To love and protect…across worlds.
Eighteen-year-old Hope Wincrest calls the Outback of Australia her home away from home. She is a princess of Dralion from the planet Magio, where the two leading nations are at war. While in the Outback, Hope is warned by her warrior father–who holds the prophetic ability of forethought–that she is about to meet an enemy protector. She doesn’t expect him to be her soul-bound mate, a man she must now work with to piece together her unknown mother’s lost heritage.
Peacio’s Silas Carver follows the calling of his soul to Australia, only not all goes as planned. Discovering Hope is his mate has him demanding his release from their bond. She agrees, but only if he first helps her learn about her mother.
Hope must lay her life in Silas’s hands during a journey which takes them deep into foreign lands. Waging a battle of the heart, and of the land, can the young mated pair find their place with each other?
A Lyrical Press Young Adult Fantasy Romance.
Hi, and thank you so much for having me on your blog, Mae.
There’s something infinitely exciting about writing young adult books, and even better, adding the magical element of fantasy, along with some sensational romance. My Magio-Earth series is all about soul-bound mates, destined to be together, yet separated by the terrible war between their two nations.
I know your readers love hearing all about myth and mystery, so I’m going to do my best to explain the “mystical” elements one feels when exploring the Outback of Australia, the wicked setting for WARRIOR.
WARRIOR is Hope and Silas’s story, and in researching all I could on the great plains of Australia where much of the story is set, I went straight to the source. Well, as close to the source as I could. Luckily for me, I have family living in the outback. I’m a Kiwi from New Zealand, but Australia is a mere hop, skip and a jump away. Or almost. One just has to board a plane and fly three hours to get to the heart of the outback.
The outback is vast and sits within the interior of Australia, although great rivers can be found snaking throughout much of its land. It’s these rivers which bring life to such an isolated location. And incredibly isolated it is. Within the heart of the outback, you can travel for an entire day along the dusty red roads and not pass one vehicle. There is nothing but wide plains, gum trees and tumbleweeds blowing free.
The isolation is beautiful and wondrous. Great rocks rise up out of nowhere to dot the horizon, huge slabs of red that leave you wondering how on earth they got there. The rivers, when you pull over to admire them, weave with a belt of green either side. It’s a harsh land to live on when there is nothing but the sun beating down on you, but come the autumn rains (provided there isn’t a drought) life sprouts anew from the barren dirt.
Here’s a great picture, and these roads are typical of the outback.
In WARRIOR you’ll get to meet Hope, a princess of Dralion who calls the outback her home away from home, although the last person she ever expects to turn up at her off-world station is Silas, her soul-bound mate and enemy protector from Magio. Silas is equally shocked, and immediately seeks Hope’s release from their bond.
I loved writing Hope and Silas’s story. Hope is given the task of finding out all she can about her unknown mother’s lost heritage, one which will see her journeying deep into foreign lands. It’s a perilous mission she can’t undertake without Silas’s help, and she promises him his desired release from her if he first agrees to give her his aid.
Within WARRIOR you’ll be taken from the dusty red plains of the outback, to the beaches of New Zealand, and then onto the magical realm of Magio. The relationship between Hope and Silas is intense and all-consuming, although the road before them is paved with the roughest of stones. So be prepared for plenty of angst as these two wage a battle, and not just of the land, but of their very hearts as they search to find their place with each other.
Here’s an excerpt to tempt you.
Silas extinguished the lamp, and moonlight filtered through the tiny square window. He rolled to his side, facing me. “We’ll stay close. I can’t dismiss the mated bond. Our souls call to one another and it’s strong.”
I felt it too.
“I can’t keep my distance from you, Hope. That would result in your death.”
“Yeah, but yours would result if my grandfather, Donaldo, ever found out about you. The need to protect goes both ways.”
A low growl rumbled from his throat. “It sounds like you’re arguing with me.”
“I’m pointing out the facts. Alexo keeps the knowledge of Faith’s relationship with Loveria a secret.”
“We don’t have their kind of relationship.”
“So this is a non-relationship?” I smiled. That actually suited me.
“Okay, honey. I got it.”
He pulled me to him. “I have no idea why, but I like you. You have a smart mouth.”
I snuggled closer, resting my cheek against his chest. “Mmm-hmm. So do you.”
He let out a slow breath and it fanned over the top of my head. “I still want to kiss you.”
“Hell, no.” I grinned to myself.
“Are you repeating my earlier words?”
“Yes, I am.” He rolled me, coming up over top. My heart raced. “Don’t–”
His kiss was potent as he claimed my mouth.
I had no response. I was lost, hypnotized as we shared breath and a moment more special than any in time.
He cupped my face in his hands and stroked my cheeks, his thoughts escaping for the first time.
I read them so clearly within the merge.
He wanted this moment to last.
My heart soared and my soul called to his on the deepest level. “We are in a world of trouble,” I murmured against his lips.
His hold tightened, intoxicating me. Then he eased away an inch, maybe two. “You have the most beautiful spun-gold hair. It catches even the moonlight and glows like silk.”
I cleared my throat. “I know I just said trouble. You should stick to your side of the bed in this non-relationship.”
A wicked grin widened his mouth. “I could drown in the brilliant violet of your eyes.”
“Do I need to slap your face?”
He laughed. “Yes.”
I pushed him away, trying to get my heartbeat to slow. “Go away.”
He rolled into me, held me close. “I’ll be good. Just keeping you warm. It’s my right.”
I curled up, squeezing my eyes shut. “I can’t believe I’m sharing a bed with you. Do you snore?”
“Terribly. I’m also a bed-hog.”
I heard the partial lie, but to which half of that statement? “Hmm, since I’m squished between you and the wall, I’m picking you’re a bed-hog.”
“You feel all warm and soft. I’m not going anywhere.” He nuzzled my hair and yawned. “Go to sleep. You’ll need your rest if you want to be on your toes tomorrow.”
I didn’t doubt it. The minutes ticked by, and I slowly relaxed. My soul-bound mate lay beside me. For one night, or perhaps for more? I had no idea.
I hope you enjoyed that. Each book in this series features a different hero and heroine, but the characters from all the books intertwine and you get to catch up with them all along the way. As such, the books can be read independently of each other, but of course as with most series, they’re more fun when read in order.
Thanks again for inviting me over, Mae.
Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…
Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She’d visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she’d read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander.
Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.
Visit Joanne Wadsworth at http://www.joannewadsworth.com