Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wednesday's Writer: Jade Kerrion - with her thrilling new release

Eternal Night ebook

Look who's back with a super-exciting brand new release!

"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?

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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?


Wow! I don't know about you, but I seriously doubt I can wait any longer!  I'm off to Amazon...

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wednesday's Writer - Heather Greenis

This week's guest is Heather Greenis, author of Natasha's Dream and the soon to be released Natasha's Diary.  I've been looking forward to interviewing her for some time, so I'll get straight on with it.

Heather, what inspired you to write your first novel and did you always know your genre would be romance?

My novel, the saga was actually inspired by a dream I had. I couldn’t get the characters or a particular scene out of my head. I have a very active imagination, as all artists do, so my husband suggested I write.
As for romance, I never considered the Natasha’s Saga a romance novel. My publisher classified it into that genre. It has a romance to it, but I considered it more than that. That’s probably why the guys reading it are enjoying the story. To me a romance novel is ‘boy meets girl, chases her, they experience some type of crises, they make up and all is good in the world’. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good romantic drama comedy. The Boat House, The Notebook & Ever After are some of my favourite chick movies. I must add Safe Haven to the list. I read the book and then watched the movie and became a fan of Josh Duhamel.
My saga isn’t a typical romance novel and anyone expecting a fast pace romance will be disappointed, or won’t like it. Personally, I like a good drama that gets me thinking and touches a nerve. If it brings a tear to my eye or gets me sobbing, struggling to see through my watering eyes, even better. That’s why I enjoyed your novel, Killing Jenna Crane. I didn’t cry, but it touched a nerve. (Ah geez).  When I’m looking for a break, I want something lighter. I’ve begun reading YA and really enjoy them. I also enjoy a fun easy read book.

Ooh, another author who finds inspiration from dreams, like me.  I'm thrilled! I see your first novel has been described as a classic fairy tale - does this reflect what you like to read yourself and do you have specific views on what should and shouldn't be included in romance novels?

I hope people have a different view by the time they read the second book. It’s different than the first. The interesting part of a saga is the fact it does continue. Natasha’s Dream is the first in a four part saga which means it takes a reader 1/4 of the way into a story. I broke the story into four because it was so long. My editor finished my first book and raved about it. When she finished the second book, Natasha’s Diary she sent me an email describing how much she enjoyed it and then spoke of her favourite sections. She preferred the second book over the first. She hasn’t seen the third, yet. (I’m privileged to work with two editors, content and line)
There is a moral to the entire story, more than one. It’s the reason I wrote it.

Has any part of yourself crept into the heroines of any of your romances?

There is a lot of me in the sub character, Keeghan. She has the vivid dreams, she has a soft heart and she holds grudges. I shouldn’t admit that, should I! Yikes!

What is the most desirable characteristic you've bestowed on the hero of your latest novel?

Stewart is compassionate and wants to do what’s right. The last thing he want to do is hurt anyone, especially family. He loves with all his heart.

Do you think you'll always write in the same genre and style or do you have desires to experiment and if so, in what way?

I hope not. I don’t want to get stuck in a rut. The Natasha Saga is a historical romance. Never say never, but i don’t plan anything historical again. It was interesting researching things, the telephone, the automobile, electricity, clothing styles, but no need to do that twice.
I use the term Wow throughout the series. One reviewer questioned it, saying it was too modern. Researching the term, it dates back to the 1700s in a poem. My heroine, Natasha is an avid reader of anything she can get her hands on so she could and apparently did come across the word and took a liking to it. Technicalities!
The Natasha Saga has strong female characters. My line editor called Natasha and later a future character a bada$$. I’m thrilled that came through. Historical women had guts and brains. They weren’t barefoot and pregnant all the time.
I’d love to team up with my husband as a writing partner. He’s an avid reader and a beta reader for me. Unfortunately he has a million things on the go at any given time so I’m not sure I get keep him sitting and typing long enough to be of value in that sense. Time will tell.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to meet (through the cyber world) and read works by some amazing authors, yourself included. There are some wonderful stories out there from lesser known authors. Readers simply need to step away from the fan favourites.

I totally agree!  What do you do when you're not reading or writing?

I love being outside, gardening, cutting grass, playing with our dog, whatever.
Hubby and I are both curlers. That indoor winter sport that’s played on the ice with brooms and granite rocks. I play a minimum of twice a week and manage the league for our future curlers. I have three regular coaches that work with me and together we teach 6 to 18 year olds.
I love to travel. Both hubby and I have a passion for photography so the camera is always ready, I like shots with us, he likes to take pics of stuff.
I also assist a not-for-profit organization called the Healing Cycle - Hospice Palliative Care. I volunteer at their large annual fund raiser. It’s a long but rewarding day. In 2012, a gentleman with stage 4 cancer rode 160km on a bike (pedalling) Next year I plan to find the time to assist volunteering at my local hospice. 

Natasha's Dream

Growing up, her only friends were her brothers and Nanny. In her parent’s mind, she was a mistake. As a result of an innocent swim, she discovered life existed beyond the walls of her home. Families, peers, underprivileged children. Can a dream turn into reality? Anything is possible, but dreams come with consequences that not only affect her, but those she loves. What is Natasha willing to risk to persevere? 

Natasha's Diary - The second in the saga...

Keeghan’s subconscious has played tricks on her in the past, but she’s
normally able to control the outcome of her dreams. No such luck with this story. The mystery magnifies when her husband William discovers something else by the eroding sea wall, something that peaks their curiosity even further. Now, Keeghan wants the saga to continue. Drawn into the story more than she was prepared for, she needs answers.
Hope is growing up quickly. She's intelligent, independent, and stubborn. Negative traits inherited from both her parents surface at inconvenient times. Will her beauty help or hinder her? 
A tragedy. Stewart is forced to make a decision that will affect his life and the rest of his family. Then, an encounter that changes everything. Is he ready for this? Has Stewart’s past really been left behind? Will history repeat itself? Trust, integrity, and tradition all come into question.

Click on any of the following links for further details:

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wednesday's Writer: Jac Wright

This week my guest  is Jac Wright, author of The Reckless Engineer.  Before we take a look at that intriguing title, let's take a closer look at Jac, shall we?

Hi Jac and welcome.  First of all, tell us what inspired you to write your first novel.

I had written poetry and short stories before published in literary magazines. So it was a natural transition to write the Great British Novel as the next step.

Suspense, mystery, and classic literary fiction are the genre I have always loved to read and watch on TV. My father got me addicted to suspense watching Tales of the Unexpected, Mission Impossible, Perry Mason, and MacGyver without missing an episode every week when I was a child and these stories I watched with my father have stayed with me through the years.

With The Reckless Engineer I wanted to create a hero who is an engineer like me, and a series about an engineering firm. The only hero in fiction I can think of who is an engineer is Barney from the Mission Impossible TV series. There are so many legal and medical dramas, but where are the dramas centred on engineering firms?  I wanted to bring an engineering drama to life treated for an audience not familiar with the profession the same way that legal and medical dramas are. I want young adults to know how entertaining, satisfying, powerful, and glamorous the engineering field is so that they will be attracted to the profession.

I picked Portsmouth because I love the beautiful seaside town where Charles Dickens was born.  My mother loved Dickens’ work and she also loves the city and the Isle of Wight off the coast of Portsmouth. One of the earliest memories I have is of her reading David Copperfield to me. So I knew I wanted the setting to be Portsmouth.

And so it came together like that.

Portsmouth, England.
I see your novel has been described as 'an Agatha Christie-style classic mystery and legal thriller' - does this reflect what you like to read yourself? Have any particular titles influenced you?

I read a lot of Agatha Christies in my late teens and a couple while I was writing the book also.  I read suspense like Roald Dahl’s Tales of the unexpected, Patricia Highsmith’s work; a bit of Benjamin Black and Ian Rankin though noir is not my style.  I also read a lot of classics and literary fiction. The book is a classic mystery in many ways even though the setting is contemporary.  I also do like to inject some action, Mission Impossible style.  It is also a legal drama and that part is unique because there are no legal thrillers through the British criminal courts currently published.  Even in the US most of the legal drama series, like John Grisham’s, are based in civil litigation. In that way the book is very unique.

I notice your protagonist is called Jack; has any part of yourself crept into his portrayal?

There’s a bit of me in several of the characters.  I admit there has been a time in life that I have been in a bit of a mess like Jack not entirely through my own fault.  So I know what he would feel like.  Does he deserve to go through what he has to if he is innocent of murder?  And if he is guilty should he get away with it?  (This is a big “if” you have to find out in the book.)  However, I think there is more of me in Jeremy. Maybe Jeremy is more what I should like to be. He lives the life I want and I live it through him.

I'm intrigued by Jack, since I created something of an anti-hero for one of my own novels.  From reading your blurb, it seems Jack has it all - yet clearly 'all' is not enough, so it sounds as if he deserves what happens to him. Does he have any redeeming features? 

I too, am fascinated by anti-heroes.  Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley is my favourite suspense series.  For The Reckless Engineer title I took the word “Reckless” from “reckless abandon” with which Jack acts.  Jack does it because he thinks he can get away with it.  He is of a somewhat smaller made build and is a bit of a geek, even though he is brilliant and very confident at his work. His psychology is that he tries to overcompensate for it by going after glamorous and vivacious women.

Redeeming qualities? He is a bloody brilliant engineer and he was a great friend to Jeremy at his time of need.  I think the two friendships that Jeremy has with Jack and Harry respectively are very interesting. They are very different, but very close and touching in their own ways.

However the hero in the books is not Jack; it is Jeremy, my series lead.

Do you think you'll always write in the same genre and style or do you have desires to experiment and if so, in what way?

Well, I write poetry which is based in love and romance with no hint of suspense.

My other series, Summerset Tales, leans more towards literary fiction, but there is a touch of suspense in that series too similar to Roald Dahl’s work.  The nest 3 books I have started work on are all mystery, suspense, and thriller books.  I do have fourth planned that is pure literary fiction similar to Leonard Woolf’s Village in the Jungle.

Thanks Jac, that's great.  Now let's take a closer look at The Reckless Engineer.

The Reckless Engineer Blurb

Can you forgive betrayal?

The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down. 

Jack Connor lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law's extreme engineering company in oil & gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife, Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when the alluring Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.

Jeremy Stone brings in a top London defence attorney, Harry Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.

Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is the "KC" that Caitlin makes secret calls to from a disposable mobile? Has the powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner, and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame him? Is the divorce from his first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?

While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister Harry Stavers' expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense tale of love, friendship, power, and ambition.

Author Bio

Jac Wright is a poet published in literary magazines, a published author, and an electronics engineer educated at Stanford, University College London, and Cambridge who lives and works in England.  Jac studied English literature from the early age of three, developing an intense love for poetry, drama, and writing in Trinity College Speech & Drama classes taken afternoons and Saturdays for fourteen years, and in subsequent creative writing classes taken during the university years.  A published poet, Jac's first passion was for literary fiction and poetry writing as well as for the dramatic arts.  You will find these influences in the poetic imagery and prose, the dramatic scene setting, and the deep character creation.
These passions - for poetry, drama, literary fiction, and electronic engineering - have all been lovingly combined to create the first book in the literary suspense series, The Reckless Engineer.  There are millions of professionals in high tech corporate environments who work in thousands of cities in the US, the UK, and the world such as engineers, technicians, technical managers, investment bankers, and corporate lawyers.  High drama, power struggles, and human interest stories play out in the arena every day.  Yet there are hardly any books that tell their stories; there are not many books that they can identify with.  Jac feels compelled to tell their stories in The Reckless Engineer series.
Jac also writes the literary short fiction series, Summerset Tales, in which he explores characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances in the semi-fictional region of contemporary England called Summerset, partly the region that Thomas Hardy called Wessex.  Some of the tales have an added element of suspense similar to Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected.  The collection is published as individual tales in the tradition of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers and Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales.  The first tale, The Closet, accompanies the author's first full-length literary suspense title, The Reckless Engineer.

You can find out even more about Jac by clicking on any of the following links:

The Reckless Engineer buy links for and Amazon UK