I’m delighted to welcome Kellyann Zuzulo, author of The Genie Ignites here today.
Interview With A Genie
What follows is a first-person interview with Zubis. He is the cursed and captivating genie who appears, and sometimes disappears, in The Genie Ignites by Kellyann Zuzulo. We caught up to him via satellite between the 1st millennium B.C.E. and the current year, where he’s just defeated former jinni colleague Borzal (a rather ferocious fellow). Actually, Zubis pulverized him . . . had to. Borzal was threatening Zubis’s one and only true love, Bethany O’Brien.
Zubis appears quite comfortable sitting on a folding canvas chair in a steel-gray linen tunic, open at the neck, and pair of loose, white, gauzy trousers. [In this reporter’s objective opinion, he is devastatingly handsome.]
Q: Is it hot there at the edge of the Rub-al-Khali in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Zubis?
A: [eyebrow goes up] Just Zubis, please. Yes, it can be quite hot. Especially when the lovely Bethany O’Brien stands close.
Q: What are you doing in the desert, Zubis?
A: [appears solemn, though those curlicue glyphs, barely covered by a fall of dense black hair along his brow, have begun to glow.] I await the arrival of Bethany. Only she can liberate me from my 3,000 years of bondage. I was condemned in the time of Solomon and have waited 3,000 years for her to return…. [a glint returns to his golden eyes.]
Q: Eh…return? How old is she exactly?
A: Well, in this incarnation, she is a delectable 32 years old. But her heart first belonged to me when she roamed the earth as the Asima Uruk in the time of Solomon.
Q: So what happened to her?
A: [The rugged lines across his brow deepen with concern.] She died. I was cursed and could not save her.
Q: Wow. That’s sad. Now what?
A: She will come. I will remind her of what we once had and she will be mine again. [He brings his fingers to his lips and his gaze is distant for a moment.]
Q: Sounds pretty straightforward. What’s the hold-up?
Ouch! Was that an electrical shock that you just shot at me?!
A: Hold-up? [He rises to his feet. He is quite large.] Have you ever stood bent against the fury of a harmattan, the gritty West African trade wind, as it bites into your flesh? Have you flicked a scorpion from your ankle before it could strike? Have you felt the unmitigated fury of a female jinni as she uses her wicked wiles to betray your true love? Have you ever lost everything you cared about until only the hope of love remains?
Q: Um, no.
A: Then you should read The Genie Ignites. [He winks and seats himself.]
Q: Well, um. Geez. What was I saying? [fanning self] Any wishes left in those snazzy trousers of yours?
A: [His gaze is steady] I think I could pull one more out…
Q: Okay, that’s a wrap! [Speaking to someone off camera: Book me on the next flight to the desert!]
A: Hold on, lovely. No need to fly. We have the power of the jinn at our disposal. With a flick of your finger, you can download my chronicle and I will meet you there.
Q: You got it, handsome! Somebody download The Genie Ignites to my smart phone STAT!
Join me as I fly first class on Genie Air, glass of champagne in hand and nibbling a savory serving of honey-and-currant couscous. Hurry along, now. The second book in Zubis’s series, The Genie Smolders, releases later this month.
A Giveaway! I’d love to give away two copies of The Genie Ignites. Winners to be drawn from two commenters on this blog post. My question for you: So what do you think, do you believe in the possibility of the jinn?
Time couldn’t destroy his love for her. Zubis has waited 3,000 years to be reunited with the priestess for whom he was cursed. And now that he’s found her, he’ll risk everything to hold her again.
Bethany O’Brien doesn’t remember the life and love they shared…until he takes her in his arms. They told her that genies and humans can never be together. But she’s not about to let go of the hottest passion she’s ever known.
While she waited her turn, she peered down a carpeted hallway where the exodus of guests emptied into a cavernous ballroom. Her heart skipped a beat. There he was again, leaning against a fluted Doric column. The crowd flowed around him as though he were the Colossus of Rhodes, watchful and unmoving.
Blood thrummed in Bethany’s ears. Her head buzzed. She fixed her eyes on the man and willed him to turn toward her. As though in response, he cocked his head sideways, revealing his profile.
The planes of his face suggested the marble bust of an Ottoman conqueror infused with blood. The long slope of his nose commanded high cheekbones, angular jaw, and strong chin. Tight curls formed an inky corona that fell across his brow. More than his appearance, it was the way he moved, the set of his shoulders, and the wave in his hair that trumpeted recognition.
It really was him.
A surge of familiarity blended with fear washed across Bethany’s midsection. Vaguely aware of her actions, she pressed a hand against her chest in a gesture of astonishment. She felt certain that she had seen him before, but never in reality. Was it possible?
He was the wraith who haunted her dreams of the past several weeks. Irritation mingled with the burgeoning unease. This guy standing before her was the reason for her lack of sleep.
Only the night before, he had pursued her across empty District boulevards into a black cave inexplicably set in the middle of DuPont Circle. He made no sound and his movements were never frantic or threatening, but she ran from him just the same. And when she had reached a wall as hard and unyielding as coal, she turned to face him.
He didn’t reach for her. He didn’t menace her. He simply watched her with an expression that was at once brash, penetrating, bemused, and unrelenting. From the depths of sleep, Bethany struggled to form words, to petition the rogue who plagued her. She wanted to ask him “Why? What do you want?”
But she could only return his gaze, staring wordlessly into impenetrable eyes as golden and alive as a swirling sandstorm.
That morning, she’d awoken sweating and agitated, with a curse on her lips that she’d definitely buy a window air-conditioning unit and would definitely make a concerted effort to speak to this meddlesome man of her dreams when he next appeared.
Now, here he was in the flesh. Bethany’s vision framed him in slow motion as he turned to face her. He folded his arms against his chest and locked his gaze on hers. A smile spread across his face. Brazen.
Shutting her eyes to close him out, she opened them again, as though waking from a dream. He was there. Even across the distance, she knew that his eyes were the color of sand. He watched her, as though he had access to that secluded place in her mind that harbored the things only she knew about herself. Her breath caught in her chest.
Kellyann Zuzulo writes romance fiction about genies. She is the author of a new series, 101 Nights, as well as the novel The Genie Ignites, which is book one of The Zubis Chronicles from Boroughs Publishing Group. Book two, The Genie Smolders, will be released in June 2013. Seven Souls A Leaping, an anthology to which she contributed the story Star Light, Blood Bright was selected by Joyfully Reviewed as one of the best of 2011. Kellyann is a member of the Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Backspace Writers Group, and a regular contributor to The Pop Culture Divas blog. A former journalist, Kellyann lives on the East Coast with her husband, three children, and two terriers, Djin-Djin and Dixie.
The Genie Ignites is a finalist in the Abalone Awards, which recognizes “outstanding ethno-cultural romance.”
You can find Kellyann at:
You can find The Genie Ignites at:
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thegenieignites-779999-140.html