Hi Rebekah and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Where There Be Humans!
So happy to be here! Can’t wait to share my story with everyone!
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Welcome to Gob Hollow a place where goblins rule and humans are the stuff of fairy tales. A place where half-goblin Ivy Archer doesn’t fit in. She just wants a chance to prove herself, she just never thought it’d be traveling to the fabled human world on a rescue mission.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
“C’mon, Ivy girl, you need to move your feet more,” Captain Bushwell said as I stood, sword lifted just above my shoulders. His brown eyes twinkled, daring me to attack.
Sweat trickled down my brow, and I watched him, waiting.
He swiped downward with his blade, taking another jab at me. This time, I dodged to the side, arcing to block him.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- The hero, Pudge is superstitious and carries around a bag of chicken bones, which he reads and tries to tell Ivy about future happenings.
- In the land of Gob Hollow where the main characters live, humans are actually fairy tales and all the fantastical creatures (like goblins, elves, trolls, etc.) are real.
- The main character, Ivy buys black market books about humans because she believes they’re real.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
It’s a gradual thing as the hero and heroine are best friends and have been since infancy. So it’s more of the heroine noticing how loyal and kind the hero is and how he stands up for her when no one else will. She’s attracted to the whole of him. Even as he changes and becomes stronger in the book, Ivy knows deep down he’s still “her” Pudge.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
A sweet slow burning passion
The First Kiss…
An accidental happening:
Pudge and Ivy’s first kiss happened because they were trying not to get caught in a place they shouldn’t have been. So Ivy trips Pudge, so they end up together on the bed and they kiss to hide the fact they were snooping around.
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
This is probably one of my favorite scenes, when Pudge and Ivy share a first kiss–kind of on accident:
Patting my side, I made sure Archer’s dagger was secured beneath my tunic. I reached down for my leather purse, then pulled the strap across my chest.
“Why do you need your purse?”
Shite. Pudge was asking so many questions. “I’ve got gold in here; I don’t want any of the arsehole crew to try and steal anything while I’m gone.”
Not wanting to answer another barrage of questions, I slipped out the door. The fading night sky was starting to show signs of light in the distance. Soon it’d be daylight, and daylight for goblins was physically draining. Another reason I needed to hurry, as Honour would likely have Thezriel or one of the others take over for him so he could rest.
Making my way across the deck, I slipped into the shadows until I came to a stop outside of Honour’s room. I sucked in a deep breath, trying to steady my pulse. Hand shaking, I gave a loud knock. What would I do if he was there? “Honour, are you in there?”
When no one answered, I twisted the handle and hurried inside. Glancing around, I found a small lantern and lit it with my magic, then dropped to my knees and searched under the bed, where I found the Hag’s Crest still sitting. Thank goodness it hadn’t been moved. Just as my
fingers closed around it, I heard the door open behind me.
No! There was no time to hide. Panicked, I shoved the crest into my purse.
“Ivy, what are you doing?” Pudge said, pulling me out from under the bed by my leg.
“Pudge. For feck’s sake, you scared me.” My gaze met his, and he peered down to see the chain hanging out of the leather pouch.
“What is that?”
I wet my lips, then opened the top flap of the purse to show him.
His brown eyes widened, and he ran a hand through his hair. “Is that what I think it is?”
“Yes. I saw it in here the other day. You realize this is one of the items needed to get Dorian back?”
“Wait, but the goblins who came back said they didn’t have it—what is it doing here?”
“I don’t know. Barthe said that last he knew Dorian had it with him, which means someone took it off him either right before he was captured or during the kidnapping…”
“Vane?” Pudge muttered, his mouth twisting into a sneer.
“Maybe. I don’t know. But the question is, how did it end up under Honour’s bed? Did someone plant it? Or did he know it was there?”
Just then, I heard footsteps approaching the room. Oh Hag. We were in trouble. Pudge went still, worry lines furrowing his brow as we watched the door handle twist.
“Pudge, whatever you do, play along.” I grabbed tight to his tunic, pulling him against me. With my foot, I tripped him, causing him to fall onto the bed, right on top of me. As if sensing what I planned, Pudge pressed his lips against mine. They were surprisingly soft and warm. His
mouth tasted sweet, like elderberry wine. My hands slid up his chest until they wrapped around the back of his neck, and I drew him closer, fingers twisting into the hair at his nape. Heat raced through my veins, and all I could hear was the thrumming of my heart in my ears. My lips moved against his, deepening the kiss, until I thought I might lose myself all together.
He encircled me with his arms, his chest against mine, melding our bodies so close that I didn’t know where I began and he ended.
“What in Hag’s name are you two doing in my room?” Honour’s voice cut through my scrambled thoughts.
Pudge slowly pulled back, a dazed look on his face as he stared down at me. “Ivy,” he whispered.
“Pudge,” I answered, breathless. What more could I say? My body tingled from my toes to the tips of my ears. Tiny flutters took flight in my belly. Swallowing past the lump in my throat, I shifted my gaze to Honour. His eyes practically bulged out of his head, his mouth opened in a surprised O.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
I’d probably say the night that the names for the Mission are called. Ivy had been training for this moment only to have things not go as she hoped. But it’s a pivotal scene:
“Good people of Gob Hollow, it is with great pleasure we gather here this night. Not only do we choose six brave goblins to go on the Mission, but we also bring forth the names of those who will participate in the Choosing Ceremony this year.”
Applause and cheers erupted.
“He says Choosing Ceremony like it’s a good thing.” Pudge jabbed me in the ribs. “Luckily our fathers won’t toss us to the wolves.”
I chuckled. We weren’t seventeen yet, and I couldn’t see Father or Councilor Wayfarer throwing our names in with the others. “At least not until next year.” Already, a female behind us sobbed. Poor girl—she wouldn’t have a choice.
The king raised his hands to hush the people once more. “It has been a decade and a half since the last Mission, but now we shall test our younglings as we did in days past. Much thought and discussion has gone into deciding who the six goblins will be. Not only have we evaluated their skills, but we have talked to others who know them and vouch for their integrity, strength, and courage.”
I wondered who’d vouch for my integrity. Crap, I hoped they hadn’t asked Headmistress Kimblay.
Everyone grew quiet. This was it. The moment I’d been waiting for my entire sixteen years. Clutching tight to Pudge, I took a staggered breath, pulse pounding in my ears.
“The first name chosen for the Mission is my son, Dorian Starshooter.”
Cheers rang through the square as Dorian took his place next to his father, accepting a bronze armband. He smiled, bowing to the crowd.
“The next name is Beaurick Smithy.”
Of course. He was one of Dorian’s closest companions. I glanced around, wondering who the other four would be.
“Percivious Blackiron.” Another one of Dorian’s friends moved to the dais. But I could barely hear over the thud in my chest. What if they didn’t choose me? Or what if they did? Hag, it was almost too much to consider either option.
“Cray Guardsman,” the king called the fourth name.
Two more spots.
King Starshooter scanned the King’s Council next to him, then the people of Gob Hollow. I squeezed my eyes shut, aware of only Pudge’s grip on my hand.
“And our last two members for the Mission are Barthe Dundry and Vane Girt.” Birdie’s older brother and my mortal enemy.
“What?” I said. How could they choose Vane? I was better than him. No, something wasn’t right. My name should’ve been called. Was this because I was a female? Sure, they allowed females to train as soldiers, but none had ever been chosen to go on a Mission. Or maybe it was because I wasn’t fullblooded? I’d been training with the King’s Guard, unlike some of the others. This wasn’t how this was supposed to be. My mind reeled. The goblins chosen for the Missions
were granted favor and recognized as heroes in the kingdom. They were also more likely to find a place within the higher ranks, some as bodyguards at the palace, others within the
council. I needed the Mission. Without it, I’d have no way to prove myself.
My father wouldn’t meet my gaze—nor would Dorian.
“What a load of hogwash,” Pudge snarled. “No way is Barthe or Vane worth two shit cakes in a gutter. They’ve made a mistake.”
Tears burned my eyes, but I refused to cry. Not in front of them. “This isn’t happening,” I said. But it was.
Pudge put an arm around me. “Sorry. I know how much you wanted to go.”
“S’okay.” Or at least that’s what I tried to tell myself. Piss off, it wasn’t okay. I’d spent every spare moment training for this. Learning to wield a sword and take on opponents twice my size. I delved into the histories with Father. What would I do with my life now? Everything I’d ever done had been in hopes of going on a Mission or being able to take my place as the next Advisor to the King—because in order to do that, you had to do something spectacular to get noticed.
Readers should read this book …
Because it’s not your average fantasy book. The roles are reversed in this. Humans are fairy tales and the monsters. The main character Ivy is flawed and strong–imperfectly perfect. And she has an awesome flawed hero at her side (and a war dog who likes to steal food).
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
I’m toying with a YA Horror/parnormal idea. I’m for once, without a book contract so I can kind of play around with a few ideas and see what takes hold.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
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Excerpt from Where There Be Humans:
My heart thudded in my chest as I approached the granite archway leading into the yard of the Gob Archives…and I gasped. The structure was built of white marble; twelve columns surrounded the whole thing, and lanterns hung from the ceiling, twinkling like stars. In front of each column sat a bench and a statue representing each of the Twelve Hag virtues: Strength, Power, Kindness, Purity, Wisdom, Stealth, Charity, Bravery, Dependability, Faith, Honor, and Loyalty.
The Goblin Hag was a goddess witch of sorts. It was said that when goblins first came to be, she’d bless them with certain virtues. She was the strongest being, but one day the
darkness had tricked her, killing her and sending her soul to the stars. Goblins still prayed to her, as she supposedly would give favor to certain goblins or even punish others.
I shivered at the last thought. When I glanced back to the statues, I noticed the one wielding a sword seemed to stare right through me, as though questioning my strength and courage. My blood thrummed in my ears. Then the statue’s eyes opened, and I felt the flesh on my back burn.
Pain dropped me to my knees, the impact forcing the air from my lungs. “Oof!”
What was going on? Frantic, I searched the courtyard. When I looked at the statue again, its eyes were shut. “I must be imagining things,” I whispered. I climbed to my feet, the skin between my shoulder blades stinging like I’d just been flogged with Kimblay’s switch.
As I neared the Archives, I searched for Pudge, who was still nowhere to be found. He’d better not have bailed on me.
A rustling in the trees had me diving for cover, and then I heard the sound of groans coming from above.
“Ivy, is that you?”
“Pudge?” There he was, hanging from the tree in a net. “How in the witch’s tit did you manage this?”
“The King’s Council has this place guarded by booby traps. I stepped into one.”
They’d definitely caught a booby, all right. “Well, hang on while I cut you down,” I said.
“I can’t exactly go anywhere.” He snorted. “And they call you the smart one.”
My eyes narrowed. “It sounds like you’re asking me to leave you up there.”
“Sorry.” Pudge squirmed like a fish caught on a line. “Can you please just get me down before someone sees me?”
Once I made my way over to the tree, I searched for the rope, which was tied on a low-hanging branch. I unsheathed my dagger and cut it. Pudge fell to the ground with a thud
and a yelp.
“Ow, could’ve been more careful—there are rocks down here.” He attempted to untangle himself from the net.
In the distance, I heard voices. We were going to get caught. I rushed over and tugged Pudge behind the bushes, where he fell in a heap, bringing me with him.
“I can’t get this net off.”
“Quiet,” I hissed from on top of him, pointing to a guard making his rounds. I covered his mouth with my hand while I cut through the netting with the other, trying hard to ignore the increase
of my pulse as our bodies pressed together.
Pudge stared at me, his gaze holding mine. His arm slinked around my waist, pulling me closer to keep me from being seen. His warm breath tickled my cheek as my head nestled down into the crook of his neck.
I shifted slightly, my lips accidentally brushing his skin. Oh, Hag, we were so close. I heard the sharp intake of his breath.
“Ivy, uh, you might not want to do that here. We’re friends, but even I’m not fully immune…” He grinned at me.
Blushing, I swatted his arm, pressing him farther into the ground. “Shh…”
“Did you hear something?” one of the guards said.
“Probably just some animal,” the other said.
After the guards went back down the path, we came out of hiding. We started to get up, but Pudge jerked me back down as Councilors Dundry and Girt came around the bend. His arms wrapped around me, keeping me behind the bushes.
“I thought you said the council was in a meeting?” I whispered in his ear.
“They’re supposed to be.”
“Did you have the gold delivered to the mountains?” Councilor Dundry asked.
“Yes, they said they’d wait for word from us before they make their move.”
“A shipment of swords will go out to them within the week.”
I stiffened. What were they talking about? Did Father know what they were up to?
“We’d best hurry,” Councilor Girt said. “We’re already late for the meeting. We don’t need the king getting suspicious.”
Their footsteps drew farther away, and after a few moments of silence, Pudge’s body relaxed as he blew out a breath. “I think we’re clear now,” he said.
“Yes.” Even though I wanted to know what the council members were up to, I knew I couldn’t follow. “Now come on, we don’t have a lot of time.”
“Why don’t you go on in, and I’ll keep watch from outside.” Pudge hurried after me. “I’ll do our bird whistle if someone’s coming.”
“You sure you don’t want to see it?” I turned around. Hag knew we’d both wanted to get into the Archives since we were children. The more people told us we couldn’t do something, the more determined we were to do it.
“Yeah, you go on.” He glanced in the direction of Dundry and Girt. “I think one of us should keep watch. The guards will likely be making rounds again soon, so make it quick.”
I gave him a hug, and he squashed me against him. “Remember, whistle if you see anyone, and then hide.”
With Pudge standing guard, I sucked in a deep breath and headed into the most mysterious and secretive place in Gob Hollow.
My boots clunked against the marble tiles as I made my way down a long hall. Columns ran along either side of me, with roses, swords, eyes, and creatures carved into each of them. Candles in clay pots lined the walkway, casting strange patterns across the faces in the paintings.
When I came into the circular main room, my mouth dropped open. The dome-shaped ceiling was decorated with intricate paintings of cherubs, lovers, and battles. And glowing in the center of it all was a grand sword hanging from golden claws.
A humming sounded in my ears, and my heart pounded at my chest like it wanted out. For a moment I thought I heard the sound of metal clashing with metal, and the distinct clip-clop of hooves and battle cries.
“The Sword of Avarik,” I whispered. It might have been my eyes playing tricks on me in the dim light, but I swore it glowed even brighter with my words. Why was I able to see the sword? Legend had it that it only appeared when there was a need for it. My arms broke out in gooseflesh. Something strange was going on tonight. First the glowingeyed statue, now this.
Come on, Ivy, you’re on a mission. Get the information you came for and go. The whole room was lined floor to ceiling with books. I hurried forward, noticing each column near the shelves had subjects carved into them. I had only one question—it was my sole reason for coming into the Archives. I needed to know what I was. Not just the goblin side, but the other part of me. The blood that my father refused to talk about. The side of me which I spent defending nearly every day at school—that’d caused me so much ridicule and earned me the nickname halfer.
When I came to the column bearing the word “human” on it, my breathing quickened. I wiped my sweaty palms against my cloak, hesitating. What was I waiting for? This was what all my research up until now had led to. I needed to take a peek and go.
Grabbing a nearby candle, I walked down the narrow row of books until I stood in front of a large leather-bound tome entitled The Humans and Their History. I set the candle on a table and reached in to pull out the massive book, which was as tall as a sheep and thicker than my leg.
With a grunt, I managed to tug it out and carry it over to the table. Thud. I froze as the echoing thud died out. Darn it, the whole village probably heard that. I had to hurry. My fingers trembled, and I took a deep breath. The musty scent of aged parchment overwhelmed me, but I
flipped open the first page to the table of contents, then scanned the list of words until I saw The Anatomy of a Human.
This was the moment I’d waited for the past several years, and yet I hesitated. Fear gripped me—what if after all this, I still didn’t find the answers tonight? Then what?
Quit wasting time, Ivy. You’ve got to hurry up. You didn’t go through all this to not take a look. Sucking in another deep breath, I urged my trembling fingers to continue.
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Archer is arguably the best warrior-in-training Gob Hollow has ever seen. Yet everyone—except her best friend she suddenly has other feelings for—looks down on her because she’s only half goblin, with no idea what the other half is. She’s always suspected it might be human.
But humans, she’s been told, aren’t real. They’re only creatures of myth.
When the prince of their kingdom is taken for ransom, it’s Ivy’s big chance to prove her worth. And when she learns his captors are human, the rescue mission becomes personal. The stories were clearly wrong, and now she has a chance to find the truth about her lineage, as well. If she survives…
With a small band of warriors at her command, including her best friend turned crush that’s getting harder to hide, Ivy sets out to find the prince and her human family. But the answers lie within secrets and conspiracies that run far deeper than she ever imagined.
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Meet the Author:
Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She’s lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids),she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.
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