Presented by: Sparkle Book Tours
His Cemetery Doll by Brantwijn Serrah
Audience: Adult 18+ - Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense - Format: Ebook and Paperback - Publisher: Foreplay and Fangs Supernatural Romance - Cover by: Brantwijn Serrah - Editor: Jayne Wolf - Pages: 194 - ISBN: 9781513050829 - ASIN: B00X6567H6 - Date Published: Re-release date: May 4th, 2015
Conall Mackay never put stock in ghost stories. Not even after thirteen years serving as the cemetery keeper in the village of Whitetail Knoll. But things change. Now, his daughter is dreaming of a figure among the tombstones. The grounds are overrun by dark thorns almost faster than Con can clear them. White fog and gray ribbons creep up on him in the night, and a voiceless beauty beckons him from the darkest corners of the graves.
When the world he knows starts to unravel, Conall might finally be forced to believe.
He hadn't slept long before he heard sounds from down in the kitchen below. "Shyla!" he called gruffly. "Weren't you heading into town?"
No answer came from below, but the sounds of pots clanging told him his daughter toyed about down there. Perhaps she'd decided not to leave him after all and taken it into her head to now re-organize the house, since he'd so clearly wanted her to stay out of the cemetery. With a low groan, Conall rolled out of bed and stepped out into the hall. "Shyla!" he called again, coming to the head of the stairs. If she had stayed home, she could at least do it without making a lot of noise.
He staggered then, as the hallway dimmed. Afternoon light flickered strangely, lightning cracking a dismal sky outside, and in the space of time afterward everything else darkened. Conall darted a glance around him as the house fell into shadow.
From the top of the stairwell, he saw the first whispering tendrils of white fog.
The heat of adrenaline shot through his limbs. Conall stumbled back into his bedroom, even as the fog pursued. His gaze shot to the window as the last gray light of day faded away and eerie darkness replaced it, like an eclipse sliding over the sun.
More cold mists veiled the glass, dancing and floating. Trembling overtook him as he spun to find another escape.
He froze, finding himself face-to-face with the broken mask of the cemetery doll. "You—" he gasped. His breath came out white as the fog enveloped them both, leaving a space of mere inches between them, so he could still see her expressionless face. Gray ribbons wound and curled through the air around him. "Who are you?" he asked.
The doll stared up at him. He sensed her searching, looking into his eyes even though hers remained covered. She held him there with her unseen gaze, until her cool, cold hand came up to touch his bare chest.
Conall let out a low breath. He closed his eyes, and a shudder of strange ease rippled through his body. The cool pads of her fingers ran down his sternum, to his navel. The silky ribbons brushed along his side.
Then he noticed her other hand. She lifted it up, to her own chest, and she held something tightly in her fingers: Shyla's stuffed dog.
"I made that...for my daughter," he whispered. The woman with the broken mask tilted her head down toward the small toy, studying it. For a fraction of a second, her fingers appeared to tighten around it. She returned her gaze to him, then, and the toy fell from her grip into the fog, forgotten.
"Wait—" he said, but she brought her other hand up to his chest to join the first, and he recognized eagerness in the way she pressed her icy skin against his. Her face tilted to him, and then came her lips again, ivory and flawless.
"I—" Conall breathed. "I...don't understand..."
Her fingers slid up, around his neck, but he pulled away.
"No, this...this can't real. I'm asleep. I must be."
Gray ribbons danced, pulling him back to her, and she stroked his face. He sucked in a breath at her touch and found his own hand coming up to brush hers. "You're so cold," he said. "Like stone...but..."
Her cool touch thrilled him; it made his skin tingle and the heat of his own body sing. Her perfect flesh did, in fact, prove soft under his hands, as if the contact with his worn calluses infused cold ivory with yearning. She caressed his cheek, and Conall leaned into it. Before he could stop himself, he bowed his head to her and kissed her frozen lips.
Hear the Music at Brantwijn’s YouTube Channel:
Angels with Attitude - Author Interview
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
Conall is a very cynical man and clings to his skepticism quite a bit. I’m not like that….I think I would have dived headlong into the horror of a ghost haunting my graveyard. Con probably has it right, though. If it was me, I’d probably be too terrified to look any further into the mystery to find out what’s really behind it.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
There are a lot. The seeds of the plot itself came from an adventure I imagined for a role-playing group of mine. I’m an avid pen-and-paper RPG girl. The idea of the doll came from a haunted maze I went through one Halloween, not really because it was scary so much as the costumes and makeup of the women were so incredibly gorgeous. I wanted an utterly beautiful supernatural creature like that to be the center of my story.
Why did you become a writer?
I just really, really love to tell stories. The only thing better than weaving these stories together is hearing that others have enjoyed them.
Do you have a favorite author or authors? I have a few. Sarah Waters is the author who can most draw me in and make me lose myself in a story. Jim Butcher is the most “fun”. Stephen King is the one who made me most want to write down and share my own stories. Since coming to know more Indie Authors in my field, I have to say I really admire and love the works of Torie James (New Camelot Series), Rebekah Lewis (The Cursed Satyroi), and Decadent Kane (The Trouble with Elves).
Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?
Although His Cemetery Doll is not part of a series…and I don’t know where I’d go with the story next if it was…I do have two other series, the Books of Blood and Fire and the Chronicles of the Four Courts, which were originally released by Breathless Press and soon to be re-released by Champagne Books. I’m working on another series, something along the lines of Conan the Barbarian meets power exchange romance, and I envision that will be a trilogy.
If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why? It’s terrible, because I’m sure she’d break my heart…but I have a thing for Selena Dawes from Affinity. I could also see my way into Lara Raith’s pants, from The Dresden Files, or Thomas Raith. What can I say? Those white court vampires…
What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time?
I’ve been reading more romance, paranormal romance, and BDSM romance in recent years, stuff that’s primarily in my genre, but I have had a bit of an overdose on it lately so I’ve taken a break with some new Stephen Kings I hadn’t read yet like Under the Dome and Duma Key.
As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books .Do you agree with that?
Absolutely! I love to be in touch with fans and to hear their feelings. I adore comments on my blogs or on my Facebook page, and interactions on Twitter. I love to talk shop, or even talk about other authors and works they like as well! As I said, I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller, and to me, you can’t really be a storyteller without people to tell your stories to!
Do you cry when writing sad scenes?
I don’t usually cry, but do get very emotionally invested, especially if I know it’s a sad scene without an eventual happy ending...and I don’t always write happy endings. I can put myself into a little bit of a depressive state after doing anything especially sad to my characters.
Did you have a Cover Designer?
When His Cemetery Doll was originally released by Breathless Press, it’s first cover design was a custom illustration by Happi Anarky. For the re-release, though, I designed my own cover. It’s the first cover design I’ve ever done myself.
Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush?
Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Dean from Supernatural (I know, I’m not very original when it comes to fictional crushes.) Also, Maria Bello, please call me?
If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be?
I could really go for lunch at Chili’s and a game of League of Legends with Jim Butcher. I’ve gotten a lot better at top lane, Jim!
Do just re-read your favorite books? I’m always re-reading The Dresden Files, The Hunger Games, and my favorite Stephen King books. I’m working my way through The Dark Tower series again right now.
Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do?
That’s usually when I pull up some of those favorite series again! I find The Hunger Games is best for me when this happens. The Dresden Files is good if I’m in a writing slump, though.
What is the funniest book you ever read?
I don’t often read a lot of humor or satire, but I’m a fan of The HitchHiker’s Guide. Again, I know, not that original.
The story of His Cemetery Doll has been waiting to be told since Brantwijn Serrah first began jotting things down in her school notebooks instead of doing her homework. Conall Mackay and his lady ghost have existed for Brantwijn, in some form or another, longer than almost any other characters she's collected. This tale of a haunted graveyard and imprisoned beauty is, in Brantwijn's opinion, a wonderful way to finally bring them to life.
When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, Claymore or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.
In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has had several stories published in anthologies by Breathless Press, including the 2013 Crimson Anthology and 2014 Ravaged Anthology. She's also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on. She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work. Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com.
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