New Adult | Steampunk
August 25, 2015 | December 15, 2015
August 25, 2015 | December 15, 2015
If love is the ivy, secrets are the poison.
Aether Psychics, Book 1
After enduring heartbreak at the hands of a dishonest woman, Edward Bailey lives according to scientific principles of structure and predictability. Just the thought of stepping outside his strict routine raises his anxiety.
Adding to his discomfort is Iris McTavish, who appears at his school’s faculty meeting in place of her world-famous archeologist father. Worse, the two of them are to pose as Grand Tourists while they search for an element that will help harness the power of aether.
Iris jumps at the opportunity to prove her worth as a scholar—and avoid an unwanted marriage proposal—while hiding the truth of her father’s whereabouts. If her secret gets out, the house of McTavish will fall into ruin.
Quite unexpectedly, Edward and Iris discover a growing attraction as their journey takes them to Paris and Rome, where betrayal, blackmail and outright theft threaten to destroy what could be a revolutionary discovery—and break their hearts.
At the Théâtre Bohème, danger decides who takes the final curtain call.
Aether Psychics, Book 2
Hailed as the most talented actress of her generation, Marie St. Jean has something more to her ability than mere talent. She loses a bit of her soul to each role. When the ghostly spirit of the theatre promises her an easy fix, she’s tempted by the chance to finally live a normal life.
Unfortunately, the man she’s drawn to is the last one to settle for normal. But with the Prussians surrounding Paris, there’s no escaping that temptation, either.
Violinist Johann Bledsoe thought he’d left his disgrace in England, but a murder outside the Théâtre Bohème makes him wonder if he’s been exposed. Another reason not to stick around once the siege ends, even if Marie fascinates him.
More murders, steam-powered ravens, and past and present secrets bring them closer to discovering just what lurks within the theatre, and who threatens from without. The only way to save themselves is to reveal their darkest shames—and use the Eros Element in a way that has already driven one man to the brink of madness.
Warning: Processed in a facility where wine is used as currency and dessert is a reward. If you dislike French cooking and attitudes, move along. Things are cooking in this book, and it ain’t Julia Child.
Calling all New Adult, Steampunk, and fantasy fans, check out this character interview with Marie St. Jean, heroine of Light Fantastique, to know more about the Aether Psychics. It's juicy!
- If your character were to go to a psychologist – willingly or unwillingly – what would bring them in? Yes, a court order is a valid answer.Marie would probably sum up her reasons for seeking help in two words: Mommy issues, if there were such a thing at the time. This was 1870, and Freud, the father of mommy issues, was only a teenager. Oh, and if those two words would also be in French, which would make it three words, questions de maman according to one online translation tool. Whatever she’d call it, she’d probably identify her major problem as her overbearing mother, Lucille. 9 The heart of the issues between Marie and Lucille is that Marie loses a part of her soul when she really invokes her acting talent, but she doesn’t want to turn to her mother for help with it. She would rather avoid and run. However, Lucille knows Marie has great talent and wants her to take the stage again.
- Is the presenting problem one of the main internal or external conflicts in your book? If so, how does it present itself?Due to Marie’s talent and what it does to her, but she doesn’t have a strong sense of who she is. Also, in her efforts to avoid the consequences of acting, she’s done some stupid things in the past that have led to unresolved hurt and tension between her and Lucille. While the stage still draws her, now Marie just wants an ordinary life, or thinks she does. The mommy issues plus identity problems become an external conflict when a mysterious stranger offers Marie a solution to her troubles – help in exchange for her memories of the past. She puts herself and everyone at the theatre – including dashing violinist Johann Bledsoe – at risk to see if she can have it all.
- It's always interesting to see how people act when they first enter my office. Do they immediately go for my chair, hesitate before sitting anywhere, flop on the couch, etc.? What would your character do?Marie would sweep in with a confident air and try to take my chair before I direct her to the sofa. She would also have a charming vulnerability about her, probably her talent taking over unintentionally. Once I started asking questions, that mask would gradually drop, revealing the insecure young woman beneath.
- Does your character talk to the therapist? How open/revealing will your character be?If she felt cornered, like this was the only solution to solving her problems, Marie would take advantage of the opportunity. She would probably feel out the therapist and see what the therapist would think. Since it sounds neurotic, or at least overly dramatic, to say you lose a part of yourself with each role, she would tread carefully and focus on where her mother is at fault, leaving her talent out of it. She has no desire to end up at the mercy of the hypnotists and neuroticists in Doctor Charcot’s Salpêtrière Hospital. We’ll get to see more of the aftermath of their work in the third Aether Psychics book, Aether Spirit, which will be released in May.
- Your character walks into the bar down the street after his/her first therapy session. What does he/she order? What happens next?Since Paris is under siege, there’s not a lot open, although she could probably find some place that’s pouring highly diluted liquor that was smuggled in on an airship. For a ridiculous price, of course. She’s pretty broke, so she’d probably just go to the roof of the theatre and hang out with the gargoyles if it’s not too cold and if that creepy steam-powered raven isn’t flapping about.
- When you're building characters, do you have any tricks you use to really get into their psyches, like a character interview or personality system (e.g., Myers-Briggs types)?I do use MBTI types for most of my characters. I’ll usually write a few chapters, let the characters reveal themselves to me, and then do character sketches and pretend to be them while taking an online MBTI test. I’ll also figure out internal and external conflicts and story arc. Since the Aether Psychics is a series, I also did a series arc, which has really helped especially as I’ve been writing the later books. Marie is an ESFP, which makes sense for an actress and someone with a strong sense of adventure.
Cecilia Dominic wrote her first story when she was two years old and has always had a much more interesting life inside her head than outside of it. She became a clinical psychologist because she’s fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn’t stop writing fiction. The first draft of her dissertation, while not fiction, was still criticized by her major professor for being written in too entertaining a style. She made it through graduate school and got her PhD, started her own practice, and by day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction she hopes will keep her readers turning the pages all night. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she’s been told, is a good number of each. She also enjoys putting her psychological expertise to good use helping other authors through her Characters on the Couch blog post series.
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