5 Fun Facts about WINTERBLAZE (and me) J
1. When I was in 6th grade, I learned how to sing “Ode to Joy” in German for chorus (I was a second soprano). In WINTERBLAZE, Poppy and Winston share a laugh while listening to “Ode to Joy.” I love that they can laugh together, and often do.
2. Win and I share one big dislike: mushrooms. When I wrote the scene in which Win eats something that disgusts him, I panicked. What could it be? My mind screamed out: a mushroom! Naturally.
3. Colonel Alden is named after my brother-in-law. He is neither old nor a colonel. But he happily gave up his name for the cause.
4. WINTERBLAZE is, in a large part, about illusions and the fragility of memories. As paintings also portray a selective, memory-slice of life frozen in time, I liked incorporating the discussion of art into the story. There are two scenes directly inspired by Victorian era paintings.
On their way to see the Komtess Krogstaad, Win and Poppy stop to watch two girls dancing on the Chelsea Embankment. That scene was inspired by Frederick Brown’s An Impromptu Dance –A scene on the Chelsea Embankment 1883.
5. The final fight scene in WINTERBLAZE takes place on the Victoria Embankment in
That setting was inspired by John Atkinson Grimshaw’s Reflection on the Thames,
In February 2012, debut author Kristen Callihan burst onto
the literary scene with Firelight, the first book in her Darkest London series.
It was met with rave reviews and left romance lovers panting for more. Several
months later, Moonglow was received with overwhelming excitement from her
ever-increasing legion of fans.
WINTERBLAZE, the third entry in this intoxicating series,
undoubtedly confirms that Kristen Callihan “sets the mark for a new style of
paranormal historical”. (RT Book Reviews)
Poppy Lane is keeping secrets. Her powerful gift has earned
her membership in the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals, but she
must keep both her ability and her alliance with the Society from her husband,
Winston. Yet when Winston is brutally attacked by a werewolf, Poppy's secrets
are revealed, leaving Winston's trust in her as broken as his body. Eventually
regaining his physical strength, Winston’s face and heart still bear the scars
of the vicious attack. Drawn into the darkest depths of
Winston must fight an evil demon that wants to take away the last hope of
reconciliation with his wife. As a former police inspector, Winston has
intelligence and logic on his side. But it will take the strength of Poppy's
love for him to defeat the forces threatening to tear them apart.
Half Norwegian and half Irish American, Kristen Callihan is
a child of the 80’s, which means she's worn neon skirts, black-lace gloves, and
combat boots (although never all at once) and can quote John Hughes movies with
the best of them. A life-long daydreamer, she finally realized that the
characters in her head needed a proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She
believes that falling in love is one of the headiest experiences a person can
have, so naturally she writes romance. Her love of superheroes, action movies,
and history led her to write historical paranormals. She lives in the
Washington D.C. area with her husband and their two children.Half Norwegian and
half Irish American, Kristen Callihan is a child of the 80’s, which means she's
worn neon skirts, black-lace gloves, and combat boots (although never all at
once) and can quote John Hughes movies with the best of them. A life-long
daydreamer, she finally realized that the characters in her head needed a
proper home and thus hit the keyboard. She believes that falling in love is one
of the headiest experiences a person can have, so naturally she writes romance.
Her love of superheroes, action movies, and history led her to write historical
paranormals. She lives in the
area with her husband and their two children.
WINTERBLAZE - Like all the other passengers, Winston and
Talent stood on upper decks to see the Ignitus get underway. The ship’s horn
blew, long, low, and resonating with such strength that his flesh vibrated. As
if awoken by the horn, the ship shuddered to life like a great beast coming out
of hibernation. Far below, blue-green water began to froth and foam as the
heavy paddle on their side of the boat started to spin. Most travelers were on the
port side of the ship, wanting to see
fade away. Not Winston. He faced the sea, and where it would take him. Home.
He almost missed the subtle change in the air. At first, he
thought the cold wind a sudden sea breeze, but the air had gone oddly still.
The strangeness had him pausing. He glanced at Talent. The man’s eyes narrowed
as he peered out over the sea. He felt it too, then. In the next moment,
distinct cold surrounded Winston. Colder and colder, until his breath came out
in a puff.
Talent backed up a step. “What the bloody hell?”
Winston opened his mouth to answer when a faint crackling
sounded. Before their rather shocked eyes, a lacy ribbon of frost began to race
over the rail. Winston snatched his hand back as white fingers of ice spread
out in rapid fire, covering everything in its path. Around them came the sound
of confused murmurs.
The crackling sound grew as the temperature dropped to
frigid. And then the great ship groaned and shuddered. Winston and Talent both
leaned over the rail and looked on with fascinated horror as the water about
the ship turned to thick, unimaginable ice, and the bloody ship began to rise,
trapped as it was within the ice’s clutches.
Talent’s mouth fell open. “Bugger me.”
Winston was inclined to agree. “Come.” He plucked Talent’s
sleeve to get the man’s attention. “To the port side.” Something was coming. He
could feel it.
Stumbling and treading with care along the slick, icy deck,
they made their way to the port side, shouldering past gawking passengers, most
of who milled about in a frightened and confused state. Crewmembers called for
order, stumbling along much like Winston and Talent, as they tried to figure
out what was happening.
“Look,” said a young girl. “Someone is boarding the ship.”
Several people shot to the rail and craned their necks to
Winston and Talent followed suit. The gangplank, which had
been in the process of being removed, had been frozen in place. A woman
strolled, pretty as you please, up it. Winston’s heart flipped over in his
chest. He drank her in, the steady clip of her legs beneath a fetching gown of
black and white stripes, the determined set of her shoulders. A matching
parasol obscured her face, but he’d know that walk anywhere. Christ. His body
And then, as if she felt his eyes upon her, the parasol
tilted back, and she lifted her head. Even though he had to be a mere dot among
the throng from her vantage point, she found him immediately. Those severe red
brows, that dark, knowing gaze. A bolt of pure heat and lust shot through him,
strong enough to make him suck in a draught of air. Bloody. Buggering. Hell.
An old gent beside him scowled beneath white, shaggy brows.
“Who the deuce is that?” he asked no one in particular.
“Trouble,” muttered Talent, his glare fixed on the young
lady walking at Poppy’s side. Winston recalled her as Mary Chase, assistant to
Winston did not know how Poppy had found him, or what the
devil she was doing here. The only thing that he knew with absolute certainty
at that moment was that Talent had been correct. Here came trouble.
I hope you had a blast getting to know today’s featured author. Kristen Callihan has wowed reviewers and romance readers with her Dark London Series. Be sure to check out the first two books, FIRLIGHT and MOONGLOW, along with her e-book special, Ember.
In celebration of WINTERBLAZE’s release Kristen Callihan will be giving one (1) lucky reader a copy of WINTERBLAZE.
Here’s how to enter.
*Leave a comment for Kristen Callihan.
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Contest runs until
Winner will be contacted directly on
March 2, 2013
! =) Reading
PRAISE FOR KRISTEN CALLIHAN
“The third installment in the Darkest London series is not only a gripping novel, but also one that elevates the genre with its depth of emotion, passion and mesmerizing storytelling.”
– RT Book Reviews
“Ms. Callihan's Darkest London series just gets better and better, and in WINTERBLAZE, her characterization is superb, her love relationships complex and complicated, her world-building, utterly believable, fascinating, and well-developed.”
– The Romance Readers Connection