Rebecca E. Neely
Crossing Realms Series, Book 1
Sacrifice or salvation? A chosen psychic few may be both.
As the city’s Keepers battle Betrayers to save the human race, all’s not fair in love and war.
Nick Geary, jaded clan leader of human guardians, the Keepers, is doomed to love a human woman who’s forgotten him, time after time, for thirteen years: Libby Klink, a skittish accountant who’s as terrified of her recent and strange intuitions as she is of her mundane existence.
When Nick is ordered by the clan’s guiding force to seek Libby’s help in defending the clan against enemy Betrayers, romance sizzles as the pair forms an unlikely alliance in their desperate search to discover the key to the clan’s salvation—which Libby alone holds.
But a haunting secret could cost Nick everything, and in a race against time, both will be forced to choose between their hearts and duty. Can their love, and the clan survive, or will the very forces that drew them together ultimately destroy them?
The battle in the Steel City begins.
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Her index finger found the button and lowered the window a crack.
Immediately, he raised his hands. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m unarmed.”
Always good to hear. She cocked her head, perplexed. “Who are you?”
“Nick Geary.” Unsmiling, a muscle worked in his jaw. He held her hostage with his eyes. “We need to talk.”
Her heart tripped. No doubt about it. She’d never heard of any Nick Geary, never seen this man before in her life. Or had she? Why didn’t she know? Shouldn’t she? What could they possibly need to talk about? A new kind of panic engulfed her. She pounced on the button, closed the window, and laid on her horn.
Scowling, he mouthed some kind of oath.
The driver door swung open on the truck in front of her. A portly man with a bush of a gray beard got out, lumbered over. Squinted at her. “You okay?” he bellowed as he tugged a T-shirt sporting a Confederate flag over his girth. “This guy messin’ with you?”
Yeah, he was messing with her all right. Air. She needed air. She locked eyes with Nick. His were blue and crystalline, as placid as they’d been stormy. He reached around his neck to finger a shiny stone the green of spring grass, nestled under his collar on what appeared to be a thin leather strap.
It glowed with ember-like intensity. She watched, fascinated.
I-279 South, idling engines, the car radio somewhere behind her booming its bass—all of it receded like floodwater after a storm.
Libby stood on the porch of the cabin she and her father rented for a week every summer. He came around the corner, fairly glowing. Pink with health. Dad. He slung a fishing rod over his shoulder and winked. “Let’s go catch us a mess of crappies.” The creek, ten feet away, rushed over rocks and fallen trees, its path clear, sure. The sun warmed her face and the air soothed her. She breathed in the scent of earth, burgeoning with spring.
She blinked. Snippets of music and phone conversations littered the highway around her. Libby gaped, unable to speak, like she’d shot down a hill on a roller coaster and banked the curve of the next.
Nick said nothing, his eyes still locked on hers.
Ford Truck shot him a dirty look, then clambered over to her side of the car. “Lady, I said, you okay?” he yelled.
Shaking, she lowered her window, not sparing him a glance. “Yeah, yeah, I’m okay.”
Muttering something about the country going to hell in a handbasket, Ford Truck stomped back to his pickup and climbed inside.
Still staring at Nick, she clung fast to her resolve before it escaped her. Reaching across the seat, she yanked on the handle, and pushed open the passenger door.
It is my pleasure to welcome Rebecca E. Neely, author of The Keeper, to Room With Books!
Please tell us about yourself.
I wear many hats – my favorites are probably Mom and storyteller. I’ve lived in Western Pennsylvania all my life, and had the amazing opportunity to grow up in my family’s restaurant business. From an early age, I was treated as one of the ‘grown ups’, working at all the jobs in the restaurant – waitress, cook, dishwasher. Food has always been family, love and community, and the characters that filled my life, employees and customers, fueled my imagination then and now.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I think I always wanted to be a writer, but the path I took to get there wasn’t direct. First I became an accountant, which, believe it or not, helps me with plotting and details.
How long have you been writing and what was your inspiration to write?
I’ve been writing forever. When I was younger, I wrote stories in composition books, and I entered a writing contest in Seventeen magazine. I also liked to tell stories to my stuffed animals, and make up love stories amongst my Barbies. My father was an English teacher, and he always shared his love of literature and the language with me. When I was ten, eleven, twelve years old, I remember having really deep conversations at the dinner table about Jack London and Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare and why it was fun to use the dictionary. I still think it is!
Do you have a job in addition to writing? Please tell us about.
Yes. After I’d done my 10-year stint as an accountant, I had my daughter, started freelancing and went back to work part time as an administrative assistant. I love the people I work with. I’ve known them for a long time.
How would you summarize this book in less than 20 words?
The Keeper – A tortured clan leader and an anxious accountant fighting to save humans from destruction must choose between their hearts and duty.
Now, let’s talk about writing and how you came to be a published author.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
About fifteen years ago, I wrote an article about a family owned market in my home town for a publication called Small Town Life, and I’ve been freelancing on and off ever since. It was a real kick to see my very own by line! What a thrill! And I didn’t get paid a dime for it. The very first time I got paid for an article was another high. Wow! It was deeply satisfying on so many levels. Someone was paying me to do what I loved.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I wrote two books that have never seen the light of day. And shouldn’t 😉 But I finished them, and that in itself was a goal for me that tested my discipline and perseverance and passion. The third book I wrote, A Mighty Good Man, was published in 2014. I cherish the journey that led to that.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to “The End”?
I don’t think I’m the fastest writer, even though I wish I could be. I’d say about nine months to a year.
What can we expect from you in the future? More of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’ve got all kinds of ideas knocking around in my head. Many of them have a paranormal flair. I’d also like to write another story that takes place in Fiddler’s Elbow, PA, which is the setting from A Mighty Good Man. I’ll probably die before I get to write all the stories I’ve got in me!
Who is your favorite character from your books and why are they your favorite?
I love Libby Klink from The Keeper, and the journey she’s on. She’s a bit odd, and she’s imperfect in many ways. She’s got self-confidence issues, and I enjoyed seeing her develop, and giving her hardships to overcome.
What is your routine for writing?
Morning is the best time of day for me to write. There’s something magical about getting up before anyone else is up, padding downstairs in my bathrobe and having a hot cup of coffee, standing over the register vent and getting down whatever thoughts have bubbled to the surface overnight. That’s a good day. Other times, I’ll write in my car, while I wait for my daughter at her activities. Or on my lunch break. I’ve taken to dictating with Dragon, too, on my phone, while I’m on the go.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
It’s happened both ways for me. Sometimes phrases or words here and there speak to me, and a title is born. Other times, like with the Crossing Realms series, I knew I wanted to title each book after one of the beings.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?
I think there are hidden messages and morals in most books. That’s what makes them great, in my opinion. Just like fairy tales. I have a tendency to gravitate toward themes of family and second chances. I think we all deserve both and I enjoy creating journeys for my characters to find both.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
Love my Kindle ap on my phone. I probably read more on that than anything these days, while I’m waiting for my daughter at her activities, or at the doctor’s office, etc. Love hardbacks from the library, and paperbacks from my own collection. Curling up with a good book and a hot cup of coffee – it doesn’t get much better than that.
What is your favorite book and why is it your favorite? How many times would you estimate you’ve read it?
Wow, that’s tough. So many to choose from! I’d have to say that’s a toss up between The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz and Sea Swept, Book 1 in the Chesapeake Bay Saga by Nora Roberts.
I first read The Eyes of Darkness when Dean Koontz published as Leigh Nichols. It has to be at least twenty years since I first read it, and I reread it at least once every year. I love Danny, the action and the relationship between Tina and Elliott. In Sea Swept, it’s hard to beat Cameron Quinn, the brooding alpha male who’s got a soft spot for a boy who’s looking for a home. The chemistry between Cam and Anna never gets old.
Do you read all the reviews of your books?
Absolutely. It means so much to me that a reader has been affected strongly enough to say what he or she feels, whether or not they enjoyed the book.
That’s enough of the serious business. How about a handful of fun questions!
What is your favorite food? Without a doubt, cheese. I love cheddar, and I always keep some on hand. There’s this awesome store near where I live, and they must sell a hundred kinds of cheese, along with smoked meats, jams, pickles, crackers, homemade biscotti, you name it. We’ll go and spend a few hours there every couple of months. We tear into the bags on the way home!
Who is your favorite singer or group? Can’t narrow it down to just one. But I would include Norah Jones, Led Zeppelin and Ray Charles. They all speak to my different moods. I grew up on Hank Williams, Sr. and Jr. I watched Norah Jones on Palladia’s Storyteller’s series awhile back. She was talking about how Hank Williams Sr. was such a genius, and how he had this amazing ability to write songs, which to me, are little stories. She wished she could write like him, but she said, (don’t quote me here but something to the effect) “You can’t. You just can’t.” Sigh. I agree with you, Norah. He was amazing! Can’t say enough about Robert Plant or Ray Charles either. They are the men!
What is your favorite color? In clothing, I gravitate toward black a lot, which bugs my mother to no end. LOL In my house, I tend to gravitate toward reds.
What is your ideal getaway dream vacation? Camping, in a cabin or a tent, being outside, sitting around the fire with friends. Something magical happens there, and I can’t get enough of it.
What final words would you offer to our readers? It’s been a pleasure to be here today. I really appreciate the opportunity to meet new people and to hear from readers. I also invite you to visit me at my blog Mystical Musings, where I post about unusual and/or paranormal topics that strike my fancy.
Thank you for spending time at Room With Books. I appreciate your time and wish you the best with your book. I hope you will come back again!
A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca writes the kind of stories she loves to read—those featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one.
Raised on a down home blend of Johnny Cash, Jack London, Sherlock Holmes, the Steelers, and all things small town, Rebecca feels blessed to have grown up in a close knit, fun loving and artistic family. Her mother, a voracious reader and scratch cook, and her father, an entrepreneur, English teacher and lover of literature, taught Rebecca and her brother to work hard, aim for the stars, and live life.
With music, books and laughter as constant companions, she grew up working, cooking and eating in the family’s restaurant business. A certified book and hoagie junkie, Rebecca thrives on live music, mysteries and the outdoors.
She’s a cheddar enthusiast, lover of cats, teddy bears, hot coffee, cold beer, thunderstorms, the blast of a train’s whistle, the change of seasons, country roads, woodpeckers, spoon rings, cool office supplies, and the Food Network.
Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer.
Rebecca is a member of the Three Rivers Romance Writers, a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and is honored to serve as a judge for several writing contests each year.
For more info, news and updates about upcoming releases, sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter!
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Two (2) winners will receive a $15 Amazon gift card
five (5) winners will receive an e-copy of Rebecca E. Neely’s The Keeper
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