“The Unfailing Light” by Robin Bridges – Interview + Giveaway

It’s Day 2 of 2 for my fantastic stretch of The Unfailing Light’s blog tour! Did you miss my review of the book? Then click HERE for yesterday’s post! (There’s also a list there of all the other blog stops, which you’ll want to check out for other giveaways and goodies!) Don’t forget you can also check out my review of the first book in this series, The Gathering Storm, HERE. Now…

WELCOME TO AUTHOR ROBIN BRIDGES!

By day, Robin Bridges is the mild-mannered author of the YA historical fantasy series, THE KATERINA TRILOGY, set in Imperial Russia at the end of the nineteenth century.  By night, she’s a pediatric nurse who pokes small children with needles and makes them drink horrid-tasting medicines. Robin is a member of the Apocalypsies 2012 Debut Author group, as well as the Class of 2K12 and SCBWI.  She lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband, one teenager, and two goofy mastiffs.  She likes playing video games and watching Jane Austen movies.

INTERVIEW:

So, The Gathering Storm left off in a place where anything could happen. In one sentence, what’s the story of The Unfailing Light

Forced to return to Smolni and trapped behind a spell where she can no longer communicate with George Alexandrovich, Katiya tries to protect her schoolmates from a dangerous ghost.

What inspired this series?

I’ve always loved supernatural stories and I always loved Russian fairy tales.  And I’ve always been fascinated with Romanov history.  Picking one generation of Romanovs to write about was the hardest part of my research.  There were so many interesting time periods to choose from.  But I think the late nineteenth century, the Russian Silver Age, is my favorite period- the age of Tchaikovsky and Faberge.

When I read The Gathering Storm, I was floored by the amount of mythology in the book. What was your research process for these books like?

There was lots of research involved!  I decided to create a LibraryThing account just for the Russian history I was researching.  A lot of the original plot had to be revised as I dug deeper into research and discovered more about the members of the Russian aristocracy.  I exchanged emails with a history professor in Germany for information on 19th century medical schools.  And I dream of visiting Russia someday- once I learn to speak Russian!

Briefly, what was your path to publication like?

I think I took the scenic route!  It took four YA manuscripts, two agents, and almost five years from the day I decided to start writing for young adults to the day my editor at Random House bought The Gathering Storm.

Okay, I know you can’t be writing all the time. What other kind of adventures do you get up to? 

I love to play video games when I’m not on a deadline.  I was so excited about Guild Wars 2- I made a character named Katiya who is a necromancer!

I understand that you’re also a pediatric nurse. How do you balance that important job with your writing? Have you ever had stories come out of it?

I am a nurse, but have a really great schedule.  I work weekend nights, and then I’m off all week.  I can write in an empty house all day long while the family is at school or work.  If only the dogs could go to school or work, then I’d have a completely quiet house all to myself.  I did write a short piece one year for Blog Like It’s the End of the World based on those long nights at the hospital!

What kind of books do you read? Any favorite titles you think anyone should read?

I love to recommend favorite books to people.  I’ve gotten a lot of my fellow nurses hooked on reading YA fiction with my locker stuffed full of books.  They call it my library.   See some of my recommendations below!

After reading your books, I really got excited about necromancy and this Russian mythology. What are some related books you could recommend while we wait for your next installment?

If necromancy is your thing, Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer Necromancer is hilarious.  And the sequel, Necromancing the Stone, was just released this week!

If you like reading about hot undead guys, Lia Habel’s Dearly Departed is swoon-worthy.  And its sequel, Dearly Beloved comes out September 25.

If you love Russian mythology, you’ll love Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone! [Side note – Check out My Life is a Notebook’s review of that HERE]

Does The Gathering Storm or The Unfailing Light have a soundtrack? Or do you prefer to write in silence? 

I listened to mostly classical Russian composers while writing the Katerina books: Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Borodin.  I also found some gypsy love songs that were popular in the nineteenth century, like “Chrysanthemums” and “Dark Eyes”.  And there’s the hauntingly beautiful orthodox chant, “Unfailing Light”.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

That’s right! The awesome folks over at Random House have offered to sponser a giveaway of a copy of The Unfailing Light for you guys! All you have to do is fill out some slots in the Rafflecopter HERE. Please note the giveaway is US only and ends at 11:59 PM on October 19th.

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“Flicker” by Kaye Thornbrugh – Review + Interview + GIVEAWAY!

Flicker by Kaye Thornbrugh

Goodreads | Amazon

When sixteen-year-old Lee Capren is spirited away to Faerie, she is forced to serve capricious faeries as a prized portrait artist… and live as their prisoner.
A chance encounter with the charming Nasser grants Lee a chance for freedom—but what felt like mere days in Faerie spanned years in the human world, and Lee no longer has a home to return to.
Nasser is a Seer—a human with magical powers—and Lee is quickly plunged into his world: a sprawling city teeming with magic and mystery, where supernatural creatures walk hidden among humans. With the help of a rag-tag group of teenage Seers, Lee must master her newfound magical talent and outwit a cunning faerie determined to destroy her.

4 stars

I will readily admit that Flicker is not the kind of book I would pick up at first glance. For reasons of personal preference, I don’t often read books about fairies. However, when Ms. Thornbrugh contacted me about reading her novel, I was intrigued enough to say yes.

And I’m so very glad for that.

Actually, the book got off to a fairly rocky start with me. It opens up with Lee worrying about very cliché things I see in almost every single teen novel where the MC goes to some form of high school, where the main character is the loner type losing her best friend to the lust for popularity. Lee’s best friend, Kendall, was fairly stock and not overly interesting. I could already see several cliché plotlines coming up.

And then Thornbrugh went and blew them all away.

Anything cliché about this book disappeared after Nasser rescues Lee from Faerie. One of the things that hit me instantly was the quality of all the characters after that fact. Nasser, Lee, Nasser’s brother Jason and their friends Filo and Alice are all interesting, real people with depth and a definite 3D nature. Even the background characters had layers to them. This is hardly a common occurence in teen lit, and it made me practically overjoyed.

However, that transition into all these new characters wasn’t entirely painless. The rest of the novel is told from several points of view, and directly after Lee is rescued from Faerie they are a little squashed together. Four or five POVs literally switch within paragraphs of each other. Though there are clear paragraph breaks, it was almost a little bit too much to handle, especially because we hadn’t been introduced to all these characters yet, or even know why they existed at all.

Still, after that transition evens out at the POVs stop switching so quickly, it settles into being a really enjoyable read. Another thing that struck me was that there wasn’t just one thing going on. Sometimes in teen lit, you have one plot where the characters are trying to get from point A to point B and they go there in a straight line, with everything they do pertaining in some way to that goal. Thornbrugh had legitimate subplots and side adventures, which helped not only give other characters depth, but also keep the story moving without pause while continually being interesting.

I also tip my hat to her for the romance. While Nasser and Lee didn’t exactly have a huge base on which to begin their relationship, they felt real to me. Also, with so much going on, there wasn’t an overly large amount of time dedicated to their relationship, which was nice. I’m all for romance, but I don’t like when it is THE focal point of a story. Nasser and Lee were just two people who ended up falling in love in the midst of several bigger conflicts. My favorite kind.

I did, however, dock a few points for some subplot holes that didn’t make sense, but they weren’t numerous and really don’t matter to the overall plot. They were just me being nitpicky because of Thornbrugh’s excellent writing up until that point.

It should be mentioned that Thornbrugh is a very descriptive writing. Some people like this, some people don’t–in fact, I usually don’t. I prefer the book to move as fast as possible at all times. However, with the emphasis put on magic and art, I found her lyrical and descriptive prose to be the perfect way to tell the story, and it didn’t really bog down anything all that much.

Overall, Flicker was a definite love for me. It had plenty of action, magic and gorgeous description, as well as a FANTASTIC group of characters that made me so happy at every page. There was romance, but not an overly large amount, but it felt real the way that it happened–two pluses for me. I’ve seen this book on a couple of “maybe” lists on Goodreads, but in my personal opinion it should be on some “definitely read” lists! It certainly is going on my “recommended” one!

Now, everybody give a big hand to welcome the author, Kaye Thornbrugh!

What inspired the creation of Flicker?

Flicker was inspired by a love of faeries and folklore, as well as a question that other

faerie novels had left in my mind: Most stories deal with someone rescuing a loved one from Faerie—but what about the person being rescued? How would they cope with their time in Faerie, and how would they change once they returned to the normal world? I wanted to tell a faerie story from that perspective—and that’s where the idea for Flicker’s heroine, Lee, and her journey, came from.

Why, in one sentence, should someone read Flicker?

It’s a different kind of faerie tale.

 Flicker has one of the best character casts I’ve read in a while. How did you go about creating them? Did you base any of the characters off real people or yourself?

Many of my friends ask me if my characters are based off real people—I’m never sure if they’re secretly hoping they turned up in one of my books, or if they’re afraid that a less-than-wonderful character was based on them! Either way, they’re usually surprised when I tell them that all of my characters are completely fictional.

Sometimes characters come to me in a flash, all at once, and I feel like I know them immediately. That’s what happened with Lee. Other characters take a lot more effort to discover. (Nasser and Filo, in particular, took time to flesh out; other character, like Jason and Alice, revealed themselves to me with much less fuss.)

For me, the most important part of creating characters is making sure that I’m choosing the right person for the job—or, rather, the role in the story. Characters have to earn their places in the story by being both the most appropriate person for the role I assign them, and the most inappropriate person. It might seem contrary, but it works for me. I try to make sure my characters are 1) relevant to the situation and have a good reason for being there, and 2) also experience some kind of conflict or struggle—great or small, internal or external—after being pulled into the story. It helps to keep things interesting!

What inspired you to become a writer?

A love of stories—it’s really as simple as that. I’ve loved coming up with my own stories for about as long as I’ve loved reading; I took my first “serious” stab at writing (a kind of ridiculous story about a werewolf hunter) when I was nine. As a storyteller, it’s my responsibility to entertain my readers, and I take that very seriously. To me, few things are more rewarding than writing a story—be it fiction, like Flicker, or an article for my college newspaper—that captures somebody’s attention and imagination, and gives them some enjoyment.

Now, I know you’re a big fan of fairies, but what is your other favorite YA trend: mermaids, vampires or angels? Or do you run away from books containing all three?

Vampires and angels have never been my preferred trends—I’m more of a werewolf and demon fan, to be honest—so right now, I’d have to go with mermaids. I know they’re cropping up more and more in YA, but I’m a bit behind on my reading list, so I don’t feel like they’ve been done to death yet!

I’m also always eager to read something with creatures outside the typical fantasy/paranormal bag of tricks. For example, Patricia Briggs’ most recent Mercy Thompson novel, River Marked (not YA, but one of my favorite books!), includes spirits and monsters from Native American folklore. Excellent stuff!

NOW HERE’S WHAT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR: GIVEAWAY TIME!

Kaye is SO AWESOME she’s offering one SIGNED physical copy of Flicker, one bookmark AND a CD of the Flicker soundtrack. Isn’t that awesome?  Please note this giveaway is US only and ends at 11:59 PM on August 30th. Click HERE to enter!

Author Interview + Giveaway: “Witchstruck” by Victoria Lamb

You guys may or may not remember that a couple of week’s ago, I chose Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb as my Waiting on Wednesday post. Right after that went live, Victoria Lamb herself emailed me about participating in a blog tour for Witchstruck when it was released. I readily said yes. One does not say no to a Tudor his-fic piece about a teenage witch! So, without further ado, give a warm welcome to Victoria Lamb!

While studying Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights at university, Victoria Lamb conceived a desire to write a series of novels about Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady’. Now a busy mother of five, she has finally achieved that ambition after much research, and The Queen’s Secret is the result.
Daughter of the prolific novelist Charlotte Lamb, Victoria lives in Warwickshire – also known as Shakespeare Country – only twenty minutes from Kenilworth Castle where The Queen’s Secret is set. She is presently working on her new novel featuring Shakespeare’s ‘Dark Lady’, Lucy Morgan.

INTERVIEW

What inspired you to become a writer?

I was born into a family of writers, which helped set the scene for my future career. But it wasn’t until the day I was taken to see where the poet John Keats lived at Hampstead that I made a conscious decision to become a writer. I was fascinated by his tragic life story and by his poetry, and determined to write poetry myself – starting straight away at the age of about ten!

In one sentence, why should someone read your book?

It’s hard not to find a story about a teen witch intense and compelling when it’s set in a time when just being suspected of witchcraft could earn you an agonising death.

Briefly, can you talk about the path you took to getting your book published?

I had already discussed Witchstruck with my agent long before even beginning to write it, so he was fully behind the book by the time it was finished. I emailed him the manuscript, and about a week later the first three books of the series had been acquired by Random House Children’s Books.

When you’re writing, do you prefer silence or do some of your characters have soundtracks? Or do you do something completely different?

Normally I listen to music on my headphones while writing. Very loud pop music is my drug of choice. In general, I prefer mainstream pop to indie when working, as it tends to have a strong beat and the generic lyrics are unlikely to distract me. I do have playlists for some of my chapters. Sometimes I get entirely taken up in my writing and forget the music’s finished. That always feels odd when I finally notice. I’ve also developed a habit of clutching a pen in my hand while actually typing. I don’t know what that’s about. I gave up smoking about five years ago, so maybe it’s a substitute?

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

Yes, I like to think I’m very like my hero in Witchstruck, Alejandro. I’m not Spanish, nor male, nor a priest, but I think he has my very dry sense of humour. And perhaps my tenacity too. He doesn’t give up easily.

Now, Witchstruck focuses on Tudor times when Mary is queen, but who’s your favorite wife of Henry VIII and why?

Definitely Katherine of Aragon, mainly because she stuck that man for twenty-four years and did her best to give him a son. She fell pregnant as many as six or seven times. Apart from Mary, she either miscarried or her children were stillborn or died soon after birth. And at the end of that, he divorced Katherine in her late forties and married a much younger woman in the hope of a male heir. The irony, of course, is that it was his daughters Mary and Elizabeth whose reigns stand out in history, while his son by Jane Seymour died after only a few years on the throne.

When you aren’t writing, what kind of stuff do you read? Any favorite titles you think everyone should read?

I read quite a lot of fantasy fiction, sci fi, and also non-fiction. I’m researching Steampunk at the moment. I don’t like recommending new books in general, as it feels a bit awkward. But everyone should read an Anne McCaffrey ‘Pern’ novel at some point. Futuristic other-world telepathic dragons and their riders. For YA readers I’d start with Dragonsong.

So, I know you can’t be writing all the time. What kind of adventures have you gotten up to while taking a break from writing?

I am actually writing nearly all the time, or researching/planning my next book. I’m a bit obsessive like that. For fun I like to translate Latin, mostly because it makes my brain work in a completely different way to writing. (Rather like people who enjoy doing crosswords.) I also enjoy walking beside the sea and daydreaming. Once I was abducted by webfooted aliens …

What’s the better YA trend: vampires, angels or mermaids? Or do you run screaming from all three?

I’d have to go with angels there. Vampires feels like it’s been done to death, and angels have a long and venerable history dating back to before the Bible was written, which gives them rather more gravitas than someone with over-sharp teeth and a blood fetish. Or it should. Mermaids though? Seriously?

What’s the last book you read? Any books out there that you’re dying to be released?

I recently finished ‘Witch Light’ by Susan Fletcher, which was quite a literary read. I’m looking forward to ‘Frostfire’ by Zoe Marriot, another new release this month.

Thank you!

I’ve enjoyed it. Thank you, Gretchen!

Witchstruck

Goodreads | Amazon

Meg Lytton has always known of her dark and powerful gift. Raised a student of the old magick by her Aunt Jane, casting the circle to see visions of the future and concocting spells from herbs and bones has always been as natural to Meg as breathing. But there has never been a more dangerous time to practise the craft, for it is 1554, and the sentence for any woman branded a witch is hanging, or burning at the stake.
Sent to the ruined, isolated palace of Woodstock to serve the disgraced Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and half-sister of Queen Mary, Meg discovers her skills are of interest to the outcast princess, who is desperate to know if she will ever claim the throne. But Meg’s existence becomes more dangerous every day, with the constant threat of exposure by the ruthless witchfinder Marcus Dent, and the arrival of a young Spanish priest, Alejandro de Castillo, to whom Meg is irresistibly drawn – despite their very different attitudes to her secret.

BUT WAIT, there’s more! There’s a GIVEAWAY! You’re excited, right? Because who wouldn’t want a copy of this? It goes til July 18th, 11:59 PM and is INTERNATIONAL! Click HERE to enter!

Author Interview + Giveaway: “Few Are Angels” by Inger Iversen

Welcome to Author Inger Iversen!

Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.

Interview:

What inspired you to become a writer?

When I was younger I would read with my aunt and mother, but I was always changing the endings and writing my own. When I was a teenage my diary read like a book and I knew that I wanted to write but I went to college and majored in History instead.

In one sentence, why should someone read your book?

So, they can watch Ella and Kale discover what sacrifices must be made for love.

The cover of your book is absolutely gorgeous! Talk to me a little about the cover art.

Oh, I struggled to find the perfect artist to create my cover and failed quite a few times. I found that some artist charge $750 just for the cover art and that is not including the fonts, back and spine. I actually shed a few tears over my failure until one day someone sent me an email about Deviant Art. That was when I came across a photo called “I Found My Light” and I said, “There is Ella.” Mind you, Few Are Angels was already finished and with my editor at that point. The artist Ana Fagarazzi had created my character so perfectly that I had to have that picture. Two weeks later I found Kale from the same artist. Her prices are so amazing that I am using her art for books two, three and a short story as well.

When you’re writing, do you prefer silence or do some of your characters have soundtracks? Or do you do something completely different?

I have a soundtrack for each book and even some chapters have their own soundtrack. I just recently found this group called Teams vs Star Slinger on YouTube and I have had two of their songs on repeat for the last two days. Music is a great motivator for me while writing.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

I tried not to have many similarities with my characters. I wanted to create new characters that the reader as well as myself could watch grow, but Ella and I do have a couple of things in common.

So this is a first in a series, where are you in the stages of the next book? Any teasers?

I will finish book 2, Awakened in July, but when I say finish I mean it will be ready from my first round of edits and they usually take a month or two. I plan to release Awakened late 2012 or very early 2013. This is a scene from Awakened and I have introduced a few new characters.

A scene with Ana and Darke “Raul” two new characters in the Few Are Angels Trilogy

She turned to me and smiled; soft and sweet her lips inched up revealing her stunning but deadly fangs. She plucked two flowers from the bush without even facing it and then moved to stand next to me. She reached out and took my hand gently placing the butter colored bud in my palm; my honey colored skin was a warm contrast to her pale alabaster skin. I looked at it and then to her my brow furrowed.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” She asked not once taking her eyes off of mine.

“Exquisite.” I said, but not about the flower. Anastaise’s eyes sparkled in the moon light and her silky hair ruffled and swayed in with the chilling winter breeze. She looked away coquettishly no doubt understanding that my comment had been about her beauty and I chuckled. Though she was trapped in the body of an eighteen year old, she was more than 150 years old. She removed her hands from mine and placed them at her side.

“Do you know why I love this plant Raul?” She asked sending a jolt throughout my system by using my true name. I glanced away from her and into my hand again at the yellow flower that she had placed there. I couldn’t look at her when she used that name—l was not that man anymore.

“Look at me.” She demanded softly and I complied. “I love this plant because even in the winter it blooms, taking away some of the cold gloom of winter.” Anastaise closed my hand and tightened hers around mine. “Its bloom is so small that from far away they look like yellow clouds.” She giggled at her words as she continued to close my hand using her Chorý strength to crush my fingers together. The pain was intense but manageable and all I could do was stare at her in wonder even as I heard the crunch of my bones. She’d never shown her strength before and I was amazed by it. I fought against her crushing grasp not allowing the little yellow bud to be crushed my hands. I was much older and stronger than she, so it was easy to avoid crushing the delicate bloom.  “Sometimes I wonder if our kind is meant to live, you know.” Confused by her statement I only stared at her waiting for an explanation. She opened my crumpled hand and stared at the bloom, it was untouched, delicate and whole in the middle of my palm. “You protected it Raul, you didn’t let harm come to it.” She said quietly. I still didn’t speak I simply gazed into her sad eyes. “But it will still die.” She whispered. “It didn’t stand a chance from the moment I plucked it from its home and placed it into your hand. You cannot stop its death.” She said quietly as a lone tear slid down her beautiful pale face.

When you aren’t writing, what kind of stuff do you read? Any favorite titles you think everyone should read?

I love the Pace series by Shelena Shorts, The Grace series by S.L. Naeole and the Kissed by an Angel series by Elizabeth Chandler. All of those are excellent series to check out.

When you need to do something that doesn’t involve books or writing, what do you like to do?

When I need a break I enjoy playing PlayStation and spending time with my loved ones. Oh, yea and True Blood—Team Alcide :]

What’s the better YA trend: vampires, angels or mermaids?

I will always be a fan of vampires and angels are a close second!

What’s the last book you read? Any books out there that you’re dying to be released?

The last book I read was The Iron Daughter, I had never read a book about the Fey before and I love this series. I am so behind on new releases right now, but I will definitely read Shelena Shorts new book The Syndicate.

Few Are Angels

Goodreads | Amazon

After a fatal hit and run accident, Ella Monroe fears that she’s lost more than her beloved parents. Horrifying visions of a past life and a disturbing voice in her head have psychiatric professionals convinced that she’s lost her sanity as well. But when Kale–a dark and handsome stranger with a mysterious past–reveals the true meaning of her visions and the tremendous power she wields through them, Ella must come to terms with the devastating truths of her own past, while eluding an ancient Dark Prince who seeks to control not only her future, but all of mankind’s, by means of abilities that Ella is only beginning to understand.

Enter the shrouded world of an age old battle between an ancient race known as the Immortals and their bitter enemy Laurent, the so-called Dark Prince, who commands an army of half-breed vampires known as Chorý. Both sides have been desperately searching for the prophesied emergence of the Arc, a clairvoyant with unparalleled power to recall the past and a soothsayer with clear vision into the future.

The Council of Immortals has sworn to protect the Arc, whom they have identified as young Ella Monroe, a college freshman from Virginia living quietly and unaware of her powers or her past. But a renegade Chorý has other plans for the protection of a girl he has loved through the ages. Can Kale convince Ella of who she is, what she is destined to become, and what he once meant to her? Is he truly the best protector to shield the world from the devastating misuse of her powers that Laurent is bent on controlling? Or will the forbidden love they share and Kale’s cursed condition as a retched and hated Chorý be used against them both?

This paranormal romance told from the heroine’s perspective builds in intensity and intrigue to a finale you won’t see coming. Heart pounding action mixed with heartwarming friendships and heartbreaking romance will leave you breathless and begging for more.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Inger Iversen is giving away TWO ebooks of Few are Angels, either in Kindle or Nook form. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and runs until July 6th. Interested? Well then click HERE to enter!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW OVER! Congratulations to Jenny C. And Ashley S.!

Author Interview: Morning Star (Ethos #1) by Desiree Finkbeiner

Welcome to Author Desiree Finkbeiner!

Desiree Finkbeiner attained a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Missouri Southern State University (2006) with a heavy background in business, marketing, music and fine art– She was heavily involved in campus affairs and served actively in several committees focusing on campus entertainment and events.

She performed with musical acts/bands in rock and electronic genres, released seven studio albums, performed in 11 states and has written hundreds of songs. Her band, Carbon Star, was a finalist for VH1’s “Bands on the Run” reality TV show in 2000. Then she performed with Pointy Teeth until finally leaving the music industry for the quiet life.

She had a scholarship for acting in college though she was not a theater major. Although she no longer performs or focuses on musical/performing arts, she has chosen to shift her talents to other areas that are more conducive to raising a family.

Continuing education is a constant adventure for Desiree with topics of interest ranging from civil and corporate law, history, political conspiracy, homeopathic medicine and spiritual healing. She prefers to read non-fiction, especially on topics that educate and broaden her perspectives on controversial issues.

With thousands of completed art works in her archives, most of which appear in private collections worldwide, Desiree hopes to focus more on publishing, marketing and licensing her work so she can leave a legacy behind.

Interview:

1. What inspired you to become a writer?

Reading inspired me to be a writer, and the need to create and have an outlet that allowed my imagination to run wild.

2. In one sentence, why should someone read your book?

Ethos is more than urban fantasy and paranormal romance, it’s a unique perspective on spiritual questions that everyone has asked themselves at least once in their lives.

3.The cover of your book is absolutely gorgeous! I understand that, in the coming print edition, there are illustrations inside as well. Tell me a little about those.

I did the art, of course, and these illustrations are simply a guide to help give a visual concept of some of the worlds I have created in the story. No imagination is as good as the reader’s, but I thought these images might give the book a visual spark of fun that other novels lack.

4.When you’re writing, do you prefer silence or do some of your characters have soundtracks? Or do you do something completely different?

Complete silence. I normally wait till everyone else in the house is asleep to write. I don’t like anything to influence me when I write – I think this allows me to feel the characters more realistically.

5. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

All of them. Each character contains a piece of me (even the villains). We humans are complex beings, and it’s importantthat readers are able to identify with the characters. I can identify with my characters, so I hope others can too.

6. So this is a first in a series, where are you in the stages of the next book? Any teasers?

I’m 2/3 through book #2, and the plot for Book #3 is already in my mind. Without giving away total spoilers, let me just say that the series dabbles in dystopian fantasy by the end of book #2 and there is total chaos in Book #3 … don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. You can expect zombies, global war and some more romance from Brianna and Kalen.

7. When you aren’t writing, what kind of stuff do you read? Any favorite titles you think everyone should read?

Mostly nonfiction to be honest, especially books about conspiracy, liberty and history. I think everyone should read “None Dare Call it Conspiracy” and the follow-up “Call it conspiracy” by Larry Abrahms.

8. When you need to do something that doesn’t involve books or writing, what do you like to do?

Spending time with my family, art and camping in the mountains.

9. You released several studio albums and did a lot of musical performances. What was that experience like?

I had a blast as a recording artist. There’s nothing more gratifying than hearing your own music in final mix-down (even if you’re the only one who will ever like it). I had a chance to meet a lot of very interesting people, and see a lot of great cities … but I had to give it all up when the lifestyle caught up with me. Touring with a band is exhausting physically and emotionally. So I gave it up to be a mom, LOL, an even more exhausting job,but also the most rewarding!

10. Performing and writing are two very different worlds. How did you make the shift, and how did your background affect your writing?

Very different indeed. Performing thrusts you into the spotlight, literally. One can not be afraid of crowds or being the center of attention to get up on the stage and perform. Writing, however, is a solitary effort. It’s the complete flip side of the coin. Sometimes I miss the high of performance, but over the years I have become more conservative. My views and interests have changed and matured. Writing suits me better now, and allows me to focus on my family. My musical background was filled with marketing experience, so it has helped me get the book out there quite a bit. And having undergone the extreme discipline of writing, recording, booking and going on tour … releasing a book was easy, and much less stressful.

Morning Star (Ethos #1) (Click for Goodreads)

When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies…
She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect.
There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world…