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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release with Guest Post & Giveaway - Gifted (The Hayven #1) by J.A. George

Title: Gifted
(The Hayven #1)
Author: J.A. George
Publication Date: April 13th, 2016
Category: Young Adult

There is no chosen one in this story.

She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.

Avery Gray is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.

Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.

But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in; friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.

However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side - Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love. Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option - rig the future itself and make it work for her. 

Buy Link: Amazon


My name is J.A. George and I’m the author of Gifted – The Hayven Series. I thought I’d take this guest post opportunity to talk about how I formed my characters and what better way to do that than to introduce you to three of my seven main characters.

Before I begin, I know what you’re thinking! Seven main characters? Seems a bit much, don’t you think? Well, if you can keep up with the cast of Game of Thrones, you can keep up with this! If you don’t watch Game of Thrones…you should, it’s really good!

Avery Charlotte Gray

  • Preferred name/nickname? Pretty much everyone calls me Ava. Lucas calls me Avs. One girl thought it would be cool to call me Ava-ReeRee…in public. We don’t speak anymore.
  • Age? 19.
  • Hobbies? I like to read, draw, and hang out with friends.
  • Favourite food? Pizza.
  • Weak spot? For some reason, chocolate fingers. No idea why.
  • Interesting fact? I really like the taste of lemons.
  • If you could invite anybody to dinner? Roald Dahl, no question. He’s an imaginative genius.
  • Thoughts in the shower? My plans for the day or whatever embarrassing thing happened to me the day before.
  • How do friends describe you? Loyal, funny, sarcastic and patient.
  • Pet peeve? Negative opinions.
  • Biggest fear? Losing loved ones.
  • Gift? Telepathy and pre-cognition. Uncontrollable pre-cognition, I might add.
  • Perfect day? Browsing an arts supplies store.
  • Favourite quote? Normal is boring and nobody is good at it.
  • First thing you say in GIFTED? “Someone is watching me.”

Ava was by far the hardest character to build. You see, in the first edition of Gifted, Ava was completely different, so much so, she’s unrecognisable now. When I first created her, I was trying to please every reader with one character and it took me over an entire year to realise that that was impossible. So instead of trying to create a character I assumed readers would want, I created a character I wanted to read and know more about. Ava is normal, and that’s what I like the most about her. She isn’t passive, but she also isn’t one of those characters who know the world is about to end and accepts she has to change it all under three minutes. She’s real. And pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

Lucas Elliot Aiden

  • Preferred name/nickname? The obvious answer would be ‘Luke’ right? I don’t really have a nickname, but prefer it that way.
  • Age? 21.
  • Hobbies? Girls. I know that’s not the best answer I could give, but if you’re going to read the book, I might as well be honest. You’ll find out eventually.
  • Favourite food? Chips. Or fries, as Americans call it.
  • Weak spot? Chocolate buttons. I always carry a small packet around.
  • Interesting fact? I’m great at juggling and my millionaire’s shortbread is unbeatable. It should be; it took a lot of practice.
  • Dinner guest choice? Dmitri Mendeleev.
  • Thoughts in shower? Guess.
  • How do friends describe you? Funny, big-hearted, lothario.
  • Pet peeve? People who assume they know me because of what they’ve heard.
  • Biggest fear? Pinpointing a fear.
  • Gift? Firider – I can produce fire with my hands.
  • Perfect day? Friends during the day and a girl for the night… I’ll admit, I’m not looking so great right now.
  • Favourite quote? Life is better when you’re laughing.
  • First thing you said in GIFTED? The first thing I said was a name and that isn’t too exciting, so how about the second thing I said? “No worries. You were obviously preoccupied…Who’s the pretty lady?”

Lucas is one of my favourites and one of the most complicated characters I’ve drawn up. I love that how in the bio above, you’d think he’s pretty one dimensional, but when you read more about him and find that it’s all a façade, it shakes you up a bit. The cocky, handsome, loveable young man with a secret he hides so well that it’s actually destroying him slowly makes him one of the most interesting characters I will probably ever write.

Peyton-Jane Levi

  • Preferred name/nickname? Peyton. My mum calls me PJ which has led to Eliza-Poppy, my youngest sister, calling me Peanut Butter and Jelly. I don’t mind it at all because her favourite thing to eat is Peanut Butter and Jelly.
  • Age? 20.
  • Hobbies? Meditation, yoga and some might say daydreaming.
  • Favourite food? Gazpacho.
  • Weak spot? Boiled sweets. I have a soft spot for things that a last a long time.
  • Interesting fact? I have a tattoo on my back of a dreamcatcher.
  • Dinner guest choice? Wildlife film maker, Gordon Buchanan.
  • Thoughts in shower? Whatever my daydreams choose. It varies every day. This morning I simply thought of polka-dots and zig-zags.
  • How friends describe you? Kind, ditzy, free-spirit, patient, soothing.
  • Pet peeve? Animal cruelty.
  • Biggest fear? Losing my mum or sisters. I hate to even imagine it.
  • Gift? Earth manipulation.
  • Perfect day? Spent exploring the amazon rainforest.
  • Favourite quote? Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
  • First thing you said in GIFTED? “So, Ava, are you planning on attending Fulton next year?”

Peyton’s my dream friend. My real friends are the best and irreplaceable, but an addition like Peyton wouldn’t go amiss. To the outside world she’s the ditzy, loveable hippy with her head constantly in the clouds, but to people who know her well enough, she’s as grounded as anything. She understands the way the world works and that despite her giving off the impression that she thinks the world is full of marshmallows, pink balloons and sticky candyfloss, she knows the real world can be the exact opposite.

Ava, Lucas and Peyton are three of my seven main characters and I can’t wait until the third book in the series where I write from all their points of view!

Download a sample of GIFTED from Amazon here.

J.A. George is the author of the four-part series, GIFTED: THE HAYVEN SERIES. Jessica spent years of her life reading book after book before sitting on her bed one morning, opening her laptop and typing Chapter One into her word document. Now, not only does she read book after book, she now writes book after book too. When she's not writing, she's trying to break her record of finishing a tub of Oreo ice cream in less than forty-five minutes.

J.A. George
Twitter: @JGeorgie_

  • 2 e-copies of Gifted.
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