Welcome! Today it’s my pleasure to interview Calinda B, author of The Beckoning of Broken Things, The Beckoning Series- Book 2.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Sumner McKenzie, Inc.
Number of pages: 342
Word Count: 92k
Cover Artist: Calinda B
GIVEAWAY! Calinda is graciously giving away several prizes. One lucky reader will win a $15 Amazon gift card. Three lucky winners will win an eCopy of The Beckoning of Broken Things. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below to be entered for a chance to win.
Is Marissa Engles crazy? Or is she a paranormal Light Rebel who can shape form from the electricity buzzing through her veins. Her aunt and sister think “Crazy.” The locked mental facility they’ve put her in thinks “Delusional.”
She’s so drugged up, she can’t tell if they’re right. Only her new pal, Rafe Caldwell, another mental patient “inmate”, thinks she is what she says she is. And he intends to find out more – lots more.
The only problem is her missing soul bound lover, Daniel Navid, who commands the darkest of the dark. But as they say, if the cat’s away…
SKY: So nice to have you over, Calinda! What inspired you to write this book?
CALINDA: Before I start, I’d like to say ‘thank you’ for having me here!
As for inspiration, honestly, there were a couple things that made me write this book besides the fact that I’d already decided Beckoning would make a great series. First, a good friend said that he didn’t like my heroine, Marissa Engles, at first in Book I. I asked him why. He said she had all these abilities and she needed to use them more and not doubt herself. He also suggested that some of my characters needed therapy. I decided to start the scene in a mental hospital, with Marissa questioning her own sanity, and her sanity being questioned by those around her. I showed her evolving as a character. I think we all get a chance to grow and evolve past our limitations, even a super hero.
Second, I had a painful act of betrayal happen to me by a dear friend. It really set me on my heels. I was angry, hurt, sad, bewildered for months and months. I decided to channel my anger into Marissa Engles. She’s had things done to her and she gets to find out later what the consequences are of hers and others’ actions. She’s done things impulsively only to find out she might have fared better if she’d looked first before she leapt. In Broken Things, she starts off angry and suspicious. Throughout the book she takes back her power and gets much, much stronger. The friend, who had his doubts in book I, Beautiful Things, really liked her in book II.
SKY: How did you come up with the title?
CALINDA: As a result of the aforementioned “act of betrayal” I felt pretty broken. And yet facing the broken parts allowed me to heal in amazing ways. I thought it a fitting title, then - the way broken things can beckon to your soul and to others, allowing you to face dark truths and heal.
SKY: If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
CALINDA: Oh, this one’s easy! I’d spend a lot of time with Daniel Navid. They guy’s hot. Wait - I think I went for the cheap and easy answer. I think it would be cool to hang out with the sorcerer Tom and find out more about what he knows. He’s a treasure trove of abilities, what with his falconry, his ability to assume different forms and his honesty and lack of judgment about the world around him. I’ll just bet we’ve only scratched the surface of his unique skills.
SKY: Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
CALINDA: There are a few threads of conflict weaving their way through the story. Marissa struggles to determine if she’s truly nuts. She’s only recently restored her powers and it’s a lot to deal with. She’s conflicted by her feelings for fellow mental hospital patient and “guy with a lot of secrets,” Rafe Caldwell - he’s becoming a friend but he wants so much more. She fights with her morals - Daniel Navid, her lover, did bind their souls throughout time without consulting her and now she has to figure out if that’s the right thing for her. Should she act on Rafe’s desires? Are they really her desires? She struggles with the dirty tricks that Daniel’s father does to her, in his attempts to thwart her.
She wants to make her own decisions in life and not be bullied or bossed. I hope readers will be able to relate to some of the personal conflict Marissa is faced with.
SKY: Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
CALINDA: Marissa’s a Light Rebel and she wields a kick ass, luminous sword that can, of course, maim and kill, but also cut to the truth of the matter. It’s the perfect blade for dealing with the supernatural world she lives in. The guy in the background in shimmery shadow form is Rafe, the Stealth Numen. He can move between the worlds of light and dark as he carries out his work as a deadly assassin.
SKY: Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
CALINDA: Working on a Standalone novel called Headspace. It’s about a woman - Vienna Katrina Pearson - who can sense the fantasies of men, manifest them, and make them think they are having actual sex with her in her virtual world, which she calls Headspace. It’s set in the future in Seattle. She has oodles of virtual sex with willing partners in her Headspace, none of whom will ever know who she is. In the real world there’s a slight twist - she’s never been able to orgasm. She’s got a great friend named Jonas who wants to leave his girlfriend to be with her and give her the orgasm - or lots of them. It feels a little risky to be writing about a touchy subject like being non-orgasmic but I’m exploring it in what I hope is a safe and compassionate way.
I’ve also got several chapters into A Wicked Ending, the 4th in the Wicked Series, as well as musing on the 3rd in the Beckoning series - the Beckoning of Badass Things. I can tell you Marissa’s going to kick some serious booty in book III. Look out!
SKY: What sort of personality does your hero have?
CALINDA: There are two heroes. Rafe Caldwell is aloof, capricious, sweet, sensitive, works with Marine-like precision when he has a job to do, sexy as hell, funny and kind. He deals with life in a kind of straightforward, no-nonsense manner. No need to get all sentimental about it. The other hero, Daniel Navid is arrogant, powerful, cocky, loyal, and passionate, did I say powerful - he wields more power than anyone on the planet. He is a one woman kind of guy. Doesn’t play around with women or women’s hearts. Rafe has sex with whomever, wherever, however. No commitments or thoughts of commitment. There’s a very unique catch to that as you’ll see if you read Broken Things ¬- it’s not like he wants to have sex with anything that moves - it’s just that he, well…never mind, I don’t want to give anything away.
SKY: What sort of personality does your heroine have?
CALINDA: Well, in book I she started out as a sad, quiet, introspective artist. She’d lost her parents as a teen and disappeared into her art. But she’s finding her power; she’s finding her truth and becoming more outspoken, more real, and more honest with herself. She’s funny, passionate, quirky, loves to explore and take risks and chances. She’s a rebel in her own way. She believes in getting to the truth of things. She’s getting feisty and fun, the more powerful she becomes.
SKY: What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?
CALINDA: I love to write paranormal romances with a high level of heat. I started to write Headspace as a plain old romance, no paranormal or abnormal anything, but I couldn’t do it. I choked. It was scary strange. I definitely walk to a different beat and have to follow my own path, wherever it takes me. A lot of my gay friends are encouraging me to write an M/M romance. I’d like to have a go at that. I’m reading a book called Hot Head by Damon Suede. It’s an M/M book and wow, does it sizzle! I really like to weave suspense into my books, too, and hope to improve at that.
SKY: Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.
CALINDA: I live on a peninsula in the Pacific Northwest. My home overlooks trees and a huge, colorful yard of flowers. A vast body of water, the Hood Canal, is across the street. The Canal is ringed with the Olympic Mountains. Our house is three stories and I feel like a bird or a cat, as I gaze out the windows. My favorite place to write is the front room. It’s got huge arched windows and I can see water, the osprey tree, soaring eagles and osprey, crows and hawks, and endless skies. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and such a place of restoration and inspiration. The natural world inspires and thrills me. I’ve always found my peace there.
SKY: Super interview, Calinda! Thanks so much for joining us today.
“So tell me how you feel.”
I must be pretty heavily sedated because when the therapist asks me that question, the word “feel” comes out sounding like it’s a slide. I’ll just bet if I could climb on top of that slide, I’d be able to slip from the room and not have to answer that stupid question. I shake my head. What does she mean, how do I feel? I feel like been given something like heroin or Clonazepam or Secobarbital or some other mind-numbing agent. I feel like I weigh a thousand pounds, and I’m looking at her through thick glass walls and she’s talking to me through some kind of filter made of seven layers of dense foam. I feel like…wait, I know. I’m in here because I’m different. I’m sitting here with what feels like two hundred pounds of cotton between my ears because they don’t “get” who and what I am. They think there’s something wrong with me. They all think I’m broken.
She pushes up her glasses on her nose and taps her pen on the arm of the brown leather chair in which she sits, like a prim, porcelain doll. “I’m waiting.”
“Are you talking to me?”
Her face is wrinkled, like an Amish Apple Doll. Her dyed brown hair needs a touch-up. White and gray roots serve as a flag to her age. She smiles, a crisp, stiff smile like peanut brittle. “I don’t see anyone else sitting across from me, do you?”
I picture taking her smug smile in my fingers and snapping it in two, resulting in my own satisfied smile.
“Daniel Navid. My soul bound lover.”
She frowns and scribbles a few notes in the black binder sitting on top of her lap. She smoothes her blue tweed skirt. Clears her throat. Tries again. “How do you feel right now, Ms. Engles? Your sisters were pretty concerned about you when they brought you in here.”
“Where, exactly, is here?”
“You don’t know?”
“If I did, I wouldn’t ask the question.”
The therapist nods, as if I’ve just said something profound. She gestures to the room with her certificates of accomplishment and education lining the beige walls like little soldiers. “Well, you’re at the Brookstone Center for Healing, in Bellevue, Washington. Do you know where Bellevue is?”
“Are you kidding me? I’ve lived in this area all my life. I live over in West Seattle, two bridges away from Bellevue. Of course I know where Bellevue is.” I reach up and rub my eyes, trying to clear the spider webs, mud puddles, and sludge clouding my mind.
“Do you know what day it is?” The peanut brittle smile appears again.
I want to smash that smile with a hammer. “Yeah, it’s today. And yesterday was yesterday. And tomorrow’s going to be tomorrow.”
She taps her pen. Scribbles. Frowns. Scribbles some more. “So you don’t actually know what day it is.” She says that as a statement, not a question.
“Let’s see, two days ago I was in Brazil, and it was Thursday. That must make today Saturday. What do I win?”
“What were you doing in Brazil?”
I pause and squint at her. This is a trick question. “I was visiting a friend.” I was kidnapped by a demented sorcerer. I stabbed his dead, but not really dead, girlfriend’s chest, and she exploded and her crystal dagger pierced the old man’s heart.
“And how did you get back from Brazil?”
“I flew.” On a beautiful winged creature known as a Coati-lumina. Her name is Chiara, and she allowed me to claim her a few nights ago. She’s huge and brilliant, and she shines like diamonds. “Where’s Daniel?”
“There was no one at your home but you when your sisters stopped by. They were very worried about you. Said you were having a completely delusional conversation with them. Do you remember what you said?”
I incline my head and study her. Another trick question. “Maybe.”
“Can you tell me what you said to them?”
“Will you let me go if I do?”
“I’m afraid not. I’m afraid we need to keep you here for a while. Your sisters were very worried.”
“You already said that.”
“And they decided that a good psych evaluation was in order.”
“Oh, they did, did they?” I’m going to murder them. I’m going to strangle the daylights out of them. In my mind, I pick up a pricey sable paintbrush and paint them as tiny fragments of skin and bone, being blown to smithereens. “What gives them the right to have me evaluated?”
“Your aunt still holds guardianship. She was the one who ordered this.”
Aunt Topaz. “I’m 26 for God’s sake. I’ve lived on my own since I was 18. I think I get to be my own guardian, don’t you?”
“In this case, no. When someone is…when someone is ill…” She pauses, frowning.
She was going to say mentally deranged. They all think I’m delusional because electricity flows through my veins, and I can burst into brilliant light and paint things with my mind and will them into…
“When someone is ill it falls to the guardian or parent.”
I don’t think that’s true but can’t argue it right now. My head is so heavy I need a crane to keep it upright. I purse my lips trying to remember something about my aunt. This goddamn drug is making it hard to think.
My mouth is dry. I want to leap into a lake and suck it into my throat in one long swallow. Think, Engles, think. And then it all came back to me, like someone shot a memory cannon through my head, blasting open my brain. My dear Aunt Topaz hid my abilities away from me when I was 15. She and Daniel’s father, Armando, cast a spell over me and wiped my memories clean. And now she put me here? Armando and Aunt Topaz are definitely on my to-do list. I just don’t know what to do - yet. My hands squeeze tight, capturing my anger. I restored my Light Rebel skills with Tom the sorcerer’s help. He taught me how to hunt like a predator before taking me on an ether trip to discover what happened. When I showed Daniel my newly restored light, he…I swallow my arousal and blink back tears.
Daniel. He’s a Night Numen and commands the darkest of the dark. He can wave his hand, rip the atmosphere in two, and draw foul creatures from wherever the hell they live. Thinking of his handsome tan face, stubble-covered jaw, eyes that are hypnotically blue, 6’1” muscular body, dark hair that falls in his face when he’s on top, his bronze skin, his hips, his legs, his hands…thinking of him makes me seriously horny, even with this drug-filled, muzzy-headed haze between my ears. And then I get a little mad. I mean, a couple of weeks ago he did bind my soul until the end of time to his without asking me, but it might have been for my own good. Might have. Not sure. Still a little miffed. We’ll sort it out by and by. I really need to see him. I need to get out of here - now. “I want to go home. I want to talk to Daniel. I need to see Daniel. I need to take care of my dog, Sober Dober.” I nod, satisfied with this statement, certain that it will yield results.
“I don’t know who Daniel is. Your dog is being well-cared for by your aunt.”
I lunge to my feet, or at least I want to lunge. It turns into more of a lurching wobble. “Aunt Topaz has my dog? That’s just wrong. Aunt Topaz hates things that are messy. She detests mess and color and light and…” And Sober has brand new sparkly wings. They’re training wings. He’s not very good with them yet. He got his wings when I restored my light. But I don’t say that. I dare not say that. I’ll be in this place for a million years if I tell her my dog has wings.
About the Author
An award-winning web designer and certified SEO specialist, Calinda B has worked in the Internet industry as a web page designer/developer since the early 1990's. She has also taught web site design and computer graphics at community colleges in Northern California. In addition to writing, Calinda B creates fine art and music, and enjoys scuba diving, kayaking, and bike riding. Calinda B makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with the love of her life and her two cats. She is currently working on the fourth book in The Wicked Series, tentatively entitled A Wicked Ending, or the third book in The Beckoning Series or maybe those are done and she's working on.... She loves to write and does it daily.
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