Always and Forever:
Secrets of Shadow Hill Book 1
Secrets of Shadow Hill Book 1
by S. P. Cervantes
Always and Forever is the first book it the Secrets of Shadow Hill series. Also available: The Prophecy. Book 3, War of Wizards, is in the works.
Always and Forever is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author. Please make sure you visit the other tour stops as well.
Twin sisters Ava and Hannah were ripped from their peaceful seeming lives into a whirlwind of attacks and war only to learn the real truth about their existence.
Nothing was as it seemed anymore and may never be again. They had already lost their father in childhood now they have to cope with their mother’s kidnapping as they watch those sworn to protect them risk their lives.
I approached the Fox house and saw Ava step out onto her porch closing a bright red door behind her. Her long sandy blonde hair hung over her face making it hard to see her eyes, but I could sense she was very upset. As I walked closer, I was struck by another very powerful aroma. I felt as if I had just stepped into a strawberry field bursting with a scent so sweet it made my mouth water. I realized instantly that Ava had enchanting abilities. To look at her was enchanting enough, but that fragrance was intoxicating.
I flew up into a tree a couple of feet ahead so I could stay out of sight, but keep a good eye on our surroundings. The wind gusted past us, blowing her hair back over her face and I could see she was in pain. She wrapped her slender arms across her purple button down shirt and started walking slowly seemingly unaware of anything around her. I could tell she did not realize I was following her. She seemed deep in her thoughts listening to music. Aiden had said that the Fox girls were good looking, but this was an understatement. Ava’s long body was overshadowed by the innocent beauty of her face. Most of those with enchanting abilities are beautiful; it is part of their seduction, I reminded myself.
Her crystal blue eyes were filled with worry as she walked down the long shady street towards a large wooded area. The perfect target. If Connor was correct, the Sabatinos had someone watching her too, waiting for the best opportunity to strike.
Ava began to slowly walk through the forest and I thought it best if I went around so that she would not hear my footsteps. I did not like having her out of my sight for any point in the woods, but I remembered how important Connor said it was to keep our presence unknown to her unless there were no other options. He said he owed it to Victoria.
Connor was always very respectful and compassionate, which made him such a good leader. I did not question him when he told me my boundaries.
I ran through the other side of the woods, zigzagging around trees and jumping over rocks and fallen branches. The damp leaves on the ground would make others slip or lose their footing, not me; my speed left my feet hardly touching the ground.
All I could think as I glided through the dense woods was why had she chosen such a secluded place to go by herself? Evil wizards or not, this was not safe for any girl alone. I came upon a clearing and noticed a large faded green water tower.
Ava was already lying on a large pile of leaves, her delicate arms stretched out to her sides, eyes closed. The wind made the leaves gently dance around her perfect body as if they could hear the music she was listening to. She looked so peaceful, so breakable … like an angel.
I stood motionless watching her as she lay peacefully, giggling quietly to herself as she dreamed. I noticed for the first time the delicate dimples she had when she smiled. The sun was beginning to set and the air had more of a chill than when we got here. The time had melted away.
My thoughts were quickly interrupted by a loud growling sound. It went from sounding human to a deep, foul terrifying rumble of excitement. I knew instantly that was our enemy. I wondered what form they had taken to capture Ava. The Sabatinos rarely did anything in their human form. They thrived on the fear they instilled in their victims by changing forms.
Ava sat up quickly, ripping her earphones off and threw them an inch from where I was hiding. Her eyes were full of fear.
Suddenly an enormous creature emerged from the clearing charging straight to Ava. My heart raced as I quickly ran from the opposite side of the clearing as fast as I could to get there before the creature had. Although I could run much faster than a mortal, so could this creature if it were truly a member of the Sabatino coven. This was going to make for a much more difficult fight.
The creature was closing in on Ava quickly with evil red eyes fixated on its prey. I wasn’t sure if I could make it in time. Overwhelming fear shot through my entire body. I wasn’t just failing Connor, I was failing our coven.
Ava stood frozen. I started to yell for her to run when she suddenly lifted her shaking arms and yelled at the creature. Right then the creature was frozen in midair and Ava fell to the ground unconscious.
Two sisters discovering a secret lineage of wizardry that neither of them ever dreamed about, attacks by shapeshifters and rival covens, and new powers right at their very fingertips... All before graduation! This spell-casting novel packs a punch that leaves you breathless as you follow the adventures of sisters Ava and Hannah and their ruggedly handsome wizard protectors. The conflict develops quickly as the sisters learn that that they might hold the key to protecting not only their wizard coven but the world itself from an evil rival bent on domination. Be ready for a fun ride when you start reading this one!
Interview With the Author
Hi S. P. Cervantes, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book, Always and Forever, and the Secrets of Shadow Hill series.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Jane Austen was the first author I fell in love with. Her honesty and use of irony within her novels is something that I find very engaging and entertaining. The current authors that amaze and inspire me are Jasinda Wilder and Colleen Hoover. I not only love their writing style and literally everything they write, but am always impressed with the way they communicate with their fans and their support of other authors!
For what age group do you recommend your series?
The Secrets of Shadow Hill series is a young adult fantasy that can be enjoyed by teenagers and adults.
What sparked the idea for this series?
I got the idea for my Secrets of Shadow Hill series when I was put on bed rest while pregnant with my twins. I have always loved to write, but had never tried to write an entire novel before. Anyone who has ever been pregnant can probably agree that you have some pretty vivid and crazy dreams. Night after night I kept having a dream about the water tower scene in Always and Forever, and decided to develop a story based off of that scene.
Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
I have had experiences with both in my Secrets of Shadow Hill series. In Always and Forever, the ideas for the novel came first, but for The Prophecy and War of Wizards, I wanted to focus more on the characters. The Prophecy was driven by Patrick’s story, and the third book in the series, War of Wizards, is telling the story of the group and Hannah’s place in it all.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The hardest part to write in Always and Forever was the dock scene after the battle at the Treaty Meeting. I rewrote that scene about twenty times.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
Always and Forever is really the introduction to the world of Shadow Hill. I hope that my readers are entertained, and fall in love with the characters and the struggles they face. I have been told by a lot of my readers that when they read the books, they feel like they are in a movie, and that makes me happy because I want people to be swept away. There is a great mix of romance and suspense throughout the book that people seem to love.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Always and Forever took me about four months to write.
What is your writing routine?
Most of the time, when I can, I like to go on a run before I write. Running helps me to have a quiet moment to think, organize my thoughts, and refocus. I actually never used to like to run long distances until I began writing, but thinking about a story idea makes the time fly by. It’s a win, win! Once I get home (and showered) my routine is to always, always have music on. I love my headphones that can block out my kids fighting in the background. J I only like to write when I can dedicate at least two hours to it because once I get going, it is hard to stop!
How did you get your book published?
I had submitted Always and Forever to several publishing companies, and was very excited to be signed with Center One Books. I am so appreciative of the opportunity they have given me.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
I would tell them not to get discourage through the process, but also not to settle. Be smart. Research the right publisher for you!
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to spend time with my kids going to the beach or pool. I am also an absolute book addict. My dream day would be hanging at the beach with my kids with my Kindle Paperwhite stocked with books … Ahhh, heaven!!
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is tremendously supportive of my books. I think they were shocked that I could actually write novels. They are my biggest fans.
That's great! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I spent my childhood in Ocean County, New Jersey and was raised by my single mom. I have a twin sister, and my brother is only 10 months older than us, so to say my mom is my hero is an understatement! We have an amazing and supportive extended family in New Jersey who we were always close with, and I consider my cousins my best friends. I moved to California when I was 12 years old when my mother remarried. It was a complete culture shock to say the least, but I love living here and have lived in California ever since. I go back to NJ at least one a year.
Did you enjoy school?
When I was younger, I only liked school because that was where my friends were. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually enjoy learning until college.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
I actually did not like reading until high school. My twin sister was always the reader, and I could never find any books that I liked. Not even Sweet Valley High. J
What was your favorite book as a child?
The first book I ever fell in love with was The Catcher in the Rye. Holden was my first Book Boyfriend!
Who were your favorite authors as a child?
I loved Judy Blume books when I was younger.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I remember sitting in my kitchen in Brick, New Jersey, looking out the window, writing about a troll running through the woods out back. I remember thinking how cool it would be to make a book out of the story. Back then, I thought it was a crazy dream.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
All of my books take place in New Jersey. I loved living there and it holds a lot of wonderful memories for me. Writing about New Jersey helps me to feel connected to everyone back there.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do, and I love it. I am always so surprised how wonderful everyone is when they talk about my books. Most of their comments are talking about how the books should be made into a movie (I wish J), but they also are dying to know what happens between Ava, Patrick, and Dalton.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
The third book in the Secrets of Shadow Hill series, War of Wizards, will be coming out in 2014. I also have my first contemporary romance, Dust to Dust (A Broken Fairy Tale) coming out in late March, 2014.
About the Author
S. P. Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel.
S. P. Cervantes is the author of the highly rated new adult romantic fantasy series Secrets of Shadow Hill. Always and Forever and The Prophecy are the first two book in the series that are available now. The third book in the series, War of Wizards will be released in 2014.
S. P. Cervantes also has a contemporary romance series, A Broken Fairy Tale, in the works and will be releasing the first book of the series, Dust to Dust (A Broken Fairy Tale) in spring of 2014.
S. P. Cervantes has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Cross Cultural Education.