Indie Book Review: Tournament of Hearts

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Review:

This book is so much fun! A medieval village, isolated by forests, mountains, and myth, terrorised by flying gargoyle-like monsters. A plot that deals with vengeful gods with a prophecy and a freakin’ Hunger Games-style tournament thrown into the mix. Characters that are funny, unique, and enthralling.  I. Was. In. Heaven.

There was never a boring moment in this book. From when Neven was thrown from one weird situation to the next and he gathered the strength to grapple for control of his density, I was hooked all the way through. Neven was a protagonist I could believe in, and I can’t wait to see what he does in the next books.

If you like anything to do with light medieval-fantasy, you’ll enjoy this book. This is one of those cases where, superficially, it seems like you’ve seen it before. But this story is so well done, it’s taking the things I already love and making me love them all over again.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Amazon buy link.

Smashwords buy link.

Author goodreads page.

Tournament of Hearts, by Dustin Bilyk (The Librarian Gladiator #1)

Book Length: 472 pages

Medieval Fantasy (Young Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Hamelin, a town separated from the rest of the world, has a deadly problem. Fierce, flying beasts ravage the countryside and cull the sparse human population, forcing the majority of Hamelin’s citizens to live within the safety of her boundaries for fear of being snatched away and torn into pieces. With no help in sight, the Town Council look to their gods for salvation and unearth a chilling answer to their problems.

The Tournament of Hearts – a much-celebrated, barbaric event that pits four gladiators against each other in deadly combat. Winning The Tournament brings rich rewards, fame and glory for one’s bloodline. Losing, however, results in a deadly trip to the Sacrificial Altar for you and all of those who share your blood: man, woman and child. The sacrifice is said to be a blood offering to the gods in payment for reprieve – a necessary evil for the greater good of all.

Neven Fairchild, adolescent town historian and librarian, is chosen by random draw to fight for the survival of his bloodline. Utterly inept at doing much other than reading and writing his histories, Neven must find the courage deep within himself to defeat his stronger opponents, for he discovers that much more than the lives of those he loves hangs in the balance. An evil lurks, waiting for its moment to deliver the death blow, and Neven is all that stands in its way, whether he likes it or not.

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Book Series Blast: the Flawed Series

A Short Story Companion to the Flawed Series

Today is the release for Constricted, a brand new short story related to Becca J. Campbell’s Flawed series. This story coincides with the events in Empath (Flawed #1), and takes place in Logan’s point of view. You’ll need to read Empath first to thoroughly enjoy this story.

If you haven’t already, download a free copy of Empath (links below). Read on to find out more about Constricted.

Constricted (A Flawed Short Story)

Constricted_CVR_SMLLogan’s secret has been exposed. When Jade—a beautiful student at the college where he teaches—discovered the truth, he spilled the whole repulsive story. Jade’s empathetic kindness flooded him with emotions he didn’t know he had and isn’t sure he wants to deal with.

It would be the easiest thing in the world to leave and let Jade be a whisper in his past. He can exit now and regain his anonymity, or he can risk everything to stay and face her again.

It’s not an easy choice, and when he’s about to decide, a woman from his past shows up, making his decision even more difficult.

What really happened when Logan disappeared during Empath? Find out in this short story companion piece to Flawed #1.

Get your copy now:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

iBooks | Kobo

Get Empath for Free

Empath eBook cover WEBSupernatural empathy isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. Anywhere she goes, Jade’s emotions are replaced by those of the people around her.

Jade grew up in a suburb of Colorado Springs, protected from other people by her parents. Now she faces college—and the world—with nothing to shield her from unwanted feelings.

When Cam, a classmate with a major crush on her, unintentionally hijacks her emotions, Jade struggles to keep from being carried away in feelings of attraction. When Ethan, a psychopath with a thirst for fear, fixates on her, the emotional impact could be lethal.

Caught in a deadly trap, Jade must untangle the emotions and find a way to use her empathic curse to overcome this killer or be overcome by him.

Empath is now FREE on most sales channels.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

More About Becca J. Campbell

IMG_9824 BW smallBecca J. Campbell writes New Adult (twenty-somethings) fiction that varies from Urban Fantasy to Thriller to Science Fiction. Her stories typically blend a taste of the fantastical with real-world settings and add a dash of romance for good measure.

She’s always looking for a great speculative fiction read, and she holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity.

Becca is also the co-creator of JuNoWriMo.com, where you can join a vibrant community and write a novel during June.

To join Becca’s writing journey and be notified when her next book is released, sign up for her author newsletter.

Connect Online:

Author Blog | Amazon | Goodreads
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Google +

 

Book Series Blast: The Vargr Clan

I reviewed the first book in this series here, and with the third and final book in the trilogy newly released, a book series blast was in order!

Clicking on each book will take you to its amazon page:

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The following is an excerpt from the first book, The Wolf You Feed:

The fire roared in the center of the clearing, taking the chill out of the December air. Fur boots kept out the snow, while woolen blankets draped across knees ensured shivers were kept at bay. Tore joked with his friends as they shared sodas and wild tales. They fell silent, their eyes flicking to someone behind him. Tore turned. A tall elegant girl smiled at him. His friends forgotten, he found himself staring.

She asked if she could sit. Embarrassed and tongue tied, he shifted along the log to make room for her. Eavesdropping, he heard her friend call her Annike and he locked the information into his heart.

Almost immediately, Tore found himself captivated by her mouth. When her lips pursed in thought, he wondered what it would be like to kiss them. When she smiled, they curled up at the corners, creating pretty dimples in both her cheeks. As Annike ran her pink tongue across her bottom lip, he fantasized about their taste. When she caught her top one with her teeth, his breath caught in his throat.

They found themselves cocooned on the log, their friends having migrated to the barbecue pit. The soft glow of the fire lit up her face. Tore popped the cap on a soda, “You thirsty?”

She reached for the bottle, her fingers touching his. Moments later he blushed, realizing he still held it and was staring at her. Muttering an apology, he looked away. She laughed, placed the glass between her lips before offering it back. Tore put his own to the bottle, his heart skipping at the thought of her mouth having touched the same place.

“You’re Tore aren’t you?” It surprised him that she knew his name. “Annike.” She stretched out her hand. A tingle of excitement raced through him as skin slid across skin. “This is the first time I’ve been to one of these.” She waved her free hand at the partygoers. “I’m only halfway through my transition,” she explained.

Tore continued to hold her hand. “Thought I hadn’t seen you here before, I’ve just about finished mine. I turn eighteen this month.” He cursed himself. Was that all he could think of to say? Any minute now, she’d walk away and find someone more interesting to talk to. Think, Tore. Say something cool. “You…um…want to go for a walk?” Oh great, now why would you ask her that?

“Sure, I’d love to.” She stood folding the blanket that had been across her lap.

Oh, she does! Tore jumped to his feet slopping the soda, splashing her pant legs with fizzy orangeade. “Oh, I’m sorry…” He knelt down and used the sleeve of his sweater to wipe her legs. She was giggling. He blushed as he noticed the wet orange stains on the cream wool.

Damn, he sure was making a great impression.

“You ready?” She nodded towards the trees.

“Sure.”

She led the way through the crowds of other youths. Tore put his hand to the small of her back, not wanting to lose contact for a second.

As they walked through the woods, she slid her hand into his. “I saw you hunt yesterday.”

She did?

Her hand felt warm and soft in his and he squeezed it tighter.

“I was by the out crop. Watched your wolf come across the fields. You’re fast.”

 “It was my first solo hunt. That doe almost got away from me.” Why did he say that? He should have shrugged it off, said he’d caught loads. Now she’d think he was a loser.

“It did? That must have felt good bringing her down, then. Haven’t tried it yet. I don’t have a clue how to read my instincts.”

“I could take you out. We could try something small together. I’ll talk you through it. Erik did that with me a few times before I went solo.”

“Would you? I’d like that.” She was breathless when she spoke. He wondered if she meant it, but her eyes were sincere. A burst of electricity shot through him, she meant it.

They stopped by the river and lent against a boulder to keep out of the wind. Her golden hair shone in the moonlight. Tore was again tongue-tied but she rescued him with a question about his studies. They chatted as they skimmed pebbles across the water’s surface.

“You’re not how I imagined,” she looked sideways, giving him another of her dimpled smiles.

“How long have you been thinking about me then?”

Now she blushed. She skipped another stone, “The others talk, tell stories.”

“They do? What do they say?”

“That you’re cocky. Have lots of human girlfriends. Stuff like that.”

For some reason, he hated that she’d heard that. “It’s just an act…I’m not like that… just talk, with the guys.”

“I’m glad it’s not true.” That whispered breathiness had crept back into her voice. Stone-skimming forgotten, he found himself gazing into her eyes. As she returned his stare, their hands reached out and connected. As their fingers laced, a fluttering in his stomach caused his heart to play copy-cat. He leaned forwards, stopping inches from her mouth.

Annike pulled her hand away and brushed the snow from her clothes. She started to walk down the path and Tore hurried after her.

Did he do something wrong?

“We should get back. Nea will wonder where I went. I didn’t tell her I was going.”

“Nea?”

“My friend from earlier. We look out for one another, she’ll worry.”

Tore walked her back to the campfire, wishing time would slow down, so he could have her to himself for longer. All too soon, they were back in the crowds. She surprised him by sitting down beside him instead of finding her friend. Tore pushed his luck further as he sat closer and pulled a blanket over their laps.

Hours later, the crowds thinned. Annike watched them disperse. “I’d better head back too, I suppose.”

They stood, the silence awkward for a moment. Tore wondered if he should ask to see her again. Before he plucked up courage, she stood on tiptoe and pulled him by his sweater to her. Did he dare chance a kiss? Her honey scent filled his senses as she whispered in his ear.

“Tore, Son of Isak, one day you’re going to be my mate.”

Annike didn’t wait for an answer. She turned and left.

A stupid grin appeared on Tore’s face. He watched her curvaceous hips sway back and forth, hypnotizing him as she walked away. With those words, she laid her claim. And with that smile, he accepted his fate.”

 

Author BIO

Angela   Stevens

Angela Stevens is the author of contemporary adult romance novel Lemon Drops and Love and the newly released Urban Fantasy Trilogy, The Vargr Clan. Her first children’s fantasy book, Mariquita will be out in the spring.

Angela is British born and moved to Virginia, USA nine years ago. Always a keen traveler, she has enjoyed spending time living outside of her native country. She is an ex-teacher and the mother of two children. When empty nest syndrome threatened, Angela turned to writing novels to fill her growing free time. Her hobby has now grown into a fully-fledged obsession and she works on her books full time.

Loving both contemporary romance and urban fantasy genres, Angela flip-flops between the two. If you ask which is her favorite, she is always undecided. For now her genres remain separate, but maybe in the not too distant future they may combine. She is currently trying to find the time to draw up plans for a steamy fantasy romance series, so watch this space.

When Angela is not writing you can find her indulging in her other passion, ice hockey. She discovered her love of this sport when she first moved to America. Now a rabid Washington Capitals fan, Angela can often be found ‘Rocking The Red’ at the Verizon center supporting her beloved team.

You can find more about Angela and her works by visiting her website.

Indie Book Review: Press F5 To Load Game, by LeVar Ravel

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Review:

Straight up this book drew me in with the video-game style title and cover. It looks like a cover you’d find on nostalgic game pack from the nineties. But instead of being filled with floppy disks, it’s filled with video-game references and, bizarrely, politics.

This would be a good book for anyone who’s ever had politicians drive them to violent fantasy.

The story has a unique time-travel method behind it. Unfortunately, I found myself getting board more often than I liked, especially with the scene-setting sequences in offices or government. The main character Lars was nice and sarcastic. He’s not a main character that the reader should like, but it works because he’s so blatantly dislikeable the reader is laughing at him, not with him.

There’s a lot of strange things going on in this story. Frannie’s quirks are jarring at times, but the reader is rewarded when everything comes together in the end. A short read that could’ve been shorter in my opinion, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Recommended for those with the mixed interests of gaming and politics.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Amazon buy link.

Author goodreads page.

Press F5 To Load Game, by LeVar Ravel

Book Length: 188 pages

Time-travel Adventure (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

How to win an election:

  1. Shake hands.
  2. Kiss babies.
  3. Travel through time.

“Politics is more difficult than physics,” said Albert Einstein. Now that we can time travel, this is no longer true.

All the State House gossips go abuzz when an influential senator forms an alliance with Rep. Frannie Upwood, the capital’s most famous underachiever and favorite butt of jokes. Why his sudden interest in such a lightweight politician?

It’s up to Lars Uxbridge, the senator’s disloyal staffer, to find out, after he joins a network of political spies. What Lars discovers is a secret far beyond anything other state reps can muster.

Indie Book Review: South of Reality by A I Alexen

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Review:

I really like reading books and stories that have animals as the protagonists, and as Animal Farm showed us, ‘animals’ does not equal ‘for kids’. Having said that, South of Reality can easily be enjoyed by kids, but at the same time I found a lot of fun in it too.

The story is written at about upper middle/high-school level and up (enough to challenge the younger folk while ensuring the adults aren’t patronised). Set on a family farm, the animal dynamics are thrown when a charming tomcat arrives with nefarious purposes. The tale is woven in a pleasantly cosy fashion with a curious mystery to start and a heart-warming banding together of the animal kingdom to finish, and I love it when I realise the reference a book cover is making!

This is a great holiday read (and I conveniently read it over the Easter weekend!) that I can recommend to anyone wondering what our fuzzy friends get up to when we’re not looking…

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Amazon buy link.

Smashwords buy link.

South of Reality, by A I Alexen

Book Length: 145 pages

Animal Adventure (Young and Young-at-heart Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

A cat burglar, two upstanding dogs, & a malicious rooster join forces on a mission of mercy!

When guard dogs Arky and Peyson investigate a mysterious and shady new feline arrival, they could never have foreseen what lay ahead – midnight chases in the forest, employment among humans, deals with a malicious rooster, and much more, bringing them closer and closer to breaking the all-important animal code!

#Indie #BookReview: The Wolf You Feed by Angela Stevens

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Review:

Epic family drama with werewolves. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will!

By epic, I’m referring to the great swathes of time the story covers: about sixteen years by my reckoning. During this time we see Tore defy his clan for the sake of love, rescue a friend and tries to build a new life, only to have tragedy dog his steps.  The family dynamics are compelling and play out like a classic drama: power struggles, heirs, pride, usurpers and revenge are the names of this game.

The title is a reference to a famous Native American proverb that is really the mantra of the story, which makes me think of it as like a fairy-tale retelling in a way.  You can read a condensed version of the proverb in the blurb below.

I enjoyed The Wolf You Feed a lot, more than I expected since it’s such a unique mix of genres. Because of the epic nature of the story there were moments where I tuned out a little (I’m sorry, I can’t help it! It just happens…) but I can definitely recommend this to other readers.

Recommended for lovers of family dramas, or those wanting to read a different kind of urban fantasy.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Author Website.

Amazon buy link.

The Wolf You Feed, by Angela Stevens

Book Length: 251 pages

Paranormal Family Drama (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Tore Vargr finds his world turned upside down when he is forced to choose between the love of his life and the life he loves. He chooses Annike, disrespects his brother, Erik, and sets off a chain of events that shape his life in a way he could never have imagined.

Outlawed from his clan, Tore embraces his new responsibilities of father and protector as he carves out a new life in a human world. But a jealous brother has a long memory and Erik is nothing if not patient when it comes to exacting revenge. When Tore’s past catches up with his present, he has to learn to pull from an inner strength.

There is a battle of two wolves inside us all.
One is evil: it is anger, envy, greed, arrogance, jealousy, resentment, lies.
The other is good: it is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, truth.
The wolf that wins?
The one you feed.

– Cherokee proverb

Spanning two generations The Wolf You Feed is the first book in a heartbreaking trilogy set in the shape shifting worlds of werewolves and skin walkers.

#Indie #BookReview: Marinian Pearls by Laura Gilfillan

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Review:

I’ve never read a mermaid book, and after reading this book I realise that I need to read more. Marinian Pearls shows off the ocean and all its diversity, and I fell in love with it. The sequences where we explore under the sea were magical, from the bright, sunny surface down to the very depths of the ocean floor.

I don’t know if it was the intent of the author, but I could easily describe this book as a modern reimaging of “The Little Mermaid”. The specifics of the story are completely different (such as Haley’s motivations, the nature of mermaids, and, of course, the romance is turned on its head), but I couldn’t help but feel the story was inspired from the old fairy tale. Which is a good thing, of course – I love fairy tale retellings!

There were moments where some sections dragged a bit, but they weren’t enough to detract from the freedom that both the reader and the main character experienced as a mermaid.

Recommended for fans of fairy tale retellings, paranormal romance, and the sea.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Author Blog.

Amazon buy link.

Marinian Pearls, by Laura Gilfillan

Book Length: 310 pages

Mermaid Paranormal Romance / Fairy Tale Retelling (Young Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

What would it really be like to live in the sea? Haley finds out when she discovers a magical string of pearls that transforms her into a mermaid. While she explores the sea, she forgets all about being human, until something happens one day to remind her. She finds her way back home, only to discover that she’s been gone for a whole year.

Her parents, shocked and upset, had concluded that she must have died, since she had been missing for so long. She is dismayed to find that she has become another year older without having even realized it. Plus she has a whole year of school that she will now have to make up. She knows she’s going to have to work hard to pick up the pieces of her life. But it’s difficult for her to return to normal, because again and again she is drawn by an overwhelming urge to return to the sea.

Indie Book Review: Shallow Waters by @RebeccaJBradley

Review:

Crime isn’t really my genre (I like cozy mysteries, not so much the gritty stuff), but since I follow Rebecca Bradley on wordpress, I was interested in reading what she’d written and decided to pick up her book. Shallow Waters sucked me right into the cold and gritty world of British police procedurals, and I was surprised at how quickly my reading experience turned from a ‘just out of curiosity’ to ‘I have to know what happens next!’ The atmosphere and the characters were done so well, and the crime was so compelling: there was so little information at the start, then it seemed to be an open-and-shut case before it spiralled into something much darker and sinister. I really enjoyed getting to know the Detective-Inspector and her world. There was just the right amount of personal drama and drive, and the ending was suitably tragic.

I’ve become attached to DI Hannah Robbins, so I’m looking forward to where this series goes. Even though crime isn’t really my thing, I found a lot to enjoy here. Has it changed my attitude to the whole genre? No, not really, but I ‘get’ it now, and I find police-procedurals more appealing than I did before.

Recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in crime.

Like my review? Like it on Goodreads too!

Author Goodreads Page.

Author website.

Amazon buy link.

Shallow Waters, by Rebecca Bradley

Book Length: 370 pages

Police Procedural Crime (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

‘A gritty police procedural, with no-holds barred and a shocking insight to the reality of some. Dark and disturbing, yet exceptionally compelling.’ – Mel Sherratt, author of Taunting The Dead.

‘Tense, compelling and utterly absorbing. DI Hannah Robbins is a force to be reckoned with.’ – Jane Isaac, author of The Truth Will Out.

When the naked, battered body of an unidentified teenager is found dumped in an alleyway, post-mortem finds evidence of a harrowing series of events.

Another teenage death with the same MO pushes DI Hannah Robbins and her team on the Nottingham City division Major Crimes Unit, to their limits, and across county borders. In a race against the clock they attempt to unpick a thick web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the deaths.

Indie Book Review: Rangers by Chloe Gardner

Review:

Being a long time Supernatural fan, as I read Rangers I immediately recognised the inspiration behind the story. This isn’t just a fanfic though – the lore and characters are their own, and I had a lot of fun reading the paranormal adventures the twins and their tag-along got up to.

I did find the writing a little clunky, but the imagination was there, and I’ll take imagination over fluid writing any day. Having said that, I felt I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted to, but I was still able to enjoy the ride. So many monsters, so much magic, so much action! I am interested in seeing where the series goes…

Recommended for fans of Supernatural. I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Like my review? Like it on Amazon too!

Author Site.

Amazon buy link.

Rangers, by Chloe Gardner

Sam and Sam #1

Book Length: 414 pages

Paranormal Adventure (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

Sam and Jason have been at this a long time, and they’re some of the best out there. Gremlins, goblins, ghosts of all kind, vampires, even the yeti that time in Cleveland, they go where they’re needed and they kill what needs killed. It’s that simple. And it’s a pretty good life, really.

Then there’s the girl. Samantha. She’s feisty and difficult and she knows next to nothing about what they do, but she’s pretty handy with a hatchet and seems to just keep tagging along with them, city after city, witch after ghost after spirit, despite Jason’s best efforts to ditch her along the way. If he’d had any idea just how complicated she was about to make their lives, he probably would have left her in Georgia.

It’s too bad, really. Sam appears to be in love with her.

Character Interview with @SusanLattwein ‘s Lily from the Arafura Series

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My first ever character interview is with Lily, the boisterous and excitable sister of protagonist Kat Howard from Arafura.

Thanks for joining me Lily. Now, I’ve gotten to know your sister quite well these past few months, and she is obviously passionately in love with Adam. What’s your attitude to wuv, twue wuv? Are you going to search for it, or wait for it to fall in your lap?

True love? No such thing, babe! My sister, Kat, thinks there is, even love at first sight (I guess Adam is a catch but he’s not as hot as Ben). Knights in shining armour on their trusty steeds don’t exist, just ordinary (some less than ordinary) dudes trying to navigate their boats like the rest of us. Let’s face it, we all have issues. I do love Ben, (you have me worried now that I’m not demonstrative enough in public…). I guess he’s the one, but after watching my dad come out of the closet, well, that kind of threw me, made me careful, you know? I might have to talk to Susan, address that in the third book of the series….

Any previous boyfriends we should know about? Has anyone come close to being ‘the one’?

 I did date a Captain in the army for a couple of years before Ben. He was Hollywood handsome, flew planes, drove a sports car, but he was emotionally distant, reminded me of a tantalising chocolate with a rock hard caramel filling—not worth the effort or the calories. That’s where I learnt it’s not all about looks, and I’m not proud the way I ended it. Looking back, I was a bit of a bitch and have had the odd nightmare apologising to him.  

 ‘The one?’ Ben ticks a lot of boxes. Is there such a thing as ‘the one’, except in fiction?

 Okay, I know you and Ben are together, but your relationship reminds me of the ‘comfortable’ relationship Kat had with her (now) ex. Sorry Ben! Look, clearly you guys have a good, solid relationship but… ROMANCE, y’know?

 You guys seem a little more like really good friends with benefits.

 You can tell me to back off any time. And, I know, here I am, saying romance isn’t my thing either, but I’d rather not be in a relationship at all. Wow, okay, hope I haven’t ticked you off too bad.

 You’re a straight talker like me, Marigold. I like that.

 There’s a lot going on behind the scenes you don’t know about.

 Arafura is Kat’s story, I get that. Secretly, I think it’s ended up that way because Susan has the hots for Adam. She goes for the charming, rugged , playful, damaged types. For authors, types like Ben are boring. The worst that’s ever happened to Ben was getting tomato on his school lunches.

 As for Ben and my relationship – here’s the real deal. You remember the night Kat turned up at my bungalow on the dot of midnight with Adam? Well, Ben was  pressed up behind me at the front door, his hands discretely hidden under my sarong, exploring, doing things that happen in erotic fiction, not romantic suspense. Forget friends with benefits, that man has an imagination with benefits! I couldn’t talk, so of course the whole scene had to be rewritten.

 No there’s nothing wrong with Ben and my sex life, Kat is the prude, or should I say was? I’ve just got to get over my commitment phobia—you’ve made me realise that’s where I might be a little like Lucas? Oh, God no….

Hm, interesting! But  let’s go to another topic now. What was it like growing up in Darwin? Besides stinking hot.

Darwin is so hot and tropical, it’s cool. Temperatures mostly fluctuate between 30-32 degrees Celsius year round.

Kat and I are both only children, so when she came to live with us after her parents died, my best friend moved in and became my sister. Kat was real quiet when she first came, and it took her months to relax. My parents had an open house,  visitors all the time, a great pool, that’s part of the reason Dad wanted to start his  boutique resort. He loves socialising.

We went to school in bare feet, with Jess Mauboy’s cousin actually. There was a huge mixture of cultures in friends at school, no one cared back then where you were from. I liked that. In all honesty though, some kids had scary home lives.

 Darwin was and still can be red neck, but we weren’t in that orbit, thank goodness. You find your own level anywhere, I guess.

 Was trying to rescue your sister as fun as you made it out to be?

I was freaking terrified, Marigold. But with Ben, Dad and Robert there I felt nothing could go too wrong. Call me naive, but Mel’s chilli spray is ace, I keep some in my handbag all the time now.

Yes, rescuing Kat and Adam was dangerous that night, but remember I was waiting in Dad’s boat, not being shot at in the dinghy. I was on a high, and seeing Kat safe and in one piece was a huge relief.

Got any career aspirations? Big dreams?

I’m studying Tourism and Hospitality through Charles Darwin Uni, don’t think Susan mentioned that (it’s all about Kat and Adam, Adam and Kat…not that I mind, I know my place as a secondary character) 

Big dreams? What a scary question. Have kids, with Ben? Maintain a happy, healthy family, a fulfilling relationship with my partner?

I’ve inherited my father’s head for business so may buy him out one day.

Kat wants to help Indigenous kids with their literacy—I’d like to be involved in that although I don’t have a teaching degree (I think teachers, oh and police, are under-valued and underpaid).

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 And the most important question, are you going to get a dog? C’mon…

No way, do you know how often Biscuit is at our place? That sooky mutt has issues the way he sucks up to Ben and Adam. I give him treats and he doesn’t love me half as much as he should.

Kat and my friend, you know Sophie? Her Jack Russell is having puppies, so don’t tempt me…

Thanks for answering my questions, Lily! You’ve revealed a lot, and I’m curious to find out what happens in your future (and I appreciate you didn’t mind me crossing a line there with your personal life). Here’s to more Arafura adventures!