Betrayal's Shadow

KH LeMoyne
Betrayal's Shadow
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Digital Crystal Press
Release Date
April 2011
Book 1 of The Guardians of Eden
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

What would you do to save your people from extinction?
What if your race held the key to mankind's future?
One Guardian will risk hell to change the future.

Descended from a race of Guardians created in the far edges of Eden, Turen's people have survived the last two hundred years, quarantined by plague to Eden's Sanctum. Risking death to save his people from eternal damnation, Turen chooses capture at the hands of his enemy to seek answers to change the future. Living in secrecy with no mates and no offspring, they fail to deliver on their covenant for mankind, the ability to replenish and heal human souls through the birth of their Guardian children.

Mia Bowman's full human lineage decrees her off limits for knowledge of Guardian's secret race. But her uncontrollable nocturnal visits to Turen's prison cell and her strong sense of justice leave her with little choice but to help. She can heed Turen's warning and stay clear of his people's problems or she can ferret out the lies and unravel an ancient tale of murder and deceit. As the complications escalate, the two forbidden lovers race to stop a fatal end to the Guardian line. But it may require their ultimate sacrifice to stop the betrayal and save the Guardian race.

Interview by Laura

Hi, KH, and congratulations on your new series!

Q: BETRAYAL'S SHADOW looks to be an awesome start to a new series, the Guardians of Eden. What is the series about? What inspired your ideas for this series?

I've often wondered if we humans haven't had help at critical times in our development. Out of those musings the Guardians of Eden was born. They are a race originated in the same Eden as Adam and Eve. They are bound in a covenant to ensure the evolution of mankind, each Guardian child releasing the souls for mankind's spiritual well-being. As with any being, be they human or the Guardians, there is always a problem with power, the drive to control others, and the serpent in the garden. The story had to come from somewhere, didn't it?

The history and complexities of the Guardian race will be woven throughout the books in the series. However, their race is composed of a finite group of people, representing segments of humanity from all over the world. Each adult Guardian in a generation is gifted with a unique power. Compliance with the covenant rewards each Guardian with a mate with whom they share a soul for eternity.

And life was good, until two hundred years before the series starts chronicling the Guardians. We meet them after a plague killed most of the adult Guardians on earth. The children under the age of maturity were sent back to the Sanctum in Eden for their protection. It was children raising children. Not only has much of their history been lost, but now as adults they are unable to find mates within their race, and the curse of the plague still hovers over them.

Since I write fantasy and urban fantasy, in addition to my musing, I read and research a lot of mythology, fables, and religious theory. I'm no expert on the subjects though! But I am a lover of ‘what if.' Out of this, I created the Guardians' world, the rules that govern them, their individual powers, and homelands.

In the process, I developed the overall arc for the mystery of the plague and the final resolution. And no, they aren't all written. I remembered an interview that Jim Butcher gave in which he said he had the whole Harry Dresden series mapped out from the beginning—not written, but mapped for each book and the final arc of the series. That concept intrigued me and I've tried to do something similar with the Guardians of Eden series.

Q: What kind of research went into building your world? Please share with us a fun or unique fact that you encountered in your research.

Well, in naming my characters I did some background searches for names, Tsu being one, who is the defense master for the Guardians, with a power over organic matter.

I was interested in the originally fabled Sun Tzu. Legend tells that "King of Wu tested Sun Tzu's skills by commanding him to train a harem of 180 concubines into soldiers." When the ‘ladies' of the harem didn't take Tzu seriously, he had the king's two favorite concubines executed. No problem in the ranks after that.

Q: He really did that? How fascinating! What is the main theme in BETRAYAL'S SHADOW?

The double edged sword of trust and betrayal. There are several layers of deceit at the core of the story. For Guardian adults, who have trusted each other since children, self-introspection, and suspicion is a difficult thing and treachery between Guardians is nonexistent.

Q: Tell us about Turen, and what spurred him to take on the task of saving his people?

Guilt from his own past. Turen respected the Guardian's former leader, who suffered a tragedy and abandoned his people. To rectify a wrong Turen feels he has committed, and bring back the only man who he is confident can guide the Guardian race, he is willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice.

Q: Who is Mia Bowman and what characteristics does she possess to make her a worthy partner in Turen's endeavor?

Mia has always done the proper thing. She married her college boyfriend and developed a steady career as a freelance writer. Her story starts with her still in shock at a huge betrayal—her husband's death and the revelation that he was cheating on her and wanted a divorce. She begins to reconsider her life and the risks she has avoided. That she can't control being sucked into Turen's mess is one thing, but she is confident that she has the grit, determination, and the objectivity to figure some way to help him. Her choices will change the Guardian race forever.

Q: What makes Turen and Mia perfect for each other?

They both match each other in their level of honor and their need for justice. But it is their differences, Mia's new determination for calculated risks and Turen's willingness to step outside the bounds of his people's dictates to follow her leads to a very painful conclusion, that defines them as a couple and shapes the Guardians' future.

Q: What is the most romantic thing Turen said to Mia?

It isn't so much one specific thing he says but rather his actions, his willingness to draw attention to himself when in captivity to keep her safe and risk everything for Mia's safety, even if it means his death.

Q: What's your favorite scene? Why?

Much of Mia and Turen's relationship builds in the darkness of Turen's holding cells and their dependence on each other to survive brings them to a heightened level of trust. Turen has trained Mia, but even so, she is hardly prepared for capture by the prison guards and the head of security. Here's an excerpt:

Mia didn't relinquish her struggle. They inched their way backward onto a series of catwalks, a construction of metal and wires, suspended over the main distribution area of Xavier's compound.

Turen growled in frustration. Could this get any worse?

Heads below turned to follow the disturbance. Turen kept his focus on Rasheer. The man smirked, signaling with two fingers for one squad of men to separate and cut off Turen's escape. "I want them both alive. Damaged is fine."

Two minutes—all the time he had to figure something out before the foursome at his back met up with them. Turen glanced over the railing at the crowd below. He had no ability to assess who might be useful as a pawn or an ally—no help there. A second series of catwalks ran in a diagonal pattern beneath theirs.

He squeezed Mia's body and whispered into her ear, "Fight me and go over the side."

She shook her head.

Turen shook her and spun back. Rasheer hadn't moved, but his men were almost on top of them. "Fight me, damn it," he whispered with a snarl.

Turen angled the knife tip from the backpack and stuck Mia's side again, harder this time. She'd have no lasting marks, but there would be blood.

Instinct and training kicked in. Her fingers released his arm. Her head turned, her feet lifted and fists clenched as she drove her elbow back into him and pivoted. Her fingernails clawed for his neck, and she twisted the knife from his hold.

He made a play at grabbing for her only to knock her with his elbow over the side. In a last-minute grab, he caught her wrist, his hold firm.

Dangling below, she stared at him, her pupils dilated in fear. Yet the trust reflected in her eyes choked the breath from him even as he released his fingers and confirmed her feet safely touched the second catwalk.

How had he done this to her? Nothing was worth what he'd subjected her to.

Turen turned and sank a fist into the men converging on him.

With a quick sweep before him, he realized Rasheer was no longer on his catwalk.

Turen roared in rage, the adrenaline, and terror for Mia kicking in. His speed and skill brought low three of those tackling him, but two more soldiers had arrived.

The twist of their battle spun him to look down, down to where Rasheer prepared to cut off Mia from the exits below.

Q: Wow, that's certainly exciting! Who's your favorite character? Why?

Aside from Mia and Turen, it would be a tossup between Ansgar and Grimm. They are opposite sides of the same coin. One is demonstrative, the other one quiet and reserved. But with both there's a lot of power and emotion simmering beneath the surface. Though that sums up all the Guardians—two hundred years of waiting will do that.

Q: What's next in the series? Can we have a sneak peek?

The second in the Guardian Series is WARRIOR REBORN, which is now available. This is Briet's story, and while it would help to read book one, each of the Guardian books should stand alone:

Two hundred years in seclusion has given Briet perspective on her powers and goals. And while the Guardian covenant with humanity promises the reward of mate and children, she's not wasting her time looking for a human male to fulfill her needs. Besides, no contemporary human male could measure up to the expectations two hundred years have built. Determined to make a difference, she digs deep, helping her young patients traverse the landmines of clinical cancer trials. But fate isn't letting her opt-out.

Detecting an insidious modification to the treatment protocol targeted to kill her patients, Briet turns to the only person who shares her skills to detect the problem, her mate, Jason Ballard. Best-laid plans turn to dust, as Briet and Jason become the focus of the killer from the shadows.

For Jason, getting the energetic, troublesome doctor from his company's clinical trials out of his mind, seems at first easy. Rule one: no committed relationships. Rule two: don't stay in one place too long. Rule three: no children. But the secrets she uncovers and the threats to her life wipes away his resolve. His world turns upside down with a life-altering change that will leave either his past choices in shreds or break every hard rule he's ever made.

Q: What's up for you in the coming months?

I also write a futuristic/cyber series called The Phoenix Series, which has Book 1, XX out now. Book 2, SHEPHERD, is coming out this summer.

I am in the process of a novella, THE DRAGON RIDER'S PRINCESS that takes place in the world of my fantasy series, The Portals of Destiny, targeted for the fall.

Thanks, KH, for this awesome interview!

KH LeMoyne writes romance: fantasy, futuristic and paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her wonderful husband and a pair of corgis. Much to her dismay, she rarely encounters supernatural beings other than on paper.



Warrior Reborn: Guardians of Eden Book 2
XX: Phoenix Book 1
Return of the Legacy: Portals of Destiny Book 1

KH LeMoyne is giving away 1 digital copy of BETRAYAL'S SHADOW (Guardians of Eden Book 1) & WARRIOR REBORN (Guardians of Eden Book 2) to one lucky winner! (Winner's choice of Smashwords coupon or Amazon Gift)


Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!

Contest ends June 30.

Winners will be announced in July.


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