The Giver of Life Trilogy Book 3
by Kristy Centeno
Genre: YA Paranormal
Leah Parker’s fate had always been controlled by others—who she loved and who she lost. Five years after the tragic murder of her daughter’s father, she’s done everything in her power to protect her little girl from the outside world. But she’s rebelled against fate in the past and no act of defiance goes unpunished in the Enchanter community.
The ultimate power wants to correct the damage done by Jae and the only way they can do that is by getting rid of her special child—a child destined to replace all branches of Enchanter magic one day.
But, Leah isn’t willing to go down without a fight. She will do anything to save what Jae died to protect, even if she must turn against the Circle of Elders. But when her first love, Brandon Morris walks back into her life, Leah knows nothing will ever be the same again.
Leah must confront her past, before she and her daughter are erased from her family line. She must get over her guilt and rely on Brandon to ensure her daughter’s survival. But will the pain from their past destroy their friendship forever? Or will their old bond hold them together and carry them through what’s ahead?
“If…” I trailed off. My internal alarm buzzed as first one charm then another was tripped. Wires of magic I’d set up to prevent evil from trespassing were cut off. Something or someone had dared to set foot in my property.
And it was moving closer.
“Mommy!” Lily cried out. She felt it too. Danger was near.
I broke free of Brandon’s hold and rushed into the living room. I picked Lily up and hugged her to me as darkness filled the windows, blocking out the sunlight. It was as if a solar eclipse was in full swing in our little neck of the woods, obstructing the rays of light that had been peeking through the blinds just seconds ago.
The sudden presence was oppressing. Heavy. It fell over the area like a blanket of stormy clouds about to unleash its fury on nature. The boards on the porch whined as an unseen mass applied pressure to them. I followed the noise to the front door, shifting ever so slightly to my right as the sounds stopped at the other side.
Dmitri sprinted to the door with murder in his eyes. He rested his hand on the knob, but I shouted at him to stop.
“Don’t let it in here,” I yelled. He looked at me but said nothing.
I spun on my heels with a shaking Lily in my arms and sprinted to my bedroom. I knelt next to the trunk and opened it, then removed the fan from within.
“What are you doing?” Brandon asked behind me.
“Getting Lily out of here.” I unsheathed the fan and concentrated. Opening the portal to Mr. Hwang’s hidden paradise would require more magic indoors as opposed to outside, but I didn’t have much of a choice. If I had to fight for our lives, I’d prefer for Lily to be safe somewhere far from evil’s grasp. Even if that meant diminishing my stock before a battle.
The Giver of Life Trilogy #2
Fate brought them together. Will evil break them apart?
Leah Parker’s visit to her hometown is supposed to bring her closer to the truth behind her identity. What she doesn’t anticipate is the handsome stranger with almond eyes claiming to be her Pair.
Her world once again upturned with the arrival of the man chosen to be her life partner, Leah is pulled between the feelings she’s always had for the friend she left behind, and those for the compelling stranger determined to save her from certain death—at whatever the cost.
With an ancient evil out to finish what it started twenty-one years before, will Leah find peace within her troubled mind and heart to fight back and win? Or will her disconnection with her newfound powers hinder her only chance at survival?
I opened my mouth to shout out a warning as the Soul Devourer leaped from the roof. The man-beast made no sound, gave no warning, though the promise of death was written on his ethereal face. Swift on his feet, Jae swung the flaming sword around as he pivoted. The shiny blade sliced through the man-creature’s neck in midair, just under the chin, decapitating him with a clean cut a butcher would be proud of—all before I could spit out a single, cautionary word. The head went one direction while the body crumpled to the ground in a heap of unmoving limbs, inches from Jae’s shoes.
The Soul Devourer’s emaciated frame began to disintegrate into a pile of black ash mere seconds after it touched the ground, its chest bursting open like a piñata to reveal a glowing blue light within the hollow cavity. Several white orbs flowed out of the hole in rapid succession, forming groups of three or more. The spheres danced around Jae for a mere fraction of second, as if to thank him for his good deed, before soaring up toward the sky, vanishing within a few blinks.
Souls, I realized. They were souls stolen from countless victims, trapped within the grotesque body of the Soul Devourer and forced to endure a cruel torment. And what of those that were never released? Where did they end up?
The Soul Devourer’s entire body turned to ash and was blown away by the wind by the time I snapped out of my shocked surprise. One down. How many more to go?
A furious hiss resonated from somewhere behind the tomb situated to my right. I rotated to confront the oncoming night freak, fan gripped tightly in my hand. He came barreling around the corner so fast, I nearly lost my nerve and bolted. Instead, I shimmied to my left two seconds before it reached me— disgracefully tripping over my own feet in my haste to avoid its elongated talons.
The Giver of Life Trilogy #1
They have a past. But will they have a future?
Leah Parker is resilient and hardworking. She’d always prided herself in maintaining a level head, even under pressure. Everything changes when she begins to see strange apparitions and hear ghostly voices on the morning of her birthday.
In a blink of the eyes, Leah’s life takes a drastic turn that spirals her into the unknown. Something is out to get her, but she’s unsure if she’s losing her mind, or the faces and demands of the dead are real. Unable to find the answers she needs, she has no choice but to rely on ex-best friend, Brandon Morris, for help.
But as she will soon discover, Brandon has his own secrets. Some of which defy logic and only add to the mystery surrounding Leah. And mix feelings between the two complicate matters by getting in the way of what they really want, and what they must do.
Can Brandon lighten the load on her by figuring out what or who wants her dead? Or will their past history get in the way of the storm brewing just beyond Leah’s grasp?
Movement several yards behind him caught my attention and I glanced around his left shoulder to the woods, noting the quick blur of a figure darting from behind one tree to another. Something was off about the way this person rushed by. It sparked a sense of familiarity that horrified me.
“Brandon, I don’t think we’re alone anymore,” I murmured as another flash of white scurried ever closer. It was too dark for me to determine who it was, but I was certain of one thing: we were being watched.
“What…?” The meaning of my words didn’t immediately dawn on him.
“Someone’s out there.”
Brandon spun around abruptly. He scanned the area briefly as he backed into me while sucking in air. His suddenly rigid posture warned me whoever was out there was not friendly.
Without a single word of explanation, Brandon turned to me and took my hand in his, pulling me down the path we’d used to get to the gazebo. He towed me along in a haste, leaving me no room to protest, or figure out what the hell was going on. A weird, high-pitched hissing sound emanated from somewhere behind us. It startled me and I was tempted to glance over my shoulder, but Brandon’s next words stopped me.
“Don’t look, Leah!” His tone was as serious as I’d ever heard it, which freaked me out even more. What was he so scared of?
Kristy Centeno loves to spin tales of creatures that go bump in the night, with a sprinkle of romance to top them off. Her passion for writing stems from a lifelong enjoyment of reading and the pleasure derived from the magical worlds created by authors like her. She prefers her female leads strong, independent, and stubborn who will stop at nothing to save their loved ones and protect those they care for.
Kristy currently resides in Pennsylvania with her five kids and a trio of noisy parakeets. When she’s not working or writing, she juggles her free time between raising a handful of minions and pursuing other career goals.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I’m an introvert with social anxiety who’s always pushing myself to do things I’m not comfortable with. If it bothers me, I’ll find a way to accomplish it just to see how far I can go.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I’m short so I often get confused with someone much younger. I’ve been confused with a middle school student more than once in recent times. Once, I was even asked where my parents were. Still makes me laugh years later.
What are some of your pet peeves?
People who talk to me while I’m reading. People who use the streets as their personal trash bins. Getting my socks wet. Noisy neighbors when I’m trying to sleep.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Puerto Rico but was raised in New Jersey. I’ve lived in the island for a few years but moved back to the states when I was 14 and haven’t gone back since.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d spend my day surrounded by those I love the most. I’d go out and check as many things off my bucket list as I could before death claimed me.
Who is your hero and why?
I don’t admire just one person. I tend to look up to people who persevere despite all the odds. Something about each of these people inspire me to keep going and never give up. My family has been through a lot, but they never give up. They just keep going. I have a profound respect for them for that.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Kind. Compassionate. Fair.
What are you passionate about these days?
I’m passionate about many things. Those include doing things I’ve put off for so long. I have many goals in mind and I feel like it’s the right time to accomplish as many of them as I can. I’m actively pursuing a career in healthcare at the moment while working on improving my writing, but its important to me not to give up and see how far life takes me so I’m very passionate about accomplishing more than I have in the past.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
When I want to unwind after a particularly long day at work or an overall stressful day, I enjoy taking a bubble bath and reading in the tub. Or lying in bed while reading. Sometimes I go for long walks.
How to find time to write as a parent?
I get asked this a lot and I’ll be honest, it isn’t easy. As a working mom, finding time to write is one of my greatest challenges. Most days, I wait until the kids go to bed for the night to take refuge in the writing cave. When the time permits, I try to sneak in an hour or two of writing during the weekends. It all depends on how packed my schedule is and what plans I have for the day.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Introvert. Bookwork. Smart. Shy. Quiet.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I believe the moment I felt like a true writer was when my first book was published. It wasn’t official to me or even real until that moment.
Do you have a favorite movie?
One of my favorite movies is 50 First Dates. Everyone makes a face when I say that, but there’s something so romantic about a man that goes well out of his way to make the woman he’s head over heels for, fall in love with him every day. It’s my kind of fairy tale.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I’d love to see Deliverance turned into a movie.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
What inspired you to write this book?
Prodigy is another product of love for me. It’s book 3 in the Giver of Life trilogy and the conclusion of Leah’s journey as an Enchantress/Giver of Life. She’s gone through so much over the years and the last book especially showcases how much she’s changed and grown up from that entitled young woman we meet in book 1.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently working on several sequels to other books of mine that have already been published.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Leah Parker experienced much while she was pregnant with her daughter that we don’t really get to see in book 3. I’ve been thinking about writing a new series of books that chronicles more of Leah’s life before and after Brandon came back into her life.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Prodigy?
Leah is a young woman that was forsaken by her adopted mother. She’s part of a magical world that she has no knowledge of due to a series of events that transpired when she was a baby. During her 21st birthday, things begin to unravel, and she’s forced to take responsibility for her family’s legacy.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
It started off as an idea and I ran with it. I wanted to create a magical world and creatures that I’d never seen or heard of in books I’ve read over the years. And once I had things plotted, the story took off and came to life page by page.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Watching Leah evolve and become much more than I thought she’d ever grow and mature to be. I enjoyed creating the tragedies that shaped her future and see how she handled difficult situations. Although her choices might not have been perfect or the right ones, she’s not perfect and part of maturing as an adult involves learning from previous mistakes and doing the right thing even when it hurts.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’ve thought a lot about this because I’ve gotten mixed reviews with book 2. But I think back to what I originally wanted Enchantress to be and subsequently book 3, and I don’t think I’d ever would’ve been happy with putting those books out in the market. As an author, you must take pride in your work and I do like how I ended the trilogy as opposed to what I would’ve published before I changed my mind and took a different route.
How did you come up with name of this book?
The title might surprise many, but Prodigy refers to more than one person in book 3.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Brandon or Jae. It would be fun to learn magic from them.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
These particular characters are entirely a product of my imagination. It isn’t rare for me to base some characters on real people, but those in the Giver of Life trilogy were not.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
Sometimes my characters hijack the story and lead it in a different path than what I intended. The Giver of Life is a prime example of that.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, I do, and I honestly don’t know if they will ever be published. Some books I wrote were back when I first started writing and wasn’t very good at it. I’ve improved quite a bit since then, but still have so much to learn. Perhaps when I get to a point where I feel like I’m an amazing writer—if that day ever comes—then I’ll give them another go and rewrite them before seeing about getting them published. For now, they just sit in my USB, waiting to get a home.
What did you edit out of this book?
Brandon Morris was supposed to have a deeper presence in Leah’s life, but I felt it was too predictable. Too run of the mill. However, when I introduced Jae into the mix, I hadn’t expected him to take over the way he did, but I fell in love with his character and knew I wanted him to have more of an impact on her life than originally planned.
How long have you been writing?
Going on six years now.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Some I come up with ahead of starting the book. Others come as I’m already invested in the story. I guess it really depends on how much I’ve outlined or plotted to begin with and what direction the book goes once it’s started.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I’ve put more emphasis in making writing my second career. Unfortunately, I have less time to dedicate to it than I’d like. But I’ve never abandoned my dream of evolving as a writer. I hope to see my books in bookstores one day.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I do read. I try to read at least 3-4 books per month depending on how much free time I have. However, it doesn’t always work out that way. But my favorite genres to read are paranormal, thrillers, horror, romance, historical romance, some fantasy, and dystopian.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I always have music on when I’m writing. I can’t concentrate as well when it’s quiet as opposed when music is blasting via my headphones.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Originality is what I strive for. I’m not entirely sure if I always accomplish this goal, but I try. Lately, I ask myself often if I should write what readers expect of me or go deeper into what I want the story to be. I had this issue with the Giver of Life trilogy and it almost made me scratch book 2 and 3 altogether and forget about them. I wanted to write books that didn’t fall into the norm, so to speak. Where if there was more than one love interest, it didn’t end how readers anticipated it would, but rather take some different twists and turns instead. Because life is full of twists and turns. Nothing is ever as you expect them to be and with that series, I hoped to convey that message clearly. Book 2 has gotten mixed reviews so I’m unsure if I delivered the message correctly or not. I’ll just have to have and see what readers will think of book 3 when it comes out in January.
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
Write as much as you can. Read. Read. And read some more. Do your research thoroughly. Keep going. Don’t stop. Try your hardest. Inform yourself.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Getting into the right mindset. As a woman, it’s easy to come up with how a woman might think depending on her personality and beliefs, but it’s harder to do for a man. At least, for me it is. I try to separate the woman in me from the male I come up with in a book.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It depends on how complicated the story is and how much free time I have on my hands. The Giver of Life trilogy took me a combined two years to write all three books.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Absolutely. When I’m stressed, overworked, or too tired I can’t come up with anything new. It makes it difficult for me to focus on writing and feels more like a chore when there’s nothing blooming. I try to counterattack writer’s block sometimes by concentrating on other tasks, unwinding, reading or going on for long walks. On occasions, it works. Others, it doesn’t.
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