Ryleigh Donnovan and Jackson Maynard are the stars of the best-selling Kingdom of Cymmera Series, Reluctant Prince, Lost Princess, and Battle for Cymmera, and they are joining us today to tell us a little about their stories.
Interviewer: I’ll ask both of you this, but let’s start with Jackson. You and Ryleigh had a run in before you actually met, could you describe that interaction, as well as your first meeting?
Jackson: (Clears his throat and shifts position) The first time I saw Ryleigh it was like…well, to be honest, kind of like getting punched in the gut. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew I couldn’t kill her like I was supposed to. I also knew the decision to let her live could cost me my life, but it didn’t matter. I still couldn’t bring myself to do it.
The first time we met was different. The men of my realm haven’t had any true emotions for hundreds of years, so I had no experience with any kind of feelings. Then I sought Ryleigh out in the hospital, and I was overwhelmed with emotions I didn’t understand. I knew I had to keep her safe, despite my mission to kill her, but everything else was just a jumble of annoying feelings I didn’t have time to sort out.
Ryleigh: The first time I saw Jackson, I wasn’t even sure he was real. He was just standing there, surrounded by flames, and I thought maybe I was hallucinating. But I was terrified. (She glances at Jackson, then leans toward the interviewer and grins) In case you haven’t noticed, he’s kind of a scary guy.
It didn’t get much better when we met. I still thought maybe I was crazy, and he was still scary, but I didn’t care as much. At that point, I had to get my sister to safety, and if he was willing to help, then I had no choice but to go with him.
Interviewer: Ryleigh, how did you feel when you found out Jackson was the prince of another realm?
Ryleigh: I actually didn’t believe him at first. I don’t think I really believed him until I saw my first monster.
(She shivers, and Jackson puts a hand over hers.)
Ryleigh: By the time I realized it was all real, I already had a strong…attachment to him.
Interviewer: Jackson, now that you’ve gotten to know Ryleigh better, what do you think of her potential role as Cymmera’s queen?
Jackson: She is strong, courageous—often too courageous—caring. Everything a true queen should be.
Ryleigh: (Laughs) Let’s not go there again.
Jackson: You know I have to remind you every chance I get. (Grins)
Ryleigh: Not happening, Jackson. Next question.
Interviewer: Okay, fair enough. You and your sister, Mia, are extremely close, yet she is not yet strong enough to survive long term in Cymmera. Will you be able to leave her to tend to your responsibilities there?
Ryleigh: That would be the hardest part for me, and it’s the only thing that keeps me in the human realm right now. I can’t leave her. So, I have to stay until she’s strong enough to survive in Cymmera.
Interviewer: And how do you feel about that, Jackson?
Jackson: Being without Ryleigh is pretty much torture. Cymmerans are close to immortal. Because of that, we must have an extremely strong bond with the woman we are destined for. Imagine spending thousands of years with the same person. There would have to be a very strong bond. When we find our intended mate, every instinct screams for us to claim her as our own. Resisting that urge is almost impossible. It feels like resisting the urge to breathe. But Cymmera is under attack, and there’s no way I can abandon my home or shirk my responsibilities to remain in the human realm with Ryleigh, no matter how badly I want to.
Ryleigh: (Squeezes his hand) It feels kind of the same way for me. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing myself, though. And that scares me a little. That grin of his is hard enough to resist even without the extra bond.
Interviewer: What does it feel like to move between realms?
Ryleigh: It feels like there’s electricity flowing through you. It’s scary and amazing all at once.
Interviewer: What would it look like to a bystander?
Jackson: It’s a tremendous amount of power you’re trying to leash. I can’t imagine what it would look like to someone who didn’t know anything about it.
Ryleigh: Well, I can. The first time I saw Kai open the portal and step through into another world, I thought I had gone completely nuts. It was like a hole ripped open in the night, and within that hole was an entirely different world. And there were dragons! Not gonna lie, the dragons are way cool. So are the giant flying hounds.
Interviewer: Speaking of realms, Ryleigh, what was going through your mind when Daygan kidnapped you and imprisoned you in Argonas?
Ryleigh: Being in that underground chamber felt like I was suffocating. I thought for sure I was dead. I was so worried about who would take care of Mia and how she would handle losing someone else.
Jackson: (Puts his arm around her and pulls her close.) I’ve never felt such absolute fear, or rage. I could have killed Daygan with my bare hands at that moment.
Interviewer: On a lighter note, what do you think of Mia and Dakota?
Jackson: (Grins) I think they’d make a great couple.
Ryleigh: That is so not happening!
Jackson: Aww… Come on, Ryleigh, they’d be so cute to—
Ryleigh: Drop it, Jackson. Mia is just a kid, and I am not ready to go there.
Interviewer: So, what’s next for the two of you?
Jackson: We’re going to find out who betrayed us and see that he’s punished, then we’ll ascend the throne together and rule my father’s kingdom.
Ryleigh: I’m going to finish school, get a job, and take care of Mia until she’s able to exist in Cymmera.
Jackson: And then we’re going to rule Cymmera together.
Ryleigh: Maybe. We’ll see on November 22, when the conclusion to our story, Battle for Cymmera, releases. In the meantime, why don’t we check out the trailer and give one lucky winner a $10 Amazon Gift Card!
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