Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spotlight on Shantal Hiatt

The next author whose book you may win this Saturday is a girl near and dear to my heart, a "most beloved sister," as Jane Austen would say.  Yes, Shantal Hiatt is my big sis as well as author of the novel Agency. It's a coming of age story as a girl leaves home, starts modeling, and tries to balance everything she learned, the girl she was raised to be, with the woman the modeling world expects her to become.
Please note this is not the book cover anymore, but it is her first official head shot. Love that '80s hair!

Agency is fiction, but it's also a little autobiographical--my sister was once one of the top models in Salt Lake City.  Do you have any idea how weird it is to turn on the TV and see your sister in a Taco Time commercial? I'm just so sad she modeled before the internet was a big deal, because she has some awesome stuff and none of it is online! Oh, the injustice...Her debut novel Agency delves into what it's like to enter a world so enticing and foreign, and eye-opening.Come to my Psyched birthday party this Saturday, and you'll get a chance to win a copy for yourself!

Shantal is currently hard at work on her second novel, which is a completely departure from Agency. She shifts from 80's glam and hair bands to a medieval world at war, and two starcrossed lovers in the middle of it all. She was gracious enough to allow me to post a snippet for you, so you can see what an amazing story she'll be sharing with the world soon!  This is where you get to meet her handsome hero Nicholas and his wise-cracking lieutenant Luke.

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The sentry, returning to his post earlier than expected, must have been on the opposite side of the rounded guard tower and would see him if he didn’t move soon. Luke heard the sound too, and looked at Nicholas in frozen horror, the coiled ropes dangling from his arms. There was no time; no contingency plan for encountering a guard, except murder, and he wouldn’t do that. He couldn’t raise the alarm. Nicholas had to penetrate the castle tonight.
Remembering vaguely a subtle ledge on the outer wall, he lunged between the notch in the merlons and prayed for a way to slow his scuffling with the rock wall. He heard Luke’s muted curse as he slid down, the rough rocks scraping flesh from his hands and punishing his knees. When his toes found the ledge, Nicholas reached for his dagger and slammed it into the mortar, and stopped his descent, though he hung precariously. He clung to the wall, his cheek indented against stone, his other hand grasping for a cleft. Nicholas cursed his stupidity. So concerned was he for the welfare of the young soldiers that he didn’t pay enough attention to the return of the guards. He should not worry over them so much. If they were anything like Goodman, and he knew they were, they were becoming skilled spies and could kill if necessary. Just like he had been. He had to stop thinking of them as children stolen from their parents. . . though they were. “Good God,” he whispered through ragged breaths. “I have more to worry about than the past, like getting the bloody hell off this ledge.”
“That’s my line, laddie,” called Luke quietly from above, dangling a rope within reach. “I thought I’d lost you.”
“Thank God,” whispered Nicholas in utter relief, as he caught the rope and used it to pull himself up the side of the wall.
              “No, I think you have me to thank,” said Luke, grinning widely, as Nicholas cut through the crenellation through which he’d fallen.

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Fun stuff, yes? I look forward to reading more! Shantal is going to be online during the party, so come say hi, ask her questions, and play along to get a chance to win!