Monday, February 3, 2014

Sky's End VBT

A secret she must never share. A secret that two warring species are determined to control. A universe’s future at stake.

Twenty-year-old Cassiel Winters joins Earth’s new space academy in hopes of finding her brother, one of Command’s top pilots and her only family, who’s been reported MIA. But she quickly realizes she may not be cut out for life in space, where female cadets are outnumbered, competition’s fierce, and she’s already failed her hand-to-hand combat test once.

When Cassiel’s manipulated into a perilous mission, she encounters a warrior species bred to protect the universe from an even greater threat. And she learns that her secret visions are at the heart of it all. Now Cassiel must fight to control her own destiny and race to save her brother—even if it means pretending to be the pawn of Prime Or’ic, the cold-as-steel Thell’eon leader. Even if it means risking her life, facing hard truths, and making the ultimate sacrifice.

“You would understand us,” Prime Or’ic beseeches me, hands out. He places them on the downcore, searching the room, until he spots what he’s looking for. He returns with a stool and sits on it, making him eye level with me. A first. “Our beliefs,” he starts and stops. I’ve never seen him this . . . uncertain. “Kirs spend a lifetime training and fighting Aeon. We strive to achieve a perfect Horde, knowing the likelihood is incredibly small. And still we prevail. To get the chance to have, to fight with a sift,” he corrects himself, “with you, is . . . sacred. Once given, it is understood to be a right that is earned.”

“So you think I was, what, given to you?”

He rolls his eyes, frustrated. Ah, that’s more familiar. When he focuses back on me, his eyes are different. Earnest, I think.

“Think of how you ‘fell’ into our path. ESE sent you to our ship! You! When you took my beacon portal, then I knew for certain. It was our destiny to have a sift. You belong to us!”

His vehemence scares me more than the simple deduction. Those things all happened, but not so that I could be his sift. Not even so I could help ESE get the sift (isn’t that ironic?). But so that I could save my brother Daz! I’m certain of this. Being their sift is not my destiny. And even if I believed in that crap, I would never belong to them. Or anyone.

“I’m a human being, Or’ic!”

“I know, I know,” he says, touching my hand with his.

I pull away. I don’t like they way he’s looking at me. Not at all. He doesn’t understand that I wasn’t speaking literally. I meant to say that I’m not an object. But he continues, oblivious to his mistake

Lesley, thanks so much for stopping by. So, how did you get started writing?
Well I’m actually a full-time freelance journalist, so I’ve been writing since I came out of university and began working in magazines, 15 (eek) years ago. As for fiction writing, I didn’t take a stab at it ever until I wrote Sky’s End: Book One in the Cassiel Winters Series, in 2011.

After falling in love with all sorts of genre fiction, it occurred to me that I’d like to try to write one.

What was the inspiration for your book?
I loved Star Trek Next Gen growing up, plus astronomy is a passion of mine. When I sat down to write Sky’s End, I stared at the blank screen and when I began typing, the setting was an Earth space academy. I honestly never knew how badly I must have wanted to read about a kick-ass heroine in a sci-fi setting.

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
All genre! Sky’s End is my first novel.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I have to say, when I started this adventure, I really didn’t understand genres in the way a publisher or even an experienced novelist does. And once I started trying to query Sky’s End, I kind of resented the fact that some agents wouldn’t even consider sci-fi (though I understand, logically, why).

Here’s the thing: the Cassiel Winters Series is truly cross-genre. It’s mystery, suspense, and romance that just happens to be set in the future (is therefore dubbed sci-fi). And I wrote it in first-person because I wanted people to experience Cassiel Winters journey, as she finds out what she’s really made of. For that reason, I would argue it is as deep and richly woven as a women’s fiction novel, too. Bottom line: I’m not a fan of putting things in silos.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I’m working on the sequel for Sky’s End, Book One in the Cassiel Winters Series called Sky’s Surrender, and hope to release that mid-2014, depending on my publisher. I plan to write the third book in the series right after, to keep up the momentum. And then I want to write another different novel, also set in the futuristic, that I’m dying to put to paper.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?
Purple. Red. No blue.
Favorite movie?
For mindless fun—any action movie series. Bourne. Riddick. Die Hard. Bond. Second would come classic   historic romance epics like Braveheart and Last of the Mohicans. Come to think, when was the last time a decent one came out? If anyone can think of one, please remind me!
Book that inspired you to become an author?I say this all the time, True Grit by Charles Portis. Best book ever. It’s funny, it’s fast-paced, it grabs you by the heart and squeezes tight. And it’s not just the premise: a 14-year-old girl seeking revenge for the murder of her father in the wild west. It’s her voice, her character, and the other characters, how perfectly imperfect they are, the trials she endures, her spirit. I read it at least once a year and I laugh, and cry, every time.

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
I used to think I would want to read people’s minds but then I finally realized how it would make life pretty boring. So I’m going with inter-dimensional space travel (yes there is a clue there about my book series).
You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
JJ Abrams, to talk about how he would direct Cassiel Winters-Sky’s End movie. Briane Greene, a string theory physicist, to finally get a handle on the theories around multi-verse and discuss how he would fictionalize them. And, Colin Farrell, because he’s a muse for my next book’s hero (strictly for research purposes, of course, since I am happily married).
Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
That’s easy, Cassiel, hands down. She’s insecure, stubborn, impatient and rash. That’s why when readers write how much they love her, I feel reassured there is hope for me. I’m kidding (well, sort of).
That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

Thank you for the opportunity! One last word: if you’ve never tried sci-fi before, Sky’s End: Book One in the Cassiel Winters Series, available on, is a great way to ease in!

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Author Bio and Links:
Journalist Lesley Young never thought she would delve into the world of writing fiction, but when she sat down for the first time to put pen to paper, ideas for what would become her first novel just poured out naturally. Young’s first book, “Sky’s End,” is a multi-genre tale that showcases her unique style of weaving romance, action and wit into one page-burning story.

Young was born in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. She holds an arts degree from the University of Alberta and a journalism degree from the University of Victoria.

Young now lives in Loretto, Ontario where she works as a journalist, freelance writer and editor for health, décor and business magazines. Since 2008, Young has written more than 300 articles for print and online media including Profit, Toronto Life, MSN Green, and Elle Canada among others. She is a regular contributor to Reader’s Digest, Best Health, Canadian Living and House and Home Magazine.

Young has won three gold honors for feature stories from the National Business Magazine Awards and another top media award from the Canadian Dermatology Association.

Soul Mate Publishing released “Sky’s End” on July 15 in paperback and e-book and since its launch, it has remained an Amazon Best Seller. The novel is Young’s first installment in a series about Cassiel Winters, a futuristic heroine, and her outer space escapades.

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  1. Thank you! Sounds like a "page turning" series!

  2. Thanks for featuring me! I hope you all give Sky's End a shot! You read all the surprised reviews at

  3. Love this book and this author! Congrats Lesley! And excellent, fun interview too!

  4. This does sound like it's going to be a great series to read.


  5. Thanks for sharing such a fun interview. Great excerpt too!