Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin

UFI welcomes Author Lisa Shearin. Thanks for Joining us!!

What did you like to read when you were growing up?? 

I read fairy tales and mythological stories. For mysteries, all we had was Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. And for romance for teens, Victoria Holt was almost the only game in town. It was the literary equivalent of “back in my day, I had to walk to school uphill in two feet of snow.” There was no such thing as YA. If I’d had the abundance of paranormal thrillers and romance that there is now, I’d have never have left my room. I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was in the 4th grade. It was the only vampire book that there was. I have a teenage niece, and when I take her to a bookstore, I tell her that she’s living in the Golden Age.

Has your taste in books changed over the years?? 

I write urban fantasy, but I read mostly paranormal thrillers. I absolutely adore James Rollins, David Golemon, Greig Beck, and Jeremy Robinson. And I’m a huge fan of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Agent Pendergast series.

Is there a book being released in 2015 that you’re looking forward to? 

James Rollins has the third book in his Order of the Sanguines series, Blood Infernal, coming out. And David Golemon has the latest Event Group thriller, The Mountain, in August.

How would you pitch your SPI Files Series to someone who has not heard of it before? 

It’s like Men In Black except with supernatural creatures rather than space aliens.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that The SPI Files series is set in? 

It’s set in the present time, and at the moment, in New York. I have plans in future books for Mac & Company to need to do some traveling. In The SPI Files’ world, dimensions are all that separate us from the realms of elves, goblins, creatures out of fairy tales. Magic exists along side of science, but it and the creatures who wield it are unknown to the majority of humans. To avoid a global panic, it’s the job of SPI agents to keep it that way.

Do you have a favorite scene in The Dragon Conspiracy

Yasha stepped down into the boat, tipping it sharply to one side.

In addition to hairier and taller, the Russian had become heavier. 

“No werewolves,” Rake said flatly. 

“He’s on our side,” Ian said. 

“Define our.” 

Yasha’s eyes were now bright gold and were boring into the goblin, like he was wondering what side dish would go best with him. 

I hated to admit it but Rake might have a point; it’d be counterproductive to have our werewolf car driver eat our goblin boat captain. 

Our as in he’s going with us.” The intensity of Ian’s green eyes easily matched Yasha’s I-could-go-moon-crazy-any-moment peepers. “He’s ninety-six . . . and he’s a friend.” 

In other words, the man/wolf is going to die in a little over an hour if we don’t stop the Dragon Eggs from being activated at midnight. Don’t be a heartless putz; give him a chance to save thousands of lives—and his own. 

Rake sighed and regarded Yasha solemnly. “If he goes fully wolf on my boat, he leaves.” 

Ian chuckled darkly. “If he goes wolf on your boat, you’re welcome to tell him.” 

Rake Danescu’s dark eyes flashed in the dim light of the boat’s dash lights. “There will be no telling. I have not survived so much for this long to be torn apart by an overgrown barbarian mongrel.” 

Yasha growled, Ian came out of his seat, and Rake took one hand off the wheel. It was glowing. 

“Boys.” I said it like I’d heard my grandma say it many times—long, drawn out, and low with warning. Grandma Fraser had always been ready and willing to back up that word with a switch, the business end of a broom, or the flat of a cast-iron skillet. Grandma said that a skillet’s good for three things: frying chicken, baking corn bread, and going upside an obstinate man’s head. 

I didn’t have a switch, broom, or skillet. I only had an appeal to their good sense; hopefully at least one of them still had some. My money was on the werewolf. 

“Let’s see, we’re going to an island with a criminal mastermind, a gorgon, harpies with hand grenades, and who the hell knows what else? We need everyone on this boat, especially the werewolf. I can vouch for him,” I told Rake. “Unless you act like a royal jackass, he won’t rip your face off.” 

I would have asked Yasha to actually promise Rake he wouldn’t rip his face off, but Yasha’s muzzle had grown a little long for small talk. 

Do you and Makenna share any similarities? 

We’re both Southern girls from small towns in North Carolina. And while we wouldn’t mind being kickass, we’ve accepted that we’re not. ; )

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

It’s true what they say that villains have more fun. I’ve always loved my villains. In my Raine Benares series, I absolutely adored writing Sarad Nukpana. Yes, he’s evil, but he has so much fun doing it. I also love my goblins and other characters whose moral leanings are more toward the grey end of the spectrum.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you? 

I’m writing three books this year, so 2015 is going to be busy, but in the best possible way. First is the third SPI Files book, The Brimstone Deception, which I’m writing now. When that is finished on March 1, I’ll be returning for a while to the world of Raine Benares with two more books: the first will be a followup to the events of the sixth Raine book, All Spell Breaks Loose. For Raine, there’s only one thing scarier than taking on the world’s top assassins—meeting her future in-laws. Yep, Raine and Mychael finally get married. Naturally, events aren’t going to go without a hitch. Let’s let Raine tell you herself; she does it better than I could. ; )

With the destruction of the Saghred and a new (and non-psychotic) king on the goblin throne, an elf/goblin peace treaty is being negotiated on the neutral ground of the Isle of Mid. For as long as history has been written down, elves have hated goblins and goblins have despised elves, with humans just trying not to get caught in the middle. 

Over a thousand years of hate isn’t going to go away overnight just because some royals get together and sign a piece of paper. Ink scratched on parchment isn’t a guarantee of anything, not even good penmanship. When the goblin ambassador is found with an elf dagger sticking out of him, soon followed by an elven noble sporting goblin steel, there’s way too many suspects and far too few clues.      

As a seeker and new Guardian, my job is to find the assassins before the rising body count derails the negotiations and the assassins’ victims become merely the first deaths in the next racial war. 

As a bride-to-be, my job is to introduce my pirate family to my Guardian fiance’s aristocratic parents without having a panic attack. In addition, I have to ignore that my pirate cousin Phaelan and my former-almost boyfriend and goblin royal emissary Tam are in charge of the bachelor party. Last, but certainly not least, I have to foil the attempts of Tam’s spellsinger and exotic dancer son Talon from showing up as the entertainment at my bachelorette party.   

And I thought assassins were going to be my biggest challenge. 

After that book is finished in the early fall, I’ll be writing my first book from a man’s POV. My readers have been asking for it, and I’m going to deliver. It will be the first book in a Tamnais Nathrach series. My goblins are tall, dark, and sexy, and their fangs aren’t for decorative use only. Tam is a fan favorite (and one of mine), so we’ll be going to the goblin court. Here’s Tam to tell you about it:

My name is Tamnais Nathrach. In my past, I was the chief shaman and magical enforcer for the goblin queen Glicara Mal’Salin. I had the job for five years, apparently setting some sort of Mal’Salin dynasty record. The lifespan of a chief shaman tends to get cut short. I left that life behind—along with the highly addictive black magic I had used—and became a businessman, owning a pair of nightclubs and gambling parlors in cities far from the goblin court. But my past didn’t go anywhere; it was waiting for me. Patient. Confident. Knowing that I would return. Not caring that it wasn’t by choice. Personal experience has taught me that the past cares for nothing except spotting its next chance to bite you in the ass. My posterior now sports more than its fair share of teeth marks.

The king I now protect and serve, Chigaru Mal’Salin, has proclaimed me his heir until he and his queen, Mirabai, have their first child. Chigaru didn’t give me the title of prince. He wisely took prudent—and well-founded—precautions. Some called it paranoia; I called it self-preservation. Precautions like not giving one of his nobles, regardless of how trusted, a title that eventually will have to be given back. The children of Chigaru and Mirabai will be princes and princesses. I will not. The king need not worry about me returning what was never mine. I don’t want a title; but if I am to be his heir, even temporarily, I have to have a title higher than any other at court. An annoyance? To say the least. The reasons are political. And complicated. It seems my present is conspiring with my past to make my life as uncomfortable as possible. They have succeeded. Admirably. 

Daily life in the goblin court consists of conspiracies on top of plots, woven together with ruthless ambition. Treachery is a full-contact sport, and fatalities are merely a way to rearrange the game board in your favor. I expected attempts on the king and queen’s lives—and mine. The nobles of the goblin court haven’t been a disappointment. They more than lived up to my expectations, and a few of the more creative efforts even earned my admiration.   

Despite my every precaution, Chigaru and Mirabai have been poisoned. A healer managed to hold off death until myself and a pitifully small number of mages I still trust put the royal couple in stasis, keeping them barely alive until an antidote is found. 

Everyone is a suspect. One name would have been at the top of my list, except he’s dead. Though that’s never stopped him before, and my last view of him was being carried, screaming, into the Lower Hells by a demon yours truly summoned. Screaming, but still very much alive. However, there were ample rotten apples sharing Sarad Nukpana’s tree. His absence created a void that many are eager to fill—beginning with the more powerful members of the Khrynsani, an ancient goblin secret society and military order. The Khrynsani, with Sarad as their leader, nearly succeeded at wiping out the Mal’Salin dynasty and seizing the goblin throne. Chigaru disbanded the Khyrnsani and imprisoned those we could catch. We did not get them all. The most dangerous enemy is one who has nothing left to lose. 

There are a few goblins who I can trust, most notably my old teachers, Kesyn Badru and A’Zahra Nuru, whose efforts to cure me of my black magic addiction at least allow me to consider myself rehabilitated. I call on my friends, the Guardian paladin Mychael Eiliesor and new Guardian and seeker Raine Benares. There has yet to be a situation dire enough that we can’t overcome. Of course, there’s a first time for everything.    

To find the antidote, I have to make a deal with a devil from my past, a past that, as a practitioner of black magic, nearly cost me my immortal soul. I’ve always been a gambler and never minded high stakes. When I win—and I always have—the payout is worth it. But if I lose, I’ll spend eternity paying . . . and paying . . . and paying.    

I’ll be starting a monthly newsletter to keep readers up-to-date with publication dates, writing progress, contests, and more. Anyone who would like to be added to the distribution list, just send me an email at with your name and email address, and I’ll sign you up.

Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. Lisa’s happily freelancing for an advertising agency as an editor and proofreader. In her previous corporate life, she’s been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.

Lisa is the national bestselling author of The Raine Benares novels, a series of six comedic fantasy adventures. Her second series—The SPI Files—is an urban fantasy that’s been described as Stephanie Plum meets Men in Black.

Lisa is a voracious collector of fountain pens both vintage and modern. She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her husband, three spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and enough woodland creatures to fill a Disney movie.

Find Lisa and her books

The Dragon Conspiracy
SPI Files #2
 After solving The Grendel Affair, the agents have another SPI File to investigate...

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. We battle the real monsters of myth and legend, but this Halloween, we’re searching for diamonds…

A gala opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has attracted the upper crust of Manhattan—and thieves. A trio of vile harpies attacks the crowd and steals the stars of the exhibition: a colorful cluster of seven cursed diamonds known as the Dragon Eggs.
In the right mage’s hands, each stone can pack a magical wallop. Together they have the power to “cure” the supernaturals of the tristate area—but for many of those vampires and werewolves, that means turning into dust.

I’m Makenna Fraser, a seer for SPI. With the help of my partner, Ian, and the other agents, I have twenty-four hours to prevent total global panic, find the diamonds, and save the supernatural community. No biggie...

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