Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"The V Girl" by Mya Robarts

The V Girl
by Mya Robarts

The V Girl is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

In post-apocalyptic North America, rape and sexual slavery are legal. Lila Velez, desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town, and can take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend, Rey, the most attractive man in her town. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute of love.
Lila’s coping mechanism to her mother’s violent attack is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man that she distrusts because his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her … and tempts her in spite of herself.
All the while Lila will have to find a way to live in the constant company of death, slavery, starvation, sexual abuse and the danger of losing the people she loves the most.
Note: Due to strong language, violent scenes and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Just then I hear sounds above the current noise. Steps on the river beach. I’m barely armed not to mention undressed and unprepared. My razors might keep Starville peeping toms at bay, but they’ll be useless against soldiers.
I hear steps approaching and I wade away. In no time I find myself far from where I left my clothes. My best chance to safely get out of this situation is to avoid a fight. I can remain hidden if I move to the other side of the river behind the rocks. If soldiers see me so vulnerable and naked, I’m doomed.
I need to hurry. I have to head home soon and make sure my dad and siblings are safe.
The steps sound like they come from only one person but I can’t be sure. As they sound closer, I notice they come from my right.
I don’t know what I’m more afraid of: the intruder being an armed soldier or the fact of being caught so exposed.
Trying to not splash attract attention, I put distance between me and the steps. Hiding behind some bushes and rocks, I submerge myself, leaving only my head above the water line.
I stand still. Several minutes pass and I hear nothing. When I consider it safe to leave my hiding place, I swim, splashing as little as I can.
Then I notice something that makes my heart skip a beat.
I’m not the only person here.  There’s someone else treading the water.  I can’t see how many people are around, but I can hear as someone else splashes.
A feel of panic rushes hot through my veins.
I’m surprised no one’s attacked me yet.  Haven’t they seen me? Does the splashing come from Starvillers hiding from the shots as well?
For a moment there’s only silence. Then another shot startles me and I fight my body to keep calm. I swim as fast as I can, not caring about silence anymore. Better to put distance between myself and my possible enemies.  The water and the current make my escape slow. I reach a point where the water is only at my knees and I’m hiding behind a trunk.
Then I see him.
A young man, so tall and built that for a moment, I think he’s Sasquatch minus the fur. The water only covers him around the thighs. No one in Starville, not even Rey, is so big or built. His strong muscles reveal years of military training and hint at the drug use that makes Patriot soldiers so inhumanly tall and big. Wet strands of sandy blond hair run down his broad shoulders. A tattoo on his back tells me he has been in combat and is to be respected. A soldier! Something tells me he’s alone.
My stomach clenches in panic. I’m terrified of Patriot soldiers. They are sadistic giants and killing machines. The tonics they take to build their muscles and stature make them extremely dangerous and violent. And horny.
I lose sight of him for a moment. He emerges in a different spot where the water is deeper. He is so tall, the water covers only up his waist while he’s standing. He must be at least seven feet tall. When he moves I can see his most private areas. Every part of him is enormous.
He’s in the very spot I left my clothes. I could wait for him to go, but what if others come to join him? What if they plan to camp here? I want to go home to check on my dad and the twins. The possibility of being discovered with no one to witness when he rapes me makes the hairs on the back of my neck prick. I won’t wait for the coast to be clear, risking discovery and gang rape.
He doesn’t seem to be in attack mode. The soldier is inclined and rubbing foam around his huge torso. He is bathing! I suspect he has a good reason to be unbothered by the shots. If he’s not startled, it’s likely whoever’s making the racket will take his side.
Suppressing the fear that runs through my veins, I force my mind to remain focused. For a moment, I consider attacking him while he’s so naked and defenseless. I’ve been practicing knife throwing with my rebel group. But I’m still learning and suck at it. I rarely hit the target. Besides, Sasquatch’s nakedness and apparent relaxed behavior are deceiving.  I’m armed while bathing, so he probably is too. What if he alerts his companions?
I don’t stand a chance fighting against a trained unit of steroid-injected soldiers. At this moment my only advantage is my knowledge of the hiding places of this river. And stealth. I can do stealth.
He’s blocking the only way to get my clothes and the safer spot to get out of the river.  There’s a gargantuan rock behind him that reaches not far from where I’m hiding. If I could climb it unseen, I could get back my clothes and escape. The only other option is to swim to the other side, where the current is too strong.
The soldier submerges frequently and emerges several minutes after. I pay attention to the soldier’s face.  He looks extremely sad.  Sadness isn’t an emotion I associate with soldiers.
When he rubs his face with foam and closes his eyes, I silently approach the low part of the current and climb the rock. I’m still naked and holding a knife awkwardly. If I can pass him, I’ll hide on the other side and then dress completely unnoticed.
I put my foot on the base of the rock. The water has made it smooth and slippery. There are few places to put my fingers and climb on. But I manage to climb my way up.
When I’m almost at the top, I toss my knife over the rock to free my hands. From here I can confirm the soldier is by himself.
Sasquatch is back under the water now and hasn’t resurfaced for a while. In spite of the danger, I’m impressed. He has lung capacity.
The higher I climb, the less visible I become to him. He finally emerges to take air, but I hide until he goes back under.
I’m close to my goal when my feet become slippery traitors.
I fall to the water below me.
Butt first. Straight toward the soldier’s head.

Praise for the Book
"The V Girl is about changing your own destiny, fighting for your rights, falling in love in such desperate times and what it means to be human. It's dark, unique and addictive. I demand more, Mya!" ~ Erin Plaice
"The V Girl by Mya Robarts is a riveting debut that explores a unique and at times difficult concept in an entertaining and fast paced read that will tug a your emotions and leave you wanting the next chapter as soon as possible." ~ Rachel @ The Rest Is Still Unwritten
"I found all of the characters to be quite well developed, and Lila was both complex and entertaining. The story is compelling, even though there are scenes that had me cringing, and quite a few surprises along the way." ~ Kitty Smith
"Mya Roberts has written a dark and riveting story. It is a true page turner as the characters and story are so well-written you will find yourself lost in this world she has created. The story-line is very different from the normal dystopian future novels." ~ Sarah Elle
"I could not put this book down. I read it without taking a break, staying up too late to finish it. It was an engrossing, original and at times, heart breaking story." ~ Justirishgirl

Interview with the Author
Mya Robarts joins me today to discuss her book, The V Girl.
Hi Lynda! Thank you for having me. I’ve been a fan of your blog since you hosted my cover reveal.
Thanks, Mya! For what age group do you recommend your book?
At least eighteen years old. The V Girl is a sex driven book that portrays violence and romance in a disturbing manner.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I was doing research for a historical novel and in the process I found thousands of testimonies of mass rape during armed conflicts. Throughout history, women have made provisions during war to avoid rape. In countries that have long histories of armed conflicts, women seem to be expecting sexual assault as part of their life and in a way accepting that there’s no way to stop soldiers when they are determined to commit sexual crimes. I thought that facing that prospect, young girls’ provisions might include having intimacy with a guy of their choice.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Both. Lila Velez didn’t have a name when the idea sparked, but she was a part of the creative process. The idea that a young girl would be curious about sex and determined to have it on her own terms when everything else is out of her control was an idea that I thought deserved a book.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Knowing that war-rape is something that is happening around the world as we speak, and giving names, faces, and personalities to the victims of similar cruelty is unnerving. Getting to love the characters and then write their suffering. I like to write to escape from the harshest realities of real life and while writing the book, I was unable to escape that world, that level of darkness, that lack of humanity. The romantic arc was what kept me writing, it gave the book a sense of hope.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I want the book to disturb the readers, but at the same time I aimed to convey the idea that love and hope can prevail during the darkest times.
How long did it take you to write this book?
More than a year.
What is your writing routine?
I have ADD so sticking to a routine is extremely difficult for me. There’s no constant when it comes to my writing. There are days when I pay enough attention to create outlines and write entire chapters, but more often than not, I can’t bring myself to stay focused.
How did you get your book published?
At first, the book appeared on a mailing list devoted to arts. It gained some followers who suggested publishing the story on Wattpad, and then my Wattpad readers asked me to publish on the Kindle store.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Write for fun and don’t give up. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Whether you’re sending query letters to agents or you’re starting the road to self-publishing, you have to feel passionate about your ideas because the road is full of obstacles and the likelihood of failure is way bigger than the likelihood of commercial success. If you write for fun, who is to say that you fail as long as you enjoy it?
Great advice, Mya. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love watching movies. I also love to go to contemporary dance performances.
What does your family think of your writing?
They always praise my ideas and say that they’re unique, but they’re my family what else they could say?
I'm sure they mean it! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I was a well-behaved girl, but I never paid attention in class. My body was there but my mind was somewhere else. I was constantly losing money, school supplies, and other things because I kept forgetting where I put them, which drove my grade school teachers nuts. Back then ADD wasn’t easily diagnosed and they assumed I wasn’t really trying to concentrate.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yes. At 6 years old I could read aloud as if I was an adult. My grandfather’s house was full of books, magazines and comics. I became more interested in reading adult literature, and it wasn’t until many years later that I read Harry Potter and started to get interested in children’s books.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was ten years old.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
I was molested on two separate occasions in two places that were supposed to be secure environments: home and school. On both occasions, my attackers were children themselves, eleven and thirteen years old. Those experiences made me doubt the institutions that are supposed to protect young people and the cliché of sexually unaware children. The inability of adults to protect young people is a recurrent theme in my writing.
Sorry to hear that, Mya. I'm glad you were able to take something positive out of the experience. Which writers have influenced you the most?
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
They usually ask about Aleksey Fürst, the hero of The V Girl, and came up with a "ship" name: Lileksey. I was so happy when I found out they were so involved with the couple.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I’m working on several books set on the second civil war because the social setting is intricate and I didn’t dwell on it when I wrote The V Girl. I hope to publish at least one of these stories in 2016 and, with a little luck, my first contemporary romance will see the light soon.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Mya. Best of luck with your future projects.
Thank you, Lynda. I wish you the best.

About the Author
Mya Robarts is a bookaholic who regrets nothing.
She spent years trying to become a contemporary dance choreographer. Eventually she realized that she enjoyed writing her stories rather than dancing to them.
Robarts is obsessed with books that present damaged characters, swoon-worthy guys, controversial topics and happy endings.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to one of two $15 Amazon gift cards (open internationally).