Monday, August 31, 2015

Guarded by Carmen Fox w Giveaway!

Silverton Chronicles #1

When everyone's existence depends on the lies they tell, trust doesn't come easy.

Ivy’s neighbors have a secret. They aren’t human. But Ivy has a secret, too. She knows. As long as everyone keeps quiet, she’s happy working as a P.I. by day and chillaxing with her BFF Florian, a vampire, by night. When a routine pickup drops her in the middle of a murder, her two worlds collide. While Florian knows how to throw a punch, deep down he's a softie. His idea of scary? Running out of hair product. It’s time Ivy faced facts. Even with a vampire on stand-by, one gal can only kick so many asses.

For help, she must put her faith in others. A human, who might just be the one. A demon, who will, for a price, open the doors to her heritage. And a werewolf, who wants to protect her from herself.

Torn between these men, Ivy must tread carefully, because one wants her heart, one wants her body, and one wants her dead.

Video Trailer:
Review Trailer:
Blurb Read by Voiceover Artist:


Parker placed both elbows on the table, rested his chin on one hand and regarded me for a moment. “So, Ivy. A P.I., eh?” He smacked his lips. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t exactly look like Philip Marlowe.”

“Your point being?” I squinted.

“You’re tiny. I mean, I’m sure you can take care of yourself. What if you need to overpower a 200-pound man, though? Do you at least know how to shoot your gun?”

“Shoot?” I scrunched my nose. “Yes. Aim and hit the target? Not so much. The last guy who made fun of my size still walks with a limp.”

“See, you hit one target right.” His eyes glinted.

I lifted my gaze. “I was aiming for his groin.” I squished my cupcake and shook my head. “No, I don’t carry a gun. And believe it or not, my size is an advantage. If you were an unfaithful husband and I followed you to a bar, trust me, I’d go unnoticed among the usual throng of people.”

Parker’s grin turned mischievous. “Well, Veronica Mars, I hate to be the bearer of bad news.” His voice reverberated through my nervous system. “I’d notice you.” He sipped his coffee. “If I was an unfaithful husband, that is.”
 My Review

Yes!! I loved this one. I'm seriously pumped to see where the next book will go, too, but I'm getting ahead of myself. :) There's so many fun things about this book, the plot of demons staging chaos, suspense with things trying to kill you, learning about yourself especially the things you never knew, romance, some very interesting side characters. All wrapped up with a little magic in some guards. This book had it all and I am glad to say I was quite surprised with how things are turning out, and did a seriously loud cheer at the ending. Yeah, I didn't think it would happen that way, but I am so freaking pumped up for it. 

So Ivy is a PI, she was raised as a human, but she's more than that. She was also kidnapped by a demon king and held, until she escaped. That little magic she had has kept her alive. Her best friend is a vampire. Her neighbor is a werewolf. And there's a magical relic that all the demons want, and now, without any care who dies for them to get it. Ivy is literally in the center of all of this, she just doesn't understand how. When another demon helps her escape another kidnapping attempt, she found out so much more than she thought about her parents, her real ones, though she didn't know better. And though she's got guys all around her, some want her for more than just her heart, though some could probably do with just ripping it from her chest, she has to figure out who are actually her friends. I liked Ivy ALOT. She has flaws, and that's what's so likable. She knows she's in trouble, so she asks her BFF, Florian, for help. He's a vampire, but he doesn't know that she knows this, so it's kinda funny how it plays out. Meanwhile, her mother is still trying to marry her off, so she kinda sets her up on a date with her neighbor, the werewolf, much to both of their dismay. It was quite funny there too. Oh, and she can't help the powers that are coming now, because she turned 25, and that's when magical puberty hits. LOL 

Just for a minute, I need to talk sexy guys. I almost rooted for Flo, yes, I know he's a vampire, but I had my heart set on Parker, the hawt werewolf. :) Flo is hilarious. Seriously. He is the perfect side kick for Ivy. Parker is everything else. Now, scary Letham, the demon, he's something crazy. Greg, the very attractive human who seems too good to be true, and the extra sexy demon Waylon. Waylon is who I originally thought would be the bad boy that Ivy turned good. I almost, almost picked him. Yeah, he may want Ivy, but maybe not the way she needs. And Ivy is literally revolving around them. It's amazing that I thought this was going to turn into a love triangle, and get real complicated, which it did- but only for a moment. There's always attraction, and temptation, but in the end, there's always, just one. Yeah I liked her "just one". Though it almost slipped away. LOL The characters are all so fascinating and well written with a lot of depth and complexity. It's like knowing actual people where you cheer for them, cry for them, want to hug them,  or lick them LOL

I loved the plot line because it was so unpredictable. When I thought I knew what was coming happened, something else twisted and had my slack jawed. And I loved the writing. There is much creativity weaved here. With Ivy trying to uncover her powers, the plans behind the artifact, find her boss, figure who is helping demons, flee from big mean demon who wants her back, and try to make sure she keeps herself and her family and friends safe, there was no way I could put this down. Oh yeah, I am salivating for book two. I want it, like right now. :) There's so much I want to say, more but I can't, not without basically telling you every little secret of this book. I can't do that, so with that said, this could be great for paranormal, mystery, and urban fantasy fans a like. Magical! 5 PAWS!! 

Author Interview

Welcome and thank you again so much for taking the time to answer questions for my blog! Thank you for taking the time to ask the questions. I appreciate bloggers more than you might imagine, since I’m a reader too and find inspiration and information on your blog.

First, tell me a little about your book ….
GUARDED is filled to the brim with plot and populated with characters who test Ivy, my flawed but capable heroine, to her limits. Not only does she have to unravel the mystery of a statue that is coveted by demons, but she’s also struggling with who she really is versus who she wants to be. To survive, Ivy relies on ‘guards,’ small metal plates with grooves that guide and shape energy into some kick-butt magic. Luckily, she’s got help: a charming and funny vampire, a sexy-as-all-hell demon with his own agenda, a human who does all the right things, and a werewolf who pushes the boundaries of personal space.

What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?As a little girl, I wrote stories and poems, but writing was just one of hobby among many. Fast-forward fifteen years, when I found myself in need of money to buy a car. It was a case of Nana to the rescue. She asked that every month, I’d send her a small sum of cash together with a chapter of a story. The story I came up with was called Nonia, in which a small boy, who lives with his sister and his mother in a large house, discovers they share their space with a ghost family, a father and his son and daughter who died many years ago in a fire. Over the course of the book, the fabric between the ghost world and our the real world wears thin, and both families are soon hunted by ghosts who see them as trouble makers. Help comes in the form of Axion, the protector of the realms.
In 2008, Nana died, and I never finished the story. But the spark was lit and I’ve been writing ever since. That’s why my books are dedicated to her.

How do you choose when/which characters die in your books? Oh, I love killing characters off. I’ve even killed a few main characters in the past. 
A character’s death that is not the result of a final battle must test the heroine. That’s my only criterion. If it’s a baddie who dies, his death must open up a new dilemma or prove a point. If a friend or a family member dies, the heroine must take her grief and derive a positive from it.

Who do you look up to as a writer?Other writers, no matter the genre. Putting yourself out there is tough. When painters exhibit their art, their main critics are a few newspaper people. Gallery visitors who don’t dig the artist’s work just move on. But a writer puts much of herself into a book, which is then judged by the public (in the form of reviews). It’s scary, because not everyone loves your work, and a few people might really hate it and are not afraid to tell you. Anyone who’s willing to accept this has my admiration.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book? Perhaps, in terms of style. My writing evolves all the time. But content-wise probably not.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?Yes, what I call BIG writing. Creating a moment that is so big it overwhelms the reader. For instance, how would you describe the end of the world? What movies achieve with special effects could easily lead to pages of pages of dull description. Balancing pace with description is not always easy.

What book are you reading now? Or what genre?I just finished Chloe Neill’s DARK DEBT, the eleventh book in her Chicagoland Vampires series. Her clever mix of action, plot and romance is definitely my cup of tea. Up next is Gail Z. Martin’s Deadly Curiosities. I’m excited about it, because she writes great fantasy books and I hope her excursion into urban fantasy will be just as exciting.

Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
I had a clear idea of what I wanted from the start. GUARDED is not a straight-forward romance and is sexier than your run-of-the-mill urban fantasy, so I came up with a concept that is not based on a man’s bare chest, but on a pair of legs/short skirt in a standoff with a wolf. I shopped around for the right designer and found Ana Grioriu, who creates gorgeous covers. She nailed it with her first try. Her cover merges mystery with paranormal with a strong female lead. I will use her for all my covers.

Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?I learned so much from writing my books. My style has improved, I have a greater appreciation of the work that goes into finishing a novel, but most of all I came to understand how much of myself I inject into my books. I’m not referring to specific sex scenes and I don’t have a secret hankering to kill anyone either, but I acquired a much deeper knowledge of myself. When writing a book, you have to express complicated concepts clearly and concisely, and some of these ideas come from your subconscious. Through giving words to rambling thoughts, I rediscovered my feminist side, because every story began with a strong heroine.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose? Ivy, definitely. She gets away with being flawed, plus she has a certain gung-ho-ness about her I admire in addition to some badass powers.

Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?Where to start? Classics like THE DIARY OF A NOBODY or THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS, because they’ve stood the test of time. THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY is a must-read. If you’re after more modern books, Kim Harrison’s THE HOLLOWS SERIES turned me into an urban fantasy fanatic, and J.R. WARD’s BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD paranormal romance series provides hours of hot entertainment. Anna J. Stewart writes contemporary romance, but with enough wit and style to lure even me away from the paranormal. There are too many to mention. In fact, I love most books. If I did come across a book that doesn’t grip me, I simply put it aside. That’s why I love bloggers. You save me a lot of grief and time.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?If you’ve read my book(s), thank you, thank you, thank you. Without readers, writing would be like talking to myself, so if nothing else, you keep me sane. And if you leave a review, too, we almost have a dialogue going between us.
Well, I’ve had a ball, and some of my answers surprised even me. So please join me in thanking my host for a wonderful job well done. Thank you!!!

About the Author
Carmen lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. An avid reader since childhood, she caught the writing bug when her Nana asked her to write a story. She also has a law degree, studied physics for a few years, dabbled in marketing and human resources, and speaks native-level German and fluent Geek. Her preferred niches of geekdom are tabletop games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

She writes about smart women with sassitude, about pretty cool guys too, and will chase that plot twist, no matter how elusive.

Expect to be kept guessing.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER, Carmen’s first urban fantasy novel, was published in March 2015.

Find Carmen and her books

Tour giveaway

1 copy of the Guarded e-book (for Kindle)

1copy of the Guarded paperback

1 copy of the Guarded hardback

2 $15 Amazon giftcards

a Rafflecopter giveaway