Hopeless he'll never be more than the boy who didn't save his brother, 17-year-old Avikar accepts his life as the family stable boy, trying to forget the past. But when his sister, Jeslyn, is kidnapped, the thought of losing another sibling catapults him on a desperate quest. With his best friend by his side, and using the tracking skills he learned from his father, he discovers Jeslyn has been taken, kidnapped by one Lucino, the young lord of Daath, a mystical place thought only to exist in fables.
And Lucino has plans for Jeslyn.
His shape-shifting brethren feed off the auras of humans, and Jeslyn's golden hue is exactly what Lucino needs to increase his power. The longer it takes Avikar to reach her, the more entranced she becomes with Lucino's world, and the harder it will be for Avikar to set her free.
He failed his family once. He won't fail again.
So many things inspired Broken Forest, but there are a few specifics that sparked the creative setting.
About eight years ago, my husband went to Spain with his art class. When his camera broke, he decided to paint everything he saw in watercolor. When I saw one of his pieces, I fell in love. Unfortunately, we don’t have one handy, but here’s where HIS inspiration came from.
This is Casa Batllo in Barcelona Spain, designed by the insanely talented Gaudi. I loved the architecture. It reminded me of gingerbread houses and I knew I had to use it for a setting in the book. Here’s an excerpt:
Derrick and I headed towards the crowded market. The air smelled of fresh bread, reminding me of home. Houses made of green and orange mosaics with curved archways and round windows loomed on each side of the cobblestone street. Roofs resembling dragon scales created a unique architecture.
While we walked, I rolled one of my marbles in my hand. I didn’t trust anyone and this place seemed so otherworldly. Every townsfolk seemed either strong and tall, or lithe and beautiful. Women dressed in bright colors, filled the street. I’d never seen so much color in one place. I caught the sight of a girl with mesmerizing green eyes. Derrick said something, but I was locked in her hypnotic gaze and voluptuous chest.
I’ve always loved masquerades. There’s something mysterious and exciting about wearing masks and dressing in beautiful gowns. If you’ve ever seen the movie Labyrinth (if not, you really should), you might recognize this scene. The masquerade ball in Broken Forest was my favorite scene to write. Here’s an excerpt:
In my silver shoes, I stepped on the sparkling marble and walked through the parted guests. At the end of the line, I saw Lucino. My heart fluttered. His pants and shirt were the color of midnight, and a long scarlet cape draped his back. He wore an ivory mask that covered almost every part of his face, except his mouth, eyes and left cheek. His sapphire eyes blazed from the two holes. No man could ever look as regal, as daring.
Avikar’s horse is named Brushfire. This picture is exactly how I imagined her. I’ll let the excerpt tell the rest.
The wagons surrounded the site in a semi-circle. Sweat pooled in my palms. I had to take out the guards closest to that entrance. If I failed, so did the mission.
Get a grip.
I clenched the arrow in my right hand. Brushfire shifted nervously, sensing my fear. I rubbed her neck. I felt safer with her. She’d been with me since Jimri’s death. At night when the nightmares taunted me, I’d sneak out, riding until dawn forced us home. I’d rescued her from the burning woods, she’d rescued me from despair—Today, I prayed both of us would make it out alive.
Eliza Tilton is the author of the YA Fantasy, Broken Forest, published by Curiosity Quills Press. You can find her blogging about video games and writing on her blog and doing bi-weekly posts on author media over at YAStands.
She graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull. Twitter / Tumblr / Website / Pinterest / Facebook