To love and protect…across worlds.
Eighteen-year-old Hope Wincrest calls the Outback of Australia her home away from home. She is a princess of Dralion from the planet Magio, where the two leading nations are at war. While in the Outback, Hope is warned by her warrior father--who holds the prophetic ability of forethought--that she is about to meet an enemy protector. She doesn’t expect him to be her soul-bound mate, a man she must now work with to piece together her unknown mother’s lost heritage.
Peacio’s Silas Carver follows the calling of his soul to Australia, only not all goes as planned. Discovering Hope is his mate has him demanding his release from their bond. She agrees, but only if he first helps her learn about her mother.
Hope must lay her life in Silas’s hands during a journey which takes them deep into foreign lands. Waging a battle of the heart, and of the land, can the young mated pair find their place with each other?
A Lyrical Press Young Adult Fantasy Romance.
Hi, and thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Apryl.
WARRIOR is book two in my Magio-Earth series, my YA fantasy romance line. I’m sitting here with my latest heroine, Hope Wincrest, from WARRIOR. Hope’s a princess of Dralion, soul-bound to Silas, a protector from the enemy nation.
Joanne: Hey, Hope. Thanks so much for taking the time to come and sit with me over here at Apryl’s. So, I’ve got to ask. Did you ever consider your soul-bound mate would be an enemy protector?
Joanne, I swear we need to have words about that. I had no idea what you were cooking up for me. Sure, my people have always revered the bond, but we haven’t had a soul-bound match between my people and Silas’s in over forty years. There’s an energy field over Dralion which protects my nation for a reason. Protectors simply can’t get in.
Oh, then how did Silas actually hunt you down?
Hunt is the right word. He found me at Wincrest Station. It’s one of our off-world holdings in the Outback of Australia. Silas turned up in the middle of a nest of warriors. The only problem was, I’d just been given the task of finding out all I could about my unknown mother’s lost heritage. Silas was the key. I had to get over the fact he was a protector pretty quickly, and then that whole mated bond thing kicked in. Sheesh.
You don’t like being mated?
*wags her finger* That’s a sneaky question. Being mated is so frustrating. I’m a warrior and Silas is a protector. The two fighting forces simply don’t mix, although I couldn’t expose who he truly was because of the soul-bond.
That’s a tough one. You must have had a lot of issues. Did you find a way to, you know, find the right mix?
Silas might be smart, funny, caring, sexy-- *fans her face* Yeah, I’ll just stop there. There was mixing involved.
Okay, I can see you’re not going to give away any secrets, so how about a fun question. Chocolate or marshmallows?
Hope: Oh, marshmallows. Silas and I had so much fun one night with marshmallows. He knows just how to heat them up so they become all gooey and-- Right, I better stop again.
: You tease. Still, thanks so much for joining me, Hope. I really enjoyed writing your story, and I can’t wait to share it with readers.
Here’s an excerpt to tempt you:
Silas extinguished the lamp, and moonlight filtered through the tiny square window. He rolled to his side, facing me. “We’ll stay close. I can’t dismiss the mated bond. Our souls call to one another and it’s strong.”
I felt it too.
“I can’t keep my distance from you, Hope. That would result in your death.”
“Yeah, but yours would result if my grandfather, Donaldo, ever found out about you. The need to protect goes both ways.”
A low growl rumbled from his throat. “It sounds like you’re arguing with me.”
“I’m pointing out the facts. Alexo keeps the knowledge of Faith’s relationship with Loveria a secret.”
“We don’t have their kind of relationship.”
“So this is a non-relationship?” I smiled. That actually suited me.
“Okay, honey. I got it.”
He pulled me to him. “I have no idea why, but I like you. You have a smart mouth.”
I snuggled closer, resting my cheek against his chest. “Mmm-hmm. So do you.”
He let out a slow breath and it fanned over the top of my head. “I still want to kiss you.”
“Hell, no.” I grinned to myself.
“Are you repeating my earlier words?”
“Yes, I am.” He rolled me, coming up over top. My heart raced. “Don’t--”
His kiss was potent as he claimed my mouth.
I had no response. I was lost, hypnotized as we shared breath and a moment more special than any in time.
He cupped my face in his hands and stroked my cheeks, his thoughts escaping for the first time.
I read them so clearly within the merge.
He wanted this moment to last.
My heart soared and my soul called to his on the deepest level. “We are in a world of trouble,” I murmured against his lips.
His hold tightened, intoxicating me. Then he eased away an inch, maybe two. “You have the most beautiful spun-gold hair. It catches even the moonlight and glows like silk.”
I cleared my throat. “I know I just said trouble. You should stick to your side of the bed in this non-relationship.”
A wicked grin widened his mouth. “I could drown in the brilliant violet of your eyes.”
“Do I need to slap your face?”
He laughed. “Yes.”
I pushed him away, trying to get my heartbeat to slow. “Go away.”
He rolled into me, held me close. “I’ll be good. Just keeping you warm. It’s my right.”
I curled up, squeezing my eyes shut. “I can’t believe I’m sharing a bed with you. Do you snore?”
“Terribly. I’m also a bed-hog.”
I heard the partial lie, but to which half of that statement? “Hmm, since I’m squished between you and the wall, I’m picking you’re a bed-hog.”
“You feel all warm and soft. I’m not going anywhere.” He nuzzled my hair and yawned. “Go to sleep. You’ll need your rest if you want to be on your toes tomorrow.”
I didn’t doubt it. The minutes ticked by, and I slowly relaxed. My soul-bound mate lay beside me. For one night, or perhaps for more? I had no idea.
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Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…
Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She'd visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she'd read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander.
Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.
Visit Joanne here.
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