Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tour Kick Off - Meet and Greet - The Granite Key by N.S. Wikarski

Archaeological Thriller
Date Published: 2/12/2011

"Think 'MEDIUM meets THE LOST SYMBOL' and it only begins to describe the pleasures of THE GRANITE KEY - 5 Stars." (Kindle Nation)

A Wake-Up Call 

In a nightmare, nineteen year old Cassie Forsythe sees her sister attacked by a man in a cowboy hat who demands something called "the key." Her nightmare mutates into reality before the night is over. Cassie is called to identify her sister's body--murdered exactly as her dream foretold. Cassie dismisses her vision as a fluke and fights to get on with her life. Disconnected and aimless now that her only family is gone, she drifts until the evening when she catches the man in the cowboy hat ransacking her sister's apartment. He bolts with an odd-looking stone cylinder--the granite key. From that moment, Cassie's normal world evaporates. 

A Secret Society 

She learns that her sister led a double life--retrieving artifacts for a secret organization called the Arkana. The Arkana's leader, an elder named Faye, explains that her group performs a controversial kind of archaeology. They scour the globe for evidence of ancient pre-patriarchal civilizations in hopes of salvaging the lost history of the world. Their network of troves safeguards artifacts from highly sophisticated goddess-worshipping cultures on every continent. Cassie's sister had the psychic ability to touch an artifact and relive its past. Cassie has now inherited this gift. Faye wants the girl to take over her sister's role in the organization. Cassie doubts her powers but agrees. Now an insider, she is transported to the Arkana's mysterious underground vault in the countryside outside Chicago where the group tackles the mystery of her sister's murder.

A Dangerous Cult 

The Arkana learns that the man in the cowboy hat is a hired mercenary named Leroy Hunt and that he is working for a fundamentalist religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim. He takes his orders directly from the cult's domineering prophet--Abraham Metcalf. The granite key which Leroy stole is inscribed with hieroglyphics revealing the location of a mythological artifact reputed to have mystical powers--the Sage Stone. Although skeptical of its legendary capabilities, the Arkana is still afraid to allow the relic to fall into the cult's hands. Abraham's fanatical belief in the power of the Sage Stone could be the catalyst to start a war of religious genocide.

Unlocking The Key 

Before she died, Cassie's sister took photos of the strange markings on the granite key. The Arkana decodes the hieroglyphics which point to the ancient ruins of Minoan Crete as the hiding place of the Sage Stone. Faye hastily assembles a retrieval team including Cassie, her newly-appointed bodyguard Erik, and a British researcher named Griffin. The band of treasure hunters is mismatched and wildly dysfunctional from the start. Griffin has never gone on a field mission, Erik treats his inexperienced colleagues with contempt, and Cassie second-guesses her psychic hunches. She battles to prove herself to Erik at every turn. Their internal clashes rival the bigger crisis of what to do when they come face to face with their enemies.

A Matter Of Life Or Death 

Even as they rake through megalithic tombs and Minoan palaces for clues, Abraham dispatches his son Daniel and hired gun Leroy Hunt to recover the Sage Stone. The Nephilim operatives won't hesitate to kill anyone standing in their way. Will Cassie and her teammates avert global disaster or find themselves casualties of Abraham's mania to exterminate the world of unbelievers? The Granite Key holds the answer.

#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?
Yes, at this point in my life it’s what I do for a living. If not for the advent of ebooks, I’d probably still have to depend on a day job. I’m very grateful for the popularity of digital publishing.

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?
Since I write an archaeology thriller series which is seriously grounded in fact, the toughest part of the process is weaving the pre-patriarchal history of the world into the fictional plot so that the seams don’t show.

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?
I’ve had a whole bunch of people over the years who have advised me about the business side of writing. While I was still in school (about a thousand years ago), my teachers helped me with the technical aspects of stringing sentences together. But when it comes to the subject matter that defines me as an author, I have to say that it’s been a solo act.

#4 – What is next for your writing?
The Arkana series is planned to encompass seven books. Three are already in print – THE GRANITE KEY, THE MOUNTAIN MOTHER CIPHER, THE DRAGON’S WING ENIGMA. The fourth is almost finished – THE RIDDLE OF THE DIAMOND DOVE. It will be published in December, 2013. The Arkana saga will keep me busy for the next several years.

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
In my teens (also about a thousand years ago) I was a voracious reader. Sadly, my work as an author has seriously cut into my reading time since it’s so research-intensive. I rarely have a chance to read for pleasure these days. That said, I’m currently reading H. Rider Haggard’s “The Return Of She” and have just started “Inferno” by Dan Brown.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:
An average college student accidentally stumbles into a world of secret societies and fanatical cults warring over mysterious ancient artifacts.

This or That?

#1 - iPd or Mp3?  Vinyl

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla? Mocha

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries? Au Gratin

#4 – Comedy or Drama? Satire

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks? Neither

#6 – Fantasy or Reality? Strange But True

#7 – Call or Text? Solitude

#8 – Public School or Home School? Catholic School (nuns are way scarier)

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate? Double Espresso Mocha

#10 – eBook or Paperback? Audio


"There's a 52% chance that the next Dan Brown will be a woman ... or should we just make that 100% now?"
--Kindle Nation
Nancy Wikarski is a fugitive from academia. After earning her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, she became a computer consultant and then turned to mystery and historical fiction writing. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Society Of Midland Authors, and has served as vice president of Sisters In Crime - Twin Cities and on the programming board of the Chicago chapter. Her short stories have appeared in Futures Magazine and DIME Anthology, while her book reviews have been featured in Murder: Past Tense and Deadly
She has written the Gilded Age Chicago History Mysteries series set in 1890s Chicago. Titles include The Fall Of White City (2002) and Shrouded In Thought (2005). The series has received People's Choice Award nominations for Best First Novel and Best Historical as well as a Lovey Award for Best Traditional Amateur Sleuth.
She is currently writing the seven book Arkana Archaeology Thriller Mystery series. Titles include The Granite Key (2011), The Mountain Mother Cipher (2011), and The Dragon’s WingEnigma (2012). The fourth volume in the series, The Riddle Of The Diamond Dove, is scheduled for publication in December of 2013. Ms. Wikarski’s work on the Arkana books has prompted Kindle Nation to call her one of its favorite authors.

July 8 - Noemi Betancourt - Review/Guest Post
July 9 - Logikal Blog - Guest Post/PROMO
July 10 - Books and Tales- Guest Post/PROMO
July 11 - Just Trying to Let it Be - PROMO
July 12 - Andi's Book Reviews - Interview/PROMO
July 13 -  A Life Through Books - Review
July 14 - Brooke Blogs - Review
July 15 -  Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Interview/PROMO
July 16 -  Ali's Books - PROMO
July 17 - Inside BJ's Head - Review
July 18 - Beth Art From the Heart - Review
July 19 - RABT Reviews - Review

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