I am so excited to have Aneta Cruz on my blog! You may remember her stopping by back in September 2013, promoting her insanely awesome book, Heartbreak Hotel. And now, she's here once more, having cranked out another glorious story called, The Guardian.
Hey, look! Here she is!
Aneta! How are you? Thank you so much for joining us today! Here, have some cupcakes *passes plate* and perhaps a nice, hot beverage *passes cup of Earl Gray with milk and honey*. I hope you’re doing well. It’s so awesome that you here again! So let’s get right to it, shall we? Tell us….
Please give us a synopsis about your new release, The Guardian.
Jeez, when someone tells me “give us a synopsis” all I hear is “sign your death sentence”. I know for a fact that I’m not the only author who hates writing a synopsis because our stories are so much deeper than just a this person meets this person, this is at stake, and then they go do this and that, and then they live happily ever after. Or not. [laughs] Okay. I’ll try this. Here’s a little teaser:
You are in Prague, 1939. Dr. Josef Stein, the ambitious seeker of otherworldly beings, is ready to take you on a quest in which solving a murder and discovering the veracity of a thousand-year-old myth are just two of his many pursuits. Keep your eyes open wide. You never know who’s lurking in the shadows by the door. And be very careful out there. While you are searching for something otherworldly with doctor Stein, the Nazis are searching for you. Who will complete their quest first? You and the ambitious doctor or the Nazis with their own ambitious agenda?
When did you first decide to sit down and write this story?
This story sort of flashed through my mind in its entirety, with the cast of characters, settings, plot, climax, and resolution in a split second when I got out of the shower one day 4 years ago. I remember it so clearly. I barely wrapped the towel around me and yelled at my husband to bring me my notebook and pencil, and right there on the bathroom counter, I scribbled everything down. I have a notebook in which I keep all my notes for all my stories. If anyone ever finds it, s/he’ll think I’m a crazy scatterbrain. But the notebook only looks disorganized to an outside eye. I know exactly where what is or isn’t and why.
What inspired The Guardian?
A scary ballad called the Noon Witch (in translation) by K. J. Erben, a Czech author (1811 -1870). I’d read it a thousand times, but that day…well, I guess some neurons just made wicked awesome connections and sparked the creativity.
Do you like to write with noise? No noise?
I never really thought of that. When I write, I completely tune out. I totally submerge into the story and feel like I’m really there. I’m in a different world, detached from my body, if that makes any sense at all. The house could be on fire and I don’t think I would notice.
Are you a paper-and-pen type of gal or strictly on the computer?
Both. When I get an idea for a story, I immediately write it down. I identify the characters, they’re desires, the main plot, and the ending. I always know the ending before I begin to write. It gives me the motivation to search for the antecedent scenario. I’m like a detective trying to solve a mystery. How did this happen? And why? I ask myself before I write. Then I head to the computer.
What’s your favorite snack to munch on while you let the creative juices flow?
I don’t eat. It’s like my body shuts down and only my inner eye that sees everything that is happening in the story exists. I’m not hungry or thirsty or anything. I’m not even sure I breathe. J
Do you have one of those nagging little voices in the back of your head, telling you that you can’t do it? If so, how do you shut it up?
The only nagging voice I have is the one that yells: “Hurry up. Finish. What’s taking so long?” I am not a patient person. If I had a magic wand, I would just wave it and the story would be there from start to finish. The only way to shut up that nagging voice is to write and write and write until I’m able to type THE END. And then it begins nagging again because there are other WIPs waiting to be finished. I don’t think I could ever get rid of that incessant yeller in my head. [sighs]
Does your story come from personal experience or have you had to do some major research?
My uncle is Schizophrenic. I dedicated the book to him. I’ve seen him on his good and bad days. And I’ve always wondered whether he really sees those which he speaks to. He sounds so convincing when he does. And when he does, the hair on the back of my neck stands up as if there truly was someone invisible only he is aware of. Quite spooky, I tell ya. But very intriguing and fascinating as well. So, yes. There’s a lot of personal experience there. But, I did do a huge amount of research into the Nazi era and the behavior of patients with certain mental illnesses.
What kind of books do you like to read? E-books or the real thing? J
I’m a sucker for paper. I love to turn the pages, smell the books, touch the print, stroke the spines of the books in my own library…yes, I have a book fetish. E-books are not for me. I need the real deal.
So how awesome does "The Guardian" sound? Check out this bad-a** cover:
Ways to stalk...er, I mean, contact awesome Aneta:
Thanks for stopping by, Aneta! Come visit again soon!
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AMAZING GIFTS UP FOR GRABS!
Series: The Dragonian Series #1
Published: 20th November 2013
Publisher: Mythos Press
Dragons. Right. Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales, and sixteen-year-old Elena Watkins was no different.
Until the night a fairy tale killed her father.
Now Elena is in a new world, and a new school. The cutest guy around may be an evil dragon, a prince wants Elena's heart, and a long dead sorcerer may be waking up to kill her. Oh and the only way Elena's going to graduate is on the back of a dragon of her own.
Teenage girls don't believe in fairy tales. Now it's time for Elena to believe in...herself.
About the Author:
Where you can reach her:
The Dragonian Series
Adrienne Woods Books and reviews
The Dragonian Series blog
Adrienne Woods Books and reviews
The Dragonian Series blog
A girl singing her heart out about a miracle boomed inside my ear. A miracle would get me what I needed: a chance at a semi-normal life.
The bedroom door hitting the wall expelled the thought from my mind. With his hand tangled up in his copper hair and with huge brown eyes, Dad's figure filled the entire doorway. “Pack your bags.” He had that set to his jaw, the one that meant there was no way out of this. He bolted out of the room just as suddenly as he had appeared.
My teeth ground hard against each other, and the sharp pain behind my eyes, I guessed from the lack of sleep, grew stronger. Every fibre of my being wanted to explode.
Ever since I could remember my name, Dad and I had been on the run. From what? Beats me.
For the last two weeks, I'd been pacing up and down through the house, struggling to fall asleep at night, waiting for this day.
For the love of blue berries, no sixteen-year old should live this way!
I climbed off my bed, and the first step I took left my toe tangled in the wide leg of my jeans. I tried to regain my balance as the closet inched closer, but with wildly flailing arms, I came crashing down. The thud reverberated across the wooden floor, and it sounded as if I'd broken something.
Dad darted back into my room. "Are you okay?" He lifted me back onto my feet as if I weighed nothing.
Tears lurked in the corners of my eyes, threatening to burst, as I stared up at him.
"Don't give me that look, Elena. Please, we need to hurry.” He pulled my suitcase from the top shelf and chucked it haphazardly onto my bed. “We need to go. Now.”
He started to grab my clothes from the shelf and tossed them messily inside my small suitcase. Then he paused, sighed, and looked up with soft eyes. He stroked the side of my cheek with his hand gently. “This wasn't the right place, bear. Please, you’ve got to trust me.”
His hand reached back to pull everything off my shelf, while my hands curled up into balls of fury. My heart pounded fast as those two words bounced inside my skull. “Trust you, Dad?”
"Elena, we don't have much time,” he yelled. “Pack your bags! You can ask questions later." He left, and the hollow “doof” sound from his footsteps stomped loudly as he made his way into the hall.
Ask questions? Yeah right! I’ll only get answers that don’t reveal why we are on the run for the gazillionth time.' “Trust me” and “I'll tell you when the time is right” were the only two answers Dad gave. 'Guess time with him will never be right.’
It was no use arguing with him anyway. The last time, he threw me over his shoulder and carried me out without any of my things.
So I grabbed the stuff I needed: my mp3 player, a photo of Mom that Dad didn't know I had, and my journal from underneath my bed. I tossed them into my backpack. It wasn't much, but it was the stuff that made my miserable life felt less pathetic. I zipped up my suitcase and took a deep breath. Looking around my bedroom for the last time, I said goodbye to my sixtieth-something room.
Dad almost ran me over in the hall with his army bag slung over his shoulder. He grumbled, which I assumed was an apology, took my suitcase, and ran down the stairs. He always rented these huge old houses, pre-furnished and near the countryside, and we always left after three months.
The pickup's horn honked as I shut the front door. I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. Just two more years, then I'll be eighteen and free from this freak show. Huge raindrops fell hard onto the ground. The smell of wet dirt filled the air. It was my favorite smell.
The water that pooled on the ground covered all the gaps in the driveway, forcing me to hopscotch around all of them. My shoe got caught in one of the gaps and I smacked down hard in a huge puddle. By the time I reached the truck, my jeans and shoes were soaking wet.
Warm heat from the vents inside the truck hit me full blast as I jumped in; a million goose pimples erupted across my skin. As soon as I shut the rusty door, Dad floored the gas pedal. Tires screeched and the truck spun away as if the Devil chased us. My lower lip quivered softly as he swerved onto the road. The streetlights flew by in a blur as I plugged in my earpieces. The same stupid song about a miracle boomed from my mp3, drowning the sound of the engine and the hard dribbles on the roof, a percussion that became the perpetual soundtrack to my misery.
A feeling of utter loneliness consumed my heart as I stared out the window. Homes with white picket fences and the convenient store whizzed by in a flash. A tear rolled down my cheek as I said goodbye, and my breath on the glass created a foggy condensation. Reaching out my index finger, I drew a small heart. These were the reasons why Mom had left. She couldn't handle his paranoia, but why she’d left her daughter to deal with it was a mystery. Dad constantly reminded me of the latter, and that was the only time he ever spoke of her. If he ever discovered I had that picture, he would kill me. That was how much he hated her for leaving us.
The lights of a vehicle in the upcoming lane shone directly into my face. I shut my eyes, waiting for it to disappear. As a little girl, I used to watch Dad as we drove away from yet another house. He would glare into his rearview mirror every five seconds, every muscle in his face clenched, and his knuckles white on the steering wheel. I hadn’t been able to force myself to peek out the window then, as it used to scare the living crap out of me to consider the possible reasons he was fleeing from, or who might be following us. Now, I didn't look at him or care much for what he was going through. He created this problem. With me becoming the luggage. It was a ritual I endured every three months, and nothing over the past sixteen years had ever changed that.
The “Interstate 40” sign flew by in a whirl, and the pickup slowly moved onto the turnoff lane.
My eyes started to burn as I stared at the rain running down my window. Each rivet resembled another town, another place I would never again call home. Exhaustion consumed me and my eyelids felt heavy. I laid my head against the window and struggled to stay awake.
Suddenly, a dark and huge figure flew past me. Dad swerved to the left, which made me crushed into the side of the passenger’s door. My entire body pumped with adrenaline. I jumped straight in my seat and wrenched the seatbelt over my shoulder to buckle myself in. I tore out my earpieces as I tried to process what had just happened.
“What was that?” I looked at Dad.
He stared straight ahead with huge eyes. Beads of sweat rolled from his hairline down to the side of his temple. He looked terrified, something that conflicted with his personality. I'd never seen Dad look that scared in my entire life.
“Did you see where it went?” he asked, attempting to inject calm into his voice, but I could hear the fear lacing each syllable.
“See where what went? Dad what was that!”
“You wouldn't believe me if I told you.”
“For once in your life, just tell me!” I screamed. Sixteen years of frustration exploded from my lungs. I couldn't take the unknown anymore.
“Fine.” He mumbled something else that I didn't catch. "Do you remember the stories I used to tell you?"
“Stories? What stories?”
“The ones about Paegeia, Elena.” He looked in his rearview mirror again with huge, unblinking eyes.
Vaguely, but I didn't tell him that. "What does that have to do with this?"
I froze and I stared at him.
“All of it, it’s real. The dragons, the magic, the wall, everything is real.”
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