Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.
With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.
Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.
Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?
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Author Interview with C. Vonzale Lewis:
What was the inspiration for your upcoming book?
I use to work in a call center. I don’t recommend this job for ANYONE! Once in a blue moon, the major players would come to our center for a center wide meeting. I use to wonder what they did all day. Like what exactly was their job. So in answer to that question, I wrote my first book based on a woman getting a job in a call center and learning her employers were sacrificing people. Morbid, I know. But I did warn you NOT to work in a call center.
Do you have a favorite character in your book? Who and why?
Yes, while I do LOVE my main character, Nicole. I am in awe of my side character, Rachel. She is just the right mix of crazy and sane and it was fun writing about her.
Do you usually outline or just go with it?
I just go with it! But I do find that in the midst of writing, scenes come to me. I keep a notepad near me so I can jot these gems down. So, no, I don’t outline, but I do follow some bullet points.
What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing?
Sitting down and getting in the groove. If I spend my time thinking about writing and never take the step toward putting words on paper, then I will never do it. But once I do sit down, and take those first awkward steps, I can get into a real nice rhythm.
The best thing?
Creating characters! I love laughing with them, crying with them, and just going on adventures with them. I love digging into their stories and finding the roots of their existence.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When my mother bought me a typewriter when I was eight. I think I was amazed at how I could put words on paper. And, of course, I loved reading stories and having stories read to me. All those wonderful adventures in one book! I thought, I can do that!
What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year?
Circle of the Moon—by Faith Hunter. There is just something wonderful about her characters and the depth in which she writes them. And, of course, her plots are rich with history and lore. Mythology is my jam. I can get behind any fantasy story that has a really interesting backstory behind it. Kind of like your story, CLOUDED BY ENVY. I mean seriously, Candace, THAT WAS A VAMPIRE ORGIN STORY!!!
And what’s your favorite book ever?
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is the first book that came to mind when I read this question. But seriously, I’d have to say I have MANY favorite books. And this interview would turn into a thesis statement if I listed them all. LOL!
What future books do you have planned next?
I have seven books to write in my Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles series and I want to finish three others that are right there ready to be polished. So, the answer is…A LOT!
I know you’re also an editor, does this affect how you read books?
Yes and no. If the book is a little slow or hard to get into, yes, then I find myself finding ways to improve it. And if it’s interesting and holding me captive, then I just breeze right through without my internal editor ever showing its head.
As an editor, what kind of books are you interested in working on?
Since I’m an eclectic reader, I’d say I enjoy a few genres. Definitely contemporary fantasy with a strong backstory/mythology. I love mysteries and thrillers. And all these books have to have some romantic elements in them. I just love reading about people falling in love.
What’s your favorite color?
If you were trapped on an island with one person, one object, and one food, what would they be?
My husband, a bookshelf full of books, and tacos!
Do you have any advice for other writers out there?
Never listen to advice that tells you how and what to write! Sit down, tell your story, and then go through it. Make sure you read in your genre and others as well. You never know what ideas you might come up with. Writing is an evolving process. You will stumble but it’s when you do stumble that you learn the most. I have found that most writing advice is really just another person’s pet peeves dressed up to look like law. IGNORE IT ALL AND WRITE!
About C. Vonzale Lewis:
My name is Carla Vonzale Lewis and I like my martini’s shaken…never stirred.
I was born in Georgia but please don’t mistake me for a Georgia peach. I’m more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked me recently if I remember my birth. And I have to say, yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!
Despite being born in the South, I grew up in the North. California to be exact. Every once in a great while we get to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat. You should see our electric bill in the summer! I like the beaches, but not the sand. I enjoy being outside, but the sun gets on my nerves. Does it really need to send its death ray to a single spot on my skin! (I told you I was a prickly pear) And don’t get me started on the traffic.
The first part of my life, I worked in customer service. This line of work led to the discovery of my favorite drink, or, rather, several favorite drinks. I could list the many concoction but that would go on forever!
Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy job. But I did enjoy talking with people. And when it came time to develop my characters, I drew on those experiences.
I have a degree in Fashion Design. Don’t ask. The only thing I gained from those wasted two years of my life, is being introduced to the love of my life, Bobby. He is truly my rock.
So…why do I write?
Well my first book, LINEAGE, answered the question, “What does the big boss actually do all day?” I might have gone a little dark with my answer, but it was fun answering the question. But mainly, I love writing because it gives me power to create. And it also gives me the power to fix this broken world.
Truthfully, I’ve always loved the written word and the way a good book could take you to another place and time. Instead of hanging out in the lunchroom, I would go to the library and create stories or bury my head in a really good book.
I started writing my first novel in 2014 and 30 days later I had a collection of scenes that needed some serious revision. And that was where the fun came in. Over the course of several years my novel went through final draft after final draft until I finally came to…you guessed it, the final draft.
When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince my husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea.
And one day, I will discover how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop.
What was your favorite thing about the interview?