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My good friend, and awesome writer, Kait Nolan, recently published her first novel, Forsaken by Shadow, the first book in the Mirus series. If you know Kait on twitter, then you already aware that she’s witty, intelligent and a fun tweeting partner. Not only does Kait have an informative blog about writing, Shadow and Fang,  check out her blog on cooking, Pots and Plots, for yummy recipes.  

To wet your whistle, here is a blurb for Forsaken by Shadow

Banished from their world with his memory wiped, Cade Shepherd doesn’t remember his life as Gage Dempsey, nor the woman he nearly died for. But when Embry Hollister’s father is kidnapped by military scientists, the only one she can turn to is the love from her past. Will Gage remember the Shadow Walker skills he learned from her father? If they survive, will Embry be able to walk away again?

Today I have a special treat for you all, Embry from Forsaken by Shadow has agreed, after being encouraged by her author, to sit and answer some questions.

Embry, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a firecaster. Well, sort of. My father is a firecaster. He’s able to manipulate and control flame. So am I, but where I differ from others of my race is that I can produce fire. I can thank my mother for that—and little else. As a fire elemental she wasn’t what you’d call a maternal figure. She gave me up after I was born, so it was always Dad and me. And then came Gage.

Can you tell us a little about the Mirus?

I could, but then I’d have to kill you. You’re not supposed to know about us, you see. It’s our greatest law. But hell, after everything that’s going on with your military, I guess it’s only a matter of time. I’m already suspended…

Mirus is the collective term for the entire paranormal world.  There are many races—from the usual suspects of vampires, werewolves, and witches, to other shifters, shamans, wraiths, the fae.  There are many races that humans have no mythology to explain.  We’ve been around as long as the humans have, in some cases longer.  For the last several centuries, we’ve lived in secret, hiding in plain sight.  We’re governed by the Council of Races, which you might think of as a paranormal United Nations.  Each race has representatives on the Council and they vote and determine the laws.  The name of the game is secrecy, as that’s believed to be the only way we will survive. 

When you saw Cade, whom you knew as Gage, in the ring for the first time, what’s the first thing that went through your mind?

He’s alive. I didn’t believe it, not really. It was like being sucker punched. After all these years…Matthias let me think that he was dead. Because of me. If this whole situation with my father being captured hadn’t come up, I doubt he’d ever have told me.

Gage had fallen in with an interesting crowd. Care to tell us a little about them?

Well I wasn’t in New Orleans long enough to get to know them, but despite Matthias’s intention to get Gage entirely away from our world, Gage still managed to wind up surrounded by it. His best friend was a Wylk—a wolf shifter. A crazy Cajun one who owned a bar. And his adopted mother figure Jeannette—well, I don’t know exactly what she was. A witch of some kind, maybe. She wasn’t easy to read.

What did you do all those years you thought Gage was dead?

As far as I knew, he was dead because I didn’t have enough control of my abilities. So I focused on learning control. I couldn’t be a Shadow Walker like I’d always wanted—that wasn’t one of my abilities, but I could still put my training to use and did when I joined the Investigation and Enforcement Division of the Council of Races. We’re what you might think of as the paranormal FBI. I made a pretty decent name for myself until I went rogue to rescue my father.

Do you think you would have tried to find Gage if you’d found out he was alive but your father wasn’t in danger?

I couldn’t have stopped myself. I would have had to see for myself that it wasn’t a lie, that he really had survived. I don’t know if I’d have approached him. :pauses to reflect: In saner moments, I’d have recognized that what Matthias did, wiping his memory, was the safest thing for him. As a human in the Mirus world, he could never be truly safe, and that’s why I always planned to walk away again when it was over. No matter how much it hurt. But I don’t know if I really could have done it.

When you found Gage, even after he remembered who he was, he could no longer Walk. Can you speculate on why?

Yes, he could no longer Shadow Walk. We didn’t know why at the time. I thought maybe it was a result of the memory spell—that it was going to take longer for everything to come back than I’d anticipated. Or maybe he’d been living human for too long. He shouldn’t have been able to Walk as a human in the first place, and Dad always speculated it was because he’d come to us as a child, before learning that certain things weren’t possible. Living as a human, he’d have lost that belief. As to why he truly couldn’t Walk, you’ll have to read to find out.

Tell us a little about your father.

My father is a Shadow Walker. That’s like the Special Ops Force in our world. He can control the shadows, travel by them. That’s what makes the Shadow Walkers so good at what they do. Dad’s a career Walker, but he hasn’t always agreed with the Council’s orders. He broke all kinds of rules to bring Gage home as a child and train him as his protégé.

It was a little reckless of you to attempt to rescue your father with no plan. That’s out of character. What else have you done in your life that’s a bit out of character?

I wasn’t always like this. I didn’t always have a plan, and I wasn’t so regimented—a fact which Gage likes to remind me of with regularity. But when Gage died—or I thought he had—everything changed for me. It was all because I lacked control. There’s no group more controlled than the IED. Maybe the fact is that losing my dad like that made me revert back to that time, when I was little more than a kid, when I thought I could do anything and the rules just didn’t apply.

Thank you Embry, I know you’re a busy woman. One more question. What’s next for you and Gage?

A vacation? Seriously. The world’s about to go to hell…we should take one while we still have the chance. We have a lot of catching up to do.

Good point.

You can learn more about Kait Nolan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Forsaken by Shadow is available at Scribd, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

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LisaMantchev

WM ~ Hi, Lisa.

 Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. Coffee? Tea? Cupcake? Um, would you kindly tell the fairy—I can’t tell which one it is, they kind of look alike to me—that if he leaves footprints all over the cupcakes, he has to eat them. Oh my. *pulls out another tray*cupcakespink1
At least I have more. Who’d have thought fairies had such appetites? 

You’ve joined an elite list. I read EYES LIKE STARS in one day. The last book to have that honor involved a wizard. ; ) Your book has already caused quite a stir. Tamora Pierce, one of my favorite writers, even praised EYES LIKE STARS. Did you anticipate how well your book would do or has it taken you by surprise? 

LM ~ A lot of it has been a surprise… I had hopes it would do well, and I’ve spent a lot of time online, sprinkling glitter and cupcake sprinkles on people in the months leading up to the launch. I’m glad, mostly, to see how many readers are enjoying it!

WM ~ I love cupcake sprinkles! What inspired you to write EYES LIKE STARS? 

LM ~ I started with the name Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, and it was such a mouthful that Bertie’s personality really had to live up to her name. It started out as a 5,000 word short story, and when I decided to tackle a novel project, I knew I wanted to expand on it.

WM ~ Is Bertie anything like you? 

LM ~ The theater-loving, coffee-drinking, sass-mouthed bits. *G* But I didn’t start dying my hair until I hit college. One of my greatest supporters is my mom, though, so I’ve never had to live through the sort of loneliness and uncertainty that Bertie has about her lack of proper family.

WM ~ What struck me the most about your book were the characters. You brought them so much to life; they jumped off the page and became real. What was the creative process for coming up with them?  GreenGirl1

LM ~ Quite a lot of them tromped in as-is. One of my favorite parts of playwriting class (in college) was filling out character sheets: gender, age, political and religious affiliations, education and family background. For ELS, though, I closed my eyes and summoned a sort of mental snapshot… like a costume design, really, and once I had it fixed in my head what they looked like, what clothes/costume they wore, a lot of the personalities followed.

I am a firm believer in costuming!

WM ~ We all know the clothes make the woman, or man, so you’ve got something there.

 My favorites are the fairies. *watches the fairies throw pink frosting at each other* I loved their dialog, their individual personalities… They were just as I’d expect fairies to be. Which character was the most fun to write? 

LM ~ Definitely the fairies… they say everything I’m always thinking, and they have no filters on their mouths whatsoever.

WM ~ LOL. That’s exactly what I loved about them. Okay a deep question: Are you a panster or a plotter? 

LM ~ Both. I tend to write an outline and then write by the seat of my pants, letting the outline fall by the wayside when it needs to. My greatest joy is discovering the fun side-journeys a novel will take, the unexpected scenes I hadn’t realized I was going to write.  The all-important (and fun) Tango Scene was one of those unexpected ones.

WM ~ And what an interesting scene that was. *fans self*

Do fairies really taste like chicken? That one got a reaction from them, didn’t it? 

LM ~ I’ve never eaten a fairy, though I’ve threatened to shish kebab them plenty of times…
fairy

WM ~ This is your debut novel. Can you share its journey to publication? 

LM ~ I wrote the first draft from July to September of 2006, editing until the end of the year when I submitted it to my agent in December.  I signed with him in March of 2007, the novel went out on submission (and sold) in June, then we were in contract negotiations until December. All of 2008 was spent editing, copy-editing, and going through galley proofs. ARCs came out in January of this year, and the book was released on July 7th!

WM ~ I’d also like to mention that EYES LIKE STARS has already gone back for its second printing.

*****UPDATE, AS OF THIS MORNING, EYES LIKE STARS JUST WENT IN TO ITS THIRD PRINTING!!!!******

There is a bit of a love triangle here and I honestly felt my loyalty shift over to Ariel, even against my better judgment. He must have been working his magic on me. You constructed the perfect sexy, bad boy with just a touch of mystery. But something tells me Nate, our loveable and good hearted pirate, isn’t gone for good. Do you have a preference between the two?

LM ~ I like them both, for completely different reasons. Ariel is actually the more difficult of the two to write… when I’ve been away from him for a while, his voice is trickier to rediscover, just because he’s somewhat ethereal and mysterious. Nate is far more transparent a character, as far as motivations go, and his accent makes it easy to slip on his clompy pirate boots.

WM ~ Oh you know I want to ask if Bertie finds her father but I’ll restrain myself, barely. Do you know how the trilogy ends or have the characters taken the bit by the teeth? 

LM ~ I just turned in Perchance To Dream, which is the second book, and I have a List Of Issues To Be Resolved in book 3.  As soon as Perchance goes to copyediting, I’ll start writing that third book, but some fairly big decisions are still up in the air.

WM ~ Reading your book is terrible for a diet you know? *ducks to avoid a glob of pink frosting* Tell the truth: Did you bake a lot as you wrote or are you made of stronger stuff?  

LM ~ I. Love. Dessert.  *L* And hot buttered toast is one of my favorite things in the world.  What’s actually terrible is that I’m a nibbler… I like having little bowls of small crunchy things to nom while I work, which is awful for the waistline.

WM ~ Hot buttered toast is one of my weaknesses too so I can identify. Give us a glimpse of a day in your life. What’s changed since EYES LIKE STARS’ release? 

LM ~ I spend most days working on writing projects, PR and marketing for the book, plus taking care of my little one and our herd of dogs–which means not much has changed at all since the book came out, except for the awesomeness of the readers’ feedback, which is very shiny indeed.

WM ~ Congratulations again on the reprint. That is truly a significant stepping stone. I wish you all the success in the world; you deserve it.

To learn more about Lisa, you can visit her website here. EYES LIKE STARS is available at your local bookstore or online.

EyesLikeStars_Cover400

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