Thursday, August 1, 2013

Starfire by Michele N. Zugnoni: Character Profile and Character Interview

Chronicles of Shadow Mist
Book One
Michele N. Zugnoni

Genre: new adult paranormal romance

Publisher: Forbidden Press
Date of Publication: July 30

ISBN  978-0-9895690-0-2
ASIN: Not assigned yet

Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 110,000

Cover Artist: Michele N. Zugnoni

Book Description:

From an ancient battle comes a forbidden love … and the chance to hope again.

Destined to destroy vampires, or refuse and be executed, seventeen-year-old Julia Kirkwood finds herself drawn to two things: a life of partying and rebelling against the law, and Clay Blackwell. The trouble is, Clay happens to be the son of the Lumince high priestess, the leader of a race of peace-loving vampires, and Julia’s father’s unspoken enemy. For Julia isn’t just a Reaver, she’s the daughter of the Reaver Chief. And Julia’s father is furious to discover she’s secretly dating and falling in love with a Lumince, particularly after an attempt at peace crumbles in bloodshed.

When her father intensifies his attack against the Luminces, endangering the lives of Clay’s people, Julia’s forced to take a stand. She must choose to accept her destiny as a Reaver, or claim her heart and find the inward strength to declare war against her own flesh and blood. Interwoven with her fate are the ramifications of a love story as forbidden and passionate as her own: the ancient romance that sparked the creation of Reavers and Luminces, igniting this centuries-old feud. Will Julia’s feelings for Clay be enough to transcend centuries of love-turned-hate? Or will their final hope for peace be incinerated in a fiery war?

Today Julia Kirkwood is here. Julia is a leading character in Starfire, a novel by Michele N Zugnoni. First off, tell us about your family.

Do I really have to? ‘Cause just between us, I’m still tryin’ to escape. But if you’re absolutely desperate to know …

My daddy’s Chief Reaver. His one goal in life is to stake anything with fangs. We used to be real close. He took me dancin’ when I was a little girl. Now, though? Well, he doesn’t quite understand my desire to rebel against all his laws and fight his Reavers every time they try to stake an innocent vamp. ‘Cause there’s just no way I’m gonna let them get away with hurting the innocent, even if I am marked by the gods as a Reaver (someone who’s destined to hunt and rule over the vampire race).

And my mom? Well, she’s an interminable flirt. And when I say interminable, I do mean interminable. She’ll flirt with anything, so long as it’s got somethin’ dangling between its legs. Kinda puts a damper on her relationship with my daddy, especially ‘cause she likes to drink too much. And her relationship with me? Has been pretty much nonexistent since the time I was old enough to walk. But she used to tell me stories once. I remember her sittin’ me on her lap and telling me Greek myths. It’s why I named my kitty “Pandora.” ‘Cause once upon a time, my family was happy, too.

Hey, you got a bottle of Jack around here somewhere? I’m feelin’ a little thirsty…

What was the scariest moment of your life?

Hmm … That’s a tough one. I tend not to get scared too easily. And when I do? I open a bottle of Jack and let the fear drift away. But if I really have to say … it has to be the day I was marked as a Reaver. I was swimmin’ at Lake Tamask, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the cool water cresting around my skin when all of the sudden, I felt this stinging pain. It was so bad, I think I mighta blacked out. When I came to, I was flailing and choking on the lake, certain I was gonna drown. 

My daddy saved me. He pulled me to shore. And when I was alert enough to realize the change, I cupped the Reaver mark below my hand. Hot beneath my collarbone, it was swollen and vivid black: an angular R declaring for all the world my new status as a hunter of vampires. 

You wanna know a secret? I don’t want to be a Reaver. ‘Cause I know the truth: not all Reavers are good, and not all vampires are evil. And I don’t wanna be the girl forced to hunt the innocent. 

I try to scrub the mark off sometimes. ‘Course, it never works. I’m a Reaver and a Reaver I’ll always be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t stand up for what’s right. It doesn’t mean I can’t fight. I guess that’s why they call me a rebel.

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

Mmm. I always wanted to study the stars. To be close to something that perfect, something that beautiful. To know that there’s a world up there where good things come true, and evil can’t penetrate. When I was a little girl, I’d climb up up up on our trellis and reach for the heavens, tryin’ to catch the stars twinkling through the window in the roof. Almost fell a couple of times, but my daddy always caught me first. Wonder if he’d do that now?

What are you passionate about these days?

Well, I guess now it’s time to share another secret. You know how I like to rebel against Reaver law and protect vampires? Well, it seems I’m sorta falling for one, too. Only I guess that’s not quite true. I’m really fallin’ for one. I’m fallin’ so hard and fast, I’m not quite sure I still remember how to breathe.
His name is Clay Blackwell, and he’s the best guy I’ve ever met. He writes his own poetry, you know. He even recites it to me. And when I listen to his poems and stare into his beautiful green eyes, when I hear about his passion toward his people and his dreams of peace … it’s almost like I really have found a way to catch the stars.

The problem is, my daddy hates all vampires. And he’ll do ‘bout anything to end things between me and Clay, even if it means escalating the war against Clay’s people. But my daddy always has underestimated me. And what he doesn’t realize, maybe what he doesn’t even want to understand, is that I’m not going to let anything happen to Clay or to his people. Even if I have to betray everything I am, I will find a way to keep them safe.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

Well, that would have to be Tommy, Clay’s best friend. Y’see, I was there when he was killed by my daddy’s Reavers. I watched the whole gods damned thing, in fact. And even though I tried to help, to get Tommy away and free, I failed. I couldn’t get to him on time. I watched as he was staked for a crime he didn’t commit. And now? All I want is to make things right.

What would we find under your bed?

Under my bed? You’d probably find my kitty, Pandora. She likes to hide. And just between us, you might find a few stray bottles of Jack. What can I say? It is my favorite drink. ;-)

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

A chirpy bird, of course. Well, unless you visit me before 5 am. And then you might wanna don a pair of boxing gloves. You have been warned. ;-)

What one word best describes you?

Beautiful, generous, talented in every way. What’s that? You asked for just one? Well, okay then … Ask anyone you’d like, and they’ll describe me as a rebel. I rebel against just about everything. Guess someone has to, especially when the world is as crazy brutal as Shadow Mist.

About the Author:

Michele is a recovering demon (AKA attorney) who left the legal field to follow her dreams of writing and teaching college-level English. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling as far as her credit card will take her, reading an assortment of fantasy and paranormal, and playing with her frisky animals (two black cats and two loud-mouthed cockatiels).

She’s loved vampires since she was four, when her BFF confided that her older sister was a vamp who enjoyed drinking blood. Like any four-year old, Michele thought this was the most awesome thing ever. Michele currently lives in Modesto, California, but will move to Santa Barbara to begin a Ph.D. program in education and literacy this fall.

1 comment:

Michele Zugnoni said...

Hi, Laurie! Thanks so much for hosting me. It was great fun answering your questions.