As a child I was shy and awkward, but I found my niche in reading and writing. I even remember hand-publishing my own stories in single-edition “Cheryse” magazines, made from large sheets of butcher’s paper and illustrated with magazine cut-outs.
My sister Tammy was my ever-willing accomplice as we played fantasy and outerspace games. We loved superhero adventures so much that we wore out our original Superman video tape – right at the point where Christopher Reeve’s clean-cut crusader rescues Margot Kidder’s Lois from that out-of-control helicopter (and let’s not even get started on the ewoks in Return of the Jedi).
So when I started writing full-length manuscripts at the age of 14, it was only natural that my stories mirrored the adventures I liked reading about – but with females not males playing centre-stage.
Even as a teenager, the heroines I created were always strong women facing close-to-impossible goals. They were often young girls who struggled with a disease or handicap (or what they perceived as a weakness) that eventually became key to their happiness or success. After all, the greatest demon or challenge that most of us will ever face is ourselves.
In The Blood She Betrayed, my kick-butt heroine Shahkara hates her half-demon self, but it’s her talons, healing abilities and super strength that enables her to save her world and people.
Here’s a tiny snippet from my novel:
‘What about you?’ Max’s tawny eyes gazed at her.
Dread gripped Shahkara’s heart like a fistful of nails. Her mission depended on activating the death lantern and destroying all Taloners at the same time. Even as a half-blood, she would not survive the blast. She had to die to ensure no Taloners remained. She turned away. ‘You ask too many questions.’
Shahkara arrives on Earth to find the ancient Elnara death lantern, her homeworld’s last chance of survival against the heart-devouring Taloners, but once in Australia, she is forced to rely on billionaire heir Max McCalden but he has his own problems, including a manipulative father and a murdered brother. Still, nothing prepares him for her razor-sharp talons and half-Taloner blood, a blood that demands what she knows she can’t have – a human heart. As deadly enemies attack at every turn, Shahkara fears her lust for Max will destroy them both, but she is determined to save their worlds from a threat more horrific than the demons that share her blood.
I loved writing The Blood She Betrayed because it captures all the action, romance, magic and suspense (and twists and turns) of those superhero movies that I’ve loved since I was a child. Modern-day releases such as X-Men (Hugh Jackman *sigh*) and The Avengers (Chris Hemsworth *sigh*) have just continued to fuel my passion.
But as a girl, I’ll always want to write from a female’s perspective and a female’s strengths and vulnerabilities. After all, I’m female. And proud of it.
FREE for this week only: Download the first 12 chapters of my YA Urban Fantasy novel, The Blood She Betrayed, for FREE this week by visiting this link:
Blurb to Cheryse Durrant’s debut novel, The Blood She Betrayed (Book 1 in the Heart Hunters series):
TO SAVE HER KINGDOM, SHE MUST BETRAY HER BLOOD…
Thrust into the technology-driven Earthlands via magical mists, Shahkara is forced to rely on Max McCalden to help find the ancient Elnara death lantern, her homeworld’s last chance of survival against the heart-devouring Taloners.
Max has his own problems – a manipulative billionaire father, a murdered brother – but nothing prepares him for this fugitive warrior’s razor-sharp talons and magical abilities.
Shahkara’s half-Taloner blood demands what she knows she can’t have – a human heart. She longs for love, but as deadly enemies attack at every turn, will her lust for Max destroy them both? Or will she find the strength to free both worlds from a threat more horrific than the demons that share her blood?
From September 4, The Blood She Betrayed will be available from Clan Destine Press, Amazon, iTunes and Kobo. From October, the paperback will be available from all good bookstores.
Paperback / eBook / Booktopia
Cheryse Durrant short bio:
Dead fingers curled around an ancient crypt and a love of Celtic mythology were the two inspirations behind Cheryse Durrant's The Blood She Betrayed, the first novel in her young adult/new adult Heart Hunters series. Durrant was born within days of Tolkien’s death and grew up on an Australian cattle farm where she chatted to scrub faeries and an imaginary superhero. She wrote her first story on her aunt's bedroom wall but it did not attract the literary acclaim she deserved. She worked as a journalist for 15 years before trading her soul for fiction. The coffee/chocolate/strawberry addict now lives on the central Queensland coast where she teaches writing through Creative Dragons (www.creativedragons.com.au) and is an avid WriteFest (www.bundywriters.com) fan.
Social media links:
GoodReads / WattPad / Google+ / Linked-In
Hearts & Talons giveaway celebrates launch of Heart Hunters series
To celebrate the launch of her debut novel The Blood She Betrayed, Cheryse Durrant and her publisher, Clan Destine Press, are offering four giveaways as part of the Hearts & Talons tour running until November.
Prizes include a $AU50 Amazon gift voucher, a $AU50 Clan Destine Press (CDP) book pack, a $AU130 heart-shaped crystal pendant, signed paperbacks, swag, and the chance to have a character named after you in Durrant’s second Heart Hunters book, The Ghost She Killed.
To be part of the draw, readers must email proof of purchase (a receipt, screen grab or their order confirmation number) to cheryse (at) quietdawn (dot) org.
People who buy the book can gain extra entries in the Hearts & Talons giveaway by writing a review of The Blood She Betrayed and emailing the online link to Durrant, and/or emailing the Hearts & Talons promotion to 20 friends (cc’d to Durrant).
What you can win: Hearts & Talons giveaway
September – $AU50 Clan Destine Press book pack + signed paperback
October pre-paperback launch prize – Get a character named after you in Cheryse Durrant’s next novel, The Ghost She Killed + a signed paperback.
October – $AU50 Amazon gift voucher + signed paperback
November – $AU130 9ct gold crystal pendant + signed paperback
NB: Entrants are automatically entered into every month of the promotion.