Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Q&A and Spotlight from The Descendant by Ellie Hart

 1. First we want to hear all about THE DESCENDANT.

Like any girl next door, Caitlyn Grace Beale (Cat) has her day-to-day issues. Not many boys knock on her door, and one of most popular girls at school, Jenna Swanson, likes to make her high school life a nightmare. After a horrible event, Caitlyn’s gifts come to life. She learns that the Fairy Queen-Aine of Knockaine abducts other including her twin brother, in order to take her revenge and destroy the Guardians of Draco--the only warriors that will face and destroy the darkness with in. With the help of her best friend -Joseph O’ Hearn, Caitlyn discovers that there is only one who can bring the Fairy Queen back from the Spirit World, and only one that can stop the darkness that follows her.

2. What inspired this story? 
The boy next door and my almost first kiss. So I had an idea for a love story which turned into an adventure. 

3. Can you give us a bit of insight as to what you have in store for the next installment? 
The second book is Cat’s twin, Jason’s “Jay’s” story.  The story is about a strange girl who shows up in the Beale family’s boathouse. She’s not able to speak and is different from the girls Jay had met. She captures his heart, but their is something about her that’s mysterious.

4. Tell us three things about your character  Cat that are not in the book. 
Cat wanted to be friends with the popular crowd before she discovered she was different. She is a hopeless romantic. Her favorite flower is a daisy, mostly because Joe has been giving her the flower since she was in the hospital at a young age.

5. Do you have conversations with Cat? Does she and your other characters take charge when you are at the keyboard? 
lol… constantly. I go into my own little world and become part of the story.

6. About how many hours a day do you spend writing? 
I honestly don’t know… I always lose track of time and my daughter has to bring me back into reality.

7. You say you are a little geeky. Tell us three things that make you feel you are that way.  
I haven’t lost the tomboy inside of me. I still like wear baggy sweats and jeans. My hair is pulled up in a pony tail most of the time. I’m a kid at heart and play Wii sports or just dance for kids with my daughter or jump in a mud puddle with my son and play board games. And when I laugh hard a snort.

8. Tell us about juggling writing, being a mom and coping with day to day life. 
I  go with the flow. My kids have always come first before anything. Dealing with a daughter who’s and over achiever and a son who's autistic and working a full time job has its rewards. However it can be challenging too. I like to say I’m organized but I’m not. I find any time I can to write and I can actually escape the every day life.

9. So tell us what you are reading now and the next few books that are on your TBR list.  
A Winter’s Tale. After, I have Sherry Soule’s Immortal Eclipse. I’m always looking for something different to read.

10. If you could spend the afternoon with one of your all time favorite author, who would you pick and what would you want to talk about? 
It sounds like I’m older than the hills for saying this but I would spend the day Jane Austen. Comparing the differences between love stories and the impact she had on my life.
Thanks for visiting with us today and letting us get to know you. We know you will have great success with your debut book, THE DESCENDANT and look forward to future reads from you.


In spite of the blazing fire crackling, the air is cold and damp. Drops of water trickle somewhere and the smell of mildew hinders.
Jennifer Lynn opens her deep brown eyes and looks around to see the open night sky. Vines hang from the rock-like walls, liquid dripping from them. The floor glows like a flame. In the middle is some sort of object.
Her hands and legs won't budge. She lifts her head and turns to the right. Five teenagers' hands and feet are bound to the wall with rope like vines. Thorns penetrate through their bodies.
"NOOO! HELP!" She hollers, but no one hears her. "Please let this be a dream. Please..." Then she prays to God, hoping this isn't the end.
A hand gently brushes against her brunette hair. "Shh." The cream tone of her abductor's skin and the ice-cold touch, gives her unwelcome shivers. Too frail and too weak, the only defense she has is to jerk her head away from him.
Jennifer's heart pounds like it's coming out of her skin. Her abductor slits the palm of her hand, and lets the blood drip down into a circle. He licks the knife and devilishly smirks.
A woman appears with a sinister smile. "Show some dignity, my pupil." She orders him. Black locks neatly fall on her back and her eyes are the color of emeralds. Her lavender woven gown sways as she glides towards Jennifer. Entranced by the woman's pearly white skin that shimmers from the unseen flame, Jennifer's heartbeat slows down.
"No need to yell or scream, my dear. You should be honored that you're one of the chosen for my return," says the mystical woman.
"Who...who...are you?" Jennifer asks. Teardrops pour down her soft pink cheeks.
"I'm the Fairy Queen, Aine of Knockaine. My return will be the undoing to The Guardians of Draco." The woman clutches a knife with a curved blade between her fingers. "By doing so, I need the blood of the innocent."
"Please don't." Jennifer's lips tremble as she mumbles. "Please..."
"The pain will go away in time." Aine gently runs a cold finger through the young girl's tears before slitting her arm just above the wrist. The stream of dark burgundy fluid weeps from the wound to a small canal into the middle of the circle.
The vengeful Fairy Queen repeats this action with each teenager she encounters. One slit after another. She takes a piece of their energy and rejuvenates. Her spirit hand becomes flesh. Her satisfied eyes glow like the fire in the chamber.

Chapter 1
The woman’s face flashes before my eyes. It’s like a blurred slideshow that keeps popping up. Long, thin, black hair hangs past her lanky shoulders. Her sinister smile resting on her thin pink lips. The shadow that surrounds the vibrant green of her eyes scares the crap out of me.
“Three of them have fallen, three more to go.” Her screechy voice enters my head.
“Caitlyn? Care to join us today?” Mr. Caulkin, my Honors English Literature teacher, snaps his fingers, pulling me out of my trance.
A few kids snicker. I glance around the classroom. Kids blow bubbles, some are sleeping to the point that they’re drooling— including my twin brother, Jason. Fighting back his grin, Mr. Caulkin scratches his beard and shoves his hands into his corduroy pants. “While you were daydreaming about spring break, the rest of the class and I were discussing Merlin. What is your take on him?”
“Besides the fact that he’s a dirty old man who didn’t have great power as people believed he did?” I kick off my flip-flops underneath my desk and curl my toes like I was back in ballet. The class snickers at my retort.
He clasps his hands behind his back and rocks on his heels. “Really, how so?”
“I mean Camelot wasn’t the utopia place they portray in the books. And Merlin wasn’t the great and powerful wizard that he claimed to be.” I fold my hands on the desk, weary of all the eyes now glued to me. “He was more of a gypsy. Who took advantage of the poor naïve people. Plus he had a thing for the lady of the lake, who ended up capturing him in a tree. So much for ‘his intuition’.”
“Good point. Even though you weren’t paying attention in class.” He sighs and waves me off like he’s an aristocrat. “At least you’ve been doing your homework.”
He continues his boring lecture in the time of the monarchy. He slams one of the literature books on the floor next to Jason’s desk. The loud bang wakes up half the class. Yep, our senior class at its best. A select few and I are the only juniors in my Honors English class.
The last bell rings before spring break. With a stretch and a rub of his dark blond hair, Jason jumps out of his seat and rushes out the door before Mr. Caulkin can snag him—most likely for either his tardiness or lack of interest in the class.
Every single student follows his lead. Some are pushed out of the way and one kid ended up with a nosebleed. Spring break on Cape Cod is a huge deal. Especially with the temps reaching close to the seventies. More parties mean more teenage boys being idiots diving off the Cove’s bridge, known as the boardwalk, to prove their manhood.
“Got to hand it to you, Kitty. Not many honor students can catch Caulkin off guard.” Joseph O’Hearn, who’s one of the senior boys, grabs his backpack and glances at me with his crystal blue eyes. “I’ll see you and Anna later.”
“Yeah, later.” In the midst of stuffing my backpack, someone taps me on the shoulder. Skittishly, I turn.
“Easy, it’s only me.” Anna, my best friend, giggles. She blows a red ringlet from her face.
“I think I’ve been watching too many horror movies with Jay.” I push up my black-rimmed glasses with my index finger. “I just imagined… never mind.”
“Well, imagine this, Daniel Christi’s party.” A devilish grin crosses her face.
My heart skips a beat. “Did you say?”
“I did.” Anna has a gleam in her brown eyes. “He also wanted to make sure you were going to be there.”
As soon as Anna utters those words, an uncontrollable smile reaches across my face. I walk through the classroom door and into the mist of water. Chaos erupts in the hallway as kids celebrate spring break. Paper planes fly everywhere. Anna and I duck the water gun fight in the middle of the hallway. Classic jockstraps verses band members. Jason of course is in the mix as well.
“Hey Duncan, let’s go,” Jason calls out to Reece, ducking from the band’s radar.
Reece Duncan-- a tall, lanky, dark skin band member with black hair and glasses-- runs towards us while throwing water balloons at his “enemies.”
Devilishly, Jason squirts my arm with his water gun for a reaction. It doesn’t faze me.
I’m in my own little world.
I start to shuffle toward the doors of the school. Jason, Anna, and Reece just stare at me like I’m from another planet.
“Are you guys coming?” I call over my shoulder.
They follow me to Greta, my baby blue 1987 Volkswagen rabbit convertible. Jason leaps into the back to impress a group of cheerleaders. Anna and I nod at each other and throw our bags on top of him.
“What?” He leans back in my car and catches some rays. “Come on, can’t a guy have some fun.”
“Why can’t you just take your own car?” I grunt.
“And miss out on giving you a hard time?” Jason stretches his hands on top of the seats. I so want to beat him at times…
Band groupies surround Reece. They giggle and push his bangs back, like he’s some sort of rock star. In return, He kisses the back of their hands making them feel special. Reece then hops in the back seat of the car.
“Show off.” Jason rests his hands on the back of his head. “We can go anytime, Cat.”
I start the engine. “Like I said Jay, you can always take your jeep.”
“Nah, don’t want to waste the miles.”
Driving through the small town of Anu is an experience in itself. On one side of the marina you have people who stay overnight. On the other side of the marina are gingerbread type houses with different color roofs. I mean very different: red, yellow, and blue… What were these people thinking? You could easily make a sandwich out of them because they’re scrunched so tightly together.
The center of our small town is full of cobblestone streets with quaint and sophisticated shops that scream tourism. Not to mention the amount of traffic lights there are for one street.
On any normal day I stomp on my brakes at every light. Just to see my brother fly forward and hit his nose on the back of my seat. But today’s different. I have my mind so set on Daniel Christi that my left hand jitters.
“What’s with you?” Jason asks.
“Nothing.” An incurable smile crosses my face.
“She found out Dan Christi’s interested.” Anna smirks. The green specks in her brown eyes twinkle.
“Don’t go there.” Reece grasps Jay’s arm.
“Do you mind?” Jason glances down at Reece’s hand. Reece then quickly releases it.
Jason’s honey brown eyes widen. “If Joe finds out, he’ll flip.”
“So,” I say. Please don’t tell me…
“So? I really don’t want to be on his bad side.” He nervously rubs the back of his neck.
Great. That’s all I need…
Unlike me, Jason is one of the most popular kids in school. He loves to surround himself with a harem of girls. My twin brother and I have always been close, but he can be very annoying when it comes to my somewhat wannabe love life—mostly because of Joseph.
“Okay, Joseph O’ Hearn isn’t the boss of me,” I snap and shift the lever down hard, making the car skip.
“Jay has a point,” Anna explains with a caring tone in her voice. “Now hear me out. I know my brother and I know you. And I know you shy away from guys unless you like them. And I know my brother gets over-protective to the point where you either don’t talk to each other or you guys make our lives miserable. And then you push the guy you like away.” She sighs. “Honestly, you and Joe have this connection that couples kill to have.”
Need to nip this in the bud…
“Can we just go and forget about this thing between Joe and me. I don’t think my stomach could handle it.” Heat rises up to my cheeks as I begin to flush.
The thought of Joseph and me together sends out the surge of electricity that I’m not comfortable with.
Anna’s brother, Joseph, is a year older than us. As handsome as he may be with his ginger hair and gorgeous blue eyes, not to mention his god-like physique, he has a habit of playing around with the underclassmen. He then dumps them when he gets bored. He even created “the boys club.” Their mission is to score with underclassmen girls and brag. Sad to say, Jason and Reece are part of his club.
Now that Jenna Swanson, AKA Mean Girl, has her claws into Joseph, he’s been a troll and follows her around like she’s his master.
Quickly, Reece changes the subject to plans for spring break. For about five minutes their conversation’s about parties, who’s dumping who, and beaches. I ignore them and continue to drive.
“Cat! Watch out,” Anna shouts.
A huge black bird crashes into the windshield. Quickly, I jerk the wheel and slam on the brakes. I control the steering wheel so the car won’t flip over. Thank God Garry taught me how to avoid huge accidents.
“Are you okay?” I ask in a shaky voice. My hands still white-knuckled on the wheel.
None of them say anything.
“Jay, are you alright?”
He looks at me with bulging eyes. “Yeah.”
“Reece?” I ask.
“Uh huh.” He clears his throat. “Kitty?”
“I’m fine,” I say.
Anna’s hand shudders against her jeans. “What the hell was that?”
“I don’t know,” I utter, staring at the windshield.
Curiosity strikes. I unbuckle my seatbelt and get out of the car. Surprisingly, there’s not even a scratch on the windshield. No damage at all.
Then a shadow underneath my car claws my ankles. Frantically, I move back and squat down. A bright green-eyed animal hisses at me. A frightened black cat lies just below the engine. It’s back slinking.
“Hey little one, I won’t hurt you.” I reach for it. The fur ball scratches my hand. “Ow.”
“Grrr.” Its eyes narrow.
“I was trying to help you.” I lightly run my finger over the scratch. “What are you staring at?”
Only a few feet from the car, I hear what sounds like fireworks crackling. My neck jerks skyward. An enormous pine tree crashes down towards us.
“Son of a -!” I leap onto my hood, barely escaping the tree. It slams to the ground with a huge thump.
The back of my head pounds: photographs from a newspaper pop up. Headlines blur.
A vivid color photograph of a blue sedan crushed like a soda can against a weeping willow tree appears. The image changes rapidly to blue and red lights flickering all over the road.
“Cat?” Jason rushes out of the car. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
I step over a few snapped branches and run my hand down the rough bark. “This seems so surreal. Like it happened before… but not the same dream I always have about a blue car.”
The whole trunk of the tree had ripped out of the ground, exposing the roots. The smell of fresh earth assaults my nose.
The black cat races up the tree and pauses. It gives me one last glance. It then dashes off.
“Or maybe those dreams were warning signs,” Jason suggests. “I think we need to get back into the car, now.”
“Be right with you,” I say, surveying the trunk again. It’s impossible. Why would a healthy tree like that just fall suddenly? Was the image I had in my head and this tree an actual warning?
I quickly get back into the car and take a couple of deep breaths to calm my nerves. “Okay, there’s no trace of that bird. The whole tree ripped out of ground and came crashing down. Somehow it missed us. So it’s either a miracle or…”
“Or we can just forget and have some teenage normalcy,” Jason blurts. “I’ve seen enough movies with a crow involved. Plus, that black cat just stared at us with his creepy green eyes. And you also said you had another vision. Three bad events that happened in a row is not a good thing. So let’s just get out of here while we can.”
“I ah, I agree with Jay,” Reece stutters. “We need to leave now.”

Ellie Hart lives with her family at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her passion for writing came to life when her son was diagnosed with Autism. Her first Novel The Descendant brought part of her past to a whole new experience. She’s working on her second Novel The Call of the Siren.

Contact me..Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Blog ~ 


No comments:

Post a Comment