Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway Moonflower by E.D.C. Johnson


After Josephine Woods' father dies of cancer, her mother up-roots the two of them and moves to the city. Josie hates her city life, but her teenage issues are of little consequence when they have a car accident and she wakes up in a strange land (reminiscent of Victorian Europe) alone. Lost, with her school backpack as the only connection to her world, Josie struggles to find her way home. She is found by Lucius Conrí, the son of a Marquess, who possesses royal blood and the gift to shift into a wolf’s form at will. Can the kind-hearted Lucius help her find her way while winning her love, or will she fall for Donovan Conrí his older, more serious brother and heir to the Conrí wealth?

What makes a good love triangle? 
(MB's topic)
There are three main aspects that make a good love-triangle: both of the potential romantic leads need to have contrast, there must be both pros and cons for the protagonist to be involved with either choice and finally the protagonist must be riddled with indecision. 

In Moonflower the two love interests, Lucius Conrí and Donovan Conrí, are brothers with very different personalities. Not only is Donovan the older brother, he was raised to be the next heir as Marquess. He serves in the military and takes his future very seriously. In great contrast Lucius, as the younger brother, knows that he is not destined for greatness like his brother. He did not have the luxury of countless tutors preparing him for his future. Konrad, an old alchemist, was his only teacher but also became a mentor and friend. He is a hard worker but focuses his energy in the here-and-now. These qualities present two distinct choices, no Ménage à trois in this YA book. 

For a love triangle to truly sizzle the characters need flawed realism. If any character is too good to be true then it gets annoying and pointless. Donovan has some in-your-face pros and cons. At first the reader may not be sold on him as a possible love interest. Although he is smokin’ hot, Donovan’s demeanor is judgmental, exclusive and self-important. Our heroine, Josephine Woods, has to peel away his layers to discover his inner self. His confidence, maturity and passion make him a total babe. 

Lucius is the younger energetic brother with a bit of growing up to do. He wears his heart on his sleeve and acts impulsively. Despite his weaknesses he has lots of love to give and a kind heart. He wants the best for all the people in his land. Lucius is crazy about Josie and, hey, what girl doesn’t like that?! 

These amazing qualities and intriguing flaws makes it difficult for Josie to decide which brother is the one for her. Throw in her desire to return home, away from them altogether, and she becomes apprehensive to invest too much into either of the two boys. The inner struggle Josie has debating between Donovan and Lucius is the crown to this royal affair. The suspense and the process excites the reader and allows them to develop a favorite brother to root for. Team Donovan or team Lucius, which will you be?
Thank you, Mrs. E.D.C. Johnson


“Ok, puppy. What do you want?” 

She spoke so abruptly and directly that Lucius wasn’t sure what to think. Was she expecting him to respond? The girl grabbed her bag and opened a small front pocket to produce a shiny silver rectangle. 

“This is all I have but I’ll give you some if you don’t eat me,” a tone of sarcasm in her voice. 

Lucius emerged from the darkness so the two of them could look at each other clearly face-to-face. Her eyes were deep brown. She placed the corner of the silver wrapped rectangle in her mouth as she let down her hair. Beautiful! 

Lucius stared wide-eyed in amazement as her surprisingly long hair fell about her face, past her shoulders, and down to the small of her back. It was dark but not black like his and it softened her features. She was lovely now that he had a chance to see her closely. 

He watched as she put away her hair jewelry and opened the silver wrapper to reveal some sort of cookie. She took a bite and then tore off a piece, throwing it. 

“Here you go, Boy.” 

Lucius tilted his head and raised his eyebrow at the idea of her throwing him table scraps. This girl was treating him like a common house dog! 

“Don’t you want it?” 

He stepped cautiously toward the cookie piece on the ground. It had landed on some grass and leaves. Lord knows I’ve eaten worse, he conceded. Gingerly, he picked it up with his teeth and chewed. It was surprisingly good. He tasted sweet honey, nuts, oats and berries. He lay down, resting his head on his paws. 

“Did you like that?” 

He raised his head again as she reached out her hand holding the rest of the delicious oat bar. He crawled forward not only to avoid scaring the girl but also in hopes that she would not throw the cookie on the ground again. Delicately, Lucius took the cookie from her hand and sat up to eat it. 

The girl waited for him to finish and held out her empty hand this time. She IS treating me like a common dog, Lucius thought exasperated. He bypassed the pleasantry of sniffing the girl before allowing her to pet him. He licked her hand instead. She gasped in surprise and disgust which made him grin and pant with enjoyment. 

The girl wiped the saliva off her hand and reached out cautiously with her other one. This time Lucius allowed her to touch him without reproach. He could see her relax instantly when she ran her hand along his head and shoulders. He hadn’t realized that he was leaning into her touch until she stopped. 

“All right, Puppy, we’re friends now, right?” she said reaching for her bag. This time she opened the largest section of the pack and rummaged to the bottom to produce some clothing. He now noticed that her trousers and boots were wet. She must have crossed the river. 

“It’s getting cold, time to change.” The girl unlaced her boots and pulled off her socks which she draped on a nearby bush. “No peeking, Puppy,” she giggled as she pulled down her trousers. 

Lucius was astonished. He didn’t know where to look first. He fixated on her slender, cream white legs until he realized she was removing her undergarments as well. He quickly turned his head back toward the tree to give her privacy. When finished, she stood before him in loose fitting night clothes consisting of grey pants and a long-sleeved green shirt with white lettering. 

“There. Hopefully that stuff will dry before morning.” Lucius turned to look at the bush again to see her clothing, including black undergarments, strewn upon it. Embarrassed at his behavior, he quickly looked away again. A gentleman would not intrude on a woman’s privacy. 

The girl situated her boots beside her and laced up a pair of even more peculiar white shoes. She lay her bag flat upon the ground to use as a pillow and reclined. 

“Too bad my jacket is still wet. It’s getting pretty chilly, isn’t it? Better than snow, I guess.” The girl spoke to Lucius as if not expecting a reply. 

He grew concerned when she shuttered from a chilly gust of wind. He wondered what he could do for her. Lucius had nothing to give her here and he did not dare leave her unguarded. Shivering the girl turned onto her side trying to get more comfortable. 

Lucius decided to do away with proper decorum and crawled toward her back. He didn’t stop until his body touched hers. He shared his own warmth which was plentiful in all of his fur. Lying very still he listened to her breathing while it slowed from quick shivers through chattering teeth to soft and airy through her nose. 

He relaxed as well until he felt her arm reach out across his body. She started petting him, scratching his back. All of the hairs on his body came alive. It was the most exquisite feeling Lucius had ever experienced, energy running from the girl’s fingertips to his skin. He closed his eyes in his own private ecstasy lying there until she fell asleep and her hand went limp. 

Sleeping next to this girl was not likely. He was all too aware of her presence, her breathing, her smell, and her touch. Lucius lay there, awake, keeping her warm until just before dawn. I must meet her, he thought as he carefully crawled away so as not to wake her. 

His supplies sat only a couple of miles away now. I can be back before she wakes…and the dawn is breaking. There is little danger if I go now. He looked upon her, lingering for a moment and then hurried in the direction of his own camp. 

Lucius would come back to the girl, but this time as a man.

About the author:
EDC Johnson grew up in the Midwest, graduating from Michigan State University with her BFA in Art Education and her MA in Art Education from Western Michigan University. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Palm Harbor, Florida. Her decade of experience as a public school art teacher has inspired her to write fiction novels that will entice young readers. You may see some of her illustrations in Renee Mallet's: Fairies, Mermaids, and Other Mystical Creatures.

Author's Giveaway:


Unknown said...

sounds like a great read, I need it :)

Mimi Smith said...

Hmm, I do understand everything said about LTs, but they are being used as the main plot device in nearly every YA book, nowadays. Frankly, it's getting too repetitive and overused.
Why not mix things up a little? Even if so keen on LTs, why not do a girl-boy-girl one?

All trends need changing at some point. *sigh* that said this one does sound kinda interesting.

miki said...

i like th eexcerpt and the sound of the books... a shifter that i couldn't miss and the character sounds well built and interesting. i want!

Chaotic Karma said...

"Moonflower" sounds like a wonderful book!

~Veronica Vasquez~

Unknown said...

looks like a great book

Meghan said...

This looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

Writer's Refuge said...

Looks good!


Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction said...

I LOVE the excerpt from this book - it makes me want to read it NOW!

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Vera Machado said...

Looks like it's a great book! Love the excerpt! Can't wait to read the book!

Thanks for the giveaway!!! :D

AshleighSwerdfeger said...

This sounds like a great book. I love the cover! Thank you for the giveaway.

Unknown said...

It sounds interesting and the cover is nice :) Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful cover and sounds like a great read!

Amanda Sakovitz

Unknown said...

Beautiful cover

Unknown said...

sounds like a awesome book! Thanks for the giveaway.

rounder9834 @yahoo.com