Friday, June 20, 2014

Son of Set (Descendants of Isis, Book #2) by Kelsey Ketch ~ Guest Author, Excerpt, & Giveaway


Please welcome Kelsey Ketch to Sapphyria's Book Reviews as she discuss the importance of doing the proper research for a book you are writing.

Why Research Matters

Research! It’s what can make the difference between a 4 star rating and a 5 star rating. The background story. The driving distance and time. The description of the scenery. All those little details make the story come alive, and throughout the Descendants of Isis series, I use them in turning the unbelievable into something more realistic.

I’ll be honest, I might go overboard with how in depth I get in the research of my novels. After all, I’ve gone as far as learning ancient Egyptian rituals, which in my opinion make the storyline even more fascinating. But it also peeves me to see when a book has no research within its pages at all—even in contemporary novels. With the internet and satellite imagery, basic research is not as hard as it used to be; and it doesn’t take as long either. A good example would be books that describe any kind of road trip or use real locations. In those cases, any major inaccuracy could throw off the entire rhythm of a novel, especially for someone living in those places.

In Son of Set, Natti and Seth are constantly on the run from city to city, trying to stay one step ahead of Seth’s father. Unfortunately, I can’t just hop on a flight to California and drive the route myself. I don’t have the money or the time. But with the help of Google Maps, at least I was able to find out what the estimated length of the entire trip would be, the time and distance between cities, and plan each of Seth and Natti’s stops. I also use satellite images and things like Google’s street view to help me describe my settlings and landscapes. It might not 100% accurate in description as it would have been if I had driven the journey myself, but I have to say, it’s probably pretty darn close.

Now, research into the backstory of a novel might not be as easy. Particularly if you are referring to something more related to science fiction, which I see becoming a future challenge for me down the road. However, with the Descendants of Isis, I was fortunate to have a baseline. I use books, internet searches, and documentaries to look through all different versions of the Isis, Osiris, and Set story, cypher the hieroglyphics of the clues, and understand the behaviors and beliefs of the cults. Also, in doing so, I discover pieces of a larger puzzle which begin to fit together, and even have sprouted new possibilities and ideas as I continue to write the series.

Rest assured that I’m not suggesting research is the only criteria one should put forth in rating fictional novels. Yes, research is very important to me, especially being a scientist and history fanatic, but one should also judge a book by its plot and quality. I will stress this: even though the story’s general plotline is great, research can make it better!

Son of Set
(Descendants of Isis #2)


“. . . the Sons would never just let him go—alive.”

Seth O’Keefe has broken the laws of his god. He never thought he would sacrifice his own future to protect a Daughter of Isis. But when the Sons of Set discovered Natti is the Secret Keeper, he had no choice. Now, Seth and Natti are on the run from his father, who wants nothing more than to see Seth dead. With no allies, Seth turns to the Daughters of Isis for help, hoping they would protect Natti. But when they meet the Daughters, he discovers a secret that puts both their lives in more danger. Low on options, Seth sees only one possibility for survival. He must help Natti solve an ancient puzzle and find the secret name of Ra.

Natara “Natti” Stone is having a hard time swallowing the truth. She can’t believe what she has learned in the past twenty-four hours: Seth is a Son of Set blessed with charm; she is a Daughter of Isis blessed with a sliver of Ma ‘at; the locket her grandmother gave her holds an ancient Egyptian secret linking to Osiris and Isis. That along with being tortured and brutalized by the Sons of Set, she can hardly hold herself together. Thank God for Seth’s touch! That warm, tingling sensation that drowns it all out. Yet her heart struggles to stay focused. She must quickly embrace her destiny before the secret name of Ra falls into the wrong hands.

*Note: Content for Upper YA*

Excerpt:

***Warning: Excerpt May Contain Spoilers To First Novel***

Chapter 1

Seth wrung a blood-soaked hand towel until the fabric pinched the flesh of his aching palms. Droplets of Natti’s diluted blood trickled into the running water. When the cotton began to dry, he drowned it again and wrung it out even tighter. Yet, no matter how sore his hands were, the haunting bloodstains on the towel wouldn’t wash away. Exhausted and frustrated, he tossed the towel into the basin. He slammed the faucet off, leaned over the counter, and stared at his reflection. Dark circles and black kohl accented his turquoise eyes. Large, swollen bruises coated his lightly tanned skin, each screaming with the slightest movement. Dry blood encrusted his wrists. His back ached and his knees were coated with grime. Even so, his injuries carried little pain compared to the memories he was still trying to process: his own father, Sean, drawing Seth’s Glock 38 on him at the hospital; being chained down in Set’s Temple and listening to Natti’s screams while his father dosed her with synthetic scorpion venom; watching Sean enslave her essence; seeing the ceremonial dagger poised over her breast. Seth shoved his fingers through his copper hair, trying to force the images out of his mind.

A soft moan, a harsh groan, and then a scream echoed from the next room. Seth’s overwhelmed system surged with adrenaline. He raced into the bedroom of the hotel room. Natti had her back pressed against the pillows and headboard as she manically swiped at the old, floral bedcover. She abruptly withdrew her hand with another scream and began to cower, her knees brought up to her chest.

“I don’t know,” she bellowed. “I don’t know.”

“Natti?” Seth rushed to her side. He stared at the bedcover, trying to determine who or what she was shouting at.

Natti turned her glassy eyes to him with a gasp. She scrambled sideways, and Seth had to catch her before she fell over the edge of the king-sized bed. Her panicky screams transformed into desperate cries for help. Afraid someone would hear her, Seth quickly covered her mouth. She struggled against him for a brief moment before she finally went limp in his arms. Her silver-violet eyes were filled with fear.

“Shh,” Seth cooed, trying to keep his own heart from leaping out of his chest. He stared into the eyes that had bewitched him on the first day they met. When she looked back at him, it was like she was gazing at a stranger. He swallowed a lump that formed in his throat and slowly raised his fingers from her lips.

“I don’t know,” she whimpered. “I don’t know. I swear, I don’t know.”

“Natti, it’s me,” Seth whispered, mentally begging the gods to help her. “It’s Seth. We met at school in mid-September. I rescued you at the festival. I helped you escape from the temple. Don’t you remember?”

Her body tensed under his hold, and her gaze went wild while she scanned the room. “Oh God, please. . . . I don’t know.”

“Natti.”

She wasn’t paying any attention to him. Her eyes were beginning to dilate, and her body vibrated with fear. Seth finally called on his blessing from Set, his magical charm, to try to calm her, but her mind was too wired and her veins throbbed under his touch. She suddenly screeched and thrashed violently in his arms.

“No. No, stop. I don’t know.” Her anxiety was building. Grabbing hold of her flying fists, Seth pinned her down on the bed. Her back arched and her legs kicked while she attempted to wrench herself from his grasp.

“Natti, stop,” he ordered. “Stop!”

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Daughter of Isis (Descendants of Isis #1)



“Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.”

Their worlds collide in California’s high desert.

The last thing Natara “Natti” Stone wants to do is to start anew at Setemple High School. She wished she had never left London. Yet the brutal murder of her maternal grandmother has made her life very complicated. The only clue related to her murder is an ancient, encrypted necklace Natti discovered after her grandmother’s death. And if trying to adjust to American life is not enough, Natti is being stalked by a mysterious, charming high school senior, Seth O’Keefe, who is annoyingly persistent in his attempts at seduction.

Seth O’Keefe is secretly a member of the Sons of Set, an order that worships the Egyptian god of chaos. Seth’s blessing from Set, his “charm,” never failed, except with one person: Natti Stone. Her ability to elude him infatuates and infuriates him, and he becomes obsessed with the chase. But the closer he gets to her, the more his emotions take a dangerous turn, and he risks breaking one of the most valued covenants of his order. The punishment for which is a fate worse than death.

The adventure this unlikely couple becomes engulfed in could cost them their lives and their souls.

*Note: Content for Upper YA*

Praise for Daughter of Isis

“Daughter of Isis is an addicting and enthralling read brimming with Egyptian mythology. Readers will be pulled into the story after simply reading a page!” —Emily, Reader Rising

“I always enjoy a good book about Mythology and Daughter of Isis brings a thrilling modern day spin to one of the tales. Kelsey Ketch wove the story perfectly and sucked me right into her magnificent world.” —Naomi, Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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About the Author:


During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate. For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

Find the Author Online:
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Giveaway:

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2 comments:

Sophi Frost said...

Great guest post! Enjoyed reading about how an author can use different media to research for a novel!

Sapphyria said...

Thank you :)