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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Welcome Sarah-Jane Lehoux, Guest Author!

Hi Sarah, welcome to the blog and I am looking forward to learning more about you and your books. So glad you could drop in on your Sevy Series Virtual Blog Tour.

First let's learn a little about you:


Sarah-Jane Lehoux has always had a passion for storytelling. From grade school tales of cannibalistic ghosts, to teenaged conversations with God, to her rebellion against adulthood with fantasy kingdoms and fairy magic, she has attempted to share her love of the quirky and unconventional with her readers.

She currently resides in Southern Ontario with her husband and her horde of Machiavellian cats. In addition to her own writing, Sarah-Jane works as an editor and freelance cover artist.

Wow!! You were into the paranormal in grade school.:) 
Let's learn about your books and why you wrote them:

Guest Post:

One of the most satisfying things about being a writer is when you have one of those perfect, shining moments when everything suddenly clicks. What was once a garbled mess of assorted scenes and chapters becomes a cohesive whole. And a lot of times, you’ll find themes emerge that you had no conscious awareness of when you first sat down to write.

That’s how it has been with each book in The Sevy Series. At first, Thief (the first novel in the series) was just an outlet, something fun to work on to pass the time. Then suddenly…click! What was once an adventure story with demons and dragons took on a completely new depth as I realized where my character arcs were heading. I remember sitting back in my chair and getting a tad bit teary eyed. My story had become an excursion through the deep, dark recesses of broken woman’s soul. How the hell did that happen?

It was then that I knew that this wouldn’t be a standalone book. I knew I had to continue with Sevy’s journey. You’d think that, going into the second novel, I would know that Shades of War was more than just a tale of ghosts and ghouls. Wrong! About halfway through, I realized that it was about breaking pre-convinced notions and long held prejudices in order to grow not only as an individual but as a society. Who knew?

With Masquerade, I was a little more aware that this book was going to lead me to places unknown. And did it ever! From magic-wielding maniacs and mischievous fairies to an exploration of love and obsession.

Each book in the series to date (there are two more planned) have both dazzled and delighted me when I realized that they were more than the sum of their parts. And it pleases me to no end when I hear back from readers that these books have affected them, lingered with them.

I’ll leave you to ponder on what perfect, shining, clicking moments you’ve experienced with your favourite, oft-read books, and how much fuller life seems because of them.  There truly is magic in the written word, enough to lift both writers and readers from the mundane routine of day-to-day life.

Well, I know I am intrigued and would like to read more about these books.

The Sevy Series

Blurb for Thief:
Happily Ever After Doesn't Come Without a Price

In the crumbling city of Eloria, there are two indisputable facts. First, everyone has a dream. Secret, seemingly unattainable, altogether irresistible, it is the kind of dream that aches and, at times, burns. For most, it will forever remain a teasing enigma, but there are those for whom dreams grow into obsession. Which brings us to the second indisputable fact: everyone has a price. Protestations of morality have little meaning when confronted with the all-consuming passion of the soul. Better judgment is pushed aside for the chance to obtain the unobtainable. The only question remaining is just how much a person is willing to sacrifice in order to get what they want.

Sevy has always been a quick study in the wicked ways of Eloria. Since childhood, she has eked out a living for herself with the help of her sticky fingers and her indomitable spirit. She has no qualms about taking what she desires, and when the unrequited love of her life is mysteriously murdered, Sevy will stop at nothing to get him back. Elvish black magic, necromancy and demonic pacts are of little consequence if it means she can once again have her beloved at her side. But is she willing to murder her only friend to get the job done? Is there a line that even this selfish, self-proclaimed bitch is not prepared to cross?

Excerpt from Thief:

     She might as well have been invisible. The people of Eloria paid no mind to the redness of her nose or to the wet marks that streaked across her dirty face. She was just another nameless vagrant after all, of which the city had more than its fair share.
It was midday. People flooded the constricted, cobbled streets, busily going about their lives. The perpetual grind and toil demanded that sales be pitched, prices be haggled, and money be made. Each day like the one beforean uphill battle to earn as much as the gods would allow so that, hopefully, their own children would not have the same desperation in their eyes that the skinny girl had in hers.
     Had it been any other day, Sevy would have laughed at the curses that flew after her whenever she bumped into one of the merchants. Any other day, and she would have been more reckless, more bold, snatching coins right from outstretched hands and then making a game of the ensuing chase. Today, sadly, was not such a day.
The morning had begun well enough. Hopping nimbly over heaps of trash, she had rummaged for breakfast before returning homea derelict building that once served as stables, decades ago, back when the Axlun royal family still lived in Eloria and the city was in its finest hour. Now abandoned by most of

the kingdom’s aristocracy, Eloria had descended into a long, drawn out rot. Bad for the economy perhaps, but just right for those like Sevy. The city was littered with ramshackle houses and factories, memories of past prosperity cast off like the shells of sea creatures, readily appropriated and transformed into covert bastions of beggars and brigands.
     The stables sheltered any number of street children, orphaned by choice or by circumstance, living together in fluid, drifting groups. It was their sanctuary against the dangers of the city, and though it couldn’t hold heat in the winter or lose it in the summer, it was dear to them.
She climbed up to the hayloft and tucked into her meal of a half-eaten apple and a crust of week-old bread, quite content. The day was further improved when Trena arrived and dangled a bottle of ruby red wine before Sevy’s eager eyes. 

Blurb for Shades of War:
There is More Than One Road to Redemption

Sometimes the past can't be forgotten. Sometimes the truth refuses to be buried. And sometimes the dead won't stay dead.

It began as a simple request: Journey to the Northern Jungles and bring a wayward son back to the safety of his farm and family before the racial tension that is building between humans and dark elves erupts into civil war. But life is never simple for Sevy, and she soon finds herself entangled in a bloody battle of good versus evil, love versus hate.

Old friends and enemies reunite, familial bonds are broken, and loyalty is tested. And in the midst of the steamy, sultry jungles, the ghosts of a serial killer's victims come out to play. Sevy, as petulant and irascible as ever, must overcome her personal demons in order to expose a madman and bring peace back to the kingdom. But just how much of her sanity must she sacrifice to help her friends? And how can she save anyone when she can't even save her own soul?

Excerpt from Shades of War:

     Sevy grimaced. “Stop that. Pull yourself together. Let me get this straight. Someone’s got your brother working for them and you want me to go get him for you?”
     “Uh-huh. And then take us home? I wanna go home. We’re not from the city. We just came here to go to school. The lady lied to my parents. She took their money and promised to watch over us, but then...I just wanna go home.”
     She was absolutely pitiful, this wretched and awkward child. Despite her air of detached indifference, Sevy felt rage ripple within her. Memories stirred of a time long agoa time of loneliness and despair, when her face was just a little too sallow, and her bones were just a little too prominent. When it felt as though there wasn’t, and never could be, an instant when hunger didn’t gnaw at her innards and the cold didn’t shroud her like a second skin. When desperate cravings for human contact were cast aside because the only time she felt safe was when she went unseen, unnoticed.
     But even so, there were hundreds in Eloria alone who shared such similar memories. If Sevy worked for free for every sob story she heard, she’d have starved to death by now.
     “You’re certain your parents will pay?”
     “Oh yes, ma’am. My dad’s a weaver in Devenbourn. He has heaps of money.”
     “Devenbourn?” Sevy asked, her voice suddenly sharp. Her hand shot up to her neck, to the copper coin she wore on a light chain. She rubbed it between her thumb and forefinger, feeling the pattern of an S etched onto one side. The edges of the coin’s engraving had once scratched her, but by now had been worn smooth, and the coin itself gleamed from being polished so often with the oil of her skin.
     “Yeah, my hometown. West of the—”
     “I know where it is.” Sevy took another long drink of ale, finishing off the second mug as quickly as the first. “Right. You got a deal, Cloa. I’ll get your brother. We’ll worry about payment once we reach Devenbourn.”
     “Oh, thank you, ma’am! You don’t know how much this means to me! Thank you so much!”
     The girl seized Sevy’s weathered hands in her small, pink paws and kissed them. Sevy jerked away, wrinkling her nose at the wet globs of spittle and tears that now coated her fingers. She wiped them on her cloak distastefully, and then stood up, motioning for Cloa to follow. 

Blurb for Masquerade:
Never Trust a Liar, especially when they're telling the truth.

Starting over isn’t easy, especially when the world isn’t ready for you to change. Sevy, thief turned assassin turned mercenary, isn’t having any fun adjusting to a normal, law-abiding life. Luckily for her, an old partner in crime arrives with an irresistible proposition: a getaway to a tropical island, an adventure of a lifetime, and an amazing friendship ready to blossom into an even more amazing romance.

Things are looking up for Sevy. That is, until a pack of maniacal fairies with a taste for human flesh arrive on the scene.

Now she must unravel a web of magical intrigue hidden behind the outwardly idyllic atmosphere of the islands of Belakarta. Nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted. Trapped under the spell of a handsome and mysterious stranger, Sevy must fight fairies and tricksters to regain her freedom.

Or spend an eternity as a sorcerer’s plaything. 

Excerpt for Masquerade:

      He really did love it here, despite the glares he received as he approached the bar. He loved the smell of cheap booze and cheap women. He loved the sound of the dice slamming onto the tables and the shuffling of cards. But one thing had changed since the time that Jarro, Sevy and Revik ruled this tavern like gods of the vine. Or perhaps it would be truer to say that one thing had reverted to the way it had been before their bawdy regime: Revik’s kind was not welcome.
     To think that these simpletons eyed Revik as if he were an outsider, as if he were a virgin to the Bloody Heart. He’d been drunk off his rocker here long before most of these pathetic humans had even come of age. But they didn’t respect such things.
     Sevy wasn’t here. He knew she wasn’t. None of these slack-jawed half-wits would be conscious if she was around. She’d have beaten them all to Koad- wykeir and back simply for the sake of existing.
     Still, he was here and it wouldn’t hurt to check. He flicked a coin at Dril Ray Vipin, whose sour expression told that he recognized Revik and knew what he was about to ask.
     “She here?”
     “Know where she is?”
     “Well, well, well! Looky what we got here, fellas,” someone called from the

entrance. Revik turned to see a muscled, kohl-wearing pretty boy stomp

towards him, followed by five not-so-pretty hangers on. “Better get a cat, Vipin. Looks like you got yourself a ‘festeration.”
     “I believe the word is infestation. But good on you for trying,” Revik said, barely able to conceal his laughter.
     “What did you say?”
     “Take it outside, boys. I can’t stand the stink of rat blood,” Vipin said, sneering.
     “Dril! I’m surprised at you. You really ought to know better by now.”
     The sheen of Revik’s long sword reflected in the humans’ widening eyes. Just a quick flick of his wrist, and pretty boy’s beauty was forever marred.
     The man hissed when he touched his hand to his cheek and felt the blood trickle out. “You filthy red-eye!”
     He crooked a gloved finger in the air and his men rushed forward, blades drawn. Revik laughed again and leapt over their heads, landing gracefully on the bar. With his foot, he slid a glass of ale towards his would-be assailants. It was up to them whether they’d take that as an invitation or an insult.
     “Orius, right? It’s been awhile so maybe you’ve forgotten me, but you must remember my friend Sevy?”
     Orius glared at him, but Revik did not miss the flash of terror that passed over his face at the mention of Sevy’s name. With good reason too. The glove he wore was to cover the damage she did to his hand years ago. 


Amazon Buy Links:

Sarah-Jane Lehoux, thank you for stopping by and I wish you all success with your books. If anyone is interested in following each 
blog stop you can find them on her blog. 

Until the next time, I can't believe May is almost over. The pool is open and I haven't been out there yet. I can see and hear people enjoying it, but maybe that is enough for now.:) I don't see much reason to sit in the sun unless I am going to go in the water. That won't happen until the weather gets much warmer. Although tomorrow it might reach the middle '80s. 

I thought I might be able to send in my novel this month, but once again I am bogged down. I need to change something and it has to be changed in almost every chapter. So now I need to rewrite and that requires silence and no distractions. With my daughter now at work and my husband out of the house for doctor appointments I might have that time now. 

Anyone following the health of my husband should know that he is much better in many ways, but he might have to lose another toe. It is exactly the same one he lost on his other foot. This time we hope he won't have to need the infusions so he can stay home. But it's back to the hospital in a few weeks and I don't know if I can stand another round of it again. I just want him to be healthy and for us to have some time together like we had this weekend. I will talk about that on my Facebook page. So if you are not my Facebook friend go ahead and friend me. I usually only friend people who have mutual friends with me, though.:)

Join me on June 8 to meet Rae Hachton and learn more about her.
Enjoy the warmer weather and I hope that you are not in the middle of any terrible storms. For anyone who is struggling my thoughts and prayers are with you as you try to put back the pieces of your life. I am aware of what you are going through having been displaced myself. 
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