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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Romance

Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis (of Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile, by Jennifer C Wilson)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the ghost of the trusted lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots. She is here to tell us of royal life in in sixteenth century Scotland.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

Ah, Scotland. We were a mobile household, but that’s what life was like in sixteenth century Scotland. I was one of seven, so they were lively times. That’s the thing about a good castle; what’s designed to protect and defend in times of siege and attack is great fun for children, left unsupervised by busy and worried parents. We ran riot. You ask about a favourite toy, but really, I wasn’t that keen on playing with toys; I preferred to lose myself in my thoughts, or play with my brothers and sisters. We practiced our courtly behaviour, making sure we were ready to take our places in society. You grew up fast in those days, especially when your brother was stepfather to the King of Scotland; we were practically royalty.

What do you do now?

It’s ironic, really, now, to be the trusted lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots, after what happened between her father and I. Happily, she believes that I never truly tried to kill him, and I was certainly never a witch. Queen Mary, she understands how times were, and is glad to have somebody by her side who can truly support her, with an empathy as to what she went through herself.

My days are largely my own, especially when the Queen is not in town. I don’t accompany her out of town, although I hope if she ever goes on a progress, that I would be able to attend her. When she is in town, I greet her each morning, we agree her itinerary for the day, and whether she needs any support from myself or Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange, her right-hand-man these days. He’s such a good man; we make quite the team.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Her Grace Queen Mary’s latest visit. She comes every year, at least once, usually during August, so she can enjoy what the festival has to offer. This year has been, interesting. She cares about her court, truly, but this year, the problems have been closer to home, what with her father’s mood lowering so badly, and then, well, other matters. We have all had to pull together, the ghosts of the Royal Mile. But then, that’s what we are good at. Whether it’s consoling the poor lad down in the tunnels, or keeping Greyfriar’s Bobby out of trouble, we know our roles, and we carry them out. Even the Covenanters know their place, once they are reminded of it.

And don’t forget the haunting. There’s nothing like a good haunting to lift the mood around here. They make it easy for us, with all the ghost tours; we can have our pick of victims, either the guides or the guided, depending on how we feel. Continue reading “Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis (of Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile, by Jennifer C Wilson)”

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Shawn Kleiner (of The Blue Bells Chronicles, by Laura Vosika)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the world famous trombonist, Shawn Kleiner. He is here to tell us of his recent trip to Scotland with his girlfriend Amy – and what happened when she stranded him in a Scottish castle tower overnight.


Tell us about your life—back before this whole story started.

At the time, I had it all. Or I thought I did, anyway. I was rich. Well, I still am. More money than I know what to do with—except of course, provide for James—that’s my son, he’s just over a year old now—and make sure he’s well prepared for what’s coming if I can’t stop it.

But look, I’m already thinking ahead. You’re asking about the past. At least, the recent past, not the past I’m talking about. Yeah, before this whole thing started—it seems like centuries ago. I was the featured soloist in this small Midwestern orchestra, and I made them great. Not bragging, just saying how it is.

So we were playing all over the country and all over the world, you know? I was onstage, girls loved me. And I was throwing these great parties and women were throwing themselves at me, I was having a great time and I had this reputation for incredible luck. Until I gambled my trombone away, just before a major concert on our tour in Scotland. I thought I couldn’t lose. And somehow I did. And Conrad was going to have a fit if I didn’t get it back and it just went downhill from there.

I lied to Amy—that’s my girlfriend—or was, it’s hard to say now—to get the trombone back and cover up and one thing and another, we ended up in the half-ruined tower of Glenmirril. I was going to completely win her over with a midnight picnic and instead, she got all pissed and took off, left me there in all this mist. And I woke up—well, I woke up in the wrong century.

You know most people don’t believe that. They know you have a reputation for making up stories. But if we did believe you—what century?

Yeah, well, God’s got a sense of humor, doesn’t He? One time I ever tell the truth is the one time no one will believe me. I woke up in 1314. June, to be exact, about two weeks before the Battle of Bannockburn. Continue reading “Shawn Kleiner (of The Blue Bells Chronicles, by Laura Vosika)”

Captain Jack Boone and Miss Katherine Ashe (of Captain’s Lady, by Jamaila Brinkley)

Dear readers, tonight with me are two enchanting characters out of the Regency era. Captain Boone would like nothing more than to – legally – plunder the seas. When he finds himself made a viscount, his friends and family insist he needs a wife.

Katherine Ashe wants only to help her sister, who’s caught in an unpleasant predicament. When marriage to Boone seems to be the only solution, she takes the opportunity to have her own household, escaping her overbearing aunt’s house once and for all and helping her sister in the bargain.

But before their convenient marriage can settle in, there’s a flight to Scotland to arrange; a budding sorceress to soothe—and oh, yes—a baby. 

They are here to tell us about their somewhat chaotic lives.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

Jack: I spent the bulk of my formative years as a ward of the Duke of Edgebourne, a distant relation. His Grace took me in when my parents died at sea, and the entire Edgebourne family welcomed me. The Duke did his best to give me a proper education, but I’m afraid I was far more interested in when I might be able to get my own ship.

Kate: I grew up on my grandfather’s estate. He was the Earl of Ashewell. I helped him manage his estates for years. Unfortunately, my family has had a string of sad occasions, I’m afraid, and so the earldom passed to a distant cousin recently.

What are your fondest memories of your childhood?

Jack: Running rampant over the estate with Lords Westfield and Kilgoran, my two closest friends. I’m afraid we terrorized virtually everybody.

Kate: You still do.

Jack: We’re practically tame now.

Kate: That’s not what I heard after Lady Mountmatten’s ball. Continue reading “Captain Jack Boone and Miss Katherine Ashe (of Captain’s Lady, by Jamaila Brinkley)”

Flintathriël Eliowën (of The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal)

Dear readers, tonight with me is an elven prince raised to rule and trained to fight. He’s here to tell us about his adventures in fighting dead things, the love he found on the way, and – of course – about his magically glowing tattoos.

Please excuse his excitement, but his book will be released tomorrow (August 9th)! You can join him and his author in the fabulous release party on Facebook.

Let him now speak about his background and upbringing, as well as his exciting adventures. And tattoos, of course.


Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like?

Valatha is the most beautiful city in Thril-Garëw. Buildings of moonstone and crystal. I played as a child near the crystal mines, and on the lush lawns of the palace beneath the crystal spires.

When I was fifteen, my twin sister and I began our Nuvian training, to join the elite warriors. I earned my rank of Nuvian at twenty-four, a year early. Faë still thinks I cheated.

But I suppose you meant what it was like growing up in the palace? What do you want to know? That I ditched out on my studies to play pranks on my sister? That I hid scorpions in my uncle’s desk? That I ran naked through the ancestral hall’s to impress a girl?

Because I never did any of those things. (He smirks)

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

According to Faë, anything that was hers. She claims I broke her first bow, but I swear, it threw itself from the top of the quarry…

You mentioned you were a Nuvian Warrior? Being crown prince, you are allowed to fight?

Of course I fight! I am a warrior and we are at war. Yes, I am my father’s heir, which is all the more reason for me to fight. A day will come when I need to be able to lead my armies, not sit on my throne and send others to die for me. It is not the elven way.

Besides, I have siblings, my parents have Faëlwyn and Thalion should I do something stupid like get myself killed. Continue reading “Flintathriël Eliowën (of The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal)”

Alexander Stone (of Stepping Stone by Dakota Willink)

 

dakota-willink-heart-of-stone dakota-willink-stepping-stoneDear readers, tonight with us on the interview couch is the CEO of a real-estate empire. He’s a man who knows how to get what he wants, understanding the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to achieve the desired result.

He is here to tell about how his world turned upside-down after meeting Krystina – the complete opposite of what he thought he wanted in a woman. His instincts failed him at every turn…

 

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I grew up living in the Bronx. Specifically, it was a housing project with stereotypical cinderblock buildings, foul odors that never seemed to dissipate, and bars on the windows. The area was riddled with crime and drugs, where gun deaths and overdoses happened almost daily.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

The people who lived around us had very little in terms of material possessions. That was the norm. My family did not own a car and we couldn’t afford cable. Our phone was without service more often than not because of overdue bills. The few toys that I had as a child were gifts from my grandparents.

It was a struggle just to make ends meet and my mother learned early on how to stretch a dollar so that we could have a decent meal. My father worked, but never in one place for very long. He always had an excuse for his shortcomings as an employee, and someone else was always to blame whenever he got fired from a job. Because of all of this, I began to value the importance of money at a very young age, and it’s the reason why I was determined long ago to be where I am today. Continue reading “Alexander Stone (of Stepping Stone by Dakota Willink)”

Aeley Dahe (of A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah)

archer-kay-leah-a-question-of-counsel

Dear Readers, tonight with us is a political leader, feeling increasingly isolated and lonely after she was forced to arrest her own brother.

Things get more complicated from there, with dead bodies, political intrigue, and the appearance of Lira, a woman she finds strangely attractive.

She is here to tell us about life as the Tract Steward, her involvement with Lira, crimes and law enforcement, and potential romantic suitors.

 

 

Tell us a little about where you grew up in the Republic of Kattal. What was it like as the daughter of a politician?

Thanks for an easy question! I like you already.

Home has always been my family’s estate in Dahena Village, a well-known town here in the tract of Gailarin. (I’m told our tracts are the same as your states or provinces.) Dahena isn’t big, but it’s friendly, always bustling, armed with gossip, and mostly peaceful. My father wanted us to live outside of our wealth and take care of people, so as a kid I spent a lot of time in the village. Dallied too long in the shops, got kicked out of the taverns I snuck into late at night whenever curfew annoyed me… and was marched right back home.

Like the rest of Kattal, our red earth is solid and vibrant like the people, and we love our rules, reputation, and reminiscence… but that’s a whole new mouthful.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child?

My wooden swords and a stick horse one of our guards made for me. I’d gallop around wearing a ridiculous paint-mucked bed sheet and a battered pot, brandishing my sword and shouting “Oh ho! I’ll save the day!” as I searched every room for someone in trouble. After the third time, my father started sending me on quests. Sometimes they required several days worth of good deeds and challenges (I tried, honest, but sometimes I failed spectacularly) or they required serious thought and I’d fall asleep working them out. Father gave me medals of honour and bravery afterwards, little tokens he’d pin on my cloak with the biggest of smiles. Continue reading “Aeley Dahe (of A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah)”

Ella Fantz (of The Path Keeper by NJ Simmonds)

the-path-keeper-nj-simmondsDear readers, tonight with me on the interview couch is a young woman, struggling to acclimatise in London after growing up in sunny south of Spain.

She is also about to discover a hidden meaning behind life’s little coincidences and apparent little miracles.

She is here to tell us of her life, and of the man she loves.

 

 

 

What was it like growing up in Spain and why did you move to London?

I loved growing up on the Costa del Sol. No, it’s not as nasty as people thing it is. I used to hang out at the beach with my mates, back when I actually had proper friends, and I could see the sea from my bedroom. When I was sixteen my mum married one of the richest hoteliers in the world and here we are, bloody London. Everyone makes out like the capital is this fucking amazing glitzy glamorous place, but it’s not. It’s cold and grey and lonely. I don’t care that my life looks amazing to other people, if they could be me for a few days they’d want to jump off the nearest tall building too.

Do you have any particular cherished memories of your childhood?

Cherished memories? You know ‘cherished’ is a crap word, right? No one uses that any more. Okay, well my best memories are probably of my mum and how she was before she married Richard Fantz (have you noticed how I have his surname now and how I’m a laughing stock? Seriously, who calls their kid Ella Fantz?). Anyway, back then my mum was all cut off jean shorts and sand in her hair, we’d have late nights on the beach watching shooting stars and eating chocolate while she told me stories about princesses and how love could change the world. Now she’s a manicured mannequin that won’t even look at sugar. She makes me sick. Continue reading “Ella Fantz (of The Path Keeper by NJ Simmonds)”

Hannah Valerius (of Hannah’s Heirloom Trilogy by Rosie Chapel)

the-pomegrante-tree-rosie-chapelDear readers, tonight with me are, in a way, two women named Hannah. The modern Hannah, while on an archaeological expedition to Masada, started to see the life of the ancient Hannah Bat Avigail – a woman straight out of biblical times. Hannah saw the Great Revolt of Masada, saw the life of the times, and even fell for a Roman legionary.

She is here to tell us about life in ancient Israel.

 

 

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I grew up in Jerusalem; it’s a huge city and used to be very cosmopolitan – now I’m not so sure, I expect much has changed. Of course, it was my home and all I knew; families looked out for each other and it was a very happy community. Unfortunately, tension replaced concord, political unrest led to violent clashes between pro and anti Roman supporters and my beautiful city descended into chaos.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Toys! Ha! I never played with toys, not sure we even had any in our house. If I wasn’t outside playing with my brother and his friends, I was helping my uncle in his surgery; he was a great physician you know. Far more interesting than toys! My mother would have preferred me to be more feminine — pah! Who wants that? Certainly not I – give me the sick and injured over girlish games any day.

Cherished memories? Ahh, well that’s a bit difficult. Oh dear, how can I explain this? Okay, here goes – I have a descendant, also called Hannah, whose soul connects to mine. She shares her knowledge of what will happen in order that I can save those I love from disaster (such as the slaughter on Masada, just before the Roman army re-took the fortress). Thing is, the first time our minds collided, almost everything that came before was lost. I experience the occasional flashback, but nothing of any substance. My cherished memories began on Masada. Continue reading “Hannah Valerius (of Hannah’s Heirloom Trilogy by Rosie Chapel)”

Jessica Sweet (of Sweet Vengeance by Aliya DalRae)

sweet-vengeance-aliya-dalraeDear readers, tonight with us is an orphan, who had some disturbing visions.

At 26, the term may not truly apply, but having been abandoned by her birth parents at an early age, the death of her adoptive parents is like déjà vu all over again. Now she finds herself alone, facing a future that should be unsure; however, the visions she’s been plagued with since childhood are about to descend upon her, pulling her into a supernatural world where her deepest fantasies and most harrowing nightmares will soon come true.

She is here to tell us of the supernatural things she has seen.

 

What was it like growing up in Fallen Cross, Ohio?

First of all, Hey everybody!

So, Fallen Cross is your typical farming community, a tight knit town where everybody knows everybody’s business. How I was ever able to keep my visions a secret is beyond me, and we won’t even talk about the BIG secret lurking around our little burg. Fallen Cross is just outside of Dayton, which is where I was actually born. But circumstances being what they were, what with my real dad taking off and my mom going batpoop crazy, I ended up being adopted by the Sweets and my life was great. Well, until both of them up and died, that is. Dad was killed in a freak crop dusting accident, and Mom followed within the year. I think she died of a broken heart, but you know how that goes. In spite of everything, Fallen Cross is a town that looks out for its own, and I feel really lucky to be a part of it.

Wow, that’s quite a lot of loss for one so young. But surely you had some nice memories from your childhood. A favorite moment or a toy you enjoyed?

I was about six when the Sweets brought me home, so it took some time to adjust after being in the system awhile, never sure if they were going to give me back. But it didn’t take long to get over that.

Some of my favorite memories are of my parents working in the garden and orchard. My dad had a super green thumb and was famous for his produce. People would come from four counties over just to get a bushel of his red delicious apples, or a basket of heirloom tomatoes. Mom helped out when he needed it, but she was happier when they were in her shop, Almost New Again, refinishing antiques and furniture. Whatever they did, though, they did it together, and they did it with love. Nothing was a chore to the two of them, the hardest jobs just another fun challenge that they faced together. I admired them a lot and hope that I will have a forever love like they did.

As far as a favorite toy? Maybe the riding lawnmower? That probably sounds crazy, but we have a lot of acreage here, including the landing strip Dad used for his crop dusting plane, so there was a lot of grass to mow. Being out there on my own, driving around in all that grass? It was peaceful, and I don’t remember ever having a vision while I was mowing. Continue reading “Jessica Sweet (of Sweet Vengeance by Aliya DalRae)”

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