Elements of Rebellion by Coral Moore
Publisher: Bared Teeth Publishing
Number of pages:284
Word Count: 85,000
Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey
After spending most of her life an unwilling captive in a brothel, Sindari is sold to Lord Devin, a man with a reputation for unspeakable cruelty. In the arms of this man who must pretend he cares nothing for her, Sindari finds compassion, making the journey through her barren homeland all the more perilous. Along the way she discovers she can channel elemental forces that compliment Devin’s ability to manipulate fire.
Harnessing this power, she battles the Dominion, an unrelenting foe that has broken the spirit of the Eldari people through twenty years of savagery. Trapped by the brutal empire that has enslaved millions, Sindari and Devin fight against hopeless odds.
Warnings: Graphic Violence and Sexual Situations
1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
The idea for Elements of Rebellion came to me in a dream. I know how cheesy that sounds, but it’s completely true. It started with a single image--a couple riding through a dry prairie side by side on horseback. The man must conceal who he really is and the woman must follow him, first out of necessity, later out of respect, and finally out of love.
2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
The title was originally Firestorm, but I didn’t like that very much. I asked some folks on a writing forum for some input on a few different choices, and after a few days I settled on Elements of Rebellion.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
Definitely the novel. Titles are hard for me, although with practice they do get easier.
4. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
I think that title has to go to my first unsolicited review. That meant someone had actually bought and read my book. And they liked it! I was thrilled. I don’t think I stopped smiling for a week. I read it out loud to my husband. I think he’s developing a complex because I never believe him when he says something I wrote is good, but I’ll believe complete strangers.
5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I just started reading Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione (good so far) and I just finished On Wings, Rising by Ann Somerville (very good, and highly recommended).
6. What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
The first book I ever wrote was a terrible mess that I like to call The One that Will Never Leave the Drawer. It was a story about a zombiepocalypse, though it was more about the survivors who lived in the aftermath. I may someday reuse a few characters from that story. There’s a marine colonel that I fell in love with from the first moment he took form on the page that I’d love to find another home for.
7. What is your writing process?
For me, it really depends on the book. Elements of Rebellion was very quick and came out mostly in chronological order, with very little structural work needed afterward to shore it up. My first release, Broods of Fenrir was rewritten a few times, trying to get the essential pieces of the story hammered out. That one I struggled with a lot of ‘in between’ scenes that I had to find a place for afterward. But in general, I slog through the first draft and then make one editing pass myself. Then the story goes off to beta readers for a look through. I look at their suggestions and possibly make some changes, but usually nothing substantial. Then it goes off to my editor. She usually has a lot of great notes for me, and I incorporate many of her ideas as I make the second draft. We go back and forth a few more times, until we’re both satisfied that the book is the best it can be.
8. Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Stephen King was one of my first favorites and holds a special place in my heart. Robert Jordan showed me what fantasy was, and for that reason will always be on that list too. More recent obsessions are Josh Lanyon, Diana Rowland, and Patricia Briggs. I have pretty eclectic reading habits, I guess.
9. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? I’ll let you know after I attend my first one! I suppose I will probably panic and then only manage to scrawl my name, but over time I hope to be a note making author.
10. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?I suppose that I have an almost terminal case of self-conscious nerves whenever someone new reads my work. There’s a troublesome imp in my head that always screams how bad everything I create is. Sometimes I wish he would leave me alone, but then I realize that he makes me strive to improve constantly, so he’s not so bad.
11. How do you react to a bad review?If the review was solicited by me, I thank the reviewer for the time by email--I always do that, no matter what the outcome of the review. I also try to take something from each of my reviews to help my writing improve. Then I curl up with some ice cream and my dog and watch something sad on television.
12. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? I don’t think I did anything special at all. I was caught up in a whirlwind of trying to get the promotion my second book out, believe it or not. I don’t think I’d realized I’d actually sold anything until a few days later. Now that I think about it, that’s a little sad.
I don’t belong to him, and nothing he can do will change that. I repeated that in my head while I sobbed. I lay face down along the length of the heavy, familiar bench, my wrists secured to the legs on either side. The bindings held me so I couldn’t move more than a tiny bit in any direction.
Between my hitching breaths, I heard Master Mitchell’s belt threading back through the loops of his trousers. He stood next to me without saying a word.
When the last of my tears had flowed, he pulled my hair away from my face with gentle fingers. “Aren’t you tired of fighting me after all this time? You know it won’t do you any good.”
I didn’t bother to answer. He reached over me to his dresser, then gave me a whack on the backside. I stifled a groan. The pain was nothing compared to the welts that burned across my back from his belt’s attentions, but I knew what he held from that one touch. The wooden back he had just slapped me with was by no means the worst that coarse brush had to offer.
He paused to rub his knuckles over my bare bottom in a mocking caress. “With your uncooperative attitude, I can only place you with the roughest of my clients. Wouldn’t you prefer to serve men who won’t treat you so badly?”
“Then who would you offer up to those swine?”
He flipped the brush around and hit me with the stiff bristles until I squirmed from the cutting bite of it scratching my skin. “That’s none of your concern.”
How wrong he was. I’d been making that decision for years by being difficult with every man he put in a room with me. Keeping the worst of them away from the other girls seemed worth it, most of the time.
Merciful spirits, I hated that brush.
He sat down on the bench above my head and lightly placed his hand on the back of my neck. “I can think of more pleasant ways to spend our time.”
I had little interest in his clumsy seduction, a fact which he knew by then. “Let’s just skip ahead to the part where you force yourself on me and pretend that I enjoy it.”
With an angry hiss, he peppered my back with the brush. The bristles tore at my broken skin and sent agony radiating in every direction. I started screaming after the third strike and lost count soon afterward.
When I ran out of breath and could scream no longer, he stopped. My entire back throbbed. I gulped for air. He tugged the strap around my knees loose while humming quietly. I rested my face against the bench and took a few shuddering breaths.
He scratched the bristles of the brush up the back of my right thigh to get my attention. Though my legs were free, I was too exhausted to move away from the uncomfortable sensation.
“Your defiance is not without its charm. The quiet moments after are always so enjoyable. I’ll miss you when you’re gone.” He’d threatened to sell me to a labor camp as a breeder so often that it had ceased to frighten me long ago.
I swallowed to steady my voice, my throat raw from screaming. “Am I going somewhere? I hear Garza is nice this time of year.”
He laughed, but there was little humor in the sound. “Tristan will be here in a few weeks to take a batch of girls to sale in Rochelle.” He put down the brush and ran his fingers over the curve of my ass. “You don’t bring in as much as you used to. I can no longer justify keeping you for what little amusement you offer me when there is no profit in it. You’re going in the next group.”
I turned my head to look at him, not believing a word of it. When I saw his expression, though, I knew he was telling the truth. His graying hair clung to the sides of his face, framing a sad smile that was not at home on his handsome features. I held his gaze for longer than could be considered appropriate. Neither of us spoke.
I had wished myself free of his House more times than I could remember, but with the prospect of getting out before me, fear crept into my throat and choked me. With Mitchell, I knew where I stood and which lines he wouldn’t cross. As much as I hated him, there was a measure of trust there that I couldn’t deny. After I was auctioned, there was no telling where I would end up.
“Nothing to say?” His hand slid over the torn skin of my back with a light touch that brought an absurd amount of pain. I gritted my teeth.
He crouched next to my head and worked at the binding on my right wrist. “If you ask me nicely, I’ll consider keeping you.” His blue eyes searched my face as he caressed my cheek. The unspoken promise of tenderness was a familiar lie. I no longer wondered who that lie was supposed to convince.
How easy it would be to beg him to keep me. For a brief moment, I almost wished I could do it. I despised the weak part of myself that wanted his approval.
“Never.” I turned my face away from him and closed my eyes. Tears overflowed and spilled down my cheeks. I didn’t want him to see how much he had hurt me because I knew that pain was what he sought, an indicator that he’d broken me at last.
With a contemptuous growl, he stood and kicked the bottom of the bench under my head, jarring my teeth with the force. The sound of his belt being pulled free again rasped in my ears.
Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives the tales she tells.
Prompted by a general interest in how life works, her undergraduate schooling was in biology. She follows science news and enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writes speculative fiction and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Albertus Magnus College.
Currently she lives in Connecticut with the love of her life, who offers both encouragement and kicks in the tail when necessary. Also in residence are two mammals of the families Canidae and Felidae.
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