Tuesday, July 17, 2012

INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Lily Crussell


Lily Crussell is a YA fantasy romance writer and an all around sweet, supportive, fun person. She gets involved with other writers and bloggers and even started up a SWAG exchange program on Facebook. Her debut novel, Of Darkness and Light, is up on Amazon and it's a neat take on angels with fun characters and a sweet love story. Meet Lily and some of the main characters from her book:


After speaking on the phone to Elora, we decided somewhere public might be for the best. Her angels were happy to talk to me solely on the understanding that we were discussing the book as though it were a work of fiction. I will admit to being disappointed. Who doesn’t want to see wings? But I put my curiosity aside as I was still in disbelief that they were willing to talk so openly about it.

The coffee shop was the one described in the novel, and it was weird sitting somewhere that I had read about. Elora and the boys weren’t here yet, so I ordered and found a table upstairs with enough seats, arranging my Dictaphone, notebook and pens. I ensured there was no one sitting nearby to hear us talking, but doubted anyone would believe it if they did. My heart was thudding in my chest with excitement at actually getting to meet angels! Yes, it would be interesting to get Elora’s perspective, but angels! I sipped my drink to calm myself as I waited.

A slim blonde came up the stairs, looking around for someone. When she met my gaze, she smiled warmly and rushed over.

“Buffy! I’m so sorry we’re late! It’s wonderful to meet you!” she said, clasping my hand between hers and shaking it firmly. “The boys and Lily are downstairs ordering enough espressos to keep Barachiel polite. I apologize in advance; he’s not great with people.” She sank into a chair opposite and smiled brightly.

Elora is a normal looking girl; 5ft 5ish, a little too slim with blue eyes that are quick to smile. She looked as though she hasn’t been sleeping as her eyes are ringed with shadows beneath them. She has a very open, friendly disposition though is looking slightly shy and self-conscious, her eyes constantly searching the door. I assume this is for Raziel, she must still be nervous about being separated from him.

A slightly older female appears in the doorway, chatting easily to whoever is behind her. She laughs happily, before searching the room for Elora. When she spots her, she waves and turns to speak to the ‘boys’ Lily could be Elora’s older sister! They share a similar build, blue eyes and hair that isn’t a bottle blonde. Lily wears a 30 Seconds to Mars band t shirt and dark blue jeans, whereas Elora is more smartly dressed in a white blouse and black trousers.

It’s hard to focus on the girls when two ridiculously beautiful creatures appear in the doorway. The first I assume to be Raziel, carrying a tray and talking to Barachiel. He is something else; tall, toned and perfectly formed. Now that I know they are not mortal, it would be hard to ever convince myself otherwise, they are just a little too perfect. Raziel’s hair is dark and long enough to sweep across his forehead and his eyes are intelligent and grey. He looks to see where we are sitting, meeting mine and Lily’s eyes briefly before finding Elora’s. They gaze at each other with so much love, I feel a little jealous.

Barachiel brings up the rear, walking tall and proud. He is built a lot like Raziel, but his dress couldn’t be more different. He wears an immaculate pinstripe suit with a deep blue shirt underneath, whereas Raziel has settled for jeans and a grey tee that matches his eyes. His eyes are an impossible green, a bright jade that look like they must be contacts. Elora warned me on the phone how easy it is to just stare at the angels for hours on end, and I will admit to being tempted. His hair is spun gold and catches the light, shining brightly. Barachiel watches Raziel and Elora gazing lovingly at each other and rolls his eyes. He elbows Raziel to keep moving, as he had stopped in the middle of the room, smiling dreamily.

They finally get to the table and set the tray down, greeting me politely. Barachiel is a little too formal, but Raziel is cheerful and friendly. He takes the seat beside Elora and lifts her hand to his mouth. She smiles at him as they interlink fingers. Barachiel takes the seat beside Lily, lifting her hand to his mouth and kissing it. She flutters her eyes lashes at him as they tease Elora and Raziel. Unfortunately Raziel and Elora are oblivious, gazing into each other’s eyes. Barachiel clears his throat and they snap back to the present.

“Are you ok if I interview Lily first?” I ask.

Barachiel is already reaching for one of three espressos, his back held away from the chair uncomfortably. Raziel is sitting in a similar way, but there is nothing that can be done about it unfortunately. Lily sips her tea and nods, looking at Barachiel as he downs the espresso and reaches for another.

“What made you want to be a writer?”

“It was never actually a conscious decision; it was just something I did. I’d always loved creative writing in English at school and tended to get quite good marks for it, unlike in Literature which I didn’t have much interest in. I only really began to take it seriously about four years ago when I had a scene in my head that wouldn’t stop going around and around. I was at work, and had to lock myself in a toilet cubicle and scribble madly until it was all out.” She smiles in a self-depreciating way. Barachiel nearly chokes on his espresso.

“Delightful” he says with a raised eyebrow.

Lily elbows him gently in the ribs.

“What inspired the Shadow of the Nephilim series?”

“I honestly don’t remember. I had been watching ‘The Prophecy’ with the AMAZING Christopher Walken playing Gabriel, and Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer, and I couldn’t get the idea of angels out of my head for weeks. I had been working on a zombie novel at the time (the one that I had to lock myself in a toilet to write) but was assaulted by images of wings and angels. I’ve always loved them and used to collect things with angel wings on. It was a natural progression. I wrote the scene in the cemetery where Elora meets Raziel first.”

“Don’t get me started on that film.” Barachiel mutters, finishing his espresso and reaching for the third. “It’s better than Dogma, I suppose.”

Lily smiles indulgently at Barachiel, rubbing his arm in a comforting manner.

“Did you do a lot of research on angels to get all the references and characters just right?”

“Yes and no. Raziel is a character in a game I played when I was younger (Legacy of Kain) and I’d loved the name Raziel for as long as I can remember. He was the obvious choice. I have a dictionary of angels at home which helped, but I obviously used artistic license in some areas. Lucifer is the easiest to write though, he just talks to me.”

Barachiel bristled at the mention of the name and sighed deeply.

“I do wish you wouldn’t mention his name!” He mumbled. “He might turn up!”

Lily grins wickedly.

“What can we look forward to in the next book -- or future books if you plan to continue the series further?”

“There are three at the moment, with a spin off as well. The second book will carry on from the first and the first chapter is actually up on my website (lilycrussell.wordpress.com) it’s a nightmare to write at the moment as I’m so easily distracted. It’s mostly written, it just needs a little tweaking and a lot of editing. There will be a new angel to meet and plenty more of the ones we know and love.”

“I love being referred to as fiction.” Barachiel said in a snippy tone.

“It’s the only way we can ensure that people don’t start hunting you down and sticking you in a lab.” Lily says placatingly.

“They could try.” Barachiel says, his expression lifting a little.

Lily takes Barachiel’s hand and begins trying to placate him. I see that I probably won’t get much more of use with Barachiel feeling a little over sensitive.

“You seem to forget I can read your mind!” he says, but he is grinning at me.

He and Lily excuse themselves to get more caffeine for him, the three empty espresso cups stacked neatly on the table.

“This is nothing.” Lily says as she sees me looking at the stack.

I turn to Elora and Raziel who are so caught up in each other that I feel a little guilty interrupting. Raziel must have read my thoughts as he turns to look at me, nudging Elora gently.

“Sorry.” She says blushing.

“Are you any more believing of Raziel’s feelings for you yet?” I grin as I ask.

“How could I not be? He’s been through hell for me. It’s a frightening thing though and I regularly feel that maybe he got the wrong girl. I’m just a dumb bunny mortal, and not particularly smart or exciting.”

Raziel tells her off for thinking like that.

“How has your life changed now that he’s around all the time?”

“I used to be so lonely. My parents are less than useless, and Thomas’ mum hates me, so it makes life difficult. I’ve never been popular so it’s wonderful to have my soul mate and best friend in one person. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it though.” She smiles.

Raziel kisses her sweetly on the nose.

“Does Barachiel or…anyone else…visit often?” I ask trying not to say Lucifer’s name.

Elora snorts with laughter.

“Lucy is a regular at the house. Barachiel is not a happy bunny about it, but we manage to avoid conflict as B will leave when Lucy arrives. I know for a fact that Lucy delights in antagonizing him, but we do what we can.” She laughs.

Raziel stiffens next to her.

“What is it?” She asks, squeezing his hand.

“We have a visitor.” He says, trying not to laugh.

Elora rolls her eyes and giggles.

“How’s Thomas adjusting? Have you been able to get in touch with his sister yet?”

“No.” Elora says sadly. “But you know what first love is like. She’s completely caught up with her new boyfriend. I’m worried about her, but Thomas doesn’t seem to be, so there’s not much I can do about it. Thomas is his usual neurotic, boingy haired self. He’s coped with everything a lot better than I would of thought and I’m immensely proud of him.”

I turn to Raziel, flipping through my note book to find my questions. He waits politely for me to ask them, though I know he knows them before they leave my mouth.

“How do the other angels treat you regarding your relationship with Elora? Indifferent at worst I hope…”

“I don’t tend to see anyone other than Barachiel and Lucifer. Lucifer obviously is thrilled and I think he is convinced he can convert me to his way of thinking. Barachiel is…Barachiel. We’ve known each other for so very long that he tends to simply accept what has happened. He loves Elora so he cannot judge too harshly.”

“Do you plan on sticking around with Elora permanently or do you have to pop back up to Heaven periodically?”

“I wouldn’t be welcome unfortunately. Too much fraternizing with the ‘enemy’” He raised an eyebrow and smiled at Elora. “Elora is my light and my reason. I have no reason to leave.”

She rolls her eyes and smiles at me as if to say ‘You get used to being referred to like that!’

“How do you feel about the friendship between Barachiel and Elora?”

“That is something of…” He thinks carefully. “I know Barachiel has no ‘untoward’ feelings for Elora, but it’s easy to be jealous when your loved one is so close to another. I do like that they get on as it means we can all spend time together. It is a case of love Elora, get used to having Barachiel around a lot more.” He smiles.

Elora sips her tea and looks to the doorway where I can hear several people coming. One voice in particular is loud and jubilant. Will I actually get to meet Lucifer? Do I really want to? I distract myself by asking my last question of Raziel. My palms are beginning to sweat, so I wipe them on my trousers.

“Do you worry about Lucifer’s involvement with what happened? Or his potential plans for Elora?”

“No one has ever been able to tell Lucifer what to do. He is like a force of nature, you simply accept that it will happen and deal with the consequences. I do struggle to explain to Elora how utterly dangerous he can be, but she is convinced he wouldn’t hurt her. I can’t be so sure. I do know that Lucifer would never do anything with me and Barachiel around though.”

“Even more reason to never leave!” Elora says happily.

We turn to the doorway and see Barachiel leading the way, his expression dark and furious, he is carrying a tray laden down with espressos. Lily enters next, her arm linked through that of another criminally attractive man. He has Barachiel’s eyes, but his hair is copper. He winks at me as he meets my eye, following Barachiel and laughing at something Lily has said to him.

“May I present to you the Dark Lord, the Prince of Evil, the ruler of hell…” Lily begins before dissolving into laughter.

Lucifer grins at her and drags over a chair from another table. He wraps his arms around Elora and kisses her cheek a little more intimately than is polite, before sitting next to Lily. Lucifer purposely leans across Barachiel to talk to her, and I can tell that it is taking everything Barachiel has not to lose it and lay waste to the place.

Lily plays the mediator between them and squeezes Barachiel’s hand gently, rubbing his arm and whispering in a calming voice to him.

I watch Lucifer chatting with Elora, and I am overcome with this hazy, warm feeling. I feel a big grin forming on my face and shake my head to clear it.

“Lucy, that’s not fair.” Elora says, looking at me.

“Very well.” He says, and the fog lifts slightly. He lifts my hand to his mouth and kisses it chastely, sitting back down and linking his fingers with Lily’s. She indulges him with an eye roll. I notice that Lucifer leans right back against the chair and am confused.

“He cut his wings off.” Barachiel says in a cold voice in answer to my thoughts.

I flip to my questions for Barachiel in hopes of distracting him.

“Are you happy for the nauseatingly lovesick couple?” I chuckle a bit as I nod in Elora and Raziel’s direction.

Raziel and Elora blush, Lily laughs and Barachiel rolls his eyes.

“She is saving herself for me.” Lucifer says with a wink.

Elora shakes her head laughing.

“It can grow tiresome.” Barachiel says, looking over at them. “But I am coming around to his enamored warmth of mortals. They are not quite as repulsive as I previously thought.”

Lily jabs Barachiel in the ribs and laughs. “No more espressos for you if you’re going to be like that!” she says.

“How did you handle Raziel’s waiting for Elora? Was he obnoxious?”

“He was incredibly, incredibly boring. There is only so long anyone can tolerate that kind of love sick devotion. He is my brother, and I have endured far worse,” He looks at Lucifer in irritation, “but it did indeed grow stale quickly. He was not obnoxious; I don’t believe that is something Raziel is capable of.”

“Sickeningly sweet.” Lucifer concurs.

Barachiel narrows his eyes at him, and lifts another espresso to his lips.

“Have you ever felt something like love for a mortal?”

I sit back sharply as coffee shoots out of Barachiel’s mouth as he chokes at my question. He is clearly so distracted by Lucifer that he is neglecting to read my mind.

Lily grabs napkins and wipes the table laughing. Elora hands more to Barachiel who is wiping his mouth.

“Next question.” He says briskly.

“How could you not love them?” Lucifer purrs, gazing into Lily’s eyes deeply.

He edges closer, closer, closer and just as he is about to kiss her, she turns her head and laughs.

“Alas, this one is immune to me.” He nuzzled her cheek with his nose and whispered in her ear.

She slapping him jokingly and shook her head.

“What’s being done in preparation for the undoubtedly imminent war with the Nephilim?”

The question brings everyone up short. Raziel and Elora look at the floor, Barachiel downs another espresso and Lucifer is too busy gazing longingly into Lily’s eyes. She is ignoring him, clearly used to this. She takes the question as everyone else is avoiding my eyes.

“We don’t know exactly what is happening. We are worried about the cult that is all over the news, but there is so little information at present that we’re just taking it day by day. The problem is that even if Barachiel did know something, he wouldn’t tell us.”

Barachiel nodded once sharply and softened it into a smile.

“No one hurts my Elora without consequences.” Lucifer says in a chilling voice, the first time I have sensed anything threatening or dangerous from him.

I think it might be time to wrap this up before an all-out war is declared, or Lucifer decided to duel Raziel for Elora’s hand.

“It’s been amazing talking with you guys, and thank you so much for meeting with me and, of course, not just wiping my mind!” I say grinning. “Thank you Lily for introducing me to them and their world.” I say sincerely. I give them all a heartfelt smile and say, “I’m really happy that you are all ok and I hope you can handle anything that lies ahead for you!”

I move to stand, gathering my things. Elora opens her arms to me and embraces me warmly.

“You know where I am if you have any more questions.” She says brightly, holding me close.

I nod as she releases me. I find myself stood face to face with Raziel. He extends a hand and shakes mine, squeezing it with affection.

“If a certain someone turns up on your doorstep, call us.” He said, inclining his head toward the copper haired creature that is staring at me I such a way, I feel naked.

“You’re no fun Raziel.” He purrs, pushing him aside and taking me in his arms.

He spins me in a circle before setting me down. He takes my chin in his hand, tilts it back and kisses me fully on the lips. I blink, unsure as to what to do, but feel it might be best to allow it to happen, after all, I doubt I could fight him off. And it feels so good. I can feel that fuzzy, light feeling again and I realize I don’t want it to end. Everything is so great right now! He releases me far more quickly than I would like, and I stand there blushing.

Barachiel shakes his head in disgust, taking my hand and squeezing it gently.

“If you need me to remove an…irritation, just think my name and I will come.” Barachiel says, his eyes darkening in genuine concern.

The light feeling begins to evaporate and I feel tendrils of fear clasping at my heart.

Lily is next, taking me in her arms.

“You’ll be fine my lovely, he gets bored very easily. Besides, he only goes for girls he has a hope of corrupting. You’re too good.” She says, kissing my cheek.

It’s hard to feel worried when Lily is so unconcerned.

I leave them to finish their drinks, feeling a little disorientated from the interview. ‘Darkness and Light’ seems to be an appropriate title when dealing with so many contrasting views on the world. But who is on what side? Raziel is obviously the light, but Lucifer? He clearly is on the fence. I just hope he won’t be offering a follow up interview any time soon!



Lily Crussell is an author of young adult paranormal romance and fantasy novels. Hailing from Buckinghamshire in England, she lives in a quiet town where nothing ever happens. When she isn’t writing, she works full time in retail, something she is desperate to give up.Writing since her early teens, Lily doesn’t see writing as a career choice, more an obsession that won’t let her rest until her muses are sated. She has been known to lock herself in toilet cubicles at work, scribbling madly on scraps of paper to ensure ideas aren’t lost whilst serving customers. Lily previously considered careers in Anthropology and Teaching, but found neither suited her, especially as they would mean less time to devote to write.

Not only a novelist, Lily spends her time writing Haiku and Sonnets, none of which she’s had the bravery to submit anywhere as of yet. When not writing, Lily usually has her nose in a book on subjects ranging from Geiko to Veganism, a subject she is devoted to entirely. She has a terrible sense of humour and enjoys tacky comedies, bad horrors and awful tv. She enjoys cute fluffy animals and is hoping to train guide dog puppies if she ever gets out of retail. Her dream is to write all day, living in a dream world of her characters and only coming out of it to keep house or garden. As a Vegan, she is active in animal welfare issues and believes all creatures deserve respect, regardless of whether they have two legs, four, wings or gills.

Find her here.


Of Darkness and Light Available Now!

When Elora starts being followed everywhere she goes, she assumes it's paranoia, afterall, if you can't see it, it can't be real...can it? Things grow increasingly weird in Elora's world; the sound of wings, footsteps and physical attacks with no one in sight. Could she be losing her mind? When an attractive stranger saves her from her assailant, she can't help but think he might be in on it. Who can she trust when she doesn't even feel able to trust herself.


***Want some pretty bookmarks for Elora and Raziel? Enter via the Rafflecopter below! Open to US only.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

  1. I haven't read to many stories about angels. I like the Fallen series but other than that I can't think of any I have read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gena Showalter's book about Lysander

    ReplyDelete