Series Feature: The Shadow Slayers by Cassi Carver & GIVEAWAY

Hi and thank you for having me as a guest today! Do you read a lot of book blogs and have you ever wondered what a typical day in the life of a full-time writer looks like? I do!

Alas, I know quite a few writers, and I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical day. Sure, some writers are disciplined and some have word count goals. Some write by the seat of their pants and some plot the story points until every key twist and turn is perfectly mapped out. But each writer’s process is as unique as the writer herself.

I know what I want my days to look like. I’d like to wake up every morning and wave goodbye to my four teens as they slip out the door for school—early, of course, with their lunches packed and their perfect essays filed neatly in their backpacks. (Oh—and even better, my oldest son would drive them in the hand-me-down gold minivan I gave him, because heaven knows they wouldn’t all fit in my new two-seater sports car.)

And after the kids were at school, I’d feed my grateful pets then take a long bath that felt like an hour, but surprisingly only took fifteen minutes. I would emerge from said bath and let my hair air-dry to perfection while I ate breakfast and read the morning paper front to back. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I’d jogged five miles before the bath—but then, in this alternate reality, jogging is so easy that it’s easy to forget something like that.

Soon after breakfast, I would slip into my office (Because of course I have a designated office. An elegant one.), and then I’d start to write, adding two thousand words an hour to a manuscript that was sure to be an instant classic, stopping only to jump on Facebook or Twitter to answer fans’ questions about when the next release is due out or giving my stamp of approval to yet another child being named after one of my heroes or heroines.

At the end of that long (yet incredibly delightful) day, my husband would reward my hard work with a delicious home-cooked meal and nice thirty minute massage.

Wouldn’t that be AMAZING???

Well, that’s not exactly how my typical day goes. The kids are usually rushing out the door and I’m chasing them down the street with their forgotten lunch sack. The pets…actually, yes, the pets are super grateful. (I’ve never felt like such a rock-star for throwing down a bowl of kibble.) But the words don’t always surge from my brain onto the keyboard at an astonishing speed.

Still, it works for me. Regardless of what was happening around me—like orthodontic appointments, running kids to sporting events, and general familial chaos—when I wrote book 3 in The Shadow Slayers series, Dark Flight, it felt like everything was exactly how it should be.

Fans of the series have been through a lot with the characters, and I think they are really going to love this book. Writing it wasn’t a chore, but a pleasure. I was as teary-eyed at the end of the novel as I hope readers will be, and completing that Dark Flight taught me something…

I may not have the “perfect” writer’s life, but as long as I can finish books that speak to something deep inside me and I get the chance to share those books with readers—that’s perfectly all right with me.

As a thank you for stopping by, I’d like to give away a digital copy of Dark Flight to someone who comments today. Will you share with us one thing you’d have or do on your perfect day?

*Contest open until 5/27/13 @ 11:59pm EST with winner announced shortly after. Open internationally*

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The Slayer's Kiss by Cassi CarverBook 1: The Slayer’s Kiss

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Publisher: Samhain

When the past flies in your face, clip its wings.

The Shadow Slayers, Book 1

Kara Reed is a supernatural failure. But where her magic falls short, her fists get the job done. The criminal element doesn’t stand a chance once she hits San Diego’s dark streets. When two smoking-hot tenants move in next door, she thinks her love life might finally be heating up. Just being near Gavin and Julian is enough to make her want to offer her body on a platter. Gavin and Julian know it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. They’re fallen angels sent to watch over the king’s daughter, one of the last females of her kind. Trouble is, she doesn’t seem to think she needs watching—unless they’re watching her shimmy out of her clothes. No matter how tempting her guardians, Kara’s not about to let anything stop her from tracking down a sadistic killer who carves into his victims and leaves them for dead. Even when she realizes her target may be the very scourge of heaven from which her angels swore to protect her… Warning: Contains a kick-ass heroine with a foul mouth, a kind heart and a raging libido, and two fallen angel warriors who wouldn’t have her any other way. Watch out for sex in the clouds, a magical island of hedonism and a love triangle that gives new meaning to the term “hot-wings”

Shadow Rising by Cassi CarverBook 2: Shadow Rising

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Publisher: Samhain

“Her lover is back from the dead but now there s hell to pay. “

When Kara Reed learns her bondmate, Julian, is truly dead, and that Gavin has seemingly skipped town, she figures things have hit rock bottom. But soon, a string of bizarre accidents has her doubting those closest to her. And to make matters worse, the demon-kings brand carved into her best friend Abbeys stomach is deteriorating by the day.

Then a powerful coven of witches issues Kara an ultimatum. Bring them the blood of a true fallen angel the only thing that will heal Abbey or die. Kara would do anything to help her friend. Problem is, the only fallen angel she s seen lately is the disoriented black-wing who attacked her scouts. One who looks suspiciously like Julian. Getting his blood might be easier if he was more interested in kissing her than killing her.

Caught between a coven of vengeful witches and a murderous dead lover, Kara must deliver the blood, heal the slow poison of Abbeys brand, and save Julian from being consumed by the Abyss. But to do this, she may need the help of the one man she swore never to trust again, Gavin.

Warning: This book contains an angry demon returning from the dead, a clan lord hiding a terrible secret, and a hunted heroine cracking open a can of whoop-ass. Watch out for creepy kitties, exploding bad guys, and some very sudsy shower sex.

The Silverwing's Sorceress by Cassi CarverBook 2.5: The Silverwing’s Sorceress

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Publisher: Samhain

Abbey Sellers has to get out of town for a few days while trouble at home sorts itself out. A getaway to her family’s mountain retreat with her friend, Jaxon, is exactly what she needs to relax and forget the wound etched into her stomach. Except since the scorching kiss they shared, spending time with Jaxon isn’t as relaxing as it used to be.

Grounded warriors, secret tunnels, and an ancient Book of Death are only part of the problem. How does any woman with a pulse stay “just friends” with a man who spent a hundred years honing his lovemaking skills in a harem? Besides, he’s immortal, and she has a shelf life. Jaxon, though, isn’t listening—or taking no for an answer.

Jaxon Hex finally knows what he wants, and he won’t let anything stop him from making Abbey his. Not even the devastating secret he’s been hiding from her. With the coven out to assassinate the woman he loves, and Abbey dabbling in death magic that could get her killed, his own blood could be the one thing that heals her—or separates them for all eternity.

Product Warnings
This book contains a warrior with needs, a woman with willpower issues and a cabin that’s not what it seems. Watch out for no-holds-barred sex and a love that can move mountains…literally.

Dark Flight Banner 450 x 169

Dark Flight by Cassi CarverBook 3: Dark Flight

Available: May 21, 2013 Amazon/B&N

Publisher: Samhain

“In a world of shadows, a pure heart can be the most dangerous weapon of all. “

Kara has been training for months to help take down Brakken-the merciless black-wing who is making life hell for the Demiare. But when Julian discovers a scout has been tracking Kara, he wants her out of the fight-even if it means breaking her heart in the process.

Gavin isn’t much better. He’s already lost so much to Brakken and has no intention of allowing the woman he loves to be the next sacrifice. He and Julian have their hands full trying to fight Brakken’s army and keep Kara safe, especially after her recent visit to the mythical white-wings. Since her return, she’s been acting decidedly…strange.

With a terrible battle looming, Kara doesn’t have time to think about her conflicted feelings for Gavin and Julian-or the fact that she’s developed an unnatural taste for Gavin’s blood. But if she thought it was complicated evading mysterious scouts and fending off vicious black-wings, she’s learning that’s nothing compared to loving two strong-willed men.

Warning: This book contains angels that aren’t what they seem, a heroine with mad midwifery skills, and a metamorphosis that will change life as we knew it.

EXCERPT:

Copyright © 2012 Cassi Carver All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Kara dropped into a crouch behind the leaves of a giant bird of paradise as her claws silently pushed through the tips of her fingers. Her thigh muscles burned from the continued strain, but they could catch fire for all she cared. He wasn’t going to get her. Not this time.

When the sound of furtive footsteps approached, crunching softly through the thick, tropical undergrowth, Kara grabbed onto a low-lying branch and swung herself up, then quickly scaled the side of the tree. Her heart beat full-throttle, hammering so hard she hoped he couldn’t hear it. But if his hearing was that good, even the shallow breaths she took might give her away.

The buckskin-clad shape came closer. Head to toe, he wore a suit made of animal skin with a leaf pattern hand-drawn on the material. It was a hunting suit. But Kara didn’t feel like being hunted tonight.

She waited until he was directly under the tree where she hid. His chest and back were strapped with weapons that slowed him just enough to put him at a disadvantage. With a silent, decisive breath, Kara leapt.

Claws extended, she pounced on his back from above, flattening him to the ground under her, crushing a mass of fern fronds under his thick chest. She pulled a knife from his back strap and held it to his throat.

Smiling, she leaned down to whisper above his hooded ear, “Give up, big guy?” If it came out a little throaty and seductive, she couldn’t help it. Victory was a major turn-on. But then again, when it came to Gavin Cross, just breathing the same air was enough to get her hot and bothered.

He shifted under her, and his hulking body had no problem moving her with him. With her knees straddling his hips, she lifted up to allow him to roll onto his back.

“Lady Kara…” the man began, “you have need of me?”

Kara dropped the knife and jumped off, falling to one knee and clobbering a sprig of wild orchids in the clumsy maneuver. “Who the hell are you?”

“Patrick. You don’t remember me?” The warrior sat up and searched her eyes for a moment, but then his confusion cleared, as though he’d finally caught on to what was afoot. “Ah, you really don’t remember me, do you? You simply have need of a man. I don’t mind, my lady. I would be honored to service you.”

It still bothered Kara that his offer lit fuses all up and down her body. If she hadn’t grown up as a regular gal, she probably would have taken him up on his offer. Right here. Right now. Already, his substantial interest was growing.

She stood and brushed the debris from her black jeans. “I’m so sorry, Patrick. I really didn’t intend to…jump you. Lord Gavin and I are doing training exercises out here, and I thought you were him. You may want to hunt somewhere else until we’re finished.” When his brows rose, she added, “Finished training.”

Patrick stood, assessing her with a wry smile, then he retrieved his knife and returned it to its sheath. “Lord Gavin, you say? But he was the one who ordered the hunt.”

“He did what?” But just as she said it, something slammed into her from behind, carrying her blindingly fast through the maze of trees and vines until the blurred image of a clearing appeared.

In the next instant, she crashed into the tall grass face first and rolled onto her back—or was flipped, more like it. The hulking form above her blocked out the light of the moon with his massive silver wings. Her back pushed into the soggy soil, the moisture soaking through her shirt, and a root of some sort pressed against her ribs.

She glared up at Gavin, but with only an inch separating them, his hazel eyes were huge, eclipsing everything else in her vision, and his grin seemed to stretch as wide as his wings. “Gotcha.”

“What was that?” she demanded, but it was hard to yell at him with his lips so close to hers.

He brought a hand to her neck and ran his finger slowly across her throat. “If I had a knife, you’d be dead. I win again.”

Kara’s hands found his waist of their own volition. “No you don’t. You cheated. You sent a horny hunter into our training ground. I thought he was you!”

His breath was sweet and spicy, and the corners of his eyes crinkled with soft lines as he smiled. “Cheating is irrelevant when it comes to life and death, princess. Don’t expect integrity from those who want you dead.”

Her hands raked over the bare skin covering his ribs, until she curled her fingers into her palms to keep from touching him again. “Okay, that one doesn’t count.”

Gavin laughed and pulled her to her feet. “It counts. That’s three hundred sixteen for me and seven for you.”

“Shit,” she ground out. “Let’s try again.”

He reached out and adjusted her damp black T-shirt so that it lay smoothly against her chest. “You’re not ready, Kara.”

She batted his hand away. “So I can’t flash like a silver-wing. That doesn’t mean I’m defenseless.” She’d killed his brother, who was incredibly strong for a silver-winged fallen angel—but she didn’t think there would ever be a right moment to throw that in Gavin’s face. Besides, he’d just tell her that his brother hadn’t been an almost invincible black-wing like the beast they were planning to bring down now.

“We’ve done enough for one night. Let me take you home. It must be almost three pm in San Diego, and you said you had to work tonight.”

Now that Kara was officially part of the Mercury Clan—a band of more than three hundred fallen angel hybrids—Gavin had finally confided that Mercury Island was located in the Seychelles chain of islands. Albeit, with all the wards and defenses, there wasn’t a good chance of a fisherman or passing cruise ship catching on to that fact.

Being halfway around the world from San Diego, it was almost twelve hours off from where she called home. Three pm in San Diego meant she’d kept Gavin up all night here on Mercury Island.

“Yeah, I do have to work. And you need to get some rest.”

He wrapped his arms around her, preparing to flash. “Have you thought about my offer?” As he asked, they began to dissolve. He carried her through the inky tar, and a moment later, they were standing on the balcony off her living room overlooking downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

She let the nausea and the boneless feeling pass before she answered. “I can’t.”

He growled and released her. “No lady of the Mercury Clan needs to work. I have enough resources to keep you comfortable from now until the Armageddon. Did I ever mention that Teras’s daughter working at a bar for minimum wage and paltry tips is just plain absurd?”

“Only about a dozen times. Don’t you ever get tired of this subject, Daddy Warbucks? I know I do.”

“Your father was my king, Kara. How can I hold my head high when I’m not caring for his only daughter?”

Kara reached up—way up, given Gavin’s six-foot-seven-inch frame—and patted his cheek. The dark blond stubble along his jaw was just starting to poke through and it tickled her palm. “You’re so cute when you go all protect-and-provide on me, but I gotta get ready for work now. Bye.” When she wiggled her fingers in farewell and turned to enter the apartment, Gavin slapped her on the rump. She yelped and dashed into the living room.

“Brat!” he called after her, and then he flashed.

And with the sting his hand left on her ass, he was lucky he did.

She growled and swallowed down her body’s reaction to her golden-haired protector. Since her lover, Julian, had called things off three weeks ago, bringing Kara’s sex life to a screeching halt, her starving body couldn’t handle even grappling or sparring with Gavin without her wanting to unstrap his weapons belt to unsheathe his broadsword.

She sat hard on the edge of the sofa and ran a hand over the side of her throbbing backside. What if she did quit her job? What if she took her place on the island as a lady of the clan? What would it be like to trade her boots and jeans for island wear and an ever-present supply of men eager to do her bidding?

As it was, she wondered how long could she pine for Julian, hoping he’d reconsider—and not just for the sake of her broken, humiliated heart, but also for how effective his attention was at helping her control her raging libido.

Truth was, females of Kara’s kind didn’t do well with abstinence once they’d reached her age. Hell, they didn’t even attempt it. And now more than ever Kara could see why.

She began to pull off her boots, but her face was angled toward the balcony window, pointing towards Mercury Island however many thousands of miles away. “Celibacy sucks!” she shouted.

But unfortunately, rolling around with Gavin Cross in a totally different exercise couldn’t happen until they’d accomplished their primary objective—sending that black-wing bastard Brakken to the Abyss before he got hold of Gavin’s only child.

 

Cassi CarverBIO: 

Cassi Carver lives in sunny Southern California with two dogs, four kids, five chickens, and one hubby who gives great massages. She gets to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter for research (okay, happy hour) as often as possible. She’s never saved the world, but she keeps sexy boots on hand just in case the opportunity arises.

When Cassi isn’t busy plotting or writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, caring for pets, getting outdoors, and watching sappy movies that deliver reliably happy endings.

 

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8 Comments

    1. That’s a wonderful goal, Mary! Maybe I’ll try to get out there and take the dog for a walk today. Hmm… On second thought, that would kill the “leisurely” part. The dog would probably take ME for a walk! LOL

  1. On my perfect day, I would have to be somewhere near the water. I’d be walking on the beach or out on a boat (of course the Hubby would need to be with me). Congrats on the new release!!

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