Kaye Brand, the heroine from Fire Kissed is here today to talk about the secret world of the mages. Be forewarned: Magekind suffers no information about themselves to become public. Kaye, however, is not about to be told what to do, and certainly not by the very people who tried to kill her when she was a teen.
Kaye, considering the danger involved, why did you agree to this interview?
Short answer? I blame Jack Bastian. Damn angel gets under my skin with his “Ms. Brand this, Ms. Brand that.” And he phrases what he wants from me like a dare—as if I can’t see right through him. <Eyeroll> He used to try to appeal to my conscience, but he of all people should know that I don’t have a soul. Why should I feel bad for humanity when the world is going dark? Not my problem. And it’s inevitable anyway. My talent—fire, by the way—is best used elsewhere. But okay, if a little information helps all the moms and dads keep their children safe, then fine. I was a kid once, and no one protected me.
Ugh. That’s not really the truth either. <Damn Bastian to hell.> Another angel helped me once. But he was kind and good when he didn’t have to be. Which is the only reason I bother with Bastian today, because of the other one. Who died for me. I’ve got him stuck inside and I can’t very well go shopping, or whatever, with the memory of the first angel aching within.
So I put up with Bastian and his “Ms. Brands” – Of course it doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes. Not that I’m interested <ha! imagine!> I just appreciate beautiful things.
He’s an angel, you say? Do you mean that figuratively?
I wish. No, Bastian and the one before him are the real deal. Angels. Beautiful, but in general, enemies of magekind. Angels don’t like Shadow and the trouble that comes with it. And there’s a whole lot of Shadow coming into the world.
Kaye, for our readers, what is Shadow? and what is a mage?
<SIGH> You should know about Shadow by now. It’s the dark magic that’s seeping into the world? You know, the monsters on the streets at night that have everybody shutting themselves inside their houses like it’s the Dark Ages?
Those things are real? I thought they were just a YouTube hoax.
Wraiths are real. I faced one just the other night before I put it out of its misery. Actually, I was the one in misery; those suckers don’t smell very good.
And they’re just the beginning of what’s to come. Think legend and fairy tale and myth, but colliding with all the biz of today. One day you might look up and see a dragon in the sky.
I don’t believe it.
<Shrugs> Eventually you will. It’s inevitable. Chocolate might help with the shock. Shadow is here to stay.
A mage, however, is someone born with Shadow in their blood, passed down through generations, like good bone structure or money. As I mentioned before, mages don’t have souls, but then souls are overrated anyway. These days mages are conquerors. They want the world and everyone in it under their control.
“They”? Aren’t you a mage? Don’t you want to conquer the world?
Truthfully, I want nice shoes and gorgeous clothes and I can pay for them myself with my own hard-earned money. Okay, not so hard-earned. But you get the point. I hate the politicking that goes on among the mage Houses.
Then why are you working with Jack Bastian in the first place?
Well, there’s that angel from before. I owe him something. Plus I’ve got a debt to settle with the people who tried to kill me when I was fifteen. Sent a wraith after me, which is how I got these scars. And why I have to hunt them.
And who sent the wraith after you?
Oh, no. <Waves hand> We mages do not name each other. Suffice to say, I was set to marry a great mage from a great House, and I refused. Apparently, they thought I had no choice in the matter. But I did. I’m alive today.
You were going to marry at fifteen?!
Not that uncommon. It was an arranged marriage and would have been politically very good for both our Houses. An ideal concentration of power and prestige among our kind. But I’ve got a romantic streak—don’t tell Bastian—and a temper—which he knows already. <Sly grin>
Magekind sounds positively medieval.
Yeah, well. Our families’ roots go back much farther than that. Once, long ago, we were like old-world gods among humanity. Magekind today intends to be the same again. The world is going dark, it can’t be helped. And even Bastian’s valiant efforts can’t stop the tide of Shadow. Magic is coming back into the world, beautiful, terrible magic. Everything is going to change.
What can a person do in this new terrible world that you speak of?
I hope that a decent or mostly-decent mage rises above the others to control the rest. But listen—humanity has angels like Bastian to protect it. He might be difficult and frustrating and you might want to catch him on fire every once in a while—no, wait, that’s me—but he is at least brave and stoic and selfless. <Ugh> And I’ll probably help him, against my better judgment, that is. At least I get to tweak his pride and drive him nuts while we’re at it, so that’s a bonus. He’s always watching me, poor man. I’m not sure he’d let me go even I wanted to part ways.
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It is Kaye Brand’s power to wield. But outcast from her kind, she’s been selling herself to the highest bidder – money for her survival in exchange for a magic glimpse into the flames of the future.
One of the angelic Order, Jack Bastian has no use for a female like Kaye, as provocative and unexpected as her blazing beauty. Yet he has no choice but to hire her to uncover the secrets of his sworn enemy and her former fiance, Ferrol Grey.
War is inevitable between the defenders of the Order and the mage Houses who threaten to engulf the world in Shadow. For Jack, mage-born Kaye is off limits, no matter how hot the impossible attraction between them. But in the coming darkness, beset by danger and desire, everything is about to change…
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