against the world when they staggered in, their burden sagging badly. The few Abs that were there stared at them and then broke into fierce whispers.
“She’s dead.”
“The Kenning Woman has been punished.”
“Gar took her.”
“Nay, it was the Sisterhood.”
“The Sisterhood hated her.”
The Handmaiden led the way through the chattering Abs to the Healing Quarter, and one of the male Abs pulled open the door for them, stood back respectfully, and closed the door after they entered the hall.
“We’ll take her to the back room. There tis already one dead woman there.” She stalked through the first room with its crude stools and tables and brushed aside the curtain. They laid Di on one of the tables that lined the room, and Is removed Da from his shoulders, his chest heaving from the walk. The Handmaiden’s dumpy figure belied her strength as she was breathing normally.
In the middle of the room was another table already occupied by an older, dead Ab woman. She was skinny, wrinkled, and her open mouth gave the observer a view of missing and broken teeth while her unclosed eyes looked up at the dingy ceiling.
“Help me move this table over to the middle of the room,” commanded the Handmaiden. Both of them ignored the squalls from Da. Once the table was beside the other one, the Handmaiden picked up Da, and whispered to him.
“Your mither can nay hear ye. Ye must remember how much she loved ye. Now kiss her one last time.”
She held Da down to Di’s face, and he tried pulling her hair to wake her while screaming, “Mither.”
The Handmaiden pulled him away and gave him back to Is. “Take him to my laddie, and tell Pi to put Da with Ka. They are close enough to the same age and may console each other. Then have Pi bring me another robe. I’ll nay be able to wear that one again.” She motioned to the table where Di lay wrapped in her gown.
Is nodded and was about to leave when the curtain was swept open by Martin’s staff of authority, and the brown-robed Martin entered the room. His grey hair was mostly gone, but what was left fell in wispy lengths to his shoulders. He cultivated a beard, but his attempt was thwarted by the nature of Thalians. The beard, like his hair, was sparse and grey. It fell in strands from his cheeks and chin giving him a grimed, striped appearance.
The Handmaiden pointed at the opening. “Ye may nay enter here. I have work to do and am nay clothed.”
“The Sisterhood wishes assurance that the false Kenning Woman has died ere they deliver tomorrow’s food allotment. I must verify this.”
“Ye just did. Use your nose as tis the stink of death that dwells here. Ye may tell them their treachery has killed the magnificent Di. Now go away as tending the dead tis my province.” Tears were rolling down both sides of her face, but her voice did not waver.
Martin twitched his long beak of a nose, glanced at the table and saw no movement. He noted the yellow pallor of the face that comes from losing too much blood and saw the pooled, thick blood and the death stains spread on the robe. He shrugged, nodded at her, and walked out.
The Handmaiden’s shoulders slumped, but she had two more orders for Is. “Once ye have given Da to Pi, ye are to find Ki. She tis supposed to be here helping with her mither or her brither. Ye must also find the Ab sea captain, Bi, who sails from Don this eve. Ke’s casket goes with his sailing, and I must have her ready. They will nay need Di’s body until tomorrow. Bi was here, but has probably gone with Ki to some swill room. Now go.”
She turned away from him and picked up a bucket of water and some strips of cloth. The bucket she placed on the floor next to one of the tables and the cloths on the table. She then began to clean the dead.
Is held the crying Da and stepped out of that dimly lit room; relief then sorrow swept over his face. The eating hour was approaching and more Abs were in the compound, but they had lost interest now that death was accomplished. He carried Da through the empty rooms to where the younger laddies had their sleeping quarters, and found the thirteen-year-old Pi holding ten-year old Ka in his arms. Pi was fairly tall for someone of Ayran descent. His upper was body slender, but he had the wide hips and heavy thighs of Ayran. Is handed Da to him.
“Ye are to put him with Ka so that they may console each other over the loss of their mithers. Once ye have them calmed down, ye are to take your mither a clean robe as she has nay on but her strap and thong.”
Sadness shadowed Pi’s dark eyes as he reached for the wailing Da and put him next to Ka. Ka was red-eyed, but had stopped crying some time ago. He put his arms around Da, and they clung to each other. After a few minutes, Pi decided it was safe to leave and entered the small, neat room he shared with his mother. He took the spare robe from the hook and hurried to the Healing Quarters. Since Abs were never given medical treatment, Pi thought of it as the Death Quarter. He took a deep breath and entered.
“Make sure that curtain tis locked in place.”
His mother’s voice brooked no questions, and he used the tags at the bottom and top to keep it from blowing or being pulled aside. He turned to greet his mother and saw the position of the box for Ke and the tears streaking down his mother’s face. His eyes widened and his mouth opened in a big O.

Book Tour and #Giveaway – Song and Signal by M.E. Patterson

Song_and_Signal_Tour_Banner1-1
Today I host the tour for Song and Signal by M.E. Patterson. A book I haven’t read yet, but certainly is on my TBR (to be read) list.
Why? Well, read the synopsis and tell me what you think. 

* From the award-winning, bestselling author of Devil’s Hand and Burning Cards comes a universe-spanning science fiction adventure. *


Seventeen year-old genius Zakari Sharp has never stood on the surface of a planet, never seen a sun-streaked sky. He lives on a corporate-owned mining facility at the edge of the solar system, with a mute alien for a guardian and brainwashed, muscle-bound ex-convicts for company. The day his father vanished was so long ago that Zak thought he would never hear from him again.
Zak was wrong.
Now, chased off-station by a cabal of mythical assassins, Zak and his best friend Liz embark on a harrowing journey across the galaxy, to find his father’s hiding place and learn the universe-shaking discovery that hides with him. But their enemies will stop at nothing to steal the secret themselves.
Can a teenage boy change the fate of the universe? Or will a nanotech-wielding killer reach him first?
sas-cover-800w
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PRAISE FOR SONG AND SIGNAL

“The kind of storytelling that makes a statement: M. E. Patterson is here to stay.” — Austin Post

“[Song and Signal is] WELL worth the read. Enjoyable and immersive.” — Michal
 
“Patterson’s work will blow you away… a page turning, roller coaster ride.” — ReviewsByMolly
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. E. Patterson is a bestselling author of highly-rated horror and science fiction novels for both teens and adult readers. His first novel, Devil’s Hand, was a Kindle bestseller in Horror, and was the winner of Kindle Book Review’s 2012 “Best Indie Horror Novel” award.In addition to writing fiction, Mr. Patterson is also an accomplished web software engineer and software consultant, currently working with the video game industry. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family and can be found online at:

I’ve asked him who would be the dreamcast if the novel was to become a movie and he came up with the following ideas. 

In casting Song and Signal, I have trouble coming up with actors for Zak and Liz. In part, that’s because they’re teenagers, and we’d have to be looking at pre-teen actors right now to find someone who will be the right age once the movie is made. (Of course, we could just go Hollywood-style and cast a 25 yr old and say they’re 17 in the movie, but I digress…) So I’m not going to try for them… leave that up to your imagination. But for some of the other roles, I’ve got ideas:

dev_patelRakesh — played by Dev Patel

For Zak’s friend in Zero City, Rakesh, look no further than Slumdog Millionaire actor (and award-winner) Dev Patel. He can pull off that mix of nerdy and devilishly charming that you need for a proper Rakesh.

Bryan-CranstonMathias Sark — played by Bryan Cranston

It might seem a little odd, but I would actually like to see Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston play Mathias Sark. We might need makeup to do some “oldifying” to make Cranston look even more the part, but I think he’d be excellent as the creepy old smuggler.

tom_hardy-bronsonJeremiah Flint — played by Tom Hardy

If you go back to Tom Hardy’s pre-Batman role in the film Branson, you’ll see why I like him. He can be big, muscular, powerful, and a little bit crazy, but not without the ability to seem sad and reflective too at times. This is critical for a character like Flint and I think he’d do an amazing job.

2012-05-07(25781)_Tommy Lee JonesPartisan-General Dominic Ventus — played by Tommy Lee Jones

Maybe it’s too obvious, but when talking about the Partisan-General, you’ve got to keep venerable actor Tommy Lee Jones in mind. He’s already got the Texan mindset, the easy twang in his voice, and the ability to snap people to attention with sharp command. As Ventus, he’d be absolutely convincing espousing the character’s particular philosophies on the universe and its denizens.

That’s a great cast! Thanks M.

What I’d like to ask the readers to give us suggestions in the comments for the roles of Zak and Liz.

***
The author also organised a great giveaway for this tour.
This is only open to US residents for physical books, but international for the gift card.
Must be 13+ to Enter
mepattersongiveaway

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

Review Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion

 

AMAZON | iTUNES | SMASHWORDS

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This book is one that could be easily become reality in the not even too distance future and it freaked me out, in a good way though. Even the far fetched plot lines were brought in a way that made them believable.

The characters were all more than well developed and even the general, unimportant, minor ones had traits not uncommon to mankind; i.e. The whole population is a reflection of our current state of mind, and behaviour patterns. Even the mutants are what you expect, and do not stretch the suspension of disbelief. They are all fleshed out fully and alive. I rooted for them, all of them, even the scary ones made me feel sorry for them. It were the humans, bar a few exceptions, that were despicable.

Plot? Great! I’m not going to give anything away but I will say that the conspiracy lovers will have a ball reading this book.

My one and only gripe is that it’s the first in a series and I loath serialised novels, but on the other hand I’m glad that it doesn’t end with this book because there’s more to this story than just told in part one. I can imagine the whole complex woven tapestry with all its twists and turns couldn’t fit into one book. By the by, it ends in a perfect cliff-hanger and I can’t wait to read book two. Luckily it is available for download and I don’t have to wait any longer than it takes to press ‘buy now’.

Featured Author – Jade Kerrion

JadeKerrionThis author is truly gifted and on the list of ones I keep my eye on. I’m happy to have been able to interview her.

Let me introduce jade Kerrion to you.

Hi Jade, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

I’ve heard you started out as a writer of fan fiction. Anything I should know?

Yes, I started out writing Guild Wars fan fiction. It’s a great way to get started. Think about it: you’re tapping into a built-in fan base that’s craving more stories about a world they already love. Work their characters into the story, and they won’t be able to get enough. I wrote fan fiction for several years, and turned little pixels on the screen into characters with stories to tell.

Living in Florida, do you ever long for snow? And to extend that question, would you ever want to live up on a mountain?

Oh, God. No. I’m in Florida because I do not long for snow. I don’t object to mountains, per se. It’s just the cold and snow I’m psychologically allergic to…

You are married and have two adorable kids, what were their names again?

The eldest is Zor. The younger is Max. In case you were wondering, both names came from the Robotech series.

I love that you incorporate fictional life into real life. It goes to show they bleed into one when you’re an author. Do they ever pop up as characters in your work?

Hmm…not yet. So far, none of my characters are interested in having two precocious handfuls of energy bouncing around their house. If you know of any, let me know. I’d be happy to loan them my kids of a real-life experiment.

Sorry, can’t help you there. 🙂

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Oh, I love sushi! My favorite beverage is hot chocolate mixed with coffee.

Oh, sushi! The mere mention of it makes my mouth water and who can resist coffee?

What is your favorite dish and can you give me the recipe?

Another delish recipe for os-tail stew

Picture found on revivedkitchen.com

My favorite dish would be the ox-tail stew that my husband makes for me (usually under duress or after a great deal of whining from me.) His recipe varies a little each time (not one for following instructions) but this one is close enough. He also adds raisins to the stew for a sweet touch.

Do you have any aspirations other than being a worldwide known author? Are you a global ‘brand’?

I hope I’m working my way toward being a global ‘brand’ as an author, but an author is just one of the many things I am. I also have a full time job, which I love, in learning strategy with a large education company.

Sounds intriguing, I might want to ask you more about that another time.

That wasn’t too bad, or was it? But it’s not why you are here. You want to talk shop, right? So, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about, and can you give us a taster of it?

I’m here to tell you about my latest novel, ETERNAL NIGHT.

Eternal Night ebook

Amazon / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Here’s the blurb, followed by an excerpt:

What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships…these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive.”—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King

Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark

Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.

Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.

Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.

As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?

Paperbacks available at

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

***

READ AN EXCERPT BELOW


With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber.Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss.Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.”

Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain.

Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.”

Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul.

“Go deep,” Tera said.

But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason.

Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons.

The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free.

Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul.

She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble.

Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?”

Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.”

Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?”

The icrathari nodded again.

Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss.

Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul.

The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man.

She closed her eyes and remembered love.

As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake.

At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig.

Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

~*~

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Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

The title was easy. The name of the city, Aeternae Noctis, is Latin for Eternal Night.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform your work to suit the market?

Well, right now, it’s fantasy paranormal, with a dash of romance, which is, I think, a fairly large segment of the market. But your question on whether I would conform my work to suit the market is a good one. I tell the story I want to tell, but I do test out various markets. For example, I started out in science fiction. Eternal Night is my foray into fantasy/paranormal. I’m currently working on a romantic thriller (another large segment) that actually spins off my science fiction series. I think, ultimately, I write a lot of genre-blending novels because it’s where I’m most comfortable.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

If I knew the answer to that question, I’d be a millionaire. Mostly, I try to get out and connect with readers through blog tours and social media channels. Strong reviews help, but ultimately, I believe what generates the most attention is word of mouth. It’s important to get readers excited about a great story.

I must agree with you on that one. Personally I don’t care much about what reviewers say about a book, unless it’s a reviewer I know writes solid, honest reviews. But a recommendation from a friend is what triggers a buy for me.

Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. Hehehe, I love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

My husband is jealous of my muse.

My muse, Danyael, first came to life in ~1998 as an assassin character in a play-by-e-mail (PBeM) game I took part in. Think of it as D&D-style roleplaying, but with writing instead of dice rolling and storytelling around a table. Since then, the spelling of his name has changed, his profession has changed, but he’s been a voice in my head and a constant friend for about 15 years now. He keeps showing up in my stories, and when he does, he steals the show entirely. Writing him is the most natural thing in the world because I’ve known him so intimately for so long.

I know Danyael since I’ve read Perfection Unleashed and loved every word of it! If you want to know why read my review here. Sorry for the interruption, please go on.

In contrast, I’ve known my husband for 11 years, and yes, I imagine it’s hard to compete with a man who technically doesn’t exist anywhere but on paper. It’s not like you can challenge him to a smack down.

If you’d like to meet Danyael, he’s the protagonist in my award-winning Double Helix series (and I finally gave him a happy ending at the end of the fourth book…)

Personally I’m in love with the books and if this interview made you curious, why don’t you connect with Jade Kerrion at her Website, on FacebookTwitter, or find out more at Amazon