Readers, thank you for joining us. Please enjoy an author interview for the upcoming Rituals and Runes Anthology, coming out in October 2022!
Author: J.C. McKenzie
Book: Embrace the Flame
R&R: Thank you so much for joining us! We can’t wait to hear about your book that’s exclusive to the Rituals and Runes Anthology.
In Embrace the Flame, what challenging situation do your characters find themselves in?
Ms. McKenzie: Juni is a fox shifter and used to getting out of complicated situations, but she may have finally found something she can’t escape. Binding herself to the Lord of War may have saved her lover, but now she has to serve her family’s number one enemy. And while she tried to find a way out of the bond, she learns one of her besties has been charged with murder. Juni knows her friend didn’t do it, but it will take all her skills as a private investigator to find the evidence that will prove it.
R&R: What a predicament! It’s going to be awesome finding out how Juni deals with that situation.
What was your favorite thing about writing Embrace the Flame?
Ms. McKenzie: I can’t fully answer this without major spoilers, but let’s just say, this story feels very Canadian.
R&R: What do your main characters want more than anything in the world?
Ms. McKenzie: Her family and friends are safe and loved.
R&R: There are so many types of Shifters, why did you pick a fox?
Ms. McKenzie: I love the idea of fox shifters. They have predator and prey-like tendencies. They’re smart, agile, adaptable, and family-oriented—all the characteristics Juni possesses.
R&R: How fun! That’s very true about foxes and makes them a great animal to use for a story.
What surprised you about writing this book?
Ms. McKenzie: Where my brain took the murder mystery.
R&R: Intriguing! Can’t wait to find out what happens!
Who are your favorite authors?
Ms. McKenzie: There are so many who inspire me every day. There are authors I look up to, who I inspire to be one day, authors who have no idea I even exist. There are authors who support me and cheer me on.
One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman. I love listening to and/or watching interviews with him where he discusses his writing process. Though we are vastly different writers, our writing process is very similar and to learn a fabulous, highly successful writer like Neil Gaiman, goes through a similar process was very validating.
R&R: What books do you have coming out that are not involved in the anthology?
Heir of the Eyrie, a standalone fantasy romance, releases March 31st, 2022.
Immortal Throne, a standalone urban fantasy, releases in June, 2022
House of Chaos, a standalone fantasy romance, releases September, 2022.
And I will also be rapid releasing an Urban Fantasy trilogy starting November 2022.
R&R: Now for our bonus question. Would you rather have endless winter or endless summer?
Oh, that’s a hard one. I’d have to say endless summer.
R&R: Thanks again for joining us! Please read on for the blurb, a lovely excerpt, and where to find Ms. McKenzie.
I don’t have time to deal with Fae shenanigans…
My best friend was charged with a murder she didn’t commit. If I don't find a way to exonerate her, she'll spend her life in jail, along with other wrongfully accused shifters.
With the Fae haunting my every step and impeding my investigation, I’m forced to rely on Lincoln, the human who crushed my heart. He’s worked hard to become a skilled fighter and make amends, but can he play Watson to my Sherlock?
My skills as a PI will be tested, but not as much as my heart.
They stared at each other awkwardly while her heart thundered in her chest and threatened to break free of her ribcage.
“What’s wrong?” Lincoln asked.
Where should she start? “Everything has changed.”
He tensed, his hands balling into fists. “Nothing has changed for me.”
Of course not, he wasn’t the one tied to the Lord of War’s life.
“I know your circumstances are not the same, and I would do anything to rewind time,” he continued. “And I will do everything and anything to see you free of Bane.”
Her heart started doing weird things again.
“But have your feelings for me changed?” he asked.
A wide range of evasions and excuses popped up. She could weasel her way out of this awkward discussion about touchy-feely emotions. But why? What would be the point besides ruining something that hadn’t yet had the chance to start?
Lincoln waited. Quiet and patient, like he had for the last six years.
“No,” she admitted. If anything, her feelings for Lincoln had deepened, intensified.
Lincoln smiled. Not a regular smile. The smile. The one that could light up a room and blind half the occupants.
“Then nothing has changed for us, Juni. I like you and you like me.”
“It’s not that simple.” And she was certainly beyond simply liking him.
He shook his head. “It really is.”
“But Bane could…”
“Bane could do a number of things.” Lincoln licked his lips. “But not this.”
He pulled her close, leaned down, and pressed his lips to hers.
Whatever arguments she had run out the door.
Lincoln had this way of kissing her—as if breathing held no consequences as if he stopped time itself for them to have this moment as if he’d never taste her lips again.
And every time it did her in. She swung her leg around to straddle him. He groaned and one hand slipped down her back to the top of her hip to hold her in place. The other moved around her head to tangle in her knotted hair.
His lip curled up under her mouth, probably saving some sort of joke about her mass of curls for later.
At this moment, she didn’t care. She didn’t care about her blood-encrusted outfit, the state of her hair, the significance of her caomhnóir bond, and certainly not about her need for oxygen. She simply needed to consume Lincoln, stamp the feel of his lips on her brain so she could relish the memory forever.
J. C. McKenzie is a book-loving, gumboot-wearing, unapologetic science geek. She's the author of the Carus Series, an urban fantasy five-book saga published by the Wild Rose Press. Born and raised on the West Coast, J. C. sets the majority of her books in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
Where to find her:
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie
Get more magical & paranormal-themed stories like this in Rituals & Runes!