Thursday, June 27, 2013

Author Spotlight With Kallysten

Today on my blog I have Kallysten for Author Spotlight. We are going to talk about her books, she has written a guest post, and there is an awesome giveaway. So let's get started.

Guest Post:

Thank you Sabrina for having me on today to share a little bit about my QuickSilver Codex series. It started last autumn with Bodyguards, I just released part 2 Quickening, and I expect to have part 3 ready by the end of the year.
The QuickSilver Codex is a new adult fantasy series. It has 3 point-of-view characters:
Vivien, when the first part starts, is a college student just about to turn 20. She lives a 'normal' life with her elderly aunt, and is trying to conjure up the courage to ask Brad, her running buddy, on a date. Everything changes when she suddenly learns she is the heir to a magical world, Foh'Ran, whose current leader is trying to have her kidnapped.

Unbeknownst to Vivien, Brad, also known as Bradan, followed her to Earth to serve as her bodyguard. He has remained close to her as she grew up... close enough to fall in love with the woman he considers his dame and for whom he'd give up his life in a heartbeat. He is shocked to realize she might return his feelings but happy to take her back to her world and tell her who she really is. He is a channeler: he wields the Quickening, the magical force that imbues Foh'Ran and its inhabitants. His first order of business, once he is sure Vivien is safe, is to teach her to channel as well.

Aedan is Brad's twin. He remained on Foh'Ran when Brad followed their dame, but he, too, is her sworn bodyguard and would do anything for her. And he also happens to be a vampire... Until Vivien's return, he infiltrated the usurper king's guard to keep an eye on what was going on, which caused him to be labeled as a traitor. He has sacrificed a lot for his oath as a bodyguard, and he sometimes gets frustated when Vivien doesn't act the way he thinks a queen ought to - like when she gets too close to his brother.

Book 1:
 On the verge of her twentieth birthday, Vivien’s worries are those of a typical young woman: doing well in college, gaining more independence, and maybe managing to show Brad, her classmate and sometimes jogging partner, that she wouldn’t mind taking their burgeoning relationship to a different level.
Everything changes in the blink of an eye. Vivien stumbles into a knife fight, watches a man die in front of her, and soon listens, stunned, as Brad and his brother Aedan tell her a story of magic, vampires and a murderous ruler intent on killing a princess in hiding – a tale in which she is the princess and heir to a realm she didn’t know existed.
Vivien’s first instinct is to refuse to believe this incredible tale, even if it comes from a man she is attracted to. But when her self-proclaimed bodyguards use magic to take her to a different world, the edges of reality start blurring and Vivien has to figure out who she truly is.
Book 2:

On Foh’Ran, a parallel world in which a magical force called the Quickening rules the lives of humans and vampires alike, Vivien just won her first battle.
Raised on Earth, Vivien had no idea she was heir to Foh’Ran’s throne until Brad and Aedan, her bodyguards, revealed themselves to her and took her to her family’s ancestral castle. Her first confrontation with Rhuinn, the man who usurped her throne, ended as well as could be hoped and she won a few days of respite until she has to appear at the royal court again.
Before she does, however, she’ll need to break through her mental block and master the Quickening to prove herself a worthy daughter of Foh’Ran. She’ll also have to gain allies among Foh’Ran’s influential families. The most difficult part, however, might be to follow Aedan’s advice and learn to act like a queen when she’s still unsure whether she truly wants the throne, and would rather simply be Brad’s girlfriend.

Here is an excerpt from Bodyguards, in which Vivien gets her first good look at her world...

Bradan knew what his brother must be thinking even before he reached Aedan. This was the woman they had sworn their lives to? The future ruler for which they’d sacrificed so much already? Bradan knew what Aedan was thinking, because the same thoughts were running through his mind, as much as he tried to quiet them. For years, he had dreamed of the moment when they would bring Vivien back to Foh’Ran and restore her to the throne that was hers by right. This was not how he had imagined things would go—far from it.

He couldn’t give up on her, though. She was upset, and he could understand that. Everything she had ever believed about herself had been turned on its head, she had been thrust into an unfamiliar place, and the one person who had been there for her as she was growing up had been taken by her enemies. All things considered, she wasn’t doing so badly, given how grim things looked for her at the moment. If he could only show her that it wasn’t all war, fear, and pain...

“Did she come out at all?” he asked, leaning back against the wall next to Aedan.

Aedan shrugged. He never looked away from the corridor. Vivien’s door was just twenty feet away. “She opened the door long enough to take her dinner. Would you call that coming out?”

“At least she’s eating.”

Considering that Vivien had skipped lunch, calling out through the door that she wasn’t hungry, this had to be progress. How was Bradan going to get her out, though? How could he get through to her?

“Remember when she was...what?” Aedan’s brow furrowed as though the memory were escaping him. “Four? And she refused to eat anything but roseberries for a week?”

Bradan did remember, but he wasn’t sure why Aedan was bringing it up. Aedan explained himself soon enough, though.

“She is just a child. She does not understand what is going on, how important she is. How can we trust her with the future of Foh’Ran when she hides in her room like a little girl because she’s afraid?”

Pushing away from the wall, Bradan squeezed Aedan’s shoulder. “She’s almost twenty. She’s not a child. She just needs time. I’ll try talking to her again. Why don’t you get some rest? You barely got any sleep last night.”

“I’m not tired,” Aedan said. “But you can keep an eye on the child if it amuses you.”

A slight smile softened the bite in his last words. Aedan moved without a sound. In seconds, he had disappeared down the staircase. Bradan remained there a moment longer, trying to figure out how to approach Vivien. They’d never talked all that much—Bradan had always been afraid to let something slip that he shouldn’t have—but he had watched her closely over the years. She’d never been as relaxed, as happy as when she ran in the woods. And he’d never believed that it was the running that soothed her. Their kind wasn’t made to live in cities of steel and concrete.

His mind made up, he went over to Vivien’s room and knocked twice.

“I already told you,” she called before he could even say a word. “I don’t want to go to that lake or anywhere else. I’m tired.”

“I want to show you something,” he said, his hand pressed flat to the door. “Something that belongs to you. I promise it’s not far. Will you come with me? Please, Vivien.”

Long seconds passed. He could hear her inside, slow steps coming toward him as though she were hesitating. When she finally opened the door, her eyes were red, but her cheeks were dry. Something twisted painfully inside him. If only he could have protected her from everything...

“What is it you want me to show me?” she asked, her voice dulled by weariness.

“You’ll see.” He took a step back to give her space. “Come with me?”

He’d been afraid she’d close the door in his face. She didn’t and accompanied him instead.

He led the way down to the first floor and out through the back door. The sky was already darkening with the promise of the night to come. He started toward the shields, glancing back when he realized she wasn’t following him.

“You said it wasn’t far,” she said.

She looked down at her feet. When he followed her gaze, Bradan understood. Her toes were bare in the grass. A foot in front of her, however, the grass gave way to rocks, gravel and weeds. She’d bruise her feet if she tried walking on the old path. Coming back to her, Bradan didn’t let himself hesitate. If he went back in to find shoes for her, the moment would pass. He scooped her up into his arms, smiling when she replied with a quick, surprised laugh. She looped her arms around his neck and gave him a small smile, almost shy.

“Is this all right?” he asked, wishing he had thought of asking first.

She nodded. Holding her close to his chest, one arm under her knees and the other at her back, Bradan carried her beyond the shields and to the cliff. He looked at her as she took in the scene, wondering if this would jog her memory.

* * * *

Vivien’s mouth fell open, and she gasped softly. Only a dozen yards in front of them, the backyard ended abruptly over a cliff. Her arms instinctively tightened around Brad’s neck. He walked right to the edge of the cliff, and when she looked down, she could see a valley.

Fields of gold, woods of the deepest green, prairies of wild grass and wilder flowers of every color imaginable stretched down below. Far in the distance, the sun was slowly slinking down toward the horizon amid a symphony of reds and oranges. Here and there, volutes of smoke rising toward the darkening sky marked the presence of people.

“It’s...beautiful,” Vivien whispered.

“And it’s yours,” Bradan replied. “Your world. It always was. I know how strange it must be for you to find yourself in this new place, how upsetting. But you’ll find more than pain and death and the cold stones of this house. We have beauty here, too. Life. You only have to look to find it.”

Vivien looked at him. His face was so close to hers, she could have counted his eyelashes, even in the fading evening light. So close, she would only need to shift a little for their mouths to brush together. His lips looked soft and firm. He caught her gaze and blinked, as though surprised that she was watching him rather than the spectacle he was offering her. Vivien’s face suddenly felt too warm, and she looked away again, down into the valley, trying to find something to talk about. She was acutely aware of how warm he was everywhere they touched.

“Did you miss it?” she murmured. “You had to leave this place to come Earth. To a whole other world. Wasn’t it hard?”

A few clouds drifted in front of the sun as it started to disappear beyond the curve of the horizon.

“I came back when I was too homesick,” Brad said softly. “A couple of hours during the night there meant a day here. Enough to see my brother, to practice using the Quickening, to just be Bradan instead of Brad. No one ever knew.”

Despite the small smile on his lips, he sounded a little wistful. It hadn’t been as easy as he made it to be, had it? So why would he go through this?

He had mentioned something before...

“You said... You said you took a vow?”

“Aedan and I did, yes.” He tilted his head as though he knew she had another question and was inviting her to continue.

“How long ago was that?”

“We were eleven.”

She struggled to wrap her mind around that. Eleven... They’d been children!

“How could you even know what that oath meant when you were so young? How could you decide to leave your family? How could they let you do it? Didn’t your parents have something to say about it?”

She realized suddenly that she was clutching his shoulders tightly, but she couldn’t let go, not when Brad was looking at her with such a grave expression.

“We knew what the QuickSilver Oath meant,” he said slowly, holding her gaze. “Our father explained it to us when we were small children, and we watched him live and breathe that oath every day of his life until he died trying to protect Dame Eleoren.”

Vivien’s heart felt as though it skipped a beat or ten.

“Our mother...” Brad’s voice cracked for a second before hardening again. “She understood how much this meant to us. She came to the Otherworld with me. Anabel helped us learn how to live there.”

Try as she might, Vivien could not fathom any of it. All of this, going to an entirely new world, starting over, for her?

“What about Aedan?” she asked. “He didn’t come with you?”

“Aedan stayed here with Dame Eleoren’s cook. She was the last of the staff. She refused to go anywhere. He kept her company, and she took care of him. My mother visited him while I was at school, or we went together in the evening or on weekends. Aedan came to visit sometimes, too.”

Darkness was thickening around them, an echo of Vivien’s muddled thoughts. The more Brad explained, the more difficult it was to grasp it all.

“But you said time here passes faster,” she protested. “Wouldn’t he have grown older a lot faster than you?”

“He did.” The ghost of a smile brushed against his lips. “I was born first. A couple minutes only, but I used to take that very seriously. I was Aedan’s big brother, and I was proud of it. And then I turned twelve. And he was sixteen. When I turned thirteen, he was an adult. It was the strangest thing.”

Vivien’s confusion was thicker than ever. Aedan didn’t look a day older than Brad. “So how come—”

She never got to finish. A yell rose from somewhere on their left, and they both turned to watch a group of people running toward them, the moonlight glinting like lightning on their swords.
Author Bio:
Kallysten’s most exciting accomplishment to date was to cross a few thousand miles and an ocean to pursue (and catch!) the love of her life. She has been writing for over fifteen years, and always enjoyed sharing her stories and listening to the readers' reactions. After playing with science fiction, short stories and poetry, she is now trying her hand, heart and words at paranormal romance novels.

Stalker Links:

Tour Info:
If you would like to see the info on her TOUR 

I hope you enjoyed this quick excerpt, and I invite you to visit my site or my blog for more.
And now, how about a giveaway?
The first prize is a swag pack comprised of a beaded book thong, a card, magnet and minicard. 3 runner-ups will get the same thing without the book thong. Good luck! And be sure to check the tour page for more giveaways!

Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I would also like to say Thank You to Kallysten for being on my blog today. Don't forget to enter the giveaway.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your header. So spooky and intriguing.

    I really enjoyed the tease from the book. It sounds like a great story. It is going on my TBR list for sure. Thanks Mary