Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
When my older brother was thirteen, he started a writing club with his friends and wouldn’t let me join because I was only eight. I promptly swore that I would become a writer and make him sorry.
He still isn’t sorry. (I checked.) But in 2014 I will publish my first novel with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, so I guess everything worked out okay.
Some other facts about me:
• I practice Shorinji Kempo, a Japanese martial art based on Shaolin Kung Fu.
• Cruel Beauty is my debut novel, but it is somewhere between the third and sixth that I ever completed, depending on how you count things. (There was the 40,000-word mess I called a novel when I was sixteen, and the 220,000-word mess I briefly pretended was a single novel in 2009.)
• NaNoWriMo changed my life and got me finishing novels again after a long hiatus. But Cruel Beauty is not a NaNoWriMo novel. (The NaNoWriMo project that changed everything was the 220,000-word mess. Someday I may even revise it.)
• I grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, and I spent my childhood marinating in Greek mythology, which is where all the Greek elements in Cruel Beauty come from.
• Then I got a B.A. in English at the University of Dallas, and an M.St. in Medieval English at Oxford. Naturally, I moved to Seattle and got a job with computers.
• I have studied five languages (Spanish, French, Latin, Old Norse, and Japanese), though sadly I am still not able to speak any of them.
• I love some things more than T. S. Eliot’s poetry. But not many things.
• I am represented by Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates.