Today on my blog I have the Luminous tour. On my stop there is a spotlight, guest post, excerpt, and giveaway.
Jasmine was born in Tucson, Arizona, the oldest of two children. She spent her teen years living in Phoenix, Arizona and then attended the University of Arizona in Tucson where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing. She married and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where her husband attended graduate school at the University of Utah. There she adopted a love for the changing seasons, snowboarding and the beauty of the mountains.
She spent several years working on a literary novel but found her heart wasn’t in it. Finally she quit her day job to write full time and embraced her life-long love of fantasy fiction. She wrote Luminous, the first novel in the Psyne series (pronounced "sign") and followed it up with the sequel, Prism, due out the summer of 2014. With a third series novel in the works and no end in sight, Jasmine will be spending a great deal of time in the Psyne Universe over the next several years. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she loves to horseback ride, dance, make elaborate costumes just for the fun of it, and is always planning her next decadent tea party.
What would you do if the world you loved was taken from you forever?
...and what would you sacrifice to get it back?
Magical, Mythical, Mesmerizing…
A powerful race of beings lives and works among us and we don’t even know it. To us, they are known as mermaids, sirens and water nymphs, but they call themselves the Psyne. They have lived on Earth since ancient times, wield powerful magic and have only one weakness—love.
When Psyne suddenly start disappearing around the globe, the remaining aquatars are evacuated to their home world and a ban is placed on Earth. Ilauria, a devoted servant to the Psyne Council, can’t abide abandoning the missing eight, and with the help of her long-time friend, Shivan, and a subversive member of the Venvian Psyne named Adante, she embarks on a harrowing rescue mission to uncover who or what is powerful enough to subdue her kind.
What Ilauria discovers will cause her to question her loyalties, re-examine her dual nature, and will shake the very foundations of the truths her society holds dear.
The breeze sailed through the branches causing the afternoon light to glisten off something shiny and smooth. The glimmer caught Gavin’s eye and he approached the thicket with caution. He quickly dropped to his knees, peering into the bushes. His eyes adjusted to the dimly lit underbrush and danced across a shiny area of blue-green fish scales.
His breath stuck in his throat as he followed the scales upwards. They gave way to a narrow waist of milky skin that led to the torso of a woman with long, red curly hair. He swallowed hard as his eyes took in the woman curled up on her side and the glistening fish tail undeniably apart of her.
The same memory from before of the woman in the ocean flashed across his mind. The soft glow of her skin contrasted against the water as her black hair streamed behind her. Her blue eyes sparkled like flaming sapphires and her fish tail swayed beneath her.
Gavin’s heart pounded against his chest as he attempted to steady his breathing. When he shook his head and focused on the woman before him, he couldn’t believe he was staring at a living myth right before his very eyes.
In stunned silence, Gavin spread the branches apart and crawled into the thicket, pausing to take in the spectacle of the mermaid before him.
The luxurious flukes of the abundant fish tail were curled beneath the woman’s body, pressed into the moist earth and wrapped around her hips. The delicate blue-green tail reminded him of the showy dorsal fins of Siamese fighting fish. Smaller fins adorned the sides of her slender hips and the iridescent scales of her tail faded below her navel, giving way to smooth skin that covered the rest of her body. Her hair obscured her face and her thin arms were folded against her chest with her hands wrapped tightly under her chin.
Hesitantly, he touched the shiny scales of her tail and goose bumps broke out on his arm.
“Oh my God,” he whispered.
She was cold to the touch but she was real, as real as he was.
His mouth hung open in disbelief as his mind raced, struggling to process what he saw before him. The seconds ticked by but only one thought hovered in his mind: he had to get her out of there and he had to get her somewhere safe.
Letter from the Hero
My dear Phaedrus,
By now, enough years have passed that I know your short human lifespan has come to an end. In some ways I envy you. At least you could look forward to an end, a release from this life and the suffering that comes with it. For me, an eternity is all that awaits: endless days, weeks, and years and all the while, I mourn the loss of our love and the life we might have shared.
Do I now regret the decision I had made to leave you? I do. I had regretted it the very moment I had made it but that still had not changed the fact that I had to do it. As Psyne, it is forbidden to love a human, let alone become one permanently in order to live out our lives together. I would have brought the wrath of the Bahree down upon us both. I hope that you realized how pointless it would have been for me to stay with you. The Bahree would have hunted us down to the ends of the Earth. We would not have been allowed to lead normal lives, we would have been fugitives. My people were too strong, their laws too great for us to have overcome.
Even as I write this, trying to convince myself that I made the correct decision, I know in my heart that I did not. Love is a curious thing. I did not expect to feel as I do. The love I felt for you is as powerful now as it ever was. It makes mourning your passing all the more painful. Pain…it too is something I am not familiar with, that is, until I had made the decision to leave you. Pain is like a shadow, it follows me everywhere I go and I can never be free of it. Pain is not something Psyne normally experience. Perhaps this is my punishment.
I think about our time together, Phaedrus, and I marvel at how you had put me in touch with my human side, something I had never known before meeting you. My people pride themselves on shunning their human half in favor of their magical half, the mermaid form. I wonder if they realize how cold and logical our magical side truly is. Learning about my human half taught me warmth and connection, passion and emotion. Sometimes I dream about how your fingertips had traced the designs across my back, how warm your touch felt across my skin, skin that had never been touched before. How I had longed for you to know me as no one else ever had, showing you my luminaea for the first time, the magic sigils adorning the entirety of my back, something we Psyne always kept hidden with our abundantly long hair. To see the love and wonder reflected in your eyes when you looked at me, words cannot describe how you made me feel.
I do regret leaving you, with every breath I take, with every heartbeat. There, I have said it. How funny what we hide from ourselves and how hard it can be, sometimes, to be truthful with what lies in our heart. I know there can never be a second chance for us now but our love has not died with you. I carry our love in my heart and that is where it shall remain.
If second chances were real, I would do things differently. I would relish in being a fugitive with you, running from the Bahree, if only it would mean I could have one more minute with you…one more second. I was afraid before but no longer. If only I had done things differently, we could have been together, at least for a little while, and I assure you, I will carry that pain with me for eternity.
I love you, Phaedrus. I always will.
Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I would also like to say Thank You to RBTL for letting me participate in this tour. Don't forget to enter the giveaway below.