Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Guest Post and Spotlight with author Cege Smith and her book Shadows Deep

Hello and Welcome to this stop on Cege's tour!!  We are talking today about her Bad Boy!!  We all love them!  And this is what the Cege had to say:

The Bad Boy’s Spotlight

As I’m winding down to the end of my month long blog tour, I found myself cornered by Mikel, one of my Shadows Deep (Shadows #2) characters. Mikel was a bit put out you see, because I’ve spent a great deal of time on the tour talking about Ellie and David, the book’s heroes. Mikel is the villain of Shadows Deep, and his fingerprints can even be found in some of the events that happened in Edge of Shadows (Shadows #1).

Mikel told me in no uncertain terms that it was high time that he got to be the focus of a blog post. Now, when characters get upset, they are notoriously difficult to work with. As bad as he is, Mikel is usually pretty laid back, so his annoyance came as a bit of surprise to me. After all, he has been mentioned in almost every post as well, although Ellie and David’s romance was usually the focal point.

Since we will be seeing Mikel again in the third Shadows book, I thought it would be best to give him center stage. Plus, we all know that bad boys are the ones that can sometimes be the most fun to talk about.

So here’s are a few things about Mikel that he wanted me to share with you in hopes it will entice you to come spend some more time with him (oh, and Ellie and David too if you are so inclined.) The list was his, but the commentary is mine.

  He’s a romantic at heart.  Yes, Mikel is the big bad now, but he didn’t start out that way. He had an epic love when he was younger, and because he lost her tragically, he gave his life (and afterlife) over to the dark side. Ah, the things we do for love.

  He’s dead, but still sexy. Mikel is a looker, and his physical appearance is something that draws Ellie to him even though she’s in love with David. He’s tall and broad shouldered and when he’s wearing his preferred pinstripe suit he’s hard to look away from.

  He’s ambitious and motivated. Mikel’s a power player in the Afterlife. He’s not playing the game to advance a little bit; he’s got his sights set on a much bigger piece of the pie. He needs Ellie’s help to get there, and Mikel doesn’t take no for an answer.

  He has a relaxing hobby. Every baddie has to have something to do in their free time when they aren’t plotting to take over the world. In Mikel’s case, he enjoys growing and tending to exotic roses. He’s drawn to their delicate, but intense beauty.

  He’s very patient. It takes a lot of energy and time to plot out a way to rule the world, and these things don’t happen overnight. It’s a lot of subtle moves and intricate manipulations to get people to do and act the way you want them too. Mikel’s been at this game a long time, much longer than anyone realizes, and he’ll wait until just the right time to put his next move into action.

Honestly, this list reads a bit more like a dating profile than anything else, and that makes me wonder about his true intentions. Mikel has a way of keeping me guessing. He’s the perfect bad guy that we love to hate, but can’t turn away from. He’s got all the complexities and layers that our heroes have, but no one can condone the fact that he uses all of that for evil.

Well, except for Mikel.

I would love to spend some time with him!!  Now let's take a look at the book details:


Ellie Coulter made a deal with the devil, and now it’s time to pay the price. Little did she know, the shadows that have swirled around her life since her parents’ death were not a coincidence. As Ellie's destiny is revealed, it comes with the knowledge that her fate is the lynchpin in a far larger, and more dangerous game. And the one who found her has no intention of ever letting her go.

Ellie walks a fine line between keeping up the appearance of acceptance while gathering the information she needs to escape. Along the way, she has to decide who to trust and that includes the man she loves.  As facts give way to lies, Ellie begins to question everything.

With her true intentions on the verge of being discovered, Ellie must find a way to defeat her captor before she becomes a shadow herself.


Letting go was one of the hardest things a person could ever do. Ellie knew that. What happened when she let go of the idea that reality as she knew it was merely a cover on a rabbit hole? She had willingly taken the cover off and fallen down into the unknown darkness. She’d surrendered. Somehow it felt easier that way. But the Voice kept picking at her even though she was deep in her hidey hole. It wouldn’t leave her alone.

“What was it like for you when your parents died?”

Ellie had answered some variation of that question what seemed like a million times over the years, but her response always paled in comparison to the effect of that one event on the rest of her life. How could she explain the depth of pain she felt when the two people who she loved most were ripped out of her life? Or the excruciating, almost debilitating sense of loneliness that followed when she finally comprehended that she was completely alone in the world?

“I was eight,” Ellie replied. “I had no other family. One minute I was surrounded by love. In the blink of an eye I was an orphan. What do you think it was like?” No one could understand what she had been through, and eventually she gave up trying to explain. Her parents’ death was just something that happened to her a long time ago. Ellie preferred to leave that buried there.

“I am sure it was difficult. But you obviously learned to cope, even thrive.”

“Thrive isn’t the word I’d choose,” Ellie said. “I learned how to survive. Eventually I learned ways to be happy again, but I did that on my own. I never felt like I belonged anywhere again.”

The Voice was silent for a while and Ellie was relieved. When it wasn’t poking at her, the darkness was peaceful. Ellie was used to being alone.

“Tell me about your ability. You’ve linked that to your parents’ death.”

Ellie was tired of the questions. They had covered the same ground over and over again. But it was like the Voice was missing some nuance, and so it all started again. Combing through her life. Looking for clues. “I noticed it the first time at the funeral. I was standing there in the cemetery, looking at their caskets, with the social worker beside me. I kept looking around for more people, but it was just the three of us: me, the social worker, and the minister. And then I noticed that the longer the minister spoke, the more these colors seemed to grow out of him. It didn’t make any sense at the time. The colors were deep purple and blue and they got more vivid every time he made eye contact with me. It scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know what to do.”

A familiar cloud of sadness fell over her thoughts as she remembered that lost little girl. “When the service was over, I wanted to kick and scream and lash out. I wanted to push over those caskets because I convinced myself they were empty and it was some elaborate hoax. Any minute they would appear to take me home. But it wasn’t a hoax. My parents raised me to think that showing emotion in public wasn’t ladylike, so as desperately as I wanted to throw a tantrum, I knew they wouldn’t approve. I looked at the social worker and she had a glow of white tinged with yellow around her. Even though I didn’t know what it meant, the colors were soothing. I had to accept that I was left with nothing but this woman to take care of me. I was naive and automatically assumed that she was kind and that she’d be good to me.”

“She wasn’t?”

Ellie sighed. “After twenty-five years of reading auras, I know now that she was indifferent. She probably saw a dozen kids just like me every week. Her aura meant that she was at peace and even slightly happy, but it had nothing to do with me. I was part of her job, and while I was watching my parents be buried, she was probably thinking about getting a manicure or going home and having a glass of wine. Me, I had no home left.”

“You went into foster care.”

“Yes, and in foster care I stayed until I applied for emancipation when I was sixteen.” She remembered the day that the court approved her request. It had been bittersweet.

“Your ability must have been advantageous in that kind of hostile environment.”

“If you mean it helped keep me out of trouble, then probably it did. But I was always a good kid. I studied hard, got decent grades, and generally stayed out of everyone’s way.  I never gave my foster families any reason to really concern themselves with me. I wanted to be invisible. I was pretty good at it,” Ellie said. She had closed herself off from anyone who tried to reach her. It was a defense mechanism that worked well. Perhaps too well. 

“Until you met Veronica.”

A face flashed in Ellie’s mind. A pretty blond with infectious laughter. Whereas her parents’ faces had faded over time, Roni’s was vivid and seemed so real that Ellie almost thought her friend was there with her in the darkness.

“Roni just wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Ellie said. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. And for some reason she wanted to be my friend. I owe her a lot.” It was strange talking about Veronica. Those memories were under strict lock and key for a reason.

About the Author:

Cege Smith is a Minnesota based writer who is addicted to lattes and B-rated horror films. She had been crafting spooky stories since she was twelve years old. She lives with her husband, two adorable stepsons, and mini long-hair dachshund, Juliet in the suburbs of Minneapolis.

1 comment:

Cege Smith said...

Thank you for hosting me (and Mikel) today! :)

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