Welcome back to Author Liz Maverick
Liz Maverick is the best-selling, award-winning author of thirteen novels. Liz and her books have been featured in USA Today, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times and more. Known for writing fast-paced, unique plots, she created the USA Today bestselling author continuity series Crimson City and wrote the Cosmopolitan Magazine Book Club Pick What a Girl Wants. Her science fiction romance novel Wired won the Prism award and was named a Top Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly.
One of the things that inspired me to write in the fantasy and paranormal genres in the first place was seeing science fiction movies that hit all the right notes as far as world-building and action scenes were concerned, but seemed to be missing the part where the characters build (and destroy) meaningful relationships with each other.
I’m a huge fan of relationship-centric stories. Whether I’m watching a movie, TV show or reading a book, it’s the relationships that keep me coming back for more. And a love triangle just makes it that much more fun. I rooted for Han Solo even before I knew Luke wasn’t really an option (*shudder*), I ‘shipped Harry and Hermione (you can’t win them all, eh?), and desperately hoped that Dawson would get rid of the blond and see that his best pal Joey was The One all along.
Then you have the new bromance stories. All those series that have “brotherhoods” of vampires that just happen to consist of guys who like to share their feelings with each other and give each other man-hugs? I totally eat that up.
And then, of course, there are also the more complex we-aren’t-going-to-be-able-to-solve-this-by-punching-each-other-out relationships between women. I love reading about and writing about tricky issues of loyalty between friends or, in the case of my Arcania series, twin sisters and friends. I love thinking about and trying to answer the question of whether blood really is thicker than water.
In the modern age, we often choose our own families. And those families may consider entirely of people who are not actually related. That’s what I think about when I’m developing a really great ensemble cast of characters; a big squabbling family of characters who act like puzzle pieces that must be properly fit together.
All that banter zinging from one end of the room to the next, the tensions and conflict between people who ultimately grow to have respect (okay, OR hate) for one another, the potential for a really fun friendship or love affair that can drive a plot…that’s the fun stuff. It’s why we love shows like Firefly (we did all love Firefly, didn’t we?!) and the early seasons of Lost (Kate! Jack! Sawyer! The cute guy from Lord of the Rings!). It’s why we love to read books like Game of Thrones and Twilight (interpersonal machinations, love triangles!).
All the plot in the world can’t save a book or film that lacks chemistry between characters. Now I just wish I could step into the first Underworld movie and convince Selene to press pause on the actions scenes long enough to find a guy with an actual personality. For me, it’s always going to be character-driven stories over plot-driven stories. How about for you?
Born without arcania in her blood, Adia has lived in the shadow of her magical twin her whole life until the day she accidentally inherits her spellcaster sister’s talents. Now she’s got the ability to save the lives of everybody she loves…if only she knew the first thing about how to use it.
Once she leaves Earth for the training academy in Arcania, there are plenty of people who could show her the ropes, including darkly passionate Grey, the top shield at the school, devil-may-care charmer Seger, a swashbuckling rogue with a talent for daggers, and Finola, the clever and empathic healer with a gift for keeping her team out of sickbay.
Better watch out for the spellcasting mage Delphine and her clique of breathtakingly beautiful pals, though. They’ll do anything to stop Adia from taking her twin sister’s place as an elite spellcaster at the top of the school pyramid.
With the battle between the Arcanae and the deadly Synelv heating up, Adia doesn’t have much time to learn how to use the magic that now flows through her bloodstream, earn a spot on a fighting team, and stop the ancient war between the forces of magic from spreading to Earth and destroying the loved ones she’s been forced to leave behind.
Adia is finally coming into her newfound arcanic spellcasting powers. She passed her first academy test with a dazzling, yet inconsistent, performance. While she has potential, there’s a lot of work to do before she’s considered an equal. Never mind that she has to be ready to battle the Synelv, the Arcanae’s deadly enemy.
Luckily, Adia is partnered with an elite team of fighters: the raw and muscular shield Grey, the dashing but deadly rogue Seger, and the trusty healer Finola. Precisely the support she needs to get up to speed. Good thing, because Adia has a lot on her plate. There’s the mystery of Lara’s death to solve, Delphine the mean mage to outwit, and the academy competition to win. Not to mention her friendship with Grey might be more than that?if they can only keep from killing each other.
It’s going to take a lot to keep Adia and her team focused on their battlefield mission. Will family secrets and romantic complications derail the team?
2 winners will each receive an ebook of both Trial by Fire & Dark Fuel