Today I welcome shiny new young adult novelist Shawna Romkey to celebrate her first release, Speak of the Devil, and learn some little known facts about the topic she knows best – angels and demons.
Plus, Shawna has hidden some Easter eggs in her blog tour. If you find them and decipher the pass code, you can win a signed copy of Speak of the Devil, a swag pack and a $25 Amazon gift card!
To enter, read through this post today. In it, you’ll find an Easter egg (a letter that stands out.) Find her other blog entries for the tour. (HINT: the list is posted on her website at www.shawnaromkey.com.) You will find Easter eggs in the starred blog posts, too. Once you’ve found the eggs in each post, put them together to find the secret code and tweet the code including @sromkey #speakofthedevil (ANOTHER HINT: the letters are in order.) (AND ANOTHER HINT! The secret code will look like this: xxx xxx x xxxx xx xx xxxxx) One winner will be chosen from the entries on Easter, March 31!
Welcome Shawna! Let’s start with some fun stuff. Here’s some questions I asked Shawna that have plagued me for eons about angels and demons.
KR: What color is the sky in heaven?
SR: Light blue.
KR: Do angels have blood?
KR: Interesting. Ok, what would an angel say instead of “Oh God”?
SR: Oh Hell!
KR: Ha ha! Is there a salve demons use for dry skin?
SR: Blood of the innocents.
KR: Does the Philly Cream Cheese angel really exist?
SR: Only at romance conventions.
KR: I better get me to a romance convention. Have you met David Boreanaz? The ultimate angel IMO. 🙂
SR: I wish. I met Nicholas Brendan though and am going to meet J. August Richards at this year’s Hal Con.
KR: Can you get me David’s number?
SR: Not without violating the conditions of my restraining order.
KR: Fair enough. Do you know any angel jokes? Probably not. They’re no joking matter. How about a demon joke?
SR: Not any appropriate for your blog.
KR: Where do demons go for warm vacations?
SR: Deeper into Hell.
KR: Are you sure you can’t get me David Boreanaz’s number?
SR: I’ll ask J. for it.
Haha. Thanks Shawna!
Without further ado, here’s an excerpt of and my review for Speak of the Devil.
Speak of the Devil, Shawna RomkeyRain fell, not uncommon for late spring in Missouri. “If you don’t like the weather here,” my grandfather would say, “wait five minutes.” Of course, I’d visited distant relatives in Maine once before, and they said the same thing.
Julie fumbled with the wipers while I pulled the sun visor down to check my face in its little rectangular mirror, even though I’d only left my vanity like five minutes ago. The lights on either side lit up the interior of the car. I reached into my tiny party purse to find my lip gloss, which was easy to locate since I’d only packed the essentials in my bag: phone, some cash, and make-up. As I glanced at myself, I saw Mike in the reflection, smiling at me from the back seat. I stuck my tongue out at him, making him laugh, and put on the lip-gloss, fully aware of how flirty I acted.
The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the sudden downpour. The pitter-patter turned to thumping. Hail came down in gumball-sized pellets. “Damn.” Julie jerked the steering wheel to keep The Whale off the curb.
“Slow down, Jules.” Mike gripped Julie’s headrest. “We can pull over until it passes.”
“Yeah.” She squinted to see the road before her.
I pressed my lips together to smooth out the gloss. “Damn is right. I didn’t bring a jacket.”
The Whale swerved to the right crunching along the gravel on the side of the road. I braced myself in my seat. Julie leaned up to the steering wheel and peered over it as my grandmother sometimes did when she drove. I squinted because of the stupid light up visor mirror. I slammed it shut, but Julie panicked and over corrected, pulling The Whale to the left and careening over the yellow dotted line in the middle of the street.
“Julie!” Mike shouted.
Time slowed and ticked out in heartbeats.
Julie cringed, her hands moving up to shield her face. Her head turned away from the highway.
Mike reached protectively from the back seat.
The headlights illuminated the rail of the overpass.
The car hit the rail on the opposite side of the road with a hard thud.
Crap. We’re going over the bridge.
The Whale’s nose pointed down toward the water.
A jolt forward and my forehead slammed into the dashboard.
The Whale flipped in the air. I’m upside down.
Did my mom say good-bye when I left?
Cold water rushed into the car.
Is this it?
I can’t breathe. Oh my God, I can’t breathe. I can’t see or breathe!
My heart quickened. It pounded. The Whale leaned on its side under the surface of the water which rushed in fast, and I couldn’t see a damn thing.
Calm, stay calm. Don’t panic. They say when you’re drowning not to panic because you use up your air faster.
Dammit, am I drowning?
I tried to get myself upright and jerked out of my seatbelt. Luckily, it gave way. I fought the latch to open the door facing up, but the pressure of the water from Black Water River held it closed, trapping me inside.
Jesus. I know this river. It’s more of a creek. It can’t be more than fifteen feet across and ten feet deep.
I pushed at the door. Opening my mouth to scream, I swallowed water.
I couldn’t see or hear Julie or Mike. My watch ticked. Or was it my heart beating?
Ba bum. Ba bum. Ba bum.
The dreams came. Like a good sleep you don’t want to wake up from. I felt heavy and floaty. I wore this long white gauzy gown and the wind blew my dress and my hair like in some feminine hygiene commercial. I could breathe slowly and deeply. Completely relaxed and at peace, but I was alone.
I floated along in a white space for a while. Drifting. Breathing. Relaxing. Had I gone to a spa? After an immeasurable amount of time, others appeared. They wore white clothing, too, and they floated like me, reaching out. They opened their arms as if to welcome me to them.
I stopped and frowned. I heard no sound, and I didn’t know who these white floaty people were or why they welcomed me. They smiled, genuinely happy, and held their arms out to me. I panicked.
Where’s my mom? My family? Wait, Mike and Julie were just with me, where are they? Are those wings?
I noticed the others floating with me had white feathery wings.
“Lily,” one of them called out.
Holy hell. I’m dead.
Speak of the Devil, Kate Robbins’ Review
“There was gas in the tank, a cell phone charger in the car, an angel sitting next to me, what did I have to lose?”
Sole survivor of a tragic car accident, teenage Lily struggles to carry on with her life after losing her two best friends. Lily’s attempt to escape the torment of surVivor’s guilt fails and her despair follows her to a new town and a new school. I felt her agony every step of the way.
Romkey does an incredible job of drawing the reader into every ounce of anguish Lily feels all the while holding onto the slightest hope things will get better. Survival instinct battles survivor’s guilt and I think that’s what sets this book apart. The theme is mature and raw and real. Lily needs saving.
Enter a hellishly irresistible angel. But she doesn’t know it yet. If ever the was an angel a girl could fall for, Luc is it. The pull Lily feels toward him escalates as the plot takes a gripping turn. Angels, fallen angels and an absent God, this book kept me spellbound right from page one.
Speak of the Devil is the first in Romkey’s epic series and I cannot wait for more from this debut author.Shawna Romkey
Shawna grew up in around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, two rescue dogs and one overgrown puppy from hell. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.
She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook. She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.
She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same. She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.