Cassandra is an award-winning journalist, a veteran of the armed forces, and jane-of-all-trades. She lives in Idaho with the love of her life and their three kids. After writing day in and day out for ten years, her spouse strongly encouraged her to try to make a living out of it. Since then, she’s written under various pen-names and sold several stories of werewolves, witches, and the arcane. She plans on writing until the day she dies. Possibly after, if that’s allowed. Currently, I am trying to get my novel, With the Dawn, selected for Kindle Scout. You can go to kindlescout.amazon.com and find my novel under romance.
Let’s Get To Know Cassandra Sky West
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: I’ve wanted to write since childhood. It wasn’t the best and I found solace in books.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Gate of Ivrel (CJ Cherryh)
Q: What’s the funniest thing a reader has ever said/emailed to you?
A: Something bad happens toward the end of With the Dawn, I won’t say what. But this reader was incensed and she said if I had been in her house she would have hit me in the head with a frying pan.
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: Don’t wait so long.
Q: What fictional character would you punch if the face if you thought you could get away with it without going to jail?
A: Saruman the White (Lord of the Rings). I hate his gloating face and how he thinks he’s winning, even when he’s clearly defeated.
Q: Pick a super-power and tell us what you’d do with it.
A: Just one? That’s a question I have been debating my whole life. I would have to go with telepathy. I hate to say it, but I would use it to try and make the world a better place.
Q: What’s your favorite AND least favorite thing about being a writer/author?
A: I love writing. Love it. I wake up every morning at 5am and spend until 9 working. LOVE IT.
When I make a stupid typo, or mistake, and I don’t catch it in time.
About With the Dawn by Cassandra Sky West
Alexi Creed needs to know who murdered her, and why. When she wakes up with no memory of her previous life, the only clue she has is a sudden, undeniable thirst for human blood. She finds allies in a mysterious witch with an enigmatic warning of the future, and a brooding werewolf in search of redemption. Together they must fight malevolent vampires, agents of the Arcanum, and the forces of darkness, if she is going to uncover her past and save the world from a night that will never end.
The roof of their little house stood tall enough that Alexi could see the mountains in the east. There wasn’t much in the way of varied terrain in that part of Washington. Mt. Rainier stood tall and proud in the distance. The horizon stretched on forever, the dark of night replaced by the gray of pre-dawn. The cold September air left her untouched, as did almost all sensation anymore.
Tears splashed down on her leather coat. One sensation didn’t leave her. It remained with her as if she fed moments before. Her pupils dilated, her skin tightened with goosebumps, and she felt a warmth in her stomach that was absent from her life. The very thought of feeding on that girl sent a thrill through her that both excited, and disgusted her.
No, she couldn’t do that again, not ever.
The dawn approached and with it, her fate.
“Alexi,” Savanna’s voice called out to her.
“Dammit, how did you find me?”
“You’re not exactly hiding in a vault, you’re on our roof.”
Alexi shifted uncomfortably away from Savanna. She didn’t want the girl to see her tears. Her footsteps approached, light and careful. Something ugly awoke in her. She smelled Savanna differently. Felt her differently. Visions of her squirming helpless while Alexi fed flooded her mind. She choked back a sob and put her hands on her face. Savanna sat down next to her, so close their hips touched. She draped an arm around her shoulders. Alexi wanted to push her away, to run, but she couldn’t.
Instead, she cried. Tears held back since she first woke in the nightclub flowed down her face like a river. Savanna’s comforting presence pulled them from her, allowing her to express the emotions she had held in check for so long. She leaned into her friend and sobbed for long minutes.
The tears abated with the emotions. Alexi sniffed and wiped her face as best she could.
“I almost killed someone tonight Savanna, an Innocent girl no older than you.” She half expected Savanna to run, to scream, to condemn her as she did herself. Instead, she squeezed her shoulder.
“Almost? So the girl lives?”
“Yes, but that’s not the point. I have to feed Savanna. The longer I hold it off, the worse it gets. Until… until I don’t care who I hurt as long as my thirst is quenched. I’m no better than those who made me.”
Savanna sat there in silence. Alexi struggled to explain how she felt, the hunger inside of her was all consuming. A single image she couldn’t exorcise from her brain. Even the thought of it sent her down a spiral to its inevitable conclusion. She would kill someone.
“Alexi, you’re trying so hard to be who you were, or who you think you need to be. Is that why you came up here, to let the dawn end it all for you?”
Alexi nodded, her face flushed with shame.
“Savanna, I don’t want to be a monster. I saw something…a man, like me. But…” her voice trembled. “He was disgusting, his skin just hung on his bones like leather, and his eyes,” her mouth hung open unable to express the horror that she saw.
My favorite quote from With the Dawn is:
Mild spoiler. but my main character is a vampire, and she worries about becoming a monster. This is her boyfriend (the werewolf) trying to talk her down.
“I’ll tell you, as many times as it takes, that you’re good. And kind. And strong. And that you can do hard things. I’ll tell you until you can hear my voice a thousand years from now.”