Tag Archives: kindle
Fated Press LLC is proud to announce the Key to the Cursed Series by Jean Murray is now available on iBooks, Kindle, Kobo and Nook. For more about Jean Murray, go to http://www.jean-murray.com
Three sisters & their fated mates, Gods of the Underworld, on a journey of love, redemption and war.
“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”
Soul Awakened’s release is only 20 days away. Don’t wait until July 1st, order now to have it delivered the minute it releases. If you haven’t started the Key to the Cursed journey, maybe its time to start. Soul Reborn, book 1 is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited (KU for a limited time). It gets better. On Soul Awakened’s release date, the next book in the series, Soul Unbound will go on pre-order. I can’t wait to show you Bomani’s cover. 🙂
Start the Journey
90 Day Series Release Schedule
Series Pre-order / Release schedule
$1.99 – $3.99
* * *
Pre-order April 1st / Release July 1st
Pre-order on July 1st / Release Oct 1st
Pre-order on Oct 1st / Release Jan 1st
Pre-order on Jan 1st / Release Apr 1st
“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”
Hey, YA fans. A fellow CMP author, Wendy Russo, is having a sale on her book, January Black for a limited time. She’s not sure how long it will last, so get it now.
As the son of The Hill’s commandant, sixteen-year-old Matty Ducayn is expected to conform to a strict, unspoken code of conduct. Small acts of defiance over years—such as walking on the grass—have earned him a reputation for being unruly. When sarcastic test answers finally get Matty expelled from school, King Hadrian offers him a diploma if he can answer a deceptively simple question.
What was January Black?
The challenge takes Matty, and his girlfriend Iris, beyond The Hill’s walls and tightly controlled media into a gritty world kept in check by riot police. There, the young couple follows a path through old books and clandestine news pages that becomes a collision course with a deadly royal degree.
As he realizes he’s been set up to fail, Matty must make a choice: walk away from the challenge with Iris and his life. Or call the king’s bluff.
It has been awhile since I handed over the MIC, but we are back online and I have a special guest today, Author Sasha Summers. She has not one book but two that release a month apart. Needless to say, she is furiously running the blog hop circuit. Her second book, Hollywood Ever After was featured yesterday here at Wicked Romance– check it out. I’m grateful to hand her the MIC, but first let me tell you a little about the author.
Sasha and I have an amazing amount in common. Balancing our family life, jobs and trying to fit in writing where ever we can. It is always a challenge and sometimes sleep wins out. I’m so happy to have her on the blog today, because we also share a common interest, the love of mythology and all things gods and goddesses. Sasha—Greek. Me—Egyptian. They have more similarities than you think, but the myths tell their tales in their own unique way.
Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.
It’s said love can change a person. Medusa wasn’t always a monster…
Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She’s no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves… and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.
Ariston goes to war with a full heart… and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.
Poseidon will use Greece’s war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.
So, Sasha. Tell us a little bit about your new release, Medusa’s Love Story. I always felt bad for Medusa. Did she really deserve her fate? The Greek gods can be unforgiving at times. I would hate to be at their mercy and whim. What inspired you to write about her?
Sasha: Hi Jean. Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m delighted to visit with a fellow mythology fan! We need to stick together 😉
Medusa has always fascinated me – I’m a hopeless romance and tragedy addict and she seemed to represent both. I hadn’t planned to write about her. But I had a dream (I think this happens to a LOT of writer’s) that planted the seeds of my interpretation of Medusa’s story. Once I started writing, I could NOT stop. Not until the last page was done…
Is your book set in present day or the past? What were the challenges in writing your story?
Sasha: I kept it historical. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted and it was a blend of history and fantasy. The challenge was writing the story, keeping it somewhat historically accurate (somewhat J), and remaining as close to the ‘known’ Medusa myth as possible. I know it’s fantasy, but I wanted it to feel authentic – if that makes sense?
I have always believed you have to stay true to the myth but also exploit the areas that are not well established. What areas did you stay true to the mythological story? Which did you exploit?
Sasha: All of it. None of Medusa’s myth was changed. Ariston, the hero, is my addition – as well as most of the supporting characters – but Medusa’s fate remains the same. I tried to amp up the creep factor with the snakes, that even she was a victim to them. And I made her story about sacrifice versus revenge. In the end, Medusa is more human than most of the characters in the book… I think.
In your research did you find variations in the myth of Medusa or her curse?
Sasha: YES. There are bunches of different versions – everything from the region of her origin to whether or not she was always a monster to a lovely woman. But everything fell into place and I’m very proud of the story that emerged.
Tell me about Artiston? A warrior guard against Poseidon? Will he bargain with Hades? Does he have a chance?
Sasha: He’s an elite warrior for the Greek army – an Ekdromoi. With the Persian invasion an inevitability, the Greek Council decides to place extra safeguards at Athena’s temple. Ariston reluctantly becomes Medusa’s ‘security guard’. When circumstances spiral out of control, Ariston willingly bargains with Hades to return to Medusa. As for the last question – you’ll have to read the book 😉
The Greek gods never play fair. What is in story for Ariston and Medusa?
Sasha: All I’ll say is this is a tragic love story. Ariston and Medusa are tested at every turn. But they never falter.
Do you have a theme in your story? If so, would you share?
Sasha: Yes. Love requires sacrifice… day-in and day-out. Not on this level of course… 🙂
Where can readers find more out about you and your book?
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sasha-Summers/213036208773108
What are readers saying about your book? Do have a review/s you are absolutely proud of? Yes, its okay to brag, if not I’ll do it for you 🙂
This will sound bad, but the greatest compliment I’ve heard is that I made someone cry. I don’t cry easily so, to me, that means they were affected by the book. What more could an author want? I mean, I don’t want to make anyone cry, but I can’t help but feel a little bit proud if Medusa A Love Story causes tears.
A couple of quotes I cherish:
“This book swept me away.”
“The story stayed on my mind for days.”
“This is exactly how I felt about Medusa.”
“I have read a few articles of late from movie producers and they have said they are running out of movie ideas. This I don’t understand with so many great books out there, could you imagine Medusa turned into a movie? If they kept it to your book as is it would be amazing.” – I LOVE THIS one – I am such a movie groupie so this is like… WOW!
Do you have an excerpt to share with readers?
“You asked for an audience, you have it. Now tell me, where do you belong?” Hades’ voice was deep, emotionless.
Ariston swallowed. “Athens.” He met Hades’ gaze, but the God revealed nothing to him.
“Why? You died with honor and glory. Is that not what every soldier wants?”
“My wife…” His voice wavered.
Hades brow lifted slightly. “Lives. You do not.”
“She is in danger.”
“Earthly danger. She is no longer your concern, Ariston.”
“The danger she faces is not earthly, but far from it…” Ariston’s voice was hoarse, his desperation mounting. He took a wavering breath before he began again. “She is everything to me. I am proud of my death, but it means nothing if she is in peril. I must know.” Ariston kneeled. “I beg you. I beg you to return me to Athens.”
Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.
“Who is this wife?” Hades asked.
“Medusa of Athens.” He paused. “Now ofRhodes.”
Hades was silent, his dark blue eyes regarding him steadily.
“When I die—” Ariston began.
“You are dead,” Hades assured him.
“When I return…die again, I would serve as guardian to Tartarus. I am a skilled warrior, a skill I might offer you.” He spoke with confidence.
“You vex me,” Hades muttered, the slightest crease appearing between his eyes. “You offer this to me for a woman?”
Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”
Hades was silent again, his eyes shifting to the blue-white flames in the massive
“My words do not…adequately express the love I have for this woman. But I cannot leave her. She is at risk. I must return.” The words came without thought. How could he justify such emotion to a God who reviled affection or companionship? “AsOlympushas my arm and sword, she has my heart – a mortal, and perhaps weak, heart.”
The room was silent for too long. He would have to fight his way out…
“It is a weakness not reserved for mortals alone, Ariston of Rhodes.” Hades’ words were so soft Ariston feared they’d not been spoken. But Hades continued, strong and clear. “I will return you to your ship so that you may lead your men to victory. Too many have fallen from this war and I would see it end. When that is done, you may go to your wife.” He paused then added, “When you return to my realm, I will have your fealty.”
The God of the Underworld, Lord of Death, gave him mercy? Mayhap there was one God he might serve with honor.
Ariston vowed, “You have it.”
Amazon Kindle (available in paperback as well) : http://www.amazon.com/Medusa-Story-Loves-Olympus-ebook/dp/B007WSV5JI/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
Barnes and Noble (available for NOOK as well): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/medusa-a-love-story-sasha-summers/1110296522?ean=9781937254513
Medusa Book trailer
Come join my anniversary blog hop.
I’m over at Crescent Moon Press’ Blog reminiscing about the pitch that sold my manuscript. The once titled Lion’s Flower found a new home and a new name, Soul Reborn. See how it all started.
The Problem with Power, a debut novel by author Agnes Jayne, is now available!
Emily VonPeer hopes that she never meets the man of her dreams. For years, she’s been haunted by visions of an unknown lover destined to die in her arms. When her aunt’s death brings her home to her family’s estate in Upstate New York, she meets Nicholas Flynn, an agent of Paladin, an enterprise dedicated to the study and eradication of demons, and the hero of her nighttime fantasies. He arrives on her doorstep seeking answers for a slew of magically-related murders tied to the VonPeer family.
Although his intentions are suspect, Emily follows Nicholas into the investigation, hoping to spare him the fate promised by her premonitions – at least, that’s what she tells herself. When their exchange with a demon goes awry, Emily sustains an injury that threatens to turn her into a monster. Her transformation places her in the crosshairs of sorcerers, senators, and a seductive stranger who promises eternity.
A Midsummer Night’s Blog Hop has high hopes of honoring the 2012 summer solstice with a character interview spectacle. Characters will be interviewed not by author/reviewer bloggers…but other characters. The twist…the characters will be paired by lots drawn out of a hat.
See participating authors, characters and links below….
Jean Murray + Wendy Russo
Asar, Egyptian God of the Underworld, desires vengeance at all costs against a malevolent goddess that stole his soul. Meanwhile, he serves as judge, jury, and executioner for the souls seeking refuge in Aaru, Paradise Isle of the Underworld. Seventeen-year-old Matty Ducayn, an unruly math-minded genius and occasional smart ass, may offend Asar in three seconds flat. Or maybe not.
The fun continues with our character interviews….
Asar paced the short slab of sandstone walk in the garden. His gaze was met by smiling green eyes.
“You are going to wear a hole in the garden path if you keep this up. Why are you so nervous anyways?”
He stopped and sat next to his wife on steps and looked out over the green expanse of flowering bushes and trees. Lilly leaned against his shoulder, which prompted him to wrap his arm around her waist and tug her closer to his side. “I have no idea. I have faced down harden criminals without blinking an eye, but this boy, Matty…” Asar shook his head and smiled. “I like him very much. He is curious and is not swayed easily by my presence. Much like you on the day you stood up to me in the tunnel.”
She chuckled. “I like Matty already.”
“You would.” He brushed his thumb over her smooth pale cheek. “He has gotten me thinking though. Have you given it any thought of having our own children?”
The familiar weight of energy press in around them. Black smoke rose from the floor. Matty’s physical form solidified out of the air, shadowed by his brother, Kamen. Asar stole one last glance at Lilly before rising to his feet. He would have to wait for his answer.
“Matty,” Asar said extending his hand for the boy to grasp, more out of need to stabilize him than a friendly greeting. “The dizziness will pass quickly, just keep breathing.”
“The air is sparkly,” he said breathlessly. The boy blinked his eyes.
“Here let me help, Matty.” Lilly brushed her hand over his sandy blonde hair. “It’s not easy getting your molecules scrambled. It took me awhile to get used to it.” His wife’s ability to heal would quickly make the boy feel human again.
“That’s a great trick…Lilly, is it?”
She smiled. “It is very nice to meet you. Asar has told me much about your world. I also hear you like astronomy. Well, you’ll get to see the stars tonight. Orion’s belt, Ursa Major and Minor.”
“Northern hemisphere constellations!” the boy said excitedly. “That means Mars and Saturn will be on the western horizon at dusk. Leo and Gemini, too!”
Matty turned slowly in a circle. His eyes widened when the enormous sandstone palace came into view. The sun glinted off the gold shields on the front entrance. “Huh.”
“Is everything to your liking?” Asar inquired.
“I expected beautiful…paradise isle, you said.” Matty cupped his hand under a flower, but didn’t touch it. “Underworld…I wasn’t expecting sun.”
“Aaru is a reflection of the human realm, but the cycles are in opposition. Morning here. Night and evening there.” Asar turned to Kamen and gasped his forearm. “Thank you. I will take things from here, brother.”
”He doesn’t talk much, does he?” the boy asked, glancing in Kamen’s direction.
“Kamen is not known for his idle conversation.” Asar shifted his gaze to Lilly. “Matty, you already guessed that this is Lilly.” His eyes lingered on his wife, but he was drawn back to the boy. “I want to show you something before we go into the archive. Follow me.”
Asar led the group around the edge of the palace to the beach. The serpentine river of the Underworld snaked off into the distance. He knelt next to Matty and pointed. “See the temple there…just to the right of it is a large expansive gate that traverses the width of the river. Do you know what that is on the other side, Matty?”
With his eyes glued to the massive structure, the boy shook his head.
“Those are the gates that separate Duat from Aaru. The temple you see to the left is the Hall of Judges, where the souls come to be weighed. Those worthy will pass and live eternity in the isle you see across the river.”
“Some doors cannot be opened once closed,” the boy said quietly, “or closed once open.”
Asar knew a smart intellectual boy like Matty would understand and appreciate what he was seeing. No living human had ever gazed upon the gates, except maybe Lilly and her sisters, but that was an unusual circumstance in and of itself. Asar gathered the phrase Matty spoke had a more personal significance than a time honored cliché. “Your appraisal holds truth. Where did you come by it?”
“A conversation I had with Hadrian a while back,” Matty explained. “When he gave me his challenge, he also gave me the option of going home…to my grandfather’s ranch in the country, but cautioned that some doors cannot be opened once closed.”
“Ah, carpe diem. Seize the day,” Lilly added. “A very well served lesson. So which did you choose? The challenge or going home? You don’t strike me as the stay at home and twiddle your thumbs kind of guy.”
Matty snorted. “Home’s nice,” Matty said with a nod. “My dad’s more concerned with consequences.”
“I only saw a small sliver of your world. Can you tell me more about it and its King? King Hadrian, right?” Asar pressed.
“Hadrian’s got a lot of layers,” said Matty. The boy met Asar’s gaze for the first time since walking onto the beach. “I can tell you this because we’re here. At home, I’m bound by this thing called The Privacy Act. Discussion of the king’s private affairs is a quick way to earn 18 months in jail.”
“No first amendment rights? I’m not down with that.” Lilly scowled.
“You need not worry, Matty. Your transgression is safe with us,” Asar joked, hiding his own concern over the matter. Even he would not be so harsh and that was saying a lot. Asar headed up the steps from the beach to the Palace hall. Matty followed at his side and appeared to be lost to his own thoughts.
“There are four Hadrians…and which one you get depends more on who you are than him. In Old World kingdoms, being the king was the greatest honor, but in Columbia…Hadrian’s not just the king. He’s the president of the assembly. He’s the prime executive officer of Steer Industries…the company that facilitated my ancestor’s migration. It’s not taught in school, but sources my schoolmasters would consider disreputable say that one man having all that power is not good for society.”
“We have our own problems with certain individuals wanting to dominate. I’ll join the merry band of disreputables in saying tyranny is bad for society. Even the Pantheons are not set up with one ruler. Asar shares rein with the Mother Goddess.”
“Hadrian makes the risk hard to see. Past the glamour and the guardians, he’s rather boring. He works 16 hour days, comes home nightly to an empty house. He cooks his own supper, cleans his kitchen, and goes to bed. On his rare days off, he reads, naps on his couch. Once he took a sledgehammer and demolished his bathroom, but other than that, his house is exactly as his father left it almost 18 years ago. In a word, I’d call him lonely.”
“The King has shown interest in you. What about your natural father? He is a general?” Asar asked.
“Natural…” the boy scoffed with clear sarcasm. “Centuries ago, our first Assemblymen were the officers of the January Black, the ship that brought our ancestors to Aventine and now lays at the bottom of our bay. When the need arose for someone to oversee the staff of the capitol hill, they called that man ‘commandant.’ Today, my father is that man.”
“There must be expectations of you. It has not left you much room for fun, has it?” Asar asked.
“Oh, I’ve made time for fun,” Matty told them. “My fun is what caught Hadrian’s attention.”
“Tell me of the quest your King has sent you on?” Asar knew better than to think the boy had chosen home over the challenge set before him.
“In Columbia, it is nearly impossible to work for the government without a diploma from the Regents’ School, so when one of my stunts got me expelled, it pretty much ruined any chance I had of living up to the expectation you mentioned. Not that I cared. I was perfectly happy to go to my grandfathers, but my admission was sponsored by Hadrian, so I had embarrassed him as well. Or I would have, if he had cared, which as I learned that night, he really didn’t. He offered me a Regent master’s diploma…which would qualify me to work in any government office I wanted…if I answered a question.”
Asar pulled to a stop and looked down at young boy. Lilly clasped his hand and squeezed. “What question would be worth what he offered you?”
“What was January Black?” The boy replied. “On the surface, it’s a silly question. It’s a ship, as I mentioned before. But the catch to Hadrian’s challenge is that the answer must satisfy him, and that’s not the answer he wants. Every road I’ve followed has led to black holes and locked doors.”
Asar guided his young guest to two large ornate gold doors with crystal handles. “Perhaps you are here for doors you can unlock?”
The boy looked at Lilly anxiously, then back to Asar. His hands fiddled in front of him. “I should mention, um…I uh…I have a…biological response to the smell of old books.”
“I should introduce you to my sister, Kendra. She gets high off old book smell. You two could balance each other out.” Lilly laughed.
Asar guided the doors open. Matty held his breath and walked in with his eyes closed. After a moment, he blew out his breath and opened his eyes. With mouth gaping Matty slowly shuffled down the center aisle of the archive. Large statues rose from the thick black stone and shoulder the massive arched ceiling. Hieroglyphics etched into the ebony marble told a story of a past long since forgotten. Rows of books too many to count lined the outer walls of the expansive room. Only a few wooden tables stood off to the side. The most impressive pieces lay in the middle of the room, relics saved from the ruin in the human realm. Treasures of the pharaohs. Treasures of earth.
“Two-point-seven-one-eight-one…” Matty mumbled off a stream of numbers.
Asar looked at his wife for a clue of what it meant. She shrugged.
“It’s like Hadrian’s library went supernova.”
“Do you see something that interests you?” Asar asked.
“Everything,” the boy said greedily. Asar was surprised at the amount of sorrow hidden beneath the boy’s excitement. But then again, he only had a few hours to explore. Matty’s disappointment evaporated, his attention claimed by an object on display. A sextant, a device used by sailors to find their way at sea. “I’ll settle for holding that in my hands,” he said.
“Absolutely! Take as much time as you want, Matty.” Asar watched the boy’s facial expressions. They were nothing short of reverence and awe. This boy was truly special. The warm press of his wife’s hand on his arm drew his attention away for a moment.
“You look sad,” she said, as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against his chest. He could still see the boy conversing with the sextant.
“You’re worried about him.”
“Sorry, I did not mean to burden you.” He should have known that Lilly would feel his concern through their bond. It was a blessing, but also made it difficult keeping feelings private.
“Do you think King Hadrian’s challenge is a ploy?” Lilly asked.
The same question had been bouncing around in his own head. Asar held his tongue. He did not want to think the King would abuse his power and put the boy at risk. Gods know, he had witnessed Kings behaving badly over several thousand years of human history. Even the Pantheons of the gods were not immune to it. Not a safe time to raise young ones, he thought sadly.
There were no certainties, but one– Matty finding the answer to his question.
Wendy Russo is a Big Horn Basin girl transplanted in South Louisiana. Her writing draws from philosophy, pop culture, classic literature, religion, art, anthropology, math, and science. She enjoy writing inquisitive and introspective characters. I like slow reveals and snowballing climaxes. Her novel, January Black, will be released January 2013 by Crescent Moon Press.
Sixteen-year-old Matty Ducayn is a disappointment to everyone who knows him. As the son of The Hill’s commandant, he is expected conform to a strict, unspoken code of conduct. Small acts of defiance over years—like playing in the dirt and walking on the grass—have earned him a reputation for being unruly, but it’s his sarcastic test answers that finally get him expelled from school. Instead of punishing him, King Hadrian offers Matty a diploma, with a catch. He must answer a question: What was January Black?
With the help of Iris, a gardener on his father’s staff, Matty takes his quest beyond The Hill’s walls and tightly controlled media. But trying to solve the puzzle puts him on a collision course with the Janus Law, a royal decree mandating death to those who trespass in a forbidden garden. Has Hadrian set him up from the beginning to lose?
Jean Murray, the owner of Wicked Romance, was born and raised in a small town on the east coast. In her pursuit of a nursing degree, she aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. One of the benefits of her membership in the Armed Forces, she has had the opportunity to travel and live in different parts of the world and the United States. Her travels abroad have given her the opportunity to experience different cultures. It inspired her to delve into Ancient Egyptian myths and legends for her debut novel, Soul Reborn, book 1 in the Key to the Cursed series from Crescent Moon Press, now available.
THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD.
Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.
DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.
Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret-one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.
MORE AUTHORS. MORE CHARACTERS. MORE INTERVIEWS!
I’m so excited to introduce my next guest, Aaron Ritchey. He is a newly discovered talent that I think is going to be a big hit with YA readers. Not to mention he has a great sense of humor and always makes his posts entertaining. So let me tell you a little about Aaron…
Aaron Michael Ritchey was born with Colorado thunderstorms in his soul. He’s sought shelter as a world traveler, an endurance athlete, a story addict, and even gave serious thought to becoming a Roman Catholic priest. After too brief a time in Paris, he moved back to the American West and lives semi-comfortably with three forces of nature: a little, blonde hurricane, an artistic tornado, and a beautiful, beautiful blizzard.
He is happiest dancing among the extremes, reading Twilight, Atlas Shrugged , and A Case for God at the same time. Like a playlist on shuffle: Fatboy Slim to Rammstein to George Strait to Katy Perry. He loves the ambiguous and the incongruous. The beauty of reality, as well as the tragedy. From the basest evils to the most transcendent good.
So writing Young Adult novels is perfect for him because that is a time of extremes and firsts, and who doesn’t love firsts? First time on our own, first kisses, first heartbreaks, first everything. It’s an exciting, dramatic time, and that’s exactly what a good story needs, excitement and drama.
So let’s get to it… Aaron, you have the MIC!
Thanks so much to Jean Murray for letting me take over the Open MIC night. I’m here to rock the party, rock the party, right. Since I think the first chapter of my book rocks, I figured I’d go over the anatomy of my first page. Caution, my first page is anatomically correct. Or at least I hope it is.
First, a little summary. My debut novel, The Never Prayer, is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance about a teenage girl named Lena. Shattered by the death of her parents, she will risk everything to keep her disintegrating family together. In love with both a demon and an angel, Lena must unravel the mysteries of heaven’s fury and hell’s desire before she loses everything. Who is the demon? Who is the angel? Lena can’t tell the difference, and every minute pushes her closer to the edge.
Here are the first 16 lines:
“I’m not going to do it again,” Lena Marquez whispered to the red purse across the hall from her nestle of blankets. “Never again.”
All of her other purses, scarves, and belts were just shadows hanging from hooks on both sides of the bathroom door, but in the glow of the cracked Thomas the Train nightlight, the red purse glittered. Each sequin like a teardrop of blood.
The heater chugged on sending lukewarm air into the basement apartment, as cold as an icebox. In October, at ten thousand feet, Avalon, Colorado had no pity for the weak or poor. It killed both.
Through anorexic walls, Lena could hear her aunt’s barking cough in the next room. But it wasn’t the coughing that had Lena awake at 4:46 on a Monday morning. It was her three-year-old brother, Joziah, who would wake up any minute.
He was like an alarm clock, same time, every morning. So regular Lena was awake before he asked the questions she couldn’t answer.
Already the work of the day felt like bricks on her chest. Her junior year homework continued to pile up among the dirty laundry around their mattress on the floor.
But first, Jozey, always Jozey, no matter what.
Now, in the opening, I have to do a number of things. First, gotta hook the reader. Hopefully, the first paragraph will get you. I want the reader to wonder, what on earth is she not going to do again, and what does that have to do with her red purse?
In the first lines, I’m also trying to set the mood and setting. I tried to use strong language here to give the reader a feeling of desperation and tragedy: the cracked nightlight, teardrop of blood, anorexic walls et cetera.
As for setting, I’m hoping the elevation of the town, her sleeping on a mattress on the floor, the thin walls, will tell you she’s poor and struggling.
Finally, I have to give you a sense of who Lena is and why you want to root for her. I didn’t want to just say she was sixteen, so I described her Junior Year homework. And the laundry shows she has a lot on her plate, and she is stressed out.
Now, I did a little telling, not showing, in that last line about Jozey but I would hope I did it in such a way as to emphasize it in the mind of the reader. If you wanna read the rest of the opening, you can visit: http://crescentmoonpress.com/books/TheNeverPrayer.html because the next paragraphs show Lena nurturing Jozey. You gotta have a hero people can like, and Lena starts out troubled, alone, kind of bitchy, so I needed a strong sense of her as the hero, taking care of her little brother.
So that’s what I was trying to do with my opening. One of my favorite moments in the life of this book was at a writers workshop, where my first chapter was being read aloud. A woman at the workshop started to read it, but she had to stop because she started to cry. I cried too. Our eyes met, and we understood each other at that moment, that life can be hard, but there is hope. Which is really the theme at the heart of my little book.
For more about me and The Never Prayer, you can visit us both at www.aaronmritchey.com. And of course, I’m on Facebook, as is the book at http://www.facebook.com/TheNeverPrayer. And I tweet – @aaronmritchey. If you are at all curious about the novel, our friends at Amazon.com would love for you to visit them!
Thanks again, Jean Murray!
Okay, Aaron. You’re not out of the hot seat yet 🙂 snicker, snicker.
Host: First, I want to say what beautiful writing you have. It draws you deep into the story’s character and her plight. I love to garner emotion from the readers, I write with that very goal. What is your goal when you right? What do you want readers to take away from your book? (I know very deep, but you put me in the mood with your excerpt).
Aaron: You know, I find life very difficult. Other people seem to skate through the existence as if they have the “how-to-be-a-human” manual in their back pocket. But then, that’s me comparing my insides to other people’s outsides. I think we all have our drama. So in my books, I want to present life as it is, hard, brutal at times, gritty. But then I bring in the paranormal to show that there is hope, there is joy, there is the impossible around us, to save us when we most need saving. Life is full of miracles. If you look for them.
Host: What is it that draws you to write Young Adult? How do you get into the head of your teenage heroine?
Aaron: Funny, but I had a guy who wondered how I could channel at sixteen-year-old girl so well. It’s like Dickens, being a teenager is the best of times and the worst of times. It is a time of unimaginable growth, where children become adults. For me, I found the whole thing traumatizing. I wanted life to be like a sitcom, and it wasn’t, and poor me. So I remember the angst. I remember how hard just going to school felt. I still feel like a teenager sometimes, awkward, afraid, yet courageous. Immortal. Yes, teens today face a different world than I faced, but it’s still the human experience. Still, the same old drama. As for the girl part, I’m part girl—I loved soap operas growing up, I cry at commercials, I find clothes interesting. And though I think gender is important, being human is more important.
Host: So what are readers saying about your book? Yes, it is okay to brag 🙂
Aaron: I have had some wonderful reviews on Amazon, some from very talented writers. It humbles me. Really. I love it when someone picks up my book, thinking they are getting the same old, same old—the good versus evil, fallen angel versus evil demon, type of story, and then, it grabs them. Even those that don’t like the paranormal. I love it when I hook the skeptics because that means I’ve done my job. My story isn’t about angels and demons, it’s about life! The Universe! Everything! I’ve been compared to Ray flippin’ Bradbury by one reviewer. Humbled. And when I hear the words, “I couldn’t put it down”. Hurray!
Host: Now that you have teased us, tell us a little about the male hero of this story? In your description of the book you mention two love interests—do tell.
Aaron: I can’t say much because part of the fun is that you don’t know who the villain is until about halfway through the book. Both of Lena’s love interests are broken, one shows it, the other doesn’t. One is an angel who wants the world to be perfect, and the other is a demon who revels in the despair, desire, and death he sees in people, though you wouldn’t know it at first. Because of course, a good demon will seduce us before we know he’s a demon. But I can’t give away too much. Both are broken, but smoldering hot, ‘cause I love a good romance, and a good romance has to have the hunks.
Host: As a debut novelist, out of all the milestone in your beginning career what one thing stands out? Unfair question, I know.
Aaron: Two things. I made my publicist cry. Bree Ervin is one tough bird, but she cried when she read my book, and she cried when I signed her copy because without her, I wouldn’t have as many readers as I do now. You can find her at ThinkBannedThoughts.Com. The other thing was a night I spent with my friend and official Girl Friday assistant, Chris Devlin. That Tuesday night, when I was overwhelmed with fear and desperation, Chris and our friend Angie Hodapp sat me down in a Village Inn restaurant and we talked about how everyone is afraid, how everyone is broken in some way. That night, my life changed. Writing is hard. Getting published is hard. But without Chris Devlin, dang, I don’t know here I’d be. Prolly either at a methadone clinic or a soup kitchen. If you are looking for help with the administrative tasks of writing, or you need a cracker-jack copy editor, you can find Chris Devlin at http://chrisdevlinwrites.com.
Host: Do you have any advice for new writers? Words of wisdom to share?
Aaron: I will now tell you the secret to life. Get your pencils and paper ready. Okay, the secret to life is this: enjoy what you are doing and where you are, right now. I wish I had relished my pre-publication days. I wish I had breathed those moments in deep. Because before you know it, your writing time will be cannibalized by marketing your book, doing signings, et cetera. And learn to love writing, so you’d rather write than eat ice cream, you’d rather write than watch T.V. Hemingway has a great quote about when writing becoming your greatest joy, you will do it until you die. Enjoy the creative process. Laugh at the funny parts. Cry at the sad parts. Relish the stories you write.
Host: What comes next? I know you are busy promoting your book. Where can readers find you? Conferences, book signings, blogs….
Aaron: If you really wanna follow my madness, My News and Events page on my website has all of my doings. I just got interviewed on Bookmark Radio, which was a great experience, and I have a book signing in San Jose, California at Hicklebee’s on May 12, 2012 followed by a California launch party on June 14, 2012. The world is invited. I’ll be speaking at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in September, 2012, and of course, Mile-Hi Con in Denver, October, 2012. Before the world ends in December.
As for projects, too many to count. I am just finishing up another YA Paranormal about a broken girl who has to overcome her own limitations to help her dying grandmother travel to France to see the grandmother’s love from World War II.
Aaron, thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the greatest success with The Never Prayer.
It has found its place on my TBR and I can’t wait to read it.
To find out more about Aaron Ritchey….
For more about Author Aaron Ritchey and The Never Prayer, you can visit them both at www.aaronmritchey.com. And of course, he is on Facebook, as is the book at http://www.facebook.com/TheNeverPrayer. And his tweet handle– @aaronmritchey. If you are at all curious about the novel, our friends at Amazon.com would love for you to visit them!
Saari Mitchell attends a Tueri conference in Las Vegas, Nevada to strengthen her bonds with Dhelis Guidry and Brogan Vincent—and see if they can make their three-sided relationship work. But when Saari and her vampire brother Mag’s lives are threatened, her trip to paradise soon becomes a surreal fight for survival.
Dhelis and Brogan’s psychic abilities are no help in finding Saari. Desperate to save their mate, they call in favors from the psychic and preternatural community, but the information leads only to more questions. Is the threat against Saari personal or part of a larger plan that threatens every human and Tueri’s existence?
Crimson Sunrise is the second novel in the Tueri Fated Souls Series.
Said of the first novel in this series, Moonlight Bleu:
“Moonlight Bleu by Renee Rearden is one of those ‘blow your socks off’, totally awesome, amazingly entertaining and, completely wonderful stories that make you want to yell about it, at the top of your lungs, from every roof top you can get to! Rearden’s talent is fresh and brings a new face to the world of the paranormal genre.” ~YzhaBella’s BookShelf
“Renee Rearden has exploded onto the paranormal fiction scene with this debut novel—Moonlight Bleu! The concepts in this novel are fresh and creative, and I look forward to seeing future developments…from an exciting new author to watch!” ~Digigirl’s Library