A boy becomes a vampire and fights to become a man. (Giveaway)



Title: My Fearful Symmetry
Author : Denise Verrico
Genre: Urban fantasy
Format: Print and multi format ebook
B&N Paperback:
Fictionwise:


Tell us the story behind the story. What inspired you to write this novel?

This novel departs from the New York setting and Mia’s POV.  It can be actually be read first, since it starts fresh with a new POV character, with action running concurrent with Cara Mia and Twilight of the Gods.  So much of what happens in the revolution is going on within the ruling class, and I needed someone who moves within this world to tell this part of the story.  Cedric MacKinnon was just one of those characters whose story begged to be told.  He becomes a pivotal character in the series.  His actions have a great impact on Mia and Kurt’s fate in Book Four, Ratopia.  

I’d originally conceived of Cedric as a love interest for a character in a future book, but his backstory was so interesting that it really called for its own book.  I’d come up with the Indian origin for the Immortyl culture and the idea of the adepts of the ancient arts (Immortyl courtesans and performing artists) earlier on, but I hadn’t yet created the mythology for them.  Cedric Is a musician, singer and dancer. 

The Immortyls practice a form of Tantra, which centers on Shakti (mother goddess or female principle) worship.   Then in my research I came across the history of the devidasi, female temple artists who were sometimes exploited as courtesans.  History gives several examples of sacred courtesans.  Since my Immortyls are of a more omnivorous sexuality, it made sense that some of their courtesans would be male.  (One of my favorite historical fiction novels is Mary Renault’s The Persian Boy, about Bogoas, who was a companion to Alexander the Great.)   So, I did more research and found precedent for male courtesans in ancient times.  In India there are even examples of a recognized third sex.  But don’t worry, Cedric is all boy.  He just likes men and women both.  And what does Cedric do?  He falls for a woman who is forbidden to him.

The title comes from the William Blake poem, Tyger, Tyger.  The tiger is used as a symbolic element in this story as well.  The chief elder gives Cedric the name Shardul, which comes from Sanskrit and means tiger.  Cedric likens his condition to the chief elder’s pet tigers that restlessly pace inside the walls of the compound, looking for a chance at freedom.  He’s both beautiful and dangerous.

Tell us about the book cover.
  
I wanted something that conveyed menace, subtle eroticism and the Indian setting.

How does it represent your book?  How did you choose the artwork?

Cedric is not only beautiful and seductive.  Because of the agility, skill and strength he’s acquired as a dancer, he becomes a lethal weapon.  The statue of Kali represents Cedric’s vocation as a temple artist.  Kali is a fierce form of the Indian mother goddess, a warrior who slays evil demons and drinks their blood.  Cedric starts out skeptical of her power, but the Goddess seems to have plans in mind for him.

Synopsis:
Excerpt
I reached for the golden door to the ashram, only to crumple to my knees again swooning and dizzy.  With the last of my strength, I inched my way on my belly across the open courtyard to my room.  The sky above turned from black to purple to lavender.  In another thirty minutes, the rays of the sun would cook my tattered flesh into Bolognese.  It seemed like a good idea.  I collapsed against the paving stones.  Deep inside of me a voice called my name—only it wasn’t my name.
Shardul!
I lifted my aching head.  The sacred spring lay between my room and me.  The Goddess stood sentinel above the pool.  Hers arms beckoned.  The waters hastened healing.  I pulled myself over and eased in, letting the water bathe my broken skin.  It stung and burned, but at least I knew that I was still alive. 
Kali’s black face looked down.  Her long tongue stuck out as if to taunt me.
I clung with what strength remained to the pool’s stone edge.  “Is this what you mean about the tyranny of the flesh?” But she didn’t answer.  She remained silent and oblivious as death.  “Bitch…” I lost my grasp on the lip of the pool and slipped below the surface, still gazing into her unseeing eyes.
I thrashed, but couldn’t pull myself to the surface.  My body sank like a stone.  Water filled my throat and nostrils.  Consciousness dissipated into an explosion of dots, like colored pixels.  My Mum’s voice floated in my head.
Hush a bye, don’t you cry
Go to sleep my little baby
When you wake, you shall have
All the pretty little horses…

The wavering image above me dissolved into golden skin and waves of dark hair.  The Mother reached out two arms and pulled me from the water.  The avatar’s supple, golden form suggested Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva.  An aura of pulsating color surrounded her.  I sputtered and coughed the liquid out of my lungs, collapsing into my benefactor’s arms.   My head rested against a bosom soft and rounded, not hard and bony. 
She lifted me as if I were a child, bearing me away to my room, and rolled me belly-down onto my bed.  My head lay on its side.  The hand stroking the wet hair away from my face felt warm.  Lips full and red with blood kissed mine.  Was this real, or was I hallucinating? 
The Goddess anointed and bandaged my wounds.  She pressed her own wrist to my lips restore me.  Blood never tasted so sweet.  Warm tears bathed my face as she kissed my mouth again, a sweep of silken hair brushing over my arm.  As she drew back, my eyes focused and her image became clear.
A pained hiss passed my cracked lips.  “Sandhya?

Where can readers find out more about you and your work?


Denise Verrico is a New Jersey native who grew up in Pennsylvania.  She attended Point Park College in Pittsburgh, where she majored in theatre arts.  For seven seasons she was a member of The Oberon Theatre Ensemble in NYC with whom she acted, directed and wrote plays. Denise has enjoyed vampire stories from the time she was a little girl and a fan of the Dark Shadows television series and Chiller Theater.  She enjoys reading non-fiction and fiction of all kinds, particularly historical fiction, thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, manga and graphic novels.  Every April through October you can find Denise climbing to heights of four hundred plus feet at speeds exceeding one hundred and twenty miles per hour on her favorite roller coasters.  She currently lives in Ohio with her husband, teenaged son and flock of seven spoiled parrots.

 And now for the fun part! 
GIVEAWAY TIME

Denise Verrico is giving away an Immortyl Revolution mousepad.  Just answer the questions below to enter to win.
(Hint: the answers can be found on
 
From Denise:
 
I'm giving away a copy of My Fearful Symmetry at my blog on June 30th.  To enter go to www.ImmortylRevolution and comment on any post in June. 
 
On this site, I'm giving away an Immortyl Revolution mousepad.  To enter go to my website: www.deniseverricowriter.webs.com. Find the answer to these three questions and post your answers in the comments for my spotlight here.  The first person with the correct answer wins!
 
Q: What is the instrument that Cedric is playing when his master Raj discovers him?
Q: What brand of gun does Mia use?
Q: What color hair does Cedric have?

Comments

Denise Verrico said…
Thanks for hosting me today!
Katie Salidas said…
Always glad to have you here Denise!