Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guest Blog and Giveaway! Featuring Sarwat Chadda (U.S. Canada)

I haven't had the chance yet to read the "Devil's Kiss" series by Sarwat Chadda-- but I sure want to now. this post speaks to me. We've talked many times about how monsters need to be monstrous, and my guest author today actually gets it. Read on for a glimpse at Sarwat's newest book and a chance to win a set of the first two books in the "Devil's Kiss" series.



Let’s face it; but bad guys are more fun. They get the best lines, the best outfits and the best accessories. Red-coloured lightsabers mean business. Double-headed red-coloured lightsabers mean it’s Jedi sushi time.

I know things go in trends and right now we’re in the carrying sharing monster state of affairs. You know exactly who I mean.

Enough already.

But there are old-school frights to be had, if you know where to look. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, for example, gives you zombies like the good Lord intended; shambling, infected, out to eat your brains.

I love monsters because they’re monstrous. They don’t play by human rules because they are inhuman. Dark angels have a contempt for mortals, vampires who see us as nothing more than blood-sacks and werewolves that just like to kill. There is no mortality in nature, so why should there be any in supernature?

I love werewolves. I love the rage and the conflict they embody, the restraints of humanity verses the freedom of the beast. Here’s an example from Chapter Two of Dark Goddess:

The Old Grey, snout and teeth red from its kill, moved warily in front of Pelleas, searching for an opening past his deadly steel. Behind it the Big Red had finished its own murderous work. A woman wearing a blood-washed dressing gown leaned against the coarse brick wall. Her eyes bore only the dimmest life. The Big Red seemed to be holding her up, its right paw pressed against her chest. Then it slowly pulled out its talons, each one coming free of her body with a wet, sticky slurp. The woman slid gently down the wall.

Dark Goddess is about the Beast Within, recognising the monster within us. My heroine, Billi SanGreal, is a warrior and all warriors must do terrible things for the greater good. But who knows what that greater good is? My monsters, the werewolves and their goddess, the ancient witch Baba Yaga, are trying to save the world. Baba Yaga has seen the damage humanity has done to the planet and realises the only way to save it is to rid it of mankind. As Old Grey, the leader of the werewolves asks “What species has prospered under the man’s dominion? Not one.”

We love Dracula because he’s so uncanny and weird. He has his own rules, but not ones that worries about humans. There’s a creepy dread about him, we don’t know quite what he is or what he can do. He creeps down walls, summons blue fires from nowhere and has the company of wolves. He slaughters with abandoned but hunts with a lover’s obsession. Alas since him vampires have become steadily defanged. They’re just superheroes who need to tank up on blood like some Pac Man, before launching off on their next escapade. They’ve become known to us, we know what they can do and what they can’t. What sort of monster is that? Monsters grew out of our fear of the shadows, the places unseen. Shadows change shape, they distort our perception, and are without real dimension. Shine a light on it, the shadow is destroyed. So is the mystery and the shiver you get when staring into the blackness.

What fun is there in knowing everything? We, as humans, revel in the wonder of the unknown. We are awestruck by what we don’t understand and can’t explain. Monsters embody that awe, and the more mysterious we keep them, the greater is our passion.

~Sarwat Chadda

You're interested now aren't you? I know I am. Just add your information to the form below to enter (all information is guaranteed confidential and will be discarded once contest ends) and I will randomly pick one winner by Thursday March 3rd. No multiple entries please-- all multiple entries will be discarded (allowances will be made for mistakes requiring a double entry). Open in United States and Canada only (Sorry! I'll try to add an international contest later).

Good luck!

Devil's Kiss
There's Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself....And Billi SanGreal.
As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.
Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.
But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years — a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

Dark Goddess
New enemies, new romance, and new horrors,
Billi's back, and it seems like the Unholy just can't take a hint.
Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi's thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Bilil's seen before.
They call themselves the Polenitsy - Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they're out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child — an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone — precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.
The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular.
Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.

**Contest Closed**


Diana said...

I just saw that the competition is not international. Sorry I took part in the contest.

Doret said...

I ordered Dark Goddess last week. Can't wait to read it. I loved Devil's Kiss

SQT said...

Diana- I'm sorry for the confusion. I don't have extra copies that I can use to sponsor my own contest (the publisher is nice enough to send these off for me) but if I get a set I'll sponsor an international contest.

Charles Gramlich said...

Love the covers for these. Sounds very interesting.

John Dax said...

It's about time someone brought monsters back to their rightful place. These books do sound fascinating, and I just added the first one to my to-read list.

SQT said...

I was just told I could add Canadian entries to the contest-- hope this allows for some further entries.

Soleil said...

I've read the first part, here in Germany with the title "Teufelskuss". I liked it really well and I was very sad to hear that the second part is not translated in this year. There is a new edition in the summer and I hope that it will also get interested in a lot of new readers! Thanks for the text, I like to read.