Sunday, September 9, 2012

Meet Raine Thomas - YA Fantasy/Romance Author

Raine Thomas
YA Fantasy/Romance Author

       Thank you all for stopping in to meet Raine Thomas! Her fantasy books will draw you into her make-believe worlds and you won't want to leave! She's invited us to hold the interview at the Kynzesti homeland on the Estilorian plane. It’s a nice, secure location and welcoming, to boot!
       Please make yourself comfortable. Raine is having a giveaway at the end so we hope you leave a comment and get into her drawing!
   Raine Thomas is the author of an award-winning series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the Firstborn trilogy. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer's Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives. 

ELDER (Firstborn Trilogy, Book 3) - COMING LATE 2012
Now Available: 


Reader’s Haven: Tell us a bit about yourself  that our readers might not know.

Raine:  This is a fun way to get to know someone! *taps chin in thought* Well, many readers might not know that I have a tattoo. It’s a blue butterfly between my shoulder blades with black scroll work spanning my shoulders. Also, I’m a big fan of Mexican food, baseball, True Blood, fresh flowers, good coffee and traveling to new places. What I don’t like are bugs. Any bugs. Especially the bugs grown here in Florida, where I’m convinced they’ve been enlarged through a top-secret NASA experiment.

Reader’s Haven:  We don't like bugs either! Now Deanna loves butterflies to that's kewl that you have a tattoo of one! What made you want to become a writer?

Raine: All of the characters talking to me in my head. I couldn’t get them to quiet down until I started writing their stories!

Reader’s Haven: At least other authors understand the voices. Our friends normally don't. Please share a bit about your new release, Shift, without giving away any spoilers.

Raine: Shift released on August 24th, and it is the second book in my Firstborn trilogy. The story follows the main protagonist, Sophia, as she discovers things about herself that will forever change her self-image. There is a romance involved as she comes to understand more about her friend, Quincy’s, feelings about her, and there is a lot of adventure as the search for the Elder Scroll (which began in Defy) continues. Here is the book blurb and excerpt for your readers:

Blurb for SHIFT by Raine Thomas

     Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change. But even she feels the rising tension in her homeland.
     A shadowy male and deadly beast reside in their midst. The births of the newest Kynzesti loom. Hostile Mercesti continue to hunt for the Elder Scroll, and a traumatized female is too afraid to use her abilities to stop them.
     Topping off Sophia’s stress is Quincy, the male she’s convinced can’t stand her. She rues the loss of their friendship, but can’t figure out how to move past it. She’ll soon learn, however, that mending that rift bears more significance than she ever imagined.
     The search for the Elder Scroll takes on unexpected urgency, and Sophia finds herself in a race across the mainland. To stop the Mercesti led by Eirik, she and her companions must get past their differences and unite against them. If they don’t, Eirik will acquire the immense power he seeks, and two of the beings Sophia loves most will die.

Excerpt from Shift by Raine Thomas

     Quincy started down the hill as soon as Sophia loped away. He had seen Olivia’s grimace when she stood up after speaking with her daughter. As both a friend and the Estilorian who served as the obstetrician for Olivia and her sisters, Amber and Skye, he was concerned by her obvious discomfort.
      “Do you need any assistance, Olivia?” he asked.
      He stopped a couple of feet from her, studying her for physiological indicators of how she felt. He knew that these last days before the projected due date were particularly wearying on the expectant mother. Her energy and abilities weakened as she prepared for the birth. It was one of the reasons that Olivia and her sisters had remained behind when their firstborn children recently ventured away from the protected homeland.
      Her pupils and breathing were normal now, he was pleased to note.
     “I sure do,” she answered with a grin. “Can you get Sophia to quit skipping out on her training sessions?"
     His lips twitched. “Are you sure you don’t have something less challenging for me? Maybe a previously unknown pain, or a dire threat to your person I could possibly avert?”
     “I can hear you,” Sophia called out.
     The irritation in her voice had Quincy grimacing. “Sorry,” he said loudly toward the open door of the house. Then, more quietly, he said, “Oops.”
     Olivia smiled and waved it off. “Sophia deserves the knock. She’s terrible about participating in the training sessions and she knows it.” Her voice rose in volume when she added, “I’ll never let her leave home again if she doesn’t start taking this more seriously.”
     “Yeah, yeah…I get it,” Sophia replied in a grumble.
     Quincy shook his head. “Well, let me know if you experience any signs of the baby’s impending arrival, okay? If you’d be more comfortable with me sticking around here instead of joining the others at the waterfall, I’d be happy to.”
     “You’re very sweet, Quincy. Thanks.” She once again ran a hand over her belly. “But I think we’re still okay for now.”
      “All right. Then I’ll go wait for Sophia and the others near the training paddock. You know how to find me if you need me.”
     “Absolutely.” Olivia smiled and turned to walk back into the house. “And if you happen to give Sophia another lecture on the importance of learning to defend herself in hopes it might penetrate her hard head, I wouldn’t mind a bit.”
     “Sure thing,” he said.
     As he walked toward the training paddock, he considered Olivia’s concern for Sophia’s well-being. It very closely mirrored his own. He clearly remembered the challenges he and Sophia faced together in their pursuit of Tate all those weeks ago. Sophia had nearly been killed. The fear and anguish he’d experienced while treating her injuries surely reflected what Olivia would have felt in his place.
     Why wouldn’t it? he mused now. After all, they both loved her.
     He supposed the biggest difference was that Sophia didn’t have any idea how he felt about her. And he had yet to figure out how to change that.

Reader’s Haven: Do you write under a pen name?

Raine: Yes, I do. I write nonfiction books under my real name and felt the distinction was important as I nurture both careers.

Reader’s Haven: That's what pen names are for. What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Raine: I enjoy reading and writing protagonists who aren’t perfect. Writers know that imperfections help further the story and its conflict, and it’s just plain truer-to-life than a character without flaws. Of my characters, the one I enjoy writing the most is Zachariah. He has quickly become a favorite of all of my readers.

Reader’s Haven:  It's fun when readers contact us about what they enjoy in our books. Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Raine: I work full time as a wedding planner and I have a husband and daughter. Balancing those things with writing has been quite the challenge. Typically, I rise to the alarm and get my daughter ready for school. She and my husband head out together about an hour later and I pull up my author e-mail and social networking sites to get caught up. Come 9:00, the wedding planner hat goes on. I fit in some visits to my social networking sites throughout the day in lieu of taking a lunch hour. Then I pick my daughter up from school in the middle of the day, wrapping up wedding planning tasks while she does her homework. I spend the evenings with my family until my daughter’s bedtime, then write as much as I can until I can’t keep my eyes open. Finally, it’s bed time!

Reader’s Haven: Having a family and a job do make writing difficult sometimes. Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Raine: Each of my books (both in the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and now in the Firstborn trilogy) follows a different female and male protagonist. Each book comes to its own conclusion in regards to their relationship, while the overarching storyline begun in the first book continues through to the last one. In the Firstborn trilogy, the larger storyline involves a powerful artifact called the Elder Scroll, which some evil beings want to assemble for their own nefarious reasons.

Reader’s Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Raine: This really depends upon the other demands on my time. I wrote the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy while I was unemployed, and it took me about five months to complete the trilogy. Now that I’m working two full-time careers, it takes me about four months per book from start to finish.

Reader’s Haven: Do you have to be alone to write?

Raine: I don’t have to be alone, but I’m usually more productive when I am! When I want to be in the same room as my family as I write, I plug in some headphones to my laptop and listen to Spotify.

Reader’s Haven: How do you go about naming characters?

Raine: I use a character naming source book when selecting the names of my main characters. They do all have symbolic meanings. Some of the characters who aren’t the main ones, such as Knorbis and Malukali, have names that I made up. I knew that because they’re thousands of years old, it wouldn’t make sense for them to have conventional names, so I created something different.

Reader’s Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Raine: Funny enough, I’ve never looked at pictures before creating a character. Their images develop in my mind and I include the descriptions in the character sketches that I create for them. After I’ve written the story, though, I do enjoy pinning images that remind me of the characters and scenes via Pinterest!

Reader’s Haven: Pinterest has been a useful site to help authors gather more readers but one has to be careful of the time factor! LOL How do you pick locations for your stories?

Raine: My first book, Becoming, begins in Newnan, Georgia, where I lived for a number of years. Outside of that, my books take place on the Estilorian plane. I created the world, so it can be pretty much whatever I want it to!

Reader’s Haven: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

Raine: I’m halfway done with Elder, the last book in the Firstborn trilogy. My plan is to release it in late November or early December. My next project will be a departure from the Estilorians. It’s a YA cyberpunk thriller series featuring a hot male protagonist. I can’t wait to get started on that one!

Reader’s Haven: We hope you visit our readers again next year when your other books come out. Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Raine: I love meeting new readers! Please enter the contest below and thank you all for stopping in to read about my series! Here are some ways folks can connect with me:

'Shift' purchase links: 


CONTEST:  I’ll give away an eBook of Shift for International winners and a signed paperback to a US winner. Please leave a comment then enter the RaffleCopter contest and earn more entries into the contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi Raine, oh I love your book cover! The colors; wow. We're so excited to have you here this week.
    Readers, enter to win a copy of "Shift". You can also leave a comment for Raine letting her know you stopped by. Authors love to hear from Fans! Good luck in the drawing. ~Louise

  2. Thanks so much for having me on the blog!

  3. This sounds great!! Id love to read it! Thanks for sharing and for the great giveaway!

  4. I read Defy, n all The Daughters Of Saraqael, Shift is a MUST! I neeeeed this book! Thanks fer the giveaway! Love ya Raine, honey darlin' xoxo

  5. This sounds like a great book! I'm definitely adding it to my TBR list! Thanks for the great interview and the giveaway : )

  6. She writes books REALLY FAST. *is impressed* And this one sounds awesome!