Interview, Guest Post, & Review with Dawn Kirby Author of Secrets

Thursday, August 9, 2012
I have a treat for you guys today. Let's welcome Dawn Kirby with her new Novel Secrets. Dawn was fantastic enough to let me pick her brain with an interview and she was even nice enough to rewrite one of my favorite scenes from a different POV. So make sure to read all the way to the end and share some love maybe ask Dawn a question.

Title: Secrets
Author: Dawn Kirby
Series: Serenity Series #1
Publisher: Dark Dragon Publishing Company
Release Date: July 29, 2012
Edition: Print

GoodReads Synopsis
It is said that the truth will set you free, but for Leah it kills.
Leah always knew she was different. From her extreme light sensitivity, to her ability to read people by their auric scent, she kept these differences secret. 
Not even Mia, Leah's mother, knew the fullness of her daughter's differences, but she held even greater secrets to Leah's past - the truth about her father and Leah's conception.
With the escape of an old foe, Mia is too late to reveal to her daughter the thrush before Judith can exact her revenge in a wash of blood and death.
Thrown into a world unheard of, Leah discovers that she is not alone in keeping her secrets. That there are people from her parent's past who would die to protect her. If only she knew why.
Raine, placed as her protector, hides deadly secrets of his own. Drawn to each other, Leah and Raine must uncover the truth before one or both are killed.

This book was FANTASTIC Dawn has a way with words she just draws you in with the world and characters that she has created. Not to mention the awesome description it is phenomenal. For days after reading this book I was left in a daze. I could not even pick up a book. This book was that good. It is a page turner that will get you from the very first page. The cover is a little misleading but the story is full of action and adventure. And ladies there are a few juicy scenes so makes sure you have your water bottle ready to spray yourself off to cool down.

Our journey is with Leah. Leah knew she was different she just did't realize why. That all changes when her father whom she that was dead shows back up in her life after being absent all her life. Leah is thrown into a world full of vampires, weres and a few shush its a secret you must read this awesome book to find out. Leah goes through just about everything imaginable with lots of injuries but pulls through. Leah's character is so well rounded and likable that you can not help but feel for her and all that she has to endure in this book, but with Raine has a protector she manages and falls in love which was a feeling she was not used to having. she dated but never fell for anyone the way she fell for Raine. 

When all is said and done Dawn will leave you wanting more so much more. I am so glad this is the first in a series I can not wait to see what Dawn has in store for us later on. Maybe we could she a bright and promising future for Leah and Raine or is there still more secrets to come.

Dawn Kirby lives in Odessa, Texas, with her husband, and three children. When she is not busy being a mom and working full time, Dawn draws her inspiration from the night to create memorable characters in wonderful worlds. Secrets is her first novel in the Serenity Series. Her short stories have been published in Seven Deadly Sins and 13 Tales of the Paranormal.

I like to start all interviews with Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

There’s not really much to tell. My husband and I have been married for almost sixteen years. We have three great kids spanning from ages ten to fifteen. We live in West TX. I’ve been writing for about four years now and thankfully, I don’t see a stopping point anywhere in my future. 

RBTL:  What inspired you to want to become a writer?

My beta readers. Some were family. Some were friends. They gave me their honest, uncensored opinions. Hearing them, good or bad, made me want to write more, get better and keep going despite the doubts I had about myself. 

RBTL:  What do you do when you are not writing? 

I’m either working or running my kids around. They are getting into their teenage years which means their social life keeps us all on the go. 

RBTL:  Where did the concept of the Serenity Series come from?

That’s a tough question. The idea had been in my head for so long, I can’t remember what made me think of it in the first place. I’m sure working around scents for as long as I did when I was younger had an impact. And the Paranormal has always fascinated me. A writer can do so much with the characters and creatures the possibilities are endless.  

RBTL:   From start to finish how long did Secrets take to write and be published?

It took me three months to write SECRETS. Another three months went into edits before I started submitting to agents and small presses. In the meantime, I started working with Jessica Swift to get it polished while I waited for a yes or no answer. All told it took approximately four years to get SECRETS out to the public. 

RBTL:   Who was your favorite character to write and why?

I have two; Kale and Drew. 

Kale because he’s so carefree. Nothing gets to him. He faces death with a smile and women with a wink. His confidence level is through the roof, but he never really loses sight of what’s really important. 

Drew because she doesn’t care what anybody thinks of her. She says what she has to say and to hell with whether or not it buys her friends. She believes in being honest…Completely. I only wish I could be as open as she.

RBTL:   Do you have a dream cast in mind? If so who are they and what character would they be?  ( for Leah I would choose  Vanessa Marano)

Until you asked I’d never really given it much thought. Several fans have and they are very passionate about their picks. Here’s mine…

Leah – Lily Collins 
Raine – I’m torn between Henry Cavill or Stephen Amell
Mia – Embeth Davidtz
David – Eion Bailey
Kale – Zachary Levi
May – Pam Ferris
Drew – Kaley Cuoco

7. Have you ever experienced writer's block? If so how did you over come it?

Writer’s block always hits when you’re out of time. Normally taking a step back helps. The second you manage to get your mind off the story, the block breaks. 

8. Do you just write or do you use an outline? 

I just write. I find it much easier and a lot more fun to sit down and just let the story flow. 

RBTL:   Any research go into writing Secrets or purely imagination? 

There was some research that went into SECRETS. Mostly where scents and colors were involved. Names were a big issue too. I like each character’s name to fit them perfectly. Kale’s name for example, in Gaelic/Hebrew – Dog; in Hawaiian – Man … For those who have read the books; it fits him to a T.  

RBTL:   If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Tough It Out … (Because nothing comes easy) 

Just For Fun

Print or Ebook? 

Chocolate or Vanilla? 

Beach or Mountains? 

Barefoot or Shoes? 

Coffee or Tea? 

Favorite Quote? 

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single left, and could say, “I used everything You gave me.” ~ Erma Bombeck ~

Favorite Movie this Year? 

The Woman in Black 

Favorite Book this Year? 

Regrettably, I haven’t been in a position to be able to read anything so far this year. 

Favorite Rainy Day Activity? 

Rainy days are when I get the most writing done. Rain inspires me. It always has.

Favorite Food? 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Any ending words for your readers and fans? Or words for young writers?

To my readers and fans – Thank you so much for you support. I love hearing from you. I love knowing what you like or don’t like; what made you laugh or cry makes my day. My goal is to take you on a ride you won’t want to leave. If I don’t do that, I’ve failed. 

To young writers – Chase your dreams because they DO come true.  


“Lead out the challenger,” I heard Donovan say. 

Declan bowed his head, signaling my turn to enter the clearing. I tossed my robe on the chair beside me and took a deep breath. I closed my eyes, remembering everything Leah had told me. No matter what, I had to keep her warning about Mark in mind. I couldn’t afford not too. This fight would either be the beginning of the end for my family or a new start for everybody involved.  

Before I could walk past him, Declan put his hand on my bear shoulder, halting my entrance mid-stride. “Leah’s life is in yer hands, Kale,” he said, his voice deathly serious. “Don’t get cocky.” 

“Don’t worry, Declan,” I said, gripping his shoulders tightly. “Nobody’s getting their hands on her. That I can promise you.”

“Good,” he said, cracking a wicked smile. His razor sharp fangs peeked out from underneath his top lip. “Now go make him pay for what he did to her.”

“My pleasure.”

Despite wanting to go out there and rip Mark’s head off for everything he’d done to Leah, I kept my head on my shoulders and decided to do the one thing I excel at; be me. The crowd was already going wild. Who was I to put a damper on that? After all, I was naked, adored and aching for a fight. 

I walked into the clearing waving at anybody and everybody I could. Raine, Leah and Granny were already seated on the platform. I bowed dramatically and winked at them, glancing briefly in Mark’s direction. Agitation poured off him like sweat. Thinking I could use the crowd’s enthusiasm to get him a little more worked up, I grabbed a couple of girls and kissed them. Leah said he had a hard time controlling his anger. Seeing me manhandle women he no doubt already saw as his would drive him crazy. If I could get him to that blinding rage point sooner rather than later, the fight would be over in no time. 

When I came to stand beside Donovan, he bowed his head. I nodded back letting him know I was ready for things to get underway. A quick glance at Granny as she sat stoically on the platform squeezing Leah’s hand sent a rush of adrenaline through my entire body. I couldn’t lose.  

“Let the fight begin!” Donovan yelled. 

I watched the way Mark moved as he shed his clothes from his lean frame. Every movement was slow and determined, even taking the time to neatly fold them before he turned his attention on me. I didn’t know if he was trying to drag the start out or taking a few extra minutes to size me up as well. All told he didn’t look strong, but that had been one of Leah’s warnings. He was stronger than he looked and a lot quicker than any vampire. Agile and quick, a bigger werewolf’s worst nightmare.  

With that thought running through my mind, I let the change take hold. Within seconds I was in wolf form; big, black and determined. The smaller blond wolf crouched mere feet from me was just as determined. Suddenly realizing this may well be a fight to the death, I put all my concentration into beating him. I planned on letting him walk away if I could, but I wouldn’t hesitate if keeping him alive meant my death.

Before I could even think to move, he was on me; ripping at my neck, back and shoulders. I could feel his teeth tearing away my skin, exposing muscle. Blood coated my fur. I brushed the pain aside and pushed Mark’s body, nudging him further away from my neck each time. I knocked him on his back several times, but every time he managed to get up quicker than the last. I could see now how he’d been able to pin Leah underneath him so easily. 

I blocked his last attempt at me with a quick side step. He jumped from one boulder to the next, watching me. He turned his head to look toward the platform, I ran at him full-force, knocking him to the ground. I bit at his throat, but he threw his leg in front of it. I bit down as hard as I could, hoping to feel the bone break. Blood sprayed the ground around us.   

Mark cried out and twisted out of my grip. He latched onto my throat and took me to ground. That’s when it hit me. Let him think he’s won and then catch him when his guard’s down. Anger would take over then and that rage Leah had talked about would lead him right into defeat. 

I could hear the crowd around us. They’d thought he’d bested me. If they thought that, it wouldn’t be long till he let go to celebrate his victory. I lay as still as possible until I felt his jaw slack. In a second I was on my feet taunting him. Chin on the ground, butt in the air, tail wagging. The crowd cheered, which only made Mark more furious. I could see the hate burning in his yellow eyes. 

Mark jumped at me, but I leapt on top of a boulder just before he hit. He ran at me again, this time we met head on. Our jaws locked, tearing fur, ripping skin as we wrestled around the clearing. Before long our mouths were so slick with blood neither of us could hold onto the other. I backed away long enough to lick the blood from my lips. The taste of blood excited me, urging me to keep fighting. 

The angrier he got, the easier it was to evade his attempts at me. Not that they all missed. In fact, more than a few had nearly taken the fight out of me. Physical exertion and rage were taking their toll on him. He was losing speed as well as strength quickly. So was I, but another look at the platform made me remember what I was fighting for. Not just for control of the pack. But to save lives. To save Raine and Leah. To save Granny.

Finally Mark’s breaking point hit him. His eyes were blank, acting only on instinct. He ran at me, knocking my body hard into the rocks. I felt a rib crack. The pain was excruciating. I sunk my teeth into the back of Mark’s neck ripping it open down to the bone.  
He broke away from me and began circling. I circled around him until he lined up with the boulder he’d knocked me into. When I jumped over him, he lost his balance. I circled again and ran at him. He fell to the ground, but recovered quickly. Too quickly. I didn’t see him move until he tore into my right shoulder. 

Thinking he’d just bested me, he jumped at me again. I side stepped him at the last second, sending him flying to the ground. When he landed, dazed on his side I waited for his next move. When he stood up again, I charged. The force I threw into the hit knocked Mark’s body back at least six feet. Almost as soon as he hit the ground I rushed him and latched onto his throat. My teeth dug into his windpipe, slowly cutting off his air. His breathing became labored. I could see the light leaving his eyes. After what felt like hours, he finally submitted. 

When I was sure all the fight had left him, I let him go. He rolled away, keeping his head down and his tail tucked between his legs as he limped out of the clearing. No sooner than he had disappeared into the crowd than Donovan declared me the winner. The crowd around me lowered the heads reverently, exposing the left side of their necks to me. From this point on, every wolf in the pack would turn to me for guidance, punishment and law.  I in turn, would ask them to accept Raine despite his true nature.

As the pack began to celebrate, I jerked my robe on and made my way over to the platform. I needed to see Granny. To hug and tell her she didn’t have to hide anymore. I wanted to tell Raine he had a home now. Most of all, I wanted to thank Leah for all her help. Had it not been for her senses, her insight, I may not have won this fight. 

 After shaking hands and stopping several times to accept handshakes and pats on the back, I jumped up onto the platform. Granny was on me almost instantly. I hugged her tighter than I probably should have, but she didn’t seem to mind. Tears rolled down her cheeks. The smile never left her face. 

“Well Granny,” I said after she pulled away to catch her breath. “Looks like you finally get to reconnect with pack.”

“Thank You, Kale,” she whispered. “And if that’s an invitation, I accept.”

“Good. I may need some of your wisdom later on down the road.” I turned to look at my longtime friend, Brody who’d been sitting with May throughout the fight. “Thanks for being here, man.”
He shook my hand and gestured behind me. I turned around to find Raine standing there with a huge smile on his face and his arms open. After being on the receiving end of the world’s most painful hug, I turned to face Leah. 

“Thank you, Leah. I couldn’t have done this without you.” 

She looked up at me and smiled sweetly. “This was all you. I had nothing to do with it.”  

I pulled her to me and hugged her as tight as I could, forgetting her ribs were still healing. She tapped me on the back, silently reminding me. 

“Sorry, I forgot.” She nodded her head and took a deep breath. “Are you okay?” Her eyes widened as she looked into the crowd. “Leah?”

Suddenly I found myself being knocked out of the way and Leah’s body crumple to the ground. It took a few seconds to register the sound of a gunshot. Leah leaned forward, looking out into the crowd. Donovan and Declan had already grabbed the shooter. Mark wasn’t going anywhere, not after this. 

“Donovan, don’t!” she screamed. 

Raine dropped to the ground beside Leah and pressed his hand tightly against her shoulder to try to stop the bleeding. True to form, Leah never showed any sign of pain. 

“Leah,” Raine said, his voice full of concern. 

“I’m alright, “ she told him. “Did anyone else get hurt?”
“No,” he answered with a sigh. “It’s still in you.”

“Thank goodness.”

“How is she?” I asked Raine. 

“Happy to know no one else was shot,” Raine answered gruffly. 

I knelt down next to Leah and looked at the wound in her shoulder. I shook my head and tried to smile. Once again she’d taken a hit meant for somebody else. 

“You could have ducked,” I said frankly.

“If I had someone else would have been hit. Besides, he was aiming for you.”
Raine pulled her to him. The anger and fear I saw in him made me want to kill Mark right then and there. The only thing stopping me was Leah. She had a warm heart, but she trusted a little too much. Mark, given the chance would come after me again. Hell he’d go after her again if he thought he could. Some wolves, just like some people simply couldn’t be trusted. Mark was one of those people. 

While I stood there trying to decide what to do next, Granny ripped a piece of my robe off and tied it around Leah’s shoulder. The shock must have worn off because even though she was trying to hide it, I could see the pain burning in her eyes. 

“Take a break, Leah,” Raine told her. “I don’t know how much more your body can take. Let us protect you for once.”

She looked out towards Mark and then back at me. I knew what she was going to ask even before the words left her lips. “Kale, please don’t kill him. He’s not thinking straight.”

“He just shot you,” Brody said to her. “That son of a bitch was trying to kill Kale. He deserves to die.” The pack erupted in agreement. They wanted him gone and five minutes ago wasn’t soon enough. 

“He’s just been humiliated,” she told him. She slid off the platform and turned to face me. Her bright green eyes were beginning to fill with tears, but I knew she wasn’t about to let not even one fall. “Please don’t, there’s already been too much death.”


Places to find Dawn

Places to find Secrets


Dawn M. Kirby said...

Thank you so much for that amazing review, Anna! I had so much fun doing the interview and a blast writing up Kale's POV. I can't thank you enough for everything you've done to help get all my *secrets* out! 

MaryLynn Bast said...

I love how Anna gets the authors to write from other POV's.  Looks like I have a new author to check out!   

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