Book Tour: Author Interview and Excerpt — The Collar and the Cavvarach by Annie Douglas Lima

sword isolated on white background; Shutterstock ID 109466807

sword isolated on white background; Shutterstock ID 109466807

What’s the your newest release called?

It’s called The Collar and the Cavvarach, and the genre is young adult action and adventure.

Where did the idea come from?

 I’ve had the idea growing in my mind for the last few years.  It started as just a picture of the setting and its culture (a world very similar to our own but with legalized slavery), and the plot and individual characters emerged little by little.

Why was it important for you to write this book?

Also, I hope this story will make readers think about the value of human life and perhaps take a second look at some of the practices we accept or choose to turn a blind eye to in our own culture. Legalized slavery sounds so impossibly wrong that it’s easy to think we could never let it happen in this day and age, but how many other wrongs do we overlook just because it isn’t convenient to do anything about them?

What are some themes you explore in your work?

There is a strong theme of social justice, as well as family loyalty and courage.

Tell us about it.

The story takes place in a world almost exactly like ours.  Although most aspects of the culture are just about what they are currently on Earth, a few sports are different, such as the martial art known as cavvara shil (which the main character is skilled at).  The main difference, however, is that slavery is legal there.

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

Who’s your favorite character?

In this book, at least, my favorite is definitely Bensin.  The struggles he is forced to go through make him stronger, and I admire him for his perseverance and determination to meet his goals no matter what.  He is willing to sacrifice himself for those he cares about, and while his choices aren’t always the wisest, he is committed to doing what he feels is right.  Society is against him, since he’s a slave and has few rights, but that doesn’t stop him.

What do you do in your spare time?

sword isolated on white background; Shutterstock ID 109466807

sword isolated on white background; Shutterstock ID 109466807

I write!  Teaching is my day job, so I squeeze in writing time in the early mornings, evenings, weekends, and school vacations.  When I’m not writing, I like to read (especially fantasy and science fiction).  International travel is another hobby I enjoy – when I can find the time and the money for it!

About the Story:

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire’s most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie’s escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with “have a rack”), an unsharpened weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Want to Find out a Little More?

Click here to read a description of the setting and what life is like for slaves and others in that world.

Click here to read chapter 1 for free!

Click here to download The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon.

Click here to download The Collar and the Cavvarach from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats).

Annie Douglass LimaAbout the Author:

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published ten books (one YA action and adventure novel, four fantasies, a puppet script, and four anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with the Author Online:

Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com

Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnieDouglassLimaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/princeofalasia

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGoodreads

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/AnnieDouglassLimaOnAmazon

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AnnieDouglassLima

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnLinkedIn

Google Plus: http://bit.ly/ADLimaOnGooglePlus

Excerpt: Getting You Out of There

Bensin seized her hand. “Come with me. Quick.” He eased the back door open and pulled her out with him, shutting it quietly after them.

“Where are we going?” Ellie squeaked.

“Hush.” He ran with her to the back fence, seized her under the armpits to hoist her over, and vaulted over after her.

“What are we doing in the neighbor’s yard?”

“We’re getting you out of there the fastest way we can. If we go round to the front, they might see us through the windows.” He grabbed her hand again, and bending low, led her across the yard to the next fence. Lifting her over once more, he pulled himself up and dropped onto the grass beside her. His heart was pounding harder. Any second now they would realize she was gone. He had to get her as far away as possible as quickly as possible. That was the only thing that mattered.

There was one more yard to cross, and then only a final fence stood between them and the next street. Bensin peeked over it to make sure the coast was clear. Cars were coming and going, but there were no pedestrians close by at the moment. He picked Ellie up one more time and heaved her over before hopping over himself.

“Now where are we going?”

“To the bus stop, and let’s hope the bus comes quickly.”

“Will the man come out here looking for me?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Come on!” Taking her hand again, he hurried her down the street as fast as her short legs could carry her.

“Is that the bus? I think I see the bus!” panted his sister, pointing. Sure enough, the distant form of the city bus was rounding a corner far down the road ahead of them. The bus stop was still two blocks away.

“Get on my back!” Bensin ordered, crouching down to let her climb on. “And hang on tight!” He broke into a run, hoping no one would stop him and ask where two slaves were going in such a hurry or demand to see their passes.

Sprinting down the sidewalk, he overtook a boy on a bike and dodged a woman pushing a stroller. The bus was still approaching. Who would make it to the stop first?

He was at the curb now. The light was red, but he couldn’t afford to pause. Bensin leaped into the street, his heart lurching as a car he hadn’t seen swerved around him, its driver blasting the horn.

One more block to go. The stop was on the next corner, but the bus was nearly there. If we miss it, it’ll probably be twenty minutes before the next one comes by. That would be plenty of time for the Creghorns to come looking for Ellie or to call the City Watch. And there was nowhere to hide along the street here.

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