Friday, May 16, 2014

Author Spotlight: Teshelle Combs

Today I'm pleased to introduce author Teshelle Combs and her YA sci fi/paranormal novel The System:

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
The name’s Teshelle and I'm 25 years old. My favorite food is bread (“Bread is the paper of the food industry You write your sandwich on it.” -Dwight K. Shrute). I'm also a singer/songwriter and a Christian. I have an English degree from UCF. I'm from the beautiful island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Lived there for most of my life. Oh, and I write books!!

2. When did you start writing, and why?

I started eating novels when I was about 10 years old. I just opened them up and devoured them whole. Before I knew it, I'd spend my nights lying in bed imagining up alternate endings to the books I'd read. Then, alternate characters. And BAM, I was coming up with my own stories. With a few teachers and my best friends urging me on, I started writing down the weirdest, most dramatic magical realist short stories you could ever imagine (one of them even won an award later on). And that is the story of how I started writing.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write Young Adult novels. Contemporary fantasy and sci-fi, paranormal--anything kick-butt really. I love love, so look out for romance somewhere in everything I write. But it has to be YA. I think that it gives me the greatest freedom to write within my chosen genre. Besides, I still think I'm 17 most of the time anyways. I have two novels out write now, and I'm working on both of their sequels, so soon I'll have two totally independent YA series available at the same time! I do it that way because sometimes my brain needs a break (and I'm afraid that if I keep writing for one character too long, I might become them or something looney like that).

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My newest release is 'The System.' Think assassins. Assassins who use mental mathematical algorithms to do amazing things—like kill people. Because they’re assassins. It's YA, of course, and it's got a splash of sci-fi, paranormal, action/adventure, and romance. It's set in California, although you can hardly tell where you are outside of the mildewed confinement of the System walls. It's set in the present day, and it's dark and funny and scary and romantic all at the same time. It’s set up to be a series, so once you read it, you’ll be hounding me about the second installment, ‘The Syndicate.’

My next endeavor should be released around September, and it’ll be a novella that sheds some light on a new character in my ‘Core’ series. ‘Core’ is a contemporary YA that makes dragons sexy, bad a-word, and way too interesting.

5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
I love this question!! ‘The System,’ is not a fun world to be trapped in. It’s run by people you never get to see for reasons you never really know. But there are rules. Rules that are so strict, they could mean the end of your life–or worse, the end of the people you love. Yet…the System doesn’t have all the high tech gadgets and facilities one would expect from an assassin organization. They keep their recruits in the dark–and the cold, and the hunger, and the fear. In this world, Nick and Nessa have to let go of parts of themselves that made them ‘good’ people. They have to learn to survive. And maybe that means they’ll learn to need each other.

6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Nessa. Nessa Parker is a high school slacker. Her hobbies are sunbathing, falling asleep on the bus, and skipping class. Until she’s thrown into a world where she’s expected to kill people she’s never even met before. Equipped with sass, never-failing humor, and a few big secrets, Nessa changes the System for good.

Nick. Nick Masters is one of my favorite characters ever. He’s dark, quiet, dangerous, and gorgeous. But he’s incredibly broken, and fragile in ways most people could never withstand. He’s got so many secrets he forgot most of them. In fact, he can’t remember much of his life–and he prefers it that way. At least he doesn’t have to feel if he can’t remember…until he meets his new partner.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
I have a happy dance. I do it all the time. It is the purest and most magical form of artistic expression, because it comes from my very being and pours fourth unrestraint and unmonitored from the essence of me. I often accompany it with a sort of shrieking, swooping howl, head tilted back so as not to hinder the natural resonance. Flailing arms and a very rapid, quick side-to side hip swing may signal others in the vicinity that the happy dance is commencing. If you see these signs, it may be wise for you to take cover. My husband and those who love me tend to fear my happy dance. They often claim it as a danger to civilization itself.

That only makes me dance more.

Hear this. I will do this dance wherever I am if anyone comments on this blog post. No matter the time of day or the venue. This I vow to you. Your comment will make me that happy.

8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | email

The System:1 + 1 = Dead.

That’s the only math that adds up when you’re in the System.

Everywhere Nick turns, he’s surrounded by the inevitability of his own demise at the hands of the people who stole his life from him. That is, until those hands deliver the bleeding, feisty, eye-rolling Nessa Parker. Tasked with keeping his new partner alive, Nick must face all the ways he’s died and all the things he’s forgotten.

Nessa might as well give up. The moment she gets into that car, the moment she lays her hazel eyes on her new partner, her end begins. It doesn’t matter that Nick Masters can slip through time by computing mathematical algorithms in his mind. It doesn’t matter how dark and handsome and irresistibly cold he is. Nessa has to defeat her own shadows.

Together and alone, Nick and Nessa make sense of their senseless fates and fight for the courage to change it all. Even if it means the System wins and they end up…well…dead

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