SC: T ell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
CS: Asha is the main character of Unbalanced. She was born with the power of fire, and her temper is as hot as her element. After a mysterious and deadly fire kills her family, Asha is forced into hiding with her guardian and handler Father Sean. Asha works to control both her crippling guilt and her frightening power. Father Sean sees the potential in young Asha and sends her out on various missions as a trained mercenary with a gift for explosions. Though her personality reflects her element, Asha is an extremely skilled fighter with a sharp military mind. She is tough, serious, and mostly angry. Her passion and temper rule her, but after meeting her sisters for the first time, she changes from angry rebel-mercenary to fierce protector.
SC: . Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
CS: I do believe in the paranormal.
Years ago, a very strange thing happened to me once. I was at a friend’s place for the evening after a long night out of dancing and fun. Her place was a refurbished outbuilding, a makeshift shed transformed into a suite, and she needed a space heater to heat it in the winter. We were both tired from dancing so hard all night, we passed out quite quickly.
The unsettling moment was when I heard someone calling my name. It came from far away at first, like a distant murmur, but it got louder and louder until I recognized the voice. It was the voice of a great love who was killed in a car accident when I was a senior in high school.
His voice continued to get louder like an increasing alarm, until he shouted in my ear, “Courtney, wake up!”
I was startled awake, my heart thumping in my chest. I still felt him in the room, like he had just left the moment I opened my eyes. My heart pounded with that unnatural speed of ‘something huge just happened’ but I didn’t know what. I looked around for him, because still in a sleepy-dream-like-haze I expected him to be there, for his shouted voice still echoed in my ears. But then I realized as my heart slowed, the room was full of smoke.
I’ll never forget the visual of the smoke hovering and collecting in layers in the small room. One of us, probably me, had knocked a decorative pillow off the bed onto the space heater. The cushion was slowly burning, causing the room to fill with smoke.
I still believe, though we may not have burned up or suffocated in that room, my boyfriend was there to warn me. And when he wasn’t able to wake me up easily, he had to shout in my ear.
SC: Whew! Sounds like your friend arrived just in time. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
CS: Unbalanced is the first book in the Unbalanced Series, and I am currently working on Unbent the second book in the series. Unbalanced deals with Asha, the fire element’s story, while Unbent deals with Mere, the water element’s story.
SC: Thanks so much for stopping by. Speaking of Asha, let's look at your novel now.
Genre: Urban fantasy, light romance
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: June 1st, 2015
Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 75,000
Cover Artist: Trisha FitzGerald
Tagline: Four sister, one destiny.
Every generation four sisters with power over earth, air, fire, and water are born to fight against a fanatical, secret faith. The Order exists only to sacrifice the sisters for their power. With each success their strength and control grows. They have never failed, for their rule depends on it.
The sisters, separated at birth, are unaware of what hunts them...but they are coming.
A handsome stranger discovers Asha in hiding, and swears allegiance to her cause. She falls for him; though he is not who he says he is. Betrayed and imprisoned inside the Order, Asha is without her power for the first time in her life.
As the war heats up haunting secrets and true motivations are revealed, but the sisters must unite and override their instincts and trust the untrustworthy if they are to fight their terrifying destiny.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/1YMFi48_zIA
With a crack and rumble, the ground surrounding the cabin broke apart and water burst from the earth. It sprayed as strong as any fire hose up and over the cabin. The pounding force was like a waterfall in reverse, and the flames sputtered and died.
She had never seen anything like it, an enormous water fountain extinguishing fire burning that hot. The cabin door, charred and still smoking, flew off its hinges and onto the flooded grass.
Three figures ran out into the early morning glare. Asha took off her helmet and slouchy hood, but her eyes weren’t playing tricks. She could see them clearly, even across the distance, and her stomach dropped. They stopped short, facing an army with guns raised. No.
“Stop!” Her scream was too late; the soldiers fired. She didn’t have time to act; they were sitting ducks. She prepared for their thrashing bodies, but like a swarm of hovering locusts, the bullets stopped in mid-air and dropped.
What? She couldn’t get her mind around the scene unfolding before her. She’d lost control of her body. Her muscles wouldn’t move.
“Hold your fire,” Clay shouted, but the soldiers continued shooting.
His brothers were the only ones not attacking. They had to be as shocked by the falling bullets as she was. She couldn’t blame them. She was as still and as useless as a rock, unable to move or act, only watch in growing disbelief. Three young women stood against an army.
“Asha,” yelled one of the girls, her eyes were even brighter green than Clay’s. “We’re your sisters. We’ve been looking for you.”
About the Author:
Courtney Shepard is a freelance writer living on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. After initially studying for a career in journalism, she switched to fiction writing.
Unbalanced is the first book in the Unbalanced Series published by Champagne Books.