Touched by Light, #1
by Lindsay Chamberlin
Date of Publication: October 31st 2018
Cover Artist: Jake Clark
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Tagline: You can save her. Follow your Light.
Riley had spent her entire life terrified of the shadows and darkness that followed her everywhere she went. They ruined her chances at a normal childhood and tormented her throughout her teenage years, labeling her the freak in her hometown, but now was her chance to start over. After receiving her acceptance letter from Bradford University, a chance at a new life and new friends in a town far away from home filled Riley with such hope for the future, but never had she dreamed of meeting the most gorgeous guy on campus. Not only was he attractive, but the shadows were chased away whenever he was near. Riley hoped she could hold on to him, but how could she hope for so much when she had only ever had so little?
Reymend may look like just another student at Bradford University, but his world was greater than any mortal could understand. He was blessed by the Light, trained to be a Guardian, a warrior against the shadows of Midnight that plagued Touched souls in the never ending battle of Light and darkness. It was his duty to protect those souls, and his next Charge was Riley. She didn’t understand the shadows that followed her relentlessly, but one day, she was going to be stronger than any Guardian in the history of the Light, if the darkness didn’t claim her first.
Riley shook her head, scolding herself. She had made herself promise the entire four-hour drive to Bradford that she wouldn’t dwell in the past.
The past was gone, and today was about beginnings.
Riley glued another smile to her face and continued loading the cart.
Today was going to be a happy day. No matter what.
Then Riley felt it.
A dark, swirling sensation weighed down on her chest as goose-bumps rose on her skin despite the ninety degree weather. Her breath felt labored, and her hands shook the cart handle. She closed her eyes as they stung with tears and her stomach dropped into her pelvis.
No! Not here!
Riley’s head felt heavy as she slumped against her car, trying her hardest to open her eyes again, but they wouldn’t cooperate. She felt something grab hold of her body like a vice squeezing her mid. She clamped her eyes shut, placing her hands over her face, determined to block it all from her mind.
She had hoped she had left all this behind in Alexandria.
How could it have followed her here?
She hadn’t even done anything to trigger it!
A deep voice full of malice rumbled in her ear a language she had never been able to understand, but the message was still clear. The voice grew louder with each of her staggered breaths. The hold around her middle became crushing. She gasped for air, begged for the episode to end, but the voice and the strength of its hold on her, only grew.
A bright light began to shine through her eyelids as warm hands grasped her shoulders, spreading their fever through her frigid veins.
“Are you alright?” The silky voice said as random shapes were drawn on her skin.
The darkness, the gravelly voice, the pain, all receded as the light grew stronger, and the warmth enveloped her in serene silence. Her breathing calmed, and her eyes slowly opened. The sun blinded her for a moment with sudden flashes of light before her eyes readjusted, but then dark hair, blue eyes, and a beautifully white smile met her stare.
“Hey, you OK?” the guy with the amazing smile asked again.
As Riley’s eyes focused, she could make out the dimples on his cheeks, the stubble on his chin and jawline, and the warm honey tone of his skin. The guy was gorgeous, and he was touching her.
“Do you need to sit down?” Concern washed over his features.
Riley shook her head, but with one jerky movement, thought better of it. She always felt like she was going to get sick after an episode as colors continued to zoom in and out of her peripherals.
“N-no,” Riley stammered, trying to ground herself again. “No, I’m fine. I just need a second.”
The guy’s smile was back in place as he released his hold and leaned against the car behind him. “You sure? You don’t look so good.”
Riley’s head began to clear, and her stomach returned to its rightful position. She stood straight and took a deep, lung filling breath. The memory of the voice and strange language was already disappearing, leaving only the distinct feeling of pain behind, but that was how they all ended. Even though this episode had felt stronger than it ever had before, it went away a lot faster than the usual.
Maybe that was a good sign. Maybe this move was what she needed after all.
“I’m fine,” Riley responded, trying to convince him or herself, she wasn’t sure.
The gorgeous guy quirked his eyebrow at her, clearly not convinced, but Riley could only concentrate on how striking his features were.
Riley tried again, straightening her spine. “Seriously, I’m OK. Thank you.”
Riley looked up to him, following the sound of his voice as her eyes traveled higher and higher. She was just now realizing how tall and muscular he was. Definitely near the six foot mark. She stared up at him as his brighter than the summer sky eyes searched her face.
“I promise,” Riley said, trying to smile as warmly back.
The guy’s smile stretched wider as his dimples dipped deep into his cheeks, and he held out his hand. “I’m Reymend, but everyone just calls me Rey.”
“Riley,” she responded, taking his hand in hers.
A pulse shot through her body as hot and strong as electricity. A whirlwind of images flashed through her mind stronger than before, bright colors and assorted shapes, but they were all too abstract to understand before they disappeared, and Riley was staring back at Rey.
Lindsay Chamberlin is an author who is self-publishing her works. She grew up in Northern Virginia and has been writing since she was a teenager. She would constantly write in a journal, including her day to day life and random thoughts that she found noteworthy.
When she graduated from high school with English Honors and Math Honors, she knew her life would go in one of two ways. She would either become a writer or work in finance.
Finance won. Lindsay continued her education, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, and found a stable job to provide for her growing family. Her husband and daughter are her heart, and she would do anything to provide the best life possible for them.
But writing is what keeps her soul alive! Until recently, she did not think her dream of being a published author would ever come true, but thanks to self publishing, she is finally able to get her work out to the public in hopes that they will enjoy her short stories, novels, and select poems.
Her wish for her readers is that they will find themselves within her novels, living out every scene with the characters as if they were there with them.
Books are meant for our silent escape into another world that would normally exist only in our dreams. Please, enjoy!
The Book Junkie Reads . . . Interview with Lindsay Chamberlin . . .
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
My style of writing is descriptive of emotions within the explanatory and dialogue centric amongst key characters. I believe half the reason a reader loves a book is because of its characters and their ability to connect to their feelings. The other half is the thrill of the progression in the story. The best way I know how to connect my characters to the reader is through meaningful dialogue and heartfelt emotions. Guardians is a wonderful depiction of exactly that!
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
I have a strange inclination to write, almost like an impulse. I’d dare say addiction, but that seems a bit too dark for the feeling I have when my entire body is telling me to write. It’s like the muse is yanking on my ear, begging to put words on paper. I like to compare it to the feeling of a water laden sponge. I feel heavy, full of words and ideas that I need to get out of my head. Once I wring myself dry, I feel lighter. I suppose some people have other methods to “releasing steam”. For me, it’s writing.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
I am not much of a planner when it comes to prepping for a novel. I have in my head or jot down a quick note the basis of a novel then I build a world around that basis. With Guardians, I actually had a dream about the capabilities of a Guardian during a battle against the shadows of Midnight. I wrote what I could remember of the dream and built around it. I sat down and just let the creativity flow. I track how my character develops as the novel progresses, ensuring their progression matches the tempo of the novel. When I believe the characters have come as far as they can, I know I’ve completed their story. In the case of Guardians, Riley and Reymend are ready to be yours!
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
All of the characters in my novels are an extension of me and the people I have made memories with throughout my life. Specifically pertaining to Guardians, the more I write out Riley’s story, the more I feel she is a vehicle to the pain I’ve experienced throughout my life and a testament to how hard I’ve worked to overcome my past. Her journey is based in a paranormal world, mind you, but we all struggle throughout our lives against darkness that plagues us. As she makes her way through her story, you can see her evolve from a meek girl to a determined woman. She has become one of the characters I am proud of the most, and with each installment of the Touched by Light series, I’m excited to see her grow even more.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Guardians is book one in the Touched by Light series. Book two is well under way, and one of the major antagonists is finally introduced! This foe has been talked about throughout the first novel, and now that I am in full swing developing this villain, I’m beyond excited for readers to be introduced. Working in the paranormal genre allows room for bending reality and stretching what we think we know. Within Guardians, we begin to see the lines blur between the mortal and Guardian world, but just wait for book two! These lines may never exist in Riley and Reymend’s world again.
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
I believe we are all filled with emotions that at times we cannot control. There are moments with my toddler daughter and husband that I find myself overcome with love and shower them with affection. I usually get the “Oh, Mom/honey” face when this happens. There are times when my past creeps up on me, and grief settles in for the ones I’ve lost or experiences I’ve lived through. Through it all, I remind myself that I am in control, and I search for my center. My family and friends ground me, reminding me that I have a purpose. My writing helps clear my mind and refocuses any cloudy thoughts. So long as I have my family, friends, and writing, taking on the unexperienced is welcomed thrill.