Saturday 31 August 2013

A Review for Deadly Pursuit (Southern California Violent Crimes Taskforce, #1) by Misty Evans

18249816Posted by Melanie
Release Date: August 1st, 2013
Finished Date: August 6th, 2013
Publishers: Self - Published
Source: For Review
Format: Kindle 
Pages: Unknown 
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

Her sting operation put a ruthless criminal in prison.

One year ago, rookie FBI agent Celina Davenport pulled off the ultimate undercover operation…she seduced Emilio Londano – the dangerous leader of the San Diego Mafia – and destroyed his illegal empire.

Now he’s escaped and looking for revenge.

When Londano escapes a maximum security prison and begins picking off Celina’s friends and coworkers, everyone she knows becomes a target. Including DEA agent Cooper Harris, the man who once broke her heart and is now assigned to be her bodyguard.

How far will they go to stop him?

Cooper and Celina must risk their careers – and their hearts –to turn the table on their pursuer. But will their past, with its forbidden passions and impulsive choices, put them directly in his crosshairs?

The Review: Deadly pursuit is a fast paced, exciting, action packed adventure and I really enjoyed it.

As the synopsis tells us – FBI agent Celina Davenport pulls off a feat no other could do, she found an ‘in’ with the Londano crime family, went under cover and seduced the mob boss – Emilio Londano - resulting in the collapse of his empire and his incarceration….. Only she didn’t expect him to escape, she didn’t expect he would go after the people in her life, she didn’t expect to become a target for a man with nothing to lose and a taste for revenge. It’s seems as though her only hope of surviving is through DEA agent Cooper Harris, a man she has been lusting after for a while but one who can’t &won’t give her what she needs. As they are pushed together in a game of cat and mouse, thrust into life threatening situations…. Will Coop’s walls come down, will he realise that he could have a future with Celina? If he can only help her survive.

So, I’m a fan of Misty Evans - having read both her Witches Anonymous & Kali Sweet books - so when she asked for reviewers of her new book I jumped at the chance, even knowing it had zero paranormal activity :O Anyway, I’m so glad I took the chance because this was an awesome read and had a plot that is definitely worth making into a movie. We get a strong, capable lead female character in Celina, who will not give in and refuses to be the victim in both love & war, she is the type of person that should inspire teenage girls, even for her work ethic alone. Cooper was a fine leading man, a good alpha male, driven, determined and again extremely capable and would make any woman swoon. When they were together, the chemistry was electric and I thought the romance brought some lightness and happiness to an otherwise serious plot. Speaking of the plot, it was great – Mafia bosses, undercover female agents sent in to take them down, unrequited love, murder, romance… that’s without the twists and turns that came with it too and let us not forget some much appreciated sexytime. It was fast paced and exciting and it did read like a movie, I could imagine seeing it on my TV and loving it! it would appeal to both men & women alike and the best thing is… it’s only the first book in the Southern California Violent Crimes Taskforce series so there’s lots more where this comes from and I’ll definitely be reading the sequel. 

Friday 30 August 2013

Blitz Post for Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon + Int Giveaway

17940365 Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon 
Publication date: August 20th 2013 
Genre: YA Contemporary
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US /

**This is NOT New Adult. This is NOT Erotica. There is no sex or even swearing. There is some heavy petting and drug references. Basically the book equivalent of a ABC Family show**

It’s so SQUEEEE-DORABLE – Ashleyn Poston, author of Radio Hearts

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off. 

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

Excerpt from Life, Love & Lemons!

"You know I'm pretty sure that all that's involved in high school dancing is just dry humping and swaying back and forth," I said as Kai helped me move my parent's couch back.
"Well, I don't want to dry hump or just sway back and forth," he said with a big grin on his face before setting the couch down.
"We don't have to do this right now either. It's a Sunday morning and all." I walked over to the front of the couch, not taking my eyes off of him.
"Homecoming is Saturday, and the only dance I know is the Hokey Pokey." He shrugged. "Besides Mom and my sisters are at small group and your parents can sleep through anything, so why not now?"
"Okay." I let out a deep breath and opened my computer. "But you really didn't take any kind of dance classes? I had ballroom dancing freshman year in gym."
"Bentley, I've gone to public school all of my life. The only dance we ever learned was line dancing when I was in grade school up in Wisconsin, and I'm not doing that at Homecoming." He laughed.
I started up the song and set my laptop down and stepped in front of Kai, putting my right hand up toward him. “I definitely don’t think there will be line dancing at Homecoming,” I said, putting my hand in his.
“And you make fun of my music?” Kai asked as the song crooned through the speakers on my laptop. I put Kai’s right hand on my hip, and then placed my left hand on his upper arm.
“This is Sinatra, I really don’t think there is anything to be making fun of, and besides I don’t think we could really do ballroom dancing to punk rock.”
“I’m sure we could try." He smiled and kissed my forehead.
I rolled my eyes. “Okay,  now that we have the arm position it’s time to move our feet, and if you step on my bare feet I am going to punch you.”
He playfully hovered his foot over mine, so I pinched his arm. “If you don’t behave then I’m switching the music to country.”
He let out a big sarcastic sigh. “Fine.”
“Okay, so left foot then right foot then together,” I said as we moved in unison.
“Then right foot goes back and then the left foot meets it.”
We moved together doing a few box steps. It felt kind of silly to be dancing in my pajamas in the living room.
“You know, I really don’t think that anyone is going to be doing the waltz at Homecoming,” I muttered
 I looked up to see him mouthing ‘left, right, together’.
“Well what do people usually do then?" He looked down at me and stopped mouthing the words.
The Sinatra song ended and a slower punk rock song played, one that Kai had actually put on my computer.
“Usually…" I put both my arms around his neck. “It’s kind of more of a close, swaying motion.”
“Oh." He wrapped his long arms around my waist and pulled me as close as I think two people can get when one was over six foot and the other was barely over five foot three.
“Like this?" He swayed slowly back and forth.
“Usually it’s not some sort of a giant dancing with a midget.” I laughed.
“Fine then." He bent at his knees and picked me up off of the ground, so that my legs were dangling in the air while he continued to sway back and forth. “Is that better, shorty?”
I wrapped my bare legs around his waist. “Now it is."
I leaned in and ran my tongue along his bottom lip, tracing the lines of his lip ring.
“I don’t think that’s part of the waltz." He smiled and pressed his forehead to mine.
“It is now." I kissed him, pretty hard, since he fell back into the couch with me still in his arms.

Maybe I should have taken him up on the night alone instead of Homecoming. It felt so good to just be in his arms, and the kissing wasn’t so bad either. I could forget about the world every time that Kai kissed me. It was like his lip piercing had some kind of magical powers that just made all my problems disappear as long as we were kissing.

Magan Vernon

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.

Author Links:

Thursday 29 August 2013

A Review for Inception (The Reaping Chronicles #1) by Teal Haviland

16067691Posted by Melanie
Release Date: May 2013
Finished Date: June 23rd, 2013
Publishers: Self - Published
Source: For Review
Format: Kindle 
Pages: 550
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US 

The world is in danger. Mankind is sinking deeper into darkness it cannot understand.
Demons are easily capturing souls as they lead men and women down dangerous paths from which there is no return, while Javan, one of the Fallen, seeks an ancient book and the power it promises. If he succeeds, humans — and the world as they know it — will be destroyed.

There is someone who is capable of stopping Javan . . . 

If she discovers him in time.

Gabrielle is one of the most powerful angels ever created, her job one of the most important. She has come to Earth to learn more about humans and what influences them, and to fight evil she sees growing at an alarming rate. She soon finds herself carelessly distracted with one human in particular, however. Lucas Watkins holds a promise of peace and love for Gabrielle that she never believed she could have again. 

As feelings between her and Lucas become more than she can deny, so do the dangers mounting against him. After discovering who Lucas is, and the choice he faces, she realizes Darkness will come for him through demons and fantastical beings he thought only existed in his imaginings — forcing fairytales to become his reality. 
Caught between her new mortal ties and ancient immortal responsibilities, Gabrielle must race against what seems to be an ever-quickening clock to learn what she needs to know, protect Lucas, uncover Javan’s plan, and find a way to stop him and all who live in Shadows.

Things become more complex than she ever anticipated, her decisions more critical, and what begins as a quest for information rapidly places her in an even more crucial position within the longest and most important war ever waged. 
Join Gabrielle and her allies in a story of love – past and present – fantastical beings, hidden realms, magic, fate, loss, and the fight of good versus evil.

The Review: Inception is a great start to a new series involving Angels & Demons heading towards the ultimate power play with Earth and humanity as the target. The synopsis is a perfect description of what the book entails as we find Gabrielle, the Angel of Karma aka The Reaper thrust into the human world in an attempt to gain knowledge about why the balance between good & evil is being tipped more towards darkness, why are the humans forsaking the light ? Gabrielle had also been having dreams of a boy, someone she felt she needed to help whilst on earth so whilst doing her angelic duties she decides to see where her dreams fit in. After getting used to her body & her human emotions for a couple of months, her first day at high school is an eye opener in more ways than one, the foremost being the boy from her dreams – Lucas- for when she meets him, she feels an instant connection to him and him to her but acting on that is the biggest taboo for her kind, something that would cause her to become that which was hunted – a fallen – a fate that befell her once beloved – Javen – and now it seems that her time on earth is more important than ever as Javen, Gabrielle & Lucas’s fates are woven together into a plot to over throw one of the most powerful entities there ever was…..and only Gabrielle has the power to stop it.

Gabrielle was a really likable character, fiercely protective & very capable of giving that to others. She is feared and respected wherever she goes, because let’s face it, who would want to anger the Angel of Karma? I really liked her warrior angel side, how others feared her & how she could defend herself, I love a character that doesn’t depend on others. I also liked how she softened when she came to earth too, through experiencing human emotions she gets a sort of balance herself, an understanding of why humans can behave the way they do, how intense they can feel and also how fragile they can be. The love that blossomed between her and Lucas was sweet, in the beginning it seemed as though we were headed towards some insta-love territory and whilst they feel the intense connection, it was handled well and whilst it was very tentative, it still had a sort of forbidden feel to it and that is the best kind of love. I also really liked Phalen and her attitude to everything, a great secondary character that I hope to see more of, along with her shifter friends.

I really enjoyed the storyline, who doesn’t love a story where good versus evil in a battle for supremacy, sprinkled with some forbidden love & topped with some kick ass characters? The world the author has created has the potential to be built upon in future books especially because she doesn’t limit her species to just angels/demons/nephillim which I really liked, plus there are so many possibilities with different realms too. I really liked the big threat of the book, which appears to be the series thread and found it really interesting, I’m really curious to read how that is going to play out and it also had a book long, immediate danger situation that both tie in together so well and introduce us to the larger world in the book. I enjoyed the different pov’s especially Javans, I enjoy getting into the bad guys head, it gives a greater understanding of his actions & his plans but it also helps to witness other emotions that even other characters aren’t privy to, which can even get you to empathise with the bad guy. I was thrilled with the connection between Gabrielle & Javan, again this has tons of potential for further conflict especially with their joint history, how well they know each other’s strengths & weaknesses and both having positions of power…. This relationship is definitely one to watch - but saying that - I did like Gabrielle & Lucas’s love connection too. With most books about angels, there is a tendency to focus on the new emotions & feelings of the visiting Angel which leads to a lot of internal analysis and whilst I totally get why this happens, it just tends to bog things down a bit for me and Gabrielle was guilty of that. I wouldn’t say that it was particularly fast paced & full of action either but there are a good few events that will keep you on your toes and hold your interest, never the less, this book was a really good read and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel. 

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#51)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Jess's WoW

Misbehaving (Sea Breeze, #6)Misbehaving (Sea Breeze #6)
by Abbi Glines 
Release date: December 18th 2013

An unexpected affair leads to mind-blowing harmony in this Sea Breeze novel from New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines. 

Jason is sick of living in his rock star brother’s shadow. So when he ships off to Sea Breeze, Alabama, he’s looking for a much deserved escape and a chance to blow off some envious steam. 

Falling for the local bad girl was definitely not the plan. But as the new duo enjoys some naughty fun in the Alabama sun, Jason learns that even though Jax is the musician in the family, he’s not the only brother who can rock someone’s world.

Jess's thoughts: Donna had this one last week. Anyway. Abbi is back with another Sea Breeze instalment and I cannot WAIT for this one. She's a writing machine, and it amazes me at how many stories she has in that beautiful head of hers. I can't wait to see what she has going on with Jason, and I can't wait to find out about the new girl! Who is she?!

Donna's WoW

All That Glows
by Ryan Graudin 
Release date: February 11th 2014

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

Donna's thoughts: It's been a while since I've found a Fae book that has blown me away since The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, so to find this book is great. I'm hoping it lives up to my expectations! 
<What's your "waiting on" pick this week?
Want to participate? 
Grab the logo, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. 
Happy Reading!

Tuesday 27 August 2013

A Review for Twisted Perfection (Perfection #1) by Abbi Glines

18337053Posted by Donna
Release Date: August 1st, 2013
Finished Date: June 22nd, 2013
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
My future was about to be completely thrown off track because Della Sloane was under my skin, and I had to have her. I couldn't ignore it anymore. . . . I'd gotten close enough to her to see deeper. 

Della Sloane is not your average girl. Yearning to break free of her dark and sheltered past, Della plans a solo road trip to experience real life on her own terms. But the trip is nearly cut short in the little beach town of Rosemary when she realizes she can't even pump her own gas-until Woods Kerrington shows up, more than willing to help out a pretty girl in need. 

Woods's family wants him to settle down with a wealthy woman in pearls, but he can't resist this carefree girl in cutoffs passing through town. A one-night stand should have been enough, but months later, Woods can't get the irresistible Della out of his head. 

When a twist of fate brings Della back to Woods, all signs point to trouble if they don't keep their distance. Neither is truly free, and a relationship could destroy both of them. With their hearts on the line, Della thinks the safest bet is to walk away. But Woods isn't about to let that happen… 

The Review: It's no secret how much I love Abbi Glines work, so of course, I had to read Twisted Perfection, and let me tell you, it's even better than her Fallen too Far series! 

Admittedly I didn't read Simon & Schuster's edition of this book because I'd already read it on kindle when it was first released. However, after receiving a copy through the post from the publishers, I thought I'd knock out a review for them seems as they'd just revealed the UK and plus, I hadn't wrote one before. While on the subject of the cover, I like it, however I do think the US covers are better. I love the fact that they've got the characters on the cover but where as the UK pubs have decided to go with the Fifty Shades theme. I'm not keen on it. I wish we had the same as the US peeps, they're much more eye catching and can be marketed for any audience (or so I believe). 

Anyway back to the review. Woods.....I knew I loved him for a reason. We first see him in the Fallen too Far series as Blaire's boss, but even at that point I knew there was something special about him. It's not until Twisted Perfection that you really get to see how special he is. The problem with Woods is, he's worked so hard to get where he is under his father's ruling, it's difficult for him to take himself away from his work and, his father. He's being focused into an arranged marriage and it's safe to say, he's an unhappy guy. It's not until he has a one-night stand with Della that he suddenly wants more with his life, but how does take hold of his future when he stands to lose so much? 

I really, really loved Della and Wood's story. It's different from all other Abbi's books because she wrote this purely as an adult book, and I have to say she did a marvellous job. It's full of angst and drama and the connection between the characters is sizzling hot. They have a lot of hurdles to overcome, and there's tears but it's so worth it. I love being able to get completely invested in characters like these, and Abbi once again manages to leave me 100% completely satisfied. And can I say, I love Grant and Jace! I need more of these guys. I know we're getting Grant's story soon, so I'm hoping we will see more of Jace too. 

Overall, I think it's impossible to hate anything Abbi Glines writes because she knows exactly what her readers are looking for, and she some how manages to bring it to life. It's a remarkable talent she has and I seriously can not wait for more. 

Monday 26 August 2013

Crest by Emma Raveling; Character Interview with Tristan Belicoux.

17622805Over here at Book Passion for Life, we're huge fans of Emma Raveling's. Now if you're not aware of this great self published author, then you should definitely check out her work. She's the author of Whirl, Billow, Chevalier, Warrior Prince and the soon to be released Crest, and today we're here with a interview from one of our favourite characters, Tristan and the author. 

Illusion. Power. Identity.

Tensions are reaching a fever pitch everywhere Kendra Irisavie turns.

Darkness settles over elementals as a new threat stirs suspicions of a betrayal from within. Details of recent events spread through Haverleau, prompting doubts over Irisavie leadership. The mysterious Selkie Kingdom finally opens its doors, but the gesture only fans the flames of division. And despite the perils involved, Kendra finds it difficult to ignore the demands of her heart.

As the body count rises, pressure also grows to shift the tides of war. The sondaleur is on the hunt, but tracking the Aquidae leader is the greatest challenge she’s ever faced. With the Shadow playing a deadly game of obsession and horror, Kendra’s best chance to win is to unravel a tangled web of deception spanning back to the origins of the elemental world.

Nothing is what it seems and the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her pursuit for answers becomes.

When the unthinkable happens, Kendra must decide if survival is worth the sacrifice.

Conflicting loyalties, fierce passions, and irrevocable choices ignite in the electrifying third installment of the Ondine Quartet.
Before we start, a quick warning: These questions are spoilery for previous books (Whirl, Billow).
Tristan is an intensely private person and I knew getting answers would be challenging. 
Here’s what happened when I sat down with him for a conversation.Recording starts.
Emma: Prince Belicoux. Thank you for meeting me in the middle of your busy schedule.
Tristan: Gracious nod. Of course.
Emma: I know I’ve made your life rather difficult recently…
Tristan: Raises brow. An understatement.
Emma: Shifts. Yes, well. Clears throat. I’ll resolve all of that by the end of the series —
Tristan: Exactly how much longer is that?
Emma: Well, the third book, Crest, is coming out soon and the next book, Breaker, will be the conclusion. Aims for a charming smile. You don’t have much to go!
Tristan: Stares.
Emma: Right, moving on. You have supportive and enthusiastic readers who’ve been following your story and wanted to ask you a few questions. I’d like to discuss them with you. Would that be okay?
Tristan: Amusement flickers across his face. I’ll do my best.
Emma: When we first met you, you were balancing the strenuous demands of Haverleau’s Chief Gardinel position with the duties of Crown Prince. Recently, you’ve devoted yourself completely to the throne. Can you talk to us about that?
Tristan: Leans back with a thoughtful expression. Since I was a child, my one dream in life was to be the kind of person who could protect another from being hurt, injured, killed. There was no greater calling for me than to become a gardinel. My older brother, Eric, was a giant in almost every way and was meant to be king.
Emma: You sound proud of him.
Tristan: Of course. He was amazing. Brilliant leader, ferocious warrior. The star every selkie looked up to.
Emma: Including your father?
Tristan: Especially my father. Eric could do no wrong in his eyes.
Emma: But your father disapproved of you being gardinel.
Tristan: Chuckles. My father disapproves of many of my choices.
Emma: Including your continued return to Haverleau?
Tristan: Yes.
Emma: He recently came to your birthday party. Caused rather an interesting scene.
Tristan: Exhales. My father came to that party to make a point.
Emma: Which was?
Tristan: That I should be celebrating my birthday with my real family. Not those in Haverleau.
Emma: And this would be your…I’m sorry what birthday was it again?
Tristan: Smiles. Clever, but I’m not answering.
Emma: You didn’t like that party.
Tristan: Shrugs. I am not fond of the idea of people going out of their way for me. It’s unnecessary.
Emma: Why does your father not like your presence in Haverleau? You serve on the Governing Council and your kingdom must maintain political alliances with the other elemental races.
Tristan: He believes I can be more effective back home than at Haverleau. And if I am to be completely honest, there are things within my kingdom - details, people’s concerns -  that I don’t know as well as I should because I’m away for so long. There are other reasons he’s upset but I believe that’s the primary reason.
Emma: I don’t suppose you want to discuss those other reasons…
Tristan: Blank expression.
Emma: All right. Then why do you remain in Haverleau?
Tristan: Silent for a few moments. As a child, I enjoyed visiting Haverleau with my mother. I liked the way people simply accepted me without the weight of the throne. I respected the wonderful friendship between my mother and the Governor. However, no matter how comfortable Haverleau, Rhian, and others made me feel, my kingdom remained my home. But…
Emma: But?
Tristan: But recently it has changed. Haverleau has grown to feel more like home.
Emma: I don’t suppose that has anything to do with a certain ondine.
Tristan: Politely inclines head. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Emma: Shifts a few papers. The mother of the sondaleur, Kendra Irisavie, personally asked you to protect and bring her to Haverleau.
 Tristan: Yes. Pauses. The loss of her and her mate, Ansel, was a great tragedy to our world.
Emma: Did you believe her when she said her daughter was the prophesied sondaleur?
Tristan: Yes and no. I believed Naida. She was not the kind of person prone to exaggerations. She was a brilliant Clairvoyant possessing a razor-sharp intellect, much like her mother. But it was difficult to believe that the person our people had waited so long for was a seventeen-year-old ondine who’d never lived among us.
Emma: When did you start to believe? Or do you still doubt who she is?
Tristan: Shakes head. It started the moment I saw her against that alley wall in San Aurelio. She didn’t back down before a pack of Aquidae. She held a silver dagger and…there was such absolute power in her defiance. It was a courage I’d never seen before.
Emma: You sound as if you admire her.
Tristan: Looks surprised. Yes, I do. Not only because she’ll be the one to finally bring this war to a close; but because she has already begun to change our world. Her ideas, the way she challenges what we have long blindly accepted, is part of her strength.
Emma: Speaking of leadership… last summer, you returned to your Kingdom for the first time in a long while. You spoke with your younger brother, Dax. Can you tell me about him?
Tristan: Smiles. He’s bright, enthusiastic. A leader among his friends and currently training to be inducted into the gardinels. Dax…cares deeply for those he trusts.
Emma: And what did you two discuss?
Extended silence.
Tristan: Shifts. I believe that is between me and my brother.
Emma: Was it something that required you to be away from Haverleau for six months?
Tristan: I was away for six months because I needed to prepare for the future.
Emma: Pause. Would you like to expand on that?
Tristan: Lets out a deep breath. I believe things will become clear soon enough.
Emma: While you were home, you spent time with many people from your past, including a selkie named…. consults notes… Sian Ardaineau. Tell us about her.
Tristan: I’ve known Sian my entire life. She’s as close to being a part of my family as anyone.
Emma: And what kind of relationship do you have her?
Tristan: We are friends.
Emma: Anything more?
Tristan: You’ll have to ask her directly about that.
Emma: You won’t give us something?
Tristan: It would be inappropriate.
Long silence.
Emma: Sighs. All right, Your Highness. Let’s move on. It must’ve been very difficult when Kendra left for New York for a month.
Tristan: This war is difficult. Our lives are difficult. She must assume a role she doesn’t want. She has done this twice now, both in accepting the prophecy and her Irisavie inheritance for the Governorship.
Emma: A feeling you know well.
Tristan: Gazes at the window. New York is not… a pleasant place. I worry about her safety. There’s nothing I can do for her while in Haverleau.
Emma: And the fact that she’s with Julian LeVeq?
Tristan: Chevalier LeVeq is an excellent fighter. He trained her well.
Emma: I believe his feelings toward the sondaleur are more than that of a trainer.
Tristan: He has every right to feel whatever he wants.
Emma: Does his relationship with her bother you?
Tristan: What bothers me is that he sees her solely in terms of how she fits into his life. Not because he understands her, but because he needs her.
Emma: And what about you? Do you understand her?
Tristan: The question is irrelevant. It’s not about whether I understand her better than him. The point is she deserves someone who can give her everything she wants.
Emma: And you’re not the person who can do that?
Tristan: Stares.
Emma: shakes head. You’ve been busy preparing for a big event.
Tristan: Yes.The Elemental conference is happening in our Kingdom this year.
Emma: Isn’t that very unusual? In elemental history, there’ve only been a few recorded incidents of ondines or demillirs visiting your people.
Tristan: Nods. Shapeshifting is a very private act for our people. When we shift, it is a moment of tremendous vulnerability. We are at one with our surroundings, immersing in the other half of ourselves that come from the deep. Sharing both forms with another being is an act of deep trust.
Emma: How are your people reacting to the conference?
Tristan: Like most change, much of the resistance comes from the older generation. The younger selkies seem to be open to shapeshifting in front of ondines and demillirs. Small smile.
Emma: You escorted Kendra to her meeting with Jourdain in your selkie form.
Tristan: Jaw tightens. I was concerned. Jourdain’s magic is very strong and Kendra was not….fully herself at the time.
Emma: Does that mean you trust her?
Tristan: Voice quiets. Of course.
Emma: Kendra once stated you had the ability to see something in her others could not. That you have stood by her, trusted her even when she could not trust herself. Do you feel the same way about her?
Tristan: Fingers tighten. She is different.
Emma: Special?
Tristan: Eyes meet mine. Of course. She is the sondaleur.
Emma: Evasiveness does not suit you, Your Highness.
Tristan: And these questions are rather invasive, don’t you think?
Emma: Fine. Why host the conference now?
Tristan: Our kingdom has remained closed to the elemental world for a long time. It is one of the policies I wished to change the most.
Emma: Why?
Tristan: A number of reasons. With Kendra’s arrival, the end of the war is imminent. There is no possible way we can provide her with the right support unless we are united as a whole.
Emma: So you did this for Kendra. Raises brow. To protect her.
Tristan: Stiffens. There are other reasons as well. It’s important for my people, for the children who will become the future of our kingdom, to be exposed to other ways of thinking. War will eventually come to a close and they must be prepared for a different world. Only a God would claim to know absolutely everything. I believe there is much we can learn from each other.
Emma: Final question, Your Highness. If there was no war….pauses….if there was no Aquidae or death, if your brother Eric was still here….if it had been an ideal world, what would you have wanted for yourself?
Tristan: Eyes soften. I’d travel. See what the rest of the world had to offer. Listen to music in every great concert hall, spend hours reading. Learn new skills, new ideas. Work with people, help those who suffer. Voice quiets.  Live freely for myself.
Emma: With someone by your side?
Tristan: Yes. Pauses. With the right person.
Emma: Would you rather be alone otherwise?
Tristan: If it’s not the right person are we not alone anyway?
Recording clicks off.

Emma Raveling writes urban fantasy and fantasy books for teens and adults. Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she is currently working on completing her young adult series, Ondine Quartet.
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