Friday, January 17, 2014

Blog Tour: The Key

Excerpts
THE KEY by Jennifer Anne Davis
**unedited** ©2013
Quote 1:
    Lennek sauntered over to him. “She was beautiful, in a wild sort of way,” he mused. “She looks like a bit of a challenge.” He cocked an eyebrow. “Might be fun though. And you know how much I love a challenge.”


Quote 2:
He was close. But she knew the land better than these soldiers. And the word surrender wasn’t in her vocabulary. She nudged Snow onward.


Quote 3:
    “I am the Crown Prince,” Lennek snarled, reclaiming her attention. “I will have what I want.” He stormed out of the room, the door slamming shut behind him.


Quote 4:
    Rema just wished that, as a friend, he wasn’t so handsome. That his eyes didn’t make her stomach do flips. That he didn’t seem so interested in her. That he, himself, wasn’t so interesting. She had an intense desire to kiss him.


Quote 5:
Before she could finish her question, the music ended and Lennek was at her side. His hands slid around her waist, holding her tight. “This way, my love.” Lennek twirled her away.
“Perfect,” he said smugly. “Absolutely perfect.” He glanced back at Darmik and gave a little wave.



Quote 6:
    Prince Lennek snarled, grabbed the bottle of wine, and hurled it across the room. It smashed against the stone wall, thousands of pieces of glass cascading down among the red liquid. Rema jumped at the sound of glass shattering and moved as far away from Lennek as she could. A string of profanities came from the prince’s mouth and for a moment, Rema feared he would hit her. She glanced at one of the guards, but he avoided eye contact. The wine pooled on the floor like fresh blood.


Quote 7:
He couldn’t look at her. He tended to avoid thinking about the actual wedding. Standing up against Lennek was treason, and he would get himself killed. But could he really sit back and allow Lennek to have her?


Excerpt 1:
Rema politely curtsied. Prince Lennek stepped forward, closing the distance between them. The music started and he placed his hands on her, expertly gliding her around the dance floor. At first Rema was afraid she would trip over her own feet and fall, embarrassing herself and probably meeting everyone’s expectations, but she didn’t. Surprise washed through her, especially since she hadn’t danced with anyone other than her aunt and uncle. But Lennek was dancing a basic four-step foot pattern of which she was well acquainted.
    “We haven’t properly met,” Prince Lennek commented. His voice was soft and smooth, like butter. She had the urge to reach out and caress his handsome face. He looked very much like his brother, Prince Darmik. Even Prince Lennek’s tattoo was similar to his brother’s, although Lennek’s black swirls appeared more like knives than flames, especially when the light shone on the silver in the marks. Rema forced herself to focus on the prince’s face, instead of his body.
    “No, we haven’t met, Your Highness,” Rema said sarcastically, wanting to stand her ground. She wouldn’t allow him to see the slightest amount of infatuation or intimidation on her part. “So I find it rather interesting that you would summon me here. You are aware that I am engaged to be married?”
    He twirled Rema around and pulled her back to him, his eyes sparkling with amusement. Rema felt everyone watching and appraising her. She tried to focus on the dance and Lennek, not allowing the people’s silent judgments to overwhelm her thoughts.
“I am Prince Lennek and you are Rema, the local horse merchant’s niece.” His voice was seductive. “And yes, you are currently engaged.” His head bent forward, his lips only inches from her ear. “But things can change. Nothing is set in stone,” he whispered.
She wasn’t sure what he was implying. Did he know she secretly didn’t want to marry? His strong arm slid lower on her back. Rema stumbled, but Prince Lennek changed directions, keeping her upright. She quickly regained her footing, only missing one beat.
“Who taught you to dance?” he pleasantly asked.
Her thoughts refocused on Lennek. “My aunt.”
“Interesting. Most people in the merchant class do not know the dances of the upper class—especially dances done with royalty.” His eyes held a questioning look, awaiting her answer.  
“We are dancing ‘The Courting Dance,’” Rema replied. “It was so named because it is only danced at court, also because it is usually done when a member of the royal family has decided to court someone. It reveals his intentions to his court.”
Lennek’s eyebrows lifted up, surprised. “Why do you know the dance, then?” he inquired.
Was he insulting her? Before she could think her response through, she said, “Perhaps my aunt thought such a beautiful dance shouldn’t be wasted on a select group of people who truly can’t appreciate it.” She smiled sweetly.
“Do you have an answer to everything?” he asked, amused.
“Usually,” she replied, holding her head high.
Prince Lennek laughed and twirled her around again. This time, he pulled her in a little closer. Rema’s chest touched his. His warm hand held her tight. Without meaning to, she glanced up into his eyes. There was something hypnotic about them, and she was unable to look away.
“I am so glad you wandered into my life.” Prince Lennek chuckled, like it was a private joke. “You are the key to everything.”
    The music ended and the prince glanced away from her, breaking the spell. She stepped back, about to return to her seat when Lennek grabbed her arm.
    Shocked, Rema stared at him. His smile vanished. His eyes were cold, as if a mask had been ripped from his face. She tried to step away, but his grip only tightened.
    “What do you want?” she whispered.
    “You.”
    It felt like spiders crawling over her skin. “You can’t have me,” she said.
    His features softened. “Really? We’ll see.” He snickered, his mask of charm instantaneously back on and the harshness gone.
    Prince Lennek motioned for his steward.
    “Rema is leaving the party now.”


Excerpt 2:
Darmik had to talk to her again. He ran to the back of the stables, hoping to catch her alone. He rounded the corner, slamming into her, knocking her to the ground. Big, round sapphire eyes looked up at him.
    “I’m sorry,” Darmik stammered, reaching down to help her up. “I didn’t realize you were there.”
    “Prince Darmik,” she politely nodded, getting to her feet on her own. Her eyes quickly scanned him from head to toe, lingering on his royal markings that covered his neck and shoulders. The black stallion whinnied and ran away from them. Tabitha sighed, exasperated. “What are you doing here?”
    “Um,” he wasn’t usually at a loss of words, but there was something about her piercing gaze that made him forget what he was doing. She cleared her throat and brushed the dirt from her dress.
    “Sorry about that,” he pointed to her, indicating the collision. Her eyes darted behind him. Darmik glanced back, but no one was there. “Are you looking for someone?” he asked.
    “My uncle. He’s waiting for me. We just came to deliver this horse.” She waved her hand toward the black stallion grazing nearby.
Tabitha certainly was bold, and far more interesting than any of the nobles Darmik had ever met. But then again, she wasn’t from the noble class—she was from the merchant class. Still, she stood out like she didn’t belong to anyone or anything.
    “Tabitha?” He took a step toward her, wanting to get closer.
    “That’s not my name,” she stated.
    “Excuse me?” He remembered her band: Tabitha, seventeen years old, niece of Kar and Maya, not yet married or engaged.
    “Aren’t you the commander of the King’s Army?” she asked. Darmik nodded. “Don’t you have an army to run? Or do you only hunt and mosey about, pretending to be of use to the kingdom? I thought King Barjon would manage to keep you busier.”
    Was she serious? Nobody had ever spoken to him in such a manner.
“Well,” he began to answer, but she started laughing.
“I go by Rema.” She held out her hand in greeting.
Darmik never shook hands with anyone. Even though he was the commander of the army, he was also a prince, and his men addressed him as such. Shaking hands was for commoners. Her pale hand remained suspended in air, waiting for him.
His hand slid into hers. “Prince Darmik,” he responded, shaking her warm hand, eager for the chance to touch her again.
“I got that part,” Rema smiled. Her breath smelled sweet like apples. She tried pulling her hand from his, but he refused to release her.
“Let me escort you inside the stables.” Darmik put her hand on his arm. She seemed reluctant at first, but he pulled her along toward the front of the stables, not giving her a chance to refuse. “Do you live nearby?” he asked.
“Yes.”
When she didn’t elaborate, he forged on. “I haven’t seen blonde hair very often. Does your mother have the same coloring?” As soon as he asked the question, he knew he’d made an error. Her body tensed. He looked down at her, remembering her band said she lived with her aunt and uncle. Rema shook her head, refusing to answer.
Afraid he’d offended her, he continued on. “I’ve traveled to Emperion. Almost everyone there has blonde hair and blue eyes.”
“You’ve been to Emperion?” she asked, squeezing his arm.
“Yes. For training.”
Rema’s eyes widened. “Tell me about it,” she demanded. Darmik smiled in response to her excitement.
“Rema!” a stablehand yelled.
“I forgot about my uncle,” Rema said. “He’s waiting for me. I have to go.” She jerked her hand away from Darmik’s arm and spun around, heading back the way they came. Rema glanced over her shoulder and smiled at him. Then she rounded the corner and disappeared.
    Not ready for her to go, Darmik jogged after her. Nearing the corner, he heard the boy say, “We’ll miss seeing you Rema.” Darmik turned the corner and saw the stablehand holding a pitchfork, his face bright red. “You have such a way with the horses,” the boy stammered.
    “I’m getting married, not dying.” She smiled mischievously. “You’ll see me again.”    
    “Rema,” Darmik couldn’t help himself. “You’re engaged?”
The stablehand dropped to one knee and bowed his head.
    Rema’s smile vanished. Standing just behind her next to the stables was an older man. The elderly man’s eyes moved from Darmik to Rema and back again. His face lost all color as he knelt on the ground. Darmik assumed this was Rema’s uncle.  
Rema’s eyes bore into Darmik’s. “Yes, Prince Darmik,” she answered, kneeling before him. “I am engaged,” she replied softly. “The signed contract was delivered to Lord Filmar today. My band is going to be marked tomorrow.”
Darmik was about to reply when a flicker to his left caught his attention. His brother, Prince Lennek, stood just inside the stables with a devious smile. Darmik prayed he hadn’t drawn any attention to Rema. Lennek leaned against the wall, watching.
    “You’re dismissed,” Darmik said, trying to sound nonchalant. He moved past Rema, into the stables. Seconds later, Darmik heard the sound of a wagon pulled by horses, and Rema was gone.
    Lennek sauntered over to him. “She was beautiful, in a wild sort of way,” he mused. “She looks like a bit of a challenge.” He cocked an eyebrow. “Might be fun though. And you know how much I love a challenge.”
Darmik had the urge to punch that smirk off his brother’s face. Lennek always knew which buttons to push. Anytime Darmik was interested in something, Lennek had to have it, whether he wanted it or not, just to prove he was better.
    Darmik drew in a deep breath, smelling horse sweat and sweet hay. He couldn’t dismiss Rema—Lennek was too smart and perceptive. “Blonde hair is so rare that I found her appearance interesting. Not my type though. Not only is she a commoner, but she’s engaged.”
    Lennek’s eyes sparkled. “Definitely a challenge.”
    “Laws are laws, Lennek. Some not even you can break.”
    “No,” he laughed, “but there are always ways around them.” Lennek strolled out of the stables.


Excerpt 3:
Prince Lennek slouched on the seat, putting his muddy boots up on the velvet bench across from them, appearing disinterested. Rema hated to admit it, but he was handsome. The side of his lips curled as his eyes sliced over to her. She’d been caught staring. Conceited, she thought. He was beautiful, and he knew it. Rema hated the idea of finding a murderer, someone so vile and repulsive, attractive. It sickened her. She focused her attention outside the carriage and remembered Bren, beaten and bloody from orders given by the prince.
“When we reach the city,” Lennek said, “I’ll introduce you to the people. Then I’ll propose, you’ll accept, and a huge party will be given in our honor. We’ll be married in a few weeks.”
“Why wait so long?” she asked, the hatred seeping through. “What if you get tired of me and change your mind?”
“Hmm,” he smiled, as if contemplating how much to reveal. “You needn’t worry. Everything is going according to plan.”
It was only a matter of time before Rema discovered what Lennek was up to.
Today the mountain range was closer—cold and unwelcoming, rising straight up into the sky. They were topped with snow and desolate of trees. No wonder nothing survived up there.
“I want to make sure you play the part,” Lennek said, recapturing her attention.
“And what would that be?” She glared at him. “Just so we’re absolutely clear.”
Prince Lennek chuckled softly. “Rema, darling, you are a feisty one.” Feisty? He had taken her away from her family. He had ordered Bren’s death. Rema was filled with rage.
Lennek’s countenance changed. His eyes turned shrewd, the lines of his face hardening. There was a ferocious quality to him that sent a chill over her body. “You will maintain your place.” He must have seen the confusion on her face. “You’re a horse merchant’s niece. Don’t you ever forget that.”
“How could I possibly?” she harshly said.
“Hmm,” he mused. “Then make sure you don’t forget that I am the Crown Prince, and as such, you are obedient to me.” His menacing eyes penetrated into hers.
Rema tried to control her emotions. There was no way Prince Lennek could know how afraid she was of him. “I understand, Your Highness,” she said, bowing her head, mocking the prince.
Lennek turned so his entire body faced hers. Rema tried to focus her attention outside the carriage, but he reached for her chin, forcing her to look at him. Their eyes locked. “You are going to be my wife,” Lennek said in a low, cold voice. “You will be royalty. Do you understand?”
“No. I don’t,” she answered as his nails dug into her chin. “Let go of me.” Rema knew she was out of line by making demands, but she wanted to know what she had to work with—how far she could push him until his temper exploded.
Lennek smiled wickedly at her. “You’re mine now. Get used to it. I’m giving you everything. Show some gratitude.”
He leaned closer. She could smell him—an odd mixture of rosemary and horse. Rema refused to close her eyes.
“And don’t forget, if you don’t play the part to my satisfaction, I know where your aunt and uncle live. I won’t just have them killed. They’ll be brought before you, tortured while you watch, and then slowly dismembered.”
He released Rema’s face, pushing her away from him like she was cow dung. Lennek slid back into his side of the carriage, no longer looking at her but at a sapphire ring on his finger—the ring of a prince.





Excerpt 4:
    “Where are we going?” Rema asked, glancing behind her toward the rest of their riding party.
    “Just over this rise.” Darmik left the path, leading the way up the hill.
    The leafy ground turned to slippery rocks. Darmik offered Rema his hand, but she refused his help. He remembered finding her alone in the forest, and he realized he knew nothing about her—yet he wanted to know everything.
    When they reached the top of the hill, he saw what he was looking for.
    “A silent waterfall,” Rema gasped. She stood next to him, amazement clear on her face.
    On the hill opposite them, water cascaded along tendrils of mossy grass growing from the rocks. It slipped down the soft, green padding until it reached the pool below.
    There were a million questions Darmik wanted to ask, but he had no idea where to begin. He rarely did anything on impulse. Looking at Rema’s face, her penetrating eyes, he decided not to think. Pulling off his boots and socks, Darmik threw them on the ground. He unclasped his riding cape and removed his tunic, leaving on his long sleeve shirt and pants.
    He ran and jumped, knowing he’d make it to the water below. The pool was in fact quite deep. When he and Lennek were younger, they used to dare each other to jump. But unlike Lennek, who was always taking chances, Darmik wouldn’t jump until he checked the pool to make sure it was deep enough. Only then, did he follow Lennek with a giant leap.
    Hitting the cold water, Darmik cringed, welcoming the feeling of losing control and the freedom that came with it. Kicking, he swam to the top, broke the surface, and took in a deep breath.
A splash hit him in the face. A moment later, Rema surfaced wearing a huge smile. “Now that was fun!”
    Swimming over to the edge, Darmik pulled himself out. The bank was mostly moss covered rocks that were slippery and difficult to maneuver on. He turned around to help Rema, but she was already hoisting herself onto the shore. She looked like the first time he had seen her—soaking wet and happy.
    There was a small patch of sun on a large, dry rock big enough for the two of them to sit next to each other. Darmik carefully climbed over and lifted himself up onto it. The rock was warm from the sun’s heat. Rema stood at the bottom with her hands on her hips like she was trying to figure out a way to join him. Darmik rolled onto his stomach and lowered his arms. She grabbed onto him, her grip strong. He pulled her to his side and released her.
    Once she was safely on the rock, they stretched out on their backs, basking in the warmth. Darmik tried his hardest not to look at her. Rema was only wearing her white underdress. It would’ve been too difficult to swim wearing all of her clothes. Still, he didn’t want to be caught staring and offend her in any way. Yet, her body was like a magnet pulling his eyes in her direction.
    Unable to resist any longer, Darmik peered at her. Rema was smiling with her eyes closed, looking peaceful and content. Her white underdress clung to her ribcage and wrapped around her legs. Her chest rose and fell with each breath she took. Goose bumps covered her arms. Her hair lay above her head like a halo.
Something shiny caught in the light. A delicate gold chain hung around Rema’s neck. Strung on the chain, lying on the rock near her ear, was a gold skeleton key. Embedded in the bow was a heart-shaped ruby diamond. The jewelry was befitting of a queen or princess. Rubies were not only extremely rare, but they cost a fortune. Did Lennek give her the necklace?
    Darmik glanced to the top of the cliff from which they had jumped. No one was about. He hoped to conceal the entire outing, but it was vital Lennek never learn Darmik spent this time alone with Rema on this rock, unsupervised. It was illegal and his brother would punish him with the full force of the law.
    There was a soft rustle as Rema’s head turned toward him.
    “How did you end up here? Engaged to my brother?” He forced his eyes to remain on hers—away from her body. It was easier to pretend she was fully clothed, dry, and certainly not a mere six inches away from him, their hands lying side-by-side, almost touching.
    “I was hoping you knew the answer to that one,” she whispered, droplets of water glistening on her eyelashes.
    His suspicions were confirmed—she didn’t choose Lennek. That meant she didn’t love him. But why was she wearing his necklace? “My brother and I aren’t close like that. He doesn’t share his plans or his feelings with me,” Darmik said.
    “He has feelings? Really?” She laughed and looked away.
Most women were blinded by Lennek’s charm and position as prince. But Rema seemed to know the real Lennek. A selfish and cruel man. Had Lennek hurt her? She flinched earlier when Darmik had offered her his hand. Usually women only acted like that if they have been hit or beaten by a man. His fingers curled into a fist. She knew who Lennek truly was because he had revealed his true nature to her. What game was his brother playing? What kind of horrors had Rema seen?
Author Interview!

Question and Answers:


1.Describe The Key in a tweet.


#TheKey Forbidden love, loyalty, betrayal.


2.Are you planning to write a sequel for The Key?


You bet! The Key is the first book in The True Reign Series. Right now, I’ve planned for there to be three books total in the series. I expect book 2 will be released late winter or early spring of 2014. You should know going in that these three books encompass one story/journey. In other words, don’t expect closure at the end of The Key.


3.If you could see your novel(s) in another format aside from a book, what would it be?


A movie!!!! I would absolutely love to see one of my books be brought to life as a movie. Totally dream come true!


4.How did you get into writing?


I taught high school English before staying home to have my children. I felt that I needed to start writing to keep my sanity and so I didn’t officially talk “baby talk” 24-7. I decided to write YA not only because it’s a personal love of mine, but because I want to engage teens and encourage them to read. Reading is and should be fun! It’s not supposed to be a chore and painful. I want to write books that people love and can find a few hours of enjoyment in.



5.Describe your writing process.


I usually spend the first month thinking about the story. That includes finding pictures in magazines of my characters, plotting events, and free writing to discover the flow/feel/voice of the story. Then I do the first rough draft aka the word vomit draft. I don’t care how bad it is, my goal is to have a working draft done in 2-3 months. Then the real work begins. Revise, revise, revise. Then the book goes to beta readers, I revise, book goes to critique partners, I revise. Then, after all that, the book is done!!


6.What books inspire your writing?


I adore The Gire of Fire and Thorns Series by Rae Carson. Other books that have influenced me include Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, Graceling by Kristin Chasore, and Crown Duel by Serwood Smith.


7.Do you have a particular genre you like to read/write?


As long as it’s YA, I love to read it! I have a soft spot for light fantasy and romance stories (think Graceling, Poison Study). When I sit down to devour a book, I want to get lost in it. I also love dystopian and paranormal.
Writing this fantasy series was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I assumed because it was all made-up that it would be easy to write. So not the case! I had to do even more research so it sounded like I knew what I was talking about! Contemporary is by far the easiest for me to write.


8.Can you tell us what other projects you are currently working on?


I am wrapping up book 2 in The True Reign Series. Then it’s on to book 3! After that, who knows!!


9.What tips/advice would you give for aspiring writers?


Read. You can’t expect to write if you don’t read A LOT. You have to know your genre, audience, and what people are doing that works. Reading will make you a better writer.




Question & Answer: The Key


1.How did you come up with the storyline for The Key?


I love to read light fantasy books, especially ones that involve a love story. When I decided to write another book, I chose to write the book that I would want to read. So often I find fantasy books that I thoroughly enjoy, but they’re a bit too high fantasy for me. I wanted my book to be a little more grounded in reality.


I started exploring different stories, different worlds. Then I had a dream about the prologue. I had the same dream every night for almost an entire week. I knew that dream would be the foundation for the book.


When I started to create the characters, Rema came to me immediately. I knew what she would look like, how she would act, and every detail about her. I also knew that there would be two brothers, close in age, who would be the complete opposite of one another. Then I threw the characters together, and the story unfolded on its own!


2.Describe your main characters, Rema and Darmik, in one word.


Rema = feisty
Darmik = stoic


3.Who was your favorite character to write and why?


I actually had a blast writing Lennek. It was fun to write a character that is totally self-absorbed, immoral, and does anything he wants.


4.Will there be a sequel?


Yes!! The Key is the first book in the True Reign Trilogy. You can expect book two, tentatively entitled ЯED, to be released early in 2014. Book three will be released later in 2014.


Question and Answer:


1.What was the inspiration for your story?
I wanted to write a story that I would want to read! I love fantasy, but sometimes, the story is too heavy on the magical element and not focused enough on character development. I wanted a story that was totally made up, grounded in reality, and had characters I would fall in love with and root for!


2. What kept you going throughout the writing process?
Candy. Lots and lots of candy! And my oldest son (the book is dedicated to him). He loves martial arts and helped me with the fight scenes. He’d get his foam sword out and totally act out various moves for me so I could visualize what I wanted to write!


3. Who is your most meaningful character and why?
Rema. I think everyone can find some element to her that they can relate to. She is so very complex and you really get to know her throughout the book. She really serves as the catalyst for everything that happens and is truly the key to the story!


4. Can we expect to hear more from these characters in the near future?
You bet! The Key is the first book in The True Reign Series. Right now, I’ve planned for there to be three books total in the series. I expect book 2 will be released late winter or early spring of 2014. You should know going in that these three books encompass one story/journey. In other words, don’t expect closure at the end of The Key.


5. How has this story touched your life?
In all honesty, it has forced me to delve into the root of storytelling and character development. This is the third book I’ve written and it’s with this book that I feel I finally understand how to truly write a book. So for me, this book is a huge accomplishment and it is something I am very proud of.


6. What motivated you to start writing?
I taught high school English before staying home to have my children. I felt that I needed to start writing to keep my sanity and so I didn’t officially talk “baby talk” 24-7. I decided to write YA not only because it’s a personal love of mine, but because I want to engage teens and encourage them to read. Reading is and should be fun! It’s not supposed to be a chore and painful. I want to write books that people love and can find a few hours of enjoyment in.


Writing-Related Questions:


How long did it take you to write this book?
It took me about 5 months to write the book, and 7 months to revise and edit. When I wrote this book, not all of my kids were in school yet, so I could only really write at night after they went to bed.
What was your inspiration to write this book?
I wanted to write a story that I would want to read! I love fantasy, but sometimes, the story is too heavy on the magical element and not focused enough on character development. I wanted a story that was totally made up, grounded in reality, and had characters I would fall in love with and root for!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?
Read. A lot. You’ll become a better writer by reading as much as you can.


As a writer, do you have plans for world domination, or do you have a day job as well?
I’m a stay-at-home mom. One day I might go back into teaching, but we’ll see. Right now, I’m just focusing on raising my kids so they can take over the world!
What do you think makes a good story?
Fast paced action, slow building romance, and really getting to know the characters so that I feel for them.
Do you ever experience writer's block and if so, how to you overcome it?
On occasion. It doesn’t happen too often because I write from an outline. However, when it does, I always stop writing and read instead. I find that when I read a few books, I get the energy I need to get back into writing.
Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?
The Key is the first book in The True Reign Series. Right now, I plan for there to be three books total in the series. I expect book 2 will be released late winter or early spring of 2014. You should know going in that these three books encompass one story/journey. In other words, don’t expect closure at the end of The Key.


Random Questions:


One food you would never eat?
Anything moving. Like cockroaches. So totally gross.


What is the last book you read?
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas.


What was the last movie you watched?
Catching Fire.


Are you a Morning person or Night Owl?
Night Owl.


Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover? If so, what book?
Yes! Grave Mercy. I love that cover! Ended up loving the book, too!


Question / Answer


1.How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing all my life, but professionally, I’ve been writing for the past 8 years.


2.What or who inspires you to write?
I wanted to write a story that I would want to read! I love fantasy, but sometimes, the story is too heavy on the magical element and not focused enough on character development. I wanted a story that was totally made up, grounded in reality, and had characters I would fall in love with and root for!


3.What genre do you like to read?
As long as it’s YA, I love to read it! I have a soft spot for light fantasy and romance stories (think Graceling, Poison Study). When I sit down to devour a book, I want to get lost in it. I also love dystopian and paranormal.


4.What is your favorite genre to write?
Writing this fantasy series was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I assumed because it was all made-up that it would be easy to write. So not the case! I had to do even more research so it sounded like I knew what I was talking about! Contemporary is by far the easiest for me to write.


5.Who is your favorite author and why?
I always think asking this question is so mean! How can I only choose ONE???? There are so many that I love, all for different reasons. One of my favorite authors is Rae Carson. I adore her books, storytelling ability, and the characters she creates. I think she’s everything I hope to be as a writer.


6.What do you love about writing and why?
I love creating a story. For me, it’s like putting a puzzle together and I find immense satisfaction when I’m done.


7.What is the book about?
Simply put, the book is about a girl and a guy discovering themselves—who they really are, what they want from life, finding love, and fighting for what they believe in!


8.Who are the characters in the book?
The book is told from two main characters, and the POV switches back and forth between them. The first one is Rema—a seventeen-year-old commoner, and the other is Darmik—a nineteen-year-old Prince and Commander of the King’s Army. There are some other important characters like Lennek—Darmik’s evil brother. Lennek was tremendous fun to write! Also, Darmik’s best friend is Neco, a fellow soldier. But the main characters are Rema and Darmik and the story centers around them.


9.If you could have five authors, alive or dead, who would they be and why?
Five authors? To do what? Over for dinner? Or in a book club?
If I could have five authors in a book club with me, I would choose Kristin Cashore, Marie Lu, Cassandra Clare, Rae Carson, and Suzanne Collins. I think that would be a very interesting mix of authors and we’d have a great time discussing books! Each of these authors incorporates action and adventure with a romantic element. As far as I’m concerned, what more could you ask for in a story?



My Review:
The Key was an interesting tale of a girl who by sheer unluckiness gets captured by a prince who is trying to get back at his brother. Rema is just a commoner who wishes to see the world outside her family farm. When she's told she will be marrying her best friend she doesn't want it but sees she has no choice and excepts her fate. That's when the princes enter her life and take her on a journey to a life she never new. One with violence, beauty, and people who are pure evil. Now with only herself to rely on she must find a way to escape. 

Interesting read and I can't wait for the next installment. A little wordy for my taste but an all around interesting read.







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