Monday, November 26, 2012

Stealing Breath blog tour: guest post & giveaway

Stealing Breath (Stealing Breath #1) by Joanne Brothwell

YA paranormal*Paperback & e-book, 258 pages
Published March 8th 2012 by Crescent Moon Press

Deep in the backwoods of North Dakota, twenty-one year old Sarah Ross is searching for a missing child when she is attacked by a glowing-eyed, transparent... creature. Sarah survives, destroying the monster by using mysterious abilities she didn't even know she had. Bloody and bruised, Sarah flees the scene and runs directly into Evan Valente, a handsome, charismatic stranger who helps her back to safety. But what is Evan doing out in the forest at five in the morning? Turning to a healer, Sarah is shocked to learn her eyes bear the mark of the Indigo Child-an evolved human with the ability to feel the emotions of others. But her indigo aura also makes her an easy target for those who wish to consume her powerful essence. Soon, Sarah is falling deeply in love with Evan and wants nothing more than to follow her heart and trust that he is the man he says he is. But she can't ignore the lingering feeling that Evan is hiding a terrible secret. The deeper she digs, the more danger she faces, leading her on a course that will force her to face the darkest, innermost parts of her soul.

Top Ten Mythical Creatures and Why

Ooh, I just love this topic! Mythical creatures have scared and fascinated me my whole life and judging by the books I read (Anne Rice, Cassandra Clare) and the television shows I watch (The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural), I just can’t get enough of them!

I’ve chosen a few creatures from my own mythology, because the fascination was so strong for me I ended up being so preoccupied that eventually stories began to unfold inside my head. So, without further ado, here is my list of my favourite creepy-crawlies:

In the Navajo culture, the Skinwalker is an evil shaman with supernatural powers, practitioners of ‘Bad Medicine’ or dark magic; men or women who have earned the highest level of priesthood. Once a person has locked eyes with the glowing yellow eyes of the Skinwalker, the creature can absorb into them and take full possession of their body. The victim loses all control over their own behaviour, yet remains completely aware and conscious of the possession and all of the terrible actions of the Skinwalker within them.

Skinwalkers. Even the name sounds freaky? My preoccupation with this creature began with a true story I was told by a friend, a very spooky story of her personal experience with a  Skinwalker. Curious about the story? You can check it out, here.

If you want to read more about Skinwalkers, check out my novel, Stealing Breath.

The Malandanti (Bad Walkers) were a cult between the 16th and 17th centuries in the Northern Italian area of Friuli. They were the opposite of the Benandanti (Good Walkers), who claimed their witchcraft was used only to ensure good crops. The Malandanti made no such claim.

True Malandanti are born, not made. In Malandanti newborns, the caul (sometimes referred to as “the veil”), or amniotic sac, remains through the birthing process. The amniotic sac is considered sacred, and the infant is known to possess supernatural abilities. Like the Skinwalker, Malandanti are able to take over the body of their chosen victim.

During the Inquisition, these spirit travels were compared to the witches' Sabbath, leading to the eventual extinction of the Benandanti cult. Between 1575 and 1675 the Benandanti were tried as heretics under the Roman Inquisition. There is no historical reference to be found as to whether the Malandanti were extinguished alongside the Benandanti.

The Malandanti fascinates me to no end. Did they die off like the Benandanti? If they didn’t, do they still exist, performing evil deeds, unbeknownst to the world? Of course the Malandanti made it into my novel as well!

Indigo Child
The “Indigo Children” is a New Age concept, but in my book, Stealing Breath, they have their very own mythology, some based on the New Age concepts, some not.

Indigo is the colour of the aura, an obvious manifestation of their healing status. This is their uncanny sensitivity, the basis for their healing trait. They are exceptionally attractive, with startling indigo coloured eyes.

The hallmark skill of the Indigo Child is empathy, and most Indigo’s are able to intuitively know what others think and feel. As a result, they are also highly attuned to any attempts at deception. The ability to feel the emotions of others in a very real, visceral way.

Indigo Children are the manifestation of a higher level of human evolution. The indigo hue to the aura is representative of the Indigo chakra, the “Ajna” or “third eye” at the center of the forehead. The third eye is associated with creativity, insight, intuition and paranormal abilities, including being able to see spirits, ghosts and even angels.

Because. I want to be an Indigo Child!

Sapphire Child
Little is known of the Sapphire Child at this point other than its association with the
“Vishuddha” chakra. This “throat chakra” is known as the purification centre. Sapphire Children are the manifestation of a higher level of human evolution, associated with enhanced discrimination, communication and self-expression. When a Sapphire Child is connected to their Indigo Child soul mate, it is said they are able to channel telekinesis.

I love the idea of evolved humans, those who walk among us but are spiritually advanced.

Former humans, these undead monsters have been infected with a disease that requires they drink blood to stay animated. They have supernatural abilities, and, depending on the lore, may sparkle in the sunlight!

Vamps have long been an obsession of mine. I recall watching a television shows about vampires when I was six years old! The idea of being infected with a disease that turns a human into a preternatural monster inspires my creativity. I love the idea of an undead man, living a wretched existence for hundreds of years who stumbles upon his true love, only to realize he can’t stop thinking about her blood and how good it would feel to drink it. Now, he must face the ultimate choice: muster up the inner resolve to fight off his animalistic instincts, or give in and lose his only reason for existing. What can be more sexy than that?

Freaky. I’ve always been terrified of ghosts and I still am. That is all.

Half demon, half human, these supernatural offspring are angelically beautiful, are seductive and very persuasive. They possess formidable powers such as vanquishing heavenly creatures, modifying reality, moving objects with their minds, and teleportation.

Gorgeous half demons with formidable powers? Ooh, my mind is already spinning the tales…

Half angel, half human, Nephilium are giants who, depending on the lore cited, have various supernatural powers. My own personal favourite, is the lore created by Cassandra Clare, where the Nephilium are a race made by angels, known as “Shadowhunters” to fight demons and protect the human race.

Half angel, half human with superhuman strength. The perfect mythical creature!

Seraphim are mysterious angelic guardians, the word translating as “burning ones”. They are often associated with serpents, and the belief is that the “burning” refers to the venom. The Seraphim are of the highest rank of Christian angelic hierarchy.

A heavenly creature associated with burning and a venomous snake! Just wait, these freaky angels are sure to be in a future novel of mine!

In Greek mythology, Furies were known as the "the angry ones", and in Roman mythology, they were female deities of revenge. They represent the power of creation and regeneration which both creates and consumes. Their purpose: to punish.

Who doesn’t like a badass female diety whose sole purpose is to exact vengeance upon

Thank you so much for having me here today, to share my geeky fascination with mythical creatures!

About the author:

Joanne Brothwell lives in the country on the Canadian prairie where her stories are inspired by the dead things that appear at her doorstep on a daily basis.Of course, her two pets, a retired police dog with titanium fangs and a feral barn cat missing two toes, make the safety of surrounding wildlife, at best, uncertain. 

Nicknames are something Joanne has in abundance; most notably “Grumpy Bunny” (her husband), and “Princess with a Sailor’s Mouth” (her friends). She’s known to daydream, and ever since grade school has been accused of having a poor attention span. The truth is, Joanne has an alternate reality inside her head, where characters speak to her, sometimes so loudly (and incessantly) she just can’t hear anything else!

Joanne is thrilled to see her alternate universe finally become real with the publication of her novel, Stealing Breath, and her prequel novella, Vicarious. Now, with the sequel Silencing Breath on the way, you can be rest assured you will see much more of Joanne’s writing in the future, as those characters in her head, having tasted the sweet freedom of release, simply refuse to be silenced!

One winner will receive an e-book copy of Stealing Breath courtesy of the author. This giveaway is open internationally.
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  1. Thank you for having me today, ladies! This guest post was so fun to write!

  2. Thank you for having me today, ladies! This guest post was so fun to write!