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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Interviewing author Charlene Wilson

Today I'm very pleased to have author Charlene Wilson as my guest. I'm almost as excited about her debut release, Cornerstone Deep, as my own. I fell in love with her first draft of that book in a critique group.

Thanks for inviting me to visit with you Marsha.  I'm excited to be here.

Q: There are very few authors who write fantasy romance. Most write paranormal or urban fantasy, not high fantasy mixed with romance. Personally, I think it's a great combo, but I'm biased. Why have you chosen this combined genre for your book?
Actually, my characters chose how the book turned out.  Lol.  I’m a character driven writer.  Conversations, actions, reactions, and settings all play out in my mind and I have to follow them or end up going back to change what I wrote. 

Q: What magical beings do you enjoy writing about?

Magic is always fun to use in stories.  For me, it adds so much to romance.  I know you probably meant magical beings to mean faeries or merfolk.  *wink*  And in Cornerstone Deep, the beings are wizards…or other dimensional beings that are able to manipulate the elements.  But I don’t only give familiars the powers.  In World Beneath the Rock (book three in this series), I introduce a wolf named Soley.  I also give a peacock and an antelope (yes antelope) gifted souls. 

Q: Who is your favorite character in Cornerstone Deep and why? 

I would have to choose Cole as my favorite character in Cornerstone Deep.  He’s so lost-love sick.  He’s the most romantic hearted character wandering around in my head.  On the outside, he’s moody, hard-hearted.  But get him near his soul mate and his soul takes over. 

Q: Where did the idea for this incredible magical love between Cole and Mianna come from? What inspired you?

The core of Cornerstone Deep came directly from a dream.  The scene in the alley is almost step for step what I saw.  That wasn’t all to the nightmare though.  Dreamer’s omniscience told me so much more.  I knew the man, though I’d never met him before that time.  (He ended up being Cole Shilo)  I knew his heart and though what he was doing was frightening, I was drawn to him with my soul.  The effects of the spell he cast made my actions innocent, na├»ve.  Though something deep within me cried to be saved, I followed the three men, enrapted by being in their presence.  Guess where they led me.  That’s right…I’ll let you read the book.  Lol.  Of course Anna/Mianna became me.  And the story expanded from there.

Q: What fantasy character (yours or another author's) would you most like to have dinner with? How would you expect the evening to go?

This is really hard!  I’m going to stick with my Shilo Brothers, but how can I choose just one?  Each one is so different from the other.  Can I have them all for a romantic dinner, Marsha?  If it were a night with Cole, there would definitely be slow seductive dancing.  The Song of Meridian rules his moves when it plays.  That mixed with his personal Zephyr…  *melt*  If it were James, he’d prepare an amazing meal himself, set the loveliest decor, and his midnight eyes would never veer from mine.  We would talk for hours.  And he would actually listen and care about what I said.  Lol.  Now Vincent?  A Nobleman’s limo would take us to the finest social affair…after he’d had the most beautiful gown delivered as a gift for me to wear.  He’d introduce me to all the Lords and Ladies, his square jaw high with pride.  Some women don’t like to be shown off.  Me?  Bring it on.  Especially with someone as hot as Vince!  

They outlive their loves by thousands of years.  Reincarnation doesn't exist on this plain.  Yet they continue to accept others for whatever time they have together.  Save for Cole.  His love for his last wife burns in his soul four centuries after her death.

When the service they render to the Lords of Cornerstone Deep brings him face to face with Anna, something unexpected happens.  In a realm of silent souls, hers calls to him.  He responds with a kiss; one that joined with the spell of servitude, binds her soul.

He tries desperately to undue his wrong, despite the determination of the Lord to keep her.

Charlene's website
Purchase Cornerstone Deep at:

~ * ~

My life is a mirage of endless time. 
But you in this moment engulf me, rivet my mind,
encompass my heart.


The lights died, and shadows replaced the candescent glare. Lights out already? Anna threw her gaze to the window. Dusk.
She slid the aromatic candle closer, using the dim light to finish positioning the intricate glass forms. Its stout core had lessened over the hours she’d worked. Though she thought about snuffing out the gift after Dressen’s actions, she couldn’t bring herself to extinguish the comforting scent.
Cursed time. She draped her work station with a light cloth and threw on her jacket. With the bejeweled candleholder tight in her grip, she rushed out the door. The scent of licorice and vanilla trailed from the flame as she weaved her way through adjoining art studios and corridors.
As she emerged from Cantrell Artisan, she shivered in the spring air. The industrial West Side ’s sulfuric odor rode the breeze from across town, and the fragrant fire flickered out. She cradled the holder between the large granite lion paws that sat beside the steps. It fit nicely. She sniggered at the sight. Kyle Dressen’s artistic contribution to the sphinx.
She stepped onto the sidewalk and looked around. Humor faded. Vapor loomed over the empty streets like phantoms gathering warmth from the asphalt. She briskly rubbed her sleeves. The slight warming did nothing to ease her insecurity. Street lights blinked on but offered little comfort as the newscaster’s announcement flooded her mind. “After much deliberation, the new curfew of 2024 has been set into place. Lord Kyle Dressen, Grand Marshal of the courts, announced the bill’s passing, and urges all to adhere as strict measure will be taken to ensure vandalism of the East Side is eradicated.”
What a ridiculous notion. The impoverished East Side getting aid from the lawmakers. Yet now, unease filled her. Her co-workers’ gossip on the matter didn’t help her anxiety. An apprehensive tone caught her voice as she repeated the warning. “Curfew breakers will never be seen again.” Her whisper sent mist through the chill. She wished she hadn’t spoken.
Anna hurried across the open court and down an adjacent street. Awnings rustled in the wind. Neon signs that once invited late-night commerce hung dead behind barred windows. Her rushed steps echoed through the air.
She looked to the sky. A blanket of stars covered the firmament. She’d worked too late. Again. “God, I’m not going to make it.”
Her steps quickened, and she caught her breath as she approached the shortcut through the park. The wide corner entrance stood closed. The ancient stone griffin perched high on the gateway glared down at her. She shook the bars with disbelief. “When do they ever lock Shilo Park?” Scanning the long gates that fortified the urban green, fear clutched her stomach.
She whipped around. The sound was like a whisper to her mind yet clear as if spoken. Her gaze intensified as she studied the shadowed pavement. Beneath the dim light of a street lamp, dense smoke billowed and rose, taking the form of three men. Her throat clenched. “What…in…the…world!” She spun around and ran.
“There’s no use in running.”
Throwing her hands to her ears, she tried to block out the voice. An abandoned shuttle van propped half way up the curb offered the only protection along the vacant street. She darted across the road to find refuge.
Her long hair netted her face as she stumbled past street-side clutter. She swiped the strands away. Catching her balance, she raced along the storefronts and spotted a weak halo down an alley. An open door? She rushed into the darkness.
Puddles of discarded waste filled the dips in the pass, and the air was thick with a foul stench. Her frantic feet beat the pavement as she raced to every locked door.
Steady footsteps followed.
She gasped with each failed entry. “Come on. Just one open door.” A cry ripped her throat as she turned to the final promise of safety. The small lamp flickered. Obscene graffiti sprawled the length of the wall that blocked her escape; the dim halo highlighted the neon paint.
She turned to the way she came. Her body trembled, and she backed into a corner for support. “This is a nightmare.” Her shallow voice quivered and sent denial through her. “This isn’t happening!” The tomb-like closure briefly echoed her claim but the measured steps resounded as they approached.
She stared at the forms as they overtook the narrow alley. A man led center, his companions flanking. Each unified stride caused their capes to furl with controlled motion. Their focus was on her. The bleak lamp lit their approach--a dark trio. Reapers, all of them--black hair, black eyes, black cloaks. Curfew breakers are never seen again. At that moment, she believed. Anna held her breath as if to ward off the imminent danger.
They stopped a few feet from her, and the leader stepped forward.
The other men waited.
Endless time filled her as she gazed at their resolute faces. She swallowed hard to ward off the want of air.
With graceful motion, the leader lifted his hand as if setting a butterfly free. A mist, the brilliance of snow crystalline encircled her and lingered in the air.
Anna struggled to withhold a gasp.
“You have to breathe sometime.”
The voice sifted through her mind. Her lungs burned, begged for relief. Fear gripped her as she succumbed to need, and the tiny crystallites flowed past her lips.
The taste of divinity touched her senses, and the promise of bliss sang in her mind. The invitation was overwhelming, irresistible. A wave of serenity coated her emotions.
She met his gaze.
A small smile touched his coal eyes. It penetrated her soul. Opposition dissolved.
He inhaled the sparkling mist and leaned close. Cradling her face in his hands, he touched his lips to hers. They were warm and seductive, unexpectedly tender. The aroma of licorice and cream flowed through her. She accepted his attention, intoxicated by the offering. In a gentle motion, she felt the loving caress of his tongue on hers. Eternity echoed in her heart.
With a breath, the magic spell filled her. Heat steamed her lungs and filtered throughout her body. Every wave carried with it memories; the last words of her father, the aged photo of her mother she clung to as a child.
Subjection engulfed her mind. All wonderment ceased under its capture. Rapture sealed her senses and final will vanished.


Ciara said...

Not sure my comment posted, so I'll try once more. Hope this doessn't double post, LOL.
Anyway, I love high fantasy. I'm working on an adult high fantasy, now. This sounds intriguing. Best of luck!

Marsha A. Moore said...

It is a great read! Thanks for coming by, Ciara. I'll be looking forward to your adult high fantasy.

Julianne said...

Add my "here" as a lover of epic fantasy. :) I'd love to see it come back, big time. Great excerpt, Charlene! Wow. Good luck with this!

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks, Julianne! I may have to beg Charlene to let me read her draft of the next book in this series. :)

Charlene Wilson said...

Thanks you so much Ciara and Julianne. I'm glad you stopped by. :) And Marsha, thank you SO much for having me on your blog! It was a real treat. I'll have to get you to help crit book two like you did Cornerstone Deep. :D