RENEGADE (Blood of The Custodians, Book 2)
In the ongoing war between the Fates and the resistance, Colin Murphy, bastard son of Hades finds himself caught between his loyalty to Eros and a past intent on destroying him.
Pursued by Persephone’s bounty hunters with a pissed-off daemon to contend with, there is one thing that Murphy knows for sure – Hailey, the human he now shares his mind and body with, is the innocent in all of it. She is a firefly flickering in the darkness of his black existence and he will do anything to protect her light.
Groomed to be a socialite with a conscience and with her future mapped out for her, nothing could have prepared Hailey for the rude ending to life as she knew it. Or, for that matter, the impact of living in such close, intimate confines with a forsaken son of hell. He’s powerful, dangerous and her only hope of escaping the dark forces after her.
Boundaries will be tested, loyalties questioned, and hearts pushed to the limits in this action-packed paranormal romance that continues the epic Blood of the Custodians saga by Sharonlee Holder.
Hailey’s hand slowed and came to a stop with the cloth wadded in the palm of his hand, her eyes downcast. Lashes fluttered, the slender column of her throat lifting and falling when she swallowed hard. Twice her lips parted, and twice she pressed them shut again.
Her distress came at him as surely as if someone had shoved a knife in his chest.
Discarding the cloth, she lifted his hand, turned it over and ran the pads of her fingers around his wrist. “I can’t find where you’re bleeding from.”
The crack in her voice as she sought to change the subject, twisted the knife.
Not giving a fuck about anyone but himself had been easier. This caring shit hurt worse than a tipped whip lashing into flesh already flayed.
Pulling his hand from hers, Murphy ducked his head to catch her eyes. Her gaze was slow to lift to his, her eyes glossy when it did.
“What happens to me when Persephone catches me?” she whispered.
The fifth vision that had downloaded into his brainbox slammed into focus and with it, came terrible understanding. The small figure trapped in the frosted sphere hung high above a sea of teeth, hairline cracks appearing as the figure battered frantically at the curved sides. The frustration of reaching for the prisoner’s identity and then passing out just as it came to him.
Sweet Mary mother of Jesus!
It was Hailey!
Murphy went cold all over, his hands shaking with the violent rage that welled up. “I won’t let it come to that.”
Her eyes widened. “It’s bad, isn’t it?”
Worse than she could begin to imagine. If ever there was a time he wanted a vision to be little more than a cruel joke, it was now.
His instinct was to ease her mind with a lie. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to add his name to those that had already spun her a web of falsehoods.
“It’s not good.”
Paled features set, and Hailey nodded. Dipping the cloth back into the water she returned to washing the rest of the blood from his other arm. Acid frustration ate through him as he watched her work in silence. When she was finished, she lifted the bowl and took it over to the sink, presenting him with her back.
“I won’t let her take you,” he vowed. “You’ll stay here in this place you’ve made where she’ll never find you. Not even Valazhor knew where you had gone. I didn’t either until–”
Hailey whirled around and pinned him with a hopeless look. “And then what? I spend the rest of eternity hiding in your mind? Never having a body of my own out of fear that Persephone might find me?”
A body of her own…
Murphy looked away. He still had no fecking clue how to resurrect her ashes and return her to a form of her own. Now was not the time to confess that failure.
Standing, he rounded the table and came to a stop in front of her. Bracketing her face between his palms, Murphy held her gaze. “Hear me now and hear me well, I will die before I let her take you from me.”
It’s been a thousand years since the Fates destroyed Olympus, forcing the gods into exile among the humans. Now, led by Eros, the sons and daughters of the Olympians are preparing for war. They are determined to win their freedom, but the Fates will do anything to keep the status quo. A prophesied weapon—said to be able to destroy the Fates—is sought by both sides. Eros and the resistance want to use it to win their freedom, while the Fates race to find the weapon first and destroy it.
Antara, a hybrid of human and Custodial descent, comes into her ancestral powers as the very Tracker Eros needs to find the weapon. Kidnapped, held hostage and forced to confront the hidden truth about her own heritage, Antara is drawn deeper and deeper into a world she never knew existed. Things would be a lot simpler if she could just hate Eros for bringing her here; if his fate weren’t now bound to her own—and if, despite everything, she didn’t already find herself falling in love with him…
Author Interview with Sharonlee Holder:
What inspired you to write this novel? Where did the idea come from?
A severe case of procrastination leading up to Camp NaNo April 2016 in which I rewatched the movie Immortals starring the delicious Henry Cavill for the umpteenth time.
By the time the credits were rolling my mind was swamped with ‘What ifs?’ and ‘Hows?’ and ‘Whys?’
Why did the gods of Greek and Roman times disappear from the radar over a thousand years ago? What if they were still around and living among us in modern-day society? What would they be up to? What new squabble or disagreement would they now be engaged in? How would romance factor into whatever their situation might be?
One thing led to another and before I knew it, the world of Blood of The Custodians had downloaded into my brainbox with a whole posse of larger-than-life characters clamouring to have their say about the war they were about to engage in.
What is your favourite book of the series?
Hands down, Renegade, book two in the series that released on 28th May. There is just something about the main character, Colin Murphy, that took a hold of me and won’t let go. Especially once I realised the part that he has to play in the series as a whole #spoileralert
Do you have a dream cast for your characters? If so, who?
Absolutely! I even have pinterest boards for the series.
Eros/Ross – Henry Cavill (Those eyes. That hair. That physique! Fans self)
Antara – Claire Paget (Love her willowy look and tough-as-nails can-do attitude)
Murphy – Sam Heughan (No explanation needed. LOL)
Hailey – Camila Mendes (Those gorgeous dark looks totally match with the character’s Portuguese heritage)
Apollo – Chad Kroeger (Front man for Nickelback)
Ares – Clive Owen (He could easily play Henry’s father in a movie)
Diana – Olivia Wilde
Lila – Lucy Liu
Hermes – Tom Hopper (Though the reader doesn’t really get a look at him in Resurgence)
Murphy, Hailey, Ross and Antara – As Resurgence
Mrs Twiggs – Betty White (Peaches and cream grandma type with a battle-axe attitude)
Sergio Ferreira – a slightly younger Robert de Niro (Hailey’s father)
Clotho – Natalie Boltt (Murphy’s birth mother)
Valazhor – There isn’t an actress that fits her natural form.
Hades – Another character for whom I haven’t yet found a fitting comparison
Charon – Jason Statham
Persephone – Charlize Theron (My home girl plays the best villainess. LOL)
Hephaestus – Donald Sutherland
If you could be best friends with one of your characters who would it be and why?
While I love Antara’s feisty, accept-no-bullshit attitude, I absolutely love Hailey’s quirky big heart and quiet strength.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which of your characters would you want with you?
Hmmm. Good question! Probably Murphy since he could at the very least, summon fire for warmth. Not sure if he’d be any good at catching fish for dinner though. Haha.
Did you bond more with a particular character? Who was it and why?
Strangely, Murphy holds my heart. He’s big and he’s scary as hell but I love that he knows that he’s flawed and in his own ham-fisted manner, tries to be what those few close to him need him to be.
What’s your favourite colour?
What’s your favourite food?
What is your typical day like?
All the hamsters running on the wheel at the same time while the squirrels throw nuts at them. LOL.
Ideally, I’m up at 7am and chugging on the elixir of life aka coffee. By 8am I’m almost awake enough to check emails, stats and scan through social media.
If the weather is playing along (which it so often does), I’m at my little table outside of the kitchen door writing by 10am. I do have an office but for some reason my muse appears to prefer my little outdoor nook.
Errands notwithstanding and the muse co-operating (I’m a pantster, can you tell?), I write until 1pm. In the afternoons I’m usually caught up in the hurley-burley of life’s demands. If I’m lucky I’m able to get another hour or two writing in before the evening falls and the family descends.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Ireland. It is the place of my father’s people and that of my heart.
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
I’ve always written. Mostly for my girls while they were growing up, myself or as a member of various online fan fiction groups writing collaboratively in Anne MacCaffrey’s world of the Dragonriders of Pern. It wasn’t until I picked up the first in JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series that I found my true passion – paranormal romance.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
When I’m not trying to catch up on my TBR pile, I love to spend time with my hubby and the motorcycle club he’s a member of as well as enjoying the company of my girls and playing with my adorable granddaughter. Sometimes I potter around the garden. However, aside from cacti and a few hardy roses it turns out that I’m not very good at that.
Hobbies cover anything and everything crafty – Pyrography, knitting, cross-stitch, hand-sewing felt critters, crochet etc.
What are you writing now?
Currently, I’m working on the first novella in a series of shorts that will lead out of one main book and into the other. Short novellas set in the BoTC world that aren’t quite as plot heavy but are just as pertinent to the overall series plot showcasing the romance between a few side characters. It’s a little something extra that I hope my readers will enjoy while I’m working on the main novels in the series.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up! Trust your instincts. Find a tribe aka group of other like-minded writers. Edit, edit, edit! Become Spongebob and soak up everything you can. Read extensively in the category you want to write in. Study the work of the heavy hitters in your genre. Learn from them.
And last but by no means least, beta readers and bloggers are GOLD. Treasure them.
What’s the hardest part about being an author? And the easiest?
It can be a lonely endeavour. Even with a tribe around you, writing is a solitary task. Spending so many hours in your own head can leave you susceptible to all kinds of nasty things like self-doubt and imposter syndrome. That’s when you need to get out those awesome five stars reviews – ignore the bad ones, they’ll only make you feel ugly – step away from your writing station and remind yourself of all that you have achieved.
Marketing falls into this category too. It can be hard and soul-sucking and sometimes appear to yield very little results. Especially for an industry newbie like I was (and still am in so many ways). This is where you need to reach out and network. Sharing truly is caring. Make friends with other authors. Find ways to collaborate and lift each other up.
Kill your darlings. Heavens, I find this so hard to do. I waste far too much time dithering around trying to find a reason to keep what is in my eyes, ‘THE BEST COMPLILATION OF WORDS EVER!’ when in fact, it’s that very sentence or paragraph that has become the sticking point and is clogging the word flow.
Oh goodness! That changes from day to day for me. LOL.
Some days the plot ideas fall out of my head so hard and fast that I find myself in danger of over-complicating things. Other days, a reluctant character will suddenly open up and swamp the page with a stream of consciousness.
Overall though, I would have to say editing. I know most hate it but that’s the point I really love. The book is written and now I get to tighten it up and cut the dross.
How do you handle writers’ block?
Not very well. Is that an answer? Haha.
Seriously though, it drives me insane. I know what I want to write. I know where the story must go and yet, there are days when I can sit in front of my laptop and none of the words want to play nice with each other.
When that happens, I’ll either pick up the book I’m currently reading, catch up with an episode of one of my fave shows on Netflix, or, tackle one of those chores I’ve been putting off doing. When it gets to the latter it’s usually because I think I know better than my muse and trying to force the story in a direction it’s not meant to go.
Have you learned anything from your readers? Or had a response that especially touched you?
That there are some enormously generous and supportive people out there. The very fact that I have any readers let alone readers excitedly waiting for the next book continues to blow me away.
One reader in particular, had my eyeballs sweating when she wrote a review for Resurgence stating that she could fully identify with what Antara was going through as she had gone through a similar crisis of independence versus compromise in the name of love.
Man, that really got me in the feels.
Connect with Sharonlee here:
Thanks for reading!