Friday, January 13, 2012

The Curse of Gremdon by Ciara Knight

I bought and read the Curse of Gremdon. This novel by Ciara Knight is the first romance novel I have ever read and I really liked it. I give it five stars out of five.

Curse of Gremdon is more than just a romance though. It is a good ole fashioned sword and sorcery novel (with the emphasis on "sword" and very little if no "visible" magic at all). It's what us nerds might call a "magic poor" world. But the description fits and the world-building is amazing. The book is mostly told through the experiences of Arianna. She's an amazing warrior with the spirit of Grace Jones' character in Conan the Destroyer but with a component of beautiful femininity that the afore-mentioned character never had. And Tardon is every bit a testosterone-fueled warrior who lops off heads with one arm while embracing his true love with the other.

The song done by Bryan Adams called "Have you really loved a woman" comes to mind when seeing Arianna through Tardon's eyes. The story is thick with erotica (and I loved this) and it NEVER gets old. If you are looking for a sexually-charged story that is borderline pornographic yet maintains the side of art instead of descending into details of what goes where and also has an incredibly engaging story, then this novel is for you.

Yes, it's an adult book. But I'm an adult and I loved it. There were several times when the heat from the pages made me fan my face and think, "wow...Ciara is such a damn good writer."

And the story is in no way predictable. There's a plot twist in there that came out of nowhere. I thought the story was going to be linear...you know...as a reader I had it "all-figured out." I was going to give it four stars because of this. But Ciara surprised me with her cleverness and my eyes opened wide when I realized what was going on.

Tardon for all his brawn though is so wimpy when it comes to child-birth. I guess that makes this tough guy kinda cute.
Author Ciara Knight
INTERVIEW:
1) First off, I just wanted to say without gushing too much that you are an amazing writer. That being said, I wanted to ask you on some pointers on how you wrote your sexually charged incredibly steamy scenes? Are there words you would tell others to steer away from, and did it flow naturally or were they really difficult? I've tried to write something similar, and I always thought I ended up crossing the line.

Michael, you are so sweet. *blushes* I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the book so much. I LOVE the story and there is still so much more to tell!

Okay, wow, start with a tough question. ;) I’ll be honest, during the first draft the scenes practically wrote themselves. Tardon and Arianna were two characters that took over and didn’t let me have much say in what was happening. You’ve gotten to know Tardon after reading the story, so I’m sure you can understand that he wouldn’t tolerate my author voice interfering at all. J

As for words to avoid, it wasn’t until editing that word choice took some extra thought. My world is fantasy, so I wanted to avoid any modern terms. I think one of the most important things to remember while writing any scene is to stay true to the world you’ve created; otherwise your reader will be ripped from the moment.

My intent for this type of romance was to describe a setting and what the characters were feeling, but not to list each movement and action. I didn’t want to spell everything out. That would be intrusive to the reader’s journey. I think a writer should be able to describe something to a certain extent, but leave some of the actions to the reader’s imagination.

2) Who would you have star as Tardon? How about Arianna? You can pick anyone from any time period. I'm just curious. My personal pick for Tardon is Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. Is that even close?

I think Tardon is such a strong character each reader can view him a little different. In my mind, his face resembles Chris Hemsworth (maybe a little less pretty) and the body of “the Rock” or Arnold in the early years.
Dwayne Johnson

Arianna HAS to be played by a curvaceous female, no skinny girl should ever play her. She has lips like Angelina Jolie, curves and a strong female air like Katherine Zeta Jones.

3) How do you channel Tardon so well? I mean he's the quintessential hunk. And do you picture him having to work out to maintain all that muscle or is he just naturally swoon-worthy?

Chris Hemsworth
Tardon just wouldn’t let me write him any other way. His voice was so distinct in my head, I couldn’t alter it. Due to his training schedule, he doesn’t work out. No need, the hours in the Pit keep him in shape.

4) Tell us about Arianna. More specifically, where in your psyche does she come from? She has a riveting strong female voice, but at the same time, she is completely aware of her lack of physical strength when it comes to her comrades in arms, and I just want to know how you came up with her.

Arianna is one strong girl. She is physically capable of handling many things. When I wrote this book I had blown out a disk in my back and I wanted to be tough. Since I wasn’t, and had to spend many hours in bed, I wrote who I wanted to be. It ticked me off that I couldn’t beat the pain, so I lived vicariously through Arianna for several months. They say tap into your emotions to write a better character, so that’s what I did.

Arianna is also strategic, always thinking. When she couldn’t win a fight with her own physical abilities, she’d use her brain and imagination.

5) How is writing romance fantasy different in your mind to writing say fantasy or science-fiction and how did you come up with the story for Curse of Gremdon?

I think the main difference is the character interaction. Typically, fantasy and sci-fi have little romance, and usually it is off screen. The Curse of Gremdon had more on screen romance.

I’ve always had a huge imagination. I LOVE world building and probably have ten other worlds in my head right now. I think of myself as more of a story teller than a writer. Inventing the story is the easy part, writing it is extremely challenging at times. For instance, The Curse of Gremdon started as a short story. I didn’t think I could write a fantasy novel, but when I received a rejection from a magazine that stated the story was too big, I turned it into an 84,000 word novel.

6) Last question...was it difficult coming up with the title? Now that I've read it, I think the title and the artwork are perfect. But it seems so effortless. Were there other titles you had considered before the one you chose or did you go in knowing that it would be called "the Curse of Gremdon"? Oh and is there going to be a sequel (I know I'm cheating by asking two questions here)?

I usually have a difficult time with titles, but this one was easy. Actually, that was the title of the short story.

I have outlined a sequel, but it might not be out for a year or so. This one will be a little heavier on the magic side. I can tell you that it will be held in the same world but the main hero will be Saldor. The female, well you’ll have to wait and see if his love returns.

Buy Curse of Gremdon at Amazon for $7.99 on Kindle here.
Visit Ciara Knight's author blog here.
Enter to win a free copy of Curse of Gremdon on Goodreads here.

AND because it is Friday the 13th, my Christmas giveaway has ended.  MY ADVANCED READER EDITION GOES TO...

T.F. Walsh.

I'll get your shipping information from you and get it in the mail.

48 comments:

  1. Great interview! I love what was said about keeping true to the world you've built. I absolutely agree!

    This sounds like a book I need to get my hands on :)

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  2. Grace Jones is a very scary woman.

    Great interview, enjoyed it very much.

    cheers,
    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino
    The Funnily Enough

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  3. This is one I might have missed, but the review makes me really want to get hold of it. I don't know when I'll be able to, but it's definitely going on the list.

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  4. This book sounds amazing. I've been reading a lot of YA. I might need a little face-fanning for a change. lol

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  5. Michael - Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. You are so sweet. Also, I'm so excited you liked The Curse of Gremdon. You are so awesome for writing a review.

    Cassie - I've read some books before that were in a fantasy world, but it had four or five modern words. It drove me crazy. :) I hope the reader stays in the world I've created through out the book.

    Kate - Thanks!

    Mooderino - Glad you liked the interview. Michael asks some tough questions. :)

    Sarah - I hope you enjoy the read.

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  6. Brinda - It's fun to switch to a different style every so often. I love the fact that I write my sweet YA and then swap to adult. :)

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  7. Love the cover and it sounds great. Will have to check it out. Definitely entering the Goodreads contest. Yes, Mike does ask the tough, yet fun questions.

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  8. Great interview and review! Still waiting for it to appear in the iBookstore, but Ill download it when it does.

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  9. Cindy - Good luck in the Goodreads contest. I'm glad you found the book interesting.

    Alex - I'm so sorry it is taking so long to go up on iBookstore. :( I hope it will be there soon.

    Grumpy Bulldog - LOL, So that is how I can get people to buy my book. :)

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  10. Cindy - Good luck in the Goodreads contest. I'm glad you found the book interesting.

    Alex - I'm so sorry it is taking so long to go up on iBookstore. :( I hope it will be there soon.

    Grumpy Bulldog - LOL, So that is how I can get people to buy my book. :)

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  11. man, this sounds great! I'm totally going to snag this for my kindle (when i get one)

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  12. Great interview! The book looks so good. And I know completely what you mean about word choice coming towards the end of edits. I'm finding the same thing in my fantasy works.

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  13. Sounds awesome and I love the cover!

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  14. Fun interview Michael and Ciara.

    Good question regarding the title. More with projects--sometimes I waste inordinate amounts of time trying to develop the perfect title. I'm jealous that Ciara's works so well and required little thought.

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  15. It sounds great. My wife would love it for sure. Me, I'm not sure. She got me to read one of those books about a Magical love story and I had a hard time with it. Still, I might give it a go regardless. I'm sure it'll be awesome.

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  16. Sarah - My Kindle changed my life. :)

    Cherie - Yes, fantasy, sci-fi, and historical are three that a writer needs to be so careful with word choice. I'm glad you liked the interview. Michael did a great job.

    E. Arroyo - Great, thanks!

    Slamdunk - I assure you, this was the ONLY book I've written that I didn't struggle with the title. :)

    Rusty - I assure you there is no 'fated love' in this book. Don't get me wrong, there are some great books about that, mine just isn't one of them.

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  17. I love, LOVE the cover! Great interview, Michael! Can't wait to check out Ciara's book. :)
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

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  18. Raquel - Thanks so much. I'm lucky that CMP has such an amazing cover artist. I was in cover love the minute I saw it. :)

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  19. Ciara - I am so going to read this book. Being in the middle of Love's Long Shadow I certainly know what a very good writer you are. And I love that your characters took over and practically wrote themselves; that's a clear sign that they've come to life. Congratulations on your achievement! And is your back better (I hope)?

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  20. Sounds interesting. I need to figure out a way to read faster.

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  21. Helena - Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you are enjoying Love's Long Shadow. The characters definitely had their own idea of how things were going to go. :) My back is okay, I'm dreaming of a total disc replacement one day. For now, I manage. Thanks for asking. :)

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  22. Yay Ciara!! This sounds fantastic. I love reading stories like this. And, yes, faster reading skills would greatly improve my life so I could get to all these fabulous books by blogging buddies. I'm working on it. :))

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  23. Awesome interview! Thanks for sharing. I'll have to check this book out as soon as I get the chance. I wish I read faster....it takes me forever to finish a book!

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  24. I really enjoyed the book review. It's hard imagining you reading a romance book, but there sounds like much more depth as I read on. Your interview with Ciara was excellent as it helped give me a better sense of her work. Can't imagine having 10 worlds spinning around in your mind at one time. She sounds like a brilliant author.
    Thanks for the intro.

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  25. I remember asking my mother if romantic novel writers were pretty people and to my disappointment my mother told me that a lot of times they are middle aged experienced average looking men and she got a little upset at my question as her teaching was that looks don't matter. Sometimes you want to know where pretty thoughts come from. Also a lot of people have the notion that girls either get the looks or brains. Ciara knight is actually very pretty.
    I will ask our local librarian to check out this book. There are quite a few seniors I know that love romantic books and one can only read so many of those romantic sereis.

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  26. OMG! Fabulous review and interview Michael! Whew. I think this just went to the top of the TBR pile. Seriously! Sounds fabulous. And Ciara is so wonderful. I love following her. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  27. Great interview - loved the notes on world-building and staying with the fantasy!

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  28. Awesome! I read a few pages of Curse of Gremdon and loved it. Now I really want to buy it. :-)

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  29. Great interview. Congrats to Ciara. I'll have to go put her book on my wishlist.

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  30. Ciara, dearest you have HOLLYWOOD SPY's official approval for casting those stars in your movie adaptation :)

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  31. Ooh, Curse of Gremdon sounds HOT. LOL I think I may have to give it a try.

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  32. What a great title and cover. Thanks for the interview.

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  33. I know! I love Ciara. She writes with passion! Lots of it! :-) Arianna is captivating.

    Sequel, yeah!

    What an excellent interview. Thanks Michael! *waving*

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  34. First thing - woohoo I'm so excited to have won an advanced reader edition of your book - can't wait to get my teeth into it;) That's made my day:) Many thanks.

    The interview with Ciara was fantastic - now I really want to read the book:) Going to check it out on goodreads:)

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  35. Andrew - I know what you mean.

    L.G. - I think we are all struggling with that. :)

    Kate - I hope you enjoy.

    Patricia - Yep, it gets a little crowded in my head sometimes.

    Munir *blushes* Thank you. You are too sweet. Wow, that would be awesome to ask the Librarian. Thanks!

    Leigh - Yay! Thanks, you are awesome.

    Jenna - I'm glad you found it informative.

    Misha - I think there is like four chapters on Amazon for people to read. Thanks for reading some of it and giving it a try. I hope you enjoy the rest of it.

    MPax - Thanks!

    DEZMONG - You are so funny. That's fantastic. I'll let you know when it hits Hollywood. :)

    CherylAnne - I hope you enjoy it. Let me know your thoughts if you give it a try.

    Clarissa - Thanks for checking it out.

    Robyn - Ah, you are so kind. Thanks for that. It just made my day. :)

    tfwalsh - I hope you win. Good luck!

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  36. Great interview and review! Mm, Tardon sounds yummy! CURSE OF GREMDON sounds like a romance I could get into, too.

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  37. thx ciara and mike... i'm hooked, at least at this point...

    the only thing that could turn me off is too much huggy/kissy stuff, i get bored reading about other folk getting it on... voyeur i'm not!

    also, it gets tiresome reading about huge muscles and 6-paks on guys, and ginormous breasts on the gals... those do not make up my fantasy, which, though they involve physical encounters with an antagonist or three, i much prefer intellectual clashes, with good twists thrown in, such as what mike mentioned about this book :)

    make my hero/ine superbly trained in some forms of combat, canny, and somewhat flawed, with the antagonist[s] equally powerful, if not more so - to get their comeuppance in some unexpected way[s]

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  38. Wonderful review. Oh how I wish I had a Kindle!

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  39. A fine interview, Michael. And a good review of Ciara's book. I didn't realize it was a romance--the title seems to indicate otherwise.


    Lee
    A cat's memoir?
    Wrote By Rote

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  40. Like Lee, I also didn't realise that this novel is mainly romance. Awesome! I love a good love story! And the cover is really cool, all sort of dark and mysterious, with that cool font...

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  41. OOOOH can't wait to read this one myself!! wheee!

    Loved this post!

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  42. Nice interview. I love the cover on that book. :)

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  43. Michael, my post tomorrow covers tips for setting up a blog tour. I think you'd get a lot out of it.

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  44. Great interview. Ciara, your book sounds like exactly the type I want to read. :)

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  45. A review and an interview too! Great stuff. This sounds liek a book I'd really enjoy - swords and romance? Bring it on!

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  46. Great interview, Michael, and I just read your comment on Rach's blog.... dude if you need a bete reader, "put me in coach"

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