I’m excited to host a stop on the virtual tour for Sun and Blood (Sentinel Rising #1) by Crystal Frost. (Yes, Frost—she’s my sis-in-law!) I’m going to be interviewing Crystal, but first, here’s the blurb for Sun and Blood, which is the first book in a brand new YA paranormal romance series!
In a world of wolven, being average can get you killed. Without a wolf spirit of her own, Violet Draven is basically a souped-up human and an easy target. When her twin brother Jax makes enemies with the future alpha from a neighboring clan, she tries to stop him. A concussion sends her to the Sentinel Clan's doctor where the results of her recent tests reveal more than she bargained for. Determined to prove her worth, Violet trains with the best in the clan, but she's still considered a liability. To protect her, Jax orders his best friend to guard Violet, making the fight against her forbidden feelings for her new bodyguard even harder to hide. Meanwhile, retaining control over his wolf is vital if Patrick Cowen is going to keep his past a secret. After losing his family more than three years ago, Patrick found a home in Sentinel Clan and worries about what will happen if anyone gets too close to him. Holding everyone at arms-length is the only way he knows how to protect his new family, but his eighteenth birthday, and first shift, draw near, testing his tenuous control. His combative wolf spirit won't go down without a fight and if Patrick fails, everything he cares for will be lost. Driven by blood lust and the desire for power; rogue, red-eyed wolven begin attacking the clans. Their savagery knows no bounds. They have only one rule. Submit or die.
About The Author:
Crystal Frost is a transplant, and current resident, to the snow-capped mountains of Utah. When she's not working on her writing, she spends most of her time being a mom to three rambunctious children. She can also be found reading, talking to herself, helping others through fitness, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband, attempting to be an artist, staring at the stars, obsessing over books, Harry Potter, and mugs, and attempting to train her crazy, hyper-excited poodle Merlin.
At nine years old, Crystal was diagnosed with both Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (what is now known as Irlen Syndrome) and dyslexia. She was in her adult years before she was able to push past the stigmatisms that follow these learning and neurological disorders. She hopes that her story may inspire others with learning and neurological disorders to chase their dreams. Learn more about Crystal at: www.frostcrystal.com
And now, let's dive into the interview!
Hi Crystal, and welcome! Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always had stories in my head. The earliest memories I have of playing ponies were with these epic tales of adventure that would last through many play sessions. Reading was difficult and oftentimes painful for me. I was diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome and Dyslexia at nine years old and started to learn how to work my neurological and learning disorders. It wasn’t until I had my first set of colored lenses from Irlen Institute that I discovered a love for reading because it didn’t hurt anymore. I had worlds and stories in my head long before that, but it wasn’t until then (and a report on Christopher Paolini) that I realized I wanted to be an author. I wanted to share my stories with the world.
2. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Oh, I’m terrible with this… Let’s see. Loyal. Creative. Stubborn. Haha!
3. If you could only own 5 books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Heather, are you trying to torture me? First with the 3 words, now with an impossible choice? Oh dear. I wish I could say the Harry Potter series, but that’s 7 books right there! So, I’ll go with… -Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (#3)
-Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout (#1)
-Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber (#1)
-The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (#1)
-Fire and Ash by Heather Frost – no crazy cliffhangers that hurt my heart, but a fun story! Lol
4. What’s something on your bucket list?
See my ancestors’ names on the Denmark Wall. Really, just travel outside the country in general, (Especially to Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Greece) but I would love to see their names there.
5. What is your writing schedule like, and do you have any “writing rituals”?
With three kids, my writing schedule is whenever I feel like I can get a few words in or stay up crazy late into the night and be exhausted the next day. I’m working on pinning down a better schedule, but every day is different.
6. I know you’re a Harry Potter fan. Can you tell us what Hogwarts house you’re in? And what house do you think your main characters, Violet and Patrick, would be in?
I am happy to talk Harry Potter anytime! As you know. I am in Gryffindor! As far as my characters… Patrick would be in Hufflepuff. His loyalty astounds me sometimes and he is an exceptionally hard worker. Violet… I would say is also Gryffindor. She’s brave in the face of danger, even knowing she isn’t as strong as other wolven – which, admittedly can get her in trouble. No matter the situation, she’s always eager to help someone and loves fiercely.
7. Why don’t you tell us a little about Sun and Blood, and maybe how you came up with the idea?
Sun & Blood follows Violet and Patrick as they navigate through clan life and its struggles. Add in some drama and violence from a neighboring bully and some rogue, bloodthirsty wolven and you’ve got yourself a story. Violet learns early on that she doesn’t have a wolf spirit of her own, leaving her weaker than the rest of the wolven community, but with better senses than a human. She struggles with the realization of what that diagnosis means for her future. Patrick is from another clan and holds all those close to him in his heart, but at arm’s length. He’s really afraid of his past being exposed and desperate to keep everyone around him safe. When those rogue wolven I mentioned earlier start causing havoc for the clan it makes everything a lot harder and puts everyone in danger.
So… Sun & Blood was born out of frustration, to be honest. I love paranormal, particularly werewolves, but kept being disappointed by the books I was reading. I was so fed up with the many stereotypes that have taken over the werewolf world. I wanted to read something that was clean and fun, but still werewolves. Yes, their mating bond does enhance some things, but not to the point where it seems like they lose their mind and all they care about is their mate and jumping each other’s bones every second they get. Yes, there are some alpha male characters (or times when they act that way), but they are not all that way and they get called out on it. Lexie (a character early readers adore) has no problem giving Jax (Violet’s twin brother) flack for acting that way!
8. What was the hardest thing about writing Sun and Blood? What was the easiest thing?
The hardest thing has been getting Patrick’s character just right. I know who he is on the inside, but there are things happening that make it difficult for him to be himself. You get little glimpses here or there throughout the first book and hopefully, he’ll let us see a little more of himself as the story continues.
The easiest thing to write was the main storyline. I wrote well into book 2 after a back injury that kept me on the couch for 3 weeks. I then had to go back through and fill in the barebones, develop characters and places. Another easy part was any interaction between Lexie and Jax. They are hilarious and ridiculous!
9. Do you have a favorite chapter or scene in the book?
I have a few favorites! The one I can talk about without giving too much away is the Moaning Cavern chapter. Moaning Cavern is a real place in California and everything about the place and tour itself was based on real-life experience. An old friend of mine told me about her time there and let me use it in the book. I can’t wait to visit the Moaning Cavern myself someday. She made me cry by telling me that she felt like she was back in the cavern while reading the chapter. There may also be a sweet moment between Violet and Patrick.
10. How many books will be in the series?
Sun & Blood is a trilogy, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have ideas and plots already written out for three other stories about other characters in other clans. You’ll get to see Violet and Patrick briefly in each to see how their lives progress after the events of Sentinel Rising. Two of those will be New Adult based mostly on character age, situation, and one because of darker themes.
11. Sun and Blood has a lot of action sequences! Did you do any special research for those scenes?
Yes and no. I grew up watching my dad practice Shoto-kan. A lot of what I write is from watching him and first-hand experience in training with him. I really enjoy writing action sequences! Every once in a while, I will have to look up the name of a move or watch a quick video to be able to better describe how someone would move through an attack. Don’t tell anyone, but there are times that I work through a sequence in my home (when no one is around), imagining the enemy’s placement and how I would react to it.
12. Which character in the book do you relate to the most?
Probably Violet, but mostly when she is interacting with other characters. Her relationship and hot chocolate ritual with her mom remind me of my mom and I. Her conversations and interactions with Lexie remind me of my friend who offered her Moaning Cavern expertise and our friendship. There are moments with Violet and Jax that remind me of my mom and her twin.
13. Which character was the easiest to write? Which was the hardest?
The easiest character to write was Lexie. She knows who she is and is lets the world know!
The hardest was Patrick, but I talked about that earlier.
14. Describe Violet in 3 words.
Fierce. Loving. Independent.
15. Describe Patrick in 3 words.
Loyal. Hard-working. Protective.
16. I love a good side character, and you’ve got some great ones! Who is your favorite?
Lexie! I’m pretty sure she is everyone’s favorite side character as well. She has some major spunk and loves to vex Jax which makes for some very funny scenes.
17. Do you have a song or playlist for Sun and Blood?
Not really? I listened to the Narnia soundtracks a lot until I found Ambient Worlds on YouTube and then listened to the Lord of the Ring’s ambiance and music. I always listen to something a bit more upbeat when I’m writing my fight sequences though.
18. Do you have a favorite line from the book? What is it, and why is it your favorite?
There are so many lines to choose from and I’ve shared quite a few of them on Instagram. One of my favorites is, “Her emotions were everywhere. Cookies were needed.” Emotional eating is a very human thing to do, something I believe everyone has done at least once in their lives. Violet and her cookies are also the only thing every single one of my early readers commented on. One of them said I even made her go and buy some!
Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, Crystal!
Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops here:
Sun and Blood releases on March 26, 2022!
Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60490799-sun-blood
***Also available on Kindle Unlimited!***
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