Monday, April 20, 2015

Tour Kick Off: The Benighted by @amdunnewin

Dark Fantasy / Romance
Date Published: November 25, 2013

The King was dead. 

His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder. 

Confined to darkness, Skylar's captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It's when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can't suppress the memories of her family's downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is, because even the darkness can't hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all. 

With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar's only hope is in the person who has gone missing—Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison's walls, Skylar doesn't realize that she will soon see why he's one of the Benighted. 

The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It's how he'll return.

#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?

            I do, though sometimes it’s treated more like an obsessive hobby. Whether I write full-time or in my spare time, I’ll always be writing. I’ll always be chasing after that next story idea.

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?

            For The Benighted, the hardest part was writing the brutal scenes, which included the whipping and electrocution that the main character had to endure. I was writing Benighted in such haste that when I came to those really gritty scenes, I didn’t give myself a chance to really question why I was writing them. Usually I sit back and debate on if I’m crossing a line or not, but with this story I literally took a leap of faith and let the story dictate the outcome. Those scenes ended up adding good points to the overall plot, but it really does show the darkest parts of humanity that can be unnerving.

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?

            I’ve been blessed with a very strong support system, and there are numerous people who have helped encourage my writing along the way. The main person, however, who physically helped would be my dearest friend and writing companion Gina Engman. She not only helps with editing and critiquing my work, but also brainstorming, encouraging, and letting me know when to keep ideas and when to let them go. I’m beyond grateful for all the help she has given me, and could never thank her enough.

#4 – What is next for your writing?

            I’m currently finishing my next novel “Under A Melting Sun” which is a historical fiction set in the Amazon rain forest. It will be coming out Summer 2015. Pre-ordering will be available within the next couple months, in which I will be donating 100% of my share of the proceeds to the non-profit organizations Amazon Watch and Cool Earth in order to help protect not only the Amazon rain forest but the Congo as well.

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?

            Oh very much so. I’m currently finishing “Light at the Edge of the World” by Wade Davis, “The Blue Amaryllis” by Sonia De Leon and Jennifer Clark Sell, and “Gabriel’s Inferno” by Sylvain Reynard.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet: 
            The Benighted is a dark fantasy that twists gritty realism with colorful imagery, forcing strong characters into an unparalleled story line.

This or That?

#1 - iPd or Mp3?

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?
            Mashed Potatoes.

#4 – Comedy or Drama?
            Depends on my mood, but mostly comedy.

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?
            Danielle Steel.

#6 – Fantasy or Reality?

#7 – Call or Text?
            Text. Unless you’re Henry Cavill or Gerard Butler, in which you can have my phone number, address, soul, etc.

#8 – Public School or Home School?
            Public School.

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate

#10 – eBook or Paperback?
            Both, though paperbacks will always be my #1 choice.

A. M. Dunnewin inherited her love for mysteries and thrillers from her family, which motivated her to pursue a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. Although her stories cover a wide range of genres, she primarily writes historical fiction and thrillers. An avid reader at heart, she's also a passionate collector of both antique books and graphic novels, and has been known to search for stories in the most random places. She lives in Sacramento, California.

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