Spring Clean Reads Countdown Blitz (Day #7)
Liz McCraine is an outdoor enthusiast, military spouse, and mother. She loves to ride horses and go hiking with her family. When she isn’t writing or corralling children, Liz enjoys relaxing with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. Her motto is: If it doesn’t have a happy ending, I don’t want to read it.
Fairy tales are not a thing of the past.
In the kingdom of Aggadorn, seventeen-year-old Larra Stoneworth of the village of Farr discovers she has a strange magical power. But the law for humans having such magic is simple: death. When word of Larra’s gift reaches the palace, the king’s son is sent to capture her and bring her to trial. During their journey from Larra’s small village to the city, Larra faces dangers unlike any she has ever imagined. Though Larra’s magic may seem a threat to some, another far more sinister threat emerges that endangers the life of everyone—even the king himself.
An innocent girl with powers she didn’t know she had. A noble prince sent to imprison her. A powerful counselor gone mad with jealousy. An evil plot. A death sentence. And above all, the strength of one young woman to do what is right, no matter the consequences.
“Wait, please!” she screamed, desperation finally giving her the voice she needed. “Christoff, don’t do this!”
She watched as the prince jerked to a stop and turned around. He raised a fist in the air and immediately the two guards dragging her away stopped. He approached, striding unhesitatingly across the courtyard until he was within inches of her. Larra could smell the familiar scent of leather and horses that clung to his skin, and something else that was uniquely his. She inhaled deeply, knowing she might never get this close again. She searched his eyes, hoping to find a crack in the brutal armor he had secured around his mind and his heart.
He held up a hand to silence her. Leaning forward, he lowered his face to hers until they were practically nose to nose. In a deep, frighteningly quiet voice, he spoke only a few words.
“Do not call me by that name. You do not have the right… witch.” He glanced over her in disgust before turning on his heel and stalking away.
Larra felt like someone had shot an arrow into the center of her heart. It stopped beating and a searing pain spread throughout her body with such intensity that she couldn’t breathe. Her vision grew fuzzy and dark, and she was only vaguely aware of being dragged through the door and into the night.
She didn’t feel the unevenness of the stone path beneath her feet as she was taken away. Nor did she feel the bruising fingers pressing into her arms or see the glow of the torch that signaled the entrance to the dungeon. She didn’t hear the slam of a steel door shutting behind her as she was caged for the final time. She didn’t hear anything. Didn’t see anything. She simply… withdrew.
And let’s look at some Q&A’s with Liz!
When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?
I didn’t really start writing until after the birth of my second son. My husband and I had just moved across the country so he could attend medical school. He needed the car every day, and I was left at home with two young children and no means of transportation. There weren’t even sidewalks where we lived! To exercise, I would go next door to the cemetery and push the double stroller between the rows of tombstones. This continued for four years. Being home all the time, I needed an outlet for my energy and frustrations. Writing was that outlet, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
One of my favorite characters in The Witch’s Reward is an impulsive girl named Kiera. I am currently working on her story, Beyond the Sands. In it, Kiera’s father is killed by man-like creatures called carnies. Hot-headed Kiera is determined to have her revenge, but to do so she must cross the Great Bavarri Desert—something no one has done before. There are heaps of danger, adventure and romance. For all her flaws, Kiera is a strong, courageous heroine, and a fun character to write.