Monday, February 2, 2015

BLOG TOUR [Interview + Giveaway] Deceived by L.A. Starkey (Soul Keeper Series #1)

by L.A. Starkey 
(Soul Keeper Series #1)
Publication date: August 28th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.


Laurie Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Jacob and three beautiful kiddos.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can’t help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

What did you do on your last birthday?
Funny enough, my family was snowed in from the artic vortex that hit the northern part of the US. We went to Branson, Missouri for the after Christmas holidays and planned to drive home on my birthday, which was a Sunday. The vortex hit and we all spent the day (my hubby, three kids, mom, dad and younger brother) staring at each other with boughs of cabin fever. It got better that afternoon as we threw snowballs at each other to fight off the aggression. *laughs*

Do you have any tattoos?  Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
No, but I want one. I’d love one on the inner part of my left wrist, where my watch would cover it up. I want it to say, ‘fierce” or something of that nature. I do hate needles, but I’d man up for a tat.

What are you working on right now?
I’m actually 1/4 of the way through book three in my Soul Keeper Series, Descent. I’m loving every minute of it, but it’s somewhat bittersweet seeing that this is a trilogy and it’s almost over. 

What do you think you’re really good at?
I’m really good at being bossy. Most people call it leadership. I usually lead wherever I go usually. I’m good at public speaking and I love to sing. I’m worship leader for a new church we just helped to get off the ground and get moving.

What do you think you’re really bad at?
I’ve decided that I was picking daisies the day God was handing out patience. I released my book on Friday and by Saturday morning I’m wondering why I have no reviews! I can see that 40 books sold that first night. Where are the reviews? Um… yeah, it’s a 505 page book. Slow your roll, Laurie.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
No, but I want one. I have a humorous personality, so I can usually keep myself occupied and laughing for longer than I care to share. I’m thinking the various characters running around in my skull most times of the day might be considered imaginary, but it’d be rude to call them that. :P

Do you have any phobias?
I dislike spider and snakes, but I would say my phobia would be fear of the unknown. I wrote a poem on it a few years back because I wrestle a lot with my future. I could go several different ways and figuring it all out seemingly wears me out. I finally realized it’s the fear of not controlling it or not knowing where it will go that scares me most. 

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
I talk to myself quite a bit and answer myself as well. I laugh often and it’s usually at myself. When I’m alone I honestly prefer to have a book in front of me… not too weird, unless you’re holding Twilight at a stop sign and praying no one will pull up behind you, making you put the book down and drive.

What is your favorite quote and why?
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” (Michelangelo) I believe completely in what it says to each and every one of us. We can do anything we can put our minds to – no matter how ridiculous it may seem. Most people have been beat down by criticism or mediocrity and have officially given up on moving forward and reaching for the stars, but I believe with all my heart that each of us has the ability to do and be anything we can imagine.  

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Coffee ice cream, all the way. However… there is a cream cheese flavored ice cream that Baskin Robbins 31 will have sometimes, but they are stingy with it. So we’ll go with the readily available coffee flavor. I lack patience like nobody’s business.

Which mythological creature are you most like?
Definitely the Valkyrie. I’m much too aggressive not to be a fearless female Viking soldier, and have you seen the outfits they wear? I’m in.

What are four things you can’t live without?
My faith in Jesus. My coffee and Hazelnut creamer (that counts as one – I’m bossy, remember). My husband who is insanely fine and loves me in a way that is honestly ridiculous. My kids who make me crazy and remind me I’m loved. 

What is your favorite television show?
I actually don’t watch TV. I inhale books at an alarming rate, but my hubby controls the TV. He now owns a pair of headphones that will let him sit in the room with me while I write and me not have to hear the TV. Whoop!

What is something you’ve lied about?
I have lied about my age before. I look a few years younger than I am, so I claim it. 
“You in your mid-twenties?” 
“Ummmm… yes?” 

Who is the last person you hugged?
My husband and his deodorant smells so fantastic. Ladies… buy your man’s cologne and deodorant to fit your taste in smells. Heavenly!

What is the story of your first kiss?
It was behind a big oak free in Kindergarten and he was the cutest boy in our class. I’m thinking I might have just qualified myself as a hooch, but that’s okay. I’d lie about not kissing him if my mother asked. 

Do you like kissing in public?
My hubby and I are affectionate, so I don’t mind a quick peck in public. I’m not at all cool with a couple macking down in the middle of a group of people and will be the one to remind them to “get a room” without breaking a sweat. 

What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
When my husband and I were dating, we went on a trip about two hours from home and I already had two little girls (2ys old and 3 yrs old). We were going to visit a really neat park the following day, just he and I, and I mentioned multiple times how much I wish the girls were going with us. I woke up the next morning to find him gone – he said to the donut store. He showed up thirty minutes later with my baby girls. He’d driven 4 hours round trip (getting up at 4ish) to go get them. He proposed on that trip and of course I said yes. 

What kind of music you like?
I love alternative, hip hop, rock and some heavy metal. I listen to everything my teenage girls do, including contemporary Christian music and I love to play classical on our piano. Music is one of my many muses. 

Do you like to dance?
Heavens yes, though I rarely do it anymore. I danced my whole life as a child and early teen and then hit a few too many nightclubs as a young adult. Now in my thirties, I dance around the kitchen to embarrass my kids – which they love, as do I.

Can you describe your dream home?
I’m living in it. Its four bedrooms, a small kitchen and decent sized living room. Everyone is close and the backyard is filled with a beautiful extra-large pool. My hubby has flowers everywhere and yet the best part is that the inside is filled with laughter and hugs and tons of smack-talking.

What is the first curse word that comes to mind?  How often and why do you use it?
Well, I love the “f-bomb,” but my preacher mother still shrieks every time she hears it, so I’ve moved to using the word damn more than anything. Actually, I never say curse words. Lies.

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
Honestly? I’d give some to those I love, give a chunk to my church and take a trip. 

What are 5 things within touching distance?
My iphone – music! My coffee cup – energy! My wallet – addictions! My notepad for Soul Keeper – Cheat Sheet! My surface pro – Awesomeness!!!

Do you have a crush on anyone?
Myself. I’m kidding. Only have eyes for one man – my beautiful hubby who I refer to as “sexy-dog”. Don’t ask… I have no idea why. 

What is your least favorite word?
Um. I’m not sure if it’s a word, um, but, um, it take, um, up a lot of, um, space. I hate commas too. Probably um’s fault. 

What part of the writing process do you dread?
Oh… editing. I’d rather brush my teeth with superglue than edit a manuscript. I’m a math girl and this grammar thing has become my nemesis. If I ever strike gold with my books I’m not going to buy a large house or a new car. I’m going to get an editor. 

What is your favorite Joke?
Two sisters, one blonde and one brunette, inherit the family ranch. Unfortunately, after just a few years, they are in financial trouble. In order to keep the bank from re-possessing the ranch they need to purchase a bull from*a stockyard in a far-away town so that they can breed their own stock. They only have $600 left. 

Upon leaving, the brunette tells her sister, "When I get there, if I decide to buy the bull, I'll contact you to drive out after me and haul it home." 

The brunette arrives at the stockyard, inspects the bull, and decides she wants to buy it. The man tells her that he will sell it for $599, no less. After paying him, she drives to the nearest town to send her sister a telegram to tell her the news. 

She walks into the telegraph office, and says, "I want to send a telegram to my sister telling her that I've bought a bull for our ranch. I need her to hitch the trailer to our pickup truck and drive out here so we can haul it home." 

The telegraph operator explains that he'll be glad to help her, then adds, "It's just 99 cents a word." Well, after paying for the bull, the brunette only has $1 left. She realizes that she'll only be able to send her sister one word. After a few minutes of thinking, she nods and says, "I want you to send her the word "comfortable." 

The operator shakes his head. "How is she ever going to know that you want her to hitch the trailer to your pickup truck and drive out here to haul that bull back to your ranch if you send her just the word "comfortable??” 

The brunette explains, "My sister's blonde. The word's big. She'll read it very slowly... 

(Borrowed the exact wording from

Where do you get your best ideas?
From life. I try hard to pay attention to the characters in my real life and use a lot of them in my books. If I’m running dry, music is always something that will help bring me back. I write what I’d love to read really. 

What do you do to relax?
I rarely relax, which is a weakness of sorts. I think I need to purchase a tranquilizer gun so that my husband can put me down when I need to take a break. The only relaxing things I force myself to do are taking bubble baths now and again and lounging in the pool in the backyard. 

Do you write about what turns you on?
Absolutely. I love supernatural or paranormal content. I really believe that all of my future books will be within that subject. I have about twenty new ideas that I’ve start to scope out for future projects and no matter what I do, they always somehow resort back to the paranormal thing, that which lies just below the surface that our minds refuse to consider. 

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
My family is from the south for the most part, so you’d most like get a southern fried meal. Something like chicken fried steak, white gravy, butter creamed corn, whipped potatoes, and homemade biscuits. No dessert… there’s no room for it, I promise. 

Are you a romantic?
Yes and No. If I have the choice I’d rather put on jeans and a t-shirt and do something casual, but to read romance in a book makes me swoon. My husband does a few romantic things here and there, but honestly I’m good without it. 

Do you listen to music when you're writing?
Sometimes. Music moves me and so if I know where the scene is going and need to get it out, I’ll turn the music off. The last thing I need is for the music to change the direction of my writing. If I’m just writing a short scene or something for fun outside of the context of a story – the music is what I let drive the entire piece. 

Do you ever read your stories out loud?
I read out loud to myself sometimes, but I actually downloaded a reader onto my computer so that I can have it read my work back to me. Crazy what you catch (editing-wise) when something is being spoken out loud. “…and she loved his wong.” Wong?? NO… song, song, not wong. :P

What are your future ambitions?
I would LOVE to write full time. I’m a novelist and a songwriter, so if I could make this into a 2nd career, I’d be in bliss. I’m opening an Etsy store with my hubby and trying to keep awake to so all the things I hope to do this year!

Tell us about your latest release.
Destroyed released 11/15. It was the second book in my Soul Keeper Series. I wrote it over the course of 2 weeks because the characters just jumped at the chance to continue their story. It was a great adventure and I honestly loved every minute of it. I’m thrilled with the plot, the additional characters and the character growth of my trio. 
The Soul Keeper Series in general is a modern day love story that centers on the implications of having more than one soul mate and having to choose. It’s further complicated by the backstory being centered on an old Greek prophecy that pushed a battle between the gods down to the males in my story. They appear as brothers, but the truth of the matter is that they are one boy, split into two bodies and thereby sharing a soul. They are charged with winning the love of the soul keeper, my protagonist, in order to bring balance back to heaven and earth. 
It’s a simply love trilogy, but one like you’ve never seen. I love the complexities and surprises that surfaced as I wrote. It’s a book I’d love to read and I honestly just hope it helps my readers get away from reality.  

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
Yes! Three things are coming out soon actually. 
Book III in my Soul Keeper Series, Descent will be released late-Feb/early-March. I have my debut MG novel, Howl at the Moon coming out around the same time and lastly, under my NA pen name Kate Thomas, I have my debut New Adult Paranormal novel, The Core from my Equilibrium series coming out. Should be a busy year! All titles will be released with my publisher BookTrope.

What song would you choose for Karaoke?
Either Pat Benatar’s “Love is a battlefield” or Katy Perry’s “Roar”. 

 Who would you most like to be stranding on a desert island with?  Least?  Why?
Most – my husband. He treats me like a princess, so I’d lay around and let him dote on me. 
Least – my little brother. He eats everything in sight, can’t do anything for himself and still thinks he’s the “baby” at 27, which he is. I’d be busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest if Brent was with me. 

First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.  
R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Novels. They were a quick read and the romance and action were perfectly blended. I was always a little bit scared by the scene or situation and experienced almost every emotion with those books. My girls read them now. 

If you could only eat one food the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pizza all the way. I could eat pizza every meal for the rest of my life and never grow tired of it. My family doesn’t even ask me what I want when we go out. They all know… pizza.

If you were a shifter, what animal would you like to be?
A panther. Sexy and sleek, scary and ferocious. Um yeah, I’m going to need to write a book on that one. Thanks for the idea! 

Favorite season? Why?
Fall. I love the holiday season and the cool weather. Time to hide under jeans and big sweaters. Time to cuddle and love on those around you. Time to make big pots of soup and overload your hot chocolate with little white marshmallows. Definitely fall. Just a disclaimer, winter starts in January here in Texas – if we’re lucky!

Best movie ever made?  
It’s a tie for me. Grease is a classic I just can’t live without. I know the songs by heart and have always wanted a pair of those black leather pants Olivia Newton John had on at the end. I’d need a team of people to help me get in and out of them, but I digress.
I LOVE the movie “Usual Suspects.” Kevin Spacey is just brilliant, Stephen Baldwin is hilarious and Gabriel Byrne is beautiful and commanding. Just a really good movie. 

Do you have any other talents you want to share?
Yep. I’m a songwriter as well. I wrote a short intro for my debut novel. You can check it out at this youtube link. 

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Giselle said...

Thanks for hosting today, Michelle! :)

Unknown said...

Hi Michelle! Love your blog. What super cute theme.

Thank you so much for hosting me today!

Destroyed (SKII) is out and Descent (SKIII) releases Feb 28th!

I’d love to have you or any of your friends jump on my mailing list. I sent out previews of my covers, have freebies coming and ask for interactive feedback on my books.

Thanks again. :)