Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meet Dariel Raye, Author of Dark Sentinels

I'm very excited to have author Dariel Raye on my blog today, talking about her newly released novella, Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable. Here's a little information about her and the book.

Dariel loves books, animals, and all things paranormal. The paranormal romance, “Raven’s Shelter,” one of five stories in Taming of the Wolf, was her second publication, and her first with The Wild Rose Press as a result of placing second in their “Got Wolf” competition - prompted the new “Dark Sentinels” series. Dariel has written articles for The News Item of Mobile, and Black Health Magazine of Atlanta. A classically trained pianist and vocalist with a degree in piano and vocal performance and a master’s in counseling psychology, she completed studies for a Ph.D. with the exception of her dissertation.

Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable

Sable, a sentinel wolf shifter, is captured and locked in his wolf form until Akila, a veterinarian, tries to tame him and unleashes a 6'5" baby blue-eyed surprise.

Dr. Akila Marshall is a veterinarian with a calling – save as many stray animals as possible. The only child of wealthy, yet distant parents, she’s convinced that love is not for her. Until…

Sable’s search for his twin sister leads him to Akila. Born into a rare species of wolf shifters whose main purpose is protecting others, he has always been forced to fend for himself, but Akila’s loving, protective nature draws him – and not a moment too soon. Together, they must learn to trust each other enough to overcome a new, deadly enemy.

I love this cover! Sable looks hot! Buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble:

Thank you so much for agreeing to be here today, Dariel.  You must be very excited about releasing Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable. I truly am! The significance of this release is two-fold. This is my first release since I had to start hemodialysis treatments due to kidney failure, so that makes it precious. I’m very grateful, and this series is dear to my heart because I am very concerned about our endangered wildlife, which includes North and South American wolves.

I was so sorry to learn about your struggles with kidney failure. I've had family members battle that, and I understand what is involved with the long hours of dialysis. How wonderful that you've written such wonderful stories and spread your message about our endangered wildlife throughout your own battle. It's very admirable.

So, tell us a little bit about Dark Sentinels. They lived millions of years ago, fatalities of fear and prejudice. Now, answers to a prayer for survival, they are among us again. Other shifters were nearly extinct, murdered by the thousands at mostly human hands. Capable of shifting at will, without the aid of the moon’s phases, they were born to protect them. Bigger, stronger, faster, and longer living, with highly developed preternatural abilities, they are prized outsiders among their packs. Prized for their ability to protect, yet destined to live as outsiders because of the very differences necessary to prevent the pack’s extinction.

Born to stand at the crossroads between pack-members and their slaughterers, Sentinels quickly learn that they are on their own – a different species. Born human, only two are born to each pack, male and female alphas, brother and sister. Pack members deny them mating privileges within the pack based on fear. No female wants to bear a sentinel because their lives are constantly at risk. When danger comes to the pack, they are on the front line, considered expendable.

When they reach mating age, they leave the pack for a time to find a mate – another sentinel. What happens when a sentinel develops feelings for a human? What happens when malevolent scientists learn how to strengthen humans by using sentinel blood? As you can imagine, with their feral nature barely beneath the surface, Dark Sentinel passions run high. Touch, affection, and loyalty are necessary for their survival, and they are willing to go to extraordinary measures, risk everything, and break every rule for love.

Sounds exciting! I love stories about shifters (and Sable's body doesn't hurt things any either, right ladies?).

Who is your favorite character from the story and why? I know it’s not fair, but I love the hero and heoine equally. They’re both animal lovers, both intelligent – two qualities that are very important to me.

I understand. Tough to play favorites with your "babies." Mom's can't do it either.

Where does the inspiration for your stories come from? I’ve always had a rich fantasy life, and I’ve loved the paranormal since childhood. I was an introverted, “old soul” kind of child who had imaginary friends, saw ghosts, knew someone was at the door before the bell rang, or that someone was calling before the phone rang. I’m dating myself, here, but I used to sit on the armrest of my Dad’s recliner and watch “Dark Shadows” because I just HAD to watch it, but only felt safe sitting next to him. Lots of my ideas for stories, surprisingly, come from reading the Bible, and colorful, detailed dreams.

I'm also a dreamer about my scenes. Perhaps I more daydream, but it is interesting how our muses work, isn't it?

What made you decide to publish shorter stories versus novel-length books? Actually, I have some novel-length works in progress, too, but the combination of OCD/ADD makes me impatient. I enjoy the process, but the satisfaction of writing a story and completing it are much easier to accomplish with shorter works. LOL

What do you have planned next as far as writing goes? This questions is right in line with the previous one. My first novel was a full-length paranormal romance published with 1st Books before I really knew much about the writing business (I’m still learning, as far as that’s concerned), and I just requested it back from the publisher so I can rewrite it, repurpose it a bit and update it to release as a new and improved novel. In addition to that one, I have two more full-length paranormals: a multicultural about a reincarnated couple who were victims of tragic deaths in the past, and a rather dark romance about a messenger/angel who chooses free-will over duty because of – you guessed it – love. Also, I’m planning to release number two in the “Dark Sentinels” series and the first book in another series, “Children of Cain” about descendants of the Nephilim, called “Ishmael.” I’ve also contracted to do a series with Red Rose Publishing. That one’s about descendants of the Nephilim, too, but the entire story line is different.

Wow! You're a busy lady. We'll be looking forward to all of them, no matter what length.

Are you an avid reader?  What genre’s do you prefer? OMG, am I! I have two Kindles, if that’s any indication, and I read constantly – always did. My favorites are paranormal romances (especially vamps, weres, shifters, angels, and demons) and urban fantasy romances with edgy, somewhat dark, yet redeemable characters, and I’ll read some erotica. Tananarive Due is great, and I also loved the late greats L.A. Banks and Octavia Butler – great losses to the literary world, but their bodies of work live on.

I'm all about the romance myself, but it sounds like you make it through a lot more books than I do. What's your favorite book? One of my favorite books of all time is “Lord of the Flies.” As far as romances/fantasies go, my favorite to date is Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel’s Legacy” trilogy. Epic, with ingenious world building and intricate characters. Carey’s ability to make me love a masochistic heroine is a testament to her exceptional writing ability. I’ve also found too many great Indie authors to name!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Read, read, and read some more! Notice what you like – what makes you pick up a book and keep reading. Then, start writing and develop a good support system. There’s so much available to writers now that wasn’t just a few years ago, but the knife cuts both ways. Now, writers are so abundant, that it’s a greater challenge to stand out in the crowd. I think in order to become a great writer, you have to be able to first value great writing in others. When people tell me they want to write, but I never see them reading anything, their words or intentions don’t mean much to me. I think you have to first love books to be a great writer.

That's great advice, Dariel.

Anything else you’d like to talk about? The message I’d like people to get from my books is that the most important thing any of us can accomplish is to take the opportunity to do what we love (that old existentialist belief about finding purpose), and surround ourselves with people we love, who love us. That’s a prize worth going any distance for and doing whatever it takes to achieve. Memories of loved ones are tangible, and I believe love overcomes any differences. Everything else passes away.

That's a wonderful message to spread. I love that!

Just for Fun
Favorite color: Two – brown and green (especially together)
Favorite food: Strawberries & lime sherbet (not together, though)
Hobbies: Sudoku & other number games. Also like Spider Solitaire
What is your most perfect vacation spot? Gulf Shores. It’s close and I can take my dog, I can sit quietly and watched the tide roll out or in, and I can just as easily blend into a crowd without having to say a word. Pretty cool. Sounds lovely! I'm jealous about that. I love water of any kind. 

Thank you so much for being here today, Dariel Raye!
Thank you for everything, Chantel, including your honest insights along the way to publishing “Dark Sentinels.” I’m grateful for your friendship J

It's been so nice to get to know you. I'm very glad you contacted me through Twitter and we've been able to develop our friendship. I wish you every success--and I can't wait to read the Dark Sentinels! 

To connect with Dariel Raye yourself, you can find her on the other end of one of these links:

Once again, here are the links to the books:

Hey, Dariel, as a bonus before we leave, can you explain what brought on your fascination with wolves and how you came up with the Dark Sentinels?

“Dark Sentinels: Origins”

Ten years ago, less than 7,000 wolves remained in North America due to humans hunting and killing them indiscriminately, trapping and maiming them, and encroaching upon and destroying their natural habitat through selfish, thoughtless actions. Prior to the 20th century, wolves numbered more than 2 million, and roamed the entirety of North America. In the early 20th century, their habitat was reduced to Canada, a few other northernmost states, New Mexico, and Arizona. 

Although they are still seriously endangered, their numbers have presently risen to more than 11,000 on this continent. Wolves have always had a special relationship with man, and many believe this relationship was always meant to be synergistic. Unfortunately, time and again, man has betrayed them, prompting the intervention of nature herself to preserve her majestic, intelligent children. 

Many Native American, as well as Turkish, Roman, and Mongolian legends in particular, point to the belief that not only has man always depended upon the wolf for survival, but that men descended from wolves. The wolf has been worshipped as a God and an ancestor throughout time, and more than one legend tells of the union of a wolf and a human to produce the first half-human, half-lupine or (wolf) offspring. Tales abound of wolves nursing, protecting, and raising human children. 

In order to protect themselves, they have learned to live in larger packs and maintain closer ties with their half-human progeny, but desperate times account for the resurgence of ancient protectors – Dark Sentinels…

To learn more about these fascinating animals, Dariel recommends the "Defenders of Wildlife" web site at

Thanks for reading! Have a fantastic day! 
~ Chantel


  1. Hi, Chantel! I'm so happy to be here today. Thank you for hosting me. You're more evidence that we can meet fantastic people online :-D

    1. Thanks, Dariel! I'm really glad you joined me here. It was wonderful learning more about you and your writing projects!

  2. Thanks, again. I want you to visit my site when yours is released, too :-)

  3. Great author interview, Chantel! And congratulations, Dariel. Your book sounds interesting and I wish you continued success.

  4. Thanks for the well wishes, Kimberly!


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