Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Guest Post and Interview: The Ancients of Light Series by Heather Fleener


Chosen (Ancient of Lights #1)
In the beginning...there were Vampire

Man's fall from grace sparked the birth of the Dark creatures from the underworld. To counter the explicit threat to mankind, divinely-created immortals were brought forth. The Witch encompassed seven Castes of power; their magic was most effective against the nefarious agenda pursued by the evil ones.

She is Chosen

Kaitriana's gift of magic is unrivaled. A descendant of the most powerful Ancient in existence, her birth was foretold ages before her time. Destined to lead the Witch faction, she is betrayed by her own kind, destroying her birthright and all hope of delivering the Realm from the sinister shadow of the Ancient Dark.

He is the Key

Lorcan is a mighty warlord in the Vampire species. His animosity towards the magical immortals is personal - his mother was their Queen. Having long since severed all ties with his former kin, his existence remains plagued by the repercussions of her treachery and a secret that threatens to be his downfall.

They are the Prophecy

An arcane prophecy from the time of the Ancients proclaims that only two in all of creation can bring peace to the Realm. When Kaitriana miraculously appears seeking his protection, Lorcan must forsake his duty and disregard the dictates of his breed to shelter the female. Together they must combat the Ancient Dark and surmount the forces within their own factions that would oppose the Prophecy. Their fates have always been entwined and only when joined can they triumph over a blood feud that has shadowed the Light for millennia.
Forsaken (Ancients of Light #2)
The Prophecy Will Be Fulfilled... Ancients were created in the beginning of the age of man. The Vampire were birthed by the underworld after mankind’s fall from grace to destroy what remained of God’s people. This threat to Creation was countered with divinely-breathed immortals. The Witch were most effective against the nefarious agenda pursued by the evil ones. An arcane Prophecy proclaims that the divine purpose of the Ancients of Light will be fulfilled, beginning with the rise of the Chosen. Now the Queens will join her…

Fire is her Destiny...
Ella long ago determined she would not live a life where magic defined her. Feeling no kinship with her Caste, she walked away from the Realm and its conflicts. She found acceptance and fulfillment in her life amongst the mortals and is on the brink of achieving her dreams.

Darkness is His Curse...
Nicholas is the most revered warrior in the Darks’ army. His personal animosity towards the Light drives his existence and draws him to the one Witch he is set on controlling. Nicholas knows the reasons that Ella never found acceptance within the Fire Caste of Witch and he will use that knowledge to pursue his Dark agenda.

When Light and Dark Collide...
Despite her origins, Nicholas discovers more in Ella than just a powerful Fire Witch, leading him beyond the Dark evil that has plagued him for eight centuries. Ella disregards the inherent calling of her breed for the only true belonging she has ever experienced, the love she finds with her Dark Vampire. The beginning of the very Prophecy that will save the Light tears the pair apart and the fallout threatens their existence. When two of the most powerful immortals on opposite sides of Realm collide in divinely-inspired fate, neither will escape unscathed. Only when the Forsaken finds grace will Ella and Nicholas be able to fulfill the destiny that has always been meant for them.

Broken (Ancients of Light #3)
The Light’s Duty to Protect
A war over the fate of mankind sparked the creation of the Ancients - Light and Dark - one divinely-created guardians, the other hell-spawned killers. The conflict raged within the Realm for millennia, neither faction triumphant in its purpose. In recent history the Darks have adopted a more surreptitious path - the boom of technology allowing the Dark One to insinuate himself into the midst of those he would most like to destroy. Tragic consequences result when the Ancients of Light pursue the Darkness into the Outer Realm. The Prophecy continues…

Darkness Claimed Her Soul
The adversity of Kylie’s youth forged an indomitable spirit. A vibrant and strong woman determined to plot the course of her life with room for nothing beyond the next measure of success, Kylie believed in only herself, and most certainly neither destiny nor love. All those tenants were derailed with a single encounter, but the same man that tempted her to live again drew her into the middle of an aged war, the consequence being her own destruction, plummeting her into a hellish existence.

A Warrior Haunted by His Failure
Sayer’s mission was only to foil the latest plan of the Darks in the Outer Realm and return a few Vampire to Hell. Finding a perfect mortal that tempted him beyond all reason was an unforeseen complication. Just when Sayer realizes that his eternity is meant for one alone, Kylie is destroyed by the Darks and the loss drives him to the pits of despair, revealing events of the past that would remain forgotten.

Tragedy will Reveal Those of Divine Purpose
Sayer’s appearance in her life was the catalyst to fulfilling a destiny that has existed since Kylie’s creation. Their fate thwarted by Darkness, both shattered by tragedy, Kylie and Sayer must return to the love that once was while finding absolution and seeking forgiveness or perish apart. Only once all that was broken is returned to unblemished will God’s own Warriors rise.

The beginning of the beginning…

About the Author 

Heather Fleener lives in Indiana with her husband, D.A. and their twins, Thomas and Alexandra. Professionally she has spent her career working in the area of Intellectual Property law. Reading has been a passion of hers since she was young and she has adored romance novels her entire life. The romantic styles of Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood are her inspiration, though she has read and loved the stories of countless other authors. Her fascination with the paranormal began to form at the young age of six, watching late-night ghost and vampire movies with her Grandpa. Unfortunately, as a result, she also remains afraid of the dark to this day. Combining her love of epic romances and the supernatural was a natural progression for her overactive imagination. When the idea for the Ancients of Light series began, it was an abstract story line rambling around in her head to help kill a few miles on the treadmill. As the stories and plotlines continued to grow, it finally became necessary to put the words to paper and build the characters that had been living in the Realm and having conversations in her head for months. The series is a testament to many miles on the treadmill and lots of characters that insist on having their stories told. 

2013 – My Year of Recycling

Those of you that read Aly’s initial review of Chosen and my exchanged comments with her know that I have a particular fondness for Aly and her style. She made my list of most favorite reviews which makes it even more awesome that she allowed me to take up some more space on her blog. Thank you, Aly. XO

2014 will be a milestone year for me – and I am not speaking in terms of my author life. In a few short weeks I will celebrate my 40th birthday and like so many others, I have no idea how I got here. The girl in my head insists she is twenty-something and my body might admit to being thirty - if pushed. But, while 2014 may bring a milestone, 2013 was positively MONUMENTAL and will most likely always eclipse the big 4-0 year of 2014.

The success of the Ancients of Light series has been an amazing blessing, but I consider 2013 monumental because it was the year I redefined myself - my goals, my life in general – I recycled me. Do you ever look back and wonder how you got here? And by here, I do not mean at a milestone age like I am facing, but here, at your current circumstance, the daily life you plod through. At 38, I was seriously beginning to wonder who I had become – because there was a lot I did not like about her and the course of my life.

My career defined me - even more than my children, my family, my relationship with God – my career was my identity. The next raise, the next promotion, the next accolade…ugh. When I was little, I wanted to be Wonder Woman…instead I had become something that was not remotely wonderful. Who was this Heather? Where was my sparkle? By 38, I had left all glitter and dreams in the past.

The worst part is that when we define ourselves by something that is not within our control, we are setting ourselves up to take a big tumble…one that will leave you a bloodied mess, hunched over in defeat at the bottom of the hill you so desperately scrambled up all your life. My shove off that precipice came in the form of losing my position…it was eliminated, outsourced, downsized. Whatever big word you want to use to make it sound less harsh – I was 38 and jobless for the first time ever in my career.

I will share a very personal experience here - I had been talking to God for months about my desperation to change where I was and what I had become. I had asked so many times for help to return to being the person I had once been…the one from my youth that was so much better than this Heather. My last talk with Him had been (no exaggeration) that very morning as I sat at my desk on the day I was handed my severance package. Afterwards, one of my colleagues commented on my lack of upset at the news and I remember explaining that I had asked for exactly what had happened…but that God sometimes answers prayers in ways we do not expect. I had anticipated a new position – not unemployment. Despite that I had asked for it, I can tell you that I was not really ready when He shoved me none too gently out the door I had been begging Him to open. Whoops!

I was insecure, demoralized, and scared…BUT there was a trail of glitter right outside the door I had been unceremoniously pushed through! In the two months leading up to that moment, I had begun writing Chosen. I had not fully realized (much less acknowledged) that in those times already when I had shed the career-persona-Heather and stepped into the Realm, my life had started to change. My relationships, my outlook, my perspective…everything.

With my husband’s support, I made the decision to follow that sparkle for a while, to step away from my career entirely. In those six months, I completed Chosen and the first draft of Forsaken, and I found a MOUNTAIN of glitter. It had my name on it. MY NAME – not career-persona-Heather, but the girl that had dreamed of being a superhero, the one that adored sparkle.

When I returned to working (two days after publishing Chosen – eerie timing, right?), the career-persona-Heather was not allowed to resurface. Today I still remain the Recycled-version of me. My career no longer defines me and no longer dictates my happiness. Outside of work, I do not really care to talk about my job. I am committed to doing good work for my employer, but my personal satisfaction is not wrapped up in that. My relationships and the people comprising my world are the source of my joy - I am a wife, mother, an author, a believer in God and the girl that will always look for sparkle. My personal fulfillment comes from my writing and the amazing people that have become part of my world because of that.

If you want to know about climbing the corporate ladder – bah, boring stuff –however, if you want to talk about glitter, I am your girl…

2013 was monumental because as I found myself on this wonderful adventure that has allowed me to connect with all of you, I also reclaimed ME. As we turn towards 2014, I encourage you to find something in your life that recycles you and helps you find that inner-sparkle that you may have left behind at one time. I pray that you will find your own trail of glitter, leading to happiness and all the contentment that comes along with it.

Wishing you all the best in 2014! XOXO ~ Heather


  1. What is your favorite thing about writing and why?
  2. I love that I can get lost in the story. Creating these characters and the Realm has given me a creative outlet that I have lacked. I love that I can take a break from the world and slip into the Realm. It recharges me. I have redefined myself because of my writing – because I have found something that I enjoy, that I am able to share with others, and it has made me incredibly content with life. That is something I was lacking, something I had missed along the way in my life prior to writing.  The fact that my play time with my imaginary friends is totally legitimized because I publish stories about them is a bonus.  Writing the series and then seeing people that read the books connect with these characters in the exact same way that I do is amazing…and humbling.
  3. What made you choose to write for this genre?
  4. From the time I was a child, I adored superheroes, and Wonder Woman was my favorite. For that reason, I think I have always gravitated towards females that are strong – physically, mentally.  Add to that a love of horror movies – particularly Vampire movies – from the time I was very young, and the two together naturally leave me with an inclination towards the supernatural/paranormal worlds. The funny thing is that I read very little in paranormal romance – I am a fan of Kresley Cole and Lara Adrian - but my preference has always been historical romance.  My love of Alpha males came from fantastic Scottish Lairds and English lords written by Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood. I am able to bring my fondness for these things into my series by having Ancient characters – the books really tie together all these elements for me.
  5. Do you have a simple writing spot where everyone knows to leave you alone?
  6. I have an office, but if I sneak up to my bedroom in the evening, the humans in the house leave me be – the dogs consider this bonus snuggle time. I like to sit in my bed with my laptop and type.  I know that paints a totally unprofessional picture of my writing style, but I sit in my home office all day long for my job and writing really is my relaxation. I do my best writing when I am most comfortable. 
  7. Out of all 3 books covers what one is your favorite?
Ack!!  That is like asking a Mom to pick her favorite child!  If you twist my arm…I would probably say Forsaken is my favorite so far. I love the way the entire cover came together. I had picked that background out months before I knew what model I would use - I just loved the detail and the colors – it was just perfect for Ella.  I also have to say that I love the background for the Broken cover and I wish more of the detail was obvious – it is really beautiful. I have been working on selecting the background and model for the cover for Mistaken, so I may have a different answer in a few months with regards to which is my favorite.
  1. Which book did you enjoy writing and why?
I have enjoyed writing all three, for different reasons.  Chosen is like my first born - I adore Lorcan and Kat and their story. They were the beginning of everything and it may always be my favorite to because Kat is everything that I could have imagined in a heroine (and her continued growth and progression through the series is so much fun – I love writing about her quirks).  With Forsaken, there was so much heat between Nicholas and Ella – I love their chemistry and the fact that Nicholas was a bad bad boy.  With Broken, I really enjoyed digging deeper into the Prophecy and the stories that will follow. There was so much foreshadowing in Broken, pulling together the elements that are going to be so important as the series continues to develop.  I also have a real liking for Sayer – even though he is not quite the Alpha that Lorcan and Nicholas are – his intellect is what I find appealing in him…and Kylie is just wicked awesome. Sayer is the perfect balance for her, and you will see more of that too as the series progresses.
  1. Is there anything about writing that you don't enjoy or least like? ( ie; editing, re-reads, etc.)
  2. It is more a quirk of mine than anything – I am the never-ending editor. I would love to read my own books, but every time I begin I pick them apart.  Kind of like actors that cannot watch themselves on t.v. – I have yet to find a happy balance where I don’t over analyze or over criticize my own work when I read.  I usually do a round or two of re-writes after I complete the rough draft and then 2 – 3 rounds of edits before I send them off to my Betas. I can handle all those re-reads during the editing process, but I have not yet found a comfort zone in reading my own finished work.  I have just found a wonderful editor that I am working with now on my books and I am hoping that once she does her final polishing it will help me get to a place where I can read my books – because I really do love these characters and their stories. 
  3. What do you prefer to read from an actual book or ereader?
  4. I love print books– I became something of a book hoarder as a child. Most months my grandmother would buy my sister and I each at least a few books, so by the time we were teens we had many hundreds of novels between us.
    My husband bought me an eReader as a birthday gift four years ago – and it took about a year before I really began using it a lot.  I have really grown to appreciate the instant download of material though and not having to find time to run into a bookstore and hope they have the next book I am looking to read. I also love the portability. I can hoard books by the hundreds there as well, but there is something not quite the same as having stacks of them tucked away…everywhere.      
Last 3 questions are just for fun kinda goofy just to get to know ya more ( you don't have to answer if you don't want to)
  1. What's your favorite food?
  2. If I had to choose one type, I would say Italian.  If I had to eat Italian food forever though, I would hope it would be served with wine and followed by some sort of baked chocolate goodness and coffee. 
  1. What place would you like to travel to?
  2. I really want to visit Scotland. I have always been fascinated by the tales of the Highlanders, the history, and I want to see the castles.  It appears to be such a gorgeous place – it is definitely on my list of things to do one day.
  1. What's you favorite color? Mine's black and green..
  2. I love black. Seriously.  BUT - I also love sparkle…I know that isn’t a color, but I really adore sparkle.