Category Archives: Introduction

More about the person behind the author

New Cover for Call Off The Search!

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I’ve been thinking to change the cover for ages now as it just wasn’t generating enough sales and I didn’t really like it. It was too dark, too depressing. So, I came across this picture which I bought from Shutterstock. It’s perfect as it portrays Sula, the main character much better. The feathers for her mind merging/flying abilities. The quantity of them; members of her race, vanishing like feathers on the wind. Her bronze skin, her green eyes, but also her sensuality. tThe fact that she looks in the camera with a defiant look, makes her appear stronger which she is, but her mouth depicts vulnerability as well.

What do you think? Would you want to read the book by seeing the cover and reading the blurb:

What if you’re the last of your kind? What if you’re so different you had to hide? Hide from people responsible for the annihilation of your kind? Would you be safe, ever? Could you forgive?

For Sula it’s not so easy. She possesses superpowers of which humans can only dream, but she has one fatal weakness–one which let to the downfall of her people–the comyentis. Jealous of their ability to merge their minds with animals to instill their abilities, people sought her kind out and destroyed them. After living a life in hiding, years searching for others of her kind, Sula faces a difficult choice. With not just her own life but her whole species’ held precariously within her hands, she feels the weight of her responsibility.

Will she be able to overcome her aversion to humans to save her species from total annihilation? And what else is in store for her?
Will she follow her head or her heart?

‘Call Off The Search’, Book One in the supernatural fantasy Comyenti Series, follows Sula as she fights for her new family, her female lover, her hopes, her freedom and the very existence of her species.
The dramatic sequel, ‘Children of The Sun’ is also available on e-book and in paperback.

                                                                                                                                                      
“A fantasy novel that boldly goes where most works in the genre dare not tread.” ~ John R. Dizon,
#1 in lgbt fantasy TOP RATED February-May 2015.

Get yours here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HIRTFZE

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Cover Reveal for new Fantasy novella ‘The Cursed’

I’m pleased to announce the cover for my new #Fantasy novella to be released next month!

I originally called it ‘The Legend of Aoife and Fionnuala’ and it was accepted by a publisher, but I decided to pull out to have full control. That’s me! (:

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~In the emerald Tuatha kingdom of Lir, in ancient Ireland, Fionnuala and her brothers lead a magical, carefree life. But when their mother dies their world is turned upside down. Left heartbroken, their father the King locks himself in his bedchamber, leaving Princess Fionnuala to care for her younger brothers. But when little Conn falls gravely ill she must seek help.

When a healer named Aoife arrives all of them fall for her beauty, but none as much as Fionnuala. The feelings are mutual, or so it seems…
However, King Lir, taken by her radiance and red hair– similar to that of his late wife– takes her for himself and marries her.
Betrayed and hurt by this, will Fionnuala find a way to be with Aoife, or will a jealous King come between them?

Suspenseful, romantic and seeped in myth and magic, novella ‘The Cursed’ captures a dramatic twist on the Irish Myth ‘Lir’s Children’ encompassing the power of love, hope and patience.

Stay tuned for the release date in December!

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Interview on me and my latest book

Check out my latest interview here on this blog: Lynnlawler

Enjoy! (:

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Interview Sula Comyenti – Main character of Fantasy ‘Call Off The Search’ Book One (Free novel on Amazon until the 20th of February)

I have a confession to make: this is something I don’t normally do; talk to my characters. Usually it’s the other way round; they tell their story to me and I listen, and at best write it down. I don’t make myself known to them, but rather lurk in the back ground. I am an observer.

Therefore this is very new to me, but exciting all the same. I feel it is a privilege to be able to finally ‘meet’ Sula Comyenti, the main character from my ‘Comyenti Series’.

She first appeared in ‘Call Off The Search’ and again in the sequel ‘Children Of The Sun’. Both full novels are available in e-book and paperback.

This is my interview with her.

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I’m slightly nervous as Sula comes closer. I haven’t seen her in a while so I’m thrilled. We agreed to meet in a clearing in the woods near her house, just outside of Rosinhill. It is a sunny afternoon and the low rays shine through the spruce and pine trees down onto Sula’s face. Her dark long hair shines and appears more honey coloured brown at one side and black on the other. Her cheekbones are high and feminine, her skin is bronze and flawless as ever, but her almond shaped eyes are the most intriguing thing about her; they are a vivid green, like that of new leaves, but when I look again they are darker; jade. Is she reading me?

We greet and sit down on a fallen tree. She appears strong and charismatic and I understand why both Felix and Feline fell for her.

After the initial stage of awkwardness we begin to feel more comfortable and I ask her if she is ready for my questions. She smiles lightly and nods.

How do you feel about your mother, now that you’re an adult?

My mother, rest her soul, I still miss her dearly. She did what she had to do for the continuance of our species and later she had my best interest at heart, I know that, but at the same time it hasn’t been easy to accept that I had to do the same thing; especially when I thought time was running out. Had I known, I perhaps would have waited. She knew so little about our kind, our physics; only from what she was taught as a child before the killings.

So you’re saying you regret meeting Felix and having Fay?

No, not at all. I regret acting so soon whilst, in hindsight, I could have waited. I didn’t think straight when I met Felix, all I could think of, after saving his village, was him and how special he was. He wasn’t like any human I’d ever met. The promise I had made to my mother came to my mind and a decision was easily made. Felix knew of course, I had no secrets, but he didn’t object. In fact I believe he even suggested it, not with so many words but still.

What would have happened do you think if you hadn’t met Felix?

If I hadn’t crashed into him that day you mean, ha ha? No seriously, I would have done the same thing with someone else. That was the promise I was nearly forty after all. I might not have stayed though. Now I know of course that comyenti women are fertile until they are seventy, so yes I think I would have rather waited. But then again it’s no use speculating. What’s done is done and I’m happy with how things have turned out.

But do you have any other regrets? Do you regret staying with him?

Yes and no, sometimes.

That’s too vague. Can you explain?

I’m a half-breed and I still don’t really know much about my species. What I’m sometimes feeling; that need for freedom and solitude: is it me or is it the comyenti in me? Feline understood, but Felix is not ready to find out about her and my feelings for her. I will tell him one day, but not now.

Alright. How do you feel about Shazar? He could have told you more since he is a full comyenti?

Don’t get me started on him. He has his own hidden agenda. I’m sure he is a nice person underneath, but he lets his personal feelings and his task of ‘saving our species’ cloud his judgements. Even though I can read his mind, literally, I still don’t trust him completely. He is definitely blocking things from me, but it’s not comyenti things as he told me everything I needed to know. I’m not entirely sure what it is he’s hiding, but I will find out somehow.

What is your greatest fear?

That something will happen to my children. Especially since we suffered those attacks from the mysterious shapeshifting ypaka I don’t know if we’re safe here. All we can do is prepare our children to be more powerful and train them.

What do you want from life?

What everyone else wants; a peaceful simple life whereby we can all live in harmony and safety. Perpetual happiness.

What, in yourself, is preventing you from getting it?

Like I mentioned before; I very much need my freedom and solitude, and sometimes I struggle with the right balance between being happy by myself and being there for everyone else and at the same time keeping them safe.

What, in the outside world, is preventing you from getting it?

I can’t wait for my children to grow up and leave the house, ha ha! No, I love them dearly and we are very close, but sometimes it gets too much and I need space. They accept the way I am and that is the best thing I could ask from them. I try to give them all the tools they need for life but somehow I fear it might not be enough. The ypaka and even Shazar might prevent our happiness, our safety.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

Oh, another personal question. Ahem, well, I think with Felix I was quite taken from the moment I saw that single strand of blonde hair of his underneath his dark hood fluttering in the wind. It was quite a poetic moment. And when I met his eyes…and when he started talking… Er, so yes I suppose it was love at first sight, although I tried to deny it of course at first and was a bit harsh on him.

And with Feline?

That was different because I was already with Felix, so she was out of the question. I’m faithful when I’m with someone, but I’ve always felt an amazing attraction towards her and we soon became best friends. At first I thought it was because she was his twin sister and because I had a Heartmerge with her brother that it, somehow, stretched out to her. Now I know that it was more than just that and if it weren’t for Felix-

How do you decide whether you can trust someone? Is it from experience? Can you tell from first impressions? Is it more intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?

Before I met Felix, who is human of course, I generally distrusted every human. I had every right to as they almost exterminated my entire species. But it was an instilled distrust. Whether it was in my genes or if my mother is to blame I don’t know, but over time I learned to see not all people have bad intentions. That mistrust has kept me safe for years. My intuition is quite spot on, but if I’m not sure about someone, I will read their minds, not always literally their thoughts, as that’s beyond my limits with humans I haven’t merged with, but their intentions. They are easy to read for me. Body language is very important but also the images they send out, like any other animal does.

Is one sense more highly developed than another?

When I’m in a Mindmode it depends on what animal skills I have borrowed. If it’s just me; half-comyenti, half-human, I would say my sixth sense takes over. My vision and hearing are superb, but looking is not the same thing as seeing and listening is not the same thing as hearing.

What do you consider are your strengths?

I don’t give up easily. I try to get to the bottom of things to find out the truth, and try to set things right if I can.

What do you consider are your weaknesses?

I feel too much. All those triggers sometimes cause an overload on my senses and the world around me starts to spin. I am powerless in situations like that. It is the curse of the comyenti and we still haven’t found a way to beat it.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? And why?

I lied to Felix. It is not in my nature and it feels really wrong.

If you could change into any animal, which would it be?

Why would I with my abilities? However, if I could literally change shape I would like to know what if feels like to have wings, so perhaps an albatross or goose.

When we say our goodbyes I can’t help but feel sorry for her somehow. I don’t know why. She is such a strong woman, but also vulnerable and sensitive. Only I know what will happen next, but I can’t tell her that. She knows it and doesn’t ask. I’m more than an observer of course. I can influence everything, for I’m the author after all; the author of her story; of both her and her family and of her kind. I am their judge and executioner. But even I don’t know the details yet. I first have to sit down and open my mind to it.

But I save that for another time.

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Book 3 in the series, ‘Controller of The Senses’ is expected later in 2015, so stay tuned.

The e-book of ‘Call Off The Search’ (book 1) is currently free until the 20th of February. Keep reading in Book 2, ‘Children Of The Sun’, or get ‘The Comyenti Book Bundle Volume 1&2’ for an easy reading experience.

My books can be found here: www.amazon.com/author/natasjahellenthal

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The Origin of Evil and Writing in Grey

 

We live in a world built on absolutes. Right and wrong. Win or lose. Polarised views. Religious, racial and political divides.

But what if life is not that simple? What if the world is not that straightforward?

We explain everything what we see and what happens in definite terms. Right or wrong? Good or bad? What if it’s possible to be just a little bit right and just a little bit wrong? What if life is not a matter of right or wrong, winning or losing? Not black and white? What if life is actually played out in grey areas? What if it is time for stories to reflect this?

How are right and wrong defined?

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In religion, ethics and philosophy, “good and evil” is a common dichotomy. It is the concept of all human desires, behaviours and values. A dualistic spectrum-wherein in one direction is life and continuity (good), and in the other there is death and destruction (evil).

Good is a sense of having the right desirable quality.

Likewise, most religious and philosophical interpretations agree that evil behaviour itself is an aberration; one that defies any understanding, save that the path of evil is one of confusion and excessive selfish desire (greed).

It is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are “good” (or right) and “bad” (or wrong).

Religious and philosophical views both tend to agree that goodness is built-in to human nature and is ultimately based on the natural love, bonding and affection that people grow to feel for other people and creatures alike.

We can argue about what sorts of things are good, but we all know what love is, or feel the loss of it when we don’t.

Morality ultimately comes down to sympathy and fellow feelings for others. That is something we share with other intelligent ‘higher’ species, which have a conscious.

But it seems that we are the only species that understand when we do wrong when we do, or to better put it; know when we do wrong and still do it. That is what separates us, I believe. What makes us human.

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 Is darkness just less light?

“Why do men kill?” “Because they can.” Quote from ‘Call Off The Search’.

We all are the sum of our experiences; we are what we get fed with from an early age. We become what we know. We learn and live by example. Is that true?

Like in nature, if an animal does not receive any form of love, physical contact, a warm start in life, and example in how to behave socially, they can’t recognize nor give love.

It seems that love is the key.

Deprivation of love and affection in a child leads to insecurity, a lack of, or very low, self-esteem, and it won’t know how to deal with attention and will seek it out somehow later on in life, as if to fill a void to compensate. Some children that were abused will as an adult even choose an abusive or violent partner, for that is all they have ever known. Another theory is that they want to be in control because it was taken away from them in an early life. Sadly, some will even start to abuse their own children. They often have a twisted sense of right and wrong. They have never received honest love and can therefore not give from their heart. And thus the cycle will continue…

Someone’s background is crucial if we want to understand certain behaviour. For me as an author it is very important to investigate this subject. I do this in every story I write. The very reasons as to why things happen to a person and the people around them: what makes a protagonist tick, but also how did they get where they are in life? What is their history and how does it impact them?

Our stories simply cannot be black and white any longer. If we want to portray believable characters they will just have to be imperfect. Grey. For no one can be the manifestation of goodness, not even in a story. Not only would it come across as very unprofessional (or boring to say the least), but it would also be very unrealistic, unless you limit yourself to writing fairy-tales.

But even modern fairy-tales have changed their course. It is a hopeful change and a proof that people are starting to understand that every bad thing usually has a good reason.

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Take for example the ‘Star Wars’ series by George Lucas that explores the background of Darth Father and how he became evil. And what about the book (and musical) ‘Wicked’, by Gregory Maguire, that explains the history of the Wicked Witch of the West, and the fact she didn’t die?

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For isn’t that usually the case; that the wrongdoer dies at the end? What else are we suppose to do with them? The audience wasn’t ready for anything else in the seventies, but we are now.

Just like in all fairy-tales the audience wanted, or expected, a gratifying end with ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Wizard Of Oz’. But as time went on we grew ready for, not only the questions, but also the answers.

Even more interesting is the movie ‘Maleficent’, a Disney retelling of Snow-white, in whereby the story not only focuses on the why and how “the evil stepmother” became evil. This story does more. It is the opposite of what we are so used to reading in stories like these: the “evil” one does not die in the end, but changes back from evil to being good! That seems to be something new entirely!

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“I believe that everybody deserves a second chance.”  ‘City of Dreams’

In fairy-tales and High Fantasy, good and evil are represented very clearly, more than in any other genre. Especially Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of The Rings’. The elves, dwarves, men and hobbits are on the good side, the orcs are clearly on the dark side. However, there is one character that is different: Gollum. Gollum’s desire for the Ring is not his fault. The Ring caused him to have a split personality in the first place. Under centuries of the Ring’s influence, Gollum had come to love and despise the Ring, just as he loved and hated himself. Throughout the story, Gollum was torn between his lust for the ring and his desire to be free of it. Gollum wants the ring, but Smeagol doesn’t. In ‘The Two Towers’, Smeagol says that he hates Gollum and wants him to go away.

So no, not evil. Just disturbed.

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For is evil not just good tortured by his own hunger and thirst? Are we not all black and white inside? Or rather… grey?

Was that the start of a new change in literature, I wonder?

With my own writing I hope to add to that change. I especially have tried to do so with ‘The Queen’s Curse’ and the “villain” Sempervirens. This sorceress has had a disturbing upbringing which led to her evil ways. In fact, it appears that she is the one that hurts the most.

Someone’s abusive background should never be an excuse for wrong-doing, but an explanation. Can Sempervirens change her evil ways to become good?

Doesn’t change ultimately comes from within?

“I love the girl you once were and the woman you were supposed to be. Not what they made you to be. I do not believe this is all you. You were not responsible what happened to the girl, but the woman you are today can still change, if you just let go of that negative side of yours. Then you can at least start to love yourself…finally.” ‘The Queen’s Curse’

We all know deep down that we love seeing good prevail to give us hope. To feel better and safe again. To make us feel we are not alone perhaps, and give us courage and inner strength.

Justice, revenge, redemption are things we all need to see happening, and if not in real life then let it be in a story. We do what we can in our own little ways and find purpose and meaning, to make a difference, saving the planet by recycling, reducing waste, being kind to animals and each other. Isn’t that good enough?

I write because I want to do more.

My writing acknowledges that there is indeed evil in the world, but there is also good in each and every one of us, and that we can all help each other find it.

And hopefully in the process, when people read my books I will touch some hearts and minds.

 

Books by Natasja Hellenthal

The Queen’s Curse (lgbt Fantasy)  http://smarturl.it/thequeenscurse?IQid=qr

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Chained Freedom (Paranormal Fantasy) http://smarturl.it/ChainedFreedomNH

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Call Off The Search, Comyenti Series #1 http://smarturl.it/calloffthesearch?IQid=qr

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Children Of The Sun, Comyenti Series #2 http://smarturl.it/cots2

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The Comyenti Series Book Bundle, Volume 1 and 2 (Supernatural lgbt Fantasy) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P1F2TMG

City of Dreams (Fantasy novella, coming 27th of November)

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Sky Whisperers (YA Dystopian lgbt Fantasy, coming March 2015)

Social media:

My author page: http://www.amazon.com/Natasja-Hellenthal/e/B00CMNVPX4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

My facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorNatasjaHellenthal

My facebook group (Speculative Fiction Book Club): https://www.facebook.com/groups/568952729881225/

My website: https://natasjahellenthal.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @natasjahellenth

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Introduction to the person behind the author Natasja Hellenthal

My name is Natasja, author, thinker and soul-searcher. Welcome to my blog!

I’m not a follower of conventional idea’s and ideologies; I rather make up my own mind. I love raising questions and try to stay true to my self and use nature and life as my great inspiration for my stories rather than what is common or trendy.

To turn inward to one self regularly is key here; in complete solitude and withdrawal from the world to understand our true self, and surprisingly to find that connection with the real world, not what we perceive outwardly, but inwardly. That’s where dreams come from, the same world where stories are born.

From the crib to the grave we get influenced and formed by what we see and what we experience, so much input, so much noise that it’s not easy to stay unbiased. I think we should always grow and use whatever we can and whenever we can, but always try to come home to ourselves and ask ourselves the question: ‘What does this add to make it a better world?’

I love beauty, poetry, music and art above technology and rushed modern day life. I think we need more of that to be and stay civilised and in touch with ourselves and each other.

I tend to observe people and am fascinated why we do the things we do and the human condition in general and how we as a society shape and form our children who become adults and in turn run society in future generations. How people can get brainwashed by religion, dogma’s and traditions. How abuse in any form can have its impact on the individual; their mind and their soul.

I’m also quite passionate when it comes to the environment, sustainable living and animal welfare, the way we treat our children and those who are less fortunate in life. I’m a very sensitive independent soul and abhor any form of violence and injustice. I believe that kindness and respect goes a long way and we are here to share this planet and give something back, not just take. I believe the world is what we create and that all that is born deserves a chance to live and that it is not up to us, humans, to use and abuse ‘lower beings’ just because in the bible it says we can and people justify cruelty because a bunch of people have written something in a 2000 year old book. Surely it is time for change?

Not everyone can help everybody, but everybody can help someone. Start by being selflessly, that is a good way to start.

The fact that everyone is doing something doesn’t make it right. Never stop questioning, even though you seem to be the only one that does in a world full of sheep. With your heart to guide you, you’re never wrong.

All these elements I use in my writing.

Especially the losing of ones freedom in many ways; it was a curse in my debut novel, ‘The Queen’s Curse’ that prevented the main characters from living their lives in freedom. Queen Artride, although the ruler of her country, had no real power or influence because of the curse on the law-book (which of course is a reference to the bible and our own old unchanged ridiculous justice and penalisation system) which made it impossible for her to have any real impact or make any positive changes to a old fashioned harsh law system. It became even personal as she had no real freedom. Literally is she travelled too far on her own removed from the castle and its law book, she would be tormented by excruciating stomach pains.

Of course someone needed to stand up against injustice, so hence Tirsa Lathabris came in to remind the queen. Tirsa remains her rock and conscience throughout their quest for the sorceress whereas Artride is everything that is good and reminds a hot-headed but nature and animal loving Tirsa of a non-violence way of dealing with the world and its people.

Together as a team they fight off evil and overcome the curse in what is said to be an original way.

‘Call Off The Search’, my second novel (book 1 of the Comyenti Series), is the story of a strong woman who might be the last of her kind, the comyentis. Whose family and kind has been hunted and killed by humans and who doesn’t really belong anywhere. As a halfling and nomad she always finds herself in between two worlds.

When she falls in love with the human twins, Felix and Feline (not at the same time!) her sworn enemy, the struggles only get worse as they remind her of her humanity. Also more questions arise regarding her own species when she finally does find the other last survivor, Shazar. And he is not exactly what she thought a comyenti to be.

Also here again the lack of personal freedom as Sula made her mother a promise to continue the bloodline. She has to have children in order for her species to survive and to continue the search. She knows this is the right thing to do, but who ever asked her?

It’s a psychological soul searching story of finding ones true identity and sexuality and acceptance who and what you are in an unforgiving harsh world full of prejudice.

Well, I will be blogging regularly from now on with not only updates about my own books but als about the books, interests and people that have inspired me personally and continue to do so.

I hope you will find this of use, feel free to contact me on natasja.hellenthal@gmail.com or like my Fan Facebook pages.

(-: Natasja

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