The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Monday, 3 May 2010

Well, it's Tuesday and time for a new guest blogger

I am so happy to introduce fellow Eternal Press author, Heather Keuhl. And I've got to say, Heather, your cover is one of my favourites that Eternal have produced. It's beautiful! Anyway, on with your interview...

1) What is your writing routine?

I don’t have one. I write when the muse hits me, which is usually after my son goes down for the night. It’s very hard to write something decent with a sixteen month old running around underfoot.

2) Which author/s inspire you to write?

When I first started writing, Anne McCaffrey and Brian Jacques inspired me. Such imagery; I wanted to write just like them. Now I’ve added Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris to the list. I envy their long term character development and action scenes.

3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write?

I love to read paranormal romance. There’s just something about two werewolves finding love that just does it for me. I love to write paranormal/fantasy/romance. My first love was high fantasy and I refuse to let it go.

4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection?

When I get rejected, I brush it off and submit the story somewhere else. If the rejection came with comments, I read through them and see if they found something that needs to be addressed. Maybe their advice could lead to a sale later on down the road.

5) What do you expect from an editor?

The number one thing I except is friendliness. I’m going to be asking questions and debating scenes with them. I don’t want to be afraid to ask or say what’s on my mind.

6) Tell me about your latest release

PROMISES TO KEEP was released by Eternal Press back in March. It took me over ten years to get Starlette’s story where I wanted it and make Dreashae the best bad guy ever. It tells the story of Starlette DeFore, a young woman who is looking for her father.
Starlette is on a mission, and nothing will get in her way...
Starlette DeFore knows that her father is alive, even though her family buried him ten years ago. When a faerie confirms this she travels to Charleston, South Carolina to hunt down Sivad Night, the only person to have ever escaped from the hands of a power sorceress, the Dark Lady Dreashae. With help from a witch, Starlette travels into Verella a fantasy realm filled with dragons, centaurs, and magic. She is very close to finding her father, but first she must defeat Dreashae. Will Starlette, a mere mortal, have the strength needed to finish her quest and save her father?

7) Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt

From Chapter Seven:

I looked up to the sky, at the rainbow-colored dragons trying to kill one another.

“Wow, talk about your bad divorce,” I said to no one in particular.

“This isn’t funny, Star.”

“I don’t think it is.” A green dragon was scorched, wings ruined. It fell down, spiraling until it hit the ground with a sickening crunch. “We have to do something.” I said my thoughts aloud. I knew the dragons were not our friends. They wouldn’t help us in our time of need. But there was no reason we couldn’t help them.

“Sivad, get on Zarzia. We have to get to the highest point on this island.”

“Starlette, that would be suicide!”

“I don’t care. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if they died and I didn’t try to help.”

Sivad looked up once again, his jaw clenching when another dragon fell from the sky. His eyes met mine as he nodded curtly. We mounted Zarzia, her wings lifting us up into the air. It was no surprise to me that the highest point was the top of Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I reached into my bag of hairpins and pulled them out. A large red dragon flew past us, whipping my hair about my face.

“Which one is Kalin?” I shouted above the din of the battle. Sivad pointed at the large red dragon that had just flown over us.

So that was Kalin. He spiraled around and flew toward us again. As he passed, I threw one of the hairpins. I hadn’t had much practice with throwing a knife. My hit rate was only one out of ten. It never hurt to try, though. The hairpin flew up with deadly accuracy, finding its home in the red dragon’s eye. He screamed, flapping around and pin-wheeling through the sky. I knew it wasn’t a mortal wound as the dragon regained his balance, turned around and headed straight toward us. Zarzia landed and I ran to the gap that led into Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I was just praying that the drop wasn’t too far. I jumped, my heart going up in my throat as I fell through the hole and onto the large stone slab that was Lady Cleoante’s throne. My legs went numb and I collapsed, gasping for breath. I needed to move. I heard a dragon scream, a sound that would forever haunt me in my nightmares.

I rolled off the slab onto the stone floor. My legs still didn’t want to cooperate and I had to force myself to crawl toward the exit. I needed to get out of here before Kalin came after me. The earth started to tremble again and I wondered if the island would survive this battle. I heard the echoing of footsteps walking toward me.

“Sivad!” I cried out. I wondered how he had gotten down here so quickly.

A man with thick black hair stood in front of me. He would have had iridescent red and brown eyes, except one of them was nothing but a bloody mass. I tried to stand to run, but nothing happened. I must have jarred my legs pretty good. Kalin didn’t miss a step as he walked over and kicked me, sending me flying into the wall behind Lady Cleoante’s throne. My head hit the wall, causing spots to burst across my vision. I lay on the floor, trying to reorient myself, but Kalin grabbed a handful of my hair and dragged me to my feet. His face was only inches from mine. I shifted around and found my feet were now agreeing to work. I lashed out, kicking him in the knee as hard as I could. He fell to the ground, releasing my hair as he went. I turned and ran, trying to get some distance between the angry dragon-man and me. I reached in my bag, pulling out another hairpin but cried out in pain as I was once again grabbed by the hair and forced back.

Kalin, with his hands on my shoulders, roughly turned me around to face him. Without thinking, I struck, imbedding the hairpin in his chest. It went in all the way to the decorative jewel. Kalin howled in pain, shoving me back so he could rip out the hairpin. His hand swung out, backhanding me across the face and causing me to land in a heap on the floor, once again seeing stars. I reached out, trying to crawl away. Kalin shimmered and transformed back into his red dragon form. I screamed as he opened his fang-filled jaws with a roar and struck out at me.

8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Why?

I love Tabitha Desdamona Drake, known to her friends as T.D.. She’s a kick-butt witch that feels obligated to help Starlette find her father. She’s everything I wish I could be. She’s strong, powerful, and says what she thinks. I hope to tell her story one day, that’s how much I love writing her.

9) What is next for you?

I’m attempting to finish the Sarah Vargas series. FADE TO BLACK was book one and was published by Eternal Press in Oct 2009. MALEVOLENT DEAD (book two) will be submitted to publishers once I finish editing and BLOOD MOON (book three) I just started to write. I planned for this to be a three book series, but I refused to label it as a trilogy because I have a feeling Sarah isn’t quite done with me yet.

10) What are you working on right now?

Writing BLOOD MOON mostly. Trying to make sure all the loose ends from FADE and MALEVOLENT are taken care of.

11) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists?

Keep at it and never give up. It’s going to be a rough road, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

12) Where can readers find you?

Readers can find me on my website ( or blog ( Readers can also follow me on Twitter and/or join my Facebook fan page.

Please leave Heather your comments - she'd loved to hear from you!!


  1. Great interview, Rachel and Heather! I agree, that cover is beautiful. Loved the excerpt. Best of luck with your series.

  2. I agree with the cover assessment: it's great. I think it's got that "Ladyhawke" appeal going for it...which would make me pick it up just for the cover alone. I can't wait to read this one.

  3. Great interview. Good's so important to keep at it and never give up!

  4. Hello Heather,

    Great excerpt. A tempting and good read. Yes, you must write T.D.'s story soon. A beguiling character to work with.
    Good luck with the series.

  5. Great excerpt, great cover, Heather! Congrats,


  6. I'm so glad my children have grown up and I don't have to chase around little, legged people anymore lol Nice blog. I enjoyed the excerpt.

  7. Thank you all for your comments. Amanda Kelsey did the artwork. It is beautiful, isn't it (FYI: she also did the artwork for my other EP release Fade to Black). I swear she can read my mind.

    For those of you who love T.D., don't fret! She is popping up again soon in a short story coming out this fall in Ethereal Tales and in my next EP release, Malevolent Dead!