Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome Isabelle Santiago, author of Zerah’s Chosen, the first book in Isabelle’s Guardian Circle series.
Guardians live and die together, but when Kieran is born with the marks that prove he’s the Guardian of Death, his mother hides him instead of giving him up to the temple. She loves him too much to lose him. But then he starts seeing people die, and they’re begging him for help. Trying to remove the “curse”, he inadvertently kills a seer and is brought to the attention of the temple.
His mother is imprisoned and he’s turned over to the temple. The rest of his life, he’s expected to live there, study with the other Guardians, learn the right ways to use his power.
Amaya, the embodiment of Water, breaks through his brittle shell, helps him to see that all of life isn’t bleak, but they’ve sworn a vow and love for one another isn’t part of it. He’ll never know the people he must eventually lead into the next life, never know love, never be free.
If he stays…
Doesn’t this sound good? Want to read an excerpt? If it does, stick around as we’re giving away a copy at the end.
I’ve always been a big fan of the series as an artform, on television and in books. There’s just something special about the intricate tapestry a writer can weave between lives making them forever intertwined. As a reader, I’ve been known to obsess over characters (ok, I admit, obsess might be putting it lightly). I fall inexplicably in love with them and want to spend as much time as possible in their world.
As an author, I appreciate how difficult it is to craft a full, fleshed out, three dimensional world and the people that inhabit it but I’ve never had any desire to write a series for myself. That is, until I met Kieran and Amaya.
The story came to me like many others, a sudden scene playing out in my mind, making me a voyeur into their lives. The volatile mix of emotions, the anger, the guilt, the hurt and desire were so strong, they literally knocked the wind out of me, caused a heavy ache in my chest. I immediately started drafting what I knew of their story. But the more time I spent with the two characters, the more I realized that I barely knew the half of what was happening to them- of what HAD happened to them.
“It’s complicated,” Kieran once said to Amaya, during the sixth or seventh draft of the story. “There’s so much you don’t know.” And although his words were meant for her, they struck me strongest because he was right. There was far too much about their past that I’d missed. Why, despite the obvious love they shared were things so strained between them? Why was he so angry? Why was she so guilt-ridden?
Just like that I lost my ideal happily ever after. The neat beginning/middle/end I was so accustomed to went out the window. I’ll admit, I was terrified at first. I loved reading other people’s epic landscapes or rustic space operas, but could I create the world that was slowly forming in my head? Could I really do it justice? Or worse, would I get tired of spending so much time with the same characters?
Despite all these doubts, I put aside the story I was working on and focused on my characters’ pasts only to discover that it was a beautiful story all its own. As any author can tell you, there are times when you have to relinquish control and trust your characters, trust your muse to tell the story in its entirety. When I was done, I realized that what I’d originally envisioned had just been one tiny piece of a much grander puzzle.
The final product was Book I of the Guardian Circle Series, Zerah’s Chosen. And now that I’ve fallen head over heels, I’m thrilled that this is only the beginning.
Contest Time! Isabelle is offering up a copy of her new ebook, Zerah’s Chosen (in any electronic format you choose). In order to get your hands on one of these puppies, all you have to do is answer her question: What is it about series novels that you enjoy? What is your favorite series? International entries are welcome!
There is one caveat for this contest….whoever wins the novel must be willing to post a review of it somewhere. Whether it’s on GoodReads, LibraryThing, Amazon, your own blog or wherever, let’s help spread the word about Isabelle’s book.
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat:
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and/or follow LE on Twitter
- +1 subscribe to Literary Escapism – either via a reader or email (see the RSS button at the bottom of the sidebar)
- +10 purchase any novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries, but it has to be through the LE Amazon Link.