Caught in Crimson
(Sword of Elements, #2)
~By: Heather Hamilton-Senter
~Released: April 13th, 2015
~Publisher: Two Paths Publishing
~Length: 209 Pages
~Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Rhi’s ability to see magic as color, and her hunger to consume it, have brought her to Las Vegas to seek out the bard Taliesin’s help in understanding the true nature of what she is—a Leannan Sidhe, a kind of vampire. Armed with Excalibur, she’s torn between the factions looking to control the destiny of the earth. When an ancient artifact of the earth magic calls to her, filling her with fire, Rhi must decide whether to follow her heart or the path to power before her father Merlin decides she’s outlived her usefulness and destroys her mind.
The choices caught up in color and magic are never black and white.
Heather grew up in a family where books of myth and legend were used to teach the ABCs and Irish uncles still believed in fairies. Raised with tall tales, she has always told stories too- first as an actor and singer, then as a photographer, and now as a writer.
Heather lives in rural Ontario, Canada happily raising three children ranging in age from 6 to 18 with her biggest fan, her husband Steve.
~ Connect with Heather Online ~
In the darkness, out of sight of mankind and godkind, I let emotion fill me—rage at the mother who’d abandoned me, the foster mother who’d denied me the truth of my existence, the father who only wanted me as his puppet—it erupted from every pore. Back arched and gasping, I was a column of fire reaching for the sky.
I was a question framed in flame.
And I was answered. Red magic surged into me from unknown beings, some as close as the neighborhood behind, others as far as the edges of the state. I wanted to keep it all, but it passed through me leaving tantalizing glimpses of the wondrous, terrible things it could make me capable of. Then the magic was gone and only my hot anger remained. Sick with hunger for that ecstasy of power, I didn’t care if it meant stealing it from other beings somewhere out there in the dark. In that moment, I would have killed to have it back.
Agony sliced through my temples. Falling to my knees, I called on Viviane’s binding spell to block the pain. For one terrifying moment I didn’t think it would work, but then cool, blue relief replaced the red of rage. I huddled in the sand, naked and cold, guessing that I’d probably done new damage to myself. I didn’t care.
Weeping at the loss of magic both darker and brighter than anyone should ever possess, I knew I was a monster.
An interview with Heather Hamilton-Senter, author of the Amazon bestseller Bound In Blue: Book One of the Sword of Elements and it's sequel Caught In Crimson.
(Provided by YA Bound Book Tours)
Tell us a bit more about your books. Who designed the covers?
Actually, I design all my own covers and also covers for other authors through my business Book Cover Artistry. I come from a long line of artists, but while I started out drawing and painting, I’m firmly digital now and loving it.
Who is your favorite character from your books and why?
Hands down my favorite character is Thomas Redcap. In Bound In Blue, the first book in the series, I started out intending to write a monster who would threaten the heroine Rhi—and if you know anything of the fairy lore concerning redcaps, you’ll know just how incredibly scary they are—but instead, he became this charming, dangerous, sexy guy. It was who he wanted to be and I seemed to have no control over it!
Who is your least favorite character?
Taliesin is one of the good guys and always was intended to be, but I discovered that just like Rhi, I admired but didn’t like him very much. I think her reaction to someone who is essentially a great hero has added complexity to the story.
What was your inspiration for the Sword of Elements Series?
My mom is from Belfast and I visited Ireland and Europe a lot growing up. I remember once one of her cousins dragging me around the Irish countryside looking for a fairy well whose water was supposed to cure blindness. The line between myth and reality always seemed narrower there. As a child, my very first books were beautifully illustrated fairy tale and Arthurian mythology books – there was no Dr. Seuss in my house!
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love being able to work from home and be there when my children get back from school.
What do you enjoy least about being a writer?
Being disciplined. There’s no boss standing over me making sure I’m writing and not surfing the net!
Fantasy is obvious from your background, but why Young Adult?
I think my books ride the line between YA and regular fantasy, but part of why I love YA is that it tends to move fairly quickly. I started reading YA as a mother with young children because the quicker pace made them easier to get back into after any interruptions.
What inspires you in general?
I’m an information magpie. I’m constantly gathering strange bits of history or mythology, even archaeology, looking for a way to weave them into a book. I’m also strangely attracted to forgotten things – odd buildings on the side of a country road that no one remembers the purpose of, historical plaques in out of the way places, the remnants of old bridges and roads . . .
Other talents or hobbies?
I’m a classically trained singer and a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity. I was a wedding photographer for a few years and still sell photography online.
Favorite TV shows?
Everything genre! Buffy, Supernatural, The X-files, Star Trek, Walking Dead . . . I’m a geek!
Lord of the Rings, The Dark Is Rising Series by Susan Cooper, A Wrinkle In Time, Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle Trilogy, The Hunger Games, The Riddle-Master trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip, the Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey, the Witchworld novels by Andre Norton. I’m kind of old-school.
Any advice for other writers wanting to be published?
Don’t be afraid to walk your own path, but make sure you know what path you’re walking on! Whether you’re thinking of traditional or indie, learn your craft and do your homework. I’ve had an amazing ride this last year, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the years before it learning and studying, attending conferences and taking classes. Once you’ve made your choice, you then have to accept that you can’t control what agents, publishers, or buyers will do, but you can be happy and satisfied with the work you’ve produced.
The first in your series, Bound In Blue, has consistently been #1 in several categories of Fantasy on Amazon since it was published June 2014. What would you say has been the biggest contributor to that success?
Other than luck—which is perhaps the biggest factor for any author or artist—I’d say it’s a combination of branding and studying the industry. I recommend the Writer’s Café on www.kboards.com as the best place to get up to the second information on writing, promotion, and the state of publishing in general, and indie publishing in particular.
Where can readers find Caught In Crimson and your other books?
I’m currently exclusive to Amazon.
~Materials and images provided by YA Bound Book Tours.