Book Review: Blood Debt by Nancy Straight

November 15, 2012 Uncategorized 1

  • Review: Blood Debt
  • Series: Touched #1
  • Author: Nancy Straight
  • No of Pages: 194
  • Release Date: July 15th 2012 by CreateSpace

Synopsis:

Her whole life, it had just been the two of them. Before her mother’s last breath, she gave Camille the information she had craved her entire life: the identity of her father. Daring to contact him, Camille was welcomed by an entire family she never knew existed. But nothing comes without a price, as she discovers when her family claims a legendary heritage tracing back to a centaur touched by Zeus.

As she learns the secrets of her Centaur bloodline, she is drawn into a forbidden love with Drake. Her life may be the blood debt required to pay for her mother’s transgressions. The same person who once held her mother captive, and forced her into decades of hiding, now controls Camille. Her only chance is to seek a piece of her mother’s past that will win her freedom and the life she desperately wants.

Interview with Nancy Straight:

Thank you so much for doing this interview for My Seryniti.  I just finished The Blood Debt and was IN LOVE with every word.

It’s my pleasure to be here today, Nova!  Thank you so much for signing up for the Blood Debt tour and I’m THRILLED that you enjoyed it!!

Nova:  How did this start for you? Image, Idea, Dream?

Nancy:  The Touched Series is my second series.  My first series (Destiny) was a story in my head screaming to get out, this one (Touched Series) was a story I wanted to write.  That sounds odd, doesn’t it?  Blood Debt started with the idea that I wanted to write a compelling love story without any “bad boys.”  There are bad characters, every story needs a villain, but none are love interests.  That’s not to say that the characters don’t have their share of misfortune, but each character’s personality in Blood Debt is relatable to many of my own friends. 

Nova:  Did you have any growing pains with The Blood Debt?

Nancy:  I love Blood Debt.  I grow as a writer each time I publish a new novel, but so far nothing has been painful!  LOL!

Nova:  I know about Centaurs mainly from my times watching Xena 😀 how did you come up with such a great and very different concept of them?

Nancy:  I had a vague idea of a society I wanted formed and I could see Camille and Drake clearly in my head.  Why Centaurs?  I wanted a character that readers might find refreshing.  Don’t get me wrong I love the Paranormal Romance genre:  Vampires, Werewolves, Shape-shifters, Angles, Demons, etc but I wanted something that was different for this series. 

Nova:  How would you most like readers to respond?

Nancy:  Um. . .to buy the book?  Was that a trick question?  LOL!  Seriously, I do very little marketing.  I hope the readers who are moved by Blood Debt’s story will tell their friends how much they enjoyed it.  The success of my first series is because a handful of bloggers and a few thousand readers loved it.  I hope the Touched Series burrows into people’s hearts the same way.

Nova:  I fell in love with Camille but she tends to be overly strong also, is that how you wanted her portrayed?

Nancy:  YES!!!  My closest girlfriends are strong, intelligent, independent women.  Some of my readers are young adults and teenagers; I want these girls to know its okay to make your own decisions and your own mistakes, it’s okay to be a strong woman.  Camille isn’t perfect, but she is in charge of her own life and even when others try to make decisions for her with the best of intensions, she makes it clear that those are her decisions to make.

Nova:  I also love her brothers! How did you come up with the five brother’s names?

Nancy:  That was my attempt to make the story easier on the reader.  Blood Debt has more characters than most novels, and as a reader, that can become confusing when points of view change in a story.  By giving them all names that start with the letter “B,” readers can quickly discern how they relate to Cami.  The brothers are Brent, Ben, Bruce, Bart, and Beau.  Each of the books in the Touched Series will have a parallel story with one of her brothers and their struggles as a Centaur.

Nova:  There is quite a bit of mythology in this story. Did you have to do hours of research?

Nancy:  OMG, YES!!  On the internet, at my local library, I even chatted with a college professor on-line to make sure my story line fit well with the existing Greek and Roman Mythology.  It was a subject that before I began my research, I didn’t know how much I didn’t know!   

Nova:  The cover threw me off a little bit. Was there a reason to go with the image of Camille instead of more a “Blood Debt” appeal?

Nancy:  Would you believe I chose Camille’s picture before I began writing?  I wanted her to be beautiful, but her ethnicity not easily discernible so the readers could see her and say, “Wow, that could be me.”  The stars over her shoulder are the constellation, Sagittarius.  For anyone who hasn’t yet read Blood Debt, Sagittarius was a Centaur named Chiron and Camille is his last female descendant.  The cover is supposed to represent Chiron watching over Camille. 

Nova:  What are you reading right now?

Nancy: Flightless Bird by Paulina Ulrich, but I’ve just started it.  I met Paulina on twitter and think she’s awesome, I’m excited to delve into her book.

Nova:  Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

Nancy: YES!! Shelly Crane, Amy Bartol, Christie Rich, Shannon Dermott, Rachel Higginson and Charlotte Abel are all amazing story tellers.  And as much as I enjoyed their books, I sent tweets to each one blaming them for the big ugly circles under my eyes while I was reading them!

Nova:  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Nancy:  I have two fantastic sons, three rotten dogs, a husband who I adore, a full-time job, and some of the coolest friends on the planet.  All I can say is THANK GOODNESS FOR DVR(s)! 

Nova:  Have you always wanted to be an author?

Nancy: I had always wondered if I could write a novel, but I only recently began to picture myself as an author. 

Nova:  How did you break into the industry?

Nancy:  I’m proudly self-published so the barriers carefully constructed to keep authors out were not even a speed bump for me.  I’ve done remarkably little marketing, readers are by far the best advertising and I’ve been blessed by kind-hearted readers who have recommended my books to their friends.

Nova: What is your writing style? Do you create outlines for your writing or do you just sit and type away?

Nancy:  I start with a vague outline, but rarely follow it.  Once the characters find their voice, I just let them tell the story.

Nova:  Do you listen to music while writing?

Nancy: Rarely.  I prefer to write in the quiet either after everyone has gone to bed or before they wake up, but I’m a mom, so I can tune out almost anything. 

Nova: What is your next project? What have you been working on recently?

Nancy:  Blood Debt’s sequel, Centaur Legacy, will be published this weekend and I am already working on the third in the series. 

Nova:  Now for the silly questions! Hang on to your hat! 🙂  In The Blood Debt did you have a favorite character?

Nancy:  I loved them all, well, maybe not Zandra.  Daniel was by far the most fun to write.  Camille was a fabulous heroine, and Drake?  Yeah, I totally love Drake.

Nova:  Favorite scene?

Nancy:  The yacht scene.

Nova: Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Nancy:  Saturday afternoon naps!!

Nova: What is your favorite word?

Nancy: Wicked

Nova: What is your least favorite word?

Nancy: the verb to lay and all of its forms!! – lay, lie, lain, laid  I keep a “cheat sheet” by my laptop!

Nova:  Do you talk to your characters?

Nancy:  Did they say I did?  🙂

Nova:  What sound do you love?

Nancy:  The sound of eggs cooking while I’m sitting on the couch.

Nova:  What sound do you hate?

Nancy: My son’s voice asking, “Do we have any clean spoons?”

Nova: What’s your favorite time of year?

Nancy: SUMMERTIME

Thank you so much for taking the time to indulge my curiosity!  I really had fun reading The Blood Debt and cannot wait to get my hands onto Centaur Legacy to find out what happens next!!

Nova, it was my pleasure to be here.  Thank you so much for reading Blood Debt and sharing your opinion with the world!  You are a gem!

My thoughts:

This is an amazing book. I picked it up with a bit of trepidation really because although the synopsis is fantastic, to be honest the cover hit me as kind of weird. For a name like Blood Debt I couldn’t understand why a pretty girl was on the cover. But I have to say I’m ecstatic that I didn’t hesitate because this is an awesome story.

The characters are amazing, although I found Camille to be a little tougher than necessary sometimes. I mean she just outright threatens someone’s life and although I know she grew up in the city, that’s just not normal! But other than her sometimes glaring harshness I could understand her not understand and some real mistakes she makes in her new life. It’s such a dramatic change to change meet someone’s father for the first time but then to be told you have powers AND you’re a freaking centaur! Unreal!

The other characters really do a lovely job of helping Camille to adjust to her new life and I really enjoyed reading about her brothers the most. You think with names like Brent, Bart, Bruce, Ben and Beau that they would sort of blend together but that family is a force to be reckoned with! Gretchen is absolutely amazing, as is will but my favorite of the entire cast is Bianca. She just seems so gracious and endearing. She’s a lovely person and really is there for Camille. Well it’s a toss up between her and Daniel. Both are great!

The plot was hands down amazing. I could not stop reading it. And you would think with so many diverse characters that the plot might get muddled a bit, but not once did it slow down. The villain is dastardly and it’s amazing how this all comes about. There’s even one part where I swear my heart stopped!

If you’re into the paranormal this is definitely a great book. Even if you’re just into contemporary with a paranormal twist. This book has something about it that so many others out there do not.

About the author:

Nancy was born in Sioux City Iowa, left the cold of the Midwest in 1991 and only returns to see family in the summer time. She spent ten years traveling the world as a US Marine and settled in rural SC.  She has two fantastic son, three rotten dogs and an amazing husband.  When not writing she enjoys RVing with her family, swimming and reading all types of romance genres.  Her favorite is paranormal romance.

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