Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Master of Whitehall by Rick H. Veal: Interview and Excerpt

After the brutal murder of her parents in a robbery, Katelyn Corbin, a thoroughly modern 21 year old college senior, finds herself attempting to re-start her life in Charleston, SC, where she finds love, healing and a brand new life in a most unexpected avenue.

This story follows Katelyn from her hometown just outside Atlanta to her new school in Charleston. There she meets James and is deeply intrigued by him from their first meeting; feeling as if he has touched her very soul. The more she considers him, the more intense her interest becomes. He is a wealthy patron of the arts, especially at her school. He is tall and handsome with a strong persona; a young widower, living alone in a huge, but beautifully restored old plantation house called 'Whitehall'. Their friendship soon becomes serious, becoming a full-on relationship as Katelyn falls madly in love with him. James soon makes his love for her just as obvious. Their lives begin to blend, twisting and turning, as they continue to grow closer.

After several strange incidents, Katelyn begins to develop a series of unsettling questions about her new love. However, she knows that after facing the catastrophe of her parent’s deaths, she can face anything life throws at her. She begins looking at the questions, searching her own soul. Finally deciding that she must know the answers, she confronts him. She soon discovers James' true nature; confirming her fears that he was indeed not the man she thought, but the man she feared him to be. The confirmation of her suspicions are shocking to her, turning her world view on its side. She is forced to acknowledge things about herself and her world that she never thought possible. With her new found knowledge, Katelyn realizes she must make a choice to live with or without James. She quickly decides to adapt her life and adjust her beliefs in order to continue to be with James.

Their love for each other develops and continues to grow as he assists her to close the gaping wounds left by the tragedy of her parent’s murders. Katelyn continues to uncover other secrets, discovering another existence, as she begins her new life with James. The story reaches a highly emotional and completely unexpected ending that fully illustrates Katelyn's personality of love and care for those around her.

The Master of Whitehall, a paranormal romance novel is complete at 104,000 words. The story unfolds over the course of nearly a year, and features flashbacks that more fully develop each of the characters, offering insights into their personal histories. The story is narrated in first person perspective by Katelyn as she offers a window into the world of possibilities of love between mortal and immortal.

The Master of Whitehall will be very appealing to readers of Rachel Caine's 'Morganville Vampires', Charlaine Harris’ ‘True Blood’ series, and Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles'.

Excerpt from the beginning of chapter two, Katelyn introduces herself and tells about her parents murder and afterward:

My name is Katelyn Corbin, I'm twenty-one years old and a senior in college – or at least I will be in a few hours when I get to school. The nightmare I was having was about the murder of my parents last April. They worked in a small store we owned on the outskirts of Atlanta and were killed there during a robbery.
Two men came into the store, high on drugs and demanding money. My parents tried to give them all the money they had. But, when they got scared and could not move fast enough one of the men shot them both several times. They then wrecked the cash register getting away with only sixty-eight dollars, a handful of change, and two grocery bags they stuffed with snacks. In the end, my poor parents’ lives were worth less than a hundred dollars.
I had the misfortune to be the one to have to find my parents that awful day. I came in from school that afternoon so happy. It was early spring and I was almost finished with school for the year. I would start summer vacation in about two weeks and my best friend, Beth, and I were planning on a trip to Pensacola Beach to begin the summer. She and I and several of our friends had stopped for a late lunch after class and spent a couple of hours just chatting and enjoying ourselves in the warm sunshine. While we were having lunch we had all decided to go up toward Dalton, to the National Forest and go hiking that weekend.
When I got back to the store I ran in calling out, “Hey Mom! Dad!, guess what?” and going toward the back counter I abruptly stopped, frozen in place, my soul suddenly ripping wide open inside me. Confusion filled me as my mind refused to believe what my eyes were seeing. There was blood everywhere, it was splashed and splattered on everything, and my parents were laying there in the center of it all. I started crying and screaming as I ran to them, kneeling beside each one of them, calling out to them, trying to help, but there was nothing I could do. I saw my Dad's arm stretched out toward my mother almost like he had tried to help her as a final act. They were both dead and I knew it. I remember how cold they both felt lying there together. There was so much blood everywhere, it seemed to cover everything.
I somehow managed to reach the telephone on the counter and dial 9-1-1. When the operator answered all I could say through the tears was, “Help me … please … someone help me ...” and then I dropped the phone. I slid back down the counter, sitting in the gory mess beside my parents, confused and crying helplessly. I covered my face with my hands hoping to block out the terrible sight in front of me. My hands felt sticky and wet so I took them away from my face and looked at them. They were covered in their blood and it was all over my arms, too. I tried to wipe them clean on my shirt and jeans. The more I wiped the more it seemed to spread, I just couldn't get their blood off of me. I cried out with a plaintive wail as the pain tore through me again, my tears washing some of the blood from my face.
When the Marietta Police arrived they carefully removed me from that terrible scene and took me to the front of the store where I couldn't see anything going on in the back. The young officer was so nice to me. He found me a chair to sit in and then he took a seat facing me.
“Ma’am,” he said, “I have to ask you some questions, now. Can you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” I replied through the haze, “you need to ask me something.”
“Very good,” he started, “my name is Officer Hemmings, and now, what is your name, ma’am?”
I looked at him blankly and then replied, “It … it’s Katelyn … Katelyn Corbin.”
“Thank you, Miss Corbin,” he said, writing in his notebook, “now this one may be a little harder, but do you know the two people in the back?”
I sat there for a minute, my world continuing to collapse in on itself. I just looked at him with a blank stare as his question penetrated my mind. I thought about it, trying to remember. Then I looked down, still in shock, and saw the blood covering my hands and arms, smeared on my jeans and the front of my shirt, I slowly looked up at him again my emotions beginning to crumble.
“It's alright,” he said, “take your time.”
Finally, sounding like a small child I simply said, “They're my Mommy and Daddy ...” and I broke down again as the sobs wracked through me, the tears flowing again.
I don't remember a lot about the rest of that day except that I left the store in an ambulance. I felt so alone and very scared as the paramedics and police helped me on the stretcher and began putting the straps over me. The paramedic that was riding with me was a young girl named Carrie, probably not much older than I was. She had me sitting up on the stretcher with my back against the pillow. She was so nice to me and talked to me telling me everything she was doing. She was so gentle and easy with me as she worked. She told me that she was going to give me some oxygen to help make me feel better as she gently placed the tubes over my ears and carefully set the end just inside my nose. The oxygen felt so pure and clean as I breathed it in, I could almost immediately feel it beginning to clear up my thinking. Then she added a little plastic thingy on my finger and told me that it would monitor all my vital signs and not cause any pain. I started to settle down just a little as we rode together, Carrie talking kindly to me and lightly patting my arm.
When we arrived at the hospital, Carrie swung into full action, staying right with me as the stretcher was rolled into the emergency room. I heard her call out that she had a trauma victim in shock. The rest all happened so quickly it was a blur. I was surrounded by medical staff, all talking and checking me at the same time. Someone said that they were going to give me some medication; that I would feel a little sting, and I would take a nap. I looked at Carrie and she softly patted my shoulder and told me that I was going to be alright now. I felt the quick sting of the needle and as I watched the bright lights above me, I smiled as they quickly turned gray. The last thing I remember was Carrie beginning to fade slowly away as a curtain of total blackness settled over me, thankfully blocking out all the hurt and pain …

Welcome Rick!  Thanks for taking this time to let us find out a little about you.  Easy question to start…. Who is your favorite author and character?

My favorite author is Anne Rice. I discovered her books years ago and have loved “The Vampire Chronicles” and “The Mayfair Witches”. Of course my favorite character of all has to be Lestat – The Brat Prince! He seems to me to embody what a vampire should be … he is what he is, he’s accepted it, and he enjoys every minute of it! When I read her stories it’s almost as if I am wrapped up in it, I can feel the characters and setting around me.

Anne Rice has a way of bringing her characters to life, you can feel like you know them, and like any personality there are some you like and some you don’t. I have tried to emulate her in bringing my characters to life for my readers. The greatest reward for me would be for someone to tell me that they laughed, loved and cried with Katelyn as she told her story in The Master of Whitehall. 


Tell us about your current and next release.

My current book is The Master of Whitehall, a contemporary paranormal romance novel. The story is set in Charleston, SC and revolves around Katelyn Corbin, a twenty-one year old college senior. Katelyn is trying to restart her life and finish college after her parents are murdered. She meets a seemingly wonderful young man, James Dubois, the real life Master of Whitehall, and falls madly in love with him. Although the story is set in the paranormal it’s ultimately a love story, real and unconditional, between her and James. It’s fun to watch as their relationship grows, bringing Katelyn face to face with ideas that she never thought possible, and how she accepts some unchangeable truths. I want my readers to really feel like they know Katelyn and the other characters as well, as they journey with her.

I actually have two other projects that I am working on right now. The first is an illustrated, signed and numbered, limited edition of 100 copies of The Master of Whitehall. It will contain some additional material and some that just could not make it into this edition due to editing limitations. I have commissioned the artist and she is currently working on the character studies of all five characters.

The second project is the next book; that story will begin approximately a year or so after the ending of the current story. Again, Katelyn will be telling the story and, like the readers, I look forward to hearing what she has to say! I suspect she will entertain us with stories of adventures in her new life. 


Tell us some more little known facts about yourself.


Gee, how do I talk about myself and not bore everyone! I’m single and have only one daughter, the cat. My favorite time of day is the morning, because everything starts fresh. I usually start my day with a cup of coffee and checking in with all the sites I follow on the net. I especially enjoy the Spring or Fall of the year so that I can start my day on the back deck and enjoy the cool air. I think that most folks would find that I’m good company morning or evening; although I’m not a late night person. I prefer an early night followed by an early morning. What would you find looking under my bed … most probably the cat, if you looked when you first arrived. After that it would be cat hair … I don’t have dust bunnies, every time I sweep they look more like full grown rabbits! My favorite saying is that if you write a book, write the one you would like to read and then others will also. That is what I’ve tried to do with The Master of Whitehall. 


Have you attended a high school reunion? What did you learn?


I attended the 10th and 20th reunions of my class. I did not keep contacts with my class because I left the area to serve in the military after graduation, so I received a nice surprise. I think the 20th union is probably the best one for anyone to attend … time and nature has a way of making everyone equal. By the time of 20th reunion, all the jocks are bald and the cheerleaders are fat! 


What factors influenced you to become a writer?


I returned to college as a non-traditional student and discovered writing there. I have been a reader all my life and often thought about writing but wasn’t sure how to do it. I have to credit my English professor, Dr. John Wright, with not only teaching me how to write to but to enjoy writing. I think it was in his classes that I knew someday I would write a novel. But an education in language and writing doesn’t end at the classroom door. I think we are all inspired by the authors we read and they continue teaching us about writing as we read. Then when we write we often use the style of our favorite authors. I think the best way to remain sane as a writer is to know that you are doing the best you can do, try to improve, and remember that everyone is not going to love, some are not even going to like, your work! Remember the voices in your head are just your characters telling you what to put on paper next. You should also hope that someone somewhere decides your book is an affront to society and the well-being of mankind in general and they want to sponsor a book burning. Then as an indie writer you take comfort in the fact that your book is only available to them from you … at full price … with no quantity discount!   


The author was born and has spent the majority of his life in the upstate of South Carolina. He joined the Navy immediately out of high school where he had the pleasure of visiting some eighteen different countries during a six year span. After returning home he attended The University of South Carolina graduating with a double Associates Degree with Honors. He completed his education at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He has worked in the education field as a teacher and in various management positions in industry. He currently lives alone with his one daughter, a three year old Tuxedo cat, who graciously allows him to think he actually owns the house. The Master of Whitehall is his debut novel.
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Enter to win a Print copy of The Master of Whitehall PLUS a cool set of Character Posters.
Open to US/CAN ship to addresses.
Comment on this post for a bonus entry.
Like Master Whitehall on Facebook for another bonus entry.
Giveaway ends September 29th  11:59 PM Central Time.


Anonymous said...

... Very nice blog! ... Expertly arouses interest and intrigue.

Autumn said...

Great interview! And I love the background for your blog, it is too cute. Thank you for the giveaway.

Brandy Corona said...

Those posters look bad a$$ : )

cathie veres said...

Loving the posters! The story looks really great!

Autumn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paranormal Dream Writer said...

Thank you for the giveaway and interview. Love the posters. ~ Felicia Starr

Brooke said...

Yay! I think I'd really like this one, since I like Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris. The posters look great. Thanks for the chance to win.

wendy said...

this looks like a great book and the posters are an awesome idea!

ChrissieB said...

Sounds like a great read! Thank you