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I Belong


Guest Post & Giveaway: Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin

Our guest today is debut author Kylie Griffin.  The first book in her The Light Blade fantasy romance series, Vengeance Born, was recently released on February 7, 2012.  The second book in the series, Alliance Forged, will hit shelves on July 3, 2012. We are also featuring this series in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012.  Please join me in welcoming Kylie here today to Dark Faerie Tales.

Thanks to Kylie, you also have a chance to win a copy of Vengeance Born.  As always, details are listed at the end of the post.  Make sure you follow the rules to be entered into the contest!

Author Bio:

Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.

Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community.

You can visit Kylie around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Kylie Griffin?

Vengeance Born Alliance Forged

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How real is the paranormal?

I often get asked by non-writing friends how do I think up the ideas for my characters, creatures and places that appear in my books. Many assume I have an active imagination (and they’d be right *grin*) but some of the ideas I come up with are drawn from places or things I see in every day life.

For example, in VENGEANCE BORN, my debut fantasy romance coming out with Berkley Sensation February 7th, the book opens with Annika, the heroine, descending into the dungeon of her father’s fortress to rescue Kalan.

We’re in demon territory and the characters are paranormal creatures drawn from my imagination (barring Kalan, who’s human) but the fortress and dungeon descriptions are based on buildings I’ve visited in real life.

My camera is always with me when I travel. I get the usual touristy shots of places from all over the world – Scotland, New Zealand, England, Wales, Thailand, USA, Ireland, and Canada – but I’m also on the lookout for the unusual.

When I was in Italy I travelled through Tuscany it was like being thrown back in time. Not only was the countryside beautiful with its rolling green hills and snow capped mountains, but the hills were dotted with medieval villages and thick forests. Just the sort that makes me think of demon warriors on patrol, hunting for escaped human slaves. A real fantasy setting!

The demon fortress where Annika lives with her father was loosely structured around a village I saw in Italy. The village was backed by ragged ridges and a river wound its way past in the valley below. The ridges had a myriad of small caves where people once lived. Eventually the steep valley opened out into undulating hills covered by a forest.

This is the sort of setting I used for the demon fortress from which Annika and Kalan escape, the only difference being that the river ran under the fortress instead of beside it. The caves though remained the same and they end up providing our hero and heroine with a place to shelter and hide from the Na’Reish warriors who hunt them after their escape from the dungeon.

While walking through the twisted, cobblestone streets of a village called Sovana, I came across this intricate door knocker. Can you imagine this appearing on the door of a wizard’s abode?

Or what about this light sconce? I imagined brackets like these in the dungeon where Annika found Kalan – several of them spaced around the torture pit where he was being held, the tar dipped torches hazing the air with smoke and throwing flickering shadows that increased Annika’s trepidation of entering such an unpleasant place.

Take a look at this door from a castle in Scotland. Look at how thick the beams are and the iron studs used to hold it together. And what about the huge blocks making up the archway and the worn step below? There’s another scene in VENGEANCE BORN where Annika is locked in a room with a door similar to this one. She pounds against its thick panels and realises getting out is impossible.

While I may write paranormal romance, much of real life tends to inspire my world building, particular the physical settings, and all are great fodder for a writer’s imagination. I relived a lot of great memories including some of these places and objects in VENGEANCE BORN.

So, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone in the book, from the real to the fantastical.

For readers who like world building, there’s plenty of those elements in the plot and sub-plots – creatures, paranormal powers, a deity, conflict between races, secrets unveiled and political machinations.

If you want romance, Annika and Kalan struggle against personal prejudices, flaws and other external hurdles to find love.

There’s intrigue and mystery – some twists and turns in the plot will satisfy this craving. Some secrets you may anticipate, others I hope you don’t see coming.

Action – fighting, a chase scene, death, escaping from dungeons, rebellion…as I said, something for everyone!

Now, what places – real or pure fantasy – have inspired your imagination? Have you ever come across something as intriguing as the medieval village, or quirky, like the door knocker? Or maybe a scene or setting from a movie? Just for fun, share your experiences, and your name will go into a draw to win a signed copy of VENGEANCE BORN. I look forward to reading your answers!

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This giveaway is provided by Kylie Griffin

One winner will receive a copy of Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin

Available on February 7, 2012 from Penguin/Berkley

About the Book:

There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not pure bred is virtually powerless. Until an unlikely champion is born…

Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na’Reish King, longs for more than her tormented life among her father’s people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she’s gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy…

With the Na’Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na’Reish Horde have increased. As Chosen-leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons-and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival.

When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father’s dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council-and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into civil war…

Click HERE to read an excerpt

Order from

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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44 Responses to “Guest Post & Giveaway: Vengeance Born by Kylie Griffin

  1. Heidi Ruby Miller (@heidirubymiller)No Gravatar
    1

    How cool that you’ve intertwined the real with fantasy, Kylie! I love it when travel and research can become part of a story.

    Beautiful covers, by the way.

    :) Heidi

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  2. Tanyaw1224No Gravatar
    2

    I’ve not had the pleasure..yet…to go anywhere that cool. I did go to New Orleans and we walked a lot of places. They have some really cool cemeteries that had my mind going all kinds of places. I read a lot of paranormal so mind was coming up with all kinds of stories. It was really cool and creepy at the same time. Thanks so much for the chance to win your book. I love the pics you posted.

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  3. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    3

    G’day Tanyaw1224, oh, New Orleans…I missed out on visiting that city and have regretted it ever since. Cemeteries are fascinating places, so much history and certainly fodder for the imagination!!! 8O
    Thanks for compliments on the photos and good luck in the draw!

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  4. RebeNo Gravatar
    4

    I studied in Spain as an undergraduate and the amazing summer palace in Granada called El Alhambra continues to spark my imagination! It was stunning.

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  5. LexiNo Gravatar
    5

    Great pics Kylie! Love the fortress shot, now I will have that in my head for when I start reading Vengeance Born! =)

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  6. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    6

    Heidi, it’s a great excuse for travelling! LOL

    I love how years later, I might be writing a story when suddenly a scene comes to me and I know exactly what it’s supposed to look like because I have the photo somewhere in my photo albums or on the computer.

    It’s then just a matter of finding it and pulling it out to be tacked to my office wall as visual inspiration.

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  7. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    7

    Hey Rebe, I’ll have to go look up El Alhambra and see what you’re talking about. I hope you got some good photo’s of the place. It’s amazing just how vivid memories can be recalled with a visual image.

    The one thing I clearly remember about the stairway photo was the odor of dampness and cool air as well as how the sounds of your shoes echoed back off the closed in walls. :-)

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  8. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    8

    Rebe, just went and Googled El Alhambra in Granada – it is stunning!!! What a gorgeous place and the craftsmanship of the designs in the architecture is amazing. And sitting on the ridgeline it would have had the best defensive position not to mention the views! :-D Now that’s a place I’d love to visit in person!

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  9. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    9

    Hello, Lexi! (waving hard):-D I hope you enjoy reading VB! (Lexi won a copy at another blog) It’s interesting to talk to people who have read your book and get their take on what characters/places look like in their imaginations.

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  10. ROB HAMONDNo Gravatar
    10

    Hi, here in Ballarat and 1974 when Kryal Castle medevial village opened and us the local Lions Club had horse and cart rides around the village.When all of a sudden we had vampires and real scarey atmosphere that we never new about but frightened the children in the cart and us the drivers, all so unexpected

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  11. LaurieNo Gravatar
    11

    It’s wonderful to see these photos. It’s nice to have a frame of reference for what you’re reading. I’m a little jealous though, my grandparents come from Tuscany and I hope to see it one day. Looking forward to reading these!
    BTW, the Rafflecopter isn’t working.

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  12. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    12

    G’day Rob! :-D That sounds like one heck of a cart ride, :mrgreen: – wish I’d been there for that (being the scarer rather than the scaree! :P)

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  13. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    13

    Hi Laurie, if you ever do get the chance to go to Italy (and the Tuscan countryside) you’ll love it. It’s beautiful, especially if you get into the little villages and countryside. I stayed at local Bed & Breakfasts to get the local flavor. One of the things I love about Italy the most was that they had a true passion for food and local cuisine – none to very few fast food restaurants in site. The cafes, restaurants and eateries all showcase the region foods. Delicious!!! :-D

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  14. DeAnna SchultzNo Gravatar
    14

    This is a new-to-me author. Awesome guest post! It’s always nice to meet the author behind the book.
    Sadly, I don’t have the money to travel outside of the US. I would do it in a heartbeat if I did. To answer your ? I’d say J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series (and the movies) had captivated my imagination to new heights. This book sounds like a fabulous read. The cover is stunningly beautiful! Thank you for the chance to win! :D

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  15. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    15

    Hi DeAnna, A good book is just as good as a trip overseas or away from home. It’s one of the things I loved as a kid and teen growing up. My parents rarely had the chance to take us on holiday so my holidays were usually spent exploring the worlds in books!

    Thanks for the compliment on the cover of VB – I’m still in awe of my cover artist, Gene Mollica. He conceptualised the brief from my editor/Berkley art dept. so well. :D He has a website if you’d like to take a gander at it – he’s done quite a few UF/PR/FR covers for well known authors (http://bit.ly/yS0jtf) – I was also fortunate enough to interview him late last year. Here’s the link if you’d like to see how the cover for VENGEANCE BORN was done – http://bit.ly/yYEOWQ

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  16. Bethany C.No Gravatar
    16

    I’m always inspired by really beautiful nature photography.

    b(dot)cardone(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  17. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    17

    Bethany, I love nature photography too, much more than portraiture.

    I have a few shots I’ve taken of the area around where I live on my PHOTO’s page on my website – http://www.kyliegriffin.com/My_Photos.html

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  18. KausarNo Gravatar
    18

    It’s hard for me to decide where I want to visit, there are so many places. but I would like to visit the castle in Schotland as Kyle Griffin showed a picture of the castle door.

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  19. Rain maidenNo Gravatar
    19

    I grew up in the Sierra Nevada forest and was a great tree climber. I don’t live in the trees any more, but when I vist the forest it takes me back to my childhood. The forest has its own special magic.

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  20. MariaNo Gravatar
    20

    Old houses and buildings are fertile fields for the imagination because one simply KNOWS that there has to be stories attached to them. Just look at a photograph even, and see the ideas that start building up in your head. Looking at any one of your photos Kylie, could set me off and I’d have a short story inside an hour. I’m going to use one of your pictures and I’m sure I’ll have a great story very soon.

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  21. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    21

    Kausar, Scotland is a fascinating place, so many castles and ruins of all sorts, from the Stone Age through to now. I have a particular fondness for the Viking ruins and the history of their settlement through the UK. One of the most interesting places were the Orkney Islands, which lie of the northern tip of Scotland.

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  22. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    22

    Rain maiden, I googled the Sierra Nevada forest – it’s beautiful! You’re so lucky to have grown up in such an incredible place.

    Like you I would have had so much fun as a child climbing trees and it would have been a wonderful place to let the imagination fly free. I could easily imagine setting a story in that environment. :D

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  23. bn100No Gravatar
    23

    I think Lords of the Rings and Harry Potter are inspiring, both in print and in the movies.

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  24. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    24

    Hey, bn100, I think the movie versions of LOTR was incredible. I’ve visited Mt Doom (Mt Ruapehu) once & Hobbiton (in Matamata, New Zealand) three times now. Can’t beat walking the same path Frodo, Sam & Aragorn etc. took. :D

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  25. MLNo Gravatar
    25

    Three places that I’ve been that inspire my imagination are Salem, MA; there’s a petroglyph national monument in New Mexico that’s very inspiring and the forts of Old San Juan in Puerto Rico. They all spark my imagination in different ways. I’ve always got my camera on hand when explore new areas-great reference material.

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  26. Monica G LopezNo Gravatar
    26

    Now, what places – real or pure fantasy – have inspired your imagination?

    I have to say, almost every place inspires my imagination. The simplest of things can have the most magic :)

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  27. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    27

    Hi ML, your three places of inspiration sound great. The domed rooves of the forts in Old San Juan are unique, aren’t they?

    Is it the history behind Salem, MA, that interests you or the actual environment/setting?

    The petroglyphs in New Mexico remind me of some of the traditional Australian Aboriginal artwork found on the rocks and caves of the interior of outback Australia.

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  28. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    28

    Monica, you’re so right. The places don’t have to be somewhere else, they can be as close as your backyard and as small as a minibeast or spiders’ web, maybe even a sunrise or color in the clouds at sunset. :)

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  29. Cate aka absolutartist1No Gravatar
    29

    Whether set near or far, I love the fact that fiction can take you out of your everyday life! Thanks for the chance to win! :)

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  30. CarlNo Gravatar
    30

    Oh heck yeah. The Cappadocia region of Turkey is a perfect paranormal setting. You also find lots of this kind of stuff in Prague, and the Transylvania region of Romania (go figure). Inspiration for the paranormal is all around us.

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  31. Richard HayesNo Gravatar
    31

    One place I remember well is a forest in Germany, at night, after a snow. It looked just like movies for a vampire or werewolf.

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  32. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    32

    Cate, yes, I love that about books too. My family would often find me with my head buried in a book in my spare time. When we went on holidays I’d pack a suitcase full of books and it was the clothes I’d be hard pressed to fit in the bag! :D

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  33. DoodleNo Gravatar
    33

    I live in West Virginia go I go to Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum on occasion around Halloween. Talk about the thoughts and ideas that float around in my head after visiting. Once while there I had a door slam shut after I walked out of a room…no one was behind me.

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  34. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    34

    Carl, the Cappadocia region of Turkey is spectacular! I’ve just found a couple of great images and stuck them in my ideas folder. You so right in claiming that area is inspiration for the paranormal. Thanks for sharing.

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  35. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    35

    Richard, any snow covered scene in a forest sparks the imagination! :D

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  36. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    36

    G’day Doodle, the asylum is certainly an interesting choice of locations to head to for Halloween. 8O Just knowing that such places were often where people were treated poorly in the past, I bet there are more than a few stories and legends circulating. Does it have a history of being haunted?

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  37. Stella CNo Gravatar
    37

    Being of Chinese decent, my parents took me to the Yellow Dragon Cave when I went back to China a couple of years ago. It was the most eerie and yet magical placce I have ever been to. I found a photo online: http://www.flickr.com/photos/edinator/5962807937/

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  38. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    38

    The lighting makes it positively gorgeous, Stella. :) Do you know how far underground it is? I love going into caves like these.

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  39. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)No Gravatar
    39

    Hmm, well, pretty much any fantasy book I read inspires my imagination. The same with movies.

    I guess of the places I have visited, Ireland was probably the most inspirational. Like Giant’s Causeway. What a perfect setting for epicness.

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  40. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    40

    Hi Christina, I do like your choice of places that you visited – the Giant Causeway was a place I would love to have seen with my own eyes but it was a case of so many places, so little time. Sigh. The mythology surrounding that landscape is fascinating.

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  41. Jennifer BielmanNo Gravatar
    41

    Jennifer Bielman

    When I was 16, a few of my friends and I trespassed into an abandoned building. It was kind of like a warehouse. The place was filthy, years of dirt and grim had set in. And in the middle of the building sat a ruby red dinner table chair. It was in mint condition, no dirt and not damaged. It was the only thing in the building and it was brand new. I still feel chills thinking about how and why that chair was there.

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  42. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    42

    Wow, Jennifer, now that is spooky weird. But wouldn’t the mind have worked overtime trying to put it into a logical (or illogical) context?!?!?!? :D

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  43. Marie-ClaudeNo Gravatar
    43

    I went on a cruise to Alaska. I love the ocean and all the glaciers. It is son calm and peacefull.

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  44. Kylie GriffinNo Gravatar
    44

    Hi Marie-Claude – Alaska is one place I wish I could go and visit. I’ve heard so much about the place, about how incredible the natural beauty is. To have gone on that cruise would have been spectacular. :)

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