Monday, March 31, 2014

Character Interview and Review: The Mind's Eye (KC Finn)

I'm so excited to welcome KC Finn back to the blog! Her new YA historical novel, "The Mind's Eye" is already out on B&N, and will be releasing on Kindle/Amazon tomorrow!

What is "The Mind's Eye" all about? 

A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.

At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.

As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time. 

There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.

Interview with Kit Cavendish

1. Your gift isn't something you typically tell people about. Can you explain how it works to my readers?

I suppose it’s something like a psychic takeover, although I don’t have any powers to control the minds of the people I can travel to. I just close my eyes, concentrate on my target and then (hopefully) take up residence inside their mind, where I can see and sense through their eyes and ears and also feel the surges of emotional energy that their body’s going through. Sometimes I can also speak into their minds, but that terrifies a lot of people so I don’t tend to do it too often!

2. When did you first discover your gift?

I think I was somewhere around nine years old when the power first manifested, but at the time I was visiting other people’s minds subconsciously whilst I was asleep, so I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just thought I was having strange dreams! I must have been around twelve when I came to conclusion that I could use this gift in my waking hours and start to hone it to do my bidding.

3. Can you tell us about how you and Henri became friends?

I’m not that good at targeting the right mind when I make a psychic journey, so Henri and I actually met by accident when I was trying to gain some information on the Nazi progress during the war. The Nazi soldier I had tried to find was situated in Oslo, which is Henri’s hometown, so when I was looking for a mind to settle in, I found his. He was remarkably unfazed by my presence in his mind, so I decided I would visit him more than once, the rest is history!

4. How did developing your gift compare to the exercises you are asked to do to strengthen your body and combat your physical ailments?

I suppose the mental training and the physical training were both as hard as each other, but I found the physical stuff more demanding because I didn’t really want to do it. I had the belief that I was weak and that physical strength was something too impossible to achieve, but my mental prowess showed instant results with a little work, so I was more inclined to spend time working on that than on my bodily health. Having a doctor with the sense of humour of a hot poker doesn’t help in these situations either.

5. Because of your physical difficulties, you were restricted to remaining indoors for a long time. Your gift gave you some freedom, but what really pushed you to suffer through regaining the ability to walk?

Growing up indoors and ‘cared for’ all the time, I didn’t see the need to be independent because my mother had built a very comfortable life around me. The war changed all of that totally, it threw me out of my comfort zone and forced me into a new world where people suddenly had all these expectations of me. I think it was a combination of loving encouragement from people like Mam and Henri as well as the tough love that Blod and Doctor Bickerstaff laid on that pushed me to want to succeed at being mobile again.

6. Can you describe how meeting Henri changed the way you used your gift?

Prior to the war I was a very purposeless young girl. I didn’t see that I could be any use to anyone in a career and I didn’t feel that any man would ever want to marry me because of my disability, so I didn’t really know where my future was going. Meeting Henri showed me the dangers of war and the dependency that people in wartime have on intelligence and surveillance. My gift really lent itself to those two things, so with Henri’s help and knowledge I was able to find purpose again and make a genuine contribution to the war effort.

7. What do you hope readers take away from your story?

That it doesn’t matter who you or where you come from, because anyone can find their hidden strengths and play their part to help the world be a better place. We all deserve love and a family despite our mistakes and the things that make us a little abnormal too.

8. What is in store for you and Henri next?

I’ll be following in my parents’ footsteps and it looks as though Henri will be doing the same until the war is over. To tell you the truth, it’s my little brother Leighton I’m worried about. He’s so young that we can’t really involve him in much of our new life together; I worry that he’s going to be a troubled teenager himself one day…

My Review

When Kit and her brother are sent out of London during the war to stay with a foster family, she has no idea how much it will change her life. Physically, emotionally, and mentally, she is pushed to her limits in the Welsh countryside. Her psychic gift, which she has kept carefully hidden all her life suddenly becomes her only source of freedom, and the only chance she has to help one of the people she loves most. 

I am certainly no expert on history, but it was obvious that Finn put a great deal of time into the research behind this book. Everything from rationing, cloth shortages, and the types of medical treatment available during that time was very well done. Finn did a great job of setting the scene and making sure readers felt like they were a part of war time Europe. The treatments Kit had to endure were so interesting to read about. At times it broke my heart to watch her suffer through her illness, but at the same time I felt so happy for Kit every time she met a milestone and persevered through a difficult situation. She was a great example of strength, and I hope readers learn from her. 

Kit's psychic abilities play a huge role in the overall story. One thing that really bugs me when books incorporate abilities like this is when there's no consistency or it doesn't make sense. That wasn't a problem here. Kit has limitations, and those frequently affect what she can do in the story. The rules and structure of the psychic ability were well crafted and added so much to the story. I hate to give spoilers, but at one point these limitations were almost unbearable. I was so frustrated with what was happening right along with Kit!

The characters almost always make or break a book for me. Having read some of Finn's work previously, I didn't expect that to be a problem, and I was right. I connected with Kit right off the bat. She was so realistic and had a great deal of depth to her character. At times it was difficult to watch her struggle, but that made her triumphs all the sweeter. Henri, well, I just plain adored him. His character was absolutely delightful and I was pulling for him all the way through. It wasn't just the main characters that will catch readers attention. Ever single side character was layered and complex and I got pulled into their stories easily. This is a beautifully rich cast of characters. 

The overall story was beautiful. Everyone is put into such a difficult situation. They have plenty of reasons to just give up, but they don't. They suffer through everything they are faced with, no matter how hard. The inspire each other and bear the weight of the other's burdens. This is one of those books that you will walk away from and keep thinking about it for days. 

Get your copy of "The Mind's Eye"

Available soon on your favorite ebook store

Meet the Author

Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it'd be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first three novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga, the time travel adventure The Secret Star and her new urban fantasy epic The Book Of Shade.

K.C. Finn has also recently been welcomed into the fold at Clean Teen Publishing as a debut Young Adult author for 2014 - look out for her epic Paranormal/Historical Adventure The Mind's Eye, coming early 2014!

As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.

Connect with KC Online

Cover Reveal: The Spirit (D. Nichole King)

Coming April 2014...



* Book #1 in the Spirit Series *

While seventeen year-old Carrie Reese’s parents were working out the details of their divorce, she headed to Villisca, Iowa to stay with her grandparents.

Villisca was home to the infamous Axe Murder House…

It’s known to be haunted by the ghosts of the victims and their killer. Carrie doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the moving curtains and red flashes of light in the windows of Lot 310 were starting to give her reason to watch her back.

Then in walked Lucas…

Within days, Carrie knew she was in love. But Lucas seemed strange: his hands were cool and hollow, he barely touched his food, and there was sadness behind his brilliant green eyes.

Lucas was falling for Carrie but knowing that loving her puts her in grave danger, he reluctantly slips out of her life….

He struggles between staying away and telling Carrie his darkest secret. Unable to stand being apart from her any longer, he decides she must know.


Born and raised in Iowa, d. Nichole King writes her stories close to home. There’s nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale.

She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn’t bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now she can’t stop.

When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.

Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kiss My Math (Danica McKellar)

So with Danica McKellar starring on Dancing With The Stars, I began feeling a bit nostalgic. I loved watching The Wonder Years when I was growing up and the romance between Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper had me wishing for my own childhood romance :) That Danica went on to become an author and math guru made her a even cooler in my dorky opinion. In celebrating the re-emergence of Danica McKellar, I've joined together with a few other YA authors to host a giveaway!

Two lucky winners will receive a paperback copy of Kiss My Math by Danica McKellar!

The giveaway begins today and continues until Danica wins or is eliminated from Dancing With the Stars.

 From the author of the runaway bestseller Math Doesn?t Suck, the next step in the math curriculum-- pre-Algebra

 Last year, actress and math genius Danica McKellar made waves nationwide, challenging the "math nerd" stereotype and giving girls the tools to ace tests and homework in her unique just-us-girls style. Now, in Kiss My Math, McKellar empowers a new crop of girls, 7th to 9th graders, taking on the next level of mathematics: pre-Algebra. Stepping up not only the math, but also the sass and style, Kiss My Math will help math-phobic teenagers everywhere chill out about math, and finally "get" negative numbers, variables, absolute values, exponents, and more.

Each chapter features:   - Step-by-step instruction - Time-saving tips and tricks - Illuminating practice problems with detailed solutions - Real-world examples - True stories from Danica's own life as a student and actress Kiss My Math also includes more fun extras--including personality quizzes, reader polls, and real-life testimonials-- ultimately revealing why pre-Algebra is easier, more relevant, and more glamorous than girls think.

  There are multiple ways to enter including the option to tweet daily. The listed end date is subject to change and winner will be announced within 48 hours of Danica's win or elimination from DWTS. 

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Cover Reveal: Love Always, Kate (D. Nichole King)

Coming April 2014, a New Adult Novel from D. Nichole King...



Dear Diary,

Leukemia’s been my life since I was eleven. Now, six years later, I want my life back. Only I’m not sure what that is. The test results came back today. 22,000. Which means I’m officially out of remission—again. I have three options:

1) Another round of chemo.
2) A super-new experimental drug.
3) Dump it all— forget the meds and treatments and enjoy the time I have left.

I think I know what I want. Then, in walks Damian, changing everything.

I mean, everything…

He’s got his own set of issues. It binds us together, you know? We understand what it’s like to lose what matters most in seconds. Still, the last thing I need is to have someone else to crush if I can’t fight hard enough. And the last thing he needs is someone else to grieve.

Never mind. I’m down to two options now.

Somehow I know that whichever one I choose, the result will be the same. With the sand in my hourglass seeping to the bottom, I hope there’s enough left to show Damian that life’s worth living.

Worth fighting for. Worth dying for.

Love Always,


Leslie sat down on the bed next to me and ran her fingers through my hair. “Your hair is beautiful, Katie. I really like this cut on you.”

My hair fell in layers framing my full, round face. “Thank you.” Last time, when my hair started falling out, Leslie sat with me, holding my hand as I cried. I knew it was just hair, but it was my hair. Soon, I’d look like a little bald old man. Wigs itched. I had one that matched my own hair color, but I hated wearing it. People stared when I went out in public because they felt sorry for me. And that was annoying. It wasn’t the stares or the whispers. Or even the silence. I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me. I was a warrior. I’d beaten cancer twice, and I could do it again—at least, that’s what I told myself.

Dr. Lowell walked in and gave us a slight grin. He held my chart in his hands, but he didn’t look at it. He probably had it memorized. Another nurse, one I didn’t know, stood next to him. She was young and pretty with dark brown hair and a reassuring smile.

“Hey, Kate,” he said, flipping on the overhead lights. “This is Tammy. I’m sure you two will get to know one another soon enough.”

“Hi.” I nodded at her.

“So, are you ready?” Dr. Lowell asked. 

“As ready as I’ll ever be, I guess.” Who was ever ready to be sliced open and have tubes put inside their veins? 

Leslie patted my shoulder. “You’re my hero,” she whispered.

I slipped my right arm out of my bra strap and tank-top sleeve. The procedure happened while I was conscious, but I really wished they’d knock me out. Because of the local anesthetic, I didn’t feel pain. I felt the tugging, though. Oh, and I could hear the little tools and the clanking on the metal tray. Those sounds alone were enough to make me nauseous. 
Leslie smoothed the skin on the right side of my chest with an alcohol wipe. The scent of rubbing alcohol would forever be burned in my nostrils like someone’s initials etched on a silver flask—which I was pretty sure wasn’t used for rubbing alcohol. 

“You’re going to feel some stinging,” Dr. Lowell said. 

Stinging? I didn’t think stabbing someone with large needles multiple times in the chest qualified as “stinging.” 

I took a deep breath.

Leslie held my hand, and I squeezed it harder each time the local anesthetic pricked me. 

Tears formed behind my lids, but I fought them back. I could be strong. This was nothing.


Born and raised in Iowa, d. Nichole King writes her stories close to home. There’s nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale.

She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn’t bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now she can’t stop.

When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.

Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: Incantation Paradox (Annamaria Bazzi)

Book: Incantation Paradox
Author: annamaria bazzi
Cover Designer: Natasha Brown
Release Date: Undetermined


A car accident cuts Dolores Reynard’s life short, leaving her with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. When she awakens in a strange bed, inside a much younger body, and living with a new family—she can’t worry she might be going insane. How can she be a teenager again?
Jason Richmond understands the danger awaiting his new houseguest. Wanting to ease her concerns, he works to earn Dolores’ trust. But attraction flares in the most unexpected way, and he finds himself caught between setting the situation right and following his heart.
An enduring evil threatens not only the blossoming love but their lives as well. As Dolores and Jason struggle to unravel the truth behind her resurrection, they find themselves tangled in a web of murder, intrigue and magic. Only together can they hope to overcome the incantation paradox holding them captive.

IncantationParadox-FacebookHello, my name is Dolores and I'm a forty-something mother of two high school girls, Ella and Chloe. On my way to their recital, I was in a car accident that changed my life forever. We all desire to be young again, but never in someone else's body. If you think magic doesn't exist, think again. There truly are people in the world who can wield magic, and I'm not talking the illusion kind we see on stage, I'm talking real magic, the magic you read in books with wizards and sorceresses. You don't have to take my word, read my story and find out for yourself the ordeal I had to go through to find my way back home.

  Author Bio: Although born in the United States, annamaria bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing. You can visit annamaria at:

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Cover Reveal: War (Jennifer Anne Davis)

OFFICIAL COVER REVEAL: WAR by Jennifer Anne Davis 

"Within these pages lie kingdoms with castles and princes who fall in love with fair maidens, but make no mistake−this is no fairytale." ~The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis 

We are pleased to reveal the official cover of WAR, the third and final installment in The True Reign Series by Jennifer Anne Davis. Given that the first two books in this series have remained on the best-selling lists for months, we know there are numerous people excited about this upcoming release. WAR is slated for release on May 6, 2014. Tell us what you think of this new, gorgeous cover. Also, don't forget, book one in this series is FREE!

When Rema chose to be crowned queen and join the rebel forces, she knew she'd face the fight of her life. What she didn't expect was to be kidnapped by an Emperion assassin and taken to the mainland to be executed in front of the emperor. How can she save Greenwood Island if she can't even save herself?

Darmik knows he doesn't have much time to rescue Rema. He’s denounced his position as Commander and Prince in order to join the rebels. But now he must rely on his family name in order to go before the Emperor—his uncle—and beg for Rema’s life.

If Rema and Darmik have any hope of being together and saving their kingdom, they must survive the greatest threat of all—Emperion.

This is the heart-pounding conclusion to The True Reign Series.

The True Reign Series

Series: The True Reign Series

THE KEY by Jennifer Anne Davis

Within these pages lie kingdoms with castles and princes who fall in love with fair maidens, but make no mistake−this is no fairytale. 

His father's kingdom is on the brink of upheaval and at the center of it all is an ordinary girl who could be the key to its undoing. When faced with the ultimate choice, will he choose the girl he's falling in love with or the kingdom he has sworn to protect?

An ordinary girl with an extraordinary past... All she wants is to be free. What she doesn't realize is that freedom comes with a price she can't afford to pay. She's forced to accept the proposal of a prince she despises, even though her heart belongs to someone else... his brother.

Seventeen-year-old Rema lives in a brutal kingdom where travel between regions is forbidden, people are starving, and looking at someone the wrong way can mean death. Nineteen-year-old Darmik is the king’s son and Commander of the King’s Army. He spends his days roving the island, doing his father’s bidding and trying to maintain control over the people.

When a chance encounter throws Rema and Darmik together, they share an instantaneous connection, but any sort of relationship between them is strictly forbidden. Darmik’s brother, the Crown Prince, notices Darmik’s interest in Rema and, in a calculated, political move, blackmails her. Faced with an impossible choice, Rema is forced to sacrifice her heart in order to save her family. 

As Rema is taken to the palace with the Crown Prince, Darmik confronts the growing rumor that a legitimate blood heir to the throne exists and is trying to overthrow Darmik’s family. In Darmik’s quest to hunt down and kill the threat, he discovers that nothing is as it seems. Locked in the king’s castle, Rema finds herself a key player in a massive power struggle. When Darmik shows up, she’s not sure if she can trust him. The line between friends, enemies, and loyalty becomes blurred. As truths are unlocked, Rema understands that she just might be the key to finding the rightful heir and restoring peace to the kingdom… if she can manage to stay alive long enough.

RED by Jennifer Anne Davis

Sentenced to be executed. 

Betrayed. Alone. 

Hung on the gallows. 

Rema thought her life was over, but she was wrong. 

Saved by a rebel force she’d only ever heard rumors about, Rema finds herself in a forbidden place. She is finally safe—free from the king and Prince Lennek. But not everything is as it seems at the rebel fortress. Secrets are whispered, and loyalties are tested. Once Rema uncovers the truth of her heritage, will she flee? Or will she ascend to the throne, taking on the responsibility of an entire kingdom? 

Now that Darmik knows Rema’s true identity, he’s on a quest to save her. But when an Emperion assassin arrives on Greenwood Island, Darmik knows he doesn’t have very long to find her. In a deadly game with high stakes, will Darmik remain loyal to his family? Or will he break away and join the rebels? 

Kingdoms rise and fall. 

Heroes are born and made. 

But one thing remains the same—love conquers all. 

About Jennifer Anne Davis

Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she finally married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity.

Visit Jennifer online at

More from Clean Teen Publishing:


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: The Rabbit and The Raven (Melissa Eskue Ousley)

Abigail Brown used to think her life was ordinary. That was before hidden abilities began to surface and she found herself smack dab in the middle of a war. Not only is this war threatening to take away everything she holds dear, it's pulled her out of her own world and into a world filled with evil creatures and men alike, one in particular whose brash honesty makes him strangely difficult to resist. Abby must find a way to protect those she loves and escape the pull toward the one man who could either give her everything or take it all away.

The Rabbit and The Raven is the second book in The Solas Beir Trilogy, and if you have read book one, Sign of the Throne, you should go get it right away. I loved the first book, and I was thrilled when I got the chance to read an advance copy of book two.

There is always some fear when picking up a second book that it won't live up to the first book. Readers have nothing to fear when it comes to this series. Not only are the original characters as fascinating and deep as the were in the first book, we get to meet a few new characters that do their best to steal readers' attention.

Abigail journey goes from her own world to to David's in order to help him hold onto his kingdom and face down those who are trying to take it away from him. Abby really takes center stage in this book, more so even than in the first book. Her inner struggle to not only figure out her role and talents, but to understand the story behind the war will draw readers into the book to the point that they can't put it down.

Tynan Tierney is the other half of the compulsion for readers to finish this book in one sitting. He's a bad guy. There's no denying that he has done terrible things and willingly admits to them. He has a goal and nothing will stop him from reaching it. That is part of the reason it's so hard not to like him at least a little. That was true for me and Abby. Even though I know I probably shouldn't like him at all, I love the sections where Teirney made an appearance. He's one of those villains you love to hate. Between Abby and Teirney, this book will pull you from one page to the next relentlessly. And then you'll be begging for book three.

The overall storyline was just as much of a draw as the characters were. Abby and David's travel over the kingdom to enlist the help of the oracles will not only introduce you to a beautifully crafted world filled with danger and amazing creatures, you get to know the depth of how damaged this world is thanks to the wars it has suffered through. I was so engaged in the story through every chapter that I had a hard time taking a break. The pacing was very well managed and there was a great balance of action and exposition. You'll truly come to be a part of this world and care about what happens to it and its people.

I really don't have any criticisms for this book. Ousley did a wonderful job of following up an already fabulous first book with The Rabbit and The Raven. I will be waiting eagerly for the next installment.

I know you can't wait to go get your copy now! Here's where you can find more of Abigail and Tierney: 

Meet the Author

Melissa Eskue Ousley lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found hiking, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping road kill off a molten desert highway, to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona. Her interests in psychology, culture, and mythology have influenced her writing of The Solas Beir Trilogy.

Find Melissa Online here:
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Character Interview: Tynan Tierney (The Rabbit and The Raven by Melissa Eskue Ousley)

One of my favorite new YA series is the Solas Beir Trilogy by Melissa Eskue Ousley, and I'm thrilled to have the ever enigmatic Tynan Tierney here today to tell us a little more about his role in the second book of the series, "The Rabbit and the Raven." 

But first, a little about the book: 

Darkness is beguiling...and power always comes with a price.
Adopted by loving parents, David Corbin had no idea his life was a lie. Then he met a girl. Abby Brown freed David from the spell keeping him from the truth, that he was the lost heir to the throne in a magical realm. 
Even though he got the girl and gained a kingdom, David had no clue about the unfathomable power he would inherit, nor did he realize how much he would have to sacrifice to keep the throne.

If there is any hope of winning the war against the deadly Kruorumbrae, David and Abby will have to journey to the outer edges of the realm to secure the loyalty of the four Oracles. Along the way, they will learn just how seductive darkness can be.

Now on to the interview!

1. Today I’m very pleased to introduce my readers to Tynan Tierney. Can you tell my readers who you are and how you ended up in your current situation?

I am the Kruor um Beir, a.k.a. the King of Blood and Shadows. I reign over the Kruorumbrae, creatures born of Darkness that would, quite frankly, have you all for dinner, given the opportunity. But have no fear—I have forbidden them from snacking on humans during this interview. Afterwards however...well, that’s another story. But I digress. For the past two decades I was imprisoned in a parallel dimension known as the Wasteland. It is a desolate place where time is frozen and prisoners are compelled to count grains of sand for all eternity. That was to be my fate as well, but luckily, I was freed by my longtime love, Lucia. Now we can resume our plot to claim the throne of Caislucis and rule the kingdom of Cai Terenmare.

2. For those readers who are meeting you for the first time, what do you look like? Give us a hint why Abby finds it so hard to ignore you even though she considers you her enemy.

In spite of my reputation as a liar, I have been unfailingly honest with the lovely Abigail Brown. She knows I’m a predator. I’ve never hidden what I am or what I want. It’s hard to ignore someone who is so direct about what they desire, especially when she is the object of that desire. And, despite her protests, I know she finds me attractive. I may be hundreds of years old, but I look good for my age. If you didn’t know better, you’d think I was a young man in my twenties, with olive skin and dark hair. But if you looked into my eyes, you’d know I was much older.

3. Where does your interest in Abby stem from? Why do you call her Rabbit?

Abby is a c’aislingaer—she is an empath with the ability to see the future in her dreams. She has no idea how powerful she is. The side she chooses will control the fate of our world. If she chooses to align with me, our combined power will make us unstoppable. I will finally take the throne from that fraud who calls himself Solas Beir and all of Cai Terenmare will be mine. As to her little nickname…let’s just say it will come as quite a shock when she finds out why I call her Rabbit.

4. What do you most value in allies? Do you consider yourself as having allies?

I do have allies, so long as they remain loyal. I value loyalty above all else. I can’t abide treachery. Anyone who betrays me has no place by my side. That would be an unforgiveable offense, worse even than the failure to complete a mission.

5. But some might argue that you’ve engaged in treachery, and have little conscience when it comes to reaching your goals. Is there a limit to what you will do in order to succeed?

(Laughs.) You say that like it’s a bad thing. All’s fair in love and war, my dear. I know what people think of me, and I couldn’t care less. You see, I’m not just a power-hungry maniac, vying for the throne. I want the throne to right the wrongs of the past, specifically, the injustices committed by our last Solas Beir, the king who ruled before the boy who currently wears the crown. Ardal declared war on the Kruorumbrae when he closed the portals, barring us from the resources crucial to our survival. He wanted to exterminate us. But we survived, and where is he now? Oh, that’s right. He’s dead. Unlike him, I’m fighting for the greater good, to build a better Cai Terenmare.

6. You also fought against the Kruorumbrae once, before you became their leader. In fact, you were honored for your service to the realm. What changed?

I became enlightened. I opened my mind to the Kruorumbrae, and I now understand their struggles. I can sympathize with them. How can I cast them as villains, when I have my own predatory urges? I’m no hypocrite. I know there is darkness in my soul. I don’t run from darkness. I embrace it.

7. You have a very intelligent and calculating mind. How has that helped you in your quest to regain power?

Thanks for noticing. (Laughs again.) I jest. Yes, I am intelligent. I’m not bragging—it’s a simple fact. But a leader needs more than intelligence. I’ve been around a long time, in my world, and in yours. I’ve watched the world of men, your victories, your mistakes. I’ve even intervened from time to time, saving you from yourselves. Through each experience I’ve gained wisdom. I can see beyond the immediate future, and I know what will make my world stronger, what will help my people prosper. There is a proper order to things, and I understand that. I’m the one who’s willing to make the hard choices when no one else will.

10. Despite being labeled a “villain,” it’s awfully hard not to like you. Care to give us a guess on why that is?

It’s because of my good looks and charm. No, really, I think it’s because people recognize that I’m passionate about what I believe. I believe the Kruorumbrae deserve a place in Cai Terenmare. You can’t just get rid of us because we feed on humans. We are higher beings in the food chain. You wouldn’t exterminate a lion for feeding on gazelles, would you? Or a dolphin for eating fish? You see my point. It’s simple logic. I’m no villain. I’m fighting for what I believe. I’m fighting for the survival of my people. How can that be wrong?

Want a Sneak Peek of how Tierney operates? 

Out of the shadows of the labyrinth, a massive beast emerged. He was bigger than Calder had been, but while Calder had been a hairless, muscled brute, this feline creature was lean, muscled in a way that was beautiful and terrible at the same time. He had the look of a sophisticated and efficient killer—covered in thick, shiny fur with black-on-black stripes. He approached Abby with a menacing deliberateness, bearing long, primeval fangs. 

“Hello, Rabbit,” the creature said as he circled her slowly. “I’ve been waiting for you.” 

Abby could feel the beast’s hot breath on her skin. Don’t show fear, she thought, planting her feet in a fighting stance and drawing herself up to look taller, brawnier. Look him straight in the eye. If you’re going to die, at least have a little dignity about it. She stared into his eyes and spoke his name: “Tierney.”

The creature stared back, eyeing Abby’s clenched jaw and defensive stance, and then he smiled apologetically. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” Tierney said. “I forget this face can be, shall we say, rather off-putting. Allow me to present a more pleasing visage.” His form changed, melting away like smoke, leaving black ashes lingering in the air. In the creature’s place stood a handsome young man with dark eyes—nothing like the beast he had just been. 

Don’t be fooled by the illusion, Abby told herself. He’s the same monster he was before—it’s just a mask. She stood her ground, infusing her voice with authority. “On the contrary. You know that face is off-putting. That’s why you wore it.”

To her surprise, Tierney started laughing—not a mean, condescending laugh, but one of genuine, unguarded amusement. It wasn’t quite the response Abby had expected. 

“Well, now,” he chuckled, “you are a surprisingly perceptive one. Do you know why I’m here?”
“I assume it’s to get to the Solas Beir by killing me,” Abby said.

“Oh, come now, Rabbit, I’m hurt. I have absolutely no such plans. None at all,” Tierney replied.

“I have trouble believing that—your reputation precedes you,” she said.

“Well, dear Rabbit, a reputation is really quite subjective, don’t you think? And you must concede that your sources may be a bit biased when it comes to me.” He began circling her again, looking her up and down. “Actually, I’m here because I heard a very interesting story about you. And I must say, I think there’s more to you than I was originally led to believe. I heard that an ordinary human girl rescued the Lightbearer by killing a Blood Shadow—and not just any Blood Shadow, mind you, but one of the strongest among us. And I wondered to myself, an ordinary human girl? How can that be?” 

Abby noticed that Tierney used the term “Lightbearer” rather than David’s formal title of Solas Beir. She didn’t think it was an accident. In fact, she was certain that Tynan Tierney never said or did anything that wasn’t calculated. “What is it you want, exactly?” she demanded, putting her hands on her hips.

“Only to see if the story was true. I can see now that you’ve been underestimated. Clearly, you are no ordinary human girl. You are turning out to be much more interesting than I thought you would be, pretty little c’aislingaer,” he said.

Abby glared at him. “Thanks, but you can’t fool me into falling for flattery.”

Suddenly Tierney stepped close to Abby, his arms pulling her to him, his breath on her neck as he whispered in her ear. “No, indeed I cannot. For I have met many a fool, and you are not one.” 

He was so warm, and his touch made her skin tingle, much to her chagrin. She fought to show no response, reminding herself to keep her guard up. 

He continued, his lips almost grazing her skin as he talked. “What I want, Abigail, is to show you the truth—to help you see my side of the story so you can decide for yourself if my so-called reputation is deserved.” He pulled away suddenly, his head cocked to one side as if he had heard something. 

Abby heard nothing.

Tierney turned back, his dark eyes on her. “Your boyfriend is coming. Better not let him catch you fraternizing with the enemy. Until we meet again, little Rabbit.” Taking her hand, he held it to his lips, kissing it with a disarming tenderness. Then he was gone—not in some magic puff of smoke, but simply not there anymore. 

Abby heard the crack of a twig breaking as someone approached. Rather than feeling a sense of relief, she felt oddly guilty, like she had been caught in the act of doing something wrong. She had just survived what should have been a lethal encounter with a monster, but instead of being frightened of Tierney, she found herself attracted to him. And that terrified her.

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Meet the Author

Melissa Eskue Ousley lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found hiking, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping road kill off a molten desert highway, to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona. Her interests in psychology, culture, and mythology have influenced her writing of The Solas Beir Trilogy.

Find Melissa Online here:

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