Eden Crowne | Interview

Eden Crowne is from San Francisco, California. In her other life, she is an international journalist writing on technology, pop culture, trends, and travel in Asia for major print and online magazines.
She calls Tokyo, Vienna, London and L.A. home.
She loves mythology, traveling, champagne, hanging out with her kids, espresso at sidewalk cafes, people watching, really fast express trains, and laughing like crazy – though not always in that order.

I had the privilege of interviewing Eden Crowne. I must say I enjoyed her style of writing very much, and was riveted to the page until I finished reading the entire story. I highly recommend that you visit Eden Crowne’s links below for more examples of her work.

I am sure you will become a fan, as I have. Eden’s new book Dust To Dust 2: Witch You Were Here”  is scheduled to be released next month. Watch for it!

TDBW: When did you start writing?

Eden: I’ve been an international journalist all my adult life and I started writing fiction stories to amuse my kids. They would give me the parameters and I would create a book for them. I began my first serious novel with the idea of publishing it about six years ago.

TDBW: What was the first story you remember writing?

Eden: In elementary school, I wrote a story about dogs that belonged to a secret society to protect humans.

TDBW: What genre is your most preferred?

Eden: Fantasy – contemporary and dark.

TDBW: What challenges you the most in your writing?

Eden: I don’t get writer’s block. As a journalist, I am used to being creative on demand! I can write all day, every day if I have a chance. When I hit a snag in the plot – as all writers do – I like to go for a drive and think about it or see a movie at the theater. Creativity is so serendipitous, solutions present themselves at the oddest times!

TDBW: What is your favorite thing about being an author?

Eden: Creating the world for my characters. It is so exciting. Making a whole universe really. Since I write fantasy, that’s huge. All the magic and mayhem between the real and the supernatural. Creating characters that live believably in that world…doing research that opens up a whole new line of thought.

TDBW: What do you like least about being an author?

Eden: No regular paycheck, ha, ha!

Since I’m a journalist though, I’m used to the freelance lifestyle.

TDBW: How many books do you currently have available?

Eden: Four, if you count my new novel debuting on February 14th. With two more finished and ready to either find an agent or take out on the Indie road.

TDBW: What projects are you currently working on?

Eden: I just finished a YA dystopian novel, Plagued, that I hope to find an agent for and have started the sequel to my Avenging Angel series that began with Fall From Grace. The new book, Grace Under Fire, is shaping up into a big, exciting story.

TDBW: Do you have any books coming out soon?

Eden:   Dust to Dust 2: Witch You Were Here, the second in my Dust To Dust paranormal romance series. It will be in the Amazon Kindle store around Feb. 14.

The first two books in my YA dark fantasy series, Deathgods, are just about ready but I am holding them back for another six months while I work on Grace Under Fire.

TDBW: Which book, or series, is your favorite?

Eden: Deathgods. It’s not out yet but without a doubt, it’s my favorite. This is a deep, deep story and I love the main character, Killian. He is both heroic and tragic and the world he inhabits pulls me right in – even though I am writing it. I can’t wait to introduce readers to this story of western and eastern magic.

Of my books that are out, Fear Club is my favorite, even though I haven’t done much to promote it yet. I love the main characters, Lexie Carpenter and the very dangerous, Julian Lake. I have at least two more books planned in that series.

TDBW: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Eden: When I was growing up I was crazy for classic and norse mythology and fairy tales. I loved Andre Norton’s science fiction, anything by Alan Garner and also Lloyd Alexander. They definitely influenced my work as an adult.

Recently I really enjoyed the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. My mom’s family is from the South and when I was living overseas, southern Sookie really resonated with me. Of course I like Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Dumas, Robert Louis Stevenson, and other classic writers.

TDBW: Which book(s) inspire you the most?

Eden: Classic and norse myths. The hero’s journey. I feel that drives my stories. Hardships, magical and mundane, encountered and overcome as the character grows in strength and knowledge.

TDBW: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?

Eden: Oh gosh, too many to name!! Also it depends on the book. I used to have whole playlists for whatever book I was working on. I love Franz Ferdinand, Maroon Five, Britney Spears (her ‘You Better Work B**ch was my anthem for writing Plagued), the Killers first albumNicki Minaj, Skrillex. I’m all over the place.

TDBW: Any hobbies?

Eden: I love museums – art, natural history, all of them. Whatever city I’m in, I check out the museums. I love going to movies, concerts, the theater. Working out, too. The gym is relaxing. Best of all I like hanging out over coffee or cocktails and just chatting with my kids and pals –writing is a very isolating lifestyle.

TDBW: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:

My website: http://www.edencrowne.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Eden-Crowne 

Twitter: @edencrowne

TDBW: Care to share a bit of one of your books with us?

How about an excerpt: Here’s chapter one.
Dust To Dust 2: Witch You Were Here
By Eden Crowne
Copyright 2014 by Eden Crowne. All rights reserved

Chapter 1

The necromancer gave Tamsin a come-slither stare from across the crowded room. He was devilishly handsome, or maybe handsome devil was a better description. He had mahogany brown hair and eyes the color of an alpine lake. The artful shadow of stubble on his face highlighted strong cheek bones, a fine-shaped jaw and dimpled chin ever so slightly off center. Unfortunately, the aura he projected was gray as old dry bones.

Tamsin, or rather her new body, knew what he was. Unbidden, she had been able to see his energy turn from a gray glow to a thick soup of fog as she approached. Faces peered out, young and old, features twisted in silent screams. Clearly a necromancer; carrying his dead with him.

As their eyes met, a cold shiver of dread slid down her spine. She did not like necromancers and their obsession with death. Which was ironic, considering she was dead.

Giving her white knit cap a coquettish tilt – and making sure it covered the little spiral rams horns on either side of her head – Tamsin swished and swayed her way through the champagne-drinking, art-buying group of men and women, masked and costumed for the gala Museum Charity Ball. She ramped up her charm-o-meter as she passed the dance floor, wondering if it worked on sorcerers.

Charmer magic certainly worked on humans. Without exception, every single man and woman turned to smile as she passed, their eyes sparkling with interest behind jeweled masks, raising their glasses in greeting. A tall man reached out from the graceful whirl and twirl of the waltzing couples trying to pull her into the dance. She narrowly eluded his grip and wished she had access to some of this magic before she was murdered.

Tamsin was currently inhabiting the body of a Charmer. A witch with the power to beguile just about anything with a pulse: human, animal, and those whatevers in-between. She had only been in this body a few days and was still learning its secrets. The witch was Faerie, not human. Otherwise, Tamsin wouldn’t have been able to jump into the body upon the woman’s death. The universe imposed rules even after losing a soul and turning into a swirl of spiritual dust. One of the strictest: She could only jump into the fresh corpse of a non-human supernatural. Otherwise, the body just spit her back out again.

Tamsin was still wearing the clothes she’d transitioned in. A frothy confection of layered petticoats, skirts, overdress, laced bodice and little cape, all in a cascading palette of pastels. Her feet in old-fashioned eyelet ankle boots. She had more hair then several women combined, nearly white, piled and curled on her head. The up-do was looking a little disheveled since Tamsin was not particularly skilled in the artful arrangement of ringlets. Luckily the outfit was not out of place here in the costume ball.

She’d meant to get a change of clothes except her Fae lover, Drake, had been so busy getting her out of her skirts, petticoats and stockings at every opportunity following their long separation, there just hadn’t been enough time. Or energy. An image of his muscular, hard body, the black, dagger-like tattoos ringing his waist and emphasizing the sharp, cut-lines of his hips popped into her mind’s eye, and she felt her legs go wobbly.

Dead or alive, this whole love thing was very intoxicating.

She bumped into one of the uniformed serving staff nearly knocking over a tray of Beluga caviar topped crackers.

And distracting.

The sorcerer licked his lips at her approach.

Earlier in the day someone rang Drake’s mobile from a blocked number. They were in his borrowed, fortified bolt hole on Chicago’s rough east side. Drake’s cell phone ringing was not unusual. Exiled from Fae over a century before, he had carved out a new life as a Hunter. Tracking all sorts of odd things for all sorts of odd people. He had a website. Who didn’t these days? Though it was only accessible through the heavily encrypted Dark Net.

A computer-generated voice over the phone said only to go to the door as an invitation was being delivered. There they discovered a pair of enormous ravens standing on the step, a scarlet ribbon dangling from the shiny black beak of one. At the end of the ribbon hung a square white envelope pulsing with magic. After the ravens passed on the missive, they looked Tamsin up and down with a critical eye, cawed once, and flew away.

The paper was heavy with the scent of power. Whoever sent it would have to be very strong indeed to get this close to the threshold wards surrounding the little one-bedroom hideout. Nervous, both of them stood on the scarred stoop, scanning the envelope with several revealing spells to no effect.

It was cold, it was early and, frankly, in this part of town, neighbors did not look too closely at what anyone was doing. Tamsin insisted on laying out a magic circle right there in the street and opening the envelope within. That way any magic would be trapped inside.

Trapped inside with her, Drake pointed out dryly.

Tamsin waved away his fears and made the circle with cedar ash from Drake’s stock of goodies. To a mixture of disappointment and relief, nothing paranormal popped out and tried to bite as she tore open the envelope.

Inside was a gilt-edged invitation to the Museum Charity Ball and a handwritten note in elegant silver script.

‘The Charmer is in possession of something promised to me.’ It said. ‘I would like it back. In exchange, I have information regarding the sorcerer Knightly. Please attend me at the Ball tonight sans bodyguards.’

Instead of a signature, hidden within the resonance of the magic was an image. Unmistakably the man now standing in front of her.

He turned his head ever so slightly in acknowledgment. “You have something that belongs to me.”

Raising her eyebrows, she gave him a quizzical look but said nothing.

“That body you have stolen was promised to me upon her death.”

Gulp. Play it cool, Tamsin. “Was it indeed?”

“Yes. For services rendered.”

“Yours or hers?”

The screaming faces surged closer, forcing Tamsin to take a step back.

She didn’t know how the young Witch died. The unmistakable pulse of death energy had echoed up through the ether and Tamsin just dived in. Opening the body’s eyes, she found she was lying on her back in a scorched crater of earth. The trees, grass and shrubs ringing her still smoldering. Around the rim of the crater lay a number of charred corpses crumbling to ash in the chill wind of a March night. Impossible to recognize who or what had been involved in the battle. Her new body was not burned. Nor was she bleeding or broken. Transition’s magical prestidigitation healed all wounds remarkably quickly. Nevertheless, Tamsin could usually figure out the cause of death. Not with the Charmer.

Even her outlandish clothes were untouched by the inferno. Tamsin hadn’t lingered at the time, grateful there was no one about to jump her with a knife. That’s what happened in the body before this when Tamsin opened her eyes and nearly got sent directly back into the dust of the spirit world.

That body had belonged to Angelique Duprey, a Prime Vampire Princess, drowned like a rat by the man who had become Tamsin’s lover, Drake. It had been a close thing and only his inherent kindness, and her desperate, honest plea, saved her.

She wished he was next to her now. When the Necromancer said come alone, he meant it. Neither Drake nor their new companion, the giant, silver-furred Faerie hound Desmond, had been able to cross any entrance to the grand ballroom despite all their efforts. The borders remained firm; sparking and crackling with green spectral flames. Over Drake’s strong objections, Tamsin insisted on going alone. She needed this information very badly.

A band of murderous Soul Eaters ripped her soul from her, stealing her life and afterlife. The sorcerers divided souls up between them, using soul energy to power their spells of eternal youth. Jumping from body to body, Tamsin hunted her murderers and the five pieces of her soul. Over the course of many years and corpses, she had managed to recover two pieces. Knightly held another precious portion. The two of them had fought almost two months ago when she came to Chicago searching for a powerful rune. That was when Drake became part of her quest. And her life, such as it was. Unaccountably, unexpectedly, unbelievably.

Tamsin’s pride had led to a trap set by the sorcerer just for her. In a battle to save Drake from the sorcerer’s control, she lost her body and been forced to wander, searching for a new host. During that time, Knightly seemed to have completely disappeared. She could not just walk away.

Facing the necromancer’s dead, she wasn’t so sure she made the right choice ignoring Drake’s warning.

“So you killed her?” This man was probably more than capable of dispatching a Witch without a mark, Tamsin thought.

“No. I did not.” His deep voice had a slow drawl to it, lingering on the vowels. Almost like he was from the South. Which was odd since he wasn’t even human. Drake said the magical signature of the invitation had a distinct Dark Elf edge to it. “For my spells to work I can have no physical hand in the body’s death.”

“That doesn’t mean you can’t set it up.”

He said nothing, letting his eyes speak the truth for him as he sipped his champagne.

Tamsin was feeling in need of a little liquid courage herself and motioned to one of the waiters to bring a glass of bubbly. The necromancer waited as she took a drink, favoring her with a slow, sly and somehow disturbing smile as he looked her appraisingly up and down.

“What an intriguing manifestation you are. Death becomes you, Miss…”

“My name is not really relevant.”

“As you wish. Death is a process I know very well. You are certainly not a ghost. Nor are you a demon.” He sketched a sigil in the air that glowed with a pale green light.

Tamsin brought up her hand, ready to sign a protective ward.

“Just checking,” he said by way of explanation, waving the mark away. “No. No demon in there. Good. They damage the body. Sometimes beyond repair. I have gone to rather a lot of trouble to secure her in mint condition for my client.”

Even though Tamsin did not know the young witch, she felt, now that she was inside, somehow protective. Thinking of the nasty hands of the necromancer working black spells over the girl made Tamsin unaccountably angry.

“You’re going to have to wait a little longer. What do you know about Knightly? He seems to have disappeared.”

“Ah, the Soul Eater. What a pompous little man,” he made an exaggerated face of distaste.

“He belongs to me.”

The necromancer raised his glass as if in a toast, “And your body belongs to me. So our common ground is death. Assuming you wish to kill him, of course.”

Tamsin met his eyes in an unwavering stare, “I have killed other Soul Eaters and I will kill him.”

“More power to you then. They remove one of the prime spiritual organs worth trapping in a human body. That ephemeral piece of real estate contains vast reserves of power.” He waved one hand languidly up and down in front of Tamsin. “As you well know. Too bad this one has fled.”

“Knightly?” She prompted again, setting her empty glass on a passing tray.

The necromancer looked over her head, staring at something behind her, his lips flattening out into a hard, thin line. Tamsin shifted uneasily. Stealing a glance, she saw only the crowd of people, their features hidden by masks. At this moment, her magical senses were focused very much on the man in front of her. Hard to zero in on anything else through the white noise of the dead swirling around him.

He shifted his attention back, narrowing his gaze, blue eyes glowing just a little in the dim light. “I do not care about Knightly or the antics of Soul Eaters. My employer wants you, and I want that body.”

Placing his drink on a side table, he reached out as fast as a cobra striking to wrap his fingers around her wrist, cutting into the soft flesh as his nails lengthened into talons. With a whispered incantation that coiled around her and squeezed, he pulled Tamsin towards the dancers. On the marble floor, bright drops of scarlet from her arm marked their path.

Couples were waltzing, stepping gracefully in time to the music. Laughing, smiling beneath their masks both fanciful and grotesque. He forced her onto the dance floor. She followed, unwilling to make a scene yet, matching him step for step. At first they twirled in time to the rise and fall of the music, then faster and faster until the colors of the elegant dresses and sparkling jeweled masks became a bright, continuous blur. The necromancer’s dead danced with them, gray hands reaching through the fog, screaming faces pressing closer. The room disappeared as she and the necromancer fell into the slipstream of supernatural speed where you can live a lifetime in the blink of a mortal eye.

The necromancer let his glamour drop, his face changing, growing long and narrow; pale and gaunt. His eyes became enormous, his ears lengthening ever so slightly to points. Dark Elf in form, now. Glamourworked by rerouting electrons across the surface of the user via crystal resonance. Scientific magic or magical science. Mortals were easily fooled.

His dead, too, came horribly into focus. Men, women, children. Their black eyes staring from faces gray as ash. The rotting smell of the grave reached out with them, and Tamsin gagged. They clutched at her with bony, hungry hands, wanting to seize the life and rip it out.

Tamsin struggled to free herself from his hold. Laughing, he held tighter, sharp nails pushing deeper into her flesh. They whirled around and around, rising up, the floor falling away beneath them.

Tamsin was not inexperienced in the wily ways of sorcerers and the black arts on the flip side of light magic. She had been in many bodies on both sides of that magical divide. Before even entering the ballroom, she prepared several nasty spells empowered with her own blood and held ready on her tongue. Hidden within her, they had been able to cross the necromancer’s threshold magic.

She spit the first of the deadly barbed words directly into his face. There, the symbols sprouted clawed arms and legs and raked the smooth, beautiful features of the necromancer. Screaming in anger and pain, he let go with one hand to swipe at the tiny monsters. That was all Tamsin needed.

Within the pretty, puffy sleeves of her shepherdess outfit was a polished iron knife on a spring trigger, courtesy of Drake. Luckily the Ball did not have a security sensor or she would have set off every alarm in the place. Triggering the release, the blade shot into her palm. She brought it out and down, slicing through the necromancer’s tuxedo and deeply into his chest. On the upward swing, she stabbed into his wrist forcing him to release her other hand. Iron is deadly to the people of Faerie. Not instant death as many stories implied, but the metal made it much harder for their super-healing processes to kick in.

Trance jumping, she leaped to one wall where she clung using a resonance spell. Scientists would be so very surprised to learn how much the physics of resonance played into magic. You could tear a man apart with the right frequency. Or a building.

He leaped to meet her head-on. Their magic clashing in an explosion of power. They rushed at each other like eagles locked in combat. Punching and fighting, more brawlers than magicians as their spells fought with them.

Snarling in rage, he pushed away from her, calling out a spell that hung tangibly in the air. Tamsin pushed after him only to bounce painfully off the incantation, solid as a brick wall.

With a wave of his hand, he threw the magic at her and in the infinite time of slipstreaming, she could see behind the words to the true form the spell. A beast of many legs and more teeth. From the sides of its body, long tentacles waved restlessly, each covered in rows of suckers. Cross a lizard with a giant squid and this might be the result. She could see the name of the spell written across the leathery hide, glowing as brightly as hot neon. Devourer.

The spell-beast sprang, knocking her off balance. A dozen tentacles attached themselves to her. Each touch burned like hellfire and Tamsin couldn’t help crying out. The incantation pushed her to the other side of the room as the suckers lining the tentacles attached themselves to the bare skin on her thighs, forearms, throat and face. They began to pulse. A horrible, sucking, swallowing sensation.

A spell as powerful as the Devourer surely would have consumed the life force of the Charmer, truly eating her alive. Tamsin was much more than this single witch, however powerful the Charmer was in life. Her personal magic was the sum of many diverse supernatural creatures. Tamsin called upon the still powerful remnant of Shifter magic she had learned two bodies ago. A gut-wrenching, vertigo inducing, mind reeling, over-the-drop roller coaster spell that forced her body into agonizing contractions and changed her internal structure into something else entirely. Though it lasted bare seconds, that was enough.

Shifters were pure poison to most supernatural beings. The Devourer had been created specifically by the Necromancer for the Charmer. To suck the life force from her and leave the body untouched. Perhaps this was how the girl originally died. Unfortunately for the sorcerer’s schemes, the altered life force of the Shifter contaminated the spell entirely. The Devourer pulled away too late, its rubbery skin shifting from blue to inky black. The tentacles flailed out spastically, whipping this way and that and nearly braining Tamsin in the process as she scrambled away. Bouncing off the ceiling and into the wall, until, tentacles hanging limply, it spun away, back into the void.

The necromancer could not hide the dismay in his face. He obviously had been very sure of this spell. Screaming curses, he launched himself at her, a wave of the dead charging before him.

Her Shifter magic was already dissipating. Tamsin tensed her legs and sprang from the wall directly in the wave’s path, pulling a round mirror from another pocket with her free hand. There were hidden pockets all over the fanciful dress ensemble with secret magical goodies stashed inside. Tamsin had spent her spare time cataloging all she could find.

Placing the knife before the mirror, she called on the light of every white magic goddess she could think of and plunged into the seething mass of mist and bodies. At first she was surrounded by only inky darkness, the stench of corpses all but overwhelming. Marshalling her power, she centered it in her stomach feeling the heat build. Channeling that energy, she sent the spell shooting through her fingertips into the mirror. The talisman lit up like a spotlight, exposing the twisted, horrifying faces of the dead all around her.

Their screams of anger, pain, despair and rage were deafening: They clutched at her, ripping and tearing her clothes. She felt the little knit cap snatched from her head along with a thick lock of hair. Tensing her muscles – magical and physical – she said the other spell she had prepared. A word. A very hot, bright word.

Razor-edged brilliance blossomed first around the mirror and then her entire body until she glowed brightly as a saint in a Caravaggio painting. The hands of the dead touching her caught fire, flaring like oily rags. Screaming, the spirits jerked away. She blazed through the press of wretched corpses, burning her way closer to the necromancer.

As the dead began to fall back, cowering, two faces loomed before her. Beautiful, ageless features, strong narrow nose and long brows. Black, staring eyes. A man and a woman. They opened their mouths, and Tamsin saw the fangs. Primes.

Time slowed as she passed, time enough for them to speak.

“Find me,” said the man, his voice dry as dust in her ear.

“Find me,” said the woman.

“We are lost,” they cried together. “So lost.”

Tamsin pushed forward, forcing them to tumble backwards with the rest of the dead.

The necromancer raged at his slaves. Several times he called upon them, ordering them forward. Each time they cowered further away from the white light of Tamsin’s power.

She rammed into him in a bone-shaking body slam and thrust the iron knife into his abdomen pulling it high until the blade scraped bone. With her other hand, she thrust the blazing mirror into the open wound. The light burst from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth and he screamed, a high horrible sound of pain and terror. She dragged him into one of the little galleries that lined the high walls of the ballroom, pressing him against the wall as his blood flowed over her dress.

“Tell me what you know of Knightly!” she shouted.

The dead had retreated from them, hovering nearby. Tamsin thought she saw them smiling at his pain.

Tell me!

“Nothing! I know nothing about him. Those who promised me this body told me to use that name to draw you out,” he gasped.

“Who ordered you?”

“Saints or Sinners, I do not know.”

“What do you mean saints and sinners? What are you talking about?”

“The one who hired me. Primes and Witches are at war in this city. The Witches,” he gasped again, giving a sharp cry. “They brokered a truce some months ago. Not everyone is happy with that.”

She said the word again, louder, and the light became incandescent. “Are you saying a Prime hired you? Or the Witches?”

He howled.

The dead, who had been at arms length, were suddenly all around her – which is what happens when you take your eyes off reanimated dead spirits. Their power was growing as the sorcerer’s diminished. They pushed, actually pushed, Tamsin aside, forcing her to pull the mirror from the ragged hole in the necromancer’s abdomen. As she did, the dead rushed in to fill the void.

There was a horrible, grinding sound and an intense absence of light, plunging them into inky darkness. The necromancer screamed again as an explosion of energy blew Tamsin off the gallery and into the air.

The sonic boom from the dispersal of magical energy tumbled her over and over, petticoats flying up in her face. She fell out of slipstreaming, slowing down to slip back into the pace of real time. Something sparkly came into view. Tamsin reached out automatically, just managing to grip it with one hand as she tumbled by. Shaking off the concussion of energy, she tried to focus.

She was wet, she realized. It seemed to be raining very hard. Blearily she saw something solid receding and getting closer, receding and getting closer.

What the hell?

She stared harder. A wall, she realized. That was the wall of the ballroom. Why was it moving? And why was she wet and getting wetter? Shaking her head and tightening her grip, Tamsin took a deep breath, looked around and understood.

She was hanging one-handed from the giant crystal chandelier of the ballroom, swinging precariously back and forth high above the dance floor. All the emergency sprinklers were going full blast and every dancer, every partygoer, every waiter had stopped to stare above their heads in astonishment. At her.

“Oh crap,” Tamsin groaned.

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