Dead Radiance (Valkyrie #1)
by T.G. Ayer
Publisher: Infinite Ink
Publication Date: 25th February 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras - Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.
The new foster kid, Aidan, isn't helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she'd never belonged?
"That day I knew for sure. I'd lost control of my tears then. They fell in huge, mocking drops. I stared at Joshua through those bitter tears, my heart missing beats as I tried to remember to breathe. I finally knew what the glow meant. I was a freak and Joshua was going to die."
Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.
As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.
In the exciting sequel to DEAD RADIANCE, Bryn encounters dwarfs and dragons, new friends and old foes—but the worst enemy of all may be the person she trusts most!
“For a shadow of a second, I stared into his eyes, shocked, horrified he'd do such a thing to me. A thousand fears filtered through my frigid brain. Was he in cahoots with Loki? Or was he Freya's dog all along?
It took an eternity for him to blink. Even longer for me to blink.
Then Fenrir pushed me and I fell off the cliff, into pure white oblivion.”
Struggling to accept the loss of her wings, Bryn's not sure if she can be a real Valkyrie anymore. But when a mysterious prophecy claims she will be the reason the All-Father dies, she is determined to ensure the prediction will not come to pass.
A visit to the three fates who live beneath the great Tree of life, sends Bryn racing against time to find the missing Heimdall and his horn. As Odin's life hangs in the balance and Ragnarok draws ever closer, Bryn has to find a way to save Heimdall and Odin before she can discover the truth about who she really is.
In the thrilling conclusion of the Valkyrie series Bryn must battle not only the formidable frost giants and the hated God Loki, but she must also find a balance between what she will lose and what she will gain.
They’d taken my wings.
A sob caught in my throat. I desperately wanted to cry out but no sound escaped my lips. I struggled to take the next breath and for one hysterical moment I feared I'd be unable to perform the simple action."
Tips and Guidelines on ensuring your Writer friend receives a regular dose of social activity, not to mention the importance of food.
Social activity is important. It helps stimulate brain activity. Unfortunately, the Writer seems to have a chemical imbalance that enables her* to function on dangerously low levels of social activity. In addition, Writers also suffer from an over-production of a strange (and as yet un-identified) hormone that convinces the Writer that food is not required. In the long term these imbalances can sometimes prove detrimental to a Writer’s long-term health. Below are some activities which you could use to help care for and feed your Writer friend.
Writers possess a strange ability, also known as the power to shut out the world. This is a debilitating trait that can sometimes lead family and friends to wonder if the Writer has expired and her remains are frozen before her keyboard gathering dust and stinking up the place. When you do call, be prepared for the Writer to sound distracted- as if she’s just put milk in her steam iron, or added orange juice to her coffee.
Give her time to get into the conversation – be aware that once she has readjusted to the social nature of your call she may talk your ear off, but seriously, it’s well worth the effort. Ensure you insert at least five reminders to eat.
More often than not, the Writer does not know what’s best for her (I know, isn’t that a shocker?). Despite what a Writer may think, it is crucial for her to be exposed to fresh air and sunshine from time to time. Be aware that most Writers will shy away from such activities- they are akin to vampires in their dislike of The Out**. However, knowing what is best for the writer will give you an advantage in such a situation.
Go well prepared. Go in numbers if necessary. A crowd is much more convincing for a Writer so this will give you the upper hand in order to subdue her. Be prepared for there to be pyjama’s. The Writer’s need to work precludes the necessity to change out of nightwear, especially when gripped by the early morning urge to write down whatever crucial story developments have occurred through the night. Be prepared to wait while the Writer showers and changes, and be prepared to send her back to her wardrobe to change out of her old tracksuit and even older trainers. Demand that she prettify herself- believe me this will work wonders even if you find yourself dealing with a grumpy writer- the resistance is inevitable but will dissipate in due course, and more than likely the Writer will appreciate your efforts. Do not be afraid to be bossy, and demanding. Taking no for an answer in this situation will give you one hundred percent positive results. Also, will the promise of food.
Warning: ring up the Writer’s significant other just to check if you are not appearing on the Writer’s doorstep the day before a super-important deadline. Skipping this step may result in turning the semi-sane Writer into a babbling, hair-pulling, drooling mess, and you may have to leave in a real hurry to avoid jailtime for inflicting stress induced insanity.
Bring the Mountain to the Writer
On the rare occasion that the Writer is unable to leave the house for extended periods ie the next day deadline situation discussed above, I am happy to advise that there is an alternative method you can use to give the Writer a breather. If the Writer cannot go to the mountain coffee then the coffee shall cometh to the mountain Writer. Yes, my suggestion is bringeth the coffee.
Takeout coffee and sticky pastries, or just bring something chocolatey and rummage in the Writers pantry for coffee. Chocolate to a writer is like a banana to a monkey, or a peanut to an elephant (disclaimer- there are some of the Writer species to whom chocolate & coffee do not appeal, scientists are currently studying specimens of this variety to further understand this anomaly).
Knowing the Writer’s taste in entertainment will help with this suggestion. Entice the writer to leave her writing/editing cave with a movie somehow related to the novel she is currently writing/editing. If your Writer prefers to work to music, investigate her tastes and entice her out of the house with her favourite rock/pop band concert or a classical performance she would enjoy.
Again, be prepared for a little resistance but it has been discovered that anything with a link to the actual writing process is a powerful tool to ensure the Writer remains in touch with society. Also, ensure that some part of this activity includes the ingestion of food. The Writer may, on occasion, request chocolate instead. Please resist the urge to comply. Contrary to a Writers opinion chocolate is not food.
There are times, more for the single writer, where food is completely extraneous to a Writers existence. PB&J is not recommended for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One cannot survive on a diet of PB&J and chocolate. With this in mind, one of the kindest things you can do is to bring a meal to the Writer (either home cooked or takeout works just as well). You will, of course, have The Writer’s undying gratitude. She may even offer you her first born. (Warning- acceptance of this boon is entirely at your own risk as you may well know how that will end.)
Writers are human- this may be hard to believe but it is a scientifically proven fact***, do not doubt this.
Writers need to eat – use this as a bargaining tool
Writers can be flexible- sometimes they just need to be reminded
Writers have feelings- never leave a writer alone because you assume she is too busy for you, more often than not you will be wrong
Writers are strange- yes, writers are strange creatures, but handle them with care and you will never have to fear being killed off in your Writer friends next novel****
If you use any of the above suggestions in the Care of you own Writer Friend, I would love to hear from you.
* Writers exist in both male and female form. For ease of writing this article, the feminine form has been used. No offense to the male of the species is intended.
** The Out- a term created by Editor Annetta Ribken- All Hail the Cookie Queen!
*** We do not condone human or writer experimentation. No writers were harmed – either physically or emotionally- in the study.
****This is not a threat. Not really… ;)
What books did you love growing up?
Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and the Hardy Boys of course; Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Lord of the Rings Series.
Who is your favorite author?
It’s a tie- Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Marion Zimmer Bradley
What book genre of books do you adore?
Paranormal, fantasy and horror but I read everything – as long as the book holds my attention for the first ten pages I’ll read it.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
It depends on where I am and what I have available. If I’m caught out its pen and notebook that I always have in my handbag. Mostly its my PC during the day, and my iPad at night if I’m writing in bed. If I do get away for the weekend or am away from the house for a few days it’s the laptop.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I try to write every day. I think creativity in writing is like a muscle and if you stop using it it tends to get lazy. I try to do 3k a day and sometimes when I do want to push I do 5k a day. It’s a rush and can sometimes get crazy if I have edits happening at the same time but I love it more so because I hate the feeling when I can barely write 500 words in a day. Then I feel a little useless because I know I can do more.
I usually write first thing in the morning until lunchtime and sometimes I may come back to write a little more late at night when the household is asleep.
Do you find the time to read?
As a writer you must find time to read. I think reading is inspiration and most writers need the creative input of reading to boost their own creativity. At least it works that way for me. I find I’m most prolific in terms of plotting and writing when I make the time to read.
What inspires you to write and why?
Everything inspires me, especially people and culture. I’ve always been fascinated with the way the mind works so that’s something that I question a lot when I’m working on a project.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Definitely paranormal/fantasy. I love mythology and fables. I love the mystery of the possibility of the impossible J
Who designed the cover?
My cover artist Eduardo Priego
Will you write others in this same genre?
Yes, definitely. I love writing YA and I especially love mythology. I already have a few stories to look at in terms of what’s next on my project list
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully still writing and still loving it as much as I do now.
What contributes to making a writer successful?
If you apply yourself, set your goals, write those books and don’t be afraid of hard work success is waiting for you. And working at you craft is so very important. Writers are learning all the time, be open to learning new ways, new styles, new tricks. If you are happy to continue learning and being a better writer then you are on your way. It’s just a matter of working hard and writing well.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
A glass of wine and a good book at the end of the day, or dinner and a movie with DH to make it more special
Do you have any special ways of handling/creating your world building?
I don't really. It depends on the book. For some I've done mind-maps like for the DarkWorld I sketched a map out of the different parts or levels of the world and where the creatures and characters, what their powers were etc. But it's mostly just how I feel the flow. For the Valkyrie and the Kali series, the world building was very dependent on the mythology I drew from which was good and bad in its own way- easier but slightly restrictive
What is the best thing about being a YA writer?
I'd have to say I don't see myself as only a YA author. I've written NA (Skin Deep, and Seals of Hades – still to be published), contemporary, horror, epic fantasy and psychological horror (all still to be published) and YA (Valkyrie and Kali series) so I will delve where the Muse takes me. That's probably the funnest thing for me- the ability to mess around in fantasy fiction and nobody can say you can or can't do that!
What is the worst thing about being a YA writer?
The worst thing I can see is there's so much to write, so many ideas and characters to get into manuscripts that it's sometimes hard to choose which one to get on to next!
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…
My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.
Win (1) ebook copy of Dead Radiance and another ebook copy of Dead Embers by T. G. Ayer (INT)
Win (1) Paperback copies of Dead Radiance, Dead Embers & Dead Chaos, swag and bling and e-copies of all five of the author's books (Dead Radiance, Dead Embers, Dead Chaos, Skin Deep and Fire) [INT]