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, August 19, 2016

the reality of Templar life - The Templars Falter (The Void Chronicles, #3) by Holly Blackstone

18++ "The plot in this book was unique and had many twists and turns. It was definitely not predictable. I can tell the author really thought through how she was going to organize this book. It flowed really well and my imagination was captured from the beginning" - Goodreads, Kat about book #2


Published: August 2016

Julianna Foss, full fledged Templar, finds herself in an impossible situation.

The High Templar and Julianna’s lover, Tristan, seemed about to commit himself to their relationship when he became entranced with Iris, the lone survivor of the attack on Hayden’s Gate. The thrall he and many of the other Templars are under is unnatural and Julianna is at a loss as to how to break the spell until Prior Basil asks for her help. It seems that Tristan and his lieutenant Tor have taken deathly ill, and the High Templar’s death would practically assure the Void dragon Dryx succeeds in enslaving the land.

She is forced to confront Lucas, the captured necromancer, and ask his assistance in understanding the source of Iris’ power – but it will come at a price, as Lucas grows increasingly possessive and entranced by Julianna, the first female Templar in hundreds of years.

Julianna succeeds in destroying Iris, but in some ways it is a Pyrrhic victory. Iris really is Reena, sister to the head necromancer Vaux, and that means Julianna has a price on her head. Vaux is ruthless and bloodthirsty, and will stop at nothing to avenge the death of his little sister.

So begins a chain of events that leaves Julianna on the outside once more, confused by her attraction to Lucas, who should be her enemy, and her wounded love for the Tristan. She is further alienated by the secrets she carries, and the terrible knowledge that has been revealed to her about VoidCleaver, the godsword she wields. Basil and Tristan are convinced that she is the Deorwyn, a woman prophecy claimed would help rid the world of Dryx, but she chafes under this new expectation

Julianna is stressed beyond endurance – she carries the fate of the world on her shoulders, will it prove to be too much for her?

*Contains explicit ‎depictions of warfare and sex and is intended for adults.

AUTHOR'S Interview

Let’s start with telling us a little something about your book that might surprise us.
This is actually the tenth book I have published! It also puts me about 900 words shy of one million words written in just under four years. So great milestones, and I *think* this might be my favourite novel; I feel that despite her ups and downs and moments of weakness, Julianna really starts to come into her own.

What was your favourite scene to write?
I think the ending. Without spoiling anything… Julianna had to pull away from something, from a temptation that was great after she had suffered a lot. Even when she had a chance to enjoy things and get a respite she was restless, felt her duty tug on her, remembered her loyalties. She made a choice – a very definite choice and although she regretted the pain it would cause, she knew it was right. But to do all that she had to be honest with herself – about her feelings for various characters in the story, what she thought she owed others and herself. She wasn’t bitter about it either, although like I said there was some regret; I think that says it a lot about her, sums up her drive, her perseverance. She is not immune to fear or doubt, but she is very clear-minded when it comes to her principles and values and I was proud of her for doing what she did.

What was the most interesting part of your research for this novel? Is there something surprising or fascinating that you stumbled on? 
First off, I tend to do a fair amount of research for my books. Even though I have a lot of interests across a broad spectrum of topics, I want to get it right and I don’t know everything, unfortunately! =) So researching herbs that are used in aromatherapy, types of weapons, the best treats for horses and the gaits they have… I look it all up. One thing that pulls me out of a book fast is reading something that I know is blatantly incorrect. I want my books to be accurate, as much as I can help it.

I love ruins and ancient fortifications and it was fascinating to look at layouts for castles and get a sense of the scale of them. They really were self contained, with things like bakeries, wells, halls and granaries surrounded by sometimes two layers of walls. The Cloisters layout is roughly based on the floor plan for Harlech Castle in Wales. 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The death and destruction and in particular the Cloisters, which is a Julianna’s first large battle. The typical follower of the Void is ruthless, and up until this point you see the destruction they have wrought after the fact or watch as smaller battles like Hayden’s Gate unfold. Here I really wanted people to get a sense that the Templars are fighting a difficult war – that as much as you have seen them train and how they spar and prepare, they are battling terrible foes who have tireless servants. I wanted the weight of their responsibility and the near impossibility of their task to weigh on the reader. 

How do you go about creating your main character? 
I was a geek when I as a kid, still am to a large degree, and got used to being alone or perhaps ostracized and that made me an observer. So I notice details, mannerisms and the like, and I know I weave them - or something like them - into every character. I want them to feel unique, for speech patterns to perhaps have a different cadence or vocabulary selection, so that is how I go about building up my characters, thinking about the little things that make someone an individual. I don’t try to do that just for my main, but for important supporting characters as well. I want them all to feel fleshed out, and although there are traits I admire or focus on for my main characters, I do try to differentiate them in some way.

About the author:
Holly was born in New Jersey and moved to the Pacific Northwest at the age of eighteen. She's always loved writing and expressing herself and scrupulously kept a journal at a young age. She started her first book around the age of eight, although she never completed it, and in high school was co-editor of her school's literary magazine. She enjoys blogging, reading, and writing poetry and novels. Although an American, Holly is fascinated with British and Scottish history and culture; this interest is reflected in her choice to often use British spellings for words because she likes them better.

Holly likes exploring how a character's personality changes and adapts as they are introduced to new experiences that are challenging. She also enjoys creating worlds and tales that are deep and complex and are driven by a solid story, yet have intense erotic elements. 

Much to her chagrin, Holly has many interests and has a hard time keeping up with them all. She enjoys cooking and has made wine with friends; she likes gardening, drawing, reading, video and board games, dancing, eighties music and yoga, to name a few of her more regular preoccupations. 

She welcomes comments and questions at her:


Carol L. said...

Holly is a new Author for me. This sounds like a fascinating read. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
Carol L
Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

Jan Lee said...

It's nice to see a female taking a lead role in a book. I may have to start with the first book in the Void Chronicles to gain backgrounds of the characters :) Thank you for the giveaway :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting the Q&A; in the craziness of the tour, I missed these comments until just now! =)

Happy reading everyone, please let me know what you think!

All the best,