This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Breath: An Epic, Young Adult Romance Novel
Breath: An Epic, Young Adult Romance Novel
Two souls. Infinite lives. A quest across history. Breath is the first in a series of YA novels that begin at the dawn of civilization.
Two souls. Infinite lives. A quest across history. Breath is the first in a series of YA novels that begin at the dawn of civilization. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Breath is unlike any paranormal romance you've ever read.
Nif and Sherin are Ninti. They share a deep and powerful devotion that puts them both in mortal danger, while propelling them towards an extraordinary fate that ensures they will live infinite human lives...and suffer an equal number of deaths. Together they must solve a mystery that spans the ages, or risk losing one another forever.
And I'm unlike a lot of romance writers out there.
As the author of Cold War historical thrillers like THE BONE CHURCH and THE HUNGARIAN, I come to romance from a world of cloaks and daggers. Readers and reviewers have called my style a mix and mash of John Le Carre, Sue Monk Kidd, Markus Zusak and Diana Gabaldon.
But maybe my way of telling a story isn't a style at all. It's just a natural consequence of growing up around people who got caught in the massive tailwind of history...and lived to tell about it. At my family dinner table, there were ghosts, priests and spies. Sorrow-lovely women and dashing men. Achingling beautiful love stories that taught me soulmates are real.
Career Highlights include:
- Two novels (THE BONE CHURCH and THE HUNGARIAN), a book of short stories (WELCOME TO THE HOTEL YALTA), and a collection of personal essays (COLD: ESSAYS ON LOVE, FAITH, FAMILY AND OTHER DANGEROUS PURSUITS).
- More than 80,000 copies of these titles have sold across Amazon.
- My blog, COLD, was chosen by WordPress, which hosts some 70 million blogs, as one of their Recommended Blogs by writers or about writing.
- I've ghost-written articles, speeches and testimony for Fortune 500 executives.
- Published in the Chicago Tribune, the Prague Post, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times, as well as written, translated, and produced television news segments, theatrical plays and video scripts.
- Co-founded Black Box Theater in Prague, translating, producing and acting in several Czech plays.
Breath isn't only about the words.
BREATH is a story of lovers, killers, curses and destinies. It's about the people who lived history, but it's also a tale of those who unearthed history in order to preserve and understand its legacy.
You get to travel with Nif and Sherin during their adventures, but you'll also be present alongside the past and future archeologists who are driven to solve the puzzle of their existence.
The tale has been spun and the words have been written.
Now it's up for us to decide the scope and beauty of this book. To make this an amazing, immersive, world-building experience, BREATH will need original art work, award-winning editorial direction and design, plus vintage photography from some of the greatest archeological expeditions the world has ever known.
To that end, an outstanding group of professionals have come together.
Meet the team
Mary Theresa Hussey is an award-winning editor (the RWA Vivian Stephens Industry Professional award for 2015, the OCC Helping Hands Industry Award, Editor of the Year Award from the NYC RWA and multiple RITA and National Readers Choice Award nominees and winners among others).
Over her years at Harlequin, she acquired over 25 debut authors, including those who went on to hit the NYT list (Maria V. Snyder and Rachel Vincent), as well as acquiring titles that hit high marks for authors for the NYT (Mercedes Lackey and Michelle Sagara) and USA TODAY lists (including Stella Bagwell, Day Leclaire, and many more!)
Brianna Harden is both a designer and illustrator who has been a Senior Designer at Penguin Random House for over six years. She is the recipient of a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators for Art Direction.
Chris Bell is the managing editor at Atthis Arts LLC, a small press in Detroit, Michigan. In addition to publishing titles, Atthis Arts provides a full range of services to indie authors and publishers, including print typesetting, e-book design, and consulting.
“Interior text layout and icons are top-notch – elegant, balanced, and visually appealing” —2014 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Judging Feedback
Rewards that are almost as good as a lover's kiss
Rewards are the greatest part of Kickstarter campaigns, but they can be a little overwhelming. If you're new to this and can't figure out which reward tier to pick, let me help you. The "First Kiss" is a great deal. For $25 you not only get a digital file of stunning BREATH "wallpaper" for your computer screen, but a printed copy of the book and a personal letter of thanks.
And if you want to make it even more special, go for "The Lovers." For $100, you'll not only receive everything in the "First Kiss," but a BREATH cover art poster, a limited edition printed copy of a book featuring art work, design and vintage archeological photography from BREATH, and enhanced with some of the most romantic quotes from the novel. You'll also get something exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign: a digital copy of a romantic short story that takes place in the BREATH universe. That's something no one outside of this campaign will have access to.
Here's the breakdown (in U.S. dollars)
Now keep reading for the really good stuff
It begins at the dawn of civilization.
When a deadly plague ravages the Sultanry in which she lives, Sherin and her baby brother are thrust into a brutal desert landscape consumed by war, casual murder and weaponized rape. Believing their only hope lies in her marriage to a powerful and influential soldier, Sherin, with her brother, takes refuge in the Palace City, the only secured settlement left in her region. Although not for long.
But Sherin can't forget a young man she encountered in the desert. A nomadic warrior who leads a tribe of maligned survivors and holds the secret to her destiny...One of enduring love, mystic origins, and an ancient artifact that will trap them both in an endless cycle of death and rebirth. It will fix them on a quest that could rewrite history and alter the very nature of humankind.
"Four of his fingers – three calloused, one as supple as moss – drummed over my brow. Light, wispy. Like the sweet and silly kisses of the tiny fish Yina used to keep for my father. Those would nibble at the skin of my toes when I dangled my feet in their pond." --Breath
What makes this story different from all the other romances out there?
Breath isn’t only about falling in love; it’s about the many faces of love. Love's many histories, its truths and fallacies. Even its horrors and distortions. The heart-tremoring touch of a single soul who takes your breath away. The joy of finding that love, and fear of losing it. The terror of submitting to it. The rewards of destiny. I'll give you a pint of my blood if you can put this book down once you start reading.
“I’ve always wondered how Alehlah might taste,” he rasped, softly smacking his lips after tasting the poison.
“Like cherries without their sugar.” He closed his eyes and nestled his head into the crook of his elbow, while I stroked his hair - thick, black, as fine as a well-beaten patch of linen. The only part of him that was still like before. His breath became ragged, like an old dog’s, then slowed. I held him. “Sherin,” he said as he died.
It is beautiful to remember my name on his lips." --Breath
Strong artwork and visual imagery create a world all its own. They bring you closer to the story, going together like a face and a voice. If your house was on fire, what would you grab before running out the door? Bet a lot of you would say family photos.
I would take my wedding album, pictures of my kids, and a painting my daughter made for me.
Images make our narratives eternal, and that's why I need you to make this project come to life.
"Chasing Fireflies" by Charlotte Dougherty
How did the idea for BREATH come about?
In other words, why in the name of James Bond is a Cold War Historical Thriller writer all of sudden writing a great, epic Romance? Well, it all started with a New York Times "Modern Love" essay I wrote a few years ago. It was called "The Wrong Kind of Inheritance" (link featured below).
"The Wrong Kind of Inheritance" was about the beauty of love and death, and how the most difficult times bring us closer together. When the Modern Love piece ran, an amazing thing happened. People started writing to me about love...telling me their stories. Raw and beautiful tales that felt so immediate and personal. They were timeless and more romantic than anything I'd ever read.
And on my blog, COLD, which is about family lore and writing, I found whenever I wrote about love – especially the romantic kind – I got a tremendous response. Without meaning to, I began writing more and more about the most important emotion in the universe.
Pretty quickly, COLD got the attention of WordPress editor Cheri Lucas, and was chosen by WordPress as one of their Recommended Blogs by a writer or about writing. And this is from a pool of some 70 million blogs they host, so I figured I was on to something.
*With a pledge of $50 or more, you'll recieve a printed copy of COLD: Essays on Love, Faith, Family and Other Dangerous Pursuits, plus other great rewards - so go check out the Everything But rewards tier.
Watch this to hear one of the love stories that inspired BREATH.
The Wrong Kind of Inheritance (NYT, Modern Love) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/fashion/20love.html
COLD blog: http://www.victoriadougherty.wordpress.com
Risks and challenges
Readers want and deserve a story experience that is as visually stunning as it is soul-stirring. A poetry of words and pictures that doesn't merely introduce them to a story, but draws them into a whole world of passion, adventure and intrigue with characters who come to feel like family.
But coordinating the schedules of talented, in-demand artists and editors can be a challenge. Delays can occur and I may need to ask for your understanding.
With your support, BREATH will become a story you can't do without. One of the three things you'll grab and save if you ever have to run out of your burning house in nothing but your underwear.
Design and Editing contacts:
Mary Theresa Hussey: https://reedsy.com/#/freelancers/mary-theresa-hussey
Brianna Harden: https://reedsy.com/brianna-harden
Chris Bell, Atthis Arts: https://atthisarts.com/Learn about accountability on Kickstarter