Soul Awakened Blog Tour w Giveaways!

Soul Awakened Button 300 x 225

OOOOOH, I’ve got some serious goodies for you today!!! Since I have quite a big post, with some serious goodies for you to win today, Lemme show you! 🙂

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Soul Awakened
Key to the Cursed Series Book Two

Jean Murray

Genre: Dark Paranormal

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Date of Publication: January 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-937254-97-1

ASIN: 978-1-937254-98-8

Number of pages: 292

Word Count: 92,000

Cover Artist: Taria A. Reed

Book Description:

LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR

Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.

HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST

Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most– his Parvana. His butterfly.

My Review:

Yep, we pick up right where we left off and it just keeps getting better. This is an excellent sequel! You get to explore in depth the second sister, who I happen to LOVE! And it’s just as action packed, still full of good suspense, still excellently fast paced and of course still written beautifully! More and more supes are coming out to play and the story is getting deep! Plus I love to see some returning characters from the first book!

Kendra really is nothing like Lilly, from book one. She’s kind, she’s fun, but she’s just as loyal, so I guess they maybe have some similarities 🙂 and I may have maybe cheered for her and Bakari as a couple! Oh and we all shouldn’t forget about Bomari… And it’s complicated… I can’t say too much more than that because I may ruin something for you. Let me just say I really enjoyed seeing how this one played out!

The story, while getting deeper, is still easy. It’s not getting too complicated, it’s easy to follow, and I think the plot line was laid out excellently. And I was a little shocked at how some things went, an I like unpredictability! I am STILL LOVING those secondary characters and I’m glad to see some of them again from book one!

I think the writing is still excellent and I am still going to say that this is a great adventure! I absolutely annoy wait to see what the next book will capture! I’ve truly enjoyed meeting these characters and the setting the world is created in is just way cool! A NOT SO SLEEPY 5 PAWS from me!!

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Book 1:

Soul Reborn (Key to the Cursed Book I)

THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD.Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls.DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only things standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth.Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore. But Lilly has a secret-one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.

My Review:

I seriously love the mythology here! I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting when I opted to read this series, but the blurb sounded so interesting and it’s definitely worth the read! For you mythology and suspense junkies- this is REALLY the perfect story! I’ll definitely say this is a fast paced, well versed, and will suck you right in from the beginning. I promise you’ll use every excuse to not put it down. And I love that each of the sisters have such independent and different personalities. And there’s something special about each!

I really liked Lilly. She is strong, she’s Indepentent, she’s very set on her “supernatural hating” beliefs. She’s also fiercely loyal and protective of her family. She seems to have the weight of the world on her. I think that because of her personality and morals with this, it makes her such a relatable character. When you’re worried about everyone else, when do you have time to worry about herself!

I love that Asar is “the bad guy from the Underworld”, except that he isn’t. You start out thinking he is because he hates humans and his attitude, but in the end, I totally get why Lilly fell for him! He’s quite a catch LOL! And you know I’m all about the side kicks! There’s some really great secondary characters that have some great roles! I’m definitely looking forward to more of them too!

Let me also just say that the “bad guy” is scary, not because of the normal reasons but because of the realistic personality! It’s like mean girls meets die hard meets the craft… Ok maybe that’s not exactly it, but it’s what keeps popping in my head hahaha 🙂 the writing is awesome and it’s a little longer than most, but I actually liked that because nothing felt rushed, even if the pace was fast. Over all, I’m so glad I’m about to start book two!! 🙂 5 POWERFUL PAWS from me!!
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Author Interview:

WELCOME!! First, tell me a little about your book 🙂 ….

Soul Awakened is the second book in the Key to the Cursed series, based on Ancient Egyptian Mythology. This is Kendra’s and Bakari’s story. At the end of Soul Reborn, they recover Bakari’s sarcophagus. The God of Death has been entombed and tortured by their enemies for five long years. Kendra is the key to his awakening. During the awakening ceremony, she inadvertently binds her soul to Bakari with a spell that only death will undo. The god who rises has changed after years of torture. Haunted by the sins of his past, Bakari is filled with self-hatred. Kendra is the only barrier to ending his suffering or the enabler of his salvation.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?

I’ve always enjoyed daydreaming, letting the stories in my head play out. Never once did I think to write them down. In 2009, it’s as if a switch was thrown and I just said one day – I should write this down. Even then, I didn’t think of publishing. I wrote 4 books in my Matriarch series. After reading the first book, my husband said to me, “You should publish this.” I remember laughing at him. No way could I ever get published, but he planted the seed. Within the year I went to the RWA conference and did workshops. In the wake of those experiences, I wrote Soul Reborn, the first book in the Key to the Cursed series. I pitched it in 2010 and received a contact a month later. I truly feel blessed by this whole journey.

WOW! What a great story 🙂 What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?

During my own “awakening,” as I call it, I was in love with vampires. I don’t know what one thing inspired me, I just remember the irresistible compulsion to write. My first book is an urban fantasy, with the draft title of Matriarch: Genesis. Everyone knows the Book of Revelations, but what they don’t know – there’s another book. One that tells the prophecies for the other side.

I think a whole lotta people are in love with vampers LOL! Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think my experiences influence my character profiles, especially in this series. The Carrigan sisters reflect the loyalty I feel toward family. Bakari’s struggles are a compilation of so many sad stories I’ve heard over my twenty years as a nurse, both personally and professionally – lives lost to depression and suicide. Bakari discovers hope is worth holding onto.

Well then I think your family is very lucky to have you! How do you choose when/which characters die in your books?

Death of a character has to be useful to the story, pivotal in fact. You will see some of that in both Soul Reborn and Soul Awakened. I cried when I wrote the scene in Soul Awakened— that’s when I knew it was the right time and place.

AWW! I’ve never have an author tell me they’ve cried at their own character’s death ;( That makes it all the more meaningful! Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Actually, I just highlighted an author on my blog that is using Egyptian Mythology as the basis of her warriors. I think this is great. Most, Ancient Egyptian mythology novels have always been historical. I think as people start to look for something other than vampires, we are going to see more and more Egyptian themed novels.

Who do you look up to as a writer?

I think JR Ward is one of my favorite mentors, although she may not know that. LOL. She isn’t afraid to touch upon very sensitive topics in her writing. Her characters are flawed and suffer in their own ways.

She is pretty darn cool 😉 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

If I could do it over, I wish I would have had more sisters in the storyline. Not that they’re really needed, but it’s my selfishness of not wanting to end this series. The secondary characters have given me an out on this. Bomani has gotten his own book, as a result. Although, Lilly’s, Kendra’s and Kit’s storyline will end, I believe the Key to the Cursed will live on beyond the sisters.

We all want this series to continue! Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I can’t write a simple plot line – no my stories have to have these deep complex storylines. Anytime I try to write a single thread story (a “read in one day book”) it always feels like something is missing. Bomani’s story, Soul Unbound, was supposed to be a novella. Um, that’s not going to happen. The challenge is these take much longer for me to write and edit. I’m a little impatient, wishing I could churn out books faster.

What book are you reading now? Or what genre?

I’m reading Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione. I’ve gotten such great feedback from this series, I’m dying to capture the fever.

Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?

Taria Reed designed the cover for Soul Awakened. I love it. One of the benefits of a small press is you do have input into the covers. I provided Taria with key elements of the book and she captured it all in this one picture. Truly amazing.

The covers are pretty amazing! Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?

With the first book, I learned my strengths and weaknesses. My strengths are characters, plots and world building. One weakness in particular was the overuse of one particular gesture to demonstrate frustration. Grinding and gritting teeth. My editor and I got a great laugh at how many times it appeared in the book. By the end of the story, my character wouldn’t have had any teeth left J I’ve fixed the problem and am now very conscious of it.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?

I always want to be someone like Lilly, a kick a**, alpha female. Kendra has a more subtle power and influence. Kit has more live for the moment attitude. I’m wonder, now that you asked the question, if I wouldn’t want to be all three combined. The best of all three put together.

HA! I was so waiting for you to say that! Great minds think alike 😉 Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?

If you have a chance, go back and read the classics – Dickens is one of my favorites.

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

I’d like to thank them for supporting small press and indie authors. We don’t have the influence and power as the big New York publishers or space on the bookstore shelves. There are so many great stories to be had, if only readers would give small press/indie authors a try. Many do, and I’m so appreciative of their support and feedback. I couldn’t have come this far without them.

Ahh, but indie authors sometimes have the BEST stories to tell 🙂 Thank you so much for that wonderful interview! 🙂 You’re welcome back any time!

About the Author:

In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.

Web: www.jean-murray.com ; www.keytothecursed.com

Blog: www.wickedromance.wordpress.com

Face Book: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jean-Murray-Paranormal-Romance-Author/130589967006760

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wickedromance

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5103113.Jean_Murray

Book Trailer Soul Reborn:

Giveaways:

My giveaway is an E-book copy of Soul Reborn. So leave me or the lovely author a nice comment and I will pick a winner!

AND

The Tour Wide Giveaway is a Rafflecopter for a Kindle Fire HD giveaway + kindle version of Soul Reborn and Soul Awakened. Follow the Soul Awakened’s Bewitching Blog Tour stops and increase your chances at winning the ultimate prize. See Rafflecopter for details. The rafflecopter is HERE.

*Your comment here on my blog is a double entry as it enters you into my giveaway AND it counts for the rafflectoper. 🙂

Thanks so much everyone! I seriously wish you EXTRA GOOD LUCK! I have a kindle Fire so I know how totally awesome they are! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Happy reading everyone and later gators!

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16 thoughts on “Soul Awakened Blog Tour w Giveaways!

  1. BookLady says:

    Fascinating book and interesting interview. Will definitely be adding this book to my reading list.

    bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. Jean Murray says:

    I wanted to take a moment to thank my beautiful host not only for the great interview questions, but taking the time to review Soul Reborn and Soul Awakened. You had me beaming all day. Thank you so so much 🙂

    With sincere thanks,
    Jean Murray
    http://www.jean-murray.com

  3. bn100 says:

    Nice review about the plot and secondary characters.

  4. Dorothy Reading says:

    Gah! When I first started this tour, I had no idea it was a series. Well, I do now, of course. I’m just ecstatic. My favorite books are either sci-fi or fantasy, and my favorite books are always series. Mythology is a particular favorite of mine. I’ll repeat: Gah!

    • Jean Murray says:

      Oh yes, it is definitely a series.

      The sisters are awesome, so of course they have their own books. Bomani (Soul Unbound) will come next before Kit’s story (Soul Unleashed). Kit and Kamen will close the Carrigan sister storyline. Don’t worry they will stick around for the other books I’m dying to write for all the secondary characters- Sin, Inpu, and Jonathan Carrigan.

      🙂

      Jean

  5. Jean S. says:

    I always love it when I run into another Jean. There aren’t many of us, but we’re all awesome. 🙂 This does sound like a great series. I love mythology too.

    Oh! And I think it’s so great that Ms. Murray has such a supportive husband. 🙂

    • Jean Murray says:

      I love meeting other Jean’s. Of course most people spell it wrong. I don’t know how many times I receive a message that is spelled Gene. LOL

      So nice to meet you 🙂

      Paul is honestly, my biggest fan. He’s awesome. He line edits, manages my webpage, builds graphics and advertising. I’ll let him know you said so.

      Jean

  6. Shannon Bereza says:

    I have to read these books just to see how Jean Murray is able to modernize the normally historical books about Egyptian artifacts and history. Thanks Happy Tails and Tales for hosting another amazing author.
    sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Jean Murray says:

      Hi Shannon.

      So happy you joined the tour. It has been so fun mixing the two worlds. There are definitely misconceptions between the two that have to be overcome, and makes for interesting interactions between the characters.

      Jean

  7. Jean Murray says:

    Thanks again to my host and all the participants who stopped by.

    Jean Murray
    http://www.jean-murray.com

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