Interview with Rachel Graves, author of urban fantasy Searching (Dragons of New York, #1)
A dragon terrified of being discovered by the government, Ravenna Drake is constantly on the move. When the woman who raised her gets cancer, Ravenna trades her nomadic work restoring black market magical goods for a steady job. But her cautious life ends after her name is found at the scene of a werewolf murder.
Dr. Ian Chen, a sorcerer bonded to a powerful relic, works for the government treating supernatural citizens. He insists on investigating when his patient’s body is discovered completely drained of blood. His search leads him to the beautiful but frustrating Ravenna Drake, who refuses to stay away from the case or follow his instructions.
As more bloodless bodies surface, threats from secret societies and corrupt politicians force the dragon and the sorcerer to work together. If Ravenna and Ian can’t catch the killer, the people they love the most may be the next to die.
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Excerpt from Searching
His foot reached out to blur the circle and the ghost changed. Agony forced every other emotion aside. He couldn’t breathe, a heavy weight settled on his chest. Panic set in as he wheezed, his heart racing the way hers had raced. Was he experiencing her last minutes or just panicking at the emotions? Could he trust himself? Darkness started to crowd the edges of his vision. Not enough air. Sweat broke out along his back. Somewhere, Cloak was saying something, but he couldn’t hear it over the pounding of blood in his ears. He was going to die here. The blackness got closer.
“No.” The flood of emotions stopped immediately, as Drake stepped in front of him. “That’s not how this works. You don’t get to scream at him.”
His head throbbed, stinging like acid dripping down his face, but he could breathe again. The darkness receded. The first thing he saw was Drake moving into the center of the stain, acting as if the blood wasn’t there.
“I’ll give you enough energy to manifest, but start screaming again and I will end you, even if we haven’t heard a damn thing you’ve got to say. Understand?” She paused, then reached her hand out. A shaft of sunlight came in through the window and her hand seemed to glow. Then the end of it disappeared, replaced with a chest. The shape grew outward, a filmy light turning into a woman. The process took less than a minute, and he heard the sheriff whisper to God.
“Dr. Chen, she can talk to you now.” Drake said it with a very deliberate emphasis on the word talk. Whatever the ghost intended, it wasn’t going to stand up to her. A deep surge of gratitude coursed through him.
Interview with Rachel Graves
-Can you describe your dream home?
I’ve been house hunting for the last four years, so this question is always on my mind. I want a lot of sunlight, high ceilings, and a massive bath tub. Years ago I renovated a bathroom down to bare studs, installing a two person seven by five tub. It was the best! It’s a little outdated, but I will always love an open floor plan, something with lots of space, a kitchen that flows into the living room, and room for my bookshelves (six and counting). Growing up in Florida I had a pool of my own, and I loved being able to swim anytime I wanted. My dream home definitely needs a pool, a high fence around the yard, and enough of a garden to keep things private.
-If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
If you came on Sunday you’d be in for spaghetti and meatballs. My Sicilian grandma taught me how to make ‘Sunday gravy’ from scratch when I was seven. These days I cheat and use canned tomatoes instead of pureeing my own, but the sauce still simmers all day. There’s usually a fresh loaf of bread to accompany dinner, along with a salad, and some decadent dessert. Last weekend I picked peaches and apples, so you’d probably get a cobbler or a pie.
-Do you have any phobias?
It’s crazy for an author who writes about and loves vampires, but I have a terrible fear of needles. I loathe giving blood samples and can’t even look at IV. I always apologize to the phlebotomists because I can’t stop myself from gasping when I get stuck. I still get my vaccines, but I use a shot distraction device or ice my arm into complete numbness first. I’m not sure if my veins are just more sensitive then most people, or if I’m wimp, but getting shots hurts.
-Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Vancouver, Canada. I’ve had an idea for a series on the sea wolves of British Columbia for a few years, but need to do more research. It’s a small population of wolves that have learned to fish, eating sea life like salmon and marine mammals. They live near the coast, away from people. In my head, this dovetails into the old Scottish folklore of kind werewolves who leave fish for hungry families. The story would be about a trio of brothers who are human fisherman by day, and sea wolves under the full moon. I just need to find out more about the towns and people in that area.
-Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?
The absolutely amazing Taria Reed. If you want stock pictures of thin, blond, White women on the cover of your book there are a lot of options. But if you’re looking for curvy or diverse pictures, Taria is the best choice. When I designed the covers for the first three books in this series, I knew finding a curvy heroine snuggled up to an Asian hero was a lot to ask…but Taria had it ready to go! I would be a complete mess if she ever stopped creating art.
About Rachel Graves
Rachel Graves writes mysteries that blend the supernatural with steamy, sexy scenes. Her work explores the many shades of gray found between the lines of right and wrong. Rachel’s books focus on strong heroines who take charge of their own fate, their friends, and their families. Rachel is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and uses research skills honed getting a graduate degree in psychology to seek out rare folklore and magical creatures. Her writing incorporates popular monsters like vampires and werewolves as well as diverse creatures like selkies and yuki onna. Rachel has lived in a cursed town, taken far too many ghost tours, and counts down to every Halloween starting in November. You can read short stories and learn more about her on her website: http://www.rachelgraves.com/.
A randomly drawn winner will be awarded a $50 Amazon/BN GC.