Whew! I'm still a bit tired from a weekend ghost gig. Attic rooms sure can get hot this time of year. Speaking of hot, Katie Salidas stopped by to talk about her new book, A TASTE OF YOUR OWN MAGIC!
SC:.Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
KS: Sage is a super geeky girl who loves all things sci-fi and fantasy. Her favorite Doctor is Ten (who doesn’t love David Tennant, am I right?). She’s an equal opportunity Space Opera fan: Star Wars, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek… they’re all good in her book. She lives with her roommate Matt (his boyfriend Josh stays over so often he might as well live there too). Sage and Matt host a weekly D&D style game night. Sage always plays a healer. Her nature is to fix things and protect her team. When not playing RPG’s, she’s a number crunching entry-level accounting clerk, doing all she can to work and pay off her student loans.
Well, she was an entry-level accounting clerk, until her mother was murdered. See, strange things started happening the day she got the call about her mother’s death. Her boss turned into a troll (warts and all) just before firing her. She discovers the personal trainer she’s been learning self-defense from… is an ogre. (Seriously, PX90 has nothing on his workout regime.) And then there is her birthmark.
Sage has this deformity, on her left wrist. Like her veins went all wonky (think varicose veins on steroids). In the right light it kind of looks like a tree. But in all other light, it looks like she got attacked by a toddler with a sharpie. Yeah, it’s that bad!
Anyway… The day her mom was murdered, Sage knew before the call came. And that deformity I mentioned, looks more like a tattoo now. Like magic! Gone are the ugly fat blue veins. In their place now sits the tree of life, crowned with a canopy of leaves.
The Mark of the Terra
You see, Sage belongs to an ancient race of creatures called the Terra. Oath bound to the Great Mother who created them, all in her family line are called to serve and protect magic. Each generation replacing the last from the beginning of time until magic is gone from the world forever.
Too bad no one ever thought to tell her about this legacy.
Her mother had been sworn to secrecy. Working for the ASSET agency (Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce) Sage’s mother had been assigned to protect and deliver a Weapon of Magical Destruction before she was murdered. No one has seen the weapon since mom’s death.
Sage’s sudden magical awakening lifted the veil before anyone could explain to her what was happening. Now she’s seeing the world for what it truly is. And creatures she thought belonged only to games, are not only real, but also very deadly.
Terras are special, but even they can be killed, for Sage to survive she needs to join the ranks at ASSET, but how can she sign on with a company that she believes killed her mother?
SC: Yikes! It probably would have been easier if it was just a bad tattoo! Sounds like she's in for a bit of a ride. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
KS: Oh definitely! I grew up in a haunted house. Saying it like that makes it sound so scary. For me it wasn’t.
The spirits that lived in my house, when I was a child, were nice to me. They used to pull pranks on my parents though. Nothing dangerous. Door slamming, cold air, that sort of thing.
I can remember hearing my mom yell at the ghost in the bathroom, “Stop slamming the damn door!”
There were at least two that I can remember. Shadows lurking in the corner of your eye. The feeling of unseen eyes on the back of your neck. On a few rare occasions I was able to witness them full on, but it would be so brief, I could never make out all of their features.
There was a man and a woman. The man liked the hallway. The woman preferred the living spaces.
I was maybe ten years old the first time I got a real good look at one of them. I had a TV in my bedroom, which was pretty awesome. I remember laying on my bed, watching whatever. Probably Beverly hills 90210. My mom always watched TV in the living room. Dad kicked back in the den.
It was evening, everyone was in their separate spaces, winding down, and out of the corner of my eye I saw this whitish blur breeze past my door. When I turned to look, I saw two very real hands on my door frame, and then in a blink, there was a man’s face. As if he were playing a game of peek-a-boo, he poked his head in, then out, and let go of the door frame.
It happened so fast. I remember walking out to the living room to check that everyone was still in their places. No one had moved. It had been the ghost. Probably popping in to check on me.
Like I said, the ghosts never scared me. I always felt them as a friendly presence. My parents, not so much. They invited a priest to come bless the house at one point. I guess mom was sick of the door slamming, and dad said he felt something watching them while they slept.
The ghosts never left, but we eventually moved. I have always felt the presence of things unseen. I don’t fear them. Whatever they are, there are there for a reason.
SC: Sounds like an active house, for sure! .What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
KS: I just started working on book three in the Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series: Magic in Disguise.
Each title is not only a clue to the plot, it is also an idiom (replacing one word with Magic.) I am typically terrible at titles and they are usually no more than one word, maybe two, but for this series I decided to get a little creative and highlight the humor that keeps the story from going too dark.
Book three addresses the fallout of Sage’s battle in book 2 and the consequences of using magic that was not hers to wield.
That one should be out in December 2018.
SC: Thanks so much for dropping by today. I guess it's time we meet Sage!
A Taste of Your Own Magic
Agents of A.S.S.E.T.
Genre: Urban Fantasy – humorous
Publisher: Rising Sign Books
Date of Publication: 7/17/18
Number of pages: 306
Word Count: 78k
Cover Artist: Molly Phipps
We Got You Covered.
Tagline: Everything You Know about Magic is Wrong!
Just when newly minted ASSET agent Sage Cynwrig thought she was getting the hang of this whole magic thing, a smooth-talking Djinn moves in next door. And he's got more on his mind than making her wishes come true.
He'll have to take a number. Between her sharp-tongued, machete wielding partner Grey, and Zack the flirtatious vampire-for-hire, Sage has enough magical men making her life hell.
And then there's the new job. It's all hands on deck at ASSET. Magical creatures are disappearing from the Las Vegas Strip. Rumor has it, the missing creatures are ingredients in a forbidden magical recipe. Someone's attempting to recreate the lost Amulet of Emmuri, and gain power to rival the gods.
Because of course Sage's first official assignment as an agent would require her to, you know, save the world!
To accomplish that, however, she'll have to cross enemy lines and break the very magical laws she just swore to uphold.
Author Reading Sample: https://youtu.be/CAMoLpt-i8g
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/YUKH5vbJT8A
A Taste of Your Own Magic
Sample Chapter 1
Zack launched himself forward with impossible speed, closing the gap between them before she could register the movement. His hand found her mouth, preventing her shocked gasp from escaping. Zack stood nose-to-nose with her, so close she could feel the heat from his breath. “Sweet girl. So naïve to the dangers surrounding you; innocent to the true nature of the world.” His eyes grew darker, choking out all of the color that gave them their unnatural beauty. All predator, ready to strike, he pinned her against the apartment door. “Words lose their meaning with creatures like you. Headstrong. Impulsive... The only thing you learn from is failure.” The timbre of his voice deepened; his breathing slowed to a determined rhythm of raw desire. “A tempting target, giftwrapped for anyone willing to snatch you up.”
Zack let his hand fall from her mouth but kept her pinned to the door with his body. Close as he was, his eyes weren’t the only thing Sage focused on.
Sharp as daggers. She’d experienced the sting of a vampire’s fangs once before, and that memory made her scars itch. “You’re acting like a real jerk right now, Zack.”
“I know.” He flashed those teeth at her again. “And don’t think I can’t hear how excited it makes you. Admit it. You’re more than a little turned on right now.”
A knot formed in her throat. She swallowed hard, forcing it down so she could speak. “Excited is not the word I would have chosen.” Her voice cracked, betraying the panic she was so desperate to hide. This wasn’t the Zack she knew; he’d morphed into something dangerous, and she couldn’t tell how real his threats were.
“Pick a word then,” he taunted. “Make it a good one.”
“Stop.” She pushed against him, but found his body an immovable wall. “You’re creeping me out.”
“Fear, is it?” Zack laughed coldly. “Good. You should be afraid. Most don’t survive being bitten.” His breath blew against her skin, surprisingly warm, but the effect chilled her blood.
“The last one who bit me didn’t survive.” She attempted again to mask the tremble of her voice with the threat.
“Grey, your great protector, was there to save the day. Where is he now?” Zack’s words struck her like a slap to the face, but before she could respond, he bent his head to the crook of her neck.
She cringed, expecting pain that did not come.
“I could have you right now.” Zack’s lips hovered, tantalizingly close to her throbbing pulse. He inhaled slowly as if savoring every note of her scent. “But the real question is, could you” – He lifted his head and met her eyes once more – “would you try and stop me?”
Zack’s words implied so much more than a simple threat. …. She couldn’t let that happen. But, being pinned against the door severely limited her options. Sage scrambled for the right words to stall long enough to find a way out. “I thought Terras were an acquired taste?” She reached down, toward her pocket.
Before she could dig for the knife she kept folded there, his knee came up, forcing her legs apart, and he growled possessively in her ear.
“One taste of you was such a tease. I need more.”
More than just a bad boy, Zack was pure sin wrapped in a taut body with maybe centuries of experience. A very small part of her, welcomed the excitement, but self-preservation trumped desire. “Get used to disappointment!”
He nuzzled her neck and pecked a kiss at her racing pulse. “Don’t pretend you aren’t thinking about it. I can smell your arousal. I can see the way you look at me.”
Her legs nearly went out from under her.
“You’re going to get yourself killed. I would be disappointed if someone else got to the prize before me.” Zack pulled back enough to meet her eyes again. “Rather than fall victim to the wrong sort,” he whispered, “let me have you.”
About the Author:
Katie Salidas is a best-selling author known for her unique genre-blending style.
Host of the Indie YouTube Talk show, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids, Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep-deprived.
Since 2010 she’s penned four bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, and the RONE award-winning Chronicles of the Uprising. And as her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.