Guest Post/Excerpt/Giveaway – Return by Charity Santiago

Welcome to my stop of the Return book tour which has been brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours. Today I have an excerpt as well as a summary of the book and you can learn a little more about the author Charity Santiago. Don't forget to visit the other blogs on this tour for more information about this book and the author.

Title: Return
Author: Charity Santiago
Series: Lady of Toryn trilogy
Genre: YA Fantasy
Date Published: May 2011

Book Description:

For the last three years, eighteen-year-old Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father's kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunites Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead.

Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn's sworn enemy.

Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn?

Guest Post

“My Strange Addiction: Love Triangles”

My name is Charity Santiago, and I am officially addicted to love triangles.

I haven’t found a support group for my addiction yet- which admittedly is just one of many fiction-related addictions I suffer from. Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. There have to be other love triangle addicts out there.

The love triangle has become a recent trend in young adult fiction, and although some would argue that the love triangle’s fifteen minutes are over, I beg to differ. What is love without a triangle, I ask? It’s just plain love. And everyone knows that “just plain love,” without conflict, makes for a short and less-than-thrilling story for readers.

With respect to those who have grown tired of the love triangle (I get what you’re saying- really I do), I am writing this post for all my fellow triangle addicts. Unite, my fellow addicts! We are many! We are strong! And we’re not going anywhere anytime soon!

If you, like me, are constantly on the lookout for young adult series featuring a love triangle, consider these:

The Mortal Instruments series (Book 1, City of Bones) by Cassandra Clare
The first book in the Mortal Instruments series is being released as a movie in August 2013, and stars Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror) and Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga). If past book-to-movie interpretations are any example to go by, however, the book will still reign supreme over the film version. In this series, our heroine Clary finds herself caught in a delicious love triangle between her loyal childhood friend, Simon, and a sarcastic Shadowhunter named Jace Wayland.

Twilight (Book 1, Twilight) by Stephenie Meyer
I realize that for some fans of the love triangle, naming Twilight on this list might feel like old news, but you can’t deny that these books launched the love triangle into the public eye like no other young adult series ever has. At this point, the angst-fest involving Bella, Jacob and Edward is a worldwide phenomenon. Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Trylle trilogy (book 1, Switched) by Amanda Hocking
This is one of two Amanda Hocking series I’m including on this list, purely for personal reasons. Like me, Amanda is (or at least started off as) an independently published author selling her books on Amazon. The love triangle between Wendy, Finn and Loki has multiple layers. Finn is a lowly tracker, and he and Wendy are forbidden from being together according to Trylle law. Loki, on the other hand, is a prince among the Vittra, so his social status matches Wendy’s- except that he’s also very much her sworn enemy.

My Blood Approves (book 1, My Blood Approves) by Amanda Hocking
Amanda Hocking’s second series swaps out trolls for vampires, and there’s an interesting twist: Alice may be in love with Jack, but her DNA (more specifically, her blood) screams that she belongs with Peter. There is just no end to the heart-rending in these novels, and you can’t help but feel sorry for poor, beautiful Peter, who is truly the ultimate angst-muffin.

Lady of Toryn trilogy (book 1, Return) by Charity Santiago
All right, I know it’s awfully silly to include my own trilogy on this list, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for reading about love triangles, so it totally makes sense for me to write them, too. In the Lady of Toryn trilogy, Ashlyn’s two love interests are as different as night and day: Drake is a guarded and emotionally unavailable vampire, but those rare moments where he opens his heart to Ashlyn are all the more precious for it. Vargo, on the other hand, is sardonic, sly and clearly head-over-heels for Ashlyn. There were moments when I was writing this love triangle that I was crying myself. Who will Ashlyn choose?

Do you have a favorite love triangle within a book or series I didn’t mention here? Let me know in the comments!

Great post Charity!! I love the spice of a love triangle and trying to choose a side (usually the bad boy!!) 


"I once knew a girl," he said, his voice a perfect monotone, "who was like a dying rainbow. Her colors were incomparable, her countenance a whirlwind of brilliance."
Ashlyn resisted the urge to pull away from his touch. If this was another story about his dear long lost Loritta or the perpetually bratty Trace, she really wasn't in the mood to hear it.
Three years ago, she would have immediately yanked away and jumped up, jabbering something about Drake's selfishness and his inability to let things go or think about anyone but himself.
Today, Ashlyn sighed inwardly and resigned herself to a drab sob-fest about one of two women she hated for the pure fact that they were both incredible and mature and…well, not her.
Drake went on, oblivious to Ashlyn's inner turmoil, "As much as she shone, however, she faded into nothingness, at times so quickly that I was unsure whether she had existed at all."
He paused, their breathing and the rain on the roof the only sounds in the room as he gently extracted a splinter from between her fingers. "Years passed, and she became a memory to me. It was a long while before I realized how difficult it must have been for her, attempting to find a balance- somewhere from oblivion to her own unmatched radiance."
His hand covered hers, emerald light gleaming from between their interlinked fingers as her flesh knitted beneath his touch.
"I never thought I would see her again," Drake continued. His lips were close to her ear, stirring the damp strands of her hair with his breath. "But she came to me one night, three years later, out of the rain, as much a walking contradiction as she'd ever been."
Ashlyn's throat tightened.
He was talking about her, sweet Drago, he was saying all that stuff about her. She'd spent a month with Drake before, in close proximity, and he'd never said this much during those entire four weeks, much less in a single conversation.
And what he was saying now…? If she hadn't already been pretty much collapsed into his arms, it would have happened, and probably with a bunch of drama and swoony fluttering, too.
"What seems impossible," Drake said, his fingers brushing across her palm with obvious reluctance as he let go of her hand, "becomes possible in the smallest, most trivial moments. The girl that I remember has become a woman I cannot forget. Her strength has united a kingdom once thought lost. Her passion has awakened the hearts of heroes unsure of their purpose."
"Her stupidity caused the war in the first place," Ashlyn said uncomfortably, folding her arms across her chest. Instead of utter elation at his words, she felt like a child receiving a precious gift that was completely undeserved, and as much as she wanted to let him console her, there was no way to deny the truth of the situation.

When she met Drake's gaze, his blood-red eyes were solemn, and he raised a hand to cup her face, brushing his thumb across her cheek to remove the last traces of her tears. "You can run from your destiny, Ashlyn, but it will find you regardless," he said.
"I was alone for three years," she told him. I am not leaning into his hand. I AM NOT leaning into his hand. "I'm not the same person anymore. Toryn isn't my destiny anymore. I'll just screw it up, like I have everything else."
"I was alone for almost twenty years," he replied. "You dragged me out of the coffin nonetheless."
"That's different." Don't do this to me, Drake. Don't make me fall for you all over again.
His eyebrows quirked, obviously in disagreement.
Ashlyn frowned, trying hard to focus. "I only asked you to start thinking of yourself as a man, Drake, instead of a monster. That's hardly the same thing."
"I'm asking you to think of yourself as a leader," he said. "You've spent so long running from responsibility that you think yourself incapable of fulfilling your birthright."
"We haven't seen each other in three years. You don't know what I'm capable of- I don't even know what I'm capable of."
He grabbed her hand, abruptly, and brought it up to his chest. Through the cloth of his shirt, his skin was warm to the touch, and Ashlyn let him press her hand against the solidness of his shoulder, confused as to what he was doing.
"This," he said, his voice low, "is where I was struck by Devlyn's sword."
After a moment, he slid her hand lower, until it was resting directly above his heart. Ashlyn paused, entranced by the lack of a pulse beneath her fingers, the scent of him filling her senses and enveloping her like the rain against the roof.
"This," Drake said. "This is where I would have been struck, if you had not deflected the blow."
She met his gaze, breathing so hard that she felt light-headed. His eyes bored into hers, piercing her straight to her soul.
"I know what you are capable of, Ashlyn," he said. "I know better than anyone."

About the Author

In February 2011, Charity Santiago's 7-month-old son was admitted to the hospital with severe respiratory issues. While Charity stayed at his bedside, she kept them both entertained by downloading several books on her new Kindle and reading them out loud. It was during this time that Charity learned about Kindle's self-publishing program, and realized that she had an opportunity to share her writings with the world.

Charity is a native of southeastern Arizona, and a writer since childhood. She wrote her first manuscript, Guinea Pig Code, at age nine. When she’s not writing books, Charity spends her time reading on her Kindle, wrangling children, watching Sylvester Stallone movies and pursuing a degree in Education.

Find Charity online at:



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  1. Liz @ Fictional CandyMarch 8, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    I agree about love triangles, they definitely add that extra "oomph" that gets us right in there with the action of falling in love in our books! But I'm like Naomi, I almost always go for the bad guy! I don't know what it is about them, but that danger is fantastic :) And I've read a couple of those series you've mentioned, and they are really good! Of course I like Twilight, but the Trylle trilogy is great, and I don't really see people talking about it too much.

    Love the excerpt, and definitely looking forward to seeing more of this book!

  2. I love a bad boy! Who doesn't! There's usually a big teddy bear underneath it all! LOVE the Trylle trilogy yes I went for the bad boy there too! ;) Thanks for the great post! <3

  3. I haven't read the Trylle trilogy, but I have it on my TBR list!! Bad boys are soooo much fun, I get bored with the perfect guy, unless he knows how to make me swoon.... mmmmm......

  4. That teddy bear is usually hidden very deep though!! lol!!

  5. Hi Tobi! Thanks for the kind words! I love bad boys, too. I was just thinking the other day and realized I haven't read a book in forever where I really connected with a "nice guy" character. Then I suddenly felt guilty and decided to seek out some of the nice guys in fiction that I've fallen in love with over the years. That post is going up on the Sunday 03-10-13 stop on my tour. I hope you'll stop by and read it!

  6. I'm a sucker for unrequited love, I admit it, so I always end up rooting for the underdog in the love triangle. I do love bad boys, but I love underdogs more! Haha!

  7. You should definitely read the Trylle trilogy, Naomi. If I'm being honest, I didn't care for the third and final book in the series, but I sure loved the first two.

  8. You are such a wonderful tour host! Thank you for letting me take over your blog for the day, I truly appreciate it. Have a great weekend!

  9. Anytime Charity!! I loved having your book here!!


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