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 Posted by on March 11, 2013 Tagged with: , , , , ,  Add comments

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Today’s featured author is the fascinating Jean Murray. I’m proud to know Jean as a fellow author at Crescent Moon Press and she is an inspiration, as well as a generous person. Jean brings a wonderful new spin to the paranormal world with her Egyptian Underworld gods.  She broke ground in the paranormal romance genre with Soul Reborn and now continues the “Key to the Cursed” journey with Soul Awakened.

In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.

 About Soul Reborn

soulreborn 1600x2400 THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD.

Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.

DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.

Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth.  But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.

“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”

  About Soul Awakened

SoulAwakened-1600x2400

LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR

Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.

HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST

Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most– his Parvana. His butterfly.

You can view book trailer to Soul Awakened, Key to the Cursed, Book 2.

 

Now let’s shine the spotlight on Jean!

Maer:  Jean, thanks so much for joining us today to tell us about Soul Awakened.

Jean:  Hi, Maer.  Thank you so much for having me over today.

Maer:  Jean, your books owe heavily to Egyptology. What first interested you in the subject and what in particular cause you to include Egyptian mythology in your writing?

Jean:  Every writer is looking for that special something that is going to catch an editor’s eye. I knew if I was going to break into paranormal romance I had to find something really unique.  Something never done before or not overwritten.  My true love was vampires, but by the time I was ready to submit the market was saturated with vampire stories.  Calls were going out for something “other” than vampires.  So, I went looking.  I’ve always had a love for mythology and wanted to write an emotional story from the heart. I went to the museum trolling for some picture or artifact that would truly inspire me.  I ended up standing in front of a sarcophagus for hours.  A mummy that was 4,000 years old.  Wow!  I knew right then I had found it.     

Maer:  “Wow!” is right! I can see where that would be very inspiring. I love the Egyptian collections in the museums I’ve visited. Could you give us a one line synopsis for your book?

Jean:  Find your hope, hold onto it and never let it go.

Maer: You’ve now released two books in the series, “Key to the Cursed.” How many more books do you plan in the series?

Jean:  I’m laughing because originally this series was a trilogy (3-sisters), but after what I did to Bomani in Soul Awakened, I couldn’t leave the guy hanging.  He has gotten his own book – Soul Unbound, which I’m writing currently.  The Carrigan sister storyline will end with Kit’s book, Soul Unleashed, but I have a feeling there will be more to come.  There is also the prequel to the series, Soul Surrendered, which is the story of how it all began with Jonathan Carrigan and the Mother Goddess.   

Maer: Very nice, Jean! It’s great when an author gives us lots of material in a world the reader has grown to love. Now, what is the link between each book? Are we following a particular character or does something else link the series?

Jean:  The Carrigan sisters, Lilly (oldest), Kit (middle) and Kendra (youngest) are the link between all the novels.  The three sisters are keys to unlocking and lifting the curse against humankind and the Underworld.  If they fail to unite the Creation and Underworld Pantheons, the human realm will be lost.  If they succeed, even the dead will find paradise.  

Maer:  I really like your take on this series and how it links. Taking the main character in your latest book, Soul Awakened, if you had to pick a theme song for that character, what would it be?

Jean:  I have a theme song for Bakari.  “Awake” by Skillet.  The lyrics …

***”I’m at war with the world and they

Try to pull me into the dark

I struggle to find my faith

As I’m slippin’ from Your arms

It’s getting harder to stay awake

And my strength is fading fast

You breathe into me at last!”

*** Song: “Awake And Alive” from the 2009 album Awake by Skillet.

Maer:  Do you feel that any authors have influenced or inspired your own writing, and if so, who are they?

Jean:  For my own writing, I would have to say JR Ward for very specific reasons.  Her characters are multi-dimensional which allows the reader to become emotionally invested in the character.  Also, she writes male characters really, really well.  It’s not just the language they use or how they talk, but their actions when they are suffering or showing emotion.  I’m very much a psychological writer – meaning I use my knowledge of psychological profiles/personalities/human behavior to create characters and Ms. Ward is right on par with this.

Maer:  What is your current project about and is it part of the series?

Jean:  Soul Awakened is the second book in the series.  It is Kendra’s and Bakari’s story.  After Soul Reborn we learn that the sisters are special.  They recover Asar’s key to the Underworld and his son’s sarcophagus.  Bakari has been imprisoned for five long years at the hands of his enemies.  Kendra is the key to his awakening, but the god who awakens is not the same and may become his family’s worst enemy.  Only through Kendra’s healing touch will Bakari find his hope and honor, but there is another (Bomani) who will keep Bakari from what he craves most – his butterfly.

Maer:  How do you spend time when you’re not writing?

Jean:  We still have a young family, so we are quite busy outside of work.  If I’m not writing, I’m spending time with Paul and my boys.  I can throw one mean spiral.  Necessary skills when you are raising all boys.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Maer:  Why did you choose the Paranormal genre in which to write? Do you write in other genres?

Jean:  I love movies and stories that provide an alternate explanation for how thing happen in the world.  The paranormal genre is the perfect playground to create my owe tales.  I lean more towards dark paranormal.  Not everything is sunshine and roses and I love delving deep into places we want to hide, exploiting the darker side of our emotions.  It’s not often we can do this in real life, so it is the perfect outlet for my devious mind. 🙂 

I also write urban fantasy, but my paranormal romance novels run the line between these two genres.  I tend to like action in my novels, so my next endeavor is a SciFi/paranormal romance.  I just can’t seem to get too far from what I love.

Maer: If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would it be and why?

Jean:  Hmm, that would definitely be fruit – blueberry to be exact.  Why?  They are both sweet and tart.  My husband would probably say that fits my personality perfectly 🙂  LOL.

Maer:  Jean, thanks for the opportunity to find out about your series. Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Jean:  The Key to the Cursed series has tons of action and intrigue, but at the bottom of it all – it’s a love story/s.  I hope readers will give this series a try and if they have, I’d love to hear what they think.

You can buy Soul Reborn and Soul Awakened (The Key to the Cursed Series) at Amazon.

WIN A NEW KINDLE FIRE HD!!!

Jean is having a Rafflecopter giveaway:  Soul Awakened Book Tour Giveaway – Kindle Fire HD/ebooks. Click for more info on the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Want to follow Jean? Check out her links below:

Jean’s Website

Jean’s Blog

Jean on Facebook

Jean on Twitter

Jean on Goodreads

  30 Responses to “In the Spotlight – Jean Murray”

  1. Hi Maer.

    Thank you for hosting me here today on your lovely blog.

    Jean

  2. Jean, it was my pleasure! Loved your answers.

  3. Great interview ladies. Can’t wait to jump into your books, Jean.

  4. Great interview! I loved the first book in the series – so looking forward to the second one! (And I’m glad to hear it’s been expanded past a mere trilogy, lol.)

    You neglect to mention that these books are steamy! I wasn’t expecting all the heat – but I’m certainly not complaining 😉

    • Hi Katie.

      Yes, the first book has much steam, (driven by the characters, of course) 🙂 Kendra’s story is a bit different but definitely can get hot in some places.

      It was a big decision for me to be explicit in the first book, considering it was my debut. I kept thinking- what will my mother think. I noticed most debut authors tend to be more sedate with their first book and start to get more confortable with “sex scenes” in their later novels. In several revisions, I down played the scenes, my editor picked up on it right away. She gave me some great words of advice– let the characters decide. Looking back, I don’t think Asar’s intensity would have come across without it. So glad, I did.

      Thanks for reading Soul Reborn. Hope you like the next book.

      Jean

  5. Great interview! I really enjoyed the first book and can’t wait to read the second!

  6. Great interview you too! I’m learning more and more about Jean – boy do we have a lot in common than I first realized. I’m a big Ward fan too. See you on the next stop. V

  7. Thanks so much for stopping by. Jean was a joy to interview.

  8. Fantastic interview you two! I love how you went with something out of the paranormal-norm, Jean. Mythology is a great topic when working with paranormal. All the best to you, Jean, you two Maer!

    Hugs

    • Hi Loni.

      Mythology is a hot bed of ideas. This is the best reference (yes, I’m going to share my secret) http://www.sacred-texts.com/ The gentleman who put this all together died in 2010, but his work lives on.

      It has references of just about everything. I was able to find the translations from the books of the dead and used one of the spells in Soul Awakened.

      Happy hunting.

      Jean

      • So I decided to check out that website and oh my gosh I think I could get lost on it for days or even months. There is a lot of really interesting stuff on there. I already bookmarked it. I love that they are carrying the website on in his memory and honoring his wish to make it free for everyone and to be the largest collection or archived texts. I think I will be doing some surfing on that website for a long time in the future. That is awesome that there are such great resources out there. sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Hi Cindy.

    Thank you for stopping by. Hard to believe we have been on this writing journey for several years now.

    Jean

  10. I cant wait to read this series! Thanks so much for the interview and chance to win!

  11. Great interview. Interesting questions and answers.
    I’m glad the theme song for the book is a song by Skillet. I love Skillet and I would be happy to get and read Jean’s books. 🙂

    anne.j2(at)gmail.com

  12. Great interview! The series sounds captivating. Although I am into all the various mythologies, it’s refreshing to see storylines that center around ones other than Greek and Roman. I definitely want to check this series out. Thanks for putting it on my radar

    • Hi Kamla.

      So great to meet you. Thank you for stopping by. I had so much fun writing this series and learned so much along the way. Hope Soul Reborn and Soul Awakened find its way onto your TBR.

      Jean 🙂

  13. Another great interview! I loved the bit about the trilogy. It’s so funny how you can have things all planned out and then, out of nowhere, the story takes on a life of its own. In your case, with your characters needing their stories told, outside of the three sisters. I always love it when authors have stories like that about their writing ^_^

    • Hi Dorothy.

      There is a secondary character that I absolutely love. I probably mentioned Sin before. He is Bakari’s bunkmate. He is wise beyond his years and the perfect crutch for Bakari to lean on. I would love to give Sin his own story, but it would probably come after Kit’s story.

      So many books and you can only write one at a time– that is so frustrating.

      Jean

    • Thanks, Dorothy. I’m lucky i get to interview such awesome guests!

  14. Great interview! I’m looking forward to reading this series. Thanks for the giveaway.
    bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

  15. I enjoyed the interview

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  16. I am wondering if Jean will ever write anything military related based on her extensive service to our country. sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Hi Shannon.

      Oh, great question. I actually have another book outlined that is military based. I wanted to retire first before I touched that holy ground. Maybe some day.

      Jean

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