Witch Way To Turn…
Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul?
The last thing eighteen-year-old Breena Cross needs in her life is more complications. It’s all she can do to balance studying, working, trying to keep her foster-sister safe and drooling over the new guy at work. But things go from complicated to crazy when a fit of rage ignites the dark magic inside her and she finds herself fending off the supernatural underworld.
Myles, Breena’s drool-worthy coworker and vampire convict, is carrying a load of secrets–one of which is that he’s fang-over-lip in love with Breena and in danger of violating the terms of his sentence.
Orin is a soul-hungry assassin sent to kill Breena. However, he takes one look into her eyes and sees his own lost humanity. For once thinking of someone other than himself, he chooses not to end her life, even though it means risking his own.
Despite a convict and an assassin fighting over her, all Breena wants is custody of her sister. But to do this, she will need help from both Myles and Orin. And if Breena doesn’t learn to control the darkness within, she could lose her sister…forever.
WARNING: Contains strong language and some graphic content.
Hey everyone. Please join me in welcoming Karen Y. Bynum, author of Witch Way To Turn to my blog.
Joanne: Welcome, Karen. First of all, congratulations on your debut release. Witch Way To Turn is a young adult, paranormal romance, with a magnetic cast. I was instantly enthralled by your heroine, Breena Cross, wishing she could sort out the supernatural underworld she’d been thrown into, save her sister and, oh, figure out what to do with the vamp, Myles, and the soul-hungry assassin, Orin. Such a fast-paced story, one I couldn’t stop turning the pages of.
So, let’s jump into this interview, because I’m incredibly curious to know how you came up with such a gripping cast?
Karen: Hi Joanne! It’s such a pleasure to be here. Wow, thank you so much for that wonderful introduction. I’m thrilled that you were caught up in the story. I’ll jump right in too. 🙂 My girl Breena was there from the beginning. She had—and still does have—so much to say! Once she started talking to me, I couldn’t stop listening. Nor did I want to. Her foster sister, Jenny, was Breena’s main concern as soon as I met her. The scene near the end of chapter one where Breena is protecting Jenny sparked the entire novel. Myles came next, followed by Orin. Suddenly Breena didn’t know which way to turn. (I’d actually typed that very line and by tweaking one word that’s how the title came about.) Myles had her heart, but Orin was her soul mate. The rest of the cast appeared as I was writing. It was a surprise to me when they showed up. Me: Why hello there…join the party, won’t you? 🙂
Joanne: How long have you been writing, and what drew you to the genre you’ve chosen?
Karen: I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. The first thing I remember writing was my name. From there I wrote short stories and a lot of poetry. I started writing with the goal of publication in mind back in 2009. I’d just watched the first Twilight movie. I was hooked. I bought all four books and read them in a couple of weeks. All of a sudden the voices in my head that I just hadn’t had time for would no longer allow me to ignore them. It was time to write. Now, granted, that very first book I wrote may never see the light of day, but it bound me to the written word. Yes, my characters own me.
Joanne: What’s your biggest tip in the submission process that helped you land your contract?
Karen: Excellent question, Joanne. When you finish writing your first manuscript…take a step back before sending your baby out into the world. When I wrote my very first novel, I had literally no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know anything about the submission process. Query letter…what’s that? At the time, I didn’t know what a beta reader was or how to write a synopsis or why a character needed a goal. I had to learn, and I’m still learning. Writing is ongoing and ever-changing…it’s like a living, breathing thing. The tip that helped—which I didn’t believe at first and still struggle with—is not to rush things. Once the book is written…do a happy dance for sure! Go out for ice cream. Celebrate. But the real work begins now. Find a beta reader, preferably before you type the end. Distance yourself from your masterpiece for a little while. And then polish, polish, polish before hitting the submit button. From my experience, it truly made all the difference.
Joanne: When you got your contract, and you realized your book had been accepted, what was your first thought?
Karen: My very first thought was: is this for real? I was absolutely in shock. I’d been querying for so long and had so many close calls that it just didn’t seem real. I immediately emailed the contract to my husband to look over. I needed someone to tell me I wasn’t imagining things. When he said the contract was legitimate, I ran around my house shouting for joy and jumping up and down… Fact. Breena was finally going to have her story heard. I was thrilled.
Joanne: With the contract for Witch Way To Turn in your hands, how long was it until your book was released?
Karen: I received the contract December 2011, began edits January of 2012 and Witch Way to Turn was released August of 2012. It has been a whirlwind of awesome. 🙂
Joanne: What’s your next book or books?
Karen: I finished the second book in the Witch Way series the first weekend in September and will begin revisions soon. My demon-slaying unicorn story titled Running From Shadows is being read by two agents and an editor. And my current work-in-progress is a yet-to-be-titled alien sci-fi novella.
Joanne: Okay, I’m going to have a fun rapid fire question round.
Tea or coffee? If I must choose, always—always—coffee. But I love hot tea before bed.
Have you ever traveled to New Zealand? No, but I would love to! Hm. I know who to visit when I do travel there. 🙂
Dog or cat? Dog.
Beach or skiing? I live at the beach, so I can do that anytime. I would love to go skiing! It’s on my bucket list.
Chocolate, or vanilla, or rocky road ice-cream? Chocolate.
Lemons or lemonade? Lemonade.
Do you write on holiday? Yes, I most certainly try.
Do you brainstorm during your sleep? I wish! That would be such a great use of my time. I do think about my WIP every night before falling asleep in hopes that I’ll dream about it. Hm, I’ve never shared that with anyone before. lol
Favorite food? I live to eat! So I can’t pick just one thing.
What three things would you take to a desert island? I’m gonna pretend this desert island has electrical outlets, wifi and a kitchen staff. *dreams* So I’d take my laptop, cellphone and Kindle. But in case it doesn’t have any of those things… I’d take notebooks, pencils and lip balm. I can deal with burnt skin, but not chapped lips. lol
Joanne– Where can readers find you, and your book?
Joanne— Thanks so much, Karen. It’s been wonderful having you here.
Excerpt — (Myles POV)
After grabbing a pair of tweezers from the bathroom, he made his way into the living room, sat on the edge of the coffee table and examined Breena’s hands. He could smell the blood on them still. He assumed it was from the shards on the floor at Norma’s.
Carefully cupping Breena’s palm in his hand, Myles picked out the tiny pieces of glass. Lust stirred inside him. He knew he shouldn’t. The smallest taste of Breena’s blood would take him to the brink of insanity, awaken a thirst he wasn’t sure he could control, even with his daily dose of humanity. On the other hand, it would give him an edge on protecting her. And if he gave her his, it would heal her cuts. He knew the consequences of what he was contemplating. But right here, in this moment, he had the opportunity to shield Breena from pain.
Screw the cost.
He stared at the semi-dried liquid on her hands. Slowly he raised her palm to his face. He closed his eyes and inhaled the rich scent before licking the temptation away.
Heat splayed him open. Her blood flowed with a magic he’d never tasted before. Ancient. His fangs slid out. Bending over her, he pressed his lips to her throat. Her pulse beat against his mouth. So close. The scent of her blood consumed his mind, his willpower, his love. The pressure of his canines on her skin increased. She moaned, just a little. A sigh in her sleep.
The sound sent shudders of desire rocketing through him, mocking his humanity. Her eyes flitted open, a drowsy violet. He didn’t move, didn’t breathe, his fangs still poised at her throat. She looked so small, so vulnerable, but when she saw him she smiled up at him with absolute trust. His fangs retracted and her eyes drifted shut.
Myles forced himself back to the coffee table. Thank the Lord above he hadn’t bitten her. Shaking, he draped a blanket over Breena and watched her sleep awhile.
After a few minutes, he had to admit he was putting off the inevitable. He knew what duty demanded he do next. He just didn’t want to call Lucinda and tell her what had happened. But what choice did he have? The president could make what was left of his life a living nightmare if she wanted to.
Karen Y. Bynum is an author of young adult paranormal fantasy. Her debut novel Witch Way to Turn is published through Lyrical Press. She grew up in Hickory, North Carolina where mountains and magic surrounded her. Even as a child, she wrote her own faery tales and prattled incessantly to her imaginary friends.
After graduating from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Communications, she went on to become certified in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Charlotte. But it wasn’t until her aerospace engineer husband accepted a job in Virginia and they relocated that she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.
With the support of family and friends, Karen embarked on a journey with the voices in her head. They wouldn’t stop talking (yes, she does answer back) and their stories took shape.
Karen currently lives in coastal Virginia and enjoys reading, tweeting, writing and spending time with her husband and their spoiled rotten Vizsla named Rusty.