Monday, 8 February 2016

Blog Tour, Author Interview & Giveaway: Divine Merit - Virginia Cantrell

Sometimes you have to stop fighting in order to win.

Title: Divine Merit 
Author: Virginia Cantrell 
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Release Date: January 29, 2016
Series: Divine Series, Book 1 
Cover Designer: Claire Smith
Editor: Hot Tree Editing
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
 Add to Goodreads TBR
ON SALE FOR $1.99
Trained from birth to become the ruler of the Nephilim and their island sanctuary, Amira is the perfect princess, until her birthright and even her fundamental beliefs are ripped away. She’ll discover perfection and training count for nothing when faced with a ruthless enemy determined to possess her and all she holds dear.

As captain of the Royal Guard, Caeden’s priority is to protect the Royal Family. Sometimes that means protecting the naïve princess from her own desires, even if he is tempted to give in. When a betrayer strikes from within, their sanctuary and very existence are threatened. Caeden must overcome the burning pain of helplessness to defeat this enemy and restore Amira to her rightful place. He will not fail his princess again.

Do they have the fortitude and inner strength needed to regain the kingdom and save their people?

Amazon: US | UK | AU | CA




Tell us a bit about yourself.
I could tell you the boring facts, such as I’m thirty-two, I live in a small town in Texas, and I’m a single mother of two, but that doesn’t really give you a sense of who I am. So, I’ll give you the more intimate, random details.

My favorite color is silver. To me, it symbolizes balance, which is something I'm always seeking. 

My favorite animals are squirrels and otters because they are playful and always seem happy. 

When I'm sad, watching a video of a Great Dane jumping on a trampoline to peek over the fence can cheer me up. 

The toilet paper roll must come over, never under.

I've been known to burn more than one dinner because I get caught up singing and dancing while I cook. 

I have an irrational fear of looking into mirrors in the dark... can't be sure who is looking back at you. 

I'm a writer, so I obviously have an overactive imagination. 

What inspired you to write your first book?
Fiction has always been my escape from the real world; it’s the only thing I’ve ever really been passionate about. Growing up, I knew I wanted to do something with books. I dreamed of being an editor or a publisher. I never once thought I’d be a writer. Although I always had character ideas and plots running through my head, the idea of being in the spotlight and really putting myself out there frightened the hell out of me. When I was twenty-five, I was going through one of the hardest times in my life. One day, I was talking with a friend of mine and she asked what my hobbies were and what I planned to do with my life. I was completely lost and had no answer. She knew me well enough to say, “You like books. Have you ever thought about writing?” Umm… no. I explained to her my reasoning, and her response was to order me to write her something. I’m excellent at following directions, so I did. I wrote a short story about a lost woman who was ready to change her life. When my friend applauded me and said she thought I had talent, it gave me the courage to believe in myself. And so I began Divine Merit.

How did you come up with the concept for Divine Merit?
I was mowing my front lawn one morning while singing along to my iPod. The song “It’s All Been Done” by the Barenaked Ladies came on and the idea of two immortals meeting up throughout time, loving each other, but never being able to stay together came into my mind. From there, I began to ask myself questions like “Why are they immortal?” and “Why can’t they be together?” And suddenly, Caeden started talking to me. He was so frustrated with Amira. She is a child playing games, nothing more. And there was the first line of Divine Merit. An angry Caeden continued to pace back and forth through my mind until I finally stopped the mower and went inside to write the scene. Then, like magic, the rest of the characters appeared and the story took a life of its own, completely straying from the original concept.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Divine Merit? 
I was surprised to discover the author doesn’t actually have control of the story. The characters have a way of taking over and holding the author hostage. For example, at one point in Divine Merit, Levi announced he had a plan to trap the villain, and I was shocked. “What? What plan, Levi? We don’t have a plan!” For two days, I remained clueless to what he was planning, and then it turned out that his plan actually sucked, but thankfully, one of the ladies came up with something better to save the day.

Have you ever done anything strange or weird in the name of research? 
Haha! Yes, I have, but luckily, I have a good support team to talk me out of the more wild things. Such as, I once asked to be punched in the face. The person I asked thought I was absolutely nuts and refused. My argument was, “But if I’m going to write about it, shouldn’t I know how it feels?” 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
An unedited scene from Divine Grace

“What is your relationship with him?” Trevin asked briskly, getting straight to the point.
He was unused to this feeling of jealousy, which aggravated his usual calm demeanor to near fury. They would settle this issue now, and if Inaya had any sort of feelings toward another man, well, he’d see to it that they ceased immediately.
“Excuse me?” she questioned with a look of confusion.
“You will answer the question,” he stated, not being one to repeat himself.
Inaya’s spine stiffened and her look of confusion turned to one of pure stubbornness.  “I don’t believe that is any of your business.”
“You know very well that it is,” he forced out through clenched teeth. 
“If I remember correctly, you refused that right.”

Do you have any writing rituals? 
I take long group showers with my characters. LOL. It seems like the majority of the scenes come while I’m either driving or in the shower. So when I’m uncertain of what comes next, I hop in the shower.

What book are you reading now?
Make Me Whole by Kaithlin Shepherd. I’ve become a huge fan of Ms. Shepherd in the last several months.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
Thank you for giving my stories a chance. I hope you can love my imaginary friends as much as I do. And thank you for your support and encouragement; it allows me to believe in myself and it means far more than you will ever know. I would love to hear from you, so please leave a review or feel free to contact me directly. There is nothing I enjoy more than talking about my imaginary friends.


Random Questions:
What's in your fridge right now?
Not a whole hell of a lot honestly, but the most interesting thing is a half-eaten, blue, 9 inch gummy bear.  
What song do you sing at the top of your voice every time you hear it?
When “I Will Do Anything For Love” by Meatloaf comes on, I don’t care who is around, I put on the performance of a lifetime.  ☺
Where did you last go on holiday?
In August of 2015, I participated in my first author signing in Florida at the Indie Author Bookfest. And let me tell you, some of my fellow authors are wild!
If feral aliens attacked your house and they were zapping your home with their Über super bombs, what five items would you save?
Well, first I would attempt to interview them, for research purposes of course. If that didn’t work out, I’d snatch up my Kindle, laptop, .40 Smith & Wesson M&P (See, they should have answered my questions, now gotta fight off those suckers.), my wallet, and my kids could come along too, I guess.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Don’t Pet My Unicorn 

Virginia's greatest passion has always been fiction, particularly romance. The innocent in her loves the idea of a happily-ever-after, but she has a massive soft spot for the bad boys. If you ask her, she'll tell you that she's living her dream— getting paid to read and helping indie authors to create beauty by working as an editor for Hot Tree Editing. She's inspired by the many amazing indie authors she has met and has (finally) found the courage to follow her other dream by becoming a published author.


 Hot Tree Publishing

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