Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Interview with Jean Murray about her new dark paranormal release, Soul Awakened



Today I'm pleased to bring you an interview with author Jean Murray, talking about her new dark paranormal release, Soul Awakened. Be sure to check out her book and the terrific contests at the bottom of this post.
 


In your new release, Soul Awakened: Key to the Cursed Series Book Two, Kendra is an Egyptologist. She is the key required to free Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Does Kendra know she is the key to break his curse or is she surprised?

At the closing of Soul Reborn, the Carrigan sisters (Lilly, Kit and Kendra) discover that they have been created by the Mother Goddess to fulfill a specific purpose -- ending the curse against humanity. They are literally, Keys to the Cursed.  Unlike her sister, Lilly, who found out the hard way, Kendra knows she is the key to unlocking Bakari from his tomb, but she must discover her hidden abilities and overcome her worst fears to fulfill her destiny.  Kendra has to sacrifice more than she ever believed possible.    

Desperate to free Bakari, Kendra inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. How does the spell bind her to him? What are some of the risks she faces while under this spell?

I can’t give away too much, as this is a pivotal point in the book.  What I can say is that the Ancient Egyptians believed in magic, dark magic.  The demotic texts contain spells that can cast plagues, death and pestilence against an enemy (I’m not making this up folks.  The spell Kendra recites in the book is an actual excerpt translated from the Book of the Dead).  The spell binds Bakari’s soul and ensures he will remain in the death like sleep. When Kendra reverses the spell they become linked, soul to soul.  The bond can be only broken by death.  No one is certain, as to Bakari’s allegiance after five long year of torture at the enemy’s hands. Trusting Bakari is a huge risk, but Kendra must follow her heart.   

What potential dangers does Bakari face? Does the spell binding Bakari to Kendra have any risks for him?

Bakari is a potential danger to everyone around him and to himself.  He can take life with a mere thought.  More importantly, Bakari has the power to kill gods -- the very reason he was taken – to be used against his own pantheon. Kendra not only awakens him, but centuries of guilt and self-hatred-- enough he may destroy himself and Kendra along with him.  She is his only barrier to ending his suffering and his only salvation.  

How can Kendra help Bakari once he’s awakened?

Kendra’s sweet disposition would tame any man’s heart, even a god’s. Her compassion and tenderness takes Bakari’s pain away.  She cares for him when everyone else is afraid to approach him. Her special ability (key) will purge the evil that is lurking inside of him and give him the hope to face another day.    
  
Briefly describe the magical systems of your world. How do those who are empowered , the gods and demi-gods, gain their abilities?

The Gods of Ancient Egypt were created by the belief of the people over 5,000 years ago.  Out of respect for the ancient religion, I try to maintain the authenticity of the gods, as the Ancient Egyptians saw them.  The gods were created to serve and protect mankind in life and in death.  Their role determines the extent of their powers. 

There are two pantheons – The Creation Pantheon and the Underworld Pantheon.  The Gods of the Underworld absorb life energy to feed their powers.  The Creation Gods, (gods of the living), expel energy and create life.  Despite their animosity towards each other, the two Pantheons create a balance in the world and among themselves. 

But, Asar (God of the Underworld) holds the ultimate power to judge souls at the Gates of the Afterlife – this includes the fates of the gods.  Bakari will kill any god who threatens Aaru (Paradise Isle of the Underworld).  Kamen, the Soul Eater, will ensure a permanent end.  Fear and misunderstanding drove the Creation Pantheon to sanction a law that forces Underworld gods to the shadows of darkness in the human realm, limiting their powers and influence.         

Life and death were not meant to mix – that’s until the Carrigan sisters turn the Underworld upside down.  The lines of segregation become blurred when life (Lilly, Kit, Kendra) and death (Asar, Kamen, Bakari) join in an explosive union that will challenge ancient laws and tip the balance of power to a new era. 

Soul Awakened
Key to the Cursed Series Book Two
Genre:  Dark Paranormal
Publisher:  Crescent Moon Press
Date of Publication:  January 15, 2013
ISBN:  978-1-937254-97-1                 
ASIN: 978-1-937254-98-8                    
Number of pages:  292
Word Count:  92,000
Cover Artist:  Taria A. Reed

Book Description:

LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR

Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.

HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST

Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most-- his Parvana. His butterfly.


About the Author:
In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.

Book Trailer Soul Reborn: http://youtu.be/smSJsJp5o74


Contests: 1) Free ecopy giveaway of Soul Reborn to one lucky commenter today.
                        2) Plus the rafflecopter giveaway for the Soul Awakened Kindle Fire HD.                                      


 
~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED, and Book Three, LOST VOLUMES. She has also authored the Ciel's Legacy series, with fast action mermaid/pirate storylines: TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE and TORTUGA TREASURE.  For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

19 comments:

Dorothy (xsecretxkeeperx) said...

Ah, so can't wait to read these! (but I have no money currently, so it will have to wait until I can splurge, lol). I've got a question: Bakari was mentioned a lot in this article and I realized I have no idea how to say his name. I've been pronouncing it like someone might pronounce a traditional Japanese name, but I'm sure the emphasis and accent have to be different. So, how should I say his name?

bn100 said...

How did you come up with the character names?

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

wickedromance said...

Hi Dorothy.

Awesome question!

Bakari would be pronounced:

b ah K AH r ee

The Egyptian name means noble one.

Jean

wickedromance said...

bn100.

For the Gods, I made sure to select the proper Egyptian version of thier names. Most people recognize the Egyptian gods by their Greek translation. Osiris (greek) is really Asar (Egyptian).

There are some gods like Bomani and Bakari that I had some creative license with, but they are Egyptian.

For the sisters - I went with a name that would fit their personality best.

Thanks for the great questions. Keep them coming.

Jean

Dorothy (xsecretxkeeperx) said...

Cool, thanks! It drives me nuts when I get a character's name wrong and then grow attached to the way I pronounce it. There's this one character from the Sword of Truth series that every time I hear the author say it, I think "You're saying it wrong!" I am aware that I'm crazy, yes, lol.

You mentioned something in your most recent comment about Greek mythology, and one of the things I find most fascinating about gods is that the same ones appear in different disguises in every culture that has them. Do you make any allusions to the different cultural myths in your book or did you follow strict Egyptian mythology? Also, what, in your research was your favorite comparison between cultures? (If you don't mind my asking :) ).

Shannon Bereza said...

How many hours did you pour over Egyptian texts and online research and visiting museums did you do before you were able to feel comfortable writing the series?
sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

Shannon Bereza said...

I meant pore over, not pour over.

wickedromance said...

Hi Dorothy.

Do you make any allusions to the different cultural myths in your book or did you follow strict Egyptian mythology? Also, what, in your research was your favorite comparison between cultures?

One main factor in my fascination with the Ancient Egyptian religion is their concept of a soul. It fascinates me that most religions are centered around this moral compass of an individual. Similarly, so is the concept of a heaven and hell, described in various ways, but overall a common theme. I wrote some of this into the series, especially between the balance between life and death, faith and fate, etc...

In the books there is a bit of a clash between the sisters having grown up with the concept of a singular god and the Ancient Religion that has come knocking on their door step. Lilly having spent more time with her father is more open to the concept of multiple gods and curses. Kendra struggles with this in book 2, as she is more scientifically driven. Kit on the other hand has very little faith in anything. The Underworld gods reenter the human realm at a time when monotheism is strong. The Underworld gods are all but a forgotten memory, along with the crumbling ruins in their honor.

Great questions!

Jean


wickedromance said...

Hi Shannon.

To be honest I'm not sure how much time I spent. It took me a while to find the right references to use. The religion changed so much over time. I tried to stay with its true origins as much as possible. Once I figured out the general concept of what I wanted to do with it, I started writing. When I came to a moment in the book or detail that needed to be expanded, I did some focused research on the topic, so as to not get bogged down in details. This saved me quite a bit of time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jean

Dorothy (xsecretxkeeperx) said...

Very cool. As a Christian myself and a lover of all things fantasy and sci-fi, I love that clash between a character's beliefs and what is happening in his/her world. It doesn't necessarily have to be a consuming focus, but a nice undercurrent to the plot and action. I always feel something is missing when the characters don't compare their odd happenings to what they knew before.

Shannon Bereza said...

My question for Jean is whether she personally enjoys reading series of books or stand-alone books? Personally, I love series because it seems to make the fantasy last longer of living in the world created by that specific author.
sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

wickedromance said...

Hi Dorothy.

I agree, a character has to react when faced with something out of character for their time period or other. They can't walk past a three headed dog and not stare, right?

Jean :-)

wickedromance said...

Hi Shannon.

I love, love, love series books. I want to get "attached" to the characters and the plot. It's like watching a soap opera, but in a book. I'm addicted.

I like stand-alone books if they're short. Kind of like a one night stand. LOL. Not that I would know.

Jean

Shannon Bereza said...

I find it harder to finish up a series because I feel like it is so final and I feel abandoned my the characters. I always wondered if anyone else felt that way or if it was just me. I don't take it near as hard when it's a stand alone book. Maybe because there is always a possibility for a second book after those.

Shannon Bereza said...

I was having trouble coming up with a new question, but instead I will comment on what Jean said about the sisters and their personalities and their beliefs. I like when there're are characters who even though they are blood related have a different idea of God and the possibilities of one or more. In reality being that I have five siblings of my own, personality definitely plays a role in what certain people are open to and what some are not.

Shannon Bereza said...

I am starting Soul Reborn tomorrow and I can't wait to start reading it. I know I'm going to love it and Soul Awakened and the the impatience will start in anticipation of Soul Unbound.

wickedromance said...

Hi Shannon.

That's so awesome! Thank you so much.

It was important to me that the sisters not be the same. They do have similar strengths (loyalty, determination, compassion) but display and act upon them in different ways.

I love the Carrigan sisters.

Hope you do too.

Jean


Shannon Bereza said...

My thoughts of the day are: How am I possibly going to wait until the summer to read the next book in this series. I already finished the first and I'm on Soul Awakened, but I'm reading it slowly so that it lasts longer. What am I going to do..... sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

Shannon Bereza said...

Thanks for amazing writing Jean. I am loving Soul Awakened as much as I loved the first book! I'm wondering when we can expect your Matriarch series? sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com