Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Monarch by Belle Whittington

Title: Monarch
Author: Belle Whittington
Series: Cicada Trilogy
Genre: Soft Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Romance, Action/Adventure, Aliens
Release Date: September 27, 2014
Length: 494 pages
Cover Artist: LB Whittington
Blair Reynolds was born to rule. Worlds, that is. Destined to reign over an ancient intergalactic race, it may seem her fate is written in the stars. But she’s willing to risk it all for another chance to spend forever with her true love – even if it means traveling through time and space to the other side of the universe.

As far as Ash is concerned, Blair's happily-ever-after involves him, not the mere mortal with whom she seems so infatuated. She was bequeathed to him by her father, and Ash will go to any lengths to keep Blair and her true love apart.

And Ash isn’t the only one.

Deep in the jungles of Brazil, where tribal drums call to Blair and her true love, other forces carry out dangerous secret plans.

However, Blair has secrets of her own … secrets so lethal she dares not even remember them.
Secrets so painful they could ruin everything.

Because some secrets kill.

I was no longer a bystander to this story.  I was the story.  Every secret interwoven through the tale I’m about to tell you belongs to me.  And the summer I graduated from high school was the summer everything came together in a horrible clash of good versus evil.
Packing up and leaving my small, inconsequential, southeast Texas hometown meant leaving part of myself behind.  I said goodbye to the human side of me when we piled into David’s truck and drove away from our home.  And I waved farewell to any hope of ever returning as I watched our home slip into the shades of night.
Everything had been turned upside down, and deciding what was good and what was evil was like looking through sunglasses at night.  It all washed together in a murky blend of darkness, shadows, and secrets.
My biggest secret of all was one for which I had no answer:  which one was I – good or evil?  I stuffed that secret deep behind my ribs and swallowed it down.
Some secrets are best kept in the darkness away from prying eyes and those who would seek to face them head-on.  Some secrets kill.

Blair Reynolds (Main Character)
She thought she’d grow up to be a large animal veterinarian like her grandfather.  But when she turned seventeen, things began to change … not only to her, but to those around her.  Like a cicada leaving its shell, Blair changes from human to become her self-ordained destiny: the Monarch of an ancient intergalactic race.

Andrew Reynolds
Blair’s older telepathic brother who also has a sixth sense of knowing things … some call it ESP.  Andrew is an alien-human hybrid – the byproduct of alien experiments done on his mother and grandmother.  He’s a good guy, but things never seem to go his way.

Everett Forster
Love interest and ΓΌber nerd.  His childhood dream was to become an entomologist one day, because of his love of bugs and insects.  However, those plans never come to fruition.  Like Blair, his fate lies elsewhere.  Joining the Resistance took him far from the plans of his boyhood and into the realization that he was meant for grander things … things beyond the human world.

Charming and sexy, flirtatious Ash will stop at nothing to make Blair his own.  There’s not a human bone in his body, but that won’t stop him from having his share of girls on the side.  They don’t matter, though.  All that matters to him is that he fulfills the promise he’d made to Blair’s father to keep her safe and alive.  She’s the only female the warrior general had resolved to marry, and he doesn’t go back on his promises.  Even though she’d devised a way to separate from him and become an alien-human hybrid, it didn’t matter.  As far as he’s concerned, they will still have Royal Children together and lead their people in a new life on this strange planet.

David Hargrave
Handsome and brawny, he was the captain of the high school football team and newlywed husband of Natalie, his high school sweetheart.  David is Andrew’s best friend, and thinks of Blair as his own kid sister.  He’s loyal and true, even though his friend is not quite normal— in human terms, anyway.

Natalie Hargrave
She loves her new husband and hopes to raise children with him while teaching kindergarten at the local elementary school.  Natalie was Homecoming Queen and a cheerleader in high school.  Even though Blair wouldn’t have been her first choice of friend in school, she becomes her best friend and fashion stylist.  And that all makes for more sadness considering what happens to her.

A secret member of The Resistance, Mom is a closet badass.  While raising her children, she did her best to provide them with a stable home and a normal mother who baked the best cupcakes this side of the Pecos River.  A young widow, she’d started her own bakery, which secretly funded some of the activities of The Resistance.  Who could blame her?  Hers and her husband’s honeymoon had been ruined when she’d been abducted by aliens.

Mr. Forster
Everett’s father is a professor of history at a nearby university.  Mom is his love interest, and, like her, he was widowed at a young age and raised his son alone.  Mr. Forster knows all about this alien abduction business, because his wife had also been abducted by aliens the year before Everett was born.

A wise old cowboy and local favorite, Grandpa is known by all the townsfolk for being an outstanding large animal veterinarian.  When his son-in-law and grandson were murdered, he took the place of father figure for his remaining grandchildren.

They’d once called him The Cicada.  Now, he’s known for whom he really is—one of the alien-hybrid sons of Ash’s fling with a jungle girl who died during their birth.  Along with his brother, he’d been given to his alien mother as a gift in hopes that it would heal a broken union.  Orion would do anything for his adopted mother … no matter the consequence.

Orion’s brother, Nyx is more like Ash.  Though he loves his adopted mother, Nyx favors his father’s affections.  However, to prove his loyalty to his mother … he creates a secret organization meant to keep her safe.  It’s called The Resistance.

Extremely loyal, he’s the alien body guard of the Queen.  He’s massive, covered in tattoos that note his rank, battles won, and his loyalty to the Royal House.  Xi is the commander of the Royal Guard – an elite group of alien soldiers who serve only their Queen.

One of only two females, she’s second in command in The Royal Guard. She’s a vicious warrior who also wears tattoos of won conquests and loyalty to The Royal House.  Though she’s cunning with her blade and prefers to wear the blood of her vanquished foes as war paint, Max has a soft side.  Orion is her love interest, and she plans to pair with him.

As medic in The Royal Guard, Rake is able to provide a healing touch to those who are wounded, including the Queen.  Rake is one of the only two females in The Royal Guard and stands almost as tall as the men.  Nyx is her love interest.

Author Bio:
Belle was raised in deep East Texas.  She now resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest, most inconsequential name.  There, in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams adventures and secrets she weaves throughout her stories.  She’s the author of CICADA, FIREFLY, and MONARCH, a Young Adult/New Adult cross-over trilogy with excellent reviews.  She studied literature and history at University of Houston where Beowulf, Shakespeare’s works, and the history of the Vikings were her favorite topics.  Belle is positive her readers and fans are the best in the universe.


Hi, Kyler!  I’m so excited … and a bit nervous … to have the opportunity to interview you.  Actually, I’m having a totally geek-out fan-girl moment, because you’re my fave music artist!  Thank you so much for taking a few moments to chat with me today.  I know my readers and fans will love your music as much as I do.  So, let’s get started!
You’re sweet

When did you know you wanted to be a musician and vocalist?
There’s never been a time in my life that I didn’t sing, it’s always been a very natural part of my life.  As far as when I knew for sure I wanted to be a professional musician, that would be during my sophomore year in college after a summer internship in chemical engineering that I loathed, and after having been dumped by my first college boyfriend shortly after said internship.  For the first time I really stared my future in the face and saw the potential for happiness and also regret.  There’s nothing like the fear of being miserable to give you the courage you need to make a great leap!

Is there a musician who inspires you?
Many!  These days my friends that I work with inspire me the most.  As far as well known artists, I’ve loved listening to Ellie Goulding’s evolution over the last few years.  Joni Mitchell is a long time hero.  And I love what indie artist Katie Herzig is doing, her last two albums have been gorgeous and she’s making quite the career for herself with film and TV licensing.

What is a normal day like for you?
Now that I’m a mom (I like to call myself a “momsician”), there’s no such thing as normal anymore.  All bets are off!  Some days I have childcare so I can work on writing and recording.  A lot of days I work when my daughter is napping and after bedtime.  I grab time where I can.  It’s a tight rope balancing act between music and motherhood but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

What is the most exciting thing to happen to you as a musician and vocalist?
A song I wrote and collaborated on with legendary DJ, Tiesto, called “Take Me” was released last year and has gotten a lot of attention.  It gets played in clubs and at festivals all over the world by DJs while I’m home in LA doing more songwriting and being a mom.  I love that I don’t have to be away from my home and my family and the song is still out there being heard by tons of people.  I want to do more of that!

What was the most difficult thing to happen to you as a musician and vocalist?
I can’t think of one specific thing.  In general, there’s a need for constant reevaluation of goals and priorities and that’s hard.  There have been various disappointments along the way.  But equal numbers of pleasant surprises to be grateful for.  At the end of the day if I get to keep making music for a living and for a life, that to me is success.

What advice would you give to someone who wishes to be a musician or vocalist one day?
Work really really hard.  Harder than everyone else.  Both at your craft and at learning the music business. If you know in your heart of hearts that you want to be a professional musician and you have the talent and stomach for it, don’t give up!  And don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Have lots of eggs in multiple baskets.  That could mean writing songs for various different projects.  Being an artist in more than one genre.  Doing session work etc. 

Do you have time to watch TV?  If so, what is your favorite show?
Thanks to Hulu I watch far more TV than I ever did before the advent of streaming.  I never watch live TV anymore!  I’ve been pretty caught up in The Good Wife as of late.  I’m in the middle of Season 5 and am shocked by the turn of events with the characters.  I also love Reign…sexy people in gorgeous period costumes with soap opera story lines= fun.  And I keep up with a couple comedies, The Mindy Project and Modern Family, both of which make me guffaw.

Is there a specific place where you feel the most creative when you’re writing music?
Ironically it’s usually when I’m away from my piano or guitar.  Sometimes it’s driving, sometimes it’s when I’m out for a walk.  Inspiration hits when the part of my brain that wants to wander is occupied.  I’ve written whole songs in my head while walking for exercise.

Of the three of my books, CICADA is my favorite, because of how free I felt while writing it.  Which of your albums is your favorite?  Why?
I think like a lot of artists, my favorite recording of mine is always my most recent.  Probably because the lyrics are most reflective of my current world.  So right now my favorite recording of mine is my new EP, Golden.

When it comes to reading, what is your favorite genre?  What are you top three favorite books?
I like fiction and more specifically emotional dramas.  I don’t think that’s an official genre J, but I love books about families and the layers of history that define and either tether or tear apart generations.  I’m the worst at all time top favorite lists.  Recently one of my favorite books was History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  Gorgeous prose and surprising story arc.  I also loved Wonder by R. J. Palacio.  An all time favorite is East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

What was your inspiration for 'When the World Stops Spinning'?

When I sat down at the piano that day, I had an urge to write something epic.  The image of some recent fires in the hills in LA was on my mind.  The air had been smokey and you could see them burning along the ridge lines at night.  It all felt a bit apocalyptic.  So that's where the opening verse comes from. That collided with the realization that one of my greatest hopes in life is to be lucky enough to grow old with the man I love.  To be together until the end of the world.  And that's how my apocalyptic love song "When The World Stops Spinning" came to be.

Thank you, Kyler, for the chance to introduce you to my lovely readers and fans and for offering a copy of your CD, Electric Hum, as part of the Grand Prize for my blog tour giveaway. :-)

Lovelies, here's your chance to check out Kyler's music.  I know you'll love it as much as I do.  In fact, her beautiful song, "When the World Stops Spinning" is the official song for Monarch.

Isn't that the most beautiful song you've ever heard?  I bet I've listened to it a gazillion times!

By now, I know you're wanting the link to where you can purchase Kyler's music.  I just so happen to have it in my trusty bag of goodies! And you can click here for Kyler's website.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for featuring me on your lovely blog! I look forward to getting to know you and your followers <3 ~Belle