Reflection Pond (Reflection Pond, #1) by Kacey Vanderkarr
Release Date: 04/01/14
Urban Fey Press
Summary from Goodreads:
Sometimes you find home, sometimes it comes looking for you. Callie knows a lot more about pain than she does about family. She’s never belonged, at least, not until she falls through a portal into her true home. The beautiful faerie city of Eirensae doesn’t come free. Callie must find her amulet and bind herself to the city, and most importantly, avoid the Fallen fae who seek her life. Seems like a small price to pay for the family she’s always wanted. Then she meets cynical and gorgeous Rowan, who reads the darkness of her past in her eyes. He becomes Callie’s part-time protector and full-time pain in the ass. He has secrets of his own for Callie to unravel. What they don’t know is that the future of Eirensae lies with them, and the once peaceful city is about to become a battleground for power.
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Links to Book Two – Poison Tree:
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About the Author Kacey Vanderkarr is a young adult author. She dabbles in fantasy, romance, and sci-fi, complete with faeries, alternate realities, and the occasional plasma gun. She’s known to be annoyingly optimistic and listen to music at the highest decibel. When she’s not writing, she coaches winterguard and works as a sonographer. Kacey lives in Michigan, with her husband, son, and crazy cats. Along with her novels, Reflection Pond and Antithesis, Kacey's short fiction can be found in Sucker Literary Vol 3, and the upcoming Spark Vol 7, Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things, and Out of the Green: Tales from Fairyland.
Author Links: Website│Goodreads│Twitter│Facebook
I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!!!!!!Callie has never belonged anywhere and has been juggled through foster home after foster home. One day, while she runs away she falls into a pond and finds herself underground with the pond shimmering above her. Ash and Rowan find her there and bring her to their leader Hazel. Callie finds out she has a sister and finds a home-something she never had back on Earth. Eirensae is the world of the fae and there, to belong to that world you have to find your amulet that the Elders have hidden. You have a time frame of two years and if you don't find your amulet, you are cast out and stripped of your powers. Everyone has a power for example Rowan is a healer and Callie's sister, Saphire, is the prophetess, Callie however is different, she has four powers and she is an immense asset to Hazel. But on the first night of her arrival, a murder occurs and Callie is thrown into the mess. With her growing powers, Hazel's hunger augments and Callie's life is in danger because she is the one who will lead Eirensae to its victory or its ultimate destruction...
Rowan also never had the feeling of belonging and has immensely dark secrets that readers will keep trying to unravel throughout this novel. He only has two months left before he is cast out of Eirensae for not finding his amulet, then again he never felt like he belonged there,..Ash was a sweet character but i did prefer Rowan and he makes a perfect match for Callie.
The story was intricately and beautifully woven. The plot and setting were beautiful and magical. The language was melodious and there wasn't a thing i found wrong in this book!! IT WAS JUST PERFECT!!! I loved finding out about Callie's growing powers and her dark past that she has yet to reveal to Rowan. I'm sure the next book will be more adventurous and i cannot wait to get my hands on it!! I think EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!!! IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE BANNER ABOVE IT'S FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE UNTIL THE 6TH FEBRUARY..GET IT NOW!!!
keep reading for experts and the author interview!!
Lights flickered through the window, illuminating Callie’s face. She lifted one eyelid and groaned. Her shoulder blades and tailbone ached as though she’d fallen asleep on a sharp rock. Why was she on the floor? A steady beat throbbed at the base of her skull, like someone taking an ax to her brain and chopping it into tiny pieces. She pressed a palm to her forehead in hope of drowning out the world. A rumble shook the floor, vibrating up through Callie’s body.
She forced both eyes open. A gilt ceiling rose over her. Lightning turned the gold into knives that stabbed at her eyeballs. Her clothes felt damp and sticky. Her mouth tasted like rotten fruit. She rolled onto her side, cringing the entire way.
A woman lay next to Callie, hair spilling across the floor in a dark, silken waterfall. Her eyes were open, a startling blue that reminded Callie of an endless sky, bright against the china pale of her iridescent skin. She looked like stone, so smooth, so cold. A single scarlet droplet dangled from the woman’s dry lips.
Wine, Callie thought, but the idea had no roots.
Where was she?
Callie couldn’t remember.
As she watched, the dark bit of liquid grew heavier and heavier, finally falling into a large puddle of—
She was so still. So pale. So—
Callie scrambled to her feet, her hands slipping and fumbling. Her mouth rounded, but no sound came out. The woman was wreathed in red. It splattered her face and trailed her neck. It spread beneath her like a blanket.
Help—someone—where was she? Callie lifted her hands in front of her face, horrified. Her arms were streaked with blood, an abstract painting of death.
“Help me,” she said. “Help me!” Her voice gained strength and she screamed. She ran for the closed door, her heels sliding in blood. She crashed into the frame, leaving bright, damning handprints. “Help me, help me, help me.”
She left smudges on the doorknob and on the golden walls of the never-ending hallway. She threw open doors to empty rooms, still screaming. “Help me!” Nobody, nobody. She yelled at the hallway, the doors, the windows.
Finally, footsteps. Callie ran toward them, the swirl of her dress flinging blood onto the floor. She crashed into a blond woman. She knew her…knew her…
“Sapphire!” Callie shrieked. “There’s a—and she’s—”
Sapphire’s hands were all over Callie. “Where is it? I don’t see any—”
A dark-haired boy emerged from a far doorway. “What’s all this screaming?” he growled, then he saw Callie and his face went pale. “Let me heal her,” he said, rushing to them and pushing Sapphire away.
“She’s not hurt,” Sapphire said.
Callie grabbed a fistful of each of their shirts. Sapphire and Rowan. She knew them now. “She’s dead. She’s dead.”
Rowan’s expression went from worried to confused to horrified, and then he was running away from them, into the room where Callie had been. Sapphire went after him. Callie followed, her stomach twisting. She reached the doorway as Rowan said, “She’s gone.” He was knelt over the woman, hands pressed to her face.
Callie could see the wounds now, how they tore at her flesh, jagged slices in her arms, her legs, her neck. Callie’s gaze traveled over the pooled blood to Rowan. His lips were moving.
“What happened?” he said. “What happened?”
Sapphire was on her knees now, the woman’s head cradled in her lap. “Orchid,” she whispered, saying the name over and over again like a prayer.
Callie swallowed the bile at the back of her tongue. “I don’t know. I don’t—”
She backed away, his words sliced through her skull. She tried to remember, but there was nothing.
“Callie is seventeen,” Rowan said to Ash as soon as Callie and Sapphire were out of earshot.
Ash shrugged. “So what? Is that too young for you?”
Rowan held open the door to one of the many unused bedrooms in the palace and the two boys stepped inside. “She’s still a child, vulnerable to the Fallen. The last thing we need is another Immortal wandering around.”
“That’s unheard of, Row. There hasn’t been an Immortal in decades. Not since before the fae diverged into the four cities.”
Rowan went to the window. The city was awake now. The message of the prophetess’s murder had spread like a disease. The fae rushed to the palace in the rain, clutching each other, crying. Rowan knew it would rain for days.
He flattened a hand over his stomach, remembering. It was like seeing his life through someone else’s eyes. It wasn’t Rowan who laid on the floor bleeding out, but some weaker, lesser being. Rowan would’ve known better, should’ve known better. He would’ve saved a life instead of taken one. Seeing the prophetess had sharpened the edges of his memory until the cuts were fresh again. “It’s not as unlikely as you think,” he said.
“I’ve researched Immortals and the Fallen. Their numbers are few.”
“Immortals are immensely powerful, Ash. Just because they aren’t in the recorded history doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Regardless, Callie is a target, here inside the city and now in the human world. She’s not safe anywhere.”
“Is useless,” Rowan said. He watched two unglamoured faeries kiss before entering the palace. The man tangled his fingers into the woman’s thistle hair. Blood stained his hands, her hair, the ruins of their clothes. Rowan wondered what it would be like to be in love so deeply that you wouldn’t notice the pain.
“Why the change of heart? Yesterday you wanted to ship her back to the humans…and suddenly you care?” Ash stood now, joined Rowan at the window. The two lovers had entered into the palace, holding hands.
“I don’t—” care, he wanted to say, but the lie lodged in Rowan’s throat and choked him. “I just don’t think it’s fair,” he amended. Life would be so much easier if he could lie. It was exhausting to plot every word into truth. Now he had Sapphire’s command hanging over his head like a sword.
“So we’ll talk to Hazel.”
Rowan could see Ash’s concerned face in the window’s reflection. It pissed him off. “That’ll be great,” he said with a sneer. “The unimprinted non-member and a teacher. Maybe you can teach Hazel the ways of our past, too, counsel her on how a faerie leader is supposed to act because you’re certainly not going to defend the city against the Fallen.”
“I didn’t mean—” Rowan said, regretting his words, but they both knew he had meant it. Ash’s imprint made him an educator, and much like in the human world, it was a thankless job. He taught the incoming fae the histories and how to control their powers. But Ash really wanted to be a warrior. Ash had tried to learn after Rowan had returned to Eirensae.
Rowan could fight, both with weapons and his bare hands, but no matter how many times Rowan went over a block or a kick or patiently explained how to hold a quarterstaff, Ash never got it right. He was always too slow, too uncoordinated. Eventually Ash had abandoned fighting, and the two boys had focused on their mutual love of information. But it hadn’t taken long for Rowan’s knowledge to surpass Ash’s.
“You know what? You’re right.” Ash said, heading for the door. He paused, hand on the knob. “I’ll never be like you,” he said softly, not looking at his friend, “but you’ll never be like me, either.”
Even though Rowan could fight, Ash still had one thing up on him. One, giant, unequivocally important thing. Ash was imprinted. A full, permanent member of the city, whereas Rowan, without his amulet or imprint, was nothing more than a meaningless child, voiceless, worthless.
Ash slammed the door and it was Rowan’s turn to flinch. It was the first time Ash had thrown Rowan’s status back in his face.
What’s your writing ritual?
I don’t have a specific ritual that gets me in the writing mood, though there are some things that make inspiration a little easier. I love to listen to music while I write, so I always have a playlist of songs that reflect the mood of what I’m writing. I also drink gallons of coffee, which is a writer’s best friend. My husband gave me a Keurig for Christmas. I love him for feeding into my bad habits. I need a lot of distraction, so I prefer to write in coffee shops or places with background noise and lots of colors. I also need Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail up in the background for frequent “rest” breaks.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Coffee shops. Barnes and Noble. It used to be Borders back in the day. I was pretty torn up when they closed. Unfortunately, there are no good places close to my new house, so I spend most of my time writing at home or on breaks at work. (Which is why it’s so slow going, lately. I miss my comfort places.)
What was your favorite book as a teenager?
The Earth’s Children series by Jean M. Auel and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.
When was the moment you decided to write?
I was on a semester break from college when I completed my first novel, though it wasn’t the first manuscript I’d written. I’ve always loved books and reading and technical writing, so it wasn’t a far leap for me to write a novel. It was around the time that Twilight was big and I think Stephenie Meyer inspired a lot of young people to write. It was one of those, if she can do it, so can I. So I did.
When did you know you wanted to be a young adult author and how did you go about pursuing it?
YA makes sense to me. I could go on and on about all the reasons I love writing YA, but it’s not important. Basically, wanting to be a writer is just like wanting to be anything else. You figure out how it’s done and you do it, and you never stop learning. I’m still learning and I have a long way to go, but just like any other dream, you don’t give up. You press on. You become bigger and better with every word.
What did you do for inspiration when writing Reflection Pond?
I listened to a lot of music and read books about fairies. I’m partial to Holly Black, she makes fairy amazing.
Did you ever hit writer’s block, and if so, what did you do to get over it?
All the dang time. Writer’s block makes me dramatic. It probably happens less than I think, but if I don’t write anything for a few days, I get itchy, like I want to crawl out of skin. Then I email/text/Skype all my writer friends about how I haven’t written anything in DAYS and I feel so uninspired and blah and My. Life. Is. Over.
Then the next day I’m back to writing and everything is awesome. I don’t have any specific way to get over it. It just happens and I move on.
What is the most frustrating part about writing the story?
When things don’t move as quickly as I like. I hate writing out of order, it makes me nervous. But I’ll have scenes that I’m excited to get to. Usually fight scenes, kissing scenes, things that are intricate and emotional. But there will be say, 100 pages between where I am and where these scenes will happen. I get bogged down in the tedium and want instant gratification. It’s hard for me to be at Point A when Point B is so much more interesting.
What is the most frustrating part about editing?
Everything. Editing is a necessary evil, and at times, can feel rewarding, but for the most part, it’s boring, annoying, and makes me want to rip my hair out. No matter how many times you go over a piece, you’re always going to miss something. That’s the most frustrating part of editing, editing draft after draft and knowing there’s things you’re missing.
What is the best part about writing the story?
The release. I think as writers we get lost in the idea that we’re writing for other people. It all starts with us, the writer, the story, the characters. They’re inside of us just begging to be set free. While that’s happening, it’s not about the potential reader years down the line, it’s a sacred moment of emotional and intellectual release between the writer and her characters.
What is the best part about editing?