Today it is my pleasure to welcome romance author Delwyn Jenkins to HJ!
Hi Delwyn, welcome 🙂
If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page what would the headline say? Why?
…because I wish it was.
Would you rather… visit the world 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future? Why?
I’m split down the middle on this one. I’m a history nut so the idea of going back 100 years fascinates me – but I’m also a girly-girl and I don’t think I could do without showers, hair-dryers and flushing toilets. I’m also a bit of a sic-fi geek, so forward might be good – but not if I end up in some dystopian future where there’s no hair-dryers, internet or air-conditioning. I think either way has its plus and minus.
Let’s talk about your newest release: Called by Fire
If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…
Please tell us about the characters in your book
Kamryn is a Dahnan Witch and a modern-day woman. She loves all the convinces of modern life, so when she has to go to the World Between (a world where magic trumps technology) she knows she’s in for three years of deprivation. When we meet her she’s in her final year and can’t wait to get home. But then a friend of hers is murdered, another goes missing, and Kam gets a pretty harsh reality check. She wants to help, to do whatever she can to rescue her kidnapped friend, and it seems the best way to do that is to ingratiate herself into the investigation. The only problem is the investigation is being run by the Watchtower Knights.
Alex is a Watchtower Knight, and like his brothers-in-arms, his sole purpose is to defend and protect the Dahnan. After two hundred years in exile, the Watchtower has been recalled to service and Alex and five of his brothers are set the task of recovering the missing Witch. Alex understands the huge stakes and he knows none of them can afford to mess up. So all he has to do is keep his head down, do his job, and stay out of trouble. Which would be fine if he hadn’t met Kam and fell instantly in lust with her. He wants her – bad – and his persistence is wearing her down. But can he stop one side of his life from messing up the other?
As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
I always had a pretty good idea about Kamryn – who she was, what she stood for – and she shaped up pretty much how I imagined her. Alex was the surprise packet for me. I started out writing him dark and broody, but he wasn’t having any of that. He’s all business when he’s fighting, but in his down time Alex turned out to be far more fun and relaxed than I had envisaged. And he’s a total hound dog, He wants Kam and he pretty much charms his way into her affections. He’s also very much an ‘it will be fine’ kind of guy. Kam’s worried that in the heat of passion she’ll lose control of her gift and set fire to everything – including Alex. All Alex is worried about is getting his hands on Kam. When he falls in love with her, that blinkered need remains. He doesn’t know how things will work out, he just believes they will. In this relationship Kamryn is the voice of reason – but she’s as enamoured of Alex as he is of her, so her her battle to do the right thing is much harder than it should be.
What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?
I loved their first meeting. Kam’s running from a bully (more like a strategic retreat) and she hides in the first unlocked room she finds. It just so happens to be Alex’s room and he’s in the bath. So we have an impatient, cranky Witch and a wet, naked Knight who wants to play…
When the girl first entered the room Alex assumed she was a servant. But then she locked the door and pressed herself against the wood, caught in the utter stillness of the hunted. Alex was warrior enough to recognise the body language, and curious enough to find out what made this particular rabbit run.
Easing himself out of the hip-bath, he stepped onto the floorboards and stretched to his full six and a half feet of muscle. The girl knew he was there, the quick flex of her spine gave her away, but she didn’t turn.
“May I help you?” he asked, as courteous as could be.
“Yes,” she hissed, “keep quiet.”
Not just impolite, but careless of her not to turn around and actually see who it was she insulted. Alex grinned, shook the water from his naked body, and turned his attention to the unsuspecting piece of femininity at his door.
He prowled closer, automatically opening his senses to get a read on her. Expecting nothing more than an ordinary woman, the raw power in her took him completely by surprise. Far from being a servant, she was in fact a Dahnan witch, and an incredibly strong one at that. Her magic pulsed in the room like a living thing, and Alex could sense she wasn’t even up to her full power yet. If her training had been complete, her magic would have been locked tightly away behind her personal barriers, but right now it flowed free and bright, and Alex wanted to dive into it and wallow for days.
He breathed her in again, taking her into his body and the rush of energy made his head spin and his muscles tremble in shock. The room tilted at an alarming angle and his legs wobbled in a rubbery quiver that forced him to reach for the table to steady himself. Panting a little, he came back to his body bit by bit — a dangerous lapse in his line of work – and he finally managed to drag himself upright. Luckily for him the witch still hadn’t turned around. Not so lucky for her.
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
At one point the bad guy (Malleus) binds Kam’s magic with an amulet. Her friends try to bring her back magically, so when I was writing I had one unconscious Witch, her three best friends, and six Knights to juggle into the scene. Then i had to imagine what it would be like to be born into magic and to have that power taken away. Talk about stretching the author imagination!
They were dragging her back. Kam knew it was because they loved her, and she wanted to meet them half way, she really did, but the pull of the darkness was so heavy she wasn’t sure she was strong enough to fight it. Even with the help of the people closest to her.
The darkness didn’t just hide her magic, it preyed on her soul, sending out waves of despair and desolation until it was a hard physical lump inside her body. For a while she’d been able to cling to Alex, using him to anchor her, but the lump inside her grew bigger, more painful, and so heavy she didn’t have the strength to bear it. Then the darkness oozed outward until it swallowed her up, eclipsing her will and smothering her with an absence of light so profound there wasn’t even room for hope.
So she let go. It was easier and less painful to simply let the darkness take her, and it wasn’t until she started to drift away that she felt the tether. Soft, tentative, but there. She ignored it because that way lay pain, and the darkness offered her a rest of sorts. But the tether didn’t break. It got stronger, curling around her body in soft tendrils, warm and…safe? Safe. She tasted the word in her mind, savouring it, knowing it didn’t belong to the darkness. And then she felt the emotions contained in the tether; love, concern, trust, protectiveness, and Alex.
Her mind began to stir. Alex was something she knew, something she could hold onto in the darkness. Gathering the energy to her, she wrapped herself in its warmth, opening herself up to the connection. The tendrils began to tug at her, pulling her along through the abyss, and she allowed instinct to take over from fear. Gripping the energy as tightly as she could she moved with it, and as soon as she joined her will to the power it began to glow. The light was faint, but in the darkness it felt like a beacon to her, shimmering with hope and possibilities.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?
Kamryn is tricky to cast. She’s a firecracker, but she’s got a big heart and she’s protective of those she loves. Someone like Jessica Alba in her Dark Angel days, or Jennifer Lawrence. Not afraid to stand the line, but not afraid to love either.
Alex is a bit easier – Chris Hemsworth, hands down. I currently have a very inappropriate Thor crush.
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
I would tell Kam to relax about Alex – he’s not as cavalier as he pretends and he’s the kind of guy who will always keep her safe. I’d tell Alex to have a plan (he makes his life hard because he’s never met a foundry he doesn’t want to push, and – outside battle tactics – he does’t do ‘plans’).
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2014?
I’m working on the second book in my Watchtower series and I’m a bit over half-way through the first draft. The working title is ‘Claimed by Earth’ and it’s the story of a character we meet in ‘Called by Fire’. I have to have it to my publisher by July, so release date should be later in the year.
Where can readers get in touch with you?
My website is www.delwynjenkins.com and I can be found on FB at Delwyn Jenkins Author Page.
GIVEAWAY: 5 digital ePUB copies of CALLED BY FIRE
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: I set my story in the World Between, a world where magic trumps technology. If you could ‘magic’ anything, what would it be? And what’s the one piece of technology you simply couldn’t do without?
This scene is Alex and Kam’s first kiss. When he ‘saved’ her from the bully, he leveraged a promise of a kiss from her – at the time and place of his choosing. Right now, they are sitting face to face, and Alex is about to reel Kam in.
He gave her a lazy smile. “You owe me a kiss.”
Kam swallowed against a sudden case of dry mouth. “Are you sure this is the right time?”
“It’s the perfect time, and if you remember the terms of the heart vow, you don’t get to choose the where or when.” Without letting go of her hands he turned them so her palms were pressed flat against his chest – his warm, hard, broad chest – and then he covered her hands with one of his own. The other he bought up to cup the back of her neck and heat shot down her spine to pool low in her belly. It felt really, really good, and so very, very bad.
Despite everything, Kam did want to kiss him but she had a sinking feeling that if she did he would ruin her for any other man, and she had enough difficulty with the opposite sex as it was. She knew instinctively Alex was different, she felt it deep down, right to the centre of her soul, and her survival instincts were urging her to run as far and as fast as she could. But the rest of her, including her demanding hormones, were begging her to stay. Then all debate ceased when Alex tilted her chin so he could capture her gaze. Everything crumbled inside her when those long, thick lashes lifted to reveal the blazing green of his eyes.
“Time to pay up, my lady.”
“Are you ready?”
Kam fought the quiver of anticipation and anxiety that tumbled inside her. “I somehow doubt it,” she replied.
Alex smiled and leaned closer. Kamryn braced herself for the onslaught, but for the longest time he just breathed her in. His full, sculptured lips were less than an inch away and he did nothing but let her feel the heat of his energy rather than the press of his mouth. The quiver inside her grew in intensity, and then it started to burn, surging up inside her until the air squeezed out of her lungs. She should have been embarrassed by how quickly she cracked, and she would have been if she hadn’t been so desperate to feel his lips on hers.
“Are you going to kiss me or not?”
“Oh, I’m most certainly going to kiss you, sweetheart. Long, slow, hot, juicy kisses that will curl your toes and make you forget your name.”
Kam’s heart skipped a beat and then did a little tap dance to catch up. Swallowing around the lump in her throat she closed her eyes and prayed for strength. “Gods, I’m really not going to survive this, am I?”
“Of course you are.” He leaned in a little more, close enough for Kam to feel the feather-light brush of his lips. “You have to survive, because I have a second kiss to claim.”