Book Spotlight: The Shadow Rises by K.S. Marsden #urbanfantasy

The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1)

Author: K.S. Marsden

Genre: Urban Fantasy

SYNOPSIS:

Witches are real, and to be blunt, they’re all black-hearted, and evil. These are not wiccans; witches are a different breed that use magic with devastating effect.

Charged with stopping the witches, taking whatever measures necessary, there are witch-hunters, all reporting to the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC). For hundreds of years witches have been persecuted and when the powerful Shadow Witch rises again, they have their opportunity for revenge.

The best the MMC has to offer, the talented seventh-generation witch-hunting Hunter Astley has his own part to play. In his own way.


LINKS:

~FREE TO DOWNLOAD FROM ALL ERETAILERS~

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Apple

Kobo

Google Play

Smashwords



AUTHOR BIO:

Kelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.

Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has two successful series under her belt.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

The Northern Witch’s Book Blog

THE STORY BEHIND HUNTER:

Yes, it’s hard to believe that it has been 5 years since my debut was released!

It has always been an ambition of mine, to be a published author, and these last five years have been an absolute dream. (An incredibly steep learning curve, but still a dream).

The Witch-Hunter books continue to draw in new readers and are my best-sellers; and it is still the story that I get most excited about.

What prompted the Witch-Hunter trilogy?

Despite the fact that this series pegs the witch-hunters as our heroes, and follows the famous Hunter Astley; the story actually started with the bad guy.

I used to practise Wicca when I was younger, and I wondered what would happen if you had a bad witch. One that broke all the wiccan rules, and inflicted pain for the fun of it. I decided the witches in my story would be a different breed, distinct from their wiccan cousins, and not restricted by human morals. And my main antagonist had to be the most powerful witch in history, naturally. Magic without limits…

Once I had my bad guys, it seemed almost too easy to create the people that would stop them: the witch-hunters working for the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC).

A witch-hunter named Hunter?

Yes, I know it’s cliche. I struggled to come up with a name for my main character. He’s the best the MMC have at their disposal; he comes from a witch-hunting family, and has some ridiculous inborn skills to deal with fighting witches.

So, I used “Hunter” as a placeholder until I found a name that suited him. And it stuck. And he’s enough of a pretentious git to pull it off.

It’s actually a bit of a running joke in the series – Hunter’s real name is George. Sexy, I know.

Fact vs. Fiction?

So… this might be a straight-up fantasy story, but a lot of it is based on real events.

The Malleus Maleficarum was a real book, published in 1487 as the guide for finding and persecuting witches, recommended by Pope Innocent VIII. (There’s a lot of contention surrounding the “authors” and how legitimate the papal bull is, but I won’t go into that here)

This book helped legitimise mass killings, persecutions, and the general witch-craze that swept the world.

Witch-hunters of questionable morals attacked people, regardless of gender or position. The incentive was often money, claiming the possessions of the “witch”, or even to enact a grudge they were holding.

The most common “witch” was female, and if you were a woman with any ounce of independence, intelligence, free-thought, charm…

My Malleus Maleficarum Council is based on the premise that they quickly saw the damage that was being done by the ignorant general public, and immediately started working in secret. The MMC employs real witch-hunters, who track down real witches.

Until our modern-day Hunter Astley.

Why witches?

When I was looking for a new project to start writing, I knew that I wanted to do something in Urban Fantasy.

At the time, I thought the literary world was inundated with vampires and werewolves, and I wanted to steer clear of these popular tropes. I wanted something I could put my own spin on, something that felt like it was mine.

In the end, I nervously started fleshing out a story about witches. I’ve always been fascinated by stories of magic and wicked witches, and I started to put to use all the random facts that I’d gathered.

The fascination with witches actually comes from a long-running family joke that all the women in my family are witches, and that my nanna would turn us into a toad if we misbehaved. Y’know, the usual silly stuff.

It felt weird, taking something that had been a family joke, and turning it into a bunch of books for everyone to read. I’m just grateful that it went down well!

Mrs Astley

Even though Mrs Astley is just a background character – as Hunter’s mother, she does little more than hang around the estate, and has nothing to do with witches – she is the one that leaves the biggest impression.

She is horrible to those around her. She doesn’t intend to insult everyone, she just doesn’t have a filter. She’s very entitled, and thinks that the people around her will benefit from hearing her opinion.

A couple of fun facts about this character:

1) She doesn’t have a first name. Well, she does, it is just never mentioned. Did you notice?

2) Her husband died five years ago (although it was never a happy marriage), but Mrs Astley has been kept company by Charles, the butler. Nothing is ever said outright, but they do play “chess” (amongst some of my friends “playing chess” translates into relations).

 

 

Advertisements

Author Interview: Stacey Rourke

Today I’m fortunate to present Stacey Rourke author of over a dozen books spanning various genres.

Hi Stacey, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

A1MziozdK1L._SY200_Born and raised in Michigan, hence my hatred for the cold. I live where the air sometimes hurts my face.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Strong character development. I need to feel for the characters, to engage with them to want to accompany them on their journey.  

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

My children. Many literary works still portray women as damsels in distress that need to be rescued by big strong men. For my daughters, I wrote The Conduit, which was the first of many strong female leads I created to empower females of all ages to be the hero of their own story.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I do most of my administrative and marketing tasks in the early part of the day, and tackle writing and editing later in the day when my mind is more awake and able to tap into creativity.  

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I act out a lot of the dialogue to myself, playing the part of every character, to make sure it flows and is believable.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Veiled, an urban fantasy novel

22563526_1871545259529191_1828855704_o

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Vampires and politics really work well together. There are so many jokes about blood suckers I could insert here, but it would almost be TOO easy. LOL!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

51r8Z4QbRCL“Wait!” Finn attempted to plant his feet with all the weak resolve he could muster. “The puppy, we have to get the puppy.”

“Puppy?” I pulled up short, searching his face for signs he was kidding.

“There, in the corner. Little thing won’t make it much longer if he’s left here.” I followed Finn’s nod to a tiny French Bulldog pup cowered in the corner. Covered in his own filth, every rib was clearly visible through his patchy, black hide. Ears pulled back, his slight frame trembled in a combination of fear and starvation. “He used the dog as an hour glass, taunting me with the promise of a meal if I could just get off the table. He gave the dog water but no food and told me when his time ran out, so would mine.”

“That’s the heartbeat I heard.” Helping Finn lean against the wall, I retrieved the frightened pooch. After letting him sniff my hand, I unhooked the chain wrapped around his neck and carefully folded him into my arms. Pointed ears perking, he thanked me with a feeble lick to the point of my chin. “You slaughtered my entire family, but your soft side comes out for a puppy?”

Giving me a minute to tuck the pup under one arm, Finn eased his weight back onto my shoulders. “No, I’m still starving. I was hoping you would cut the little guy’s throat and let me drink him.”

“I’m not feeding you a dog!” I yelped, tone dripping with disgust. “Ugh … thank you for reminding me why I loathe you.”

“If you loathe me, why did you save me?” Finn asked—his tone not one of accusation, but genuine curiosity.

Shuffling through the shadows of the basement, I tipped my face to the light beaming down from above. “Because, no one gets to kill you but me.”

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?

The Veiled Series will continue, as will the other collections I’m working on including The TS901 Chronicles, The Gryphon Series Resurrection, and The Unfortunate Soul Chronicles.  

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

Each time I travel to book events. The opportunity to meet new authors and readers is always an invaluable experience!

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

www.staceyrourke.com,
www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor,
Twitter and Instagram @rourkewrites
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stacey-rourke

22664177_1871545179529199_1829169494_o

Book Spotlight: The Gatekeeper’s Sons by @evapohler #tuesdaybookblog

bookonenew-1080x1614Book description of The Gatekeeper’s Sons:

Fifteen-year-old Therese watches her parents die. While in a coma, she meets the twin sons of Hades—Hypnos (the god of sleep) and Thanatos (the god of death). She thinks she’s manipulating a dream, not kissing the god of death and totally rocking his world.

Than makes a deal with Hades and goes as a mortal to the Upperworld to try and win Therese’s heart, but not all the gods are happy. Some give her gifts. Others try to kill her.

The deal requires Therese to avenge the death of her parents. With the help of Than’s fierce and exotic sisters, the Furies, she finds herself in an arena face to face with the murderer, and only one will survive.

Purchase Link to The Gatekeeper’s Sons

About The Author:

14560138_1189508384443859_5561114875507080440_oEva Pohler recently retired from a twenty-year position teaching writing and literature at a university in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband and three kids. Now a full-time writer, she’s the author of The Mystery Book Collection and three series for young adults: The Gatekeeper’s Saga, The Purgatorium Series, and The Vampires of Athens. Her books have been described as “thrilling” and “addictive.” A Kirkus reviewer said of The Gatekeeper’s Sons that it was “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans.”

A reader herself, Eva writes in multiple genres, but all of her stories blur the line between reality and fantasy, truth and delusion, and draw from Eva’s personal philosophy that a reader must be lured and abducted into complete captivity in order to enjoy the reading experience.

Find more information by checking out Eva’s website or following her on Twitter or Facebook

Author Interview: C.K. Brooke

Today, I’m fortunate to present C.K. Brooke, author of the Jordinia series with 48fourteen Publishing, and the American Pirate Romances with Limitless.

Hi, C.K., thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Thanks for having me! I loved meeting you at Rust City Book Con in Detroit this summer.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

CKBrookeAuthorHeadshotI originally grew up in Maryland, but have spent the last ten years of my adult life in the Midwest. Washington, Michigan is my current home, but I can’t lie, my heart is still in my other former home of Toledo, Ohio!

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

A good story, in my opinion, isn’t one-note. It strikes lots of chords. I love stories that incorporate not just adventure and intrigue, or a mystery that keeps me turning the pages, but heart, humor, romance, interesting characters, and good pacing between it all!

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

The-Duchess-Quest-Kindle-and-PrintMy debut novel, The Duchess Quest, was born of my fascination with Anastasia Romanov – the last Grand Duchess of Russia – and adventure romance stories like The Princess Bride. I thought, what if we could combine a lost duchess myth like Anastasia’s story with an adventure-quest between three men who couldn’t stand each other? I combined these ideas (and a few more) to create my first published novel.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

As a stay-at-home mom of a young child, I used to get all my writing done while he was napping or in bed for the night. Now, I try to write while he’s at school, or when my husband gets home from work to take over the parenting for a little while!

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I outline EVERYTHING! I leave nothing to chance or unaccounted for. I am extremely anal and detail-oriented about it; I have to have at least 20 pages of outline before beginning a new story, if not a notebook full drawings and notes. Other writers think I’m crazy, but I swear, it works like a charm to stave off writer’s block – or writing oneself into a corner.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Duchess3_Final_500x750My latest release was The Duchess’s Descendants via 48fourteen Publishing in June 2017. It’s the third full-length novel in my Jordinia series, and is an upper-YA romantic fantasy adventure like its predecessors. My next release will be out on 26 September 2017 and is a clean adult romance, Commanding His Heart, the second installment of my American Pirate Romance series with Limitless Publishing.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Creating my first book was full of surprises. 164 rejection letters were VERY surprising. Having the tenacity to try a 165th time and receive my first offer letter from a publisher was an even bigger – and much more welcome – surprise. 😊

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
I’m currently working on the final book in the Jordinia series, The Emperor’s Daughters! Here’s an exclusive excerpt, just for you:

Gathering her nerve, Benedicta made up her mind, broke apart from the prime minister, and followed him. “Mr. Petigya?”

He didn’t turn.

“Mr. Petigya?” she repeated firmly.

He stopped.

There. That wasn’t so hard. Benedicta softened her tone. “I was wondering what I might do to help.”

At last, he turned to look at her—really look—and Benedicta felt her cheeks burn under his scrutiny, even beneath the cool shade of her parasol. When he spoke, his words were as flat as the Bainherd Plains.

“You can watch.”

Benedicta scrunched her brow. “But, there must be some mistake. I didn’t take the locomotive all the way down here just to sit and watch your crew work. I came here to be of service. Like you asked me.”

He lifted an eyebrow. “Like I asked you?”

“Why, yes. You came to Pierma, recruiting volunteers, and I…” She faltered, already feeling foolish in her prim clothing, under her lacy shade. Abruptly, she lowered the parasol and snapped it shut. The sun blared in her face, but at least she could look him in the eye now.

“Want to help, princess?” He sounded irritated. “Give out water.”

Her mouth hung agape as he stalked off again. “Isn’t there something I can build?” she asked after him.

“Nothing that won’t soil those fancy gloves of yours.”

She looked down at her hands and hastily yanked off her gloves. Stuffing them into her skirt pocket, she bounded after him.

“Water’s over there.” He bobbed his chin impatiently, indicating a few barrels resting under a cluster of palm trees. Drinking gourds and empty coconut shells littered the ground, some crawling with flies, all looking used and unwashed.

Benedicta frowned. “But—”

“That is helping.” He flashed her a sudden smile, yet it was obviously forced, for her sake. “Working men need hydration, no?”

Benedicta stared at him. He didn’t look away.

So, it would be like this, would it?

Stromberg was right. When Raul Petigya had asked for volunteers, he didn’t mean her. Why would it matter to this Heppestonian man who Benedicta was? Regardless of whatever Prime Minister’s Uxo believed, Halai had no real need for a Jordinian duchess. It needed able-bodied workers who could pull their weight. And what did Benedicta appear to be, other than a delicate young woman? It would always chalk down to her appearance, would it?

Not if Benedicta had anything to say about it.

She straightened to her full height, although she had nothing on the man in front of her. “Mr. Petigya, I may not seem strong or powerful, but I assure you, I can be.”

Though he remained stoic, a flit of curiosity darted in his eye.

“And anyway, you were the one who said there wasn’t a thing I could not learn,” she reminded him.

She thought he might smile, was almost sure she saw the beginnings of one. Alas, he offered no change in expression, only facing her off in the sand, waiting for her to finish.

Benedicta narrowed her eyes, all pretenses dropped. “Now, I’m going to rinse out those filthy gourds you call drinking cups, and give water to your crew. Excuse me.” She turned on her heel, heading for the barrels.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Expect the final Jordinia book, as well as an all-new upper-YA urban fantasy (with romance) in 2018!

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The best money I’ve ever spent as a writer has been registration to every book convention I’ve attended, as well as my RWA (Romance Writers of America) membership. The friends I’ve made and professionals I’ve networked with have been a priceless font of support, friendship, and resources.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

If you’re reading this interview, I’d love to hear from you! There’s a contact form on my website, www.CKBrooke.com, and my email address is on there as well. You can find my books on Goodreads, Amazon, my website, and my publishers’ websites. Check out all my social media links below.

And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter at CKBrooke.com/VIPClub for freebies and fun!

GIVEAWAY

Subscribe

Free eBook of The Last Empress: A Jordinia Prequel Novella at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072MHXFRH

About the Author
C.K. Brooke is an Amazon bestselling, award-winning indie author of over a dozen romantic fantasy novels and novellas. Her books have been published by 48fourteen and Limitless Publishing, as well as self-published. Her debut novel, The Duchess Quest, was selected by Shelf Unbound Magazine as a Top 100 Notable Indie Book of 2015 and received five stars from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards Contest. In 2017, her YA novel, Secrets of Artemis, received the Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award. More of her publications have been nominated in the 2017 RONE Awards and Global EBook Awards. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and son. Visit CKBrooke.com and subscribe for a free eBook!

Links
Website: www.CKBrooke.com
Newsletter: http://ckbrooke.com/vipclub
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/ckbrooke
Facebook: https://facebook.com/ck.brooke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorckbrooke
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/+ckbrooke
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ckbrooke

Books by C.K. Brooke

JORDINIA SERIES
The Duchess Quest (48fourteen, 2014 and 2017)
The Duchess Inheritance (48fourteen, 2015)
The Duchess’s Descendants (48fourteen, 2017)
The Last Empress: A Jordinia Prequel Novella (2017)

WORLD OF JORDINIA NOVELS
The Red Pearl (48fourteen, 2015)
The Wrong Prince (48fourteen, 2016)

AMERICAN PIRATE ROMANCES
Capturing the Captain (Limitless, 2016)
Commanding His Heart (Limitless, TBR September 2017)

TEEN GODDESS
Secrets of Artemis (2015)

NOVELLAS & OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Fool Moon (2015)
Heiress Heist (2016)
The Golden Dove (2016)
Deepwood: A Haunting (2017)
Elphame Realms E-Zine #1 (Elphame Press, 2017)
Elphame Realms E-Zine #2: Something Witchy This Way Comes (Elphame Press, TBR October 2017)

ALSO AVAILABLE

albumsmall

The Duchess Quest: The Album
Audio CD

Enjoy a musical soundtrack to the story! Includes over 30 minutes of 14 original songs written, performed and produced by the author.

Full Audio CD on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Duchess-Quest-Album-C-K-Brooke/dp/B01KWB2CHK/

Listen on YouTube to 7 FREE tracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLupAA1FZu8AVce1WI34p0LKnnt6EIWH4X&v=HRWQ-Bpme9

Book Spotlight: James: Witch-Hunter by K.S. Marsden

20960866_471511576563737_971405290_o

Title: James: Witch-Hunter

Author: K.S. Marsden

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Release date: 1st October 2017

Synopsis

~Prequel to the Witch-Hunter trilogy~

James Bennett is a Yorkshire lad, making the big move to Oxford to start university.

His ambitions involve getting a good education; impressing the Rugby Club; and not throttling his roommate. All perfectly normal drama, until Hallowe’en.

A girl’s murder throws James into the dangerous world of witches, and those that hunt them.

After playing a sidekick in the Witch-Hunter trilogy, it’s only fair that James gets to be centre stage in his own prequel.

This can be read as a stand-alone, and does not contain any spoilers. It may contain witches, bad jokes and cringe-worthy scenes; but definitely no spoilers.

Book link:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35699046-james

Author:

20986316_471511529897075_1725208517_nKelly S. Marsden grew up in Yorkshire, and there were two constants in her life – books and horses.

Graduating with an equine degree from Aberystwyth University, she has spent most of her life since trying to experience everything the horse world has to offer. She is currently settled into a Nutritionist role for a horse feed company in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

She writes Fantasy stories part-time. Her first book, The Shadow Rises (Witch-Hunter #1), was published in January 2013, and she now has two successful series under her belt.

Excerpt:

20967781_471511993230362_311242889_oCharlotte had just made her second coffee of the day, when she heard a very insistent banging at the front door. Not in the mood for visitors, she reluctantly opened it.

And was met by the sight of James.

In a dress.

“I’ll never get used to your humour, James.” She said, stepping aside and letting him in. “Fancy some fresh coffee? And when I say fresh, I mean instant stuff I’ve only boiled once.”

James closed the door behind him, and made his way through the narrow corridor to Charlotte’s tiny kitchen.

Charlotte promptly poured an extra coffee and added sugar, her normally bright eyes were red, and it was clear she’d been crying.

“I broke up with Nathan.” She said, looking embarrassed that he had to see her like this.

“I think my roommate’s a murderer.” James countered.

Charlotte handed him a mug of coffee, shaking her head. “When a girl says she’s broken up with her boyfriend, most people would offer… never mind. You win. Why is Hunter a murderer?”

James gently lowered himself down onto Charlotte’s rickety sofa. “I followed him last night. He was bein’ weird, and I have a tracker on his phone-”

“What?!”

“And he went to this warehouse, where…” James trailed off, his throat closing around the words.

Charlotte misread his inability to speak, and gently rubbed his shoulder. “It’s alright, you’re safe here. Who do you think he killed?”

“Bea.” James gasped out. “You remember the blonde, Scottish lass? They hooked up at start of term; then the other night she was looking for him; next thing you know, she’s dead!”

Charlotte put down her coffee cup, her hand shaking too much to hold it. She looked at James in all seriousness, “And you saw Hunter kill her?”

James shook his head, thinking back to last night, and the hooded figures. He was sure it was Hunter, “I couldn’t clearly see who it was, but why would Hunter be there? It’s one hell of a coincidence, that he bails on the Hallowe’en party and ends up at the same warehouse where the girl he was shagging ends up getting sta-”

“Did you physically see him there?” Charlotte asked.

“No, I was following a tracker.” James admitted.

“An illegal tracker, that’ll never hold in court, James.”

James snorted, “Trust the trainee-lawyer to say that.”

“Hey, I’m just trying to see every angle.” Charlotte said, punching his arm. “There could be another, perfectly normal explanation. Maybe someone mugged Hunter and stole his phone – that sort of person would be more likely to head to the dodgy side of town.”

“Ha, it’d have to be the king of muggers to get the better of Hunter.” James argued. “He’s super-fast, super-strong, and has anger issues. Which all adds up to someone very capable of murder.”

 “How-”

“Do you not remember how we first met? It’s not often I get thrown against a wall, instead of the usual handshake. And I do rugby training with him – trust me, it’s like getting hit by a car-”

“James, you’re exaggerating.” Charlotte sighed.

“And I’ve seen him run – I forgot to show you.” James dug out his phone from the flowery handbag, and quickly found the video he’d taken weeks ago. “Look – look how fast he is! And don’t you find it weird that he’s never that fast in rugby games? It’s almost like he’s holding back.”

Charlotte looked at the video, and when the brief clip was over, she shrugged, “It doesn’t look that fast to me.”

“Well, it seemed it when I was watching with my own two eyes.” James tucked his phone away. “He’s not normal.”

“Yes, but there’s a huge leap between what’s not normal, and a killer.” Charlotte said, exasperated. “Don’t get me wrong; I want to help you James, I really do… have you been to the police?”

  “Yes, I stayed there overnight.” James answered. “I got knocked out, and some cop must’a found me. Next thing I know, I’m waking up in a cell.”

“Oh no, what happened? Did someone attack you?”

James opened his mouth the speak, but he didn’t even know what to say. He remembered getting knocked off his feet by some powerful force, but that didn’t make sense.

“What did the police say?” Charlotte asked, when it was clear James wasn’t giving her an answer.

He shrugged, “Not much, just that Bea had died. They were dodging a lot of my questions.”

“That’s normal police protocol for an ongoing investigation.” Charlotte said, knowledgeably.

James shook his head. “There was summat not right about the whole thing. It just felt shady.”

Giveaway

Link to Rafflecopter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b0183e5911/

Author Interview: Chrys Cymri

Today I’m fortunate to present Chrys Cymri author of The Temptation of Dragons.

Hi Chrys, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

webQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I live in a part of England called Northamptonshire. It’s pretty much in the middle of the country, pleasant but not dramatic scenery. I’m actually a full time (female) priest, writing my books in my spare time. 

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?  

The perfect story would have the plot and the characters mesh together, both driving each other forward. But since the perfect book doesn’t exist, I think it’s great characters which make a good story. I don’t worry about the plot that much if I love the characters.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I won a radio short story contest when I was 17 years old. The presenters urged me to turn the short story into a novel. The two resulting books, ‘Dragons Can Only Rust’ and ‘Dragon Reforged’, were professionally published in 1995. I look back at those two books and, although I still like them, I think my writing has improved since then.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I find I write better if I don’t have access to the internet! Facebook etc can be such a distraction. I try to write around a 1000 words every night. I also write on my days off. My best was 5000 words in one day.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

19225927_10155332763779882_2740040079203127284_nI live with a small green parrot, and she both distracts me and gives me inspiration. The mischievous snail shark, Clyde, who features in my ‘Penny White’ novels, is based on her character. Very loving but occasionally a bit feisty.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

I’ve recently published the third book in my urban fantasy ‘Penny White’ series. The three titles thus far are ‘The Temptation of Dragons’, ‘The Cult of Unicorns’, and ‘The Marriage of Gyphons.’ The fourth book will be called ‘The Vengeance of Snails’.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That a character who comes out of nowhere can end up being the readers’ favourite. Clyde inserted himself into a scene, slithered into Penny’s life, and people adore him.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

threebooks

This is from the first chapter of ‘The Temptation of Dragons’:

‘Vicar arrested for drunk driving’ is not the sort of headline my 

bishop wants to read about his priests. So I slowed down my Ford as I saw the flashing lights of the police car ahead. An accident. I hunched low over the steering wheel, hoping to hide the tell tale sign of the dog collar around my neck. My wine-sweetened breath wafted back into my face, reminding me of the reason I must not stop to offer any assistance. I was pretty certain that I was not over the drink drive limit, but possibly very close.

I risked a guilty glance as I passed the accident site. The black 

 

Mercedes had come to rest on the hard shoulder, right up against the traffic barrier. The front was caved in, although I couldn’t see what had caused the damage. No other car was nearby, and as far as I could see none of the trees had wandered across the dual carriageway. Two people stood near the police. Neither looked injured. I let out a sigh of relief.

I pulled back into the slow lane. A moment’s inattention made me drift onto the hard shoulder. The car’s front wheels and rear wheels bumped over an obstruction which shuddered and crunched. My throat closed and my heart pounded fast and quick in my chest. I slammed to stop, pulled up the hand brake and ripped my keys from the ignition. The car lurched against the clutch. I stumbled out and hurried back, terrified that I’d run over some animal or, please God Almighty no, a human.

My foot tripped against something solid. I staggered, and my hand slapped against scaly hide. Hide? The shape solidified under and around me. A tail. I was touching the base of a tail. I looked back at the webbed red tip, the scales, the thin spines. Then I lifted my eyes to see a thick body, two legs splayed back towards me, long leathery wings flung away from the road and over the traffic barrier. I forced myself to walk towards the front legs. My mind kept trying to reject the word forcing itself into my consciousness. Dragon. I was looking at a dragon.

For some reason a sense of disappointment crawled over me. The dragon was smaller than any I’d ever held in my imagination, about twice the  size of a large horse. From the amount of blood that was pooling around the heaving chest, it was dying. The blood was only a shade darker than the bright red scales.

I stopped beside the narrow head. One large eye opened and looked up at me. Even in the dying light of a summer’s evening I could see that it was reptilian, the narrow pupil black against a wide iris of shimmering green. For a moment I saw myself mirrored on the clear surface, dark hair askew around my frowning face. The jaws cracked open, and a blue tongue slithered from the rows of small sharp teeth. ‘Father?’

I swallowed against my automatic correction. This was not the time to discuss the best way to address a female priest. ‘Can I help you?’

‘I’m dying.’

‘I could call an ambulance…’ I stopped. Had someone slipped something into my wine? Was I really thinking of arranging medical care for a dragon?

‘No time.’ His voice was fading. ‘Father, will you hear my confession? And give me the last rites?’

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

More ‘Penny White’! I’m working on the fourth novel, and I have ideas for three more after that.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

Getting good, professionally done covers. Several have been nominated for awards.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

18301450_10155189546414882_5490466956791314560_n

I offer a free ebook to anyone who signs up to my newsletter list. My email is chryscymri@gmail.com

Website: www.chryscymri.com

Amazon Author Page:  Author.to/ChrysCymri

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjFWOlchwf73bcWLPrbWEbw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chryscymri?fref=ts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1076161.Chrys_Cymri

Twitter: @ChrysCymri

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110523446882510437499

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/chryscymri/