Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour—Q&A Session #5

Q&A 1 copy

I set fresh coffee, tea, and all the cookies the fangirls sent, including Jace’s favorite shortbread cookies, out on the coffee table and then go to let everyone in. Once everyone is comfortable, I sit down as well. “Here we are for our fifth and final Q&A session. I have to say, I’m kind of going to miss it.”

No one agrees.

I shrug. “Well, I can’t blame you. I know it hasn’t been nearly as fun for you as it has for me. As I promised, today won’t be nearly as uncomfortable as it has been. Actually, I saved the really fun questions for last. Let’s begin, shall we? First question is for Kaden. Do you think it would ever be possible for you and your grandfather to have a decent conversation?”

Kaden laughs dryly. “I highly doubt it. As long as I continue to refuse to conform to his beliefs, I can’t see us getting along. One way or another, we’ll always end up arguing.”

“To be fair,” Kyrin says carefully, “you don’t have to argue back.”

Kaden shrugs. “It’s not easy though.”

“What about you and Marcus?” I ask. “Any chance of a decent conversation between you two?”

“Maybe, if he’s willing to accept what I believe.”

“Not to gang up on you with Kyrin, but that does kind of work both ways.”

Kaden frowns at me.

“All right, we’ll leave it at that.” I shuffle through the cards. “Here’s a related question. Kaden, which of your brothers were you closest to before you went to Tarvin Hall?”

“Liam. We always got along really well. Michael and Ronny were too young to really get to know before we left.”

“And speaking of siblings, what’s your favorite thing about Kyrin?”

She smiles at him, awaiting the answer.

“Probably just the fact that she knows me so well. It can get annoying—”

“Hey!” Kyrin slaps him lightly on the arm, but smiles.

“But it is nice to be that close, especially when things are hard.”

I grin. “That’s sweet.” I glance back at the cards. “Now, Kyrin, what is the most annoying thing Kaden has ever done to you?”

“Oh, come on!” Kaden exclaims. “I get asked what my favorite thing is about her and she gets asked what’s the most annoying thing about me?”

“Those are the questions.”

He sighs, and Kyrin chuckles.

“Don’t worry, it’s nothing too serious,” she assures him. “The most annoying thing he’s ever done to me is probably when he would run off with my dolls when I was little. I would get so mad when he did that.”

I chuckle. “Kind of like when my brother ran off with my journal, locked himself in the bathroom, and threatened to read it while I was pounding on the door, demanding he give it back. It’s no wonder you have some of the childhood memories you do considering I grew up with only brothers too. Now . . .” I shift my gaze over to Jace. He looks more comfortable than he has for most of these sessions. “Jace, Claire would like to know, what is one skill you wish you had?”

He gives it a moment of thought. “I wish I had better people skills. That would make things a lot easier.”

“You and me both.”

He looks surprised.

“Just because I can converse easily with all of you doesn’t mean that I’m at all articulate in the real world when it comes to face-to-face conversation. Then I’m just downright awkward or, at least, I feel like I am. There’s a reason I always say I have so much in common with you. Anyway . . .” I flip through the cards. “Sarah has a couple of questions for you. First, what do you like to do to relax?”

“I usually like to go out walking with Tyra in the woods. It’s where I’m most comfortable and don’t have to try to be anything for anyone.”

“And are you an early bird or night owl?”

“Early bird. But I do like nighttime.”

“I sure wish I could be both.” I laugh as I read the next question. “Here’s another one for you, Kaden. Have you ever been in love?”

“Nope.” He almost looks proud of the fact. “Maybe someday though.”

“Sarah wants to know if you liked playing pranks on anyone when you were a kid, because you seem like the type who would do that.”

He grins. “I liked playing some pranks, especially on Marcus. I tried it at Tarvin Hall a few times, but it didn’t go over well.”

“I imagine Master Zocar wasn’t amused by that.”

He shakes his head.

“Ah, here’s a fun question from Stargazer for Trask. If you lived in your author's world what type of car would you drive?”

“A dark green Chevy pickup truck.”

Kaden leans forward to look at him. “What? Not a Camaro?”

“Well . . . a truck would be more practical in the woods.”

Kaden shakes his head. “I’d take the Camaro.”

I look between the two of them trying to decide how I feel about this conversation. “Okay, you two really shouldn’t know anything about this. Next question. Jace, Shantelle wants to know, beside Kyrin and Rayad, is there anyone else you're really close to and trust? Would Kaden count as one of those people?”

Jace nods. “Yes, I trust Kaden. And even though things started out rough, Holden and I have become friends.”

“Your friendship with him is actually one of my favorites because of how it things started,” I tell him. “I can’t wait for everyone to see more of it.” I flip to the next card. “Kyrin, what is your happiest memory?”

“Wow, with so many to choose from, that’s really hard. I have so many wonderful memories of my father and playing with my brothers when we were young.” She smiles, and I’m sure her cheeks turn a little pink. “And the first time I saw Jace smile is one of my favorite memories.”

Jace looks to be hiding a smile right now, and I grin at the two of them. “I love when that happened. Okay, now I’ve got a couple of questions from Addyson. First, is one I can answer. Are there musical instruments in Ilyon? Yes, quite a few. The cretes and talcrins especially love music. Cretes use a lot of flutes and hand drums, while talcrins are very fond of harps. The next question . . .” I try not to laugh, “is does Jace ever sing at all and is he any good at it?”

Kaden raises his brows. “More singing questions?”

I nod and peer at Jace.

“No,” he says decidedly. “I don’t sing.”

“I guess that’s your answer, Addyson. What about you, Kyrin? Do you sing?”

Everyone looks at her, and she shakes her head. “No. I mean, I have, years ago, when I was little, but not now.”

“That’s too bad,” I say thoughtfully. “I think you’d be good at it. All right, here are some more fun questions. Serena has a question for you, Jace. Do you like candy? Because she loves candy.”

“Candy is all right. I prefer cookies.” He nods at the shortbread cookies on the table.

“And what about pizza? Stargazer is dying to know.”

Jace shrugs. “Well, I’ve only had it once since Jaye gave us some to prepare us for this question. I guess I liked it. It’s very different.”

“I like pizza,” Kaden jumps in.

I laugh. “You like everything.”

“I don’t like broccoli.”

I stare at him. “What? You don’t like broccoli?”


“Huh, I did not know that. Here I figured you’d pretty much eat anything.”

“Not quite everything. There are some pretty nasty dishes out there.”

“That’s true,” I agree. “So, what is your favorite food?”

He pauses for a long moment. “Everything?”

I laugh. “Except broccoli and the nasty dishes, right?”

“Pretty much.” He grins.

“Well, thank you all for joining me for these sessions the last several days, even though some of you may now need therapy to get over the trauma. Personally, I thought it was fun and would like to do it again sometime. Maybe for the next book release.”

No one looks too thrilled by this prospect.

“Still, just know that your readers all love you, and so do I. Speaking of the readers, I thank all of you for joining us as well, and for supplying the questions! I will now send my characters back off into their own world where they can continue living out their stories that I can’t wait to eventually share with you!”

Monday, February 23, 2015

The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour—Q&A Session #4

Q&A 4

Everyone enters the cabin looking a bit leery. I can’t blame them after our last session. Daniel almost didn’t make it out alive. Davira did have a hidden dagger, as I suspected, and tried to use it on him as we were leaving. Luckily, Jace noticed, and he and Kaden stopped her. She is now safely back in Ilyon and doesn’t remember a thing about this.

“All right, everyone, I can’t promise a more pleasant day of questions, but at least no one will be in danger of meeting an untimely end from a certain crazed princess. We do, however, have two new guest joining us.” I step to the door once more and open it.

First Mick steps in.

“Welcome, Mick.”

After him comes Lady Anne, and Trask grins, quickly moving over to make a spot for her on the couch beside him.

I take my seat. “Since you’ve just joined us, Anne, I’ll start with you. Erika wants to know how you cope with the stress and strain of Trask being in danger so much.”

Trask rests his arm on the back of the couch behind her and watches her with a smile. She offers him a quick smile in return before focusing on me. “It certainly takes a lot of prayer. It’s not easy. Thankfully, I have very supportive parents. I draw a lot of strength from them.”

I glance at my cards and bite my lip to hold back a giggle. “Ghost has a question for Trask. When is the wedding?”

Trask breaks out into a grin and looks at Anne, who is shaking her head. “I’d like to know that too. When is our wedding?”

Anne looks to be trying not to smile. “As soon as I accept your one of your proposals.”

Trask toys with her hair. “And when will that be?”

“When it’s the right time.”

He sighs, but still looks at her adoringly.

I grin. “You two are so cute. Trask, Alea wants to know just how many times you’ve asked Anne to marry you.”

Trask leans his head back as if calculating. “I don’t know . . . dozens . . . a hundred times . . .”

Anne shakes her head again. “I’m sure it’s not a hundred.”

“Well, enough times I’ve lost count.”

“Speaking of weddings . . .” I set my eyes on Jace.

He sighs. “Here we go.”

“Micailah asks, ‘if you and Kyrin were to have a wedding sometime in the future, who would be your best man?’ And I imagine she was quite gleeful when she asked it.”

Kyrin tries to hide a smile, and Jace shifts awkwardly. “Do we really have to talk about this?”

“I’m afraid so, and it’s not the only question along these lines, so you should probably just answer and get it over with.”

He sighs again. “Fine. Kaden.”

Kaden grins. “I’m up for that.”

“Now I’ve got a question from Shantellle. She just has to ask, do you realize you're in love with Kyrin? She also says you must give up this idea of not getting married.”

Jace groans quietly. “Just how much of my life is laid bare before all these girls?”

“Well . . .” I pause, feeling a tad guilty, “. . . all of it?”

He groans again and is quiet for a moment before giving me a pointed look. “Do you really want me to answer this question? Isn’t one you usually consider . . . spoilerish?”

“That’s true . . .” I give it consideration. “I suppose you could skip it. Sorry Shantelle.”

Jace sighs in relief.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” I warn him. “I’m afraid we aren’t done. But, for the record, Shantelle wants you to know you’re an amazing young man and actually remind her a lot of her brother.” I give him an encouraging smile.

He smiles slightly as well. “Tell her thank you.”

“So Kyrin.” I glance at her, and she looks prepared for an uncomfortable question, which is good. “Stargazer asks, ‘How do you feel about your future husband owning a wolf?’”

She gives a short laugh, though Jace looks even more uncomfortable than she does. “They’re really curious about our personal lives, aren’t they? Well, I do love Tyra. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with anyone owning a wolf, black or not.”

“All right, Jace, this is probably the most . . . discomforting question I have for you . . .”

I let him have a moment to prepare himself and he takes a deep breath. “Ready?”

He nods.

“Morgan’s sister asks . . . ‘Do you want to be a father someday and, if so, how many kids do you want?’”

Jace turns deep red and glances at the door. “Do I have to answer that?”

I’m torn. I hate doing this to him. “Well, could you sort of answer? It doesn’t have to be a direct answer if you don’t want to. I won’t force you.”

“Oh, but you would force the rest of us?” Kaden asks in a teasing tone.

I shake my head at him. “Shush.” I then focus back on Jace.

He’s uncomfortably quiet for a long moment before answering. “It depends on the situation.”

I nod. “Good enough. It’ll have to satisfy everyone . . . for now anyway. Okay, back to you, Kyrin, with some questions from Shantelle. Since you're so close to Jace, and you've impacted his life in such a deep way, how do you keep from not just loving him as a brother but falling for him? Or are you actually in love with him deep down (can't imagine yourself loving another guy that way), but just don't think he'd ever approach you with marriage in mind?”

A little pink dusts Kyrin’s cheeks. “I think I’ll let my actions speak for themselves.”

“It probably doesn’t take too much to read between the lines anyway. Okay, one more question on this topic. Alea asks Jace, ‘how do you feel about these fangirls, including her, shipping you and Kyrin?’”

“Honestly?” Jace shakes his head. “It’s discomforting.”

I can’t help but smile. “Maybe, but you two are rather cute together. You can’t blame them. All right, I’ll leave you couples alone now.”

There are varying degrees of relief between Jace, Kyrin, Trask, and Anne.

“You do realize you just called Jace and Kyrin a couple?” Kaden asks me.

“ . . . Yeah . . . that’s how everyone sees them. I think if that wasn’t the end game, I might have to fear for my life. Some of these fangirls actually have my address.” I toss the last few questions into the fireplace since I know how much Jace hates them. “I think it’s time to turn our attention to someone else.”

Jace finally looks more comfortable, though the others are obviously waiting to see who will be interrogated next.

“Mick, I have a few questions for you, obviously, since you’re here. Micailah wants to know how you came to know Elôm.”

“Well, I grew up in the Graylin Valley. My father was a mine owner. I started hearing about these letters going around that were forbidden. I was curious and ended up getting my hands on a couple. Turns out they were letters teaching about Elôm. I got a few more of them and, shortly after, I placed my faith in Elôm.”

I nod slowly. “Very interesting. I know those who have already had a chance to read The King’s Scrolls will love that bit of information. So, you do have a family?”

“Yes. My parents and a couple of sisters. They’re all still living in the Graylin Valley, as far as I know. When they I tried to talk to them about Elôm, they turned me in. I know it was hard for them, but they were afraid. I guess they thought it was best. I miss them though. I hope to see them again, someday.”

“I hope you do too.” I shifted my eyes to the other couch. “Kaden, here’s a question for you. If you hadn't ended up at Tarvin Hall, what would you have wanted to do with your life?”

“Well, if I hadn’t been taken to Tarvin Hall, I would have been a soldier. My grandfather would have seen to that. As for what I would have wanted to do . . . live in the woods, which I guess is what I do now. But I think I would have liked to be working on my own place and preparing for a family. I’m not sure what I’d want as far as a job. Farming, maybe. It’s not all that exciting, but at least you don’t have to answer to anyone.”

I chuckle. “And not wanting to have to answer to anyone is totally you. Kyrin, Sarah asks the same question of you. What would you have wanted to do with your life?”

“I think pretty much the same as Kaden. It’s what we always talked about growing up. I like things simple.”

“I know everyone is curious about your ability to remember everything. What is the hardest and best parts about it?”

“The hardest part is definitely not being able to forget the difficult times I go through. For everyone else, the memories and emotions can usually fade over time. For me they remain perfectly clear. That’s really hard sometimes.” She winces. “But the best part is being able to remember the good times so clearly. I never have to worry about losing any precious memories. They’re always right there to relive in my mind.”

“I’m sure it is very difficult at times, but I think it would be a cool ability to have. I’m way too forgetful sometimes.” I turn to Kaden. “Back on the subject of Tarvin Hall, what do you think about Meredith still being there and do you think she’ll ever join you in the resistance?”

“I don’t like knowing she’s there, especially without someone like me or Kyrin to look after her. It’s definitely not a friendly place when you’re young and don’t have anyone. As for her joining us, well, I’m sure that another thing our author doesn’t want us saying too much about.”

I smile. “You’re very right, Kaden.” I look at Jace to see if he’s recovered from the earlier questioning. He catches my eyes and looks resigned. “Jace, Morgan is curious, what did you think of Kyrin when you first met her, and especially when she started to show you attention?”

“I was surprised. I really didn’t know what to think of her. It’s rare for someone not to suspect the worst of me.”

I can’t help smiling. “Was it love at first sight when you met her?”

Jace doesn’t really react this time. Apparently, he’s getting used to such questions. I can’t tell which ones he hates more, questions about his past or questions about his relationship with Kyrin.

He shakes his head. “No, it was not love at first sight. Actually . . .” He glances at Kyrin. “I thought she was kind of crazy for wanting to have anything to do with me.”

Kyrin grins. “I think I thought I was kind of crazy myself. I was way out of my comfort zone.”

I flip to the next card and pause. Poor Jace. “Jace, Sierra wants to know, how old were you when you became a gladiator? And do you have any memories from before that?”

“I started training to be a gladiator when I was fifteen and had my first fight when I was sixteen.” He grimaces. “And I do have memories before that . . . just not good ones.”

“So do you have any favorite childhood memory?”

He slowly shakes his head. “No . . . not really.”

I look sadly at him. “You’re making me want to give you a hug.”

He looks discomforted by this.

“But don’t worry, I won’t. Next questions. Did you ever become friends with any of the other gladiators? Did you ever have to fight anyone you knew in the arena?”

“No, I never became friends with any of them. I was just the half-blood. While they eventually came to tolerate me, there was never any friendship involved. And no, I didn’t fight anyone I knew. They were all strangers who belonged to different masters.”

“Hannah has a couple questions . . .”

He looks suspicious.

“She’s not being a nosy news reported this time. She’s actually quite serious, and I’m sure she feels awful for what you’ve been through. You've led a very hard life, Jace. She knows, even before the arena, you were terribly abused. Was there ever anyone who tried to help you or showed sympathy? What kept you going through these dark times?”

His jaw clenches and he stares toward the floor as if reliving the past. Finally, he looks up at me again, his eyes deep blue with past pain. “There never was anyone. Each new master I had seemed worse than the last, and any fellow slaves I might have been friends with wanted nothing to do with me because of my ryrik blood. I tried to make friends at first, but I gave up after a while. It just wasn’t worth the constant rejections.” He shakes his head. “As much as I hate it, I think it was my ryrik blood that kept me going, at least for a while. It kept my anger and defiance hot enough to keep fighting. But, eventually, it wasn’t enough. I wouldn’t have been able to go on if Rayad had not come along.”

Kyrin squeezes his hand in sympathy, her face sad.

“All right, Jace, I won’t keep pressing you. I have just one more question before we finish up for today. Sarah asks, ‘If you could pick one day to relive, what day would you choose?’”

He clears his throat. “That would be the day I first killed someone. I wish I could go back and change what happened. Everything changed after that. Things got much worse. And I wish I didn’t have that guilt weighing on me so often.”

“Thank you for answering these questions, Jace. I’m happy to say that was probably the last of the really hard questions for you. Our last session tomorrow should be much more pleasant, for everyone.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour—Q&A Session #3

Q&A 3

“Welcome, everyone! We are back for round three of our Q&A session! So far it’s been quite fun!” Jace and Kaden both give me a look. “Well, all right, not for some of you . . . but it is for me. Anyway, as I mentioned yesterday, we have a couple of new character guests joining us today.” I walk to the door and open it. “First is a guest I’m very excited about, Prince Daniel!”

Daniel walks in with his charming, mischievous grin, and I imagine a bunch of screaming fangirls. I hesitate and close the door for a moment. “Also joining us today, we have . . . Princess Davira.”

Everyone looks at me in alarm, and Kaden asks, “Wait, who invited her?”

“Well, I suppose that would be Kendra.”

Kaden gives an accusing look meant for Kendra.

“But don’t worry. Once she returns to Ilyon, she won’t remember a thing,” I assure them. “I am the author after all. Everyone just remain calm. I’ll see that she acts civilly.” I open the door and use my most refined tone. “Welcome, Your Highness.”

Davira sidles in, her chin held high. Her eyes land on Daniel and narrow. “What is he doing here?” Her eyes suddenly grow larger as she sees Kyrin and the others. “What are they doing here?”

I speak soothingly. “We’re all here for the same reason—to answer a few reader questions. They’re really quite curious.” Davira glares first at everyone else and then at me. I shiver. She really is quite scary in person.

“I refuse to be in the same room with such traitors.”

I hold her gaze confidently. “Well, today you have to. And there will be no trouble, all right? So, please have a seat.”

She takes an empty chair and gives everyone a killer look.

“Excellent. Shall we begin? Who wants to go first?” There’s a silence deserving of crickets. “Very well.” I turn to Davira. “We’ll give you the honor of starting. Kendra wants to know your favorite color.”

Davira pierces me with her emerald green eyes. “Gold.”

Daniel snorts. “Of course.”

She shoots him a glare.

I speak before she can. “And what is your favorite color, Daniel?”

Daniel rests back, smirking at his sister. “Green. My father hates when I wear it, so I do it as often as possible.”

I hear Davira mumbling darkly under her breath.

I clear my throat. “Isn’t that a bit odd that he hates it if your mother and sister both have green eyes?”

Daniel shrugs. “He just doesn’t like it around the palace, I guess.”

“Fair enough. Back to you, Davira—“

“You can address me properly as ‘Your Highness’.”

I raise my brows at her. “Quoting Kaden from a couple of days ago, ‘yeah, not happening.’ I’m your author, so I can call you Davira.”

Her eyes smolder. “What part of ‘princess’ don’t you understand?”

Mine widen at her audacity, though I really shouldn’t be at all surprised. “And what part of ‘I’m your author’ don’t you understand?”

She opens her mouth to speak, but I keep talking. “Kendra’s next question for you is who’s your best friend?”

Davira just glares at me for a moment, and I wonder if she’ll even answer. “That would be my father. I don’t need ‘friends.’ People are treacherous and untrustworthy.”

“Well, that’s interesting . . . coming from you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

I don’t look her in the eyes. “Oh, just that you’re probably about the most treacherous person I know . . .”

Daniel laughs. “Amen to that.”

Davira’s mouth falls open. “How dare you!”

“Now, now, you two, we’ve barely started. There’s plenty of time to bicker later. Let’s move on. Davira, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment?”

Davira sits up tall and straight. “I’d say everything I’ve learned from my father. I could easily rule in his absence.” She looks down her nose at Daniel. “That is, if something were to befall my brother . . .”

I catch her reaching for something in the folds of her skirt, probably a hidden blade, and I prepare to intervene if necessary. “Hey, none of that. I will shackle you to that chair if I have to. I have them right here.” I reach behind my chair for the shackles I brought, just in case, as well as a blue-hilted sword. That’s the nice thing about being an author in my own little world. I can have anything I want and my characters technically can’t do anything without my say so.

Davira sets her hands primly in her lap, but sends silent death threats to her brother with her eyes before shooting one at me. I’m going to have to watch her closely. I turn to my next question for the princess. “So, my mom is curious, what is it you do all day?

Daniel cuts in. “Trust me, you don’t really want to know.”

Davira glares,and then looks to be pretending he doesn’t exist. “I learn, of course. Sometimes I read, but most of the time I observe my father.”

“Right.” Daniel’s voice is full of sarcasm. “And what about those times I see you sneaking off with different security personnel. Is that ‘learning’ too?”

“What I do with my time is no one’s business but my own.”

“Oookay, new topic.” I glance at the question cards again and take a deep breath. “These could be dangerous, but here it goes. Davira, do you ever think that you should have been born the son? And if you were queen, what would be your first act?”

“Of course I should have been born the son. My brother is a worthless heir—“

“So tell Father to disown me,” Daniel jumps in again.

“Oh, I’ve tried.” She looks back at me. “What would my first act be? To get rid of him. For good.” She gestures at her brother. “After that, I’d impose stricter worship practices. People have gotten entirely too lax about their devotion to our gods.”

“So, you think your father isn’t strict enough?” I can hardly imagine it.

Davira bristles. “No. I just think I would be a bit more . . . forceful.”

I raise my brows. “I’d hate to see the state of Ilyon under your rule. Which brings me to Erika’s questions. She wants to know, have followers of Elôm actually done harm to the nation or your father? Even if they might not grant him divine authority, have they ever defied or denied his authority in anything other than faith? If so, how?” Davira gives me a cold look. “What? I’m just repeating the questions.”

She sits stiffly with a poisonous look on her face. “Faith in Aertus and Vilai is the foundation of our country. If the people are willing to defy and blaspheme them, how quickly would do you think they would defy my father in other areas as well? Perhaps it hasn’t happened yet, but the moment my father would let such matters go, that would all change. Once people get the idea they can defy authority and get away with it, it could destroy the empire my father has spent his life building.”

I shift my attention to Daniel. “Since we’re on the topic of ruling, if you could change one of your father’s laws, which one would it be?”

“I’d stop all these executions and let people believe what they want—“

Davira leans forward and practically hisses, “They’re traitors.”

Daniel shakes his head and glances at the others. “You see what I have to put up with?” He looks at Davira again. “Seriously, I think you and Father just need to lighten up a bit.”

Davira looks to be thinking about reaching for her knife again. I grip my sword and clear my throat. “So, Daniel, who is your best friend?”

He gives his sister a cool look before focusing on me. “Well, that’s rather difficult to answer. When you’re prince, everyone wants to be friends with you simply because of your position and influence. It’s hard to tell who’s genuine. But I’d say the best friend I’ve had is Alex Avery. He’s the son of Baron Arther, who unfortunately had an ‘accident’ on the way back home from a meeting with me father.” He sends a suspicious look at Davira. “I haven’t seen him in a while, but we were really close growing up.” He smirks. “We had a lot of interesting adventures.”

I nod in agreement. “Yeah, that must be difficult to know who’s truly your friend. I know how much you hate being treated or seen a certain way just because you’re a prince. Here’s another question from Erika: why do you stick around the palace so long?”

“Don’t think I haven’t thought about running away. Quite often, in fact.”

Davira grumbles. “I wish you would.”

Daniel shoots her a look and then shrugs. “It’s harder than you’d think when you get right down to it. I might hate it, but it is my home. I think the one thing that truly keeps me from leaving is my mother. I’d hate to leave her that way.”

“Speaking of leaving home, Kendra wants to know if you have a girl anywhere?”

“Unfortunately, girls are like friends—hard to tell who’s genuine and who’s just after what a relationship with me would gain them. So, while I’ve had passing interests in some girls, no, I do not have any particular girl.” He grins. “But if you want that to change, you could always take it up with my author.”

“Hush, don’t feed them ideas. I already know what I’m doing. How about this question. What is your favorite thing to do when you’re avoiding your father?”

“Horseback riding. I like to get out of the city and into the woods. As far from his influence as I can get.”

“What would you say is the best thing about being the prince?”

“Well, you do get to have pretty much whatever you want, not that that’s always a great thing. And I can’t complain about the food.”

“I wouldn’t argue with that,” Kaden says with a grin.

I chuckle at them before going on to the next question for Daniel. “And the worst thing about being the prince?”

“The high expectations. You pretty much have your life planned out for you at birth. Just consider the pressure of knowing someday you’ll have to take over the throne whether you want to or not. It wouldn’t be so bad if my father wasn’t insistent on making me just like him.”

Davira sticks her nose in the air again. “You could only wish to be half the man he is.”

I shake my head. “Seriously, how have you two not killed each other yet?”

“Because you won’t let us,” Davira says in disgust.

“Well, as long as we’re on the topic, here’s a question from Morgan for both of you. Do you love your sibling?”

There’s a long, drawn-out silence as the two of them stare at each other. Daniel finally looks at me. “I would like to love her. She is my sister, after all.”

Davira huffs. “I don’t need your love.”

“I take that as a no then. You don’t love each other.”

Neither one speaks.

“Did you ever?” I ask.

Daniel shrugs. “Maybe, when we were young.”

“I doubt it,” Davira says with a sour look, as if the idea makes her ill.

“I guess that answers that then.” I flip to the next card. “Here’s a question for me. Faith wants to know who is my least favorite character to write and why.”

All eyes immediately go to Davira. She huffs again.

“Actually,” I say slowly, “I don’t think I have a least favorite character to write. I kind of like writing them all . . .”

They give me looks as if I’m crazy.

“Yes, even Davira. It makes for a lot of diversity and interesting scenes.” I look at the cards again, but trying to keep the peace has been exhausting. “I think we’ll call it a day. After all, we have two sessions still coming up. It’s probably best to stop while everyone’s still breathing.”

Friday, February 20, 2015

The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour—Q&A Session #2

Time for round two! (You can see session 1 here.)

Q&A 2I walk in and stoke up the fire since it’s freezing out, and then let everyone inside. The characters all take their seats and Tyra lies down at Jace’s feet. I take my comfy interviewer (my characters prefer ‘interrogator’) chair.

“Welcome back everyone. So, today we’re having our second Q&A session for The King’s Scrolls blog tour. I’d say our first session went rather well. I’m afraid today will probably be a bit more unpleasant than yesterday.” I give everyone an apologetic look. “The Goodreads Girls, as Kaden so fondly referred to them yesterday, still have lots of questions they’re dying to have answered. So why don’t we just dive in? I’m sorry Jace, I’m going to have to start with you.”

He doesn’t respond.

“Let’s start with some questions from Stargazer. She asks, if you could erase one memory from your mind, what would it be?”

Jace breathes out slowly. “Just one?” He sits quietly for a long moment and then clears his throat. “The first time I killed someone.”

Kyrin takes his hand, and I stare at her. “You see, this is exactly the sort of stuff I talked about yesterday. You’re acting without my consent. You’re not supposed to being showing this much affection toward Jace in front of everyone yet. But I can’t be mad. After all, I know how hard this is for Jace.” I look at him. “Carry on.”

“Well, I can’t really say more than that. You said it’s something that comes up in the next book and don’t want too much said about it yet.”

“That’s true, so let’s move on since I know this is a difficult topic for you. Stargazer’s next question is, if you could only keep one memory, what would it be?”

“The day Kyrin and I first went hunting together.” He smiles slightly, and Kyrin grins. “It was really awkward, but my life changed that day. I didn’t know it for a while, but I don’t know where I’d be if she hadn’t done that.”

I glance down at my question cards and try to keep a straight face. “Okay, Jace, Stargazer asks, ‘Have you kissed Kyrin yet? If not could you please do so right now?’”

They both start to blush. Kaden laughs, and Kyrin elbows him in the ribs. Jace just stares down at Tyra, refusing to speak.

I try not to laugh myself. “Sorry Stargazer and everyone else. You’re going to have to wait a bit longer for the kiss. Now, I’ve got two more from Stargazer for you, Jace. First, what do you think of Kaden?”

Jace looks up, his face still red. “I have a lot of respect for Kaden. He’s one of the only people who has accepted me right away.”

“And finally, would you like to kill your author for making you answer all these questions, or are you just very annoyed with her?” I smile widely at Jace.

“It’s just uncomfortable, but I guess I’ve been through worse before. So no, I wouldn’t like to kill her.”

“Thank you, Jace. You know how much I love you, and so do all the girls asking these questions. I promise. Fangirls are odd like that. We like to make things tough for our beloved characters. I can’t explain it. All right, I’ll torture someone else for now. Trask.”

He grins. “Yes?”

“Stargazer has some questions for you now. First, why don’t you tell everyone how you met Lady Anne?”

“Well, there’s really not much to tell since I was barely a toddler and she was an infant when we first met. Our families were always close, so we grew up together. I do know I was six when I decided I was going marry her.”

“Aww, that’s adorable. I can just see you as a mischievous little six year old. I’m sure you caused her all kinds of grief too. Isn’t that how little boys often show their affection?”

Trask laughs. “Of course.”

“So, what do you think of Jace?”

“I’m very happy to have him as part of the resistance. He’s very valuable to the group.”

Jace stares down at his hands, embarrassed.

“It’s true, Jace,” I tell him. “All right, who’s next? . . . Aric. We haven’t gotten to you yet. Sarah wants to know how you came to know Elôm.”

Aric smiles (and you girls know that Richard Armitage smile). “Sam. I’d been working at the palace for about a year when I first met him. I’ve always been interested in history, so I started visiting the library in Tarvin Hall regularly for a while. That’s when we really started talking and became friends. About two years after that, he mentioned Elôm. I wouldn’t stand for it at first, but he was persistent, and the truth of it eventually sunk in.”

I find his answer fascinating since I didn’t even know some of that. “This isn’t a reader question, but I have to know, did you ever consider turning him in to Emperor Daican? I mean, he was a scholar at Tarvin Hall. That’s where children go to become firmly devoted to Daican and Aertus and Vilai.”

“Of course, duty demanded it of me, but whenever I considered it, I couldn’t go through with it. So I just kept quiet.”

“And how did you end up as head of security?”

“I started out in the army and ended up being recruited to join Auréa’s security force. After about fifteen years of service there, I uncovered a plot by one of the servants to assassinate the emperor. I was then promoted to head of security.”

“Here’s another question I have that isn’t from a reader. Do you ever feel any regret over stopping the assassination now that you’ve seen what Daican is capable of? If he had died then, Arcacia might not be what it is now. I mean, you were a believer at the time, right?”

Aric nods slowly. “There are times I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t stopped it . . . but I can’t say I regret it. I don’t believe it would have been Elôm’s will for me to allow it to happen.”

“So considering your position at the palace, how are you dealing with the emperor’s orders that believers in Elôm be executed?”

He grimaces. “It’s difficult. You have to hold your emotions so deep down inside you and project an attitude of indifference or even agreement with the emperor. There have been many times I’ve wanted to give up on it, but I stay with the hope that Elôm will use me to make a difference and even save some lives.”

“My mom would like to know if you’re married.”

He smiles again. “No, I’ve never been married.”

“Has there ever been anyone special?”

“Once . . . a long time ago.”

I wait expectantly for a moment. “Care to expound on that? Someone’s liable to get upset if I don’t push for more details.”

“I should have known I wouldn’t escape such questions.” He sighs, but there’s a hint of a smile in his eyes. “I knew a girl when I was younger. We grew up in the same town. When I joined the army, I thought I’d get established and then ask her to marry me. We had talked some about it. But when I went home to tell her I had been promoted to the palace, I found she had gotten married while I was gone. I guess she didn’t want to be married to a soldier. There just hasn’t been anyone else since that.”

I offer him a sympathetic look. “I’m sorry. I’m sure that’s going to make a lot of people very sad. All right, one more question for you right now. What was your first impression of Kyrin?”

“I knew already from Sam that she was a believer. I was as surprised as anyone when she showed up at Auréa. Her father and I have been friends for a long time, and I could see a lot of him in her—the quiet strength I’ve always admired.”

Kyrin looks down at him. “Thanks, Aric.”

He smiles at her and continues. “That’s why I made sure Trev was assigned as her bodyguard. I wanted to make things as easy for her as I could. Trev and I both knew just how difficult it was to live secretly as believers and serve the emperor.”

“Speaking of Trev.” I set my eyes on the young man sitting next to Aric. “Micailah would like to know how you came to know Elôm.”

“Aric. He’s the one who took the risk to approach me about it.”

“I saw something different in him from the other recruits,” Aric says. “He was quiet and didn’t have the usual cockiness. So I started talking to him about things like Sam did, and eventually worked Elôm into the conversation.”

I look at Trev curiously. “And how did you take that?”

“I was certainly surprised. I didn’t know what to think at first. But the more we talked, the more it made sense.”

“And did you ever consider telling the emperor?”

“No. It wasn’t my place, and I respected him too much.”

“And that’s why I love you, Trev, and I’m sure others do too. I think we better leave it at that for today. Tomorrow we have a couple of new character guests who will be joining us that will make things very interesting.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour—Q&A Session #1

Q&A 1 copy

I walk into a cozy cabin where a fire crackles in the stone fireplace and mugs of tea and coffee are waiting on the coffee table. Everyone else enters one by one behind me. Jace is the last and looks nervous as they each find seats. Kyrin gives him a sympathetic smile and pats the seat on the couch next to her. I take my own seat in a comfy chair and show everyone a very large stack of cards containing the questions.

“Welcome, everyone, to our first Q&A session for The King’s Scrolls Blog Tour. We had quite the response for it. Especially from the lovely ladies over on the Ilyon Chronicles Goodreads Group.”

I notice Jace shift nervously, and Kyrin reaches over to squeeze his hand. I raise my brows. “Kyrin, you do realize the gleeful reaction that will cause?”

She shrugs, and I continue.

“Anyways, back to what we’re here for. First, I thank you all for taking time out of your, uh, busy, sometimes unpleasant, schedules to answer these questions for your faithful readers.”

“Did we have a choice? Didn’t you put something on Facebook about forcing us?” Kaden gives me a sly little grin.

I raise my brows at him now. “We’ve hardly been here two minutes and you’re already acting up. And what were you doing snooping on my Facebook? Don’t you have more pressing matters to focus on?” I wave the cards at everyone. “All right, let’s get to the first question. We’ll start with an easy one and one that was asked a few times. Jace, Kyrin, Kaden, and Trask, what are your favorite colors?

“Blue,” Jace answers quietly.

Kyrin smiles at him. “Blue.”

I look over at Kaden.

“I don’t know, green?”

Kyrin frowns at him. “You don’t know?”

He shrugs. “I haven’t really thought much about it. I just know I hate gold.”

Everyone nods in agreement. I don’t blame them. I look to one of the chairs next to the couch where Trask is sitting comfortably. He doesn’t appear nearly as uneasy about this as Jace. “And you, Trask?

“I’d say green too.”

“See? That wasn’t so painful.” I smile. “Now, Kaden, Ghost wants to know when you first became interested in dragons.”

Kaden thinks for a moment. “Probably about the time Kyrin and I first came to Tarvin Hall. It was the first time I ever saw a dragon. It was just flying over, so I barely got to see it, but it was amazing. We used to dream about having a dragon so we could fly out of Tarvin Hall and back home. And I guess I just always thought it would be fun to fly.”

“I agree. I’d love a dragon. I have lots of friends scattered across the county I could easily visit if only I had one.” I glance down at my next question card and bite back a grin. “Okay, this next question is also for you, Kaden, and pertains to dragons. Kendra asks, ‘Would you ever randomly burst into Disney songs if they were rewritten about dragons?’”

Kyrin chuckles. “I’d love to see that.”

Kaden shakes his head. “Um . . . no. Jaye showed me some of those songs. Yeah, not happening.”

“That’s too bad, Kaden,” I tell him. “These girls love their Disney songs.”

“Still not happening. I’m with . . .” He looks at me questioningly. “Who did you say?”

“Flynn Rider?” I laugh. “It’s true, I could never see you singing Disney songs. Ever. So, on the subject of dragons, Stargazer wants to know what your dream pet is, though she’s pretty sure she knows.”

“Yeah, a dragon. Nothing beats that.”

“So what do you think of Tyra?”

Kaden glances at Jace. “Tyra’s great.”

“Yes, she is.” I jump up and open the cabin door. Tyra is waiting on the other side and trots in to sit near Jace who pets her neck. “There, that’s better. All right.” I flip through the cards, reluctant to pull out any too embarrassing just yet. “Ah, here’s one for me. Mickayla wants to know what the hardest part of the writing process is for me. It might seem weird, but I’d have to say the first draft. It’s hard to get all these people to cooperate and talk to me for that rough draft.” I gesture at my characters. “While editing can be very frustrating, most of the time I really enjoy perfecting the story in that stage.

All right, next question. I’m afraid it’s time to get to some of those questions the girls were so eager to ask over at Goodreads.” I give Jace an apologetic look and he starts to squirm. “I truly am sorry for this, Jace, and completely sympathize, so don’t stop talking to me after this. Hannah asks in a nosy news reporter voice, ‘So Jace, do you know WHERE your family is? Where does your ryrik blood come from, the mother or the father?’”

Jace pauses for a long moment, his expression blank. “I don’t know where my family is. I don’t even know who my family is. You’d have to ask her.” He nods at me and gives me a look like he wants me to answer those questions as much as Hannah does.

“Sorry, I can’t say where or who. Not right now, at least. Everyone will just have to keep reading to discover the answer to such questions. I suppose I can say that his ryrik blood comes from his father.” Jace doesn’t look surprised. Everyone pretty much expects this. I flip to the next card. “Nosy news reporter Hannah isn’t done yet . . .” Jace winces, but I’m quick to reassure him, “Don’t worry, this question isn’t for you, it’s for Kaden. She asks, ‘So Kaden, why's a handsome young man like you single? Surely, there's some special young lady in your life?’”

Kyrin bursts out laughing and stares at him. “Yeah, my handsome brother, why is that?”

Kaden’s face turns a bit red and he shrugs. “Well, it’s not like there was anyone to have much interest in when we were at Tarvin Hall . . . not really, anyway. “

Kyrin looks surprised. “Not really? You mean there were some?”

“Well, yeah, I noticed some girls, but they were never the type that would have been good to take an interest in, especially not after we came to know Elôm.”

Kyrin’s still looking surprised. “I never knew that. So is anyone at camp catching your eye that you haven’t told me about?”

“Pretty much everyone is either married, much older than me, or much younger, so no. Besides, it’s not like we don’t have enough going on with the resistance. But, because I just know these Goodreads girls would want to know, I do hope to get married and have a family someday. It depends on what happens with Emperor Daican. And our author, of course. She’s really the deciding factor.”

I shake my head. “Generally, you’d be right, but you all have a habit of acting without my consent. Seriously, how many of you have fallen in love, and I had no say in the matter?”

They look at each other, and then Kaden faces me, his eyes narrowing. “Is it me?”

“Maybe, maybe not. Can’t say. But it happens a lot. Now, let’s see, next question. And this one is for me. Addyson wonders if gunpowder will ever be discovered in Ilyon. Well, I imagine so, eventually, but not within my story line.”

Kaden’s brows rise in interest. “What’s gunpowder?”

“Nothing.” For some reason the idea of him and gunpowder leads to images of havoc in my mind. “You have plenty of firepower with the dragons already, so we’ll just leave that for Ilyon’s future generations. Now Micailah has a couple of questions for me.”

“Finally,” Kaden mutters under his breath.

“Hey, remember, I didn’t make up these questions. I’m merely repeating them. So she wants to know how long it takes me to finish writing a book. That really depends on the book and what’s going on in my life. Average is between six months to a year. I have finished a couple in less than six months, but it’s hard to do that all the time. Micailah also wants to know if there’s an upcoming book I’m most looking forward to sharing with readers. Well, I’m really, really looking forward to sharing book three of Ilyon Chronicles. It’s a real turning point in the series for multiple reasons. It’s pretty intense at times and has a lot of emotional moments.” I glance at Jace, but quickly lower my eyes so I don’t make him too nervous about what’s to come. “It’s a book that answers a lot of the questions I get most frequently.

One more question from Micailah. She asks, as of right now, how many books will be part of Ilyon Chronicles. The answer to that is six books. It started at three, grew to seven, and then ended up as six when I combined books 2 and 3. Will there be any more stories beyond the main series? We shall just have to see, won’t we?” I wink.

“Okay, next question . . . Kyrin, Erika asks, ‘What are your views on purity/boundaries in relationships and how is that impacting your teenage years?’”

Kyrin sits silently thoughtful for a moment. “Well, purity is definitely not something that is taken very seriously by most of society. I didn’t hear much about it growing up in Tarvin Hall, but I was always uncomfortable by the way many women dress and some of the things that went on between the older students. It wasn’t until I came to know Elôm that I really had firm convictions about it. It’s certainly not a popular stance, but then I was never popular anyway.”

I nod. “Sounds a lot like my world.” I flip to the next card. “Here’s another question from Erika for you, Jace. Fears are crippling things and very difficult to experience. How would you feel about needing to face yours?”

“As she said, it would be difficult, but I’ve had to face many fears in my life.” He shrugs. “It’s not something I’ve ever been able to escape even when I wish I could.”

I shift my gaze to Kaden. “What kind of promotion or assignment do you think the emperor wanted to give you? How do you think you'd have handled that?”

“I’m sure he intended for me to do as Kyrin did and watch for and point out any threats. Even if he hadn’t tested my loyalty before I had a chance to do it, I doubt I would have been able to keep it up for long, especially if endangered someone.”

“And, knowing you, working that close to the emperor, you probably wouldn’t have been able to keep your opinions of him to yourself.”

He smirks. “Probably not.”

“Well, I’d say this was a good first session. Since I ended up with way more questions that I ever expected, I’ve decided to split it up into five posts. We’ve barely scratched the surface of the questions that were submitted, and we didn’t even get to the, well, most interesting of them. So we will all be back here tomorrow.”

I smile at everyone who looks either nervous or amused.