Hidden by Amy McKinley – Q&A and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. One randomly chosen commenter will receive a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome Amy McKinley to Long and Short Reviews as she stops by to answer a few random questions. Amy, what would we find under your bed?

Dust? (hopefully not) 🙂

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Yes, I definitely listen to music while I write. It fades into the background and aids in creativity. I can write without it but prefer to have it playing.

I have several playlists and I change them depending on what scene I’m writing. If it’s an action scene with lots of fighting then I may have something heavy with a lot of angst. For some of the love scenes, I was listening to “Where Have You Been” by Rhianna, or “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez. I feel like Rhianna’s song really encompasses Jade and Roen.

It truly varies: Fall Out Boy, Bastille, Imagine Dragons, Meghan Trainor, Maroon 5, Muse, Eminem, among others.

What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

I’d definitely like to finish another book or two in the Five Fates Series. I have a few more that have been percolating that are not in the series. That’s tough because I want to dive into them all, but I find it hard to pull myself away from the next books in the Fates series.

How long did it take you to write this book?

I feel like I’ve been writing this book for years! But really, I think I’ve been revising it for a very long time. It probably took me close to a year to write it as it’s my first novel, but I’m not entirely sure. Now revisions…that’s another story!

MediaKit_BookCover_HiddenCursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.

Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.

Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Jade froze, her paintbrush hanging mid-air above her palette. An eerie, surreal frame was cast as light streamed diagonally through the bay window.

Whispers seduced and coerced.

She scanned the entire painting. The buildings cast long, ominous shadows, stalking the pedestrians as they made their way to and fro, huddled against the misery of the evening. A man lay sprawled, his lifeblood staining the sidewalk crimson. Half in a deserted alley, he was yet to be discovered. This was the detail Jade concentrated on. She blended a burnt red and used careful brush strokes to complete the scene as the portrait fell prey to the darkness that burned inside her.

Without meaning to, her gaze was once again drawn to the slain man. She reached up and touched the blood seeping from his body, coming away wet. Bringing her hand to her nose she closed her eyes and inhaled.

Instead of the cloying scent of her oils, she inhaled the coppery smell of blood.

Stunned, her mouth parted on a silent scream. No! Darkness bubbled to the surface, invading her senses with a roar. Unable to fight the invasion, her heart beat an increasing crescendo. Part of her didn’t want to struggle, not with the temptation of death on her hand.

Deep inside, a macabre shadow stretched. Hungry for more, its long arms clawed for purchase with each breath. Changing her, as part of her argued for the better. The other part—the one that gloried in her fire-kissed hair and shimmering eyes—cried against this crime and screamed for redemption.

She crouched to welcome the demonic strength as the parasitic monster grew inside her. Evolving into a fierce predator, she was able to taste, weigh, and measure the souls who sifted through her fingers.

Still, she fought for space in her own body. For control.

But with the scent of blood, of death, of prey—she was losing fast. It’s happening. Unshed tears burned her eyes. Finally. The curse of the three Fates had begun. With her.

Slowly Jade stood and bit down on her lip and welcomed the pain. The distraction would help fight the transformation. Dipping the brush into the Caribbean blue, she swirled then began to paint a shimmering cove. The vision soothed the beast that lurked just beneath, but it was temporary, and Jade knew its evil would soon rebel. The Fates’ curse would change her over time, unleashing an unstoppable power within her, annihilating the gods who created her and anyone who got in her path.

Including her family.

Dropping the blue-tipped brush, Jade’s back snapped straight and her mouth opened on silent scream. Succumbing to a surge of menace, she lost control. Every cell stretched to accommodate the new presence. Shivering from the effects of her altered state, she briefly shut her eyes, adjusting. When she opened them, her painting was before her, and she viewed the scene anew. Cocking her head, she closely observed a woman who tightly clutched her rain slicker about her body.

This one will not make it home tonight.

About the Author: Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden is the first in the Five Fates Series.

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thank you so much for hosting me! I’m happy to answer any questions and good luck in the drawing. 🙂

  3. You mention that it took you a year to write ‘Hidden’. Being that it’s your first novel I find that quite impressive. When you include all the revisions and the editing (proofreading) how long would you say the whole process took? Do you think now that you’ve gone through the whole process once that it’ll be quicker for you next novel? PS – Great excerpt!

    • Hi Anne! I know this sounds strange, but I really struggle with figuring out how long it took me with Hidden. I believe 2 1/2 years in all. But yes, the next one went a lot faster. I jotted down an outline over the summer in 2013 and if my notes are correct, began writing seriously in December 2014. Many revisions would have followed after and it was completed in May 2015. In September I signed a contract for Taken with Champagne Books. With each book I learn something new and I love every minute of it. Understanding what works for me, what doesn’t, is a constant process. One i thoroughly enjoy. But yes, it is easier each time, even when challenges arise. Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck in the drawing!

  4. kim amundsen says:

    Like the excerpt.

  5. I liked the excerpt. Sounds like a great read.

  6. Eva Millien says:

    Great interview and excerpt, sounds like a terrific read, thanks for sharing and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  7. Thank you, Eva! I really hope you enjoy it and Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  8. Sounds like Jade’s in for a wild and crazy ride.

    • Hi Ashley! She does go through some rough spots, definitely. I hope you enjoy her story and thanks so much for stopping by. Good luck in the drawing and Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

  9. What an exciting excerpt. I loved it.

  10. I’m looking forward to reading Hidden, thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  11. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you! Terrific cover!

  12. Do you write every day? Do you have a word goal for each day you write?

    • Hi Peggy! I want to write every day, crave it actually. And I do when everything lines up just right. But when my kids are home and we have a lot going on I’m only able to sneak in a little bit of time. I’m getting better at carving out time and telling everyone that’s what I’m doing. But the holidays… Anyway, normal days during school, yes. I do have set times and goals. They do vary because things always seem to pop up. If I’m editing and I’m on a deadline I stick to it or beat it. I actually like deadlines. If its just me I work with a clock and try to stick to it. In other words, I’ll try to edit one chapter by a certain time, the next by the next hour, and so on. If I’m aiming toward finishing a book, sometimes I’ll write by a timer and others I’ll take all the time I want. Minimum word count would be 1000 and anywhere above that I’m happy. The book I’m working on right now I began on a timer and wrote that way (fast draft) for more than half of it. I’d say it took about one month? The word count goal was 2500 a day. I had to stop because edits came in for another book and now I’m back in editing up to where I stopped and will finish it soon. Thanks so much for stopping by, good luck in the drawing, and Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  13. What’s your greatest failure, and how did you overcome it?

    • Hi Mai. My greatest failure would be not pursuing writing when I was younger. I loved it. I just did not understand that I could turn it into a career that would work for me. I mistakenly thought I’d have to be a journalist. I have no idea why, I guess that’s just something I’d heard as a career option while I was in High School. I overcame it about five years ago when I was offered a job writing for a creative firm. It was part time and perfect for me with my very busy family. Once I began writing I realized how much I still loved it, that I never really stopped. I searched other ways to indulge my need to write and found a writing group called the Journey and joined it with my oldest daughter and a friend. That’s when I began writing fiction again and I’m so glad I did. Good luck in the drawing Mai and Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you!

  15. Good answers for the Q&A. I am enjoying follow your tour and getting to know you and your book. Happy Thanksgiving.

  16. amy bowens says:

    Love the sounds of this. Definitely going to check it out

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