Thursday, July 31, 2014

SOVEREIGN GROUND - Hilarey Johnson - One Free Ebook

Readers, here’s another author who is new to this blog. 

Welcome, Hilarey. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Of course I try to tap into my own fears and dreams when I write. But it is more like acting than pouring myself into a character. I focus on how I would feel and react if I had the character’s belief system and experiences—attempting empathy over self expression.  

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I grew up in the mountains of northern California. My car keyhole occasionally froze. A couple of times I took a glass of warm tap water to defrost it, but once decided I could spit into it to save time. As soon as I pressed my lips to the frozen door, they stuck. I heard my dad coming up the drive so I tried to add more moisture and my tongue stuck too. In order to “save face” I had to sacrifice my mouth and rip free.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wasn’t born with a pen in my hand like most writers. But I always did love the feeling of sharing a story, recreating an event in detail, or telling a joke. Of course I wrote a little of the typical teenage-angst-poetry in high school. It wasn’t until I was a new mom that I had lots of time to read and daydream when a story idea started to form in my head.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Fantasy, Young Adult, and women’s fiction. I find that I enjoy other genres as well, but I typically return to those most consistently.  

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I wake up before the rest of the house and spend about 30-60 minutes drinking my coffee and reading a devotion, the Bible, or praying. The silence is worth more than sleep. But if someone else gets up, I try not to feel inconvenienced because relationships are made of the unplanned moments as much as the scheduled ones.  

That is so true. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I keep lists of unique names and write them as I spot them or hear them. Sometimes I search online if I need one from a certain origin or time period.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I want to say my three children and marriage. But family isn’t really an accomplishment, more an ongoing effort. Also, I’m afraid to take pride in them because I know it’s only by God’s grace that I have been married 20 years or my kids will even talk to me. So I will say my ability to use a map.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A giant squid. They are just as dangerous as giant octopi but don’t look like the evil mad scientists of the sea. Giant squids are sweet and look like they wear a gnome hat. I would like to be cute—but a formidable fighter.   

What is your favorite food?
Can I say Asian so it encompasses everything from lumpia and miso soup to green coconut curry? Generally, I love anything fresh and spicy with lots of color and veggies. I prefer the tropical versions the most, like Thai.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Writing something I initially didn’t want to explore. I tried to set everything aside: my fears, preconceptions, even what I thought I wanted as a goal for the book, and I kept saying “just write a story.”

Tell us about the featured book.
Sovereign Ground follows a 17-year-old, Native American girl through her experience as an exotic dancer. Like many of the girls in our culture, she accepts that she can achieve power in her life through her sexuality. Her aunt has told her that she is cursed and a spirit follows her. One night someone is stabbed in her club. She’s rescued by a Christian police officer who tells her the murder victim was an undercover cop.

So on one hand, it is a romantic suspense with a supernatural elements. On another level, it is a picture of the false power sexuality offers and true freedom available through the kind of love that lays down one’s life for another.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Last night I dreamed about dancing. The images become more vivid with each slicing step. I twirled on a Heidi mountain, breathing in sunshine. That was last night—currently I freeze and watch drivers to see if anyone makes eye contact. They don’t.

A blister grates my heel as though a shard of glass is wedged in my sneakers. It makes the weight of my book bag pull at my shoulder—the Hans Christian Anderson collection is a heftier volume than my normal library loan. I no longer count to make sure two steps fit in each sidewalk square. Just like the fabled Little Mermaid, I suffer with each step. It would figure that the prince loved to watch her, ignorant of her torment. Doesn’t it also figure she would dance for him in pain?

I don’t think I’ll finish the story.

An image of a real-life Barbie, stretched across a billboard, advertises a casino downtown. The billboard must work. Cars speed past, drivers desperate to leave this corner of Reno lined by single-story motels, pawnshops, and the promise of quick loans…

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Website/Blog --
Facebook --
Goodreads --
Twitter --
Amazon --
YouTube --

Thank you, Hilarey, for sharing your new book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Sovereign Ground (Breaking Bonds Book 1)

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The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, this book sounds fascinating! Definitely covers some deep issues. I live in California.

karendg said...

"quick loans"....interesting! I'll read this!

Hilarey Johnson said...

ChickLit, it also has a list of book club questions in the back to delve into some of those issues.

Thanks, karendg!

Mary Preston said...

What an exciting story line.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Sounds intriguing. I would love to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

I live in Indiana

Jan Hall said...

I would love to read this story. I had never thought about girls using sexuality to achieve power in their life. Jan in West Texas

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Sounds like an intriguing read. Please drop my name in the hat.

Anna Weaver Hurtt in FL

rubynreba said...
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