Blog Tour: The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank
Welcome to my stop on The Curse Keepers blog tour hosted by InkSlingerPR!
Today I am excited to share my 5 star review, an interview with Denise herself, and a giveaway with you all!
The Curse Keepers (The Curse Keeper #1)
by: Denise Grover Swank
Publication Date: Nov. 19, 2013
Genre: Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher and InkSlingerPR in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 312 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Really, DGS? REALLY? That ending?! I mean, I totally saw it coming, but hello knife in my chest!!!!! Gahhh! This book! You guys. Amazing. Holy crap. AMAZING. I loved every minute of it! I already knew Denise was one heckuva writer, as I've read and loved her contemporary romances, After Math and Redesigned. But WOW. She has completely blown me away with this one! Urban Fantasy can be a tricky genre to write, but Denise has nailed it!
I love how she combined the history of the Lost Colony of Roanoke with Native American lore and her own imagination. I was so intrigued- I had never read a book like this before and I loved the idea behind it- two people, known as the Curse Keepers, who are destined to prevent the gates of hell from opening and releasing the evil spirits into this world. You can really tell DGS has done her research and I was completely fascinated when I read the Author's Note at the end and saw how much she made her own. No aspect of this story seemed forced or that Denise was reaching/grasping at straws to make her story work.
DGS mentions in my interview below with her that Ellie might very well be one of her favorite characters ever. I totally see that because I really enjoyed Ellie's character myself. She is tough as nails even though she has known great loss in her life. She isn't the type of girl to put up with any crap and I love how quick/often she calls Collin on his. She is funny, witty, and above all- she's real. She has her insecurities and vulnerabilities, and even though she tries to remain tough on the outside at all times, there are times where we see her fall apart and while she sees it as weakness, I saw a scared girl who is having the fate of the world (literally) thrust upon her shoulders and basically told to have faith in something she has fought so long not to believe.
Ellie has not had much luck in the relationship department. She keeps choosing men who are stable and dependable- she isn't for living on the edge and bad boys are not her thing. However, when Collin Dailey walks through the doors to the restaurant she works at- all bets are off. Ellie didn't have a chance in hell in resisting that man.
Oh, Collin. Where do I start? I had a love/hate relationship with Collin. He is cocky, arrogant, and a bit unfeeling in the beginning. He and Ellie do NOT get along, and it's clear that after discovering they are the other Curse Keeper, that they are only spending time together for the purpose of doing their destined jobs. I loved their back and forth banter. Even though Collin makes it quite clear he isn't the least bit interested in Ellie, those two have so much sexual chemistry, I thought they would literally melt each others' faces off with the intensity in which they looked at one another. Collin continuously warns Ellie that he is not to be trusted, and while she doesn't at first, spending time together makes her rethink that choice. Watching Collin and Ellie's relationship change and evolve into so much more was such a lovely addition to the novel. Being a romance girl, I loved that the romance played a secondary role in the book. Collin is a bit of an enigma. There is so much more to him than meets the eye- while he may come across as nothing but a cocky flirt, he really does have depth to him. As the book progresses, we see his resolve towards Ellie start to crack and he can no longer hold back how he feels for her, even though he knows he should.
" I want you to remember this. What you feel with me." He kissed my mouth again, then met my gaze, his eyes bright with lust and need. "Remember that I am yours for now and forever. And no man will ever give you what I can."
One of Ellie's greatest character traits is her devotion and dedication to her friends and family. She makes tremendous sacrifices to help keep her father and stepmothers' inn running and in business, and goes to see her father every day, no matter how painful the visit may be. When she finds out she is the one being targeted by the ancient gods, she worries constantly about their safety and her best friend Claire's. Ellie is far from selfish and I liked that she thought about the consequences to her destiny.
I feel like I'm going to die waiting for the next book in the series to come out. It's not that this one left off on a cliffhanger per say, but it definitely leaves you ready to discover what in the world is going to happen next. Ellie is going to be back with a vengeance and I would NOT want to cross her. She has experienced so much in this book- from falling in love to making sacrifices for her loved ones, to heartbreak and betrayal- I admire her resilience and I am so ready to see where she takes us in The Curse Breakers!
~Author Interview with Denise Grover Swank~
Hi Denise! I'm so excited to have you on the blog today! I can't wait for everyone to read The Curse Keepers!
For starters, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm mom to six kids and I have a very active imagination. My kids and I love to laugh. For the first time in my life, I totally love what I do. I've published twelve books in four different genres.
How did you come up with the idea behind The Curse Keepers?
I was wrapping up my urban fantasy series- Chosen- and I was looking for a new UF series to write. I don't write vampires and werewolves, so a friend suggested I base it off the Lost Colony of Roanoke. My imagination took over from there.
Who would you say was your favorite character to write from the book?
Ellie Lancaster is one of my favorite characters ever. She's a free spirit who has spent most of her life trying to figure out where she fit into the world. She never expected to figure it out when Collin Dailey walked into her restaurant. Ellie's sarcastic and doesn't take people's crap, but she has a good heart. She's also very dedicated to her father and step-mother and has made sacrifices to help keep their bed and breakfast afloat.
Aside from fantasy, you've also written one of my favorite contemporary series- The Off the Subject series! Which genre do you find yourself enjoying writing more?
Oh, wow! I have to choose? I think that's why I write several genres- each offers me things the others don't. I like writing NA contemporary romance because I can focus on the couple and their romance. While my urban fantasies have romance, the rest of the plot needs to be addressed. But I also like that my mysteries and my urban fantasies have more complicated plots.
How would you describe The Curse Keepers in 10 words or less?
Ancient curse breaks forcing opposites to cooperate to save humanity. (That was hard, LOL.)
When you're not writing, what types of books are you reading? Any favorites as of late?
Lately I've been reading a lot of contemporary romances and mysteries.
What's up next for you?
I'm currently working on Thirty-One and a Half Regrets, the fourth book to my romance mystery Rose Gardner series. I just finished The Curse Breakers, the second Curse Keepers book, which will be out in May 2014. (MAY?! I can't wait that long!!!!!!)
Can I just take a moment to say: I was so excited to hear that The Curse Keepers would be a NA Urban Fantasy. I love the NA genre and I do love my contemporaries, but I've definitely been wanting to read more fantasy/paranormal, etc. So, thank you! :)
You also have a playlist for the book up on your site! How does music inspire you to write? Do you listen to music while writing and then hear a song and have it change/shape the scene you may be writing?
Music is a huge part of writing for me. The melody often sets the tone of a scene for me. I've been known to listen to one song on repeat until I finish a scene or section. I once listened to Nickelback's song Animal for two hours straight when I wrote a car chase scene for my book Chosen. The tempo set the perfect tempo/tension I needed to get the scene right.
If you could cast Ellie and Collin- do you have anyone in mind that might work for them?
I can see Isla Fisher as Ellie and I can see Jensen Ackles as Collin.
(Ooh, those are great choices! I do like the cover models too for the book!)
Thanks Denise for stopping by and answering a few questions! I can't wait for everyone to read this and check out more of your books!
About Denise Grover Swank:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.
You can find out more about Denise and her other books at: www.denisegroverswank.com.