Thursday, June 21, 2012

ALLIANCE FORGED blog tour: Guest post w/ Kylie Griffin & Giveaway

Today we have author Kylie Griffin on our blog, as we are the next stop on her blog tour for ALLIANCE FORGED. We have a special post and giveaway, so check it out...

A Writer’s Inspiration…

As a teen I was selected by Rotary to attend a youth leadership camp. It was a wonderful experience meeting up with other young people from around the state and participating in various workshops and activities.

One of the most memorable was a trust building activity that involved partnering up and adopting a physical disability for half a day. I ended up being blindfolded to simulate losing one’s sight, and, if you’ll excuse the pun, it was an eye-opening experience.

Not only did it teach you the obvious – how much you take sight for granted – it made me realize just how important it was to utilize my four remaining senses and other skills. Pinpointing sounds, scenting the air, the sensation of heat or cold on your skin, feeling with all parts of your body not just your hands and finding ways or implementing strategies to keep yourself safe.

I learned to think outside the box, particularly to solve issues or problems. And this lesson has stayed with me to this day, so much so that I incorporated the 25 year old experience into one of my books.

The heroine in ALLIANCE FORGED, Book #2 in my fantasy romance series, is a priestess, but I also decided that rather than make Kymora blind from birth, a childhood illness would take away her sight. And, because this is a paranormal romance book, to compensate for her loss of sight, she would develop the ability to decipher people’s feelings through listening to their voices and sensing their emotions in their auras.

The whole idea of a character who was once able to see then has to deal with the devastating loss of a vital sense and struggle to use such a powerful ability would be more interesting, not to mention a challenge for me as a writer.

What sort of impact would this disability have on Kymora as she grew up? How would she adapt? What skills would she develop to compensate? With her newfound ability would she learn to use it responsibly or abuse it? How would being blind affect her life choices or career? How would people perceive or treat her because of her disability?

Just to complicate things, I decided to make her not just a priestess but the spiritual leader of her religious order. A woman with the ability to read people’s emotions through their auras would be well suited to a life of helping others, but what trials and experiences would she have to go through to achieve this? Would those around her believe she was capable of fulfilling this role? Could she? Would people accept her being in such a responsible position despite her disability?

The more I thought about these questions and the discoveries I made as a teen during the experience at that leadership camp, I knew how easy it was for people to formulate misconceptions, or hold certain opinions of you and make assumptions on what you could or couldn’t do because of your disability. It’s human nature to think that a disability is a liability, and the person so ‘afflicted’ needs to be coddled, excused, dismissed or seen as different or lacking something.

And to make the storyline even more interesting, in the book the Na’Chi, a race of half human-half demon people, believe physical perfection is a desirable quality. Varian, the leader of this group, has facial scars received in a battle with a demon, and his plot thread mirrors and complimented Kymora’s…but that’s another story.

In ALLIANCE FORGED, Kymora faces all these issues and, as a writer, I was glad I didn’t play it safe and write about a more conventional character. It would never have been as much fun or as exciting a challenge to portray.

So, what are your thoughts on reading a story about a character with a disability? Does it intrigue you? Have you read romances with this sort of story line? Or do you prefer a character who faces other sorts of challenges?

Fill in the rafflecopter form below to go in the draw to win a copy of ALLIANCE FORGED (open internationally).

a Rafflecopter giveaway



ALLIANCE FORGED

Book #2 of the Light Blade series

(release date - July 3rd 2012 from Berkley)

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…

Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.

Kylie Griffin Bio

Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.

Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community. Visit her website at www.kyliegriffin.com

You can stalk Kylie Griffin in these places...








BUY LINKS:

Amazon

39 comments:

  1. I kind of like that Kymora is blind. I read Vengeance Born, and we are introduced to Kymora in that book. It helps put characters into perspective. NOt every character has to be completely perfect to be a character. Being blind makes Kymora more real, and possibly a better priestess for the Lady. I like that Kymora is facing a physical challenge. While mental and emotional challenges are different, we rarely get to see physical challenges in books. I haven't read too many romances with a character that has a physical disability. I think it'll be interesting to see how Book 2 plays out! :)
    Thank you, Kylie, for having the guest post and giveaway! And Book Lovers, for hosting!

    Alyssa Susanna

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alyssa, thank YOU for reading VB and I do hope you enjoy how I've written Varian and Kymora's story. :-)

    When I wrote their thread into Vengeance Born I didn't know that Alliance Forged would be next or that they would be in the story. Not until the end of the book when Kymora reveals that she's going to live with the Na'Chi outside the city.

    I'm trying to think of any romances I've read where one or more of the characters have a disability and can only think of One Unashamed Night by Sophia James (the hero was visually impaired and going blind), and Flowers in the Storm by Laura Kinsale (hero was a stroke victim).

    Good luck in the draw! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't mind if the character has a disability. It's interesting to read about what challenges the character faces. I've read books about characters with a disability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting bn100 - good luck in the draw!

      Delete
  4. I think it adds a little something extra when a character is faced with a disability because on top of having to overcome all of the obstacles in life they have an added challenge.

    Sort of off topic but I'm really enjoying watching Master Chef because there's a blind contestant and it's amazing what she can do. Her food is far superior than everyone else's because she has to rely on her other senses.

    Loved Kylie's first book and looking forward to reading Alliance Forged!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is inspiring to see people overcome disabilities or other hardships, Carmel.

      I hope you enjoy AF! :-)

      Delete
  5. I have read other romances where one or both of the main characters has a disability. It does add another layer to the story, as each disability and the way they received it has its own setbacks and emotional challenges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it wrong to admit I love torturing my characters this way, particularly on an emotional level? *evil grin*

      Delete
  6. I actually like reading a story about a character with a disability, it's very interesting to see how the character works around their disability and actually use it to their advantage sometimes. I've read several books, like Tessa Dare's third Stud Club novel where the female character was deaf and I really enjoyed reading it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh, YWLiang, you reminded me of another story I've read recently - Dana in "Honor Bound" by Joey W.Hill. She was a war veteran caught in an explosion that took her sight and most of her hearing. A very moving story.

      Thanks for sharing! :-)

      Delete
  7. A disability adds a unique dyversity to a character if done well and I'm guessing that Kymora's other senses will be hightened because of hers.
    I cant wait to read about how she handles Varian, I'm thinking fireworks of muliple kinds ;p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea of reading a person's aura - it adds another dimension to the character. :-)

      And yes, Cath, you'll find a few fireworks happening between Kymora & Varian, particularly seeing as Varian doesn't see any future in a relationship with her!

      Nothing like a good woman to convince our stubborn men otherwise! LOL

      Delete
  8. Hi Kylie

    Cant wait to read this book! You know how much I loved the first one :)

    I love reading about flawed or conflicted characters, so long as they're well executed, and I'm sure the same will be true with Kymora's disability. Just hearing all your character names has me so excited to read about them again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day Soraya! :-) It's lovely to hear that this post has brought the series to life for you again - here's hoping you enjoy Kymora & Varian's story just as much as VB!

      Delete
  9. hi kylie,

    i haven't read a book in which a character has a disability ( but i think i have one somewhere) hopwever i think that's interesting because if there is an happy end, if they manage to overcome everything that has been thorw at them even with a disability it can be a source of inspiration for the reader, how life can be more easy that what we read so we should complain as much and be grateful for what we have

    thanks you a lot for the international giveaway

    all the best

    ps: do the book can be read out of order or it's really better to read book 1 first?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miki, we do sometimes forget to be thankful for what we have. When I injured my knee and needed an operation, it made me realise how much I'd taken my mobility for grant. I live in an isolated part of Australia so if I needed to go somewhere ie. to pick up groceries, I had to drive. But with a knee injury I needed to rely on friends. It was quite a humbling experience.

      To answer your question - you could probably read the series out of order but for the full meaning and impact of the overarching story threads, it helps to read it sequencially!

      Delete
  10. I don`t actually know yet, but it`s usually good to try out something new! I`m saying that because I don`t know if a character that has cancer counts so yeah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think any situation out of the ordinary, be it a physical disability or cancer, would be a challenge for any character to overcome, Eriele. There's the huge impact it would have on the characters emotional state and possible conflict because of it being present.

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting! :-)

      Delete
  11. for me that's no problem..if all the books i've read have a perfect hero or heroinne without disability, the story will be boring...
    as long as the story is interesting, i'll buy and read that book :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nurmawati, you're absolutely right. If the characters are perfect then the story is likely to be boring. Even though it's fiction, the story has to have characters that readers can relate to, or identify with. It's the emotional connection and journey we make and take with the characters as readers that hooks us in and carries us along with their story.

      Delete
  12. I think it depends upon what the disability is & how the story portrays it. I do love stories about overcoming difficulties.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marybelle,I love reading stories with characters who have to overcome such hurdles. You're right though, it all depends how the story portrays it as to whether it works or not though.

      Delete
  13. Hi Kylie! Have you ever read the book The Perfect Scandal By: Delilah Marvelle? The hero cuts himself and the heroine is missing a leg. This was a difficult read for me as I sometimes like to escape in perfect characters. But it was nice to see too broken people come together. Read it, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
    Lorraine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorraine, I haven't read The Perfect Scandal, but wow, it sounds fascinating. I assume when you refer to the hero cutting himself it's a compulsive action designed to release emotional pain? That's pretty heavy. You would have to be in a certain frame of mind to read such a book as we do use them as a form of escapism and sometime such flaws can "feel too real", can't they?

      Delete
    2. Hi Kylie! Yes that's the reason he's cutting himself. Very heavy read and I think that's book 3 in a series. It was nice that they could fall in love even though he was messed up and she was missing a leg.
      Now, I can't wait for Alliance Forged!!! I've been waiting very patiently but I must say I'm starting to jump about with anticipation :)

      Delete
    3. Do you know the author? I''ll google the book title and check out the blurb. Not sure if it's a book I'd grab right off the shelf, but it's certainly an intriguing one.

      About a week to go now for ALLIANCE FORGED - not too long to be jumping around, I hope! LOL

      Delete
  14. I have read some stories of heroines with disabilities but I don't think any of them have been paranormals. I like characters who have to deal with tough situations and come out stronger for that so a physical disability is an interesting addition to a character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muteness in a character is one physical disability I've toyed with the idea of. In one of my sci-fi romances (not yet pubbed) I have a secondary character who's story is begging to be told but he'd a mute and can only communicate telepathically, and only with other telepaths.

      Does anyone know of any books with a character with this sort of disability? It would certainly be a challenge to write a mute character. :-)

      Delete
  15. Hi Kylie,

    i love reading about hero/heroine with disablities because for me this is a true love because you can love someone is not perfect. my fave is beauty and the beast and adaption from this book is really okay :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beauty and the Beast is a lovely story, Eli. I remember there was a TV series based on this in the late 80's, early 90's (I think) staring Ron Perlman & Linda Hamilton - I loved the romance between them.

      Delete
  16. When an author writes about a character with a disability I enjoy seeing the emotions and strong will that comes out of said character. It mirrors people in real life, they either become stronger and are able to handle the disability or they break. I can't wait to read about Kymora and how she handles her new role. I loved her character in Vengeance Born and was excited to see we get more of her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I wrote VENGEANCE BORN, Kymora and Varian's arc just came out of nowhere, and it was a real struggle to hold back their story so it didn't overtake Kalan and Annika's! LOL

      And as soon as I finished VB I knew Kymora's story would be next. She was clamouring to be written. It was fun working her out and then how she'd interact with Varian and how he'd take her approach.

      Lexi, I do hope Kymora & Varian's story engages and entertains you! :-)

      Delete
  17. I think i interesting about this story. I never read romance with a character with a disability, just watch movie with this story line. Sounds good to me, i wanna try read it. I always love to finding new story line for me to read. Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. G'day Filia, sounds like Alliance forged might be right up your alley then to try! :-) I'm glad you enjoyed reading the post!

    ReplyDelete
  19. To have the blessing of a disabled person in our lives is truly a "BLESSING" thx so much for this book

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne, I hope you get a chance to read Alliance Forged. :-)

      Delete
  20. I can't wait to read this story.I work with many that have lost sight and other senses and I am excited that a less than perfect character is the main character.Thank you for writing this story.I look forward to reading your books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dlynnpen, it was a heap of fun writing Kymora's story and putting the paranormal twist on it. :-)

      Delete
  21. Thanks everyone (especially Stacey & Renee) - it's been a hoot visiting and talking to you all! Good luck in the draw! :-)

    ReplyDelete

We LOVE to hear what you our followers think, thank you for your wonderful comments. <3