With C. A. Gray
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school… although back then all my main characters were cats (go figure). I’ve got about 12 shelves’ worth of journals throughout my life, and have always felt that words are incredibly powerful. I minored in Creative Writing in college. I guess I always knew I’d end up writing eventually.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I have a 16 degree kink in my spine. I fractured L2 while sledding and fell off a 10 foot cliff. Everyone else fell off the cliff too, in fact that was the idea because the bottom was covered in powder… but *I* landed wrong
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
The first novel was Intangible, and the original name for it was Ripple Effect. It referred to a quantum mechanical principle, but it was just so vague. Intangible isn’t much better, I’ll admit, but I wanted an alliteration theme with all one word: Intangible, Invincible, and Impossible is what I came up with. I know better now — I need to have some keywords in there!
Who designed your book covers?
Now I do them all on Design Crowd so each is done by a different person, though I’ve used a few designers more than once.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
This book is a bunch of my favorite things, all meshed together: romantic suspense, a Cinderella-ish story, a secret society, mermaids, magic, and mythology… how could you not be intrigued? 🙂
Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Marissa Meyer or Orson Scott Card. Both of them have such distinctive narrative voices (though completely different from one another.) I could read anything by either of them, no matter what it’s about, and be engrossed. I want to know how they pull that off!
What are you passionate about these days?
I really feel strongly about helping others find clean, apolitical YA books. It seems to me that they’re vanishingly hard to find! (I have a podcast to this end: http://www.authorcagray.com/podcasts/.)
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on something a little different this time. It’s an early chapter reader/middle grade series in which three 9-10 year old kids (Gabe, Elizabeth, and Marty) apprentice under a time-traveling magician called Thrylos, traveling to various critical moments in history. They must battle against the evil magician Kakovoulos, ensuring that history turns out as we know it, rather than taking a much darker turn. I love the historical research I get to do for this one! For instance: did you know that Julius Caesar was once kidnapped by pirates? Or that Plato was once sold as a slave? Or that in 1908 an asteroid nearly hit London that would have wiped out the entire city? True stories, all. Not sure how my kids are going to save the day, but they totally are… Now I just have to figure out the whole illustration thing! 🙂
The Atlantis Bloodline
by C.A. Gray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Kai’s life isn’t his own, and his fame isn’t the half of it. As a member of a secret organization known as the Elioud, descended from the Atlantean daughters of the Pleiades, he’s been commissioned with a task: to reintegrate the lost line of Maia into their ranks. It just so happens that Ada is the one they’ve been looking for. He doesn’t know what they intend to do to her, and he doesn’t care. All he wants is the prize for a successful mission: one unqualified wish, which he intends to spend on his beloved sister’s freedom.
There’s just one problem: Kai’s falling in love with Ada, too.
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“Hi,” I said, self-consciously tucking a lock of hair behind my ear that had escaped my ponytail.
“Hi.” Kaison stood and offered me that muscular hand to shake, turning the smolder on me. I hated myself for it, but my heart skipped a beat as I slipped my hand in his. The contrast between my pale skin and his deep olive tone drew my attention—perhaps because everything about this moment felt heightened. Surreal.
“I heard them call you Ada.” He held my hand too long. He wasn’t even shaking it.
I nodded, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Yes. Ada Edwards.”
He absorbed this for a moment. “Very pleased to meet you, Ada Edwards.” He actually brought my hand to his lips and kissed it. I heard myself giggle involuntarily, and hated myself even more. “I’m Kaison Hughes.”
“Yeah, I figured that out.”
“But please, call me Kai.” He finally released my hand, and gestured at the chair as he sat down himself.
“Oh-kay…” I sat, and he sipped his mocha, completely at ease. I waited for an explanation, but he didn’t seem to be in a hurry to give me one. “So… I’m sorry. Do we know each other?” I knew the answer of course, but it was the only way I could think of to address his bizarre behavior.
“If we did, then introductions would hardly be necessary, would they?” His eyes twinkled at me. He was enjoying this.
“It’s just—why did you single me out like that?”
He tilted his head to the side. “Really?”
“You can’t think of any reasons why a guy might see you across a crowded room and think, ‘I’ve gotta meet that girl’?”
I frowned, a little annoyed now. I knew what he was implying, and even if he’d been an ordinary guy, I’d have had trouble buying it. I had no illusions about my looks. I was cute— pretty, even. But not gorgeous, and certainly not in the league of Lara Benanati and Amelia Rogers.
“That’s not why.”
“How do you know?” I narrowed my eyes at him. “I saw you at the park last night.” It came out more of an accusation than I’d intended.
He laughed. “I should hope so, I wasn’t exactly hiding!”
I blinked, confused. “But… what were you doing there?”
“Same thing I’m doing here. Looking for you.”
I blinked, waiting for him to add ‘just kidding.’ He didn’t; he just watched me with that amused smirk of his.
“And you don’t think that requires an explanation?”
“Oh, I’m quite certain it does, and I’ll tell it to you eventually. But it’s fun watching you try to figure it out in the meantime.” He shrugged, and took another sip of his mocha. “So how about it. Any theories?”
“None,” I answered honestly.
He looked disappointed. “Oh come on. Humor me. Make something up.”
I opened my mouth and closed it again like a guppy. “You’re… here for a show, and… fancied a stroll at night? In… the… worst part of town?”
“I already told you that I was looking for you, specifically. Your theory must include that crucial fact.” “You… think I’m your long lost sister?”
“Oh, Lord, I hope not,” Kai leaned forward, his eyes twinkling. I felt my face grow hot, and couldn’t hold his gaze.
“Uhh… you’re looking to cast a particular look for your next music video, and I fit the bill? Even though I can’t imagine why a hundred other girls wouldn’t also…”
“Boring!” he announced, grinning at me. “Think bigger. More… supernatural.”
“Okay, is there a hidden camera somewhere?” I made a show of looking around. “Please tell me I’m not gonna be humiliated on some viral YouTube video…”
Kai suddenly became serious. “Sorry. I’m just messing with you. Tell me something. Tell me about your family.”
I blinked. “My… family?”
“Yes, your family. What do your parents do? Any siblings?”
“Uh, it’s just my papa and me. No siblings. My mom died when I was young.”
Kai gave a tiny nod. “I’m sorry.”
I shrugged. “It was a long time ago.”
“Doesn’t mean it can’t still hurt.”
I dropped my eyes, feeling even more off-balance. What was going on here?
“May I ask… how she died?”
“She was murdered,” I answered, looking up at him boldly, as if daring him to have a come-back to that. “By some people she was trying to help.”
“I’m so sorry,” Kai said again. But he didn’t seem surprised. “I know this might seem strange, but do you have an unusual birthmark, perhaps?”
I froze, taken aback. “What kind of a question is that?”
Kai’s expression cleared, and he looked almost smug. “Because if you do,” he emphasized the word, “I don’t think it’s really a birthmark.”
“What are you talking about?”
“No!” I cried at once. No way was I going to voluntarily reveal my most shameful feature to Kaison Hughes, of all people.
“Ada.” His expression softened, and he reached across the table to take my hand. I reflexively began to pull it away, but he grabbed it before I could. Then, methodically, he flipped it over, straightened out my curled fingers, and began to massage my palm with his thumb. I’d had two boyfriends, but even including every encounter I’d ever had with them, this was, hands down, the most sensual experience of my life. I couldn’t speak. Honestly, I had a hard time breathing.
Kai took his time, raising his eyes to mine only once he knew I was putty in his hands.
I swallowed. I couldn’t believe I was about to do this—it was like I was under a spell or something. But I turned my head, lowered the collar of my white shirt, and lifted my ponytail to reveal the angry red geometric-looking birthmark at the nape of my neck. Ever so gently, Kai brushed his fingertips against it, and–
I gasped and jerked away from him, severing the connection.
“What was that?”
He knew what I meant—the moment his fingertips made contact with the birthmark, there was a kind of explosion in my brain. I suddenly realized I was panting. His mouth twisted into that smug smirk again.
“Like I said,” he murmured, in that sexy bedroom voice of his. “Not a birthmark.”
“Then what is it?”
Kai bit his lip, and cast a glance inside. “Your break is probably about over, right? What are you doing tonight?”
I blinked, trying to down-shift. “Uhh…”
He stood up, and I did too. From inside his jacket, he produced a couple of tickets. “Ever heard Bloodline play before? We’re playing Sprint Center tonight. These are backstage passes, in case you want to invite a friend along.”
My mouth still hung open, and Kai’s grin grew wider. He reached for my hand, and placed the tickets in them. Then he leaned in next to my ear and whispered, “Traditionally the appropriate response is, ‘Thank you. I’ll see you there.’” He pulled back just enough to look into my eyes, though he was close enough to kiss me. “So will I?”
“Sure,” was all I could manage.
“Good.” He took another step back, raising the hand holding the tickets to his lips again. He kissed my fingertips this time, slow and lingering. “Until tonight, Ada Edwards. I’ll be counting the minutes.”
By day, C.A. Gray practices naturopathic medicine, podcasts, and writes medical non-fiction under her maiden name (Lauren Deville). She lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband Frank, and together they maintain an occasionally contentious film review blog (under her real name: Lauren Baden. Three names. Yes.) She’s kind of the queen of multitasking–so in her spare time, she creates whatever meals or crafts she found most recently on Pinterest, drinks lots of coffee (Aeropress btw) and occasional wine (reds–and she saves the corks for craft projects), works out (while listening to audiobooks), and studies the Bible (about half of the podcasts on Christian Natural Health are scripture meditations). …She does sleep, too.
Join her newsletter for best-of-the-month reads, freebies and giveaway information, as well as new releases! http://eepurl.com/F3rof
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