The Silverton Chronicles
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance/Suspense
Publisher: Smart Heart Publishing
Date of Publication: July 31, 2015
Number of pages: 276 print pages
Word Count: 104k
Cover Artist: Ana Grigoriu
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.
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Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/9gEgmHhoABg
Review Trailer: http://youtu.be/rpI5DtqvR8E
Blurb Read by Voiceover Artist: http://youtu.be/6i3DmvcaMWs
A shadow peeled off a dark corner and rushed across the road. My thoughts of the unfairness of life lifted, and I smiled. Dressed in his usual muted colors, Florian gave a mock salute. Not even the lack of a California tan detracted from the fact that he was, by all accounts, a handsome devil. But it was his inner qualities that made him my best friend.
I got out and slammed the door shut.
Flo shot me his trademark grin that half begged to be mothered, half promised a naughty night. “Happy birthday, Ivy!”
“Not so far. I think my car’s kaput.” I sent an eyeroll toward the steam escaping the hood.
“Oh?” His forehead puckered. “Let’s see. Did it slug and thud into the drive?” His index finger in his ear, he shook his tilted head, as if to force out some lingering noise. “Check. Is it stinky?” He sniffed the noxious plume surrounding the vehicle. “Check. Broken side view mirror? Check. Well, I can confidently say I notice nothing out of the ordinary.”
“You’re a funny guy, mister. If you’re not too busy doing standup tomorrow night, do you think you could chauffeur me?” I pouted. “I have a work thing, and getting the car fixed might take some time.”
“Aww, come here. Of course I will.” He yanked me into a firm mother-bear hug.
I held tight. His fresh, if powerful, cologne was a scent for sore noses, and I added another couple of gratuitous sniffs. “Thanks. I needed that.”
“I’ll let you get some rest, then. You don’t seem in the mood for a birthday bash. But if you change your mind, you know where to find me.” Despite his curious looks at my front door, he knew better than to invite himself in. With a wave, he turned and crossed the road to the large building he and his siblings called home.
I never let anyone enter my house without at least half an hour’s notice. The metal guards on my walls would reveal my secret. And more than anything, my friendship with Florian was based on mutual subterfuge.
He didn’t tell me he was a vampire. And I didn’t tell him I already knew.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
A doctor. No, a travel agent. A scientist. Then a lawyer.
It depends on what age we’re talking about. I don’t think I ever wanted to be any one thing. I studied law because it sounded fun. Then I did a few years of physics because science fascinates me. What I have always enjoyed is being creative, and after I took up writing as a serious hobby, I’d found my niche. And for a long time it remained a hobby, until one day, an editor asked to see my book.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I considered myself a “writer” the first time someone told me my writing was good. I first considered myself an “author” when my first book was published.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
A long time from when I wrote my first poem at age five, and around six years after I started being a “writer.” I got a contract for DIVIDE AND CONQUER one or two months after I wrote “The End” and it was published about a year later.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
Yes. Sadly writing doesn’t pay the bills. And from what I’ve learned from other writers, it hardly ever does. So to earn the cash I need in order to send out swag and offer raffle prizes, I translate technical texts from English into German and German into English. I’m a geek about microscopes and diffraction gratings and all things optics. You know that phenomenon you’re experiencing right now, when your eyelids begin to close? That’s how my friends get when I talk about my work, too.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is GUARDED. To summarize it, I’d say: “P.I. Ivy must investigate her own relationships to discover who she can trust and who wants her dead.”
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
My first book DIVIDE AND CONQUER was published by Champagne Books. My second book GUARDED is published by self-owned Smart Heart Publishing, which gives me greater control over things like book cover and offering discounts.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Writing a book doesn’t take all that long, perhaps four months. It’s the gazillion editing stages that take forever.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
My trio of anecdotal ghost stories is coming out later this year, and I have a chicklit thriller all plotted, but for the foreseeable future I’ll concentrate on the two series I started. The worlds I’ve created are simply too much fun to abandon.
What genre would you place your books into?
My genre is generally a mix of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, with an emphasis on Urban Fantasy. That means I go for the Happy Ending in a relationship, but cram in plenty of plot, too.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Ever since I discovered my first Urban Fantasy book, I’ve been hooked. I enjoy Paranormal Romance, too, but I’m not a fan of straight-forward romance. I want my characters to earn their walk into the sunset. My lead character needs to discover herself through trials and challenges before her romance gets the Happily Ever After.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
Florian in GUARDED. He’s the lead character’s best friend. Kind, goofy, funny and loyal. My ideal book BFF. I also love Lea in DIVIDE AND CONQUER, a total geek caught in a world of magic. I had so much fun writing her.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
When I was little, I wrote poems for my family on birthdays and at Christmas. I started my first (unfinished) book about five or six years ago, when my Nana asked me to “write her a story.” I sent her one chapter at a time. When she died, I put the story aside and started a new one.
Do you have a certain routine for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Nope. I write in my lunch break, at home on the laptop or on my tablet when I’m out and about. But If I have a choice, a cup of tea by my side is a must.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Only few readers leave reviews, either on a retailer website or as part of a review blog, and I want to show my appreciation for reading my book, so yes, I try to read them all. Don’t get me wrong. Reviews can hurt. But they can also be incredibly uplifting. Either way, a review is a reader’s way to communicate with the author. I think it’s important to listen.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I write the book first. As part of writing a book, I need to find a theme. In GUARDED, Ivy uses magical plates called ‘guards’ for defense. But that’s not the only reason the title seemed appropriate. In Silverton, everyone guards their secrets, no matter if they’re vampire or werewolf or even human. Ivy herself is guarded around people. The title just seemed to fit.
How do you come up with character names and place names in your books?
Some are named after my family or were suggested by loyal readers. Then there are those that are “born” with a specific name. For others, I try to make the meaning behind the name fit their personality or their role in the book.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
That differs. In GUARDED, Silverton used to be Oakham; Ivy used to be Jazz; Parker used to be Jake, and Florian was Florien. The rest stayed as I originally envisaged them. In DIVIDE AND CONQUER, Nieve started out as Niamh, but readers, especially in the US, where unfamiliar with the Irish spelling, so I simplified.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Both, actually. Character traits often come about as a result of the plot. With one major exception. The main character’s flaw defines the plot, since it is this character flaw the character must overcome before I allow her to get her Happy Ending.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Not morals, only themes. GUARDED explores a few of the problems women face just for being a woman; i.e. it pits physical attraction against emotional investment.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I collect signed, first-edition hardbacks of modern books I love, prefer reading paperbacks, but for space, money and practical reasons usually buy the eBook.
What is your favorite book and why? Have you read it more than once?
Tough one, but I’d say Garth Nix’s SABRIEL. It’s a fantasy book for young adults, with some romance, but it doesn’t talk down to the reader. The author throws you into this world of magic with very little explanation, and once you’re in, you’re trapped. But it really depends on genre and mood. I probably have about forty of fifty “favorites.” I don’t read books more than once, because life is too short to read everything I want to read, and re-reading makes it shorter still. But I will listen to audiobooks of books I’ve already read.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I’ve never watched GAME OF THRONES, because I’ve read the books, and it’s tough to commit to a series if you already know what’s going to happen. It’s different for movies. I think the Harry Potter films stand pretty well on their own. Others suck. I read ERAGON by Christopher Paolini when it came out and loved it. The movie? Not so hot.
Your favorite food is?
Your favorite singer/group is?
Your favorite color is?
Your favorite Author is?
Ouch. Not answering this one. That’s like asking someone to pick their favorite child, which in my case would definitely be my youngest. The twelve-year-old is best described as a pain-in-the-you-know-what. – Ha! Kidding, of course. I don’t even have children.
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. To find out more, visit her at www.carmen-fox.com.
Book page: www.carmen-fox.com/guarded