Series: The Shadow Ravens
Vol or Book #: 2
Author: Lola Dodge
Format: E-book and Paperback
Publisher:Ink Monster, LLC
Cover by: Art by Ana Cruz, Graphics by Paddy Donnelly
Editor: Ink Monster, LLC
Just because Quanta can see the future doesn’t mean she can change it. She’s spent most of her life imprisoned, feeding her captors information to keep herself alive, but she’s finally reached the endgame and her death creeps closer by the moment.
The son of two senators, Altair Orpheus leads a life of privilege that provides the perfect cover for his side job: working with the rebel Shadow Ravens to undermine the ruling Seligo government. Everything is running like clockwork until he crosses paths with Quanta. As he watches her deftly maneuver through life in a perverse prison, his plastic heart melts. A jailbreak would be suicide, but Tair is willing to sacrifice everything to give her a chance at happiness.
Now Quanta senses a terrifying new future brewing. She and Tair are bound together, but every image of them kissing, snuggling, and acting knee-weakeningly happy is balanced by a much darker possibility. They’ll be picture perfect together, but only until time rips them apart. How can she follow her heart when she’s seen how their love plays out?
Mother smiled like a cat, full of ambition and smugness. “Someone wants to meet you.”
Someone? Suddenly, I knew where this was going. “Mother—”
“There are the Astors.” Mother gave a demure wave and started gliding toward a trio standing near an ice sculpture. Her fingers clamped my arm, dragging me along. Father walked on my other side, sandwiching me in place.
No way to run without making a scene. Senator Astor and her husband stood waiting with their daughter.
My free hand bunched into a fist, but I tucked it into my pocket. I couldn’t make a mistake in front of this audience.
Mother exchanged greetings, then made a sweeping gesture. “This is my son, Altair. Altair, this is Layla Astor.”
Layla’s blonde hair tumbled in artful curls and braids. She wore tasteful neutral makeup that emphasized her full lips and emerald green eyes, but a hint of darker eyeliner smudged like a leftover from some previous night’s debauchery; that was half of what I needed to know to escape the conversation.
And I would escape. I had no interest in these shallow romances meant to gain my family position.
“It’s so nice to meet you, Altair. I knew your sister at academy.” And that was why Cass had been invited. Some common bond to me to a potential future mate.
Good thing Cass had stayed home. She’d hate the situation as much as I did.
The girl extended her arm, flashing her Green Helix and I couldn’t avoid the handshake. “Likewise.” Layla’s rough fingertips gave me the last clue I needed. Calluses from playing an instrument. Between that and the eyeliner, I had an excellent guess at how to get rid of her. Rather than sell her out in front of her parents, I offered her an arm. “I was just about to admire the ice sculptures. Would you care to join me?”
“I’d love to.” She smiled and placed delicate fingertips on my arm.
Our parents grinned conspiratorial smiles as we strolled away. No doubt they’d already picked a wedding date. I waited until we were out of modified earshot to speak. “How upset would your family be if I mentioned that you play in a band?”
“Very.” Layla tensed, and her expression and tone shifted from vapid politeness to shrewd consideration. “Not that you should know.”
I shrugged. “I won’t say a thing as long as you don’t press an engagement.”
“Thank God.” Layla shuddered. “Our mothers schemed this one. I thought you were in on it.”
I grinned. I didn’t often stumble onto others faking their way through Helix life, but every so often an ally dropped in my lap. “Should we small talk for a few minutes and then pretend to offend each other?”
Layla pressed her lips together, eying me up and down. “If you’re up to it, I have a better suggestion.”
“Oh?” I handed her a drink taken from a passing tray. Our parents still watched from across the room.
“Let’s meet for coffee. We could draw this out for months.”
“A faux courtship?” It had promise, although there were certainly risks.
“You’re the first guy they’ve set me up with who’s not a self-centered ass.” Layla’s mischievous smile made her eyes sparkle. “My girlfriend would love you.”
Her voice was clear of subterfuge and I found myself smiling back. “Next week? I’m sure our parents already exchanged our contact information.” And faking a relationship would save me getting blindsided at every event.
“Call me.” She finger-waved and then headed for a crowd of friends, who proceeded to glance my way, slipping a few quickly smothered cackles. I nodded before heading off to work the crowd.
Despite my parents’ efforts, the night was going better than expected.Angels with Attitude - Author Interview
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
Probably die. I don’t do very well with running for my life.
What was your inspiration behind this book?
The series was actually co-created with Aileen Erin and Christina Bauer. We all write a pair of characters in the shared world, and we’ve been brainstorming together for a few years now. It’s fun not having to think of every little thing yourself!
Why did you become a writer?
I wasn’t happy in the job I was working, so I decided to give the dream a serious try. So far I’m not living in a van down by the river, so things are going better than expected!
Do you have a favorite author or authors?
J.R. Ward, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Cindy Pon, Anne McCaffrey, Diana Wynne Jones. So many!
Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?
Usually! If you’re going to build a whole world, it’s nice to stay with it for a while. I know when I’m reading I love seeing the world unfold and reveal its layers over the course of a series.
If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?
Probably Jamie Fraser from Outlander (the Sam Heughan version) because he’s fantastic and Scottish accents are melty.
What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time?
I read a good amount of non-fiction these days (and my teenage self would think that’s horrible). Otherwise, a mix of YA, romance, fantasy, and SF.
As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books .Do you agree with that?
For sure! If fans want something I can give, then I’ll make it happen. I actually wrote Junglecat Honeymoon (from my series of superhero romance novellas) because Melissa and Sharonda wanted more were-panther action. Ask and you shall receive!!
Do you cry when writing sad scenes?
No. My emotions are stable to a fault. I only cry for really catastrophic life events and when hormones make me choke up at stupid things like soda commercials.
Did you have a Cover Designer?
Yes! Ana Cruz did the artwork for Quanta (and Cipher). She’s done the art for all the Ink Monster covers to date. We have a separate graphic designer who does the text. The results are always awesome!
Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush?
It’s hard to pick one, but I did always have a thing for Oliver Wood from Harry Potter. I was a lacrosse keeper, he was a quidditch keeper… It would’ve been magic!
If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be?
It makes me sad that I never got to meet Anne McCaffrey or Diana Wynne Jones. I’d really love to bring them back and thank them for inspiring me.
Do just re-read your favorite books?
When I was growing up, I reread the same ones over and over again. I read Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness and Immortals series more times than I can remember. Now I don’t have time to do that, but I still go on an Anne McCaffrey kick every once in a while.
Definitely. I’ve gotten pickier and pickier about what I read since I started learning about writing. I have to read outside of my genre a lot more, but that’s a good thing.
What is the funniest book you ever read?
I’m going to go with Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Lola is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University—and hasn’t stopped moving since. When she’s not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can’t melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.