Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Night Glimmer by Steve Weagraff : Interview & Excerpt

The covens are at war.

They wage a deadly battle over one small relic, an artifact of immense power shaped by the most powerful witch in history. Seeing the artifact in a vision and desperate to find it before his ancient dark enemies, Marcus Croft moves his coven to San Francisco to continue the search.

But the battle follows them there and the whole coven is pulled into the conflict including Marcus’ adopted son Aidan. Born both a witch and a vampire, he is the coven’s most powerful warrior destroying any of the dark witches or their vampire servants he finds. Sworn to protect humans, Aidan is torn between his indifference to them and his guilt over killing his own kind; lost to anything but the thrill of the hunt.

All of this changes when he meets Tess, a young college student. As their relationship grows, Aidan finds that his undeveloped powers of witchcraft begin to manifest. But events spin out of control when Tess is almost killed by an agent of the dark coven. To save her, Aidan must reveal his true nature.

As the attacks increase, he and Tess find themselves caught up in a desperate search across two continents for the elusive artifact. Guided by a spell bound set of clues, they must pass a deadly series of tests to prove they are worthy of the artifact. The two covens collide in a final battle and Aidan discovers he must make a terrible decision that could destroy them both.

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Aiden is a rare being, born half vampire, half witch; his supernatural powers were suppressed by means of a complicated spell for his safety and the safety of others when he was just a few days old. When he turns nineteen, the suppression spell finally dissipates, and Aiden discovers that he is a possible lynchpin in an ongoing battle that has raged for eons. Then he meets Tess, a human unlike any he has ever known, and Aiden realizes that no challenge is too great when it comes to protecting Tess and ensuring her safety.

This story began extremely well. It hooked me quickly. Aiden is a fantastically likeable hero who is lucky to have an extended family both supportive and protective of him. I always enjoy the idea of a hidden supernatural society and this story is no exception to that.
  Read the Entire Review on Night Owl

This is an excerpt from the novel soon after Tess and Aidan become involved. Aiden is struggling with where the relationship is going. He is planning to break things off to protect her but the next turn of events brings him to a new realization about Tess.

A look of horror and disbelief passed over Tess’s face.

I grabbed Tess and tossed her over my shoulder. I stepped back and then leap into the air. As I jumped, I heard Tess hit the ground hard behind me. The werewolf growled and jumped. We hit each other in midair and fell back to the ground. We twisted and leapt again into the air, each of us trying to gain advantage.

 I felt his claws tear into my shoulder. He threw me against a wall then turned toward Tess. I jumped and twisted in the air again. Rage engulfed me, anger that he would threaten her. I felt strength surge in me. I grabbed him again and threw us both against the wall. I pinned him and grabbed his head. Thirst surged through me mixing with the rage. I pulled his head to the side and when his neck was exposed, I sank my teeth into it,

Blood sprayed into my mouth. As I held him in my grip, I drank deep. Finally his struggles ceased and I let him fall. The creature transformed and a man’s dead form lay on the ground.

“Aidan,” I heard Tess say.

I turned around and saw it in her eyes, the look of complete horror. She was shaking her head as if to make the sight go away. Then I understood. I put my hand to my mouth. Blood was dripping down my chin. I looked back up and she fainted.

I wiped my mouth and hands on what was left of the dead creatures shirt and I jumped to Tess.

Oh God, Please, please don’t let her be hurt, I thought,

I picked her up. She had a small cut on the back of her head. When I pulled my hand back her blood was all over it. The smell of her blood was overpowering. I closed my eyes and felt tthe thirst surge. For just a moment, I hesitated then regained my control. I could feel the stillness and the thirst disappeared.

I listened and I could hear her heart, she was still breathing but I needed to get her to the hospital. I tore my shirt and applied it to the cut for a minute. The bleeding seemed to stop.

But the creature’s body, I needed to get rid of the body. I had torn open his neck and we couldn’t afford to have an autopsy. With everything going on it would lead to too many questions . It would wind up in the paper and Tess might find out. I laid Tess down and pulled the creature’s body into the alley. I checked his pockets. There was nothing but a door key. I took the key and set the body over to the side next to the wall. Only one way to dispose of it, I needed witch fire. That’s the only way to destroy a witches body. I had to try.

I bent down over the body and held out my hand. Nothing.

Please, I thought, just this once let it work. I cleared my mind. Nothing. I starting to panic, I had to get her to the hospital. I exhaled and tried again. Nothing.

Then, I thought of Tess. I had to do this for her. I took a deep breath and focused. I felt it then, the connection. I looked down. A small blue flame danced in the palm of my hand. I dropped it on the body and immediately the creature was engulfed by it. It didn’t flame, it just seemed to flow over and into it. Then it faded and nothing was left but gray ash. A wind blew through the alley and then there was nothing.

I ran back, grabbed Tess and sprinted to the car. I got her strapped in and headed as fast as I could to the hospital. I put my jacket on to hide my torn shirt. I was flying down the road when she came to.

“Aidan,” she said.

“I’m here,” I said.

Her eyes opened, they were a little groggy then a look of fright appeared. “I saw a thing, a monster.” Her eyes darted around. For a second she didn’t know where she was. I had to get her calmed down.

“Tess, listen, you hit your head. You’re in the car. I’m taking you to the hospital.”

She touched the back of her head. “Ouch,” she said.

“But the monster.”

I had to make something up, fast.

“Tess, listen, a man came out of the alley when I went back to get my phone. He had a big dog, a really big German Shepard. The dog jumped on you and knocked you down. You fell down a step and hit the back of your head.“

She shook her head, “I don’t understand. What happened?

She blinked her eyes, “I thought you were breaking up with me and then this weird guy shows up. I didn’t see any dog. What I saw was that weird man turn into a monster and then you were fighting with it. You had blood on your face.”

She reached up and touched my face with a slight dazed look in her eyes. I reached up and took her hand.

“Tess, listen, didn’t you say you had watched a scary movie last night? Some werewolf movie? I think you’re mixing them up. You really hit your head hard. Please just lay still, I’ll have you to the hospital in just a minute.”

I saw the emergency room sign just a head. I pulled into the hospital and parked. I picked her up and sprinted into the ER.

When I got there a nurse took one look at her head and took her right back in a wheelchair. She told me to wait in the lobby.

In a few minutes a young man came out and asked me some questions. I explained the dog and that she had fallen down a step and hit her head then fainted. He took everything down. I paid them with my credit card and they told me to wait in a waiting room.

As I came in, I saw the room was full of humans. A lot of very anxious families. Some men paced, other family members sat trying to console each other. I could tell they were were all frightened of what could happen to their loved ones. I found a seat in the back.

I sat there for a long time just watching them.

It was then that I realized something. Humans were not really that different from us. Sure there were physical differences, some fundamental but sitting here, watching them, I realized that these people were just like me; worried about someone they loved. Those lives meant as much to them as Tess meant to me. I understood what Mora said, but I knew that my situation was not the same as hers. 

I knew then what I had to do. Up to this point, I had tried to do everything by myself, make every decision. But that really wasn’t fair. I never gave Tess a chance with the truth. Everything had been built on a lie and I was still lying to her. I knew now that that had to stop. She deserved to know the truth regardless of the circumstances or the outcome. She deserved a choice. I owed her that.

It was an anxious time. I paced, waiting like everyone else. I strained to hear what was going on but there were too many noises. For all my abilities, I was as powerless as rest of the people in this room. In this terrible regard, we were all the same.

Finally they called me back into a small examining room. Tess sat on the table. A older woman doctor was standing next to her.

“How you feeling?” I asked as I entered the room.

“Better, my head’s a little sore,” Tess said.

“Are you the boyfriend?” the doctor asked.

“Yes, yes I am,” I said looking at Tess.

The doctor finished writing in her chart and said, “She’s had a rough night young man. She took a bad fall. There is a small cut on the back of her head and her back is bruised. The cut wasn’t big enough to stitch and there’s no sign of a concussion so you can take her home but someone needs to watch her for the next twenty four hours. If she gets sick to her stomach or gets dizzy or has any problems seeing or hearing you need to bring her right back. Make sure she gets plenty of rest and drinks plenty of fluids. She may have a slight headache for a day or so. You can give her Tylenol but nothing stronger. If she gets a really bad headache or has any other symptoms, you bring her back here, understand. Now, these same instructions are on the discharge papers. You two have any questions?”

“No, I don’t,” I said nodding.

She looked at Tess, “How about you Tess, any questions?”

“No, none for you,” she said, looking at me.

“Then you two are free to go. Watch her, boyfriend.”

“I will, I promise. Thank you very much, Doctor Bates.”

“See that you do. Remember bring her back if there are any problems. Take care Tess.”

The doctor walked out of the room.

I picked up her discharge papers and we headed to the car.

“I am so sorry about all this Tess.”

As soon as we were outside Tess said in a hushed tone, “I’m fine. But my memory is groggy. I don’t remember any dog jumping on me. What I remember is a guy turned into some weird animal right in front of me and next thing I know you are fighting with that thing. I saw you jump like twenty feet in the air then wrestle that thing. to the ground. That’s what I remember. It’s crazy but that’s what I remember. I didn’t tell them that or they would lock me up for sure.”

“Tess, listen, the doctor said you hit your head really hard. You fell off a step backwards!You’re bound to be groggy. I think your mind is mixing up the movie you saw last night. Let me get you home and let you get some rest. Let’s do what the doctor says, ok?

“I promise tomorrow I’l come pick you up and we can finish this whole conversation. Doctors orders remember.”

“Well what about this complication stuff.” I could tell she was getting angry again.

“That was just talk Tess. I was just rambling. Can we talk about that tomorrow? I’m very worried about you and I feel responsible for what happened. I really want you to rest. Here let me put on some of my old music and you can just relax a bit while I drive you home. No more talking.”

“Ok, first you’re superman on the slopes and now you’re that doctor on ER. A girl just can’t catch a break with you.”

“Not when it comes to your health.”

“Ok, lets hear your stuff but I am not sleeping.”
I selected a symphony from Brahms. She was asleep in under a minute.

Tell us about your current release.

Night Glimmer is a supernatural thriller with a strong romantic theme. The book has two main subplots. First it’s a great action story that traces the conflict between two covens each made up of both vampires and witches. They are both searching for an ancient artifact that holds immense power and the secret to their past and future.

The second theme is a romantic relationship between the two main characters, Aidan a vampire/witch hybrid and Tess a young college student. Their relationship explores how the path to self-knowledge is really a journey of self-sacrifice and how love can be a transforming power for understanding. The questions they have about themselves are answered through the sacrifices they make for each other.

So the book has something for everyone.

What’s unique about your novel?

Night Glimmer is not your traditional vampire romance. Witchcraft plays a predominate role in the novel. It also has a thread of mystery running through it, as the characters have to decipher a lot of clues to discover the artifact’s hiding place.

The book also contains a lot of fast paced action as the characters have numerous interactions with the other coven. So between the action and the mysteries you gain a unique perspective on these supernatural characters. So in this respect, it’s not your typical romance.

Tell us about your next release.

The book ends with a few open questions that I will answer in the sequel. In the next book the underpinnings of this conflict between the covens will be explored and a new history of these magical beings will be developed that explains where vampires come from, their relationship to witches and how the conflict between the covens is actually much more ancient and deadly than they think.

All of this however will be developed through the on-going relationship of Aidan and Tess and the other members of their coven. The next book will have even more action than the last. It should be a fast and fun read.

Does your significant other read your stuff?

Oh Yes. Beth was my strongest supporter and read multiple iterations of the book. She sacrificed a lot of long evenings and weekends for me to complete the novel. I couldn’t have done it without her.

The book also contains a lot of very strong female characters. Both Beth and my daughter fit that description! So I wove some aspects of them into the main characters.

Does travel play in the writing of your books?

It does. Using travel, the writer can place his characters in new and sometimes difficult places. This allows for new elements of their personality to manifest that were not seen before. Travel is a great tool to explore new patterns of behavior. It’s like taking a trip with someone. When you do that, you quickly learn new things about them, both good and bad.  

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I don’t have a set formula per se. I find that I sort of tell the story to myself and as I do that, new characters or plot twists seem to just jump out. Walking also seems to help me generate new ideas.

Another thing that really helps is music. I find that if I associate a character with a specific song or band, it helps the character seem more alive and they are much easier to relate to. When I am going to write a section where that character plays an important role, I listen to that song a couple of times and it seems to make the work easier.

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

I love being in the moment when the characters seem to come alive. When you lose yourself in the story, it’s like you are transported to a different place. When you are in that moment, that new place is so clear and vibrant. It just makes you feel more alive.

The world generally astonishes me and sometimes I even write about it.

I love fiction especially supernatural fantasy and science fiction. I've been reading these genres for years. I believe the most engaging and innovative work is to be found here.

In my work, I strive to write cutting edge content with believable characters even those with a supernatural slant.

My hope is that you have as much fun reading my stories as I do writing them!

For those interested, my academic training was in philosophy and the classics. I've also spent years designing and writing software but fiction is a lot more fun.

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Krista said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Suz Reads said...

Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win it! I like paranormal books because they have all kinds of cool characters and unique stories!

Sayomay said...

Fav paranormal character would be Solembum from the Inheritance series. I love his additude!

Georgette said...

I don't know if I have a favorite paranormal character. I love Karen Ann Moning's books. I really will read anything paranormal that I get my hands upon, I am not fussy. :)