Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Guest Author: Kristen Callihan

WINNER: Thanks for all the comments everyone! The random winner of the copy of Firelight is Stephanie Samphire. Congratulations! Please send your mailing address to: naliniDOTassistantATgmailDOTcom and we'll pass it on to Kristen.
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I'm delighted to have Kristen Callihan on the blog today. I had a chance to have an early read of her darkly romantic and atmospheric debut, Firelight, and utterly enjoyed it. You can check out an excerpt of the book here. Please welcome Kristen to the blog everyone!

Kristen Callihan on Firelight

Thank you, Nalini for having me here! I’m a huge fangirl, which goes without saying, but even more so, I admire your generosity and kindness to both readers and fellow authors. And, really, how cool is it that I get to hang out with you and your readers?  (pssstt, hey readers, I don’t want anyone to get too excited but, on my way in, I happened to find this lovely feather, brilliant blue and silver tipped. I’m just saying… Nalini might not have *made up* her angels… But you didn’t hear that from me.)

Ahem…

Lately, I’ve been asked why did I decide to mix historical romance with paranormal. It seems that the two don’t often mix, much like second cousins meeting up once a year for the holidays.

This notion hadn’t occurred to me. I’d been spoon-fed on paranormal through such writers as Anne Rice, Stoker, and Shelley. Stories such as Dracula, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray fired my young imagination and started a life-long love affair with the paranormal.

But why Victorian London? For me, Victorian London is as much a character as my hero and heroine. This is a place of narrow, dank alleyways, shrouded in fog. It’s the shrill cry of the constable’s whistle when murder is afoot. Footsteps scuffing over the cobbles in the dark of night. It is also the seductive clasp of a lady’s corset, her bustled skirts swaying in enticingly, all but begging for a man to discover what lies beneath.

And it is a place in which my hero, Lord Benjamin Archer, becomes a mystery unto himself. In the modern age, a fellow with something to hide about his appearance might easily turn to cosmetics, hell, with the internet and good take-out, he might never need leave his house. In our world, a masked man might be looked upon as strange, but we’d chalk it up to yet another bit of weirdness and go on our way.  In Victorian London, however, there would be talk. What does he hide? Rumors and speculation will grow. Especially when lofty peers of the realm begin to be murdered, and witness point to one suspect, a masked man.

Sex, murder, mystery and magic, they all fit quite well within Victorian London. How then could I resist?

In Firelight, my heroine, Miranda must navigate the twisting avenues of speculation and fear, and learn to trust her heart. The payoff just might be wining the love of a lifetime.

So how about the rest of you? Is there an era or place that sets your imagination on fire? Had you the ability to go back in time, where would you go? What would you do?

Giveaway: Kristen is giving away a copy of Firelight  - to enter the draw, just leave a comment on this post (on the main blog rather than the Goodreads feed) with your answer to one of her questions above, before 5pm Thursday 2nd Februrary 2012, New Zealand time.

The fine print: Contest is open internationally. One entry per household. No purchase necessary to enter. Winner will be chosen randomly using random.org and his or her name posted on this blog on Friday February 3rd, 2012. Void where prohibited.

69 comments :

Jenny Schwartzberg said...

I really enjoyed this post and that excerpt. I'll certainly look out for Firelight! As for a time period to visit, Regency England if I could be a lady. I'd like to visit the Pale of Settlement before World War II to see the towns my families lived in while they were still thriving... There are a lot of European places and times I'd like to visit...

tinkerbelle said...

My favorite era has to be regency england. It's just amazing to think of all those fabulous dresses but also the complicated miasma of that society! However, I would love to live with the indigenous people of Canada. Starry nights, riding horses and living on the land sounds like an amazing ability but I would also love to live in the era of knights in shining armor. I guess I would be a little like Joanne of Arc and go into battle!
Definitely going to be reading Firelight and thank you so much for this opportunity!

Stephanie said...

Wow, that sounds like a really good book. I'm going to make sure I get the ebook fir my kindle.

Andrea said...

If I could go back in time I would visit Philadelphia in the 1770's. To see so many great minds coming together to change the course of a country. I imagine the excitement, fear and uncertainty during that time would be fascinating. It's not the most romantic time but it definitely would be interesting for me.

Sandy said...

Looks good. New author to consider :)
Anyways, in answer to the questions.

Is there an era or place that sets your imagination on fire? Ancient Greece. There is something about that era that makes me think of all kind of scenarios.

Had you the ability to go back in time, where would you go? What would you do? If I could go back in time I would probably settle in the roaring 20's and I would be a woman showing her independance.

fishgirl182 said...

hi kristen! (and nalini!) i really enjoyed firelight. archer is such a tortured soul and miranda is so strong. they make a great couple.

i don't know if there's any particular era that inspiries me. and i don't know if i'd want to go too far back in time before there was civil rights and stuff like that. and flushing toilets. :)

Jessica@a GREAT read said...

An era or place? I like a lot of urban fantasy, but I also looooove Greek mythology. So if a book is set with that kind of premise like a lot of books are starting to lately, I like that! I also enjoy books set in London--sort of a steampunk popular location! I don't have any strong preferences or faves, I tend to love the place wherever the story is happening!

Pookietoes said...

I have always wanted to live in St.Petersburg before the revolution. To see 200 ft wide streets, palaces on every corner, speak with Peter the Great and live, and find my prince because at that time they were falling out of the trees.

Amiee Snow said...

I'm from Ireland one of my favourite topics in history was the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin if I could time travel it would be to that year or between 1450-1541 when Ireland was under english rule. The Irish language "Gaeilge" has all but but died out due to the english rule way back when and the english language took over it would be interesting to see where it all started :)

Kalyrra said...

Difficult to decide where/when to go. Too many choices, too many chances, crazy imagination :) Ancient Greece, Ancient China (couldn't choose time period). Italy being an apprentice to Leonardo Da Vinci :)

Elizabeth said...

Thank You I really needed new reading material and this book seems great.

Lori S. said...

I like Old New York. But I also think ancient Scotland would be cool. To know more about the Picts and other lost lore would be awesome.

Bugetta said...

Hi Kristen, I've heard about this book on several sites now and I love historical paranormal novels, so I'm excited for the chance to win a copy! I'd like to go back to the regency period, but I don't know if I could handle chamber pots.:-D So, instead I'll pick pre-WW1 England (yes, I've been watching Downton Abbey!).

Nikki said...

I've always been fascinated by history, so I actually have a few favourites. Ancient Greece and ancient Rome, as well as Regency England are at the top of the list. There are more, but I'll just stick with those :-)
I find the idea of merging historical and paranormal very intriguing - it's a mix of my two absolute favourite reads! Looking forward to checking out 'Firelight'.

Aimee Frm NZ!!! said...

Hmm i'd hav to say Ancient Greece :) ever since i read Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series it has made me love that time in history :D I've been wanting a new book series to read looks like 'Firelight' just mite be the one im looking for :)

SdyLion said...

I would love to go back to the Renaissance and get to see all the artists at work. How cool would that be! I love the ancient Rome times as well- very primal -only if you had money of course. I am fascinated by the work authors put into the paranormal novels to make them authentic. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I have this on my wishlist on Amazon. It really sounds good, can't wait to read it.

sheryl

sheryll1974@netscape.net

Dannigurl30 said...

If I could go back in time I would go to the Era of the time of Cleopatra and I would try to find a way to see her ability to enthrall men, because if we look at past wars I would say her ranks the biggest war and a nation was brought down because of her beauty. Plus it would be nice to live in a time where you were barely clothed and well everyone just kinda radiated sex and passion.

Karen Alexander said...

Kristen, I'm very intrigued by your book!! Can't wait to get my hands on this.

Stephanie Pride said...

Where/when would I like to be? Probably Elizabethan England. It was such an amazing time socially, people throwing off traditions and exploring all sorts of areas... And I'd love to go to a Premier(!!!) Of one of Shakespears plays.
Or, more recently, see my home town Sydney when it was just starting to be settled.
Of course, if the opportunity did exist I'd want to be in a much better physical state of health... Or be able to travel back and forth so I can pick up my pills, replace my contact lenses, have a bath... recharge my ipod ;-P

Christina said...

I am so torn with time periods! I love the nineteenth century, I have since growing up reading the Little House on the Prairie. I would have to say that I would the victorian era is probably my favorite period (the ancient world is a close second, but I don't think I'd want to live there ^_^).

I can't wait to get my hands on your book (*fingers crossed for the contest*)

Kathy H said...

This books sounds really good!! Its going on my to read list. As to what era i would go back to, it would be ancient egypt, as it was such an interesting time with how they lived and their beliefs and to just imagine life back then. Not too mentian when you read books based on that time there's just some thing about it.

jen said...

I would like to visit Colonial America. I just like the idea of seeing a new country grow. I can't wait to read your book.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Krestin the place I would love to visit would be Cleopatria palace. To be in the present of such a women is the ultimal thing. A wamen able to take control in a world created for man and to find the there is a women able to be a devious and brilliant who is able to control those that are suppose to control her and that the should be her to control. Yes EGYPT IS THE PLACE FOR ME.

Reillys in Pataua said...

Well, i dont know about "era" so much but on a recommend from nalini started reading the iron duke and im now crazy about steam punk, even went to oamaru to check out their steam punk awesomness, very very cool!

Manisha said...

Hi ladies!!
The era I would like to see Is the one where I could meet a real life highlander and see what's really under those kilts ;) ... Haha it would be interesting to see how they lived and enjoyed their homeland... The wars against England...
Krestin I look forward to reading your book!!

Diane said...

I'm quite satisfied with the era we are in and so wouldn't want to change; this being said I wouldn't mind traveling back and forth to fix things that should be fixed and leave things that are already perfect.

dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

alvernah said...

Kristen - Thank you for the great introduction to your book, Firelight. I would LOVE to win a copy, but if not I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR list. If I could visit any other era, I would want to visit them all! But, I'd pick ancient Rome if I had to limit it to one. I've always found it a fascinating time and place.

AlvernaH (at) yahoo dot com

alainala said...

this book looks awesome!!
i love medieval scotland (men in kilts!), i love strange paranormals in victorian england.. i like the futuristics.. basically any era works for me.. lmao.. i think going back to almost any era would bring an adventure or two!

alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

Jill B said...

It's hard to choose just one time period. I'd love to visit a speakeasy in the 1920's, or ancient Rome or possibly medieval times, or, well...the list could go on and on. I'd really just like a TARDIS!

johobbs said...

Off topic: Anyone know where I can buy Ember in the UK? Amazon don't sell it :( Would like to read it before buying Firelight.

I'd rather travel forward, to be honest. I really want to know if we come out OK.

Pria said...

The times of Genghis Khan would be my pick. Enormous empire, start of diplomacy and encounters with previously-unmet peoples (oh and plenty of chaos, killing and mayhem but I reckon all empires had those)

As to what I'd do: preferably be an envoy and thus (hopefully) avoid most of the fighting!

Kerstin said...

Definitely Scotland or Ireland. Both are beautiful countries and I can only imagine what they were like hundreds of years ago!! :)

kerstin.writes (at) googlemail (dot) com

valysam said...

I can't decide which era I would visit if I could... each and every one has something that appeals to me, and its own brand of hero that could seduce me! That's why I'm not discriminating when I go book shopping. It's all in the characters and their story for me... And Firelight succeeded to seduce and entice me: I promise I'll buy it!
If I don't win it, of course!

Dana said...

Hard to say. If I have to choose a time period I guess I'd choose Victorian, though, in terms of books, I prefer the fantasy genre Victorian courts to those of our past.
Thank you for this interesting post and for the giveaway!

Tinuke said...

Hi read the synopsis of your book and liked it so regardless of whether I actually win a book or not I have put it on my TBR pile.

So to the questions, time period Regency/Ancient Greece/Rome/Egypt and Britain. Personally would certainly like to go back and hear some famous classical singers live, that would be wonderful, but I wouldn't want to live then. I am more of a futuristic kind of person as I really like my creature comforts.

Wrayth Lethe said...

jeez way to put us under the spotlight! While I would love to visit loads of places in the past, I also wouldn't want to live there.

Ancient Egypt is a big one for me, also the time of the Fianna (Ancient Ireland) and Cu Chulainn, hmmm Babylon, I'd love to see those hanging Gardens! Ancient Greece, maybe Rome too, and of course Ancient Persian, Japan and China when it was still States instead of one unified country... Actually I just want a Tardis! XD And I'd basically just be a tourist there. :P Well maybe help the Irish overthrow the English by telling them what will happen (way back in the beginning) ;)

Stephanie Samphire said...

This sounds wonderful! Please enter me in the giveaway.

I would really love to visit late eighteenth-century Vienna. I did my MA thesis and most of a PhD thesis on operas written there and then, and I would just love to experience the culture for a day or two (then come home to feminism, central heating and 21st-century healthcare!).

Trace said...

London during the Victorian Era. I would love to visit The Great Exhibition.

Connie Rayburn said...

I would love to travel back to 1692, to the time of the Salem witch trials. It is said that none of the victims were actually witches but I would like to see for myself.

Aven said...

I think I'd like to tackle the timeframe surrounding the Civil War, maybe a Western since I grew up watching John Wayne movies and reading books like Lonesome Dove with my grandfather (who I find I'm more like each day).

Sophia D said...

If I could go back in time, I think my first choice would be ancient Egypt followed by ancient Rome/Greece

Firelight sounds amazing!

Gwynna H. said...

Egypt and the era of Pharaohs, I just love the mystery of it all :)

Letitia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Letitia said...

I just saw this on another blog and then on Goodreads - I can't wait to read it! Going to look for it on my next grocery trip (if I don't win). Sounds awesome! I think historical and paranormal will mix fantastically. :D

If I could go back to any era, it would be the Regency era. I think it would be fun to put on a gown and twirl around with a dashing duke at a ton event.

CrystalGB said...

Firelight sounds great. If I could go back in time, I would go to Regency England. I would love to dress in a gorgeous ball gown and attend a ball and ride in a fancy carriage.

peppiedoodle said...

I'd want to visit Ancient China, particularly around the Qin Dynasty or the Five dynasties and ten Kingdoms era. I'd hear about the stories about war and history firsthand. I'd also try on the nice clothes, hairstyles and headdresses. I'd want to get my hands on some old literature too.

jillarcherauthor said...

If I had the ability to go back in time, where WOULDN'T I want to go?!? That's why reading is so much fun. Authors take us to such amazing places... past, present, and imaginary. Can't wait to read FIRELIGHT and will have to order EMBER too. Have fun on your tour!

Unknown said...

What a great excerpt. I've always been fascinated with anything in the Regency period or America in the 1850s-1880s. The Victorian age is certainly something new for me!

klouie729@gmail.com

Sarah Meral said...

Kristen, I´m looking forward to reading Firelight finally.

If I could go back in time, I would like to visit the Viking era (beginning around 800) and learn the culture of the Vikings :)

Jennifer R. said...

Ancient Greece would be my time period to go to but I have also been fascinated with the 1920s in America: Roaring Twenties, women showing their ankles, Speakeasies, Art Deco architecture, etc. I would love to go to California and visit the speakeasies and hobnob with the Hollywood stars of the 1920s, when sound was just coming in. (Favorite movie is Singin' in the Rain and I think it would hilarious to see how some of the stars dealt with the sounds of their voice.)

Anonymous said...

I would like to read more about the 1920's or the 1950's. The styles and women roles during those times are so different and I think would make good for a "hidden" paranormal situation:)

Dawn Anderson

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristen and Nalini, I am so excited to read your debut book Kristen. Really 2 curious with the paranormal story about the Victoria era. Always happy to know new book with such an interesting premise. If I can travel back to past tine that would be the Victoria era. I think that era is very cool , and then I can meet with the queen Victoria and prince albert themselves . Imagine how great that would be! Thank you:). aretha_zhen@yahoo.com

Sherri L, said...

The book sounds interesting and I have to agree about London it has such a rich history and seems to have a charactor all it's own.

Diana said...

Cool book! Thanks for running a contest

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

I've read the excerpt and really enjoyed it. It reminds me of Phantom of the Opera, and Beauty and the Beast. Would love to read Firelight!

I like Victorian time period because I think it's romantic (romanticized in romance novels). I'd love to meet my own duke.

Ren said...

I have an e-copy of this one, but would love to win the paperback as well.
Place that set my imagination on fire is Ireland. Never go there, but I hear that place is full of magic. I want to go there, and if I can timetravel too, I 'll go to this country when Druids wandering there

Anonymous said...

I think my favourite British timelines are both the Victorian Era and the time when the Romans were leaving Britain (Boadicea) and after i.e. Arthurian

Kate M

AmelArmeliana said...

Whoa...this is an awesome giveaway. The story sounds interesting. I'd love to read it.

I love regency era. Well, I'm a big fan of Jane Austen. Watching movies about regency era always amazed me. I love the dress that they wore. And If I had ability to go back in time, I want to go to Pemberley and find Mr.Darcy *big grin*

Sajida said...

I used to love the regency era but since i started reading UF/PR i find that i love the present and the future with all its marvelous possibilities....so when i make stuff up in my head, it is set in the future but it has the colors of the regency era :D...the beauty of creating stuff in ones head..

Kim Shelt said...

Ive always thought there was something so mysterious about London streets in 1800s. Im glad someone else feels the same

brendathebig said...

I love Victorian England. It's a fascinating period of progress combined with all the distinctive manners and social mores that I enjoy in georgian/regency /Victorian settings :) will be checking Firelight out!

krissa said...

This book sounds awesome. Count me in!

My favorite era, since I was a kid, would be Louis the XIV-th France. I loooved Alexandre Dumas's books.

Callista said...

would love to visit Egypt at its glorious times.Any place at its historical peak would do,just imagine visiting Han China or going to South America with their native kings and queens.It's too hard to pick one place and one era at a time :)

Callista said...

but please give me one blue feather :(
Roses are red,
Illium is blue,
Feathers are light,
And I want one too.

Anna said...

Gah! What time is it in New Zealand?

Anyway, my time machine would be set for May 7, 1824. I would would arrive at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna to watch and listen to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Nalini Singh said...

WINNER: Thanks for all the comments everyone! The random winner of the copy of Firelight is Stephanie Samphire. Congratulations! Please send your mailing address to: naliniDOTassistantATgmailDOTcom and we'll pass it on to Kristen.

Kristen Callihan said...

I wanted to thank Nalini for having me here! It was such a pleasure!

And thank you everyone for considering Firelight! I loved reading where people would go. I think I'd like to go to all of those places too! :)

Congratulations, Stephanie! I hope you like the book!