Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Character Interview with Jack Ironwood from Soulshifter by Barbara Pietron

We’re thrilled to be talking to Jack Ironwood from Barbara Pietron's, Soulshifter. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character! 

Thank you for your interview, Jack. Can you tell us your story? 

Oh man, so much has happened. How about if I tell you how the whole thing started? First thing you need to know about me is that I'm a soulshifter, which means I can cross worlds. So I'm at school one day and I overhear a girl, who witnessed the abduction of her best friend, describing what took her. Yep, I said what. Because the thing she described is an underworld creature. I instantly knew where her friend had been taken and, having the ability to go to the underworld, I thought I might be able to rescue her. Why would I do that, right? Well, because I belong to a spiritual sect, and I'm in love with a female sect member that is completely out of my league. I figured, if I could prove I was worthy of being a high-ranking sect member, I'd also be a worthy suitor. It seemed like such a good idea at the time...

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features? 

My hair. (chuckles) It's pretty freakin' curly.

What would I love the most about you? 

I'm steadfast. That's what my sect mentor always says, anyway. If I say I'm going to do something, I do it.

Where do you go when you are angry?

If I just need to cool off, and my brother isn't in our room, I go up and play guitar for a while. If I need to get away, there's this place on the corner of our property—I live kind of out in the country—anyway, there's a creek there. It's a good place to think.

What makes you laugh out loud? 

My little brother, Jase. He's a character. We're ten years apart—he's six—and he sees the world so much differently. Some of the things he comes up with totally crack me up. Sometimes I can't laugh out loud though, because he's entirely serious.

What is your most treasured possession? 

Mmm, can I say two things? Because they're vastly different. One is my guitar—it's like a trusted friend. The other is a soulshifter's codex. It's a volume of soulshifter accounts and observations that goes back hundreds of years. It's rare, very few soulshifters have them.

What is your idea of a perfect day? 

Playing a great gig and then hanging out with a cool girl.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be? 

You have to ask? The hair. I mean, I don't mind it so much when I can wear it long—it looks pretty rock and roll—but when it's shorter, the curls really spring up.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

Even before I fell in love with a sect elder's daughter, I knew my future would be within the sect. I figured I'd find a way to climb the ladder, so to speak. Of course, if you read the book, you know how that worked out.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? 

Wow, that hits home! I don't even have to think it over. I'd spend the day with people I love.

About The Book

Title: Soulshifter
Author: Barbara Pietron
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Publication Date: November 24, 2015
Format: Paperback - 290 pages / eBook / PDF
ISBN: 978-0991602124
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Book Description:

Sixteen-year-old Jack Ironwood knew exactly what he wanted. Until he got it. Jack was content to stay unnoticed by pretty and popular track star, Natalie Segetich, until her best friend Emma disappears. Natalie swears something took Emma, and though most people write Natalie off as traumatized and confused, Jack is a soulshifter and he knows the human-stealing Enuuki - hell's messengers - are real. As a soulshifter, Jack can cross into the underworld so he sees Emma's rescue as an opportunity to prove himself a valuable member of his transcendental sect - and a way to secure a future otherwise out of his reach. Although he needs Natalie's help to prepare for the mission, Jack intends to go to the underworld alone. But as a viable plan takes shape, it's clear the best chance of success means Natalie must accompany him. On the eve of the quest, when Jack is promised the hand of a respected elder's daughter - a dream come true - he realizes he's no longer sure what he wants. But it's too late to back out, not with the sect and Natalie counting on him. Pursued by the dark lord's henchman and ghastly mutant creatures, Jack and Natalie struggle to come out ahead in a battle and barter for souls. In the end, Jack will have to decide his own fate, because nothing short of a deal with the devil will get all three of them out of hell alive.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Revelations from the Dark Realm

Feedback shrieked from the electric guitar amp, annihilating the harmonious blend of drums, bass guitar and electric piano. Jack winced as he fumbled for the volume knob on his guitar, pretending he didn’t see Tommy, the lead singer, shoot him a furious glare. Head down, Jack concentrated on the next few chord progressions, until Tommy launched into his signature vocal screaming. Then Jack stole a glance to his left and caught the eye of his best friend, Wes, who skillfully delivered the pulse of the track on his bass guitar. Wes lifted his eyebrows and Jack answered with a slight shrug and an apologetic frown.
It was one thing if Jack screwed up this opportunity for himself, but Wes had talked the band into giving Jack a chance this summer when they'd lost their lead guitarist to college. Jack didn't want to embarrass Wes, or give Tommy a reason to give his friend a hard time. The singer hadn't wanted Wes in the band either, but when the other members heard Wes play and realized he was a wizard on the bass guitar, Tommy had been out-voted. It had taken two years for Wes to earn the lead singer's grudging respect and Jack hated to mess that up.
They finished the set and Jack ducked out of his guitar strap, leaning the instrument against the cinderblock wall of Fletch's—the drummer's—basement. He ran both hands through his thick curls, for the first time thankful that his mom had insisted he get a haircut before school started. Shoulder-length for most of the summer, his dark brown mane was now tamed to a mass of loose curls that ended at the base of his jaw—not as rock and roll, but certainly cooler.
He turned and nearly collided with Tommy. "What's up with the feedback, Ironwood? We've got a gig in two days!"
"Sorry, man." Jack shook his head. He noticed John, the keyboardist, give him and Tommy a wide berth as he beat a hasty retreat. "Just having an off day. I'm low on sleep."
"Well you better get it together by Monday. A lot of people come out to the park on Labor Day, and we don't need you making the rest of us look like amateurs." He spun on his heel and stomped up the steps before Jack could reply.
Fletch offered Jack a sports drink. "You've been playing good all summer. Just don't choke when you get on stage." He laughed, but his eyes were serious.
"Thanks." Jack took the plastic bottle and cracked the lid open. "I'll be fine. I promise." He took a long drink, letting the slightly salty, citrusy liquid soothe his dry tongue and throat before bending to put his guitar into its case.
An intermittent chink of metal on metal sounded from the base of the stairwell. "Ready?"
Jack glanced up to see Wes tossing a bundle of keys into the air and then catching them. "Yep." He noticed that Wes had decided to leave his guitar at Fletch's. They were going to rehearse again tomorrow, but Jack felt like he ought to go home and get in some extra practice. He followed his friend out to the minivan, which smelled like the burgers and fries they'd eaten on the way to rehearsal, and loaded his gear into the back.
After Jack plopped into the passenger seat and closed the door, Wes spoke up. "Dude." He drew out the solitary word and added a sigh, conveying both disappointment and sympathy.
"I know," Jack said quickly. "I'm not a hundred percent today. Yesterday was my end-of-summer spirit-walk."

Buy The Book:

After years in the corporate world, Barbara Pietron found herself with a second chance to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her lifetime love of books and the written word returned one answer: writer. Drawing from her technical writing experience, she began by writing non-fiction magazine pieces and achieved both regional and national publication before trying her hand at her true passion, fiction. In addition to Soulshifter, Barbara is also the author of Thunderstone, Book One of the Legacy in Legend series and a prequel to ThunderstoneHeart of Ice, is available in e-book format. Book Two of the Legacy in Legend series is slated for fall of 2016. You can visit Barbara's website at

Connect with Barbara Pietron:

Virtual Book Tour

Monday, November 16, 2015

Character Interview: Rielle Sands from Kimberly Dean's COURTING DANGER

We’re thrilled to be talking to Rielle Sands from Kimberly Dean’s, Courting Danger.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Rielle.  How old are you and what do you do for a living? 

I’m 27, and I work as the office manager for Luxxor Limited.  It’s a… ahem… high-end escort service based here in Washington, D.C.  The company caters to the wealthy by matching them with escorts who are as smart, mannered, and cultured as they are beautiful. But our escorts don’t… you know… Except, well, if the contact is mutually acceptable. I’m sorry, I really shouldn’t talk about this.

What would I love the most about you?   

I’m very loyal to my friends, and I can keep a secret.

What would I hate the most about you?   

I don’t think anyone hates me. I’m too quiet to hate, but there are things I hate about myself.  I let fear take over my life.  I’m trying to get stronger and take back control.  I’m trying to be braver, but people always try to protect me. I’m hate being considered weak.
Where do you go when you are angry?  

 I’ve been working out at the gym by my apartment.  It’s kind of a dump, but the guys there don’t think I’m weak.  I’m training in Muay Thai and have put most of them on the floor.  J  But I don’t really want to hurt them. I don’t want to hurt anybody.

What is your greatest fear?   

I’m afraid that the past I ran away from will catch up with me.  I’m terrified that it might just have.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?  

 I’m very careful choosing friends, but I’d do anything for those who are close to me.  I enjoy spending time with them, but I spend a lot of time alone.

Who is your best friend?   

Nina, the president of Luxxor and… cough… madam.  She helped me out when I really needed it, and I’d do anything for her. 

What is your favorite weather?   

I love early spring in D.C. when the cherry blossoms are blooming.  It’s beautiful and peaceful.  It’s a time when everything is coming back to life. It has a sense of freedom about it.

What’s your idea of a perfect meal?  

 I went out on a blind date of sorts recently.  He took me to a reception at the White House.  It was like a fairy tale.  The chefs served a gourmet meal of Swedish cuisine.  The tablecloth and napkin linens were blinding white, and the place settings were exquisite. The dinner plate was trimmed with gold. Afterward, there was music and dancing. It was the perfect meal, and the perfect evening with a dashing, mysterious man.  Too mysterious, it turns out.  They tell me I shouldn’t see him again. I know I shouldn’t, but I’m tempted. When he kissed me, I felt it down to my toes. 

Someone is secretly in love with you.  Who is it and how do you feel about that?   

It’s not so secret, is it?  I don’t understand why my ex just can’t let go.  Unless… Are you talking about my blind date?  But… Is it getting warm in here?  I don’t even know his name.  Do you?

About the Author:

When taking the Myers-Briggs personality test in high school, Kimberly was rated as an INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). This result sent her into a panic, because there were no career paths recommended for the type. Fortunately, it turned out to be well-suited to a writing career. Since receiving that dismal outlook, Kimberly has become an award-winning author of romance and erotica.  She has written for seven publishing houses, both domestic and international, and has recently focused her efforts on the exciting world of self-publishing. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine. In her mind, a beach, some rock ‘n’ roll, and a good book make for a perfect day. 

Her latest book is the contemporary erotic romance, Courting Danger.

For More Information
About the Book:

Rielle Sands ventured too close to the fire once and got burned. Now when it comes to men, she’s vowed to play it safe. But then a dashing, mysterious man shows up at Luxxor Limited after hours, the agency she manages, needing an escort.
Darien Scott isn’t what he appears to be. Beneath the sexy smile and wicked charm, he’s hiding secrets. Yet the sizzling chemistry between him and Rielle is real. He tries to stay away, but his attraction to her keeps pulling him back. When he discovers that he’s not the only one haunted by danger, he changes tactics. To protect Rielle, he may need to stay close. Super close. Exclusive Luxxor contract close.
The reward is more than worth the risk.

For More Information

  • Courting Danger is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.