Title: Words That Bind
Author: Ash Kraft
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy Romance
Release Date: October 10th, 2014
Heat: PG / PG13
Length: 75,270 words / 314 pages
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Available at Amazon | WildRose
Social worker Tam Kerish can’t keep her cool professionalism when steamy client Mr. Burns kindles a desire for more than a client-therapist relationship—so she drops him. However, they discover she’s the talisman to which Burns, an immortal djinn, has been bound since the days of King Solomon…and that makes it difficult.
Ethical guidelines are unequivocal when it comes to personal relationships with clients. However, the djinn has a thawing effect on the usually non-emotive Tam, who begins to feel true emotion whenever he is near. Tam has to make a difficult choice: to stay on the outside, forever looking in…or to turn her back on her entire world, just for the chance to finally experience what it means to fall in love.
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Please give a warm welcome to Ash Krafton.
Thank you so much for being with us here today on the blog, I am so excited.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
Born and bred in northeast PA—which you can tell by my habit of saying Pee-yay instead of Pennsylvania. I grew up near Scranton but now live about half-way between Scranton and Philadelphia. My home is in the heart of the coal region, deep in corn country. We have a bear or two, not by choice, but trash pick-up day is always exciting.
What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?
As a kid, I was a voracious reader. I read anything—and I think there are still photos of me at age four reading my dad’s medical books. (Also explains my fascination with weird medical stuff and silly horror gore. Human bodies are full of all kinds of stuff.) I preferred fantasy and mild horror, even as an adolescent, and never went away on a Girl Scout camp out without a Stephen King book. I started writing seriously in 2006 or so, and had been published in poetry and short fiction before my first novel came out in 2012.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s the weird thing—I have always felt like a writer, even long before I actually put the pen to paper. My first clips are poetry in the local newspaper when I was in middle school. I chose to study pharmacy in college, but worked in the humanities department at the campus Writing Center. Even surrounded by math, science, and medicine, my first love was literature. I went back to writing as a hobby about ten years ago and it just grew from there.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
WORDS THAT BIND is a love story about a genie and his social worker. Never fall in love with a client…especially if he’s a genie and you’re the talisman to which he’s bound.
I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
Caution: I do stupid things. (Sometimes, I do them to my characters just to see what they have to do to fix them.)
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m heavily influenced by music, so often the first step in creating a book starts with making a playlist. That way, I can tap into the emotional inspiration the music provides, which make the words just spill out.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Sometimes love means sacrifice. We have to put the wishes and the safety of the ones we love before or own. You know you are doing it right when it doesn’t feel like sacrifice…it just feels like the right thing to do.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
WORDS THAT BIND is a stand-alone, but I’ve already been asked if Bethany, one of the secondary characters, can have a book of her own. Beth is learning to manage Borderline Personality Disorder, which manifests as a constant torrent of emotional swings, and I think she’d be an interesting person to follow because of the conflicts and the challenges she would face doing things so many of us take for granted.
Who designed the cover of your book?
The cover was designed by Debbie Taylor from Wild Rose Press. I’m glad that she allowed me to share my spec
ific visions for the book cover and even share my own sketches so that she could capture the feel of the story.
Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?
Still in the country, working retail pharmacy and writing books. I couldn’t be happier with my place in life!
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
At Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany. My family and I will be visiting there in June…and maybe they will let me stay there. *grin*
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I prefer paperbacks, but am slowly getting attached to my Kindle app. If only it can smell like a book…ah, heaven.
Are you a self published (Indie) Author or big trad published?
I’m in the middle—proudly small press published in novel-length fiction. I did self-produce a few smaller books and anthologies, and am currently working on self-producing my first New Adult paranormal novel, THE HEARTBEAT THIEF.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have several projects lined up, all speculative fiction. In addition to THE HEARTBEAT THIEF, I’m developing a NA magic-realism TAKIN’ IT BACK and a NA magic-dystopian called FACE OF THE ENEMY. Also, I’m planning some shorter works based on my Demimonde series and my poetry that will go straight to Kindle.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
1) a story that a wide audience can connect with and
2) tireless efforts to promote it. Hard work on all fronts is key.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer’s block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I write straight through it. If I’m blocked in one project, I open another document and switch mental gears. In fact, that is how WORDS THAT BIND came to be– My sister-in-law is a licensed clinical social worker so I wrote a short passage about a genie who walks into a therapist’s office. Her reply was MORE, PLEASE. I like my sister-in-law a lot so I wrote more. *grin* A lot of research went into it because, not only did I want a realistic heroine, but I wanted to express the respect I have for my sister in her position, as well as the clientele for whom she cares.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
The beach scene. Burns needs to apologize to Tam and he does it the best way he knows how—with magic. Had lots of fun daydream that part!
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Netflix and a salty snack, usually Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffle chips. I call them my “sanity chips”. On Netflix, I have a few favorite mini-series I like to binge watch, such as North and South with Richard Armitage.
Have you ever read a book more than once?
Absolutely. Some of my best friends are books with cracked, worn spines and dog-eared pages.
Do you write under a pen name?
My NA projects will be under the name AJ Krafton, since they are targeted to a younger audience.
Now for a little fun:
Do you write to music? If so – play list please.
Any mix of Lacuna Coil, Blind Guardian, MCR, and eighties British pop/new wave.
What are your pet peeves?
People reading over my shoulder, and the dog making noise at night.
LOL, I’m with you on the reading over my shoulder!
Cats or dogs?
I’m a cat person who lives with a German Shepherd.
Fangs or fur?
Fangs, for sure
Wine or liquor (or beer if you just have to)?
I prefer wine, but recently had a glass of Spaten Oktoberfest beer. It was sublime. I like lambic, too—fruity beer! Yay!
Coffee or tea?
TEA. Darjeeling. Spring flush. Heaven.
Navratan korma, an Indian vegetable dish.
Mmmm, love Indian food!
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Phone, hoodie, Windows tablet, earpiece
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Laptop for writing, desktop for graphic design. However, I’m eyeing up the new Surface that will enable me to do both.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Anywhere, anytime—with a day job, a busy family, and a full schedule, I’ve learned to write whenever I have the luxury of getting words down
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous / fictional people you would want with you?
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Lestat
OH! A Lestat fan (swoon). I think I’m going to go hang out on your island!
One of your favourite quotes –
“Indeed!”—Lo Pan, Big Trouble in Little China
List 3 of your all time favourite books?
The Talisman by Stephen King, The Golden Key by Melanie Rawn, and Magic’s Price by Mercedes
List 3 of your all time favourite movies?
Dracula 2000, Ever After, Bride and Prejudice.
An actor you have a crush on –
Alan Alda. And don’t you dare throw shade on me.
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Got to see the Constantine pilot at New York Comic Con in October and all I have to say is Matt Ryan IS John Constantine.
Once again thank you so much for being here today, it is truly an honour to interview you.
Thanks for the chat! It was very entertaining…
“So. You’ve destroyed a stereotype for me. A genie who lives in a library. Different.”
“When in Rome, no?” He stirred his cup before setting down the spoon with a light clink against the saucer. “Or, I suppose it is more accurate to say when in human form. When I am Burns, I prefer here.”
“Human form.” It didn’t sound right. Who said things like that, and meant it? “Can you change into anything you want? Any shape at all?”
He stretched out his legs and cocked his head, sliding his gaze up and away. “I suppose I could. I’m getting old and set in my ways. There’s this…” He swept his hands down the line of his body.
Her eyes were unable to keep from following, not even when he lingered over his midsection. Even lounging, his shirt was tightly tucked into his beltline. No belly fat there.
He tilted his head and gave her an upper-teeth smile, nibbling gently at his lower lip. “And apparently this form is pleasing to the eye, so I wear it often. But there are others. Tiger, a favorite. Savage and regal and the colors of flames in the night. Fearsome to behold, but very useful when dealing with physical conditions in which a human form may be outmatched. Plus, I can lash my tail.”
His voice took a teasing, conspirator’s tone. “I love my tail. You’d love it too, if you saw it.”
She trained her eyes firmly upon his. No way would she give him the pleasure of checking out his tail.
Ash will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon or BN as well as a unique handmade book-inspired keychain to a randomly drawn commenter.
BLEEDING HEARTS (Demimonde #1)
BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2)
WOLF’S BANE (Demimonde #3)
Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction author from northeastern Pennsylvania. Krafton’s first novel, Bleeding Hearts was published in 2012 as part of an urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press). An urban fantasy novella, Strangers at the Hell Gate, was published by Wild Rose Press in 2013. Her newest release, Words That Bind, won first place in the HeRA RWA “Show Me the Spark” 2013 competition as well as a Zebulon award in 2014.
Krafton also writes New Adult speculative fiction novels under the pen name AJ Krafton. Upcoming titles include The Heartbeat Thief, Face of the Enemy, and the award-winning Takin’ It Back. She is part of a YA/NA collective known as the Infinite Ink Authors.
In addition to novel-length fiction, Krafton enjoys writing poetry and short prose, some of which earned distinctions in various writing competitions. One of her poems was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She’s a proud member of Pennwriters, Romance Writers of America, and Pikes Peak Writers. Krafton also writes for the Query Tracker Blog and the Prose and Cons blog.
She resides with her family in northeast Pennsylvania.