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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

{Spotlight} "Split Blood: The Ancient Codex - Part One" By Louise Herman Blog Tour


Name of Book: Split Blood: The Ancient Codex - Part One
Author: Louise Herman
Date of Publication: December 14, 2012 (Kindle)
Publisher: Mystical Media Publications
Pages: 333
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Paperback or Kindle: Both



Book Description

When Faith’s mother starts organising the second stage of her arranged marriage to wizard, Damien, Faith knew she needed to escape, so she used her school as a place to retreat.

Throughout her after school duties, she meets the intense, alluring Rohan, who changes her life forever.

With his ice cold skin, transfixing eyes and enchanting voice, Rohan took hold of Faith’s heart and soul as soon as they looked at each other.

She knew it was wrong.

They were from two different circles and if the Elder’s found out, the consequences would be catastrophic for all involved, but the more time they spent together, the stronger they’re love grew, until one day someone sees them...

Will their love be strong enough to combat their conflicting mythical needs? And what will they do when Faith is dealt a life threatening blow that forces her to make a heartbreaking decision?

INTENSELY PASSIONATE WITH EXTRAORDINARY TWISTS AND TURNS, SPLIT BLOOD IS A LOVE STORY WITH A DARK MYTHICAL DIFFERENCE

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Excerpt:

This is a section from Chapter Two of 'Split Blood: The Ancient Codex - Part One':

"We were helping put away the paints Mrs Baxter had used in her last lesson to express how colours can change the mood, appearance and message of a piece of art, when Dara walked in to get some pencils. ‘Hi ladies - slogging away as usual, I see! Are you doing this to get a higher grade? If you are, move over and let me get in on it!’ she joked as she pushed Lily aside and started helping to tidy her section. As Lily nearly fell to the floor, we all started laughing and Dara helped her up.

Mrs Baxter came in and gave Dara an extra task to do before she went back to her own classroom; with that she bade us farewell and we continued to clean the room.

Busying myself washing the pots, I almost didn’t notice Lily’s bright red face as her gaze seemingly froze, focused on the door. ‘Did you hurt yourself?’ I asked, concerned that maybe Dara had nudged her too hard. ‘No, no. I’m okay,’ Lily responded as she snapped out of her daydream and started to look for something else to clean. I tried to ignore it, but her manner had changed.

She was quieter than usual and she seemed distant and slightly upset. ‘Lily, it’s clear that something’s not quite right,’ I broached the subject as I sat her down and cupped her hands in mine. ‘We’re supposed to be friends. You know you can tell me anything,’ I added quietly, just in case we weren’t alone.

She looked around the room to check she was safe but just as she was about to speak out, she shook her head and responded, ‘Really it’s nothing.’

Sensing she was lying, I continued to question. I followed her around the room and refused to let it go until I saw a slightly brighter Lily - the Lily that I knew and enjoyed being around. ‘I won’t let this rest until you tell me. Maybe I can help?’ I supposed as I spun her round to face me. This was my big mistake.

The room went dark and the once-clear skies turned gloomy and sinister. Wind began to howl at the now shaking windows of the room and her face immediately morphed from that of a young, beautiful, dainty girl to that of a red-eyed hag with veins pulsing, radiating electrical bolts with her every move. The room began to shake and the door was slammed shut as I tried to escape.

The rage seemed to be very specifically limited to the classroom; no one came to help me when I screamed, so I sat down on the floor and thought whether I could possibly use my own powers to save me from this banshee.

She came towards me, firing bolts at the tables, disintegrating everything in her path, and was finally stood face to face, in front of me.

With my head between my knees, I could feel the energy pulsing from her as I raised my arms to create a force field around myself.

I stood up, ready to fight back, but was distracted when I found she wasn’t attacking me. Instead, she just stood there and began to cry. Without moving or speaking, I watched, waiting for her fry me; she merely fell to the floor and with her crying, she began to flood the floor around her.

The torrent of tears showed no sign of ceasing and I realised that if I didn’t do something quickly, we would drown with minutes. ‘Please don’t cry. What’s wrong, Lily?’ I begged as she finally started to resemble the pretty teenager I remembered.

I went over to hug her and was relieved she responded in kind and didn’t try to attack me.

She looked round and assessed the damage, as if reading my mind. ‘Don’t worry about it. That was one of the first spells I learned - mum is always trying to get me to clean my room when I really just want to go out,’ I joked, as I convinced her I could use magic to put the room back to normal before anyone came back.

With her head in my arms, we sat on the floor in silence for a few minutes, waiting. When I could bear it no longer, I delicately broached the topic again. ‘So, do you want to tell me why you went psycho-fairy on me?’ I laughed, attempting to lighten the mood. She chuckled in response, and lifted her head to look at me.

I backed away slightly as I nervously waited for her answer. ‘I’m sorry I’m just finding this fairy stuff really hard. Sometimes when I’m stressed I can’t control it. Normally I’m fine, but-’ she confessed, leaving me with more questions than when I started.

I paced myself and allowed her to get herself back together before I continued. ‘What made you so stressed? Was it me?’ I asked as I quickly whispered my spell. I prayed it had worked and the room was back in order.

She shook her head and came over to give me a hug and apologise for scaring me.

After confirming I was okay (I said that I just cared about her wellbeing), she looked me in the eye, cupped her hands around my head and said gravely, ‘You are my best friend. I’m so happy to have met you - but you cannot help me with this. I don’t want to get you involved.’

I looked at her with a puzzled expression and tried to assure her I would always be there for her, at which she turned away from me: ‘We are from different circles and have different problems. You want to get out of your circle because you are sick of your life revolving around marriage. I can’t cope with being in my circle because they won’t accept me for being the person I am’.

Sick of the riddles, I began to get annoyed and didn’t realise that I’d snapped slightly at her. ‘And who are you?’

Before I could apologise for my tone, she spun round and faced me with a stony, determined glare, and went on: ‘I’m a gay fairy. I’ll be sent away - or worse - if I express my feelings for Dara.’

Before I could wipe the shocked expression from my face, Mrs Baxter entered the classroom, thanked us for our hard work and dismissed us. Stunned, shaken and dazed at my best friend’s revelation, I silently walked out a pace or two ahead of Lily, leading us straight into a group of foreboding vampires.

A group of four boys stood in our path, refusing to move. I could sense this wasn’t going to be an easy one to escape. ‘So, what are you two doing alone together? Are you the rebels of your circles?’ one of the boys mocked glancing at the other three. They all started to edge closer.

I looked at Lily and was surprised to see her standing her ground and refusing to move back. Feeling considerably less confident than my compatriot, I grabbed her hand and prayed for Mrs Baxter to come out and ask us to help her with something she had forgotten to do.

But there was nothing.

The boys continued to ridicule us for being without our circle members. With every word, they edged closer to us until our backs were tight against the hallway wall and I could feel the breath of the ringleader on my cheek. ‘What do you want from us?’ Lily asked boldly, as the ringleader opened his mouth - we both saw the shine of the daggers.

They all laughed as the fear began to show on our faces; they poked and jibed at us like we were pieces of meat from their latest kill.

Seeing the ringleader’s eyes glow an intimidating yellow, I knew at this point I would never see my family again. I closed my eyes and began to sob helplessly; I had missed the new drama that was occurring around me.

Prying myself from my blind, fearful state, I felt a flurry of air and slowly opened my eyes just in time to see the ringleader go flying, as if in slow-motion, through the air and clatter into the row of lockers on the opposite side of the hallway.

He lay there for a few minutes, dazed and confused, as his followers went to help him up.

Unable to see the cause, I grabbed Lily and took advantage of our release from these blood-suckers and, trying to ignore the sounds of battle behind us; we kept our heads firmly down and ran towards the main exit.

Just as I put my hand on the door handle to make our break for freedom, all went silent.

I simply couldn’t go through the door without looking over my shoulder.

‘Don’t look back! Open the door!’ Lily screamed frantically as tried to drag me through the exit. Nevertheless, I turned my head slowly to catch a glimpse.

It looked like a battleground.

I could not see the casualties through all the blood but I knew from my research of vampires in ‘The Ancient Codex’, it would take a lot more than tears of the skin, deep wounds or even oceans of blood to kill such resilient beings.

I was satisfied that we were out of harm’s way but somehow my mind jolted back to self-defence as I felt something on my shoulder.

I grabbed Lily, pulled her close towards me and without warning a force field formed around us, expelling the hand - and the person it was attached to - to the back of the hallway, ‘GO!’ Lily screamed. This time, I didn’t look back and we ran all the way home.

My priority was to make sure Lily got home first. To avoid being seen together, I dropped her to the edge of the woods and left her to walk the rest of the way, casting a protection spell over her to ensure she arrived safely. ‘You won’t say anything about what I told you, will you?’ she pleaded as I gave her a hug and reminded her of the strength of our friendship.

Walking the rest of the journey alone, I was nervous - cautious and suspicious of the slightest sound or movement.

Not only was I shocked that I could form a force field more than once, but that it had the power to kill whatever tried to attack me.

With this realisation, I began to feel a smugness come over me. I let down my guard and focused on what new spells I could try when I got home. With my mind distracted for a minute, the next thing I knew, I was off my feet and thrown to the side of the road.

I hit my head on a tree and was left unconscious for a few minutes. After using my other senses to force my way back into consciousness, I assessed my new surroundings. I could feel the crunching of leaves beneath my hands and the sound of running water in the far distance.

My eyes were gradually focusing on a tall, black figure in front of me, splashing water on my face. The water shocked me back into reality and I could see the cause of my disorientation.

He was 5 feet 11 inches, of a muscular build, with short jet black hair and a creamy white complexion.

He helped me sit up, seemingly very concerned for my health as he assessed my eyes and limbs for damage. ‘I’m so sorry if I hurt you, but I guess we’re even now,’ he joked as my sight came back to normal and I saw this beautiful vision before me.

‘We’re even?’ I mumbled as I got back to my feet and looked around to see if there was anyone else nearby.

I raised my hands to defend myself, which seemed to amuse him even more. ‘Whoa there!’ he continued, ‘Put those guns down. I’m not here to get blasted by you again. I just wanted to check you were okay.’ I looked at him, still apprehensive of his kindness. When I finally felt happy there was no one else waiting to pounce, I lowered my hands. ‘Who are you?’ I asked, watching his every move like a hawk.

He walked towards me, put his hand on the lower area of my back and ushered me to walk through the woods with him. ‘I’m the one who helped you out back there. Is that how you thank all your rescuers?’ he joked as I looked at him with a scowl on my face.

‘I didn’t need rescuing. I could have sorted them out myself,’ I retorted as I batted his hand away and picked up my pace slightly.

My walk got ever faster and I soon broke into a run.

I ran so fast I could no longer see this mysterious stranger; I only slowed down when I saw my house ahead.

Walking through the undergrowth, I was tripped by a branch wrapped around my ankle and as I tugged and pulled at the vine, I was lifted in the air and freed from its grasp. ‘Why are you making it so hard to get to know you?’ he asked as he smiled at my attempts to push him away.
‘Maybe it’s because you sweep in, try to rescue me - even though I had it under control - and now you’re stalking me without even telling me your name. Excuse me for being a bit apprehensive,’ I spat as he laughed, and I realised who or what he was … Why was he fighting his own kind?

This thought swept through my brain for a second before he read my mind and he confessed, ‘Sorry. My name is Rohan and, yes, I’m one of them - in appearance only. I just want to get to know you because I remember seeing you at school a few years ago and you seemed pretty cool back then. I wondered if you were still the same!’

I couldn’t believe this was the boy who risked his kind being exposed when we first started school by using his powers on that Namuh. I was intrigued, desperate to know more. I needed to know where he’d been and why this vampire wanted to risk it all to speak to me.

It was overwhelming, stupid of him but as much as my mind screamed its disapproval, I was curious about this mystifying being. I nodded my agreement and, with that, he kissed my hand and we vowed to find a way of spending time getting to know each other without getting caught or putting our families at risk.

Without admitting it, the sheer touch of his lips on my shaking hands made me shiver from head to toe and I knew, no matter how much I denied it, I was starting to develop more than just a thirst for knowledge about this unusual vampire.

I knew I was in trouble."

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About the Author

I currently live in Yorkshire, England, and have always enjoyed writing stories which would take people to different, magical worlds. 

Along with writing, I also love to indulge in my confectionery addiction - pear drop sweets and am a fan of 80s Fantasy films such as 'Legend', 'Dark Crystal' and 'Labyrinth'. 

I also adore Guillermo del Toro for his direction on the fantasy film, 'Pan's Labyrinth', which epitomises the theme of my books - fantasy escapism, strong female heroines, unique magical side characters with their own explosive, taboo secrets and deliciously dark situations, which have a new style of distinctive paranormal conclusions. 

I use my passion for fantasy films, and music, to help me create my unique YA, Fantasy stories and I have been able to use these passions to enhance my stories even further by attaching music onto my stories on Wattpad, which helps the reader be further immersed into my fantasy worlds.

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Author's Interview

1. Can you tell us how you came up with the storyline behind ‘Split Blood: The Ancient Codex - Part One’?

I love YA Urban Fantasy novels but I was getting a little bored with the same storyline of paranormal being falls for outcast human, they fall in love but struggle with their forbidden love and then the wimpy human gets into a situation where she needs to be saved by the vampire, werewolf, etc. I wanted to put a spin on the classics with a strong, female character who actually saves others instead of waiting for them to save her. 


2. What is your favourite chapter of the book and why?

I think my favourite chapter has to be chapter 7 and this is because Faith gets to experience Romanian Gypsy magic and I really enjoyed doing the research for this cultural as it was very interesting and added a deeper storyline to the book.


3. Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb? 

Many people who have read this book have stated that they did not expect to read the African or Gypsy magical aspects due to the genre of book. They also stated that these elements made it more unique as the magic described by these two separate cultures were explained well giving it a fresh new edge, which is a fantastic compliment as my aim was to create a different type of YA Urban Fantasy novel which challenged certain areas of these genres.


4. How do you get in the mood to write your ‘masterpieces’?

I am a planner and have to plan every chapter before I start the book, so I have guidelines to follow. I do not stick to them rigidly but it helps me as I can let my imagination get carried away and within one chapter I've written five different stories, so I do need something to pull me back sometimes.


5. Most writers get ‘writer’s block’, so how do you cure yours?

I get writers block all the time because I think I get overloaded with ideas so it's like a computer crashing and I just need to step away from the computer, have a few days off and come back to the story, refreshed and rebooted.


6. What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write?

I am a bit of a music magpie as I love all types of music but it depends on my mood and the mood I am trying to create with the particular character, situation or chapter. I love anything from classic to rock music and especially love posting my stories on Wattpad (username: FantasyFairy) as I can post music videos on each chapter which enhances the reader’s experience whilst reading the scene.


7. Have you had anything else published?

In February 2013, I published the prequel novella trilogy, ‘The Orcus Games’ which tells the story of the trials and tribulations the ‘Split Blood’ character’s parents dealt with when the ‘Split Blood’ beings were younger.

The deadly drama’s set the path for the ‘Split Blood’ individuals as the events in these three books show how these experiences help shape each character’s personalities, issues with the demands their circles inflict upon them and also provides a backdrop to their magical world in more detail.


8. What's your next project?

I am currently working on the second book in the ‘Split Blood’ series, which will be published on 31st November 2013 and after this I will take a little break as I will be working on my paranormal story which will be published on Wattpad Only. For more information on my work please go to my website: www.split-blood.com or if you are a member of Wattpad, please Follow Me (FantasyFairy) and join me on this magical journey!

9. Now a slightly more entertaining question…if you had a paranormal ability, what would you like it to be and why?

This is an interesting question...I think I would be one of the character's from my book and say I would be a fairy. I loved Lily's complicated character but I also love how carefree they are supposed to be and their magic is so subtle but packs a punch!


10. And lastly, what three words would describe ‘Split Blood: The Ancient Codex - Part One’ to our followers that would make this book stand out from the rest in this genre?

The three words I would use to describe this book would be: Unique, Addictive and Captivating.


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Other Information

Book two in the Split Blood Series will be on Amazon and Smashwords on 30 NOVEMBER 2013!

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Authors Links

Website | Amazon | Smashwords | Goodreads | Wattpad | Facebook | Twitter

Book Review Coming Shortly from FIERY FANTASY BOOK REVIEW SITE



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