I’d like to welcome the lovely Lex to my blog. She’s no stranger here, having done the artwork for both my header and the cover for Through the Paintings. Today she’s here to treat you to a glimpse of the world in her Spellbound Treasure novella Unbreak Me. Before I turn the blog over to her, I wanted to let you know you can get a ten percent discount this week at Jupiter Gardens Press on your whole purchase if you buy at least one Spellbound Treasure book and use the code word treasure. Also, I’m giving away Unbreak Me to the first five people who register for email updates from my blog after this goes live. Please come back Wednesday for the release of my first novella!
I give you Lex Valentine:
Unbreak Me isn’t a new book, but the characters still enthrall me. When my editor, Mary Wilson, and I discussed this world back in 2010, I decided my contribution would be a trilogy. Somehow, life got in the way and I’ve never gone back to this world and finished the story of betrayal I began with Unbreak Me. Now that the audiobook is set to begin production soon, I’m hoping it spurs me to write the other two books.
When I was asked to talk about this book I jumped at the chance in part because the audiobook version will be out this year and in part because I love this world. The characters in Unbreak Me are special. The setting is special and the plot is very different from what I usually write. And the book was a 2011 Passionate Plume finalist as well as the second place novella in the 2011 Lories Best Published contest. I knew this novella was special but I wanted everyone else to think so too. And then Happily Ever Reviews gave it 5 teacups saying, “This is not a quick, light read. This is a living thing that sinks its claws into the reader and doesn’t let go.”
Well. It just doesn’t get any better for an author than that.
Unbreak Me isn’t a pretty story. The world itself is filled with a mixture of modern Earth type tech, magic, and sci-fi. The realms of this world include Crossroads of the Realms, the place where Spellbound Treasure has its home. ST is run by an angel, Etienne, and her assistant Robin, a handsome demon. Etienne and Robin sell items imbued with magic. They are the only ones who can handle such items.
The main realm in my story is Estep Realm whose capital is Falconaire City, the seat of government for my world as well as the home base of the Pythian Elite, a fighting force of warriors who have magic and tech. It is also home of the Prime Minister and The Citadel, the Ministry Office Complex.
Within Falconaire City are several districts including The Avenal, an upscale appearing area that is actually dangerous. It’s a place where anyone with money can buy anything they want on the black market. It’s a place where spies seek secrets and where men take their mistresses. There’s also the oldest city in Estep, Hawksmoor, a once proud city that is now a slum filled with criminals.
The places in this novella aren’t pretty. They are gritty, dark and filled with unsavory people. And the beautiful places like Falconaire City are only surface beautiful. Falconaire City’s beauty hides evil people in high places, making it just as ugly and dark as Hawksmoor.
My main characters are a trio of best friends. My heroine, Tait Boland, is the daughter of the General in charge of the Pythian Elite. Her long time lover, Major Marcus ‘Ren’ Renniger and their best friend Captain Branson Gaines, were on a mission which Tait did not go on. Their transport was hijacked and Marcus and Branson were presumed dead. Many things happen to Tait, Marcus and Branson prior to the start of the book, but those things all have bearing on the story.
The story opens with Tait bidding for a heart carved out of heartstone. Someone else bids for it too and wins. Tait comes out of hiding and goes to Crossroads to try to get the winner to sell her the heart. That’s when she discovers her lover is still alive. This sets off a chain of events as Marcus, Tait and Branson seek those who betrayed them six years before.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the story because it might spoil it for you! But Unbreak Me is an emotional roller coaster as Tait and Marcus reunite and try to make sense of what happened to them and why. It has a satisfactory ending, besides the HEA, on one level as we see Tait gain revenge on those who hurt her. However, the bigger picture, the depths of the betrayal against Tait, Marcus, Branson and Tait’s father the General, are only touched on.
The second book is meant to be a continuation of their search for answers and in it the characters are joined by Branson’s twin brother who, on paper, doesn’t exist. That story is meant to be MM. The final book in the trilogy winds up the mystery of who really betrayed them and why and gives Branson his HEA. One day, I will sit down and write the other two books.
This is an incredibly emotional story and, like I said, it’s not pretty. The cover art (all of the ST covers are done by me, mine as well as the other authors) is appropriately dark, but still shows the depth of the love between my hero and heroine. I hope that when the audiobook comes out that readers who loved the book will check it out. I think the narrator’s voice is wonderful and I think she will bring my characters to life.
For any reader who likes their romances with a bit of magic, this multi-author series is a must read. All of the authors have used Crossroads in slightly different ways, but each story contains an object containing magic obtained from Spellbound Treasure. It’s an awesome world and a great series that I’m grateful to be a part of.