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.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Interview, Excerpt and Giveaway Reflection of the Gods by Lisa Llamrei


"This is the story of how my third life began. And how my second life ended. They’re the same thing, you know—endings and beginnings. We’re taught to believe they’re different, but in order for one thing to begin, something else must end." 

Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt. 

Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.

Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.

Thank you, Mrs Llamrei

First person VS third person – how the writer decide? Which are the advantages of each? 
A. This is a good question because I did have difficulty making a decision. I originally started the first draft in third person, and then switched to a dual first person narrative. I made the switch because it wasn’t working the way I was writing it. 

Third person allows the reader to see everything, but it can be more difficult to relate to individual characters. With first person, the story is closer to the reader, and there is full identification with the characters. However, the reader can only know what the narrators know. As a writer, the challenge was to reveal all of the necessary information, even when the events did not happen in the presence of one of the narrators. 

What about two (alternative) points of view – how do you keep the balance between a better image and necessary unknown? 
A. It wasn’t difficult because I’m a plotter. I had the entire book planned and outlined before I ever started the first draft. I knew exactly what needed to be revealed and when. 

What it takes to build a believable and durable relationship between a human and an immortal? 
A. I’m not sure a relationship between a human and an immortal can be both believable and durable, at least not the type of immortals I write about. In the old stories, trickery is generally involved on one side or the other, and once the trickery is exposed, the relationship dissolves. I guess for such a relationship to succeed in the long term, both parties would have to be honest, loyal, and unwavering, and those are not qualities that the Sidhe possess. Perhaps there are immortals from other cultures that do. 

There is an ideal mix between damsel in distress and kick ass heroine? Who are your favorite and why? 
A. 1) Anita Blake, vampire hunter, because she can hold her own against any human, and most vampires. Plus, she has a certain amount of affection for some of the vampires, which in her world makes her unique. 2) Seichan, from James Rollins’s Sigma Force Series. She’s interesting because she started out as a villain, and gradually changed sides. She has a secret in her past that drives her, but also makes her vulnerable in personal relationships. 3) Because I have young children, Disney is a large part of my life, and so Merida from Brave also makes my list of favorite heroines. In defiance of her family and her culture, Merida takes her destiny into her own hands, and when she messes up she faces it with the same courage she used to assert her right to marry someone of her own choosing. 

From Canada/Toronto to Ireland is a long way. Do you have any connection with Ireland and how did you get inspired by Irish mythology? 
A. I don’t have any family connection to Ireland. However, I am a follower of Celtic spirituality and, as such, have had frequent exposure to Irish mythology for the better part of two decades.





I took one last look around the apartment. Not perfect, but it would do. I checked for the third time to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Everything I owned, packed into boxes, waiting to start over.

I lifted the first box from the small stack beside the door and carried it outside the apartment and down the steps. I placed it in the trunk of my car, half-closing it gently so it wouldn’t latch. As I turned to go back for the next box, a metallic thud sounded from nearby. Cats in the alley again. I started up the steps. Another crash. I hesitated. The neighbourhood had been having trouble with raccoons spreading garbage all over, but they didn’t usually appear in daylight. What do I care? I don’t live here anymore. I continued up the stairs.

With my hand on the doorknob, I hesitated again. I checked my watch. Already past four. The cleaning had taken longer than anticipated and I risked getting stuck in rush-hour traffic. Damn. I ran down the steps.

I walked the half-block to the alley and rounded the corner. What I saw there made me stop dead. A jolt passed through my whole body, as if the air were electrically charged.

Three men and a teenage girl. One man held the girl by the waist, both of her arms pinned behind her back, her feet dangling a few centimetres off the ground. The girl kicked out with her feet so the two men facing her had to stand out of reach. Still, they both held guns, one of which was pointed at her head. It had no effect on her thrashing.

I flattened myself against the wall, out of their sight. I reached toward my back pocket and remembered my cellphone was in the car. My mind raced. Three of them, at least two armed. They could kill the girl before I even got close, and then they would kill me. The Boy Scouts never prepared me for this.

I peered around the corner into the alley. The one with his gun at the girl’s head leaned closer and spoke to her. Whatever he said upset her and she spit in his face.

I raced into the alley hollering, “Let her go!” and immediately wondered what the hell I was doing.

The man smashed his gun into the side of the girl’s face. The other armed man aimed his gun at my chest. I slowed my walk. For some reason, my feet wouldn’t obey the impulse to hurl myself at the ground. I raised my arms. “Let her go—she’s just a child.”

The man holding the girl tightened his grip and the other two approached me. I willed my legs not to shake. They continued with their forward momentum, still refusing to obey my better sense. The first man raised his gun and smashed it into my skull. He slammed his other fist into my belly. When I crumpled to the ground, both men kicked me. I felt another blow to the head. I heard a gunshot; through the slits of my eyelids, I saw a brilliant flash of light. Just before losing consciousness, I had the vague idea that I was supposed to go toward the light.

Whispering. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of voices, but I couldn’t make out any words. They spoke very fast, as if someone had sped up a tape recording. I wondered if they were my loved ones waiting for me. I couldn’t see the light anymore and wondered if maybe the light didn’t want me.

I became aware of a throbbing in my head and felt the hard asphalt beneath me. Someone cradled my head. Waves of heat passed through my temples and rippled inside my skull. My scalp prickled. The throbbing diminished. Strong hands shook me. I feigned unconsciousness, not wanting to wake up to another beating.

The hands shook me again. I opened my eyes and looked straight into those of the young girl. She wore a long, white dress, her black hair falling in tousled waves past her shoulders to her hips. She seemed to radiate light. My first thought was that we were both dead and I’d made it to heaven after all. Maybe you get points for stupidity in the service of others.

Seeing her up close, it was clear I had underestimated her age by several years. Though small, she was clearly a young woman—closer to eighteen than fourteen, possibly even older. Her dress was sheer, showing every curve of her body. My immediate visceral reaction was not something I expected to feel in heaven. Then the throbbing in my head returned, equally unexpected. As my senses cleared, I noted the scent of garbage mixed with car exhaust. I heard horns honking in the distance and shouts from the street. So, not dead, then. When I tried to sit up, pain in my head forced me back down.

With uncanny strength, the girl pulled me to a sitting position and looked me square in the eye. She squatted on her heels. Any glow I thought I had seen disappeared. Her face muscles tensed, her mouth drew tight. I couldn’t quite read the emotion, but I didn’t get the impression she was concerned for my well-being. 

“You’re alive.” My voice sounded thin. “I heard a shot. I thought …”

“He missed,” she said. “And you ought not to have interfered.”

Ought not … who talks like that? “Those guys were going to kill you.”

She folded her arms across her chest. “I was in no danger. I was fully in control until you happened by. Do your police officers not tell you never to antagonize an armed intruder?” She sighed. “If it had been anyone other than me, you would be dead right now. You really ought to take more care.” She stood and turned to leave.

About the author:
Lisa Llamrei was born in Toronto. She studied languages at York University. At various times, she has been an actor, professional belly dancer and holistic nutritionist. She presently lives in Durham region with her four daughters, and she works at a school of holistic nutrition. Reflection of the Gods is her first novel.

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unknown said...

Nice blurb, sounds like a great novel and one I would like to read.

Perava said...

This looks really interesting!

Unknown said...

The book sounds very interesting. Thanks for the great giveaway. My Kindle broke so now I have over 500 books I cannot read so I really hope I win this. Hope you have a happy thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great giveaway

Chaotic Karma said...

Sounds like a wonderful read! Thanks for the great giveaway :)

~Veronica Vasquez~

Unknown said...

This giveaway is just for US? :(

Unknown said...

Sounds like a nice book

sherry fundin said...

Makes me want to walk through the arches and find out the story. Thanks for the giveaway.

Unknown said...

Great interview, the book sounds awesome :)))

Kai said...

Love the book description. I want to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the giveaway! :)

Unknown said...

Amazing giveaway .. thanks for the chance.. here's to continued success.

collenga said...

Sounds like a great book! I love fairies!

Unknown said...

Superb blurb..and amazing giveaway..such generosity thanks for sharing..and congrats.

Joseph Hawkshaw said...

Sounds real cool will have to go read soon.

Unknown said...

Interesting excerpt!! Thanks for the giveaway!

wyndwhisper said...

Thank you for the chance at such a great giveaway. i love the excerpt and i look forward to seeing what happens next.

tammy ramey

Unknown said...

So excited for this giveaway.. the excerpt is wonderfuly written!