I'm excited today to introduce author Kellyann Zuzulo and her adult paranormal romance, The Genie Ignites, with a behind the scenes interview with the genie himself, Zubis. The Genie Ignites is a finalist in the Abalone Awards for "Outstanding Ethno-Cultural Romance" so I'm thrilled to give you guys a little inside look at this one, I hope you enjoy!
Our reporter caught up to Zubis via satellite in the desert, in a section known as the Empty Quarter or Rub-al-Khali, an area notorious for genie activity. It is the legendary portal to the world of Jinnistan. He 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.]
Reporter: Is it hot there at the edge of the Rub-al-Khali in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Zubis?
Zubis: [eyebrow goes up] Just Zubis, please. Yes, it can be quite hot. Especially when the lovely Bethany O’Brien stands close.
R: What are you doing in the desert, Zubis?
Z: [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.]
R: Eh…return? How old is she exactly?
Z: 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.
R: So what happened to her?
Z: [The rugged lines across his brow deepen with concern.] She died. I was cursed and could not save her.
R: Wow. That’s sad. Now what?
Z: 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.]
R: Sounds pretty straightforward. What’s the hold-up?
Ouch! Was that an electrical shock that you just shot at me?!
Z: 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?
R: Um, no.
Z: Then you should read The Genie Ignites. [He winks and seats himself.]
R: Well, um. Geez. What was I saying? [fanning self] Any wishes left in those snazzy trousers of yours?
Z: [His gaze is steady] I think I could pull one more out…
R: Okay, that’s a wrap! [Speaking to someone off camera: Book me on the next flight to the desert!]
Z: 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.
R: 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 from Boroughs Publishing Group.
• • • • • • • • • •
A Philadelphia native, Kellyann Zuzulo received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Temple University and has lived in London, Ireland, Boston and Washington, D.C. She has worked as a reporter for local newspapers and as a writer for Yankee Magazine and national consumer and health magazines; as a book development editor; as a media relations representative; and as a director of communications for nonprofits. Her interest in Middle Eastern mythology and legend stems from her stint as a Managing Editor of Publications for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. She is a published author of several genie romance novellas. One book, Angels & Genies, was included in a collection for which Charlaine Harris wrote the foreword. Kellyann lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, and a jaunty terrier named Djin-Djin.
• • • • • • • • • •
THE GENIE IGNITES
Girl meets genie. They fall in love. Girl gets killed. Genie gets cursed. Three millennia later, she’s reincarnated as a smart, somewhat sardonic 21st century editor who can’t remember the great love of her existence. The genie however, will never forget her.
Bethany O’Brien is a 21st century woman with a career, ambition and bills. She has no recollection of how she once felt about a nearly 4,000-year-old genie named Zubis who suddenly invades her world, but he certainly remembers her. In a previous incarnation, Bethany was an important temple priestess who apprenticed to the djinn. Zubis, powerful and alluring, is infuriatingly bemused by Bethany’s skepticism. Once upon a time, he vowed to love her forever and has no plans of breaking his vow. And although the priestess she once was had been taught that a romance with a djinni must never be, Bethany gradually realizes that her love for Zubis cannot be forgotten. Along with the returning glimmers of her past life, Bethany is forced to confront a mandate from an ancient society to kill the genie of her dreams.