I'm posting this a little late but better late than never. I have the wonderful Author Jean Murray to my blog today.
Key to the Cursed Series Book Two
Key to the Cursed Series Book Two
Genre: Dark Paranormal
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Date of Publication: January 15, 2013
Number of pages: 292
Word Count: 92,000
Cover Artist: Taria A. Reed
LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR
Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.
HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST
Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most-- his Parvana. His butterfly.
About the Author:
In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.
What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?
I don’t use a pen name at this time. I currently write under my given name, Jean Murray.
Tell me a bit about yourself:
I recently retired from the Navy after 20 years of service. Loved it. I’ve never lived in one place more than 3-4 years. I was able travel and experience other cultures along the way. Those experiences influence my writing today. It was hard to say goodbye, but it was time to settle down in one place. We have three boys, ages 3, 6, and 7 ½. To say the least my husband and I are very busy, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Writing is my hobby and my escape from reality -- therapy for the soul.
What type of genre do you write?
I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy, mostly. I like to blend the two genres together. The Key to the Cursed series is a mix of the two, just the right amount of action and romance.
What genre to you personally read?
I read much of what I write, although I do break off and explore at times. I’ve started to read quite a few YA and historical novels, but I always end up coming back to paranormal romance.
I laugh, because I was a huge Tom Clancy fan. I didn’t start reading romance until 2008. Can’t say I’ve picked up a military suspense since J
Tell me about your latest?
Soul Awakened just released in January and this book was a labour of love. It was such an emotional book to write. Bakari has been imprisoned in a wooden sarcophagus. The spell cast upon him relegates him to a death-like sleep, but sleep it is not. He is fully aware, but unable to wake from his nightmare. Imagine what that would do to a person? Kendra feels his suffering and does everything in her power to take his pain away, but ultimately Bakari has to heal his own soul from within. Grab onto his hope and never let it go.
What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?
I have always enjoyed reading. It is so relaxing to sit with a cup of coffee and just waste away the day. (That was before having children - ;-) Writing a story is even better. I think my favorite part is seeing the storylines and plot threads come together beautifully. Writing is not that dissimilar to an artist’s painting. Each stroke whether by brush or by keyboard adds to the overall picture and story. I love when things are unexpected or the suspense is nail biting. A good story is truly an art.
Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way?
I mentioned earlier I was a big suspense fan. If you would have known me seven years ago you wouldn’t have found a romance book on my shelf.
Until one fateful day….
I love telling this story, because it changed my life. I had just watched the movie, Underworld, and absolutely loved it. There was something about that movie that clicked with me. The mix of action, vampires and romance. I decided I was going to read a vampire novel. I picked one up off the shelf at a store and hated it. I decided to give it another try-- certainly there was a book out there like Underworld. I picked up this novel titled “Daemon” by Jacquelyn Frank. Then came - Noah, Jacob, Elijah and Gideon. I read them completely out of order, but I was totally blown away by the world she had created. Needless to say, I finished off the series and haven’t looked back. Sorry, Tom.
Soon to follow was JR Ward, Lara Adrian, Kresley Cole….
Paranormal romance opened my eyes to a whole new world – one that I wanted to write about. It was shortly after that I began my writing journey.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
There is a message in every book. Soul Reborn is about acceptance, forgiveness and second chances at love. Soul Awakened touches upon some very deep emotional pain. The story is truly about hope and redemption, without one you can’t have the other.
What challenges have you faced in your writing career?
I think the biggest challenge is finding the time to write. With a full time job, and a young growing family, it leaves little time to write except late at night. Writing is an outlet for me, so whatever I do get a moment I am grateful. I’ve been known to sit with my computer in my lap while my hair is in foils at the hair salon J
What has been your best moment as a writer?
Oh, boy. That would be getting my first publishing contract. Hands down. The thrill is there with each book, but there will be only one “first.”
Who is your author idol?
I’m going to surprise you by saying Linda Howard. What a multi-talented lady! I stood in line to get her autograph at one of the RWA conferences. Despite the line, she had a ten minute conversation with me, and no doubt with those behind me. I walked away with a signed copy of her book, Death Angel, a picture with her, and the impression – being friendly and courteous is just as important as a good book from a big author. I want to be just like her J
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Kendra from my most recent release, Soul Awakened, is very much like me. She really sees the world through naïve eyes not unlike how I was at a younger age. As we mature, so does our view of the world and our place in it. Kendra’s journey is hard, but she pushes away her fears in favour of standing up for herself.
Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
I definitely think there is much more to be had. I think once you achieve your dream, you need to set another goal and work towards it.
What does your workspace look like?
Ha! Depends on where my boys are. Mostly, sitting on the floor with computer in lap and toys strewn around me. Or the kitchen table. Or couch. LOL
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
No, never. I will always write that I have no doubt.
But, I can understand why one might quit. Stories are a personal journey for a writer. There is emotion and personal investment that goes into the art of story making. So when rejection occurs or a bad review it can take a bite out of you. This is just part of the business, just like sales. I write because it’s my passion, but the success of the series is driven by sales. It would be great to have both together, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I wish I had something exciting to say, like backpacking through Europe or visiting the Pyramids. But alas, I’m working full time, being a mom, doing the laundry, and enjoying those precious minutes with my sons and husband.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Coffee. After staying up writing, I need some serious coffee in the morning. LOL.
If I had to list the top five attributes they would be the following:
- Write a story you feel passionate about. It will show in your writing. Follow your heart.
- Find what method works for you. When I first started out I was told through several workshops if I was going to do this right, I needed to outline my stories, create a bible, character profiles, the lists went on. I felt like I was submitting a term paper. Now, I’m not knocking outlines because it works very well with some people. Notice I said –SOME. Find out what feels comfortable to you.
- Hit send. Yes, you might get rejected, but you will never know unless you try. Use the feedback you receive as a guide, but don’t give up.
- Don’t take it personally. Treat every bad review or rejection letter as an opportunity to learn. Use the information and keep an open mind.
- Ban yourself from Amazon’s Author Central Page. Check only once per week. Man, I don’t know what it is with this author rank and sales rank, but it becomes an obsession. The refresh button is a curse. It’s like watching water boil. You can stare all day at that line and how many points it goes up or down. Worry less about the sales and have fun promoting and meeting new people. Reward yourself at the end of the week and take a peak. Note the number and move on…
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Join a writing group that has mutual interests. If it wasn’t for my friends at the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal RWA chapter, I wouldn’t have known all there was to the industry. A collective group brings varied experiences together and provides opportunities that may not have been available to a single individual. Find a community that is the right fit for you. Shop around until you feel comfortable. It could be right in your community, library, or arts center.
After this book, what is next?
I’m working on the third book in the Key to the Cursed Series, Soul Unbound. Bomani will finally get his own story. I owe him after denying him in Soul Awakened. An enemy will resurface, one that we haven’t seen since Soul Reborn. We will finally see how Bomani was created and why Menthu wants to overthrow the Pantheon. And, more importantly, the goddess Siya, who is the perfect match for the former Legion Commander. Get ready for some serious action in this one.
WHEN LOVE AND HONOR IS LOST
Bomani escapes his Underworld home under a cloud of loss and shame into the realm of the living, a place he doesn't belong. Desperate to stay hidden from his family, Bomani agrees to track an exiler with strict orders to look but not touch. The moment he encounters his mark, the Goddess of War, he knows he is damned to break the one order that is keeping him from facing his shame.
NOT ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR
Exiled to the human realm over four thousand years ago with a stay of execution, Siya struggles to ensure that the good of humanity prospers despite the evil invading its core. Memories of a forbidden love affair resurface when she is haunted by a dark warrior lurking in the shadows. Fate has told her there are no second chances at love, especially when the next day may be her last.
Blog Address: www.wickedromance.wordpress.
Soul Awakened: http://youtu.be/S3IlOKhBZoY
Where can your book be found?
Soul Reborn and Soul Awakened, both ebook and print, are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and BooksAMillion.
US AMAZON Soul Awakened: http://www.amazon.com/gp/
product/B00B0I1A9G/ref=as_li_ ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag= wwwjeanmurray-20&linkCode=as2& camp=1789&creative=390957& creativeASIN=B00B0I1A9G
UK Amazon Soul Awakened: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-
Awakened-Jean-Murray/dp/ 1937254976/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8& qid=1360281149&sr=8-1
US AMAZON Soul Reborn:
product/B004WDYK7A/ref=as_li_ ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag= wwwjeanmurray-20&linkCode=as2& camp=1789&creative=390957& creativeASIN=B004WDYK7A
UK Amazon Soul Reborn:
Reborn-ebook/dp/B004WDYK7A/ ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid= 1360281149&sr=8-1-fkmr0
Here is my review for Soul Awakened:
Kendra Carrigan, an Archeologist, Egyptologist and demi-god in her own right, ventures into Thebes, Egypt to deal with her father’s body that had been brought back to the Underworld my her sister Lily when she had to shove her sword into his chest when he was a zombie. Her husband, Asur wants his son Bakari’s tomb opened so he can move on in the Underworld. With Bomani, the Underworld Legion Commander by her side, Kendra jumps head first into the events that unfold around her. Though Bomani lusts after Kendra, dare he say anything especially after Bakari marks her? She ventures into the lair of Bakari to open the tomb. He had been taken hostage by Kepi, fed her blood and had his powers muted by using scorpions. She then placed a curse on him and put him into his ‘tomb’ after torturing him for four years. Kendra realized there is a curse that kept the sarcophagus shut for her normal methods of opening sarcophagus did not work. She studied and studied to find that curse. After strange things start happening to her, will she give of herself to save Bakari? Will she find the key to the curse? Will she survive to see it? All will be told in the end.
Author, Jean Murray’s use of words depict vivid pictures for the reader. As a reader, I use my own imagination but she writes in such a manner that she creates it all for you. She wrote a spellbinding, twisting and turning story that draws in the reader from the beginning and keep you guess throughout. The main character is so likable and you find yourself rooting for her throughout her journey despite her setbacks. This story also produces an amazing amount of Egyptology mixed in the story and it adds to the realizism of the story. This is a must read, along with her first book, Soul Reborn, Key to the Cursed, Book 1.
Let's all thank Jean for joining us today. Please check out her websites and books. I really enjoyed them and highly recommend them to everyone. Thanks!