Title: Dark War Chronicles Box set
Author: A.L. Kessler
Release Date: August 16, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Synopsis: Beyond the world of humans, a supernatural war rages on. Surrounded by secrets, power, and bloodshed the people of Lucius' territory struggle to stay in control. With the Looming threat of the Vampire Circle raising the Father of all Vampires, it's every creature for himself — Choose your side.
Today we get to visit with author A.L. Kessler and find out a little more about her books and her writing.
You have a very interesting mix of paranormal creatures. How do you keep all the lore and characters straight?
I have a OneNote notebook that I keep notes in each book. It helps me keep track of everything from character appearance to the time that passes in a certain book. It also tells me who is on who’s side and who is neutral. I try to stay as organized as I can. Sadly, through a recent computer glitch, I lost some of those notes.
One of the things I love about Dark War Chronicles is the overall story arc that continues through all the books. Do you have all the books in the series planned out, or is it still a work in progress?
I have most of the plot for Lucius territory planned out. I know for the most part how it ends. Though some of it I go with the floor. Occasionally characters like to throw curve balls at me and I have to make it work. An example of that would be at the end of Past Demons with the traitor.
Can you tell us how you started writing? What made you decide to hit publish on your first story?
I started seriously writing in high school. Writing was always an escape for me, I found fiction to be much more inviting than real life.
It was my husband who tipped my hand on hitting publish. I had gotten short story accepted in an anthology (no longer in print) and several people asked for more. He sat me down and made me make a choice: go the indie route, or go the traditional route and make people wait longer. I chose the indie route.
What is your special writing spot or muse?
Currently my special writing spot is the corner of the couch. I have an office with a standing desk, but I find I can’t think as well when I’m standing. My spot on the couch is almost a sign that says ‘Hey! The house is quiet and it’s time to write!’ Or you know…the corner chair at Starbucks that faces the window, sadly I can’t sit there every day.
What type of books to enjoy most when reading?
Mostly Urban Fantasy, but it’s been a while since I’ve read one that doesn’t turn into PNR. I’m currently on a non-fiction kick, marketing books and productivity methods.
I am a big fan of the Dark War Chronicles, and while I don't have a lot of room to copy all my reviews, I did want to share some links so you can check them out for yourself. Just click on the title!!
A.L. Kessler is the author of Dark War Chronicles. She dabbles in paranormal romance, steampunk and urban fantasy. Since she was a teenager she's loved weaving stories and spinning tales. When she's not at the beck-and-call of the Lord and Lady of the House, two black cats by the names of Jynx and Sophie, training a playful puppy named Zelda, playing with her daughter, or killing creepers and mining all the things with her husband, she's either reading, participating in NaNoWriMo, or writing in her Blog Writing Rambles. For those who like things on the more spicy side, she leads a double life as Alexandra Webb.
Excerpt from On Torn Wings:
"I cannot believe I let you talk me into this," Orion grumbled as Danielle adjusted his shirt. He could sense her nerves and wondered if she was regretting this. Standing outside the cream colored house, he tried to imagine what her family was like. Probably normal humans, but of course he wasn’t exactly sure what that entailed.
"You owe me for finding the summoning place of the demon." She reminded him and smoothed her hand down the front of his shirt. "I promise this isn't going to be awful."
Orion's eyes flickered to the window behind her. "Pretty sure your mother is peeking through the curtains, should I kiss you and make her wonder?"
She leaned in and shook her head. "We should go in." She turned to knock on the door, but her father swung the door open before she got a chance.
"Hey pumpkin, we were wondering when you two were going to come in. Hope you're hungry, your mom made meatloaf." He smiled, giving his eyes little crinkles at the sides. "You must be Orion."
Orion stuck his hand out and smiled. "The one and only, you must be Mr. Johnson. A pleasure to meet you."
Danielle relaxed when the two of them shook hands and they continued into the house. "Mom, you can stop peeping through the curtains now. We're inside, it's safe."
Her mother gave a small smile. "I'm just making sure. You never know." The round woman wandered into the kitchen, her hands on her hips, and muttering.
Orion stepped up and examined some photos on the wall. They ranged all through her childhood, from infant to high school. There was a sudden gap in age and then some of her in a hospital and then at a welcome home party. It gave him pause, but he resisted asking what had happened. "You have a lovely home."
"Thank you, we've been here all our lives. Even after Dani's...attack, we decided it was best for us to stay."
Orion turned to her and mouthed, 'vampire?'
She gave him a subtle nod. "It was home, moving wasn't an option." He felt that that was the only answer that he would get for the night.
"The doctors said it would be best while you recovered," Her father mused. "Gosh, you haven't really changed much since."
She wrapped an arm around his shoulder and led him into the kitchen. "Let's not bore Orion with stories of the past."
"How did you two meet anyways?" Her mother asked when they all entered. "I know you said he was a partner, but your job doesn't normally require one."
"Work—" They both said at the same time, Orion looked to her to explain. Dani smiled and sat down at the table and motioned for him to follow.
"I met him at the club he works for, as a stripper." A wicked smile crossed her face. "I'd been there for a party, it wasn't until after that I learned he worked for the same branch I do, just in a different department. They sent him over to help me out."
Her mother clicked her tongue and Orion now knew where Danielle got the habit. Luckily she chose to ignore the stripper comment. "I don't like the idea that you need help, they aren't sending you into the field again, are they?"
"No," she answered and Orion looked at her. She lied to her mother, but he was certain she had good reasons for it. "I still do office work, don't worry so much."
Her dad made a strange noise. "It seems that your branch knows what they are doing. So Orion, what is it that you do for the military?"
He took a drink of his water to give him a moment to think. At times like this he wished he could read minds. Mrs. Johnson started serving plates and he watched her for a moment, trying to imagine how Danielle lived a normal human life while being a Hunter. "I'm the guy who goes out in the field so your daughter doesn't have to. She provides me with information and I...take care of the problem."
Danielle gave him a thankful look and took her father's hand. "They take care of us there. So people like you and mom don't have to worry about those strange attacks."
"I wish I knew more about your branch.” Mr. Johnson grumbled. Orion knew why she hid everything from them, they wouldn’t be able to handle it.
"Oh hush, Gary, they took such good care of her." Mrs. Johnson set a plate down in front of Orion and then Gary. "Besides, this is not pleasant dinner conversation, I'm sure Orion and Dani don't want to talk about work all night. Especially since they just got off. Isn't that right dears?"
Both of them nodded, Orion was relieved, but he had questions for Danielle. He was just going to have to wait for his answers.
After dinner the two got back into Orion’s truck and he started it up. Danielle held her breath as she knew what was coming. Orion took a deep breath. “What happened with the vampire?”
She couldn’t admit all of it yet, she just wasn’t ready. “I was attacked in our home and was…” She dug her nails into the palm of her hands. Telling Lucius should have made it easier to tell Orion, but she couldn’t help but just sit there like a victim again.
“It’s okay,” Orion whispered. “You don’t have to explain, I’m sorry I brought it up.”
“No,” she needed to tell him. If this whole partner thing was going to work, if she was going to get him to trust her, she needed to tell him. “I was taken that night, I was with him for a few years.” She about threw up at the words. There was no way that she was going to tell him about being bound. Not right now.
Dani took a shaky breath and squeezed his hand. “When I was with him, I knew I was being held captive by pure evil. There was no redeeming quality to this vampire. It’s not like Lucius, where I can see anything cruel he does somehow is done out of good intentions. No. This one had no good intentions.” She shook her head. “I’d kill him before I let him hurt anyone else.”
“Is this the information you traded Lucius?” Orion asked, his voice worried, but his eyes were on the road so she couldn’t read his face.
Though she knew why it made him nervous, Lucius now had leverage over her that Orion didn’t want. “Yes, but he traded me good information for it. It was worth it.” So she hoped.
Orion went silent and his grip tightened on her hand.
“I don’t think he will, but don’t piss him off or he might be inclined to use this information against you.”
“I don’t think Lucius will free him, he seemed to have known the vampire and wasn’t fond of him.”
“Good, I think.” Orion laughed. “I just don’t want Lucius to have that much control over you. He can be a bastard when he wants.”
He seemed to be well-behaved when she had met with him, but then again she wasn’t officially one of his people. “What do you mean?”
“Let’s use Kassity as an example, she’s spent a lot of time in her panther form in a cage. He’s put a silver collar on her. Tegan is also another example, she’s kept blindfolded when she displeases him. Lucius punishes Coran by forcing his wolf out.”
She took a deep breath because she couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. “So he punishes his people when they step out of line.”
“When he believes they have stepped out of line, yes. That being said, he has saved all of our asses more than once.” He sighed. “He’s also shown mercy before too. Many times.”
She rubbed her eyes. “He sounds like a giant contradiction.”
“Pretty much.” He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it. “Tonight wasn’t supposed to be about your past.”
“No, tonight was supposed to be fun, but since we got on the subject…” She pursed her lips together trying to think about how to phrase her question. “All I know is that the queen took your throne, why didn’t you ever go back?”
He shook his head. “Oh now, we’re not discussing that either tonight. Not the time nor the place.”
She leaned back and wondered where they were going. They sat in silence the rest of the time, until they pulled up to the town home. Orion helped her out of the truck and then led her inside. They both slipped their shoes off and walked into the living room. Her phone rang and she sighed. “It’s my mom, I just have to let her know I’m safe. It might take a few minutes, she likes to talk.” She gave him a smile and he nodded.
“I’ll give you some privacy, I’ll be upstairs when you’re done.”
She nodded and answered her phone.