Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Interview with Deborah Blake

Please welcome Deborah Blake to The Qwillery.  Veiled Menace, the 2nd novel in the Veiled Magic series, was published on April 18th by InterMix.

TQWelcome back to The Qwillery. Your newest novel, Veiled Menace, was published on April 18th and is the second novel in the Veiled Magic series. Please tell us about the series.

Deborah:  It’s an urban fantasy set in a world much like ours, except there the Paranormal races are still in hiding, except for the Witches, who came out of the broom closet a few years back. The protagonist is a Witch-cop named Donata Santori, who specializes in speaking to the dead—specifically, the victims of crimes. In the first book, Veiled Magic, Donata stumbled across a long-lost secret relic of the war between the Paranormal races and the Catholic Church, and got involved with two very different men, Peter (a half-dragon forger) and Magnus (an Ulfhednar shapechanger from her past). She was threatened and chased by two different factions and in the end, they all barely escaped with their lives, and the mysterious Pentacle Pentimento was thought to be destroyed. Peter and Magnus left to deal with their own issues, and Donata went back to a life that was changed forever. What happened after that is the story of Veiled Menace, where nothing is exactly as it seems and Donata gets in ever further over her head.

TQDescribe Veiled Menace in 140 characters or less.

Deborah:  Donata discovers the identity of the lost sixth race and is again torn between two men; none of it goes well and everyone is keeping deadly secrets.

TQTell us something about Veiled Menace that is not found in the book description.

Deborah:  Since the first book, Donata’s boss, the Human police chief, has moved her up out of the basement and asked her to look into “unusual” cases that might involve Paranormal influences. She is practicing magic with her eccentric great-aunt in an effort to be able to deal with these new duties better. It isn’t going all that well, alas.

TQWhat sort of research did you do for Veiled Menace?

Deborah:  Does nearly twenty years as a practicing witch count? I did a ton of research for the first book, Veiled Magic, including studying up on the Inquisition, an obscure painter, and Norse berserker shapechanger legends (because I didn’t want to use the typical paranormal vampires and werewolves). Most of Veiled Menace build on that initial research. I did have to read up on golems, but I can’t tell you why!

TQPlease tell us about Veiled Menace's cover?

Deborah:  I love the covers for the two books in this series. They picked a model who looked exactly the way Donata did in my head, and even managed to include her familiar, Grimalkin. The cover doesn’t show anything about the story in particular, but I think it captures the mystical and slightly threatening feeling well.

TQIn Veiled Menace who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Deborah:  Donata was the easiest, because I already knew her well from the first book. Peter might have been the most difficult, because he turned out to be a little different than I thought he was going to (characters do these things to their authors sometimes), even though we’d met him in Veiled Magic, and he was a complicated, conflicted man.

TQ:  Why have you chosen to include or not chosen to include social issues in Veiled Menace?

Deborah:  I didn’t address specific social issues (I did more of that in my Baba Yaga series, also from Berkley), but I did touch on the difficulties that ensue when various sections of society believe that they are being oppressed or need to fight for what is theirs.

TQWhich question about Veiled Menace do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Deborah:  “Was it hard to write the second book in a continuing series?” “YES! The Baba Yaga series is a little different, because there are three main characters, each of whom gets her own book and her own happily ever after. It was tough to keep kicking poor Donata when she was down, and break her heart repeatedly, without making the reader feel cheated.”

TQGive us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from Veiled Menace.

Deborah:  Here’s one from the very beginning of the book!

Donata Santori looked down at the dead body lying at her feet and thought, Damn, that can’t be a good sign.

There was a choking sound from behind her and the Chief said, “No kidding, Santori. A dead body is never a good sign.” He crossed his arms over his bulky chest and looked impatient and a little bit cranky. Pretty much like usual.

Crap—had she said that out loud? No wonder he only let her work outside the precinct once in a blue moon.

TQYour Baba Yaga novels and the Broken Rider Novels are interconnected in that the Broken Riders protect the Baba Yaga witches. Is there any crossover to the Veiled Magic novels in any way?

Deborah:  Not at all. The books take place in different worlds, and even the witches are completely different. (The witches in the Veiled Magic series have more realistic limits to their magic, and are a separate race from humans. The witches in the Baba Yaga series have tremendous, although not unlimited, magical powers, and were born human and then became Baba Yagas.)

TQWhat's next?

Deborah:  I’m actually working on the third book in the series right now, tentatively titled Veiled Mysteries, although that could change. I’ve got another novella set in the Baba Yaga world coming out in September, and the second Broken Rider book, Dangerously Divine (Gregori’s story) comes out November 28th. Save the date!

TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Deborah:  Thank you for having me!

Veiled Menace
Veiled Magic 2
InterMix, April 18, 2017
eBook, 285 pages

From the author of Veiled Magic and the Baba Yaga novels comes an exciting new paranormal romance…

Since Witches came out of the broom closet in the early twenty-first century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

Includes an exclusive preview of the next Broken Rider novel, Dangerously Divine


Veiled Magic
Veiled Magic 1
InterMix, November 17, 2015
eBook, 281 pages

A spellbinding new novel from the author of the Baba Yaga novels.

Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Police officer and Witch Donata Santori spends her days interrogating dead witnesses by summoning their spectral forms. Normally the job is little more than taking statements and filing reports. But when she’s called in on the case of a murdered art restorer, she finds herself suddenly in possession of a mystical portrait that both the human and paranormal communities would kill to get their hands on.

Unable to take on the forces hunting her alone, Donata seeks help from two unlikely and attractive allies: a reluctant shape-changer and a half-dragon art forger. But as the three of them hurry to uncover the truth about the powerful painting, Donata realizes that she’s caught in the middle of not one but two wars—one for possession of the painting’s secrets and one for possession of her heart…

Includes an exclusive preview of the next Baba Yaga novel, Wickedly Powerful.

About Deborah

Deborah Blake is the author of the Baba Yaga Series (Wickedly Dangerous, Wickedly Wonderful, Wickedly Powerful), the Broken Rider Series, and the Veiled Magic books from Berkley, and has published nine books on modern witchcraft with Llewellyn Worldwide as well as a tarot deck. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with various cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.

Newsletter  ~  Website  ~  Blog  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @deborahblake  ~  Goodreads

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will a prize pack that includes a notebook, broom pen, a $10 Amazon gift card, a cute stuffed dragon, some chocolate and some other miscellaneous things from Deborah Blake (see picture). INTERNATIONAL

  • Send an email to theqwillery . contests @ [remove the spaces]
  • In the subject line, enter “Veiled Menace“ with or without the quote marks.
  • In the body of the email, please provide your name and full mailing address. The winning address is used only to mail the novel(s) and is provided to the publisher and/or The Qwillery only for that purpose. All other address information will be deleted by The Qwillery once the giveaway ends.

Who:  The giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address.

When:  The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on May 2, 2017. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

Also by Deborah Blake

The Baba Yaga Series

Wickedly Magical
A Baba Yaga Novella
Berkley, August 5, 2014
eBook, 73 pages

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one…

Barbara Yager loves being one of the most powerful witches in the world, but sometimes she’d rather kick back in her enchanted Airstream with a beer in her hand than work out how to grant the requests of the worthy few who seek her out.

But when a man appears with the token of a family debt of honor, Barbara must drop everything to satisfy the promise owed by her predecessor—and she isn’t above being a little wicked to make sure the debt is paid in full…

Wickedly Dangerous
A Baba Yaga Novel 1
Berkley, September 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages


Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart…

Wickedly Wonderful
A Baba Yaga Novel 2
Berkley, December 2, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Though she looks like a typical California surfer girl, Beka Yancy is in fact a powerful yet inexperienced witch who’s struggling with her duties as a Baba Yaga. Luckily she has her faithful dragon-turned-dog for moral support, especially when faced with her biggest job yet…

A mysterious toxin is driving the Selkie and Mer from their homes deep in the trenches of Monterey Bay. To investigate, Beka buys her way onto the boat of Marcus Dermott, a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine, and his ailing fisherman father.

While diving for clues, Beka drives Marcus crazy with her flaky New Age ideas and dazzling blue eyes. She thinks he’s rigid and cranky (and way too attractive). Meanwhile, a charming Selkie prince has plans that include Beka. Only by trusting her powers can Beka save the underwater races, pick the right man, and choose the path she’ll follow for the rest of her life…

Wickedly Ever After
A Baba Yaga Novella
InterMix, January 19, 2016
eBook, 66 pages

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one…

Having triumphed over a powerful enemy and ended up with both a wonderful guy—Sheriff Liam McClellan—and an adorable adopted daughter to raise as a Baba Yaga, Barbara Yager is ready to welcome her happily ever after.

But first she must bring Liam to the Otherworld and get the Queen’s permission to marry him. The Queen, however, is not so easily persuaded. She gives them three impossible tasks to complete in two weeks’ time—and if they fail Barbara will have to watch Liam slowly age and die like all humans, and kiss her happily ever after good-bye forever.

Includes an exclusive preview of the next Baba Yaga Novel, Wickedly Powerful

Wickedly Powerful
A Baba Yaga Novel 3
Berkley, February 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

The author of Wickedly Wonderful returns to her “addicting”* world of Russian witches in the latest Baba Yaga novel.

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

The only thing more fiery than Bella Young’s red hair is her temper. She knows that a Baba Yaga’s power without strict control can leave the people she cares about burned, so to protect her heart—and everyone around her—the only company she keeps is her dragon-turned-Norwegian-Forest-cat, Koshka.

But when Bella is tasked with discovering who’s setting magical fires throughout Wyoming’s Black Hills, she finds herself working closely with former hotshots firefighter Sam Corbett—and falling hard for his quiet strength and charm.

Sam may bear the scars of his past, but Bella can see beyond them and would do anything to help him heal. Only before she can rescue her Prince Charming, she’ll have to overcome the mysterious foe setting the forest fires—a truly wicked witch who wields as much power and even more anger than Bella…

Wickedly Spirited
A Baba Yaga Novella
InterMix, September 19, 2017

[cover not yet revealed]

An all-new Baba Yaga novella from Deborah Blake!

Jazz, the powerfully magical teen first introduced in Wickedly Powerful, is now being trained as a Baba Yaga--and she's determined to free the Broken Riders herself.

The Broken Rider Novels

Dangerously Charming
A Broken Rider Novel 1
Berkley, October 4, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

From the author of the Baba Yaga novels, a brand new series set in the same “addicting”* world, filled with wild magic, enchanting damsels, and the irresistibly daring men who serve the Baba Yagas…

The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended—and their new destinies are just beginning…

Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…

For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…

To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts…

Dangerously Divine
A Broken Rider Novel 2
Berkley, November 28, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

The author of the “wonderful” (Tamora Pierce) Baba Yaga novels and Dangerously Charming is back with a magically mesmerizing new tale about the dashing and daring Broken Riders…

The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them—and their new callings are even more powerful…

Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation…

Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one…


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