I slowly opened my eyes. The sun speared its first bright rays of golden orange into the sky and I leapt from the cliff, knowing that no matter what the outcome, at least some part of me would die that day...
Jessica Shirvington, wife of FOXTEL presenter and former Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington, debuts with a phenomenal dark and sexy paranormal romance.
Violet Eden is dreading her seventeenth birthday dinner. After all, it's hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother's death. At least Lincoln will be there. Sexy, mature and aloof, he is Violet's idea of perfection. But why does he seem so reluctant to be anything more than a friend?
Violet is determined to get some answers. But nothing could have prepared her for Lincoln's explanation: he is Grigori - part angel and part human - and Violet is his eternal partner. Without warning, Violet's world is turned upside down. Phoenix, an exiled angel, also enters her life. He's intense and enigmatic, but at least he never lied to her.
As Violet gets caught up in an ancient battle between dark and light, she must choose her path. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...
Jessica Shirvington lives in Sydney with her husband of nine years, FOXTEL presenter and former Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington, and their two young daughters. She is currently a full-time mum and co-director for MPS Investments Pty Ltd.
She previously founded and ran a coffee distribution company, Stella Imports, in London, and been involved in managing the restaurants Fuel Bistro, Tow Bar and MG Garage in Sydney. Embrace is her first book.
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Review: OMG this book was amazing! From the first chapter Jessica draws you into Violet's world of light & dark angels, good & evil, where there is no black or white, just shades of grey. If you are a fan of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, you will love this book. Jessica successfully builds intensity in to her characters and emotions, and opens up your natural beliefs .... I can't wait for the next installment, I hope it's not too long.
Interview with Jessica Shirvington
Question: What originally inspired you to write this sexy paranormal romance?
Jessica Shirvington: A genuine love of young adult fiction. There is so much scope when writing for this audience, using paranormal themes opens up stories to the big questions - life, death, good, evil, love and sacrifice. All the good stuff really. The sexy part - actually I'm not sure, I think I will give the credit for that to the boys of the book - Lincoln and Phoenix!
Question: Can you tell us a little bit about how you creating Violet Eden's character?
Jessica Shirvington: When Violet first came into my mind as a character I knew she had to be three dimensional from the beginning. It isn't enough for the reader to follow the story on the page; they have to believe in the history which drives the choices of the character and agree with why they might take a certain perspective. Before the story of Embrace even begins, Violet had already had a troublesome time, fighting off a teacher who had attacked her when she was only 15 and then spending the next two years struggling to put the pieces of her world back together so that she feels she is once again in control.
I knew this much about Violet before her story in Embrace ever began, so then, when a world of light and dark angels and Grigori warriors was dumped in her lap - her reactions and unique perspective followed naturally.
Question: What research went into creating a character that is Grigori (part angel and part human)?
Jessica Shirvington: Heaps. It was important to me that the story be as close to long told folklore as possible. Everything in the book comes from somewhere or has been influenced by something. For example, Grigori, really were believed to be angels that were stationed on earth in human form. They were here to look after humanity and to report back to the highest order ofangels, the Seraphim, but they spent so long living among humans that they started to find woman desirable and well ... that didn't end too well.
From that initial research I then brought into it theories from different religious references and theologians to come up with the idea of light and dark angels and that angels as a species were perhaps no longer permitted passage to earth as a result of failures in the past - from there came the idea - if angels could not do their job on earth physically - could humans?
Question: Your writing is quite descriptive, how did you ensure your writing was expressive?
Jessica Shirvington: By stopping mid paragraph every now and then and forcing myself to look around. It's easy to just say what you want the reader to hear, but better if you can look around the room and take them there with you. I never plan it, just stop spontaneously when I'm in a good flow and look around.
Question: How much of your inspiration for Embrace came from real life and real people?
Jessica Shirvington: Everything that wasn't supernatural and really evil! Life is really very dramatic. When you add up all the moments that have shaped your life, the good and not so clever decisions, the exciting and dreadful occurrences and then look around at all of your friends and their moments - what a bevy!
So, yes, much of it has come from my own experience and those of people around me. Not any specific event from the book, but certainly the emotions and reactions that lead up to and follow them.