Guest Blog, Tour, & Giveaway: Kylie Griffin, author of Alliance Forged

I’d like to welcome Kylie Griffin back to the blog! Kylie is the author of Vengeance Born, and the brand new Alliance Forged. Today, I’m giving the blog over to Kylie, and she’s going tell us all about the half-man, half-demon hero, Varian, from Alliance Forged! Also, she’s generously offering a copy of Alliance Forged to one lucky winner, so be sure to check out the giveaway details below the post!

-by Kylie Griffin

One of the things I love when I’m reading or following a series are the little extra’s shared by author’s about the characters from their books. Whether it’s information shared in an interview or guest blog or even as snippets posted on their websites. It’s like the Special Features in the menu on movie DVD where you can learn more about the making of it, or listen to the actors share insights about the character they play.

When Kristin extended an invitation to revisit My Bookish Ways, I jumped at the chance of a guest blog post with this sort of theme *rubbing hands together in glee*.

Today you get to learn more about Varian, the half-demon half human hero from ALLIANCE FORGED, Bk#2 in the Light Blade series (Berkley Sensation).

Name: Varian
Race: Na’Chi (half demon, half human hybrid)
Age: 26
Background: Varian was one of the first Na’Chi children, other than Annika, saved by human slave Hesia. The elderly healer discovered him scavenging for food in a pile of rubbish outside the Gannec fortress. Unable to save her own half-blood children from being taken from her and killed by the Na’Reish, Hesia has been rescuing Na’Chi babies and children like Varian for many years.

After a failed attempt to live among the human slaves and Na’Reish in the fortress, Varian and the other Na’Chi resorted to hiding and living in the forest surrounding the fortress. With their eyes changing color with their changing emotions it’s easy for a human slave or Na’Reish demon to identify them and the discovery and death of one of their own led to this decision. Living outside they fine tuned their scouting and ambush techniques and managed to remain hidden.

Varian became leader of the rag-tag bunch of Na’Chi youngsters at 15 years of age. With Hesia’s guidance and influence, he kept them safe.

When Annika and Kalan escaped the Gannec fortress (in VENGEANCE BORN), Varian followed them and led the Na’Chi into human territory, in the hope of bringing Hesia’s dream to fruition – to establish an alliance with the humans and find a new home.

Skills: All Na’Chi possess Na’Reish strength and heightened senses. As a Na’Chi scout Varian is able to tap into his Na’Reish half in a heartbeat and during battle becomes as strong and fast as a full-blooded Na’Reish. Some call this ability a Gift from the Lady (the deity humans and some Na’Chi believe in).

For Varian, having such a Gift is a double-edged sword – it helps him protect his people but the kicker is the risk he takes every time he goes into battle. Letting his Na’Reish side loose leaves him open to battle-rush, an insatiable hunger to take a life, the thrill of the kill. That addiction could one day overwhelm him and turn him into a mindless beast who is unable to tell friend from foe. And having spent most of his life honing and using his Gift, he’s finding it harder and harder to control that side of him.

Interesting facts:
Varian shares a close friendship with Lisella, one of the Na’Chi females who sees past his scar and fearsome reputation.

During a fight with a Na’Reish demon, Varian ended up with a scar on his right cheek, from eye to jaw line.

He considers Zaune, one of the younger Na’Chi scouts, one of his friends as the youth reminds him of himself at a younger age.

Because they use their abilities more frequently than other Na’Chi, a scout (like Varian) is twice as more likely to succumb to their darker half.

He prefers the company of the Na’Chi children as they accept him for who he is.

He professes no faith in the Lady as he believes She abandoned the Na’Chi to their suffering at the hands of the Na’Reish.

The beads in his hair signify certain events in his life.

Varian’s greatest fear is succumbing to battle rush and being unable to control the beast inside him.

Does he lose control? Yes.

Does he hurt anyone? Yes! (and I’m not referring to the Na’Reish demons he disposes of either)

More importantly, does he manage to conquer the beast? Well, that’s something you’re just going to have to find out for yourself when you read ALLIANCE FORGED! 😉

How fortuitous I have a copy to giveaway so someone can discover Varian’s fate! But first I want you to step into my world, imagine you’re a Na’Chi or a human who’s been blessed by the Lady and given a Gift (some sort of special ability – good or bad or ambiguous). Would it be superhuman strength or speed like the Na’Chi scouts? Or maybe the power to heal or kill with a touch like Annika from VENGEANCE BORN (Bk#1)? Or could it be the ability to sense soul-pain like the young healer apprentice, Rissa?

What Gift would you choose?

1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries, especially if you answer Kylie’s  question!)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin to 1 winner.
3. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
4. Must include a valid email address with your entry (no need to leave it in the comments, just include it when you fill out the rafflecopter form)
5. You must enter on or before 7/20/12
6. Giveaway book courtesy of the author
7. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Alliance Forged:
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…

Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.

Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.

When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.
Snag a copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

About Kylie Griffin:
Kylie Griffin’s obsession with all things paranormal/fantasy started at an early age, when she used to imagine the jacaranda tree in her front yard was a spaceship used to defend the world from invading enemies. Writing stories seemed a natural extension to her childhood adventures.

Today, she’s a primary school teacher sharing her love for the written word with young children. In her spare time, she writes and reads all things paranormal.

Kylie lives in a small rural village in outback New South Wales, Australia, where she volunteers in a number of emergency service organizations in her local community.
Keep up with Kylie: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Shelfari


  1. i love being read people mind or being healer is great too 🙂

    • Hi Eli, are you sure you’d want t read people’s minds? Wow! That could be a double-edged gift – knowing what people think! What about all those random thoughts and “head chatter” we tend to engage in? Wouldn’t that be noisy? LOL

  2. I think I’d like the power to kill or heal with a touch! Could be really useful, although having superspeed might insure that I’m never late. Might…

    • Super speed sounds good – especially when you’re having one of those days where you have a TO DO list of things a mile long! Wouldn’t it be nice not to spend hours doing housework or yard work? 🙂

  3. i would like to be able to understand the plants and the animals and to speak with them

    • Yes, knowing what animals are thinking/feeling would be useful, Miki. I don’t know how many times I’ve wished my cats could speak to tell me what’s wrong when they’re sick or injured.

      And imagine the different perspective we’d have of our world if we knew what plants were thinking/feeling. We’d be a lot more considerate of the environment I think.

  4. I think I fancy the power to heal or kill with a touch like Annika 🙂

    • Cherry, that Gift would come with a heavy dose of responsibility, wouldn’t it? But imagine being able to heal with a touch. Amazing. 🙂

      • It does but I imagine that, that is also one of the reasons why it would be satisfying 🙂

        • I shudder to think though if someone with less than altruistic reasons for having this power were able to use it – aka serial killer or someone lacking empathy. *shudder*

  5. I think I would choose superhuman strength or speed. It seems kind of simple but the ability to kill with a touch, that’s just not me and sensing other people’s soul-pain, ouch! I’ll take the simple straightforward gift this time.

    • It’s pretty cool imagining “what if…” isn’t it, Carl? There can be some obvious drawbacks to some pretty handy skills or powers, let alone the moral implications of wielding them. Enhanced strength or speed could have a lot of advantages.

      • I could also add that this is what makes creating such a character as Kymora, Annika, Rissa or any of the Na’Chi or Light Blades so much fun! 😀

  6. I would want the power to heal with a touch, animals and humans.

    • Lisa, I think you and a lot of vets or doctors/nurses would love that Gift.

      Sounds like a lot of the Gifts people are choosing would be to help others – but I wonder if there’s anyone out there who’d choose one for a self-serving purpose or for evil???? 😉

  7. I would like to have the power of healing! It would be pretty awesome!

    • Mark Ileana up as another one for healing! Looks like this Gift might be popular. 🙂

  8. The power to move unseen when needed. Become a shadow. I could sneak up on people. Thanks for the chance to win

    • SharonS, now that could be a fun power to have. I remember as a kid wanting to be able to sneak up on or avoid detection from others. Don’t know how many times I practiced the sneaking bit – watching how and where I placed my feet, using available cover etc. LOL 😀

  9. I’d like to be an empathic healer. The gift of empathy to know how the patient is feeling and the skill to heal them completely.

    • Nora-Adrienne, your skill would be useful with anyone in a coma or unable to communicate. Good thinking!

  10. Thanks for a fun post and congrats on the newest release! I’ve had this series on my radar for a while and I’m definitely wanting it!

    I’d want the gift of healing. I’m not a fighter by any means so the super speed and fighting abilities would be lost on me 😉

    • Erinf1, glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for saying so. It was a hoot to write! 🙂

      Looks like the healing gift is proving popular. Good luck in the draw.

  11. Thanks to everyone for making Kylie so welcome, and for some awesome answers 😀

    • Kristin, it’s great to be back and fun to see what gifts everyone prefers. I’m waiting for a brave soul or two to come up with using their power for nefarious or evil reasons. M-wah-ha-hah!!!

      Is anyone game?

      Or how about some Gift no else has thought of yet? Something from left field?

      I await with anticipation!!! 😀

  12. Id choose superspeed definately theres never enough time in a day for me to do all I need to do.

    • Wanda agrees with Rebe and I – getting a mountain of things done in a short amount of time would be handy.

  13. Victoria Zumbrum

    I would love the power to heal.

    • It’s lovely to see so many people interested in healing – it’s certainly a well-needed skill and definitely a logical choice.

  14. I think my pick would be the ability to give joy. Pure joy.

    • We can all do will more good times and laughter in our lives, can’t we?

      Less worry, less stress, more of a focus on the positive or the things that bring us happiness.

      Nice pick, Kristin. 😀

  15. adelle medberry

    Kill or heal I think, more likely to heal.

  16. hi Kylie, being a healer would be so great:). Congratz for the release of your second book!

    • Aretha! Hey, thanks for dropping in! Good to see you here. 🙂

      Looks like we’re going to have a guild full of healers 😀 – we might have to start placing all our healers into specialist fields, methinks!

  17. My totally selfish gift would be for speed reading. That way I’d be able to make a dent in my ever-growing to-be-read pile. Thanks for adding another book to my pile, and thanks for the giveaway!

    • Hooray for Jean! Good on you for taking up the challenge and going for the Dark Side!!! 😉

      But what a great choice!!!!! Speed-reading. Now that’s a skill I’d love to have too! There never seems to be enough time to read that tottering pile I have in my library either, and I keep buying more books to add to it. I’m in danger of being book-alanched every time I go in there. 🙁

      Good luck in the draw!

      • “Book-alanched!” So true. : ) Why do we keep buying more books when we already have plenty to keep us busy?

        Thanks for writing comments for everyone! We enjoy the interaction with authors. : )

  18. I would choose the gift of healing. It would be great to help others with healing.
    Congrats on the book.

    • G’day, Julianne, it’s great to see so many joining the Healers Guild! Master Healer Candra would be so pleased (she’s one of the secondary characters in the book, if you’re wondering). 🙂

  19. Battle-rush, unable to tell friend from foe….I smell a big event in the plot here. =)
    I was a big fan of Annika’s power, I could deal with having that. Yeah, listen to me…like it would be no biggie. Ha!

    • 😀 Hmm, Lexi, maybe you’re already Gifted with foresight? Poor Varian and battle rush, the bane of his existence, but my lips are sealed! 😛

      And you’re also joining Candra’s Healers’ Guild! Man, is she going to be so pleased at all the new recruits. Hey, you’d get to meet Annika!

  20. Congrats on the release! I think healing would be great. Also the power to influence peoples actions, manipulate them, could be used for good or evil.

    • Laurie, I do like you tip toe over into the dark side with the power to influence people – good and bad.

      Would the temptation be too much to tinker with peoples actions and thoughts/manipulate them for “the greater good” and when would it be considered crossing the line? Could you be persuaded? And what would make you cross it, I wonder?

      • Well, that’s were the fun begins and ends. That power in the wrong hands would most likely be used for evil, but in the hands of someone good, they would struggle to use it in the right situations because I think they would realize the
        incredible power they hold. Hopefully they use it on the bad guys!

  21. I’d want the gift to heal all beings.

  22. I’d love to have the power to heal. Power over the elements would be pretty awesome too; imagine being able to control air, water, earth and/or fire!

    Congrats on the release of Alliance Forged; can’t wait to read it. Varian seems a lot darker than Annika (peering lovingly at the so awesome cover of my copy of Vengeance Born!)? Can’t wait to what the cover of Allegiance Sworn will look like.

    • Linda, funny you should mention having power over the elements – have you been reading over my shoulder as I write Allegiance Sworn??? (no more hints, sorry! 😉 )

      It would be an awesome skill to have though, wouldn’t it? Control climates, landscaping, environmental stabilisation (or could that be exploitation???).

      You’re right, Varian is darker than Annika. He struggles so much more with his Na’Reish half but then their life circumstances while similar in some ways, were radically different in others and their Gifts developed in different ways.

      As for the cover reveal of Allegiance Sworn – that little surprise is going out to newsletter subscribers first (and I think I might get the nod from my editor before the end of the week so I can share!). Fingers crossed! 😀

  23. I’d like the power to manipulate time if possible. It would be incredible.

    • Ohhhh, now Mary, that’s a unique Gift to possess! I’ve always liked the idea of time travel, particularly going back in time to see what life really was like in earlier time periods. Also the whole “what will the future be like” scenario is appealing too!

  24. I think the gift of healing would be wonderful.

    • I have a stack of Healer apprentice greens (uniforms) – find your size and join the Guild, Justpeachy! 🙂

  25. I like to have superhuman strength or speed like the Na’Chi scouts!! Make my work end faster and i can relax to read book. LOL!!

  26. The gift of healt or… time travel lol!

    • Lis, we don’t have many Time Lords among us. Care to join Mary in her time hopping adventures?

  27. I would choose the power to heal or kill with a touch…hopefully I’d use the healing power more than the other, but it would be good to have it if needed.

    • Hi, Barbara – healing with a touch seems to be the most popular! 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  28. The ability of superhuman strength

  29. There’s certainly a lot you could do with superhuman strength bn100. 🙂

  30. nurmawati djuhawan

    i hope i have the power to heal or kill with a touch …
    so many bad giys in the world..i’ll help by execute them…
    and if i can heal with my toch..i’ll help poor people in my country…because many people can’t go to seeing doctors because they are poor tey don’t have insurance…

    anyway…thx u for this giveaway…
    i hope i win paperback of “aliance forged”…wish me luck 🙂

    • Nurmawati, fingers are crossed for you in the giveaway! 🙂

      You’re taking a definite stand on how you’re going to use your “new” Gift – wielding the double edged sword of healing and killing. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  31. I would pick the power to heal or kill with a touch. You could definitely make the world a different place with that.

    • Hi Maureen,

      Hands down the healing touch has outvoted all the other preferences – it’s such a useful skill, isn’t it?

      Thanks for dropping in!

  32. I would pick the power of persuasion. Typical, I know and I know it could perhaps be manipulated but that’s why it’d only be my gift 😀 I would like the power to heal too.

    • Kara, you’re only the second one to suggest the gift of persuasion or influencing someone. I think like any special talent or skill there comes a level of responsibility that I’d like to believe others would recognise and use to guide the use of it, rather than abuse it. 🙂

  33. I would love the power to know if someone is telling the truth or not (lord knows it would come in handy with my child). I’m very excited to read Alliance Froged. thx for give away.

    • Lon, now THAT skill would come in handy – why didn’t I think of it (I’m a teacher in my other life)!!!

  34. Phew, what a wonderful week it has been – thank you all very much for taking part in the discussion and for making me feel so welcome!

    Kristin, thank you for having me back at The Qwillery, visiting is always a hoot and I enjoy it immensely.

    Good luck in the draw everyone!

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