Genre: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published March 26th 2012 by 4 Corners Press
Previous Books: Secrets
Recomended Audience: Adult
Choices (The Guardian Trilogy)
Hearts break. Loved ones are lost. Life keeps moving.
Olivia Martin’s afterlife was more dangerous and confusing than her life ever was. She thought she was ready to come back, to forget about Holden and to let go of the rage consuming her. Fulfilling her destiny as a guardian was all that mattered—the past could stay hidden in the crevices of her mind. However, when guardians are murdered and the evidence points towards jinn, she has to do something. To save anyone’s future, Olivia will have to confront the one person from her past she is terrified to see.
Holden waited for Olivia with the hope he would see her one more time. But when she didn’t return, he found salvation in darkness. The black and twisted road made it easier to forget what he lost than to live with the memory of what he had. An unexpected promotion shoves him into a world of intoxicating power and influence. Holden will have to choose between his new life and the woman he thought was gone forever.
From the ashes of Secrets, Choices are born that will change everything.
Choices picks up where Secrets, Book 1 in the Guardian Trilogy, leaves off for the most part. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, drop everything, and pick up a copy of it. This really is a must as you’ll need that initial back story, and it’s an awesome one at that. I highly recommend you read it prior to picking up Choices, and by continuing on, there may be some spoilers. Please consider yourself warned, and in case you don’t heed it, I’ll give some brief background of what we learned in Secrets!
Liz Schulte brings us into a wonderful world filled with supernatural beings that reside on Earth, in the Abyss, and in Hell. One can only assume Heaven too, but that is just my assumption since Hell was included. While most of these beings co-exist together, two formed a truce ions ago: Guardians and Jinni. The Guardians work much like what we call guardian angels, except unlike angels, they were once mortal. It’s not always so cut and dry, though, and someone has been capturing the Guardians. Left and right Quintus has been watching his friends disappear.
Olivia was a born Guardian, who at the end of the first book had been murdered by her Jinn love, Holden. She must struggle with her love on a daily basis as she knows they can’t be together. But she also starts struggling to be a Guardian when she challenges why she can’t save who she pleases. Liv also displays some outstanding talents that has Quin wondering why she isn’t told about her status as an elder, and he assumes a high elder at that. She is so powerful that she can appear human even to the Jinni, and she quickly uses this to her advantage.
Holden is barely holding onto the humanity that Olivia once made him feel. He tries to drown out his sorrow, anger, and pain by doing what a Jinn does best: havoc, destruction, sex, and recruiting other Jinn. It has been three years since he pulled the trigger, and took away Olivia’s choice to become like him. He knew it was the right thing to do, and he did it out of love. Both are no-no’s for Jinn. There isn’t a “right” anything, nor do they love. His “good deeds” don’t go unnoticed in the underworld, and he quickly finds himself as the head of a region. With the exception of his shattered heart, things are looking very well for Holden. That all changes when he starts to feel her again, starts to hear her in his mind, and of course the fateful day Quin pays him a visit almost another year later to let him know, no strike that, to make accusations about the missing guardians.
Can Olivia give up the love she feels for Holden? Was it all a lie, was it just a game? Can Quin get Olivia to understand what it means to be a Guardian without telling her, her own secret? Can the three of them work together to flush out those involved in the Guardian kidnapping plot?
This is where you’ll have to read it to find out!
I think Choices is a stellar mid point in this trilogy, and I was happy to read and review both books, but I really think you may find yourself asking a lot of questions if you just pick up Choices. If you’ve already read Secrets, than this one will not disappoint you one bit. It will leave you craving the final leg of the story which sadly isn’t out till Fall 2012 (yes I checked as soon as I finished Secrets, because I knew I was in love with another trilogy!)
Choices has twists and turns, a really suspenseful ending, and exceptional plot and character development. There is almost a reality to her story, even with the fantasy/paranormal edge, and it just really makes it believable. It’s almost impossible to explain how her books added a level of actual feeling, it’s not like you’re just reading the story, but like you’re watching it unfold in the audience. Very few authors possess this wonderful ability, and I am thankful for the experience!
Welcome, Liz Schulte to Literary Sweet. Please join us in a cup of coffee (or tea!) and tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me! I don’t know that there is a lot to tell about me. I am just a normal girl with a slight writing obsession. I love creating characters and worlds in my mind. When I am not writing or doing something book related (which isn’t often) I travel, watch movies and/or TV, and spend time with my friends and family.
I was astounded at the way Secrets ended, really just blown away. Is she refusing to decide the path of a Guardian a bit spiteful since the decision was forced? Would she of really chosen Holden’s life if he hadn’t jumped the gun?
Olivia follows her heart. She would have followed Holden to Hell and back, but that may not have been the right path for her. When push came to shove there was only one choice she was ever going to make, and I think Quintus knew it. Throughout Secrets Olivia very much had blinders on when it came to Holden. She only chose to see what she wanted to in him, and she didn’t really push for answers because being with him made her happy enough she could forget about everything else. She failed to comprehend the bigger picture and what her decision would really mean. Saying or even believing she could have lived that life is a lot different than actually living it, which Holden knew from experience. Olivia has a tendency to be all heart and no head.
You introduced a new character to us in Choices, Femi. I really enjoyed her for her strength and loyalty, which is amazing since she should be impartial. Will we see more of her in the conclusion?
We will. Femi is definitely in the third book and if she survives, there might even be a series in her future. She is one of those characters I sort of stumbled upon. I knew Olivia needed a friend, but I had no idea who it would be then Femi showed up and she was all sass and bravado which I loved. Her people are neutral, but Femi has problems with a lot of the ways her kind deal with things. She is sort of the black sheep. However, because she still falls in the middle she has an easier time of seeing both sides of an issue or a situation so she helps give some very polarized characters perspective.
It’s plain as day that there is something special about not only Olivia, but Holden too. Do you think that it is fate that have brought them together, or are they just both pushing boundaries?
I don’t want to give anything away, so I will answer this very carefully and somewhat evasively. Holden and Olivia have pushed boundaries since the day they met, but there is also a reason for everything—a balance of chaos and order. They are strong apart, but together they are a force with unrealized potential.
Have you ever used a real life person as a character model?
Not for any of my main characters. I will use patterns of speech or characteristics from people I know in real life to help make my characters more three dimensional, but mostly they are born from imagination. One character though in Choices is 100% based on a real life friend of mine. It is a minor character and I did it has a shout to that person (name and all).
What is the hardest part of writing a trilogy?
Planning ahead. I tend to write stories as they come to me, but in order to layer the beginning stories properly, I had to know what the ending was going to be.
What inspired you to write your first book, and at what point did you realize “I’m an author?”
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life and my mom had been after me for years to try writing, so one day I sat down and started writing a story by hand. I think I first believed I was an author when I had a clear path to publication. It was no longer just a pipe dream, it was the real deal.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I have discovered a wonderful community among writers. It isn’t a journey you have to make on your own. I suggest reaching out to others and making those bonds with other like-minded people.
Thank you for your time, but I have just one last question. When can we expect to see the conclusion to this trilogy?
Thank you for having me. These were wonderful questions! I should have Consequences released by early fall. Look for it around September or October.
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