1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I currently live in Utah, but I’ve also lived in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii. My favorite place to live was Hawaii—for obvious reasons. I have a wonderful husband, James, and six incredible children. My kids keep me young and make life interesting.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve dabbled in writing throughout my life, but I only started seriously writing five or six years ago.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write would be on Hukilau Beach. But since I now live in a desert, I’ll stick to the house. I usually write in the living room or kitchen. I have a four-year-old I have to keep track of 24/7 so it limits my places to write.
4) Why did you decide to write Rising?
I wrote it on a whim after seeing a gorgeous painting of a mermaid. She had a tail different from the typical mermaid’s tail we see. It was flesh colored. It got me thinking, what if a mermaid was born on land, but she didn’t know she was a mermaid. It was at this point I began to write Sara’s story.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character is Xanthus. I actually based him on my husband. Although my husband’s nowhere near seven feet tall, he is ex-military and a martial arts expert. If I ever wondered what Xanthus would do, I would ask myself what my husband would do.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
I guess it would have to be Xanthus’s father. He is the ultimate villain in my book. He throws his wife and daughter out when he tires of them—knowing Xanthus would take them in. He is only concerned about himself, his image, and his own twisted view of his importance. He’s like an evil politician with a fin.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I do most of the proofreading/editing myself. I’m a bit of a grammar nerd. Incorrect grammar and punctuation drive me insane. That being said, I still have an editor professionally edit my work.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love playing with my kids. They are so amazing. They say and do the funniest things that keep me in stitches. I also love spending time with my husband who is also the creative type. I write, he creates Halloween props year-round and stages the most incredible haunted house at our place.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Are you kidding? I LOVE to read!!! My favorite authors are Amy Harmon, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, and Julie Kagawa.
10) What are you working on now?
I’m working on a sequel to Rising. Gretchen is the protagonist in this new installment. You’ll find there’s a reason she was Sara’s only real friend. Then I’m bringing up other Dagonians to the surface, who aren’t quite as prepared to mix with humans as Xanthus was. For those of you who like the undersea world—don’t worry, they’ll be plenty of undersea adventure too.
I’m also working on finishing up another novel. A ghost story inspired by my husband, “The Haunter”. It’s a classic ghostly thriller, with a twist. And yes, there will be a love story in there.
Author: Holly Kelly
Published: September 6th, 2013
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count: approx. 76,000
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Recommended Age: 16+
In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do… kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.
Killing her doesn’t start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning himself with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she’s a
criminal. And her crime? Being born. She’s a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet…
Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.
He had to kill her.
His plan lay clearly before him. Blanketed in the shadows, he’d enter her apartment window. Moving silently, he’d strike fast. Before she could cry out for help, he’d have her throat slit wide open. With her blood flowing swiftly, she’d be dead in mere seconds. The fact that she bathed at this time added to the ease of the execution. Clean up would be simple. Before the night ended, it would be as if she’d never existed. The Dagonian threat of exposure would be wiped clean from the human world.
Xanthus stood, his feet rooted in place under her window. Her sweet scent surrounded him as he listened to her pitiful sobs. Then, in that moment, he did the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his life.
No, he didn’t merely hesitate. He halted. Fingering his blade in his holster, he willed his feet to move, but they seemed unwilling to obey. Then his mind latched onto a thought. It was no crime to wait for a more opportune time or a more secluded place to strike. He didn’t need to act rashly. True, finding her here in the human world shocked him, but he needed to be clear-headed and sure when he killed her.
He made his way back to his vehicle and climbed behind the wheel. He leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes, and attempted to clear his head.
He’d be back and she would die. She deserved to die. She may have the voice of an angel, but that was a lie. She was a traitor, a threat to their people. No other explanation made sense.
He felt someone near just before a fist rapped on the glass. A big, filthy man with wild hair motioned for him to roll down his window.
As soon as the glass lowered, the barrel of a high-caliber pistol poked inside. “Give me all your money and I won’t hurt you,” the man growled.
“Put away that gun and I won’t hurt you,” Xanthus said, his voice low and menacing.
The man didn’t seem too impressed. “Yeah man, right. You might notice I’m the one with the...” Before he got the words out, Xanthus had the gun out of the man’s hand and pointed back at his face with his windpipe clenched in his fist.
“Hey man, I was just joking,” the human choked out.
“Just walk away. And don’t come back. If I see your face anywhere near here again, I’ll kill you. Do you understand me?”
The man’s eyes widened in fear. “Yeah, yeah, I hear you,” he said, just before Xanthus released him and he escaped into the darkness.
Xanthus looked toward the little female’s apartment building across the street. Could she have found a more dangerous place to live? He placed the gun in the glove compartment. He shouldn’t have let the gunman live.
This Dagonian female probably felt at home with these bottom-feeders.
Probably? Aw Hades. He cursed himself and the doubt in his mind. He doubly cursed that he couldn’t seem to stop himself from caring about her welfare. He’d be killing her himself, after all. The traitor had to die, regardless of his feelings and no matter how appealing she was. Of course if she died by a human’s hands then he wouldn’t...
He shook his head at his own idiotic thoughts. If a human killed her, then her body would be taken to the morgue, for the humans to see. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to be the one to kill her and carefully dispose of her body. And he would, soon.
Just not tonight.