Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Excerpt & Interview + Giveaway: Seven Seeds of Summer by Chantal Gadoury

Seven Seeds of Summer
by Chantal Gadoury
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Waldorf  Press
Date of Publication:  March 15, 2014
Cover Artist: Karen Davis and Terri Cooper

Book Description:

Seven Seeds of Summer follows the story of Summer, a college art student who has grown up in a house full of Greek mythology and legends. Summer grew up with a love for the darkest of all Gods: Hades, which caused tension between her and her mother. Summer comes home to Point Judith, Rhode Island, to find a mysterious figure on their family beach. The figure comes to her with questions about a familiar myth of her childhood: of Persephone and Hades. He proceeds to tell her of a new version of the story with a different ending that Summer never knew; an ending that includes herself.

A trip to Greece leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of the strange figure whom she had met before. He takes her on a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, to the lowest point of Greece where his lair awaits: The Underworld. Determined to find out the secret of herself and her piece in the story, Summer goes with him, and tries to make herself at home in his world.

Summer has to decide to follow her heart or follow the same footsteps of the mysterious woman in her past life.

Available at Amazon   LuLu   BN  iTunes

“Where are you going?” he asked gently, a note of humor touching his words. 
“I don’t want you near me.” 
“You’ll have to get used to that,” he murmured softly and I could almost hear the smile under his breath. 
“I hate you.” 
“I hardly believe that,” he said, pulling my body back toward him. I stared up into his black eyes and I felt his fingers gently curl into my hair. His touch was like a spider’s web. 
“Believe it,” I whispered. “I hate you.” 
“I think I’m very able to change your mind,” he said with a teasing smile and began to lower his lips toward mine. I knew what was coming. My mind was screaming for me to turn my head. Reject him. Hurt him. But my heart wanted me to stay. My heart wanted his lips on mine again. They belonged there. I couldn’t move. My eyes closed, and I was lost in the wave of color and touch. He was yellow. Pure yellow. The kind of yellow that was almost like honey, drizzling down over my spine, my arms, my wrist, my fingers— touching ever so gently. And then he began to deepen the kiss, as if there was something he was trying to show me; prove to me. As if he had waited lifetimes to kiss my lips, her lips. . Our lips. I couldn't help but respond to him. My hands clenched his shoulders tightly, and he nipped at my lip; a small moan escaped from me before I had the chance to control it. Time seemed to speed around us. Night was approaching quickly. The cold would surround us and keep us captive in the bedcovers. I could imagine the painting, the style, and the colors; the black form, consuming the white form— the winter lord eating the spring maiden. I imagined the paint brushes coming to life on their own, forming pictures and scenes, figures and faces. His was the first. His pale face, his dark eyes, etching themselves into hers. In mine. 
“You’re my wife,” he whispered to her. “I love you always.” Her smile was sharp and pink. Her lips were like rose petals. I could almost smell the fragrance of summer on her skin. Her hair was long and golden. She was perfect. No wonder he loved her. I wanted to toss the dream away. I wanted him to love me, not her. I wanted him to love me for me, not because I was Persephone. I felt a tear fall down my cheek, and mesh into both of our skins. Her love for him overwhelmed me, and I didn’t know how to tell him. 
“Yes, you see?” he said softly, bringing his hands through my hair. I wanted to cry. I wanted to tell him that I had seen too much. Too much for my little heart to handle. I turned my head to avoid his, and I felt his lips brush against my neck. He didn’t say anything, only rolled over onto his back, letting out a heavy sigh and stared up at the ceiling. 
“What happened to her?” I whispered finally, putting a stop to the silence between us. He glanced over at me and sighed again. 
“Did Demeter do something to Persephone to keep her from you?” 
“You know what Demeter did after I stole her daughter, don’t you? She was so angry, so distraught that she forgot about the humans on the earth. She starved them. She had the power to kill off mankind. Zeus had to step in and force Persephone to go home with her mother. Persephone was so upset. I didn’t know…” His voice drifted into silence as he picked at the white comforter. 
“Is Demeter still alive?” I asked, already knowing the answer. Gods and Goddesses couldn’t die. For some reason, Demeter had found the way to turn Persephone into me, a mortal. He looked at me and nodded his head. 
“Very much alive.” 
“Then what… happened to Persephone? How did she become me?” I felt the tears of blue sadness fall down my cheeks again. There was no hiding them, this time. How could a mother’s love push a woman to destroy the happiness of her child? 
“I suppose we’ll find that out together,” he murmured. I stared at the ceiling for a few minutes, trying to picture the setting. What had happened to her? Why had she become me? How had a beautiful goddess become an imperfect, human painter? If Demeter was still alive and had something to do with keeping Persephone away from Hades, then what would happen to me? Did my family know who I was? Had they been trying to protect me from something I didn’t understand? 
‘Someone could kidnap you, and I’d never know.’ I could hear my mother’s voice in my head repeating the same words she always did when I insisted on going out to the beach at night to paint. They annoyed me so much before, but now they made sense. My mind couldn’t stop thinking, wondering, processing. It was full of colors and faces— things that were a blur, a distant memory that I wanted to grab. ‘Please,’ I repeated over and over again. 
‘Please show me.’
‘Drink this. Drink. Taste and drink,’ the words repeated over and over again. It wasn’t my voice. It was just like the dream before. A cup, golden hair, a face. It was such a blur. I fought through the waves of time. ‘Show me,’ I whispered in my mind. ‘Show me the truth.’ The painting in our kitchen; Persephone and Demeter in a garden as Hades stood in the shadows of the forest. Demeter wanted her child to be free of his curse. Persephone wanted to be free of her mother. Hades wanted to be loved. No one could win this game. A narcissus flower; red and glorious among daises and tiger lilies. The sun was high in the sky, and other maidens dressed in white and blue garments dashed through the tall grass. Their feet almost hovering as they jumped like elk through the valley. A hand, soft and smooth reached for the flower. Her golden hair touched her hand as she picked it and the earth erupted around her. His face, beautiful and dark meets hers, and his hand reaching out for her. She loved him the instant that she saw him, and he knew her all along. I squeezed my eyes tighter, fighting for the story to continue. I knew it by heart, but this was new. This was real. She hadn’t been stolen. She wanted to go with him. There was no sun where he took her. The ocean was the bluest of blues, and the rocks were white, and then there was black. The air was stale and moist, and her heart thundered against her chest. A large river with floating orbs, a boat being pushed by a ghostly form. The dark ruler transformed from his human state, to the dark king she knew him to be. Dark designs began to inch along his skin, until he was completely covered. The designs were swirls and lines that made him seem mystical and mysterious.
“Can you love me like this?” he whispered into her golden hair and her laugh echoed throughout the dark hollows of the cave like bells. My stomach churned as her laugh echoed throughout my body. I hated her. The way she held him, the way she wasn’t afraid of the dark, the way she was perfect. 
“Drink this…” The voice appeared again, and the dark caves were gone. A woman stood silently, extending a cup in her hand with an evil grin. The golden goddess took the cup and began to drink the deep red liquid. I could feel it falling past my lips. It was sweet and familiar. Pomegranate. It was gone as soon as it had appeared. The woman was gone, the taste was gone, and I was left with nothing but the night. I felt hands on my shoulders, shaking me back and forth. It was almost like I was under water, and I couldn’t catch my breath. 
“Summer, wake up!” His voice was so close. I tried to swim through the darkness, seeking fresh air, but the shaking made it nearly impossible. 
“Wake up, Summer…” he whispered
“Wake up Summer.” Persephone smiled. 
“ Wake up.” I gasped. His voice. Her voice. My voice. My eyes flashed open to his concerned face and I felt his finger touch the bottom of my eye, wiping the wetness away. 
“It was just a dream,” he whispered, holding me against his chest.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?: 
I would choose either the power to time-travel, or to be able to read minds. I know that I’ve had moments in my life where I wish I could go back in time and either re-live them, change them, or just stay – for a moment more. It would be amazing to go back and see people, places and events whether I lived them or not. My first stop would certainly be in the “Jane Austen” time – The way life was, while vastly different from our modern life, would be completely fascinating compared to our own. Perhaps it’s the romantic side that you see in movies that has me completely captured, but the way men and women spoke; the proper conduct for courting and interactions among others is one of my favorite things about the time period. I’d so love to see the Victorian times – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at their finest, redefining England. Maybe even the Tudor/War of the Roses period – though, I’m not sure I’d quite survive it! (Maybe at this point, I should wish for a Tardis, and call it a day). If I could read minds, on the other hand, I’d know what people really think of me, or really think of certain situations. 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published: The most rewarding experience has just been the ability to share with family and friends that I’ve actually, finally succeeded in my dream of writing and publishing a book! I can actually hold in my hands, the finished product of four years. I can’t wait to perhaps, have a fan, or a reader, enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. The most rewarding of all experiences would be inspiring or influencing someone else to pursue their dreams, just as others have done for me.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book: 
Seven Seeds of Summer is a refreshing and new take on Greek Mythology with a fantastic modern twist of romance and adventure, which will keep you hooked until the final page. (Or so I hope!) 

Favorite food?: If it’s not Chinese food, it’s Mashed Potatoes. Or my Mom’s Cucumber and Onion salad. Just thinking about it – Yum! 

What books are reading now?: I actually just finished reading “The Selection Series” by Kierra Cass – which was a really interesting take on something like “The Hunger Games” with “The Bachelor” twisted into the story. I really enjoyed the books, and am now searching for a new series/book to begin! 

 What’s your favorite season/weather?: I love Fall and Winter. Fall for the colors, apple cider, warm sweaters, and falling leaves. There is just something about fall that is relaxing and beautiful. Winter – for Christmas. I love everything Christmas. The red and green to everything, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas movies and songs – I love everything about Christmas. Giving presents, going to church – It’s a beautiful and magical time that I’m always so sad to say goodbye to. (Unless its snow. I love snow until the day after Christmas, then I’m over it.) 

About the Author:

Chantal Gadoury is young author who currently lives in a small town in Delaware with her two cats, Theo and Harper and her boyfriend, Robert. Chantal likes anything Disney, plays a mean game of Disney trivia, enjoys painting, and has a interest in British History. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues that love of writing today. As a recent college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, this is her first book.

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Unknown said...

Crazy cover! The cover had me hooked even before I read what it's about. Now I'm even more hooked!