Tag Archives: Angels

Author Interview with Katherine Gilbert ~ New Release: Protecting the Dead

Please help me welcome Katherine Gilbert, with her new release, Protecting the Dead – Great title, right? I love the cover too, and it’s one of the choices in the Moonlight and Mystery Cover Contest. I’m sure Katherine would love your votes!

 

Good morning, Katherine. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I’ve been born and raised in South Carolina (unofficial state motto: “Our politicians embarrass us”). My real family and best friend is my sister, Armida. Our goal is to become strange, cackling old ladies in the corner of a tearoom together.

Where did you get the idea for Protecting the Dead?

There was, until recently, a real apartment complex in Decatur, GA  (where my novel is set) which my sister and I once visited on an apartment hunt. Unfortunately, everything there was just a little too creepy, including the apartment she was shown which didn’t quite feel empty. When she asked about the turnover of tenants, she was told, “Oh, our residents never leave.” This hit my gothic imagination with an audible buzzing sound and wouldn’t leave me alone, until it was written.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

Some of the places in the novel are based off of Atlanta urban legends, such as the club (now closed, I believe) which was said to be the home of vampires.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

I can’t talk about a story, while I’m writing it. If I do, I’ll talk it out of myself and won’t ever sit down to write.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

Every book I love I know I couldn’t have written, but I do admire the talents of so many other authors. I wish I could throw off a laugh-till-it-hurts line like Terry Pratchett. I wish I could create a fascinating, unexpected twist like Agatha Christie. I wish I could convey an astonishing sense of time and place like Barbara Hambly–and so many, many others.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I teach English at a SC community college. As to whether I like it, it depends on the students. Some are lovely, funny, fascinating people who I fervently hope succeed in all their dreams. Some have never mentally shown up to school once, so I’ve really only met their bodies. When there are many more of the latter group, it’s not a wonderful semester.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

When I go to a new city, I love to visit Victorian cemeteries, especially ones with very ornate mausoleums or stone angels, etc. One of the great joys of my life was getting to visit Highgate Cemetery in London, especially the older parts you need to have a guide to be allowed into. It’s beautiful, quiet, wooded, and the statues–ohh, the statues.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Spicy food! It seems to me that every commercial now is for some restaurant or fast food place which promises that your head will actively explode after tasting their burningly spicy food. I love flavor in food, especially subtle, delicate flavors and spices, but not having my taste buds actively burned out of my mouth.

Do you collect anything?

Quite a few things. Among them are magnets (from just about everywhere I visit) and weird little salt-and-pepper shakers. Among the stranger ones I have is a set of Hello Kitty vibrating shakers. That’s right–you pull the string, and they vibrate. The wonderful absurdity of it just makes me giggle.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why?

It’s so hard to choose! I can maybe cull it down to three: Terry Pratchett’s The Fifth Elephant (all of Discworld is wonderful, but add the gothic and I’m totally hooked), Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog (The world-building! The romance! The references to 19th-century comic authors!), and Jean Ferris’ Much Ado About Grubstake (it’s just a wonderfully good-hearted, light-hearted YA novel set in a fictional old west town).

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Protecting the Dead?

I’d like them to take a few moments to smile and sigh and enjoy having lived in that world for awhile.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

It’s hard to choose, but I suppose it depends on the bad review. No book is to everyone’s taste, so I accept that there will be people I can’t please. I’d rather not have a review which seems to be purposely trying to cut out my soul, though. As for no reviews, that’s difficult, too, since I don’t know whether anyone is reading it–and others who might want to aren’t given any guidance on whether they’d like it. I guess my answer, then, is . . . I haven’t a clue?

What is your favorite quote?

My friend, Chris, always says, “When someone thinks they’re doing you wrong, they’re actually doing you a favor.” It’s a philosophy I try to remember, when people aren’t very nice.

What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on an island with?

Sorry, she’s not famous, but it’d have to be my sister. We’d never survive, but at least we’d be together.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

To quote from the movie, Auntie Mame: “Odd, but loving.”

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yes, I have three completed urban fantasies and one completed contemporary romance. I’m also actively working on a fourth urban fantasy novel. All the fantasies take place in different parts of the same alternate universe, and they generally fall into two categories: the magical and the gothic. Protecting the Dead is also one of the gothic ones.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Generally speaking, real people aren’t as interesting for me to write about as the ones I make up. I don’t think anyone would thrill to tales of a department meeting.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My sister is my biggest supporter. I read her every chapter, as it’s written. My friends are sort of in shock that I’ve kept at it long and hard enough to be published, but they’re excited for me.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

That would be the demon who wants to destroy Lydia.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

I walked about six feet behind David Carradine once. Weird Al Yankovic sweated on and sang to my sister at a concert (when she was sitting right beside me). They were fun moments, but, to quote Weird Al, I think they also qualify as pretty “Lame Claims to Fame.”

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Only that good and bad people come in all forms. The forms alone don’t tell you much about the person. The way that people interact with others does.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s based on a real place, but overall it’s much more fantasy than urban.

How did your interest in writing originate?

I started writing fan fiction for a show I was obsessed with, La Femme Nikita. I wrote a LOT of it, and there were quite a few people who enjoyed it. After awhile, I started branching out into a couple of alternate universe pieces–and through that realized that I could actually create my own characters and plot. I also realized that I didn’t need to know everything about a story to write it. I just needed to get started, and the characters would show me where things were headed, as I went along.

Your favorite…

Song–“Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls (I’m not a gigantic fan of theirs otherwise, but I LOVE that one song). A close second and third would be Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Veteran of the Psychic Wars.”

Place you’ve visited–Ireland, England, and Scotland, all of them beautiful with touches of the gothic throughout

Place you’d like to visit–Brookgreen Gardens, a figural sculpture garden in SC. I’ve been there dozens of times, but I always want to go back.

TV show from childhoodLou Grant, or maybe Scooby Doo–I was an eclectic kid.

TV show from adulthoodLa Femme Nikita, although there are plenty of others I like. I usually only come across a show on DVD long after it’s over nowadays.

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Are there any urban legends or haunted houses in your area? Leave a comment and I’ll select a random commenter to receive a $5 gift card from Amazon.

 

 

Blurb:

After a childhood filled with demons and her devil-worshiping parents, Lydia longs for a quiet, normal life, a safe haven somewhere blissfully dull. Being the manager at the Roanoke Apartments seems to fit that bill. But Lydia soon learns that you can’t leave the past behind so easily. She finds herself faced with unclogging drains for werewolves, conducting nightly vampire counseling sessions, and caring for two talkative cats. Then there’s the distraction of Geoffrey, the hottest, and most angelic, boss anyone ever dreamed of.  As if that isn’t enough, the demon who nearly killed her shows up to finish the job. So much for a peaceful, simple life…

 

Excerpt: 

She knew she was being rude, knew she certainly wasn’t being a good assistant to Geoffrey, but she couldn’t quite force herself to look up again. If she did, she was going to see things she couldn’t wholly deny. She couldn’t take that. Whatever its dangers, denial felt safe. There was only so much oddity her brain could withstand, before it just started to explode.

She found herself sitting on the couch a moment later, knew that all these men were watching her, knew that she was direly failing whatever test she was being given. But she just couldn’t help it. It was too much, was far too weird. If only life could be all picket fences and well-tended lawns and SUVs and…

Okay, so she really wasn’t dumb enough to think such details meant an utter lack of misery, but they just seemed so nice, compared to her life. She felt someone sit on the couch beside her, knew it was Geoffrey, even before he spoke.

“Give her a minute,” he whispered, tenderly stroking her blue hair.

That only made her sigh all the more. There were times she truly wished she could be a stereotypical vapid blonde.

That wish, of course, was part of the reason why she’d ended up with the hair color she was now stuck with, but she wasn’t up to such analysis.

One of the residents sighed softly. “I guess we are a bit much for a first day. Especially with our moon phase coming up and all.”

She wished she lived the sort of life which made it impossible to guess what they were talking about.

Geoffrey’s soft touch made her raise her head again, her eyes a little misty, as she gazed at the two werewolves’ worried yellow eyes. Their normal clothing only made the situation weirder. The one who had greeted them, Hugh, dressed much like her boss tended to. The second one was even wearing a business suit. She was trying not to scream.

Fortunately, Geoffrey surprised her out of the impulse, pulling her close, his arms tender, mouth by her ear. Into it, he whispered a series of soft, soothing sounds. Like at her lunch with Glory, none of them were quite recognizable, except for her name. “Lydia,” he would breathe, before those only half-hidden words began again. “Lydia.” It made her real name so darn tempting that she couldn’t quite remember why she’d ever chosen another, and it finally made her sanity begin to piece itself slowly back together.

She wasn’t certain how long they were like that, knew nothing except his touch, his comfort. Some final spate of words settled inside her as a sort of hope for the future, a thought — even if she had no conscious access to it — that comforted her even more. She felt his soft kiss there, before he finally leaned back. She didn’t really know what to think, after that.

 

Buy Links: 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/protecting-the-dead-katherine-gilbert/1128969519?ean=2940162107453

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Katherine_Gilbert_Protecting_the_Dead?id=lFhgDwAAQBAJ

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/protecting-the-dead

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/842470

Bio:

Katherine Gilbert was born at house number 1313 and then transplanted to a crumbling antebellum ruin so gothic that The Munsters would have run from it.  She has since gained several ridiculously-impractical degrees in English, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies. She now teaches at a South Carolina community college, where all her students think, correctly, that she is very, very strange, indeed.

Where to Find Me:

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Katherine-Gilbert-Author-102573417043950/

Goodreads pages:

Book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40583130-protecting-the-dead?from_search=true

Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18141907.Katherine_Gilbert

Bookbub:

Book: https://www.bookbub.com/books/protecting-the-dead-by-katherine-gilbert

Author: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katherine-gilbert?list=author_books

Amazon Author’s page:

amazon.com/author/katherinegilbert

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COVER REVEAL!! – Linda Nightingale’s Morgan D’Arcy: A Vampire Rhapsody and Gylded Wings

Two gorgeous covers from The Wild Rose Press…

 

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Blurb:

The greatest enemy of a vampire is boredom. Four centuries of existence have taught Lord Morgan Gabriel D’Arcy to fear nothing and no one.  Humans and their weapons have little chance against his preternatural speed and arcane powers. Vampires are viral mutations of human DNA. Still, the Vampyre code requires secrecy, and he has learned to hide his nature from the world. The lure of mortality, of a life in the sun, puts Morgan again and again at the mercy of calculating human women though they fail to consider his charm and determination into the equation. However, even grooming a future bride from infancy proves to be fraught with heartbreak. And second chances are not always what they seem unless… you are Morgan. Immortality and beauty, aren’t they grand?

 

Excerpt:

A fingertip traced my jaw.  “You guys play a bit fast and loose for me.  Fix those baby blues on me, Morgan, and make me forget everything.  Including you.”

I didn’t want to make Ellen forget.  Finally, I’d found someone who believed that I was a different species, accepted the fact, and still cared for me. Sadness crept down my rigid spine on a chill.

“I know you can.”  Tears in her eyes, she touched my mouth.  “It’s what I want.”

“I received an email today from Charleston.”  Lucien sounded weary, as sad as I felt and Ellen looked.  “You can return to South Carolina.  If that’s what you want.”

My heart leapt into my throat.  Going back to Charleston, winning Isabeau was what I’d dreamed every night for six months.   “Can we expect you at the wedding?”

Ellen roused to frown up at me.  “What wedding?”

With the back of my hand, I caressed her cheek.  “Mine.”

She made a pitiful grimace, but mischief sparkled in her eyes.  “I thought my son would be born a bastard.  Now, he’ll be an aristocratic bastard like his dad.”

Over her shoulder, I met Lucien’s gaze.  The Chief Councilor arched a brow and simply stared at me for several heartbeats.  A question burned in the depths of his black eyes.  He awaited a decision I wasn’t prepared to give—even to myself.  My old friend indicated Ellen with a nod of his head.  She’s not pregnant.  As if I didn’t know.  He strode to the rail, staring at Margo’s corpse.  The red heat sizzling along my skin sparkled in his aura.  A brilliant halo engulfed the body.  The remains of Margo St. Johns glowed, wavered like heat rising from hot tarmac and vanished in an explosion of crimson light.

I freed Ellen from my embrace.  “I must help Lucien dispose of the bodies before the police arrive and ask questions difficult to answer.”

She shook her head, a fingertip caressing my lower lip.  “You need to stay with me…until you make me forget.”

I bent to whisper a kiss to her lips.  “Ellen, never doubt that I love you.”

A tear drizzled down her cheek.  “Make me forget.  It’s better that way.  As I said, it’s what I want.  And what you obviously need.”

Closing her eyes, she waited.

“I can manage,” Lucien called.

A night bird sang a lonely song.  I rested my hand on Ellen’s forehead, easing her into a deep sleep.  As she collapsed, I caught her to me.  Pain welled in my heart.  Twice in six months, I’d been forced to give up a woman I loved.  Dum Spiro Spero.   While I breathe, I hope, and hope had offered me another chance to win Isabeau.

Dreams misted my eyes as I carried Ellen to the car.  She slept on the journey home.  I strode up the stairs and into her bedroom with my lovely accomplice and lover.  Gently, I lay her on the bed.  She breathed slowly and deeply, remaining motionless as I invaded her thoughts and erased every memory of me, the existence of vampires and the catastrophe at the docks.  Mission accomplished, I stood staring at her.  Ellen had forgotten our intermezzo.  I never would.

Isabeau, where are you tonight?  Do you ever think of me?

With a mental flick of the wrist, I locked Ellen’s front door.  Some of the bounce returned to my step as I descended the stairs.  I refused to allow it to end this way.  On the sidewalk, I halted, heedless of the mist collecting on my hair and clothes.  The me I’d lost returned on a rush.  I smiled, for the first time in what seemed forever, actually looking forward to tomorrow night.  At sunset on a Sunday, I’d drive to Royal Oak and enjoy a few peaceful days in the country.  Soon, I’d return to Charleston.  Isabeau must relent and love me again.  She was my destiny.

And I hers.

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Blurb:

Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery couldn’t believe it, and when her guardian angels sent her to another dimension to rescue the three enslaved, she found a surprise that would rock her world. The golden angel, Gyldan, was the most beautiful being she’d ever seen. Sometimes, beauty disguises a deeper meaning.

Gyldan, a slave since birth, had one thought in mind—to fly free—until his rescuer became dearer than his dreams. But when he returned with her to a place called Earth, he faced a rude awakening. He met himself in full glory…and disbelief. Back in his dimension, he had a purpose and almost failed the heavenly test before truth shone clear, love even sharper.

Excerpt:

My restoration to Grace plunged Heaven and Hell into civil war.  The day the earth stood still, I watched from a rock ledge above a field choked with the great armies.  Sunlight glinted on the golden helms of the Righteous and the silver helmets of the Damned.  Prophecy echoed in the thud of mortal feet and the beat of a thousand wings.  I folded my wings around me.  This slight movement drew an immediate reaction.  As one, the winged combatants turned to stare at me.  

Winter wind ruffled the holy raiment draped about my shoulders and blew on me the scent of bitterness.  I could taste their disgust and distrust.  But I would not bow my head, unless or until I was forced to do so.  If I’d possessed a soul, it would have shrunk inside me, but like my celestial brothers, I am soulless. 

Let me introduce myself. 

I am Ha-Satan, the Adversary, once Heaven’s Prosecuting Attorney.  I have been called the Father of Lies, the Master of Temptation, Lord of Hell.  I am the one you’ve been taught to fear, who hides beneath your bed to steal your soul.  I am the most fearsome and the most beautiful angel. 

My existence began as the first light emanating from the Thought.  He said to me on the day of my creation, “I make you closest to me, of all the powers, Master and Mirror of my might.  I create you beautiful in bliss and name you Lucifer, Bringer of Light.” 

And so, my friends, I, Lucifer, would like to set the record straight.  If ever I did Fall, I have been forgiven. 

 

Releasing in 2016…follow Linda on Amazon to be notified of availability:

Linda’s Amazon Page

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Reap & Repent by Lisa Medley

I’m pleased to share a paranormal romance by Lisa Medley…I love the cover and I LOVE that it’s about Reapers. Check it out:

Reap & Repent

Urban Fantasy Romance: Reapers and Demons and Angels and Sex.

Series: The Reaper Series, Book 1

Don’t fear the reaper. Lust after him. REAP & REPENT Pre-Order 99¢ until March 3! http://amzn.to/1AvrNfb

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 Blurb

They see death. Can they share a life?

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.

 

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him.

For all that’s holy, move the hell along already.

It had been a long week, and it wasn’t over yet. He needed to make at least one more pass through the hospital circuit before he could call it a day. He could already feel the tug of a freshly departed soul. Again. People were dropping like flies lately.

He massaged his brow, trying to soothe his exhausted patience as the line inched forward at a snail’s pace.

He was worn thin. Over the past few weeks, three demon soul poachers had popped up in his fair city of Meridian like poisonous mushrooms after a hard rain.

While it wasn’t unheard of for one to slip out from Hell every now and then, three was a nightmare.

When it got topside, a demon’s M.O. was to steal a human body, poach a few souls from the dead and dying, and then make its merry way back to Hell, taking its host’s soul along for the ride. The only way to save the souls a poacher was carrying was to behead the host with a scythe. Not a pretty thing to do, but the poor suckers were too far gone by then to survive anyway. No human could withstand the pressures of being ridden by a demon. And it was worth it to save a handful of souls, not to mention inconveniencing the demon.

Deacon refused to lose any souls from his territory. At all. So far the score was Deacon, 3. Demons, 0.

As a reaper, carrying souls to Purgatory for judgment was his job and he wasn’t about to cede his territory to poachers who used up their hosts like they were disposable Tupperware. So now, in addition to his normal day job, he also had to keep an eye out for more demon invaders.

While demons burned through most human hosts in a matter of days, some in a matter of hours, they had discovered long ago that under the right circumstances they could ride a reaper. Of course, they couldn’t just worm their way in like they did with humans—they had to be invited. But once a deal was struck? They were in.

And reapers? Yeah, they could hang on for decades inside a reaper. Deacon knew that fact firsthand. His stomach twisted at the thought, but he shook it off, looking ahead with a heavy sigh.

Seriously, this line? Still. Not. Moving?

God, he needed a freakin’ vacation. Extended. He dragged a hand through his hair in frustration as his mind flipped through postcard-esque locations of reapings past. He snarled at the thought of New Orleans in summer. He would definitely want to go someplace cool—cool as in frigid, not hip. He was sick of the heat, and it was only the beginning of summer in the semitropical Midwest.

Come to think of it, he was sick of a lot of things.

This place was high on the list. It was as hot as…well, Hell actually. Or at least what he imagined Hell to be, although he’d never actually been there. Thank God. Steam rose from random cracks in the stone floor of the underground station, veiling the place in a humid sulfur stench.

He pushed forward, finally making his way to the front to deposit his cargo of souls. He didn’t bother chatting. In. Out. Move on. It was a motto that served him well.

Mission completed, he hustled through the crowd, forgoing the bar-side frivolity of some of the more socially inclined reapers and their small talk about their glory days in the field or—even better—the missteps of the newest reapers. Newbies often tested their limits to humorous if not disastrous effect at least once in their early careers. That was exactly why new reapers had mentors or at least worked in teams. From all the laughter, he could tell that the stories were good ones. It didn’t tempt him.

He slapped his palm against the black granite monolith and flashed out of Purgatory to what he prayed was his last stop of the day.

 

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Author Bio:

Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them, because monsters need love too.
She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.

She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.

 

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