Book One of The Leila Marx Novels
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN 10: 1480021598)
Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 81,000
Cover Artist: Amber Garr
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/1z7SEGu0jwo
Leila Marx is trying to put her life back together after her fiancé is murdered. Her book illustrating career has limited her social contact and nightmares have trapped her in the past. When a police acquaintance enlists her help with a difficult case, Leila is surprisingly thankful to have a purpose. Not only will this help to keep her mind focused, but she will be able to use her talents as a touch clairvoyant that are frequently dismissed by skeptics. Leila and Detective Garrick Pearson delve into the mystery behind a series of missing teenage girls and mummified corpses while fighting their own growing attraction to each other.
Conner Hoffman is an intriguing lawyer and striking half-demon who enters Leila’s life unexpectedly. Although her visions are terrifying, she is fascinated by his charm and his legacy. When it becomes evident that the murders are linked to a paranormal event, Conner introduces Leila to a world unbeknownst to ordinary society. She suddenly finds herself immersed in supernatural politics, sorcery, and danger as she becomes the killer’s next target. Staying alive will mean relying on friends, accepting the unbelievable, and trusting in her heart again.
What does one wear when they commit the first felony of their life? I probably spent two hours going through my closest trying to find something criminal. It had to be black. Yes, definitely black. I finally settled on a turtleneck, spandex workout pants, and the only pair of black sneakers I’d ever owned. They were left over from my waitressing days and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were still in good shape, even if they did smell a little like grease.
I just finished pulling my hair back into a low bun, like spy girls do in the movies, when the doorbell rang. Conner was here and my heart fluttered instantly. Last night had been a lot of fun and I really enjoyed my evening with Garrick, but this was the first time any man had been to my house who wasn’t a part of the police force since Russ was killed. This was also the first time I’d ever had a half demon in the house, at least as far as I knew. After another quick glance in the mirror, I bounced over to the door.
And as soon as I opened it I realized how much of a dork I must have looked like.
There was Conner, in a regular pair of jeans and a college sweatshirt doing all that he could not to laugh at me. I glared up at him.
“What? No one told me what to wear so I had to improvise.” He started laughing but then choked it back down when I tried to close the door on him. His foot shot out and blocked my attempt.
“I’m sorry. You look good. Really.” He smiled fully at me and then bowed his head as he put his hands together in a prayer-like position. “May I have permission to enter my ninja warrior princess?”
I could see his shoulders shake with amusement again and I refused to be embarrassed. With an exaggerated sigh, I walked back into my bedroom, leaving Conner to let himself in. I decided that he should wallow in uncomfortable silence for a while, although when I came back into the living room and saw him flipping through some of my illustrations, I realized he was unfazed.
“These are really good. You’re quite talented.” I stood there, leaning against the wall for a few seconds trying to judge if he was being serious or not. Just as I started to give him the benefit of the doubt, he arched an eyebrow my way and said, “A much better artist than fashionista.”
I threw the sweatshirt I had in my hands at him and stomped over to the kitchen. His laugh consumed the room and I was surprised to find a smile on my face as I opened the refrigerator.
“Should we take snacks?” I asked. We were going to drive to a spot close to the house and wait until it was clear. I’d been told that it might take several hours and I didn’t want the cambion getting hungry while we waited.
“Sure, if you want. Maybe some water would be good.” It was obvious that he enjoyed my lack of stake-out abilities.
I grabbed one of my reusable grocery bags and filled it up with water, crackers, and Twizzlers. All of the essentials. I briefly considered grabbing a bottle of wine to control my anxiety, but decided against it in the end.
“So, are we ready to go?” I asked as I hoisted the bag on my shoulder and grabbed the sweatshirt back. He studied me for a moment and then pulled an object from his back pocket.
“Not until you put this on,” he said as he tossed something small and black at me. It was a ski mask, one of those ones that covered everything except for your eyes. I pulled it over my head and batted my lashes.
“Am I ready now?”
He laughed and took the snack bag off my shoulder. “Yes, Leila. I think you’re ready for a life of crime.”
1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
The idea of Leila dealing with her fiancé’s death developed from a news story I once heard about (depressing, I know). But then I gave it a twist where she’s feeling guilty because she didn’t stop it in time, and her clairvoyant gift couldn’t help save him (even more depressing). From there, I wanted to build a world I’d like to live in - with supernaturals, so I decided to use Leila as the means to this discovery.
2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I did and I didn’t change it. The title definitely fit the novel.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
4. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
I’m still pleasantly surprised that I have fans and people who genuinely enjoy my stories! It was such a scary adventure to share my work, so I’m excited every day when I see a compliment!
5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I’ve been catching up on my mermaid/selkie stories since my mermaid series is complete, so I just finished KIN (Leigh Michael). I recently started RISING by Stephanie Judice which is a totally different YA series and group of creatures.
6. What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
Actually, Touching Evil was the first complete novel I wrote, but I published three others before coming back to this one.
7. What is your writing process?
I hand write a rough outline for the major plot points in my zombie notebook (I love zombies). Then I try to push myself to write a chapter a night, or at least a page or two. I have to start at the beginning and often times I envision the opening scene and it just flows from there.
8. Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison to name a few. I will read anything they write! J
9. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
I started out writing little notes (which took me forever to come up with!) and now I usually just sign my name with a thank you or something. But I’m always more than willing to write a personalized note. J
10.What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Hmmm…I can’t whistle. And I’m afraid of clown dolls.
11.How do you react to a bad review?
I get nervous every time I see a new review posted, and thankfully people are usually gracious - even if it wasn’t their cup of tea. I appreciate everyone who took the time to buy, read, and review one of my books, so even if it’s a less than flattering review, I remind myself that they didn’t have to buy it in the first place.
12.How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I think my husband and I went out to dinner. It was nice to see more than one sold. J
About the Author:
Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.