Divide and Conquer
Champions of Elonia
Genre: Urban Fantasy with romance elements
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: March 2, 2015
Number of pages: 377 print pages
Word Count: 97k
Cover Artist: Ellie Smith
Two women. One prophecy. Zero places to hide.
Flung from her mundane Seattle existence into a world of magic, scientist Lea struggles to make sense of a destiny she doesn’t want. The moment she finds comfort in the arms of a man who appreciates her inner nerd, a new magic sweeps the realms.
Nieve, Lea’s instructor, may be seasoned in the art of war, but she’s clueless when it comes to romance. To save her world, she allies herself with her enemy, a kindred warrior soul, who leaves no doubt he’s after more than her cooperation.
As each tick of the clock swallows another person’s memory, Lea and Nieve will do anything to hang on to theirs, but betrayal drives a wedge in their friendship. Can they reconcile and rally the troops before the magic wipes out their pasts?
Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/jLmIiCumCQE
"Urban Fantasy doesn't get better than DIVIDE & CONQUER. Action, excitement, and 2 kick-ass heroines to root for fill this rich, complex and dynamic world. Carmen Fox does not disappoint!"
~National & USA Today Bestselling author Anna J Stewart
I dropped my magical defenses, allowing my luster to envelop me in a powerful light. Without the sun’s ready supply of energy, that meant using some of my precious resources.
“Holy crap.” Lea jumped out of her bed and squeezed against the far wall of the room.
Finally, some reaction. “It’s called luster.” I twirled to prove I wasn’t hiding a flashlight behind my back. “It’s a by-product of an Elonian’s affinity with light. Anyone sensitive to magic can see it unless I suppress it.”
In my mind, rows of thick bricks piled one on top of another around me, extinguishing my luster.
“A-are you an angel?” Her airless voice barely traveled the distance between us.
I kinked back my head and laughed. “Definitely not.”
She unglued herself from the wall and took a few steps toward her bed. “You said I’m an Elonian. Why don’t I shine?”
“You can’t see your own luster, but it’s there. Without the training to suppress it, you’re a living flame to the Shades. It’s the reason they call us Sparks. It’s also how they’ll identify you. You know, before they kill you.”
Lea picked up a sweater from the floor. Her focus went distant, no longer in this world. Something I’d said must have triggered a switch in her brain. Not a day too soon.
I trotted to the corner by the window and picked a collection of stuffed animals off the armchair. From the deep V between Lea’s brows, I concluded her thought processes weren't going anywhere fast. Once the toys occupied the windowsill, neatly arranged by height, I sat.
With her dark lashes, a tiny nose and a sprinkling of freckles, she looked so young and so…Kindred. Unexpected sadness ripped through my chest. The misery pressed onto my diaphragm, making me feel like I was an evil monster come to chop up her innocence like next week’s firewood.
Even though she was predicted to be my ally through the dark days, she was still a total stranger. Yet her pale, elfin face stirred something in me, some glimmer of recognition, of familiarity even. My childhood friend Belinda had a similar innocence about her. She’d chew the end of her pen for hours while pondering her words. Her poems were meant to bring joy to a war-torn land. They burned with her when Galleo invaded her village.
Lea would not share Belinda’s fate. I’d see to that. By the end of her training, she’d be able to take on a whole battalion of Shades by herself. I squinted at her short stature and took a sobering breath. If not a battalion, then a group of ten.
About the Author:
Carmen Fox is an Amazon no. 1 bestselling author in the vampire and werewolf mystery categories for her book Guarded (The Silverton Chronicles). Guarded was also the Amazon no. 1 urban fantasy novel in Australia.
She lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. An avid reader since childhood, she caught the writing bug when her Nana asked her to write a story. She also has a law degree, studied physics for a few years, dabbled in marketing and human resources, and speaks native-level German and fluent Geek. Her preferred niches of geekdom are tabletop games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.
I hail from Germany, but the UK has been my home for more than twenty years. First I lived in Wales and now in England.
Tell us your latest news.
My latest news is that the release date for my next book is set. I hate being in a state of limbo. At least now I can get bookmarks and other swag printed, read a couple of books that have been in my tbr pile for too long, and most importantly start looking toward my next projects. Yup, it’s full steam ahead for me now.
When and why did you begin writing?
Fresh from college, I needed a car, and my nana gave me a loan. Her condition: in lieu of interest, I’d have to write a story for her, so from that point on, she received a new chapter every month. Once the loan was paid off, we carried on with our arrangement.
When she died, so did the story. I just couldn’t face finishing it if she wasn’t around to read it. But I’d caught the writing bug and wrote new stories instead.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment someone read my stuff and said it was good. That’s a moment I’ll never forget. I flash back to it whenever I receive a positive review or when someone compliments my writing.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The thousands of books I read as a child. I’ve always made up stories, and I’ve always loved magic. Scary magic, cute magic, funny magic. If it had a wizard, a witch, an angel or a demon in it, I’d read it. Naturally I gravitated to writing first Middle Grade and then Urban Fantasy as I got older.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Some would argue I do. You have to pay attention, and a good reading level helps. Kidding. Living in Britain means I occasionally use words that my American, Canadian or Australian readers might not be all that familiar with. I also take great care to make the reader feel like she’s inside my characters, seeing the world from their viewpoints, without giving lengthy descriptions of the setting. I hope this comes across.
How did you come up with the title?
The two worlds at stake in Divide and Conquer are separated by a magical boundary that’s commonly referred to as the Divide. Here’s a confession. My friend Carole thought of the title, and it stuck. I didn’t even come up with the name of the series, “Champions of Elonia.” That was my editor, Celia Breslin. The book itself is my own, though. Promise.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I write to entertain. That’s it. But it’s no accident that my female characters are strong and independent.
Divide and Conquer touches on another aspect that’s often forgotten in fantasy. That the friendship you share with the right person is just as important as your relationships.
How much of the book is realistic?
Hmm. None of it. All of it. The emotions are real. The strength in us is real. That search for who we truly are is very real.
The chain-smoking gargoyle is not.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not on specific experiences, but now and again you’ll find a situation that really happened to me.
What books have most influenced your life most?
All of them. Each book teaches me something new, because the characters have opinions and argue their points more eloquently than I could. You can’t help but be influenced by them.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Mary Buckham. I’ve had other teachers and instructors, but in terms of the sheer wealth of wisdom she’d imparted on me, it has to be her. If you don’t know her, she also writes kickass urban fantasy.
What book are you reading now?
I’m about to start a new Sylvia Day book and can’t wait.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes. LD Rose, Rebecca Rivard, Anna J. Stewart and Julie LaVoie have produced great titles in 2015 and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on sequels for my two urban fantasy series, but before I start the next one, I want to try my hand at a novella about a werewolf detective.
What would you like my readers to know?
That I’m approachable. If you have suggestions, complaints or questions, you can contact me on Facebook or via my website, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Book page: www.carmen-fox.com/dac
Sample Interview questions
Tell us about the role of women in your writing.
They’re strong. This is particularly true for Lea and Nieve, the two heroines of DIVIDE AND CONQUER. They’re happy to accept help, but are perfectly capable of beating the odds by themselves.
What makes DIVIDE AND CONQUER different from other books?
Many books rely on a main female character and a male character working together. The importance of female friendship often falls by the wayside. I wanted to create a book with an ambitious plot that celebrates women and their friendships. Think Lethal Weapon, or any other buddy movie, but with women, magic and a chain-smoking gargoyle.
Who are Lea and Nieve?
Lea is a physics geek who searches for meaning. She starts out as a newbie to all things magic, but proves herself to be resilient and stubborn. Nieve is a tough warrior, but over the course of the book her softer side comes through, helped along both by Lea and by a man she wishes she didn’t have feelings for.
So, what about romance?
Neither Lea nor Nieve have had typical high school experiences so their romantic entanglements throw both for a loop. Lea is too cerebral to simply fall for a guy, or at least she thought she was until she meets a certain someone. Swept away by her first real crush, she must find a way to balance who she is with who she wants to be. If anything, Nieve is even worse off. She’s a warrior, and the men she knows are put off by strong woman. The one guy who isn’t might just be the last man Nieve wants to get involved with.
Do you have a close best friend?
No. Even though most of my life my best friends were male, for a few years I did have a best female friend called Kim. She moved away from my home town when I was about thirteen and we kept in touch until we went off to college. I haven’t seen or spoken to her since. As you get older, making close friendships gets tougher. You end up with many good friends, but this one meaningful other who is willing to accept you for who you are is a rare beast to find.
2 copies of the Divide and Conquer e-book
1 copy of the Guarded paperback (unsigned) 3 $10 Amazon giftcards
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