by Ky Lehman
(Rosefire Trilogy #1)
Publication date: August 30th 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
ONE CHOICE CAN MAKE AN IMMORTAL HUMAN. BUT WHAT CHOICES NEED TO BE MADE TO GO BACK AGAIN?
The revolutionary year following Serenay “Ren” Avalon’s eighteenth birthday could rival Clark Kent’s entire adolescence. After her mother and her grandmother were killed in a car bomb explosion at the heart of their sleepy hillside town where nothing extraordinary usually happens, she discovers that her mother is actually alive and in hiding, her long lost father is a Father, and her best friend, who turns out was once an Archangel, has taken a gargantuan step back in his evolution to live on Earth with her for the past thirteen lifetimes. And besides being the only one in her immediate circle with a serious case of past life dementia, she learns that during her first lifetime, she was married to one of the greatest teachers history has ever known who is now the gorgeous lead singer of a hot new rock band taking the world by storm, and who is keen to meet up with her again in the twenty first century.
As Ren realizes that the powerful family name she bears also brings with it the promise of an unnatural death, she is reminded that it has always brought hope to people on both sides of the veil, human and Tor. As the world draws closer to being completely shrouded by the dark cloaks of her age-old enemies, the Bloodstones, she now, more than ever before, has to draw strength from her origins to protect her family and their ancient truth from this global force responsible for torturing and killing centuries of her ancestors. As she struggles to unearth who she was, who she is, and who she chooses to be, as well as the expectations of her first mortal love and the heavenly love she has always guiltily denied, she has until midnight on the Solstice find a way to bring light to a compromised heart and to a world on the brink of perpetual darkness.
This first book in The Rosefire Trilogy is a reminder of how the choices we make in the throes of love, loss, hope, and adversity are what makes the divine human, and the human divine.
Excerpts from THE 13TH DESCENT by KY LEHMAN
From Chapter 2
“Come on, Renay! You’re as slow as a wet week,” she snaps.
“Right behind you,” I grumble, trying to coax my jelly legs to step out of the car.
She bustles us inside and disarms her house alarm. She grabs my hand, leads me straight to the navy blue comfy couch and gestures for me to sit. “Drink?” she asks.
She goes to the kitchen and gets me a tall glass of water anyway.
Then everything goes from strange to downright bizarre when she sits down, squishes in next to me, puts her arm around my shoulders and rests her cheek on my hair. I am wedged in-between her and the armrest: I couldn’t move if I tried, and I honestly don’t want to. Hugs from my one and only aunt are like sunny days in the winter. They are rare. They are warm. They smell of cream and cinnamon. They go by too quickly. And you know you’ll have to wait a while for the next one.
“Look at me, Renay,” she gently commands. Bleary eyed, she carefully scans my face and sighs.
It seems she is already regretting what she is yet to say. A chill of forewarning forces a shiver: it sets my heart pounding and my legs that have finally regained feeling start to twitch and shake, preparing to run. She senses my panic and holds me tighter, and starts to softly hum a familiar tune that Nanna must have used to calm her down too. Slowly, the dread resides and the warmth returns. My stiff posture thaws allowing me to slump into her side. Realising she has been given the green light, she takes a deep breath and starts talking.
Aunt Romey has never been one to beat around the bush. Simple English. No fluff. The bare facts followed by her opinion of them. But this time, the candour I usually appreciate brings with it a realisation that hits me so hard, that, for the first time since the bomb went off, I am relieved the undercooked takeout chicken kept me home that night.
Bedtime stories that once lulled me into sweet dreams now leave me feeling cold, heavy and sick.
Horrifying truth gives a voice to the intoxicated mutterings of a grieving husband and father.
Nanna’s fairy tales.
Georgie Pa’s drunken rants.
All of the frayed strands and loose ends I’ve obliviously left hanging tangle and weave into the blood stained tapestry that is Aunt Romey’s history lesson.
Three versions of the same unfathomable story, each with its own conclusion. The fairy tale ends in hope.
The drunken rant ends in fear.
And the history lesson will only end with the death of the Three Roses, who my newfound enemies believe are Nanna, Mum and me.
Surrounded by the ghosts of our ancestors and their vindicating screams, I cling to the only olive branch within reach.
Mum may be on the run, but she is alive and well.
But the sinewy little branch is not strong enough to bear the weight of centuries of lost life. It snaps, and I limply fall into large, familiar, bloodstained hands that carry me off into the black quiet.
From Chapter 5
As Mike and I quietly sit on the couch nursing our hot beverages, I decide, for both our sakes, to try and find a restful place somewhere between the peace I know and this peace with no name, at least for a quiet cuppa’s worth.
I’m trying. I really am. But it seems that no matter if I’m sitting, resting, or running around like a headless chook, there will be no respite until I ask the one seemingly small, possibly huge, question that continues to taunt me. I gulp down the rest of my still too hot chocolate, losing the deal I made with myself in record time with a scolded tongue as punishment. “Which lifetime has been your favourite?” I blurt out.
Mike baulks, coughs, and nearly spits his coffee all over me. I pat him on the back, but he gestures for me to stop. When his coughing fit finally stops, he peeks over at me, grins shyly and shakes his head. “Give it a rest, Ren.”
I pipe up. “You said that if I have any questions-”
“OK! OK! Keep your crown on!” he says with his hands raised like I’ve got a gun pointed at him. “It was during the nineteenth century. You were a nurse and I was a soldier,” he says, looking everywhere but at me. “You lived to be an old woman and I lived to be an old man. We got a lot done in that lifetime. People still call you the Lady with the Lamp.” He quickly jumps to a stand and turns to leave the room.
“Where are you going off to in such a hurry?”
“To the bathroom, if that’s OK with you, your Highness,” he answers over his shoulder.
As I watch him walk away, I think of me living as an old woman and it hits me. I was once a nurse and a very dedicated one. I remember my privileged upbringing. My parents’ expectations. My expectations. What the poor souls around me were reduced to. Our enemies, foreign and domestic. The constant battles. The wars. The suffering. The pain of life. The peace of death. My distrust of men, bar one. Finding solace amongst amber shards floating in rich brown pools. For a time, he was alone with those eyes wide open in a world that refused to see. His love. Our ongoing affair. Volatile and primal, but good. My body responds in agreement. Apparently, very good. Oh, God...
Thankfully, he takes his time coming back, but when he does, he is holding Georgie Pa’s box still wrapped up in paper.
Feeling his eyes on me, I look up at him standing before me, and the vision of us half naked, frantically kissing and rolling across the floor flashes before my eyes and also in other places. “Oh, God,” I gasp and wince. “Um...I mean, I completely forgot about that,” I mumble, propelling myself upright to snatch Georgie Pa’s box from him.
“So, you do remember,” he says, smirking.
From Chapter 8
I am suddenly snapped into the here and now by Mike’s one of a kind knock. “Ren? Are you nearly done in there, because we’ve really gotta go,” he calls from the other side of the bathroom door.
I shut off the water, slide open the shower screen door and stick my head through the opening. “Coming,” I squeak.
“Meet you at the car in ten minutes, OK?”
“OK,” I reluctantly answer.
I’m trying to hurry, but it feels like I am moving in slow motion. Now push has really come to shove, I realise that yesterday’s dreams have well and truly been trampled by today’s reality. No wonder my brain has confused rushing with plodding as my hopes, as brightly farfetched as they were, darken into their polar opposites.
Getting Georgie Pa off the grog. After hearing about all of this, he’ll probably drown himself in a vat of scotch.
Mum is alive, but I have to wait until they say I can see her. They won’t even let me hear her voice.
Finding my long lost father, who turns out to be a Father, and a murderer.
Finding the bird-man of my dreams, who, not only happens to look and sing like a rugged angel, he is also one of the most popular leading men on the planet, and my own personal favourite at that. And, apparently, I was once married to him! One of the brightest doves who has ever lived...with a Ren? Give me a break...
And, even though the pretty bird-man and me are yet to meet in this lifetime, Aunt Romey and Mike seem to be convinced that there could still be something between us. I’d hate to disappoint you guys, but most things end up pretty dead and crusty after two thousand years. That’s a lot of spilt milk under the bridge, not to mention that living the life of a rock star could have turned him into a complete arsehole...
Now I understand that when your choices are made for you, the magic of what they once represented vanishes right along with them.
KY LEHMAN is a novelist, a children's author, a teacher of swimming and water safety, wife to her high school sweetheart and the proud mother of their three very tall sons. She lives in the Yarra Ranges, Victoria, Australia with her husband and their children where she is currently writing the second book in The Rosefire Trilogy, The 13th Rising.
KY LEHMAN – Q & A
What inspires you?
Courage - witnessing a trail blazer hacking their way through harsh, unwelcoming terrain and making their way through to the other side.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Ren is a well-practised trailblazer! Even though she doesn't remember or acknowledge that about herself right away. She is loved by people from all walks of life, and adored by those special few who have seen behind the armour, and she has so much love to give, but instead of allowing herself to embrace, revel and grow in all that love, she insists on restraining and harnessing it, riding high up on its back in the one position where she doesn’t have to look it directly in the face like it is a war horse with the strength to carry her – and the baggage of the twelve ‘her’s’ before this one – as she charges headfirst into the bloody battle she has fought for millennia against her history, her family name, and the men who love her.
Which actor/actress could you see playing the lead character from your book?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
- Ren played by Isabel Lucas
- Mike played by Henry Cavill
- Josh played by Sam Heughan
I know how I, myself, feels to love someone, and I know how it makes me feel to be loved in the different ways one can be, but describing how another person feels love? Even on my most emotionally imaginative days, describing what another person’s notion of physical, emotional, and spiritual love is always proves to be the most challenging.
Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?
Honestly, erotically-charged scenes! It's not really the writing of them, it's the editing of them! Some things have to be left to the reader’s imagination, but how much? I always struggle with how much description is, or is not, enough!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write. Then read some more.
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
I always win handstand competitions in the pool. I’ve been told that I make a richly-mean spaghetti bolognaise. I paint landscapes - not well - but I love it! I am good with animals - especially fluffy ones – I get cuddles from the apparently shy ones, and I’ve been told that I have a knack of chilling out the uppity ones, but I don’t know how - I’m not exactly the most chilled-out person!
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Giving up smoking. After the countless times I tried, I was dangerously close to giving up on giving up, but after all that practice, I finally got there in the end!
What books have most influenced your life most?
Kathleen McGowan’s, The Expected One, The Book of Love, The Poet Prince. Her books dared me to look deeper, and when I did, all I thought I knew about divinity was blown into smithereens. Thank you, Ms. McGowan!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Paullina Simmons - namely The Bronze Horseman Trilogy. She wrote a tale set in a tragic, mind baffling, soul wrenching time in Russian and world history, but through all of the death and disaster, and the difficult and overwhelming overtones, simplistic messages of love, hope, honesty, and strength in the face of adversity and injustice rose to the surface and hit me square in the chest.
Are there any books that you ashamed to admit you have read and loved?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
- The Twilight Saga. I ate them up! Who is your favorite Villain/Monster in Literature?
- Jekyll and Hyde - because apparently humans are capable of being either, but thankfully most of us choose not to be!
Embrace what you see as your imperfections because sometimes they can turn out to be the most loveable and unique things about you.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Florence Nightingale. Not only was she a renowned nurse and matron, she was also a rebellious daughter, a social reformer, and an accomplished writer who lived to the grand old age of ninety. I would love to meet her as an old lady, make her multiple cups of tea, and listen to her stories about all that she has seen, felt, failed at, and succeeded in. She was a trailblazer, a great one, who, in her younger years, broke the mould, and in her adult life, started to break down walls we are still hammering away at today.
GIVEAWAYOne (1) ebook copy of The 13th Descent.
End December 9th, 2014.