A Peace Series Novella
by Sandra Hurst
Genre: Contemporary Romance
The last thing Cyn is looking for is Jericho, the quiet, soft-spoken ranch hand from the McBride place. Between the clinic closing, her mom’s health, and Cyn’s long-delayed college plans, there are already too many uncertainties. Could Jericho be the anchor she needs so desperately as her world falls apart? Or is he just another excuse not to let go of Peace and move on.
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Cyn had had enough of waiting for her southern gentleman, leaning in she closed the gap between their lips. Closing her eyes and letting go of all the reasons she shouldn’t be doing this, she gave herself to this moment, and to Jericho. His lips were firm and soft, the hand against her cheek felt callused, but not rough. He gently explored the contours of her face, shooting fireworks through her heart and, as he pulled her closer, warming her body until it melted against his. Her hands wandered, almost instinctively, over the muscled outlines of his chest, delighting in the contrast between the soft denim shirt and the hot, hard man who wore it. Jericho growled softly, nipping at her lips in appreciation. She sighed, opening further to him, asking, although she didn’t quite know what for.
He knew. His hand grasped her head tighter and his agile tongue slipped between her lips to stroke the roof of her mouth. One large hand cupped her breast, the soft weight no more than a palmful for the big cowboy. She gasped when his thumb brushed lightly over her nipple, making it pebble tightly beneath the soft chiffon.
The giggles of a couple of teenagers shattered their privacy. Jericho and Cyn looked at each other with embarrassment, recognizing the same young couple that they had chased out of the stairwell earlier. “Cynthia, I…” Cyn put a shushing finger over his lips. “Shush, Jericho,” she said quietly, nodding at the pair of teenagers peering through the windows of the stairwell door. “I think we’ve given them quite enough to talk about for now.”
A member of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, and The Mythopoeic Society, Hurst works to build fantasy worlds that allow her readers to join her in exploring the depths of human interaction in a mythical game of ‘what if.’
Her first novel, Y’keta, is long-listed for the prestigious Aurora Award, for best Canadian fantasy novel (Young Adult) and the American-based RONE award for break out fantasy novel.
She now lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband and son, both of whom she loves dearly, and has put up for sale on e-bay when their behaviour demanded it.
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Ooh, you really want to go there? I think that answer would depend on who you talk to. My son would cringe and point to ‘opera nights,’ evenings when I don’t speak and insist on singing my answers to any questions. My husband might point to my fits of insomnia and my late-night Facebook addiction. But really! You meet the best people online at 3am.
If there is one thing I would say was unique or quirky about me it would be my breadth of interests, I’m a bit of a Hermione, a collector of odd facts and knowledge about anything from the Kaiju culture of manga Japan, to Shakespeare, to Opera, or the band Nightwish. There isnt much that I wont listen to, read, learn about and find value in.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I don’t know how interesting other people will think this is, but to people of my vintage, it rocked!
I was just out of high school, it was the early 80’s and music meant everything. Early one Saturday morning I was working to set up chairs for a church service the next day. My church had its Sunday morning service in one of the smaller theatres connected to Calgary’s big concert auditorium. We were doing sound stuff and putting out chairs when three sloppily dressed guys wandered into the back of the theatre and motioned us over. The guys asked what we were setting up for, and when we told them it was for church the next morning, they quickly jumped in to assure us that if their band got too noisy we should just come in and let them know, they didn’t want to disturb us. They were performing in the main auditorium that evening and they were getting ready to do their sound checks.
They introduced themselves as Peter, Gene, and Chris. It wasn’t until I saw the tour bus outside that I realized I had just met ¾ of KISS out of makeup!.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I grew up in England, surrounded by old Celtic and Arthurian stories and legends, learning from them how important imagination was. When I was 8, we moved to northern Canada and the legends changed. Stories of the Fae and the little people were replaced by legends of the Thunderbird and stories of the woodlands. I never stood a chance. What could I be but a writer?
I now live in Calgary, Alberta with my husband and son, both of whom I love dearly, and have put up for sale on e-bay when their behaviour demanded it. My day to day life is a balance between my outside life as a paralegal counsellor and my inner life as an author/poet. In between writing projects, I work on improving my craft, study the Cree Language and aboriginal history, write book reviews, try to keep my blog current, and study mythologies from around the world.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Words, Wings, Wit, and Whimsy.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I was thinking about becoming involved in the Peace Novella Series I had a lot of doubts. As someone who has read romance for years I know what I liked, and more importantly what I didn’t like about the genre. I wanted to write a non-traditional romance. Something where ‘getting the gal/guy’ wasn’t the whole purpose of the story. I wanted to allow the characters to grow, act independently of each other, and have lives that don’t depend on a happy ever after. I think I accomplished that with Peace Out.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Next up for me is Book two of my fantasy series “The Sky Road”. It is currently in the necklace stage, that is the point in my writing process when I have pearls written, but desperately need the thread of the story to tie them together.
After 15 years as the warrior leader of the village a lung sickness is slowing D’vhan down. How will he accept the transfer of power to one of the younger warriors? How much of his identity is built into what he does, rather than who he is? Oh, and there is a love interest……
“What are you so afraid of,” he said. “Why does it frighten you that I’m ten cycles younger?” His light tenor voice carried such a weight of authority that a part of my very soul wanted to step into the hunger in his eyes. But I knew if I moved, even a step closer, that I would be lost forever. I wasn’t a youngster to play with a beautiful Warrior and then walk away unburnt. This fire would consume me if I … I stepped forward stopping with the smudge fire between us.
I’m also currently working on a young adult fantasy based in a world with magical geology
(think about it – out of control magic volcanos) and a chapbook of poetry which will be available when I can bear to let it go.
Who designed your book cover?
Book covers are incredibly important, even more so I think in romance. So much of the books appeal is the sense that you get about the setting and relationships from the cover. The cover for Peace Out was designed by the amazing Tonya Ridener of Double D. Graphics.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
There are so many ways to approach a book. Some writers have characters that pop into their heads full blown and basically narrate the story, some plot everything before putting pen to paper. I’m kind of in the middle. Usually when I approach a new book I have an idea that I want to explore and the main character that I intend to explore it with. The characters don’t always behave though, often they take off on journeys of their own and as they grow into the story it changes into something quite different than my early plans.
To me, a good story is one that has characters with depth and nuance. I think it’s important that the characters in a story face conflict, something has to push them out of their safe zones and into situations that they aren’t prepared for, whether that something is a ‘bad guy or an internal crisis. The book has to be driven by the growth and decisions of the character, not just a plot that moves them from place to place like players on a chess board.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I think one of the most important things an author can do is read. We tend to live in our heads a lot, talking to the imaginary people. Reading other authors works in any genre can give you ideas, insights on what you are doing be it good or bad, and tips on how to get some of those ideas onto the page despite yourself.
One of the hardest questions for me to answer is, “who are your favourite authors?” I don’t know if I can give a considered answer because I’m always finding new writers to read and new worlds to fall in love with. These are a few, listed in no particular order, that have stayed in my top 10 for a while. You may see a bit of a pattern:
- Guy Gavriel Kay – The Fionavar Tapestry, Tigana, Lions of Al Rassan
- Maya Angelou – I know why the caged bird sings.
- Patricia Kenneally Morrison – The Keltiad
- C.J. Cherryh – Hunter of Worlds, Serpent’s Reach
- J.R.R. Tolkein – the Lord of the Ring trilogy, The Hobbit, not his ‘gathered’ post death works.
- Shakespeare – I love to read his works out loud, makes shivers.
- Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke- the old Sci Fi masters
- Alanea Alder - Bewiched and Bewildered, Romance Series
- Marion Zimmer Bradley – Darkover Series.
- M.K. Wrenn – House of the Wolf
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