Category Archives: Young Adult

Capture of the Defiance

 

Capture of Defiance

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Blurb

New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author S.E. Smith returns with an emotionally charged action adventure thriller filled with suspense.

Makayla Summerlin is excited to join her grandfather Henry in Hong Kong during a college break. She plans to help him sail the next leg of his journey around the world on the Defiance, but events take a frightening turn when her grandfather is kidnapped and the Defiance disappears! Unsure of what to do, Makayla reaches out to an old friend for help.

Brian Jacobs’ work at the Consulate General in Hong Kong is just a stepping-stone for his political career. His life for the foreseeable future is carefully optimized for success, but everything is turned upside down when he receives a frantic call for help from a friend. Their meeting quickly turns to one of survival when Makayla is almost kidnapped in front of him. Seeing Makayla again awakens old feelings inside Brian and he knows he will do everything he can to help her, no matter the cost.

When the situation turns deadly, both Brian and Makayla find unexpected help from another old friend and a Hong Kong detective. Together, the four race to find Henry and protect Makayla. Their efforts to unravel the mystery of why a wealthy crime lord would target Henry and Makayla and to find the Defiance will take them further than they ever expected to go, but will they be able to discover the truth before time runs out for Henry?

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How to Write a Bad Guy that You Fall in Love With

Capture of the DefianceBad guys you love to love? Or is it good guys that are bad that you love to love? All I know is there is a lot of ‘love’ in there. LOL. Seriously, a really good author can take a bad guy in the story and turn him/her into one of those characters you end up rooting for. How do they do that? Well, I’ll share a few things I do to make those characters pop off the page.

First, you need to make him truly bad, but with some type of redeemable quality. I’ve done this through many of my stories, but I’ll focus on Ren Lu in Capture of the Defiance. Ren Lu is an intelligent man who is a product of his upbringing. He is a man that has been programmed from an early age to do what others what or need done, but he isn’t a thoughtless man, he is a calculating one who picks and chooses his battles carefully. In the story, he works for the true baddie, a man with no redeemable qualities. A man that you don’t like, don’t want to like, and cheer for him to get what is coming to him for being such a horrible human being.

Ren Lu understands there is collateral damage in the world and that he must do certain things to accomplish a greater task. So, you might ask, what is his redeemable quality? The answer is Makayla. In the story, he becomes fascinated with her strength. He is curious. By making him curious, I’ve given him a fork in the road where he has to decide which he will continue. I’ve also made him human. This insight into a cold-blooded man now has a vulnerability that makes the reader curious as to why he is the way he is and can he overcome those influences and make the right decision when it comes down to it. The reader is now invested into his life and is silently rooting for the underdog inside him, the good, to break free of the darkness that holds him in its greedy fist.

Writing a bad guy that you fall in love with has to be handled with care. There are certain lines he can not cross and certain codes of ethics and morals that he has to have. If you look at any of the bad guys in the movies that you enjoy, you’ll understand exactly what I’m saying. Without a redeemable characteristic, a vulnerability that glitters on the fine crack in their veneer, the reader will never become emotionally invested with the character.

Ren Lu is a character that leaves me hungry for his story. I want him to find his HEA. I am rooting for him to win… but first, I need to know which path he is going to take on the fork in the road that I’ve given him.

Excerpt from Capture of the Defiance: Breaking Free Book 2 Copyright ©2016 by S.E. Smith

He immediately recognized her as well. She should be dead. He never missed his target. His gaze swept over her when she walked toward the dock. She was gesturing toward the bike and pointing to where she had fallen in the water. A minute later, both women disappeared from view when they climbed onto the sailboat.

Lowering the binoculars, he stared across the bay. He didn’t move when he heard the sound of footsteps approaching over the wind. He finally turned when the man who had approached cleared his throat.

“What is it?” Ren Lu asked in a deadly quiet tone.

“The information you requested has arrived,” the man stated.

Ren Lu turned away from the side. “There was a woman with the old man. Find out who she is,” he ordered coldly. “And Mr. Arys, this time make sure I have all the information that I request.”

“Yes, sir,” Arys replied with a bow.

You can discover more about Capture of the Defiance here:

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Dust

Dust

Dust: Before and After

Release Date: March 29th 2016

Dust wakes to discover the world as he knew it is gone after fragments of a comet hit the Earth. It isn’t the only thing that has changed, though, so has Dust. He now possesses powers that continue to grow, but also come with a price. A deadly encounter after he leaves his home leads to a new discovery – other survivors.

Dust soon learns that another creature has risen from the ashes, one that is determined to possess the powers that he has. On a journey filled with danger, it will take the skills of not just Dust, but those of his friends, if they are to survive.

This time the race is not to the swift, but to the deadliest in a world where a changed human boy and an odd assortment of friends must face their worst nightmares, and accept that life on Earth will never be the same again.

Join Dust and his friends as they fight to overcome an evil force determined to create a new species unlike anything the world has ever known.

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Voyage of the Defiance: Breaking Free Series

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Voyage of the Defiance excerpt:

An act of defiance that will either kill her or change her life forever…

Sixteen year old Makayla Summerlin enjoyed one thing in her crazy, messed-up existence: hanging with her friends at school. Her life is uprooted when she suddenly finds herself forced to live with the grandfather she barely remembers.

One act of defiance will change her life forever when she sets sail in her grandfather’s old sailboat after she has trouble adjusting to her new home. On a journey that will challenge everything she has ever believed about herself, Makayla must overcome her fears if she, and a surprising stowaway, are to survive.

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Voyage of the Defiance – What was I thinking?!

Have you ever had a thought that ran through your mind over and over and over until you thought you’d go crazy? It could be a story that has played in your head, a song, or something that you’ve been wanting to do around the house. This happens to me all the time. Most of the time, I can box it up, but other times, I have to do something about it. Just like with Gracie’s Touch, Touching Rune, Choosing Riley, and countless other stories, I knew that Voyage of the Defiance had to be told. I’d pushed it back until it wouldn’t be boxed up and set back up on the shelf any longer. I’ll warn you, I have a 7-9 book Children’s series swirling in my head as well! It is an action/adventure/fantasy series. I’ve already started it, shelved it, and peek at it every once in a while, but I have also promised my grandson that I would finish it, so watch out! LOL.

When a story becomes so powerful that it leaves you laughing, crying, and fighting to stay awake so you know what happens next, you know it has to be written. My poor husband gave me a lot of weird looks as I excitedly told him different scenes that were happening, gave him a quick kiss, and said I had to go write more so I could see what Makayla did next. I’ve shared the story with a few close friends, nervously biting my nails as they did for fear they would tell me my baby was ugly. Yes, that is how protective I am of this story. I feel the same way about each one, but this one was especially close to my heart, maybe because it has been with me for so long or because it is a little different from my other stories, I’m not sure.

When I announced the pre-order for Voyage of the Defiance, I received a few comments expressing readers’ disappointment that I had not written another book in one of my existing adult series which is why I’m sharing this post. I’m not giving up on my other series, I’m simply adding to the collection. I’ve also had comments from readers who said they can’t wait for their kids to get old enough to read some of my stories. This is simply a bridge for kids of all ages who enjoy reading. If you enjoyed the Dragonlings’ stories, and there will be several stories of them as teenagers, then you’ll enjoy VoD. For those who may not have seen it yet, Voyage of the Defiance, is a YA book that tells the tale of a sixteen year girl, Makayla, and her coming of age. As with my other stories, it contains interaction between characters who value family and friends and who will do the right thing rather than the easy thing. Irregardless of whether my stories are set in space, on post apocalyptic earth or modern day Florida, you will find they have the common threads of family and friends, love and acceptance, and honor and integrity.

Voyage of the Defiance has these same qualities wrapped in an amazing tale. It is a wonderful story of a young girl/woman struggling to find who she is in the world. The journey of self discovery is a common theme to us all. Who else remembers what it was like to be sixteen?! The only way I’d go back to being that age is if I could take all my knowledge with me! Maybe it was because of my experience, but I thought it was important to show that teens can do amazing things and experience adventure (think of the young Australian girl who sailed around the world on her own).

As a mother and a teacher, I have seen many young people struggle to cope with all that life could throw at them. It isn’t so much the curve balls it throws, but the way we handle it that defines who we are. This is what Makayla and Tyrell, the two main characters in Voyage of the Defiance, discover. They learn that things are not always what they appear to be and are willing to fight for their respective families while still trying to discover their own identity in this world.

So to wrap everything up, if you’ve enjoyed my other stories, loved reading the Dragonlings, and are ready to read something a little different, you’ll probably love Voyage of the Defiance as much as I do!

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