EMBRACE BY STACEY ROURKEWhether she likes it or not, eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has come to terms with being the Chosen One. She knew having a “normal life” would be tricky, between intense training sessions and epic demonic battles, but she didn’t know at what cost it would come. That is, until a dear friend is harmed by the malicious forces hunting her.
Now, she’d like nothing more than to retreat into a hermit lifestyle to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. But startling revelations, amazing new abilities, and mortifying moments in front of insanely hot guys won’t allow time for that. Soon, Celeste finds herself surrounded by darkness and wondering who she can trust—if anyone.
HERE'S WHAT I THOUGHTAfter reading The Conduit, I knew I wanted to find out more in this series. Celeste, even though she's a kick booty girl with powers that will make you gasp, is still a magnet for trouble. Actually, not only that, she's a magnet for boys and relationships that will not end well! I actually feel pretty sorry for Celeste through the first book and halfway into Embrace. She just doesn't catch a break!
I loved that this book was full of lots of actions and plot twists. I'm a sucker for these two things in a book and when the plot twists are ones that make me look like I just saw a ghost, you know that they're good ones! Celeste really shines throughout the book, though. Her confidence has remained and bloomed even more since we last saw her. She finally starts putting her foot down about making her own decisions and choices with regards to what she believes is the right path for her to take. Even at times when her choices seem questionable, I still find myself rooting her on! She has a good heart.
Then come a few handsome men into her life, especially one hunky Irishman named Caleb. Oh Caleb, how you make all our hearts go pitter patter with your raven black hair and accent. Oh, that's just me? And maybe Celeste, too, I guess. I am trying not to spoil anything but I'll say this....man that Caleb! You'll just have to read and find out why I'm saying that!
As for the rest of the gang, they aren't left out at all! Lots of things happen to them in their ever changing world as well. I'll try not to give anything away except for some of my reactions to things I read. I said outloud - "REALLY?" "What! No way!" "Aww, how sweet!" And maybe a little of "FINALLY!" So, just get yourself a copy and read this, okay?
I GAVE EMBRACE
EXTRA, EXTRA! INTERVIEW WITH STACEY ROURKE!Not only did I get the pleasure to read her books, Stacey took some time to answer some questions for me as well! That's something I always appreciate and love digging into the mind of some of my favorite people. She lets us in on her writing rituals, her dream cast, what we can expect from Sacrifice, and her love for crabs! The only thing I couldn't get her to give up was her nickname! And a big sorry to her admin, Jenn! Don't give Stacey too many lashings with a wet noodle for answering some silly questions!
Let’s talk about inspiration. Was there any particular authors or books that inspired you when you first started out as an author?
I have tons of favorite authors, all of which inspire me with their works. Yet every time I get asked that question I blank on all books I have read … ever. I will say that as of late I have been reading primarily indie books and they never cease to inspire me not only with their story telling but also with their drive and determination to get their voices heard.
What about experiences? Are any of them based on something that happened in your life or is everything just pulled straight from your imagination?
A lot of Celeste’s awkwardness she gets from me. Embarrassing herself in front of hot guys? Totally me. The original draft of Conduit had real life experiences of my extreme dating failures in it, but those were taken out. The fantasy elements come from my imagination, but I utilize personalities and stories from people I know to make the characters as real as possible.
So, how did you end up writing in the fantasy/paranormal genre? Did you choose it or did it choose you?
Fantasy really is just fun. Who doesn’t dream of being able to fly? Or bench press a car? In fantasy we can break through the rules of reality and anything is possible. That is just too tempting to pass up!
What’s the most challenging part of writer? And what part makes it all worth it?
Right now the literary world is in a state of upheaval. We’re in the midst of the indie revolution. There are so many author’s struggling to get their name out there and their voices heard right now that it is insanely hard not to get lost in the crowd. But those moments when a fan contacts me to say they loved my book, or a teen that tells me they could relate to Celeste? Those are the moments that make it worthwhile. Those are the moments that drive me to push on.
Are you a sit down and plan, let the characters run wild, or a little of both when it comes to writing?
Little bit of both. I plan and plot the story out, so I know where I’m going with it. Yet the story always manages to surprise me. When I’m in the moment with my characters the story usually ends up taking me places I hadn’t intended. And ya know what? Those are the moments that make the story real and the characters authentic.
In the Gryphon series, which character do you relate to the most and why? Personally, I’m a Grams trapped in Celeste’s body! Wild and crazy but clumsy as heck!
Celeste, definitely. Her and I both speak fluent sarcasm. LOL
Any stories about how Celeste, Keni or Gabe got their names? (Or any other characters!)
For Celeste I wanted her name to have an origin to the ancestry where her calling began; in the hills of Ireland in the 1700s. Here’s a little known fact; in the prologue of The Conduit the Garrett’s ancestor is eluded to, but not named. Well in the original version she had a name; Celia. I modernized that for present time and that’s how I ended up with Celeste. Then there’s Kendall, our creature of love. She was named in loving memory of my Uncle Ken that passed away when I was eight years old. Gabe? No real story for him. He’s a strong, badass dude and I want him to have a strong, uber-manly name. Hence, Gabe.
Anything that really sets the mood when you write? Do you need music? Or maybe just a quiet spot to hide away in? Any writing rituals?
I have to be comfy. Preferably on my bed with my laptop, a drink and fuzzy socks on the chilly days. I can not have the TV on because it’s way too distracting for me, but music is a must. I usually flip through my play list until I can find a song that sets the mood for the scene and –much to my husband’s annoyance—I play it on repeat until I get through that moment.
Have you had the chance to travel anywhere since releasing The Gryphon Series? Any funny stories or interactions with fans that stick out in your brain that you’d love to share? I
have got to travel a bit, with appearances in Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, and—of course—my home state of Michigan scheduled for this year! I have had a few incidents where people recognized my name and told me how much they or someone they know loves my books and that is insanely cool. But for the most part people don’t do the starstruck thing around me. They read my books, they interact with me through social media and they know I’m a big geek that they can feel free to be themselves around and I wouldn’t change that for the world!
If the series were to go to the big screen (and I hope it does), do you have a dream cast cooked up already?
Since you’re your own boss now, tell us about the worst boss or job you’ve ever had.
I once worked for a photographer that was constantly trying to get me to pose in bikini pictures because according to him I “didn’t know how truly beautiful I was.” Yeah, nice try slick. I may not think I’m beautiful, but I do think I’m smart enough to keep clothed and away from creeps like him. I didn’t not stay with that job long.
Care to indulge us with three facts that your fans may not know about you?
-I once won a talent show dancing to the song Hey Mickey. Even rocked a side ponytail
-I can touch my tongue to my nose
-My admin, Jenn, hates it when I say random stuff like this in interviews and she will give me hell for this.
Do you have a nickname? Come on, share even the embarrassing ones!
-Hahahahahaaaa!!! No. Not gonna happen. LOL
What’s a story that your family will never let you live down?
My step-dad warned me repeatedly not to jump on the stairs. But seven year old me didn’t listen and went ahead and jumped from the top of the stairs down. Didn’t clear the staircase and bounced my head off every stair on the way down. Hence securing my future as some that has to learn things the hard way…
READY TO GET SILLY? OKAY, HERE WE GO!
If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be? Why?
Purple. I have a purple tee and it’s my favorite.
If I take a look inside your refrigerator what would I find?
Take-out leftovers and coffee creamer. I’m not so much with the cooking.
If you had to pick one song to be played every time you walked into a room, what would it be and why?
Sexy B*tch! It is impossible not to strut to that song!
What’s your idea of an amazing meal?
A bucket of crab from Joe’s Crab Shack!! YES!!!!
And one last question, have any juicy hints, details, or blurbs you can share with us about what we can see next from you? Maybe a little Celeste and Caleb action? (Since I’m assuming you won’t share who Bernard is!)
Sacrifice … the story goes to a deeper, darker place. The humor is still there, but I will be taking you on an emotional roller coaster ride. Things will heat up between Celeste and Caleb, but Rowan is also a big player in this book. There’s a wedding, a painful good-bye and Grams doing Jello shots. What more could you want?!
THANK YOUOnce again, big thank you to Stacey Rourke for giving us some juicy answers to my wondering mind!
You can check out Embrace on Amazon and Goodreads.
Check out Stacey Rourke on her blog, Facebook, and Goodreads.
I RECEIVED A COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST OPINION.