1. Tell us a little about yourself.
First, I want to thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. A little bit about me: well, I'm a mom of two wonderful children and wife to the best husband in the world-my best friend.
2. When did you start writing, and why?
This may be a little cliche, but I began in high school. I found it as a way to express all my frustrations as a teenage girl.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
My goal is to write across many different genres. However, currently, I find that I'm drawn to Fantasy/Science-Fiction. The most important thing for me though, no matter what genre I happen to be writing in, is to support the foundations that I believe to be the foundations of Humanity-love, empathy, honor.
4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My latest book is a new series, Rise of The Nephilim: Fire And Blood. Its foundations are love and empathy-two of Humanities foundations I referred to earlier.
Also, you are the first to know, my new release, Code Human, will be out 4/25/2015. Its foundations lie in love, honor, empathy, and I'll add, respect. Both series have kick-butt heroines who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Rise Of The Nephilim: Fire And Blood is set in an subterranean world-Babylon, where there are large lakes, cave structures with some modern utilities such as electricity. Think of a medieval village, with some sort of modernity. Its core is beneath New York City. In this world are strange beings-Epochs, Imps, and Fallen Angels, not to mention Nephilims.
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Well, some of my characters are Maxine Lauren-the main charater. Although Maxine has been bullied all her life for her unique features, and has every reason to hate the world, it is her love for her family and for Humanity that will save the world. Also Amand, Maxine's Fallen Angel father. He is set on destroying the world, for he so hates Humanity, but his love for Maxine, his Sarai, and her human mother, Maybie, is cutting that hate down a little at a time. And I must not forget Mathias, the golden Angel from the Realm of Angels. He is Maxine's first love. And he is willing to risk everything to protect her and to show his love for her-an unforbidden love.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
Hmm. A fun fact. Let me think. Well, I have a passion for gardening. And one of my dreams is to one day build a home that is completely off the grid and will provide food for me and my family via greenhouses and so forth. Aslo, I love to hike and do all kinds of outdoorsy stuff.
8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
Rise of The Nephilim is available at Amazon.
Where to find N.J.:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter
I want to thank you again for having me as your guest. [Kyra sez: You're welcome :-) My pleasure!]
Read on for an excerpt from Rise of the Nephilim: Fire and Blood:
2055-JULY 26, 11:55 P.M. EST
NEW YORK CITY
She was just a girl from Brewster, New York.
A freak of nature.
But not anymore, for now she was Nephilim.
Progeny of the Fallen.
They stood in the dark, far upon a hill, amongst the beauty of Central Park, looking down into the pit of destruction―the new hell on earth.
A burst of anger propelled Maxine into bringing the weight of her sword down on the pink blooming, cascading Cherry tree that stood tall next to her nearly, six feet, one-inch, thin frame―releasing a blast of white sap onto her black, Babylonian armor. “Damn it! They never had a chance!” Her face grimaced as those words ran through her mind, her breath, short and fleeting, as the thirst for revenge surged through her.
She gripped her hand tightly around her gilded, Babylonian sword―Arcadian blood, now mixed with the white sap of the tree, still dripping away from its finely sharpened, double-edged blade.
Strangely, she took some comfort in the screams of terror; screams, which had still surrounded them, for it was a sign, though stabbing at the heart, that not all humans in the city had fallen, and hope had not been lost.
“Soon, they will all be dead. And it will be because I have failed them.”
She thought about her own Human family, meeting the same fate. That it would not be long before Arcadium and his army reached the threshold of Brewster.
Her eyes glowed in horror through a veil of white washed tears, clouding her acute vision, while she stared at the mangled mess of body parts―human, Nephilim, and Epoch alike, arranged in some freakish mélange of death art. “But, I promise you, their deaths will not be in vain, not so long as I still breathe, and the last drop of human blood still flows through my Nephilim veins.”
“Sister, be careful of your words,” Silla, standing at Maxine’s side―Haman, and Gaden, as well as their Epoch warriors not far behind, whispered, reminding her of the dangers, which had still existed if she was ever heard favoring humans. After all, she was, now Nephilim, a natural enemy to Humanity. And anything else, would have been a betrayal to the Dominion.
But without concern for her own life, Maxine looked up towards Amand, “Is this what you wanted, Father?” she asked, anger still burning through her. For although her body had changed to what she was now, her mind, and her emotions were very human, still. That natural affinity to the abhorrence of Humanity had not occurred. Their cries were her cries. Their suffering, were hers to suffer. She felt it all. For her, there was no separation, at least, not yet.
Amand held silent, as he hovered in the air, just a few yards above with his wings undulating, and his Epoch warriors, and Kal, his ally from the East, by his side.
But his silence screamed across the heavens. His heart brimmed with pain. And the guilt in his eyes spoke to truth, for now that the Reckoning of Humanity had begun, it was not what he had imagined.
So much death. So much sorrow.
A gamut of emotions filled him, emptiness, or loss, as if something had been stolen or taken from him. Something vital to his very existence.
The feeling of ecstasy as he watched them burn and squirm, as they lay dying.
A breath of exaltation.
The satiation of hunger.
None existed. There was nothing to send his blood riding on a wave of satisfaction.
The loathing he had held for Humans had hardened over the centuries. Yes. Solidified. At least, he had tried to convince himself of that. And it remained true and unchanging, until he did the unthinkable.
He dared to bare a soul.
Maxine squirmed, her breath short, from the stabbing pain, which had now returned to attack her so, violently. She pressed her hand, firmly, against the wound, on the right side of her abdomen, taking longer breaths to quell the pain.
And though her own pain had haunted her still, she could not bring herself to tear her eyes away from all the carnage and excessive destruction.
Silla placed her hand around her elbow, “Come, sister. I can no longer stand the sight of this.”
However, Maxine refused to move even an inch. Instead, she lifted her head and looked beyond, as far as her Nephilim eyes would allow.
Bodies besieged the urban landscape of the city―most charred beyond recognition. Some still smoldering as the intense burn singed their blood and their wet, leaking, wide-glaring, extruded eyeballs, and brains. The smell of their burning flesh ravaged her heightened senses, becoming increasingly putrid. And the summer air, thick with smoke, stifled her every breath. The striking glow of fire, far in the distance, as the city continued to burn in various parts, sent even more smoke to ebb and flow like the demons of hell had rushed in on the shift of wind, and beastly tides of the cold, black sea.
All of it, slithering rage through her like a venomous snake, ready to strike its rival at any given moment.
Her eyes burned heavily with the unceasing flow of tears and smoke. And guilt continued to tear at her heart.
This is my fault.
If only I had acted sooner, she mumbled beneath her breath.
This is my fault.
But she was not to blame, for this war between humans and the Fallen was. . .inevitable, a prophecy written thousands of years before.
A prophecy that had manifested with the beginning of a dream.
A prophecy that harbored the powers of an evil so great that, it would plague the earth with rivulets of
A prophecy that threatened the very existence of Humanity.
NOT JUST A DREAM
June 1, 4:00 A.M. EST
Brewster, New York
“I beg of you, Father; I will not disobey your commands, again!”
Maxine Lauren, a girl with distinguishable characteristics, was running for her life.
She had wandered into a world at its genesis of savagery and death, seeded by pestilence, and Humanities own hedonistic, self-indulgent tendencies. And she had felt her skin burning like hell’s fire, though the air was cold and blistering.
The sudden dust up of sand had blinded her so, forcing her to use her hands as shields to lessen the onslaught. Still, each grain of sand had pelted against her skin like sandblast against the impure, the refuse, and the putrefied, in the unforgiving desert of Mount Hermon.
And though she had felt all its brutality in all the fibers of her body and mind, all its callous mercilessness, this was a world she had experienced only in her dreams. That depth of suffering, even her mortality had presented itself in all its raw, ruthless, illusory reality. Yet. . .it felt as real as the throbbing of her heart, and the icy, prickled fear washing through her like a wild river rushing towards the crescendo of the fall.
“Forgive me, Father. Please, I beg of you; spare my life!” she pleaded as she sprinted across the dry, red earth; her heart ablaze, a drumbeat of fear echoing in her ear with every breath.
Every suffocating breath.
Her tears burned like acid as they rolled down her cheeks.
Beads of sweat pearled on her skin.
Darkness and nothingness surrounded her.
Her long, dark hair pressed behind her, trailing her as if a gust of wind had suddenly washed before her.
The smell of her own blood burned through her like sulfur―poisoned blood, burning beyond degrees of degrees, immeasurable to any celestial being. Even the weight of her feet, heavy like lead, raw like steel, was something of an enigma. She’d never really needed to rely on them so desperately before, as they guided her over unfamiliar territory, filled with unexpected outcroppings, suddenly appearing out of the ground when she’d least expected them―a far departure from her unobstructed, ethereal world, in the Realm of Angels.
Frustration pulsed through her as she tried franticly. . .agonizingly to spread her wings―a futile attempt to take flight, as Archangels relentlessly pursued her, intent on killing her, as she was among the Fallen, and the charge was to destroy all the Fallen for they had disobeyed their father.
It was a futile attempt to take flight, since the Archangels had already hacked away her wings from her thin frame. This challenged her very existence, and left her in a state of panic, for she’d not even realized that what she’d felt had been no longer there―Just a phantom of what was and what will never be, again, stripping away all pride and honor for eternity, sterilized from the purity and valor of the Realm of Angels.
Screams echoed in the dark, a kin to the screams of the damned being burned in the fires of hell, as the Fallen felt their throats ripped away, and their heads, suddenly sliced away from their bodies.
Many fought and most perished. However, there were few who had hidden in caverns like cowards, deep beneath the earth, silent in their despair, and vengeful in their thoughts and hearts.
They had made a vow, sanctified with their own blood, to one-day rise again, through fire and blood, to punish Humanity for the love, which they had stolen from them. But first they would lay their seeds in the hollows of Humanity, and churn out six-million and five-hundred thousand offspring―all sown from the seeds of revenge. And with that, they would raise an army of Nephilim―half human, half Angel. And with this power, they would fell Humanity to its knees to revere them as gods.
Maxine felt the sting of the blade as it landed sharply on the sinews of her neck. She, desperately, desperately, tried to release the screams trapped in her throat. Her eyes snapped open; they burned wet, as she peered into darkness, which had surrounded her, still. Her body trembled, for fear had not ceased to course through her entire being. She gripped her hands to the sides of her neck, feeling wildly for the wound she believed would end her life.
She sat up abruptly, listening to the silence of terror, not knowing where she was, yet thankful to be alive. She breathed relief when she realized she’d been safe in her room all along. And her nightmare had been just that: a nightmare.
In truth, she had been a borrowed soul, used to manifest the memories of Amand, her father, Supreme Leader of the Fallen, Lord Dominance of Babylon, including Kash, Byzalium, Arcadia, and the Dark City of Babylonia, as the call to find her true home, so that she may take her rightful place as Nephilim―the last of number six million, five-hundred thousand―in the subterranean world of Babylon.