Hey y’all! I am here with Amelia, the main character of a FANTASTIC new book, Bound By Duty, by a great new author Stormy Smith! If you haven’t bought the book I encourage you to do it!
Magic, a southern belle of a best friend, two amazing…make that THREE amazing guys, and a whole lot of action! What’s not to love!?!?! Let’s begin, shall we?
Amelia, thanks so much for joining me! Let’s start with an easy question: What are your favorite left-overs?
Lasagna – especially from Mariano’s. I swear it’s better the second time.
Ohhhh, that sounds yummy! My personal favorite is leftover Chinese food…any Chinese food, but especially lo mein.
So, I noticed you have a great sense of style, who did you get that from?
Mostly my best friend, Bethany. I was kind of a train wreck in that department before we met. I tried to follow trends and they just didn’t work with who I was. B encouraged me to just wear what I wanted. And what she picked out for me.
That’s such great advice! I have tried to follow trends in the past, and that didn’t work out for me either. B gave you good advice, I think it is important to be comfortable in what you are in. At least those are the times I feel the best about myself. Do you have a piece in your wardrobe you cannot live without?
I have a pair of flat black riding boots that go with everything – skinny jeans, flowing tops, dresses or skirts. And they are so comfortable. I should probably go online and buy a second pair because I’ll cry when they give out.
OH yes! Those are a must have accessory! A great pair of boots can make any outfit so much better!
So, getting a little serious here: It must have been hard to deny something that is such a big part of who you are for so many years. How do you think things would’ve been different had your dad trained you to use your magic instead of forcing you to keep it under control?
I wish there was an easy answer to give you here. I’d like to say it would have been amazing and I’d be so much better off, but the realities are that everything happens for a reason and truth comes at a price. There are things I know now that explain – let me be clear, they don’t justify – why things had to be the way they were. But, had I been given the opportunity to grow with my power instead of allow it to grow without me, I do think I wouldn’t be in the predicament I’m in now.
What a great perspective on your past! I bet it was hard to stand up for yourself and make such a huge decision like moving to Brighton. I am wondering what you felt in that moment?
In that moment, as my father hugged me for the first time in years after I told him I was leaving, I felt a lot of guilt. But it was also freeing. My life was going to be mine, or so I thought. It was clear to me, even then, that changes were happening inside me and that I would have no help explaining them if I didn’t leave. Had I not stood up for myself in that moment, there is so much of life I never would have experienced. Knowing I had my brother Cole there, so that I wouldn’t truly be alone, really made the difference though.
Cole is such a great brother to you, and I laughed so hard when I read your story about when you were a kid and you looked up and realized how big his nose is! It must have been a relief knowing you’d have him around for your big move, especially when you have been separated so long. What were you hoping the next three years were going to look like for you?
I had really hoped to find out who I was. So much of my childhood had been about hiding my true self and emotions. I needed space to see what I liked and didn’t, the kinds of people I would choose to bring into my life or not…even just what I might want to be when I grew up had I been given the choice (which is a marine biologist, in case you were curious). But I also knew that there was information about what I really was waiting for me. I didn’t realize it would change things as dramatically as it did, but I was searching for it anyway.
I am remembering that story you told Aiden about the horses in the clouds, does you find that reflects your life at all?
[Sigh] It does. I think it reflects on both of our lives more than we wanted to admit. I was kept cloistered away from everyone, even people supposedly like me, while they all learned and grew together. All I wanted was one person to stand up for me and knock down the fence so I could be like everyone else. But, I’ve also learned since then that sometimes you can’t wait for other people to do it for you. If I were to do it all again, the story would go that the lonely horse would go kick down the fence himself to get to the people he loved. But, sometimes you don’t get a do-over.
I can think of a few moments I’d love to have a do-over in…Goodness! Things got a little serious there for a bit. Why don’t we pull back some and go in another direction. I am curious about your interest in marine biology, do you have a specific aspect of marine biology you are interested in, or just the field in general?
I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. And to animals. When I was little I would sit on the cliffs and watch the dolphins jump in and out of the water. I’d walk the beach and sit back to watch turtles lumber around and then glide into the water. Once, I even untangled a baby seagull from a net. I’ve just always known that I wanted to work with animals tied to the sea.
Gosh that sounds so amazing, I have been to the ocean some and watching the dolphins is always such an amazing, almost otherworldly experience!
Well let’s wrap it up with one more question. I just have to mention the dreaminess that is Aiden…he is pretty tenacious, which I kind of admire in a person. What is your favorite physical characteristic of him? Favorite part of his personality?
His eyes are my favorite, but not for the reason you would expect. They are beautiful, all smoke and ash, but he sees me. I look at him as he looks at me and I know that he sees the real person hiding between layers of power and emotion and fear. And he accepts that. Even when I couldn’t actually tell him and he didn’t understand, he still accepted me for who I was at any given moment. And I love that he challenges me. That boy won’t let me off easy for a second, and that’s what I need.
OH.My.GOSH! Could that be any more romantic!?!? Goodnight I think my heart just melted *sigh* Well, on that note I want to thank you, again, so much for joining me. Any last words of wisdom for my readers?
Don’t run from your life, because it will catch up to you. Instead, see who you can surround yourself with to build you up and get you ready to face it head on. You’ll see who your real friends are and you’ll get to know a side of yourself you only dreamed of.
Read on for info on Stormy Smith, Author of Bound by Duty and an excerpt from the book:
Bio: Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.
Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.
Book(s): Bound by Duty (Bound Series, Book One)
Release Date: July 24, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, and Paranormal
Sites where your book can be purchased: Amazon http://amzn.to/1lxz3Mg
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn’t even know his name.
Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.
As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?
Excerpt: Bound by Duty – Prologue
Her stark white hair fell down around her face. For the first time in one hundred years it wasn’t pulled back in a waist-length braid. Her crimson robes were torn and stained. She bit back a groan, her lips a tight line as the pain ripped through her once again. The invisible knife raked its way up her back as wounds no one could see flayed her skin and weakened her resolve. It had been days of this and she wasn’t sure if she could continue. As she looked up and met the queen’s eyes, Lavignia pushed the anger down and forced compassion to rise yet again.
“What is it you hope to learn, Julia? What is it you think you have to gain from all of this?” she asked weakly as she tugged on the restraints that kept her tethered to the heavy wooden chair. Her power was already weak when the Hunters had found her, and the enchanted chamber had dampened what remained to a tiny flame.
The room was dark, but the sun was slowly rising. An orange and pink glow filtered through the small window above Julia’s head. The colorful rays that should have resembled hope of a new day only shed light on the reality that Lavignia would never leave this room alive.
Julia stepped from the shadows and walked slowly toward Lavignia. She stopped and crouched down, putting herself at eye level.
“Oh, Livvy, dear. Don’t do that,” she said, her tone patronizing as her ice crystal eyes narrowed. “Don’t pretend you can still look down on me from your Elder tower. Don’t pretend you can utter your polite words and suddenly I’ll remember who you are versus who I am. I know exactly who I am. I am the one who rules them all. I am the one they will bow down to and worship. I am the Queen. Not you. Or your sisters. Your time is done.”
She looked back over her shoulder to the Hunter who stood in the still dark corner of the room and nodded. The Hunter’s eyes burned bright orange as Lavignia’s screams echoed off the walls. Julia raised her hand and the screams dropped to whimpers. With that same hand, she reached out and took Lavignia’s.
“Livvy, look at me,” she commanded. Dazed, dim violet eyes struggled to focus and find hers. Julia tightened her grip, digging her scarlet nails into Lavignia’s already tender flesh, making her yelp and their eyes connect.
“Livvy, you need to tell me,” she said. “I know you see it. You knew this day would come and you know I won’t stop until you tell me. I scoured the lands for you. I know there are others left, but they can be saved. You can save them, old friend. You just have to tell me.” Her tone was persuasive and gentle, but the frantic look that passed through her eyes told Lavignia the truth the queen couldn’t hide — she was scared.
“You won’t harm the others? You will let them live out their lives hidden and free? You will swear an oath?” Her words trailed off and Lavignia’s eyes closed, the torture of the last few days taking its toll. She could only hope the oath would keep her people safe.
She didn’t see the triumph that straightened Julia’s posture or the sneer that twisted her thin, painted lips. “Of course, my dear. I swear to you that I will not seek out and harm the remaining Elders. I swear that I will not take their freedom.”
“Your blood,” Lavigniasaid, her words barely audible.
Julia removed a small dirk from the folds of her skirts and repeated the words as she slid the blade down her palm. As the deep red drop hit the floor, she sent a small wave of power through to heal the wound, reveling in the knowledge that she had won.
“Now, Livvy, darling, you must tell me.” When Lavignia didn’t respond, Julia whipped back around to the still silent Hunter. “Help her. Give her what she needs. NOW!” she commanded, panic finally breaking through her controlled facade.
The Hunter flicked a wrist at Lavignia and she suddenly straightened, her eyes luminescent and shining at the welcome invasion of power that flooded her system, giving her renewed life for a few precious seconds.
With sudden clarity, she saw the future that had eluded her. She looked down on Julia with authority and pity as the words that would cement the queen’s fate fell from her lips.
“You will have your time, but it will end. She will be born to the one who got away. Inside her, the five families will merge and only a man who is both king and companion will tame the wild and set her free. She will be your undoing. She will lead them all.”
Julia reared back, Lavignia’s words not the ones she expected. Seconds later, her dirk was buried deep in Lavignia’s chest. Lavignia collapsed back against the chair, a content smile mocking the queen from her lifeless face.
Julia’s breath heaved in and out in short bursts as she turned to the Hunter. “I made an oath. You did not. Find them. Kill them all.”