Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be a part of Erin Albert’s blog tour for her debut novel, The Prophecy (November 15, 2013)! For my blog tour stop, I have an interview with Erin. Plus, there is an awesome giveaway! Here’s some more information about The Prophecy:
Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.
Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He’s grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear…not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?
Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.
When Nash’s secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.
And here’s a blog-tour exclusive blurb of The Prophecy:
“Everything must be taken down.” A rotund man, with beady black eyes, surveyed the town, disdain in his expression. While he did not appear distinguishable from the other black and purple clad men, he spoke with authority. “The First Ones and their great Prophecy must be honored properly.” He sniffed, his actions indicating the very existence of Medlin and its occupants offended him.
Layla wondered what this man considered a “proper honoring” of the First Ones. The First Ones…they’d been dead for centuries, and, as far as Layla could tell, hadn’t done much in life except start a never-ending war. She knew nothing more about them except that she was to thank them for good things, curse them for bad, and celebrate them on this day.
“That’s Elder Werrick, head of the Ecclesiastics,” whispered Samson, glancing back at Grant. Layla noticed the look that passed between them.
Grant nodded his assent. “Get her out of here, brother.”
Samson tried to steer Layla away, but she held her position to get a closer look at the man whom her family so feared. She knew they had good reason to worry—her black hair and purple eyes marked her as a Fulfillment candidate, one with the potential to bring about the long awaited peace. But she couldn’t quite bring herself to believe Elder Werrick would notice her on the crowded streets, especially with her eye drops and hood. Could he really be responsible for dragging candidates from their homes, forcing them to undergo strenuous, sometimes gruesome, testing for the sake of the Prophecy? To Layla, he looked like nothing more than a short, fat, unhappy man. The very notion that he could strike such fear into the hearts of her people seemed almost laughable…almost. As his gaze swept over the crowd, she glimpsed a sinister undertone that made her shiver.
Waving his pudgy arms at the awaiting townspeople, Werrick commanded, “Take it down.”
Suddenly, his body stilled and his tiny eyes grew wide. They briefly connected with Layla’s, narrowing with calculation. The Elder turned to his nearest black clad companion.
“Do you feel that?” Layla heard Werrick ask.
The other man looked skeptical. “Feel what, Elder?”
Werrick leaned in as the two whispered, stealing furtive glances in her direction. When the Elder’s companion pointed at Layla, Samson grabbed her arm. She heard his breathing change from rhythmic to jagged as he pulled her away from the men.
“We have to go now.” His urgency spurred her into action.
Grant moved to block them from the Elder’s view. “Get her away from here, Samson.”
The Elder looked up to see everyone staring at him as if frozen. He repeated his demand, “I said take everything down.”
The townspeople, joined by the Elder’s minion, scampered to remove their decorations, anxious to “properly” celebrate the First Ones. Their flurry of activity concealed Layla as Samson and Grant escorted her away. Layla scanned the streets, horrified, as the people of Medlin stripped the town’s center barren. In no time, everything appeared as it always had, devoid of any celebratory adornments. She looked up at the sky with its gray clouds lingering overhead. A bad omen…
On the hill, a safe distance away, Layla watched a group of Ecclesiastics erect a monstrous stage where the donkey races should have occurred. She heard the braying of the angry animals, harnessed and corralled on the orders of the Elder to avoid interfering with the “true” Day of Dawning celebration. Her ire rose. Who did they think they were coming in and changing everything?
An icy, phantom finger traced a frigid line down her spine. After hearing warning after warning from the Mantars her whole life, Layla knew exactly what the Ecclesiastics could do, what they had done to others in the past. Maybe Samson and Grant had been right. Maybe she should never have come, especially today. Layla turned her back on the town, resolved to go home, to safety.
“Layla!” Samson’s alarmed tone sliced into her, and she swung around toward him.
To her horror, two Vanguard soldiers forced Samson to the ground. She knew just how much strength he possessed, yet he couldn’t free himself. Her hands balled up into fists, shaking with their desire to unleash the full force of their fury.
“Run!” Samson screamed before a soldier’s fist smashed into his face.
His body stilled. Panic, coupled with indecision, crippled her. She should run like Samson commanded, but she couldn’t leave him lying there. To her relief, Grant ambled toward them, his eyes full of rage.
“Run!” Grant echoed Samson’s warning.
With a final glance at the two boys who’d been as close to her as brothers, Layla fled. She flew down the hill, swinging her head from side to side in alarm. Ecclesiastics swarmed throughout the city, making a clear escape route difficult to discern.
Terror rose within Layla. Why hadn’t she listened to her family? She’d been foolish to believe she could sneak around under the ever-watchful eyes of the Ecclesiastics, and that hubris put Samson and Grant in danger as well. She choked back a sob.
“Run,” she whispered.
Willing her feet to move forward, Layla darted toward the back of the baker’s shop, hoping to take a shortcut through the back alleyway. She swerved to miss a wooden box and stumbled, arms flailing to right herself. Unfamiliar hands reached out to break her fall. Once stable, Layla looked up to find Elder Werrick staring down at her. She screamed but no sound came out of her open mouth.
“I’ve been looking for you,” he said, a wicked smile on his face.
About the author:
Erin Albert is an author and fitness trainer. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.” In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing.
Pre-order The Prophecy
And now here’s the interview! Hope you guys enjoy it!
Question: Describe your book, using no more than three adjectives. Go!
Answer: Fast-paced, action-packed, entertaining (I hope). LOL!
Question: The Prophecy has a gorgeous cover! What is the meaning behind the design?
Answer: Thank you!! The lovely Marion Sipe created the cover, but Dream Team member Danielle Craver designed the crests. Danielle is super in to researching the significance of things, so each element on the crest has a meaning. First of all, the color…red is a powerful color, and the Vanguards are powerful people. All of the symbols on the crest point to strength, which is the Vanguard supernatural gift, and combat. The Vanguards are more violent and hot-headed than their Ethereal counterparts. Danielle said the short answer to this question would be: a symbol of strength and combat, especially in women.
Question: What drew you to writing about magic and kingdoms and destiny?
Answer: I have always been fascinated with the old world feel of kings, queens, and castles. When Game of Thrones came out, I witnessed George R.R. Martin’s masterful combination of fantastical elements with old world charm. I think that, combined with my love of Arthurian legend, sparked the creation of The Prophecy.
Question: The Prophecy has Ethereals and Vanguards. Whose side are you on?
Answer: I’m not sure I’m on a side per se. But I guess since Layla, my main character, is a Vanguard, I’ll choose them. I love working out and boxing, so I could dig the supernatural strength they possess. I also think their faster paced lifestyle would jive better with my ADD than the more relaxed and laid back Ethereal lifestyle.
Question: How do you feel about love triangles? Does The Prophecy have one?
Answer: I like love triangles as long as they are done well (read: no whiny female). The Prophecy appears to have a love triangle, but I don’t really think it does. There are mysterious forces at work that affect how characters perceive one another.
Question: What scene do you most regret having to cut? On the flip side, what was your favorite scene that got added during edits?
Answer: You know what…I don’t think I cut out any whole scenes. My story went through a major rewrite just before I got my contract, so I think I removed all the parts that weren’t beneficial then. And I have to say, I didn’t miss any of those scenes.
My favorite re-write in the editing phase was the scene between King Jesper and his wife, Queen Sansolena. I think I only skimmed the surface of their interaction pre-edits, but the whole thing really came to life during work with my content editor, Katie Carroll.
Question: Biggest writing quirk?
Answer: At 3:30 every day, I must have a little container of chocolate and a Diet Pepsi with Lime. If I don’t get that, Grumpy Erin emerges… ;)
Question: What are three must-have items when you sit down to write?
Answer: I must have my laptop (I don’t write by hand—my brain works way faster than I can handwrite and almost faster than I can type), my bed (my “workspace”), and my cellphone (for checking Twitter during writing breaks—LOL). ;)
Question: What book are you currently reading?
Answer: I am currently reading House of Hades by Rick Riordan. Following that, I will be reading Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead, and Vicious by Victoria Schwab.
Question: Which book was your favorite read of 2013 (so far)? Are you looking forward to any new releases in particular between now and 2014?
Answer: Hands down, my favorite book of 2013 has been Clockwork Princess. I am looking SO forward to the release of Fiery Heart this year and Forever Song (Blood of Eden #3) in 2014.
Question: Are you working on anything new?
Answer: The Prophecy is part of a trilogy, and the other two books (tentatively titled The Outlanders and The Fulfillment) are in the revision stage. I also have a YA futuristic thriller, middle-grade coming-of-age, women’s chick lit, and another YA fantasy in the works.
And now for the giveaway!
May the odds be ever in your favor!