Character Interview: Emily ~Maybe by Amber L Johnson

 

Maybe
by 
Amber L. Johnson
 
Maybe-Hi-Res-Cover


Release Date: February 12 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Romance / General / Contemporary / Erotica
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-371-3
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH
 
~~SUMMARY~~
 

Maybe-3D-Paperback-eReader

Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.

Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a backseat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.

For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.

Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.

Maybe finding love is worth the risk.

 

CHARACTER INTERVIEW WITH EMILY PORTMAN:

Welcome, Emily!

 Thanks!

I went to music college many years ago, so like you, I’m accustomed to the personalities of artists (although my sphere was chiefly classical while yours is rock and roll). Musical circles are very eclectic. What’s it like dealing with rockers?

It really depends on the type, I suppose. I usually get to be with them before they become the next big thing, Before fame settles in. That’s not to say that ego isn’t a huge factor with each band I’ve been with. But there’s not a box that I could put all of them in. Of course I’ve seen my fair share of big heads and drunk groupies backstage. But I’ve also seen quite a few small bands make it relatively big and they’ve just been in awe of the experience.

Sometimes during a show, things happen backstage that are so unglamorous –contrary to public perception- that for years afterward, you still say to yourself, “I can’t believe that happened!” One time, I was standing backstage with other cast members. Onstage, a death was being enacted. It was so quiet in the house you could have heard a pin drop. We had a performer who was quite a large man. He’d been sitting in a wooden chair with arms for much of the scene, waiting for his cue. When he stood up, the chair was stuck to him. It crashed to the ground and probably everyone in the theater jumped. One of our performers slapped his hand over his mouth and bee-lined for the green room. He didn’t wait for the door to shut before braying laughter like a goat, so the whole audience heard.

 The rest of us, backstage, were biting our tongues not to laugh. The musical director was (of course) in the pit and the director of the show was out in the audience. They were so ticked that we heard about it for ages, but nobody would snitch. Do you have an experience like that, that has stayed with you?

 One of the younger bands I was shadowing had a show where a record exec was in the audience. The lead singer had practically burned a hole in the carpet for the last half hour before they were supposed to go onstage. And when they were called out, he took the stage with the biggest hard-on. I was impressed, actually. Performed the entire first song with his zipper tented.

Hahahah! Poor dude. Or not. He probably got a lot of cred for that. Your work for a recording label scouting for bands. How does one get hired for that job?

Hard work? Lots of begging? Just kidding. I was in the right place at the right time after I graduated. But I’ve always known what I wanted. So I went for it and hoped they’d take a chance on me.

Cool. Now, on a more serious note, one of the people in the band in Maybe becomes a drug addict. I was reading a different book about a band and the author described cocaine as a drug that people used casually and that nobody considered its use a big risk. When I was in music (admittedly, I’m ancient), the harshest drug I came across was coke and most people didn’t take anything stronger than marijuana, hash or acid. I was shocked when this author implied that cocaine is not a dangerous drug and can be used casually. Would you say that’s common thinking now?

My boss used to tell me that coke was an 80’s drug, but I don’t quite believe that. But I think heroin and meth? Those would be considered the coke of today. But very few people I have known past and present have used coke casually.

How prevalent is drug use in the music scene? Is it as rampant and open as people imagine, or can people who object to it easily avoid it?

I’ve seen firsthand that it can be avoided if you want to bad enough. I’ve seen enough to know that there are musicians who think that the rock star lifestyle is just a given. You play guitar? You trash hotel rooms and snort lines off of groupies’ asses. But there are select few who are in it for the love of music and that’s what they want. To play music.

Band groupies: I used to know a girl who followed a band all over North America. Pretty much every live performance recording available on Youtube for that band can be attributed to her. The band is no longer together and people are grateful (she did all the fans a service). But generally, there isn’t much respect for groupies. What would you say to a young person who wants to “follow the band”?

I guess the question is: why are you following the band? Because you want to be at every single show and be in that moment in the crowd? Or is it because you want recognition from the band or other people? Are you just there to get backstage?

Is there a favourite tour that you’ve been on where everything just went beautifully or is there always a fly in the ointment?

There is no such thing as perfection. That’s what makes life worth living. Wouldn’t you agree?

Indeed. Favourite artists or bands:

Currently? Milky Chance just announced their 2015 tour and I’m excited to get to see them live. Tyler would kill me if I didn’t mention The Badger. I mean, obviously, they’re a given. And I’m always obsessed with A Day to Remember. But don’t ever tell Tyler I said I like that latest Taylor Swift song. If you do then he’ll be really shitty about the entire thing and I’ll have to tell you that I caught him singing One Direction the other day.

My lips are sealed. Thanks for visiting today. 🙂

 

 Goodreads * Add to Want To Read List

 
~~EXCERPT~~

Maybe-3D-Book-Stack-1Walking toward him is like trudging through the deepest mud, but I hold my head high, my hands in my pockets and strides long. When I’m less than a foot away, his head turns toward me without lifting his chin, and he looks up from under his brows. The white smoke from his cigarette causes his eyes to nearly close before he pulls it from his lips and exhales upward into the air.

I’m struck by how incredibly handsome he is in black wool and new jeans. I want to know if his skin feels hot under his clothes and if his back feels the same when I scratch fingernails across his spine. My fists clench in my coat pockets at the thought. This is going to be so much harder than I’d been prepared for.


 
~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~
AuthPhotA true child of music, Amber’s parents surrounded her with the loudest beats they could find, molding her into a girl who found inspiration and meaning in lyrics and chords. Raised on John Hughes movies, Luck Dragons, and pirate ships, she dreamed of love and adventure. When Amber began to create her own world, she envisioned a place where Happy Ever Afters do exist. Since then, she has authored several romance novels, all of which focus on songs and the way they can touch people’s lives. Music may not be able to fix a broken heart, but it can provide one hell of a soundtrack for healing.A full-time wife and mother with a full-time job, Amber finds her muse in everyday life and the people who bring her inspiration.

 
 
Be sure to look for her other book!
Eight-Days-a-Week-Hi-Res-Cover

 

 

~~CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR~~

 

Praise for Maybe
“The characters are fun, likable, and well done. It’s such a feel good story with a wonderful romance. Honestly, if you want a good, easy read with a cast of characters that will make you laugh and cry, and a romance that will sweep you off your feet then give this book a read. You won’t regret it. ” – Jennifer
Maybe-3D-Paperback-1
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Tour, Character Interview & Giveaway: Twelve by T.M. Franklin

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The action-packed conclusion to the MORE Trilogy is here!

Twelve cover

 

Ava Michaels is gifted, powerful, and — whether she likes it or not — part of a plot to take over the world.

It’s only been a few months since Ava Michaels discovered she has ties to an ancient people living in the shadows of the human world, despite their superior gifts and abilities. A select few don’t like hiding, however, and think it’s time to take control.

Now Ava’s caught up in a conspiracy in the works before she was even born. In fact, her birth was an integral part of the plan. She’s one of the Twelve, the most powerful Race ever created, and they were created for a purpose.

Turns out, Ava doesn’t like being told what to do.

All she wants is to start a new life with her boyfriend, Caleb Foster, but before they can even think about that, they must join forces with former enemies, seek out some powerful new friends, and figure out what exactly the Twelve, and their power-hungry leader, are up to.

Then, they have to find a way to stop them.

Add TWELVE to your Goodreads Shelf!

 

Twelve (More, #3)

 

Character Interview: Sarah Michaels

 

Today, we’re privileged to have Sarah Michaels, mother of Ava Michaels, with us.

Hi Sarah, welcome to my blog! I like to spend time here while my kids are at school. How do you and your husband fill your time now that Ava’s away at college?

Nette Dame copyright TM Franklin

Well, we definitely keep busy. Joe’s had some health problems, but he’s been able to step back from work, so that’s been good. He’s been much better lately. I run a day care center in town, so those kids keep me on my toes. Other than that, we’re homebodies, really. I enjoy working in my garden, and Joe has his cars.

Tell us about Ava.

Oh, Ava. She’s such a blessing. I don’t know if you know how she came to us. We’d just lost a baby – our hearts were broken – and Father Gallagher came to us with this little bundle. I didn’t want to even look at her at first. I couldn’t bear it. But then she let out this little cry and I looked down and she was looking right back at me, like, “Hi, Mom!” *laughs* She was our miracle – and she continues to be. In more ways than one.

When did you first realize that Ava was different from other children?

I always knew she was special – but I didn’t know exactly how special until that whole mess with – what are they called again? Oh yeah, the Rogues. Although . . . I guess I did start to suspect something when she came back for her baby blanket. She’d decided she wanted to find out more information about her biological parents. I suppose it’s not that unusual, but my instincts told me it was more. Looking back, I was right.

Ava is more than human; she’s one of the Twelve. What do you think that means for humanity?

I think we’re in good hands.

What about Ava’s boyfriend, Caleb? Do you like him?

Oh, yes. He’s a wonderful boy – so polite and he’s incredibly kind to Ava, which is what a mother looks for, of course.

Will we be seeing a wedding, do you think?

I wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe not for a while, but I think that’s a pretty good bet.

And what do you think the future will bring?

Oh, who knows? All any parent wants is for their child to be happy and healthy and to do something meaningful with their life. I know that all of that applies to Ava. She’ll finish school, and then I think she and Caleb will get married. Or maybe it’ll be the other way around, I don’t know. I do know I’d like some grandchildren, of course.

But things are good. My family is happy and growing. That’s all a mother could ask for.

That’s for sure! Thanks for visiting us today!

Where to buy it

If you haven’t read the first two books, now is the time – all three books are ON SALE for a LIMITED TIME on select platforms!

On Sale

MORE – Amazon | TWCS | iTunes

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About the Author
Author picT.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards.   In addition to MORE and its sequel, The Guardians, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short stories A Piece of Cake and Window, which also won a Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award for Short Story/Fantasy. Her new YA romance, How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You, is Franklin’s first love story without a paranormal or fantasy element, although she believes love is the best kind of magic.   TWELVE, the final installment in the MORE Trilogy will be released October 9, 2014.  

Connect with T.M. Franklin

 

Website | E-mail | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads

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Character Interview: Justin from Lissa Bryan’s Land of the Shadow

 

The Land Of The Shadow

 

The End Of All Things II
By 
Lissa Bryan


Release Date: 21st August 2014
Genre: Dystopian
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-264-8
 
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH

Summary:
After surviving the Infection and a perilous journey through the wasteland that was once the United States, Carly and Justin have found a safe home in the isolated town of Colby.
 
Even so, balancing the duties of survival and a growing family isn’t easy. As they emerge as leaders, they face difficult questions about justice in a lawless land, basic human rights, and freedom in a world where strength defines worth. More than ever, they have to rely on one another for strength and support during the darkest of times.
 
The Crisis is far from over. Their fences won’t keep the world out forever, and a new threat is emerging—a gang of predators who see the town as easy pickings. When danger looms over Colby, Carly must decide how far she’ll go to protect those she loves. 

It’s a journey down the long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.

 

Character Interview:

 

Jess: Hello, Justin. It’s good to see you again. Things have changed a lot since last we spoke. How are you?

Oh, it’s you again. You’re that author who said she had a crush on me last time, aren’t you?

 

Jess: I have a soft spot for you, but I don’t hit on married men. You’ve settled down and I’m glad to hear it. How’s the family?

Well, the family’s bigger, as you might have noticed. We have a son now: Kaden. Seems strange to say I have two kids. I never thought I’d make much of a father, and here I now have a toddler and a teenage boy. Sometimes, I’m not sure which one of them is the greater challenge.

 

Jess: Oh, yeah, tell me about it! Each has its own set of unique challenges. I suspect your definition of family has changed since last year.

I think most of our definitions have had to go through a change. “Family” is the people you love, plain and simple. We’ve had all sorts of families here in Colby, and they make it work, as long as they have that love to hold them together.

I guess you could say I’ve gone through some changes myself to be saying something like that. I never really thought family and love were all that important before Carly came into my life, but she’s helped me to see that it’s the thing that holds all of human society together.

 

Jess: You lead a community now, with Carly. Tell us about Colby.

We’re growing. We’ve got almost thirty people in our town now. Carly and I tell people that we’re co-leaders, but really, it’s more like I’m vice president. What’s amazed me the most is watching how Carly has grown into the role of leader. I always knew she had talents and smarts, but it’s like she was born to do it. She’s had to make some very hard choices, as I think you know, and there’s been a price she’s had to pay for it. But she’s strong. Stronger than she knows.

 

Jess: Yes, she is. How does your community function?

By the skin of our teeth, honestly. It’s been hard. Our farming hasn’t been as successful as I’d hoped, and so we don’t have a lot of food. Trade’s been bad, too, because people are starting to avoid this area on account of the rumors there are some bad guys in the area, preying on travelers.

Still, we’re getting by. We’re going to make it. We just figured out how to get a tractor going using a wood gasifier for fuel, and that will help. And despite small squabbles here and there, we’ve got good people in this town. They’re hard workers and they care about making this community work.

Carly has faith that we wouldn’t have been brought this far just to fail. She’s certain our destiny is to lay the groundwork for the future, like we’re the founding mothers and fathers of the next chapter of human history. You ought to hear her. She gets all poetic when she talks about it.

In any case, I’m glad she’s so confident. I don’t want her worrying about this stuff. She has enough on her mind with running the town.

 

Jess: People must lead very different lives now than they did before the Infection. What’s normal now that would have been thought extraordinary then?

I mentioned that family groups have changed. We’ve got families comprised of several adults instead of just a pairing… gay, straight, bi, different ethnic groups… no one blinks an eye any more. The kids all seem happy and healthy, and that’s all that matters.

I know one thing that bothers Carly is that kids aren’t getting to go to school. We’ve got them working alongside the adults these days. Maybe one day we’ll have the luxury of leisure time for formal education, but right now, we just don’t have the ability. Carly tries to encourage reading as much as she can. She was tickled pink to see Kaden reading Beowulf the other day.

 

Jess: As a leader, what is of most concern to you?

My first priority has to be security. Here’s the thing… You build a nice community with walls to protect it and start storing up food, and someone’s gonna want to take it from you. That’s just the way it is now. We have to defend what’s ours. But I can’t just hand someone a gun and say, “Here, go guard the Wall.” They have to know what they’re doing, or they’re going to get themselves killed. I’m trying to train them as best I can, but with the struggle of daily living, finding time for training is hard.

Food is my second worry. We’re just not getting enough calories out of the farming right now in comparison to the labor we put into it. I’ve done the math. Maybe the tractor will help with that. It’s a constant, nagging worry in the back of my mind, but we can’t concentrate on farming if we’re not safe and secure here.

 

Jess: What values and skills do you want to pass on to the next generation?

Right now, the focus has to be on giving them the skills they’ll need to survive. It’s a harsh and cold reality, but a lot of that social stuff and academic stuff has to take a background role. Carly’s doing what she can to fill the gaps, but I know she worries about what kind of future we’re building. She wants to do this right, you know?

 

Jess: It’s important to get it right. Mistakes are so costly. I’m going to ask you this again, because I’m wondering if your answer has changed: Will humanity survive?

If Carly has anything to do with it, yes. That woman has more determination than any human being I’ve ever seen.

 

Jess: I’m glad to see that you and Carly have made so much progress. I’m rooting for you!

Thanks. If Carly were here, she’d tell you we’re going to learn from our mistakes as a society and build something even better for the future. And I’m actually starting to believe it myself.

 



Author Bio: 
Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot…though only in her head. Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
 
She is the author of three other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, and Under These Restless Skies.


Connect with Lissa Bryan on: Facebook, TwitterBlogand Goodreads
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Praise for The Land of The Shadow:
 

“What a ride! Carly and Justin are people that I’d like on my side, and on the side of my community. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a story that will keep you glued to your reader or flipping pages in a paperback just as quickly as you can.”Kathie Spitz 

If you haven’t already, check out-
The End Of Things Book I
By 
Lissa Bryan
Available from: AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS PH

 

 
 
 
 

 

Giveaway & Character Interview: Sherlock from How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You

Ainsley Blog Tour

Hi, readers!

I thought we’d sit on the reading rug and have a chat with a very special guest today: Sherlock Holmes. The other one. This one’s the ten year old brother of Oliver Holmes, who’s featured in the new novel, How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You.

JB: Hi, Sherlock!

Sherlock Holmes: Hello. *jots something in notebook*

JB: What’s that you’re writing down?

SH: Just some initial observations. I like to keep notes to help me remember things. Thank you for having me, Ms. Brown. It’s nice to talk to someone who wants to hear from me. Everybody always wants to talk to Oliver.

 

big-deguisement-2137_3642 sherlock

JB: Have your parents told you why they named you and Oliver after such famous Holmeses?

SH: Only about a million times! “We wanted you to have big names so you’d have big dreams and big goals.” My parents always say that.

JB: And your parents: what are they like?

SH: They’re pretty cool. For parents. I mean, my friend David has parents who don’t even talk to him, so that would really suck. Mine talk to us all the time. About everything. It can get annoying sometimes, but at least they pay attention.

JB: If you had a sister, what would her name be?

SH: First of all, gross. A sister would be the worst. David has an older sister and she’s forever playing dumb music and texting and leaving her shoes everywhere and yelling at him about nothing. But if I had one, I would guess my parents would find a name of a famous Holmes woman. Oliver always says Katie would be a bad choice, but I don’t know. It’s okay, I guess.

JB: I hear you’re quite the fan of the great detective Sherlock Holmes. How come?

SH: He’s only the greatest mind in history! Have you read any of the books? My friends don’t understand why I like them, but their only exposure is through the movies. You know, with Robert Downey Jr.? The movies are cool, but the Holmes in the books is even better. He sees everything and can uses logic and deductive reasoning to solve crimes that no one else can figure out!

JB: I love the books and I’ve read them all, many times. And you do some detecting yourself, right?

SH: I do. There are many crimes out there that must be solved.

JB: What spy equipment does every great detective need?

SH: First of all, a sharp brain. *taps temple* That is the most important tool. Then, keen observational skills, which is why I need this. *holds up notebook* A notebook to keep track of clues and theories.

JB: Is Oliver a cool big brother?

SH: I don’t know if cool is the word. I mean, he looks at himself in the mirror a LOT. It’s weird. He’s also a bit obsessed with muscle magazines lately. And his hair. It’s all very strange. I have a few working theories.

*thinks for a moment* However, I must say that Oliver has his moments. There are times when things are . . . tense at our house. He’ll let me hang out in his room and play Xbox. That’s nice.

JB: What do you know about teenagers, based on your detecting?

SH: 1. They smell

2. They attempt to cover up the smell with various things

3. Their voices crack

4. They make no logical sense

JB: What does Oliver think of that?

SH: I have yet to discuss my findings with Oliver. When I conclude my investigation into his recent odd behavior, I will present my theory.

JB: What have you deduced about Oliver?

SH: I try not to form deductions until I have obtained all the pertinent information in a case. I am still gathering the clues in the case of Oliver Wendell Holmes. The game, my dear Ms. Brown, is afoot.

 

Ainsley

Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes (Yes, his parents are just that peculiar, but his brother’s name is Sherlock, so it could have been worse) knows that he’s different. He’s quirky, awkward, and he’s okay with that. Oliver also likes making lists-meticulous procedures for achieving his goals, step-by-step. Whether it’s “How to Get an A in Chemistry” or “How to Get Accepted to MIT,” he has a process, and it’s worked for him so far. He doesn’t even care that the popular kids mock him. Oliver’s got his eye on the prize.

So when he decides it’s time to declare his feelings for Ainsley Bishop, the girl of his dreams, it’s only natural for him to make a list-a point-by-point strategy to win her heart. He knows it will take a grand gesture for her to see all he has to offer, and her approaching birthday provides the ideal opportunity for Oliver to put his plan into action.

Finding the perfect gift is a challenge Oliver meets with his usual dogged determination. He’ll need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.

Ainsley is available now!

Amazon |Barnes & Noble |iTunes |Kobo | TWCS

 

Giveaway

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T.M. Franklin T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards.

In addition to MORE and its sequel, The Guardians, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short stories A Piece of Cake andWindow, which also won a Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award for Short Story/Fantasy. Her new YA romance, How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You, is Franklin’s first love story without a paranormal or fantasy element, although she believes love is the best kind of magic.

TWELVE, the final installment in the MORE Trilogy will be released in the fall of 2014.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Website | E-mail | Facebook | Twitter

 

Reviews

 

Character Interview: Trust by Sherri Hayes

Trust-Large-Blog-Tour-Banner

 Trust cover

Available 20th March from: TWCSAmazonB&NiTunesKobo

RaffleCopter Link

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The Summary

 

Brianna is lost for the fourth time in her life. Each time was unexpected, and each changed the course of her future. The first life-altering event occurred when her mother died, and she moved to Minnesota to live with her father.

 

The second was when she was kidnapped at the age of seventeen and forced to be a slave. She would never forget those ten months. Brianna thought her life was over.

 

Everything changed again the day Stephan steamrolled into her life and brought her home to live with him. She had no idea what to expect—what life with her new Master would hold. That first month with Stephan was, in some ways, more confusing than the prior ten. As a slave, she’d known her place. With Stephan everything was new and different. He’d given her freedom and so much more.

 

Five months after Stephan rescued her, Brianna once again finds her life flipped upside down.

 

In this fourth, and final, installment of Finding Anna, Brianna must unearth strength she never knew she possessed. Stephan can no longer protect her from the outside world. She must learn to trust herself, embrace who she is, and discover who she wants to be. Only by facing her demons can Brianna find true happiness and peace.

 

Published by The Writer’s Coffee Shop

 

Sherri picAbout the Author

 Sherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn’t good at spelling or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author.

 

At the age of thirty, all that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more.

 

Seven years later, Sherri is the author of seven full-length novels and one short story. Writing has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create.

 

Character Interview: Stephan

Good afternoon, Stephan. Most people have no understanding of your lifestyle, which is actually meant to be about mutual pleasure, not humiliation of one’s partner. Can you give any insights?

BDSM is about fulfilling the needs of the parties involved. Most of the people I’ve encountered who take issue with the lifestyle view it as nothing but inflicting and receiving pain. It is much more than that. It is a trust–a bond between the individuals. One that can transcend the parameters of play. When it’s with the right partner, it can be an almost spiritual experience.

At present, there’s a certain public fascination with BDSM but not all Doms can be trusted. What warnings would you give someone who’s curious?

First of all, if something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Anyone can declare themselves a Dominant. That doesn’t mean they are. Many confuse dominant with being domineering. A Dominant leads. Someone who is domineering will attempt to push his or her will onto another.

One of the biggest red flags I’ve seen is when someone claiming to be a Dom tells the submissive that they need to do whatever they’re told and that they have no say in the matter. This isn’t how BDSM works. The submissive sets the parameters of play–they say what is off limits. Anyone who doesn’t respect that isn’t a true Dom.

What were you thinking when you bought Brianna?

I was thinking that I couldn’t wait to get out of that house and her away from Pierce. Through the years, I’ve meet some people who make my skin crawl, but he had to be the worst.

Could you please explain the difference between a Dom and a Master?

The answer to that question varies depending on who you ask. For me, a Dom is what I am. I like to be in control of both my life, and my partner’s sexual needs. Being someone’s Master is an honour and a responsibility.

Please tell us about Brianna. What qualities do you love most about her?

I love how caring and selfless she is. She will often put others before herself, even when it’s not in her best interest. Brianna feels other’s hurt deeply. She feels their pain, and she wants to help. I also love that she has an inner strength that constantly amazes me. She’s overcome so much, and continues to push through her fear to seek out the life she wants for herself.

It surprises me how many people assume that someone who’s been abused can’t have a normal relationship and fall in love with someone. Is there something you’d like to say to such people?

We all have the ability to love. Sometimes it takes a lot of work, but that usually only makes it all the better.

 

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Blog Tour Character Interview: Hayden Stryker, Clipped Wings by H.Hunting

CW
Their body art is hot. Their chemistry is even hotter.From her dark hair sweeping below her waist to her soft, sexy curves, Tenley Page intrigues tattoo artist Hayden Stryker in a way no one else ever has…especially when she asks him to ink a gorgeous, intricate design on her back. Yet for all her beauty, there is something darkly tragic and damaged about Tenley that Hayden is everything.Covered in ink and steel, Hayden is everything Tenley has never dared to want, awakening a desire to explore more than the art adorning his stunning body. Trapped by a past that leaves her screaming from nightmares, Tenley sees Hayden as the perfect escape. Although he has secrets too, if they both keep themselves guarded perhaps their intense physical connection will remain only that.But nothing, not even passion, can keep them safe from their pasts…

 

Character Interview: Hayden Stryker

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Hello there, Hayden! You’re a bit of a mystery and I’m sure readers would like to know more about you. Thanks for joining us today!

Hey. Helena told me I needed to be here or she’d kick my ass and make sure Tenley and I didn’t hook up, so here I am. Shit. I probably wasn’t supposed to say that, was I? Can we start over?

LOL! Sure! You’re a tattooist and obviously very artistic. How did you choose this career path?

I don’t know that I specifically chose this career path as much as it chose me. I was young when I started apprenticing. I started as a piercer, but it wasn’t my bag. So when I didn’t have clients I designed tattoos for the other artists in the shop. I’d watch them work when I could, especially Jamie and Chris. Those two are stellar tattooists and they ended up being my mentors. Eventually they let me have at it. My first few tattoos were shit, but I put them on myself and Chris covered them over not long after with the phoenix, so it’s not like I have reminders of how crap I was when I started, other than the pictures they took. I enjoy what I do because it allows me to be an artist and I can make a reasonable living at it.

What was your first tattoo and why did you get it? How old were you?

My first tattoo is on my back. It’s difficult to describe, but most people tell me it’s creepy.

Stephen James Hendry as Hayden

hand tatt by Jason ButcherI was eighteen when I got it. I wanted one long before that, but I spent a long time scoping out artists to make sure they weren’t going to eff it up. It’s the darkest piece I have and reflective of my headspace at the time. It’s a reminder of how low the lows can get.

Your aunt has a bookshop across the street from your parlour. Family must be important to you.

Yeah, definitely. I’m pretty tight with Cassie. She’s always been a significant part of my life. I doubt she’d ever admit it, but I have a feeling part of the reason she bought Serendipity was so she could keep tabs on me. I think it was coincidental that it actually became a semi-viable business. Cass reminds me a lot of my mom, not like she’s a replacement for her, but they share a lot of the same traits and she’s always been supportive, even when I was effing my shit up. But family isn’t always about blood ties, yeah? Chris and Jamie and Lisa are just as much family as Cass is, even if we aren’t related by DNA.

Tell us about the new girl who works in the bookshop.

Tenley? That chick is effing hot. And she lives right above my Aunt’s store, which is extremely convenient, you know, since I live across the street in the condo above Inked Armor. I like that she’s into piercings. I have a lot of those. And she seems pretty cool from the limited number of times I’ve run into her. I plan to get to know her better.

C&ICover

You and Tenley seem to have a bit of a mutual stalker thing going. *winks* You’ve both been caught lurking in each others’ haunts and peeking in windows. Care to explain?

What? Mutual stalking? I wouldn’t go that far. I visit Cassie all the time. I always have. She’s my family and there’s a coffee shop attached to her store. They sell awesome cupcakes so I usually scarf one of those back while I’m there so Chris doesn’t take the piss out of me. That Tenley works there now is a bonus. As for the peeking in the windows business, I’m not sure where you get your information from, but it sounds pretty effing skewed. There was only one time when I saw Tenley in her apartment and that wasn’t intentional. I was closing my curtains and when I looked across the street I noticed hers were wide open. It’s not my fault she was standing there, short shorts and a tank top.

What have you figured out about Tenley?

She likes ink and piercings, so we’ve got that in common. She’s skittish though which makes conversation with her difficult. I make her uncomfortable, or maybe I just make her nervous, but I’m trying to fix that. From what Cass has told me, she’s not from a big city, so I don’t think I’m the norm where she’s from. Oh, and she’s good at organizing books. I like that, too.

Thanks for chatting with me and my readers today.

No problem. Thanks for having me. Wait, that sounds wrong I mean thanks for interviewing me.

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Bio
Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s putting her English degree to good use by writing popular fiction. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.

 

 

Under These Restless Skies Tour: Interview with King Henry VIII

Under These Restless Skies By 

Lissa Bryan 


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Summary: 
 
Will Somers has always thought himself unlovable. When he encounters a creature of myth and magic, he seizes the chance to finally have a wife and family of his own. Emma is a selkie—one of the immortal fae-folk of the sea—bound to Will by the magic of her kind, and eager to learn about life on land. She has to learn to adapt quickly to human customs, because Will is headed for the court of Henry VIII, to serve as the king’s fool. It’s a glittering, dangerous world, where a careless word can lead to the scaffold and the smallest of gestures is loaded with political implications. Anne Boleyn is charmed by Emma’s naïveté and soothing selkie magic and wants Emma for her own fool. Can Will protect his newfound love from the dangers that lurk in every shadow? Circa regna tonat: around the throne, the thunder rolls.

Author Bio:


Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medallist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist, who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot . . . though only in her head. Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.


 

 

 

 

Interview with His Majesty, King Henry VIII:

Ah, noble readers, today we are graced with the presence of His Majesty, King Henry VIII.

 Henry VIII 2

Good day, Your Majesty. How fare you?

Well as always, Lady Brown. Those of us chosen by God are rich in His blessings.

I understand you have recently received the gift of a fool named Will Somers. What is he like?

He’s an odd one, that Will Somers, and I speak not of his crooked back. He spends his free time in the company of that wife of his, and does not seek the company of other ladies, if you understand my meaning. Material wealth also seems to mean little to him. He gives away what coin he has— and not in bribes or gifts to seek advancement, but to the poor. Did you hear how he tricked Cranmer out of one hundred pounds? And what did he do with it? He went straight out of the house and distributed it to the poor at the gates of the archbishop’s palace.

I cannot understand it. Any man can be bought, but I have yet to find his price.

Are Will and Patch very different?

Patch is a “natural,” my lady. Surely you know the difference? His wits are addled. Cardinal Wolsey gave him to me as a gift before Wolsey’s … unpleasant situation occurred. Wolsey valued the fool highly, for whatever reason… Methinks Wolsey used to have him sing. But I have singers enough. Patch is far more amusing when the court is teasing him. ‘Tis almost as amusing as a bear baiting to watch him become befuddled. But Emma has spoiled that of late, marching in whenever she sees Patch upset and putting a stop to it. No matter. There are always other entertainments.

Will is an “artificial” fool, one who tells jokes and the like to entertain the court. His wit is keen, and he has a way of putting things into perspective for me that makes my troubles seem lesser. And so I indulge his fancies, such as setting someone free from prison or buying a cloak for a beggar.

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Will is married, is he not? What manner of woman marries a fool?

As to why such a woman would end up as the wife of a fool, I can only conclude the girl’s father must have been deeply in debt, and sold her hand in marriage to Will. For a time, I thought Emma was half-addled herself, because she seemed to know naught of court life, or the way a woman should behave. Certainly, Emma’s father put little effort into raising her properly, because she does not know to drop her gaze in the presence of a man, or defer to him. Her manner is as bold as that of a man, and seems to feel herself equal to her husband. Will is so besotted, he seems content to allow her to wander about in that delusion.

Nor has she any notion of the natural order of the world. Just the other day, I espied her in conversation with one of the charwomen. I tried to explain to Will that it is unseemly for a servant of the queen to be seen in the company of such a lowly creature, but he merely shrugged and said she is kind to all. Bah, what can you expect from a fool?detail454

 

Is Emma Somers fair?

Long have I puzzled over this. She is not the most beautiful woman of my court, nor is she the most blessed by grace, or artful in manners. Yet there is something about her that draws my eye…

Your Majesty allows Will to call you ‘Uncle Hal’. Is it customary to grant servants such favours?

Fools are different, Lady Brown. They are somewhat between a relative and a pet. Formality cannot be expected from most of them, especially the witless, like Patch, and so they are excused from it.

Having lost most of my family, ‘tis pleasant to hear an endearment again. If only I could be so close to my own son, Henry FitzRoy, but the boy is sickly and cannot stay long at court. And my daughter … Well, Will says she may get her stubbornness from her father.

Court gossip has it that Will Somers promised Your Majesty that he would always tell you the truth. Is this true? Was his promise amusing?

Verily, methinks that man doesn’t know how to lie. And what is a promise to a fool, anyway? No more than a promise to a woman.

Does Your Majesty consider Will more than a servant?

I suppose he is ‘family’ of a sort, which is why I had him included in several of my portraits. I have given him a chamber of his own, but if he were unmarried, he would sleep with the hounds on the floor by the fire, as Patch does.

henrydetail9

It is just past the day of St. Valentine. What thinks the king of Cupid and his arrows?

I have been struck by the dart of love many times. Why, only recently, I noticed a fair maiden of the court, and it seems God’s will is leading me toward her…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






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                                             Tales From The End   The Golden Arrow and The Butterfly

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Character Interview: Eire’s Viking by Sandi Layne

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Éire’s Viking Character Interview with Agnarr

Agnarr Halvardson is a Viking from Nordweg –an Ostman. We have the pleasure of his company today.

Hello, Agnarr! I enjoy visiting different countries and learning about their cultures and trades. You’ve traveled a lot. Do you enjoy those things?

Different people did not interest me. I wanted only to gain wealth through what they had and take it back to my family, my village.

When did you first realize you belonged in Éire?

*He blows out a breath and rocks on the balls of his feet.*  The first time I saw the land, I knew it would make a good home for me and my family, if they would come. I wanted to return for the land. Having met Cowan—I knew that the men there were much like the men I knew in Balestrand. I felt I could make a life for myself. And so I have.

Let’s split straws: did you return for Éire or Eir?

Straws? I do not split straws. It is a waste of time. Do not tell Cowan, but his wife, my former trell, was the first reason I returned, ja. I thought my wyrd—my fate—was to be with her. I was wrong. *Shrugs* This does not happen often.

Are names significant to you? What does your name mean?

Names? They are names. The one a man earns is significant, but the one he gains from his father is how he is known. My name means I am fierce in battle.

viking-swords 7th to 11th centuries

Was it challenging for you to learn Gaelic?

Ja! *Shakes his head* But there was no choice.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?

Strangest? Strangest thing I have yet seen was a thunderstorm in midwinter. *Grimacing, he rolls his shoulders.* It was uncanny.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen?

Watching a man grown attack a gate with his head. Erik the Hard-Headed earned his name well, that day.

How much of the Viking culture is influenced by the struggle to survive harsh conditions?

My people are strong. We are strong, I think, because of the land in which we are born.  Culture? Our way of life? I do not know for certain, but I do know that not many from warmer countries could survive in Nordweg. Our stories tell of our forefathers, the gods, and they teach good lessons. Would we need these lessons if we lived in a softer climate? I do not know. But I have heard many stories in Éire, and they are very different from what I grew up hearing.

(Note from Sandi: Sorry, Jess – Agnarr doesn’t quite get the concept of culture, but he did his best. lol)

Exhibition_in_Viking_Ship_Museum,_Oslo_01

The daily routine on a skipniu must be grueling. Can you share what it was like?

*Grins at her use of the proper term.* Well, the rowing is grueling, ja. We sit on chests or benches and row as the sun climbs in the sky. But when the sails are full, we sit. We wait. It is dirty, on a skipniu, and a man gets tired of salted fish. It is crowded, too, when we have had a good raid.

How many raids would a man take part in before retiring?

Eh. It is not the raids, but the summers away. Each man has his own destiny to follow. Some die before they reach the shore, others grow old enough to rest by the fire or go fishing.

Do you count age by years? Seasons? Who is considered old?

*Flexes his arms – just a little.* We are civilized and count by years. When a man has seen fifty years, he is considered old. I, myself, am in my middle years, as I am over thirty.

How is it determined if a couple may marry and at what age do most people marry for the first time?

A girl may marry for the first time by the age of sixteen, unless there is something wrong with her. It is the duty of her father to find her a husband, and he does so by conferring with men of age or by the fathers of younger men. It is a fair business, and we say that once a woman is wedded, she is then to be dreaded. *chuckles* It is usually a woman who will end a marriage. It is not hard for her to do, if she has cause.

What are the rules of courtship?

A man and a woman, once betrothed, may not spend time alone together. It is unseemly. It is very different in Éire, I’ve found, and I think the Éire-landers make more sense. A man has to have money for his bride, both for the bride price and for the morning after the wedding. *winks*

The Vikings consider marriage to be a permanent relationship, quite independent of emotion. How does one pick a wife? What traits are most admired?

It is a permanent relationship unless the husband does not do his duty for the wife. Then she may divorce him. I, however, will not fail my wife in any way. *nods* Marriage is for the mutual support of the families, you know. It is not a personal thing – it is for all of them. A bride will always belong to her family, so if she goes to a man, her family wants him to be of good standing, so that will improve their status as well. Halvard’s family has always had high status among our people, for example, and there were many fathers who wished to wed their daughters to Halvard’s sons.

A wife’s chief duty is to see to it that the family has food and clothing to last during our long winters. Within the walls of the langhús, she has authority and control in that regard. So if the girl is smart, good with her loom, and can make good cheeses, she is a good candidate for a wife.

What is the average family size in the communities where you’ve lived? Are families in Nordweg smaller than families in Éire? Is that due to the weather?

It is a true thing that fully one out of every three people born in Nordweg do not reach an age of maturity. This is why I am settling in Éire. There is better land and a longer growing season—one could see that by seeing what the Islanders stored for the winters, there. It is a prosperous land. I have seen many more small children in Éire than I was accustomed to seeing in Nordweg. I plan on having many, myself. *nods*

Why do you suppose Charis and Cowan did not adopt more children?

Who knows why Charis does or does not do anything? *shrugs* The woman makes no sense to me. *He smiles reflectively.* It is possible that they found Aislinn to be a handful all on her own…

Vikings seem to have less restrictive gender roles than many more modern societies. Would you agree?

The women of Nordweg are very strong and do have much control in society, yes. As to modern? What is modern? I think they do well, and they do not complain.

Is falling in love considered disadvantageous or is it merely odd?

Love? A feeling? This is something I am still trying to understand. Love is not good sense. A woman loves her children. Her parents. But it is not beneficial and serves no purpose for a warrior. Aislinn, though, finds this feeling to be important. I still do not know why.

medieval hair viking we heart it

Tell us about Aislinn.

*His expression stills for a moment before he frowns, though there is a twinkle in his eye.* She is a kvinn medisin – a healer. She would say a physician. She is a good one, too. I have not seen her make cheese, but she does do fine spinning and weaving. Through Cowan, she is related to a king of her people. I was surprised when I found she was unwed, but they do things differently in Éire.

At first, I thought she was a goddess. I learned differently soon. She is much like Charis and I do not want to touch the sharp edge of her tongue. *He allows himself a small smile, here.*

I do think she would make a good wife. She is tall and strong and would bear fine sons, I am sure of it. *shrugs* I am setting aside gold for a bride price, but her father will not compel her to wed me. I will have to convince her on my own.

 

 

 

 

 

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Summary: 
 
Ten years after Charis marries Cowan at the end of Éire’s Captive Moon, Agnarr Halvardson returns to the Green Island—this time, to stay.  He wants what any man wants:  To make a life for himself, wed, and have sons.
Before he can express these goals, he is injured and taken to Bangor Monastery.  There, Aislinn—adopted daughter of Cowan and Charis—treats him as a patient while she ignores the immediate attraction he holds for her.
Agnarr decides Aislinn would be a good wife for him as she teaches him her language and customs. She commands his respect and wins his affection. The past is just one barrier of many between them, however.
There are new invaders to Éire. Pledging his loyalty to the new king of Dál Fiatach, Agnarr prepares to defend his new home while persuading Aislinn to be his wife.
Success or failure will affect the lives of many.
Author Bio:
There are many profiles that detail the author’s lifelong dream of authorship being realized with the publication of their first novel or short story.  This is not one of those profiles.
To make an exceedingly odd story moreso, Sandi Layne had no wish to be a writer, but went through a storyline bootcamp in the form of strange dreams for a month and took careful notes.  Fifteen years later, she’s still writing stories that veer slightly off the beaten path, both in Christian and historical fiction.
Married for more than twenty years to a very tolerant (and brilliant!) man, she has two sons, no pets, and a plethora of imaginary friends.  Her interests range from ancient civilizations to science fiction for both reading and research.  With degrees in English and Ministry, she also claims Theology’s crimson Masters collar which she has been known to don on rare occasions.
If you drive by her window before dawn, it is likely she’ll have a light on for you. Or at the very least, she’ll be alert on twitter.  She invites you to visit her online space athttp://sandyquill.com. Bring coffee.
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Character Interview with Justin Thatcher from The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan

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The End of All Things

by Lissa Bryan

After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.

She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.

Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.

But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.

This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.

 

Come what may, they will face it together with courage and love.

 

o~o~0~o~o

Jess: Hello, Justin. Thanks for joining us today. I must admit to having a bit of a crush on you.

Justin: Do I know you?

 

Jess (laughs): Not really, but I’ve read Lissa’s book about you. When the pandemic hit, wiping out the majority of humans and domesticated animals, you were in Alaska. Please tell us how you came to be there.

Justin: I came up for the Deadhorse Motorcycle Rally, but I arrived earlier than I’d planned, so I decided to camp in the woods near Juneau. It’s very quiet once you get out about a mile or so. Almost pristine, without all of the noise and bustle of city life. It helps to clear my head.

 

Jess: You have a very specialized set of survival skills. How did you attain them?

Justin: Picked ‘em up here and there.

 

Jess: As a member of a specialized military unit, you have acquired special skills. How are they useful in these terrible times?

Justin: I don’t want to talk about The Unit. I’ll just say I acquired some skills along the way. I learned how to look at a situation rationally, logically, and not let emotion get in the way of what has to be done. If I could teach Carly one skill, that’s what I’d pick. She can’t seem to protect her heart and she’s still hanging on to the ethical codes of a dead world.

I learned wilderness survival; Carly’s picking that up fast. I also learned self-defence, tactics, weapons … practical stuff that will help us survive out here. Carly doesn’t seem to like guns much, and she’s going to have to get over that one, quick. She needs to be able to protect herself.

 

Jess: In your travels south, you have encountered other survivors. What makes certain of them fit to survive, and others not? How do you make a judgment call on whether to assist someone? What must you see in them?

Justin: It’s like the warden says in Cool Hand Luke: “Some men, you just can’t reach.” Some people just aren’t cut out for life without modern society and all its technology. You can see it in them. They don’t want to adapt. Maybe they can’t. Who knows? Either way, it amounts to the same thing. They’re not going to strike out on their own and figure out what they need to do to make it now. They’ll need someone to take care of them. They’re dead weight.

 

Jess: Tell us about Carly Daniels.

Justin: She’s a survivor, even if she doesn’t know it yet. I’ve seen her type before. When the shit hits the fan, they’re left unprepared, but you can see it in their eyes. There’s a stubborn spark in there that says, I refuse to lie down and die. She’s a smart girl, Carly. I don’t think anyone ever told her that. She may not yet know the skills she needs to survive now that the old world is dead and gone, but she’s a fast learner and adaptable, and a lot tougher than she realizes. If she wasn’t so soft-hearted, I’d say she was perfect for The Unit.

 

Jess: Survivors of this plague have lost almost everything that society holds dear. How do you cope with that?

Justin: I never needed that stuff. I mean, it was nice to have and all, but I spent a lot of time without it.

And maybe I was more prepared, mentally, for this because I’ve seen it before on a smaller scale. I’ve been in countries where the centralized government collapsed and it devolved into the law of the jungle, the strong preying on the weak. Things fall apart; the center does not hold. And now there are a lot of people out there who don’t know what to do without the police to protect them, without the laws of polite society to keep everyone playing nice.

When I found her, Carly was still in shock, expecting the government to start up again any day now. I think that was one of the hardest thing for her to accept: that the laws of the land, the Constitution, elections, all of that’s gone. I’ll admit, I wasn’t much of a fan of the government, probably because I worked too closely with it, but I don’t think we’re going to see anything like it for a long time. Carly, though, thinks we’re going to rebuild and create something even better. I’m not going to argue with her about it. Her hope is one of the things that keeps her going.

 

Jess: What are your values?

Justin: We had a code in The Unit. Honor, loyalty, trust… Maybe I’ve got a little bit of Carly’s idealism because I still honor it. I may be the last man standing, but I’m not going to let that code die, too.

It’s one of the reasons I’m glad I found Carly. I know I can trust her to watch my back. That’s invaluable out here in the wasteland. And that wolf of hers… I’m not entirely sold on Sam, but he’s growing on me. She trusts him. Maybe he’ll watch my back while I’m watching hers. Wait—That came out wrong. I didn’t mean I was watching her. I meant … Well, okay, maybe I am watching her a little. She’s cute. What can I say?

 

Jess: Perhaps I ought to add, ‘What do you value’?

Justin: Right now I’ve got to think about practicalities. Food and the means to obtain it. Weapons. Transport. Medication. I’ve got to find a way to get whatever Carly needs. Right now, that just means scavenging and trying to think of places others might have missed. But later it may mean something different. Carly won’t like it, but I promised I’d protect her. Carly is the daughter of one of the men who used to be in The Unit. It’s part of the code: if a man should fall, the rest of us will take care of his family. And I’ll do whatever it takes.

 

Jess: What does ‘family’ mean to you?

Justin: Carly said the other day that a home is where people love you. I guess a family is like that, too. I wouldn’t know.

The closest I ever had was the guys in The Unit, but that wasn’t a bond based on emotion. It was loyalty and honor that tied us together. I like to think some of them are still alive out there, somewhere. If anyone had a shot at survival, it’s those guys.

 

Jess: What does ‘humanity’ mean to you?

Justin: Carly seems to think it’s all the old values of altruism, generosity and mercy. But from what I’ve seen of humanity when civilization is stripped away, those things are in short supply.

 

Jess: What do you see as the future of the human race?

Justin: I’m not all that convinced it has a future, but Carly does. And as stubborn as that woman is, she may rebuild the whole damn civilization herself.

 

Jess: Thanks for spending this time with us today. Best of luck in the future!

Justin: Thanks.

 NOTE TO READERS: This is one of my favourite novels. I’m guest-blogging today at http://www.firstpagetothelast.com/ . Please visit to read my review.

Lissa Bryan’s website: http://www.lissabryan.com/