I am so honored to be a part of The Essence blog tour and to be able to share a guest post with you written by one of my favourite authors – Kimberly Derting.
Tour host: Shane @ Itching for Books
Series: The Pledge
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: 1st January 2013
At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.
Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.
As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.
Guest Post – The Pledge series journey and inspiration
The original idea for THE PLEDGE actually came from a German-American woman I’d met several years ago who’d grown up in WWII Germany. She’d only been a little girl then, but her memories of her childhood were terrifying. She told me about being awakened in the middle of the night to air raid sirens, and having her older sisters throw her over fences as they ran through the night to escape the bombings and hide in the mine shafts outside town. She explained how Hitler’s reign over her country tightened in increments, as everyone was forced to at least pretend they were loyal to him. If they didn’t, they were sent away on the trains. And even though, as a little girl, she didn’t know where the trains went, she knew it wasn’t good.
As I was working on the idea for THE PLEDGE, and developed the idea of a girl who lived in this society divided by language—and the one girl who could understand them all—I kept thinking about Marie, the German woman I once knew. I started incorporating her stories into the book, until she sort of became one of the characters: Charlie’s little sister, Angelina.
Charlie’s world is dark and violent, ruled by an old and bitter queen. Technology is minimal, and people are afforded opportunities based solely on the class they’ve been born into. As the people grow dissatisfied, Charlie is thrust into the middle of a brutal revolution, and she soon discovers that her unusual talent for language may be the key to saving her country.
Okay, and there’s kissing too…because that’s the way I roll.
In THE ESSENCE, the second book in the trilogy, Charlie has taken the throne of her country, Ludania, and is now in charge of trying to set things right. Unfortunately, the old queen is still around—her Essence is fused inside of Charlie. And as Charlie secretly struggles to keep the voice of the evil queen at bay, she is also being challenged by those who would like to see her dead.
This book is based on the idea that change—even change for the better—isn’t always met with open arms. There will always be those who oppose change of any kind. I borrowed a page from the civil right movements of the 60s, when integration was being challenged, and even included a scene where the children from different classes are being allowed to attend the same schools for the first time to show the way Charlie’s people are divided on the issue of assimilation.
But ultimately the books are about relationships. I love the bonds between Charlie and her family, and the friendships and blossoming love stories. These smaller, more intimate details are what mean the most to me.
And did I mention kissing???
Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins) and THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.
THE BODY FINDER / DESIRES OF THE DEAD / THE LAST ECHO
DEAD SILENCE (Coming April 16, 2013)
1 x copy of The Essence (The Pledge #2) US only
1 x eBook of The Essence (The Pledge #2) INT’L