River of Ashes (St. Benedict, #1) by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor will release on August 2 in the Adult, Psychological Thriller genre.
SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET. SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.
ALONG THE BANKS OF THE BOGUE FALAYA RIVER, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.
And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.
The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Star quarterback. Handsome. Charming. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.
He is also a psychopath.
A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the haunted abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.
As the victim toll mounts, it becomes clear that someone must stop Beau Devereaux.
And that someone will pay with their life.
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.
He is an award-winning author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face. IG: @lucasastorauthor
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Lucas Astor wrote the first draft of a stand-alone novel, and then he brought me on board. I changed the locale to where I live, expanded the characters, and threw in the family history and drama. I devised a way to turn it into a series, and the St. Benedict Series was born.
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I have always been interested in serial killers and the workings of their minds. I put a lot of what I learned about abhorrent behavior into Beau. The rest of the information in the books came from living in the area where St. Benedict takes place. Taking pieces from Covington, Louisiana, and putting them into the story added to a feeling of authenticity for me because there is a St. Benedict, Louisiana, right down the road from me. You will find a seminary school with an abbey on the Bogue Falaya River.
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
It is a cautionary tale about thinking the perfect guy is perfect. He’s not, and sometimes he can become a monster hiding in plain sight. Guess you could say, never judge a book by it’s cover.
What are you working on now?
Book 2, River of Wrath is set to release October 18th, so I am getting book 3, River of Ghosts ready for release in 2023.
What started you on the path to writing?
I would not say one thing that started me on this path. I think I have always been inclined to writing. It just took me a while to figure that out. I studied creative writing in high school but pursued a different path in college, studying nursing. But by the time I finished my Ph.D., I was reading to get back to writing. That is when I wrote my first novel.
Has your environment /upbringing colored your writing?
I was raised in the motion picture industry, My father was a local producer in New Orleans, and I grew up in the French Quarter on movie sets. It was a very different upbringing and afforded me many opportunities to expand my creative instincts. I was also exposed to a variety of creative people who influenced me. Being from New Orleans and the bohemian atmosphere of the French Quarter was a big reason why I write what I do.
What do your friend and family think about your being a writer?
Nobody was surprised. I have many people I went to high school with who expected me to be a writer. I think that is when I knew I was on the right career path. Family and friends knew what I was meant to be before you I did.
Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
That depends on the book. Thriller books require much plotting because you have so many twists and turns to reveal. Romance, for me, is a more plot-as-you-go genre. I have a general plot idea, but I write and see where it takes me. I can’t have that kind of leeway in horror or thriller genres because you have so many details to cover.
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
Meeting people who have read my books and are moved by them brings me so much satisfaction. Having readers quote back lines I have written is still shocking to me. It is so touching to know you have influenced someone with your words. It never gets old meeting fans and hearing how much they loved your book. It keeps me writing.
Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?
That it is glamourous, or any success happens overnight. I am an ICU nurse. I taught nursing at a local university, and this is the hardest I have ever worked. There is nothing glamorous about the long hours or sweating over a sentence to make sure it sounds right. And any success you achieve, everyone thinks you are just lucky. They don’t see the thousands of man-hours you have put into a novel. Every book has a lot of the writer’s blood, sweat, and tears, but I don’t think readers understand that. I wish more understand how hard every writer works to get a book to print.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I am a permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. When not writing, I am rescuing orphaned and injured wildlife. Animals are my passion.
This post is part of a book. You can find the schedule here (https://xpressobooktours.com/2022/05/10/tour-sign-up-river-of-ashes-by-alexandrea-weis-lucas-astor/)
Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
- $20 Amazon gift card
Not only does this sound like a fantastic read but I’m going to need a physical copy.. because that cover is absolutely killer!
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Thanks for hosting today, Vivi! 🙂
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You’re very welcome ☺️
A gorgeous cover and an intriguing synopsis, River of Ashes sounds like an excellent read. Thank you for sharing your interview, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading your story
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