Entering the real world after college often educates one to the true horrors of the harsh obstacles life has to offer. For Kailey Yates the discoveries are far more terrifying and dangerous. Two days before she graduated with a degree in investigative journalism, her brother Vincent is found dead in his swimming pool with a syringe stuck in his arm. His death is ruled as a suicide, but Kailey doesn’t buy it.
She suspects Vincent’s new wife Cassie is the one who actually killed him. Her suspicions are drawn from his rapid health deterioration during his short six month marriage. During one of her last Skype conversations she had with Vincent, Kailey’s roommate Raven witnesses their conversation and immediately senses that Vincent is being soul-drained by a succubus. Since Raven is a witch, Kailey has no doubt about her friend’s perception and concludes that Cassie must be the demon responsible.
Kailey leaves Boston and flies to Seattle for her brother’s funeral. While there she investigates the circumstance surrounding his death. She uncovers dark information that leads her to Nocturnal Trinity, a nightclub in the heart of Seattle. And worse, the underground club is run by a powerful alliance of vampires, demons, and witches that wish to protect Cassie at all costs, which includes killing Kailey or anyone else if necessary.
~ Bewitching BT
Kailey Yates knew that her brother Vincent would never have killed himself had it not been for his new wife, Cassie. And yet, Kailey stood at Vincent’s graveside while the workers prepared to lower her brother’s casket into the cold ground, his final resting place.
The gray overcast Seattle sky with its chilly swirling mists set the mood for the burial and the gloom that also possessed her broken heart. The towering leafless oaks in the cemetery were sinister skeletons forewarning that the dangerous kiss of winter’s death would soon settle over them, harsher than ever before.
One never escaped death, but sometimes death came too early with an unfairness that made Kailey want to scream at the heavens from her inner rage and loss. After all, her brother had been a successful attorney in his early thirties and destined to become the first in their family that had graduated from college to live a prosperous lifestyle. He was never a man who entertained suicidal thoughts.
The workers and his ritzy friends from the Langston Law Firm had come out in great number. She estimated no less than one hundred people had arrived. Never had she seen so many expensive suits and vehicles. Coming from a modest middleclass family, she never imagined she or her brother would rub elbows with the upper class of society, but he had been adamant that they would be wealthy and worked painstakingly to get them there.
While the priest gave the eulogy, the men and women stood stoically silent, their eyes staring at Vincent’s casket. The priest finished speaking and led the audience in a proper prayer, praying that Vincent’s soul found forgiveness and mercy for leaving this world by suicide.
How fitting, Kailey thought, wringing her hands. Blame the innocent for what the murderer did.
While the others respectfully closed their eyes, she gazed around, trying to see Cassie, but the two men standing in front of her sister-in-law blocked Kailey’s view. Moments after the priest finished his lengthy ill-placed prayer, the wealthy people mingled to hug, shake hands, and chat.
The slight breeze swirled Kailey’s long reddish-brown curls, forcing her to pull her hair back and letting it fall onto her back and shoulders. Her jaw suddenly tightened, hiding the wrinkles that deepened into cute dimples whenever she smiled. Her hazel eyes suddenly blazed with anger and vengeance.
Across the grave Cassie stood dressed in a form-fitting black skirt that accentuated her perfect curves and perhaps distastefully revealed more leg than what was suitable at a funeral for one’s husband. Her tight long-sleeved jacket cut off at her midriff, revealing her well-defined abs. She wore black-netted hose and velvety black high heels. Hell, streetwalkers wore more clothes in this cold weather.
Cassie hid her pale face behind a white handkerchief and sobbed. Kailey understood how a man might be immediately drawn to Cassie’s exquisite beauty. Her slender oval face with high cheekbones gave her a regal presence even at this dismal funeral. She carried herself with the utmost grace, in spite of her poor choice of attire, but she also had a seductively dark energy radiating from her.
When Cassie’s dark eyes met Kailey’s, Cassie lowered her hands and meekly folded the handkerchief. Her tearless eyes weren’t even slightly tinged red. A bit of amusement curled Cassie’s pouty lips. An odd flicker of recognition blazed in her eyes and hinted slight detestation, even though they had never met in person. Kailey felt the resentment and didn’t understand why, unless Cassie had somehow figured out that Kailey suspected her of murdering Vincent, which Kailey did. Perhaps Cassie read it in her eyes. Or worse, perhaps this she-devil could read Kailey’s thoughts.
Moments later, Cassie broke their connection and returned to her fake sobs, wiping at her eyes with the cloth in a way that demanded pity from the solemn onlookers.
One of Vincent’s former attorney friends wore a gray pinstriped suit and overcoat. He approached Cassie to console her. He was trim with brown hair, a firm jaw, and offered a tender smile as he spoke to the widow. She buried her face against the man’s chest. Obviously surprised by her approach, he gently patted her back from an awkward distance, but Cassie aggressively wrapped her arms around him. To lessen his discomfort in the situation, he finally leaned in closer and embraced her.
She nuzzled against his chest, reached beneath his jacket, and clung to him. Her body shook with what people nearby might consider being violent heaving sobs. He rested his chin atop her head and whispered. His hands gently rubbed her back, and she seemed to calm at his touch and gentle words. She stopped sobbing and became less broken.
Don’t you see that those tears aren’t real? A slight breeze rustled Kailey’s long flowing brown hair. Instead of remorse for her brother’s death, she felt a growing resentment toward his widow. A bitter taste came to the back of her throat, and she fought the rising gag reflex from seeing this woman’s blatant slutty behavior and utter disrespect for her husband. What did Vincent ever see in you?
Kailey also battled the growing urge to march across the cemetery and rattle the woman with several jabs to Cassie’s face and swift punches to her stomach.
Another place. Another time.
Kailey’s sister-in-law, even now, wore little makeup. Her lipstick was a bright red hue, which made her pale reflection appear even lighter. Her raven hair was neatly styled with silver pins and sprigs of Lady’s Breath. Her pretend tears had not smudged the dark mascara around her eyes, and with her ashen complexion she resembled a corpse better than her brother probably had at his viewing. To others, even the hundred or more attending the funeral, she appeared stately, reserved, and the perfect widow.
Well played, Kailey thought. You’ve fooled them, but not me.
Cassie was a cold parasite that had preyed upon Vincent, seduced him into marrying her, and then taken his life to possess his wealth and million-dollar estate. Kailey couldn’t act on her suspicions alone. She needed proof. The coroner had ruled her brother’s death as a suicide, but she believed it was not. Relevant details had never been disclosed to her, and she wanted answers.
Vincent had been murdered. Cassie had killed him, made it look like a suicide, and Kailey was determined to prove it.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
While talking with a college student of mine, an idea struck me, so I wrote two pages and had her read it. Her first response: “You have to finish this!” The opening and characters kept my interest and I had no choice but to set aside my other novel and finish this one.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist?
She basically appeared on the page, introduced herself, and I followed, taking notes.
What about your antagonist?
Slowly revelations about the enemy played out on the page.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”?
Yes. But mine tended to stem more from mental exhaustion than not having ideas to work from.
What did you do to escape it?
Reading helps. Participating in NaNoWriMo also put me into a mind frame of setting time each day to write.
5. Your all time favorite book?
The Mist (Novella) by Stephen King
6. What made you pick that one above all others?
The depth of the description, mood, and characterization.
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
I have one novel that I’ve been working on (off and on) over ten years. Other ideas tend to make me set it aside.
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you?
9. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up?
No. I needed to know where and how the book ended.
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of?
I write almost every day. Monday-Friday, I spend at least 6 hours writing.
What else do you do, aside writing?
Currently I am writing fulltime.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism?
They sting, but you have to ignore them and move on. Keep writing.
What would you advise other authors to that effect? If the points of the review are valid (e.g. errors, misspelled words, syntax), find the problems and fix them.
12. Is this title part of a series?
Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
Although the book ends completely, there is room for several of the other characters to emerge. New problems will inevitably arise. At the end of the novel, you will find the title of the forthcoming second book.
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
I work under various pen names, so for those who’d like to know more, please go to T.W. Mordrake author page on Facebook and like it. PM me and I will be happy to reveal other works. 😉
14. What made you decide to go the self-pub way?
After a major publisher set on my first novel for nearly three years, saying they really loved it, and then finally passing. That’s too much time invested when the book could have been available.
15. What would you say was the toughest part?
Building an audience and getting noticed.
16. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
Yes, yes, and yes!
17. How did you decide whom to hire, if you worked with pros?
Check out their previous clients. Always research before you hire. A lot of scammers, so one must beware. If you can use Paypal for payment, that is also a plus.
18. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
With Succubus? Four months.
19. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor?
In the past, I haven’t had any luck with Smashwords or other distributors, so I am currently exclusive with Amazon.
20. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I don’t think that I would change much. I learned a lot through the traditional route. I do wish I had gone digital much sooner than I did.
21. If you were to recommend one article, blog, post, or book to someone hoping to self-pub, what would it be?
A lot of good information is available via KBoards.
22. In retrospect, what was the toughest part of self-pubbing?
Finding and building an audience.
Was it the part that you thought would be toughest before embarking on this adventure?
No. This was something I knew I needed to learn. It’s a lot of trial and error though.
23. What’s one characteristic of an author who self-publishes, one word that would describe them?
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
To be debt free.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
3. Name your favorite fruit.
4. Coffee or tea? COFFEE, by all means!
5. Favorite season? Winter
6. How about fav time of 24 hours? 3:30 a.m.
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? No
8. Favorite food for breakfast? Poached eggs, oatmeal
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read? Circus of the Damned
10. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes? Books, frogs, dragons
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! Black
12. Drama or comedy? Drama
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto? Get what you give.
14. Cats or dogs? Cats
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? Candlelight 😉
16. What song have you listened to most recently? Wings of a Butterfly by HIM
17. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛
Honestly, the answer given was what came to mind.
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is…raspberry chocolate cheesecake.
2. If you could choose to be someone else for just one day, it would be…myself.
3. Your oldest memory is…nearly drowning at Pensacola Beach Florida.
4. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at…honesty.
5. Your favorite part of a date is...discovery.
6. You were/are a hardcore fan of…Farscape.
7. You’d immediately fall for someone who…has an endearing smile.
8. The one thing you could/can never get over is… the loss of my little brother.
9. If you could have any one superpower, it would be…invisibility.
10. The one thing that always brightens your day is...a smile.
11. The most awkward moment in your life happened when…sitting in the wrong classroom on the first day of college.
12. The awesomest thing in your life is…living.
About the Author & Links:
T.W. Mordrake writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Fantasy. A lover of all things mystical, T.W. explores the strange, unusual, and haunted places in the U.S., which lends to the underlying charm for writing about the paranormal creatures that lurk in the dark shadows of night.
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