By Cassiel Knight
Trust no one…except the one who walks in the dark.
Relic Defender, Book 1
Anthropology PhD candidate Lexi Harrison never bares it all when she belly dances for a strip club crowd. She doesn’t have to—she’s that good. Every performance earns money toward her degree, and restores the sense of power that her painful childhood ripped away.
Something is different about tonight. A man whose silver gaze seems to touch her skin beneath her veils. When a rowdy customer crosses the line, he comes to her rescue with the speed of a falcon—complete with wings.
Mikos Tyomni has never seen anyone dance the raqs sharqi like Lexi. Trust his tormentor, Archangel Michael, to put him in close contact with the cause of his downfall: a mortal woman. Particularly this mortal woman. The Defender. He has only thirty days to win her trust before Hell’s deadliest demons attempt the mother of all prison breaks.
No matter how sexy the messenger is, Lexi’s career plans don’t include some crazy idea that she’s the last line of defense against the forces of evil. Until her university mentor’s murder leaves her holding the key to Hell. And fighting a losing battle against a passion with the unholy power to bring down Heaven.
Please welcome author Cassiel Knight, here to talk about her novel KEY OF SOLOMON. Hang around for the giveaway too!
The Key of Solomon sounds like it’s got some great action and adventure as well as romance. What led your to make your female main character Lexi an anthropology PhD candidate?
I’ve always been fascinated with history and often wonder if I’d really known about archeology as I was trying to decide what I wanted to do when I grew up if that’s what I would have ended up doing. Because I was enamored of Tomb Raider, Relic Hunter and movies featuring treasure hunts, I knew that’s what I wanted my heroine to be. And by choosing this career for her, I got to do a lot of research into ancient history and learn archeology.
Tell us about Mikos – he’s a fallen angel, which sounds awesome.
Mikos is awesome but I might be a bit biased. :) He Fell for all the reasons other angels Fell. Pride and lust to name the biggest. Now he wants to return to Heaven but he has a lot of good deeds to do first. Mikos has a dry sense of humor and although he’s been on Earth for a while, he doesn’t always get the current references. He’s a bit irreverent toward Archangel Michael despite the Archangel being the one who can get him back into Heaven. Mikos is definitely alpha but not in an over-the-top way. He’s a perfect partner to Lexi in that he manages to restrain her, sometimes, need to rush into things.
Tell us about your favorite scene in the book, without giving too much away, of course.
There are actually two places I like. The first one is when she sees Mikos for the first time. Or think she sees him. It’s just before she dies. Ah ha, got you! Now you have to go read this, right? :) The second is later when he tells her he’s an angel. I love the first one because of her immediate reaction to him and what she thinks she sees. My sister told me when she read that scene, she actually got chills. In a good way. That’s pretty exciting for an author to hear, even from family. The second scene is because it’s done in typical Lexi-style. Humorous and no-nonsense at the same time.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Oh, lots and that was really, in a lot of ways, the best part. Besides the putting it all together. I relied on internet and library research plus my own library is now filled with all kinds of reference books. They look so pretty sitting on my shelves. Happy sigh. As far as what I researched, the first thing I did was find and read all I could on angels and demons then the legends of King Solomon, which the book is loosely based on. Before doing the research, I knew of King Solomon and stories of his treasure but I hadn’t realized he was said to work magic and control demons by virtue of a ring God gave him. I found all this fascinating which became a bit of a problem when I spent more time on research than writing.
Relic Defender is a series – what can you tell us about the next book, The Skull of Doom?
First thing is it’s actually going to be called “The Death Skull”. :) I had toyed with both titles and the second one stuck. And my editor liked it too. It’s coming out next August and is Jackson and Marisol’s story. Of course, if you haven’t read it, you have no idea who they are. Well, let me tell you a bit about them. Both Jackson and Marisol are in the first book. Marisol is a fallen angel who works with Mikos but she is different in that she doesn’t want to be redeemed or return to Heaven. She’s a warrior angel so all she knows is fighting. And winning. Jackson, a charming Texan, is a mercenary turned protector. When Archangel Michael throws these two together to find the Death Skull, sparks fly. And they aren’t just the ones coming from Marisol’s fingers. I have a rough first chapter of book 2 on my Relic Defender website at plus, if you are on the fence about Key of Solomon, you can find some excerpts there you can’t find elsewhere.
What’s your writing style, pantser or plotter? If you’re a plotter, what works best for you?
I wish I was a plotter. I’m really a pantser with maybe some very light plotting. Sometimes, I have a general idea and I definitely know the hero/heroine. Everything else just comes. I have tried plotting, but then I write and it’s more stressful to try and stay on the plot then letting my imagination flow.
What has been your favorite part so far of being published?
My covers. Really. Have you seen them?! :) And telling people I’ve written a book and it’s actually for sale. But more than that, I like being published because it lets me continue to write. It was hard to keep going for a while when I was spending a lot of money and getting nothing (except satisfaction but satisfaction doesn’t pay the bills, you know?) in return. Now, I still spend money but at least, I get some return. And I enjoy creating a new world and playing with new characters.
Tell us about yourself.
Eeek! Is this the dreaded bio stuff? I always have a hard time with this since I wish I was more interesting. I live in Oregon with my husband of almost 21 years (has it really been that long? And he’s still alive? A miracle.) in a house on just under 4 acres with way too much yard work and grass to mow. It’s a good thing I like gardening because that’s what I do a good part of the summer. I have three Shih Tzu females I love to pieces. My husband and I didn’t have children (I have a 30 year old step-daughter from his first marriage) so my girls, Ginger, Abby and Chloe are my children. I have a day job working for the County I live in. It’s okay as day jobs go, but isn’t where my heart is.
Now for the stuff I really like to talk about. Key of Solomon is my first major epublished book. I published a futuristic romance in 2007 with a smaller epublisher. I’m excited to have published with Samhain and hope to have a long career with them. In February, the book I sold to the small epublisher will be re-released by my brand new publisher, Lyrical Press, with a new cover and updated story. Almost feels brand new to me which is fun. It’s a post-apocalyptic story with a sexy spy and a mysterious man with a secret that could shatter her world. You can see the cover and read the opening at my website, www.CassielKnight.com.
KEY OF SOLOMON purchase links:
Thank you for the great interview, Cassiel! This book sounds awesome and it's on my wishlist. Lucky for y'all, Cassiel has generously offered to give away a free copy to one commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment with your email so you can be contacted. A winner will be selected randomly and posted on Thursday. So comment away for a chance to win KEY OF SOLOMON!