May 10, 2016
Hello Readers! Welcome to our Tour Stop for
The Paladins by Julie Reece
presented by Month9Books!
We are thrilled to have Julie back on the blog with a quick Q&A.
Follow the rest of the tour by clicking the banner above,
and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives...or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?
Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.
The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.
Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!
Thank you so much for having me here today. I’m super excited about my new book and happy to have a chance to share some more about how the story came about.
Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)
The Paladins is eerie YA Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—their minds
The Paladins (The Artisans 2) is a YA Gothic fantasy. Picture Alice in Wonderland and Labyrinth having a book baby, only creepier.
Man, that was way hard!
What was your inspiration for writing this book? Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?
Mirrors. Crazy right? But there are pictures/photographs in the first book that are more than what they first appear. I starting thinking about how mirror images can also be false, or play tricks on you. How do we know that what we see is real? I became fascinated with the word duality. The definition incudes: couple, team or twosome, but it can also mean twofaced, stab-you-in-the-back treachery. The more I thought about those parallels—physical, psychological and metaphorical—the more I wanted build my story on that idea. The theme runs through the entire story. Two opposite but parallel worlds, love and hate, hero and heroine, villain and paladin, frenemies, even the characters themselves as they fight battles in their own minds. Have you ever argued with yourself? I have, and the back and forth will drive you insane when you have an important decision to make!
Tell us about the main character(s).
With each new chapter, the point of view alternates between three main characters Cole, Gideon and Raven. Each tell their stories through their differing personalities and filters.
Freed from the curse, Cole is anxious to reclaim the years he missed while paying a debt for past wrongs. However, he returns home to find life has moved on without him. Cole’s sense of humor won’t stop the pain. Or the whispers in the wind that only he can hear. He needs peace and a purpose, and hopes the girl haunting his dreams will have some answers.
Gideon’s a bad-boy who’s working hard to reform. The problem is he often confuses “doing the right thing” and “doing the wrong thing with really good intensions” Smart and resourceful, he’s got a take-no-prisoners attitude when protecting those he loves. But it takes more than attitude to fight what’s threatening Raven this time. He needs answers. So, when Cole asks for help finding the mysterious spectre from a vision, Gideon’s forced to agree, hoping it will save Raven, too.
Raven’s in a new relationship, and with art college looming in the Fall, life should be golden, but it isn’t. She’s withdrawing, her courage and independent spirit fading with the death of her stepfather. Now, her deceased mother is showing up nightly in ominous dreams—with a warning. The curse may be broken but something new is coming. Something worse. And when Cole shows up with a plan for answers, she’ll do anything to get them.
Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?
Ahhh, it’s so hard to answer these question the way I’d really like to without being spoilery! Since there is mystery and surprises in the story, how about I go with this … The following quote by Charles H. Spurgeon really sums up the emotion I had while writing this story:
If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him?
Here’s another quote from Cole’s point of view as he thinks back on his long and complicated relationship with Gideon.
“We weren’t so different, really, Maddox and me. I wondered if he’d seen that, too. Wealthy, overachieving, only sons with assholes for fathers. We were polished, clever, and fairly miserable, trying to be something we would never be. Accepted. The difference was I’d learned to play the game and Gideon hadn’t. He still cared, and I hated him for it.”
Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing? If so, why?
Ha! Would you believe me if I said all of it? I actually wrote the first book as a stand-alone, so when my publisher asked for more books in the series, I froze. I was the proverbial deer in headlights. I had nothing! Zip. Nada for ideas to take the storyline forward. It took me a while to get started. Thankfully, that didn’t last, and once I got rolling, I couldn’t shut the ideas down. Phew!
What sort of projects do you have going on right now? Any new books coming out?
My next book, One Summer with Autumn, with Swoon Romance comes out October 2016. This is my first venture into YA contemporary romance, and I had an absolute blast writing it. : ) TBR Goodreads link https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29151440-one-summer-with-autumn
I also have five different manuscripts in different stages of completion. Yikes!
It was great having you on the blog today! We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!
Thanks again for being so awesome and giving authors a fun place to talk about writing, books and publishing. I had a great time today. XOXO
To the readers: thanks to you for your interest in YA books and for dropping by to hear about my story. I appreciate you! <3
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.
To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.
Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.
But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.
Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.
Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!