Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?
I would love a spell that would *BAM* have the finished book in my hands… No, really, if I were to chose a spell that would allow me to do anything, it would be to fly. Must be a crow thing. That and my love for shiny baubles.
*Smirks at the customer* I'm sorry to inform you that the laws of physics still apply to magick. I cannot make you fly. However, I do have a spirit journey spell that may help you. And if you are close with crows, perhaps a crow spirit guide could assist in your journey? There are excellent and easy to follow instructions on Warrior Mind Coach for how to take a shamanic journey. But now, tell me about your fantasy romance, Libra's Limbo.
Thirteen Zodiac Assassins
Forged in the Darkness of the InBetween,
Ruled by the Shadow Side of their Stars,
The Only Hope for the Light of Humanity.
What Would You Sacrifice To Find True Balance?
A paranormal world trapped between the crumbling safety of the darkness and the deadly world of the light.
The Twelve’s centuries-long rule of the subterranean world called the InBetween is over, a demon army has been unleashed on earth, and the Zodiacs must unite the paranorm species to survive. But their enemies have other ideas, and the battle for the InBetween is just beginning.
A Zodiac so afraid of losing control he’s chosen to live a half-life.
Libra had a plan. Get himself appointed paranorm ambassador to the humans, and leave his life as an assassin far behind. But when a specter from his childhood rears her head and thrusts him into a struggle for an ancient power he refuses to claim, his plan is blown to hell, and his freedom is forfeit. Thrown a lifeline, he must choose between imprisonment and torture, or joining the one woman born to push his scales to the dark side on a long-shot mission they can’t afford to fail.
A woman of passion and instinct pushing him to embrace the dark.
Taryn Rose thought having a filicidal witch goddess for a mother was bad, but being charged with protecting her new home using an ability she’s unable to control is worse. With tensions between the paranorm species high, she can see only one way to help the Zodiacs. Rescue Libra and, together, find the missing paranorm children. She trusts her gut, but can she risk their lives based on a hunch, a hope, and a child’s magical drawing?
He hadn’t seen the woman in years—had hoped he’d never see her again. Perhaps he should have taken up prayer, or destroyed his sense of smell, because in one whiff he was jetted back to his childhood. The hot agony of her slaps, and punches, and kicks. The fear that they would never stop, the hope he might die before the next beating.
Adrenaline surged through the shock obliterating the emotions of the boy he once was, for the numb of a man grown and in strict control. The day he escaped her, he swore no one would ever touch him unless he desired it, hit him without repercussion, or elicit a physical response that he didn’t welcome.
Her breath tickled the curve of his ear. “I know why you’re here.”
He moved his tongue around to wet the desert that was his mouth, but it got stuck in the ridged roof, his lips glued to his teeth. “You know nothing.”
“You are just like your father—wanting what you can’t have. Taking that which is not yours as he did. Leading the paranorms, advising them, standing as their representative to the rest of the world will take a strong hand, a courageous heart. You have neither, so I’m here to make sure you don’t get what you seek. I am here to protect the paranorms from a male so afraid to embrace his greatest gift that he lives a half-life.”
Wow, characters based on the signs of the Zodiac? So cool! What kind of research did you have to do for that?
I first came up with just the title, Zodiac Assassins, for the series then I wondered what I was going to do with it. That took more time than creating the world. I did come across a book right after figuring out the series title, called Born On A Rotten Day by Hazel Dixon-Cooper. It goes into hilarious detail about the dark side of each Zodiac sign. She’s really brutal but it was a huge lightbulb moment for me. From there, I studied various astrology books and the Enneagram system to help me define each male.
Neat. What's your sun sign?
I’m a Leo. Although the first book is about Leo, it wasn’t because that’s my sign.
I'm a Leo, too! But of course Leo had to come first. He wouldn't have it any other way. Do you believe astrology can give a picture of who a person is based on their birthday? A lot of people are skeptical. What do you have to say to them?
I haven’t had a chart done, nor do I read my daily horoscope, but I’ve always felt we should keep our minds open. To skeptics I say, that in this vast universe, we know so very little about what is real or true or possible. To say it’s not possible for the stars to have any influence in our lives seems arrogant to me, especially when the very makeup of our bodies is stardust. Hey, there’s an idea for a sci-fi romance!
Oh, I would so read that. What got you interested in astrology?
I’ve always been fascinated by the stars, the universe. The notion of infinity and infinite possibility appeal to my soul. Then, the Hubble telescope started sending us images of astounding beauty that fired up my imagination. So I’d have to say my interest is more in line with astronomy, though astrology is so cool.
The universe is indeed beautiful. Why did you choose Libra of all the signs to be your protagonist?
Each of the books is being written in a particular order based on a combination of the zodiac signs, tarot, and the hero’s journey.
Intriguing. Which one of your characters surprised you?
In Libra’s Limbo, I have a paranorm character named Meri. She’s a Pestilence Fairy. She was supposed to be a tertiary character. Not throw-away, but only serving a small function in the story. But when during one of the major turning points, I decided to upgrade Meri to secondary. She demanded that, and then the little imp demanded that she make a friend during her part of the story. That’s where a human street kid named Grate (because everyone steps on her but she never bends) came in. Those two came out of the blue, and I fell in love with them. So much so, I plan to feature them in later books. Gotta love it when that happens!
It's always my favorite part, too. Who is your favorite character and why?
One of the women in my series is named Abella. She’s tall, model-beautiful, and ninja-fierce. To take care of herself and her two best friends in the foster system, she became an expert at Texas Hold’em poker. Through that, she’s been able to win money, cars, houses, and land from very wealthy men…and they love her for it. She has a long, hard path to take during the course of the series, and I can’t wait to see where she wants me to take her.
Who doesn't love a strong female character? You have several unique species for this series. What was your inspiration for creating them?
Pinterest and Deviant Art are full of amazing images for inspiration. I looked at thousands of them and would pick one if it really made me go "wow!" From there, I studied the image and began to build the species world and culture and mythology. My world-building isn’t as extensive as high fantasy, but I had fun creating the Corvus Wards, Memoria Soul-Keepers, Kellas Cats, Pestilence Fairies, Bathory Berserkers… I could go on for a while.
Art inspiring art. I love it. Pinterest and Deviant Art have stolen days of my life. You mentioned mythology. What are you doing with mythology in your books?
I’m using Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse and other mythologies in the series. I’m also delving into Christianity, Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft and sorcery. Anything I can use to weave a great story is fair game!
*Grins while tapping fingertips together* Excellent. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
If you love the book, then please spread the word. As an indie author, the hardest thing for me is finding my readers. I will continue to write the best books I can; I hope those creations find the people who will love them, get what I’m trying to do, maybe find some food for thought in the various themes as well as entertainment.
It's rough out there. What can we expect from you next?
This is a huge series: thirteen novels and twelve novellas. I released Libra in March of this year. This fall I’ll be releasing the second novella, Leona’s Cage. In late spring of 2019, I’ll release the third novel,“Gemini Deadringer. Whew!
Wow, you're going to be busy busy. Good luck! I hope you will come back and visit with us again.
Artemis Crow lives in the northeast with a tolerant husband, a senior Doberman girlie, and a Frisbee-obsessed German Shepherd. When Artemis isn't gazing at the stars, and thinking about infinite possibilities, she's busy writing the next book in the Zodiac Assassins series.
You can get more information about the Zodiac Assassins and their world on Artemis' website. Connect with Artemis on Facebook and Twitter, or email her email@example.com. For cool imagery that inspired the Zodiacs, the InBetween and the paranormal creatures, be sure to check out her Pinterest.