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What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2

What are the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Authors up to now and in 2013?  This is the second is a series of posts.

See Part 1 here.
See Part 3 here.
See Part 4 here.
See Part 5 here.
See Part 6 here.
See Part 7 here.
See Part 8 here.
See Part 9 here.
See Part 10 here.
See Part 11 here.
See Part 12 here.



Elspeth Cooper

Trinity Rising
The Wild Hunt 2
Tor Books, February 19, 2013 (US)
Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
This sequel to Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper continues the story of a young man who has been sentenced to death, and then exiled, for his magical abilities.

As Gair struggles with grief over the loss of the only home he had known, and his beloved, he is walking into a conflict that's greater and more deadly than he or his mentor ever anticipated. A storm of unrest is spreading across the land and they are going to be caught up in it—at a moment when Gair's hold on his magic, his greatest defense and most valuable tool, is starting to slip….




Delilah S. Dawson

The Mysterious Madam Morpho
Blud Novella
Pocket Books, October 2, 2012
eBook, 131 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
Taking place after Wicked as They Come, this original eBook features a mysterious lady and a reclusive mechanical genius who find love and danger in a traveling circus.

An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot. Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind.


Wicked As She Wants
Blud 2
Pocket Books, April 30, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
The second book in the darkly tempting Blud series, featuring a vampire princess who embarks upon a dangerous journey to claim what is rightfully hers.

When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.

Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all….




Kylie Griffin

Alliance Forged
The Light Blade 2
Berkley Trade, July 3, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…

Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.


Allegiance Sworn
The Light Blade 3
Berkley Trade, April 2, 2013.
Trade Paperback and eBook

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a demon leader seeks to unify the races…

With the alliance of the humans and the half-blood Na’Chi forged, the demon Na’Reish prepare for war by seizing human blood-slaves. Captured during a rescue mission-gone-wrong, Light Blade warrior Arek Barial finds himself claimed by a Na’Reishi female who offers him an unexpected choice.

Raised in the elite ranks of a society she abhors, Imhara Kaal lives a dangerous double life as a Na’Reish Clan-leader and an advocate for a caste-free life that honors the Old Ways. Openly rebelling against the Na’Reish would mean her death, unless she can find an emissary willing to present her petition to the human Blade council.

But Arek isn’t about to blindly follow a demon—despite the intense attraction growing between them. And while hatred for the Na’Reish is all he has ever known, Arek must learn to trust Imhara, or risk the destruction of all three races…
[Cover and description from Author's Website]






Tes Hilaire

Deliver Me From Temptation
Paladin Warriors 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca (December 4, 2012)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages 

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
Logan Calhoun is the last full-blooded Paladin, the future leader of a race of immortal warrior angels. The heavy responsibility of continuing the Paladin line falls to him, and the last thing he should do is get involved with a human. Then fate throws Jessica Waters, a homicide detective who doesn't believe in fate or divine intervention, into his path. Her devotion lies in her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. Like Logan, she's a warrior for her people, and she awakens within him something he'd never thought he'd feel. But she's also as human as they come...




Chris F. Holm

The Wrong Goodbye
The Collector 2
Angry Robot (September 25, 2012 US/Canada; October 4, 2012 UK/RoW)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls.

Because of his efforts to avert the Apocalypse, Sam Thornton has been given a second chance – provided he can stick to the straight-and-narrow.

Which sounds all well and good, but when the soul Sam’s sent to collect goes missing, Sam finds himself off the straight-and-narrow pretty quick.

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Missing | Soul Provider | Call Collect | Demon Child ]


The Big Reap (The Collector 3) will be out in 2013.




Benedict Jacka

Cursed
Alex Verus 2
Ace, May 29, 2012 (US)
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
Benedict Jacka's acclaimed Alex Verus series continues with Cursed.

Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power...


Taken
Alex Verus 3
Ace, August 28, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2
This time last year, I could go weeks without seeing another mage. In mage society I was an unknown and, all in all, that was how I liked it. It’s hard to say what changed. Whatever it was, I got involved in the magical world again and started getting myself a reputation.

Alex Verus’s insights into the future used to be the best-kept secret in London. Now, with the aid of his apprentice, Luna, his unique investigative talents are all the rage. He just has to be careful about picking his employers, because everyone—even the beautiful woman who practically begs him to run security for a prestigious tournament—has motives that can be hard to predict. And Alex doesn’t do unpredictable.

But his latest gig just might be impossible. Apprentices have been vanishing without a trace—and someone on the Council could be involved. Alex has no evidence, no witnesses, and no suspects. All he knows is that someone is keeping tabs on him. And after assassins target Luna’s classmate, Alex sees that he doesn’t know the half of it—and that he could be the next to disappear.


There will be an Alex Verus 4 (in 2013) and an Alex Verus 5 (in 2014). More on these in the future.

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - July 15, 2012

Please welcome Kylie Griffin to The Qwillery. Kylie is the author of The Light Blade series. Alliance Forged (The Light Blade 2) was published on July 3, 2012.

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - July 15, 2012


TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery!

Kylie:  Hi, Sally, it's great be back - I had such a lovely visit last time. Your readers were so welcoming and I loved meeting them!


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kylie:  Definitely the first draft! I can see scenes in my head but that first painful pulling out of the words and putting it all onto the screen is the tough part. I love editing because it means I have the bare bones and then can always layer and add or delete as needed.

Other than that, it's the juggling of two jobs - I teach at a local primary school and write in my time outside this. Sometimes it's hard to balance the two.


TQ:   If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, which 5 novels would you want to have with you?

Kylie:  A survival guide written by Bear Grylls!

And in between learning from Bear, I'd read Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey, Caressed by Ice - Nalini Singh, Rapture - Jacqueline Frank and The Lone Warrior - Denise Rossetti. All four ladies are awesome writers and these are my favorite books form their series so far.


TQ:  What do you wish you'd known when the 1st book in your Light Blade series, Vengeance Born, came out that you know now?

Kylie:  The whole experience of promotion and marketing your work. While you might hear about it from other authors, until you experience it yourself you don't realise what it can entail. Making decisions about how you're going to go about it and what you need to do, and do it efficiently, is a steep learning curve.

I'm glad I sketched out a rough marketing/promotion plan and a budget as a guide. I had no idea if I was doing it right but it helped me keep track of everything, and I took notes along the way so I could improve what I was doing.

One thing I've definitely learned is that there's no one more motivated than you to get your book out there and into readers hands than you the author! :-)


TQ:   Please tell us something about Alliance Forged, the second novel in your Light Blade series, that is not in the book description.

Kylie:  Without giving away any spoilers? Well, in the book it's the end of Summer! Hmm, not quite what you were hoping for? OK, something else then - LOL.

Readers will learn more about Kymora, Kalan and Arek's shared past - specifically how Kymora came to be the high priestess and how she relied on both Kalan and Arek to help her through the first few years of her tenure.

Here's a snippet:
[Kymora] ticked off her fingers as she went. “I was twenty- one . . . an acolyte completing my studies . . . still discovering the limitations of my Gift . . . and blind.” She licked her lips, her mouth dry. “Suddenly, I was expected to lead as the head of our order. The position demanded I make decisions about religious affairs and give opinions to Councilors who were twice my age.”
“Wasn’t Kalan your Chosen then?” Varian asked.
“Not for another two years.”
“All of them were followers of the Lady, surely they had faith in Her decision?”
“While they couldn’t refuse Her choice, the Council debated it for three weeks.” Her pulse throbbed so hard her whole body tingled. She stroked her amulet, lips thinning. “They agreed that the skill involved with my Gift and the insights that came from it would offset the issue of appointing one so young to the position of Temple Elect.”
“They needed an excuse to accept your appointment? Condescending idiots!”
His outrage on her behalf heartened Kymora, but still she ducked her head.
“Kymora?” Varian’s hand covered hers, inhibiting her action. “What’s wrong?”
“They might have needed an excuse to value my appointment”— her voice wavered and she cleared her throat twice before being able to continue—“but so did I. I needed them to accept me so badly it was easier to let them believe what they wanted. Although by doing that, everyone assumed I could cope.
“For a while I even convinced myself I could. Eventually the complexities of the issues were way beyond my expertise.” A strangled laugh escaped from her before she could stop it. “I realized too late I couldn’t confide or turn to any of my teachers or other Servants for advice.”
“They wanted a confident leader, not one who had doubts or concerns as real as their own.”
Kymora nodded. “My own desires isolated me.”
“Why do you blame yourself when their lack of faith contributed to the mess as well?”
She gave a half shrug. “I turned to Kalan and Arek for help, but I let them believe they were two of several people I asked for counsel. We talked over problems, made lists of solutions. I spent hours in the Temple in meditation and prayer. With the Lady’s patience and their guidance, I struggled through the two years until Kalan became Chosen.
“I’m sure the Lady meant it as a lesson in humility, and I took it as such, but that time of my life isn’t something I’m proud of so I’ve kept it to myself.”


TQ:  Which character(s) in the Light Blade series has surprised you the most?

Kylie:  Two characters from this series have caught me by surprise.

Arek, Annika's half-brother (he appears in all three books in the series). Originally, I'd planned to have the whole brother and sister joyful meeting and bonding happening once Annika reached Sacred Lake but my subconscious had other plans and their blood relationship became a huge barrier for Arek to deal with and overcome. Given that he'd lost his mother to demons (she was a Light Blade warrior and he'd been led to believe she'd fallen in battle), he naturally hated everything demon, and that depth of emotion isn't some you can get over quickly. So, his attempt to kill Annika during their first meeting meant I had to adjust my whole perception of how I saw their story thread panning out. LOL

The other is Rissa, the child healer. I never planned to write her into VENGEANCE BORN, the first book in the series, but she just appeared out of the blue. As I began writing the scene where Annika had just fled the Blade Council chamber after being subject to their prejudice and hostility, I could see this curly haired child with the gift for feeling when someone's spirit was in pain. Bold, precocious & worldly-wise, she just literally crashed through the hedge to meet Annika and became one of her first friends at Sacred Lake. And it looks like she's going to be a regular secondary character in the series as she appears in ALLIANCE FORGED.


TQ:  Are there any other genres in which you would like to write in addition to Fantasy?

Kylie:  Absolutely! I've two science fiction romance series with Bk#1 in each already written and I'm dying to rewrite a post-apocalyptic series I've had sitting in a box with other stories for years.

These are all projects my agent and I will be talking over with my editor, so I can't give any real details yet. :-)


TQ:   What's next?

Kylie:  ALLEGIANCE SWORN is the third book in the series and is slated for release 2nd April, 2013.

ALLEGIANCE SWORN
Book #3 of the Light Blade series

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a demon leader seeks to unify the races…

With the alliance of the humans and the half-blood Na’Chi forged, the demon Na’Reish prepare for war by seizing human blood-slaves. Captured during a rescue mission-gone-wrong, Light Blade warrior Arek Barial finds himself claimed by a Na’Reishi female who offers him an unexpected choice.

Raised in the elite ranks of a society she abhors, Imhara Kaal lives a dangerous double life as a Na’Reish Clan-leader and an advocate for a caste-free life that honors the Old Ways. Openly rebelling against the Na’Reish would mean her death, unless she can find an emissary willing to present her petition to the human Blade council.

But Arek isn’t about to blindly follow a demon—despite the intense attraction growing between them. And while hatred for the Na’Reish is all he has ever known, Arek must learn to trust Imhara, or risk the destruction of all three races…

N.B. I've just been informed by my editor - good news for mass market paperback fans - Berkley has made the decision to release VENGEANCE BORN in this format and it's also coming out 2nd April, 2013! Woohoo!


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kylie:  Thank you so much for having me! I've enjoyed the interview and look forward to interacting with your readers again (time zones permitting given I'm in Australia, so there might be a bit of a lag in between responses! (-: )

GIVEAWAY QUESTION - "Many paranormal romance book are part of a series. Do you enjoy reading books in a series or would you prefer stand-alones? If you answered yes to reading series, what is it about a series that you enjoy the most?"



The Light Blade Series

Alliance Forged
The Light Blade 2
Berkley Sensation, July 3, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - July 15, 2012
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…

Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.



Vengeance Born
Light Blade 1
Berkley Sensation, February 7, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - July 15, 2012
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...

With the Na'Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na'Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war...



About Kylie

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - July 15, 2012
Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.

Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community. Visit her website at www.kyliegriffin.com




Kylie's Links:

Website
Blog
Newsletter: (sign up form on blog or website)
Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads
Shelfari




The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Alliance Forged (The Light Blade 2) from Kylie, who will be picking the winner!

How:  Leave a comment answering Kylie's question:

Many paranormal romance book are part of a series. Do you enjoy reading 
books in a series or would you prefer stand-alones? If you answered yes to reading 
series, what is it about a series that you enjoy the most? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, July 22, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

The View From Monday - July 9, 2012

Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a nice weekend. This week at The Qwillery is busy as usual.


Monday - ParaCozyMysMo with Sarah Zettel. Let Them Eat Stake (A Vampire Chef Mystery 2) was published in April.

Tuesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Megan Powell. No Peace for the Damned (The Damned 1) will be published on July 10, 2012.

Wednesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Michael R. UnderwoodGeekomancy will be published on July 10, 2012.

Thursday - ParaCozyMysMo with Mary Stanton, author of The Beaufort & Company Mysteries.

Friday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Michael Poore. Up Jumps the Devil was published on July 3, 2012

Saturday - ParaCozyMysMo with Sofie Kelly, author of the Magical Cats Mysteries.

Sunday - Interview with Kylie Griffin. Alliance Forged (A Novel of the Light Blade 2) was published on July 3, 2012.


It's a relatively light book release week.


July 9, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Paladins of Shannara: Allanon's Quest (e)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Terry Brooks F - Short Story



July 10, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Albert of Adelaide (d)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Howard Anderson F
The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Stephen L. Carter AH
The Investigation
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Philippe Claudel Satire/Dystopian
The White Devil (h2tp)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Justin Evans Th/P/H
Lord Tyger (ri)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Philip Jose Farmer F
Shadow of Night
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Deborah Harkness UF - All Souls Trilogy 2
The Mysterious Wu Fang: The Case of the Suicide Tomb (ri)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Robert J. Hogan H
Some Kind of Fairy Tale
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Graham Joyce SF
West of Want
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Laura Kaye PNR - Hearts of the Anemoi 2
A Once Crowded Sky (d)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Tom King F
Blood of the Demon (ri)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Rosalie Lario PNR - Demons of Infernum 1
Tempting the Gods: The Selected Stories of Tanith Lee Volume 1
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Tanith Lee F - Collection
V Wars
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Jonathan Maberry (ed) F
Fever Moon
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Karen Marie Moning UF - Graphic Novel
House of Shadows
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Rachel Neumeier F
The Prankster: A Novella
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
James Polster SF/Humor
No Peace for the Damned (d)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Megan Powell UF - Damned 1
Year Zero (fiction d)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Rob Reid SF/Humor
Geekomancy (d) (e)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Michael R Underwood UF
The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities: Exhibits, Oddities, Images, and Stories from Top Authors and Artists (h2tp)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Ann VanderMeer (ed)
Jeff VanderMeer (ed)
F/SP/SF - Anthology
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Sam Weller (ed)
Mort Castle (ed)
SF/F - Anthology
Zone One (h2tp)
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Colson Whitehead H
The Last Policeman
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Ben Winters F/M
The Prisoner of Heaven
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Carlos Ruiz Zafon M/Su/G - Cemetery of Forgotten Books 3



July 11, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Starboard Wine: More Notes on the Language of Science Fiction
The View From Monday - July 9, 2012
Samuel R. Delany Literary Criticism



d - Debut
e - eBook
h2tp - Harcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue or Reprint

AH - Alternate History
F- Fantasy
G - Gothic
H - Horror
M - Mystery
P - Paranormal
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SP - Steampunk
Su - Supernatural
Th - Thriller
UF - Urban Fantasy

Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012

And the winners are...


Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter 1) by James R. Tuck - Ended February 14, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012

Question:  Who is/are your favorite monster slayer(s)? (books, movies, etc.)

Pamk who said:

I love Gin Blanco from Jennifer estep. She's not your typical monster hunter but she definitely kills them.


Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012


In the Service of the King (Vampire Warrior Kings 1) eBook by Laura Kaye - Ended February 15, 2012 - Read the Guest Blog here.

Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012

Question: Tell me how important covers are in your decision to read a book and/orif you have a favorite part of this cover?

Because the original winner (Sophia Rose) has already received a copy of 
In the Service of the King 
(and kindly let me know), a new winner has been randomly chosen:

Rebe who said:

Yes, the cover is very important, especially if I'm browsing for books online or in a store! I tend to pass over books with unprofessional looking covers, because I wonder if the rest of the book will be equally as bad (perhaps unfair of me).

I love the photo of the castle at the bottom of this cover - I think it makes it stand out among the HQN Nocturne covers I've seen, since usually they just have a photo of the couple on the front, nothing else.


Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012


Shadow Highlander (Dark Sword 5) by Donna Grant - Ended February 16, 2012 - Read the Guest Blog here.

Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012

Question:  Why do you love historical romance, and who are some of your favorite authors?

Leah Weller who said

I am so glad that I subscribed to The Quillery! I am finding so many new to me authors that I'm almost squeeling about it :)
When I opened my email and saw you were here and started reading about you and your books I felt like you were speaking from my heart. I have such a love for anything medieval. My wordpress name is leahluvsmedieval, lol! I've used that name for years with other things too. My love for historical romance came from the first romance book I read. Kathleen Woodiwiss The Wolf and the Dove. That one book changed my life. It started me down a road of wanting to learn all I could about the medieval period. I feel like I cannot soak enough in. I have such an inner pull for England, Wales,and Scotland that I can't even begin to put it into words. I think the only ones who understand it, are the ones who have that inner pull themselves. It's deeper than words. I have often thought that I was born in the wrong century. One day, my soul will find it's way back home. I love historical romances because for a short time, I can escape back and enjoy the ride that the author takes me on, with their characters. As for favorite authors, Sue-Ellen Welfonder/Allie MacKay, Karen Ranney, Diana Gabaldon, Sandra Hill, Alison Weir, Heather Graham/Shannon Drake to name a few. I could sit here and go on and on. From the sounds of your books, it seems you may soon be on that list too :) I am suprised at how many good authors/books there are out there that I had no clue about. Donna, thank you for this interview and giveaway and I have added your books on my wishlist. Beautiful covers, btw. The cover Gods have been sprinkling happy dust your way.


Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012


Vengeance Born (The Light Blade 1) by Kylie Griffin - Ended February 17, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012

Question:  Who is/are some of your favorite strong heroine(s)? (books/comics/TV/movies)

Mel who said

In TV my favourite heroine has to be Buffy - she just changed the world for me. Books-wise I would say Kate Daniels has grown so much since the series started.


Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012


Empire State by Adam Christopher - Ended February 18, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012

Question:  Who or what are your favorite superhero(es) or supervillain(s)?

rissatoo who said

As a young girl, my fave superhero was Wonder Woman. But as an adult, lately I find myself partial to Iron Man. (I have a bit of a RDJ crush...)

Enjoyed the interview and am looking forward to the book.

rissatoo

P.S. I seem to love ellipses... LOL


Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012


The winners have been notified and have until 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Sunday, February, 26 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly pick a new winner or winners.

Thank you to all!

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - February 10, 2012

Please welcome Kylie Griffin to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Vengeance Born (The Light Blade 1), Kylie's debut, was published on February 7, 2012.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Kylie:  I write from beginning to end when I draft – I can’t write scenes out of order. I jot points down, or a few sentences when a scene comes to me and save them in a BITS file, but until I arrive at that point in the draft, it’s sequence in the plot and the full impact of it isn’t realized.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Kylie:  Ahh, such a complicated question, and only because I straddle the fence with genres. When I first started getting into reading, I devoured straight fantasy and science fiction, stories written authors like Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, David Eddings and Rowena Corey Daniells.

In my late teens I discovered the romance genre and then paranormal romance – all my favorite genres combined – I was in heaven!

Must-buys for me in this genre are Nalini Singh, Lora Leigh, Joss Ware, Elizabeth Vaughn, Larissa Ione, Denise Rossetti, JRWard, Sara Creasy and JRWard.

But of all of these authors, Anne McCaffrey had the greatest influence on me as a writer. Her stories fired my imagination and inspired me to write my own. I loved how well she combined all the elements of good fantasy/SF and never shied away from including a romance in the story. The best of all worlds! :-)

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Kylie:  I’m evolving. In my early years as a writer I was a definite panster. I have boxes of unfinished manuscripts stored under my bed thanks to this rather inefficient method.

But as I’ve developed my craft, and now that I’m published and required to submit sample chapters and a synopsis to my editor, I’ve had to evolve into a semi-plotter.

I usually know how I want to start and end a story but everything else in between is fuzzy. I begin writing and as the story takes shape I see scenes.

Imagine walking through a foggy valley and every so often you come to the crest of a hill and see another in the distance and head for it. That’s how I get through the middle of the story. I just have to make sure the journey takes me to the ending I want. Most times this method works.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kylie:  Writing the first draft, particularly the first 30000 words. It’s the time when the story, the characters, the world is all new.

I’m uncovering elements of each as I write. I’m getting into the characters heads, learning who they are and how they think, feel, and act. I’m discovering their world step by step beside them.

Once I get past that first third of the book I know them and the rest comes a lot more easily.

TQ:  Describe Vengeance Born (The Light Blade 1) in 140 characters or less.

Kylie:  A bastard born heroine and warrior hero uncover ancient secrets, struggle with prejudice, and who discover a love that will save three races.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Vengeance Born?

Kylie:  Ideas for new books usually come as I’m writing another. It was about a year before I put fingers to keyboard to write Vengeance Born that I saw Annika, the heroine, in exactly the same scene as the one that opens the book.

She was descending into father’s dungeon about to meet a human Light Blade warrior for the first time, about to begin her escape and achieve her goal of beginning a new life.

The scene was so vivid I jotted down the details and, as I finished writing another paranormal manuscript, Annika remained at the back of my mind. I daydreamed a lot of ‘what if…’ scenarios to discover her story.

It seems a strange thing to say that I had fun considering the possibilities of a crossbreed child born as the result of a rape.

How would the environment influence her development? Could any one person influence or balance her upbringing? What role would they play? How could they affect her? Which character traits would develop because of her situation? What strengths and weaknesses would she have?

I decided that Annika would have strength and courage backed by a determination to free herself – there would be no waiting around for someone to save her (I love a strong heroine) – but, because of her upbringing, she’d also harbor a flawed sense of worth and need for acceptance.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Vengeance Born?

Kylie:  The wonderful thing about the paranormal genre is that a lot of what I write can be all made up, but I suppose we have to base our ideas on something that’s familiar with then give it our own unique twist.

I drew maps, so scoured atlases for geographical details that I could include in mine.

Scriptures from the bible and the Christian ethos also influenced the development of the deity character, her followers – the Light Blade warrior caste and some others in Vengeance Born.

I poured through numerous costume and ancient weapons books for details about clothing, daggers, swords, shields, armor etc. but for most part everything else came from my imagination.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Kylie:  The easiest was Annika. I had that connection with her from the very first time I saw her descending into the dungeon. I focused a lot on her in the initial daydreaming stages.

Kalan proved the most challenging and a lot of that was trying to make the dialogue sound like a guy speaking.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Vengeance Born?

Kylie:  There’s an escape scene in the opening chapters of the book that I just loved writing. The whole emotional tug and pull of the characters in conflict but then also connecting.

Annika and Kalan have this tentative thread of trust born of a common need to escape her father and Na’Reish territory. They discover some of the more unpleasant facets about each other in that scene – their inbuilt prejudices of one another’s races – yet they reach a point where they realize what they believe isn’t necessarily true. It’s one of the first major turning points in their relationship with one another.

Another of my favorite scenes is in Chapter 15. Without giving too many details away, readers learn more about Annika's past, see Kalan's reaction to it and both explore the physical attraction developing between them. It’s all about trust, commitment and connections.

No spoiler but here’s just a snippet...

     Annika swung her legs around to sit on the ledge facing inward, her gaze fixed on him as she tried to sort out the tangle of emotions his words evoked. He was treating her as if she were human, and making it easy for her to forget the fact that she wasn’t.
     She shouldn’t like that but she did. She clenched her hand around the edge of her cloak. His recent behavior was making it safe to share things she’d never have thought to reveal to anyone else. He didn’t criticize her, didn’t laugh at her ignorance, hadn’t taken advantage of her weaknesses. Other than Hesia, no one had ever kept their promises to her.
     He treated her like a friend.
     Annika started to shake. Not in fear, but with the strength of an unknown emotion filling her heart. With every beat, the warmth of it spread through her. He stood close enough that she could feel the heat of his body, even through two cloaks. She lifted her hand toward him then hesitated.
     Touching Kalan, exposing her need for him, lifted the hairs on her neck. She hated being vulnerable. But she wanted to show him the same amount of trust he’d finally given her.
Mouth dry, she cupped his cheek then trailed her fingers along his stubbled jaw and shuddered, liking the rough sensation of it beneath the palm of her hand. Her gaze dropped to his lips. They looked soft, unlike the rest of his lean body. She wanted to kiss him but wasn’t sure if she had the courage. The scent of his arousal filled her lungs.
     “I don’t bite.” The corners of his mouth turned upward ever so slightly. “Not unless you want me to.”
TQ:  What's next?

Kylie:  ALLIANCE FORGED, the second book in this series is out 3rd July 2012, so I’m at the tail end of the publishing process with it as I type this.

And, all going well, Book #3 (untitled) is scheduled for an early 2013 release. Both books feature characters introduced in VENGEANCE BORN.

On the new manuscript/writing front I’m thinking of finishing off a sci-fi/space opera romance that I started just before I received ‘the call’ from Berkley back in late 2010…unless, of course, I’m contracted for more in the Light Blade series! :-)

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kylie:  Thanks so much for having me – it’s been a hoot and I really enjoyed answering your questions.


Read Kylie's Guest Blog - Hail the Strong Heroine! - by clicking here.


About The Light Blade Series

Vengeance Born
Light Blade 1
Berkley Sensation, February 7, 2012
Trade Paperback, 336 pages

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - February 10, 2012
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...

With the Na'Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na'Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war...


Alliance Forged
The Light Blade 2
Berkley Sensation, July 3, 2012
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - February 10, 2012
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…

Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.


About Kylie

Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - February 10, 2012
Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.

Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community. Visit her website at www.kyliegriffin.com



Kylie's Links:

Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads:
Shelfari


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Vengeance Born (The Light Blade 1) for Kylie!

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Who is/are some of your favorite strong heroine(s)? (books/comics/TV/movies)

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, February 17, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

The View From Monday - February 6, 2012

Happy first Monday in February. We get an extra day in February this year. I'm going to dedicate it to reading I hope. The Qwillery is very busy again this week!

Monday - Guest Blog by Maeve Greyson. Maeve's upcoming novels include Eternity's Mark and The Highlander's Fury.

Tuesday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with James R. Tuck. James' debut, Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk, Occult Bounty Hunter 1) will be published tomorrow.

Wednesday - Interview with Jennifer Safrey. Tooth and Nail is out from Night Shade Books.

Thursday - Guest Post by Donna Grant. Darkest Highlander (Dark Swords 6) was published on January 31, 2012.

Friday - 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interview with Kylie Griffin. Vengeance Born, Kylie's debut, will be published tomorrow.

Saturday - Authors After Dark Spotlight Interview with Samantha Kane.

Sunday - Authors After Dark Spotlight Interview with Diana Castilleja.


Here's the book list for this week. There are a lot of books to choose from. And to help you shop, you can find a printable PDF of this week's book by clicking HERE. This will take you to Google Docs. Click "File" on the left and then "Print (PDF)."


February 7, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Throne of the Crescent Moon (d)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Saladin Ahmed F
Claws and Effect
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Amanda Arista PNR - Diaries of an Urban Panther 2
Hot Summer Bites (e)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Nina Bangs PNR - Castle of Dark Dreams Novella
Midnight Enchantment
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Anya Bast PNR - Dark Magic 4
Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Peter S. Beagle (ed) SF/F/YA - Anthology
The Year of Eating Dangerously
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
K. Bennett UF - Mallory Caine, Zombie at Law 2
The Voice (e)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Anne Bishop PNR -  Ephemera Novella
A Fitting End
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Melissa Bourbon M - Magical Dressmaking Mystery 2
Blackveil (h2tp)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Kristen Britain F - Green Rider 4
Stud
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Cheryl Brooks PNR - Cat Star Chronicles 8
Mars Trilogy: A Princess of Mars; The Gods of Mars; The Warlord of Mars
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Edgar Rice Burroughs SF - Omnibus
The Haunted Lands
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Richard Lee Byers F - D&D: Forgotten Realms Haunted Lands Omnibus
The Masked Witches
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Richard Lee Byers F - D&D: Forgotten Realms: Brotherhood of the Griffon 4
Overbite (h2tp)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Meg Cabot PNR - Insatiable 2
Unbroken
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Rachel Caine UF - Outcast Season 4
Fury of Fire
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Coreene Callahan PNR - Dragonfury 1
Garrett Takes the Case
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Glen Cook F - Garrett, P.I. Omnibus 4
Guardian of Night
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Tony Daniel SF
Underwater Love
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
MaryJanice Davidson PNR - Fred the Mermaid Omnibus
The King of the Crags (h2mm)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Stephen Deas F - Memory of Flames 2
The Order of the Scales
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Stephen Deas F - Memory of Flames 3
Forest Moon Rising (tp2mm)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
P. R. Frost UF - Tess Noncoire Adventure 4
Shaded Vision
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Yasmine Galenorn UF - Sisters of the Moon 11
Westward Weird
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Martin H. Greenberg (ed) SF/F - Anthology
Vengeance Born (d)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Kylie Griffin PNR - Light Blade 1
Deliver Me from Darkness (d)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Tes Hilaire PNR - Paladin Warriors 1
Something About Witches
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Joey W. Hill PNR - Arcane Shot 1
City of Dragons
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Robin Hobb F - Rain Wilds Chronicles 3
Yours, Mine and Howls
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Kinsey W. Holley PNR - Werewolves in Love 2
Dark Inspiration
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Russell James H
The Lord of Illusion
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Kathryne Kennedy PNR - Elven Lords 3
Apocalypse to Go
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Katharine Kerr UF - Nola O'Grady 3
Key of Solomon
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Cassiel Knight PNR - Relic Defender 1
World Divided
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Mercedes Lackey SF - Secret World Chronicle 2
The Lamplighters
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Frazer Lee H
Night of the Huntress
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Crista McHugh PNR
The Last Ditch
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Sandy Mitchell F -Warhammer 40,000: Ciaphas Cain
The Winter Ghosts (h2tp)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Kate Mosse HF
Siren's Desire
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Devyn Quinn PNR - Dark Tides 3
Alpha Instinct
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Katie Reus PNR - Moon Shifter 1
The Mirage
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Matt Ruff SF
A Hundred Words for Hate
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Thomas E. Sniegoski UF - Remy Chandler 4
King of Darkness (d)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Elisabeth Staab PNR - Chronicles of Yavn 1
Inked Magic
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Jory Strong PER
Blood and Bullets (d)
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
James R. Tuck UF - Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter 1
Eternal Captive
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Laura Wright PNR - Mark of the Vampire 3




February 8, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Pure
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Julianna Baggott SF
Gem of a Ghost
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Sue Ann Jaffarian M - Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery 3




February 10, 2012
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
The View From Monday - February 6, 2012
Daniel Wallace SF


d - Debut
e - Ebook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback

F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HF - Historical Fantasy
PER - Paranormal Erotic Romance
PNR - Paranormal Romance
SF - Science Fiction
UF - Urban Fantasy
YA - Young Adult

Guest Blog by Kylie Griffin - Hail the Strong Heroine!

Please welcome Kylie Griffin to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Kylie's debut novel, Vengeance Born (Light Blade 1) will be published on February 7, 2012 by Berkley.


Hail the Strong Heroine!

     I pretty much cut my teeth on the paranormal genre as a child. I don’t know where I inherited this obsession from for watching TV shows and movies and reading of this sort – think Star Trek, Xena, Star Wars, Tolkein, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton - because no one in three generations on either side of the family tree possessed the same interests.

     There was the suggestion made that I was a changeling…*grin*…but for whatever reason, I loved this genre and gravitated towards it as a young writer.

     While I enjoyed characters like Spock, Han Solo and Aragorn, I found myself fascinated by the heroines of this genre – Princess Leia, Ellen Ripley, Lessa of Pern, Talia of Valdemar, Xena, Sara from McCaffrey’s Restoree, the list could go on.

     Why? Well, what’s not to love about a heroine who’s smart, determined, courageous and strong enough to take action to rescue herself or create her own destiny? These were the sort of heroines I wanted to write about!

     Sure, throw in a great hero alongside her – who wouldn’t love a Han Solo, an Aragorn, or Wery leader like F’lar - but my fascination and connection lay with the heroine of the story.

     In VENGEANCE BORN, the first book of my Light Blade series, the heroine is Annika, the daughter of a demon king. Right from the outset of the story we learn that she’s the product of a rape, a bastard child bred for retribution against an old enemy. She also yearns for escape.

     Reviled by both demons and humans for her half-blood status, she devises her own plan for a new life, rather than wait for someone to save her. In the opening scene of the book she descends into her father’s dungeon to rescue Kalan, the hero, intending to ask him for sanctuary among the humans in exchange for his freedom.

     In many ways Annika is a powerful character. She has the ability to heal or kill with a touch. Within demon society, power commands respect, yet instead using her Gift to elevate, Annika chooses to heal people rather than use it against them - her rebellion against a father who would use her Gift to further his own cause if he ever learned of the secret.

     Having endured bullying and physical abuse from a young age, Annika’s developed the mental toughness and street smarts she’s needed to survive such circumstances.

     “So, do you always perch on balcony ledges?”
     “Not always.” Annika shot Kalan a sideways glance. The pale mauve sky silhouetted his strong profile. “Usually I sit on the pitch of a roof.”
     His eyebrows rose and the changing expression on his face said he was trying to work out if she was joking. She wasn’t. He was curious but she knew he’d never question her, not unless she continued the conversation. He gave her the choice to share her past with him. Another thing she was coming to like about him.
     With her fingernail, Annika scraped a design into the frost coating the stone beside her. “I was chased up into one of the fortress towers by some Na’Reishi children once. I think I was eight or nine at the time. They were several years older than me and considered it sport to try and catch me. The winner got first-rites.” She smiled crookedly as his brows dipped. “They got to hit me first before the others joined in.”
     He issued a soft, vehement curse. “Did that happen often?”
     “Two or three times a week.”
     In her minds-eye, Annika could see her father’s angry face as she’d dared complain the first time it happened. Inwardly she cringed remembering the sharp sound of the blow as he backhanded her, the pain just becoming the freshest ache in her body.
     You deserve whatever you get! Maybe it’ll teach you to run faster, think smarter.
     She stopped scratching the ice and took a deep breath. “Getting caught in the tower, hearing them charge up the stairs and knowing what awaited me if I didn’t escape forced me out the window. My limbs shook so badly as I pulled myself over the eave I thought I’d fall before I reached the pitch of the roof,” she said softly. “After that I learned every hidey-hole, every dark corner, and possible escape route around the keep.” She pointed to several places around the Light Blade compound. “I’ve counted six good places here already.”

     Once in human territory she confronts the poison of prejudice, challenging Kalan’s perceptions of her and standing up to the blind hatred levelled at her by the human Blade Council.

     “I said I’d answer your questions.” With a trembling hand, Annika gently closed the book and pushed it away from her. “I don’t keep a journal, Councilor Candra, because I don’t know your letters and words. I was never allowed to learn them.”
     Davyn grunted loudly. “Illiterate and a liar.”
     Annika flinched, shocked by the utter derision in his tone, but a heartbeat later heat exploded throughout her body. She rose from her seat, the slow scraping of her chair capturing everyone’s attention. Trembling, she fisted her hands, aware that her admission had damaged their impression of her.
     “For what it’s worth, Councilor Candra, I don’t need a journal to remember what I was taught.” Her voice wavered but she kept her head held high, drawing the shreds of her pride around her like a cloak. “My teachings are all up here.” She tapped her forehead and ignored the few who snorted. “Hesia, the human woman who taught me, told me many stories about the courtesy and tolerance of humans compared to the Na’Reish. She held the Council in high regard and spoke of you as respected leaders. She said with your faith in the Lady you could be relied upon to be open-minded and fair. But you’re not the Blade Council she spoke of.”
     Her glance strayed to Kalan. He stood silent, his face an implacable mask, his gaze hooded. What was he thinking? Did he support her or not? Her anger faltered. Perhaps she’d overstepped the mark. It was too late to take back her words.
     Why she was even bothering to care about what he thought of her she didn’t know. She turned her attention back to the other people in the room and raked her gaze over each of the Councilors, unable to stomach their prejudice alone or hide her contempt.
     “If you measure a person’s worth by a single set of standards, and dismiss them because they don’t meet them, then I don’t know if you live up to mine.”
     She turned on her boot heel and left the chamber.

     Annika’s also found spiritual fortitude in the form of the Lady, a human deity responsible for the healing powers she possesses. Her faith gives her the strength to commit to her actions and make her own way in the world.

     Then there were the prayers to the Lady for guidance and assistance. At first Annika believed Hesia and the human-slaves had been talking about an actual person, but the more she’d listened she’d discovered that She was a deity who offered them wisdom and comfort while guiding them in their journey through life.
     To a child raised on rejection and distain, Her compassion and love fulfilled a need she’d never known existed until then. She was also a part of her mother’s world, something Annika had always craved to learn more about.

     But while Annika has these strengths she’s also vulnerable.

     Being born a half-blood wasn’t her fault. Annika’s throat tightened. Would she ever find a place in this world where she felt at peace? Where no one judged her for who or what she was?
     Moonlight filtered through the thick canopy but even without it she’d have been able to find her way. Enhanced sight, inherited from her demon father. Yet another reason for Kalan to condemn and reject her.
     Why was she letting his attitude affect her so much? Both human and Na’Reish despised her. She’d suffered their hatred and disgust all her life. Why had she expected this human to be different?
She blinked back tears. Perhaps because she had healed and then saved him. What did she have to do to make anyone value her beyond what her gifts could provide them?

     Because of her upbringing she feels this incredible sense of separation and isolation, and constantly questions her self-worth, yet also yearns for acceptance and love.

     As readers, I think these feelings are ones we can definitely identify with. Who hasn’t experienced them at some stage in our lives? Annika’s journey might be about finding a new life and freedom, yet there are some very personal flaws she also struggles to overcome.

     So, is Annika a strong heroine? Well, if I’ve done my job right, then readers are going to be able to empathise and connect with her as a character. They’re going to root for her as she and Kalan begin their journey together – to human territory, and as a man and woman discovering love along the way – and perhaps, she might be someone who sticks in your mind over time like some of the heroines who have impacted me as a reader.

     Thanks for hosting me here on your blog, Sally, and letting me share a little about Annika. It’s been a hoot!

     VENGEANCE BORN (Book #1 in the Light Blade series) will be released February 7th, 2012, with Berkley Sensation. I look forward to and welcome feedback about Annika and her story.


About Vengeance Born

Vengeance Born
Light Blade 1
Berkley Sensation, February 7, 2012
Trade Paperback, 336 pages

Guest Blog by Kylie Griffin - Hail the Strong Heroine!
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born...

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na'Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father's people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she's gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy...

With the Na'Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na'Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father's dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war...

Alliance Forged (Light Blade 2) will be published in July 2012.


About Kylie

Guest Blog by Kylie Griffin - Hail the Strong Heroine!
Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.

Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community. Visit her website at www.kyliegriffin.com
Guest Blog by Kylie Griffin, author of The Light Blade series, and Giveaway - April 8, 2013What's Up for 2012 Debut Authors in 2012 and 2013 - Part 2So Many Winners! - August 11, 2012Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - July 15, 2012The View From Monday - July 9, 2012Winners x 5 - February 19, 2012Interview with Kylie Griffin and Giveaway - February 10, 2012The View From Monday - February 6, 2012Guest Blog by Kylie Griffin - Hail the Strong Heroine!

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