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Guest Post and Giveaway with Heather Cashman!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Your perception will sharpen once you see through a tiger's eyes.
More than five hundred years after the apocalypse, the survivors of off-grid genetic experimentation have refined their mixed DNA to the point that humans and their animal counterparts share physical and mental links. Varying species have divided into districts, living in a tenuous peace under the President of Calem.
Ardana and her tiger ingenium Rijan leave their life of exile and abuse in the Outskirts, setting out with their twin brothers to redeem themselves and become citizens of the Center. But shedding their past isn't as easy as they had hoped. When the system that shunned them becomes embroiled in political conflict and treachery, their unique abilities and experiences from the Outskirts make them invaluable to every faction. The runaways become pawns to friends as well as enemies, and with every step it becomes more difficult to tell which is which.

Goodreads Summary

Sharing Imaginations

We all read fantasy for different reasons, but I read to escape. I want the story to transport me to a new and interesting place without half the book discussing new flora and fauna; I need a touch of familiarity but still want to know I’m not in Kansas anymore. (And, no, that wasn’t a Wizard of Oz reference. I live in Kansas. Really.) Fantasy authors accomplish this through world-building. In a fantasy world, anything can happen. This is why I love to go to Calem, the setting of my debut novel, Perception. It’s the future—of Kansas.
Perhaps the Kansas of today isn’t all that interesting, but Calem is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever been to. Present-day genetic experimentation has created super-soldiers hidden in a secret research facility in an obscure field somewhere in Kansas. In the near future, a meteor will collide with Mars and the resulting debris will shower Earth and create a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future.
What I love about science is the same thing I love about fantasy. Just when we think we know what to expect, something will happen we don’t understand. As the survivors of this military installation discover, the quarks and neutrinos in the atoms of DNA are the fabric of what humans call their “spirits.” When the genetic code was spliced between animal and humans, the fabric of their mental abilities and awareness was shared as well. More than five hundred years pass. The descendants’ DNA has become so refined that humans can communicate with their ingenium, the animal who shares their DNA.
Discovering the land of Calem was just as fun as meeting the people and animals that live there. When world-building is done correctly, the world becomes a character all its own. I believe this is why people read historical fiction as well: they are in love with the world of the past. It’s like our world, but has enough differences that we know it’s not our own reality. Another example is the growing trend of Steampunk novels, in which our past is mixed with an odd assortment of gadgets—familiar, yet different enough that we know it isn’t our world at all.
There is a disclaimer that goes along with world-building. Just because anything can happen doesn’t mean it should. Consistency is the key to maintaining a good story. Coming up with some amazing invention out of thin air to solve your protagonist’s problem is a thin story-line at best. And if you’ve already said something can’t happen, don’t invent a way for it to magically become a possibility.
As a side-note, an odd thing happened to me when I was writing Perception (The Tigers’ Eye Trilogy, Book 1). I knew it was supposed to happen in Nowhere, Kansas. While living in New York, I wrote the prologue for myself, a brief jot about the characters’ ancestors that became the first 3,500 words of the prequel, Resurrection. I even have the files on my computer to prove it. Then I moved to Kansas. Go ahead and laugh. I did.
I hope as a reader you will come and share my imagination with me by reading Perception. And if you happen to write down your own imagination, I hope you’ll let me come share it with you.

*ingenium: an animal conceived at the same time as a human counterpart and able to communicate with that human, usually through visual contact.

Giveaway!  Leave a comment for Heather with your GFC or Networked bloggers name and your email.  Thank you so much for stopping by, Heather! This giveaway is for an ebook, International, and will end on August 30. 



  1. gaby said...:

    GFC: gaby

  1. Darlene said...:

    Please enter me in the draw!

    I'm following you on GFC (Darlene), and my email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  1. Sarah M said...:

    This sounds like a very innovative story. I agree that consistency is important in fiction. It helps feed believability in certain areas like character behaviour.

  1. Anonymous said...:

    This sounds really, really interesting and I'd love to read it. Enter me please!

    My GFC is Chelsea Carson and my email is dakotagirl16AThotmailDOTcom

  1. Alisia said...:

    sounds interesting!
    GFC Çråz¥ K¥

  1. Unknown said...:

    This book looks really interesting and original, thank you for sharing!

    Lieder Madchen

  1. Thanks, Krystal. It's been great being here.

  1. Jessica said...:

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    jbronderblogs at aol dot com
    gfc - jbronderblogs

  1. Eli Yanti said...:

    A story about tiger, sound uncommon and curious. i love to read it ^^

    gfc - eli yanti (

  1. Katie said...:

    sounds good can't wait to read it!


  1. Unknown said...:

    This book sounds really good. I would love to win it.
    GFC follower Marlene Breakfield

  1. Fantastic!

    GFC - Laura Ann Dunks

    lauradunks at googlemail dot com

  1. Madeline said...:


    GFC: MadelneJ