Key to the Cursed Series Book Two
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Interview and Giveaway with Author Mom Jean Murray
Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
Professionally, I am a nurse. I recently retired from the Navy after twenty years of service. They were some of the best years of my life. I miss it, but it was time to settle in one place with our young family.
I’ve always been an avid reader over the years, but military suspense mostly. Then I read my first paranormal romance in 2008 and my whole life changed. I started writing in 2009 and obtained my first publishing contract for the Key to the Cursed series in 2010. I predominately write paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I couldn’t be happier. I love the mix of the unusual with romance, such a powerful combination. I write under my own name.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
Soul Awakened is the second book in the Key to the Cursed Series and picks up where Soul Reborn left off. War is waging in the human realm and the Carrigan sisters are the only things standing in the way of the Pantheon’s enemies. In Soul Awakened we get to meet Kendra, the youngest Carrigan sister and Egyptologist, tasked with awakening Asar’s son, Bakari, from his cursed slumber. Bakari has been tortured at the hands of their enemies and left in a darkness for five long years. He awakens to find his world at war and his soul tethered to a beautiful woman. She is his salvation or the only barrier to ending his pain.
Are you a mom (or parent)?
I am the mother to 3 boys – 7, 5, and 2 ½. It’s quite an adventure to say the least, having grown up with all sisters. My father always wanted boys and had four girls instead. He raised us as tomboys, great training for me. I wish he was here to see his grandsons. He would have loved it.
If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?
Absolutely. In addition to parenting I work full time like most moms, so it leaves very little time for writing. I wait until the boys go to sleep and then I write. My laptop follows me all around the house, on errands, doctor’s appointments, the hair salon... I take every opportunity to write, but my family always comes first.
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
My sisters asked me that same question, as my Key to the Cursed series follows three sisters. There are similarities, but my characters are homegrown. I will say that some of my life experiences have been weaved into the stories. Kendra’s journey is not dissimilar to my experiences and perspective over the years – gaining the confidence to stand up for yourself and doing what is right.
Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?
The Key to the Cursed series has an emotionally driven storyline and follows the tagline, “Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.” Each of the books has a theme of love, forgiveness, redemption, and second chances. Most importantly, they are full on love stories.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I deployed when my first son was only 7 months old. I had six months orders, which thankfully were cut down to three. Leaving him in my husband at the airport and getting on that airplane was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. My son started crawling when I was away. My husband sent me a video file of his great achievement.
Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?
I’m dying to write a SciFi Romance. Beat up spaceship traveling the galaxies. I am obsessed with world and character building, so it would provide the perfect backdrop for new heroes and heroines. Think of the possibilities!
If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
I’m working on the third book in the Key to the Cursed series, Soul Unbound. Bomani, the Underworld Legion Commander, has lost his faith in honor, something he valued above all else. Unable to face his shame, he abandons his post and escapes to the human realm, but his choice drives him into the hands of a new master. In order to stay among the living (a place he does not belong), he is blackmailed into tracking a goddess marked for execution. He is given strict orders to watch but not touch. One look at his mark and he knows he is doomed.
Siya, the Goddess of War, has only done what she has been asked and where has that gotten her? Marked for death. Exiled from the Creation Pantheon, Siya has vowed to make the most of her time left on earth – protect humans at all costs. But, darkness lurks in the shadows, threatening to take it all or possibly, give her a second chance at love.
What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
Soul Awakened just released this past week (Jan 14, 2013). I’m so excited for Kendra’s and Bakari’s story to be heard. It is one of those labors of love, probably one of the hardest novels I’ve written. So far the review feedback has been enormously positive. They are ‘getting’ the book, which is the biggest compliment an author can receive.
My goal for 2013 is to get Book 3 on the shelves by the end of the summer. J
Soul Awakened Book Trailer:
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Kendra laid her head on the ancient text. The old leather scratched her cheek. She had been staring at the thing for over week. Over twenty books and thousands of pages later, she was no closer to finding the spell to release Bakari. She looked along the rows and rows of bookcases. Too many to count.
“I don’t know if I can do this.”
Bomani moved from his position along the wall and stooped next to her. “You need some rest.”
She sat up and rolled her knuckles over her tired eyes. The hieroglyphics on the page blurred. When she first arrived to the archive, she had been certain she would find the right spell. Her watch ticked by the minutes, hours, and days of Bakari’s confinement. His suffering prevailed because of her failure to find the answer.
Irritated, she pushed the frizz from her face and tucked her long unruly hair behind her ears. When had she lost her hair band? She glanced around the chair. The stupid elastic band had deserted her somewhere in the last few hours. Traitor.
Okay, now she was losing it.
“Are you looking for this?” Bomani’s gentle voice soothed her insanity.
“My hair band. I hate when my hair gets in my face. Drives me nuts. You wouldn’t know because you have no hair, but trust me. I should cut it off, I really should.” Sighing, she leaned back again in her chair. “Maybe you’re right.”
Bomani glanced away and smiled. He looked as tired as she did. In fact, she realized he had been with her the whole time, even after the huge battle. “Laugh all you want, but you are not much better.” She poked him in the chest. His grin broadened.
“We make a pretty sorry pair, do we not?”
Sorry was right. She felt downright stupid. Who was she kidding? She was a fraud. Everyone believed she was so smart, getting her Doctorate by the age of twenty-two, but she cheated. Her gift gave her the advantage, not her smarts. And now her gift was blind and her incompetence showed. Or at least she felt that way.
“You are frowning, not laughing. I did not mean to offend.”
She rolled her head to the side to look at him. Sincerity weighted his eyes. “It’s not you.” She knew she was being too hard on herself. Her normal bubble of optimism deflated with each passing minute
Everything had come easily to her—until now when Asar’s son needed her most. Heck, the world needed her to unlock him. More than enough families had lost someone to the curse. They had lost their father to it. Kepi’s death at Bakari’s hand would break the curse and maybe she could see her father again in the afterlife.
“You put too much pressure on yourself.”
“How can’t I?” Kendra sighed in defeat. “He’s stuck in there. And I don’t know how to get him out. The texts I picked should have the answer, but…” She looked at the hieroglyphics etched into the parchment. The passage she had been reading simply stopped. She turned the page and it started a completely different spell category. “There aren’t more volumes of these books?”
Bomani stood and raked a thick hand over his skull trimmed, black hair. He glanced down the center vestibule and cursed quietly, too low for Kendra to translate. She jerked upright.
“There are other texts?”
She jumped out of her seat and surged toward the back of the library. Why didn’t he mention it sooner? Well, he hadn’t but she could guess as much from his agitation.
He snagged her arm and stopped her. When she looked up at him, he ran a hand over his face and then at the base of his neck. Whatever it was, he didn’t want her to see it. “There is another section, but I was hoping we would not have to go into the vault.”
“Why?” Miffed, she took another few steps away, but he tightened his grasp.
“Because what is contained there is very dangerous. I do not want to expose you unnecessarily.”
“What if it contains the spell I need? I could be wasting my time up here.”
“We do not know that, it could be right here.”
“Do you want to bet Bakari’s life on it?” Kendra countered.
Darkness flickered in his gold eyes. He shook his head and his eyes brightened again. “Of course not. Listen, we need to have our wits about us when we go in there. Right now neither of us is in any condition to enter. We need to rest.”
Irritated, she put her hands on her hips ready to make her argument, but he raised his hands in surrender.
“Give me twenty-four hours. You should be strong enough then. I promise I will take you there.”
Despite the small burst of energy, it waned. The heaviness of fatigue and defeat made its home in her mind and body. He was right, they needed rest. If a strong warrior was uncomfortable going in there, then there had to be a good reason. “Twenty-four hours.”
He nodded. “I assure you Bakari is safe. One more day will not make a difference. With some sleep your head will be clear to focus on the task. You want that, right?”
“Yes, of course.” Safe? Sure, nothing would happen to Bakari, but all she could imagine was him locked alone in darkness. Her own worst fear.
“Good. Let me take you to your room.”
Too tired to argue she complied and followed him out. One more day was a day too long in her opinion.
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.
Book Trailer Soul Reborn: http://youtu.be/smSJsJp5o74