Title: Beneath Scarlett Valley
Author: Kerr-Ann Dempster
Blurb: Death or Immortality … Cassidy chose death. Cassidy Daniels hates being a Furor. First, there is the hellish rage that storms through her veins, urging her to kill. Then there is the gnawing guilt, the nightmares, and the pretense. Unfortunately, her sister wants to be immortal. To do so, she needs Cassidy’s help to find the Source, an ancient pool hidden beneath Scarlett Valley. When they arrive in Scarlett, Cassidy intends to find the Source and get out, but then she meets Sebastian. Everything about him makes her rethink her choice. There is just one problem. The choice between death and immortality is no longer Cassidy’s to make. There are pretenders everywhere, with dark pasts and even darker plans.
Q:What genres do you most enjoy reading in books?
A:I enjoy fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction novels with strong females and realistic romance.
Q:Are you equally a reader and a writer or do you spend more time imagining stories in your mind than reading one?
A:I spend more time writing than reading. However, I take a day off each week to read a book from my “to-read” list.
Q:When reading what makes a book great to you?
A:Three things: Tension, 3-Dimensional characters, and great dialogue.
- I love when a novel is teeming with so much tension that I have to hold my breath while reading or skip bathroom breaks. “No, I can hold it. Just one more chapter.”
- I also love 3-dimensional characters that climb out of the novel to befriend or haunt me. I want to think about them years after reading and wonder, where are they now?
- Great dialogue can make or break a novel. I hate predictable dialogue. I also hate when all the characters sound alike. Give me distinctive, sharp dialogue that keeps me engage.
Q:What is your biggest turn off in books?
A:Repetition. I see the same characters and themes being written to death. As a reader, I like fresh ideas. I want to be surprised.
Q:What are your aspirations as an author?
A: To write young adult and middle-grade novels that will keep my readers up all night.
Q: Do you have an ultimate book boyfriend?
A: No, but I have an ultimate book BFF. I love Penryn from Angelfall. She is witty and brave, and I want to kick angel butt with her.
Q: What inspired Beneath Scarlett Valley?
A: Honestly, I am still trying to figure that out. I was visiting my sister in Florida and hanging out on the back porch when the final scene of Beneath Scarlett Valley unfolded in my head. I had no idea who Cassidy was at the time, but I could sense her anger and her pain. I wanted to promise her that everything would be okay, but then I saw this broken, bloodied figure at her feet. I had so many questions. I started writing at once so I could learn the answers.
Q: Is this your first full-length novel or do you have a closet full of stories?
A: Yes, but I do have a few short stories that I am fleshing out.
Q: Who is the first person you asked to read your novel once it was finished?
A: My sister. She is brutally honest and speaks her mind even when you wish she would shut up. Her critique was hard to swallow, but it challenged me to write a better story.
Q: In your opinion, what makes Beneath Scarlett Valley unique in comparison to other YA novels?
A: It features a new type of supernatural creature. My MC is a Furor and since Furors have never been done before, I get to define them. Furors are immortal creatures of rage, given to fits of uncontrollable anger. They don’t kill for food or for fun. They kill for relief from the hellish fire in their veins.
Book one gives the reader an intimate look at Furorism through the eyes of the MC. In book 2, the reader will get to explore it on a wider scale.
Q: What can we expect to see from you in the future?
A: I am currently working on the following projects:
- The Hunted – January, 2015
- You can read the first chapter here
- Beneath Scarlett Valley (Book 2) – Fall, 2015
- The Spooky Adventures of Mellow the Ghost – Winter, 2015
Q: For us creepers, what are the best ways to stalk you?
- You can find me on:
- LIAM’S EYES WERE tight as he slipped into the booth across from me. “Have you been crying?”
“Just exhausted from last night’s expedition,” I said with a shrug.
“Is that why you snuck away from school?”
“It’s one of the reasons.” I picked up the menu. “Tuesdays are two for one. What should we get?”
“Today is Wednesday,” Liam said with a chuckle. “You really are exhausted.”
I looked down at my reflection in the butter knife. Even its worn, scratchy surface could not hide the bags under my eyes.
“We could share a pizza,” Liam said. “Plus a side of garlic bread and fries.”
I looked around the tiny restaurant, checking the plates of the other customers. I smiled when I noticed a beefy trucker digging into a bowl of lasagna as though he was hunting for treasure.
“I’m ordering the lasagna,” I said, “with a side of lasagna.”
“Fine, I’ll have the pizza by myself. I was trying to be nice.”
“Get the garlic bread and fries too. I’m paying.”
“Damn right you’re paying,” Liam said.
“When my aunt realizes I’m not in the bathroom, she’s going to scream her head off.”
“She’s not going to give you detention, is she?”
“Nope, just a lecture,” he said. “I’ll go put in our order.”
He walked over to a square window booth and placed our orders. On his way back, he grabbed a coloring mat and a box of crayons from the play bin. He emptied the crayons on the table between us and handed me the blue one.
As I colored in the sky, Liam cleared his throat. “Do you want to talk about it?”
I kept my head down. “Nope, I’d rather talk about something fun.”
I searched my mind for a safe topic, something that wouldn’t dredge up questions I couldn’t answer. After a minute, I found the perfect one. “Tell me about this hot-blooded girl of yours.”
Liam sat back and smiled. “I’ll tell you one thing. She’s not a blowup doll.”
“Then why haven’t I heard about her until now?”
“Because you were off frolicking with Wick.”
“Yeah, right—” I stopped talking as a waitress brought our meals to the table. My stomach growled as I stared down at my lasagna. I picked up my fork and dug in at once. The flavors were a thousand times more intense and delicious than the frozen ones.
Liam shook his head. “Take it easy, Garfield.”
“The cat from the comic strip. You know, the one obsessed with lasagnas.”
“Whatever,” I mumbled around a mouthful of food. “Tell me about the girl.”
“She’s not just any girl, she’s my ex.”
I sipped on my water, waiting for Liam to continue. Instead, he picked up a slice of pizza, finished it off, and then reached for another. When he picked up a third slice, I kicked his leg under the table.
“Don’t leave me hanging,” I said. “I want to know everything about this mystery girl.”
Liam sighed and dropped his pizza. “Have you ever loved someone, but hated them too? I mean, like really hate, to the point where you want to crush them.”
I choked down my lasagna. “Are we still talking about the girl?”
His eyes hardened. For a brief instance, I could see the hate gleaming in his black eyes. “Why do you hate her so much?” I asked.
“She took something of mine without asking.”
“What did she take?”
Liam looked down at the forgotten coloring mat. “The crazy part is that I can’t stop thinking about her. We’ve been apart forever, and yet she’s the first person I think about each morning.”
“But you hate her?”
“And you love her too?”
“Yes,” he said. “Insane, right?”
I had never felt about anyone the way Liam felt about his ex-girlfriend. Then again, I had never shared myself completely with someone else. I tried to imagine what it would be like, to love someone I hated. Or was it the other way around. Did it make a difference?
I shook my head and looked at Liam. “I think you should give her a second chance. She might surprise you this time.”
Liam smiled his usual smile. “You just want an invitation to the tea party, don’t you?”
“Not unless you’re serving lasagna.”
He grinned and picked up a garlic roll. “Twenty bucks says I can fit all these rolls in my mouth.”
I counted the rolls on the table. There were a dozen. “Deal,” I said. “But you have to keep them down.”
Liam grinned and shoved the roll into his mouth. Ten minutes and twelve rolls later, I handed him a twenty dollar bill. Liam chuckled and rubbed his stomach.
“I don’t think I’ll ever eat again,” he said.
“So is that a no to dessert?” I asked.
Liam snorted. “Your idea of dessert is probably lasagna with whipped cream on top.”
“Do you think they would do that?” I asked.
“I hope not,” he said and pulled out his wallet. “I’ll tip the waitress. You pay.”
I took our check to the window booth. When I knocked on the window, a jeweled hand opened the screen. Abi grinned at me from inside the booth.
“Seat thief and a ditcher,” she said. “You really are from California.”
I handed her the check and a fifty-dollar bill. “Keep the change.”
“Wait, I’m not allowed to collect tips. The customer has to put it in the jar themselves.”
I pursed my lips and waited as she counted my change. She worked slowly, looking past me to where Liam waited by the door.
“Here you go,” she finally said. “Thank you for eating at Emilio’s.”
I dropped the change in the tip-jar and hurried out. Liam turned up his shirt collar as we climbed into my car.
Dazzling snow had covered everything in a thick layer, but once again, he wasn’t wearing a coat.
“I told you to wear a coat,” I said.
“I couldn’t take my coat to the bathroom. My aunt would have known I was sneaking off again.”
“I’m sure she figured it out,” I said. “If not, you need a new tutor.”
Liam grinned and turned on the radio. He played air drums as we drove along First Street. When I turned down Derby, I pulled over to the curb.
“Are you sure you don’t need me to take you home?”
“Positive,” he said and hopped out. “I have a shortcut.”
He winked and took off into the woods. When he was out of sight, I drove home. I expected Harper to come charging out the door when I pulled into the driveway, but she was nowhere in sight.
Despite being worried about her, I was relieved. The exhaustion from my sleepless nights was becoming harder to ignore. I went straight to my bedroom and climbed into bed. Sleep arrived at once.
All right guys, I hope you enjoyed this! In the near future I will be posting my review and we have a great Beneath Scarlett Valley giveaway coming your way. However if you want to get this book in your hands as soon as possible, it is available on Amazon and can be bought by Clicking Here or is free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited.