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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Serpent on a Cross by Wendy C. Garfinkle: Interview & Giveaway

Serpent on a Cross      
Book One
Wendy C. Garfinkle

Genre:  Medieval Fantasy/ Jewish Fantasy

Publisher:  Booktrope Publishing
Date of Publication:   September 2, 2014 
Number of pages:  176
Cover Artist:  Loretta Matson

Book Description: 

Dennah Dubrovnika is a formidable hunter and talented healer. However, she cannot control her own powers, which have suddenly reawakened in the aftermath of her mother’s violent capture by a powerful warlord who destroyed their village in his wake. As she races to free her mother, Dennah is accompanied by Jeth, the man she loves. But she’s increasingly, inexorably drawn to the mysterious Skallon who is allied with her greatest enemy.

Will Dennah be able to gain a measure of control over her magic or will she lose everything and everyone she loves to its raging inferno?

Serpent on a Cross is Book One in a Jewish fantasy adventure series set in Medieval Eastern Europe.

Available at Amazon and BN


Stomach churning, a sour taste in her mouth, Dennah hovered above the massacre from her nest in the ash tree she’d climbed at the edge of the forest.

Guilt twisted a knot in her belly as she remembered Mamen’s order to flee, but she couldn’t leave; she might be needed. So she’d climbed the tallest leafiest tree she could quickly find, its branches extending almost to the roof of their cottage. She fastened the leather bracer on her left forearm, finger guards on her drawing hand, in case she was forced to shoot the ash bow. After stringing it, she set it and the bag of arrows in the cradle of two limbs a little above her and out of easy reach so she wouldn’t be tempted to fire down upon the invaders.

From her perch she saw the soldiers enter the shtetl, thundering over the ramparts as if they were fagots; they crushed the golden fields of barley, and wheat, forcing the defenders to give way or be trampled beneath hammering hooves. Seeing the guardsmen attack the horses to unseat the soldiers, her heart raced. Get them! What right have they to attack our home?! Anger boiled just under her skin. Her gaze sharpened and the branch grew warm beneath the grip of her fingers. Though there was no breeze, the limbs of her tree swayed gently.

Almost without thought, as if her hands had a will of their own, she pulled bow and quiver within reach and nocked an arrow. With precise aim, she inhaled, drawing the cord back, hearing the soft familiar creak as it stretched. She released on the exhale. Gracefully, the arrow sped toward its target, a soldier who’d edged up behind Marek and raised his sword. The shaft caught him in the throat, sunk deep and broke through the skin at the back of his neck. He fell with a thud, blood mixing with fertile ground in a muddy pool beneath him. Relieved of its burden, the soldier’s horse veered away from the melee.

Marek, eyes narrowing, seemed to find her hidden in the ash. He nodded slightly and turned to face another foe. A surge of pleasure warmed her at his wordless approval. Then there was no more time for thought; only action. Again and again her arrows flew true; but she was careful to watch for enemy soldiers looking in her direction. Her stomach dropped when she saw first Yuri, then Selwyn, and finally Yakkov surrounded and disarmed. A quick inventory of her quiver yielded only four arrows. Not enough to free the guardsmen. I’m sorry.

About the Author:

Wendy C. Garfinkle was born and raised in South Florida. She moved to Northwest Texas in her early 20s, but returned to South Florida eight years later. She holds five degrees, including MA and MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She’s a poet, reading addict, and collector of interesting clothing tags, which she recycles into bookmarks.

She has served as a copy editor and reader for Hippocampus Magazine, an online nonfiction lit journal, and as a reader for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Wendy is a crime analyst for a local law enforcement agency, and lives with her teenage son.

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Please welcome Serpent on a Cross author Wendy C. Garfinkle to Diane's Book Blog

What is your favorite part of the story, Serpent on a Cross? 

I haven’t really chosen a favorite part of the story, but one of my favorites is in chapter three (Gimel), when Dennah and Althea are working in their stillroom just before Shabbat. There’s an easy camaraderie between mother and daughter, letting the reader see a little of their dynamic.

How long did it take you to write Serpent on a Cross?

From inception to print publication, with multiple rewrites and edits in between, it took four years. This included the research involved and a limited release ebook in October 2010 by a different publisher.

Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

I wanted to write the books I want to see on bookshelves. There aren’t very many Jewish fantasies with female protagonists, and none that are medieval-period based that I know of, so I wanted to help fill that void, because it’s something I would like to read.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

First of all, I’m not sure I believe in “writer’s block.” I think that’s pretty much a euphemism for procrastination or laziness. But whenever either of these strike, I read, or compose rant essays complaining about my story not moving forward. The idea is that sometimes we need to distract our possibly over-taxed brain a little, to get its engine going again. Similar to working out at the gym; sometimes you reach a plateau and it looks as if you’re not getting anywhere. So you change it up; work out a different part of your body for a while, just to change the routine your body has gotten into. It works pretty much the same with “writer’s block.”

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

This is a very small excerpt from my current Work In Progress, Veil of Menace, the sequel to Serpent on a Cross:

Azazyel stilled as another shudder in the earth disturbed his meditation.
The tremors were occurring steadily now, as the hours passed. The Fallen Angel flexed his decrepit wings; the once silver feathery appendages had grayed and frayed over the centuries of captivity in the Abyss, to their current state of bare, sickly spines.
But the feathers were molting at last. The deadened gray shreds were falling off, to be slowly replaced by the silver he'd always been so proud of. And while it was an insult to be at the mercy of an accursed human, it was still preferable to the horrors of that other place of torment. He shuddered at the memory of it.

What book are you reading now?

Festive in Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts).

What do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebooks? 

I’m a traditional hardback/paperback lover. Books by my favorite authors, I’ll usually purchase in hardcover, if it’s available. Otherwise, I usually purchase paperback (Trade sized) books, which take up less space on my bookshelves at home. I also have a wide selection of ebooks on my iPad.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you so much for your support! I truly hope you enjoy the book. And if you don’t, I’m interested in knowing why, whether it’s because you don’t care for the fantasy genre, history isn’t your thing, the Yiddish proverbs scattered throughout annoy you, or you simply don’t like my writing. Whatever the reason, thank you for picking it up and giving it a try. Getting out of our comfort zone helps to expand our horizons.

Tour Giveaway

1 comment:

  1. This looks like it's going to be a great series :)

    I love the cover and the title draws you in immediately!! ;)


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