Sunday, April 09, 2017

Meagan Greystone, PATH UNCHOSEN: Daughters of Ravenswood by @kimclearywriter #Magic #Ghosts #DarkUrbanFantasy

Thank you for having us on you blog Rochelle 😊 I’ve admired your blog for so long it’s a treat to finally appear here myself! Meagan Greystone is the young (but wise beyond her years) heroine at the heart of the Daughter of Ravenswood series, and she’s very excited to feature in her very own interview.

RW:   What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

MG:    I’m a little unusual. All my life, I never really fit in, but I didn’t know what I was until I left the orphanage. When I arrived at Ravenswood, and let me tell you that was quite an adventure, I discovered that I’m descended from a long line of necromancers. I have inherited the power to speak with the dead. If I must, I will command them. One meets a few witches, their stalls are always busy at markets in every town you visit, but necromancers are quite rare.

RW:   Where do you live?

MG:    My home is Ravenswood Manor. It’s close to a small but active farming town called Winterhurst. I love my home, but it hasn’t been lived in for almost two decades.

RW:   What problems do you have to face and overcome in your life?

MG:    It’s a funny thing; you would expect death and the dead to be at the root of my problems. It was at first. With power comes responsibility. Sometimes a path shines clearly, but more often mists and clouds meet to muddy the way. Now to be honest, it’s coping with the world of the living I find the hardest.

Somehow, I must return Ravenswood to its glory. I can’t just cast a spell to make everything rosy. By some means, I must earn money, maintain and repair my home. I must fill my place on the town council despite mistrust and fear, from half of the other councilors.

And then there’s Glynn. So far, I don’t have a great track record with hanging on to friends. The people I care about seem to die, abandon or betray me.

Something about Glynn clicked from our first awkward meeting.

RW:   Bubble baths or steamy showers? Ocean or mountains? Puppies or kittens? Chocolate or caramel?

MG:    What is a steamy shower? Sounds like rain on a blistering hot day! A long bath in warm sudsy water is heaven, hot chocolate in front of the fire is a treat. Glynn brought me miniature chocolates wrapped in gold foil paper a few weeks ago. We ate them together in front of smoldering logs. Sinfully delicious.

RW:   If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?

MG:    I will never leave Ravenswood. It feeds my soul. After a few days away from Ravenswood, my power diminishes, my confidence is replaced with doubts. After a week or so I ache to return.

RW:   What is your secret guilty pleasure?

MG:    It’s not so secret I guess, but if I could, I’d spend all day in my library with ancient texts. All day, unless Glynn arrived.

RW:   Cherries or Bananas? Leather or lace? Black or red? Mud Bath or Oily Massage?

MG:    I would have said red rather than black, leather against lace. I still prefer red, especially against my skin but I may be changing my mind about lace. I’d never liked it, until I found the old white dress that was my mothers. The look on Glynn’s face when he saw me dancing at the Beltane party, has converted me to its charms.

The last time we saw one another, he promised me an oil massage…I will have to get back to you on that one 😊

RW:   If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

MG:    Deadly when pushed.

RW:   Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton?

MG:    Don’t care as long as I have a bed!

RW:   I’m always ready (fill in the blank).

MG:    I’m always ready to protect the people I care about—from the dead, and the living.

RW:   Those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you for speaking to me.

About Kim Cleary

Kim Cleary is the award-winning author of Path Unchosen, the first title in the Daughter of Ravenswood series, which earned a bronze IPPY award in 2015. She grew up in Birmingham, United Kingdom, studied medieval history and psychology at Adelaide University in Southern Australia, and has worked all over Australia and in London.

Forced to leave a successful career in marketing after multiple sclerosis damaged her hands and prevented her from typing, Cleary learned how to write using voice software.

A self-described chocoholic, Cleary loves writing, gardening, cooking, playing with her dogs, and spending time with friends. She lives with her husband and two dogs, an adorable cocker spaniel and a mischievous moodle, in Melbourne, Australia.

Path Unchosen

The Plot

She’d rather be a normal eighteen-year-old … but not much chance of that, when she can raise the dead.

When an eighteen-year-old discovers she’s a necromancer who can raise the dead, she does her best to deny this unholy gift. But after leaving the orphanage for a mysterious manor house, she learns that not only have the dead started walking again, her power means she’s the only one who can stop it.

Meagan Greystone wants to be a normal girl, but the nuns who’ve raised her treat her with fear and suspicion. When a beautiful, otherworldly stranger whisks her from the orphanage to a dignified old estate, he promises to help her wield power beyond imagining. Dare she trust that her abilities aren’t evil after all?

But when their lessons go awry, she learns she can do great harm. To make matters worse, new undead attack—corpses raised from among the long-time dead. Another necromancer is at work, and he must be stopped before he destroys the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town, including the handsome sheriff.

To save them all, can one young girl learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams?

An Excerpt:

He’d brought me here to kill me. What other reason could Father Andrew have for driving me to such a remote spot? He dragged me toward a circular stone monolith. It stood close to the cliff edge, like an oversized dirty white doughnut that dominated the otherwise flat landscape.

Waves crashed in the distance, and salt coated my lips.

I tried to pull my arm free, but he gripped my wrist even harder. There were no buildings in sight, not even a copse of trees to shelter in. Even if I could escape his grip, where would I run? I’d freeze to death before I could find help.

The stone seemed to watch me. My heart froze and then pounded. Blood rushed around my body. I knew this place. I breathed in its faintly familiar smell, and my ears tingled to the thunder of the sea. I was too far to measure it, but I knew the stone stood twice as tall as I did with a round hole at hand height.

How could that be? I’d never been here before.

The stone called to me, teased me with sweet laughter. For a fleeting moment, I smelled flowers and saw children dancing. Was it trying to communicate with me? Telling me to trust it? Father Andrew seemed oblivious to its power. At its base, he pushed me to my knees and droned out another prayer. I lowered my head and folded my hands but didn’t say the words.

“Father.” I coughed and cleared my throat. “What’s happening?”

He stopped his muttering. “I should have put you back years ago.”

A heavy weight pushed against my chest, the same weight I felt in the chicken shed. “What do you mean?”

He pressed his palm on the top of my head. “I found you here. It is best, for the sake of us all, that I bring you back.”

“But you said someone left me in a box—” He squeezed my scalp. “You were left in a box, but here. I found you here.”

My leg muscles tightened, ready to carry me away, but my intuition told me to wait. I gulped deep breaths to calm the pulsing in my veins. He licked his finger, traced a cross on my forehead, and then trudged back to where Moppet waited in front of the wagon.

Father Andrew grabbed a blanket, strode back, and hung it around my shoulders. Tears tracked down his cheeks. He didn’t wipe them away. This time when he got back to the wagon, he climbed in and set Moppet to a fast walk.

They grew smaller and smaller in the distance and disappeared.

He hadn’t killed me. He’d abandoned me here, where he found me. Was he giving me a chance to live, or did he expect me to die here?

Delicate crystals of snow drifted to the ground in this surreal landscape. A pale gray sky hung so low a sudden urge to jump up and touch it filled my head.

I climbed to my feet and slumped against the monolith. Something clunked against the weathered stone. I pulled the forgotten watch from my pocket and traced my fingertips over the initials. BG—was this watch, these initials even connected with me?

Whiteness stretched out in all directions like a crisply ironed sheet. Snowflakes fell in my hair and eyelashes. The coldness of each one stung as it landed on my face. At least the weathered stone blocked the wind. Where could I find shelter? Where could I go? Not back to St. Stephen’s that was for sure.

Never back there.

Hunger gnawed at my stomach. Fatigue dragged my eyelids down. My legs gave way, and I fluttered into semi-consciousness.

Hot breath brushed against my neck, and strong hands lifted me from the snow. Warmth encircled me as if someone had wrapped me in a downy quilt, but it was a fleeting sensation before darkness surrounded me.

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