Book & Author Details:
Timekeeper Rising by Allyssa Painter
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy,
Fifty years ago, the sky cried acid and the earth vomited poison, all due to human destruction. Desperate for a savior, the people called out to the Shunned, a group of Fallen angels on Earth, and allowed them to take over. Now the Shunned rule with unspeakable cruelty, manipulating and torturing the humans in every possible way. Marked for death, Iris Ankea will do anything to end their tyranny and rescue her brother and best friend from their clutches. When she learns that she is God’s chosen Timekeeper and has the power to defeat the Shunned, she sets out with the only man who can help her, the one she thinks just might kill her. With a prophecy about her drawing ever near, Iris must race against time to discover her powers before the world, and her life, end. Can Iris force herself to embrace her role and sacrifice herself to save everyone she loves, or will she lose it all?
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Excerpt 2 –
“Can I help you?” she asked in a polite voice, staring the man down, pretending that she had
not already embedded her dagger deep into his thigh and did not currently work through ways to
gain the advantage. She took mental inventory as she stared the man down, watching for any
move he may choose to make. She carried no weapons, while he carried many. He seemed built
for sheer strength, while Iris possessed a thin, wiry body, though she had strengthened it. He
possessed at least some sort of power since he could deflect her dagger somewhat. Iris had
powers too, but they were undeveloped and mostly still a complete mystery to her. So, what
could she do to protect herself? How could she win this battle?
The man sneered at her, looking down at her both literally and figuratively. “Yes, you can. If
you’d like to just, oh, I don’t know, die at my feet, that’d be awesome. Thanks.” The man smiled
scathingly, revealing two rows of decaying teeth.
Iris did not even wince, though inwardly she cringed at his disgusting mouth. “No, sorry, I
just don’t think that’s going to happen today. Maybe try again tomorrow. Or you know, don’t.”
She smiled sweetly as she suddenly spun, bringing a roundhouse kick to the man’s stomach. He
stumbled backward a few steps and snarled. He stayed on his feet but he bent over for a long
moment to catch his breath. Iris laughed. “What? You didn’t expect a little thing like me to pack
a punch? Or rather, a kick? Oh, sorry. I do so hate to disappoint.”
The man once again stood tall and began to step toward Iris. She stepped away. He stepped
to the side. She countered. Iris contradicted every move he made, the two circling each other. He
yanked her dagger out of his thigh and allowed the blood to seep. “Apparently I will have the
pleasure to kill you with your own dagger.”
In one movement, he stepped to the left, forcing Iris to counter even as he shoved the dagger
toward her heart. She moved more quickly than he and thus earned a slice across her upper right
ribcage. She grunted in pain but did not soften her blow. Instead, she shot forward, shoving her
right palm to his nose and up. She tried not to wince at the crunching sound his nose made. She did not care for hurting others but she would defend herself and her family until her dying breath.
No one would touch them. As the man recovered from the blow to his nose, Iris stepped forward
once more and reached for her dagger. He waved his hand and sent her flying
With a thump, Iris landed against a nearby tree. She fought to catch her breath as he grinned,
those rotten teeth gleaming out at her. He stalked toward her, a glinting pistol in hand. She
pushed herself into a standing position as she tentatively reached out with her mind. She caught
snippets, just pieces about her position as the Timekeeper and her lack of weapons. She silently
cursed herself for leaving the cabin without them. She knew better. Zander had taught her better
As the stranger loomed toward her, she forced herself to forget about the pain in her body.
She focused on the matter at hand and how she could fix it. But that was the problem. How could
she fix it? Few options presented themselves and the few that did were unseemly. Iris gritted her
teeth and faced the man attempting to murder her, a virtual stranger. She wondered what could
possess someone to track down a stranger and murder them in cold blood without the stranger
ever harming them or anyone, for that matter. She should ask Sage. On her own, she could not
comprehend it. She could understand if she had killed someone the man loved or something. But she hadn’t. And he did not care.
The man once again began the dance of stepping ever closer, each step just a bit to the side.
Iris mirrored his movements, once again circling. Her mind raced, trying to win this fight before
it fully began. Stall, stall, stall, her mind told her. Give up, you’ll never win, her body replied.
There is no victory without a battle, her heart countered. The words steadied her. “Tell me, why
did you come? What have I, a teenager, done to someone like you, a man of your stature, to
warrant this, this attempted murder? Why do you bother with me?”
The man laughed, a cruel, evil laugh. “Little Timekeeper, you know as well as I why I
intend to murder you. And believe me, dear, this is no attempt. I shall succeed. I always do."
Iris smiled. “I must disagree with you there, sir. Fate has already woven a far different tale. I
shall not die this day. I do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.” She grinned
again, a scathing grin meant to match his own. He lunged at her, but she had been prepared for
that. As he stepped forward she dropped to the ground, delivering her own low swinging kick,
knocking his feet out from under him.
Iris watched the man topple with a satisfied sigh as she stood and moved to ready herself for
another attack. She knew she mostly bought time. If she could keep him from pulling that
trigger, eventually she could knock the weapon away from him or snag her own. Or, hopefully,
Sage or Sara would come looking for her and bring a weapon. She could not really see Cassian
coming to her aid, but hopefully one of the others would. She desperately needed help and she
As Iris backed away from the man, he rose to his feet. “You insolent girl, do you really hope
to defeat me? You would need an army and I see no army. How do you intend to beat me?
Iris wondered the same question as the man lumbered toward her once more. How did she intend to escape this situation?
Author Interview – All About That Book
I don’t know that anyone actually inspires me to write. I write because I love it. But inspirations
as far as working so hard on other book-related things: Jennifer Anne Davis (Author of the True Reign
Series, The Voice, The Power to See, and her new book, Cage of Deceit); Kiera Cass (Author of the
Selection Series and the Siren); and Maggie Stiefvater (Author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy,
Scorpio Races, the Raven Cycle, and more). There are plenty of authors I admire, but these are my main
three that inspire me to keep working hard. Outside of authors, my family and my close friends are invaluable. I have a wonderful support system that encourages me every step of the way.
How do you write/plan/develop characters?
I don’t? That sounds crazy, but it’s kind of true. I am not a planner, not with my books. I just…
write. A story just appears in my head and I just record it. Most of the time, I learn what’s happening at
the same time in the book as a reader. I experience things like a reader would, because I have no idea
what’s going to happen. I just write the story as is progresses. And truthfully, this is why I love to write.
Writing is just another way for me to discover a story and experience things I otherwise wouldn’t. So,
the characters are kind of already developed. Sometimes, I will stop and say, “But why is Iris doing
that?” or “Hold up, I’m not clear on how Sage is feeling.” And I guess you could call that character
development. But as for having notecards, timelines, binders full of notes, etc. like other authors? Nope. I just don’t use them. I’m sure they’re incredibly helpful. But I can’t write that way. So I don’t.
What’s your take on killing characters? Do we need to be worried reading your book?
I’m going to quote one of my famous authors here. “I don’t kill characters. They just die!”
(Kiera Cass). Like I just said, I don’t plan out stories. I just write them the way the characters tell me to.
Because of that, I have no control over who dies and who lives. I just record it. So, do you need to be
worried? No? I mean, this is a dystopian society with a war brewing. People die. But it’s not like Game of Thrones or anything, if that’s what you’re worried about.
Can you give us an inside look at how your cover came to be?
I irritated the life out of my husband. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted and my
husband is an artist (not professionally, but he’s pretty good at art). I looked at cover designers, but I
couldn’t find someone I really wanted to work with whose prices I could afford. So I asked (and maybe begged) my husband to make it for me. I explained what I wanted. I wanted a dystopian city
background with an hourglass crushing a clock. But not just any clock. A very elaborate, specific looking
clock. So, he did the best he could with what we had to work with. And I hated it. It was pretty similar
to my vision, but that just showed me how horrible my vision was. I decided I wanted it a little less busy,
simpler. So we said, how about an hourglass and some nice outdoorsy background. I think we started
with a storm, so we looked and I found plenty I loved, but then I thought, “Wait. Most of this story takes
part in forests.” And so he found the background you see in the cover. Then he went through and
edited it various ways. He probably emailed me at least 10 different versions with the same basic elements, just little changes. And eventually, he created the one that I fell in love with and chose.
What’s your research process look like?
It looks like the watch list for the FBI and NSA. For the Timekeeper Duo, I researched various
types of weapons and fighting, the effects of acid (not drugs, but actual chemical acid) on your
skin/clothes/etc. and how to treat it, various herbs, caverns in the eastern US, how quickly a corpse
deteriorates with exposure and acid rain, various torture techniques (I think), etc. I’m sure someone out there is now watching me thinking I plan to kill people.
Where did you get the idea for Timekeeper Rising?
A conversation in my high school sociology class with Mr. Throckmorton. We were getting ready
to leave and several of us fell into a conversation about what it would be like to watch our lives tick
away and to know how every decision we made affected the time we had left. And that became my idea/plot/basis for The Timekeeper, which became The Timekeeper Duo (Timekeeper Rising and Book 2,
Timekeeper Falling). It obviously evolved to where that is actually not the main point by any standards, but it is still prevalent. So thanks Throck!
Now that Timekeeper Rising has released, I’m turning my focus to Timekeeper Falling, the
second in the Duo. I’ve already finished writing it and editing it, but I’m still working on making it
perfect. I still need critique partners and beta readers to go through it. And then I need to start working
on publishing it. I’m also working on writing a new series, but I’m at the beginning stages of it, so
there’s not much I can tell you about it. I don’t even know much about it yet! But if you follow my blog or newsletter, I’ll be sure to let you know about it as soon as I can.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. I know it’s kind of cliché, but seriously. Being an author isn’t easy. It’s not just
writing a book. You have to edit/revise/etc. that book, design a cover or hire someone to do so, format
the book, make a webpage and various social media accounts, organize a blog tour, and more. It’s not
easy and, though this is my release week for my first novel, I know it doesn’t stop when the book
releases. Not by a long shot. It’s not easy, but if you really want it, don’t give up. Don’t let someone
convince you that you’re not good enough, strong enough, old enough, etc. If you really want it, fight for it. It might take some time, but eventually, you’ll make it.
Allyssa Painter is the author of Timekeeper Rising, the first in the Timekeeper Duo. She graduated from Sissonville High School and attends Concord University for elementary and special education. She dreams of becoming an elementary teacher and continuing to touch the world around her through the novels she writes. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantastical adventures, spending time with her family, and capturing the world around her in photography and writing.
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Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
- 1 signed copy of Timekeeper Rising
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