By J. H. Bográn
For thousands of years, the wisdom of the Nine has protected mankind from destroying itself. But a vengeful ancient spirit has returned to shatter the peace. With the help of magical powers, he has possessed a young man and mobilized black yogis to destroy the Nine. Plucked from their ordinary lives, empowered with special abilities, Tara, Akash and Zubin are swept into an occult world of kala yogis and siddhis to fight an ancient warrior spirit.
And so begins NINE –CURSE OF THE KALINGAN, the newest release from author Shobna Nihalini. I had to privilege of interviewing her for the August edition of The BIG THRILL. Let’s dip into her world, shall we?
What inspired the premise of NINE?
Several ideas form the basis of the plotline: Super-humans exist. They possess secret knowledge of ancient powers. And they are capable of destroying the world.
References to super powers and advanced scientific knowledge are commonly found in Indian mythology and ancient Indian texts. One such reference is to the legend of the Nine Unknown Men, which has been around since 273 BCE. This secret society was founded by the Indian Emperor Ashoka – one of the greatest rulers of his time. The Nine has often been cited as one of the oldest secret societies in the world, and is believed to still exist today, with its members holding tremendous powers and knowledge that were handed down through the ages.
Please describe the protagonist, Tara.
Tara is one of three protagonists. The others are Akash and Zubin. Tara is a nurse in India, Akash is a DJ working in London, and Zubin is a forensics expert based in Minneapolis. Their destinies lead them to join the ranks of the Nine, replacing three members who were killed by the antagonist, the ancient Kalingan spirit.
So Tara, Akash and Zubin have to deal with a bloodthirsty Kalingan warrior hell-bent on destroying them. They must also face the challenge of protecting the chintamani, a crystal that holds all worldly knowledge.
The members of secret society of the Nine Unknown were men, but in my book I have made one of them a woman – Tara.
What can you tell us about the antagonist?
The antagonist is the spirit of an ancient Kalingan warrior, who died at the hands of King Ashoka. The Kalingan spirit takes possession of a strong-willed human called Vayu King to help achieve his goal to destroy the Nine. Vayu King, a martial arts instructor, has a disciplined mind and is familiar with dark energies. Possessed by the Kalingan, he has mobilized an army of kala yogis (black sorcerers) to find the Nine and their source of power – the chintamani crystal.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I did a lot of reading, both from history books and online. When I started my research, I already knew quite a lot about the history of King Ashoka, as Indian history and mythology have fascinated me since I was a child. However, information on the secret society of The Nine Unknown Men is sketchy at best. I used whatever references I could find to the secret society, and where information was unavailable, I have taken some creative liberties.
As NINE is the first in a trilogy, when can we expect the next book and what can you tell us about it?
Sometime in 2014. In the next book the antagonist will be a woman. As for the third book, I plan to make it a prequel to the first.
Any tours or book presentation, or writers conferences that you will be attending?
I will be attending literary festivals in Hong Kong, Thailand, and India.
Would this book appeal to non-Indian readers, and how do you make a historical legend exciting?
Non-Indian readers are unlikely to have heard of the legend of the Nine, and I believe it would fascinate anyone of any origin. I’ve also created characters from many different backgrounds, for example, Asian and Dutch characters and ethnic Indians who have grown up outside India – hopefully non-Indian readers will relate. As far as history goes, I’ve taken my fascination with the legend of the Nine Unknown Men and combined it with conspiracy and the paranormal. To make it appeal to modern day readers, I’ve added action, adventure and thrills in global locations.
Shobha Nihalani writes fiction, especially stories that involve murders and mysteries, mad chases, and fiery personalities, all seasoned with the spices of Indian culture. She writes novels, blog posts and a humor column. She also has a day job and lives with her family in Hong Kong… and outside of her everyday routine; she is locked in a struggle to control her wild characters.
To learn more about Shobha, please visit her website.
Natalie J. Damschroder’s new novel, HEAVY METAL is out in trade paperback in August 2013 from Entangled Publishing LLC. With advance praise from Megan Hart, NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author of SWITCH promising, “Fast paced adventure and sizzling romance, HEAVY METAL has it all. Sam’s a to-die-for hero, and I couldn’t get enough.” That was enough to pique my interest. I was lucky enough to catch up with Natalie to talk about it.
On the run from those who’ve targeted her, all goddess Riley Kordek wants is a chance to figure out her new ability to bend metal’s energy. When a hot guy who knows more than he should helps her escape her attackers, she thinks she might’ve found someone who can lead her to the answers she needs. Three years ago, Sam Remington walked away from his employer and the woman he loved, and now, all he’s looking to do is fill the gaping hole left behind. Except, when Sam takes Riley to the Society for Goddess Education and Defense, the stakes rise beyond what either of them could have imagined. Riley uncovers a plot with disastrous ramifications not only for herself, but for Sam and the people he loves—and potentially every goddess in the country.
Rancher Adam Sloan is more than meets the eye. As the heir to his Pack, the sexy werewolf’s biggest challenge is keeping his kin’s true nature under wraps. But a group of jaguar shifters threatens to reveal the pack, blasting into town killing humans in plain sight. And when he smells one at the local diner, his standing orders are to take her out.
Lana Turpin doesn’t realize she’s a moving target. Raised in the foster system, she only knows that she blacks out during the new moon and wakes up without remembering a thing. But now she’s being tracked by some strange organization that wants her back—even though she’s never stepped foot inside their compound. And the stranger across the diner is watching her like an enemy.
It should be a simple mission for Adam, but when he touches the frustratingly beautiful Lana, his inner wolf howls…mate. Now, the two must find and stop the people who hunt her…and Adam must keep his own family from killing the only woman he will ever love.
By J. H. Bográn
There seems to be a lot going on in Yasmine Galenorn’s new book NIGHT VISION. Take a look: Destined to become the Fae Queens of Winter and Summer, Wind Witch Cicely and her cousin Rhiannon are eager to assume their roles and marry the loves of their lives. But while Myst hides in the shadows, seeking to regroup her forces, a closer danger is lurking. Renegade vampires Geoffrey and Leo manage to free the Blood Oracle and set him upon New Forest, Washington. Not satisfied with wreaking havoc on the town, Leo ups the ante by kidnapping Rhiannon. Now, Cicely must lead her forces in a bloody battle to save her cousin before everything they’ve worked for crumbles to dust.
What inspired the premise for NIGHT VISION?
NIGHT VISION is book four in the series, so it’s part of the ongoing story arc. What started the whole series off, however, was a dream. I dreamed I was looking at a picture of a young woman walking through a snowy woodland filled with creatures from legend and lore. I knew, somehow, that she was looking for her aunt. Overshadowing the forest was the image of a spidery, shimmering queen—and I knew she was Myst, Queen of the Indigo Court, and she’d kidnapped the woman’s aunt. Then I woke up, but the dream stayed with me. And it eventually became the Indigo Court Series. In some respects, it’s a dark adult faerie tale taking some of its tropes from the Snow Queen fairytale. Only with vampires. And vampiric Fae. ~laughs~
By Jeremy Burns
Jeffrey Wilson’s life reads like the bio of an action hero: firefighter, surgeon, jet pilot, combat veteran. As a thriller writer, he has upped the ante even further, drawing inspiration from his own exciting experiences and overactive imagination, while adding a dash or two of the paranormal into the mix. His third novel in as many years, which Tom Young calls “a brilliant combination of war novel and supernatural thriller,” is FADE TO BLACK.
Jeff sat down with THE BIG THRILL to give readers a glimpse behind the curtain of his upcoming thriller and of the man who wrote it.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I’m Jeff Wilson. I wear a lot of hats these days, from my obvious life as a writer to my variety of “day jobs” where I still work some as a Doctor, I do a little consulting work with the DoD, and of course my favorite job of husband and father to an amazing family. I live in Tampa with my wife Wendy and my three kids, Connor, Jack and Emma.
I’ve had a pretty diverse life– my Mom tells me I have a short attention span. I have basically spent my life checking off all the jobs from the list most eight-year-olds have of what they want to be when they grow up. I’ve worked as a firefighter/paramedic. I spent a couple of years as an actor. I was a pilot for a while, flying a variety of aircraft including jets. I’ve been a Naval Officer and deployed a bunch of times to Iraq and spent a little time in Afghanistan. I had the true honor of serving with Naval Special Warfare and deploying with SEAL teams– an experience that had a great influence on my first book THE TRAITEUR’S RING. I’m a fellowship-trained Vascular Surgeon and worked as a combat surgeon in the Navy.
The only constant thread for me has been writing. I’ve written stories as long as I can remember, publishing my first short story when I was in middle school in a regional publication. I have no idea how many stories I’ve written over the years, but sitting down and writing has been a part of my life forever. Honestly, I never thought I could write a whole novel (see my attention span issues above), but I found after writing my first book, that it is actually easier than shorts. There is a real freedom in having all of those pages to develop your characters and plot. I sold THE TRAITEUR’S RING to JournalStone Publishing in early 2011 and it was released in September of that year, followed by THE DONORS last year and now FADE TO BLACK, the last of my three book deal with my publisher.
By John Rabb
Author Heather Graham is arguably one of the best writers in paranormal, ghost stories of today. She has written over 100 novels and novellas, starting back in 1983 with WHEN WE NEXT LOVE. Since then Heather has done far more for the writing community by being a founder of the Florida chapter of the Romance Writers of America and since 1999 she has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball for charity and in 2003 they honored her by giving her the lifetime achievement award. Every Labor Day since 2006 in New Orleans, Heather has hosted her own writing event called Writers for New Orleans. Working outside the pages of a book is something that separates Heather from all authors. Now Heather is back with her latest book LET THE DEAD SLEEP. Her newest series the Krewe of Hunters, has four books that came out in April of 2012 with THE UNSEEN followed by THE UNHOLY, THE UNSPOKEN and finished up in August 2012 with THE UNINVITED. Heather loves to take the reader on a journey into the paranormal emotional realm and LET THE DEAD SLEEP continues on that track, so let’s see what Heather has in store for us:
It was stolen from a New Orleans grave – the centuries-old bust of an evil man, a demonic man. It’s an object desired by collectors – and by those with wickedness in their hearts.
One day, its current owner shows up at Danni Cafferty’s antiques shop on Royal Street, the shop she inherited from her father. But before Danni can buy the statue, it disappears, the owner is found dead…and Danni discovers that she’s inherited much more than she realized. In the store is a book filled with secret writing: instructions for defeating evil entities. She’d dismissed it as a curiosity…until the arrival of this statue, with its long history of evil and even longer trail of death.
By Gary Kriss
Saturday morning at Starbucks had become a ritual for her, one she hoped to break.
A cinnamon dolce latte, as usual, the copy of Wittgenstein’s PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS from her Smith days spread open on the table, a conversational lure in case the right man happened to take the table next to her.
Not that she was trolling. Trolling. What a strange word, she thought. Like trolls themselves. What was it Nancy J. Cohen said? “Trolls are nasty, mean creatures that are fun to depict.” And Nancy should know. She depicted in them perfectly in WARRIOR PRINCE, the first of her Drift Lords novels, where they were really, really bad guys called Trolleks.
Nancy J. Cohen was her favorite author. She knew everything about her: how she’s lived in Florida for thirty years, how she loves to read, dine out, go shopping, watch TV and movies, cook new dishes, meet friends for lunch, and cruise to the Caribbean. But the most important thing she knew about Nancy J. Cohen was that Wild Rose Press would be releasing WARRIOR ROGUE, her second Drift Lord novel, in print form on April 26.
She opened her tote and took out the Circa junior size notebook she had gotten from Levenger, soft tan leather with her initials NEJ—Natalie Evelyn James—engraved discreetly on the lower left corner. It was much more impressive than an electronic planner, especially if you wanted to be taken seriously both for your skills and your intellect. Turning to April 26, she used her elegant Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique pen to add a third star next to the note “Get WARRIOR ROGUE.”
Following the events of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, Professor Abraham Van Helsing checks himself into Jack Seward’s Purfleet Asylum suffering from violent recurring fantasies stemming from his confrontation with the count’s vampiric brides. Upon his release he volunteers to bear the remains and personal effects of Quincey Morris back to the Morris family ranch in Texas.
Van Helsing finds Quincey’s brother Cole embroiled in an escalating land dispute with an outfit of Norwegian cattle ranchers led by the enigmatic Sig Skoll. When people start turning up viciously murdered, Van Helsing suspects a preternatural culprit. Is a shapechanger loose on the Texas Plains or is a murderous cult of wolf worshippers responsible? Have the delusions of his previously disordered mind returned? The professor must decide soon, for the life of Skoll’s beautiful new bride may hang in the balance…
From the ashes of the first battle of the Immortyl Revolution, vampires Mia Disantini and Kurt Eisen set out to build a new Immortyl society. Trouble arrives in the person of Cedric MacKinnon, a runaway adept of the ancient arts, who brings tidings of upheaval at the chief elder’s court that threatens everything Mia and Kurt have accomplished.
By Cathy Clamp
“We go to Disney World often, and it’s a happy place. But what if theme parks and tourist attractions around the world had a more nefarious purpose?” Such was the musing of bestselling author Nancy Cohen after visiting Epcot Center. The idea crept around in her brain, slowly becoming the plot of a new series, “The Drift Lords.” WARRIOR PRINCE introduces the world when mythologist and Florida resident Nira Larsen accepts a job as tour guide for a mysterious stranger, she’s drawn into a nightmare reality where ancient myths come alive and legendary evils seek to destroy her. To survive, she must awaken her dormant powers, but the only person who can help is the man whose touch inflames her passion.
After a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle cracks open and an ancient enemy invades Earth, Zohar-leader of the galactic warriors known as the Drift Lords-summons his troops. He doesn’t count on a redheaded spitfire getting in his way and capturing his heart. Nira has the power to defeat the enemy and to enslave Zohar’s soul. Can he trust her enough to accomplish his mission, or will she lure him to his doom?
By Amy Shojai
Lisa Kessler didn’t plan to be an author. A chance encounter with a palm reader in New Orleans set her on the path to publication. NIGHT WALKER, her debut paranormal thriller, combines reincarnation, rogue monks, hot romance and Mayan mythology for a new twist on the vampire mythos.
He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…
That sentence sums up the fire behind the main characters and the lengths to which the hero will go to be reunited with the love he lost centuries ago. The characters have garnered positive reviews from readers eager to read more about them in future books of the series.
By Basil Sands
Rock Star wannabe Kane Pryce is a reluctant Ghost Buster with attitude. Following on the heals of SOUL TRAPPER F.J. Lennon’s new book, DEVIL’S GATE keeps the story going with a wild eyed flare for supernatural mystery, action, and rock and roll.
The author recently sat down for an interview.
By Jamie Rush
James R. Tuck is the author of the Deacon Chalk series, a Professional Tattoo Artist, and a heckuva nice guy. Or so he says. (I saw that picture of the tattooed, gun-toting guy on the website … ) I wanted to get to know a little about James and see what the hype was all about.
So of course we want to know about the new book, BLOOD AND SILVER. What’s the book about and why do you love it?
Deacon Chalk is in the fight of his life after he rescues a young girl from a group of rogue lycanthropes. He winds up caught in a war between two Were-lion brothers that leaves the people he loves in danger.
Now Deacon has to put everything on the line to save them.
Let the bodies hit the floor.
By Don Helin
In her novel, IMMORTALLY YOURS, NEW YORK TIMES best selling author Angie Fox unleashes a story so interesting that the Romantic Times Book Review says, “A new talent just hit the urban fantasy genre, and she has a genuine gift for creating dangerously hilarious drama.”
In the story, Paranormal MASH surgeon Petra Robichaud is hell bent on doing anything she can to end a massive supernatural war. Good thing, because she’s just met a renegade special ops officer who is going to push her to her limits. He’ll take her to hell and back. And if he seduces her along the way? All’s fair in love and war.
By Jeremy Burns
There are few thriller authors writing today who have had more widespread success than NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Heather Graham. In a writing career that has already spanned decades (and shows no signs of slowing down), she has written thrillers and other novels from a myriad of genres and subgenres: historical, paranormal, romantic, crime, and more. Her latest book, a new entry in her hit Krewe of Hunters series, is a paranormal thriller with a historical twist. Heather recently took time out of her decidedly busy writing schedule to sit down with THE BIG THRILL to answer some questions about her newest book.
Annie Landon has given up on finding Mr. Right, and instead, has gone out to find Mr. Right Now. A conversation overheard in the bathroom of Dionysus’s Bar, about a jilted and lonely “Greek god” in need of a quick pick-me-up, sounds like just what she’s looking for.
But picking up the Greek god of love for a one night stand is easier said than done, especially when he has sworn off mortals forever.
Do a woman looking for love, and a matchmaking god who wants her to find it—with someone else—have a shot at a happy ending?
Will Annie get her man… or will Eros’s golden arrows miss their mark, for once?
Chevies with fins, the Cold War, pompadours, the birth of rock and roll — that’s the world of private eye Griffin Shaw, murdered more than half a century ago. Now he’s an angel who helps the soon-to-be dead into the afterlife. But Grif didn’t expect to get attached to his latest charge, nosy reporter Kit Craig — or have her help solving his own murder while they race to prevent her death.
That’s the premise of THE TAKEN, NEW YORK TIMES bestseller Vicki Pettersson’s first novel in a trilogy about Grif and Kit.
Alma Katsu is back with her second book in the Taker Trilogy called THE RECKONING. Her first book THE TAKER was named as one of the Top ten debut books of 2011 by the American Library Association. Alma has been compared to the early works of Anne Rice, quite an accomplishment for a debut author. We were able to talk to Alma about her trilogy and the challenges she faced when starting out as a debut author.
Lachlan McLeod, a man beyond redemption, has a mission: find the beast who put his brother into a coma. He’ll start with Jessie Bellandre, his brother’s girlfriend, who’s harboring a dark, dangerous secret that could get them all killed. Honor is all Lachlan has, and as they plumb the depths of Darkness, not falling in love with her will be as hard as staying alive.
By Ian Walkley
Despite fifteen years in the making, Donna Galanti’s A HUMAN ELEMENT is a debut novel that brings a fresh approach to paranormal fiction. The book was released in March as a paperback original by Echelon Press. The New York Times best-selling author, Jonathan Maberry, has described A HUMAN ELEMENT as “An elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart.”
Donna has lived from England to Hawaii, owned a campground in New Hampshire and worked as a photographer in the U.S. Navy. With a background in marketing, Donna operated a resume writing service for years until she closed up shop to write novels. If she couldn’t write she would bike, hike, and kayak every day. Visit her on her website.
Following THE VENGEFUL DEAD, J.N. Duncan thrills readers with the third of his dark urban fantasy Dead series.
Jackie Rutledge has faced down everything from darkest sorcery to über-vengeful revenants. Moreover, heading up the Bureau’s special paranormal unit presents unexpected challenges. Handling otherworldly egos and politics have never come easy to this loner agent. And opening up to her sexy vampire lover, Nick, is as unnerving as her unwanted new ability to slip between the realms of the living and the dead…
Now an insidious power holding helpless ghosts in thrall uses any means necessary to discredit Jackie and split her team apart. The only chance she has means baiting the terrifying “Deadworld being” stalking her dreams, hunting her every step—and growing ever hungrier for her ultimate sacrifice.
Are you ready for something really different in an adventure thriller? How about rogue assassins, demons, and immortal master villains? You’ll find all that and more in DELIVERANCE: MORTAL PATH BOOK 3, the latest installment of the thrill-soaked series by Dakota Banks.
The book’s protagonist is Maliha Crayne, a professional assassin who’s on the redemption trail. After serving as a Sumerian demon’s personal murderer for centuries, she faces eternal damnation, and torment. To redeem herself she turns hero, dedicated to balancing the scales by saving a life for every one she took. This marvelous premise allows Banks to work with a truly engaging heroine.
If it’s Werewolves, this must be Germany
What is it about Germany that links it with werewolves, in my mind?
Partly, it’s the European countryside, beside which my native England seems cosy and tame in comparison. All those craggy mountains, their peaks as sharp as wolves’ teeth, and dark pine forests, the haunt of evil in many a fairytale. And I loved fairytales, when I was a child. To some people, I’ll grant, the Black Forest conjures up images of decadent desserts. But I’ve never been keen on chocolate cake—give me a home-made apfelstrudel any day—so my mind fills with shadows of the supernatural, lurking within those atmospheric woods and scheming to pounce on unwary travellers.
Patty is a cataloguer of rare manuscripts, working on part of a newly discovered journal of a 14th Century alchemist. Just another dull day on the job. But after mentioning it in her blog she gets to the office to find everyone brutally murdered. Now she’s on the run with the incomplete journal, trying to find the rest, pursued by a killer who wants the secret of eternal life it contains.
The quest leads her halfway across the world to the castles and misty history of Scotland. She thinks she’s looking for a manuscript. But the things she learns on the journey all point to the 14th Century alchemist himself, a man who is still very much alive.
Matt Forbeck’s latest title is sort of TITANIC meets 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. When survivors of the Titanic are picked up by the passenger steamship Carpathia, they thought their problems were over. But something’s been dormant in the darkest recesses of the ship. Something old. Something hungry.
Forbeck added, “Imagine if the ship that picked up the survivors of the worst shipwreck in history was packed full of vampires. Now mix in a love triangle involving the children of the heroes of the original DRACULA novel, and you’ve got a good start.”
NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS praised debut paranormal author Chris Holm’s DEAD HARVEST (Feb 2012) for its ability to pull ‘readers in and pins us to the edge of our seats with a cleverly conceived story that is flawlessly executed.”
Although this is his first novel, Holms previous work has appeared in: ELLERY QUEEN’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2011. He’s also been an Anthony Award nominee, a Derringer Award finalist, and a Spinetingler Award winner.
DEAD HARVEST is the story of Sam Thornton, a young man who collects souls. The souls of the damned, to be precise. Once taken himself, he’s now doomed to ferry souls to hell for all eternity, in service of a debt he can never repay. But when he’s dispatched to retrieve the soul of a girl he believes is innocent of the horrific crime for which she’s been damned, Sam does something no Collector has ever done before: he refuses
R.C. Hayes has settled into his job with the FBI, and put behind him the strange incident that ended his military career. But when he and his partner are sent to the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana to look into a murder, events take an unsettling and eerily familiar turn.
R.C. struggles to solve the case as deaths pile up around him and as the situation takes a decidedly unnatural cast. With the help of a mysterious new ally, he may finally come to terms with what happened to him long ago—and enter a strange new career he is uniquely suited for. Provided he can survive the incursion of supernatural elements into his supposedly safe and mundane world!
By J.N. Duncan
I’d like to welcome Carole Nelson Douglas, author of VIRTUAL VIRGIN, a post-apocalyptic, paranormal, crime story, full of drugs, zombies, werewolves, and even, yes, robots. She is the best-selling author of this Delilah Street series as well as the Midnight Louie mystery series. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview her about her writing and the supernatural. What more could one ask for? So, here we go!
In 25 words or less, tell us what your story is about.
Delilah Street, ex-reporter, works with and against 2013 Las Vegas crime/supernatural elements while hunting her double viewed on a CSI TV show autopsy table.
By Diane Holmes
Supernatural thrillers bring the best of thriller fiction and the best of the horror and paranormal worlds together into one spine-tingling read. In his latest book, IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER, the small town of Hulis, Missouri has a killer Christmas Spirit…
FOR THE PEOPLE OF HULIS, MISSOURI, THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS ARE HELL…
On December 22nd, 1975, something unthinkable happened in the small, northern Midwest town of Hulis, Missouri—something so heinous that it turned the holidays into a waking nightmare.
Now, 35 years later, it’s happening all over again, and for those involved, Christmas will never be the same…. It’s up to FBI Special Agent Constance Mandalay, a recurring character from the Rowan Grant Investigation books, to save their lives.