Publication date: October 1st 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, New Adult
KYLIE RIPPONS is a SpongeBob pajama bottom wearing, Dodge Ram 1500 4×4 driving, USDA certified klutz, coffee-addicted mortal, seeking a normal life despite the constant harassment of gods and the ability to braid time.
Kylie sees actions and consequences as bright, shining timelines in her head. Born with the power to gather the strings and braid them into a new chain of events, she is the weapon of choice for many pantheons in their never ending wars. But using the ability requires fuel, and for a mortal, it means a piece of her soul.
One Mesopotamian goddess, the only forsaken Valkyrie, and a rogue, immortal, Berserker ally with Kylie. Constant harassment forces the group to take drastic action, and go on the offensive. She must braid time to save friends, and herself, as the gods drive them into situations in which she must choose: braid time, save her friends, and lose pieces of her mortal soul, or become slave to the pantheon of her choice.
Deception by an old friend sends Kylie fleeing to her parents’ home, where she hid her son, Riot. She’s too late, the gods found Riot and hold him hostage. Searching for him, Kylie experiences the most devastating betrayal of all.
Kylie faces her worst nightmare: kill a friend and permanently hide Riot, leaving him motherless, or become a slave in exchange for his safety, leaving her soulless and insane.
If only the gods allowed for personal choice.
Inspiration comes to all of us from places we never saw coming. An incident, eavesdropping, people watching, our own experiences.
The biggest inspiration for Going Thru Hell came from watching a band of mustangs in Rock Springs, WY.
Hubby, Filly (my teenaged daughter), and I used to go to Wild Horse Loop at least once a month and try to find one of several bands that call White Mountain home. Our favorite was a band filled with red and blue roan mares. It’s a medium sized band of mustangs, about eight mares total. They’d been led for a long time by a big bay stallion getting up there in years.
We’d heard the stallion died a few days before one particular late spring visit on White Mountain. The band was stallion free, and far from the bachelor bands. A band of mustangs can survive without a stallion. While the common myth is the stallion rules all, the truth of the matter is the lead mare does all the work. The stallion is basically for protection and breeding.
Sometimes, a stallion comes along, and acts like a male lion taking over a pride – they kill the youngest foals. And that is what started the incident which inspired Going Thru Hell.
The stallion trying to take over the band was a big chestnut. The lead mare, a red roan, recently foaled a little blue roan colt. The stallion made a lunge for the colt. The fight was on.
One of the hardest things to do when watching nature, is to let it run its course. The three of us sat in the back of the truck, watching, wincing, and cheering the lead mare. The stallion took chunks from the mare, fought her tooth and hoof. But don’t think she didn’t land quite a few blows of her own. She tore chunks from his neck, kicked and lacerated his sides, chased him off time and again.
Ten minutes later, both were heaving, sweating, but neither giving way. The little colt was hiding behind an older filly, watching. The stallion tried to go around the lead mare, making a play for her foal. The lead mare landed a kick to his jaw, and we could see she shattered it. The stallion took off.
The lead mare sustained serious injuries, limping, bleeding, but she spent twenty minutes calming the colt.
We returned a month later, the colt doing just fine, and a young gray stallion had taken over the band. When the colt wandered too far from the band, the new stallion gently steered him back to the herd.
The lead mare never stopped limping, and her scars were huge. But I heard she foaled a gray colt this spring.
It was that incident which really pushed Kylie and her story to the front of my imagination. She talked loudly, and made it very clear she’d do anything for her son. She’d take on the powerful, no matter the scars she’d have to bear. Her story had to be told.
I’ve found inspiration everywhere. But that one is probably my favorite.
T.J. Loveless has been reading and writing stories since the fourth grade. She writes predominantly in the Spec Fic genres. A former copy/content editor at a small pub house, she now freelances at Cliffhanger Editing.
She lives with The Writing Zoo, a Hubby who prefers her mood when writing, and a teenager who loves to tells stories of her mother on the floor trying to visualize “legs all akimbo” and how Writing Momma has long, often yelling, conversations with the computer screen.
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