For What It's Worth

Friday, October 12, 2012

Saturday Spotlight & giveaway: Susannah Noel–Word and Breath

Welcome to Saturday Spotlight. A feature hosted by Tina’s Book Reviews as a way of shining the light on Indie/Debut/Self Published authors. Each week I’ll have a guest post written by a featured author.

This week I’m happy to introduce you to author Susannah Noel and her new series the Wordless Chronicles.

Thank you for hosting me on For What It’s Worth! I’m excited to share about one of the visuals that most inspired me in writing my paranormal/dystopian novel, Word and Breath.

Before I’d come up with the plot or characters in Word and Breath, I had this very clear visual in my mind of a man in the rain on a city street with a gun in his hand. He had on a black suit and was totally drenched, and he was surrounded by several aggressors who were approaching him with guns. The picture was so vivid and so powerful that I kept going back to it, working out more nuances of the man’s expression, the mood, and the surroundings.

At that point, I had no story for the scene. I had no idea why the man was trapped by gunmen in the rain in such a bleak urban setting or who was chasing him. But, when the story and characters for Word and Breath started to come together for me, I knew I had to put that scene into the book.

I soon figured out who the man would be—it had to be Mikel, the Soul-Breather (those are the paranormal creatures in the world of Word and Breath). Since the scene was clearly a major action sequence, I had to find the best part of the plot to place it. Mikel would be in serious danger. Since he is uber-competent and always takes care of himself, there had to be extraordinary circumstances that would lead him to be trapped in such a way. So, of course, I decided he’d done it to protect Riana, the main protagonist of the novel.

With that decided, the whole scene fell into place, and I’m really happy with the result. I don’t perfectly capture every nuance of the picture I had in my mind, but I think I come pretty close in terms of visuals, mood, and character. Here’s a short excerpt from the much longer scene.


He needed to give her more time to get away.

So he spread his arms in surrender, streams of water cascading from the drenched sleeves of his suit.
They might kill him. They had originally planned to take him in, but they could easily use his near escape as an excuse to shoot him in the street.

No one was coming to rescue him. The police would have been notified, but they wouldn’t arrive in time.

He must be a sight. Soaked to the skin and surrounded by three wet men with guns. Traffic had stopped on the street, as the panic from the gunfire had turned the block into chaos.

Mikel stood in the middle of an intersection, surrendering to men who were far less impressive than him. To give a woman enough time to get away.

It was absurd, really. Mikel wasn’t sure how he’d come to this.

He’d had a perfectly good life—independent, successful, skilled at everything he put his mind to. In a few years, he could have retired and spent the rest of his days lounging in the sun on a free island.

And here he was. Transformed into the kind of noble fool he’d always scorned.

Pathetic is what it was.

But he was doing it.

His mind was on Riana as he scanned the scene around him, assessing the situation and determining his last ditch effort to get away.

She should be a couple of blocks away by now. She would call up Connor or Tava. She would be all right.

And he was here.

Mikel. Turned into some sort of hero.

A trapped, sopping-wet idiot.

Word and Breath (Wordless Chronicles, #1):

f3d141a598760326e80f79ffd105972e_bguzRiana has learned how to stay out of trouble. She spends her days studying written texts in the government’s Office of Readers, and she spends her nights taking care of her sick sister. She always—always—follows the rules.  Despite her low profile, she has mysteriously become a target. Someone has kidnapped her sister. Someone else is trying to kill her. And someone has sent a Soul-Breather to beguile her out of her secrets.

Her help comes from the mythic leader of an underground rebel movement. A man who used to be her friend. A man who has silently loved her for years. He disappeared from her life without a word, and now he expects her to trust him again.

Then there’s the Soul-Breather, a man who can taste her spirit with only a touch. He makes her feel things she’s never experienced before, but she doesn’t know if the feelings are real. Hired to deceive and betray her, he offers to help her instead.
Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place.

0-3Susannah Noel bio: Susannah wrote her first paranormal novel when she was twelve years old--a time-travel romance written in a spiral-bound notebook that eventually starred all her friends. Since then, she has been writing romantic fiction of all varieties, including paranormal, contemporary, and historical. She can usually be found working on her laptop. She has a PhD in British literature and teaches at a university in Virginia. She is currently working on the second Wordless Chronicals. Website |  Amazon | Goodreads  | Facebook |Twitter 

Susannah is giving away an ebook copy of Word and Breath to one lucky winner. Please fill out the form below.

Ends October 20th 11:59pm ET – Winner announced October 21st.

WINNER - Erin F!


  1. Ooh, never heard of this but I really like the sound of it as well as the cover

  2. thanks for the great post and giveaway! This series sounds fantastic! Running over to add to my wishlist :)

  3. Sounds like an interesting story. I loved reading about the scene that started the whole ball rolling. Thanks for sharing!

  4. The storyline sounds exciting. I can't wait to read this book.