We are excited to welcome author, Candice Bundy, to the nest today. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the end of this post.
Candice: I dabbled a bit in my teens, mostly in poetry and short stories which have never seen the light of day. Then in my late twenties I jumped into writing a Sci-Fi/Horror multiple POV trilogy as my first project. Needless to say I’ve picked it up and put it down multiple times, thus why I’m finalizing edits on the first book for rollout this winter. In 2010-11 I wrote The Daemon Whisperer and planned out the Liminals Series, and as these things often do, the second project moved much more quickly than the first.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Can you describe your novel in five words?
Candice: Woman discovers life beyond vengeance.
Candice: Like many of my stories: from a dream. Well, a fraction of one. I dreamt about a young lady, we’ll call her Meri, and the specifics are fuzzy but I remember her in this dirty, grimy world and she had blood on her hands. She’d done something horrible, but she didn’t have an ounce of regret or shame. She would have preferred another way, but she only had this one tool, and it was a dangerous, deadly one (I couldn’t tell what). As she dragged herself home, knowing it’d be an empty, lonely place, she hoped she was closer to the truth. That’s what I woke up with, and stewed on, for weeks. The world of the Liminals grew out of that dirty grime, danger, and determination.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which character is your favorite to write?
Candice: Although he’s one of the minor characters (as least in this installment) Orias (a daemon with the ability of foresight) is definitely my favorite to write. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a positive outlook, despite the weight of knowledge resting on his shoulders. Unfortunately, he can’t share his internal debates with anyone, not without risking changing the future. His emotional frustrations and triumphs just pour out. If everyone else would just use him as a sort of weather vane, even when he refuses to comment, they’d go a long way towards reading his mind.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: What was the road to publication like for you?
Candice: I chose to go self-pub with this series, so the keyword on this road has been coordination. The selection of the cover artist, interviewing editors based on sample edits, working through the edits, working with proofreaders, marketing, etc. Much of my support has come from other indie and self-published writers who’ve gone the same path. There’s a strong, supportive community out there for authors who are willing to ask for advice and then put for the effort. It’s also interesting for me because my focus is on writing book two of the Liminals Series, The Madness Path, and on finalizing edits for The Dream Sifter, the first book in my Sci-Fi series, yet I’m not altogether past the rollout of book one yet. I’m not afraid to admit I’m a tad discombobulated.
Andrea @ Reading Lark: What is your favorite bird? (This is a Reading Lark tradition)
Candice: In my neighborhood we have sharp-shinned hawks are native here, and as we back to greenbelt we’re lucky enough to spy them with regularity. They’re distinctive from the extra plumage/feathers around their feet. On my first Mother’s Day one landed on the arbor right outside my kitchen window. I think it’d been trying to catch another bird and missed, but then my son and I sat and ‘chatted’ with it for a few minutes before it took off again. He’s loved them since then, and I have to confess, the moment has stuck with me.
About the Author:
Candice lives in Centennial, Colorado with her husband, son, and her pathetically stupid but therefore very sweet cat Maia. Candice loves to make wine and mead and is a professional hedonist, rabble-rouser, and goat-herder. She adores archeology and all things Greek/Roman, so if you send her fan mail, please send it on cuneiform tablets, papyrus, or traditional vellum.
About The Book:
Meriwether Storm discovered the grisly remains of her parents on their living room floor when she was only fourteen, the result of a failed daemon summoning. Meri immediately swore vengeance on the daemon who'd killed her parents, but there was only one problem--she had no idea which one had committed the atrocity.
Before their untimely deaths her parents had trained her intensively in the arts, and Meri used her skills to follow in their footsteps, ever seeking the daemon's name. Now, despite her years of searching, she's no closer to the truth and her time is running out.
A captivating daemon mysteriously offers her a dangerous job in exchange for information about her parent's murderer. Will she accept a deal from the daemon if it means finally learning the truth? Is it her instincts, her unusual attraction, or her desperation for answer, pushing her to trust the very creature she normally despises?
When retribution is the only thing that drives you, how much are you willing to sacrifice before you lose yourself to the cause?
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Dark Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Lusios Publishing, LLC
Number of pages: 366
Word Count: 105,000
Cover Artist: Amber Shah
Chapter 3 Excerpt - Second meeting between Meri and the daemon Azimuth, with a bit of verbal sparring as she wants the payoff of the job he's offering, but worries about the risks involved.
In the park across the street Meri watched children play, couples strolling, and a pair of old men playing chess. If her life had gone another path, she could have lived like them, but it hadn't, and she'd never be like them. Not now. Not ever.
She envied their lives' simplicity. Even if she wanted to stop summoning, she couldn't. Her adversaries wouldn't go away, and neither would the steady clientele. Besides, she had no other job skills. She did one thing, very well and it was very, very dangerous.
Her earliest memories were of her parents drilling her through lessons about what daemons were ruled by and invoked by what. She remembered her mamma's proud eyes and standing with her shoulders set firm when she'd summoned an impressive glamour daemon when she was just twelve. The daemon had required toenail clippings, skin shavings, and a bit of blood too, all so that Meri could appear to be a normal child with no daemon markings for summer camp for a month with the normal kids. It had worked, but in the end it wasn't real. She'd spent the entire time scared to death the spell would wear off early. Now she was left with a permanent, iridescent mark on the instep on her left foot.
Not exactly something you can put on a resume.
The hair on the back of her neck raised and the ink under her skin prickled, and she looked around for the source, knowing only a daemon would get her ink reactive. Just at that moment, her newest prospective client walked out from among a copse of trees in the park and headed her way. She couldn't help smiling at the trick — teleporting boldly in broad daylight — yet none in the crowded park noticed. Damned if he didn't look just as appealing in the daylight as he did last night. This time he wore a tailored black jacket over a white shirt, black leather pants, and boots. Usually daemons didn't bother to mix up their wardrobes. Why did this one make the effort?
"May I join you?" asked Azimuth, pointing at a chair.
"You may have a seat at this table." She smiled, unwilling to commit to 'joining' the daemon in his plans by a mistaken word choice.
Azimuth sat down, relaxing into the patio chair. Meri could barely take her eyes off him. She picked up her coffee cup, deliberately toying with the empty sugar packet. "I'm not trying to trick you into anything, Meri."
"No one ever is. You're here to offer me a job?"
"Once you're ready to go to a somewhat more discreet location, I can divulge more details," Azimuth replied. A wide-eyed waitress came to take the daemon's order, but he waved her off. His eyes lingered on Meri. "But it can wait. I don't want to interrupt your coffee."
What, a gentleman? She couldn't believe it. A pro negotiator was more like it. She shifted uncomfortably under his powerful gaze. Was he trying to make her squirm?
"You're not used to company?"
"My habits are not up for discussion," she said and took a sip of her coffee.
Azimuth frowned. "That would be a 'no,' then. I imagine a life, such as yours, would be isolated."
Meri took another sip of her strong brew. Just how much research had his boss done on her? "Just the opposite. I have powerful allies, more clients than I can count, and I'm well recognized. You could say ... many around town know my name."
"So that's a 'yes' on the isolation."
Meri grimaced. Did daemons feel emotions too? She knew they hungered after their baser natures. Her summoner-trained curiosity wanted to know what made Azimuth tick. "Does it matter? I've bound every daemon I've faced, more than I've bothered to count, or we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Which would be why your boss wants to hire me for my binding skills, yes?"
Azimuth's lip curled in a mocking smile. "You don't even know how many of us you've bound to you?"
Meri drained her cup, stood, and left a twenty on the table, tipping graciously as always. She knew how poorly the wait staff were paid, and the money meant relatively little to her."I do, but I'm not fool enough to divulge such information to a daemon. Let's go."
Azimuth fell into step beside her. They walked a block and he turned into the nearest alley and went through a small, private gate of old, beaten up iron fencing. They walked midway down the alley before he turned to face her. The corridor was empty, the far end blocked by bricked-off buildings. The way they'd come in was the only entrance. A row of dumpsters lined the alleyway, affording them a surprising amount of privacy.
"Well? Where's your boss?" Meri asked. Pinpricks of fear traveled down her back. They were alone here, and as a daemon, he was much stronger than she was. She'd trusted him about the job offer, but what if it was a ruse? Did she have enough tricks up her pockets?
"I need to know one additional piece of information before I take you to him." Azimuth stepped closer, his expression cool and dispassionate. "Show me your ink. I need to see who you've bound previously."
She licked her lips. The prospect of disrobing, even partially, for this daemon in an alley was absurd. Although he worded it professionally, his eyes held shadows and a curiosity Meri didn't trust. "Kiss and tell? Not with a daemon, I won't. Your boss, sure thing. But not you."
Azimuth gripped his chin between his thumb and forefinger and raised his right eyebrow. "He won't see you unless I secure certain information first."
"Give me another option." One that didn't involve being naked in an alley with a totally hot daemon. Of course she wasn't attracted to him. Even if she was, she'd never give him the satisfaction of knowing he'd gotten under her skin. Never.
The iris' of Azimuth eyes flashed to white, and then back to sky blue. Her heart skipped a beat, curiosity over his quirks quickly becoming her newest obsession. After a few moments, he conceded. "I can sense falsehoods, if you will allow my contact."
Useful skill. "Wait a moment, daemon. Explain the terms of this engagement first."
"You're unusually cautious, summoner."
"I've lived a long time. I intend to live a while longer."
We have TWO eBook copies of The Daemon Whisperer up for grabs. Thank you, Candice, for providing the books for the giveaway. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY! Winners will have their choice of a book in mobi or epub format. In order to win you must:
* Be 18+ years old
* Fill out the Rafflecopter below
The giveaway runs from December 5-12. The winner will be contacted via email on December 13.