Who Are Carina and Marek Anyway? Plus sales, giveaway, and raffle!

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I love writing. Ever since I was little, I’ve spent hours inside my head manipulating stories to the point I would write them down. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, meaning I sit at the computer, stare at a blank page, and release my fingers to the keyboard. The blank page is my canvas. Instead of being intimidated by it, I find the white space beautiful because so much is hidden within that emptiness—dragons, vampires, Critons, new worlds to explore, battles to conquer, and most of all, love.

All my stories involve romance. Romance is the glue that holds my words together.

For years, I wrote stories then “shelved” them so to speak and moved onto the next one. Caller of Light was the first I showed to others, and to my surprise, got published! Since Caller was my first, I thought I’d discuss the main characters and how they originated.

Originally, my hero had the last name of Tremaine, but one morning, I realized King Marek Tremaine was boring and one dimensional. My attempts at reinventing him failed. Anything I created in my mind, didn’t work. I guess I was experiencing a form of writer’s block.

Since Carina didn’t have anyone to interact with, I couldn’t continue the story and set it aside to await inspiration. Two weeks passed, a few things happened, and for the first time, I decided to use something other than my imagination to create my characters. I chose a real person, Gerard Butler, to pose as Marek. Since I didn’t know anything about the guy, I did some research. Found out he’s Scottish! Not that being Scottish is bad; it’s just that if I was going to use him for Marek, the flavor of the book just changed. So, instead of Marek being a Tremaine, he became a Duncan. Instead of living in Trendalin, King Duncan lives in Stirrlan (a play on the Scottish Stirling Castle). He now carries a dirk instead of a dagger and a claymore (two-handed great sword). You get the idea.

Carina McKay was much easier to define. From the beginning, she displayed a down to earth sensitivity that many might mistake for weakness, but in actuality, is strength and courage entwined around a steel spine. She’s the everyday, multi-faceted woman capable of achieving great feats, not afraid to try, and willing to fight to protect those she loves. Even now, her complex, yet contradictory, simplistic character intrigues me.

I wrote Caller of Light in a sweeping, lyrical style that some people love, and some, not so much … but that’s okay. The new release of my paranormal vampire/cop story, Divergent Bloodline, is written in a more traditional style. Why the difference? I’m not sure. I guess that’s what I first saw when I sat down and released my mind and fingers to the blank page staring back at me.

.99 cent sale Caller of Light is on sale for .99 cents at all major retailers until December 18th, the lowest price my publisher has ever offered it!

Half price sale AND Giveaway – The Wild Rose Press is offering the ebook version of my new vampire paranormal release, Divergent Bloodline, for half price from their website only until Saturday, December 12th.

I’m also hosting a giveaway on Goodreads for an autographed paperback of Divergent Bloodline. Easy to enter, and you might win! The giveaway ends Saturday, December, 19th, 2015.

You also have an opportunity to win a digital ebook of Divergent Bloodline in your choice of format from TomeTender.blogspot.com. The raffle ends on December 23rd so head on over to Tome Tender and enter!

Review of Caller of Light by The Violet Hour

Summary Via Goodreads: Carina McKay is an outsider. With one parent of royal blood, she’s not nobility, yet not a servant either. The only comfort in her mundane existence is her love of Critons, the large fire-breathing creatures that protect the border of her homeland. But her destiny changes forever the day she catches the eye of King Marek Duncan.Marek’s heart is closed to love. After an arranged marriage withers to a bitter end, he dedicates his energy to protecting his kingdom. Yet he’s searching for something more–the Caller of Light, the one who summons Critons.Carina’s beauty and willfulness intrigue Marek, and he’s determined to have her. When his enemies try to come between them, he discovers just how much he will endure to protect her. Together, they can unlock a love that binds their souls, but only if they find the strength to follow their hearts.My Review (4.5 out of 5 stars):EEEE!!! This is like AHHHH one of the best fantasies I’ve read in awhile! yay!!! (though I do have to drop it just a half a star for a very personal reason i will get to and I promise its not bad so 4.5)First warning: Kay so I was totally honored by being asked by the lovely T.J. Shaw to read this for a review – exchange stuff. And honesty is the best policy, so that’s that, and lets start this review shhhhhaaalll we?Song Choice: “Always” by Panic! At The Disco, “That’s All” by Michael Buble (Fantasies are a little hard)First thoughts: This. WAS. AWESOME. I am stupid for taking so long to finish this, I did actually read a majority of this in one day but by the time i got about to 75% through the book I was spent, and quite frankly I got super busy 🙁 I had manage to pick up it up here and there and get to read like a page, but I FINALLY, FINALLY got to finish it and it was amazing! I loved this book. It’s a high fantasy – while if you aren’t familiar with fantasy style…maybe this isn’t the best introduction book – I only say that because maybe its just me but i felt that because i am familiar with fantasy i just got things, but i didn’t also feel like i was sitting there reading it going, okay yeah i know all these things… anyways point is OMG AWESOME, there was adventure, kickass characters, suspense, dragon-like creatures, and rooommmmance. :)Thoughts on Plot: This was awesome! There was this really great pace about the book like i mentioned before i pretty much read this book in a day – unfortunately i was also tired that day and just didn’t manage to finish it then. There is always something happening, or something about to happen there isn’t a lot of predictable moments in this book, and really the characters have to something to do with that and thank god for them – but i will get to that in a moment. There are these “dragon” like creatures called Critons, and they are super neat creatures. While they play a big part in the plot there is more going on than that. There is a bit of mystery, a bit of moments were you are like welllll duh! but most times i felt I was going, oh…OH WOW! I haven’t read as much fantasy as i should but this was definitely original, entertaining is and overall awesome. I really did love this. Like i mentioned there is a lot that happens but it doesn’t feel like anything got rushed through, in fact near the end i was wondering when something was going to happen – finally did yay! Okay so now for that pesky half star…I am sorry but the label of mistress really got under my skin, it made my blood boil and made me sort of want to take on the hulking Marek. It’s a personal thing, really sorry. seriously though that would really have to be my only complaint.Characters:Carina: Oh my god I loved her. While with her father and half-sister she was very submissive and sort of acted like she didn’t matter when she was with Marek, and with others she was this lively little thing that was beyond feisty and totally kickass. She didn’t give up, nor did she back down. She was one tough cookie and I loved her. She eventually became so much more too even around her father and half-sister. She was vulnerable when I think it called for it but she was very revolutionary which ‑ahhh sooo much love! It was interesting seeing her break from her shell and being this totally amazing character. A woman of true honor right here.Marek: Holy hulky hot man. Seriously – okay i guess i have one last tiny, itty bitty complaint, in the summary it makes Marek sound like this totally uncaring guy – i don’t think he is, I just think with the pressure of an entire kingdom on his shoulders, and a marriage in the crapper just made him a little elusive. I really, REALLY liked him with Carina he was a totally different guy, he was happier, and just like sort of playful, but still protective, schmexy warrior. He was really awesome i liked him, i liked him a lot.The ending….ohhh my that ending. I thought… well i can’t say… but totes could be another book and i would be totally up for that! But do i feel like it was a super cliffie or anything like that nah. But seriously T.J. give me another book.

via Caller of Light by T.J. Shaw.

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