Join me over at the YA~NA Sisterhood blog, where I'm talking about how I get in the zone to create kid characters readers care about. Make sure you leave a comment about your favorite younger characters or share your best tips, too!
I'm thrilled to announce the release of my friend Kristin's Young Adult Fantasy novel, THE GUARDIAN, A SWORD & STILETTOS. I'm not sure if Kristin remembers this, but I was a very early beta reader for this novel, so it's really cool for me to see her writing grow and change over time and. And now her book is being released TODAY. How exciting is that?
Kristin is such a supportive and enthusiastic person, and I'm so pleased to have her on my blog today. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about my wonderful friend and her kick-butt new book.
10 Questions with KDV
What drew you to writing?
I took a lit course in highschool and a reading one in college. Didn’t think anything of it but enjoyed writing and reading back then. I started reading as something to do before I met my husband. Then when Twilight came out, a group of friends created a book club and it’s been downhill ever since. I read a ton. My cousin started writing and she asked me to (beta) read for her. I did but didn’t really know what I was doing. One of her friends asked me to read one of hers too so I did b/c my cousin said that my comments were spot on.
Then in January 2013 I dreamed of the warehouse scene. Didn’t think anything of it until the next night I had the same dream in the warehouse. Woke my husband up and told him about it. He said I should write it down. Of course I didn’t. The 3rd night, I dreamed of the tattoo and knew I had to start getting it down on paper so to speak. I started writing when I got home from work and wrote until the wee hours of the morning, so 7-8 hours at a time. Go to sleep a few hours and get up for work. Did that for 3 weeks.
What about your life influenced your drive to create?
I go all out in everything I do. Never half do stuff. It’s an all or nothing attitude.
Who are your favorite authors?
Not in any order: Richelle Meade, Julie Kagawa, Kristin Cast, Cassandra Claire, Kristin Hannah, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Sophie Kinsella.
JK Rowling gets her own line.
Describe the ideal situation for your reading time? Around 10AM, it’d be in the low 70’s and sunny. I’m out on the bow of the boat with my pillow propped up for my back. I have my pink cooler stocked with a couple bottles of ICE water, a bag of chips (Funonions) and a few bottles of beer or hard lemonade. And ready to read for a few hours. As the sun moves, I move with it for optimal sun exposure. Of course I’m in calling distance to my hubby to go get me more water, more snacks, more sun lotion…and of the battery charger b/c I forgot to charge the Kindle.
If you could invite any 7 people (living or dead) for a day out, or a meal together, who would it be?
Wow, that’s a lot of people to think about. So let’s start with the dead: Plato (maybe b/c I want to go to Greece), Einstein, and Lincoln. For the living: Prince William (OK, Kate can tag along) at Buckingham Palace, my husband (I guess) b/c when I asked him this question to get ideas, he said “I only need to have my wife”, Bill Gates (just so I could see his house), and I’d have an open spot so we could have a revolving visitor.
What is your favorite hot beverage?
Chai tea latte, but if it’s around October…then it’s pumpkin latte at Starbucks. (Note from S. J.: Girrrrrrrl, we could totally hang out with our books and PSLs...)
Can you share a little about your family? I’ve been married for 11 years. Met my hubby at a bar at the Mall of America when we both attended a mutual friends’ b-day party. I knew he was the one when I met him. He proposed 7 months later. We don’t have any human kids, but we’re proud parents of two calico cats (Daizy and Minnie). We had a dog (Sunny), but had to put her down in July 2014 for her own health reasons.
What were you like as a child? What was your favorite toy?
I loved stuffed animals, had a crap ton of them. I think one of my favorites was the two foot My Pretty Pony. I still have it.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. I don’t like waiting in lines and I want to be where I’m supposed to be immediately.
If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What would you wear?
I’m not good at catchy names, so I’m going to steal Wonder Woman. I’d be wearing a purple cape for sure and as for the rest of the outfit? For sure it won’t be spandex!
Now that we've learned a little bit about Kristin, let's check out her book. Drum roll, please!
The Guardian, a Sword & Stilettos
Zoe Jabril could be just another 17-year-old girl attending parties with her friends and checking out cute guys—except her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and the boy she crushes on is a Nephilim, half-Angel, both sent to Earth to protect her. A high school classmate happens to be a trendsetting shopaholic Fairy. And now there’s a new Werewolf in town.
Now Zoe has to deal with her feelings toward Shay, who spreads a strange electrical current through her body every time he touches her. She is under constant attack from Demons, trying to kill and stop her from fulfilling the Prophecy: a girl will be born who will unite the Enlightens to battle evil. Then on top of that, between boring homework and drama with girls at school, she has to control new found talents if she’s to prevent the Devil from escaping Hell.
In order to do so, Zoe must devise a kick-ass plan ASAP or watch everyone die, because she’s running out of time. She turns eighteen in two months—the date Armageddon kicks off.
I stumbled into Kieran as a tremor moved through me, the hairs on my arms stood at attention like tiny lightning rods. “Do you feel that?” my voice sounded breathless, even to me.
He glanced sideways, “Feel what?”
“Look.” I held out my arms to him, “I feel strange. Like someone…” I rubbed my slightly numb hands over my forearms and sucked in a breath, as he hooked his head around. I fell into step beside him. “Never mind. It’s probably nothing.”
This happens when lightning’s about to strike, right?
The heat from the sun radiated off the few cars parked along Boutique Row, their owners engaged in mid-afternoon shopping. Store fronts displayed the new and trendy ‘must-have’ dresses, shorts, and shoes for the spring season. I paused to see my reflection. Not a hair was out of place. Thank God.
The Coffee Grind’s signature cinnamon dessert scent wafted through the air and my teeth hurt with the memory of sinking them into it time and again. What I wouldn’t give to be able to park my back end on one of their leather wing-back chairs and crack open a book, while the fire crackled next to me in the original stone hearth.
“Earth to Zoe,” Kieran’s gentle voice broke my trance. He poked my shoulder. “Are you going to order or what?”
My face flamed. “You could’ve ordered for me.” I rummaged through my purple backpack. “You know I get the same thing every time.”
Kieran watched me rub my arms, as he told the cashier, “She’ll also have an ice water.” He tilted his head toward the menu board. “Anything else?”
“Did you order me a chai?” I asked.
“Cause you know I can’t function without a good cup of—”
“You can’t function with it, either.”
Then I turned my attention toward the clerk, unsure if I recognized him or not. I hope he doesn’t know me. “Nothing else. Thanks.” I handed him some bills.
“How’s track going, Zoe?” the clerk asked.
“Think you’ll make it to State?”
I realized he was a sophomore on the team. Our paths crossed during several meets. He looked thin in his black polo shirt, and I knew a mirror would reflect a similar physique in me, though my lavender sundress tried to disguise it.
I shrugged. “I have fast times, but we’ll see. If I don’t make it this year, there’s always senior year.”
My fingertips skimmed the glass display of mammoth muffins and assorted pastries as we moved down the aisle to the ‘Pick-up Here’ sign. A heavy coffee aroma hung in the air.
A figure in dark clothing with yellow-tipped, spiked hair stared at me from outside the glass entrance door. His eyes narrowed on contact with mine.
Chills rushed through my body.
Get the Book
Meet Kristin D. Van Risseghem
Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small river town in Minnesota with her parents and older sister. And after receiving a double Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University in Paralegal and Corrections, she worked as a Paralegal for various law firms around the Twin Cities for 14 years. Then she left the legal field and is now a Senior Buyer for a technology company.
Currently, Kristin lives in Eagan with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.
In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!
Kristin’s first book, The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos, is published by Kasian Publishing.
Connect with Kristin
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All Rights Reserved, S. J. Henderson 2014