Sunday, July 17, 2011

Demonspell (Sunspinners) by Phoebe Matthews

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Demonspell, or Curse of the Everlasting Relatives, is the first book in the Sunspinner series.

Along with a big house and income, Elaine inherits five immortal relatives who need constant attention. Try keeping a husband with that set of in-laws. Yes, she has tried. Twice. And failed. Now, just when she meets a new guy, a band of demons demands that Elaine and her family leave Seattle immediately, alive or dead.

From the author of the award-winning urban fantasy Mudflat series, here is another series set in contemporary Seattle, across town.

About Phoebe Matthews

Phoebe Matthews writes the Mudflat urban fantasy series for BookStrand and the new Turning Vampire series for Dark Quest Books. Her current books and backlist books are described on her website. Phoebe has been published by Avon, Dell, Holt, Putnam, Silhouette. Most of her books are set in the Pacific Northwest where she lives and where the constant rain and fog hide a lot of weirdness.


One minute I was hanging onto Charley's outstretched hand as he hauled me to my feet. The next second I clutched my throat. It felt like drowning except for the lack of water, that awful awareness that although the atmosphere was too thin to feel, it was too solid to breathe. I tried to draw in breath and the effort left me so weak, I fell against Charley and clung to him.

His hands grabbing me under my arms were all that kept me from collapsing to the floor.
“Try not to breathe,” he whispered. “Hang in there, Elaine, I'll get you out.”
Charley's guards coughed loudly and made choking noises. If it was a gas leak, I couldn't smell anything beyond the odor of the demons.
Albert Mortviner gave a shout of rage. Pulling a white handkerchief from a pocket, he covered his nose and raced across the room and past the receptionist area. He pulled open one of the doors that led to the elevator corridor, swung back, glared at the two men behind me, and shouted something else through the handkerchief that I couldn't make out. The door slammed behind him.
The guards rushed after Mortviner. They stumbled and bumped into each other and the door frames, coughing and trying to shield their noses with their hands, their faces screwed into deep lines. They were no more able to breathe than I was.
Again the door slammed as they ran toward the elevators.
Try not to breathe? How could I do that? Holding my breath, not letting it out, lasted a few seconds and then I had to exhale and had to gasp for air that wasn't there.
Simone walked calmly now, not bothering to hurry. She stopped for a moment, standing with her back to the doors, staring at Charley. Her face was twisted into something halfway between demon and human.
My brain was twisting into something halfway between alive and dead.
I heard those numbered doors open. Was she still hissing? Who cared? I could not breathe.
I pounded on Charley's shoulders and coughed in his face.
He turned us together toward the reception area and dragged me that direction, saying, “Hang on, sweetie!”
I tried to walk.
He pulled me past the divider and the front desk, and I stretched my hands toward the pebble glass. The open door slammed shut. Some sort of stupid lock clicked in place, one of those sounds you don't think about recognizing until you hear it at the wrong time.
We were locked in, even though it is illegal to lock a door so it cannot be opened from the inside in a commercial building, everyone knows that, and why was I worrying about that now?
Charley and I hit the door together. It was so heavy it didn't even rattle. Or I was so far past turning blue that nothing registered.
I slid slowly down the wall, my scraped hands leaving a thin trail of blood on the light paint.

Interview with
Phoebe Matthews

What will readers like about your book?

This is urban fantasy with a fast-moving plot and a cast of unusual paranormals, but set in a real city. The story is pure entertainment with action and suspense, featuring a gutsy heroine and her strange sidekick.

Why did you self publish?

I write two other urban fantasy series for publishers, and the publishers are both great but there are always deadlines and delays for a number of reasons. I decided to do this series at my own pace and so, with the aid of a publisher-PR buddy, I launched the Sunspinners.

What is your writing process?

First I do a long and detailed outline so that I always know where the story is headed. And then I write the first couple of chapters and then the last chapter. Next I go back and start all over, working through the scenes. And write and rewrite and slide it past my first reader, and then rewrite again. Maybe this explains why I am not too good with deadlines. My feeling is that a book is ready to be published when I am completely happy with it and not a moment sooner.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

I don't set time lines. This series started in my head a couple of years ago, and the first draft was too long and so then I went back and rearranged and put it away to think about. When I started rewriting, ideas started falling into place and making sense.

What inspired you to write this particular story? 

I have been writing the Mudflat series for several years for BookStrand. These novels are set in Seattle in a working class neighborhood of minor magic where the inhabitants all know everything about each other. From there I skipped across town to a wealthy neighborhood where neighbors have nodding acquaintances only, and absolutely no idea that there is a house full of paranormals in their midst. All they know is that the woman who lives there inherited the house and they think she lives alone. It gave me a different part of the city and a different life style and type of adventure to work with. If the heroine, Elaine Royal, had any say in the matter, she would ask for some of that Mudflat magic. But I haven't given her any. Sorry, Elaine.


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