Series: Storm Chronicles Book 6
Author: Skye Knizley
Published: April 21st, 2016
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Genre: Horror, Urban Fantasy
Content Warning: Contains violence and horror elements
Recommended Age: 17+
Synopsis: On a rainy night in 1971 the cruise ship Crescent Star vanished in the North Atlantic without a trace. No crew, no lifeboats and no wreckage was ever found, in spite of a three-week search.
Two days ago, she crashed through and sank a pleasure yacht off the coast of New York, leaving five people dead. The ship has answered no hails and no one appears to be aboard. Agent Raven Storm and a forensic team lead by Aspen Kincaid have been tasked to investigate and bring the ship in, if possible.
What happened to 720 crew and passengers and where has the ship been for 44 years?
Clue by macabre clue, Raven uncovers the truth of the Crescent Star and faces a villain from beyond the grave.
But how can she stop something she can’t see, can’t touch, and that won’t hesitate to use the ones she loves against her?
What was the inspiration for your story?
Storm is the sixth book in the Storm Chronicles, an ongoing series starring half-vampire Raven Storm. The inspiration was the previous five books along with my love of 80’s horror films, which I admit influenced the overall story. Fan emails and comments indicated they wanted something a little different to the last novel and I was happy to oblige them.
What kept you going throughout the writing process?
Music, coffee and crunchy Cheetos. Music for the soul, coffee for the late nights at the keyboard and Cheetos for the fingers. I don’t recommend the Cheetos unless you like cleaning orange bits out of the keyboard… And don’t do it naked, a friend pointed out that is a redneck joke.
Who is your most meaningful character and why?
This question can be answered many ways, depending on the definition of meaningful. Raven Storm is, of course, meaningful as the series is based on her and her life as a Section 13 agent. She is the main protagonist of the book and the series.
On the other hand, Raven’s familiar Aspen is the catalyst for the story. Without her, the mystery doesn’t happen and we never see this particular slice of Raven’s life.
For me, the villain is most meaningful, but I can’t say too much without giving away the mystery. The villain is a classic tragic horror villain, though, and I couldn’t help feeling for her while I was writing.
Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
Book VII, Aspen and Book VIII Night Raven are already contracted, so that is a definite yes. I also have Raven’s Blood, Deadly Storm, Western Storm and Aspen Winter on the schedule and my publisher made me promise to keep writing them until I am 105.
I probably should have just said “yes.”
How has this story touched your life?
This isn’t the sort of question I usually answer. I don’t often write stories I intend to be moving or touch people in any way other than an afternoon’s entertainment and escape. All of my stories mean something to me, they are all personal in some way but it isn’t something I put my finger on. When I finish a story all I want is it to be good and for people to enjoy the escape with a minimum of fuss or unnecessary drama.
What motivated you to start writing?
I was injured, I wasn’t able to game or hang out with my friends and I needed to do something or go completely nuts. So I took some of my favorite characters I’d created and I started telling a story about them. That story blossomed into the first Raven Storm novel, Stormrise.
Let me tell you, when all you can do is stare at four walls and wait, writing is a fantastic way to escape and keep your mind active.
Excerpt from STORM by Skye Knizley:
Raven Storm sat up in bed, a scream fighting behind her lips. It had happened again; her father in the shadows, the boom of her pistol, and his body dropping. She’d had the nightmare every night since coming home. Her psyche eval was so bad she’d been dropped from field duty and was investigating UFO sightings in Montana. Not her best job ever.
She slid out of bed and padded toward the stairs. Around her was the loft bedroom she shared with her fiancé, Aspen. The walls were painted a soft lavender that was almost grey and matched the carpet. Their king-size bed was covered with a blue flowered bedspread and the nightstands were antiques sent by Valentina from Chicago.
Raven ran a hand over the Maltese Falcon poster in the stairwell and turned out of habit to the kitchen, where two scoops of coffee and some hot water soon produced a brew that would be guaranteed to keep her up the rest of the night. She was just sitting down to savor a cup when Aspen’s cell started chirping from its charging plate on the counter.
Who the hell is calling her at this hour? Raven wondered.
She picked it up and slid her finger over the screen. “Storm.”
There was a pause and then, “Agent Storm? Is Aspen Kincaid there?”
“She’s sleeping, like normal people, who is this?”
“This is Kane, I’m with Agent in Charge King’s office. Please get her, its important,” Kane said.
“Who is it?”
Raven looked up to see Aspen leaning over the upstairs railing, her purple hair trailing around her face.
“King’s office,” Raven replied.
Aspen wiped sleep from her eyes. “They have a case for you?”
Raven shrugged. “It’s for you, probably a crime scene.”
Aspen hurried down the steps and took the phone.
“This is Aspen.”
She listened for a moment, and turned to Raven, eyes wide. She pressed the speaker button and held the phone out. “Mr. Kane, can you say that again?”
“We have a code thirteen emergency. The cruise ship Crescent Star is carrying an unknown preternatural threat and heading toward New York City. I need you to lead a team onboard and stop it before it reaches the one mile marker. You’ll be briefed enroute.”
“Kane, this is Storm. Aspen isn’t a field agent, who gave the order?” Raven asked.
“King, Agent Storm.”
Aspen shook her head. “He knows I’m not an agent, Kane. I’m a lab-rat, I only go with Raven on certain cases, he can’t—”
“You have basic field training and he handpicked you, Kincaid. You’re on a chopper in twenty minutes, a car is on the way.”
“I want to talk to King,” Raven said.
“He didn’t ask for you, Storm,” Kane said.
“I don’t give a shit, Mr. Kane,” Raven said. “Code thirteen is the catastrophe code, you’re not sending Aspen—”
“This conversation is over, Agent Storm. Agent Kincaid, be ready,” Kane said.
The line went dead. Raven stared at the phone, then looked at Aspen.
About the Author:
Skye Knizley is the #1 bestselling author of the Storm Chronicles series, an urban fantasy tale that mixes mystery, magic and horror and the Shadowlands series of modern espionage thrillers. All of her books feature strong female leads who can hold their own with the men and then some, witticisms and of course Skye’s trademark snark.
Skye, who holds degrees in forensic science and psychology, lives in the middle of nowhere in a tiny little town of about 700 people. The small town life appeals to her and she finds it conducive to writing. When she isn’t setting quill to parchment (okay she actually uses a laptop, but quills are cool) Skye can be found practicing Muay Thai, camping, motorcycling and hiking with her psychotic Siberian husky, Piper. Once a year she participates in an uncontrolled “float trip.” Whether she wants to or not. It’s a camping thing.
Skye is also a proud gamer girl and an avid fan of role-playing games. She currently participates in a weekly Shadowrun game held at a local gaming store (stop in and say ‘hi!’) and is the writer and game-master of a private Fantasy Flight game held once a month.
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