Title: Bound by Duty
Author: Stormy Smith
Series: Bound #1
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: July 24, 2014Summary:
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn’t even know his name.
Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she’ll be.
As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?
To set the stage, this scene features Amelia and Aidan. They are just getting to know each other and both have pasts that have irrevocably changed the people they have become. There are secrets and fears that have been buried their whole lives. The question is if they can trust each other?
Without looking back at me, he squeezed my hand tightly. His fingers pressing hard into the divots between the bones in my hand. He clutched at my hand as if I could keep him here, pull him away from the memories that overwhelmed him, that threatened to pull him down into a place I could feel he didn’t want to go.
“You can tell me, but only if you want to.” I put the words between us and let the silence follow. Turning back to stare at the sky, I gave him time to decide. I had no idea what he had been through, what he would say, but I understood what the darkness of truth could do to you if you let it.
“I don’t know why, but I want to tell you, Amelia. It’s insane because I never tell anyone this stuff. But, I want to tell you. Before this goes any further, I want you to know who I am.” He still wasn’t looking at me so while I saw him in my peripheral, I kept my gaze on the clouds. “Then, tell me,” I said. Taking a deep breath, I finished with a surprising, “Tell me and I’ll tell you.”
The longer Aidan held my hand, the more I got used to the feel of my nerves being raw and the increased sensations that vibrated from our point of contact throughout the rest of my body. As I lay there, waiting for him to speak, he kept our hands locked, sliding his middle finger up and down in a slow rhythm over the back of my hand. I could feel callouses on his palm and the heat he radiated. It was soothing and, for once, I was truly in control, at least as far as my power was concerned. My heartbeat, however, raced triple time as I had time to realize that I was laying on the forest floor holding hands with Aidan Montgomery, waiting for him to unlock doors I hadn’t known I wanted inside of. Someone I could give some of my truth to and who wanted to give me theirs in return.
Music is a HUGE part of my life. I am addicted to Spotify and adore finding new artists. I spend a lot of time getting to know local artists and live shows are among my favorite places to be. When I wrote Bound by Duty I knew it would have a soundtrack. Every significant moment in my life has a song associated with it and the book I spent a year pouring myself into would be no different!
I’m a little bit of an odd duck in that I can’t actually write listening to music that has words. So, I spend my writing hours listening to classical music that helps distract my mind just enough to keep the creativity flowing without stopping the lovely voices in my head from telling me their stories. But, once I’m in the car, cleaning, or doing anything else, I’ve always got an ear out for songs. I find that the lyrics often inspire new plot lines, emotions or authentic reactions in characters.
You can check out the full Spotify soundtrack for BBD, but here are my top ten in no particular order:
⦁ The One That Got Away – The Civil Wars
⦁ Haunted – A Taylor Swift cover by Jess Moskaluke and Alex G.
⦁ In My Veins – Andrew Belle, featuring Erin McCarley
⦁ Hurricane – MSMR
⦁ Clarity – A Zedd cover by Corey Gray
⦁ Boston – Augustana
⦁ I’mnotwaiting – Bonne Finken
⦁ Breathe Again – Sara Bareilles
⦁ Promising, Promises – Jon McLaughlin
⦁ No Light, No Light – Florence and the Machine
It was really important to me to not only cover the storyline with my choices, but also the emotions of the characters. Music is really important to Amelia, my heroine, and she often lets herself get lost in it. I didn’t want to date my story by announcing the songs and artists in the book, but in my head I always knew what she was listening to.
Bound by Duty is truly a coming of age story. It’s a paranormal fantasy that explores the many layers of what makes a person themselves. Is it your family, your duty, the ones you love, the pieces of you that you can’t control or the family (i.e. friends) you choose for yourself? How do you balance the person you are with the life you want? Amelia faces all of these questions as she finds herself with her first-ever best friend – a sassy Southern girl – and her first dose of young love. But there are situations out there bigger than she ever imagined and she has to decide who she’s going to be and what she’s made of.
Fun facts about me by Stormy Smith
1. M&Ms or Skittles? M&M’s all the way. Bonus points if they are the special Christmas mint kind.
2. Fantasy or Horror? Fantasy. I’m a TOTAL scaredy-cat. The one and only time I went to a haunted house I tried to bum rush the emergency exit because I was so terrified and up crying my way through it.
3. Typing or Pen & Paper? For writing the book itself, typing, but for brainstorming I like giant sticky post-its all over my basement so I can scribble and pace while I blare my playlist and talk to myself.
4. Ebooks or Print? E-books for most books but print for the authors I love.
5. Eat in or Eat out? In. Then no one has to worry about who’s driving while I pour glass after glass of wine.
6. Water or Flavored Drink? Water.
7. Apples or Oranges? Apples. With peanut butter, preferably.
8. Laundry or Dishes? Dishes. I HATE LAUNDRY.
9. Shopping or Movies? Shopping, only because I so rarely see my girl friends anymore I’d rather spend time perusing and chatting than just sitting next to them.
10. Comfy clothes or Fashionista? Fashionista! I don’t know that I am one, but I’d love to be. I just feel better in girly clothes. Like I can conquer the world!
11. Go-to book series? Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. I could reread them over and over. And Jericho Barrons…swooooon.
12. Favorite way to unwind? A glass of wine and a date with my husband and our DVR. My brain goes non-stop between work, grad school, marketing one book and writing another. I like the down time!
13. Cats or Dogs? Cats. I like that they are more self-sufficient and have their own personalities. I have one that won’t stop walking across my keyboard right now and I love she wants to purr all over me and lick my hands for attention.
Stormy Smith calls Iowa's capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.
Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn't be stopped. When she isn't working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy's favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.
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