Hello! Welcome to my stop on the Shattered Circle Book tour! My stop is a Guest Post, Interview, Book Preview, and Giveaway! I hope you enjoy the stop and leave comments for the author to answer!
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books
JUST YOUR AVERAGE MEGA-WITCH. . .
It’s tough being a modern woman, but Persephone Alcmedi has it worse than most. Being the prophesied Lustrata has kicked her career as a witch into high gear, and juggling a wærewolf boyfriend who is about to become king of his kind and a seductive vampire who bears her magical Mark isn’t easy either.
Still, Seph’s beloved foster daughter, Beverley, is causing more trouble than these two men put together. The young girl’s been playing with a magical artifact that’s far more dangerous than she realizes. Now Seph must summon help from a mystical being so potent that even vampires fear him . . . and the cost of his aid may be more than she’s willing to pay. Seph, Johnny, and Menessos face threats from all sides—and a few from within. Will the forces of destiny cement their tenuous supernatural union, or shatter it forever?
About the Author
Linda Robertson is the mother of four wonderful boys, owns three electric guitars, and is followed around by a big dog named after Bela Lugosi. Once upon a time she was a lead guitarist in a heavy metal cover band and has worked as a graphic artist. She still composes and creates art, when time permits. Linda currently writes and rocks in northeast Ohio. Visit her at AuthorLindaRobertson.com and @authorLinda
(*star of Linda Robertson’s Persephone Alcmedi series)
My guest is at ease across of me, sipping a cup of coffee with flavored creamer. She’s wearing a gray jersey knit tee-shirt under an open black over-shirt along with medium-blue jeans, and hiking boots. She’s slender and her no-frills appearance is as refreshing as it is attractive. Her long dark hair is straight, her gaze steady and unafraid. She smiles at me and it seems genuine
LR: So, Seph. Tell us a little about yourself.
Seph: Well, I write a newspaper column meant to help integrate wærewolves into society and reduce the fear most people have of them. I’m a modern witch, descended from a long, long line of witches traceable back to the earliest records from Greece, but I keep my pagan-ness on the down-low for the most part. Letting people know you’re a witch can be as troublesome as letting them know you’re a wære. On a more personal note, my grandmother, who I call Nana, raised me. My mother dumped me with her and took off. I bought a farmhouse not too long ago, and then Nana moved in with me when she got kicked out of the retirement community she was living in—she’s a chain smoker. I now have a foster daughter, too. Her name is Beverley. Her mother was turned wærewolf in an attack that left her father dead. Her mother kenneled in my basement for a while and I babysat the kiddo on full moons. She got me up to speed on Disney movies. When her mother was murdered, Bev came to live with me.
LR: You work on a social cause you believe in and you have let your grandmother move in and taken on the responsibility of a child. Sounds like you’re pretty giving.
Seph: Aw, thanks. I don’t think of it as giving. It’s just that I see something that needs done and if I have the means to do it, then I figure it’s the right thing for me to do.
LR: You aren’t a wærewolf. Why are you so interested in their social cause?
Seph: I had this boyfriend in college. We were pretty serious. I helped him start a business, helping local wærewolves learn to protect themselves without actually hurting people. There was a lot of bullying going on in that area, a lot of hatred for wæres. His brother had been turned, and he used his knowledge of self-defense to help his brother and they realized it could be a real asset to lots of wæres, especially newer ones. Then he got secretive. He started keeping things from me and that led to our eventual break up.
LR: Hmmm, on that topic…since you’ve told us about the women in your life, what about the men?
Seph: (groans) I used to think that relationships happened when they were supposed to. Naturally. Slowly.
LR: Not anymore?
Seph: No way. I bought that farmhouse for me. I knew the cellar could be made into kennels that would help my friends out and we all worked together to put in the kennels. I wasn’t worried about having a man in my life. Wasn’t looking for one. But soon after the kennels went in, my friends started inviting other friends. It was convenient for them, meaning they didn’t have to travel all the way to Cleveland to kennel with the pack. Johnny was invited to kennel there by Erik, the husband of my best friend Celia. Johnny and Erik are in a band together, called Lycanthropia.
LR: And you two started going out?
Seph: It’s way more complicated than that, but yeah.
LR: Complicated? Elaborate?
Seph: Dating a wærewolf is not like dating a normal guy.
LR: Is dating a witch anything like dating a normal girl for a normal guy?
Seph: Touché. (laughs) I guess what I’m trying to say is, you have dreams when you find yourself falling for someone. Dreams that life will be easy, sweet, and happy. You live for their touch, their kiss, and when life has you down you seek comfort in their arms. You believe that person will be there for you no matter what. The circumstances of our destinies, both our individual fates and the combined one, creates situations that test us. (frowning hard) I mean, I am tested and I learn things about myself that, while not changing who I am, it impacts me. A person can’t help growing, expanding when things like that happen. He’s not immune to any of this either. He gets tested, too. And then there are times when he tests me, or I test him, or life tests us as a couple. It’s hard to keep making forward progress with a nascent relationship in the best of conditions, let alone when the politics and prophesies of supernatural groups usually at odds with each other are converging in your living own room.
LR: That does sound tough. Thanks for chatting with me today.
Seph: My pleasure. Blessed Be.
Excerpt from SHATTERED CIRCLE
Liyliy, a vampire-harpy, had tried to kill me a few hours ago, and the struggle left me exhausted and sore. That was the reason I was still abed at nearly two in the afternoon. When my satellite phone blared the opening riffs of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon,” it startled me, instantly reminding me about all the sore muscles I had.
Mid-reach, I stopped. That was Johnny’s ringtone.
He had tried to kill me, too.
My hand shook as my finger jabbed the Answer button.
“Red . . . I’m so sorry.” Johnny’s voice was barely audible.
I sat up and deliberated whether to play deaf and repeat my “hello” as if I hadn’t heard him. I considered being a jerk and hanging up. I even contemplated ripping him a new one.
Instead, I remained silent.
Two days before, minutes after I’d performed the forced-change spell on him and his loyal pack mates, Johnny had attacked me. He’d always retained his manmind while transformed, but that last time he didn’t—he’d been pure animal. The only reason I was still among the living was because I’d pumped ley line energy into him like a human Taser.
He’d frightened me to my core. The unshakeable faith I’d had in him had been shattered by an emotional earthquake. Damage was done. My fear felt like betrayal.
But . . .
Could going through the forced-change spell repeatedly have an undesired effect?
No. I was sure the whole terrible incident could be pinned on the fact that my mother, Eris, had revoked the tattooed bindings she’d placed upon Johnny eight years ago. He suddenly had access to all the power and potential she’d locked away from him. That was surely a disorienting, difficult situation.
I’d helped him dig up the clues, helped him achieve that goal. Hell, I’d even been a part of the reversal spell. So some responsibility for the consequences was mine to bear.
He rarely used my full given name; he usually called me Red, as in Little Red Riding Hood to his Big Bad Wolf. Or Seph like nearly everyone else. I had to respond.
“Then say something.”
Pushing back the covers, I stood and began to pace. “I don’t know what to say.”
He paused. “Can you forgive me?”
I wasn’t sure.
Part of me said I couldn’t allow his attack to be a personal issue because of the fateful trio that Johnny, Menessos, and I forged by binding ourselves magically. The other part argued that no matter the circumstances, attempted murder was very damn personal.
It all happened because Johnny had surrendered to his destiny. His unique ability to transform at will made him the Domn Lup—king of the wærewolves. It was a position with power, prestige, and perks such as a Maserati Quattroporte. Johnny knew his royal place was unavoidable, but he’d fought it and hid from it a long time. He’d finally pushed forward because it was beneficial to our triple union, but kinghood was costing him his dream of being a rock star.
It had been my fear that he’d lose who he was in the course of this alliance of ours. More than ever, it seemed this fear was being borne out.
On the other corner of our triangle was Menessos. He now bore two witches marks—mine, of course. That made him my servant. When Heldridge, his former right-hand man, learned of my authority over Menessos, he tattled to the highest vampire authority, the Excelsior. To protect us against the personal grudge of the truthseeing vampire-harpies sent by VEIN to make formal inquiry, Menessos had allied himself at great personal expense with someone dangerous—a “nameless” guy I had aptly dubbed Creepy.
The secrets he’d wanted to hide from VEIN—secrets even I didn’t know—were apparently safe, but our little who-marked-whom secret was out. Menessos lost his haven and his status as Northeastern Quarterlord. Johnny had accepted great power and lost a lifelong dream. Menessos had lost great power and accepted serious personal risk. It didn’t seem fair.
And what about me?
In the last several weeks I’d learned that I was the longprophesied Lustrata, the Witches’ Messiah, She Who Walks Between Worlds, She Who Will Bring Balance, blah blah blah. As this news spread throughout the nonhuman communities, some scoffed and some believed. I was fine with the scoffers; it was the believers who were dangerous. They wanted to know if I truly possessed the power that accompanied those titles. Yeah, I was a magnet for nasties who either a) wanted me dead to be sure I didn’t have that power, or b) wanted to try to force me to wield power for their gain.
I guess I’d accepted the endless complications of my status and was well on my way to losing all scraps of naïveté.
At that thought, I stopped pacing. As I stared into the nothingness of a darkened corner, it felt like my innocence had slipped from my grasp and I was watching it skitter across the floor, waiting for it to come to a stop so I could reclaim it.
I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort to look for it. Or perhaps it would be impossible to find if I made the effort. Maybe it had rolled into some crack, never to be seen again.
I heard Johnny breathing through the phone.
It wasn’t Johnny who had rescued me last night.
When I defeated Liyliy, Menessos had been there to bring me to the haven. Sure, Menessos had a hand in creating the monster she now was. And it was he who had imprisoned her, creating her need for revenge. But it was me and my marks upon him that had brought her to Cleveland. When she pursued me from the haven—according to the Offerling I’d spoken to—Menessos had sent everyone out to search for me.
Had Johnny even known I was missing?
It was shitty of me to compare the two men in my life, but I couldn’t help myself. Though Menessos had drunk my blood numerous times, he hadn’t tried to kill me.
Yes he did! He nearly killed you not long after you first met.
We were strangers then, I argued with myself. Now, we know each other well.
Better, perhaps, than you should. . . .
Defiantly, I ignored my conscience’s scolding. I will not regret what I did last night. During the predawn hours, reeling from my encounter, I’d kissed Menessos.
Fine, but clearly you were able to forgive him.
That was true. Considering this, I felt hope. I sighed heavily into the phone. My whispered answer was, “In time.”
“There’s so much I need to tell you.” Johnny’s voice was raw, and the rev of an engine punctuated his words. I wondered where he was going. And I wondered if I should tell him about kissing the vampire.
It hadn’t been a peck.
When our lips had touched, I felt the promise and power of a more intimate union. He’d definitely felt it. It wasn’t only the power of the marks between us that had been kindled.
“I don’t know where to begin,” Johnny said.
His voice drew me out from my memory of a passionate moment with another man. Guilt swelled around my heart . . . but not remorse. What am I going to do?