Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review, Interview and Giveaway: Master of Whitehall!

Blurb of Master of Whitehall:
After the brutal murder of her parents in a robbery, Katelyn Corbin, a thoroughly modern 21 year old college senior, finds herself attempting to re-start her life in Charleston, SC, where she finds love, healing and a brand new life in a most unexpected avenue.
This story follows Katelyn from her hometown just outside Atlanta to her new school in Charleston. There she meets James and is deeply intrigued by him from their first meeting; feeling as if he has touched her very soul. The more she considers him, the more intense her interest becomes. He is a wealthy patron of the arts, especially at her school. He is tall and handsome with a strong persona; a young widower, living alone in a huge, but beautifully restored old plantation house called 'Whitehall'. Their friendship soon becomes serious, becoming a full on relationship as Katelyn falls madly in love with him. James soon makes his love for her just as obvious. Their lives begin to blend, twisting and turning, as they continue to grow closer.
After several strange incidents, Katelyn begins to develop a series of unsettling questions about her new love. However, she knows that after facing the catastrophe of her parent’s deaths, she can face anything life throws at her. She begins looking at the questions, searching her own soul. Finally deciding that she must know the answers, she confronts him. She soon discovers James' true nature; confirming her fears that he was indeed not the man she thought, but the man she feared him to be. The confirmation of her suspicions are shocking to her, turning her world view on its side. She is forced to acknowledge things about herself and her world that she never thought possible. With her new found knowledge, Katelyn realizes she must make a choice to live with or without James. She quickly decides to adapt her life and adjust her beliefs in order to continue to be with James.
Their love for each other develops and continues to grow as he assists her to close the gaping wounds left by the tragedy of her parent’s murders. Katelyn continues to uncover other secrets, discovering another existence, as she begins her new life with James. The story reaches a highly emotional and completely unexpected ending that fully illustrates Katelyn's personality of love and care for those around her.
The Master of Whitehall, a paranormal romance novel is complete at 104,000 words. The story unfolds over the course of nearly a year, and features flashbacks that more fully develop each of the characters, offering insights into their personal histories. The story is narrated in first person perspective by Katelyn as she offers a window into the world of possibilities of love between mortal and immortal.
The Master of Whitehall will be very appealing to readers of Rachel Caine's 'Morganville Vampires', Charlaine Harris’ ‘True Blood’ series, and Anne Rice's 'Vampire Chronicles'.

Review of Master of Whitehall:
I just finished The Master of Whitehall and was really surprised at how good this adaptation of the vampire story was.  Katelyn is a lovely young woman who becomes a strong vampire with the loving assistance of James Dubois, the Master of Whitehall.  The story drew me in, slowly at first, but then I found myself racing from page to page to learn more.
Mr. Veal has done a wonderful job in capturing the sensuality that makes most of us intrigued by vampire lore.  There is a certain beauty in the creatures he portrays as well as in how he weaves history and humanity in to the tale as well.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.  I will confess that in my haste to learn more, I may have missed something, and now that I have finished the story, I intend to go back through it yet again, as I feel there is some small detail that may have escaped my attention. 
I am honored to have had the privilege to read such a unique novel.  I can only hope to be able to read more from this amazingly talented author soon.  I hope that you consider purchasing your copy of The Master of Whitehall.  If you enjoy reading about vampires and are willing to let go of some of the common myths that surround these creatures, then I assure you, you are in for a literary treat.  So, on that note, I wish you very happy reading indeed!    

About the Author: Rick H. Veal
I was born in and have spent the majority of my life in the Upstate of South Carolina. I joined the Navy immediately out of high school where I had the pleasure of visiting some eighteen different countries during a six year span. After returning home I attended The University of South Carolina graduating with a double Associates Degree with Honors. I completed my education at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina where I earned a Bachelor's Degree in History. I have worked in the education field as a teacher and in various management positions in industry. I currently live alone with my one daughter, a three year old Tuxedo cat, who graciously allows me to think I actually own the house.
My favorite authors are Anne Rice, Rachal Caine, L.J. Smith, Charlene Harris and Clive Cussler. I enjoy reading and writing paranormal romance. I have heard that if you want to write, you should write the book you want to read, then others will want to read it too. That is exactly what I have tried to do with The Master of Whitehall, my debut novel.

Interview with Rick H. Veal:
What inspired you to write your first book?
I love vampire stories and Charleston, SC, so the two just seemed to fit together. I began thinking about how the two could play into each other, came up with an initial idea and just built on it from there. I have been a reader all my life. I enjoy storytelling which to me is what a book is all about, so I “spun my own story” as the old saying goes.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I enjoy writing from the first person perspective. For me it just opens up a lot more dialogue for the characters and allows the reader to get to know them better also.

How did you come up with the title?
Whitehall is a well-known name in the Low Country so made for a good setting. The character James, who lives at Whitehall was born in the 18th century and the common name for the head of the house a that time was Master, hence “The Master of Whitehall”.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If anything specific it would be that love is eternal and regardless of what may have happened to you in the past, you can have a happy life.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, it’s purely fiction.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have two favorites, Anne Rice and Clive Cussler. I think that if you have read either of those you will see their influence in my writing. I love Cussler’s storytelling ability and Rice’s attention to detail.

What book are you reading now?
“Dark Nebula” by W.J. May. It is book 2 in The Chronicles of Kerrigan.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, W.J. May – she writes YA and I really like her story of Rae Kerrigan.

What are your current projects?
I am currently working on book two, the working title is “Lexi’s Legacy”. It picks up about a year after the end of the first book and continues with Lexi telling her story and adventures of a young girl that is also a new-born immortal.
I have an idea on the back burner to do a “Special Limited, Signed, Numbered and Illustrated Edition” of “The Master of Whitehall”. But at present I am just playing around with sizing and binding ideas.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Wow … that’s a hard one! I’m sure that there is always room for change but I haven’t thought a lot about it lately. Most of my time is spent thinking about and working on book two. But if I did make any major changes, such as added chapters of deleted material, they would be reserved for any special edition I eventually do.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always enjoyed telling a story but struggled with putting it on paper. That changed when I went back to school in the early 90’s. My college English professor taught me how to write and how to enjoy it. I have been writing various things ever since.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Lexi is kind of special to me … she became Katelyn’s best friend in book one and a sounding board for dialogue. She is an academic, had a good family and a great plan for her life. After becoming so involved with Katelyn and James, it was just inevitable to not give her a place to tell her story.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometimes I find myself asking ‘is that possible, does it make sense, will it be believable?’ and then working around any of those obstacles.
The second thing is that vampires are and always have been sensual, and probably more so now with the development of the genre in recent years. So looking at it from that angle, having a sensual character to start with combined with a romance, I think trying to not make the story overly erotic, can be difficult sometimes. There are steamy scenes in the story but fitting them in, making them flow with the story and not just tossing them in as “sex for sex sake” can be thought provoking. I want to always keep it fresh and not “cut and paste” old ideas from one section to another.

Who designed the covers?
My original cover was designed by Rae Monet. Since that time I have met and am working with another great artist Debbie Taylor at DCA Graphics. Debbie did all of “The Character Series” prints, is working up a cover for the special edition project, and will do the cover for Lexi’s story.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Knowing when to say, “That’s enough, it’s finished, edited and as complete as possible. Send it to the printer!”

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It’s a hard job, but a very rewarding job. When I meet someone at an event and they say to me, “Hey, I bought your book and I loved it!” then all the long hours are worth it. It feels good to know that my story is entertaining to others.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
I will repeat Anne Rice’s advice to writers:
“If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less. Ignore critics. Critics are a dime a dozen. Anybody can be a critic. Writers are priceless.”
I would also add to not be a hurry to get your book out there – there will be plenty of time to see your name on the cover of a book (probably one of the best feelings in the world) but take your time and make sure that your book is right … because once it’s out there, it’s out there forever, complete with all the bumps and boo-boo’s.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope that each of you takes the time to get to know Katelyn, James, Lexi, Charlotte Ann and Dale. They each have their own personality and something to offer. Please suspend your everyday life and step into a world of fantasy where vampires live and love – one that is not as dark as most – a place where life is perfect and everyone is happy. Let your imagination take you on a journey, one where there can be a happy ending for all.


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