"Death is only the beginning." You hear that all the time. Maybe it is, for the soul who passes on. But what about the ones who are left behind?
What do you do when what you thought you knew turns out to be wrong? What do you do when you find out you can’t trust the people closest to you? What do you do when you keep trying to move forward but life keeps getting in the way? And given all of this, how am I supposed to figure out who Charlotte Grace is now?
5 & 5 GUEST POST
Things you didn’t know about me, PM Briede:
- I love cupcakes! I love to bake them. I love to decorate them (though I never get too fancy). AND I especially love to EAT THEM! They are like the perfect amount of cake and frosting and goodness! I make mine from scratch from a cookbook and will typically make anywhere between 2-6 dozen at a time. “Why so many?” you may ask. Because I love to share them too!
- Feel free to hate me for it, but I don’t consider myself to have vices. You know the one or two things a person normally loves but isn’t really good for them for one reason or another, whether financially or from a health perspective. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t really over-indulge. But, I do love to travel and do so comfortably. I like to stay in nice hotels. I like to purchase whatever I want. I like to dine out. Here in a couple of years, I’ll be going on a European tour and I intend to do so first class!
- My favorite flower is the calla lily followed closely by the iris. I love flowers and wish to high heaven that I had a greener thumb. I can grow tulips and irises and pansies and columbines but my callas never stick. Feel free to give me some advice!
- My favorite holiday is Halloween, but not for the reasons that you think. I hate horror movies, mainly because I am a HUGE chicken and get easily scared. That’s what happens when you live inside your own head most of the time. But I love going pumpkin picking, then carving, and baking up the seeds. I love pumpkin spice candy and chocolate. And I love dressing my kiddos up and going door to door.
- While I mostly write different variations on romance novels, I’m a HUGE science fiction and fantasy reader. Michael Crichton is my favorite, Timeline, Jurassic Park, and Sphere among the top. But I also love Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and of course the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. (Can’t wait for the third movie!)
Things you didn’t know about Smoldering Embers:
- Wesley was not supposed to be such a main character. When I first envisioned the story, he played a role at the very end but it was supposed to wholly be Charlotte’s and Olivier’s story. But when I started writing him, he insisted on being an integral part of Charlotte’s journey. I think he was right and I hope you agree.
- I seriously considered killing Charlotte at the end of the first book. Don’t worry, I didn’t. But it was one of those plot devices that I thought would make an interesting twist, to have the first book be from her perspective then finish out the tale with only Wesley and Olivier. In the end, the reason I didn’t is because Smoldering Embers, Wild Fire, and Ashes are truly Charlotte’s story and evolution as a character and you can’t have that without her.
- The cover was completely my publisher’s brain child. I did not want a person on any of the covers. I wanted Charlotte, Wesley, and Olivier to be whomever you, as the reader, saw them to be. I wanted you to be free to personalize them however you want. My first cover only had silhouettes. Then my publisher and I tried Rorschach images. But none of them really seemed to work. He pushed for a person, female, and when he distorted her face, I knew it was the perfect cover instantly.
- Charlotte’s home is a real home that was for sale at the time I wrote Smoldering Embers. I took the virtual tour and just adored it! I’ve always loved the Garden District and if I could handle living the super-hot south again, I would definitely live in that particular neighborhood.
- I get asked A LOT, “Why Latin?” I took Latin in high school and college and just really enjoyed the language and its history. It is so entrenched in every language spoken today. I had a great teacher and good friends in those classes. So I thought, this is one of those things that can bind Charlotte and Olivier and give them a different connection than she has with everyone else.
PAIN! It was the only thought I had. There were voices but they were muffled even though they were loud and angry. It was as if their volume kept me from being able to understand anything other than that someone was present. But they didn’t matter. All that mattered was the pain.
It surrounded me. It crushed me from the outside. It pushed on me from the inside. The muscles in my body were so tense I thought they’d shred my bones. My head felt as though it was going to explode. I wanted it to explode! If it was gone I couldn’t experience this pain.
Something hit me, knocking my eyes open. Through the fog I could make out the carpet of my bedroom. I must have fallen out of bed. I haven’t had that dream since college. That eerie green fire that engulfed me. It’s the only thing I ever remembered about those dreams. But I was more than familiar with the aftermath. The throbbing headache that no pill could cure. The only remedy? Sleep.
But this time it was different. This time my entire body was throbbing as if I’d run a marathon I hadn’t prepared for. There was a pain in my chest that turned my stomach. I crawled into the bathroom and made it to the toilet just in time.
I don’t know how long I laid in my bathroom. After losing my stomach I didn’t have the energy to move. Normally after the dreams I’d roll over and find sleep quickly. The next time I woke up I would be good as new. But the effects of this dream lingered. That was until a voice pulled me out of my misery. “Charlotte!” my mother-in-law called. I couldn’t answer. She found me quickly. “Dear God! They said no one reached you yet!”
I opened my eyes and saw her panicked, tear-stained face. Something wasn’t right. I tried to ask after my nieces. No words passed my open mouth.
She helped me sit up. Once she was done talking I wished she’d never found me. “Charlotte, he’s gone.” I didn’t need clarification even though she gave it to me. The truth was written all over her. My chest suddenly felt empty. The facts didn’t matter. I knew it in my soul. “Giles is dead.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links
The imagination is a powerful thing, able to take you places you never dreamed. I write realistic fantasy. The idea of the possible having impossible explanations fascinates me. That idea is the driving force behind the Charlotte Grace series.
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Get the book at:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/smoldering-embers-p-m-briede/1120182625?ean=9781500784133
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