In the Spotlight: Celina Summers

5 06 2008

Celina Summers is the author of the bestselling Asphodel Cycle.  Her debut novel, The Reckoning of Asphodel, won several awards and critical acclaim, reaching number on the Fictionwise Bestseller list for Fantasy.  The sequel, The Gift of Redemption, will be released by Aspen Mountain Press in June of 2008. Celina lives in southern Ohio with her husband, two teenaged daughters, and way too many cats.

 

You can find out more about Celina and the Asphodel Cycle at the following links:

 

Elf Killing and Other Hobbies—her blog: http://www.kaantira.blogspot.com

Shoot the Muse!—her website: http://shootthemuse.bravehost.com

Aspen Mountain Press—her publisher: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com

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Tell us about your upcoming release and what you hope readers will enjoy about it.

 

I hope readers will enjoy reading the next installment of Tamsen and Brial’s story.  I received a lot of mail about The Reckoning of Asphodel, and almost all of it were demands to know what happened next!  The Gift of Redemption is actually Tamsen’s coming of age.  She dives into human politics, fights a war or two, discovers more about her nasty uncle Gabril de Spesialle, and finds that when the gods are interested in what you’re doing, it’s not necessarily a good thing.  So, yeah—hopefully my readers will find a lot to enjoy in Redemption.

 

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

 

Not working?  That never happens.

 

What season is your favorite and why? 

 

The autumn-because it means it’s football season.  I also live right on the edge of a national park area, in the Hocking Hills, so it’s beautiful here.

 

 

What would we find on your bookcase if we looked? What is one of your favorite authors?

 

You’d find a collection of books that make no sense whatsoever—from Homer’s Iliad to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Dart series.  There’s also my guilty secret—complete collections of Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt, not to mention my Harry Potter!  Although I have a lot of fantasy in my modern collection, I find that the majority of my books lean toward the classics and lesser known works by medieval and Victorian authors.  Oh!  And LOTS of biographies and histories-particular those that are about women.

 

What was the last book you read (e or print) and did you like it?

 

The last book I read was Franklin and Eleanor – a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR.  I loved it; she’s one of my heroes and the book is based on their personal letters and journals.

 

What makes a good book?

 

When you read it, you are compelled to turn the page.

 

 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?

 

Ten years in professional theater—you’d be surprised at the character studies you can find backstage.

 

Boxers or briefs?

 

Boxer briefs—just to be difficult.

 

Ben Affleck or Matt Damon to save the world?

 

At this point?  Jimmy Kimmel. *grin*  I think he can take them both. And if you haven’t seen the videos with Kimmel, Affleck, Damon, and Sarah Silverman on YouTube—you need to!

 

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

 

I’d like them to know that I’m always writing, that I’m always focusing on strong female protagonists, and that I think the publishing world is finally coming around to the idea that not every main character in fantasy has to be a farmboy with a sword and a destiny.  There’s plenty of room for women to pick up that sword, fulfill that destiny, and still worry about their dress for the next grand ball.

 

Where are you published?

 

I’m published with Aspen Mountain Press, although if you’re clever you might discover where my alter egos are published as well.

 

Thanks for coming! J

 

Thanks for having me, Raine!  It’s always a pleasure to talk with you!

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Since I have been begging for this one for ages ever since I read the 1st one, I got a snippit of the 2nd book from Celina. 🙂 Enjoy because I am definitly waiting with bated breath to see what happens next!

 

 

 

EXCERPT: THE GIFT OF REDEMPTION by Celina Summers
Coming June 6, 2008 from Aspen Mountain Press
 
 

Prologue

 

             I opened my eyes.  We stood in the great throne room of Ansienne.  The room was pregnant with foreboding, the marble floors and walls gleaming in the flickering light of the pair of torches flanking the alabaster throne.  The silence unnerved me.  It rang in my ears, punctuated only by the ragged sounds of my breathing.

            I was weak; so terribly weak.  My legs trembled beneath me.  I knew that I had just enough strength for one final blast of magic. 

            I was afraid to use it.

            Brial stood before me, the great golden sword drawn and singing its song of death.  Gabril de Spesialle confronted him, a smirk curving his cruel, thin mouth.  My eyes met my uncle’s and I shuddered; I was too weak to face him and he knew it.

            “Brial, run!” I whispered.   

            “You don’t want to see him fall, niece?” Spesialle asked me in amusement.  I swayed as the room whirled around me.

            “Don’t taunt her,” Brial said in a low voice. “Your quarrel is with me.  There is no honor in torturing a foe too weak to withstand you.”

            Spesialle’s gloating eyes rested on my husband. “Well spoken, Elf,” he said musingly. “I do indeed have a quarrel with you.”

            My uncle drew his massive sword from over his shoulder.  I stared at the blade I had seen last held to my throat.  He held the sword at the ready, and smiled coldly.

            “Well, then, Brial Ka’breona,” he purred.  “Shall we fight for the girl?”

            The swords crashed together…

            and I awoke with a start.  Instinctively, I reached for Brial, only to find him gone from his place at my side.  I sat up quickly.

            My husband sat alone, staring into the dimly glowing hearth, his eyes distant.

 

* * * *

 

            Nothing could be more daunting than to discover that you are a plaything of the gods. Within and around you, the divine tests the resolve of the mortals upon the sphere they created.  The feeling wears a shroud of hopelessness. It lies heavily upon the soul. 

            I bear a terrible magic.  Its potency had grown since the day I set my power against my uncle’s pet magician in the ruined city of Leselle.  I awakened from that explosion of power with the color bleached from my skin and hair. The new silvery hues marked me as a scion of the magic that twisted within me.  As the power grew, it was harder for me to resist.  On the battlefield of Asphodel, I had called down an appalling retribution upon the invaders.  The cyclone I urged from the summer skies had slaughtered thousands of men.  Such a use of magic destroyed my strength; it also shattered our unborn, and unknown, child’s tenuous existence in my womb.  In the end, a botched attempt at assassination ended my pregnancy.  Jeshan de Callat, the architect of the ambush, was dead.  He had fallen at my feet from the blade of my sword two nights ago, and I watched as his life’s blood stained the snow red.

            I am fated, it seems, always to watch the pristine white of snow marred by the crimson virulence of blood.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 responses

5 06 2008
rainedelight

Ok GF…I am dying here to read what happens next to Tamsen and Brial. *pouts* This teaser is getting me all excited for it! *smiles*

Thanks for coming and I love the cover. 🙂

Raine

5 06 2008
Celina Summers

Well then aren’t you lucky, Raine?

Redemption comes out tomorrow! You can get your fix and then pester me for the next six months to get the third book, Temptation of Asphodel, done!

*grin*

I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow as my special guest at the Love Romances & More Cafe’ for my all-day release party. *grin* We’re dressing the owner’s statues in inappropriate clothes.

*wink* Just thought you’d want to know.

Thanks for having me–I really appreciate it!

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