What is your story?
Well, up until recently, I really had no idea about my extraordinary ancestors. After my father’s death, I had grown up far away from the family manor on Ratclif Circle and the secrets it held within its walls. But then everything changed when we got a surprise phone call and it led my family back to the house where I came face to face with my crazy past. Once there, I begin to discover that all is not what it seems.
Fantastic tales start to intertwine with reality when a magic arbor leads me to Kimerical, a world I never even dreamed existed. From mesmerizing visits at enchanted Oak Cottage, to terrifying encounters with villainous beasts of the dark, I find myself on the adventure of a lifetime as I try to begin and understand my royal responsibilities and what it means to be among the final descendants.
Are you the hero of your own story?
I don’t know about being the hero…but I definitely stir the pot. I mean, I have the best of intentions, but things don’t go exactly as planned…
What is your problem in the story?
Kimerical has been deeply wounded by the past doings of an evil Jester. While he is no longer a threat as such, the world remains in a state of limbo as a result of his actions. My friends and I set out to seek justice and restore Kimerical to its former glory. To do this, we must somehow find the Well of Wishes Lost – a magical wishing well that hasn’t been seen in hundreds of years…so yeah, that’s where our problems start.
Was there ever a defining moment of your life?
The night I first saw myself in Catrain’s portrait. I didn’t have any idea what it meant at the time, but looking back, it was in that moment that I knew…something significant was happening.
Do you have any special strengths?
Apparently, I do. I mean, I never knew it before, but as it turns out many of the ancient families of Kimerical are gifted, much like mine, with a birthright; a special skill, a talent of sorts. Mine is the gift of connection…which basically means I can talk to animals. They don’t talk back or anything…well, not usually anyway, but they always understand me and use their own forms of communication to respond. It’s all pretty new to me, so I’m still working out the kinks…
Do you have any distinguishing marks?
My hair’s kinda my trademark. It’s this deep shade of red and it grows wild on the top of my head. There isn’t much that can be done to tame it, so I basically just let it do it’s own thing.
What is your most closely guarded secret?
Seems I have a few of those these days. I feel like I’ve been living a double life ever since I discovered the arbor and found Kimerical, but telling people simply isn’t an option. Not that anyone would believe me anyway…
How do you envision your future?
I haven’t really allowed myself to think about the future lately. I mean, I’m only fourteen, but as a descendant that makes me old enough to compete in the tournament…although, I’m not in possession of my heirloom, so technically I’m not eligible. But I imagine it will turn up eventually, and then what? Do I compete for the crown? Do I step up to the plate and welcome the responsibility of being royal and possibly rule over all of Kimerical? I don’t have clue! Right now, I just want to make through my freshmen year of high school.
Celestine was running faster than she had ever run in her life. Jumping over fallen tree trunks and skillfully evading ditches as she raced through the woods. Twice she tripped over the trim of her dress, but she didn’t waste but a second scrambling back to her feet and moving forward. The palms of her hands stung with the pain of having badly scraped them in the last fall and her left knee felt as though it might give out at any second after a nasty twist. She ignored them both. Closing her eyes tightly she mentally discarded the gown and dress shoes for something more suitable for a high speed hike through rough terrain. When she opened them again, she was wearing a pair of trousers with high leather boots that reached up to her thighs, supporting the bum knee as she ran on.
Too terrified to turn around, Celestine forced herself to face forward at all times. Her mind frantically replaying the events that had led to this moment. Every time she did so she found herself growing more furious. She felt abandoned and betrayed by those she had least expected it from. Suddenly, a shadow cast overhead and she became aware that she was not alone. Already knowing what she would find, she turned her eyes to the sky. A golden eagle was soaring directly above her, mimicking her every move and trailing her to wherever she was going. One friend had remained. She allowed herself a brief moment of relief knowing he at least, would stand beside her whether he approved or not. And she knew he did not. Nevertheless, his love unlike the love of some others, was unconditional and the gratitude she felt for him in that moment was immeasurable.
Celestine had nearly reached the edge of the woods when she thought she heard someone moving through the brush behind her. Had Lucan changed his mind after all? Or had her plans been discovered and all of Kimerical was on now her heels in an attempt to stop her? Well, she would never give them the chance. Defying her own physical body, she reached deep and pushed herself harder, boosting herself forward with each powerful stomp to the ground. She knew full well it was fear and not courage that was urging her onward and denying her the chance to look back. Fear that she would see the palace guards on Lucan’s orders storming in on her to stop her…and perhaps an even greater fear, that she would turn around to find herself alone, being hunted only by her own memories.
She had come too far to stop now. The decision had already been made for her and she had but one choice to live with it…and she would live with it. Just not here.
Giving one last glance to the sky and her feathered friend, she closed her eyes and at the height of momentum crashed through the barrier in an explosion of purple colored lights.
It was done. She would never go back.
Although Karina Gioertz has been writing for most of her life, it never quite registered with her as something out of the ordinary or worth pursuing, because it was so closely connected to who she was. It wasn’t until she became a stay at home mom and finally took the time to write an entire book from beginning to end, that she understood what all of those ideas she had been jotting down all those years were really for. Since then, she has written several books, including Country Girls, Lucky In Love and Blood Bound.
While writing and motherhood have become her main focus over the years, she also enjoys many other creative activities such as painting and photography. Most sunny days she can be found in her courtyard working feverishly at painting and refurbishing old furniture…that is, of course, only if it wasn’t a suitable day to spend at the beach.
Karina resides in sunny Florida with her family and two dogs and can be contacted via Facebook or Twitter
To learn more about her work and upcoming projects visit her blog at http://www.friedgatortail.wordpress.com and website at http://www.friedgatortail.wix.com/karinagioertz.