To celebrate the release of the paperback edition of HeartSong we have the cover images, an excerpt and an interview with the author, Desiree Williams.
Excerpt from HeartSong
Laelynn prepared herself for whatever was to come. She attempted to concentrate on her breathing, but pain radiated through her chest at each attempt to breathe. Shallow breaths were all she could muster. The Varkadons were engrossed in their meal, paying her no attention. Laelynn prayed Dustan and Alanna appeared soon before she became dessert.
Laelynn jerked, almost screamed, when the campfire burst out into a flaming whirlwind. It grew and rolled into the air, forming a towering mass of orange and red flames. Tongues of fire leaped at the Varkadons encamped around it. The grass capes that once aided them were their downfall as their armor went up in flames. Laelynn watched the scene unfold as many succumbed to the raging fire storm. The stench of charred flesh permeated the air. Bile rose into her mouth at the odor. Few had been successful to remove the grass-covered armor. Laelynn marveled as she took inventory. The attack took out half the soldiers.
The ground quaked beneath her tree. Abruptly, it cracked and groaned, forcing the tree to whip around. The act brought Laelynn face to face with a piercing set of green eyes. The girl before her looked lethal.
The woman—Laelynn assumed she must be Alanna, the girl the voice mentioned–used her sword to cut Laelynn’s binds. Her legs were too weak to hold her up, and she dropped to the ground the moment she was freed.
Alanna sheathed her sword and put a shoulder under Laelynn’s arm. Together the two hobbled behind a large, thick tree. Alanna let out low bird-like whistles. Seconds later Laelynn heard a heart rattling howl that vibrated through her. Screams accompanied it.
“What was that?” Laelynn whispered to her rescuer.
“That was Dustan,” Alanna whispered, then offered her a calming grin. “I’m Alanna. I’m going to set you up in this tree to keep you a safe distance away. I’ll retrieve you once the remaining Varkadons are overcome.”
Without another word, a rush of wind surrounded them. The mighty wind carried both girls effortlessly into the tree. Alanna set her down and assessed her injuries. Compassion flooded the girl’s emerald eyes.
“I’ll heal you once we’re a safe distance away from here. However, I have to leave you for just a moment to assist Dustan. Please don’t be scared. You’re safe now.” Alanna jumped down, leaving her in the tree to watch the event unfold.
Laelynn gaped in amazement at what she saw below. An incredibly large wolf thrashed a Varkadon soldier back and forth. Laelynn couldn’t remember seeing a wolf that large before. She compared it to a horse, solid black in color. With a flick of its jaw, the wolf sent the soldier flying haphazardly into the air. The Varkadons left standing formed a semicircle, pushing him back toward the growing fire.
Laelynn saw no possible way for the wolf to escape as the soldiers corralled it closer to the ravenous flames. She knew it was all her fault. How could live with herself if she had to watch another die in their plight to help her? At that moment, it looked up at her, then winked. Since when did a wolf wink?
I’m very pleased to welcome Desiree to BetweenTheLines
Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.
Good to have you here, Desiree.
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do when not writing?
I’m a crazy madwoman trying to keep up with life. =) I juggle a family (husband and daughter), a church family, a job, self-publishing, and all the fun that goes in between. Sometimes I kick back and watch all the balls floating in the air, knowing there are times when I have absolutely no control over them.
What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses as a writer?
My greatest strength would be my determination. I love what I do and I strive to give it my all. And in regards to weaknesses … no one ever likes to admit their faults, but for you, I will. I tend to be a passive individual in life, so unfortunately that runs over into my writing. Thankfully I enlisted an amazing content editor and beta reader to help me kick out those passive moments.
What is your least favourite part of the writing process?
I can be impatient at times (another fault, yikes!), so when I have a great thought or scene playing in my head I get frustrated that my fingers won’t type as fast as I’m demanding them to.
Do you work to an outline or wherever the characters take you?
A little bit of both. I pinpoint on my story board the key points: where I’m going, what scenes are critical, and how I want it to end. But then I let my imagination get me to each point by dreaming in the moment. I put myself in the character’s shoes and journey with them.
What are you reading at the moment?
Betrayals in Spring, the third instalment of The Last Year Series by Trisha Leigh.
This is your first book, how was the whole process for you?
Amazing doesn’t even describe my life right now! =) Looking back I’m amazed at the courage it takes to really step out and publish something that you create from your heart. And I hate bragging on myself, but I seriously jumped out of a major comfort zone to do this. So worth it! Self-publishing is a lot of work, and there are some nail-biting moments, but you rise above all that. Nothing worth achieving ever came easy.
What’s on your bucket list?
Three things on my bucket list would be … 1) I would love to be a well-known, bestselling author one day. 2) Travel to a foreign country (which might be hard since I’m afraid to fly). 3) Remind everyone that they’re loved. That one might seem silly, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people out there don’t think they are loved. I for one, want to remind them that they’re loved and they’re valued.
That’s lovely..and quite sad because it’s true.
What do you fear the most?
Spiders! I hate those creepy, crawly, gross creatures. I once lived in a trailer that I swore was invested with new species. Quick story – one day I saw a wolf spider (so the size of my fist) in the hall but I was too afraid to step on it. So I hovered a text-book over it, dropped it, and successfully destroyed my enemy. But then I was too afraid to clean it up and left it there for my brother. Gut covered text-book and all.
An actor or book character you have/or have had a crush on
Okay, so I thought about this question wondering if I would brave answering it, knowing my husband could learn of my secret crush. But then I figured out I had more secret book crushes then I realized and knew I had bigger problems. HA! I picked out two: Costin from the Grey Wolf Series by Quinn Loftis, and Lucas from The River of Time Series by Lisa Bergren. I love a guy that can make me laugh. But I must say, my handsome hubby is still number one in my heart. =)
Thanks for having me!! I had so much fun with your questions!
Thank you, Desiree, for a great interview!