He whispers into her hair, “I don’t deserve you.” The guilt strains his throat as the words come out husky. Her gentle, slim fingers stroke the fine lines of his jaw, curling around his beard, and up to brush over the soft of his lips. “Don’t you ever say that, my love.” He stares up to the ceiling where the reflection of the flames dance over broken beams. “The things I have done.” Gently and playfully, she tugs on his beard to bring his lips down to hers. The kiss feeding the air into his lungs is light and touches the darkest parts of him, dispelling every negative emotion clouding his mind. When she releases him, her words settle into the marrow of his bones. “All you have done for your people, for me…” she begins, “All that matters in this brutal world is your intentions, Prince. And your intentions have been only honorable.” Mischief twinkles in his eyes. “I am inclined to disagree.” He smirks, staring down at her leg wrapped around his waist. The silence falls between them. They had just committed treason, but neither of them wants it to end just yet. “Avelyn,” he speaks her name, adding, for the first time, “My goddess.” He tastes the endearing term with elation. “I want you to come with me, I have something to show you.” He shifts to slip out from under her.
“The hour is late, my love. I am rather tired. Would you mind,” she says as her lips feather the nape of his neck, “if we put it off until tomorrow?” He studies her. “You dismiss me so quickly?”
“You know why…” she begins, tears brimming her sultry eyes.
“I will never do anything that puts you or your loved ones in danger. Do you believe that?” Leif gives a sigh.
“Of course, I do. I’ve known you since you were a little brat, since nine years old and to this day, never once have you lost control around me.” The words feel good too hear. Moments later, as she jumps from the bed, he says to her, “If you trust me, then why do you so easily dismiss this important thing I want to show you?”
Her eyes settle on his, green-lit stars as the flames of the fireplace reflect in them. “I ask of you, my prince, to give me time to savor our night. Can you grant me that speck of happiness?” Wanting to interject, he sits up, sheets slithering down his flawless chest, he opens his mouth when she adds more forcefully, “I, too, have sacrificed all I have wanted. My happiness, my family…” her voice breaks. He sighs. “Yes, of course.” He looks down ashamed. “I will give you this night you deserve. It would seem being the acting king has made me a selfish man these days.” As she moves, the glow from the hearth lights up her skin like the gleam of the moon, and all thought and trouble floats away in the beauty of the redheaded woman who has robbed him of his heart. A terrible thought crosses his mind. It is not enough, everything he has done was for her, and he couldn’t help but feel that it is not enough. As if the words were spoken out loud, Avelyn spins around, undergarments in hand falling to the bed with the creak of wood and the ruffle of sheets.
“I love you.” His head spins, his heart swells, and his human mind is set adrift in a sea of songs, stars, and the promise of endless nights like these. He watches her with absolute verve as she slips into her dress, her delicate feet settling in her shoes. She turns, grabbing the necklace his father had given her and pulls the clasp to her neck. From over her shoulder, she calls him near to assist her in clasping the necklace in place. When she sits, he shifts forward, feeling heat rise up inside. The sight of the necklace drives him mad. With delicate fingers, she parts her red curls to expose the soft of her neck and shoulders, dispelling his anger for just a moment. As the big, shiny jewel settles on her chest, his heart hardens. Now more than ever he wants to put his plan into motion. For her, to keep her, to save the ones she loves, he would do it no matter the cost to him anymore.
Standing, she smiles up at him, and exits the room almost silently, taking with her his breath and his heart.
Carlyle is a USA Today Bestselling, international bestselling and international award winning South African author – with a flair and passion for mixing genres, adding loads of drama to every story she creates. Carlyle has traveled the world with her books in hopes of connecting with all kinds of book loving people, to learn as much as she can from other book cultures with the hopes of bringing the knowledge back to her home country.
Her goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.
Carlyle uses writing as a healing tool, and that is why she has started her very own writers support event – SAIR Book Festival.
Founder of SAIR Book Festival
Co-Founder of Fire Quill Publishing.
Founder of Help build a library in South Africa.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author? Well I have always been a lost in my own head , from a very young age I have been capable at a whim to disappear into a different world of my own creation. Maybe that is why I love sleeping? I started journaling at about twelve years old, and my cousin taught me to type in primary school. Come high school I was begging kids for their creative stories to write – so with that said it was all I was doing and that is why today I suck at math. In early high school (age 14) I started writing songs – yeah I was that emo kid with a lot of love to give but was rejected by my peers for my ability to shine no matter what, the emo was just a way of keeping kids from hurting me. MY school friend contact me often reminding me that I used to tell them I will one day write a book, but with my messy mind I could not recall that. Once my kids were born my writing stopped. But one day my husband was on a business trip and I had the whole house to myself – my bestie brought me a copy of Twilight – I hated vampires at that stage. But boy I watched that movie seven times that weekend, and countless times after. I picked up the series of books at my sister’s house and was like I was compelled to read them all in a short amount of time while holding a household together, and working. Then the series ended and I was a black hole – but soon realized I can do this, Stephanie just made the impossible come true for all striving writers that did not conform to the typical genres. I wrote my first book The Broken Destiny in 4 weeks and took me a few months to get published and a year of edits. And that was it for me – my escape, my way of sharing feelings and comforting my readers that all people have the same things they go through. I write to heal, I write what I wish I had to read in my teens years, because I know teens don’t take advice from parents but will find something profound in a YA book that will elevate and plant a seed of growth.
What is something unique/quirky about you? I always fall up stairs. I smell everything I put in my mouth, even at restaurants. I love researching the origins of inventions. I sit crossed legged when eating. I roll around in the beach sand when we vacation the coast. I don’t use mirrors. I am the smallest person in the house but make the biggest noise – my family call my stomps a lot., and this is probably why I was kicked out of ballet school. I break a lot of things in our house, from mops , brooms, dishes, buckets, glasses, and fridge interiors . And don’t get me started on pc’s or phones – technology hates me – I can almost guarantee if I touch your phone to do a research or send a message something with glitch on your phone.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you! Well I find a lot of things interesting, so it depends of what area of my life we want to discuss. Lets start with the highlights of my author career. Before I published my first book The Broken Destiny I reached for the stars. I wrote the PR / booking agent for one of South Africa’s world class rock bands. – for me they are second to linkin park. I was granted the crazy opportunity to use their lyrics in my book in exchange for a copy for each of them and a photo opp. I was escorted on said meeting day backstage a day before the big concert where I experienced the magic of muses entertaining me solely. You can find the image here: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10156591504323101&set=a.10152360146158101 MY first USA book signing in Nashville was a huge success I sold out all my books in under an hour and had to turn people away so I have a few books for the next day. Book singing and photoshoot in Paris. Book con in England.
What are some of your pet peeves? People skipping stop streets or red lights – littering
Where were you born/grew up at? In Johannesburg south Africa,
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day? Entire family on the beach learning how to surf with sushi.
Who is your hero and why? MY family members – they love unconditionally, give every last bit of themselves for their kids and siblings.
What kind of world ruler would you be? Not a very good one I think, I am way too much of a softy. But the first law I would pass is the law to enforce biodegradable plastic – or construction companies make use of compressed plastic bricks for building that is said to be stronger than bricks. OH my goodness and poachers , poachers should have their hands or noses cut off.
What are you passionate about these days? MY latest release. Getting back into my fitness routine. Coffee and Cake counts right?
What do you do to unwind and relax? Binge watching Gilmore girls, swimming, walking, yoga
How to find time to write as a parent? I work from home so it’s a breeze – but very distracting
Describe yourself in 5 words or less! Sweet. Compassionate. Foodie. Traveler. Hugger. And I have to add I am a crier, I even cry in ads, songs and tv series.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie? Umm all of them!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? Black panther.
What inspired you to write this book? My publisher wanted a certain type of book from me to fit into the trend , but after three years it was always something I needed to spend a lot of time on , contemplation, musing and trying to write for the wrong reasons didn’t work for me. My stories have to come from a hidden, scary, and philosophical , mind-bending, and most importantly a profound place inside of me. We releases a boxset themed forbidden love , and I transformed that book into the idea I wanted it to be, at first it was a short story but once I got my rights back I fell into a big dark place where creativeness went to die. As a newborn Christian I surrendered this book to God and just like that I was in love and the concept, characters and theme came out that Ive been hiding for a long time. But it was the right time – I can only hope.
What can we expect from you in the future? OH gosh I have so many series I have not finished , but first I will do the follow up of A Beast so Beautiful. Now that book will be super exciting to write.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? The broken diaries is a small spin off from The broken novel and a short story about another characters point of view.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in A Beast so Beautiful King Ivor is an ass, drunk woman and child beater. He is bitter and revengeful on his prince Leif blaming him for the death of Rurith Kingdoms Queen.
Prince Leif has been locked up in a tower for six years after discovering his mothers corpse. He was created by magic as the king could not produce a male heir. But magic came at a cost and Prince Leif is half human half something else.
Avelyn is the redheaded beauty taken in by the kingdom to marry the prince. For six years she secretly visits the prince in his tower. She is spirited, direct and a problem solver.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? They live in my head!!
Where did you come up with the names in the story? They live in my head!
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Creating characters and worlds and conflict and drama and doomed fates along with tortured lovers.
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick? Ivor – to avenge his wife’s death. Expose his son for the beast he is and steal away his bride as payback. Prince Leif wants to rule the kingdom with trust loyalty with Avelyn at his side. Avelyn is driven by seeing Prince Leif take the crown, and because she was tricked into marrying the cruel king seeks out a secret affair with the love of her life. Pushing him towards overthrowing his father.
Who designed your book covers?
CHBB publishing – Rebecca Poole
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Put more humor in it.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? Yes to look out for details and got to learn more about the English tenses and sentence structures as I am not English myself I learn more with each book.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Charlie hunnam
Anything specific you want to tell your readers? Without them I would be far from my dreams and leaving my healing words to the masses.
How did you come up with name of this book? Book titles come easily to me. They just pop in my head. And as the beast has morals and a big heart he is beautiful inside and out. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? Most of the male leads I pull the ethics and ways and inspiration from my husband – who we have been together since high school and everyday he surprises me with his dedication , his sacrifices and his selflessness.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? Oh no we have a lot of fights, but Ive learned to lose control (probably the only time in my life this happens) and let them come and flow and be.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read. It’s a faced pace story, a reverse Beauty and the beast that meets Game of thrones – fight for the crown. Forbidden love Royal feuds. An ancient magic that will bring the kingdom to its knees. I know in my heart that my passion, dedication and prayers for this book , took a lot of putting myself out there will show in my writing. Because readers can feel the energy and truth in the author’s writing.
Have you written any other books that are not published? I have written Into the Night my prequel to Dead of night my dystopian romance . It is about 70 percent done.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be? Vanilla
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors? Six of crows duology, A curse so dark and lonely, trilogy Bone Carier’s Moon Infernal devices Twilight Saga The girl who lived Game of thrones The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine
What book do you think everyone should read? The Archers of Avalon by Chelsea Fine
How long have you been writing? Since primary school
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write? They come to me as I write – I need characters that create conflict and unpredictably
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book? Well I write speculative fiction , so I pretty much make up my own stuff, creating new worlds is what I do.
Do you see writing as a career? Absolutely , epically when my kids are out of the house
What do you think about the current publishing market? It’s a crazy and oversaturated market. And what would work for advertising and getting your book out there today might not work tomorrow. It keeps our creative minds working. The secret is to be persistent and consistent. Acknowledge that your careers success is in the hands of readers and your support groups of many relationships you have built with like-minded author’s bloggers and book fanatics. Treat your readers as if they were your friends – because that is what is lacking with traditional published authors - get intimate, get interactive, offer them insight and exciting book goodies and exclusive content to welcome them to your book family. For indie or small press authors we have free reign and the final say on how we connect with our readers.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre? My favorite genre at the moment is fantasy/ paranormal fantasy/ romantic mysteries. Dystopian Romance. Actually I enjoy any story, and I have since grade school. I can get lost in any story that is written well of course. I read fantasy, dystopian, science fiction,
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why? Well depend where I am , if I am at home – I need them all to shut up. When I am at a café I get into the book quickly… unless there is some yuppie taking his phone calls on speaker – whats that all about?
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time? I used to have multiple books going at one time. But I have become content with focusing on one book at a time… so that I can totally fall into that world, mood, theme – and be sure to give each book my undivided attention.
Pen or type writer or computer? Defiantly computer, when I write on the pc the entire book world escapes through my fingers.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book. I love villains – my favorite was Valentine in the mortal instruments. Why he says with me, is that he was they type of villain where you could understand where he was coming from – but more than that he did not have to freaking to this entire monologue to his intentions. My second favorite would be Elara from Bone Carier’s moon
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision? I absolutely with no doubt knew this was my destiny from a very young age.
A day in the life of the author? Before covid is was book signings, tv interviews, newspaper and glossy magazine interviews. International book signings – now it’s a laid back life, time to write, market, kick back to take some me time and get the kids on the right path and even excursive But that too get’s tiring as that is not why I write. MY routine can change in a moment’s notice
Advice they would give new authors? Build an author and blogger nework, work on your social media platforms through interacting. Get a newsletter. And edit edit edit.
Describe your writing style. My style is mostly for a niche market as its very poetic , profound with fast moving sense action and live threatening innuendos
What makes a good story? Good writing, mystery, action, banter, and life threatening innuendos
What are they currently reading? A vow so bold and deadly.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? I do not really try, I have not really thought about that as Ive never found that to be an issue as yet. I write truthfully. My thoughts, imagination and feelings come from me, and I believe that my readers will see the individuality in my writing as much as every single reader, writer and artist or more so person is unique. Thus I find the readers will find new stories even in retellings of the old. I do what I want and stick to the truth of my vision, because I know the readers will feel the passion.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Do not be so hard on yourself , everything has its turn and everything is just as it should be to set you on your path. The big lesson is that you are deserving of everything that is great in your life, receive it and let go of the old so you have room for the new.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? No, not really, without sounding feminist– men are big softies, they too have emotions, intense ones at that – the big trick is to remember men have more pride and a whole lot more of ego. But they are also very fierce in protecting the things they love and fighting for it and because of that men have less words and more actions as they don’t internalize and scrutinize their thoughts as much as females do. This is just my opinion. So with that in mind, knowing where my male characters are in their stages of love, loss and hope I can easily ( I Hope) pull off the male character.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? It depends where I am in life. My first book took four weeks and this one took three years from thought to paper, while having other releases on deadline of course.
Do you believe in writer’s block? I think I have had many different forms of writers block from lack of inspiration to being scared to write past a profound situation in a book because it too close to home. Right up to feeling overwhelmed by a deadline and producing a book full of editorial issues beyond what my level of experience should be experiencing in the English Language. How I get over it – I give it time, step away and you will know and feel when you are called back. But sometimes all you need is a little push.