Sisters in Blood
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Freya’s Bower
Date of Publication: October 6, 2015
Number of pages: 294
Word Count: 117,529
Cover Artist: LLPix Design
Having survived the attack inside the Natick Mall, Brooke dreads the thought of spending decades in exile while she waits for the media firestorm from the superhuman brawl to run its course. But soon after fleeing Boston, she discovers the battle caught the eye of forces far more lethal than humans. Captured by the dark Goddess Lilith, Brooke has her soul stripped away, becoming a greater demon tasked with leading Hell's forces to war.
But not even Lilith could have anticipated the powerful bond Brooke has formed with her family. Or the unlikely alliances they'd forge in an attempt to save her. Her love for Sienna and her sisters prevents her from fully embracing the darkness, but the demon spirit inside her is claiming more control of her mind with each passing day.
About the Author:
C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.
He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. C.M. is currently working on the third book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance called Kerrigan’s Race.
An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine and Laini Taylor. When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife.
C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7234420.C_M_Michaelsa Rafflecopter giveaway
Where are you from? I grew up in a small town in northern Michigan called Traverse City as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. It is best known for the National Cherry festival along with the countless lakes, beaches and beautiful scenery that make it a popular tourist destination in the summer. I met my wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together we’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, our eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.
Tell us your latest news? My latest release, Omnipotent Blood, is the second of four books in my Urban Fantasy Sisters in Blood series. The supernatural world expands in this installment, with Angels, Demons and witches joining the fray, which made it really enjoyable to write. The book blurb is below:
Having survived the attack inside the Natick Mall, Brooke dreads the thought of spending decades in exile while she waits for the media firestorm from the superhuman brawl to run its course. But soon after fleeing Boston, she discovers the battle caught the eye of forces far more lethal than humans. Captured by the dark Goddess Lilith, Brooke has her soul stripped away, becoming a greater demon tasked with leading Hell’s forces to war.
But not even Lilith could have anticipated the powerful bond Brooke has formed with her family. Or the unlikely alliances they’d forge in an attempt to save her. Her love for Sienna and her sisters prevents her from fully embracing the darkness, but the demon spirit inside her is claiming more control of her mind with each passing day. It’s a race against time, and the whole world is at stake.
When and why did you begin writing? I have always had an overactive imagination which writing has provided an outlet for. When I was really young, maybe eight, I used to exchange letters each week with my oldest brother who was away at college. The fantasy creatures we made up were mortal enemies, and battled each other in an imaginary world we crafted together.
The first book I shared with anyone outside of friends and family was a children’s novella originally written for a class assignment called The Bat Boy. My teacher was very impressed and recommended that I enter it in my school’s writing contest. I was one of five lucky students selected to read our short stories to local grade school children. Of course at the time I felt anything but lucky—I was so nervous reading in front of forty or so people that I could barely keep track of what page I was on.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? I decided to pursue a career as a professional writer almost six years ago, while writing the first draft of what would ultimately become Dangerous Waters. The more people I shared sample chapters with, the more encouraged I became that I was crafting a novel with broad appeal.
What inspired you to write your first book? I have to credit my wife with starting me down the path toward becoming a published author. Knowing I used to love to write—and having watched me fill every available space in our house with paranormal and urban fantasy books I consumed faster than I could purchase—she asked me one day why I wasn’t writing novels of my own. That simple question got me writing again.
Do you have a specific writing style? I guess I fall somewhere between the seat of your pants contingent and the micro-planners, leaning more toward the former. When I get a new idea for a series I first kick it around in my head for a while, thinking about where I’d take the story, what some interesting sub plots might be, and adding some detail to the central characters. If I find that I’m still obsessed with the idea several days later then I know there’s enough interest on my part to warrant moving forward.
Ideas that make it past the daydreaming stage are captured in a catch-all word document covering everything from a skeleton plot arc to explanations of the supernatural powers that come into play and details on the central characters. This document is continuously updated throughout the writing process, and serves as an invaluable reference as the cast grows and elements are further refined.
From there it’s on to initial research, focusing on the location the book is set in and the defining characteristics of my protagonist. Is she on the swim team? Does she write poetry? Does she work as a barista? Are there pantheons or other mystical lore involved? These defining elements will be referenced throughout the book, and in order to sound at all credible I need to educate myself up front.
Once I have a good feel for the protagonist, the defining elements of the story and the high level plot arc, it’s time to start writing. I start each chapter by putting together a one page bulleted summary outlining the key events that occur, the chapter’s purpose in advancing the overall plot, and important character interactions. This is still very high level, along the lines of knowing I want to get from Detroit to Buffalo and stop at Niagara Falls along the way. I’ve found I write far more impactful scenes if I let the story—how I get from Detroit to Buffalo—come naturally, allowing my characters to take me in totally unexpected and wonderful directions.
How did you come up with the title? I was searching for a word that signified the almost unlimited power the protagonist obtains in this book, both through the awakening of her magical abilities and her transformation into a demon. That led me to Omnipotent. Combining it with “Blood” seemed natural given that her blood can heal others. And the fact that she’s a vampire, of course J.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? At its heart the Sisters in Blood series is about self-discovery, overcoming the challenges that we encounter and embracing the fact that life can take us in totally unexpected directions. We all have hidden abilities inside that will never be uncovered if we are too afraid to explore and try new things. I was especially delighted to read the Fantascize.com review for Omnipotent Blood (excerpts below) because it praised the depth of the storyline.
"I felt like I was discovering a new type of folklore, complete with fantastic descriptions of terrifying and amazing creatures." "Michaels explores complex issues such as sexuality, faith, and sacrifice without pretense or artificiality. His characters are realistic, complete with their flaws and mistakes and genuine emotions. Michaels puts trust in his readers' ability to suspend their disbelief, and in turn he presents them with a compelling, enthralling narrative." "Readers of Omnipotent Blood will find that it continues to resonate with them long after they finish reading." Fantascize.com
How much of the book is realistic? Much of the story is set on modern day earth, in Boston and Los Angeles, although the protagonist does visit both heaven and hell. The supernatural world in the Sisters in Blood series contains angels, fantastic demons of all forms, vampires and witches, but all of the central characters started out as human.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Not so much in this book. In Dangerous Waters, the first book in the series, a portion of the story is set in my home town. And Brooke’s father, David, is loosely based on my own dad, including his job at a gear manufacturing plant.
What books have most influenced your life? Jim Kjelgaard’s Big Red, Irish Red and Outlaw Red, which featured a boy and his dog, really inspired my love of reading. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank was another of my favorites in my youth. If it wouldn’t have been for those books I may never have developed the appreciation for literature that has been a cornerstone of my life and drove me to become a writer.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Wow, that’s hard! It would be a toss-up between Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld series), Richelle Mead (Bloodlines, Vampire Academy) and Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight). I see elements in my own writing style that I can attribute to each of them.
What book are you reading now? Oceans of Fire by Christine Feehan. It is the third book in her Drake sisters series. I’d never read any of her books before this. So far I am really enjoying the series.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Besides Christine, Patrick Rothfuss and Brent Weeks have also recently made it into my ever-growing to-be-read pile J
What are your current projects? I’m currently working on a fantasy romance called Kerrigan’s Race, which features a female Olympic swimmer who is captured and taken to a foreign world full of mermaids, griffins, fae, elves and other strange creatures. I’ll start writing book three in the Sisters in Blood series soon, as well.
What would you like my readers to know? With Brooke being under the influence of very dark forces for a large portion of the book (and not just in a “tranced” robot, can’t control my body sort of way), it made it challenging to write from her very altered and sometimes disturbing point of view while providing readers with enough signs that there is a piece of her deep down that is still fighting to give them hope. She goes through hell—literally—before ultimately finding her salvation. She wrestles with her sexuality and her faith as well, and is thrust into a leadership position she isn’t at all prepared for, waging a demon-on-demon war (featuring dragons, minotaurs and all kinds of other fantastic creatures) with the fate of our world at stake. There are so many aspects of her character that are developed in this book. She truly is not the same person by the end.