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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Savvy Saturday: Exclusive excerpt from Storm Child

Storm Child, the sequel to K.M. Tolan's popular book, Tracks, is just as packed with adventure,
friendship, good guys, and baddies as it's predecessor. Take a look at this action packed excerpt, and then find out what happens when you buy the book!

~*~

He smoothly placed his hat over his heart and executed a courtly bow. “Marshal Leon Smith at your service, little lady. Folks just call me Marshal. Whom do I have the honor of addressing?”

He talked like nobility, or at least how she guessed a rail baron might sound. She would’ve forgotten the company he kept if it weren’t for the pearl-handled pistol shoved into a holster below the Marshal’s vest. Maybe he needed it to keep them under control. “I’m…R-Red,” she stammered.

“Isn’t that a fine name.” He swept the ends of his fingers along the bowler’s brim to fix the hat atop a high forehead. He inclined his head toward the other dour faces. “Don’t you mind my deputies, honey. We’re Pinkertons. The good guys.”

“They’re yegg,” she said with a shake of her head. “I can tell.”

“Firm hands on the tiller of justice,” he assured with a smile. Marshal pulled a yellow paper from inside his vest and unfolded it. “Rare to find one of your kind out by herself. That train over there yours, Red?”

She nodded. “Circus train. Tommy Tricks is the engine.” She gave Law Keeper a sidelong glance. “Tommy’s nicer than yours.”

“Well, this fellow we’re after likes circuses too. Heard he ran off with one.” The marshal spread the paper out before her. “This is a very bad man, sweetheart. A wanted killer. Look familiar to you?”

The breath squeezed from her. Red stared at the inked likeness, her jaw sagging. Big Mike.

The marshal regarded his deputies, his voice lowering as he said, “I’d say we found our man, gentlemen.”

Yelping, she raced back down the tracks as fast as she could. She broke into the caboose on a gust of wind, sending cards fluttering about the room. “Big Mike!” She gasped over Max’s surprised shout. “A man’s coming after you with a bunch of yegg. He’s right behind me. Got a pearly gun and snake boots.”

Surprisingly, the conductor knew whom she talked about. “Massasauga Smith,” Max spat. He rummaged in his desk. “ BM, you gotta get out of here. I’ve got some money in the drawer—”

“No,” the yegg interrupted, slamming a fist on the table hard enough to scatter the bottle caps they used as poker chips. “Ain’t gonna leave. Ain’t gonna join’ em likes they wanted Big Mike to do.”

Red whined in exasperation. “You didn’t really kill anyone, did you?”

The roustabout hitched up his suspenders and grinned at her. “Didn’t mean to. Big Mike just thumped too hard. Don’t want no badge.”

“Those men asked you to join them?”

“Wouldn’t really call it asking.” Max rubbed the back of his neck. “You can’t make a stand, Big Mike. Not against pistols. Not against the likes of Massasauga Smith.”

The large man pulled a red fire ax from hooks over the rear door. Dark smoky tendrils oozed from his eyes. “Big Mike gots Red.”

“What am I supposed to do?” she cried, following him out the front door.

He kicked at the ballast and swung the axe as if it were a marching baton. “You gonna let’ em take Big Mike away, Red?”

The question dragged itself over the red coals of hurtful memories. The seething black fog enveloping Big Mike’s body reached deep within her. Rage lifted Red into the sky in front of him. An unrelenting anger brought bright flashes to her eyes and transformed her hair in a crackling blue nimbus.

“They’re not taking you from me,” she thundered. Nobody’s going to do that to me again. Ever.

~Find out what happens next in Storm Child~

Storm Child is available on Amazon, Kobo, at Barnes & Noble, and at the Champagne Bookstore.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Savvy Saturday: An Interview with E. Jourdan Lewis

E. Jourdan Lewis is a new author with Champagne Book Group, and with her new book, Rush, out, we thought it would be fun to introduce her and learn a bit more about how she became a writer. Let's welcome, E. Jourdan Lewis!

1. When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote my first story in the 3rd grade. I loved to read and wanted to become an author. For career day that year I showed up dressed as myself. As an eight-year-old I believed I was already an author and didn’t need anything but a pencil.

2. Tell us your latest news.

I am currently writing two books at the same time. I don’t recommend it! However, it’s going fairly well and I hope to have one of them sent out into the world soon.

3. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In one part of my mind I always considered my true self to be a writer. The world convinced me I had to be something else to make a living. Around the age of sixteen I thought well, I’m a writer but I’ll just keep that a secret. It wasn’t until I turned twenty-two that I began saying “I’m a writer but my day job…” Now, much later I just go ahead and proudly say: “I’m an author. Please buy my books.”

4. Do you have a specific writing style?

I would say my specific writing style would be to use as many of the six senses as possible in descriptions. I don’t want my main character to only see their surroundings but to be immersed in them. Smell is a big one for me. The smallest scent can bring forth a dream, memory, or an idea. I know I said six senses up there. Haha! However, I do consider emotions and the inner spirit to be the sixth sense I always include.

5. How did you come up with the title?

A little too easily. My title the name of my main character.

6. Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?

The biggest message I would like for my readers to grasp is that family’s come in all shapes and sizes. We are all born into a one biologically but it’s the people we choose to hold onto who truly become our family.

7. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Action scenes! It’s like choreographing a violent dance. I’m a terrible choreographer. I always have a handful of people read over my action scenes to ensure the picture is clear and gripping.

8. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing my book was discovering I may not always agree with what my characters want or believe. I had to allow them room to breathe and grow. For me, Noor had to endure the biggest transformation. I had to go through a similar one at his age. It was interesting to relive it through him.

9. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My interest in writing stemmed from my love of reading. The book series Amber Brown, sticks out to me as a book I felt I could have written. I was only nine when I read the series but I couldn’t help but believe I could do it. A little big for my britches, I know. Haha.

10. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

While writing this book I started to get in a hurry. When I hurry, the story suffers. It usually gets me stuck into a corner I can’t find my way out of and I start to panic. I learned a huge lesson about slowing down and allowing the story to flow out of me. Also, it’s okay to set the book down and walk away for a few days or even a week. Rest is important for the creative brain.

11. Do you have any advice for other writers?

The hardest part is to just sit down and do it. For real, “butt in chair” is where it all begins. If you have a story in your head just write it. Don’t worry if it’s good enough or if you’re good enough. If you want to be a writer and you have something written down, congratulations: You’re one of us.

12. Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Thank you for reading my words. I hope you enjoyed them.

13. What inspired you to write your first book?

I was obsessed with World War II when I was about twelve. I tried to write many books where young girls were hiding from Germans. I didn’t know what I was doing but I tried. I only ever got two or three pages in before I realized the book had to be more than just my characters huddled in attics with little food.

14. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m working on two books at the same time right now. I wouldn’t recommend it. Haha. One of them is a fantasy middle grade about Peter Pan’s great granddaughter, Lucy. Neverland has called Lucy to restore the magic and become the next Pan. The story is a small step away from the original Peter Pan, but it’s equally magical and creative. I’m very excited about it.

15. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Both. I have a very strange habit of insetting my sister into each of my books. She’s a massive exclamation point. In Rush, Estelle, is a small representation of my sister. My sister struggled for years with an eating disorder. When she was sick she wasn’t always kind even when she loved a person.

I love to use daily conversations and moments that I have in my writing. A few key moments in the book are straight out of my own life or something I have said. I have a very long fuse when it comes to anger. When I get upset it’s a small explosion. I used this with Rush. He has a long fuse and it fizzles quickly.

About the Author:


E Jourdan Lewis was born in raised in Boerne, Texas. She loves the quiet life in her small town and enjoys spending time with her family and close friends. She is a serious Disney Fanatic and her entire life revolves around stories of all kinds. She is a part-time writer, part-time YouTuber, and full-time mother to her Malti-Poo Minnie. Rush is her first novel with many more to come.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Excerpt from A Guardian's Heart

A Guardian’s Heart
Guardians of Light, Book 1
Renee Wildes
Urban Fantasy
$ 3.99
Amazon TBD
Kobo TBD
Champagne Books


Strength can be drawn from pain…if the heart can heal faster than it bleeds.

Excerpt:

Dara trembled, realizing she was sprawled across Loren like some tavern wench. The effort it took to meet his heated gaze… Fine brows slanted over wide leaf-green eyes pupiled like a cat’s, set in a pale aristocratic face. She glanced at his hands gripping her upper arms. Fine artisan’s hands with sword calluses, they held like bands of steel, but so gently ’twas nigh a caress. His body warmth was impossible to ignore. She shifted. Unable to hold his gaze, Dara dropped hers—to his mouth. She blushed.

His lips curved in a wry smile. “Now you become shy?” White teeth flashed. “Your hands have already been all over my body.”

Dara groaned and closed her eyes. Her cheeks flamed.

“Look at me, Dara.” Loren slid his arms around her body.

She tingled at his touch. Restless. Achy. “I can’t.” She hated this breathless dizziness. “Whatever you’re thinking, cease.” He was so warm. She feared making a fool of herself and melting against him. The old wives whispered of faerie enchantments; did that happen here? She felt bespelled. She wasn’t some weak woman to soften over a man, as any villager could lament. “You were much less intimidating flat on your back and weak as a kitten.”

“Intimidating you find me? Prefer me flat on my back in your bed? You have me now.” He brought her braid around to his nose and inhaled. “Sunshine and ferns.”

Self-preservation urged Dara to stop him before he did something neither of them could undo. “Loren—”

“Dara Kahn Androcles, protect me you did with your life’s blood. You are neither indestructible nor immortal. They might have killed you.” His hand, still wrapped with her hair, raised her chin ’til her gaze met his. “You must look at me while I speak these next words.”

Dara couldn’t tear her gaze away. The room spun and receded ’til all her world was Loren. “Don’t look at me like that.” The weight behind his words crawled under her skin, into her mind.

“My life I owe you. Life-debt. I bind myself to you. Whenever, whatever your need, to you I shall come. To you do I answer with sword, bow, or blood. My life for yours. My soul to yours, until our last breath.”

The world shifted. Deep as a prayer, more profound than a spell, his words settled within her. Dara couldn’t look away, couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Her head buzzed. Her mind tried to wrench itself from the binding, recognizing it for what it was, but the rest of her trembled, in thrall to his eyes, to his voice. She had no idea how to counter him.

Loren’s eyes gleamed at her. “Never again shall you be alone. You are mine, in this lifetime and the next. I shall ever be yours, for always. We are one.” With agonizing slowness, he drew her head down ’til her lips brushed his.

His kiss was shocking in its gentleness. As soft as morning dew, it implied, it coaxed, and she was lost. She melted into his heat and swooned against him. With a sigh, she yielded to his lips and returned the kiss. Warmth filled an emptiness she’d not known ’til now that she possessed. Loren had bound them in spirit; where did she end and he begin? He hovered on the edge of her mind, in her heart, in her blood. A part of her flowed into him, with her surrender, with her every breath.

He broke off the kiss. Dara raised her head to stare down at him. “What’ve you done?”

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Excerpt from Storm Child

Storm Child
Hobohemia, Book 2
K. M. Tolan
Fantasy
$3.99
Amazon
Kobo
Champagne Books

Being a steam child was supposed to be fun.

Excerpt: 

The large man pulled a red fire ax from hooks over the rear door. Dark smoky tendrils oozed from his eyes. “Big Mike gots Red.”

“What am I supposed to do?” she cried, following him out the front door.

He kicked at the ballast and swung the axe as if it were a marching baton. “You gonna let ’em take Big Mike away, Red?”

The question dragged itself over the red coals of hurtful memories. The seething black fog enveloping Big Mike’s body reached deep within her. Rage lifted Red into the sky in front of him. An unrelenting anger brought bright flashes to her eyes and transformed her hair in a crackling blue nimbus.

“They’re not taking you from me,” she thundered. Nobody’s going to do that to me again. Ever.

No!” Glory came to her side in a rush of wind, the girl’s eyes frantic behind her square glasses. “Red, what are you doing?”

Big Mike hefted his axe with a laugh. “We take ’em together, Red.”

Glory tugged at Red’s shoulders. “Don’t listen to him! He’s trying to make you mad. Make you into something worse.”

Max skidded to a stop on the caboose’s porch and gaped up at her. “Think she’s already worse.” He ducked back inside, slamming the door shut.

Glory struggled to stay in place as winds rattled the ballast beneath them. Her tears sparkled in the lightning of Red’s growing fury. “We’re supposed to go to Topeka.” She sobbed. “You’re going to hear that bell and be happy. Red, please stop! Storms blow away and die. You don’t want to die, do you?”

Red glared beyond her friend to where the marshal and his deputies stood on the tracks; their advance halted at the sight of her. “I’m not the one who’ll die.”

She hissed, her mind afire with the heady realization that those yegg and their master feared her. Roaring with all the pent-up anger she possessed, Red swept Glory aside and launched herself at those awful men. The maelstrom of her emotions kept pace, rising in a whirling column of stone torn from the roadbed.

Now her enemies ran for their lives. The sight of men scrambling like ants only served to goad her temper with a giddy sense of power. She reveled in her newfound might, just like Big Mike said she should. Fine. Let those bad men shelter themselves in those flimsy little cars. She was strong now. Strong enough to tear those coaches into kindling. Nothing would save them.

Except something did. Their savior wasn’t Glory. She couldn’t even hear her friend’s entreaties over the roar in her ears. But Red heard the tinkling glass when Law Keeper’s lamp shattered, and saw the engine’s light extinguish as the locomotive rocked helplessly in her winds. Hurt an engine? Her?

This isn’t supposed to be me! Red wailed, cringing from the monster she’d become. Frigid blasts of fear washed over her to chase away the lightning in a moment of terrible realization. She’d become yegg.

Red screamed. Frantic, she ripped away the anger fueling her whirlwind as one might cast off burning clothes. Naked, she staggered back to the caboose where even Big Mike took shelter. Glory, however, remained outside, grimly hanging on to the porch railing. Her friend stretched out an arm with a wrenching cry.

Red reached for Glory’s grasping fingers, but couldn’t focus. Couldn’t even find her own hands. More than just the winds flew off into the night. She was being torn apart as well. “Help me!”





Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Excerpt from Rush by E. Jourdan Lewis

Rush

E. Jourdan Lewis
YA Paranormal Romance
$3.99
Amazon
Kobo
Champagne Books

In a world where humans are below Shifters, a tiger falls for a human girl. To love her is to kill her.

Excerpt:
Thursday arrived, and Rush did not have a partner for class. He checked the sign-up sheet when he walked in. Eighteen students had paired up leaving only him and one other person. The human girl he helped toss out of Pasha’s on Monday.
Karma.
Rush slowly eased into his desk and watched for her to arrive late. It was only the fourth day, and she had come in late twice, not something he wanted in a partner. He thought about speaking up and asking Mrs. Fruchtbahm if he could work alone, but he didn’t want to explain why. In the past few classes, he had experienced his teacher's “no nonsense” attitude toward just about everything.
The girl slipped into class as the second hand slid over 8:30. He almost smiled; she was trying at least. She plopped into her seat and gave him a friendly smile as she unpacked her books.
He hadn’t spoken to her since the awful apology. The apology, which in his mind, wasn’t enough to merit forgiveness or acceptance on her part.
He battled with himself throughout the entire class, debating how to approach her and if he even should. Malachi would not be pleased to find out he was working with a human. The same human he had almost “helped” the other day, although God willing he would never know that part.
“So, here’s the thing...” The girl whipped around as soon as Mrs. Fruchtbahm wrapped up her lecture. “I don’t have a partner, and I know you don’t have a partner. We’re stuck. It’s not an ideal situation, but what else can we do? I already tried to ask if I could work by myself, but I was quickly, and very rudely I might add, shut down. What do you say, wanna be study partners?”
The girl was out of breath, eyes wide.
“I’m Jane, by the way,” she said, her words tripping over one another.
Malachi is going to kill me. “Okay.”
“Really?”
“We’ll meet at the school library Friday and Saturday early in the morning.” They were the only times he could put aside when he wasn’t already at school or at work.
“Okay,” she agreed blinking in disbelief.
Rush stood and headed for the door.
“Wait, what does early mean to you?” she asked, piling her books into her backpack.
“Seven.” He choked on a laugh as her mouth fell open in horror.
“You can’t be serious.” She rose. She was nearly his height with short black curls like a boy. Although, not at all like any boy he had seen.
“That will give us four hours to study.” He fingered the strap of his bag. Why wasn’t this conversation over? He had expected to keep this short and simple. Something held his feet in place waiting for her to gather her things and follow him.
“Four hours.” Jane sighed. “Right, okay. I will meet you there.”
He nodded once more and forced himself to leave the room. If he stayed with her one more second, he might invite her to join his friends for lunch. Ridiculous.
Where is your head today, Rush?
~ * ~
This cannot end well.
Rush seated McKey in the Arts section. He was planning on setting up camp in the far corner of the History section among the Biographies. Hopefully, no one was itching to learn anything about old stuff that already happened.
“I’m going to be just over there.” He ran a hand over her hair. “Can you stay right here for the next few hours?”
McKey narrowed her eyes at him as he leaned over the desk. He was starting to panic, and she could see and smell it all over him.
“Listen, my study partner is not exactly normal.” He couldn’t tell her. If he did, then Malachi would punish her for knowing and not speaking up. “Never mind, will you be okay?”
She nodded, opening a book and paging through it. Experience had taught him he could study while she sat quietly with a book or sketch pad. She didn’t need outside entertainment or for anyone to hold her hand. He wasn’t worried about her being able to sit still--he was worried she would see Jane and ask questions.
“Okay.” He pushed off the table and found a good spot away from prying eyes and hidden by several walls of bookshelves. He checked his watch. She was late. Of course.
I barely know this person, and already I can expect her to be late.
Twenty minutes later, he heard the library door open. He sighed and sat up straight. Was it her? He sniffed the air, but all he could smell was dust, books and polished wood. The sound of crumpling paper and footsteps tumbled toward him.
“Oh, there you are,” Jane exclaimed, her cheeks flushed and forehead glistening. She was carrying a large brown paper bag along with her school bag.
Twenty minutes late.
“Sorry, I’m late, but I have breakfast and snacks to keep us alert.” She grinned and began unloading the paper bag. Two coffees, breakfast sandwiches and assorted chips and snack cakes.
He raised his eyebrows. He had already had breakfast with McKey earlier, but he wasn’t opposed to eating again. The smell of bacon dissolved his annoyance into appreciation.
“Here.” She shoved half of everything to his side of the table and fell into her chair. Jane was such a strange girl. She was constantly falling into chairs rather than calmly sitting down or bursting into doors instead of opening them with a soft hand.
He took a sip of coffee and watched as she struggled with her books and then to find a pencil.
“Gotcha.” She smiled and held her pencil above an open notebook. “Now, where do we start?”
How was he going to study with someone else? It was far better to study alone in the quiet of his room or sitting with McKey while she sketched. How did he get himself into this mess? Even worse, how would he explain himself to Malachi if asked directly about his study partner? Could he lie? Would he? Lying would only make things worse in the long run.
“Are you not a morning person?” Jane asked, unwrapping the white and yellow paper from her sandwich. “I can be if I want to, but I definitely love sleeping in. Sunrises are okay, but in my opinion sunsets are where it’s at, am I right?”
Man, she was trying so hard.
Rush’s stomach twisted, he spun the coffee cup and stared down at his textbook. They should be studying not socializing. I can’t become friends with her. If we start talking, she’ll think we’re friends and then what happens? Malachi won’t like this.
“We should get to work,” he said in a low voice.
“Oh, right, of course.” Jane looked away.
I hurt her. I caused that pain in her eyes. Why do I feel sick now?
He cleared his throat. “I think we should use our tests from yesterday to help us map out a study guide for next week’s chapters,” he said to break the unease with a safe topic.
Safe. Sure, safe.
Nothing about this is safe.


Monday, February 5, 2018

New Releases! Three New Fantasy Novels for Your Delight!

Rush

E. Jourdan Lewis
YA Paranormal Romance
$3.99
Amazon
Kobo
Champagne Books

In a world where humans are below Shifters, a tiger falls for a human girl. To love her is to kill her.

Rush, a tiger shifter with an abusive Alpha, finds himself wishing for more with Jane, a human. The kind of “more” everyone warns them against. Jane may be the love of his life but if their secret is discovered by his Alpha there’ll be more than hearts at stake. There will be blood.



Storm Child
Hobohemia, Book 2
K. M. Tolan
Fantasy
$3.99
Amazon
Kobo
Champagne Books

Being a steam child was supposed to be fun.

Red was meant to live a carefree life among the great steam locomotives as one of Hobohemia’s mischievous steam children.

She leaves her human body behind, but not her childhood demons. A gypsy blessing becomes an unintended curse, releasing an unbridled power inside her making Red an unwilling weapon in the hands of others eager to wield her anger.

Before she can stop them, she must first defeat herself.



A Guardian’s Heart
Guardians of Light, Book 1
Renee Wildes
Urban Fantasy
$ 3.99
Amazon TBD
Kobo TBD
Champagne Books

Strength can be drawn from pain…if the heart can heal faster than it bleeds.
Dara Khan Androcles was trained from childhood to be a healer. But as a demon-possessed invader threatens Safehold, and she defends a wounded warrior on the battlefield, her hidden inner dragon thirsts for blood.

When she lifts the warrior’s blond, blood-encrusted hair away from his ear, she discovers he is more than King Hengist’s outlander ally. He is an immortal. The elven heir to the throne of Cymry.

Loren ta Cedric senses something different about flame-haired, falcon-eyed woman who saves him. A healer, wreathed in raw, dark power, who wields knives with deadly skill. A mortal who prays to the Lady, not the human gods. Now he owes this thoroughly distracting female a Life-Debt. Which, in the heat of their flight to Loren’s homeland to raise an army, somehow becomes Lifemate.

Dragon-human and elf, peasant and prince—logic says they have no future. Yet the power of their unlikely bond could be the only thing that saves their world from a demon poised to tear it apart.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Savvy Saturday: Interview with Renee Wildes, Author of New Release, A Guardian's Heart

Hello all and welcome back to Savvy Saturday! Today we have new author Renee Wildes here to tell us a little bit more about her new book, and her life as a writer. Wildes has her new book, A Guardian's Heart, coming out Monday!

1. When and why did you begin writing?

I first began working on A Guardian's Heart in 2002. I kept having visions of a redhaired woman in a burning room. When I discovered she SET the fire, I had to know why! My writer’s group was like, “Run with it” and so I did!

2. Tell us your latest news.

Signing the Guardians of Light series to Champagne after the demise of Samhain Publishing. Also working on a sci fi romance series, Seduction by Starlight, and also contemporary paranormal shifter romances set in Kootenai National Forest.

3. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

My late Grandma Jeanne first called me a writer when I was 6, penciling horse stories (ala CW Anderson “Billy & Blaze” style). I was the only student in school with a MAXIMUM word count.

4. Do you have a specific writing style?

I grew up reading Mercedes Lackey, and am a huge Joseph Campbell groupie, so I tend to write lyrical, slightly archaic prose that lends itself well to fantasy romance set in a Dark-Ages-type fictional world.

5. How did you come up with the title?

A Guardian's Heart perfectly describes my Cinderella heroine Dara – half-human/half-dragon, healer/warrior/fire mage, peasant/princess

6. Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?

You live by the choices you make – there’s no such thing as pre-ordained destiny. Love is the ultimate playing-field leveler – it can overcome all barriers, will ultimately defeat hate. Good can and will triumph over evil for those who work to make it so.

7. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?


Coming up with various unique cultures, ceremonies, and spells. I love intricate world-building, and can get lost in the research and creative minutia.

8. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I struggle with smooth transitions between scenes, and have a bad habit of editing as I go, which makes me a slow writer (but a CLEAN writer!)

9. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?


The old adage of “I dare you to do better.” My Grandma Jeanne listened to me lament over how the books I was SUPPOSED to read were too easy, so she told me to write my own. I’m a Taurus – we never back down from a challenge!

10. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’m definitely a plotter rather than a pantser, but to trust my characters and let them live their own story – not to be so controlling, but to observe and record.

11. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write what you want to read; write what you love. Don’t try to fit a mold or write to market. Write from the heart, and you’ll touch the hearts of other readers.

12. Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for embracing the Guardians of Light magic, and I hope you’re inspired to shine your own unique Light in this world. May the Light never fall before the Darkness!

13. What inspired you to write your first book?


I loved fantasy and romance, but when I started no one was combining the two together. I decided to fill the gap. Now, there are all kinds of fantasy romance authors out there, but 20 years ago, no so much. I wanted heroines who DID stuff, who got to rescue the prince and slay demons and save the world. I wanted heroes who could appreciate a strong woman and weren’t intimidated by her.

14. Can you share a little of your current work with us?


A Guardian's Heart  – Chapter One – Scene 2 – Uncut

Sifting self from pain, Loren began trance-healing. Banisha verilli far. Gloria verilli far… Breathing and pulse decreased. Blood flow slowed. Seeping wounds clotted together.

He summoned strength from pain and followed its path through his body, checking his injuries. He bled from a half-dozen sword cuts. The worst? A deep laceration in his upper right thigh from an unhorsed Boar’s attempt to confiscate the bay mare. An arrow pierced his chest just below his right collarbone. He sighed. He would heal in time without scarring.

But, Lady, it hurts.


He examined the grove with a practiced eye. He liked not this exposed position in unsecured territory. A twig snapped. A young woodsman approached from the battlefield. Grief and black rage hammered into Loren. The lad—no beard growth—must be half-mad with it. Loss, despair… The dark emotions threatened to drown Loren, and he fell out of trance to shield himself. Watching the other approach, he edged his sword closer.

The lad staggered toward him, not visibly injured, but with such gaping wounds to his soul Loren wondered at his ability to function at all.

“Looking for you.” The lad eyed the bronze sword in Loren’s hand and spread his hands out in a conciliatory gesture. “I’m a Safehold healer.” He took in Loren’s position at a glance. “You know hazel healing. You don’t follow the One Truth.”

Pity. Desire to help. Truth-hidden…not so worrisome. Who in these dark days had naught to hide?

The lad knelt beside him in the damp leaves and cradled Loren’s head in his lap. His slender fingers ran over Loren’s battered body with gentle thoroughness. Sense-casting followed the arrow’s path; Loren shuddered at its touch. This human used the anathema of blood magic as part of him, natural as breathing. The dark shimmering stole Loren’s breath as it coursed through him. His seeming dissipated.

Without the seeming, the lad would see what he was. Nonhuman. Only King Hengist of Riverhead, his one real friend among Arcadian mortals, knew who he really was. Followers of the ascending One Truth would burn Loren as demon born. No nonhuman was safe from the cleansing fires of religious fanaticism and racial supremacy sweeping these lands. Hengist’s stewardship maintained a fragile truce of tolerance under secret cloaks of seemings, but Loren held no illusion what would happen should Count Jalad of Westmarche prevail.

The lad traced pointed ears beneath tangled hair. “You’re no riever. You’re Elder.”

Loren tapped his chest, struggling to make the lad understand. “Loren…” His hand dropped. True names held power, but no harm divulging his first name. It was common enough in Cymry, the Realm of the Dawn.

The lad’s eyes welled. “Lady, for the lives he saved today, may he enter the Hall of Fallen Heroes.”

How did a human know of the afterlife but not how Warriors of the Light got there? How did he know the ritual words? Loren’s suspicion grew. A human wielder of blood magic communed with the Lady of Light, an ancient Elder deity banned by most humans? There was no taint of evil about the lad, but dark fire’s unmistakable touch was upon him.

A mystery.

15. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No, it’s a purely fiction twist on Cinderella. I wish I was that bold and daring!


That's all for today folks! I hope you enjoyed learning about Renee Wildes, and remember to check out her new book, A Guardian's Heart, available for preorder at the Champagne Bookstore.