Friday, January 4, 2013

Surrender Blog Tour, Author Interview and Book Review!

The Ferryman and The Flame Book 1
Rhiannon Paille

Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

ISBN: 978-1480029859

Number of pages: 402
Word Count: 100k

Cover Artist: Marc Wolfe

Review copies available on Netgalley:

Book Description:

How far would you go to save everything you ever loved? 
Kaliel was warned about her love for the Ferryman. One day he will marry the land and leave Avristar forever. She doesn't listen, and because of what she is-- a Flame-- one of nine apocalyptic weapons, she sparks a war. In a desperate attempt to save her home and her love, Kaliel tries to awaken Avred, not knowing she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Short Excerpt:

“Sorry I scared you,” he said.
Kaliel pressed her lips to her knees, hoping she could hold in her emotions. “I’m not afraid of you.”
Silence hung between them for awhile. He shifted on the cloak, the black tunic he wore shifting with him. He stretched his legs out, and Kaliel looked at his shin-high boots and breeches. He stole a glance at her turtle shell. “What are you afraid of?”
Kaliel stood. “Happy endings.” She didn’t know how else to explain it. She had contemplated the parable so many times it was exhausting. It didn’t matter which path she took—neither of them seemed very appealing. She let the mist soak her sleeves and stick to her skin. She heard Krishani behind her before he ran his hand down her back making shivers run up her spine. He stayed there, a foot away, and she wished he would move closer, envelope her in his arms. He wasn’t supposed to talk to her. This had to be wrong. What would the brotherhood think?
“Happy endings?” he whispered. He sounded both unsure and nervous. “What do you mean?”
“What if someone comes?” She was worried Lord Istar would burst through the trees and find them in this compromising awkwardness. It seemed more taboo than practically drowning in the lake.
Krishani let out a breath. “Nobody ever comes here.”
Kaliel closed her eyes. “You come here.”
Krishani took a step forward and she could feel the heat radiating off him. “All the time.”
She didn’t answer, instead listening to the sound of the falls. Moonlight glinted off the flecks of water. She thought about the orb of ice he created for her. She hadn’t been able to do anything close to that awesome.
“What are you thinking?” he asked again.
She closed her eyes and felt her energy shift; like it had the day she went to the Great Oak. Heat rushed through her as she leaned back, trying to feel him, but not trying to force it if it wasn’t what he wanted. It was clear to her he cared, but she was so worried about whether or not she should let him.
“My parable,” she whispered.
He went rigid, his hand sliding down her upper forearm. “What did the Oak say to you?”
She shook her head. “Never mind, I have to figure it out. Both paths seem so dreary.”
“You seem too sweet to have a bad parable.”
She didn’t want to talk about the nightmares of the Flames, the parable, the fact the Brotherhood would disapprove of him touching her. It felt so natural; the last few moons had been lonely without him. She couldn’t explain what she felt, but she couldn’t watch him marry the land and leave the island. 
“But I do,” she said. She drew her hands instinctively to her chest, her elbows digging into her ribs. He dropped his hand as she turned, and buried her face in his chest. He reluctantly ran his hands through her hair, letting them rest on the small of her back.
“I thought about you every day,” he said as she pressed her cheek into his tunic.
She smiled against his shirt. “And I thought about you.”
“Promise me something?” He wasn’t holding her, not really, their bodies weren’t pressed together and the inches between them made Kaliel feel cold.
“You’ll find a happy ending.”
“What if I can’t?”
He pulled back and brushed his thumb across her cheek. “Promise me you will.” His eyes met hers and his jaw dropped. His hand paused, cupping her face in his palm. He held her gaze, her heart beating hard. Before she had time to answer, he pressed his lips against hers. She didn’t expect him to do that and it was better than she imagined. She came to life under him, kissing him back with unyielding passion that made him pull away to seemingly catch his breath.
Kaliel’s sadness drained away as he broke from her lips and then cupped her face with both hands and kissed her again, pressing the length of his body against her. His kisses made her feel light and giddy, like she could float into the sky. She slid her hands up his chest and looped them around his neck. There was swimming in the lake and losing her breath and then there was this. Being out of breath with him was like drowning in a sea of happiness. He could keep her prisoner forever and she’d never complain. He pulled away again, and wound his arms around her waist, trapping her against him. His lips found hers again, rough and inexperienced, but strong and satisfying.
She opened her mouth and his tongue grazed hers, warmth spreading from her heart to the rest of her body, making her tingle. She smiled against his lips.
“I missed you.” She tried to steady her breathing.
Krishani shook his head and put his hands on either side of her face. “This is all I want. This and nothing else, ever.” His mouth covered hers again. He pressed himself against her and she sighed. It felt like she had known him her entire life and even longer, if longer even existed.
Images appeared behind her eyelids—the shape of a boy and a girl wearing gaudy crowns on their heads. They were painted into parchment, but they were blurry. She was too elated by Krishani and his lips on hers to record the images, but they seemed familiar.
And then everything changed. Krishani pushed his lips against hers one last time and she felt the shift in her energy dissipate. It was as though all the joy evaporated, replaced by intense fear. She pushed him away and tried to understand the pounding in her heart that made her want to break in half.
Bloom the weed of temptation.
He looked confused and shocked. Without a word, she turned and fled towards the Elmare Castle.

About the Author:

Rhi was never a normal girl. Her life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape her everyday weirdness she began writing fantasy. She studied at U of Sedona and MIMT, obtaining a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. She’s married to a chef/comic book shop owner and she has a fondness for architecture. She frequents twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know her you should visit her site:

Author Interview:
  1. Surrender is such a unique story, where does all of that originality come from?

Hahaha. I’d love to say it comes from my genius mind, but it really doesn’t. I have a penchant for studying obscure things like Celtic and Norse myths, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan traditions, witchcraft, metaphysics, parapsychology, ecopsychology, fairies, sacred geometry, sacred places, etc. I actually own a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, which is basically the Hindu bible.

I think that because I’m eccentric, my writing reflects that.

  1. Why did Surrender become a love story?

I think it was always a love story. I’m a romantic at heart, watched Romeo & Juliet about fifty times (the Leonardo DiCaprio version) when I was a teen and I’ve lived my own tragic love story. Surprisingly enough, Surrender was a very natural place for me to start my writing career because I’m so familiar with the love story and the customs of Avristar.

  1. Why did you choose to name places, and people the way you did?

Avristar in its early days was Istalindir (which was a rip off of a Tolkien word). Before that I called the island Avalon (which was a rip off of Marion Zimmer Bradley) At some point I decided that to be original I had to be original. Still, if you read Mists of Avalon, or any Arthurian myth, you will notice a lot of correlations between Avristar and Avalon. One of the reasons I also changed the name was because I didn’t want to have the responsibility of tying my Avalon to the Avalon people are familiar with today. I was afraid critics would tell me my Avalon was inaccurate because it didn’t feature King Arthur or Morgan Le Fay or the Lady of the Lake.

In regards to the people, I went with the names that seemed to suit them the best. For some of them I took words from the Tolkien dictionary (Atara, Istar and Mallorn) but for others, they came to me with their names in hand. (Kaliel, Krishani and Pux.) I didn’t go into a lot of thought, when I needed a name, I chose one that sounded like it would suit the land. (Eurida, Rueann, Luenelle)

  1. What is a Flame? (and where did that idea come from?)

The Violet Flame was something I stumbled across when I was eighteen. It was an accident. Further inspection into its life showed that current myth seriously misunderstands The Violet Flame, painting it as a thing, not as a living, breathing being. It’s traditionally from Eastern tradition, and people in the Middle East and Asia still meditate on the Violet Flame.

This was the starting point for my story centered around The Flames. At some point in my journey down the rabbit hole I found a reference to eight rays, which were related to the Violet Flame, though texts always called the Violet Flame the ultimate spiritual energy. It then listed off things the Violet Flame can do (erase karma, transmute energy) and because it sounded like a genie in a lantern (St. Germaine carried it in a lantern) I thought it would be interesting to craft a story around it.

That’s essentially how Kaliel became Kaliel.

  1. Why a Ferryman? (and where did that come from?)

For the longest time, Krishani was simply Kaliel’s love interest. I knew I wanted it to be a tragic love story based on a girl who is a Flame (therefore hunted because of how rare she is.) and all she wants is to be normal.

Krishani didn’t out himself as the Ferryman until later. Sure, I was writing about his nightmares long before I put it together that he follows death, means he’s a Ferryman. I used to call him a Watcher because he was watching death . . . then it suddenly came together . . . Ferryman, Grim Reaper, Davy Jones, taking souls to the other side, etc. etc.

I don’t explore what Krishani is in Surrender because my focus was more on Kaliel. In Justice however, that’s when I began learning just how crazy being a Ferryman really is.

  1. Who, what, why and how did Pux end up in the story?

Pux is actually Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I have no idea how he got there. In the original first draft, Kaliel’s best friend is Luenelle. When I did my second rewrite there was this cute feorn hanging around my head all the time that was a trickster, na├»ve, young, and who ended up becoming Kaliel’s best friend.

Pux basically wrote himself into my story and then he took all the best scenes and all the best lines. (imho) In my version I made him a feorn, which is a half wolf, half man like creature. I suppose he’d be a werewolf in some cultures, but for the purposes of my series I called him a feorn.

I’ve had half a mind to ask Julie Kagawa how Puck ended up in her Iron Fey series or into Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange series.

  1. How do you feel about insta-love?

I keep hearing this term being thrown around the blogosphere and I do get it. I don’t like it when relationships are super easy for characters, but I also dislike it when characters purposefully put up roadblocks for their own happiness. If a character knows they like someone they should just be honest.

And that’s the thing about Elvens, they have no choice but to be honest. Sure, they’re not expected to fall in love because love is impractical, but they’re also not the type to ignore it if it does happen. I don’t think it was easy for Kaliel and Krishani to give in to their emotions (they spend a lot of time away from each other fighting their feelings) but once they do their lives get easier for awhile . . . until ultimately that love becomes their downfall. (Talk about a cautionary tale)

  1. If you could do it all over again what would you differently?

It’s funny because I’ve had the opportunity to rewrite Surrender a number of times, and each time I’ve changed very little about the overall story line. There is one thing I’d like to change though, but it’s not something I can control.

I wish Surrender wasn’t my first book.
I wish I had written other fiction before tackling Surrender because Surrender was a major project and it required a lot of love. I guess it’s one of those “If I had known then what I know now” situations, I might have been able to make Surrender “better.”

  1. Which authors do you personally love and look up to?

I’m a big Cassandra Clare fan. Her books taught me that my writing is good. I know that sounds weird, but until her I hadn’t read a YA book in third person, and was worried that what I had written wouldn’t stand up against other works. She taught me that I needed to throw the rule book out the window and write the way I write and trust myself.

I also look up to Julie Kagawa, because of her excellent Iron Fey series, which blends the otherworld with this world, and makes the perfect connection between the Faery world and Earth. I also love her for Mag Tuireadh and how she’s effortlessly woven Celtic Myth into her books. I’m working on that for The Ferryman + The Flame, it just takes time.

  1. Is there a book you wish you’d written?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, damn that was a great book.

  1. Surrender ends on a major cliffhanger, how do you have another book after that?

Ohh, that’s a good one, but the real question is how I manage to have another book after the third book in this series. If you think the ending of Surrender was bad, wait until the end of Vulture. Then come find me with the pitch forks.

I think this series is one of the ones that transcends death. I’m not afraid to go to dark places with my characters and do things unheard of to my characters. Going into Justice I knew there were a lot of elements I’d have to balance to both keep the story moving forward and keep the integrity of my characters alive. I suppose that’s why I’m so anxious for readers to read Justice.

  1. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I can’t say I’m a fan of them when I’m on the receiving end. I like reading books as much as everyone else, and when it ends abruptly, I’m often jarred into a frenzy, wanting to read the next book.

As an author, that appeals to me because I want people to get emotional about my books. That’s the only way they’ll go out there and tell other people about them. So I guess, I like cliffhangers in my books, but I dislike them in other books.

  1. How do you feel about love triangles?

I can accept one if the main character meets both potential partners around the same time, and she/he has to choose between them. But once the main character has chosen, I don’t like them changing their mind.

I’m not a fan of the love triangle where girl meets boy, they fall in love, then they break up, then girl meets another guy, falls in love, and then original boyfriend comes back and it’s all weird.

But then I am a fan of when girl meets boy, they fall in love, another boy comes along, and girl falls for that boy, but doesn’t want to break up with current boy, but ultimately, the second boy gets in the way and bam, girl ends up with the second boy.

  1. Why do Kaliel and Krishani have to marry the land?

In the early days in Ireland, Kings married the land as to honor that land and solidify their sovereignty. I took the idea from there and made it similar. Kaliel and Krishani marry the land because Avristar is a living being, as well as an island. It’s similar to the way nuns marry God.

  1. Surrender in some ways feels like a sequel, why is that?

Kaliel and Krishani are soul mates, meaning they’ve met in a number of past lives. In writing this story I had to choose where to start the story though I knew with them it’s like a cycle of life and death. I know they’ve met multiple times, it was just the best place to start the story.

If you’re really curious about those dreams Kaliel kept having about her and Krishani burning, keep reading. I shed more light on that in Vulture, and I actually write the full First Era short story in Skeleton & Dust (The Ferryman + The Flame #3.5)

  1. Surrender starts with a prologue starring Kemplan. How does he fit into the story?

Kemplan doesn’t fit into the story. I create my universe in a very different way compared to other epic fantasies. Usually everything in epic fantasy can be laid out on a map, and everything exists on the same planet.

That’s not the case in The Ferryman + The Flame, which is why I talk about the “Lands Across the Stars” a lot. I mean that literally because Avristar is one place, but each of the seven “Lands of Men” is its own planet. Same with the Great Library, it exists in the Great Hall, which is in the center of the universe. Avristar makes up one quadrant, while Avrigard, Avristyr and Avrigost make up the other four quadrants.

Instead of using spaceships to get to these other places, they use vortexes (and I use a variety of ways to travel through vortexes from the boat surrounded by mist, to the lantern that rips a rift in time and space, to Crestaos ripping the fabric of time and space.)

Kemplan is essentially stuck in the Great Library, but he has a lot of cool scenes that give the readers additional info they need.

  1. Can you give us any spoilers for the next books?

Hahahaha, okay I can’t tell you what happens in Vulture because it’ll ruin it, but I can tell you that Forgiveness takes place in Kenora, ON, Canada. I can also tell you that Kaliel and Krishani go to high school together.

  1. What other stories do you have in the works?

Wow . . . well I have . . . outlines for 17 other books. I’ve written and released three short stories in my Last City on Earth series, and I plan to put out three more stories for that one. Besides that I have a lot of first person urban fantasies outlined. One is about aliens, the other is about a doll. Either way I have enough to keep me busy for many years to come.

  1. Do you have any writing rituals?

For me it’s all about the music. I can’t write without music. At the same time, I find it hard to write something without the right song.

  1. What about other talents? Is writing the only thing you can do?

I used to think so, but turns out I can sing too. I wanted to be a singer for a long time, but eventually gave up that dream and settled for writing.

My Thoughts and Review:

I absolutely love how this book started. With the epilogue depicting a man tormented by his memories and fearful of what was to come.

And so the story began, “This is the legend of The Ferryman and the Flame.”

Absolutely loved it! It was so attention catching and mysterious and made me immediately start the first chapter eager to hear the tale of The Ferryman and the Flame.

This is definitely a fantasy read, if I am being honest, a little more so than I thought it would be and while that would normally bother me (I am not huge on fantasy with some of the hard names and lands to pronounce) it didn't in this one. The storyline was so unique and interesting that it kept me entertained and turning the pages. The world that Rhiannon created was both magical and beautiful and you couldn't help but be drawn into it.

The tale of love was so reminiscent of the feelings of first love most of us feel. The nervousness, the exciting feeling of not knowing what will come next and when you will see them again. Except this love tale is so much more. In a world where love almost doesn't exist for those of Kaliel and Krishani's position. They are to marry the land, not each other.

I have heard the tale of The Ferryman before but of course never of the Flame. I love stories of star crossed lovers and this one was great. Told from a totally different perspective and cleverly done with the parables and the Oak Tree.

I think all lovers of fantasy (with romance) will really enjoy this one. Krishani is a great strong character although flawed and Kaliel is his match in every way.

I give this one 3.5 to 4 Stars!


  1. Great interview and review. I have been seeing this book around a lot and have been contemplating reading it. I haven't heard of the Ferryman or the violet flame, so that was really interesting. Another one to add to my ever growing TBR list.

  2. With all the great books out this year it is going to be really hard getting that TBR pile under control I think!

  3. I have contemplated reading this one for awhile but I've seen some super negative reviews that had me thinking maybe it wouldn't be my thing. I have to say that that interview and your review has changed my mind. I LOVE fantasy and I think this one is worth giving a shot!

  4. Yay! I am glad you are going to give it a try Candace!
    I loved the interview as well, such fun questions and answers!

  5. What an awesome interview, I loved how the book came to be. I am off to research the Violet Flame. Loved the excerpt! thanks for sharing this one.

  6. Thanks Rhiannon for letting me be a part of the tour!!

  7. Some great questions up there. You certainly hit on many aspects that bloggers hate...insta love, cliffhangers and love triangles. I am never a fan of cliffhangers they just ruin a book for me! Some many different and interesting concepts in this one, I am loving all these books that use mythology. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend. I know it is awful cold in Idaho!

  8. Oh, I read this one when I first started blogging and thought it was pretty good. Great interview and review!

  9. I love obscure myths and I'm a total romantic at heart as well even though I'm a bit bitter on the outside. I agree that I hate insta-love but I also hate when characters fight their love too much. Like everything there has to be the perfect balance. WOW Outlies for 17 books! She had great ideas. I've always had ideas for two books floating around in my mind. Maybe someday I'll try to write them! LOL Great interview! Fantasy isn't always my thing either but this one sounds interesting. I think I do have it on my kindle. Not sure lol I have so many books!