Thursday, February 28, 2013

New ebook ~ The Never by Kristina Circelli

I'm happy to share with you folks the latest book from Kristina Circelli, The Never. For those wondering, this is why there was no blog yesterday. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)


“Out of nothing, we create something.” 

Arianna has spent her entire life being called a dreamer, an artist who created a world no one else can see. And for her entire life, she has taken the medication that keeps that world – and the one who brought her there – at bay.

 Now an adult, Arianna reawakens that part of herself kept locked away in the darkest corners of her mind. When she hides her medicine from her fiancé’s ever-watchful eye, he returns – the shadow in the night who collects her for an adventure known only in her fantasies.

 But something is different about this world called The Never. It is no longer the cheerful place filled with light and laughter that she knew as a child. Now, the sea creatures drag their visitors into the depths of murky waters. The natives battle to the death against the tribe of children. And the pirates, led by the feared captain called The Hunter, seek out Arianna for their own sinister plans.

As Arianna goes deeper into The Never, she discovers just what her connection to the land means – and must choose between her life rooted in reality, and the world where anything is possible.

Want a little taste? Here'e the Prologue.

Prologue - A Child Dreams

The child sat with her arms crossed, green eyes staring vacantly at the woman before her, mind and imagination in a world not of this realm. The woman, frustrated and bored, watched the girl carefully, tired of this game.

A clock ticked in the background, a steady tick, tick, tick of time that did not exist for the child, but drove the adult to her last frayed nerve. Not even the tranquility of her office, purposely decorated to best set every heart at ease with soft colors and peaceful seascapes, could ease the tension in her shoulders.

“Arianna, we have been through this,” the woman said, speaking the first words of the day. Her voice sounded too high-pitched and nervous, betraying the stern expression her face had settled into. “You cannot keep lying to people. People don’t like lies.”

Those green eyes shifted ever so slightly, latching on to her in an eerie, unsettling way. The woman’s breath caught in her throat, making her next question sound almost frightened. “Can you tell me why you make up these stories?”

The girl hardly moved when she answered. “I don’t tell stories. I tell memories.”

The answer only annoyed the woman more. “Memories of what?”

“Of the land I dream of.”

“And where is this land?” At that, the girl unfolded her arms and slowly raised a hand, curling her fingers until just one was pointing toward the ceiling. “Up? Where is up? Heaven?” The girl only lowered her arm and narrowed her eyes in a way that told the woman exactly what she thought of her. “And who showed you this place?”

“A friend.”

“Does this friend have a name?” The child didn’t answer. “Is he nice to you? Or does he tell you to do bad things?” Another blank stare. “Are you afraid of him?”

“I’m not afraid of my friends.”

“If he is a friend, why does no one else know him?”

“No one else can see him.”

The woman smiled softly, gently touching the girl’s arm. “Because he does not exist.”

“Because they have forgotten how to see,” the child retorted, bitterness in her voice. “He only comes to those who still believe in magic.”

“I see. And who told you to say that?”

“I think for myself.”

The woman sighed, rising to her feet and gesturing to the girl to do the same. “Magic is for children who cannot think for themselves, Arianna. It is time to grow up, and forget these stories. Then you won’t have to see me anymore.” The green eyes locked on her once again, sending a chill down the woman’s back.

“I see you always. But you never see me.”

The girl allowed her mother to tuck her in that night, obeying the soft commands to brush her teeth, put on her pajamas, and slip beneath the sheet. Bedtime was the best time for her, the time when dreams came, when she was visited by memories.

Her mother, a beautiful lady in every sense of the word, pulled up the comforter, smiling down at her daughter. “Tomorrow is a new day, sweetheart,” she said, kissing her on the cheek. She held out her hand. “Here, take this.”

The child looked down at the small blue pill, taking it in her slender fingers. “What is it?”

“To help you sleep,” her mother replied, handing her a glass of water. Not a trace of anger or deception filled her words, as she was a good mother, one who knew what was best for her only child and refused to show distress. “So you won’t have to visit your doctor anymore.” As expected, the oath had her daughter eagerly swallowing the pill, never knowing what truths would come of the broken promises.

“Will I sleep better now?” the girl asked, settling down against her pillows.

“You will sleep like an angel, my beautiful little Arianna, with silk wings and a long, flowing white dress.”

“Will I dream?”

“Of all the most wonderful things in this world.” Her mother leaned over and kissed her daughter on the forehead. “Sweet dreams, my love.”

But on that night, the little girl didn’t dream at all.

If you would like to read more, check out the sample chapter. If you'd like to buy it, it's available for Kindle or Nook.

You can lean more about Kristina and all her books on her website, blog, Facebook or Twitter

Monday, February 25, 2013

Trey from the upcoming novel by Magan Vernon ~ Character Monday

Today I’d like to welcome Trey from Magan Vernon’s The Only Exception

Ok, to get things started, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.
Okay *clears throat, straightens collar* My name is Trey Chapman, yes the governor's son. I'm a sophomore Political science major at Central College with a concentration in State and Local Government. I have to older brothers, Tripp and Trigg, and am a member at large of Alpha Mu fraternity.

What makes you tick? What made you who you are today? 
 I'd have to say my strong values and political beliefs. That and my ability to compromise.

What would you say is your greatest strength? 
My quick wit. My girlfriend would probably say that's my biggest weakness, but don't listen to her...unless of course she is reading this interview.

Tell me about the person you’re the closest to.
That's a tough one. I guess at this point I'd have to say my girlfriend, Monica Remy. I've told her things I've never told anyone else and she still loves me. Even with all my faults the girl still gets me and keeps me around.

How do you feel about your life as it is today?
I think it's completely different than what I would have expected. If my dad would have had his way I would be at Dartmouth, leading some underground secret boys club and handing out pamphlets to random people on the street about the importance of voting. Instead, I'm still in college and still in a fraternity but it doesn't consume my whole life. Monica taught me that. Politics isn't everything.

What is the most rewarding thing in your life right now? 
 Using my father's political standing for good. In a weird way, I don't think my relationship with Monica would have been the same if it wasn't for the fact that my dad was the governor. But for more on that you just have to read The Only Exception.

What is your favorite memory?
*whispers* Is Monica reading this? Okay good. The day I first met her she was the prettiest girl I'd ever seen. She didn't want me to give her the time of the day, but I sort of, in a non-creeper-way followed her to Mario's where she went for dinner and just plopped down across from her. If I didn't take a chance and put myself out there I wouldn't have ever met her. She still hates me for it.

What’s Your Worst?
*Author Magan Vernon comes in yelling * NO SPOILERS. *Trey looks dumbfounded* Oh, okay. Um, well I kind of got in a big fight with my girlfriend. It got really heated and political and I made an ass of myself for it. I will never forgive myself for that.

What do you like to do for fun?
Watch a lot of news channels, taking long drives, dancing, chess, and watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Pardon my French, but Nene is cray cray.

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
Monica. Yes, it's cheesy. The first time I saw her she was standing in the hallway balancing a box that was way too big for her. I first heard her sexy voice and then saw her mound of red hair. I'd been a fan of redheads ever since my first Spiderman comic and when I saw Monica I knew that I had to take the chance and talk to the redheaded beauty or forever hold my piece.

What is your favorite feature in the opposite sex?
I could be crass and say what I'm really thinking, but I'll go with the non-physical and say a girl with her own opinion is incredibly sexy. Someone who just doesn't go with the crowd and does what she wants. That and if she has a great ass...

What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I've been really into Mumford and Sons lately. They have an old Irish band feel. That and classical music, it reminds me of bath tubs and bubbles and other things...

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What turns you on?
Well, that's a little personal isn't it? If you must know, lip biting. Whether she's biting my lip or her own, there is something incredibly sexy about the nibbling.

What turns you off?
When someone needs to use a lot of cursing, whether it's in their daily discussions or during intimate moments, it's just not needed.

What sound or noise do you love?
"I voted republican"

What sound or noise do you hate? 
"Voting is for saps."

What is your favorite curse word? 
I'm not much of a swearing person. I feel that the same thing could be said without cursing.

What profession (other than your own) would you like to attempt? 
I'd like to get into politics, like my dad, but if that doesn't work out I've always wanted to be a teacher. It's not exactly politics, but teaching someone and showing them your views is just as rewarding.

What profession would you not like to do?
Sports announcer. I can't follow all that.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 
"Here, pants are optional."

You can learn more about Trey in The Only exception, available April 9th. 

Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber conservative governor's son, Trey Chapman. No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her. A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.

**Due to sexual content and heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 16+**

Add it on Goodreads now.

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman. You can stalk... I mean follow Magan on Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Indie-licious Blog Hop Teaser

This teaser is from my newest work, which doesn't have a name yet. I want to have this one out by Halloween so my costume this year will make sense. This is unedited and rough, so please keep that in mind.

“I guess I’ll start by saying I shouldn't have to pay for the sins of my father. Or in this case, my mother. Yes, my name is Ophelia Cleopatra.” I paused for the obligatory giggle. “Get it all out of your systems so we can move past it.” I waited a moment for the giggles to die out before continuing. I hate having to stand up and talk about myself like this. How do I sum myself up in a few words? “My mom has an unhealthy obsession with the bard.” I closed my eyes at some of the blank expressions in the room. “Shakespeare?” Light dawned in their Neanderthal eyes. “I used to be a ballet dancer, and I hate speaking in front of large groups.”

So that's what I have for you today. Feel free to check out the other amazingly talented authors on the hop by clicking the link below.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Twitter is a tool, not a weapon

This week for Writer Wednesday, I want to talk about Twitter. It's a great social tool, with fast paced conversations. It's a great way to connect with friends and fans alike. The problem most people have (including me) is that there's a lot of chatter going back and forth, and no one is really listening to anyone else. It's sort of like a cocktail party; all the cool people have giant circles of people with everyone hanging on their every word, and then there's several smaller clusters engaged in relevant conversation, with people occasionally wandering between different groups. Then you got your wall flowers, the shy folks who don't want to be rude and butt in but don't want to leave either. I often feel like one of those, randomly throwing things out there, hoping to catch someones interest but usually just going unnoticed. And perhaps all my social issues growing up color my perception of my effectiveness, but that's a whole 'nother blog.

So how do you get people to notice you? Well, I can't speak for the world, but I can speak for myself. And I've found by talking to others that a lot of people share my opinions. So don't take this as the official tried and true information, just some things to consider that I would like to see more of on Twitter

1) Don't auto-follow
You're trying to connect on Twitter, so how does an auto-follow help, anyway? There are so many interesting people out there, I'm not going to follow everyone and their brother just because they follow me. 

2) Have an interesting description
This on is so important I feel like it deserves it's own place on the list. I can't tell you how many people I go to look at their profile and there's no description or worse, just a link and a couple hashtags. You're description is your first chance to tell me "I'm worth listening to." Do you really want the first thing I learn about you to be "#writer #YA #ebook" and a bitly link to some site I guarentee I'm never going to look at? I don't know what kind of person you are or if your account has been hacked and is now spam-tastic.

3) Have a picture
If your Twitter picture is an egg or some illegible attempt to use a cover, I'm going to keep scrolling. Someone who can't even stop marketing long enough to show a little personality isn't going to say anything I want to listen to.

4) Lay off the links
If all you share is links, I will tune you out. Share a quote, repeat a funny joke. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you can certainly reuse one of good quality. Every post shouldn't be a link to something.

5)Be relevant
I pay attention to things I'm interested in. Everyone does. Books are only one of my interests. Why don't you try talking about one of my other ones?

6) Be witty
If you make me laugh, I want to know you. That's just the kind of person I am. The first thing that attracted me to my husband was his sense of humor. Share your funny thoughts, your silliness, or the groaner you heard on the radio.You appreciated it enough to share. Someone else probably will too.

7) Be real
This is so important. Don't pretend to be something you're not. Just be yourself. I know that's the hokey advice  your mom gave you, but you know what? It's true and effective, so give it a try.

8) Don't be repetitive
Don't keep tweeting "Buy my book!" "Read my blog!" or "Look at this link." That's the quickest way to get me to click the "unfollow" button. Say it once and leave it. If it doesn't get you anywhere, try something else. The definition of insanity is repeating the same process expecting a different result.

Remember, to effectively use Twitter, you should be connecting with people, not shoving your information down their throats. People who get to know you will be honestly interested in you and by extension your books. The marketing will happen on it's own. Have fun on Twitter and people will notice.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mycha from Sweet Oblivion by Bailey Ardisone

Let’s give a warm welcome to this week’s character Monday guest, Mycah from Sweet Oblivion by Bailey Ardisone.

Ok, to get things started, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.
Alright, Love. I'm Mycah currently from Chicago but originally I grew up in many other places, mostly England, so please don't mind the accent ;)
Since I'm constantly being hunted by two different types of evil, I'm just trying to figure out how to stay alive so that I can keep the world from ending, ya know, nothing much really.

What makes you tick? What made you who you are today? 
I'd have to say the evilness I was dealt with at such a young age has put a whole new spin on my outlook of life. But my Guardian Ender really fortified the person I am today and made me better for everyone's sake.

What would you say is your greatest strength? 
Everything, Love ;)

Tell me about the person you’re the closest to. 
After my Guardian left me I basically grew up alone and have pretty much stuck to myself. But I can't quite get the girl with the violet eyes out of my head ;)

How do you feel about your life as it is today? 
I love life in general and have a strong desire to protect it and everyone in it. As for my life specifically, well it is a bit messy at the moment but perhaps if you ask me that in a few years I'll have a different answer.

What is the most rewarding thing in your life right now? 
Having the ability to save and protect the girl I love.

What is your favorite memory? 
It's a toss up between my first taste of ice cream and the moment I first laid eyes on Nariella. Oh, who am I kidding.
It's the ice cream.
Ha! Just teasin you, Love. It's definitely when I first saw Nariella.

What’s Your Worst?
My first kill. Definitely. That is not something I relish in.

What do you like to do for fun?
Read. My nose is always stuck in a book. It is my only escape to my otherwise dreary life and responsibilities.

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? 
I have literally been all over the world and back, some of the places I've seen would even blow your  mind. But, even after all of that, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen is none other than Nariella Woodlinn.

What is your favorite feature in the opposite sex?
Eyes. They can tell you so much with just one glimpse.

What kind of music do you like to listen to? 
I prefer piano and cello most of the time but there is a side of me that likes the harder punk genre too. I think it all depends on my mood for the day.

What is your favorite word?
Oh, jeez! You sure like to ask the toughies don't you, Darling ;) I've always found the word 'discombobulated' hilarious. But there are just so many words that I absolutely love, do I really have to pick just one?!

What is your least favorite word?
Can 'Ray' count as a word? I don't like that bloke.

What turns you on? 
Sweetness and confidence, even if the girl doesn't think she has any and has to pretend. I know it's there though. I can feel it.

What turns you off? 
Selfishness and stupidity

What sound or noise do you love? 
Besides Nariella saying my name? ;) Her gasping from surprise or pleasure is always nice to hear as well...

What sound or noise do you hate?
Any time the gears grind in my lovely Alpha Romeo *shudders*

What is your favorite curse word? 
Pretty much any word if you put 'bloody' in front of it!

What profession (other than your own) would you like to attempt?
I think I'd like to be a writer if I wasn't busy saving the world.

What profession would you not like to do?
I wouldn't want to be stuck in an office/desk job. I'd go stir crazy in a matter of minutes.

If you want to learn more about Mycah? You can find him in book one of the Sweet Series by Bailey Ardisone, Sweet Oblivion.

sweet adjective ˈswēt a : pleasing to the mind or feelings : AGREEABLE, GRATIFYING - often used as a generalized term of approval ​ 

obliv·i·on noun ə-ˈbli-vē-ən, ō-, ä- 1: the fact or condition of forgetting or having forgotten; esp : the condition of being oblivious 2: the condition or state of being forgotten or unknown ​ 

Have you ever wanted to forget? Nariella Woodlinn has. Many times. Especially when her already frustrating life gets turned upside down by a mysterious boy who randomly shows up in her small town and she can’t seem to understand anything about him, despite how much she tries. ​Nari hates everything about her life except for her best friend Rydan, but now that they’ve been separated during their senior year of high school, she has to learn to make new friends without him. When strange unexplainable phenomenons start becoming an every day part of her life, Nari struggles to come to grips with reality. And with love. ​ 

Naminé has responsibilities. Duties. It is her obligation to fulfill all that is asked of her by their King. But when a glimmer of hope is introduced to her by a prisoner she tends to and it means life or death for her and her people, she does all that she can to turn that hope into reality and finally end the vicious war that has been ensuing since she was born. Even if that means keeping it secret from her King. Even if it means carrying out the biggest betrayal against the King ever seen during her time. ​ She has hope. She will fulfill her duty. She will not let her people down.

Available for $0.99 from AmazoniTunes and Smashwords until February 17 when it goes back to $2.99 so hurry and get yours while it's still on sale. Feel free to add it to your shelves on Goodreads. You can learn more at the website or Facebook. You can tweet Bailey on Twitter @BaileyArdisone.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Indie-licious blog hop teaser

This week for a teaser, I have a snippet from Better Nature for you. I'm still working on edits and hope to have it published in May.

"I still have plenty of battles you can fight for me. Just not this one."

He frowned, his eyes refusing to meet mine. "But you know I'm here to help, right?"

I patted him on the shoulder. "I know. And as soon as I have a dragon for you to slay, I'll polish your shining armor myself."

He grinned, but I could tell by the look in his eyes we would be revisiting this conversation. "Sir Xander. It has a ring to it, you know?"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Research fail ~ Fantasy Friday

As I started working on the nameless project I was planning to write, To Grandmother's House We Go suddenly popped back into my head with a new twist. The question was, could I pull it off? There was only one way to know for sure. To the internet!

I Googled until my fingers were nubs (ok, slight exageration) and a couple things became clear. 1) I spend way too much time Googling the strangest things and 2) There isn't a lot of reputable sites on gypsy magic. How can that be? Gypsy's have been a part of books and movies for so long, there has to be some sort of resource out there. The problem is that the Romani tradition (because gypsy is actually considered a slur) is an oral tradition only for the Roma. So I gathered what little I could find, read a couple books of the theme and watched some television shows and movies and filled in the rest with my own ideas. Hopefully the result will be amazing, but only time will tell. And if you know some that I don't list here, please share. I like to get as many facts as possible before I twist them to suit me.

Since I can't find information on Chuvani (Roma witches) and I can't share much about the Twisted Ones without giving too many spoilers, I'll share what I can: my cover and blurb.

Centuries ago, a covenant was made between the Chuvani and the Twisted Ones. Now in a rural community by Jubilee State Park, the old agreement will be broken.

Nadya Pietrangelo comes from a long line of gypsy witches. Now her grandmother's dementia has gotten so severe she is forced to move her into a nursing home. Nadya must travel to her grandparents' house, to pack it up and get it ready to sell before the taxes bankrupt her. But when she arrives, she discovers more than just nick knacks and furniture. Forgotten memories from a terrifying night in her childhood begin to resurface as a handsome stranger from her past reappears.

As the past she'd forgotten begins to repeat itself, Nadya must stand alone against the Twisted Ones to protect humanity and the ancient agreement that is all that stands between the world and chaos. Can she do the unthinkable and restore the balance or will the Twisted Ones enslave her as they tried to centuries ago?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Haunting Season (Michelle Muto) Review

Wednesdays are all about all things writing here at Sharp Words, so this week I simply had to review the book I just finished with you all, The Haunting Season, by Michelle Muto. I know I've mentioned it before, but I wanted to go in depth because it was SOOOOO GOOD!

The Blurb:

Be careful what you let in...

Siler House has stood silent beneath Savannah's moss-draped oaks for decades. Notoriously haunted, it has remained empty until college-bound Jess Perry and three of her peers gather to take part in a month-long study on the paranormal. Jess, who talks to ghosts, quickly bonds with her fellow test subjects. One is a girl possessed. Another just wants to forget. The third is a guy who really knows how to turn up the August heat, not to mention Jess's heart rate...when he's not resurrecting the dead.

The study soon turns into something far more sinister when they discover that Siler House and the dark forces within are determined to keep them forever. In order to escape, Jess and the others will have to open themselves up to the true horror of Siler House and channel the very evil that has welcomed them all.

My thoughts:

Five stars for sure! 

This book had my pulse racing late into the night, but I could not put it down When I was done reading for the night, I had to read a second book or play games until my pulse slowed so I could sleep. The story was fast paced with relatable characters with a depth that I was eager to explore. I found myself yelling, laughing out loud and even crying a little. I've rarely been moved by a book the way I was for this one. Michelle has created a world so vivid that I felt like I was in Siler House, desperately struggling with the others. 

This book is intense, so if you are afraid of the dark, read it in the afternoon. I recommend a chaser, to provide a stopgap between pulse-pounding action and sleep, but I highly encourage you to read it. You'll never look at mirrors the same way again.

The last thing I'd like to add is a bit spoilery, so don't read it if you don't want to. In my humble opinion, I think Jess should have opened up a Supernatural can of whop ass and burned them bone! 

If I've intrigued you, check out The Haunting Season in paperback or for Kindle, Nook, or lots of other formats. Feel free to add it to your shelves on Goodreads.You can find Michelle on her blogFacebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Click to Subscribe" (L.M. Augustine) Cover Reveal

I am so excited to be part of the cover reveal for an up and coming author, L.M. Augustine. His debut novel, a YA romance, Click to Subscribe is set to release April 2013.

Cover Design by Allie Brennan

1,135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them. 

 As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I <3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she'd have on. 

To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him.

Intrigued? Add it on Goodreads.

You can connect with L.M. through his blog, Twitter, or Facebook

Some Things:
To celebrate the cover reveal… there is a giveaway! Note: ARCs won’t be ready until late March/early April, but if you win one, you will be the first to get it. (All of the winners will be emailed a day after the giveaway ends.)

For those of you interested in the book, check the author’s Facebook page and blog (links above) because he will be posting a number of excerpts of CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE throughout the week.

And to anyone reading this: thank you! Your support seriously means so much to me. (Me = the awkward author, L.M., who has raided this blog for the day. MUAHAHA!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 11, 2013

Whisper Legacy Character Monday

Today I’d like to give a warm welcome to our guest Whisper from Kristina Circelli’s Whisper Legacy Series.

Ok, to get things started, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself.
I was named Kanegv by my grandfather, a respected Cherokee Elder. To my people, Tsalagi, my name speaks of my heritage and our long line of Speakers. To the white man, I am known as Whisper, the strange one who hears whispers on the wind. I am no longer of the white man’s world, and have taken my rightful place as ruler of the Land of the Dead.

What makes you tick? What made you who you are today?
I was raised for slaughter, destined for a fate beyond the living realm. This knowledge fueled me as a child and shaped my being. My grandfather, the Elder Smoke Speaker, taught me to walk the Red Road and stay true to my people, so that I could save those who did not even believe in our ways.

What would you say is your greatest strength?
Too many believe themselves to be more than what they are. I know who and what I am, and I follow the path set before me with conviction. I fight with everything that I am to remain true to the Red Road.

Tell me about the person you’re the closest to.
There is no salvation for those who choose this path, and the ones we hold dear to our hearts often slip away in blood and destruction. I do not hold close acquaintances, except for the one bound to me by the power of the medicine wheel. Hunting Hawk was once a guard for the enemy and now is forever joined with me in heart, mind, and soul. He is a strong War Chief, and serves the spirit realm well.

How do you feel about your life as it is today?
Much has happened on the Red Road. I have seen war between enemies, death caused by my own hand, power greater than any a mere mortal could ever understand. We are surrounded by darkness and always threatened by destruction, but such is the path fate has laid before us. This was the life I was raised to die for, and I choose to live it well.

What is the most rewarding thing in your life right now?
The child, Anya, is the light in the darkness. She is the reason why the Great War began, and the reason why it finally came to an end. Her innocence and natural power will be our salvation.

What is your favorite memory?
I took my life to walk the Red Road, knowing what awaited me in the spirit realm. I was groomed for the moment I would enter the Land of the Dead and destroy the one who abused his power and turned his back on his people. Taking his place atop the Fire Tower, the War Chief Hunting Hawk at my side, was the moment I knew that all the pain, all the uncertainty, all the sacrifices made in my living life, were worth my while.

What’s Your Worst?
This realm takes the ones we love most. For all my power, I allowed myself a moment of weakness and stole the life of someone who trusted me. It is a mistake I pay for to this very day, and one that I have vowed to avenge until my final breath. It is why I now seek the Land of Second Deaths and battle the Great Beast, Ukenta, in hopes of restoring a soul taken too soon.

What do you like to do for fun?
The Land of the Dead is a demanding realm. Every moment is dedicated to the spirits in need of guidance. Few moments are allowed for peace, and those I spent riding atop my trusted friend, Eagle, as we soar the sky in search of danger or lost souls.

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
As we pass into the spirit world, we pray, “Let me walk in beauty, and may my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.” It is the sight none forget, even when their souls have forgotten the life they once held dear. Few things in the living or spirit realms are more beautiful than the Western Sun in its natural form.

What is your favorite feature in the opposite sex?
A man must be strong, able to defend his family. He must be steadfast in his convictions and loyal to the one he serves. I have no need for the weak-bodied or weak-minded.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I was introduced to the white man’s music in my living life. As I did then, I choose to listen only to the music of my people. The flutes and drums tell us stories, and the stories tell us all we need to know.

What is your favorite word? your least favorite ?
Words are powerful, the lifeblood of our souls. There is no perfect or imperfect word. They must be respected and held tightly, or else they will betray us in our time of need.

What turns you on?
Lust is for the weak. It has no place in the heart of the Land of the Dead’s ruler.
What turns you off?
Weakness. Deceit. Fear.

What sound or noise do you love?
Silence. It is a sound I rarely hear. The whispers of the world are always traveling the winds, and as the ruler of this realm, it is my duty to listen. To always listen, and let those voices guide me.

What sound or noise do you hate?
Silence. It means the whispers have abandoned me, and I am alone in this world.

What is your favorite curse word?
My grandfather taught me the English language, and he taught me well. To be taken seriously in the white man’s world, he said, one must speak better than the enemy. He taught me to put power in my words without needing to curse. I choose my words carefully and show power with them, not weakness.

What profession (other than your own) would you like to attempt?
There is no other profession than my place as ruler of the Land of the Dead. Such is my destiny, and such will always be my focus. I was raised for this duty and I do not allow myself the luxury of dreaming outside of my fate.

What profession would you not like to do?
I was groomed into what I am for one single purpose. Without my title, I am nothing but a spirit lost in the Land of the Dead.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
The Great Spirit, Unelanvhi, exists in the glory that others envision, and his Spirit World is the sanctuary so many pray to reach. I have met Creator at his gates and he at mine, in times of both war and peace. We are not allies, but neither are we enemies. Creator has denounced my bloodline and cast me out of his realm. I have taken from him the only thing he ever dreamed of for himself - the child, Anya. She is the bond of peace between us. Without her, Creator and I have forsaken one another.

Want to learn more about Whisper and the Land of the Dead? Check out the Whisper Legacy books, Beyond the Western Sun and Walk the Red Road.

 A gripping journey into the heart of Native American legend, "Beyond the Western Sun" follows the epic struggle of Whisper, a young female Cherokee apprentice, on a harrowing adventure into the Land of the Dead to save the captive son of Ian Diavya. Together they face insurmountable odds, conquer terrible demons, and in the process, find a strength and courage within themselves neither knew possible. What they don't know is that these early adventures are only tests, for to save Ian's son, they must also stop the evil-minded Raven-Eater from unleashing his Army of the Dead to destroy the living world. 

As the Army of the Dead marches closer to the Western Sun, as Whisper leads them deeper into the Land of the Dead, and as the truth behind Cole's death is slowly revealed, Ian discovers that the fate of both worlds depends on his courage, his humility, and the life of his son.

An epic saga of hope, redemption, and undying love, Beyond the Western Sun is what all fantasy adventures must strive to be: a complex, intricate examination of human emotion set within the context of worlds known only in our imagination. And in this regard, Beyond the Western Sun is a stunning achievement. Melding fantasy and legend in an epic quest, the third novel of her young career signals the arrival of Kristina Circelli as a master storyteller. Creating the indelible character of Whisper, vividly portraying the worlds that she and Ian must traverse to accomplish their goal, and capturing their human frailties, hopes and fears with depth and touching sincerity, Circelli reminds us with stunning precision the greatness we are all capable of, and the heavy price our actions can rend.

Kristina Circelli is the author of several fiction novels, including The Whisper Legacy books, The Sour Orange Derby, and The Helping Hands series. A descendent of the Cherokee nation, Circelli holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida.

Her novel Beyond the Western Sun is steeped in the spoken narratives of Native American lore, and is at once a gripping story of a father's love and his search for redemption as well as a written record of a Nation's belief system. Part adventure, part myth, and altogether riveting, the third novel from Kristina Circelli signifies the emergence of an important voice in Native American literature.

From her extraordinary ability to vividly create heretofore-unknown worlds to her engaging prose, Circelli's Beyond the Western Sun is a landmark novel from one of the freshest new voices in all of contemporary American fiction.

Western Sun is available in paperback or for Kindle. You can also add it to your shelves on Goodreads.

Walk the Red Road can be found in paperback or Kindle. Don’t forget to add it to your shelves, too. And keep your eyes open for book three, Into the Shadow Realm, coming soon.

You can find Kristina on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter or you can email her at