Valens of Legacy, Book 1
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance
Number of pages: 92
Word Count: 26,324
Do you love reading about ShapeShifters? Psychics? Genetically Engineered Monsters?
Get your free copy of Book One of the Valens of Legacy series now.
As Larinda Nix Thomas buries her adoptive parents, who died in a deadly echo of the accident that took her birth parents, hidden documents reveal that she is being threatened by a sinister force and that she shouldn't trust even her closest allies. Fate demands she accept her place among the Valens as a shapeshifter, a unicorn, which brings more changes to her life than she could have imagined and puts her on a collision course with her ultimate destiny. In this first book of the Valens of Legacy series myth is rewritten, fantasy and science fiction blend to create a chilling story of death, loss, and discovery.
Struggling to make a life for herself on the streets of Seattle, Washington--Jemma a, runaway is battling to stay safe and unmolested, find legitimate work, and secure an education. Concerned social workers search for her and other runaways to return them to the lives they escaped from. True friends are few and life has made it hard to trust anyone. The memory of loving family no longer exists.
Meet the women who can't remember their past. Discover their stories. Begin the journey into the world of the Valens of Legacy.
Larinda Nix Thomas watched, eyes filled with tears, as her parents’ coffins were lowered into the ground. The rain took no pity on the mourners who had gathered. It blew in past the edges of the tent, dousing everyone who had come to say their last goodbyes.
Grant Mayfair and Griffin Hawke, senior executives with Legacy Protection Services and personal friends of Larinda’s family, stood sentinel beside her. Larinda struggled to hide how much she blamed them for her loss. Legacy, and all the resources at their disposal, hadn’t protected her adoptive parents. Grant and Griffin hadn’t been there to safeguard Boyd and Fiona, and now she was forced to stand beside their graves.
Larinda hugged herself, stroking her shoulder where the mark that resembled a unicorn was hidden under her jacket. Today the comforting habit didn’t work.
Grant reached out and drew her hand into his. “I know you’re hurting,” he murmured. “It’s so difficult to lose those you love to a senseless accident.” He gave her hand a squeeze and raised it toward the numerous friends, employees, and customers who had come to share her grief—and whose safety and livelihoods depended on the company her parents had built. “You can trust that I’ll be here for you,” Grant said. “Help take some of the burden off your shoulders.”
Reclaiming her hand, she gave Grant a weak smile. It didn’t last long.
Senseless accident? Or something far worse? The thought swirled through Larinda’s mind.
Ambassador Magellan came forward to shake her hand. “Larinda, please forgive me. I have duties to address, but I had to let you know Legacy’s services are not in jeopardy because of your loss. I’m sure Mr. Hawke is very capable of stepping in until you are better prepared for such vast responsibilities.”
Larinda stared blankly at the politician as he walked away. Step aside? I know I’m not completely prepared for this, but—just let Hawke take over? Looking at the faces of the men and women who gathered to comfort her, she suddenly wondered how many of them expected the same thing.
Her parents had carefully groomed her in preparation for the day she would take control of Legacy. She had been immersed in Valens culture and schooled in the obligations she would inherit from the day she had become a member of the family. Even at that young age, she’d understood that their pride and high standards were the reason for the success of the two-hundred-year-old company. Boyd’s parents had established the global enterprise and built it into a world-renowned security firm celebrated for protecting presidents and kings.
They had depended on her to carry on when they were gone. She was a Thomas, even if not by birth, and as long as her family survived, they would remain in control of Legacy. It was the least she owed the people who had given her so much.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Originally I wanted to be a princess, then – because I went to Catholic schools – I was convinced I wanted to be a Nun (not) but even with those hidden desires I wanted to be able to write stories. Stories I could share with others.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Suppose I finally thought of myself as a writer after I wrote a series of poems that friends and family urged me to make into children’s books. I even joined a children’s writers group but was told I would never sell anything that had rhymes in them - hum – maybe I can change that by self-publishing those later.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
It took quite a long time until the publishing world changed. I was told my storied had no audience but independent or indie publishing has certainly changed all of that. After more than 10 years of reject letters, I self-published and am loving the results.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I wish I could tell you I have an exciting job other than writing – and before I published I was a police dispatcher which was much more exciting that my career as a Certified Records Manager. I actually love the work, but most people have this image of the file clerk trudging away filing papers in some dungeon. Actually I develop training for the ranks to help them understand the need to, not only keep a few things, but legally dispose of the majority of what they have because it’s not records. I also get to use my skills in understanding and selecting business information systems – the computers systems businesses use to image and store paper records, and protect electronic records – I guess I am sort of a geek!
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The most recent release is Valens Rebel. In summary it is the story of a “Valiant guardian centaur who turned deadly assassin--she rebelled betraying her lover, her allegiance, and her legacy.”
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
As I indicated before, I self-publish my books. I love the ability to determine my own schedule, write a story as fast or as slowly as I need to, and interact with my critique partners and editor to make it the best story I can tell.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
That’s a difficult question. I can get a full novel typed up in a month or six weeks – then of course I have to get my edits, do revisions, order and receive my cover and then do all the formatting and such to get it on the eBook sites and print on demand – that take about another six weeks. It would probably take less if I was able to write full time – but who knows for sure?) But from idea? That can take a year or two or even more, for example I have two works in progress, and the idea for at least three or four additional books – it will be a while before I can get them all done and available.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I will definitely have more books in the Valens of Legacy series, but I will also be releasing a re-invigorated historical novel based on the Jack the Ripper murders – it was the first book I published but I admit although it was a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence Finalist for Mystery /Suspense under the title RipHer – I decided to revitalize it with professional editing, a new cover and the new title The Secrets of Whitechapel. I
What genre would you place your books into?
With the exception of the book in the previous question, I write Paranormal-Fantasy with a little romance and Science Fiction thrown in.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I really believed I was destined to write Thrillers or Suspense but every time I tried some magical element would sneak into the story. Did I say sneak? Actually the fantastical and paranormal grabbed whatever story I was doing and twisted it into a tale of fantasy. When I finally gave in I was shocked so I TRIED to write a story – and it was awful. So then I just wrote and wrote, went to the a Percy Jackson movie with my grandsons and thought--I love centaurs and the gods but really isn’t there something more out there? And I started investigating the legends, myths and folklore of people around the world. In the Valens of Legacy series you will see characters from the distance placed incorporated into the tales and just like fantasy did to my thriller/suspense endeavors– I add a twist to the legends and make the something new.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
I love all the characters but I have to admit Misty has won my heart. She’s loyal, willing to stand up to those around her, loves what she hates being a teenager – what a combination. She can stand up against Declan, the Amarok and even put him in his place. She’s willing to fight Cerberus, and she believes being able to listen in on people’s conversation without them knowing she’s there – just the most awesome thing in the world.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I began writing when I was in grade school and haven’t stopped for very long between now and then. Though I won’t admit my age I will say I have 3 grandchildren now so I’ve been writing for a while. My father inspired me to accomplish most of the things I’ve done in my life. He totally believed I could do anything I wanted and made sure I knew he did. He encouraged me to read and visit real and fantasy worlds, and taught me to love the language of books.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
No special routines. I do listen to music on occasions, everything from Pink to Phil Collins and Michael Bubble. I occasionally stop for a television or reading break when I get stalled, and of course I have to play with Rouge Little Woof – my darling puppy which gives me time to muddle over what might happen next.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do read all my reviews and very much take them to heart. If someone finds and error I use their comments and correct where I can. I appreciate every person who takes the time to tell the world what they think – even if they find it’s not for them. However, I do hope most people like my stories.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I usually have a working title before I start the book, my latest book was originally called Valens Ruse – however I think Valens Rebel is much better and more telling about the story.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
The names happen in a number of ways. I will hear or see a name I love, such as Jemma. I may research the names used in the culture the character comes from, such as Declan Sedna where his last name is supposed to be Inuit and he is a Amarok from Inuit legend. Occasionally I just make something up. I love naming characters and it can be a fun challenge. Oh, and I have one friend who asked to be a character in one of the books, and I let him tell me the name he wanted to use.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
The setting of each book is a place I have lived in, traveled to, or want to travel to. When I select the setting I try to be sure the names of the characters who live in those location are names that would be used by the people who live there. However, I admit that character will challenge me and want me to use something they like better. That happened with my Chinese Black Dog character – his name is Gage which isn’t every oriental.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I would love to have all the traits of the population of the books be settled before I write, but no matter how much I wanted Misty to be shy and retiring, and a little intimidated by the Valens who surround her – she refused and became her own person and demanded a better part than the single investigation I had planned to give her. Yes – what I am saying is my characters control my fingers on the keyboard and they are usually right – though occasionally they do get a little carried away.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I have been asked this question before and admit it is really hard for me. I don’t think I am the type of person who can tell others how they should live or give a story a moral – however I do want my readers to see that the characters learn to be exactly who they want to be, even if they get lost trying to do that on some occasions. So if there is a message in my stories it would be – Be Yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that’s the wrong way to be.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
As an indie author I love eBooks. They came along and have allowed the choices in what people want to read, explode. As a reader I have favorite authors where I collect their Hardcopy books. I also want to have paperback books available for the readers that prefer that media and of course I read on an e-reader most of the time because I carry the books I am reading or want to read with me where ever I go and if I had to carry paper it would weigh more than I could pick up.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Jim Butcher, who writes the Dresden books, wrote a six book series called Codex Alera. Furies of Calderon the first book pulled me into a world where people had special powers they believed to be normal, the young hero, Tavi, is subject to pity or spite, because he isn’t normal and the world is created in such a way you can see and touch every flower, leaf and blade of grass. I have read the series several times, and wished to be able to move my readers into such a vivid world with character like those I fell in love with.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think that movies only have a general relationship to the books that created the characters and worlds where the story takes place. Even when the movie story is close to the following the books, there is always something off key. One of the stories and a favorite of mine that followed the book closely is Hunger Games. I haven’t decided which the worst book to movie transfer is, but there have been a few that came close, for example Dune, Twilight and although not a single movie, the changes to Game of Thrones.
Your favorite food is?
I love Tex-Mex enchiladas and guacamole. This may be a result of being a native Texan, or the fact my father was determined to make my brothers and I immune to hot sauces which were more like candy in our house.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I love Pink’s Try and a number of Katy Perry songs. My favorite and most played right now is Dark Horse.
Your favorite color is?
I love anything that has a blue base, purples, turquoise, and greens and hot neon pink (no blue but fabulous.
Your favorite Author is?
Does it have to be just one? Jim Butler, J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, Kay Hooper, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Elizabeth George, Brandon Sanderson, John Sanford, Michael J. Sullivan, Edgar Allen Poe, George R.R. Martin, Elizabeth Peters, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and more.
5 ebook copies of Valens Rise, Book 2, The Valens of Legacy Series - Electronic format of choice (US, Canada and international)
5 prize packs open to US Shipping Only- Each prize pack contains -1 Paperback of Valens Remembered, The Story Begins , Book 1 of the Valens of Legacy Series; 1 Paperback of Valens Rise, Book 2, the Valens of Legacy Series; Valens Remembered lined note book; Bookmark; Coupon for Valens Rise from Smashwords; Key-chain with image of a Phoenix
Wrangler of a fearsome Yorkiepoo named Rogue (Half Yorkie half Poodle weighing in at a hefty five pounds). Obsession controlled writer with a passion for making up names and twisting myths.
Sherrel, as the daughter of an Emmy winning cameraman, learned early in life the dark secrets of creating all those incredible fantasy characters for the large and small screen.
Refusing to be crushed at the discovery the monsters, aliens, and Robby the Robot weren't real, Sherrel's imagination soared. She became a SELF-proclaimed voyeur of special-effects and expert at fictional character creation.