Category Archives: guest post
The Space Between
byVictoria H. Smith
New Adult Contemporary
Synopsis: When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t.
My Three Favorite Quotes from THE SPACE BETWEEN
By Victoria H. Smith
“Lacing my fingers through his, I studied them. His fingers were so much longer than mine, and I envisioned what those fingers could do. And how long they would take to do it before they sent me over the edge.” – Lacey
While writing THE SPACE BETWEEN, I quickly discovered I had quite the fascination with Drake’s hands. There is just something about a guy with big hands and long fingers that is just oh-so-swoony. I think that’s why this is one of my faves.
“This guy in front of me was lost. In his life he was missing something and somehow ended up on my side of town.” – Lacey
This quote really stands out to me because it’s the first time Lacey realizes that there is more to Drake than meets the eye. She finally opens her eyes and sees. Because she does, she and Drake can really connect on a deeper level.
“She was exactly what I needed. Not just something different than what I was used to. She was something of value. She was someone to be valued who had my complete respect.” – Drake
I call this one Drake’s epiphany. For the first time in his life, he starts thinking about someone on a deeper level. His world is no longer just about him. He has allowed himself to care about someone else other than himself. This section really signifies his growth in the novel.
About the Author
Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.
In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.
I’m Kaitlyn Davis, the author of the Midnight Fire Series—a whirlwind paranormal adventure with heart-pumping action and heart-stopping romance—and this blog tour is celebrating the release of Scorch, the final book in the series! Thank you for joining me!
One of my favorite aspects of ending this series is that my main character, Kira, finally has to choose between the two leading men—Tristan and Luke! The suspense is killing some of my readers And for a while, it was killing me too! So, instead of talking about Scorch, I thought I would take everyone back to the beginning—back to Ignite, the first book in my series (free wherever ebooks are sold!).
This is the fourth of six guest posts that will turn the attention on both Tristan and Luke as they get to tell their side of the story! We’ll be revisiting a few important scenes from the first chapters of Ignite, but this time it won’t be Kira who does the talking…
Next up? Kira learns how to surf…and all hell breaks loose! When Tristan saves her life by carrying her from the water, Kira is surprised—and more than a little overjoyed. But before she can even thank him, Luke interrupts—causing a scene…and maybe a fight too. She knows the two boys don’t get along, but she has no idea why. And that’s because, unlike you in five minutes, Kira has no idea how deep Luke’s hatred runs…
As told by Luke…
by Philip W. Simpson
The Rapture Trilogy, Book One
A Day in my Writing Life
by Philip Simpson
I teach during the day and my wife and I have a young son (Jack), so I don’t have much time during the week. To be honest, I’m too tired when I get home to summon up the creative energy you need to write a novel. During school terms, I write in the weekends. Usually both days. I can get on a bit of a roll then. In the holidays, I’ll write every weekday for about the same time. I have the weekends off.
I write in the garage. I can’t concentrate inside. As I try to tell other people – I’m immersing myself in a world. If you talk to me or otherwise distract me, the world image I have before me has an annoying tendency to disappear.
If I write for a whole day, I’ll usually get about 4,000 words done. That’s 20k a week. You do the maths – you can have a whole novel written in about 4 weeks. Of course, it may be terrible, but that’s what the editing process is all about. For preparation, I get on the rowing machine in the morning and listen to my ipod. That’s when I do most of my thinking. I visualize the scenes in my head and the exercise clears my head and gets me charged up. I probably drink about 3 cups of coffee in any given writing day. I’ll start writing at 8am and write solidly until lunch when I’ll have half an hour off. I find it doesn’t pay to have too much of a break – especially if I’m really into the creative process. I’ll start writing again in the afternoon and usually finish around 4pm. I don’t like to work much past that otherwise I don’t get to spend any time with my family. Besides, I’m pretty shattered by that point and my writing gets lazy. I do find it hard to sleep after a solid day of writing – I’m usually too worked up and I often go to bed thinking of better ways to write the scene. My wife tells me she talks to me in the evenings and I answer her but I often forget can’t remember the conversations (it gets awkward when we’re preparing to go out for the weekend and I say ‘where to?’ and she of course says ‘we’ve talked about this.’)
About the Author
You can win print copies of the first and second books in the Rapture series!
A Matter of Fate
by Heather Lyons
Fate Series, Book One
Chloe Lilywhite struggles with all the normal problems of a typical seventeen-year-old high school student. Only, Chloe isn’t a normal teenage girl. She’s a Magical, part of a secret race of beings who influence the universe. More importantly, she’s a Creator, which means Fate mapped out her destiny long ago, from her college choice, to where she will live, to even her job. While her friends and relatives relish their future roles, Chloe resents the lack of say in her life, especially when she learns she’s to be guarded against a vengeful group of beings bent on wiping out her kind. Their number one target? Chloe, of course.
That’s nothing compared to the boy trouble she’s gotten herself into. Because a guy she’s literally dreamed of and loved her entire life, one she never knew truly existed, shows up in her math class, and with him comes a twin brother she finds herself inexplicably drawn to.
Chloe’s once unyielding path now has a lot more choices than she ever thought possible.
While writing A Matter of Fate, I often felt like locations became secondary characters, especially Annar, the secret plane of existence that ties together all the rest in the worlds I created. But while Annar is best explored in your imagination, there are other places in the story that are real that I can share with you. (note: none of these photographs belong to me)
Chloe Lilywhite lives in Northern California, somewhat near San Francisco. I purposely kept the exact city she’s in vague, but it’s on the coast near the woods. Chloe does end up in San Francisco, though. More specifically, she ends up running for her life across the Bay Bridge (which I can attest to is nerve wracking enough to drive across):
While in San Francisco, Chloe stays in a hotel. I never mention which one it is, but I pictured the imposing but gorgeous Fairmont while writing the scenes:
Muir Woods is pretty spot on for where Chloe hangs out with her friend Caleb, and also where kissing takes place (just not with Caleb):
Surfing is a big part of Jonah and Kellan Whitecomb’s lives. Pretty much every time it says they’re going surfing, they head over to Mavericks, a world famous break known for its monster waves:
The beach, in general, plays a big part of A Matter of Fate. Especially in the scene this photo coincidentally (and accurately!) re-enacts:
At one point, a couple of the characters head to a chocolate shop in Annar. This is pretty much what it looked like in my mind! Who wouldn’t want to go here? It’s a chocolate shop!
About the Author
Heather Lyons has been putting stories to paper since she was a little girl. Her first “published” book was a humorous retelling of The Princess and the Pauper. After detours in archaeology and teaching, she is now writing and living in Southern California with her husband and three sons. She likes cupcakes, baseball, hockey, reading, and collecting far too many handbags.
Enter below to win one of (10) e-book copies of A Matter of Fate, open Internationally!
Click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour.
Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.
Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence.
In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.
Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…
The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.
Thanks so much to Carrie for hosting the Stitch Blog Tour today! I’m so excited to be here and to share a little about why I chose to write Stitch – my very first book – in the paranormal romance genre.There are literally HUNDREDS of book genres to choose from, but when I started coming up with ideas for Stitch, there were only two that I knew right away Stitch might fall into: paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi. (And in fact, I wasn’t able to choose just one, so it’s actually a little bit of both!)
Paranormal romance has been HUGE lately, particularly in the young adult market though it definitely appeals to readers of all ages (I was 25 when I read the Twilight series and literally entered a two-week depression after I finished it!!). So what is it about paranormal romance that appeals so strongly to me and to all these other enthusiastic readers?
For me, at least, the appeal of paranormal romance comes down to two things, and sure enough, those two things are right in the name: paranormal and romance.
1. The Paranormal. I’m a para-geek. There’s no denying it. Anything that has to do with anything paranormal just hooks my interest. As a kid, I played with Ouija boards and voodoo dolls, watched any scary movie I could get my hands on (October on the SyFy channel = AWESOME), even ran a lemonade stand in the local graveyard! Tim Burton was (and continues to be) my favorite director (Beetlejuice, anyone?), and whenever there’s nothing on TV, I always seem to find myself watching reruns of one of those terrible ghost hunting shows. I know this is weird, but I just can’t help myself.
And as much as I love a good vampire/werewolf story, ghosts are a particular obsession of mine. I’ve never had a ghost encounter myself (which I have very mixed feelings about – part of me is dying to have one, but part of me is scared to death!), but I’ve certainly heard PLENTY of stories from people who have. And they’re just fascinating. Maybe it’s because I’m both a spiritual person who likes to believe that there is something after death and an engineer who needs a little science to balance things out. Ghosts, after all, are the closest we’ve been able to come to proving there’s an afterlife. So even though real ghost stories are ridiculously scary, I also feel like they’re kind of hopeful; they remind us that there’s more to life than what we think we know.
2. The Romance. In addition to being a freak about anything paranormal, I’m also a hugely hopeless romantic. I will pretty much read or watch ANYTHING as long as it has a sprinkling of romance on top, and I will gladly argue that a little romance will make any story better (I even thought it was romantic when Anakin Skywalker went on a killing spree after finding out his beloved Padme was dead – okay, I have issues!). And I love all kinds of love stories – forbidden love, passionate love, love/hate relationships, even the dreaded “InstaLove.” I’ll buy it all. Hey – love happens.
And if you ask me, combining love with anything paranormal just heightens the experience. First off, there’s the sheer chemical reaction – if your system is all hyped up on adrenaline from being scared, of course you’re going to experience any other emotion more intensely, including love. And then there are all these other exciting elements that are necessitated by the presence of anything paranormal – danger, secrets, sacrifices – it’s a roller coaster! And of course there’s the allure of “fixing” someone – or something – that’s fundamentally broken. (What’s sexier than a natural-born killer of humans pushing his lethal instincts aside in the face of love? See: Edward Cullen, Angel, Damon & Stefan Salvatore, etc. That’s what I call devotion!)
So in the end, paranormal romance just made sense for me. Paranormal romance is the perfect setting for love that’s exciting and intense and deep. I wanted Alessa (the protagonist of Stitch) to know a love that spanned across time, across space, across life and death itself. And what better way to feel that than to fall in love with a ghost?
Kindle / Amazon Ebook:
You can win copies of the book or cool swag!
by Gareth Russell
About the Book
On the first day of September, 16 year-old Meredith Harper rules over the teen it-crowd of Belfast, Northern Ireland. But beneath the surface, Meredith’s complicated web of manipulative lies and self-serving intrigue are slowly beginning to threaten her social position and she finds herself being challenged by handsome Mark Kingston, the only guy in the school who’s always hated her.
In a world where nothing stays secret for very long, Meredith and her friends will need all their skills to guess who’s in, out, coming out, going up, going down, dating, cheating, lying and trying to cope….
Let the games begin!
What happens when people don’t like your characters?
We live in the age of being “nice” and woe betide the author who doesn’t provide young adults with role models and inspirational figures. If a character is mean, then they have to be shown learning a lesson or having a heart secretly buried beneath their ice-cold front. But the problem I have with that is that it’s not only unrealistic, but it also assumes that young adult readers are so young and impressionable that they’ll do whatever a character does in the book. I don’t think that’s the case, clearly. However, there is a fine balance that a writer needs to get right if they’re going to write a book that heavily features characters behaving “badly.”
I have had to deal with that challenge myself. The central character in my book “Popular” and its sequel, “The Immaculate Deception,” is a girl called Meredith Harper, a 16 year-old brunette from Belfast in Northern Ireland with superb self-confidence and a savage wit. Meredith is manipulative, self-assured, self-possessed and incredibly ruthless. One reader told me that she thought Meredith was number 2 on the list of fictional villainesses, right below Dolores Umbridge. However, the overwhelmingly surprising thing about a lot of feedback from “Popular’s” readers was how many of them actually liked Meredith. Not only did they like reading about her, but many of them were actually rooting for her. They want her to win and they’re okay with what she has to do to do it. Furthermore, many readers take a strong dislike to one of the novel’s ‘nicest’ characters, Blake. This is not what people think is supposed to happen in fiction, particularly young adult fiction, where readers are supposed to instinctively cheer for the nice guy and eagerly await the mean girl falling from power. But with “Popular,” that didn’t seem to happen.
Part of the reason why so many readers cheer on Meredith but dislike Blake is because we’re starting to realize that there’s a huge difference between being nice and being good. At one point, Cameron, who’s friends with both Meredith and Blake in the book, defends Meredith to her critics by saying that although she isn’t always good, she is a great friend. Meredith, Imogen and Kerry are loyal, even if they aren’t always nice. In contrast, there are plenty of characters in the book – and in life – who are so determined to be everybody’s friend that they end up being loyal to no one. It’s a difficult balance to strike, yes, but the fact that so many people seemed to side with Meredith maybe shows that people would prefer to have a friend who has their back, rather than someone who wants everyone to like them.
Another part of writing mean, bitchy or forthright characters is that there’s a special kind of joy that comes in being able to give them some of the best lines. Half the fun of reading a book with someone like Meredith, Blair Waldorf or Regina George in it is, I hope, that they say things that you wish you could say in real life. When Meredith shoots down a guy who’s hitting on her at a house party by saying she wishes his mother had been sterilized, I was thinking of a friend of mine who is always getting hit on by guys when she just doesn’t want to be. With everything being so politically correct today and everyone trying to avoid saying anything that could possibly give any kind of offence, it’s refreshing to read or write about characters like Imogen or Meredith who don’t let such things stand in the way of a witty one line.
However, there is a line. At what point does a bitchy character cross over into being downright hateful? The most obvious way, of course, is when they display some truly awful and offensive opinions – sexism, homophobia, racism. Particularly if they’re displayed in a very serious way, rather than a light-hearted way like they are in the characters of Sue Sylvester in “Glee,” Karen in “Will & Grace” or Jane in “The New Normal.” But there can also be a very clear line which I like to think is the difference between bitchiness and bullying. Crossing that line is when a character changes entirely.
Bullying is one of the most loathsome and objectionable things facing young people in our society and with the advent of cyber-bullying and the rise of social networks, it’s getting easier and easier to do it without getting caught. I think the people who do it are vile and I feel very strongly about it, as do thousands of other people. It was therefore so important to me that there should be a clear differentiation in the “Popular” series between those characters who didn’t suffer fools lightly (Meredith and Imogen) and those who were out-and-out bullies (like Harry Irwin in book 2, “The Immaculate Deception.”) Meredith and Imogen are not very nice to people who “get in their way.” They often behave meanly or inappropriately to their in-school rivals, like Coral Andrews, the hipsters’ queen-bee, but they would never start belittling or attacking someone they didn’t know. That’s the difference between them and people like Harry. They are better people.
In the end, you have to trust your gut as a writer and trust that your readers will appreciate a darker sense of humour and what you’re trying to do with your characters and your story. Are the characters in “Popular” perfect? No, absolutely not. No-one is. Sometimes it’s just more fun to sit back and read about a character who’s a little bit larger-than-life and doesn’t care who knows about it.
About the Author
Gareth Russell was a student at Down High Grammar School in Northern Ireland before he went onto to study Modern History at Saint Peter’s College in the University of Oxford.
Gareth is the author of several plays and his first novel, Popular, was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for republication in 2012. Since 2011, Popular has been adapted for the stage on several occasions.
Gareth divides his time between Belfast, London and Connecticut. His accent is therefore best described as polymorphous, shifting with the greatest of ease from Northern Irish to English to American. This pleases him greatly. His first ever word was “shoe” and if he had to have dinner with one person from history, it would be Anne Boleyn.
by Kelly Riad
By the summer, Tatiana “Nicky” Roman must learn to trust Xander Day if she’s ever going to discover the origin of her violent hallucinations. But centuries of being repeatedly murdered by him on July 17th are a little hard to forgive.
Over four hundred years ago, Xander thought the holy man’s prophetic words were as crazy as his eyes—that Alexander and Tatiana were destined to be together forever. But Xander misunderstood the mystic. He knows now forever meant forever taking the other’s life. If they never break the bloody curse holding them prisoners of fate, there will be only one outcome: death.
Believing in Destiny
by Kelly Riad
I’m not sure that I do. I think that whatever it is that draws us to a person to begin with can sometimes be strong enough to continue drawing us to them over and over again. I believe we affect and are affected by everyone we meet and whether it’s conscious or subconscious, change our world for them. But I also believe a lot of power lies in making a decision. You can decide to forgive someone and keep them in your life, you can decide to cut someone off; you can decide to be affected. Nicky took control by deciding to forgive Xander, by deciding to not let outside influences shape her opinion of him. And by doing so, she changed their destiny. So, like much of the driving forces in life, I believe that destiny is within us, that we make our own destiny.
About the Author
Kelly Riad is an American writer who graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas with a degree in journalism. Because’s she’s always been a lucky little brat, her life has taken her all over the world from the hot, humid streets of Hong Kong and the crowded markets of Cairo, to the cobbles of Vienna and the ruins of Rome from where she has shamelessly stolen ideas and material for her stories.
by Rachel K. Burke
Intelligent and fiercely independent, sixteen-year-old Mia Marchette has never had a childhood. After her father’s disappearance when she was six, she has alone borne the burden of her mother’s bipolar disorder.
When her mother is institutionalized after a failed suicide attempt, Mia is abruptly forced to live with the estranged father she has not known for ten years. She is shocked to discover that he has created a new, picture-perfect life for himself, and is now living with a stepmother and a half-sister Mia never knew she had. Together, Mia and her new family must face the bitterness, mistakes, and long-hidden secrets that threaten to destroy their precarious happiness.
Finding Mia follows Mia’s journey as she searches to find the unanswered questions from her past, leading to her own self-discovery.
Ultimately, this is a story of confronting pain and finding freedom, of letting go and learning to search for love in unexpected places.
Ten Facts about Finding Mia
1. Both towns where “Finding Mia” takes place – Duxbury and Hingham – are actual towns where I grew up in south shore Massachusetts.
2. Most of the teacher/student names in the book are a mash up of my own high school teacher/classmate names.
3. I came up with the concept for “Finding Mia” after I read Jennifer Weiner’s novel “In Her Shoes.” In Weiner’s novel, the main character’s mother suffered from depression and committed suicide when she was young. I found myself wondering what would have happened to the young girl had her father not been in the picture, and thought it would make an interesting story. Thus, “Finding Mia” was born.
4. Having no personal experience with bipolar disorder, I conducted extensive medical research for this book. I interviewed nurses from McLean Hospital, who were kind enough to send me additional articles and links to their in-house treatment programs. My mother, also being a nurse, helped with the medical research as well.
5. I was inspired to write this novel while reading “White Oleander” by Janet Fitch. I loved the mother-daughter relationship in her book, as well as her writing language. She was a huge influence to my writing style while I completed the novel. I’d highly recommend her book to anyone who enjoys “Finding Mia.”
6. Suzanne’s character was greatly influenced by my stepmother, Susan. Being a strong yet loving English teacher also, Susan treated my sister and me as her own after marrying my father, and I really needed a strong character similar to her for the story to work.
7. Evan’s character was influenced by my childhood love and close friend. Without giving away any spoilers, his issues and final outcome were also the same as Evan’s. Because it was such an unfortunate experience, it really helped to reflect and write about it years later.
8. If I had to select an actress to play Gretchen, it would be AnnaLynne McCord, because her role as Naomi in 90210 fits Gretchen’s character perfectly.
9. If I had to choose an actress to play Denise, it would be Michelle Pfeiffer, because her role as Ingrid in “White Oleander” fits the beautiful blonde bohemian image that encompasses Denise’s character.
10. I did, in fact, name Mia after my favorite Aerosmith song.
About the Author
Rachel was born and raised in Boston, MA. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
She graduated from Bridgewater University in 2011 with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies.
Rachel’s work has appeared in Prevention Magazine, Worcester Magazine and Starpulse News Entertainment.
Artists & Thieves
by Linda Schroeder
Where there is art, there are thieves.
Mai Ling is both. Artist by day, thief by night, she recovers stolen art for Interpol. It’s a business, not a passion, until her beloved grandfather reveals a family secret that is also a destiny. He is duty-bound to return to China an especially precious bowl which belonged to his ancestor. Mai must steal it for him.
But Mai Ling is not the only one after the bowl. Four others plan to extract the bowl from a private California art collection. The rival thieves grasp and then lose the bowl until finally Mai is faced with the ultimate dilemma: save the bowl or save herself. Her duty to her grandfather gives her only one choice.
Set against the vibrant backdrop of the Monterey Peninsula and peopled with quirky characters, this stylish art caper entertains on every page.
USING REAL DETAILS IN AN IMAGINED SETTING
by Linda Schroeder
Writers ﬁll their ﬁctional world with details from their real world. That’s why we
believe their stories. I think this weaving together of the real and the imagined makes for
In Artists & Thieves, I consciously placed the character Angelo in Monterey’s
Cannery Row because it is a well known place. But the restaurant I invented for him is
straight out of my head. I called the restaurant Sardines because Cannery Row used to
be a cannery row, think John Steinbeck, not a tourist destination. And the main ﬁsh
packed in those old canneries were sardines. A reader doesn’t need to know that but it
helps with the pun:
“Sardines was packed. Angelo nudged his way into the bar area of the
performance space, reassured a little by the odd mixture of elegance and crap which its
owner, Max, had assembled. The metal and brick walls were bleak, the lighting
I don’t always consciously use details from a real place in a scene.
The other day I had lunch at a restaurant which is built around an old trout ﬁshing
lake. It has ﬁsh water spouts on the eaves, fountains spraying cones of water in the
middle, and ducks. There is a long path which winds down from the parking lot. The
path is cool even on the hottest day because bamboo lines both sides of it, thick
bamboo, almost three inches in diameter.
As I walked down the path the other day I thought, Wait a minute. I know this
place. Well, of course, I know it, I’ve been here dozens of times. No, that wasn’t what I
felt. I knew the path from somewhere else. Then I realized that I had used this path as a
setting in Artists & Thieves. It popped into my head as I was writing a key scene
towards the end of the novel. The memory of this real place unconsciously provided the
perfect setting of a chapter.
The chapter is titled The Bamboo Grove. The main character, Mai, is in the
hospital with her grandfather who has been shot. I’ll just pull a few sentences here as
“Mai walked outside to the coffee stand. Came back in with coffee. Walked
outside for a mufﬁn. Came back in. Sat. Picked up a magazine. Couldn’t read. Couldn’t
sit. Paced. Sat. Outside, wisps of fog ﬂowed in currents of evening air. Mai wandered
away from the hospital down a path to a grove of bamboo which screened the cement
parking structure. The thick bamboo stalks offered a sturdy comfort. . . .The gently
curving path wandered through the bamboo. She walked slowly, feeling hopeful. . . .
Along with the rustle of the bamboo leaves, the bowl’s song played in her head. . . . ”
Since I study Chinese brush painting, I know that bamboo is a symbol in Chinese
thought for resilience. It survives the snow of winter, bends without breaking, and
remains green in the heat of summer. That image was perfect for this crucial moment in
the story when Mai needs to pull herself together and ﬁnd the person who shot her
grandfather. Even if you as a reader do not share the knowledge of the symbol, bamboo
works throughout the chapter.
Sometimes I deliberately choose certain places for my characters to be,
sometimes the details of a place pop unexpectedly into my head as I write. Both ways
help create a good story. Artists & Thieves won the 2011 San Diego Book Awards in the
About the Author
Linda Schroeder divides her time between the bright sun of California and the high mountains of Colorado. She has a Master’s degree in English and one in Communicative Disorders/Audiology. In addition to her novel, Artists & Thieves, she has published a college text.
Her early interest in English expanded to include language disorders and she began a second career as an audiologist and aural rehabilitation therapist working with deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults.
Currently, she studies and practices Chinese brush painting, celebrating the vitality and energy of nature. She follows art and art theft blogs and writes her own blog about art and sometimes includes reviews of novels. She is working on two more novels, a second Mai Ling novel about the Diamond Sutra, and a Sammy Chan art mystery about the forgery of a Goya painting.
You can visit her website at www.artistsandthieves.com.
by Nancy Straight
Touched Series, Book One
Her whole life, it had just been the two of them. Before her mother’s last breath, she gave Camille the information she had craved her entire life: the identity of her father. Daring to contact him, Camille was welcomed by an entire family she never knew existed. But nothing comes without a price, as she discovers when her family claims a legendary heritage tracing back to a Centaur touched by Zeus.
As she learns the secrets of her Centaur bloodline, she is drawn into a forbidden love with Drake. Her family acknowledges her life may be the blood debt required to pay for her mother’s transgressions. The same person who once held her mother captive, and forced her into decades of hiding, now controls Camille. Her only chance is to seek a piece of her mother’s past that will win her freedom and the life she desperately desires.
A Guest Post from Nancy Straight
WHY CENTAURS ARE BADASS
Thanks so much for having me today, Carrie! I’m thrilled to be here, and have to confess, I laughed out loud when your topic was emailed to me.
As you know, anyone, human or non-human, can be a badass. I tried to take a systematic approach as to why Centaurs are badasses. Normally it has something to do with size, skills, experience and or attitude.
A traditional Centaur (half horse and half person) would definitely have size on their size. Most horses weigh in at better than eight hundred pounds and stand well over seven feet tall. But the Centaurs in Blood Debt are no longer in that form, they look human. So size may not be on their side.
A traditional Centaur’s sole purpose in life was to wage war. Much of the mythological lore described Centaurs as barbaric, more beast than man, and quick tempered warriors. But the Centaurs in Blood Debt are living among humans and have been undetected for over a millennia. With this knowledge I’d have to say that the warrior skills of the Centaurs in Blood Debt aren’t as sharp as they were a few hundred years ago when the Greeks first wrote about them.
So what makes the Centaurs in Blood Debt badass? Would you believe it’s actually the Centaurides who are badass? Centaurides, you ask? Yes, the female Centaurs.
The male Centaurs kept many of the warrior characteristics from the past, but it is the Centaurides who hold all the magic. Depending on their bloodline they are: telepathic (able to listen in on others thoughts), telekinetic (able to move objects with their minds), psychic (able to see the future), mediums (able to communicate with spirits), or subversive (able to plant false memories in others).
The Centaur Society in Blood Debt is a Matriarchy, where the Centaurides make the decisions and are the heads of their families. They are the leaders and revered by the population. Centaurides are outnumbered five to one, so there are a shortage of Centaurides to carry on the bloodlines. If a Centaur isn’t chosen by a Centauride by the time he’s thirty, he’s banished from the Centaur society and forced to make a life as a human. Can you imagine the power these Centaurides possess?
Centaurs are a dime a dozen, it’s the Centaurides who are badass!! Thanks again for having me today, Carrie!
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