I’m excited to have Bethany Adams as a guest on my blog. Her latest release Sundrered, book two in the Return of the Elves series just came out a few weeks ago. Today her book Soulbound is released as an audiobook.
Its available from:
This is the intro blurb I would read from an index card if I were sitting at a desk on a televised talk show:
Ever since finding a copy of The Hero and the Crown in her elementary school library, Bethany has loved fantasy. After subjecting her friends to stories scrawled in notebooks during study breaks all through high school, she decided to pursue an English degree at Middle Tennessee State University. When not writing or wrangling her two small children, Bethany enjoys reading, photography, and video games.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not sure there was ever really a decision. I started writing stories when I was a kid and never really stopped for wrong. I did consider other things when I was in college, but writing was always there. It took me until my thirties to get serious about a career in writing, though.
What’s your hidden party trick most people don’t know about?
Inappropriate jokes? I’m fairly quiet, and I keep my off-color sense of humor to myself until I really know people. So when I break out with a raunchy joke, it surprises the heck out of people.
What’s worse? Stepping in something wet after putting on clean dry socks or a noisy cricket outside your window when you need to sleep?
Noisy cricket. I can change socks, but don’t mess with my sleep!
Your books are fantasy-romance, which genre really pulled you into wanting to write the fantasy or the romance?
I’ve always had a deep love of both. I grew up reading Robin McKinley and Mercedes Lackey. Then as a teen, I started picking up romance novels, too. I’ve tried to just write one or the other, but I can’t seem to help it—they blend. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten past a page or two without mixing the two.
Soulbound and Sundered are the first two in the Return of the Elves series. How many books do you have planned?
Heh. That’s a good question. I’m writing a short story (which might sneak itself into a novella) that happens just after Sundered. After that, Book 3 will tie up the story arc with the main villain. But I also have stories in mind for Lynia and Lial, Selia, Naomh and/or Caolte, and a new character popping up in Book 3. I guess we’ll have to see!
When can we expect to see the next one?
I’m hoping to release the maybe-novella in February. It’ll also have a couple of bonus short stories unrelated to The Return of the Elves. Book 3 is a little more tentative. I’d love to have it out in May, but it depends on how smoothly the writing process goes.
Can you give us a twitter-length over view of each book?
Soulbound: Arlyn wanted to meet her elven father, not spark the plot to kill him.
Sundered: Poisoned energy is flooding into the realms of the fae, causing sickness, and Lyr must rush to find the source of the threat.
What has been the most euphoric experience in publishing your novels?
It is absolutely when someone tells me they love my book. Hands down. That anyone would take the time out of their day just to message or email me about my book…it’s such an honor.
As a self-published author what has been the most difficult obstacle to overcome?
The learning curve. There’s a great deal that goes into publishing a book, although it sounds like it should be simple. Most people know that you need an editor and a cover. But then there’s formatting (for ebook and print, which aren’t the same), deciding how you want to publish, entering your information into a million publishing platforms, buying ISBNs, advertising… It all falls to the author. I’m still learning to juggle it all in a lot of ways.
How do your stories come to you?
It’s character first. Always. Scenes just pop into my head, and it’s usually the character in the middle of doing something intense. Of course, sometimes the meanies pop in and then leave before I can get a full story. That doesn’t usually happen, though.
Do your characters become more real the further you get into writing the stories?
I suppose so. For me, it’s like getting to know a real person. As more of their story comes clear, I learn more about them. I didn’t know why Lial, the healer in both books, is so cranky until the third draft of Soulbound. It’s a strange sensation having something from your own brain surprise you.
You’ve provided us with a sampling from Sundered, do you need to set up this scene?
Lyr’s life is pretty messed up at this point. He’s dealing with a great deal after his failures at the end of the first book, and now more problems are popping up. And now he has another surprise in store.
Excerpt from Sundered:
Lyr strode down his favorite path through the woods, his footsteps guided more by habit than intent.
It was beyond foolish to take his daily walk with another assassin on the loose. At the least, he shouldn’t have ducked the bodyguards who trailed him every time he left the estate—the same three who’d been unable to detect or deflect the danger just hours before. But for the moment, Lyr didn’t care, a thought that crept in more every day. Maybe if he walked fast enough, he could outmaneuver his frustration and discontent.
His hands curled into fists at the helpless feeling that washed through him, the same sick emotion that had plagued him for nearly thirty years. He kept telling himself that it would pass. After five hundred and forty-nine years of life, he knew that all things shifted and changed, even among the slow-paced elves. Yet here he was, his father’s murder still unsolved, the person behind their recent troubles unknown, and his soulbonded forever lost to the world. Despite his training and his power, he could fix nothing.
And now he had to worry about the Neorans.
Lyr was halfway to the portal when the alarm set into the estate shielding resounded through his mind. Muscles tensing, he paused to examine the spell. Five people had come through the gate unauthorized, and not guided by someone connected to Braelyn. The guides who escorted travelers possessed medallions to let their charges through, so it had to be a true incursion.
He only wore his boot knife, but time was more of the essence than his safety. Clechtan, but he was a warrior in his prime. These were his lands, and he knew them better than any intruder could. He didn’t need bodyguards with him just to check the gate. It would only take a few moments to creep close, and the land guards shouldn’t be too far away.
Lyr brought his own personal shields to their highest state and darted off the trail. The forest here had minimal undergrowth, much of the excess cleared to prevent fire, so remaining undetected would take some caution. Still, he knew the best routes. He wove through the trees as he flung his senses wide, but he detected only the intruders and the guards perched in the trees surrounding the portal area. The Tayianeln were taking no chances after their previous failures and had rushed extra guards to the portal. Though they awaited his command, they would not be caught unprepared again.
Lyr slipped behind a log bench designed to look like a natural part of the forest. It was the largest and most distant of the three scattered around the clearing near the portal, perfect for crouching behind. Unsure if the interlopers would have the kind of magic capable of detecting him, he sent out several false energy signatures around the edges of the clearing. Finally satisfied, he looked up to examine the newcomers.
Four females and a male. An older elf in long robes stood closest to his hiding place, and the two females nearest her seemed to be servants of some kind. His gaze moved to the flame-haired male, and Lyr’s breath caught. Power swirled around the newcomer, but it was unlike anything Lyr had seen before. Not quite like Eradisel, but…
Ralan’s voice broke into his mind without warning or apology. “Do not attack, and stay wary of the male. He is not what he seems.”
Lyr’s eyes narrowed on the group. The elder’s white robes were richly embroidered. More elaborate than the others in her group. And although the male’s power was undeniable, none of them were armed beyond ceremonial knives. More diplomats? There was one more who could have been some type of guide. She stood apart from the others, and tension hitched her delicate shoulders so high he could see it from across the clearing.
The older one barked a single word Lyr didn’t recognize, and the slender woman pivoted, her long robes swirling around her ankles. The cloth was of good quality, but the robes were simpler than the elder’s and cinched by a leather belt. She took a step forward, and a pendant on a thin chain glinted between her breasts. Was the amulet mere decoration, or was it some kind of weapon?
Perhaps he’d been reckless to leave the estate without his sword after all. Lyr eased forward, his focus on the metallic glimmer. She shifted again, falling into shadow, and the source of the flash came clear. A large crystal encased in silver mesh. If this female was an assassin, he’d eat moss off the back of the bench.
Then she spoke, and his attention darted back to her face. Though she hadn’t noticed him, he fell into her light blue eyes. A shudder went through his whole body.
They had never met, but he knew her.
Lyr’s hands gripped the bark of the log bench until lichen crumbled beneath his fingers. It was not possible. Aimee had died four Earth years before, and his daughter had witnessed it. Arlyn wouldn’t have mistaken her own mother’s death. Besides, the woman before him had pale blond hair, so unlike the vibrant red Arlyn had inherited from her mother. He could see that they weren’t the same with his own eyes, yet he could feel the connection between their souls.
It matched the one he’d shared but never completed with Aimee. As much as this stranger’s energy differed, her spirit was the same.
This woman was his aenac—his soulbonded.
He had never heard of an elf finding another soulbonded after losing the first. Since the souls of bonded pairs connected, the death of one would take a bit of the person left behind, leaving a piece that could never reconnect. Still, his soul sang for the female across the clearing. No matter how much he tried to deny it.
Suddenly, he understood how Kai had panicked and given Arlyn the binding necklace on their first meeting. Lyr wanted to run forward and do the same before he lost yet another soulbonded, and it took all his willpower to resist. Even if the entire group was set to kill him, they were not walking back through the portal. Not until he’d spoken to her.
With a mental command to the Tayianeln hiding above him in the trees, Lyr prepared to reveal his presence. Feeling Kai’s approach, he established a quick connection between them. “Do not attack. Stand down and let me handle this. One of these women feels like Aimee.”
Go check Bethany out online, follow her on all the social media links, tell your friends!
Main website: http://bethanyadamsbooks.com/
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bethanyadams