Monthly Archives: June 2012
Author: Andrea Heltsley
Series: Persephone’s League of Immortals
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Innovative Online Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ B & N
I received this book free of charge from Innovative Online Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
*I’m having a slight computer problems so links to purchasing the book are not currently available from me and neither is the book cover. When I resolve the issues, I will add the book cover and the purchase links.
Blurb from the book:
Noel Kennedy lost her boyfriend, her job and her dignity all in one week. Then something happened and she began to dream of this stranger she had never met. She couldn’t resist the man of her dreams named Jared especially when she met him in real life. Entranced, she slowly unraveled a world she was meant to stay out of. Her life was not what she thought it was once a sexy Boone stepped into the mix and shook things up. Can she escape a life of servitude or immortality for a chance at love?
I have a love and hate relationship with this novel because of my status as Persephone. I have spent a few days just trying to review this book without Persephone’s perspective and it is not working. I’m going to start in reverse by providing the book rating first.
This novel is getting 3.5 black butterflies. It was a pretty decent novel. It had well-mannered characters with interesting back stories and the plot was intriguing. It is losing butterflies for its portrayal of Persephone, the lack of world-building, and for telling, not showing what is going on (each costs half a butterfly).
Noel is the main character and she is the one who needs to protected from Persephone. What I liked about her was that she was not whiny with what was happening around her; she took it in stride. What I didn’t like about her was that she was a little too trusting. She travels with Boone to the hotel room that he shares with Jared and the reason she does not make sense.
The plot of novel is to find the traitor that is providing information about Noel’s protection team to Persephone’s League of Immortals (who are the villains of the story) and keeping Noel safe. Of course, there is also the love triangle between Noel, Jared and Boone. As my readers know, I loathe most love triangles but I’m fine with this love triangle. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either. Jared and Boone bring different elements into the relationship and Noel does have a difficult time choosing between them. She does make a final decision between them and I think she chose wrong in the end.
There are lot of characters in the group and not everyone’s background is explained which is not a problem. It is the first book in a series but the problem is that there is no background for the rogue sector of Persephone’s League of Immortals. How Noel’s protection group came to exist or how they escaped from Persephone is not explained. There is also the question of what the League is actually doing. Jared and Boone claim the Leagues is using people with special talents as slave but what does that mean? Are they building castles or are they hunting other people? The League is a very vague organization and it should not be considered some of Noel’s protection team are ex-members of the League. They should know what is going on.
How Persephone is portrayed is a problem for me and that may be because I am Persephone. Do I find her to be a credible villain? No. Persephone is implied to be the villain of the series yet there is no concrete evidence to back that up. Yes, Noel’s protection group claim Persephone is a slave master but they do not provide factual evidence or even horror stories to prove it. It is why I have difficulty picturing Persephone as the mastermind villain. I believe Persephone could be a credible villain (I do have a dark side) so there is room for improvement. I can’t wait to see how Persephone is transform.
In the end, it was a decent read. There is a bubble of excitement around it and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series. I’m dying to know how the League got started and how Noel and her group intend to defeat Persephone.
46th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, First In A Series, YA Mythology, Witches and Witchcraft, Where Are You Reading?- Missouri
Let’s give a warm welcome to Denise Verrico. She is the author of the Immortyl Revolution. She is here today to discuss the biology aspect of vampires and to give away a collection of short stories.
Vampires as Biological Creatures
by Denise Verrico
When I set out some fifteen years ago to write a vampire novel, I did a lot of research into vampire lore and read some of the classic stories. I found that almost every culture has some form of vampire legend. At that time, there weren’t nearly as many novels about vampires. Now they have their own sub genres in urban fantasy, romance and horror.
I wanted my vampires to be different from other writers’, but still be recognizable as vampires. I don’t mind vampires as sympathetic leading men and women. My vamps are very human in many aspects. They have hopes, dreams and aspirations. They fall in love. However, I want them to be somewhat alien creatures.
Everyone knows about old vampire legends and the movie and pop culture clichés. Fantasy is the realm of make-believe, and there is much room for interpretation. The idea of “science fiction” vampires appealed to me. Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend is the classic example of these. Graphic novels like Ultra Violet and Aeon Flux have also explored this idea. My series plot, the race to capture the secrets of immortality, was inspired by articles I’ve read on biotechnology.
However, Immortyl Revolution is focused on the adventure, intrigue and relationships between characters. The premise behind the series is that vampires are human beings with a unique mutation. Immortyls are biologically altered men and women, so they behave a lot like mortals in many respects.
I hit upon the idea of a symbiotic organism passed through blood. This organism, like a virus would rip apart DNA and bond with it, but instead of destroying cells, it would allow them to replicate perfect copies of themselves forever, preventing aging and death. Human DNA is programmed to only produce so many copies and these grown less perfect as we age.
Immortyls have enhanced physical abilities, can’t go out in the sun, and can drink only human blood. Why do vampires usually choose to operate in the dark? There is really no reason I could find in folklore, other than it’s easier to sneak into peoples’ houses and drink their blood when they are sleeping. Some contemporary stories don’t follow this convention and in fact, this is something that started in the movies. Dracula went out in the daylight, but he was weaker. Vampires didn’t destruct in the sun until the silent film, Nosferatu, but I wanted my supermen to have their “kryptonite”, so I created a biological reason to keep them out of the sun, more in keeping with my set of rules. In a biological “world”, they wouldn’t burst into flame or dissolve into dust. This set me to thinking. Cancers are cells that grow unchecked to the point where they destroy neighboring structures in the body. I remembered seeing a program about flesh eating bacteria, (necrotizing strep). In a matter of hours this virulent bacteria can devour body parts. I thought this might be a way to describe the effect the sun has on a vampire’s body. Perhaps the ultra violet light could mutate the DNA and cause the cells to grow erratically.
Although some of my vampires are sympathetic, like Mia, Kurt and Cedric, my heroine and heroes, I still wanted them to be dangerous, because they obey a biological imperative. They still have a human psyche, but the mutation causes them to behave like a predatory animal and turns on their senses. This, of course, messes with their brains and many of them have difficulty dealing with their condition. I looked into psychological studies on violent behavior in human beings. Sociopaths lack empathy, which allows them to objectify others. Certainly some of my vampires fall into this category and don’t agonize over killing human beings. Most of them compartmentalize their emotions. Human beings under duress or expediency will treat others abysmally or even violently if the behavior is “permitted”. They begin to categorize people as “others” or less than human, therefore their violent behavior is acceptable to them under the circumstances. However, there are those individuals for whom this is unacceptable or who can’t successfully make this disconnect who will rebel against the idea that violence is okay. I try not to write characters that are just plain evil. Usually his or her agenda conflicts with the heroine and hero.
My vampires eat and drink like other people, but they take small, frequent meals because they metabolize energy faster. However, the symbiote depletes compounds in the blood, which must be replenished. My vampires couldn’t survive on animal blood, only human, but they can live on the donated variety and many do.
It’s fun to play around with myths and legends and come up with reasons behind them or find
alternatives to them. Creating the world of Immortyl Revolution was a lot of fun for me. I hope you’ll find it fun to read.
From the ashes of the first battle of the Immortyl Revolution, vampires Mia Disantini and Kurt Eisen set out to build a new Immortyl society. Trouble arrives in the person of Cedric MacKinnon, a runaway adept of the ancient arts, who brings tidings of upheaval at the chief elder’s court that threatens everything Mia and Kurt have accomplished. Mia finds it hard to resist when Cedric pledges his service and tempts her with the legendary skills he learned as an Immortyl courtesan. Facing opposition from both within and out, Mia begins to doubt Kurt is up to the task of leading their followers to his vision of an Immortyl Utopia. Torn between her loyalty to Kurt and Cedric’s insistence that she is the earthly manifestation of the Goddess Durga and destined to lead, Mia confronts the greatest challenge of her life.
Denise is going to give away a collection of short stores. It is called Annals of The Immortyls.
Mia Disantini thought she found the man of her dreams, but is trapped in a nightmare from which she can’t wake up.
Kurt Eisen makes a monstrous bargain to survive a Nazi concentration camp and begins to understand what a monster truly is.
Cedric MacKinnon was once a celebrated vampire courtesan. Now he’s a deadly assassin, who has cheated death too many times.
GIVEAWAY TIME: Just leave a comment along with your e-mail. Everyone who leaves their e-mail will receive the book.
Blurb from Amazon:
Seventeen-year-old Allison Wright is convinced she’s losing her mind. Uncontrollable mood swings, hot flashes, and the urge to punch anyone who gets in her way are suddenly becoming everyday occurrences. Before her erratic behavior gets out of hand, Allison’s mother finally comes clean about her dark secret. Mom is a werewolf, and soon Allison and her brother Aiden will suffer the same fate. When Allison reaches her breaking point, the family leaves their life in Texas to move to Red Ridge, New Mexico where they rejoin the pack that Allison’s mother left behind almost 20 years ago.
Unfortunately, not everyone in Red Ridge is thrilled about Allison’s arrival, especially when she attracts the attention of the very handsome, very taken, soon-to-be alpha, Cade Walker. Little does Allison know, her mere presence is causing a rift in a once unified pack. Not only has Cade been forbidden from being with Allison by his father, the pack’s alpha, Cade’s girlfriend, Kendall Stuart, will stop at nothing to get Allison out of the picture. Well on her way to becoming the next alpha’s mate, Kendall expects to rule the pack by Cade’s side even if it means teaming up with a rogue werewolf with an agenda of his own. Determined to get rid of Allison permanently, when Kendall and the rogue join forces, all hell breaks loose and no one in the pack is safe, especially not Cade and his true mate.
Author: Karice Bolton
Series: The Watchers Trilogy
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amz/ B&N
This book was a free download from Amazon.
Blurb from Amazon:
Alone in snowy, remote Whistler village, Ana tries to build a new life since losing her parents. With a cozy condo, a sweet-faced bulldog and an evening job to leave the days free for the slopes, life slips into a great routine. If only she could shake the guilt for not remembering anything about her parents and banish the night terrors that haunt her every dream.
On a whim, Ana goes out with Athen, a guy she’s just met in the Grizzly Pub… The only problem is that she feels like she already knows him.
Within 48 hours of meeting Athen and his family, Ana’s world implodes. She falls for Athen quickly and before she knows it, a past life begins to resurface. As thrilling as the revelations appear at first, she fights against the chilling information that Athen is from the underworld. Soon she begins to struggle as her own supernatural gifts are slowly unveiled, and she realizes that the nightmares she’s been having might be premonitions and not dreams at all.
It is up to Ana to decipher between fact and fiction before it is too late, and her new love, Athen, follows in her same fate – one that is lost between two worlds.
Random: Do not be deceived by the pretty cover. It is a trap.
The cover is lovely and that is about the only good thing I have to say about this book. It is a huge disappointment and I’m not sure if I should be proud that I finished the book or not.
Let’s talk about the main character, Ana. She is a Mary-Sue and that’s a nice term to call her because she has no depth to her at all. We start the story with Ana saying “ Oh, I would never do that” yet that is exactly what she does. It makes Ana an unreliable narrator because she is not portraying herself accurately and as readers, we don’t know her enough to say this is out of character for her or not. Take for example, Athen following Ana to her apartment and asking her out for a date. Ana does not know his name, she did not tell him where she live and she thinks she should not go out with him yet she happily says “Yes.” Really? Stalker is screaming in my head yet she does not question him. HE knows where you live and you did not tell him that. Ana is not a character who is going to make the wisest decisions.
Her relationship with Athen is superficial and cannot be healthy. Her entire life revolves around him. He is the one making the decisions about when to have sex or where to go for vacation. Their relationship feels forced because he knows her but Ana does not remember him. He is pushing the relationship on her and Ana is just going along. Cyril and Arie are both making decisions for Ana and Ana is incapable of saying no; she just go wherever they want her to. It may have to do with Ana wanting a family since she has never had one but her new “family” keeps her in the dark about what their plans are. They do tell her is a nephilim and that’s it.
I will also take issue with the hiker incident. The hikers are lost in the woods and the fallen angels believe it has to do with the dark fallen angels (demons) yet they never really researched it. Throughout the novel, there is a constant fear of not knowing what happened to the missing hikers and when the family finds out, it is a let down. What happened is told, not shown and the family believes the hikers deserve what happened to them. That’s another issue, the novel is mostly told instead of being shown. I supposed that is bound to happen with a first person narrator but it was an issue.
In the end, I will not purchase the second book. If I find for free on Amazon, then I will downloaded because the cover is captivating. But if you like fallen angels, feel free to read it. The book has gotten great reviews but I am one of the few who did not like it. I didn’t even find the mythology of fallen angels interesting or the villains. I love villains but he did not make an appearance in this novel. It is just disappointing.
45th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-Published, First in a Series, Why Buy the Cow?
Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper. It is the place to showcase one book that has been on our wishlist. Click on the image if you feel like joining in on the fun.
On My Wishlist is: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Blurb from Amazon:
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.
Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.
Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
Lightning addict! That is all I have to say. No, that is amazing. I have never read a book that has a lightning addict. I like lightning or thunderstorms but I don’t want to be struck by lightning. I’m curious as to how the addiction started and I hope the explanation doesn’t disappoint.
I received this book free of charge from Bewitching Books Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
When a self-conscious young woman discovers that the boy in drama class is really an immortal that painted the world into being, she becomes the target of another who could shatter not only her new sense of hope, but her world, as well.
Random: Never a dull moment with Pandas.
The Earth Painter intertwines fantasy elements with contemporary issues at a great pace that it is almost impossible to differentiate between them. Holly, our protagonist, has to deal with an overbearing mother that can only criticize Holly for her imperfections. Holly has low self-esteem because of her relationship with her mother but she grows a backbone when she meets Theo. Theo is a Painter (I would almost say an angel) who painted the Earth when it was created.
I like the idea of having a great Sculptor sculpt the world (like God) and the Painters painting the world have they see fit. Theo has land, Walden has the sky, and Fritz has the ocean which reminds of the domain of the three Greek god brothers (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades). Theo and Fritz are odds with each other sort. It’s an interesting rivalry because Fritz enjoys wreaking havoc wherever he goes and reminds me a good deal of Lucifer and his thoughts on humanity (Humans will ruin the world). Besides the big three, the sciences (Biology, Geology, Chemistry) have their characters but Biology has the most prominent role in the book.
Fritz is the type of antagonist whose reasoning is clear and relatable which makes him one of the most dangerous types of villains. He whispers to the darker and selfish part of humanity in order to have his way. He is fun to read though. As readers, I think we want to see his logic and see what moral dilemmas Fritz will bring to the table.
The romance between Theo and Holly takes its time in developing. There is no “I love you” right off the bat. There is an attraction but it acts more like as curiosity in getting to know a friend. The pace of the relationship is very realistic, even the denial and slow realization of what is going on. Out of the 44th books I have read this year, this is the best one in terms of building a romantic relationship and making it real. Theo cannot feel like a human feels because he is immortal, a Painter but he can mimic humans very well. Holly is falling for him but she is not lovey-dovey; it is sort of awkward at times, she attempts to deny it when she realizes he cannot feel but the emotions are still there. It is a very nice progression.
It is not just the romance aspect that is handled really well but also the relationship between Holly and her parents. Her mother only cares about Holly when it comes to how Holly is representing her (the mother) in public like Holly has to be friends with the right crowd, say the right things and have the right job. Holly does become emotionally stronger but the comments her mother make which comes in the form of venomous advice still get under her skin which is normal since they plays to Holly’s insecurities. Her father is present but not much help against his own wife.
The book has a great storyline inside of it that I have nothing to take up issues with the book; in terms of a storyline. What is a little issue is with some of the sentence structures. There are certain paragraphs were two people are talking and it is not clear who is talking because there is no paragraph break. Plus on rare instances, some quotations marks are missing or misplaced because the character is still talking but the grammar is not showing that. It is a minor issue but in general, is it not a huge distraction.
In the end, this is a fantastic novel. It is well-balanced between Holly’s personal relationships and the fantasy elements of a creation myth. I can’t wait for the second book. Like I said, it has the best development of a romantic relationship and that alone is reason to pick this book up.
44th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, First in A Series, Where are you reading?- South Carolina
Author: Lynn Rush
Series: Wasteland # 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Bewitching Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase: Amz/ B&N
I received this novel free of charge from BB Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
Bound by the blood contract his human mother signed four centuries ago, half-demon, David Sadler, must obey his demonic Master’s order to capture fifteen-year-old Jessica Hanks. But as he learns more about her, he realizes she may be the key to freedom from his dark enslavement.
The only obstacle-Jessica’s distractingly beautiful Guardian, Rebeka Abbott. He must not give in to their steamy chemistry, or he will lose his humanity. But fresh off a quarter millennia of sensory deprivation as punishment for not retrieving his last target, he may not be able to resist temptation long enough to save what’s left of his human soul.
Random: The best part of this novel is how everything hits the reader from left field.
If you like twists and turns, then this book is for you. There are so many that make the story really interesting. Rush enjoys making the reader believe they know what is going on but in reality, we don’t.
David is a half-blood demon, half human who happens to a decent demon. He constantly battles his demonic side in order to live with himself and the actions he takes as a runner (bounty hunter) for Locien, a demon follower of Lucifer. David is an interesting because he is willing to sacrifice himself for whom he cares about.He really cares about Beka who happens to be a Guardian of humans. She is a not an angel but close enough to one because she is over four hundred years old. They fall in love with each other instantly (I strongly dislike this) but obstacles are thrown their way to make their unity as a couple tougher so that is a plus.
The added addition of Michael the Archangel was a welcome sight because it showed heaven’s involvement in the life of David. Even though David is a half-demon, heaven cared enough about him to allow him a way to break out of his hellish duties. He also ended up revealing crucial information that explains the natural attraction of David to Beka.
The world building does leave for a little improvement because the concept of Guardians is not really explained. Guardians are not angels but they protect humans. They are not human because Beka is over four hundred years old. They have a Queen and a King so Guardians have their own hierarchy but how they are connected to God is up for debate.
This novel did surprise me with how it handled the instant-love romance. It is different from the total devotion to each other even though we only met once that is so common. Within a few pages, David is in love with Beka and she is in love with him without even knowing each other. There was an instant bond; I believe in instant attraction but not instant love. The good thing is that Rush throws in obstacles that questions the validity of their love. It’s a very good thing because the obstacles gives them the opportunity to actually to get know each other. I can accept this and it makes their declarations of love believable.
Overall, it was a really decent novel to read about demons and heavenly guardians. The instant romance is not a hindrance to the novel but adds character to it. The twist and turns are amazing and keep the novel at an interesting level.
43rd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: 1st in a Series, E-book, Where are you reading?-Arizona
Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper. It is the place to showcase one book that has been on our wishlist. Click on the image if you feel like joining in on the fun.
On My Wishlist is: Breathless by Jessica Warman
Blurb from Amazon:
When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school by her distant father and overbearing mother, it doesn’t take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She’s smart, she’s cute, and she’s an Olympic-bound swimmer who has a first class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don’t know is that Katie is swimming away from her past, and from her schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won’t let her go. And when he does the unthinkable, it’s all Katie can do to keep her head above water.
I love water imagery. I will read almost anything as long as there is water in the cover. I love this cover. It doesn’t look like she is drowning but there is a sense that is something is wrong. I’m looking forward to the schizophrenic discussion because it is an interesting mental disorder.
Blurb from Amazon:
In the future, it doesn’t pay to remember.
In Nora’s world you don’t have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC–a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take the pill that will erase it. But at TFC, a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora’s life. She doesn’t take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember. With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. It’s an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?
Random: I wish I could see the graphic novel of Memento.
This is the first book from the Wishlist Wednesday posts that I have posted and it doesn’t disappoint. The dystopian world was interesting and the characters are too.
It’s fascinating to think that a pill can make any traumatic memory go away. The worst part is that no one reports what is being forgotten but that makes sense, why record what people will have no recollection of. Money is no longer used in this society; points are being used now. ID chips are the norm and very secure gated communities. The concept is interesting but novel doesn’t explain the rise of certain security measures. It’s a little bit of an issue.
Let’s talk about Nora. She was an interesting character because she believed a random boy from her school who told her to not take the forgetting pill. In a society where it is accepted to forget, she immediately places her favor in remembering. She chooses to remember because someone has to remember what is being forgotten and do something about it. Her wanting to remember was for her mother’s sake but soon enough, it changes when she meets Micah. Micah who is her complete opposite and encourages her to remember through the graphic novel, Memento, they create. He was the one who started Nora on her remembering quest. He had an interesting life, one that wasn’t filled with abuse but just strife. There is also Winter and I’m not sure what to make of her. She is an artist who makes art out of metal…I think. She helps with the production of Memento and has been affected in a negative way by the new power structure of society.
I think the conspiracy theory about the corporations making a profit of the bombings in the city was true but it was also stretch a bit. The fact that areas were cleared beforehand by the police adds legitimizes the theory. Except one bombing incident that occurred at night and would have only killed a child (still tragic if it had happened). It’s a crack in the theory but I’ll buy into the corporation and government are working together to rake in high profit and maintain the status quo of living.
I’m looking forward to the second book because Nora’s next move should be interesting and hopefully, Winter’s family history is revealed. It should since Winter’s family is connected to Nora’s mother.
42nd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: First in a series, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Let’s give a warm welcome to Kathy Logan. She is the author of The Ruby Brooch, a historical time-traveling novel.
Katherine is a distance runner and an avid reader who turned her love of reading into a passion for writing and has completed a sweeping time-travel romance The Ruby Brooch, Book 1 in the Celtic Brooch Trilogy. She is currently working on a contemporary story with a spin off character who demanded his story be told before she completed the other two planned time travels.
A graduate of Rowan University in New Jersey, she earned a BA in Psychology a minor in Criminal Justice. Following graduation, Katherine attended the Philadelphia Institute for Paralegal Training earning a General Practice Certification. She returned to Central Kentucky and worked for twenty years as paralegal. She currently resides in Lexington and writes full time.
In a sentence or two, please tell us why readers should read your novel.
The Ruby Broochhas an entertaining allure with amazing, non- cardboard characters, great storytelling, and constant action that will keep the reader riding an emotional roller-coaster while either laughing or crying.
Who do you imagine as the reader of your novel?
I’m going to answer with a line from the book. “People like me.” I’m a 62 year old widow and grandmother training for my first marathon. I’m very focused on nutrition, health and fitness. I’m a full-time writer, dating a fantastic man I met on Match.com, and I’m also my ailing mother’s full-time caregiver. In short, a woman who takes care of others, has two full time jobs, is in a relationship, and runs for exercise and health.
I believe that as busy women, we all want a few hours to ourselves to escape from our own worries and concerns and live vicariously through someone else’s troubles with a guaranteed happy ending. I think we’re looking to connect with a strong woman who’s been dealt a bad hand and has the gumption to play it out even though she’s scared to death, and in the midst of her fear, finds her true self. I believe those types of women exist in all genres from time- travels to vampires to regencies. It’s the journey, not necessarily the road. As a reader and as a woman, we want that journey to resonate and in a small way learn something that will make our life fuller and more productive.
How does Celtic mysticism play into The Ruby Brooch?
I’ll share a couple of snippets that aren’t spoilers.
The heroine’s Scottish godfather tells her, “I’ve studied our folklore most of my life, and I believe there are forces in the universe we can’t see or understand. If Sean [the heroine’s father] said this is magical [the ruby brooch], I have no reason not to believe him.” Elliott turned the brooch over and studied the back of the stone. “My grandfather used to say, ‘Some see darkness where others see only the absence of light.’”
Kit drew in a breath. “Meaning?”
Elliott placed the brooch in her hand and curled her fingers around it. “Keep an open mind.”
Later, when she meets the hero they have this exchange. The racing challenge died on the balmy breeze blowing in from the river as they strolled down the rickety sidewalk in silence. By the time they reached the end, the western sky had turned lavender with approaching dusk.
“In Scotland they call the meeting of the day with the night—”
“The gloaming,” the widow [the heroine] said. “Do you believe the time of two-lights is mystical?”
He lifted his eyebrow. “According to Scottish folklore encounters between the visible and invisible worlds occur then.”
“That must be why ghosts sometimes appear at twilight?” Her eyes were as dark and full of mystery as they had been when he first met her.
“And dawn,” he added. “That’s the time of day I saw the lady riding her mighty steed—”
They are interrupted at that point, but Cullen’s childhood vision is very much a part of the story, intertwining the past and present and future, as are Kit’s sightings of Cullen as a ghost that began when she turned 10.
What type of research did you do for the book?
I read dozens of journals written during the Great Migration, a time in our country’s history when women had small voices but indomitable spirits. I talked to experts on topics from carbon dating to rattlesnake bites. I read extensively about the suffragettes; the thoroughbred industry (breeding and racing); genealogy, paramedics; and 19th century legal education, property rights, wines, medicine, childbirth, cooking, oxen, cholera, and dozens of other topics. And, most importantly, I drove the Oregon Trail from Independence, MO, to Portland OR, following mile markers and wagon ruts and talked to people about the land and their family histories. Research, I think, is my favorite part of writing.
What was one of the most interesting data that you stumbled upon?
A week before Christmas 2010, I was researching guns and decided to visit one of our local gun shops. I walked through the front door of a very crowded gun store and stood there not sure where to go. A young man working the cash registered asked if he could help me. I said, “I need a gun that will shoot as many cows in the shortest amount of time.”
The store fell silent. A couple dozen men stared at me like I was crazy. I cleared my throat and explained that I was a romance writer and that my heroine was caught in the middle of a buffalo stampede and needed a weapon. The shock wore off and answers started flying. I still laugh when I think of that visit.
Was there a scene that you absolutely had to have in the book?
I fought (well, disagreed) with editors, dozens of contest judges, and critique partners who nixed the opening of the story. I wanted to show the heroine galloping across the pasture on her thoroughbred. The scene was vividly implanted in my head, and I refused to let it go. Finally, after taking on-line classes, reading, and studying the craft of writing, I slowly began to understand what everyone had tried to tell me. Riding her horse was not where the story action started. It was disappointing to let the scene go, but ultimately I knew it was the right thing to do.
There is a scene about half way through that story that couldn’t be left out. It’s a conversation between the hero and heroine about wearing all sorts of masks to hide who we really are. He asks her who she is down deep inside where no one goes. It was a hard scene to write but one that had to be included.
Gil Grissom of CSI: Las Vegas or Jethro Gibbs from NCIS?
That one is easy. Jethro is Elliott Fraser, Kit’s godfather.
Captain America or Iron Man?
Captain America – a fish out of water.
If you could be a god/goddess, which one would you be?
Athena: a warrior, protector, working woman, and full of wisdom
Thank you so much for stopping by and doing the interview. Kathy has kindly offered to giveaway an e-book of her novel but first the blurb.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs NinCan a 21st century paramedic find her heart’s desire on the other side of time?
Upon arriving in the past, she meets Cullen Montgomery, an egotistical Scotsman with a penchant for seducing widows. The San Francisco-bound lawyer happens to resemble the ghost who has haunted Kit since childhood. She quickly finds the Bach-humming, Shakespeare-quoting man to be over-bearing and his intolerance for liars threatens her quest.
If she can survive his accusations and resist his tempting embrace for seventy-three days, she might be able to find the answers she seeks, and return home to a new life without changing history or leaving her heart on the other side of time.