08 November, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Broken bones fail to shatter Shahkara dream by Cheryse Durrant

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - November'13 ***

About the Author
Dead fingers curled around an ancient crypt and a love of Celtic mythology were the two inspirations behind Cheryse Durrant's The Blood She Betrayed, the first novel in her young adult/new adult Heart Hunters series. Durrant grew up on an Australian farm where she chatted to scrub faeries and an imaginary superhero. She wrote her first story on her aunt's bedroom wall when she was five, but it did not attract literary acclaim. She worked as a journalist for 15 years before trading her soul for fiction. The coffee/chocolate/strawberry addict now lives on the eastern Australian coast where she teaches writing through Creative Dragons and is an avid WriteFest fan.

Broken bones fail to shatter Shahkara dream
When I started penning The Blood She Betrayed, I never realised the challenges I would face as I brought Shahkara’s story to life.
Scaling a mountain often means blisters and stiff muscles, but it can also unexpectedly yield torn hamstrings and a distinct lack of oxygen.
I believe our destiny comes at a cost – we just don’t know what that cost will be, or when it will happen.
For me, my two-year journey to publication was paralleled (bookended, you might say) by two years of broken bones and rehab.
As my manuscript floundered upon multiple editors’ desks, I was accidentally tackled by a librarian and broke my left leg, a tibia plateau. An ambulance rushed me through flood waters and I had to wait for 15 hours in emergency before surgeons could re-attach my wayward tibia with a titanium plate and sixteen screws.
I remember lying in hospital, frustration gnawing at my bones, because I’d taken that big step into the unknown and my own weak frame had betrayed me.
Fast forward a year later and my book has been accepted by a publishing house and I’m rushing to get final edits done when I fall and my right kneecap snaps in half.
There was still a plate and 16 screws inside my left leg and, although that bone had mended, the muscles had never regained their full strength.
Now, I had to force myself to walk on crutches on my weak, plated leg as my right knee was braced so it could heal.
I remember rewriting some of my scenes, filled with awe at the courage and strength that my Shahkara demonstrated through the many twists and turns of The Blood She Betrayed.
Although her Ainefire magic enables her to heal far more swiftly than a human, she still feels the pain that accompanies physical injury.
So when I wrote the fight scene in which Shahkara walks on a broken kneecap, I’d done that. I knew that pain.
And when she escaped from Taloners through a window, only to discover the long drop to the cement below, I also knew how that felt – the pain that shuddered through you, as if your lungs had been smashed and ripped from you and you could not move, no matter how hard or how many times you tried.
If I had to break two bones to truly feel how Shahkara felt when she was bruised and beaten, then those broken bones were worth the price.
I remember lying in hospital this year and smiling because I knew I would recover from my broken kneecap.
After all, I’d done this recovery stint once before – and a patella was nowhere near as necessary as a tibia.
But that wasn’t the only reason behind the smile.
In truth, it was because I’d signed a publishing contract which meant my Shahkara would, someday soon, come to life on the written page.
And nothing, not broken knees nor challenging destinies, could take that away from me.
If broken bones are the price I had to pay for being published, then so be it.
It’s still a far smaller bounty than what my Shahkara had to pay to save her world.

Her Book
The Blood She Betrayed
Publisher: Clan Destine Press
Paperback Released: October 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-9875538-6-7
eBook Release: Coming soon (within the next week)
ISBN: 978-0-9872717-9-2

To save her kingdom, she must betray her blood…
Thrust into the technology-driven Earthlands via magical mists, Shahkara is forced to rely on Max McCalden to help find the ancient Elnara death lantern, her homeworld’s last chance of survival against the heart-devouring Taloners.
Max has his own problems – a manipulative billionaire father, a murdered brother – but nothing prepares him for this fugitive warrior’s razor-sharp talons and magical abilities.
Shahkara’s half-Taloner blood demands what she knows she can’t have – a human heart. She longs for love, but as deadly enemies attack at every turn, will her lust for Max destroy them both? Or will she find the strength to free both worlds from a threat more horrific than the demons that share her blood?

Book Trailer

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Buy the Books
eBook link: To download the first 12 chapters FOR FREE, go to http://www.clandestinepress.com.au/content/blood-she-betrayed-launch-giveaway

Other Buy Links

3 kindle copies of The Blood She Betrayed, plus an autographed paperback to one lucky Australian winner.

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  1. What a great blog post!
    I have a question ~ what authors/ books did you like reading and which inspired you/ instilled a love for this genre?

  2. Hi Lucinda, I loved urban fantasy (and its various sub- and cross-genres) long before it was a recognised genre. John Christopher was the first spec fic author to capture my heart in the early 1980s when I was still a child. Unfortunately, it took me a while to find similar books with strong female heroines in the lead. There have been a plethora of authors who have inspired me in the past 20 years including YA authors like LJ Smith and Marianne de Pierres and adult ones like Rowena Cory Daniells and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I'm also a huge fan of many Joss Whedon for his strong female protagonists, most notably Buffy, and Echo from Dollhouse.