Heartbroken but more determined than ever after a tense showdown in the woods, sixteen-year-old Tess once again returns to the safety of her community of Isolationists. Bolstered by new alliances and desperate to protect those she loves, this time she knows she can return stronger and more powerful than ever to take back what is hers.
As she trains in combat and grows more confident, Tess receives beautiful letters penned by her forbidden love, the chosen one James, from his prison in Templeton. He is now serving as a bodyguard to the creators—the team of scientists who created artificial life in the first place. And what he has discovered about the true origin of the illness that halted natural life could change everything. Enemy will become ally and death will bring new hope in this stunning conclusion to Tiffany Truitt’s epic Lost Souls trilogy.
I want to start off by thanking Paulette’s Papers for hosting me today. I had a great time going through the site, and I simply love how romance friendly the blog is! After my initial visit, I knew exactly what I wanted to share today—-all things romance.
While my YA dystopian series, The Lost Souls, is a science fiction work, the trilogy is filled with some pretty steamy, swoon-worthy scenes. (Or at least as steamy and swoon-worthy as I felt comfortable writing during my first venture into the YA world). I’d like to share some of my favorite bits while also offering an exclusive sneak peek into scenes and lines from the third and final book, CREATORS.
Book 1 – CHOSEN ONES
Meet Cue – In book one of the series, Tess meets James in the unlikeliest of places—the piano room. Fearing that music and art corrupted the souls of humankind, the council destroyed most of it, and when Tess discovers a piano in the council’s training center, she cannot stop herself from giving into temptation. When James, a chosen one, finds her committing a crime, the last thing she expects is this:
That was when I saw him. It was the chosen one from my branding. Not the one who held me down as the iron burned into my skin. This was the one who was beautiful. While I knew it was wrong to admit, even if only to myself, some part of me liked seeing him.
As I looked to the chosen one beside me, I saw past the perfection the creators intended when constructing him. Behind his alluring appearance laid danger. His artfully sculpted cheekbones, curly black hair, and dazzling mismatched eyes didn’t impress me. Those weren’t the things that stirred something inside me the way playing the piano did. It was the flaw. The small scar on his chin. It was glorious.
Sometimes it felt too difficult to look on the chosen ones; they were so far superior to us naturals in every conceivable way. It was as if that scar allowed me to see him, begged me to see him. How silent it was. I was so used to the hustle and bustle of the compound that it startled me. I could almost hear the air weave itself around everything in the room. He was silence itself.
And in that stillness I was more aware of myself than I had ever been. I could feel the way a few stray strands of my red hair were brushing against the branding on the back of my neck. I could sense my pulse beating quickly against my wrist, my body craving to touch the keys again. Or maybe to touch the boy. I could even taste my breath sticking inside my throat. But for one brief moment, I couldn’t feel fear. It was only a second. I saw his hand twitch and suddenly the moment was lost forever.
Book 2 – NATURALS
The Reunion – Without giving too much away, James and Tess, the star-crossed lovers of the series, end up getting separated by forces seemingly larger than life. But nothing keeps true love down for long. Here’s a bit from the reunion…before things really heat up
James hesitantly reached both hands up to cup my face but stopped before actually making contact. “Is it okay if I touch you?” he asked.
“God, yes,” I breathed.
His hands found my face and a wave of goose bumps covered my limbs. I closed my eyes and allowed the feeling to overtake me. It was euphoric.
“Did they hurt you, Tess?”
“Say it again?” I begged.
“Tess,” he murmured.
My eyes snapped open. I threw my arms around him and held onto him as tightly as I possibly could. I began to full-out sob, burying my face in his chest.
“Shh. It will be all right. I promise,” he said soothingly, running a hand up and down my back.
I shook my head and looked up at him. “I…I know it will be…that’s not why I’m crying,” I managed.
James wiped under my nose with his sleeve, waiting patiently for me to continue. He wasn’t dressed much differently than the other men of the camp—brown trousers and a blue and green plaid shirt—but in other ways, he was entirely one of a kind. He had always been so gentle with me.
I swallowed, trying to somehow calm down enough to explain my words. I took a shaky breath. “I’m crying because every time I wanted to see you again, it felt so foolish. I never
thought it could actually happen.”
“I told you I would find you,” he said tenderly.
Book 3 – CREATORS
Steamy Steam – There’s not much I can give away about book three, but I wanted to share this bit. In this scene, Tess and James, for reasons I cannot share, find themselves on opposite sides of the war, but Tess will not accept defeat. She knows that despite the powerful brainwashing enacted upon James, the man she loves still exists somewhere inside.
“Tell me, girl. You look after him. Have you stumbled across anything else the boy may have taken from his father’s room? A second map, perhaps?” he asked, his thumb continuing to graze my cheek.
Something inside of me twisted and broke. I slapped James’s hand away from my face. “What are you doing?” I demanded.
James stepped away from me, his hands held up in surrender. “The touching? I can tell you like it.” He motioned to my reddened cheeks. “I can do it some more. I just need you to help me a little.”
I wanted to throw up. James had been playing me. I hopped off the medical table, trying to ignore the wave of dizziness that overtook me. “Looks like you liked it yourself,” I challenged. His face was flushed.
“I…I was just…” he mumbled, backing away from me.
He had liked it. Some part of him remembered what it was like to touch me. I stood as straight as I could. I didn’t care that he was a chosen one. I didn’t care that he couldn’t remember our time together. I walked right up to him. “What part of it did you like? The way it felt to touch me? Or the fact that you were doing something they told you was so wrong? Or was it both?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
James’s face paled as he gulped. I reached a hand toward him, stopping just short of placing it against his chest. “I can do it some more. I just need you to help me a little,” I whispered.
“Get away from me,” he said.
“What is this map you’re looking for? Why is it so important? If you tell me, I’ll let you do it again,” I promised, placing my hand against his chest. His heart pounded beneath my palm. I could feel my own heart beating to keep pace with his. “I can tell you want me to,” I whispered.
James wrapped a hand around my wrist but he didn’t pull me away from his chest. “I…I need you to stop doing that.”
I licked my lips. Abrams had been right. Women had all sorts of power. “Is that really what you want me to do? Come on…just a few answers, and we could have so much fun.”
Tiffany Truitt received her MA in literature from Old Dominion University. Her debut Chosen Ones, first in the Lost Souls trilogy, is a searing look at what it means to be other and how we define humanity, as well as a celebration of the dangerously wonderful feeling of falling in love. www.tiffanytruitt.wordpress.com