Catherine Spangler grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, home of The Marshall Space Flight center. Her father worked for NASA, on the space program, and she credits that exposure with giving her a fascination for space travel and other worlds. She began writing as a teenager, but then "real life" intervened, and she devoted her time to starting a family and business career. After her children got older, the desire to write returned and new stories took flight.
Now, former Golden Heart finalist, national bestselling and RITA nominated author, Catherine Spangler alters your reality with TOUCHED BY FIRE, the second book in her edgy, sexy Sentinel series. These romantic fantasy thrillers center on the ancient superhuman race of Sentinels, and the human conductors who are psychically linked with them.
Legends of Atlantis . . . sexy alpha heroes . . . strong, resilient heroines . . . combustible sexual attraction . . . magic . . . fantasy . . . myth. What could be better than these elements, all woven into a contemporary paranormal thriller!
Step into the hidden world of the Sentinels, and surround yourself with the ancient magic of Atlantis, and the suspense of hunting ultimate evil—and of course, the empowerment of love.
Catherine, welcome to the Bandit Lair. Pull up a hammock and make yourself comfortable!
Suz (pouring them both a glass of wine): Both my daughters, who adore fantasy romances, and I have loved your stories for years. Where did you get the idea for this new series involving Atlantis?
Catherine (snuggling down into this lovely, swaying hammock): I think it started when I became interested in the psychic Edgar Cayce at the tender age of eleven, and discovered MANY MANSIONS by Gina Cerminara. After that, I devoured books on metaphysical subjects. I was especially fascinated with Cayce’s 700+ readings on Atlantis. I studied those readings, and other books on Atlantis, feeling as if I might have once lived on that mystical continent.
At the same time, I was also a budding author, writing off and on into adulthood. I wasn’t content to write ‘normal’ stories. I was drawn to paranormal romance like a spaceship to a black hole. My first books, the Shielder series, were science fiction romance. Then I switched to romantic urban fantasy and found the perfect match for my fascination with Atlantis and my desire to write paranormal stories.
Suz : So, what exactly is a Sentinel?
Catherine: Sentinels are reincarnated Atlantians returning to Earth after thousands of years. Their sole purpose is to track down Belians—evil Atlantian entities who were responsible for the destruction of Atlantis. Reincarnating into the Earth in large numbers, Belians thrive on blood, death, terror and chaos. They have found violent venues as serial killers, drug lords, gang leaders, brutal dictators, any form of incarnate evil. The Sentinels are sworn to stop them.
Suz: Sounds like the Sentinels have their work cut out for them. Do they get any kind of help?
Catherine: Since both Sentinels and Belians have supernatural powers, and both occupy mortal human bodies, they are evenly matched, which makes it pretty difficult for the Sentinels to defeat the Belians. However, the Sentinels have one edge—a small group of psychic humans known as conductors. These humans can link psychically with Sentinels and enhance the tracking of Belians. The linking process is called a conduction, and involves the rise of energy through the body’s spiritual chakras, creating a powerful sexual surge. Most conductions involve sex.
Suz: I’m liking this connection. Is the heroine in TOUCHED BY FIRE a conductor?
Catherine: (Snickering. Bad, bad Suz!) Yes, Marla Reynolds is a conductor, but she doesn’t know it. When she meets ultra-sexy Luke Paxton at a Houston bar, she’s upended by the powerful sexual attraction between them, not realizing it’s the pull of a matched Sentinel and conductor. Luke knows what it is, though, and realizes Marla might be the only person who can help him track a Belian serial bomber.
Suz: How does Marla feel about this?
Catherine: Marla is not a happy camper. She is resistant to Luke’s charms. She’s been emotionally frozen since a brutal attack on her sister eleven years ago, and knows Luke is way out of her league. She avoids him—actually she stands him up—which drives him to a desperate act to get her cooperation—kidnapping. Even then, Marla proves to be one of his biggest challenges and more than a match for him.
Suz: Can you tell our readers more about Luke?
Catherine (fanning herself): Luke is ultra hot. He wears a lot of leather and rides a Harley. He’s the cool element in the relationship—incredibly sexy, yet deadly serious about his mission to track Belians.
Suz: This is the second in the Sentinel series, can you tell us a little more about the first book, TOUCHED BY DARKNESS?
Catherine: TBD is about dark and dangerous Sentinel Damien Morgan who accidentally discovers a young male Sentinel in the small Texas town of Zorro. The boy is unprotected and has received no training. His mother, Dr. Kara Cantrell, is a conductor who has been on the run from the supernatural battles between Sentinels and Belians ever since her Sentinel lover was murdered. She wants nothing to do with Damien, doesn’t want him near her son, or to help him track the Belian stalking Zorro. Damien has to convince her to let him protect the boy, as well as getting her to conduct for him so he can catch the Belian—without losing his heart in the process.
Suz: Sounds like a great series. What else would you like to share with us?
Catherine: I have a lot of fun stuff going on in conjunction with the release of TOUCHED BY FIRE. I’m giving away a Sentinel pendant (beautiful pink quartz crystal cabochon, hand wire-wrapped in sterling silver) in my contest at Fresh Fiction. I also have a great book video playing on my MySpace page, or you can view different versions of the video on my website and vote for your favorite, which puts you in a special drawing for a Barnes & Noble gift card. While you’re at the website, check out the excerpts and reviews.
Thank you so much for having me on the Romance Bandits. This is an amazing, creative, and fun group. I’d like to leave you with a question, and I’ll be giving a set of the two Sentinel books TOUCHED BY DARKNESS and TOUCHED BY FIRE to one of the responders. The question:
Which authors are your “comfort reads”, those authors whose books you read more than once, even with a towering TBR stack? Some of mine are Linda Howard, J.D. Robb, Charlaine Harris, and JR Ward. Who are yours?
Suz, didn’t you say something about chocolate . . . ? Oh, and do I get to keep the hammock?