About the Book
Series: Storm Chronicles Book 6
Author: Skye Knizley
Published: April 21st, 2016
Publisher: Vamptasy Publishing
Genre: Horror, Urban Fantasy
Content Warning: Contains violence and horror elements
Age Recommendation: 17+
On a rainy night in 1971 the cruise ship Crescent Star vanished in the North Atlantic without a trace. No crew, no lifeboats and no wreckage was ever found, in spite of a three-week search.
Two days ago, she crashed through and sank a pleasure yacht off the coast of New York, leaving five people dead. The ship has answered no hails and no one appears to be aboard. Agent Raven Storm and a forensic team lead by Aspen Kincaid have been tasked to investigate and bring the ship in, if possible.
What happened to 720 crew and passengers and where has the ship been for 44 years?
Clue by macabre clue, Raven uncovers the truth of the Crescent Star and faces a villain from beyond the grave.
But how can she stop something she can’t see, can’t touch, and that won’t hesitate to use the ones she loves against her?
About the Author
Skye Knizley is the #1 bestselling author of the Storm Chronicles series, an urban fantasy tale that mixes mystery, magic and horror and the Shadowlands series of modern espionage thrillers. All of her books feature strong female leads who can hold their own with the men and then some, witticisms and of course Skye’s trademark snark.
Skye, who holds degrees in forensic science and psychology, lives in the middle of nowhere in a tiny little town of about 700 people. The small town life appeals to her and she finds it conducive to writing. When she isn’t setting quill to parchment (okay she actually uses a laptop, but quills are cool) Skye can be found practicing Muay Thai, camping, motorcycling and hiking with her psychotic Siberian husky, Piper. Once a year she participates in an uncontrolled “float trip.” Whether she wants to or not. It’s a camping thing.
Skye is also a proud gamer girl and an avid fan of role-playing games. She currently participates in a weekly Shadowrun game held at a local gaming store (stop in and say ‘hi!’) and is the writer and game-master of a private Fantasy Flight game held once a month.
Describe your relationship with a good book.
A good book is hard to find, but I am always open to starting new relationships. My favorite is when our eyes meet across a crowded coffee shop. Once I have the book’s attention, I will smile shyly and hide behind my sunglasses, pretending not to look.
But the book knows. It knows I’m looking, aching to know what is between its sexy covers.
I might spend the next few days coming back and looking, but never touching, never touching. Until the book is ready to take me home and have its way with me.
I’m sorry, the rest of this is censored…
When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?
I started writing very young. I wrote my first song when I was nine and my first game character around the same time. The first thing I would say I am proud of was a short story I wrote when I was thirteen or fourteen. It was given several English awards and submitted to a junior literary magazine by my English teacher. The story was based on a game night with friends and family and told the story from the perspective of a pink twenty-sided die.
Please describe your work ethic as an author.
I am a full time author, this is what I do for a living. I get up every day, go to the gym for two hours, come home and plant myself in front of my laptop until I hit my writing goal for the day.
Writing is a job, like any other. Yes, I love what I do and I am thankful every day that I get to spend my time writing and churning out stories for my readers, but it is still a job. I have a goal of putting out no fewer than four books per year and thus far I have hit and exceeded that goal every year. 2016 will likely have six books from me by Christmas, with the shortest being a 50000 word Dreadpunk novella.
How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?
It is all about scheduling. I have a routine I follow every day, and the routine is set so that there is time to have a life. My word count is set at something I can achieve without difficulty so if I decide to go do something else on a Tuesday I can make up the word count the next day. I try hard not to say no to my friends, but everyone understands this is a job, just like theirs, and I have a schedule to keep.
Keeping that schedule allows me to have a weekly game night, go to the gym, go to concerts, enjoy movie nights and do pretty much everything I want to without compromising my work.
Why did you write this book?
The basic answer is because it is the sixth book in the series, without which there is no book seven.
I’m not the kind of author who writes books with intentional messages or agendas, they are more the literary equivalent of an action movie. With that said, this was a necessary story in the saga of Raven and her friends/family. Each novel is a stand alone mystery with a satisfactory ending. Nobody has to read more than one novel or read the ones before this to enjoy this story, but each book also continues Raven’s ongoing plotline and this one is no different. Questions brought up in book five are answered in this, and more questions are raised for future books.
What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?
I have degrees in Forensic Science and Psychology, and that experience plays a part in my novels, particularly the Storm Chronicles. Raven is a Federal Agent and her familiar, Aspen is a crime scene technician. I draw on my experience in that field to add some realism to the crime scenes and horror of the novels. I admit, I take shortcuts, these are not police procedurals (which I hate) but the science is grounded in reality and in my own experience investigating crime scenes.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?
In five years I truly hope my agent will have gotten off his ass and made the Shadowlands series a TV show and the Storm Chronicles into a movie. I hope to be married and living somewhere not where I am, preferably someplace with sandy beaches and more stable weather.
I also hope to have solved some of the cold cases sitting on my desk and helped bring closure to some families. When I can I investigate the unsolved murders of trans-women, of which there are far too many.
Raven Storm sat up in bed, a scream fighting behind her lips. It had happened again; her father in the shadows, the boom of her pistol, and his body dropping. She’d had the nightmare every night since coming home. Her psyche eval was so bad she’d been dropped from field duty and was investigating UFO sightings in Montana. Not her best job ever.
She slid out of bed and padded toward the stairs. Around her was the loft bedroom she shared with her fiancé, Aspen. The walls were painted a soft lavender that was almost grey and matched the carpet. Their king-size bed was covered with a blue flowered bedspread and the nightstands were antiques sent by Valentina from Chicago.
Raven ran a hand over the Maltese Falcon poster in the stairwell and turned out of habit to the kitchen, where two scoops of coffee and some hot water soon produced a brew that would be guaranteed to keep her up the rest of the night. She was just sitting down to savor a cup when Aspen’s cell started chirping from its charging plate on the counter.
Who the hell is calling her at this hour? Raven wondered.
She picked it up and slid her finger over the screen. “Storm.”
There was a pause and then, “Agent Storm? Is Aspen Kincaid there?”
“She’s sleeping, like normal people, who is this?”
“This is Kane, I’m with Agent in Charge King’s office. Please get her, its important,” Kane said.
“Who is it?”
Raven looked up to see Aspen leaning over the upstairs railing, her purple hair trailing around her face.
“King’s office,” Raven replied.
Aspen wiped sleep from her eyes. “They have a case for you?”
Raven shrugged. “It’s for you, probably a crime scene.”
Aspen hurried down the steps and took the phone.
“This is Aspen.”
She listened for a moment, and turned to Raven, eyes wide. She pressed the speaker button and held the phone out. “Mr. Kane, can you say that again?”
“We have a code thirteen emergency. The cruise ship Crescent Star is carrying an unknown preternatural threat and heading toward New York City. I need you to lead a team onboard and stop it before it reaches the one mile marker. You’ll be briefed enroute.”
“Kane, this is Storm. Aspen isn’t a field agent, who gave the order?” Raven asked.
“King, Agent Storm.”
Aspen shook her head. “He knows I’m not an agent, Kane. I’m a lab-rat, I only go with Raven on certain cases, he can’t—”
“You have basic field training and he handpicked you, Kincaid. You’re on a chopper in twenty minutes, a car is on the way.”
“I want to talk to King,” Raven said.
“He didn’t ask for you, Storm,” Kane said.
“I don’t give a shit, Mr. Kane,” Raven said. “Code thirteen is the catastrophe code, you’re not sending Aspen—”
“This conversation is over, Agent Storm. Agent Kincaid, be ready,” Kane said.
The line went dead. Raven stared at the phone, then looked at Aspen.