**NOTE: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read MORE**
One of my favorite things about writing The Guardians was being able to more fully-develop the character of Tiernan. We only got a few glimpses of him in MORE, and they were usually pretty frightening. But there’s more to the guy than meets the eye, and writing his scenes with Ava, in particular, were a lot of fun. I enjoyed their growing relationship – a bit like a brother and sister who kind of get a kick out of pushing each other’s buttons, but would always defend each other when push comes to shove.
The scene where Tiernan steps in to try and help Ava access her Race strength was particularly fun to write. He’s using a big weighted block to train her, but Ava’s not having much luck trying to budge it.
“Come on, Ava,” he said, forcing a note of cheer into his voice. “If you move it an inch, I’ll give you a . . .” He searched his mind, at a loss at what to offer. “Cookie?”
Ava slumped against the metal block, and she seemed unable to hold back a laugh. “A cookie? Seriously?”
Tiernan wasn’t sure why he said that, but he wasn’t backing down now. “I like cookies,” he said, trying not to sound defensive.
Cookies are good. Cookies are tasty. Nothing wrong with a good cookie.
“No offense, big guy,” she said, straightening and patting his chest—a little condescendingly, he might add. “But cookies aren’t gonna do it.”
“Yeah?” Tiernan considered her carefully as another idea came to mind. He rounded the block to the side opposite Ava. “Maybe you just need the right motivation.” Without warning, he shoved the block toward her a few inches, and Ava stumbled back in surprise.
“Hey!” She regained her footing and glared at him. “You almost smashed my foot.”
“Maybe you should push back, then.” He nudged it forward a bit more, trying not to grin.
Ava narrowed her eyes and put her shoulder to the block, her jaw tight with determination.
“Come on!” Tiernan taunted her. “Put your back into it!” He pushed lightly at the block—enough to keep Ava on her toes. “Don’t think so much. Let your muscles do the work. They know what to do.”
“I really don’t think they do,” Ava said, punctuating each word with a pained grunt. “I think my muscles are pretty clueless, to be honest.”
“Don’t be such a wimp.”
“Shut up?” Tiernan shoved the block a little more. “I think you better shut up. Put all that energy somewhere useful.” Maybe if he could get her to forget about everything for a moment, her innate nature—the Race blood rushing through her veins—would take over.
Ava had her eyes shut, her brow furrowed, and her muscles strained to move the block. Tension radiated from her body, and he knew she was giving it all she had.
Maybe just a little bit more . . .
“Good thing Caleb will be back soon. Looks like you need someone to protect you.”
Before he knew what was happening, Tiernan found himself on his back with the weighted block on his chest. He gasped, confused for a moment that he could breathe at all. In fact, the block wasn’t exactly lying on his chest. Instead, it hovered about an inch above him, and when he pushed at it, it didn’t move.
Ava’s smug face appeared over him. “Now who needs protection?” she asked with a smirk.
–The Guardians, Chapter 10
So yeah, Tiernan appears to have met his match. Of course, Caleb is still very much in the picture, but I liked exploring other relationships for Ava—relationships that were not necessarily romantic in nature. I hope it gives more depth to The Guardians, and the trilogy as a whole.
To read Shannon’s Review : The Guardian
T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.
In addition to MORE and The Guardians, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology.