Today, I’d like to welcome fellow Astraea Press author Sandy Bruney to tell us more about her recent release A Question of Boundaries and her upcoming sequel.
To whet everyone’s appetite, let’s start with the fascinating cover and blurb …
By 1895, the United States is in the 80th year of the isolation imposed by King Thomas I and upheld by his successors. But, some are chafing under the shortages and restrictions, and when inventor Dr. Featherstone declares he has found a way to override all borders, there are those who applaud the discovery and those who fear it.
When Dr. Featherstone fails to return home for an important scientific gathering, his daughter Caroline enlists the help of the Member of Parliament from Charlotte, Nathan Llewellen. As the two search for the kidnappers, Caroline is plunged into a world where travel to other realities is possible in the blink of an eye, and people can assume the forms of fearsome as well as familiar animals…and where love comes at the most unexpected times and places.
And a quick excerpt …
Not wasting time in thought, Caroline gathered her skirts in her fists and ran. There was an alley not five feet from her and she slipped between the two buildings and scurried down it, ignoring the filth underfoot. She heard angry cries behind her and ducked into a side alley between two of the buildings. These, she could see now, were in a state of disrepair that suggested they had been abandoned years ago. Windows were broken and left gaping, doors hung aslant from their hinges. She paused a moment to catch her breath before continuing down the smaller alley, in reality a path not wide enough for two people to pass each other. The dank smell made her gag and she covered her nose with one hand, the other still holding her hem out of the mud. She held back a scream as a rat ran over her shoe and into a hole in the crumbling brickwork.
The pathway ended without warning and she was in a side street. There were no street lights and the shadows cast by the buildings shifted and eddied as though the bricks and stones were alive. There were no people, either, for this was a section of the city not many visited unless they were hiding from someone or something. She wondered if she was meant to be a prisoner in one of the derelict buildings. No one would think to look for her there.
Hearing voices again, she knew she had not escaped. She cast a frantic glance around her and saw an opening: another alley. Not quite sanctuary, but close enough. She ran as fast as her shaking legs would carry her, coming to a halt by an iron gate. She attempted to open it, but the rough metal gouged her fingers, drawing blood. Whirling, she looked back. It would be a matter of seconds before her pursuers guessed where she had gone. She was trapped unless the alley was so dark they could not see her and would go on by.
A hand closed around her mouth as someone grasped her arm. “Hush. Be still.”
For a moment her mind reeled in denial. How had they come up behind her so quickly? Then she caught a tantalizing, familiar scent: a faint masculine odor mixed with the clean smell of pine-scented soap.
Seeing she recognized him, Nathan removed his hand. He didn’t have to tell her to be quiet. The light at the end of the alleyway was blocked by the silhouettes of two men.
She raised her brows in inquiry. Had they been seen? Her unspoken question was answered as the men began to walk forward.
“Got to be in here. Nowhere else she could go,” she heard in the broad accent of the man who had first tried to kidnap her in the lobby of the Capitol building. She held up four fingers to tell Nathan how many were searching for them.
Leaning his head down so his lips touched her ear, he whispered, “Caroline, do you trust me?”
She nodded, not daring answer aloud. Their pursuers were halfway to them and would spot them in seconds.
Nathan took her hand in his. “Hold tight,” he said.
And then everything disappeared.
Intriguing! So tell me …
What was the initial kernel of an idea that got you started writing A Question of Boundaries?
So many fellow members of my RWA chapter, Carolina Romance Writers, were writing paranormal, I thought I’d give it a try. I started it some time ago and submitted a chapter to a critique group, but got caught up in other things. Then I went back to it and decided to finish it just for the heck of it. It was fun to write, but I never thought I’d publish it. I had submitted another novel which was rejected, but the publisher asked if I had anything else ready. So I thought, what the heck, I’ll submit it.
Could you tell us a little about the era in which it is set?
The era is late 19th century, set in Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C. But since it is an alternate history, things are not what you think. Steam powers almost everything, from carriages to airships. And the country is ruled by a king, not a president.
What is your heroine Caroline’s most admirable quality?
Caroline is very loyal to her family and friends. She is willing to put her life on the line for them. She is also very stubborn, which can be a good thing.
And your hero Nathan’s?
Once committed, he gives his all.
Have you started your next book yet, and if so, can you tell us a little about it?
Yes, and it has been accepted by Astraea Press. In this story, Nathan and Caroline visit the country of Floriana, which unknown to them is on the verge of revolution. When Caroline is swept away in a flood and presumed dead, Nathan joins the revolutionaries and fights in the Battle of Jackson Square in New Orleans. I guess I should mention Floriana is composed of Florida, Louisiana, and the lower parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.
I am now some 30 pages into the next book, which brings back the villain in book number one.
You’ve been busy! Where do you do your writing?
I share an “office” (our former dining room) with my husband and our cat. Jim and I have our computers on side-by-side tables and the cat has the desk so she can look out the window.
If you could have your dream space to write, where or what would it be?
A cabin in the mountains overlooking a fantastic view.
Sounds ideal to me. Now, this is an old question, but I always find it so telling … If you were stuck on a desert island, what would be …
Your top 3 movies?
Lawrence of Arabia
I like epics. And Peter O’Toole (RIP)
And The Sixth Sense because…the ending.
Your top 3 books?
Oh, gosh, this is difficult. Can I say authors?
James Michener/Ken Follett/Edward Rutherford
I enjoy well-crafted books with a sense of time and place. And I am a fast reader, so love a good, thick book that will last awhile.
And your top 3 albums?
Camelot, Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat, Phantom of the Opera, because they have my favourite songs. And I can sing along with any one of them. Except Phantom, the notes are too high.
It’s been lovely great getting to know you, Sandy! Thank you for visiting.
A Question of Boundaries is available at:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandy Bruney is a writer living in North Carolina with her husband and a rescue calico cat. She is the author of several works of women’s fiction, but broke away from that genre with the paranormal romance, A Question of Boundaries “because it was so much fun to write.” She has also written a non-fiction book recounting her journey with cancer, and co-wrote a psychological thriller with a former newspaper co-worker.
A Question of Boundaries will be followed by A Question of Loyalty in 2015, also from Astraea Press. Find out more about her books at Amazon’s Author Page.
You can find Sandy online at: