Monday, April 15, 2013

A Matter of Fate by Ellie Heller: Character Interview and Excerpt: Bewitching Tour Stop

Mona Lisa Kubreck is visiting today. She's taking a break from keeping mortals and those with elf-blood safe from magic and is so glad it's finally spring in Buffalo!


What are your favorite TV shows?

I don't watch that much TV, but when I do it's usually those shows where someone is looking for a house overseas. I love to see all the different locations and cultures, and imagine myself living there. Well most of them, I'll pass on the Scandinavian countries, thanks. Living in Buffalo I've had enough snow and ice for a lifetime already. But it'd have to be someplace with seasons. I'm picky, I know.


Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

From November through March I dream of any place warm. Some favorite places are Corfu, Mallorca, the Hawaiian Islands. Huh, guess I have a thing for islands, I didn't realize that. Actually I love snow, but perhaps not as much as we've been getting.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Too many things to count! Let's see a teacher, a firefighter, an astronaut, an Xgames athlete to name a few. Oh and a chef, that one hung around the longest. Took cooking classes in high school and got accepted into a prestigious culinary institute as well.

What is your favorite meal?

The best meal I ever had was when I was in Toronto and managed to get in for lunch at a Michelin rated restaurant there. I thought I'd died and gone to the goddess's eternal banquet, it was that good. As for favorite meal I make, that'd be my gnocchi in vodka sauce with salmon, prosciutto and garden peas. Pretty time intensive to do it right and make my own gnocchi so I don't make it that often.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I rarely wash my hair. No, seriously, with this curly mess, I've found washing too often makes it dry and frizzy and I look like a clown.

If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?

If you survived waking up Cart, who is worse than I am in the morning, it's definitely grumpy bear. If you want a chirpy bird, go visit my brother Nic. He's like a robot, he wakes up immediately and ready to go. Me, snuggling under the covers is always a better option than waking up. <Mona blushes> Well, almost always.

A Matter of Fate is coming from Crimson Romance in one week! Preorder your copy now.

A Matter of Fate
Ellie Heller
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance 
Book Description: 
Someone is setting death-spells targeting mortals and elf blood alike. With her mentor out of commission, it’s up to half-trained Warder Mona Lisa Kubrek to stop the magic. Despite being told repeatedly her job is to nullify spells and not go after the source, too many people are at risk for her to not track the spell-caster down. Even meeting a sexy half-elf shifter won’t distract her from her goal.

Except Cart Dupree is fully trained and has the team to search for the evildoer, so she’d be stupid to not use his expertise. Stupid is something she can’t afford to be, not with her enemy’s henchmen after her. Later she’ll deal with Cart and his questions about her special abilities and the non-standard training her mentor has given her. Right now, they need to unravel where the magician is, and who he is, before he builds enough power to decimate them all.
First, though, they need to stay alive. 

Ch 1. 

Her head bowed to the winter wind, Mona strode across the parking lot to the mall, her concern and curiosity about Raine now verging on dread. Since the frantic call from her normally unflappable friend, the scenarios flitting through her mind kept getting worse. Had she been mugged? Detained by mall security? Why? Raine had given no explanation, only saying she needed Mona's help now. Even if they didn't see each other much these days, their best friend bond was unshakeable.

The wind slid under her collar and raised goose bumps along her back. Fuck-a-duck, it was cold! As soon as she finished her training she planned to move someplace warm and get out of Buffalo. Not somewhere too far south though—her light skin sunburned far too easily to be out in the sun all the time.

Avoiding the revolving door out of habit—she felt trapped when she was neither in nor out—she yanked open the side door, thankful to be out of the frigid temperatures. All elves had their quirks, but she knew she had a few more than most. Growing up outside the Folk enclaves, where she might have learned about magic a lot earlier, hadn’t helped.

Mona looked around, expecting to see the management office since she’d been directed to use this entrance. Instead she spotted Raine on a bench at the far end of the hall. Mona was relieved for a split second—until she took in her usually tidy friend’s unkempt appearance. Poorly dressed for the winter, she had no coat and wore open toed shoes and a loose, cap-sleeved sweater over a lightweight dress. Huddled over, legs and arms crossed, the thin sweater tented her body. If Mona hadn’t known the woman, she would have avoided her, and not just because she could see the glow of evil intent surrounding her, but because Raine looked as if she’d been living in her clothes.

As she came closer, Mona concentrated on reading the magic, a bit difficult in the florescent lights. Definitely a spell had been placed on Raine. And in her. Twisted, violent sigils, showing the intent of the spellcaster, controlled the power runes at the base of the working. Mona would have cringed if she hadn’t been stuck dumb by shock.

Oh no, oh no, this was all so wrong. Raine was mortal—aware there were Folk, but mortal. And mortal or not, no one should have a working like this on them, complicated with many intricate mini-spells encapsulated in the larger one. Mona was very, very thankful that Raine had called her. If anyone who created spells, and not just saw them, like she did, had touched the working it would have been a disaster. Even now she worried that Raine’s actions may have triggered the warning beacon placed at critical junctures of the spell.

The magic in Raine would slowly kill her, Mona could see that much. Mona sucked in her breath at the shock. A world without Raine, no matter how infrequently they saw each other, was unthinkable. But what, if anything, Mona could do about it was unclear. She had to be able to do something. She was in training to be a Warder, to protect Folk and humans from misused magic. Even before her training a spell like the one Raine displayed would have drawn her to attempt to fix it; the need was part of why she'd been called to train. Mona took a deep breath; she needed to be calm. The working would shift, speed up, if Raine got overly upset.

“Raine?” she said once she was sure she could keep her anxiety out of her voice.

Raine jumped up. Standing, the heavily pregnant bulge of her belly became apparent. But last time Mona saw Raine, six months ago before her training had become so hectic, Raine was just starting to date someone and had reiterated she was not doing the baby thing until she had a ring on her finger. What had happened? Now that Mona saw the growing baby, the spell was even more sinister, tied up in the tiny person inside her friend. Whoever set the spell either hadn’t known about the pregnancy or, worse yet, did.

“Mona!” Raine slapped her hand to her chest, hysteria lacing her voice. “You scared the crap out of me!”

“Raine, you okay?” Because, shit, this looked bad. Really bad. She couldn’t believe it, but she actually wished her mentor, Smythe, was here to help her figure out how to deal with a spell of this complexity and magnitude. The old coot’s pedantic lecturing when they were working was beyond annoying, but she’d put it up with it in a heartbeat if he could help.

“Yeah,” Raine said. She took several deep breaths. “I will be. Shit, no one’s snuck up on me that bad in ages.”

“Let’s go in,” Mona said. “Can I get you something to eat?” Cracked acorns that spell was convoluted! Nothing like the clear, linear ones with simple branches she’d seen before, this one looped and twisted like a tangle of yarn.

“I—” Raine jumped at the noise of the revolving door screeching.

They turned as a man in tan slacks and an unbuttoned blue blazer headed their way. In Mona’s eyes he glowed with the same tainted residual as Raine. His spell was new and strong enough that she could almost make out the working despite the distance. Mona's read of his Folk abilities made clear he was a shifter, although he wasn't what the Weres called “strong,” and didn't have the balance of elf and human blood needed to shift at any time. Which was good, because the last thing they needed was for him to transform in the middle of the mall. And he definitely had weak magical resistance given the spell compelling him to act looked to be lightly set. Lightly set or not, the compulsion rune on the top layer honed in on them.


After living in several cities east of the Mississippi, but never quite out of the snow belt, I've settled down in SW Ohio with my three kids, two dogs (one of whom thinks he's a cat) and one cat (who thinks he's a dog).

I write paranormal romance and contemporary fantasy, all with a suspenseful edge. A MATTER OF FATE, a 'traditional' paranormal romance, will be available this spring from Crimson Romance. My first published short (GLBT sensual), "Ginny's Capture" is available now.

I'm also an acquisitions editor (i.e. slush reader :-) ) for Curiosity Quills Press using my full first name, Alison.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest




Tour Wide Giveaway 

 GRAND prize is a Kindle ($69 value) and a $35 Amazon GC
(or the option of a $100 Amazon or B&N gift card),
FIRST PLACE prize is a Buffalo Bills Blanket and a $20 Amazon gift card
6 prize packs featuring bags full of book swag



Ellie Heller said...

Thanks for having me! I'm so excited.

Courtney Renee said...

The book sounds amazing! Great giveaway as well.

Anabel González said...

this is a great giveaway. And I really like the book.

Amanda Ray said...

Great synopsis and excerpt! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Ellie Heller said...

Thanks! I hope you all enjoy reading it as much I enjoyed writing it!

Get Bit Free Reads said...

Hi Ellie! Can't wait to read your book. It sounds wonderful! Good luck on your tour...wishing you many sales.
BTW, great prizes!

Jen D. said...

Great giveaway! Thank you!

Ellie Heller said...

GBFR & Jen - thanks, I had fun thinking them up. :-) Hopefully you saw the swag pack on facebook too.

Karen Arrowood said...

Wow, this book sounds different from anything I have read. But the synopsis and except have intrigued me. I will have to read it, one way or the other.

Thank you for this opportunity, and for introducing me to Ellie's work.

Ellie Heller said...

Wow, that's cool you're intrigued! Hope you enjoy the book & good luck in the drawing.

Mer said...

Interesting excerpt! I like the show not tell quality about it; the reader learns about spells but not in an information dumping way.

Ellie Heller said...

Mer, you should definitely stop by tomorrow's blog stop, Place of Reads, where I talk about just that!

Shannon R said...

Thanks for the great excerpt you really left us hanging on your every word

Ellie Heller said...

Thank you so much Shannon!! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the great giveaway

Meghan said...

I am new to paranormal romance, so I am glad I found you! Thank you for the giveaway!!

Mimi said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the giveaway!

Ellie Heller said...

Thank you Jessica, Meghan & Mimi. Wishing you luck in the contest & hope you enjoy the book.

Nadine Keels said...

Great book cover!

Thomas Murphy said...

The book sounds awesome! Thanks for the giveaway.

Ellie Heller said...

Thanks Nadine, it was all the great people at Crimson.

Thomas - happy to hear that!

Kathie Craig said...

Thank you for the opportunity!! Your book sounds very interesting!!

Ellie Heller said...

Thank you! Good luck in the contest!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this giveaway and this book def sounds interesting. I love the cover!

Amanda S on rafflecopter

Ellie Heller said...

Thanks Mandy! Hope you enjoy the book. :-)

Alice-In-Autumn said...

This book sounds absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to read it! Thanks for having the giveaway. c:

Teresa McCluskey said...

This book sounds awesome! I want to read it! If you can check out my blog!
Teresa@ Freebies 4 My Family

Nesca said...

Your book sounds like a great read :}

Ellie Heller said...

Alice-in-autumn - Hope you enjoy it!

Teresa - Yay! It's out tomorrow!

Nesca - I hope you take the opportunity and give it a shot.


I can't wait to read your book, thank you for the chance

Ellie Heller said...

Thanks Rebecca, hope you enjoy it!

Sarah Lieurance said...

Great giveaway. Thank you for hosting and to the author thanks so much for the opportunity.

Bessamy said...

Your book sounds awesome! I just love reading paranormal books and romances, a book with both cant be beat! Thanks for the chance to win such an awesome prize!

Ellie Heller said...

Sarah - I'm glad you like the giveaway, good luck!

Bessamy - So happy the book sounds good to you!

Amber Daulton said...

You're giveaway is so generous! Thanks!

Ellie Heller said...

You're welcome & good luck!