KINKED – Thea Harrison Blog Tour- Q&A, Review & Giveaway
by Thea Harrison
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…
As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.
To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened
Kinked by Thea Harrison is the 6th book in her wonderful Elder Races series. I have been a big fan of this series from the start, and I couldn’t wait for Aryal’s story. I can safely say that the wait was so worth it.
Aryal is a harpy, and I have always liked her tough kick ass attitude, as well as her being the lone women Sentinel on Dragos, the Lord of the Wyr’s team. But in the last few books, she became borderline unlikable, being downright nasty to others, including Dragos’ wife Pia. A big part of her behavior has been Quentin, a new Sentinel and someone Aryal has been investigating for awhile, to expose him as the crook she knows he is, but to no avail.
Quentin, who is a hunk, and a black panther shifter, does have his own dark issues of things from the past that he has to deal with. He equally gives back his feelings of hatred toward Aryal. One day it goes too far, as they both jump at each other, violently fighting out in the open for all to see. The awesome totally powerful Dragos steps in and roughly separates the two. He gives them an ultimatum, an assignment back to Numenlaur, the abandoned Elven land, where the last battle took place. Dragos’s ultimatum….spend between two weeks to a month together on this assignment, and learn to work together peacefully or they will both be removed as Sentinels.
What follows is an awesome action packed adventure that forces both Aryal and Quentin to work together to survive. But most of all, it was watching two totally dominant people with such violent hate for one another slowly change. The intense hatred fed the sexual spark that each tried desperately to fight. This was an intense relationship all the way through. It was really amazing how Thea Harrison took two highly unlikely people and made them Perfect for each other. In doing so, she didn’t make them like a normal sweet romance; it was hot, sexy, hardcore, with both releasing their animal magnetism toward each other.
When mission becomes dangerous, and both are badly injured, you can see both of their vulnerabilities, and the need for each other to help them survive and pull through was so apparent. Their relationship was so intense, yet so wonderful to see how slowly it changed to love. What I loved about how Harrison handles this relationship is that though they both are changing, they will still remain as two hard assed dominants they are, and learn to share.
Besides their romance, this was a great story, with a villain who had no qualms to leave them for dead. Both were badly injured, and in Aryal’s case, her injuries were devastating. But Quentin rises up to help save her and those who are with them until rescue comes. Will Aryal recover from those serious injuries? Will she be able to continue as part of Dragos Sentinels?
I also love seeing Dragos & Pia, and the entire Sentinel team. I loved that Aryal, tough snarky ways, was able to find someone just perfect for her. This was an intense fantastic read, which I finished in one day. Thea Harrison has done it again, with another wonderful addition to her Elder Races series. I for one hope that she never stops writing this series.
Because this is a dual review, some of the information presented will be duplicated but in the end, Barb and I both love Thea’s grasp of the fantasy and paranormal culture and the way in which she presents her storylines for everyone to enjoy.
KINKED is the sixth full length novel in Thea Harrison’s paranormal series-The Elder Races. This is Aryal (a Harpy) and Quentin’s (Panther/Elven/Fae) story-both Wyr Sentinels and acidic enemies. For two years Aryal has been searching for something to use against Quentin-she knows he is dark and dangerous and it is her gut feeling that he is hiding an illegal past. Hoping to get proof, Aryal has stalked Quentin at every opportunity but on her lastest attempt, she goes too far and she and Quentin will find themselves banished from the Wyr and sent to Numenlaur-the oldest Elven land searching for signs or survivors in the now desolate Elven demesne.
As the leader of the Wyr, Dragos tires of Quentin and Aryal’s animosity towards one another and gave them one opportunity to straighten up or be permanently banished from both the Sentinels and the Wyr community.
The storyline focuses on Quentin and Aryal’s building relationship as they uncover what lies behind the ruined city and beautiful lands of Numenlaur. What started as bitter and abject enemies will quickly become one of friends to lovers but not before some damage is done to one another. Their relationship in the beginning can best be described as damaging and dangerous but in the end each will find their mate -but not before they encounter a strange new phenomenon that is directly linked to the Elven world and the castle where they will find themselves imprisoned and left to die.
The world building continues from the previous storylines including Lord’s Fall (Elder Races #5) where the Elven Other World was decimated by its’ own people. Thea brings together some of the Wyr Sentinels in secondary roles as well as Pia (Dragos’ mate) having a significant impact on the life and death struggles of our leading couple.
Thea has proven that she has an amazing grasp of the fantastic as the reader is pulled into a world of her making. The descriptive nature of the Elven Other World is beautiful in comparison to the damage and death toll exacted by a cruel and power hungry being.
Kinked is a story of betrayal and loss; revenge and retribution; danger and deceit. But it is also about survival-not for the people of Numenlaur-but for two would be enemies who must join together in a fight for their lives or lose one another to an unseen enemy or themselves.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison is the pen name for Teddy Harrison. Thea has traveled extensively, having lived in England and explored Europe for several years. Now she resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter.
She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. She experienced waitressing as a teenager, has worked as an activist for a non-profit consumer rights organization, has been a receptionist, an office manager, a penniless graduate student, a director of development and research, and a single mom. Her graduate degrees are in Philanthropic Studies and Library Information Science, but her first love has always been writing fiction.
Her paranormal Elder Races series began May 3, 2011 with Dragon Bound, which won RT Book Review’s Book of the Year Award, and the Romance Writer’s of America RITA in the paranormal romance category.
All five of her full length novels in the Elder Races series have won Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Book two in the series, Storm’s Heart, and book four, Oracle’s Moon, hit the USA Today bestseller’s list, while book three, Serpent’s Kiss, hit the New York Times extended bestseller list. Her fifth book, Lord’s Fall, hit both the USA Today and the New York Times extended lists.
She adores animals and currently resides with two small dogs that have very large personalities
Thanks for such interesting questions!
Q: What is one of your favorite Myths/legends to write about?
Thea: When I started to write my reply to this question, I realized it wasn’t going to be a simple or easy answer! I’ve had so much fun with the world building in the Elder Races series. It’s almost impossible to pick just one.
I really enjoyed taking the Oracle of Delphi and putting it into a modern context for Oracle’s Moon. When I turned my attention to the witches’ demesne in Louisville, I wanted to make sure it felt as rich and developed as the rest of the world building I’d done for the other demesnes and mythological creatures. That story was fun for a lot of reasons, because I also really enjoyed building the Djinn society based on Middle Eastern legends.
Another favorite has been developing the Elves, in Lord’s Fall and continued in Kinked. And a third was when I created my own version of Vampyres in Serpent’s Kiss. I have two more Vampyre stories that I’m dying to tell. When I get excited about a story, it’s hard to wait for the right time to tell it!
Q: You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you and why? (All creatures, including mythological, apply.)
Thea: Awesome question! I think I have two answers for that one. If it was a gift, then I think it would have to be something winged and strong. I think there’s something to be said for being as fearless as a harpy, although I’m quite sure I wouldn’t win any popularity contests!
If the ability was a curse and meant to be nasty, the witch would probably turn me into my phobia—a spider! That would be the meanest, nastiest thing anybody could ever do to me!
Q: Since Aryal is a harpy and considered an immortal Wyr, how did you approach her character development in order to make her believable and someone that readers can identify with?
Thea: I’ll be honest, I was worried about writing Aryal. I really didn’t want to compromise her identity. Aryal has strong emotions but no real morals in the abstract sense, no true compulsion to do what is right for its own sake. She’s abrasive and dangerous… And I had to figure out how to also make her sympathetic.
My first decision was to not be in a hurry to write her story. I wanted to take the time to show her character from a couple of different points of view. The reader first sees Aryal from Pia’s perspective in Dragon Bound, but then in Storm’s Heart I was able to show Aryal from Tricks’ point of view, someone who loved her. I also wanted to make sure that humor came into the mix. Still, the real test came when I sat down and actually started writing Kinked. Then I had to get close enough to her to write her as a main POV character. It helped that I had so many established relationships and characters to work with—such as Grym, Dragos and Graydon—and the world-building in place. With that in place, I could concentrate on developing Aryal herself. I’m very grateful to my editor Cindy Hwang for providing such a supportive platform to write Kinked.
Q: Do you have an Elder Race Bible to help keep your facts start? If not, how the heck do you keep your facts start?
Thea: So far I’ve had two things in my favor—I’ve got a bit of a freakish memory for detail when it comes to writing, and I also have fantastic beta readers who are good at spotting issues. Still, the world has become big and complicated enough that I’ve got someone working on a series bible right now. It’s over a hundred pages by now and should be done by the end of the year.
Q: Who was the harder character to write Aryal or Quentin and why?
Thea: Neither character was as hard as I had feared they would be when I started Kinked. Still, Quentin was easier. I felt more confident writing his character, and I felt the stakes were pretty high on getting Aryal’s character right.
Q: Was there anything about Aryal that surprised you as her story unfolded?
Thea: I think I probably had the same experience as a writer that several readers have had so far in reading the book—I was surprised at how much I ended up liking and enjoying her. I wouldn’t want to rush out and befriend a real-life Aryal, but I think she’s pretty cool between the pages, and I’m really looking forward to writing more about her.
Q: In the event of an apocalypses (zombie, alien, solar flare or 4 horsemen) which of your characters would you like to team up with?
Thea: I would absolutely like to team up with Dragos—as long as I was someone he valued, otherwise he might ditch me in a heartbeat.
Q: What is next for the Elder Race series?
Thea: I’m now contracted for books 7-9, so I’m writing Graydon’s story which will be released around August of 2014. The main characters have also been decided for books 8 and 9, and I’m eager to get to those stories!
I also wrote a self-published project, a novella entitled Dragos Takes A Holiday, which releases November 25th. I loved spending time with Dragos and Pia, and their little son Peanut gets his POV debut.
It’s been a pleasure to visit with you. Thanks for having me!
Thea and The Penquin Group have graciously offered to give one lucky member of The Reading Café a copy of Thea’s new release, Kinked.
1. Please register using the Log-In at the top of the page, or by using one of our social log-ins.
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3. Giveaway open to U.S.Only
4. Contests runs from November 4, to November 8, 2013