Friday, October 13, 2017

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ LIGHT OF THE SPIRIT by Lisa Kessler

Light of the Spirit (The Muse Chronicles, #4)
by: Lisa Kessler
Series: The Muse Chronicles
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Release Date: September 18, 2017
Publisher: Lisa’s Lair

The gods never sleep...

As the mortal vessel for the Muse of Comedy, Lia Youlos lights up every room with laughter and smiles. But there are darker forces at work, and they want to snuff out her light forever.

Cooper Hanover is a hardworking paramedic who healed Lia after a fire, but something happened that day, something medical science couldn't explain. And if he doesn't figure out how it works soon, the next healing could kill him.

Lia's smile and sharp wit tempt him to love again, and he's not going to let anyone, not even the gods, take her from him.

The Prophecy - "Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse."

Hi Lisa!  As you know, I am soooo crushing on you at the moment.  I’m in love with your Muse Chronicles series.  Can you please tell readers about it?
Hi Kim! I’m thrilled you’re enjoying the Muse Chronicles because I LOVE writing them! It’s very fun for me to take a paranormal trope and flip it on its head. In this series it’s the women who are paranormals and the men don’t become part of it until they find their muse. So it’s the guys who are blindsided with discovering there is more to the world than they ever realized. I also really enjoy the girl-power camaraderie between the muses working toward their common goal.

Where did the idea for this series come from?
Before my first book was ever published, I was lucky enough to meet Ray Bradbury and he challenged me to write a new short story every week for a year. One of those short stories, Unemployed Muses Anonymous, actually sparked the idea for an entire series that centers around women who are also muses and how each muse colors her personality.

Wow. That’s pretty impressive.  How did you decide which hero to pair with which heroine?
I knew the men marked by the gods to be a Guardian would be first responders and work in “heroic” type jobs, and since Lure of Obsession opens with a murder, I knew Mel’s Guardian would be a police detective. Then most of the other Guardians came organically as the series unfolded. Callie worked with soldiers with PTSD so it made sense she’d cross paths with a Navy SEAL, then his best friend worked in Federal Fire on the base, and finally Cooper is a paramedic who made some heroic life saves and became the hero of Light of the Spirit. The series has sort of woven the Guardians in as I go.

I can’t wait to find out who the other heroes are going to be!  The series deals with Greek mythology.  I of course know next to nothing about Greek mythology.  Did you know and understand it, before writing this series or are you learning as you go?
I actually took an honors English class in high school called “Mythology as Literature” and it all fascinated me. We learned a little about everything from Greek Mythology to Roman to Norse, etc. But the thing that really hit home was the power of the stories that led them to still be read today. Epic tales of gods and humans interacting. I’m no expert in Greek mythology by any means, but I do read and research like crazy to try to weave in the mythology in easy to digest bites and I hope it makes it easy for a reader to sink into the book without it becoming a history lesson… 😊

Trust me, you’ve done very good.  One of the many things I like about this series is that the books are standalones, except for maybe books 3 and 4. Something happens in 3 which is further explained in 4.  These two books are also what I like to call game changers.  When you set out to write this series, did you know how all the storylines would playout?
Not really. I don’t plot out my books. I usually know where they begin and where they will end with no idea how I’ll get there. And with Light of the Spirit, so many surprises kept happening that at one point I had no idea how it would end which was a little terrifying for me! LOL I try not to get too mystical about the writing process, but Ray Bradbury used to say “Find out what your hero wants and then just follow him.” He used to believe the superconscious wanted stories told and our job was to create characters and then be their scribe, and I can honestly say that when I let go of the wheel and just let the characters write the book it ALWAYS turns out better than what I thought was going to happen.

The Guardians have all been marked by the gods, to protect their muse.  What happens if the guardian doesn’t want to get involved?  Does he lose his free will to control his actions and feelings?
I think we discover in Light of the Spirit when Cooper initially walks away that the Guardians do still have free will, but the connection, their birthmark burning when she’s in danger, makes it tough for them to turn their backs, especially since all of them are heroes by nature and have chosen lines of work to help others. So they technically could walk away. They’re not under mind control or instincts like a werewolf. But given who they are, I don’t think they’d turn away when they knew someone was in danger.

Okay, without giving too much, if anything away, what has surprised you the most so far regarding this series?
Well, all of Light of the Spirit was a surprise. Everything about the end-game for the series changed, and I’m eager to find out how it’ll all wrap up now! LOL And Breath of Passion definitely surprised me so much that I added another book to the series. Instead of 6 books, it’ll be 7 books now.

I’m doing a little happy wiggle dance in my seat! What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m finishing up the second book in the Sentinels of Savannah series with immortal pirates. I love the pirate crew so much and I can’t wait for everyone to read it. Such an adventure! My agent nailed it when she called the series Pirates of the Caribbean meets Agents of Shield. They’re an adventure to write! 😊 Magnolia Mystic is out now, and Pirate’s Passion should be available next year.

Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to answer so questions for me.
Thanks for having me visit, Kim! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Muse Chronicles!

I loved Light of the Spirit.  I have to tell you that I screamed and squealed so much while reading this book.  Just thinking about this series makes me happy.  Enjoy this excerpt from Cooper and Lia’s first real date. Be sure to keep scrolling until the end.

When the first song came on, he took her hand, walking her over toward the small arcade. He stopped in front of a Dark Knight pinball game.

She raised a brow. “I didn’t take you for a Batman fan.”

“I’m full of surprises.”

She wet her lips. “I like surprises.”

He dropped in quarters and stepped behind her, his lips brushing her neck just below her ear as he whispered, “Lucky me.” Cooper straightened up with a spark in his blue eyes. “Let’s do this.”

Lia’s heart was pounding with a heady mixture of arousal, adrenaline, and a hunger for victory. She’d never had this much fun on a date, and they just got here.

She pulled back the plunger and launched the silver, metal ball. Her eyes tracked its course under the glass as it bounced around, lighting up bonuses. She hit the ball with the flipper, squealing as it sailed back up into play.

The rest of the pizza parlor faded away as her focus narrowed to the game. She nailed the ball again, but out of the corner of her eye, Cooper lifted his shirt to wipe his forehead, exposing abs that would make even Batman jealous.

“What are you—” Before she could finish her sentence, the ball slipped past the flippers and into the hole at the bottom. Her jaw dropped. “You cheated.”

He shook his head, looking far from innocent as he pulled his shirt back down. “I was just wiping the sweat off my forehead. You’re really good at pinball.”

The twinkle in his eyes gave him away. Two could play that game.

She stepped aside, giving Cooper the player-two spot. He tugged the plunger back, and let silver ball go sailing. The digital score soared higher and higher. When he was within ten thousand points, she picked up her mug and fished out an ice cube, tracing her lips with it while she watched the ball under the glass.

Suddenly it zipped right between the flippers. She lifted her gaze to find Cooper gaping. “Okay, that was playing dirty.”

She grinned, popping the cube into her mouth. “Oh please, have you not seen yourself shirtless?”

He chuckled, shaking his head and stepping aside to make room, his voice a rough growl. “I’ve never been jealous of an ice cube before.”

“All’s fair in love and pinball, right?” She yanked the plunger back and sent the ball sailing back into play. She racked up the points, making contact with the ball three times before Cooper moved behind her, his big hands sliding possessively up her back to knead her shoulders.

The damned ball vanished into the hole between the flippers, and she didn’t give a rat’s ass. Lia’s eyes drifted closed, and she relaxed into him. “So unfair.”

He leaned down close to her ear. “Want me to stop?”

“Oh gods, no.”

His chest vibrated as he chuckled. “My turn, right?”

“Yes.” She sighed and stepped aside.

Cooper took over, hitting the buttons on the sides of the machine. His forearms were tight, strong. She’d never been turned on by games before, but damn. She was going to have to grab the pizza to go.

When his score neared hers, she slid her hand under the back of his shirt, tracing her fingernails up his back. A muscle in his cheek clenched as he struggled to keep his eye on the ball.

She pressed against his back and whispered, “I need you.”

He turned around and wrapped her in his arms. “’Bout damned time.” He fused his lips to hers, his tongue sliding into her mouth, teasing her senses.


He broke the kiss with a breathless chuckle. “I’m getting really sick of being interrupted.”

Purchase Light of the Spirit from:

The Muse Chronicles Series:

Lure of Obsession ~ Review
Legend of Love ~ Review
Breath of Passion ~ Review
Light of the Spirit ~ Review

Don’t miss Devoted to Destiny, book  coming January 8, 2018

Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

Places to find Lisa Kessler:

You can follow the Light of the Spirit Blog Tour here.

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