Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cassiel Knight's Key of Solomon; Relic Defender

Cathryn, thanks for letting me post on your blog.
Recently, I was asked a question that took me back a bit and made me think about something at the core of why I’m a writer. The question was if there were parts of my debut release with Samhain taken from my real life. You know, some writers use past or current experiences and some have specific themes that teach a lesson or highlight a problem in society. And that’s great. But that’s not why I write or what I think about when I craft a story.

The answer to the question is that no, my stories don’t really take anything from my life – past or present. I write them for pure entertainment. For the joy of immersing myself in a setting, in characters I love being around (even the bad guys) and even for the research. Because I write stories with archeological (huge fan of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider) and mythological elements, I set out to have an adventure – for my characters and my readers. Maybe there’s a message there – in the end – but I don’t conscientiously try to create one. My stories are my way of enjoying the world around me. Our daily lives are often fraught with stress and worries that, to me, are best relieved through the power of the written word. When I read and write – I want to be entertained. And that’s what I will always strive to do for my readers. Entertain. And hey, if you learn something along the way, that works too. Happy Reading!

Relic Defender: Key of Solomon

Coming March 1, 2011 from Samhain Publishing

Book 1 of the Relic Defender series

Trust no one…except the one who walks in the dark.

Anthropology PhD candidate Lexi Harrison never bares it all when she belly dances for a strip club crowd. She doesn’t have to—she’s that good. Every performance earns money toward her degree, and restores the sense of power her painful childhood ripped away.

Something is different about tonight. A man whose silver gaze seems to touch her skin beneath her veils. When a rowdy customer crosses the line, he comes to her rescue with the speed of a hawk—complete with wings.

Mikos Tyomni has never seen anyone dance like Lexi. Trust his tormentor, Archangel Michael, to put him in close contact with the cause of his downfall: a mortal woman. Particularly this mortal woman. The Defender. He has only thirty days to win her trust before Hell’s deadliest demon attempts the mother of all prison breaks.

No matter how sexy the messenger is, Lexi’s career plans don’t include some crazy idea she’s the last line of defense against the forces of evil. Until her university mentor’s murder leaves her holding the key to Hell. And fighting a losing battle against a passion forbidden by Heaven.

This title contains a dark and sexy fallen angel, bad-ass demons, a heroine with kick-assitude tossed together with mythology, archeology and a shape-shifting rock with a fondness for the gangsters of the 1920s.
Please check out my Virtual Book Launch website, to read more excerpts and for a chance to win some great door prizes.
            Chapter One
“Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.”
            Janwillem van de Wetering
Chicago, Illinois
University of Chicago
Present Time

Lexi Harrison stalked the hallways of Haskell Hall, the sound of her low-heeled cowboy boots making a satisfying click on the tiled floors. A swift-moving current of fellow students within the Anthropology Department flowed around her, their frenetic movements signaling the approach of the end of the year. This late in the year, no one moved like the proverbial tortoise. Not when finals and dissertations were coming up fast.

In fact, if it hadn’t been for her professor’s urgent summons, by special courier to her apartment for Pete’s sake, she wouldn’t be here herself. Every spare hour, no, second, she had was slotted for polishing her dissertation.

Within the next month, she’d graduate with her PhD and be able to start her new job with the Anderson Wyatt archeological team in the cisternas of Peru. Her fondest wish come true. She didn’t have time to waste. Lexi pursed her lips. Except Professor Xaviera wasn’t just a professor. He’d given so much to her and in so many ways, acted as the father she never had. He called. She came running. No questions. Confusion, definitely, but no questions.

She came to an abrupt halt in front of his office door. A roil of unease curled in her stomach. Why the hell was his door closed? A gregarious man, he preferred a near constant ebb and flow of students and colleagues into his sanctum. A smile twitched on her lips at the memory of one occasion she’d come up on him arguing with the Dean and head of the Anthropology Department.
“I’m the oldest damn professor on staff, and if I want the damn door gone, the damn door should be gone,” she’d heard him shout.

His strident tone had ricocheted down the hallways bouncing off eardrums and making glass shudder. Her professor had lost that battle. One of the few to her knowledge. Since then, she’d never seen the door closed. Until now.

She knocked once before entering. At first, she didn’t see the tall, lean almost Icabod-Cranish skeletal figure of Professor Xavier.

“Please close the door, Lexi.”

Was that her professor? The soft, scratchy voice was nothing like his normally robust and booming tones. After complying, she turned toward the large armchair sitting near a small floor lamp. Professor Xavier sat in the tattered chair, his elbows resting on his knees.

Actually, what he did could not be called sitting. Like a deflated vinyl doll, he slouched, his lean frame bent as if only a little air kept him upright. To her searching gaze, he looked defeated. Broken. Her stomach lurched. As if he’d been forced to do something he didn’t want to do. Were all her carefully crafted plans about to come crashing down like a house of cards? The unease twirling in her gut kicked into high gear.

“Professor, you wanted to see me?” she said.

He didn’t move. Didn’t lift his head. Didn’t twitch. She waited a few seconds. Caught herself rocking with impatience and forced herself to stand still. Then waited a few more seconds. “Professor?” she asked when the seconds stretched into a long-ass minute.

His narrow shoulders lifted into a huge sigh. When his eyes plunged into hers, she started, her weight shifting backward at the lost expression in his dark gaze. What the hell was wrong with him?
Xaviera’s lips pulled into a weak smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Thank you for coming in.” He gestured to the ladder-back chair that sat opposite his. “Please have a seat. This won’t take long.”