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Tuesday 22 November 2016

ℚ A Bond of Venom and Magic : The Goddess and the Guardians [1] - Karen Tomlinson

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about A Bond of Venom and Magic  (, Karen Tomlinson, 330 pages), a Young Adult Fantasy, book one of The Goddess and the Guardians series.

“I had the lovely privilege of reading this book early, and let me tell you, I was sucked in from page 1! A Bond of Venom and Magic is a swoon worthy page-turner, a great story with a perfect blend of action and romance! I loved the world Karen has created and am waiting as patiently as possible for book two. I loved it…!” — Kelly Oram, author of the best selling Cinder 

“Magically fantastic. A five star epic fantasy. The first book in a long time that left me with the dreaded book hangover!”
— Ella JA Culican author of the bestselling The Keeper of Dragons

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to fellow Brit Karen Tomlinson; thank you for joining us!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in A Bond of Venom and Magic (ABOVAM), or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"I’m afraid I don’t have a play list for ABOVAM as I mostly wrote to silence or had music on in the background.

I am a bit more organised for A Bond of Blood and Fire which is book 2 in The Goddess and the Guardians series and have started paying more attention. I already have the beginnings of a fabulous playlist for the release of Book 2 in April 2017.

Why not stay in the loop with my progress and release news. Join my mailing list and get the first 5 chapters of ABOVAM free."
What was the inspiration for A Bond of Venom and Magic ?
"I have always loved reading and always wanted to write. I had stories zipping around in my head all the time, especially at night before slipping into dream land. I had written some cringe worthy romances in my twenties but I hadn’t attempted writing for a number of years; my career and family took over.

When my twin girls were at the age they wanted a bedtime story, we began to make one up together. Their request was one with dragons, a prince called Jack, a boy called Tom and a girl called Diamond Sparkles (Hmm…). We had castles with secret towers and tunnels, and fairy rebels in a cave with the dragon, who would help Diamond, Tom and Jack escape a demon lord….

I then realised that my children were growing quickly, so began to write it down for when they were old enough to read it. I absolutely love fantasy stories but love them more with a bit of romance thrown in too. Hence, A Bond of Venom and Magic was born.

The story has changed immensely over the four years it has taken me to settle into my writing style. I started off wanting to write for a younger age group but found it didn’t fit my writing style. I didn’t settle until I decided to aim for an older teen/early twenties age group.

I have always know where I want the story to end and the history behind the world and really want to get the story out there for others to read."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I’m not sure really. It has been a challenge to write from the point of view of different characters. I am a very straight talking and confident person now but as a teenager I was nothing like that.

I have tried to put myself in the head of a fairly sheltered 17 yr old girl who has panic attacks and is ripped away from her home. But I also see how she grows and becomes strong enough to fight for herself and those she loves. I can’t wait to share that with people who have found Diamond’s character a little frustrating.

Hugo is a different story, for him I wanted someone who is physically strong but who is emotionally unsure as a consequence of being brought up in an abusive situation and manipulated for most of his older life.

I am a martial artist and loved writing the fight scenes. For me they were the easiest and most fun scenes to show the reader."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for A Bond of Venom and Magic - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I am a big fan of illustrated book covers. I knew that was what I wanted and went against the trend for YA books to have photoshopped image covers, which are lovely but wasn’t what I wanted for this high fantasy series.

I trawled through Deviant Art and ultimately found Jonas Jodicke of JoJoes art. I sent Jojoe an excerpt and the book blurb and he came up with an idea that at the time I felt too dark for a YA series, before I had even answered his email he sent me a pencil sketch of Diamond and I fell in love with it.

I wanted a cover that would hint at the magic contained in the book and show the age of the main characters. It needed to show it was a high fantasy tale and contained warriors and fae. I think Jojoe captured that really well without me even saying it to him. So that is where the cover came from and JoJoe will be doing the cover for book 2 also."
Why should we read A Bond of Venom and Magic and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"ABOVAM is a high fantasy tale and therefore has what I think are the elements of a fabulous fantasy tale. I wanted monsters and magic and dragons and princes and romance and struggles for survival. But I also wanted sexy hot men, romance and a bit of diversity.

ABOVAM has big, broad shouldered fae who are tough warriors, and they have a society where the fae do not decide their mates dependent on gender. Most people think of faeries as delicate beings with butterfly wings and these most definitely are not. Their wings are armoured and the magic in this world allows them to have different skills depending on the colour of their wings. The fae Queen had outlawed certain colours of more powerful magic and we see the struggles our protagonists have to free their land for this oppression as well as fighting a far greater evil.

ABOVAM is not a glowing pretty romance with unicorns and starlight, it is an action packed story that deals with emotional indecision and will make you want to read more. I don’t think I have read any other fantasy with armoured winged fae."
Can you tell us something quirky about A Bond of Venom and Magic, its story and characters?
"Diamond is definitely named after something in the story, but the reason for her name is not revealed until book 3. There are subtle hints as to the origin of her name in the first two books but nothing blatant.

Prince Jack is named after one of my girls’ school friends and so is Tom who is Diamond’s childhood friend.

Sulphurious, the name of the malevolent dragon we meet in book 1 was given to me by my hubby in an off hand comment about eggy smelling gases (I won’t go into that further!) and when I went around the Eden project in Cornwall in the U.K. I wrote down loads of names of the tropical plants that grow there and mash them up to make fae names."
Who would you recommend A Bond of Venom and Magic to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"ABOVAM is aimed at 14/15 yr olds and upwards. It is a mature Young Adult fantasy and contains some mild swearing and violence in the first book and more sexual scenes in the subsequent books but nothing too shocking that a mature teen couldn’t handle."
If you could / wished to turn A Bond of Venom and Magic and the The Goddess and the Guardians series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Oh my goodness I haven’t thought about it that much. I have thought about Diamond as someone else asked me this question. There is a young actress called Raffey Cassidy who I think would make a fabulous Diamond and, as I think he's sooo hot, Channing Tatum is always a good bet for Hugo but Dave Franco younger brother of James is also pretty hot and, hate to say it Channing, but more the right age…:) no idea about directors and things."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love to read anything, but my passion is fantasy. My guilty pleasure is the odd romance read when I want some light reading.

I write what I love and love the fact I can do whatever I like with a fantasy world and not have to stick to history or too many rules."
What is your writing process?
"*chuckles* I don’t have a typical writing day. I work full time as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer. I teach on long courses at the medical school and in the hospital. I have twin girls, a dog…oh yes, and a hubby. I fit in writing whenever and wherever I can.

I take myself off to the library at breaks and lunch and work at home as soon as I can, often staying up until the early hours to market and write my books. I am, however, off work with a knee injury at present so am able to write a bit more often.

I like to write to silence or white noise. I can’t concentrate if I am singing along to music. I love loud music when I’m cleaning the house or just dancing around, but not whilst writing. I need to get back in the characters heads and the flow of the story and can only do that if I’m in the writing zone in my head."
What is in store next? Can you give us any hints on future developments?
"Yes, I am very excited to be finishing edits for A Bond of Blood and Fire. It will be going to beta readers very soon and is due at the editors in February. I am intending to release in April.

Book 3 is written but will need much reworking to fit the story and the characters as they have grown, and book 4 is in my head.

I have follow on books from the world of the Goddess and the Guardians and I want to write a separate series which is, I suppose, a mix up of urban fantasy and sci-fi, so watch this space. It’s very exciting having all these ideas in my head that want to get out!"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Oh yes, I have a dalmatian called Poppy, who is 8 yrs old and gorgeous and we love walking in the hills together."

Hello beautiful Poppy! Lots of head scratches to you! :-D

A Bond of Venom and Magic
Available NOW!

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