(Sweet Series #1)
Published: March 24th, 2013 by Bailey Ardisone
When two worlds collide, nightmares become reality. And some secrets...are best kept in Oblivion.
...Until there is hope.
Have you ever wanted to forget? Nariella Woodlinn has. Many times. Especially when her already frustrating life gets turned upside down by a mysterious boy who randomly shows up in her small town. And she can't seem to understand anything about him, despite how much she tries.
Nari hates everything about her life, except for her best friend Rydan, but now that they've been separated during their senior year of high school, she has to learn to make new friends without him. When strange, unexplainable phenomena start becoming an every day part of her life, Nari struggles to come to grips with reality. And with love.
Naminé has responsibilities. Duties. It is her obligation to fulfill all that is asked of her by their King. But when a glimmer of hope is introduced to her by a prisoner she tends to, it means life or death for her and her people. She does all that she can to turn that hope into reality, and finally end the vicious war that has been ensuing since she was born. Even if that means keeping it secret from her King. Even if it means carrying out the biggest betrayal against the King ever seen during her time.
She has hope. She will fulfill her duty. She will not let her people down.
As I walked out of the store, I stopped in my tracks upon seeing this lone figure leaning against the wall outside. He was wearing dark jeans and a dark fitted long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows, exposing his perfect lightly tanned skin. His shirt hugged his muscles just right, accentuating he was tall and slender. A shadow fell just over his face so I couldn’t quite see it, and his black hair was gently layered over his eyes, but it looked like he was giving death stares to a map.
He could have been the devil or maybe an angel, I wasn’t sure. But one thing I did know was he took my breath away. Something about him screamed dangerous yet extremely alluring, leaving me completely mesmerized. My eyes fell to his neck, marked by the strangest tattoo I had ever seen. I thought it was a tattoo anyway. It was really hard to tell through the shadows and distance I was standing from, but it looked to be a mixture of ink and…scars? It was small and sat right in the middle of the left side of his neck.
I quickly turned on my heel before he noticed me gawking at him, feeling like a complete idiot for standing there as long as I did trying to make out his tattoo…thing. Whatever it was. Either way, I tried to catch the breath that I somehow lost just from his presence. I had no idea what was wrong with me; apparently I'd gone crazy.
1. Words in the Water by Thrice
2. Anthology by Thrice
3. Sicilienne, BWV. 1031 - Ewa Poblocka by Bach, J.S.
4. Un Sospiro - Fuziko Hemming by Liszt
5. Sonata No. 14 'Moonlight' by Beethoven
6. Prélude (In Cello) by Johann Sebastian Bach
7. Prélude No. 4 - Op.28 No.4 - in Em by Chopin
8. Bayside Acoustic Album
9. Letters To You by Finch
10. What It Is To Burn by Finch
(Sweet Series #2)
Published: July 25th, 2013 by Bailey Ardisone
Sometimes the hardest war to fight is the one raging within yourself…
Life will never be the same for Nariella Woodlinn. Just when she thought she had it all figured out, her world comes crumbling down around her-yet again. With no idea who she is or even where she came from, how can she save herself?
She once thought her biggest problems were the ones brought on by the mysterious man she refused to fall in love with—Mycah. But she quickly discovers none of that compares to what she is about to encounter next.
This time, it isn’t because of who Mycah is.
This time, it’s because of who she is.
Naminé risked everything to save her people. Her goal was to bring their only hope back to their Kingdom. As the war rages on around her, Naminé gets thrown into the lion’s den—the false King’s chambers. Can she fool a King who can’t be deceived on his playing field? Forced to do his bidding, can she prevent the downfall of the only hope she worked so hard to bring home? Will she be able to escape with her life and mind intact?
With everyone’s world falling apart and deceit around every corner…can any of them truly Escape?
At first, I felt nothing. I had weaved our dreams together successfully, but felt nothing coming from him. We were connected, but I had no indication if he was here, or in what state of mind he would be in.
It was snowing ever-so lightly, and even though the sun was brightly shining above, I shivered in the freezing cold temperature. Wrapping my heavy cloak tighter and up around my face, I took a few steps and wandered about in the snow.
Suddenly, I got a slight sense of something coming from the East. I quickly turned to face the Eastern end of the mountain range, and even though I could not see him, I knew he was here, somewhere.
Again, I faintly sensed an essence, but now coming from the West. I whipped around and tried to focus on what was in front of me. I saw nothing.
Looking around, I realized the snow was thicker and I could hardly see a foot in front of me. Slowly, I began walking to the West, when without warning I sensed something—this time to the North. I stopped and turned my body to the right, but alas, nothing again.
My breathing quickened as I started to understand that he was playing with me, trying to trap me in his game. I all too soon did not want to be here anymore, and when I thought that perhaps I should end this façade, the ground that I was standing upon started to shake. I took a few steps backward and ended up with my back against the frigid mountain. After several seconds of incessant trembling, it felt like the mountain was going to collapse.
A loud thud to my right made me look over and up to see a giant avalanche of snow and ice tumbling down the side of the mountain, only to land a few feet from where I stood in a matter of seconds. I began to run in the opposite direction, but the slippery, icy snow prevented me from making it very far. I struggled with all my might to make my way to safety. Where did one hide from an avalanche?
Faintly, I heard deep sinister laughter in the air. I abruptly stopped and stood firm.
1. Harsh Realms by Tom Gabel
2. Standard Lines by Dashboard Confessional
3. The Best Deceptions by Dashboard Confessional
4. Naive by The Kooks
5. Always Where I Need To Be by The Kooks
6. A Lack Of Color by Death Cab For Cutie
7. Deadbolt by Thrice
8. Paper Tigers by Thrice
9. In Years To Come by Thrice
10. Brandon Setta/Jamie Rhoden Acoustic Split
Most of my favorite authors are indie or self-pubbed, what made me you decide to go that route?
If anyone knows me, they know I have no patience haha I still to this day have never submitted my writing to a publisher. I just didn’t, and still don’t, want to wait to hear back from anyone to tell me whether or not my book should be published. I knew when I began writing Sweet Oblivion that I wanted to self-pub, so I never even looked into getting it published by a company. I am also a control-freak, and that is one of the advantages of being an Indie - you have full control over your work.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I could actually write. LOL I know that may sound silly, but I honestly did not know I had it in me until I finished Sweet Oblivion. Now I love it, and am kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
Which of your characters are you most like? Least like?
I think I am most like Nari. It is really hard not to put some of yourself in your main character, especially when the story is told through their eyes in a first-person view. Obviously, there are some things that we differ on, like I would never refuse to fall in love with someone as hot as Mycah. LOL But, there are elements of myself in each of my characters, and I think Nari has the most.
Do you have a particular writing habit?
I really don’t. Music is my biggest inspiration, as it is with most authors, but a lot of times things will just hit me in the middle of nowhere. I have literally jumped out of a shower one time and then went scrambling for a paper and pen because I just HAD to write down what just came to me. Or I will be sitting in the car, listening to the music playing, and so many things are coming to me I spend the entire time typing my thoughts out on my phone so I don’t forget (my husband drives lol). When I am at home, I write when I am ready to write, and sometimes it comes at completely random times.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
A mentor? I would say Nancy Straight. She helped me see/understand things about writing when I had first started out, and I truly am grateful to this day for her advice.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Mary Smith is an up-and-coming writer, and I am really looking forward to her stories that will be coming out in the next several months.
What is the hardest part of your writing?
I find all that filler stuff surrounding scenes the hardest part about writing. I just want to tell the good parts of the story, or get to the dialog. I have to force myself to add down-time and filler material.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice would be to make writing a priority. The only reason I finished Sweet Oblivion and Sweet Escape is because I made them a super high priority in my life. We all are busy. I work a full-time job, plus I have a husband, 3 bunnies, and a dog living in my house. A lot of Indie authors have all that, PLUS kids! And they still release several books a year. How do they do it, you ask? They make writing a priority. It isn’t easy, but if you love your story, don’t be afraid to make it really high on your priority list, finish it, put it out there, and I guarantee you someone else will love it too.
Describe yourself in three words.
Dreamer, Realistic (yes, I am both a dreamer AND realistic!), Passionate
I know characters are like children but if you could chose, who’s your favorite from your books? Of all time?
Mycah is my favorite. I am in love with him. Before I even started writing Sweet Oblivion, my whole idea was about him and his brain-power, something I had been dreaming about for the past ten years (long time, right? I never thought to actually write my idea down). Nari (and the others) didn’t even come to my mind until later.
Any song or songs that could basically sum up the overall mood of your writing?
Thrice. The emotions Dustin Kensrue (lead singer/writer of the band) pours into his music, no matter what he is saying, is my constant inspiration. But, for specific songs with the lyrics to depict the moods, Yellow Angels by Senses Fail for Sweet Oblivion, and Weight Of The World by Your Sweet Uncertainty for Sweet Escape.
Do you plot out your books or just freely write them and let the characters tell you what to do next?
I see it all in my head, as far as the plot goes. But all the scenes that come out is all free-writing, the characters basically telling me what to do next. I am definitely a “panster” as they say. I don’t do outlines, except for what is in my head.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider the biggest influence in your writing?
J.R.R. Tolkien is my biggest influence as far as actual content/plot. For writing style, it is Rachel Higginson. I had already written Sweet Oblivion before I started reading her books, but when I read hers, I knew that was exactly how I wanted my writing to be - casual, light, but at the same time detailed and emotional. I think we do share a similar writing style, but reading hers cemented in my mind that it was okay to be loose with your writing. You didn’t have to sound stuffy and professional all the time - you could SPEAK to the reader through your style. Since I was new to writing, my style was naturally casual, and I worried that I didn’t sound like a true writer. Rachel Higginson gave me the “approval” that I needed to publish my writing style.
What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have several ideas in mind that I will be working on once I finish the Sweet Series, such as a contemporary stand-alone novel, but nothing I have dwelled too much on as of yet. I am putting all my focus and time on finishing this series first. So currently, I am working on book 3 of the series, which is titled Sweet Requiem. I am hoping to release it later this fall.
Thank you so very much for having me! These questions were awesome! =)
Bailey Ardisone is a collaboration by two sisters born and raised outside Chicago, Illinois. They took the last names of their two grandmothers and combined them together to form their pen name. They both married the love of their lives and spend their days submerged in books, movies, music, or art and love traveling. Fantasy books and movies have been a huge part of their lives and are obsessed with Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Sweet Oblivion is their first novel and is the first installment of a series.