"Altered Destiny" follows the story of Selia, who has run her family's tavern since she was 15 and can hunt and fight the equal of any man. (For my fellow Hunger Games fans, yes, Selia and Katniss would totally make great hunting buddies and kick lots of tail together). When Selia rescues a badly wounded man and nurses him back to health, she has no idea she's about to change not only her life, but also the destinies of two peoples…
The battered warrior is Svistra—a race of bloodthirsty savages determined to destroy her homeland. Or so the stories claim. Jaden reveals a different truth: how his ancestors were driven into the barren northern mountains. Now they are strong and war parties are pushing south wanting their land back.
The son of a Svistra Commander, Jaden is looking for a way to bring peace to both humans and Svistrans. He tries to ignore his growing passion for Selia, but when she is captured he has to decide what he would be willing to sacrifice to save the woman he loves…
Shawna Thomas is the author of "Altered Destiny," and she graciously agreed to participate in my Q&A today to talk about her book, what she has coming up, and her love for Star Trek and the WWE.
Angela: Welcome to my blog, Shawna! I have to admit that “Altered Destiny” ended up being one of my favorite reads of 2011. Congrats on it earning a Top Pick from RT! What inspired the story?
Shawna: Wow! Thanks. That's one of the best compliments a writer can get. : ) Beaming now. Honest? I was running on the treadmill and the scene between Selia and Jaden—which is now in a barn after she brings him his dinner—started playing in my head. I jumped off and wrote it down. At the time I had an agent and I told her about it. She said it was too close to vampires and vampires were done. This was 3 years ago. But the scene and the characters would not leave me alone so I sat down and wrote their story.
Angela: Any chance you’d ever write a sequel or another book set in the world you created there? (Hint, hint, perhaps Nathan?)
Shawna: You know, you're not the first person to ask me that. I'm actually working on a Valentine short between Selia and Jaden, and yes, I've considered telling Nathan's story. I think I need to read the book again to get inspired.
Angela: So tell us, what are you working on next?
Shawna: I've been trying to reconstruct the first book I wrote. It's slow going.
Angela: Let’s get to know Shawna the person. Tell us a little about yourself.
Shawna: Me? The person? You mean the me you would find if you came to hang out at my house for a few hours? Well, I love to cook, but I love to bake even more and if you give me notice, I'll have cookies or cake or something waiting for you. I have been really craving scones lately, so maybe some scones and homemade lemon curd. Serious yum. Did I mention I'm pregnant with number 6? Yes, we're crazy and yes, we love kids.
Angela: Aww, congratulations! Tell us more...something only your closest friends would know. ;)
Shawna: I'm really kinda boring. I love sitting on the couch with my husband and watching WWE. Seamus is my favorite. He has such a good time beating everyone up. It's fun to watch. At any given time there will be at least 5 kids running around here...and their friends. I am a neat freak without the time to follow through, an avid scheduler that has finally learned sometimes you have to just let go, and I don't know when to slow down...but my husband is teaching me. : 0 )
Angela: Are you a member of any TV show/film/book fandoms? (If so, which ones and why?)
Shawna: I will always be an avid fan of Star Trek. I have read every book printed before 1990. I thought the remake was absolutely brilliant. I mean they didn't take anything away from the original and managed to make it all new. My first crush was Spock. You see, Vulcans have intense emotions, that's why they learned to control them. That boy is a volcano of passion ready to explode with the right fuse. ; ) And smart. There is something so sexy about an intelligent man.
Shawna: Gardening. I'd buy every fruit tree I could if I had space and money. Right now I have an orange, tangerine, two grapefruit (and I don't like grapefruit) plum, apricot, peach and avocado. I had a blueberry bush and banana tree but they succumbed to the heat during rush edits. I'd love a kiwi vine, apple tree and to replace the blueberry and banana. I'd really love an almond tree too. Do you really want to get me started on flowers? LOL Didn't think so.
I want to say a HUGE thanks to Shawna for letting me pick her brain today. To learn more about "Altered Destiny" or Shawna Thomas, visit her equally awesome website at www.shawnathomas.com.