Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blog Tour: Smoke and Mirrors by Marie Treanor

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
Click HERE to see the tour schedule.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature:
Marie Treanor and Smoke and Mirrors.
Marie has stopped by for an interview!

? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a small child J.

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
Hmm, let’s see, I was an Editorial Assistant, a librarian (twice) and a researcher. I suppose that’s four, not counting voluntary jobs, summer jobs and Saturday jobs.

? How long does it take you to write a book?
Funnily enough, I’ve just discovered that if I don’t get out of bed until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and just write, I can get through a first draft in three weeks, which is how I wrote the sequel to SMOKE AND MIRRORS J.  It doesn’t make for comfortable living and my family goes feral, but it can be done!

Under more normal circumstances, it takes about three months for a full length book, if all goes well and real life co-operates. I may go back to it after that for one more self-editing pass, but it should be in at least reasonable nick by this time!

Novellas and short stories can take as little as one to four weeks, if all goes well!

? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
No, I’ve never quite got out of the way of grabbing any and every opportunity! Stems from the days of trying to write while at work or looking after children!

? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
From all sorts of places – a face on a train, a snippet from a book, a few words overheard, a bit of history or an atmospheric building or ruin. I once wrote a story (THE DEVIL AND VIA), inspired by an item of news in Italy when I was on holiday there, about how priests were being trained to deal with disaffected young people who’d turned to Satanism. And KILLING JOE popped into my head with a television advert!

Others have a longer simmering time: BLOOD ON SILK and the other AWAKENED BY BLOOD books grew at least partly out of my longstanding love of gothic romance novels and Dracula films. Then one day Saloman appeared in my head, arising from his tomb and advancing on my terrified heroine through the dust J.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS – and in fact the whole GIFTED series – grew out of a character that formed without warning my head: a charismatic villain who was more than he seemed. He grew quickly into Rodion Kosar and everyone else, my psychic-denying heroine included, formed around him.

? How do you decide what you want to write about?
I think the story decides for me! I write the one that wants to be written most J.

? What books have most influenced your life?
I suppose the ones I read as a kid that made me want to be a writer: adventure stories mainly, by Enid Blyton, then Malcolm Saville. Jane Eyre made a big, early impression too.

Then Georgette Heyer’s The Masqueraders introduced me to a whole new world of fun and I was addicted to all kinds of historical. Loved The Stranger Prince by Margaret Irwin. And The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett blew me away. All her books do! The epic scale of War and Peace inspired me too. They also inspired in me a love of history which I went on to study at university, where I met most of my best friends of today.

Reading Dracula was another turning point. The idea and the weird sensuality of vampires began to fascinate me, and I sought out all the vampire books I could find. Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire made a HUGE impression that’s still with me.

Later, I discovered ebooks and paranormal romance. I think it was Ciar Cullen’s Ghosts of Key West (now re-published as Key West Magic) that opened my mind to the possibilities of the romance genre.

? What is the first book you remember reading by yourself?
Enid Blyton’s Book of Fairies J.

? What are you reading right now?
Helen by Maria Edgeworth who was a contemporary of Jane Austen.

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like to read, watch films, spend time with my family and friends. I love travelling too, seeing new places and spending time in the sun J.

? What is your favorite comfort food?
Cake. Chocolate. Ice cream…Mmm.

? What do you think makes a good story?
Appealing characters, good pace and fine, evocative writing.

? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
The late Dorothy Dunnett, a Scottish historical novelist, although she also wrote some very fun and quirky thrillers. She just tells a wonderful story, with characters who get under your skin, and settings that spring to life. Her writing is clear and witty, often understated and yet tugs at your emotions

? What book, if any, do you read over and over again?
I tend not to re-read books very much now, unless I discover a sequel and find I’ve forgotten important parts of the book that came before! I did go through a phase of re-reading Georgette Heyer for the sheer escapism, but I haven’t done that for years – there are too many new books out there that I’m desperate to read!

Fun random questions: 
  • dogs or cats?  Dogs
  • Coffee or tea? Coffee
  • Dark or milk chocolate? Both, please! And if you could manage some white in there too, I’d be forever grateful…
  • Rocks or flowers? Flowers
  • Night or day? Got to have both!
  • Favorite color? Red
  • Crayons or markers? Neither
  • Pens or pencils? Both

More about the author:

Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie Treanor has published more than twenty ebooks with small presses, (Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Changeling Press and The Wild Rose Press), including a former Kindle bestseller, Killing JoeBlood on Silk: an Awakened by Blood novel, was her New York debut with NAL.

Website: www.MarieTreanor.com  
Blog: Marie Treanor's Romantic Theme Party: 

SMOKE AND MIRRORS (The Gifted, Book 1)
Ebook $2.99 from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, 6th Nov.

Deceit and desire, and a treasure beyond price...

When struggling Scottish writer Nell Black accepts a one-off job with the police, translating for an arson suspect from the isolated ex-Soviet republic of Zavrekestan, she stumbles into a terrifying world of organized crime and paranormal abilities that turns her whole belief system upside down. Faced with an incomparable thief, hit men who spontaneously combust, gangsters, drug dealers, British Intelligence and a fiery goddess, Nell no longer knows who to trust. The man who saves her life is a criminal to whom deceit is second nature. He has more smoke screens and more plans in motion than anyone else can keep track of. He is, moreover, probably insane. Even his fellow gangsters are afraid of him. So why is he the one man Nell wants to touch her?

Rodion Kosar is in trouble. His convoluted plans all lead to one goal - the retrieval of his treasure - and to achieve that, he needs Nell to believe he isn't the bad guy. He has many reasons beyond his own desires to make love to her. Especially when a plan goes wrong and he has to play dead before someone really kills him - either the police, the menacing Russian crime lord known as the Bear, or the powerful Guardian of the Gifted whom he's defied once too often. Nell's burgeoning gift of second sight could be his best route to the treasure, and yet keeping her with him spells danger. For Nell has her own agenda, her own mission, and she could just as easily cause his final downfall.

* * * * * *

Nell followed Sergeant Lamont inside, to where a group of people sat around a rather bashed-up table, ornamented only by a crushed packet of cigarettes. Lamont clearly felt time was of the essence, because even as he pulled a chair forward for Nell, he was speaking, combining the social politeness of introductions with naming those present for the police recording.

His police colleague, seated beside him, was a young detective constable called Livingstone. The suspect’s solicitor on the opposite side of the table was Gregor Gallini. Nell’s chair was squashed in at the end of the table, with Gallini on one side and Lamont on the other.

The suspect himself, Kolnikov, lounged next to his lawyer. Nell found herself in no hurry to face him. Instead, she concentrated on sitting down and arranging her coat and bag, giving quick smiles and nods to everyone else as they were introduced. Her first impression of the suspect, gained from half glances and glimpses from the corner of her eye, was of long legs in blue jeans, a sloppy grey sweatshirt with the sleeves pushed up to the elbow to reveal colourful tattoos among the golden hairs on his forearms. And a sort of shimmering light—burning amber and gold—like an aura.

Nell didn’t believe in auras, largely because she’d never taken to the sort of people who talked about them. Therefore, she’d always felt slightly ashamed of the fact that she occasionally imagined different coloured outlines around some people, usually from exactly this kind of half glance. When she looked properly, the “aura” had always gone. Imagination combined with nerves, of course, and tonight she had an excuse for both.

“And Nell Black, translator,” Lamont finished, “present at the request of Mr. Kolnikov.”

“What are her qualifications?” Gallini demanded at once. “She must be fluent in Zavreki.”

“I am,” Nell said mildly. She reached into her bag and brought out copies of her degrees and diplomas. Although she was aware of Kolnikov’s gaze upon her, she passed the documents to the solicitor, who pushed them nearer to his client so that they could both view them. In the belief she would now have a free, if brief moment to examine the suspect, she lifted her gaze to his face. Mistake.

It was a bit like falling out of a tree when she was a kid: a sense of dizziness, followed swiftly by a thud that sucked all the air out of her lungs. Not because he was particularly good-looking—although he was, all straight, sharp lines and shaggy blond hair—but because his hard, intense blue eyes were staring right at her, as if he could see into every corner of her existence. She prayed he couldn’t.

At least there was no “aura” now.

His lips separated, and he spoke in Zavreki. “How come?”

The words were brief, without emphasis, and yet they threw her. Perhaps it was his voice, quiet and deep as dark velvet, that made her shiver.

“How come what?” she demanded.

“How come you speak my language?”

“My mother came from Zavrekestan.”

He picked up the packet of cigarettes from the table. “And they say you can never escape,” he said flippantly.

“You’re here, aren’t you?”

“Out of the frying pan, into the fire,” he observed, placing a cigarette between his lips. His hands were large but slender, his fingers long and oddly elegant compared to the rest of his flung-together if attractive appearance. He wore no rings, no wristwatch. And the tattoos licking down his forearms to his wrists were flames. Bizarre. Though no reason to arrest someone for arson.

“I’ve told you, there’s no smoking in here, Mr. Kolnikov,” Lamont said impatiently. “Can we get on? I take it you’re happy to have Miss Black as your translator?” He fixed Nell with his gaze, and she almost jumped with the realization that her job had now begun.

Hastily, she translated Lamont’s words, and Kolnikov threw the cigarette down on the table. “Hit me.”

Stay tuned for my review!