Saturday, June 23, 2007
Nine Inches of Snow and the Ebony Princess by Gracie C. McKeever
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A native New Yorker, Gracie C. McKeever has authored several novels, among them the Siren Top Sellers, Guardian Seductress, In Plain Sight, Spells Cast in Shadows and Terms of Surrender (www.sirenpub.com). She has been writing since the ripe old age of seven when two younger brothers were among her earliest, captive audience for various short story readings and performances. It wasn’t until 2001, however, when Gracie caught the erotica bug that produced an instant affinity for the genre and spawned her first erotic romance, Beneath the Surface, published in 2006 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
Visit her website at: www.graciecmckeever.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
An empathic young nurse driven to help and heal others since childhood after watching her mother languish for months before finally succumbing to cancer, Aziza Lopez abhors cruelty and suffering in any form. When she is assigned comatose patient David Healey, Aziza is confronted with the depth of her abilities for the first time since her mother's death and has a chance to contribute to a patient's recovery when modern medicine fails. But can she convince anyone else outside of David's family that she knows who is responsible for his injury when she's finding it hard to deal with the knowledge herself?
The youngest of five brothers, David Healey comes from a close-knit, no-nonsense family of psychics and shapeshifters. He has never suffered fools—or demanding, jealous girlfriends—lightly. But on the eve of a bitter break-up he realizes he is about to suffer a woman scorned when he glimpses his ex behind the wheel of a car careening towards him.
Now Aziza and David are in a race to pull him out of his coma before Aziza's vengeful stepmother can get to him and finish the job she started on a dark road.
(Warning: The excerpt below contains explicit adult language and sexual content.)
“Did you see that? The car just ran right over him and didn’t even slow down!”
“Is he dead? He has to be after that.”
“Did anyone get the license plate?”
David saw and heard everything clearly—the people hovering over his body, their words of concern and cries for help. He just could not respond.
He was trying to figure out whether or not this was a bad thing when he realized he was in wolf form and outside of his body.
Something had gone wrong, something he’d never encountered or heard of before.
He’d started to shift when he saw the car coming at him and recognized Philomena behind the wheel. It was a natural reaction, his body instinctively changing to another form to avoid maximum damage, or at least trying to change. She’d come at him so fast, it was a wonder he’d had time to react at all. It was a wonder, too, that he’d seen her face. But he had. There’d been no mistaking that long, platinum blonde hair or hateful green-eyed glare.
She’d meant to kill him.
David trotted over to his body to see if she’d succeeded, nuzzling his neck and releasing a howl at the non-response. He gaped up at the spectators and realized when none of them reacted to his presence that they couldn’t see or hear him.
Either he was dead, or he wasn’t. Either he was wolf, or he was man. He couldn’t be both, could he? David had never heard of a split or bilocation of this nature. He needed to get to his father or grandfather to find out what was going on.
Would either of them be able to hear or see him any better than the spectators could?
He glanced up at the nearby apartment building, drawn to his original destination, the question momentarily moot. Something beckoned him. Someone.
Aziza was close. He could feel her.
David stepped back when an ambulance sped to a stop outside the circle of spectators and parked. The surrounding crowd opened their ranks to make room for the two EMS technicians who rushed to his body with a stretcher and other equipment. He stayed with his body for the several minutes it took them to stabilize and prepare him for transport and watched them head back to the hospital, sirens wailing and red lights flashing in the night.
David eyed the back of the departing ambulance longingly, torn between following or going to his new mate.
He chose his mate.
* * * *
Aziza jerked awake in her favorite corner of the sofa. The textbook she’d buried her nose in when she drifted asleep fell to the floor with a thwack. She wondered what had startled her out of her sleep until she spotted the large timber wolf standing on the threshold of her living room, staring at her.
He had azure eyes! Not that she was an expert in such things, but she had never heard of this in a wolf before, especially not so human a shade, so human an expression.
She wasn’t sure how she knew the animal was a wolf and not a big dog or a coyote. There was just something too majestic and extraordinary about him to be either of those.
Where had he come from, and how in God’s name had he gotten into her apartment?
Aziza shook herself, wondering whether she had conjured him from her subconscious and not that she was still asleep and dreaming or going crazy.
She had a second to question the vision and release a small yelp when the animal slowly advanced, paws surprisingly silent against her polished wood floor.
Don’t be afraid. I’m not here to hurt you.
She froze and gaped at the animal.
I came to warn you. Watch your back. Your stepmother is on the warpath.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I’ve been writing since as far back as I can remember and have always loved to write. The desire to be published happened later in life when I realized that I might be able to take my writing somewhere and wanted to expand my audience beyond the supportive family and friends who had been reading my work to that point.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love the freedom to explore different areas and interests of life, expanding my horizons through my writing that I wouldn’t normally consider. Fan letters and other positive feedback from people who have enjoyed my books and short stories are always nice too
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I squeeze my writing into my life whenever and wherever I can (during my commutes to and from work, during breaks at work. Being a fast typist helps). But since I have a nine-to-five I get the bulk of my writing (and promotion) done on the weekends.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Usually the characters come to me first. I tend to build my characters first then build the plot and world around my protagonist(s) (h/h).
What genre(s) do you write?
The core genre I write in is romance and beneath this umbrella come several subgenres: contemporary, erotic, paranormal (angels, AA, bdsm, ghosts, interracial, m/m, psychic, reincarnation, shapeshifters/mythological beings, suspense, wiccan). I have even written some horror (in some of my shorter works).
Why do you write the stories that you write?
I basically stick to the maxim of writing what I know (not that I’m a mythological being or have met any
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
The process of creating my characters involves a little bit of both—taking from my imagination and basing characters on people I know. Most of my heroes/heroines are composites of many different people I’ve come across in my life (and of course I inject a bit of myself or at least the person I’ve always wanted to be, into my heroines). A lot of what I put into a character will also depend on the needs of the story (i.e., does this story need a hero who’s arrogant like this person I know or a heroine who’s a tomboy but shy like me, or ambitious and witty like another person I know).
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
This is always a tough question for me to answer because I love all of my characters and they’re all favorites for different reasons. To be consistent, one of my favorite characters is Genesis, the heroine from Guardian Seductress. She was my first foray into writing a kick-ass but sensitive heroine who could get the job done at any cost. She was also the first character in one of my favorite (and first experiences writing) shapeshifter/urban fantasy romance.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
More than anything I want my readers to come away from my books satisfied—with the characters, the story and the ending—and feeling that putting money down on a book of mine has been and will be money well-spent. If their curiosity is piqued by and they learn something about a world and beings they never knew existed, or if they fall hopelessly in love with and fantasize about one of my heroes or heroines long after the last page is read, then these are all added bonuses.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Be prepared to dig in for the long haul. Writing (and finishing) a book or novel is a commitment that requires the writer to be focused, diligent and patient. If a writer wants to be taken seriously, he/she should be professional and don’t half-step (especially where grammar, editing and research are concerned). Finally, a writer should always be willing to learn and improve his/her craft.
What are you reading right now?
In e-book and on my computer I’m reading a Siren title by Morgan Ashbury, Made for Each Other. It’s a fun and sexy book that I’m really enjoying. In paperback (on daily commute) I’m reading Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lucy Monroe. It’s a great page-turner with lots of sizzling h/h chemistry. Also in paperback (my exercise bike read) is the second book in Deidre Knight’s Warrior series, Parallel Heat. Loved the first book but this one is getting more into the characters and the workings/world of Refaria and is more intense and exciting than the first. Finally, my bedside read is Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler, not exactly a wise choice to delve into before going to sleep, but I’m loving it nonetheless
If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
I’d want to be me, maybe a more prolific and successful
4.5 Flags: "Gracie C. McKeever delivers another fantastic paranormal tale of intrigue! Nine Inches of Snow and the Ebony Princess is a quick read that has an easygoing flow to it. In the beginning of the book, what I noticed was the establishment of the characters' voices. Aziza speaks with slang while David is acting in a way befitting to his upper crust upbringing. This is most certainly a well written new-styled fairy tale. One thing is for sure, when you read a Gracie C. McKeever book: you’ll always get a delightfully crafted story with her guaranteed special twist! If you haven’t read a title by the author you are missing out. Nine Inches of Snow and the Ebony Princess is one book that I unquestionably recommend." —Chantay, Euro Reviews
4 Hearts: "With different slang and fewer modern day references, a reader might imagine that they were reading any one of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with a decidedly sexy bent. Ms. McKeever has drawn elements from several traditional fairy tales and given them her own trademark twist. Who would have ever though that the big bad wolf would turn out to be a hero? Or that Sleeping Beauty would be male? Because it is presented as a fantasy tale, this reviewer was immediately able to suspend any sense of reality and enjoy this bon-bon of a tale simply for what it was - another fantastic story by the great Ms. McKeever. Aziza and David are an extremely likeable pair and the reader will find themselves rooting for them as one does a favorite sports team. Their sexual chemistry is absolutely combustible, and David’s grandfather is a hoot! The only complaint this reviewer had about this tale is that it was too short, though the story was definitely complete! Recommended to all fairy tale lovers!" —Leah, Love Romances and More
Nine Inches of Snow and the Ebony Princess
by Gracie C. McKeever
Genre: Adult Fairy Tale, Erotic Paranormal Romance (bdsm/interracial/shapeshifter/urban fantasy)
Sensuality Rating: Scorching
Release Date: March 2007
$2.99 from Siren Publishing
Purchase "Nine Inches of Snow and the Ebony Princess" by Gracie C. McKeever HERE!!