Sunday, June 5, 2011

Spotlight Interview & Giveaway with Kristie Cook


Bio:
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at http://www.kristiecook.com/.

Kristie’s first two books, Promise and Purpose, kick off the Soul Savers Series and both are currently available from Ang’dora Productions, on sale at all major retailer websites in both print and digital format. Devotion, the third book, releases early 2012 and a prequel to the series comes out this Fall.

Promise won the 2010 First Place Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association and has been called “the paranormal Romeo & Juliet.” Midwest Book Review said, “an exciting and fascinating fantasy of demons and angels, highly recommended.” It currently ranks in the Top 10, often the Top 5, of three major categories on Amazon, while Purpose ranks in the Top 20.

Kristie will giveaway a digital copy of both Promise and Purpose to one lucky commenter. For your chance to win just leave a comment along with your email address unless your contact information is provided already on your profile page. Open Internationally. This Giveaway is now closed and the Winner has been announced in the comments section.  Thank you!



What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

For a long time, they thought I’d lost my mind and became a little overly obsessed with a “hobby.” But once I became serious about getting published, they’ve always stood behind me, encouraging me along the way. And now they celebrate all the sales with me and put up with my writer’s insanity…sometimes even encourage it. J

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?
Most readers want to know when the next book is coming out because they can’t wait for it. Then they ask if certain secondary characters they love will be in the next ones and/or if they’ll have bigger roles. I love hearing from readers. Sometimes—like when you’re trying to figure out the best place to put a plot twist or get a new idea that would be awesome but it means rewriting several scenes, which ends up changing an important part—you get frustrated with yourself and wonder what the heck you think you’re doing, trying to be an author and all. Crafting a good, complex story is hard and it’s so easy to second-guess what you’re doing and even yourself. Then you get an email or blog comment from a reader telling you how much they love your stories, your characters, even you, and all those doubts disappear. At least, until you get stuck again. Heh


Tell us about your next release.
We haven’t announced the title of the next release yet, but it’s a novella related to the Soul Savers Series. It goes back in time to over 2,000 years ago, when the Amadis, the secret society in the series, began. It tells the story of the three people involved in creating it and takes a deep dive into my mythology. I had a lot of fun writing it and now even editing it, which is usually my least favorite part of the writing process. I’m excited for it to come out in the Fall. The third book in the series, Devotion, comes out in early 2012, and carries on Alexis’s story.

What book are you reading now?
I just finished Firelight by Sophie Jordan last night. Good read. I’m looking forward to the next book, which comes out in September. I’m not sure what’s up next. I bought a ton of books when my local Borders closed, so I have plenty to choose from. Oh, I’m also starting Novel Shortcuts by Laura Whitcomb, a craft book. I’ve set a goal for myself to read at least one craft book a month. We can never stop learning and improving, right?


Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
Definitely night person. When my kids were younger and I had to get them to school, I forced myself to become a morning person and did it for years. I do like the peace of the early morning hours, but I just don’t function well enough to enjoy it. As soon as I didn’t have to be up at an ungodly time, I automatically reverted to staying up late nights. If I try to go to bed before 1 a.m., I just lay there, my mind still going, until at least 1 anyway.


Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

I totally idolize J.K. Rowling. She’s amazing! There are lots of great story crafters. There are tons of excellent writers. There are many strong world-builders. But she is the crème de le crème of them all, weaving all of those together into not just a story, but an entire world that has captured the imagination of all ages, crossed cultural boundaries and swept us muggles off our feet. And she seems like such a classy lady, yet real. I’d love to meet her but am afraid I’d just be a blubbering idiot, unable to carry on an intelligent conversation.


Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Greece and Australia. They’re both in Devotion, book 3, so I’m trying very hard to get my publisher to send me to both for firsthand observation and research. J

It's been great finding out more about you and your books, Kristie. I am looking forward to reading your Soul Saver Series. Could you share an excerpt for us please??

Sure! Here is one I like. This excerpt is from Promise.

The sensation of being watched clung to me like a spider web, invisible threads bristling the back of my neck and down my spine. I brushed my fingers across my shoulders, as if I could drag the feeling off and flick it away.
It was ridiculous, of course. Not just ridiculous to think I could pull it off so easily, as if it really was strands of a web, but it was even more absurd to feel it in the first place. Nobody ever held that much interest in me. Sure, sometimes people stared with curiosity when they picked me up on their “weird radars,” but usually they just ignored me. No one ever watched so intensely.
Yet the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end at the feeling as I visited my favorite Washington, D.C., monument for likely the last time. I sat on the stone steps with the stately Thomas Jefferson behind me and gazed over the Potomac River tidal basin, enjoying the peace just before sunset. Well, trying to enjoy it anyway.
I blamed the feeling on my unruly imagination, with it being twilight and the sky looking so ominous. It was the perfect setting for one of my stories. The sun hung low—an eerie, orange ball glowing behind a shroud of clouds, a column of steel-blue rising around it, threatening to snuff it out. I envisioned something not-quite-human watching it from the shadows, waiting to begin its hunt under the cover of darkness.
That’s all it is, just my fascination with mythical creatures, I told myself. Uh-huh. Right.
Surrendering hope for a peaceful moment, I hurried to the closest Metro station. The feeling of being followed stuck with me on the train ride home, but at my stop in Arlington, I forgot the spooky sensation. Some kids from school stood near the top of the escalator as I stepped off.
“Hey, there’s the weird girl who heals,” one of them said loudly to the others. “It’s s’posed to be really freaky to watch.”
“Hey, freak, got any tricks to show us?” another called.
I pretended not to hear and crossed the street to avoid them. My eyes stung, but no tears came. I wouldn’t allow them. It was my own fault—I’d been a klutz with the Bunsen burner in Chemistry and my lab partner saw my skin heal the burn almost instantly. Kids harassed me about it every day the last two months of school. If I didn’t let them get to me, they were usually just annoying. Usually.
Night had crept its way in during my ride home. I walked quickly through the bright commercial district and turned down the darker residential street for home, still four blocks away. Footsteps behind me echoed my own. I quickened my pace. Two more days. That’s all. Just two more days and we’re out of here.
“C’mon, dude, we just wanna know if it’s true,” a boy’s voice said.
“Yeah, just show us. It doesn’t hurt, right?”
I glanced over my shoulder. Three teens followed me and I caught the glint of a blade in one of their hands. I realized their plan to satisfy their curiosity—slice me open and watch the wound heal. What is wrong with people? Of course, it hurts! Bungalow-style homes lined the street, each with an empty front porch. Not a single person sat outside on this summer’s evening. No one to witness their fun and my agony. My heartbeat notched up with anxiety.
Pop! Crack! The streetlights along the entire block blacked out at the sounds. I inhaled sharply and halted mid-stride. The footsteps behind me ceased, too.
“What the hell?” Surprise and fear filled the boy’s question.
A couple appeared from nowhere, about twenty-five yards down the street. It was too dark to see their features. I could only tell their genders by their shapes. The woman’s high-heeled shoes clicked on the pavement as they walked toward me. The man, big and burly, pulled his shirt over his head and handed it to the woman. Without breaking stride, he took off one shoe and then the other, leaving him with only pants. What the…?
I considered my options. The woman and her half-naked companion blocked my way home, but I wouldn’t just raise my chin and walk brusquely by them, pretending they meant no harm. Because I just knew they did. I stood trapped between the boys with the knife and the odd couple. Somehow, I knew the knife was less threatening.
“Boo!” The woman cackled as the boys took off running. As she and the man closed in on me, the alarms screamed in my head.
Evil! Bad! Run! Go!
My sixth sense had never been so frightened. I couldn’t move, though. Fear paralyzed my body. My heart hammered painfully against my ribs.
The couple stopped several yards away. The woman studied me as if assessing a rare animal. The man lifted his face to the sky, his whole body trembling. I followed his gaze to see the thin, gauzy clouds sliding across a full moon. The woman cackled again. Panic sucked the air from my lungs.
“Alexis, at last,” the woman said, her voice raspy, like a long-time smoker’s. “We’ll get such a nice reward for you.”
My eyes widened and my voice trembled. “D-do I know you?”
She grinned, a wicked glint in her eyes. “Not yet.”
Or ever, if I can help it.
_____________end of excerpt_________________

Ohhhhhhh......And I've now added  Promise and  Purpose to my TBR. Thank you so much for taking time out to chat with me here. 

Thank you so much for having me here! This was a lot of fun!

Kristie can be found at:
Author website & blog: www.KristieCook.com
Series website: www.SoulSaversSeries.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook
Twitter: @kristiecookauth
Promise book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3EpeJWA7DQ

Kristie will giveaway a digital copy of both Promise and Purpose to one lucky commenter. For your chance to win just leave a comment along with your email address unless your contact information is provided already on your profile page. Open Internationally.



Book Blurbs courtesy of GoodReads


Alexis Ames decides to learn who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their secrets closely. After meeting Tristan Knight and discovering that he s not normal either, the secrets begin to unravel. Their union brings promise to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy. Because they are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.


Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of insanity. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Facing a decision with inconceivable sacrifices, she runs to the place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable.





                                                  



EXTRA........EXTRA!!
Also, Check out the HUGE Blog Hop Giveaway that I am participating in this week (June 6 - 13). Sign-up to win one of the fantastic Grand Prizes...Be sure to hop to the other participating blogs also to increase your odds of winning.  Also, I have a BONUS Giveaway you can enter.  LOTS of great opportunities this week to win!  Comment for your chance to win Kristie's book below and click over to my Reviews page to check out the other giveaways while you're in the neighborhood.

25 comments:

Karen said...

I loved your interview and love your books. Congratulations and can't wait for the other books of the Soul Ssver series to arrive. Yay! kdskarebear yahoo com

throuthehaze said...

Awesome interview! Thanks for the chance to win these books :)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Krystal said...

I loved your interview and I have read Promise 3 times, I always have to wait for the library though. Your ideas are so cool! Thank you for this giveaway! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

Vivien said...

Fabulous interview! I've been really wanting to get into this series, sounds great :)

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Elodie said...

I haven't read Kristie Cook's books yet but they sound really good !
Thanks for stopping by my blog ;) ! I'm a new follower of yours too !!

Laurie said...

Krystal -thanks for coming by and Good Luck!

Laurie said...

Hi Vivien - I appreciate you stopping by and thanks so much for entering. :)

Laurie said...

Hi Elodie - I just visited your place from the Blog Hop, also. :) Thanks so much for stopping by here and, I agree, Kristie's books sound super!

Laurie said...

Hi Karen - :) thanks for leading off the great round of comments. I appreciate you dropping by and wish you luck on the giveaway(s).

Laurie said...

Hi throuthehaze! Thanks so much for coming by. Glad you liked the interview. I LOVE finding out new stuff about the peeps who feed my reading addiction, too. LOL

michelle130 said...

Great interview.

Christi said...

New follower, love your blog and thanks for the giveaway!

caldellizzi(at)gmail(dot)com

Nicki J Markus said...

Thanks for the follow - following back!

Laurie said...

Hi Nicki and Michelle! So happy you dropped in and I appreciate you taking time out to comment. :)

Welcome Christi....and thank you!
Good luck and thanks for entering!

Laurie

Amy said...

Thanks for following me, I am now following back!

And entering this giveaway, also. I have been itching to read Kristie Cook's books for a LONG time.

yma367@hotmail.com

Taffy said...

Wow! Nice tease!

I'm popped over to say hi and thanks for following my blog :)

Laurie said...

Hi Taffy! Thank you for stopping in.
:)

Stacey Donaldson said...

Great interview! I love author interviews - they give me hope! LOL

I am going to put both books on my TBR too!

Laurie said...

hi Stacey....glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for dropping by.:)

Diana said...

Great interview! The covers of books are amazing.
Thanks for the giveaway.

artgiote at gmail dot com

Kristie Cook said...

Karen & Krystal, thank you so much for reading! Glad you've enjoyed. :)

throughthehaze, vivien, elodie, amy, stacey and Diana, I hope you get a chance to read the books. Good luck on winning!

Shelby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelby said...

I have heard so many incredible things about these books! been saving pennies to get them! Thanks for the chance to win copies!
shel_b21@yahoo.com

Mickey @ imabookshark said...

Wow. I so need to read these! :o)

imabookshark @ yahoo . com

Thanks!!
Mickey @ imabookshark.blogspot.com

Laurie said...

Thank you everyone for entering!! Using Random.org I have selected the winner.........{drumroll}.

And the winner is DIANA!!

For everyone who didn't win this time, I am sorry. But, you have another chance this week to win a cool swag package from T.Lynne Tolles. So please, be sure to check it out!