Spotlight & Giveaway: Ascension by A.S. Fenichel

Posted October 16th, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 38 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author A.S. Fenichel to HJ!

Hi A.S. and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Ascension!

Thank you so much for having me here today. I’ve really enjoyed it and I can’t wait for you to read Ascension, book one, The Demon Hunters.

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here

The Demon Hunters, #1

AscenWhen demons threaten London, Lady Belinda answers the call.

Lord Gabriel Thurston returns home from war to find his fiancée is not the sweet young girl he left behind. She’s grown into a mysterious woman who guards her dark secrets well. When he sees her sneaking away from a ball, he’s convinced it’s for a lover’s rendezvous. Following her to London’s slums, Gabriel watches in horror as his fiancée ruthlessly slays a man.

Lady Belinda Carlisle’s only concern was her dress for the next ball—until demons nearly killed her and changed everything. A lady by day, and a demon hunter by night, she knows where her duty lies. Ending her betrothal is the best way to protect Gabriel from death by a demon’s hand.

Gabriel soon realizes, like him, Belinda has been fighting for her country. He joins in the fight, determined to show her that their love can endure, stronger than ever.

Please tell us about the characters in your book?

Belinda is the daughter of an earl. She was raised to be a lady, but was kidnapped by demons and nearly killed. At the time of her kidnapping, her fiancé was away fighting in France. The demon hunters who saved her offered her a chance to become strong enough to never be a victim again and she took it.

Gabriel returns home from war and the sweet girl he grew up with is completely changed. He wants everything to be the same, but she wants him out of her life. The amazing thing about Gabriel is, he adjust to every situation. He’s seen the worst of humanity and lived to tell about it. The one thing he is certain about it that he loves Belinda and will do anything to keep her. Anything.

As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

They are both strong in different ways. Belinda is a protector while Gabriel is more analytical. He especially surprised me with how far he can take a problem down to its essence and work out the solution.

What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?

I loved writing the scene where Gabriel climbs into Belinda’s bedroom window because he thinks she had betrayed him with another man. He was so vulnerable and exposed. Those moment in writing are always precious. Here’s a snippet.

He sat down on the edge of her bed and put his head in his hands. “What do I want?”
Oh, how she wanted to reach out and comfort him, but she held back waiting to hear him explain.
“I want what I lost. I want four years of my life back. I want a wife who has kept herself pure while I was away risking my life for our country.” He narrowed his gaze on her.
She had never seen such pure anger from him before, and for the first time she feared him just a little. She shook her head. This was Gabriel. He would never hurt her. Pushing aside her covers, she moved to sit next to him on the bed. “You cannot regain the past, my lord. Those four years are gone forever.”
“They are with me still.” His eyes darkened, a crease formed between them, and he looked away.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

I don’t want to give too much away. (SPOILERS) There is a scene near the end that has a lot of moving parts and that made it difficult to write. Here’s a bit of it.

He still held her arm as her feet lifted off the floor. It took every ounce of his strength to hold her. Whatever was tugging at her wanted her back in that ballroom.

“Hold on, Bella!”

Her eyes widened and filled with tears that dried before they reached her cheeks.

She grabbed at his shirt.

He clutched her arms and wrapped them around his neck. “Hold on.”

It was more command than request but the strength of her grip tightened.

He pulled himself upright by holding onto the balusters from the stairs. One by one, he pulled them both forward toward the exit. The wind clawed like hands pulling them back. One post broke. Belinda screamed, but he grabbed hold of the next one and kept them moving forward.

He ran out of balusters and there was still twenty feet of space to traverse before they reached the outside. He could never make it….

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

What a lovely notion!

Amy Adams as Belinda
Christ Pine as Gabriel

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

Have faith! Because they need a lot of faith both in each other and themselves to get through this adventure.

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title of the book should be? Why?

The Art of Determination

Because I believe that hard work will always get you what you want. I wrote and submitted books for seventeen years before a publisher accepted the first one. I asked myself, if you knew today you would never be published, would you keep doing it. The answer was yes, so here I am still writing and with eleven books in print.

Which of your prior characters would you most/least likely invite to dinner and why?

I would love to have dinner with any of my main characters. Wouldn’t it be lovely to sit down and give them a sound thrashing for putting me through such strains and never doing what I expect? Though, I adore Belinda from Ascension. She is everything I had hoped for in a heroine, smart, adventurous, strong, willful and beautifully loving.

What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2014?

I’m writing Betrayal, book three in The Demon Hunter’s series.
2014 is winding down and Ascension is my final release this year. Book two, Deception will be released in May 2015. I know readers are going to love these books and I can’t wait for them to get hold of them.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

Giveaway: Digital Copy of ASCENSION: The Demon Hunters #1 + $5.00 Amazon Gift Card.

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: I gave up a successful IT career in NYC to write full time. Submitted my manuscripts hundreds of times and faced rejection to become a published author. What is the one thing you would give anything to have? What would you do (risk) to have it?

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Lady Belinda Clayton grappled with the creaking iron gate, which led to the back garden of her family’s London townhouse. It was not the first time she had used the unconventional route to make her way back home in the predawn hours. Nor was it the first time her dress had been ruined or her hair tousled in her rush to make her way through the streets without becoming a number on the death toll in the city’s records.
Pushing the gate closed, the rough, cold metal scratched her gloved palm. Once the latch was secured she ran her finger along the jagged tear in her left glove. “Too bad,” she said. She shook her head at the ruined garment. “I really did like this pair.”
“What pair is that, Lady Belinda?” Gabriel’s deep, seductive voice cut through the still night.
His blue eyes were the color of the sea just before a storm and their depths burned into her.
Her stomach did a flip before she had time to control herself. She was sure she
looked flustered and she could have kicked herself for not steeling her nerves before facing Lord Gabriel Thurston, the Earl of Tullering.
She was pleased with the sound of cold detachment in her voice. “Tullering, what on earth are you doing in my garden in the middle of the night?”
“One might ask you the same question, Lady Belinda.” He ran his hand through
his dark hair, loosening it from the ribbon. His cravat had come loose and his evening clothes were crushed. There was something dangerous about an unkempt Gabriel. The gesture was a sign of frustration from the earl. She’d seen it many times.
Her heart raced and she swallowed the panic welling in her gut. “This is my
home, my lord. You do not live here. If I am not mistaken you have a home in London where you should be at this late hour.”
“You are my fiancée.” Even in the moonlight, his face and neck burned red.
“There is no need to remind me.”
He stepped from the terrace onto the cobbled path where she stood. He loomed
over her and filled the air with a mixture of soap, spice and something else male and formidable. The scent was intrinsically Gabriel and entirely delicious.
She was tempted to back away, but forced herself to hold her ground. Her
stubbornness did not stop her heart from racing or her skin from tingling at his nearness.
“Oh, but I think there is a need.” He circled behind her, his mouth inches from her ear.
She set her teeth. “I am well aware of the contract signed between you and my
father four years ago, my lord. I was there when it was signed and I was also there when you left for the continent.” The day he left for the war came flooding back, and so did the memories of her unanswered letters, and the tears she had cried over him. Well, there would be no tears tonight.
“You are angry with me for fighting for our country?” He took a step back.
“But you are angry.”
“You might have written since your concern for our relationship is so evident.”
She’d wanted to sound flippant, but she sounded brooding. She’d been hurt by his silence, and had little hope of hiding the fact.
“I wrote,” he said.
She was pleased the subject had changed to something more defensible. “Three
letters in four years can hardly be considered correspondence, my lord.”
“You use to call me Gabriel.” He murmured.
She stepped away in spite of the pleasant shiver his voice produced. “That was a long time ago.” She made to climb the terrace steps away from him.
“There is still the question of why my fiancée is sneaking through the garden at
four in the morning.”
She turned ready to blast him about having no right to ask her anything. Her
words stuck in her throat.
In the full moonlight, he took her breath away. He was tall and broad and his hair hung loose around his face.
In spite of her anger, she wanted desperately to touch his hair and see if it was still as soft as it looked. “I come and go as I please.”
“So I see,” he said. “Perhaps then, you would be willing to explain why your
dress is six inches deep with mud, why your hair looks as if you’ve been tossing in the sheets, how you got that smudge of dirt on your lovely face, or the hole in those gloves you were just lamenting?”
She wiped some dried mud from her cheek. The resulting dull pain told her she
had revealed a bruise beneath.
His eyes widened and he flew up the steps.
She stepped back. She couldn’t harm Gabriel so she lifted one arm as if to dull a
He froze, staring down at her.
It had been instinct. The last few years had taught her that no one is immune to
violence. A woman must learn to defend herself. If he had been anyone else, she’d have struck him rather than shield herself against an angry fist. She lowered her arm and looked into his piercing eyes. Her heart pounded. She had made an error.
“Do you truly think I would strike you?”
Now that she was thinking clearly again, she hardly knew why she had defended herself. It was foolish. Gabriel would never strike her. Her environment had tainted her. She attempted to remain cold in her explanation. “I hardly know what to think, my lord. We no longer know each other.”
When he touched the tender bruise, she winced, but did not back away.
“And this, Bella, would you care to explain this to me?” His voice was soft and
his touch feather-like, but his eyes narrowed and his posture remained unyielding.
She brushed his touch aside. “Do not call me that.”
“You use to like that name.”
“That was also a long time ago.”
“Not so long,” he whispered. He gazed out into the garden as if lost in some
distant memory. His attention returned to her. “I am waiting for some kind of response from you, Lady Belinda.”
In spite of her need to keep him at a distance, her heart ached when he used the
formal address. Her first instinct was to tell him to go to hell and leave her alone, but that would only provoke him. She lied instead. “I have been at a ball. There was some problem with the carriage, and I was required to walk part of the way. I fell in the mud and some of it must have splattered my face when my dress was ruined.”
He frowned. “And the bruise?”
Deep creases around his full lips drew her in. Desire to tell him everything
bubbled in her gut. She shrugged. “I’m sure it is only dirt. The moonlight makes it seem more dire, and you are exaggerating the situation greatly.”
“I see. Is this all the explanation I can expect?”
“It is what I am willing to say, my lord.” She turned and walked to the house. The door opened just as she arrived and she slipped inside before her fiancé could say more.

Book Info:

The Demon Hunters, #1
When demons threaten London, Lady Belinda answers the call.

Lord Gabriel Thurston returns home from war to find his fiancée is not the sweet young girl he left behind. She’s grown into a mysterious woman who guards her dark secrets well. When he sees her sneaking away from a ball, he’s convinced it’s for a lover’s rendezvous. Following her to London’s slums, Gabriel watches in horror as his fiancée ruthlessly slay a man.

Lady Belinda Carlisle’s only concern was her dress for the next ball-until demons nearly killed her and changed everything. A lady by day, and a demon hunter by night, she knows where her duty lies. Ending her betrothal is the best way to protect Gabriel from death by a demon’s hand.

Gabriel soon realizes, like him, Belinda has been fighting for her country. He joins in the fight, determined to show her that their love can endure, stronger than ever.

Buy Links
Goodreads Link:

Tour Wide Rafflecopter Giveaway (Two (2) $10.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Cards) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Author:

A.S. FenichelA.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.
A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.
Multi-published in erotic paranormal, contemporary and historical romance, A.S. is the author of the Mayan Destiny series, Christmas Bliss and many more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of romance for many years to come.
Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

Author Links



38 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Ascension by A.S. Fenichel”

  1. Kelly C

    I gave up a good paying job that made me miserable for years for one that barely makes the rent but gives me great joy.

  2. melanieanu

    To be honest I don’t feel that passionately about anything at the moment, at least not that have to do it in order to survive mentally/physically !!

    But if I did and felt the same way you do regarding your writing about this elusive thing …. then I would sacrifice anything and I mean anything to attain my dream!! 🙂

    • asfenichel

      Things will turn around, Melanieanu. I took a big risk, but I think balance in life is important too. 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by.

  3. Joye

    I would love to have a million dollars but I know that isn’t going to happen so I will give up eating out to be able to afford buying my books!

  4. kateivan

    I’ve never had that kind of “fire in my belly” …. but I did trade a job that I loved but had ridiculous hours for a slower-paced one with less overall compensation, all in the interest of quality of life (which has indeed improved).

  5. Nicole Potter (@NiiArt)

    I want to be an illustrator! Especially of book covers, it’s always been my dream! I risked a lot to go to college for an art degree, none of my family wanted me to go into a profession that doesn’t make a lot of money. I’ve graduated, but I don’t have a job in art – yet! I work my full time job by day so I can do freelance work by night! But someday…hopefully 😉

    • Melody Gonser

      Good luck I’m sure you will make it. Surround yourself with people who believe in you.

    • asfenichel

      You’ll get there, Nicole. I’m so glad you didn’t let anyone talk you out of following your dreams. It took me 17 years of writing and submitting to finally get a book published. Never give up. I’m so happy you stopped in for a chat.

    • asfenichel

      Being content is wonderful too. Thanks Mary, Coleen, Geraldine and Lori for joining the chat.

  6. Glenda

    I quit a well paying job to be a stay at home mom. Taking care of my kids was more important than being a 2 income family. Now that I’m working again I took a lower paying job that has less stress and overtime required.

  7. Melody Gonser

    When I had children I had the fire in me to be the best parent I could be. I did it alone mostly and I feel I did a great job.
    Since they grew up I haven’t figured out what I want to do.

  8. Erika

    I would love to be a famous photographer! I’m not sure what I’d give up but I’d love for my work to be well known.

    • asfenichel

      Interesting, Debra. There are quite a few great books on the subject. I have two or three myself, that I used for research. Good luck!

  9. Joan V.

    I quit my job in June because I didn’t like my new boss or the direction the company was going. I didn’t have another job at the time and still don’t but I am happier being at home and looking for a job that I will enjoy.

    • asfenichel

      Best of luck, Joan. I’m sure you’ll find a better job soon and it will make you happy.

  10. Terri Shortell

    I dream of.owning a small ranch I’m willing to relocate to another state where I can earn more money doing the same job that I would be doing here. I would give up expensive cars, clothes, and electronics to accomplish this goal. I can easily live w less costly items to save the money I need to.get my dreams. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  11. Marija

    Nice question 🙂 I would give my big house in the country for a smaller house more near the city, in the suburbs. I spend a lot of time on travel so, that’s the biggest problem. I always wished for a career as a writer or at least as an editor in publishing company … but I don’t have anything to offer back cuz I’m unemployed. 😀

    • asfenichel

      Keep working at it, Marija. If you want to be a writer, it good to join a writing group. You’ll be surprised how willing other writers are to help. Best of luck!

  12. Amanda

    (At this point in time, I am unable to answer such a complex question. I honestly need to ponder for an answer… All I know is that I’d have to begin believing in my self & sacrifice my self doubt if I’m going to accomplish anything.) Thank you for the the interview & giveaway! This book sounds so intriguing!! 🙂

  13. Winnie Lim

    I’m not a risk taker and I think a stable life is very important. So at this point, I don’t think there’s any thing I want so much that I’d give up everything to attain that dream.

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