Author: Rhonda Helms
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Isabel’s been cursed since the Middle Ages.
Desperate to escape an arranged marriage, she made a hasty bargain with a demon, asking for liberation from an oppressive husband-to-be and the excitement of travel. But the demon’s “gift” came at a steep cost. Each time he moves her to a new city, her memory’s wiped. No one can touch her bare skin without injury or even death. And she sees the lifespan of every living being (and is, in fact, immortal herself).
All a constant reminder that she’s different than other teen girls.
But New Orleans seems to accept her as she is. She has friends and a real life in this quirky, hot city. Then Isabel meets Dominic, whose deep soul and strong character draw her to him. Her growing love gives her the courage to confront the demon, insisting the curse be broken. But the demon’s price for freedom is much, much higher than she could possibly give.
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20591691-breathe-for-me?from_search=true
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breathe-for-me-rhonda-helms/1118717640?ean=9781939392060&itm=1&usri=rhonda+helms
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Breathe-for-Me-Rhonda-Helms/9781939392060
Interview with the Author:
1. Describe your book, using no more than three adjectives. Go!
a. Intense, swoony, N’awlins (yeah, I know that isn’t a “real” word, but it’s how you pronounce New Orleans, lol)
2. Where did you get the idea for Breathe for Me?
a. This actually started in its original form as a Persephones/Hades modernization. Then a bunch of those sold all at once…and I had to rework it to something else or else risk getting rejections because of the similarity. Lol. That said, I love the way it evolved and am so glad I took the leap to change it.
3. Breathe for Me deals with demons and curses. What other supernatural creatures do you like and which ones do you think you’d like to write about in future books?
a. I love the paranormal stuff. Always wanted to write a gargoyle story, actually…I should try my hand at one someday. Something about those creatures in particular always stick with me.
4. Why New Orleans? In what ways does the location aid the story?
a. I visited New Orleans back in 2007. If you haven’t been there…it’s unlike any other place in the U.S. Like you’ve stepped into another world. The pace is slow, the environment almost a character in its own right. The walls themselves seep history and mystery. I loved it—and I knew immediately that I wanted to set a book there. My heroine is different, but in a place like that, difference is celebrated and accepted. The perfect place for her story to unfold.
5. What scene do you most regret having to cut?
a. I don’t remember cutting any scenes, actually. My problem is I tend to write short, lol. So in revisions, I always go back and enrich my scenes, add more elements to flesh out the story, etc.
6. What was your favorite scene that got added during edits?
a. I didn’t have a full scene added in edits with Spencer Hill Press, but I did slow down the pacing of the epic scene at the end of the story. By doing that, I drew out the ending and made it more impactful—or so it feels to me. ;-)
7. Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a work in progress?
a. “How far out do you have to dump a body in Lake Erie to have it stay there and not float back to the shore?” Yeah, I might be flagged on some FBI lists for that one. haha
8. Which character was your favorite to write?
a. Honestly? Sitri. He was a real challenge for me. Creepy and obsessive, and yet…there’s a vulnerability in him that drew me to him and stuck in my head. He’s messed up. But he’s a product of how he was raised, his lifestyle, his demonic power. He loves my heroine in his own way, but his love is flawed and controlling, not healthy and freeing and supportive. I like how complicated Sitri is.
9. Which character was the hardest (or least favorite) to write?
a. Probably my heroine was the hardest to write. Her voice needed to be compelling enough to support the story, to show her vulnerability, yet also reveal her inner strength. She’s had this hard life, but I didn’t want her to be bitter.
10. Biggest writing quirk?
a. Oh man. Uhhhhhh this is a hard question, lol. I’m quirky in general. I can’t write out of order, and I can’t write without a plot outlined. I freeze up. Other than that, I can’t think of anything weird?
11. What books would you recommend to a reader who loved yours, and wants to read something similar?
a. I’m a huge fan of paranormal/fantasy writers with strong heroines, which is what I was aiming for in this book. These YA authors rock my socks so hard: Rae Carson, Robin LaFevers, Maria V Snyder. Can’t recommend them enough.
12. What are three must-have items when you sit down to write?
a. Some form of caffeine (usually soda, but sometimes tea), my laptop and some kind of sweet treat (chocolate works fabulously).
13. What book are you currently reading?
a. I just bought This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers, and I’m so, sooooo excited to read it. I love everything she writes. :D
Author Bio and social media links:
Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.
When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.
Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.
Author Social Media Links: