Long and Short Reviews welcomes Ciara Knight, who is giving away an e-copy of each of the first two books of the Battle for Souls series, Rise from Darkness and Fall from Grace. The third book, Ascension of Evil, is now out.
All of the characters from those two books return in Ascension of Evil for an epic battle of light versus darkness.
"By the end of the book, you’ll know why the war began, who side the characters are truly on, and who survives the final battle. It is an intense conclusion to the series that I hope everyone will enjoy," she told me.
She's currently working on Escapement, the first book of The Neumarian Chronicles, which is due to release in February 2013. A post-apocalyptic prequel novelette with Steampunk elements, Weighted, released earlier this year to glowing reviews.
"I’m so excited to announce that the cover for Escapement will be revealed soon," she said. "Book II, Pendulum will be out late 2013, and book III, Balance, will be out in early 2014."
In total, Ciara has written six novels, several short stories, and two novella/novelettes. Four books are currently published, with one due out in February, and both novellas. You can find all her work at her Amazon Author Central Page or on her website.
"I love Ascension of Evil because of the inspiration it gives people at the end of the story. There are some shocking facts provided about how everything came to pass during the first war and how it plays a part in what they are currently facing," she said. "Also, I absolutely love The Neumarian Chronicles. The alternate world is fascinating to me. I’ve enjoyed studying power sources and inventing technology. It’s a crazy and intense series that challenges all my writing abilities. I love a challenge!"
"What did you want to be when you grew up?" I asked.
"I wanted to be the first American women in space, but when Sally Ride beat me to it I decided to move on. At that point, I wanted to be an actress and took some classes. For a short time, after high school, I pursued the dream, but when I was injured dancing at Disney I was told not to return for final call-back for a Nickelodian show. They couldn’t have a host with a cast on her leg. I also wanted to be an archeologist so I could date Indian Jones."
Ciara is the only female in her house full of seven males: her husband, three sons, two male cats, and a male dog. One of her boys was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a mild form of autism.
"It’s caused me to grow so much as a person and a mother. Someday I hope to write the fantasy, middle grade book where my son is the main character. He amazes me daily," she told me. "My eldest is lead singer and guitarist in a metal band. At only fourteen, he cut a demo, scheduled and played at various venues around town, and dominated social media in a way I’ll never be able to. I’ll never forget the day he opened his fan page and had 600 likes in two days. I’d just hit 550 after six months. The youngest is one of those kids that everyone knows. He’ll walk into class and every one stops and yells his name. He’s the Norm of the elementary school. My amazing husband is a great dad, and is totally binary. How a left brain and a right brain have a successful marriage is beyond my comprehension, but somehow we complement each other."
She told me that her first agent urged her to use a pen name.
"At the time we thought it best to protect my family, especially with a son who has sensory issues. My agent’s concern was that even if I only became a modest selling author, I could be recognized locally. If that did happen, I wanted to still be able to have successful trips out of the house without my son being overwhelmed," she explained. "Also, it’s been great because my real name was already taken by an author."
When she's not writing, Ciara likes to hike, play with her kids, read, knit, travel, and find trouble.
"I’m not kidding. Anyone who knows me will tell you that trouble can find me no matter where I hide. It is a gift for telling great stories, and a curse for living," she said with a smile.
"What was the scariest moment of your life?" I wondered.
"As I said, trouble always finds me. One incident happened while backpacking through Europe during college with two of my friends. We decided to head to Prague after someone had talked about how fabulous it was. This occurred shortly after the wall went down and there were still a lot of issues with travel. After checking with the proper ticket agent to make sure we had all necessary documentation, we boarded the overnight train. Sometime in the early morning hours we woke to someone pounding on our car door. I managed to crawl over my friend and unlock the door. Three men stood outside with automatic weapons. They start shouting at us. After several minutes I realize they work there and want to see our passports. We hand them over and the shouting continues. I’m pulled out of the car by my hair and we are marched off the train at gun point. After several scary hours, in a cold cell where no one spoke English, we were put on a train and sent back to Germany. Finally, we discovered that one of the girls needed a visa because she didn’t have an American passport. The ticket agent didn’t catch that she wasn’t American."
"What challenges do you think teens face today that you did not?" I asked.
"The most difficult thing for teenagers now is the instant blasts of failures, tragedies, break-ups, or poor decisions. Teens are meant to make mistakes as they grow up, but now one little mistake can be a life-sentence for some young adults. I’ve seen Facebook and Twitter cause some serious pain.
Ciara always thought she was an e-book person, but she shared with me an experience that changed her opinion.
"I was sitting in a restaurant waiting for a friend and I was reading a great book. It was in paper copy since I’d received it from the author in exchange for review. As I’m sitting there completely engrossed in the story, I hear someone arguing on their phone. I paused and looked at everyone with their phones, laptops, and tablets with solemn looks on their faces. I realized that I didn’t have email popping up as I read, or other electronic distractions. I felt like I was stuck in the dark ages, and loved it."
About the Author:Long and Short Reviews.
When not writing, she enjoys reading all types of fiction. Some great literary influences in her life include Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Francine Rivers and J K Rowling.
Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She’s backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.
Ciara is extremely sociable and can be found at Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and her blog.
The final installment of the Battle for Souls series, Ascension of Evil.
Gaby Moore fails to stop a demonic war which released condemned ancient angels and Lucifer’s minions to Earth. When all hope is lost, Herak, an Ancient sentenced to eternal solitude for starting the first demonic war, pledges to save the world. But is he really reformed and ready to fight, or will he betray Gaby and Alexander forcing them to sacrifice their love and each other to save the world?