Monday, December 17, 2012

Guest Post with Julie Reece, author of Crux

Today I have author Julie Reece here to share a little bit about her book. After reading a little bit about her main character, Birdie, who goes through homelessness and overcomes some great obsticles (bad guys) I've asked her write a little on the topic of strength. Welcome, Julie!

When asked to write a post on strength, I was, like, yea! Cool topic. Let’s do that. Then, I sat down to write it …

Chirp. Chirp. Chirp.

Those are crickets, people. I got nothing. So I thought about it some more. Okay. What is strength?

Strength noun

1. The quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.

2. Mental power, force, or vigor.

3. Moral power, firmness, or courage.

4. Power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc.

5. Number, as of personnel or ships in a force or body: a regiment with a strength of 3000.

That helps. For the purpose of this post, I’ll focus on number three—strength of character. So what is strength in relation to Birdie, the heroine in my debut book Crux?  She embarks on a journey that tests her mettle through adversity, and like so many of us, finds out what she’s truly made of in the midst of tough times.

It’s pretty easy to fantasize different scenarios and see yourself as a hero. I used to do that a lot growing up! Okay, fine, I still do that. Doing the right thing at the right moment, selfless, courageous, and brave, is what we all hope we’d be. But would we? Really? I had to ask myself those types of questions as I wrote my book. It’s an action, adventure romance where the heroine is forced to fight … thugs who take young girls off the street and force them into prostitution, greedy Viking warlords who want to kill her for a magic amulet she wields. It all sounds a little crazy, I know, but I promise it works in the story. What? It does!

Did you see the movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? Remember the scene, near the end, when Harry is fighting Voldemort in the graveyard? Harry has his back to a gravestone, taking a break from their battle. His chest is heaving. He’s exhausted and broken having just seen a boy killed and dealing with the fact he helped bring his arch rival back from the dead. Voldemort arrogantly taunts Harry, baiting him with his perceived failure. It’s Harry’s grand moment to choose: give up and die like a coward, or attack until one or the other is defeated.

Guess what he decides?

My point is, everyone has choices. No one ever has to fight. They can lie down, quit, walk away, look out for themselves and take care of number one. For me, the strong people are the ones willing to lay down their lives, dreams, and goals for others and a greater good. Even if you try and fail, if your attitude is one of self-sacrifice, you’re already a huge success.

Self-sacrifice isn’t always life and death. Have you ever seen a child give another their beloved toy, the last cookie on their plate? That kid has strength. What about the soldier who won’t leave his injured buddy behind. Or the teenager who is peer pressured into joining a gang, doing drugs, bullying someone at school—and doesn’t—those are big time heroes in my book.

This is a quote I felt sums up the lessons Birdie learns throughout her story:

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”  ~ Tao Te Ching

I like that. So as I contemplate again … would I do the right thing at the right moment?  The answer is I don’t know, but I want to believe I would. The heroine I most want to be is in my book, so somewhere deep down, the desire is there. What about you?  Maybe you’ve already died to self in either big or small ways. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And thanks for letting me ramble.

Thank you for sharing with us today, Julie! You can learn more about Julie and her book Crux below:

Book Summary:

She should have run. Now, she'll have to fight. Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she's surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host and she grabs some with the idea she'll be able to buy dinner that night. In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone's viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her. Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them until she realizes fate didn't bring them all together. Her heritage did. Now, with only twenty-one days left, she's got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she's only just met.
Find it on Goodreads and on the publisher's website.

Author Biography:

I was a Florida beach girl, then I traveled to Lookout Mountain in Tennessee to study English and Fine Art. Fairy tales and folklore heavily influence my romances, and I recently finished my second young adult novel. A freelance writer now based in the Atlanta area, I live vicariously through the lives of my characters.

Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog.

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  1. Thanks so much for having me here today. I appreciate the chance to talk about Crux, and your prompt sure made me think about courage in the face of hardship. :)

    Thanks again! Julie

  2. Crux is inspiring! Birdie is a great heroine and she has the kind of attitude I most admire. She never gives up, through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered...oops wrong story, but much the same in how it affected me.

    Julie Reece happens to be one of my very favorite authors. If you haven't had an opportunity to read her work, you should check it out. I was hooked from the first page. Crux is original, and such a great adventure. I loved it!

  3. Wow, thanks Christie. I'm really honored to know you feel that way!