by Kat Nichols
Publication date: January 8th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young AdultSynopsis:An orphan by the age of sixteen, Sophia Morganthal now lives with her best friend and struggles in a world with no relatives. Midway through her Senior year, Sophia finds herself flying across the country to live with a family she never knew existed. She ends up with more questions than answers when she discovers that not only does she come from a long line of witches but that she must be initiated within the year to prevent a battle for coven leadership.
Feeling more alone than ever, Sophia finds her solace in books. The journals of past initiates provide her with more than she ever wanted to know and make her question the path she’s on. Amidst all of the upheaval in her life, Sophia also finds one source of happiness – Connor. The last thing she needs is more complications, but Connor is the only person who makes her feel wanted for herself and not for what she stands for.
As Sophia learns more about herself, and what being initiated into Blackthorne coven really means, she must answer the ultimate question – would she give up everything for her family?
On a Friday two weeks into second semester, Connor dropped heavily into the chair next to me. His gray shirt matched his eyes perfectly. It was perhaps a size too small, so it pulled at his broad shoulders and was snug across his very well-defined chest. I was having a hard time keeping my eyes above his neckline. I felt like such a guy.
“So, any plans for this weekend?”
I jerked my eyes up to meet his and frowned. “No, Connor, as usual I’m not doing anything this weekend.” He asked me the same question every week since the first and I always gave the same answer.
“Morganthal, what is it going to take to get you out of that house? Be social. Live a little. You’re seventeen years old.”
“I know how old I am, Connor.” I huffed.
“You don’t act like it,” he said. Then sighing loudly, he ran his hands through his hair. “I’m sorry; it’s not really my business. It’s just— I’d like to see you outside of school and maybe for more than forty-five minutes.”
“It’s fine,” I replied, dropping my pencil onto the table and pushing back in my chair. “Hopefully things will change soon. I’d like to see you outside of school too.”
“Really?” he asked.
“Alright, I’ll stop being a jerk.”
“Is that even possible?” I asked, trying to hold back my grin.
He tried to appear offended for all of a minute before laughing at himself. I loved his laugh. It was husky and low, which kick started the butterflies in my stomach and no matter how I was feeling always made me want to join in.
“You really have no idea,” he smirked. “I keep my extra special jerkiness just for when you’re around.”
“Oh, that’s an incentive to hang out with you. You really should’ve kept that to yourself.”
He tossed his head back and laughed before turning straight-faced. “I’d be on my best behavior,” he paused, “at least for the first five minutes or so.” Then he grinned, flashing his adorable dimples at me and making my knees weak.
After watching Alexa blow up a precious stone, I was a little hesitant to try. She watched me, her foot tapping the floor repeatedly, until I picked out a pretty blue gemstone that matched my shirt. I held it in my right hand, placing my left hand over it just as Alexa had done. Here is where I thought my previous failed attempts would come in handy since I already knew what didn’t work. But it didn’t matter much after all. My magic, perhaps knowing it was about to be used for the first time, was waiting as impatient as a child kept inside on a rainy day. Unlike those previous attempts, I was finally able to find it, grasp a tendril and tug lightly. It, whatever it was, unspooled and began to move towards my hands. I looked up at Alexa, panic building in my chest, heart beating erratically as this energy moved through my body. It began to pool in my hands, where I should have been able to send it into the stone, but somehow it was blocked. My heart continued to race, getting faster and faster as the energy filled my hands. The pressure built until I was sure my hands would burst, when Alexa placed a hand on my wrist.
“Relax,” she said. “Let it flow.”
Something snapped in my brain, a mental block I had thrown up against magic being real, and finally, my power began to pour into the sapphire. It wasn’t long before I felt some resistance from the stone, as the energy flow slowed. I pulled back, somehow instinctively knowing how and my connection to the stone broke. In my hands, I held my very own power stone. Opening my hand, the gem sat on my palm, pulsing along with my heartbeat. I barked out a laugh, staring at the stone, then raised my head to look at Alexa.
It was real. It was all real. Everything they told me. I shook my head, still staring at the stone in my hand. The magic energy had retreated back into my body, but I could feel it pulsing inside my chest, refusing to be hidden again, at one time both foreign and completely natural.
Writing a novel had always been a dream for her, perhaps an item on her bucket list, but it wasn't until she joined a writing group with other aspiring writers that she finally got to work.When not writing, Kat is reading or driving her son to and from practices and wishing she was reading.It depends on the day.
Kat still lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her wonderful husband, their hilarious son and their sometimes adorable and sometimes annoying cat.
To learn more about the author, please go to www.katnichols.com.
Tell us about Family Secrets?
Family Secrets is a young adult, coming of age story with a magical twist. Sophia moves to Illinois and her whole life is turned upside down. She meets family she never knew she had and finds out she comes from a long line of witches. She deals with family issues, meeting new friends and a cute boy at school, all while studying to pass her initiation.
Why do you write paranormal books?
I love paranormal books. I will read almost anything, but this genre is my true love. Why? I’m not sure I can pinpoint an exact reason. Reading and writing paranormal novels; it’s like an adventure, a vacation from reality. You never know what can happen because as long as the world building is done properly, anything can.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
You have to get out there and mingle with the blogging/writing/reading world. Join discussion groups, follow Facebook pages, and put yourself out there. It can be time consuming, time you may want to spend writing, but you can meet some amazing people. If possible, find yourself a good writing group to help keep you sane. If I didn’t have the Rebel Writers, I never would have finished Family Secrets. If you can find a good group, they will understand what you’re going through and can support you in ways even your best friends and family cannot.
You’ve mentioned the Rebel Writers. Who are they and how have they influenced you?
The Rebel Writers is my writing group. We met as fans of indie author Rachel Higginson, who I love, and we all decided we’d write our first books together. They are amazing women and talented authors. If not for them, I never would have finished my first book, let alone have other books in the pipeline. We got so lucky. They are my best friends and my sisters. Cheesy, I know!
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
Everywhere. Books, movies, TV shows, my friends and family. But sometimes inspiration just comes out of the blue, usually when I’ve turned off the lights to go to sleep or when I’m driving, anytime I don’t have time to write.
Is there a character that has taken a completely different turn than you originally planned for it? Characters that you discarded and wrote out or became more important than you planned?
I’ve often heard authors say that the characters speak to them or take over a story but I’d never really seen it in action until Ellen. She’s the cook at Sophia’s new home and like the maids, was meant to be more of a background character. As I wrote her, she demanded a much larger role and ended up being a pretty important person to Sophia.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I do! I’m halfway finished with book two in the Secret Societies collection. Deadly Secrets is a continuation of Sophia’s story and I plan on releasing in July or early August of this year. I also have the first chapter of a novella about Sophia’s parents up on the site, Literrater. I’d like to have it published by the end of the year.
The Secret Societies collection will continue after that but will tell the story of a different paranormal group and since they all live in the same area, the stories will intertwine. For example, people in Deadly Secrets will show up in later books. My goal is that each set can stand alone as a series, but you can read them all in order to fully understand what is going on with these groups and the relationships between them. The first set, Secrets, focuses on Sophia and the witches, and will consist of two full length novels and one novella.
How can our readers find you?
I can always be found on Facebook at: www.facebook.com.katnicholsauthor.com.