Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Author: Heather Demetrios
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Forced to obey her master.Compelled to help her enemy.Determined to free herself.Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
Creating a dream cast for Exquisite Captive is incredibly challenging and definitely highlights the fact that we don’t just need more diverse books—we need a more diverse Hollywood. All told, I have very few white characters in this series. While my jinn aren’t necessarily Arab, most of them reflect the diversity of the countries that have a lot of jinn lore. Nalia herself I always imagined as a Bollywood actress-type. Malek, her master, is the only main character with a specific culture on Earth—he’s Saudi. Again, not the easiest type to find in the movies and TV shows here in the United States. I hesitate to choose models because who knows if they can act?! I have a theatre degree and studied acting and directing in undergrad, so it’s not a decision I take lightly. Still, here are my best bets – I’d love to hear what readers think and if they have any ideas of their own! You can see my original cast list on the Dark Caravan website. These are just cool looking people I saw on Pinterest that inspired me, as well as a photo from the cover photo shoot I went to for the books.
(played by the model on the Dark Caravan Cycle covers, Paige Palmari)
From the book: She moved with the grace of a Bollywood dancer, entrancing men and women alike with her strange golden eyes full of secrets and the tumbling dark hair that wound past her neck and over her shoulders like loving snakes.
Paige was the perfect model for the covers and would be an excellent Nalia if cast in the movie version. She was able to capture so many of Nalia’s emotions. I especially love this photo of her that I took at the shoot. She’s fierce, yet vulnerable – and beautiful, obviously! I really like that Paige herself has a very mixed background: you can’t quite place her ethnically (she cited Native American and European roots, among others). It’s the same with Nalia. In the book people wonder if she’s a Saudi Princess or perhaps a Bollywood starlet. They just don’t know. Nalia goes through a lot in the series and so whoever plays her would definitely need to cover a wide range of emotions and keep the balance between her inner fragility and her alluring, deadly power.
(played by model Atesh Salih)
From the book: She wished he were ugly—it’d be only too easy to come up with just the right insult. But Nalia couldn’t deny that he actually was handsome in a roguish kind of way…he carried himself with a certain thuggish wariness, as though he expected to find enemies around every corner.
Oh my, is Atesh handsome. I saw this picture of him on Pinterest and immediately thought of Raif. I like that he’s clearly hot, but looks kinda rugged here—like he’s up to all kinds of trouble. Raif isn’t polished: he has a raw grace when he fights and wears his heart on his sleeve (much as he hates to admit it). I really love the determination in Atesh’s eyes in this picture, too. He’s looking forward, not to the past, but to the present. And he isn’t afraid. Raif is similar to Nalia in that he has to hide his vulnerability and project this fierce image to everyone he encounters. It’s a survival instinct that has served him well as the leader of the jinn revolution.
From the book: The way he moved always reminded her of a panther—lithe, quick, graceful. His glossy black hair was just the right amount of mussed up—he looked like an Armani model, all sharp lines and studied casual elegance. A young sheik, dressed for a night of pleasures.
So, unfortunately I don’t have the names of the above models, but from their pictures that I found on Pinterest, you can see that it’s basically hot guys in suits. Malek is Nalia’s master, far older than her (his seeming immortality is a bit of a mystery), but he only looks to be around thirty at the oldest. He’s filthy rich, extremely powerful, and devastatingly cruel. Also: hot. I couldn’t resist! I know I could have given her a total ogre for a master, but, really, where’s the fun in that? I ask you. Initially, I seriously considered Theo James (before he did the whole Divergent thing) because I loved how he played “the Turk” on Downton Abbey. But, alas, he’s already been taken. Whoever plays Malek will have their work cut out for them. He’s got so many inner issues and a very dark past. He also has this strange balance that he has to keep between his growing feelings for Nalia and his hunger for power.
You can check out the rest of the cast on the Dark Caravan website, where I have full character descriptions and photos.
About the author:
When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which Publisher's Weekly calls “[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut” about reality TV stardom. She is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles and what Kirkus called in its starred review "an intoxicating, richly realized realm of magic, politics, spirituality and history" (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN CYCLE). She is also the author of the upcoming I’ll Meet You There (Winter 2015). I’ll Meet You There is a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home. Heather is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for youth of limited economic means. She is proud to have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can always find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios), ogling the military dogs she wants to adopt (but can’t because her NYC apartment is way too small). Find out more about Heather and her other books at www.heatherdemetrios.comand www.darkcaravancycle.com
Giveaway:Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships to US only.
23 Winners will get a signed finished copy of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
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