Today It’s my pleasure to welcome over Katerina Martinez, author of Midnight Magick, Book 1. Love Paranormal Romance/ Paranormal Mystery? If so, then feet up, cozy in and check out this fabulous read!
Number of pages: 149
Word Count: 51,643
Cover Artist: Katerina Martinez
"Lonely witches get up to no good."
Amber Lee has a decent life: she lives in a great house, she's about to start school again, her best friend Eliza is pregnant, and the pair of them are Wiccans with a healthy bond. But ever since Eliza moved out of Amber's house and in with her boyfriend Evan, Amber's been feeling a growing pang of loneliness in her chest.
When Damien, a stranger to her town, mysteriously comes into her life bringing with him all manner of strangeness, everything changes. Damien shows Amber a side of her she never knew existed, and ignites in her a spark she hadn't felt in a long time, but he's haunted by a dark secret and a purpose which may prove fatal to them both - and by the time she realizes it, there's no turning back.
Midnight Magick will take you deep into a world of witchcraft and mystery, where bonds are tested, hearts broken and lives lost.
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card.
Who is Katerina Martinez?
“So, Katerina, first question; who are you?”
“I’m a 27 year old, fresh faced writer, new to the scene and thrilled to be here! Thank you so much for hosting me.”
“We’re glad you could sit down with us! We’re a little strapped for time so I’ll just get right into it if you don’t mind.”
“That’s fine, I’m a little nervous anyway. This is my first real interview.”
“Don’t be nervous! Just relax, we’ll take it one question at a time.”
“Alright, hit me with your next question.”
“How long have you been writing and how long have you been published?”
“That’s two questions! I’ve been writing for about two years, although never with the intention to publish anything, just for my own sakes. I didn’t consider publishing until August of this year (when I finished Midnight Magick), and since then I’ve written three titles.”
“What inspired you to write this book?”
“Well, I’ve always known I wanted to write about Witches. I didn’t need much more inspiration other than the idea that you should write about what you know, so it just made sense that my first novel be about witches and that my protagonist start off as a Wiccan, like me.”
“Interesting approach, you must have started off with a fair bit of background knowledge I bet?”
“I did! I knew the rituals she’d be doing, how she’d perform magickal spells, and had a pretty good idea on how I may cross the line into fiction while keeping a foot firmly in the real world.”
“You spell magic with a k?”
“Yes I do. The spelling dates back to Aleister Crowley. He proposed that the words ‘magic’ and ‘magick’ described two different things. The former being stage illusions used by magicians and the latter being used in the context of religious or spiritual belief systems.”
“So, with that in mind, tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.”
“The basic storyline, as written, is ‘A lonely witch struggles with emerging feelings for her mysterious mentor as bizarre deaths with a common link pile up.’ Without giving anything away, Amber, the lead, is going to be faced with some tough decisions regarding her love life while at the same time unraveling the mystery behind a series of deaths which have recently occurred. Amber’s needs will drive her to actions her otherwise logical mind wouldn’t make, and that in itself causes plenty of inner and outer conflict.”
“What about your heroine makes her different from others in literature?”
“Many ‘heroines’ in literature (I’m talking about Paranormal Romance in particular) today are, in my opinion, a little soft. I’ve heard it said that the paranormal romance genre is about ‘hunky, powerful men and the women who love them’. I disagree. Mythology and folklore is rife with powerful women who are very much in charge of their lives and have throes of men fawning over them. Amber is my first attempt at capturing the essence of a woman who is hurt, but independent and strong in her own right. This is a motif I will endeavor to portray in many of my stories.”
“Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.”
“I presently don’t really have a favorite writing environment. I write when I’m able, and that seems to be mostly when it’s quiet at work—don’t tell my boss! But I can say that I couldn’t possibly write without music in my ears. Music drives me, and the right music helps me really immerse myself into a scene to make it even more powerful. The Cardigans, Garbage, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack Off Jill and Nirvana all threw me back into the 90’s for Midnight Magick’s sake.”
“Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.”
“I am! Besides my erotic paranormal anthologies which I write here and there, at the moment I’m working on Midnight Magick 2 and another novel I’m not in a position to talk about yet. After all I’ve learned in these last few months about writing and self-publishing, Midnight Magick 2 will be sharper and tighter—a great successor to my debut novel. I can’t say much, but I can say that Amber’s past misdeeds will catch up to her; and boy if she’s unprepared for what’s coming.”
“Do you have a website?”
“If you’d have asked me a week ago I would’ve said no, but I worked very hard in having a website ready before this tour launched! http://www.katerinamartinez.com/ ”
“Any last words before we sign off?”
“Besides the heaps of thanks I’d like to offer to my host, to Bewitching Book Tours, and anyone who has taken time out to read my books, I’d like to tell everyone that I’m hosting a giveaway to celebrate this, my first ever book tour! Details below! Blessed be and thanks for being a part of this with me!”
Excerpt: CHAPTER 1
I was sitting cross-legged on the main counter of a bookstore on Rosella Avenue one cool autumn afternoon. As blades of orange light from the setting sun cut through the gaps in buildings across the street I somberly thumbed a silver Triquetra—a three cornered trefoil knot with a circle around it—not much bigger than a quarter.
Angular shadows crept across the floor growing larger and more predominant with each passing minute. Copper dust motes hung in the air, twinkling without a care in the world. Even though I’d been fiddling with my mom’s old charm for a good half hour, the metal was still cool on my fingers. After years of having it hanging around my neck I couldn’t believe I’d just broken it.
“—don’t you think?” asked Eliza.
“Huh?” I pocketed the pendant and came back down from my thoughts.
“Are you even listening to me, Amber?”
“Totally… what did you say?”
Eliza sighed. “That girl? The one who drowned in her pool?”
“What about her?”
“They closed the case today. They say it isn’t suspicious anymore, writing it off as an accident.”
“Accidental? I thought they had a suspect and everything.”
“They did, but they didn’t have enough evidence to convict. Don’t you think it’s all a bit weird?”
I shrugged and feigned disinterest, but the grim topic gave me jitters. People didn’t normally die suspiciously in my neck of the woods, but this was the second one this year. The first was another girl. She hung herself from a withered birch at the heart of the forest. I saw the pictures. God how I wish I hadn’t.
“Can we talk about something else?” I asked, “How’d that fight with Evan go last night?”
“The fight?” Eliza planted a copy of Jules Verne’s ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ on my lap. I wasn’t expecting it. “Go put this on the shelf, will you?”
“Yes, master,” I said. I hopped off the counter and wiped my hand on my grey dress as I searched for the book’s proper home among the shelves. “So? What happened with Evan?” I asked through the aisles.
Eliza grunted. “It’s this thing with Mordecai.” Mordecai was her tabby cat. “He’s been wheezing a lot. I asked Evan to take him to the vet yesterday for a check-up and he didn’t do it, so we had a big stupid fight.”
“How does that turn into an argument?” I slotted the book between a pristine copy of Moby Dick—a personal favorite—and A Journey to the Center of the Earth.
“Because! It just does,” said Eliza.
I walked around the aisle and caught her stacking books from a box marked “OLD” on a high shelf. Her tank top crept up her stomach exposing her flat belly as she stretched. No bump yet. Evan and Eliza always fought over silly things but it’d gotten worse ever since she found out she was pregnant. I could never say that to her face, though; she might charge at me with a step ladder!
“You guys will be fine,” I said, “You’re fighting because of the baby. Babies bring stress.”
Eliza shot me a scowl. “When did you become Doctor Phil?”
I smiled. “I’m just saying, you guys never used to fight about stuff and now you are. What’s changed? You’re pregnant.”
Eliza closed the box. A puff of dust exploded forth in defiance. “And he’s still a jackass sometimes,” she said.
“Oh come on, a little ice cream and a kiss in just the right spot and the fight will be history.”
Eliza moved the box into a small closet nearby and smiled to herself. “Yeah, okay, I’ll give you that. Anyway, let’s get finished up so we can get out of here.”
The doorbell tinkled. Evan’s silhouette broke the faint sunlight and crept into the store as quiet as a mouse, eyes to the floor. I smiled as he arrived and gave him a light peck on the cheek.
“Hey Evan,” I said, “How’s the cat?”
“On meds,” he replied, though he wasn’t looking at me, but rather at the visage of annoyance itself glaring from; behind me. “But he’ll be okay.”
Eliza had black, poker-straight hair which fell to about the small of her back. Her pale skin and cobalt eyes gave her an Ice Queen kind of air, but her round face and button nose gave away her heart of gold. Evan, meanwhile, was tall—taller than Eliza—and nicely put together. She’d get on her tiptoes to kiss him. It was cute.
“That’s great! Eliza was just telling me. I hope he gets better soon.” I gave the pair a winning smile.
“Eliza, I’m gonna go through the new stock and whatnot. I’ll be in the back. Let me know when you’re ready to lock up,” I said.
Eliza nodded at me and then glanced at her man. He approached her like someone would advance on a stray cat they wanted to pet; slowly and cautiously. They started to speak as I disappeared into the back room.
We didn’t get any new stock today; I simply figured they needed to talk. Besides, I knew she’d appreciate the space. Luckily I wasn’t stuck in a tiny room entirely without purpose. Inside my backpack I had a bunch of brand new textbooks and more stationary than a girl knew what to do with, ready for my first day back at the Raven Hall University.
Lost in the plethora of pens and notepads my back to school kit comprised of, I almost didn’t notice the sore thumb on the oaken desk. I had to double-take before the words written on its spine, and the image on the front, struck a chilling chord.
The giant squid on the cover of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues stared back at me from atop the table. An old copy, just like the one I’d placed on the shelves moments ago. Why did we own two of them?
I plucked the book from the desk and advanced toward the door to the main room. Evan and Eliza were still there. Their muffled voices told me the discussion still hadn’t finished. At least they weren’t shouting. No one wants to be caught in between these two when they shout. It’s like watching cats fight. I’d know.
I slid out of the back room and snaked my way silently down the closest aisle. The lovebirds went quiet as I approached my destination. I’d slip the book in next to its sister so they can spend time together before someone buys one and separates them again. When I found the nook where I’d placed the original copy, I froze. The two books flanking Mr. Verne were still there, but the absence of a book between them made them slant into each other like tired lovers.
“Dammit,” I said, under my breath. I wish I could’ve dismissed the strange event, pretended like I’d imagined the whole thing, but in truth this kind of thing had happened before.
With the delicacy of someone trying not to disturb sleeping children, I slotted Jules Verne into its rightful place and decided that this time I would be cleverer than whatever specter enjoyed playing tricks on me. I snapped a shot of the books with my smartphone and double checked the image to confirm, smiling smugly at the triumph of technology.
Making my way back, I wondered if our repository of books was haunted. It’s an old building built on an old street in an old town. And I’m sure a lot of old people live in the apartment block above. I could ask Mrs. Peters on the second floor. She’s probably as old as the building itself, or at least that’s what her musky perfume suggests.
A sudden pleasurable moan made me dart back into the aisle just as I was about to waltz into the open. I peered around the corner and was met with a scene like something out of a fantasy. My heart raced. Eliza would’ve easily spotted me if I hadn’t any wits about me.
Eliza sat on the counter, her legs wrapped around Evan’s waist. Their lips locked in a passionate kiss. I glanced toward the front door, which they were in full view of, and hoped for their sake no one would come in.
Evan picked Eliza up by her thighs and carried her out of sight, to the back of the historical section which accumulated the most dust. The bookstore already smelt of lust, and listening to Eliza’s giggles brought a flush of warmth to my cheeks. I thought about that night a few months ago when the three of us called down the Moon Goddess and experienced each other intimately. It was my first time with two other partners, but I was glad they were my best friends.
The door to the office was only a few feet from where I stood, backed up against an aisle. The store had been quieter when they were talking. Now that Eliza’s moans rang off the walls I entered the safety of the back room without being spotted. I emerged a few moments later into the middle of a warm embrace between true soul mates.
“Look guys, why don’t you go home?” I asked, “I can lock up.”
“Are you sure?” asked Eliza.
“Absolutely. Get out of here.”
I’d grown used to hiding my green eyes from them. They had something I’d always wanted to share with someone else; a connection. Happy for them though I was, lonely people will yearn, and lonely Witches will get up to no good; ask my ex-boyfriend.
About the Author
My name is Katerina. I love to read and write, and until now I've been cooped up in a desk job with nothing to do but drift away on a sea of corporate bull until I do what is expected of me (marriage, kids, etc).
Eventually I decided that enough was enough, so I took a chance and wrote a book; my first book. Then I mulled over my options and chose to self-publish with Amazon, panicked over the "Publish" button for a few hours, and waited patiently for my book to show up on the listing.
Now I'm here, part of this big, wide world, trying to meet other people like me - folks starting out in the self-publishing business or just fellow authors/ readers who share my kinds of interests!
For those of you starting out, I can tell you, it's a rollercoaster. None of it is easy. And even if your work doesn't sell, at least you can be proud that you put yourself out there and took that step!