French teen Sacha Winters can’t die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.
Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.
There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
They have eight weeks to find each other.
Guest Post Introducing Taylor
Taylor Montclair is medium height and curvy. She frets about her figure too much, as so many of us do. She tends to wear oversized t-shirts and baggy skirts to hide it. She has green eyes and blonde hair, but not straight blonde hair like her mum and her sister. Hers is all unruly curls that she can’t control. She frets about that, too. Like all of us, she finds flaws in her appearance and then focuses on those, overlooking the best parts. The parts that make her amazing.
Her best friend Georgie seems perfect to Taylor. Georgie wants to work in fashion and, although she’s not great at exams, she can work magic with a needle and thread. Her clothes are beautifully fitted, and her figure is effortlessly perfect. At least, that’s how Taylor sees it. They’ve been friends since year nine. Georgie keeps Taylor from being shy. Taylor keeps Georgie from flunking out of school. It’s a match made in high school.
Taylor is smart and more than a little bit geeky. She’s getting straight As, and at seventeen, she has her eyes on the prize – she wants to go to St Wilfred’s College, Oxford. Her grandfather is a professor there, and for as long as she can remember she’s wanted to be one of his students.
For now, though, home is the town of Woodbury, in Gloucestershire. A sweet, busy place, with lots of parks, and a stream running right through the centre. The perfect place to grow up. Until the apocalypse.
I didn’t base Taylor on anyone – although I borrowed her curly hair from my publicist, Tory! I like creating characters who think they know who they are and where they’re going, and then showing them that they’re wrong. I did something not dissimilar in Night School, with Allie, who turns out to be not at all who she thinks she is. Similarly, Taylor’s future turns out to be much more complicated and dangerous than she imagines.
This sort of disorientation – taking away the confidence that we all like to have in our own identities – makes for interesting stories. Because what would happen if one day you found out the life you’ve planned for and imagined was impossible, because you have alchemical powers? And, oh by the way, medieval beliefs are real, and everyone is about to die.
I’ll tell you what would happen: You’d hit the ground running. You’d do everything to survive. And things would get very, very interesting.
That’s what happens in The Secret Fire. I hope you like it!
- You can meet Sasha Winters on Laura’s Blog: labibliothequedeglow.fr
Former crime reporter CJ Daugherty is the author of the international best-selling Night School series. After graduating from university in Texas, CJ worked as a newspaper journalist in American cities including Savannah and New Orleans. She won numerous awards for her reporting, particularly her investigative journalism into corruption and crime. After moving to England, she wrote books about travel in Ireland and Paris for publishers including Time Out and Frommers. For a while she also worked as a communications consultant for the Home Office, specialising in counter-terrorism.
Her Night School series has been translated into 22 languages, and has been a number one bestseller in multiple countries. She is now co-writing a new series, The Secret Fire, with French author Carina Rozenfeld. The first book in that series is due out in autumn 2015.