November 3, 2012

The Salamander Stone by C. J. Fenge: Interview, Giveaway, Excerpt

Title: The Salamander Stone
Author: C.J. Fenge
Genre: YA Fantasy/Thriller
Date Published: April 2, 2012
Publisher: Champagne Books


She’s just the girl-next-door, that long-legged pretty thing with the flowing auburn hair. Nothing special, just ordinary Amber Brigantia, a sixteen-year–old with boyfriends on her mind; nothing more.
But you’re wrong. Beneath that enigmatic smile lie dark secrets hiding an elemental power, and when those secrets come out, everyone wants her. Everyone wants a piece of Amber.
 They murder her father and lock her mother in an asylum. Then they come after her, led by the charismatic Dr. Pitt who wants that power for himself. And he doesn’t care how he gets it, smiling and smiling as he twists the knife. But Pitt has a rival, the sadistic Mrs Fedorowicz. She wants Amber too and she is an expert at making people dance to her tune - a tune that can really hurt. 
Even those who love Amber cannot help her. Khiza, the African boy, is the lost other half of Amber’s soul, yet when she encounters the damaged and demonic Meshak she is torn in two and cannot decide what to feel any more. 
Then the demon Azmodeus suckers onto Meshak and time itself rocks in chaos, for the demon is after Amber as well - and what he wants is unspeakable. 
So let the power-games begin. And let that long-legged pretty thing be the prize. 

That weird cry came again, much closer now, cutting through the thick air—a high thin wail thrown far into the darkness and returning as a series of diminishing mocking echoes. Like a baby, thought Meshak, though no baby ever cried like that; no human ever cried like that.
Meshak stood up shakily on the sandy path, straining to see, trying to make sense of this alien world. Below him, on the trail he’d just crawled, another thing was crawling. He could sense it as a furry black shadow shifting and sliding, sucking its way towards him. It cried again as it slithered closer.
Meshak knelt in the sand on the pathway, and the thing, the black shadow, stopped crying and snuffled up close, filling the air with its rotting reek. It slithered behind him and he waited. After a moment he felt a soft suction as it burrowed under his clothes and battened greasily onto his back, inching its way up his body until it reached his left shoulder. Its voice hissed, insistent as it whispered interminably in his ear. It filled his mind, blocking out all other thought. Meshak stood up, his body giving little shivers of excitement like greeting an old friend. A long slow smile split his face in half; an evil gleam glinted in his eye. He moved down the path and back into his own world.
And the shadow on his shoulder went with him. 

Interview with C. J Fenge:

Welcome to Jessabella Reads! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to answer my questions.

1.) Please give us a few sentences about The Salamander Stone and why we should read it.

Well firstly, there are no salamanders in it. It’s about an ordinary girl trapped in a situation that’s anything but ordinary. She’s hunted in this world and the next; she’s manipulated and exploited. There’s no one she can trust – especially not those who love her most. But her biggest battle is with herself. Who is Amber? And can she make the right choices in time to save herself as well as others. The story is designed as a fast-paced thriller, but it’s more than that. As one reviewer put it “Is it a paranormal story, a romance, an adventure? The answer is a resounding yes! This book has it all.” And that’s why you should read The Salamander Stone.

2.) The main character of The Salamander Stone is Amber Brigantia. How would you describe her personality in three words?

Three words? You’re joking! But if I have to, she’s feisty, terrified but determined (to get

3.) You grew up in Africa and one of the main characters, Khiza, lives in Africa. Coincidence? Or was he inspired by someone you knew while living there?

Khiza was a friend’s son. I think his name means soft wind or rain and I just love the sound of it. But all my characters, African or otherwise, are based on people I know or knew. I’ve mixed their characteristics up a bit, and exaggerated here and there, but some are still recognisable – as I know from feedback on the story. I’m admitting nothing in writing though. I’m sticking to the party line ‘any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental’.

4.) What are your top three all-time favorite books(not including your own)?

An impossible question to answer as the list changes with my mood or what I’ve just been
reading. But favourites include ‘Life of Pi’, ‘Middlemarch’, ‘Bleak House’, ‘The Handmaid’s
Tale’.... Oh you only wanted three!

5.) When you are sitting down to write, what are your must-haves?

A bit of peace and lots of strong coffee. I like a chocolate bar or two as well.

6.) What authors, if any, have inspired you in your own writing?

Philip Pullman’s trilogy ‘His Dark Materials’ was the main inspiration. But Tolkien must
have a mention for the beauty of his prose style – and, of course, the Wizard of Hogwarts.

7.) What is one thing about yourself that we couldn't find out by Googling you?

I play Meatloaf very loud when I’m alone in the car. Sometimes I even sing along! (The
character, Meshak, was partly inspired by Meatloaf).

8.) Any plans for a sequel?

The sequel is on its way, and it’s been even more exciting to write than the first book, so it
should be a good read. The Salamander Stone was mainly from Amber’s point of view. This
one centres on Khiza, and book three is Meshak’s story, which is going to be a blast.

Author Bio:
I’m an English Teacher, and all my working life I’ve been telling students: “Don’t put labels on yourself. They’re restricting.” I little realised that I was guilty of exactly that because I’d classed myself as analytical, not creative. And it was only when I was forced into some writing that I discovered I could create worlds, not just comment on other people’s creations. So that’s what I do now and I have an increasing amount of time to do it in. My teaching career is winding down, my two children have grown up and left home, my husband of 40 years, also a writer, is busy creating worlds on his computer all day. To a casual observer ours is a very quiet, boring household. There aren’t even any pets making a racket since my two adorable, but elderly, ‘rescue’ cats died last year. But the inner life of our house is far from boring. Take a journey with Amber and her Salamander Stone and see what I mean. And remember not to put labels on yourself. If I can break free, anyone can. 
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  1. Thx for the awesome giveaway xD

  2. Hey, saw your post yesterday - congratulations on the arrival of your new daughter, Adelena Grace. Can't wait to see some pictures! :-)

    Thanks for the great giveaway :-)

  3. Hi,
    Great giveaway. Thanks!

  4. i love ur giveaway..
    thx u so much ^^


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