Thursday, January 9, 2014

Q&A and Giveaway with C.M. Michael, author of DANGEROUS WATERS

1. Tell us a little about the Sisters in Blood series and what are your plans for its future?

Dangerous Waters is the first installment in the three book Sisters in Blood series. The story takes you inside a coven of female vampires, letting you get to know each of them intimately rather than just focusing on the protagonist and her love interests. And unlike most of the books in the vampire genre, there is no popping open a can of O- or feeding on animals. People die. The challenge I took on as an author is to make the reader fall in love with my characters in spite of what they must do to survive. There are magical elements that come into play, and events that unfold that none of the main characters can explain, which is a fresh change of pace from the “supernatural creatures educate the human protagonist” mold.
At its heart Dangerous Waters is a story of self discovery, overcoming challenges, and embracing the fact that life can take us in totally unexpected directions. We all have hidden abilities inside of us that will never surface if we are too afraid to explore and try new things.
I am currently working on the second book and hope to have it released in the fall of 2014. Dangerous Waters has quite the cliffhanger of an ending and leaves many unanswered questions from the glimpse into the future that the prologue provides. Hopefully readers will be eager to get their hands on the next installment.

2. What was the inspiration behind this series?


 The idea for Dangerous Waters came to me after watching the first Twilight movie and reading the rest of the series. While I enjoyed both the novels and the film, I wanted to tell a story that took you deeper into the lives of the vampire coven, allowing the reader to identify with them as people rather than just supernatural creatures. I was determined to come up with a fresh take on the origin of the myth, and to put together a storyline that weaved in mystical elements while being anchored in science. From the start I embraced the challenge of making readers care for characters that had to kill humans to survive.

3. How would you describe Emily Waters and would you tell us three things about her you won’t find in the book?


Emily led a sheltered life growing up, being raised in a small, rural town with an overprotective father. She bears emotional scars from losing her mother at a young age but hides them well. She’s attending Boston University to study conservation biology, and dreams of making a difference in the fight against global warming. She was quite the tennis phenom in high school, and loves to dance, especially to up tempo techno music. Emily is extremely open-minded, and displays an almost detached objectivity in her thinking. She’s the type of person who wouldn’t blame you for keying her car if she discovered that your god-awful, two timing ex drove the same model and that you’d keyed the wrong car by mistake. She gives her heart freely, is selfless to a fault, and would do anything for those that she loves. 

4. Now tell us three things about you, Chad, that we won’t find on your website.


Let’s see, I played college football at Saginaw Valley State University which is where I met my amazing wife, Teresa. We had a management class together and went on our first date on my 22nd birthday almost twenty years ago.

One of the reasons Dangerous Waters is set in Boston is that I've been a diehard Patriots fan since I was six years old. I wasn't able to attend a game in person until 2010, but we did visit the old Sullivan stadium on a family trip when I was nine, arriving just after midnight. In a truly "Wally World"esque moment, my parents talked a guard into letting us into the stadium :)
One of the traits I share in common with Emily (the protagonist) is a profound love of nature and wildlife. My wife and I have visited Yellowstone National Park three times and plan to renew our vows there someday. Hiking and animal photography are among my favorite hobbies.

5. You also have another book coming soon, KERRIGAN’S RACE, The Syreni Series. How about telling us about it?

Kerrigan’s Race is a fantasy romance set in an alternate dimension water world featuring mermaid-like creatures and griffins. I am still wrapping up the first draft but here is the working synopsis: 

For Stanford team captain and Olympic hopeful Kerrigan Everett, times couldn’t be better. After a lifetime of hard work, she’s the odds on favorite to take home the gold in Rio in the 100M freestyle. Her MMA champion, heartthrob of a fiancĂ© is as tender outside the ring as he is deadly inside the cage, and she couldn’t ask for a more supportive, loving family. But when she pushes for the wall in the Olympic trail finals she finds herself transported to an aquatic foreign world.
Pulchra, the last of the dominant species’ fertile women and the kings own daughter, was slain in a raid by native beasts while trying to give birth to her and Aristos’s first child. Ten years have passed, and the Syreni have grown desperate. A controversial decision is made to reopen one of the long destroyed portals and kidnap human females, altering them genetically to be able to live in an aquatic environment and bear their young.
Ever the determined fighter, Kerrigan sets to work on plans to free her fellow swimmers immediately, forging an alliance of sorts with Aristos, the fish tailed, Greek god of a male who abducted them. But neither of them counted on Neptune and Poseidon selecting Kerrigan as the Syreni’s next queen. Decorated by the gods upon her choosing, she must come to terms with her transformation and accept that Teresolee is now home.
Slowly her hostility and resentment ebbs, and she starts to sympathize with the plight of her captors as a race. But can she truly accept such a radically different life? Not being human anymore? Can she ever forgive Aristos for abducting her—stealing her away from her friends, family and fiancĂ©—and willingly take him as her mate? Is Aristos even capable of caring for her after tragically losing his bonded soul mate and their child? The fate of Teresolee now rests in their hands.

6. Tell us about writing your first book at age 14. Is this when your need to write blossomed?


I have always enjoyed writing, mainly due to the outlet it provides for my incredibly overactive imagination. When I was nine or ten I used to exchange letters with my oldest brother each week while he was away at college. Our fantasy creatures were mortal enemies, and battled each other in our imaginary world. The first book I shared with anyone outside of friends and family was a children’s novella originally written for a class assignment called The Bat Boy. My teacher was very impressed and recommended that I enter it in my school’s writing contest. I was one of five lucky students selected to read our short stories to local grade school children. Of course at the time I felt anything but lucky—I was so nervous reading in front of forty or so people that I could barely keep track of what page I was on. 

7. How many hours a day do you try to write? Do you try to stay on a writing schedule each day?


I do my best to spend three hours writing each weeknight and five hours on Sundays. My schedule varies, but 20 hours a week is the minimum I shoot for. The biggest challenge for me is balancing social media and marketing activities for Dangerous Waters with time spent writing my second novel. As a business professional and a husband there are only so many free hours in a week. 

8. Do you sometimes feel that your character take on characteristics of people you know or love?

Absolutely! Sometimes that is by design, where I model a character loosely after someone I know, but more often the similarities emerge as my characters develop, even if it’s something as simple as sharing a favorite movie, their taste in music, or a hobby.

9. If you were forced to spend two weeks not writing one word, what would you do with yourself?

Pack of the SUV and head to Yellowstone! I also have a small mountain of books I am eager to read J

10. Thanks for being with us today, is there anything you would like to say to our followers or tell about yourself before we go?

Thank you so much for hosting me. You can watch the live-action trailer on my website and read three free excerpts from the book. I really look forward to hearing what your followers think about Dangerous Waters and responding to their questions.



Blurb: For Emily Waters, a nature-loving, small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape.
The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend. She survives the ordeal, only to find herself held captive and presented with an impossible choice.
While preparing for the unimaginable life she must now embrace clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain.
Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister,” and her new vampire sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters, not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey.
Buy Links:
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Excerpt: “All rise!” the bailiff bellowed out through the hall. “This court is now in session. The honorable global court inquisitor O’Callaghan presiding.”
An imposing figure with short, golden locks entered from behind the bailiff, motioning for people to take their seats. He gathered his floor-length white and purple robes in his left hand, made his way over to the furthest prisoner and yanked the hood from her head.
“So this is the all-powerful Sienna,” the inquisitor mocked, squeezing the bound woman’s cheeks with his hand. “How disappointing.”
Her once beautiful face was disfigured by several charred-black electrical burns. Blood and pus oozed out of the open wounds. The pungent salve packed into her broken nose made her eyes tear up and prevented her from smelling anything.
“Do you have anything you wish to say in your defense before I render my verdict?” the inquisitor asked, deactivating the device around her throat so she could speak.
“This will never work—she knows her life is far more important than mine.”
“It’s possible she’d let you die,” he acknowledged. “But both of her parents, her mate and her best friend? No, I think that’s far too much to expect her to endure. Sooner or later she’ll come, and the world will celebrate her execution.”
Sienna snapped to attention, her green eyes widening in horror at the news of who else had been captured. “You have no idea what you’ve done—everyone in this building’s going to die.”
The crowd erupted at her outburst, and the inquisitor held up his hand to silence them. “And how exactly is your precious queen going to manage that? She’ll be welcomed to our fair city by twenty thousand volts from the first alarm she trips. Not enough to kill your kind, but plenty to leave her unconscious until—”
“Sir, a perimeter alarm’s been triggered just outside the north gate,” a soldier interrupted from the gallery.
He wheeled on the man in a fit of anger. “Interrupt me again, and I’ll disembowel you! People have been jumping the fence all day—contact the guards at the gate and have them check it out.”
“We tried sir. Calls have been placed to the guard desk, the three closest perimeter sweep teams and the north tactical unit—they’re not responding.”
“Who’s not responding, you imbecile!”
“Any of them.”
“It’s too late,” Sienna said, gazing at his panic-stricken face. “She’s here.”





C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.
He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya’s Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance.
When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn.
C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Connect with C.M. at: FB   Twitter   Website   YouTube

GIVEAWAY!
A $50 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N
3 signed Dangerous Waters posters
(please be patient, it takes a minute for the rafflecopter to load)

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


 


46 comments:

  1. That is actually a tough one. I guess I would say I would rather live with a coven of witches because I have always wished I could do spells. Plus I like dancing naked in the moonlight ;P

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    1. Too funny, Natasha :) As a vamp with magical abilities Emily gets the best of both worlds!

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  2. A family of vampires no doubt about it. Vampires are cool :)

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    1. I'm with ya, Suleika. Bring on the vamps :) Worrying about one of your "sisters" going all voodoo on you every time you argued would be exhausting!

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  3. If I had to live between two, I'd just choose to stay me. With vampires on one side and witches on the other, with me keeping the peace. It just takes one strong willed human to pull the ear of a supernatural being and tell them to behave.

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    1. Quite a job you are taking on there, Heather :) Very brave of you!

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  4. hard to decide but I'd go with vampire family most likely. I have been borderlins obsessed with them since I was a kid!

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    1. Me too, Christina :) Although I guess my obsession would extend to all things supernatural... werewolves, vamps, witches, half-demons - it's all good!

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  5. i would say vampires only because out of all the moves ive seen that involve both i like how the vampires interact and act better then i do the witches

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    1. Good point, Sara. Even great books like Beautiful creatures made for a pretty rough movie adaptation. Hollywood really struggles with witch based plots that are not pure horror movies.

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  6. I think I'd pick witches...vampires could be scary!

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    1. That they could, Kristen! Although dark magic could be pretty scary too :)

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  7. I'd have to say a coven of witches because I wish I was a witch LOL To be able to do spells that would ROCK!!! :D

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    1. Not sure I could be responsible with the power, Tiffany :)

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  8. I would have to say a Coven of Witches.. they are a family unlike Vampires who are more "alone" type creatures.. their covens do not last long.. although I would like to be immortal like vampires more like a Hybred Witch/Vampire

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    1. That is a lot like the heroine in Dangerous Waters, Donna :) I agree that usually witches are portrayed as tighter family units. Although in this book Emily and her new family are extremely close.

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  9. I would say a coven of Witches. I always wanted to be a witch to create potions, and cast spells, that would be amazing.

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    1. That would be awesome, Laura. I hope I would have the moral conviction to stay "good" :)

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    2. Yeah =), I don't know if you have seen it, but kind of like the show Charmed would be awesome.

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  10. CM,... you said you have a small mountain of books that you want to read. Tell us the top 3 on your TBR list.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hey Shonna. I just purchased Thea Harrison's Elder Races series and Bella Forrest's Shade of Vampire series, which is what I am currently reading. I am also anxiously awaiting J.R. Ward's new release in her Black Dagger brotherhood series called The King, Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor and the next book in Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series.

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  11. Picking between the two is hard! Both are cool! I would like to be a vampire witch myself! �� I can't pick I'm sorry! ❤️

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  12. I would pick vampires, mostly because I would want to be with a family like the Cullens :)

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    1. I'm with ya there, Marissa! Although I suppose having sisters like on Charmed would be nice, too :)

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  13. I prefer Coven of witches because i prefer magic more than drinking blood. ;)

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    1. Yeah that part doesn't sound real appetizing, Sweety :) As much as I love to eat food, I couldn't imagine living on nothing but blood.

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  14. forgot to add my email id: sweety225(at)rocketmail(dot)com

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  15. The witches, I would love to have the magic.

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  16. Couldn't I be in a coven of witchy vampires? Why don't we ever have stories with vampires that can spell?

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    1. The heroine in Dangerous Waters is a magic wielding vamp, Lindalou :)

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  17. I want to be in a witchy vampire coven. Why don't I ever read stories with vampires that can cast spells?

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  18. I would go with the vamps! They can kick ass!

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  19. I'd say a family of vampires. I could become immortal and most have some magical abilities.

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  20. I probably go with Vampires if I could become healthy and immortal

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  21. I would say witches so I could do the magic. sandracarol123@yahoo.com

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  22. I'm a fan of witches. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  23. I love when I learn about new books! Thanks! :-)

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    1. Witches!

      ruthmarie94 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  24. This book sounds great! Can't wait to read it!

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    1. That is great to hear, Danielle :) Thank you! Let me know what you think when you finish!

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  25. Thanks Ruth! I hope you enjoy the book :)

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