(The Veil Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: August 31st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
To unearth the truth, she must embrace the legend within.
For eighteen-year-old Lexi, freedom is a luxury. She’s spent her life evading capture for a genetic gift that feels more like a curse. Her bulletproof immunity and monstrous disfigurement is of great interest to a secret organization, but they aren’t the only ones. A cryptic tip alerts Lexi that something else hunts her–something darker.
Desperate to enjoy her life before it’s too late, Lexi leaves the protective cocoon her parents created for her and signs up for art classes at her local college. There she meets Conner, who is confined to a wheelchair, and they become friends who are willing to share each other’s secrets. But a chance encounter with Connor’s foster brother Killian changes everything.
Killian shares the same mysterious secret within his blood as Lexi. Their fateful meeting sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic events that exposes the terrifying truth–Lexi is a celestial queen of a bygone race. Connor is their last royal heir, and Killian is a half-breed abomination hated for his very existence. With Connor kidnapped by an ancient god determined to rid the world of the stain of humanity, Lexi and Killian find themselves under the protection of the secretive Order of Kings.
Lexi believes she’s been thrown into a world of myths and legends, but things are not as they seem. Lexi becomes convinced the Order is keeping dangerous secrets that threaten not just her but all of mankind.
Clare is a successful and highly popular author of award winning Fanfiction, with thousands of online fans and over 2 million reads on her Lord of the Rings Fanfic epic. Clare has also won several writing awards within the Fantasy, Inspirational, and Short Story genres. Her story Refuge was a top prize winner and as a direct result published in Faith & Freedom anthology by EA books. She has recently been shortlisted for Writer of the Year 2019.
As well as writing, Clare is an experienced Occupational Therapist, with a passion for enabling people. She has contributed articles for online organizations aimed at highlighting disability as a positive influence in modern literature. Her love of storytelling, merged with her positive messages inspires her to create meaningful narratives that represent diversity, and promote unity.
You can learn more about Clare by visiting http://www.CJCampbellOfficial.com
And now, a Books, Tea, Healthy Me exclusive interview with C.J. Campbell!
Is there something special about the book you are currently promoting that you want everyone to know? Your inspiration maybe? A fun hidden fact?
Yes! ‘Tempest’ is the first book in a planned series of ‘The Veil Chronicles’ and it’s a project that has been so close to my heart. The story is inspired by Irish folklore and pre-Celtic mythology of my home, particularly the Goddess Airmid, a lesser known but no less awe-inspiring goddess of healing and herbalism in Irish mythology. In the early days of writing ‘Tempest’ i was sick with a serious illness that had turned my life upside down., but studying the story of Airmid, learning about her strength and resilience gave me the courage to pursue healing for myself, more than that, she taught me to cherish and love my body. I went from writing this story about the ancient gods of Ireland to exploring the healing journey between all the characters, because we all have hurts, traumas, and scars, and I wanted ‘Tempest’ to explore that journey we all find ourselves on at some point in our lives – a healing journey back to our true selves and the hidden power we all have within.
From where do you get your ideas for your books?
I’m a huge JRR Tolkien fan and have always been fascinated with his research into local folklore and mythologies. And just fascinated about him and his approach to storytelling in general. I also have a little bit of wanderlust and love nothing more than travelling the Scottish Highlands and investigating the ‘thin places’ of Ireland, all while pouring over mystic books, spiritual texts, and historical accounts. I’m insatiably curious about the world. I love to ask a ton of questions about customs, cultures, languages, and religions of others I come across. I just LOVE to be learning and because of that I do believe my imagination never knows when to take a holiday. I think the beautiful thing about storytelling is that it’s alive in every culture and peoples in the world, it’s a universal language, and truly my overactive imagination just soaks it all up like a sponge until I have to spill my own stories out on paper. Yeah, basically I’m a huge nerd who loves telling stories about the adventures into the weird and wonderful places I’ve travelled to in my imagination.
Where do you begin when you develop new characters? Physical characteristics, personality, plot? What comes first and how do you go from there?
Have you ever watched the movie ‘The Man who Invented Christmas?’ It’s wonderful, I tell my all my non-writerly friends to watch it because I think it helps them understand why us writerly folk appear a little . . . dare I say odd? So, if you haven’t watched the movie it follows Dickens as he battles with writing his latest book, a story we all now know as A Christmas Carol.
So, me and Dickens share a common problem . . . our characters usually just poof out of nowhere and start demanding all sorts of attention, usually at the most inopportune moments. For me it usually begins with meeting this character in my imagination and they start showing me their life – and remember I said I was insatiably curious – well I start asking a ton of questions until the next I know we’ve created a whole cast of characters and . . . oh dear me . . . nothing will do! I must write this down and tell the world about this fascinating creature from the depths of my imagination who has popped up with a very entertaining story. And off I go on an adventure. If you see me drift off mid slip of my morning coffee don’t panic, my characters are either talking relentlessly, or they are showing me what craziness they’ve been up to while i was busy having to be present in the real world.
Does writing exhaust or energize you? Why?
Depends greatly on the topic and exactly what’s going in the ‘real world’ but for the most part it energise’s me. Though, to me it’s more like a buzz of creating something. And, I’ll spend hours setting my keys alight on the keyboard as I translate the images in my head to actual words. But, by the time I finish a session glued in front of my computer screen I’m usually stiff, bleary eyed, and ready for a nap . . . though I’m terribly chuffed with myself. I always try and tell aspiring authors or newbies just getting started to stop being so hard on yourself. No matter how scrappy that first draft looks you still created it. You poured all of yourself into it, and it’s beautiful. Celebrate every stage of your creations. Life is too short and can be too brutal at times to not love on yourself and the things that bring you joy.
What is your writing kryptonite? And what is the cure?
Overthinking. Seriously. I have an awful habit of overthinking, over processing, and in general trying to see a scenario, scene, or plot from every angle and before I know it I’ve got myself too bogged down in details and have ceased putting words on paper while I brooded. The cure? Well, deadlines usually help. I try to set deadlines to have certain things completed, but what really sets a fire under me is a publisher deadline. In THAT case I have no choice. No time to overthink EVERYTHING. I suppose that’s not really a cure? Lol, oh well, I’ve guess flaws are good for character building, right?
What book are you reading right now?
The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. It’s the third book in the From Blood and Ash series and it’s sooo entertaining. I also, unabashedly, enjoy chicklit and a good romcom, so I’m enjoying a fun, flirty golden oldie from Madeline Wickham, ‘The Wedding Girl’ . . . I’m always reading a few books at once – it’s the curiosity thing again.
What do you do to keep yourself healthy? What is your #1 healthy lifestyle tip?
Meditation. Without a doubt is one of the greatest tools in staying healthy in both mind and body. I take at the least 10 minutes every day for myself. I do some stretches, then clear my mind, and begin with grateful statements, really drawing to mind all the little things I’m grateful for, or all the good things I’ve seen, then I work on getting my mind to quiet down. Breath work is good, too. When I first got sick I had a severe trauma response and as a result suffered really bad anxiety. A lovely physiotherapist taught me simple deep breathing techniques and to this day when something is bothering me, or I’m worried, or I’m just a bit twitchy I pull out the breath techniques and boom I’m chilled in minutes. A healthy mind is treasure. I believe if your mind and emotions are calm and focused you can take on the world, and win.
What is your go-to recipe when you cook at home? It doesn’t have to be healthy – just yummy. Bonus points if it has something to do with your book!
I have a terrible sweet tooth. And, admittedly, am a choc-o-holic. My absolute favourite treat is brownies. And there is nothing as amazing as the smell of fresh brownies baking. My mouth is watering as I write this. Over the years I’ve trialed a lot of brownie recipes and you can’t really go wrong, but sometimes I need a quick fix. I have an easy-as-pie nutella brownie recipe which it legit a small jar of nutella, flour, and two eggs. Mix it all together, bang it in the oven, and twenty minutes later you’ve got oh-so-gooey, chocolatey, squidgy bites of heaven. Naturally, my obsessional love for Brownies made it into Tempest . . . it may have something to do with the love interest trying to win over the main character, because chocolate as a gift is my love language.
Fun Facts About C.J. Campbell
Favorite snack to eat while you are writing.
I must drink litres of tea. In fact I’m convinced I’m 80% tea. And naturally, if I’m drinking tea, i sometimes indulge in a wee nibble of a digestive biscuit.
If you were a WWE Superstar, what would your entrance music be?
OH! I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR A QUESTION LIKE THIS! Definitely 2WEI remix of Gangster’s Paradise, that drop at 43 seconds in . . . I’m coming to end ya, bruh! Boom!
What would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
You know, I want to say something cool and cunning like a lynx, or a wolfhound . . . in reality it’s probably Doug from Up! Though, Lexi (in Tempest) befriends a pretty sassy Kelpie, and to be honest I vibe with that chaotic, troublemaker energy.
If you didn’t write, what would your occupation be?
I fancy myself as a professional wine taster. Like, how do you get those jobs? I need to know? Who do I need to speak with to be able to spend my days meandering around vineyards in Spain weighing up the merits of a fine red?
What do you enjoying doing when you aren’t writing or reading?
Going for adventures and road trips to new places. Exploring forests and museums.
How do you take your tea??
Scalding hot with a decent dollop of milk. No sugar. HOLD THE SUGAR. I’m sweet enough *cheesy grin*
GIVEAWAY! Enter to win an eBook copy of Tempest and a $25 Amazon gift card