Author Robin D. Owens' twelfth Celta novel, Heart Fortune, brings readers back to the planet where humans gifted with psychic powers seek their HeartMates — their one true soul mate. We asked the author to tell us more about how one goes about finding their HeartMate, and what readers can expect from Heart Fortune.
In Heart Fortune the idea of HeartMates takes center stage. What is a HeartMate?
A HeartMate is a fated mate, like a soul mate, who was made for you and you alone and with whom you will bond physically, emotionally and spiritually. That's the idea, anyway.
The downside is that if you do become that intimate, when one of you dies the other will follow within a year. And, yes, I'm still working out some of the rules.
In general, how would one go about finding their HeartMate?
I've explored a few different ways. First of all, when your magical powers are freed during fever-dreams at various stages of your life, you can feel whether or not you have a HeartMate. You'll have very sexy dreams and make a special gift for them that reflects your innermost self.
So ... a HeartMate might realize who their match is at first sight. Or, like Trif Clover in Heart Quest, you could make a key that would open their door. Or you might recognize them from your dreams.
The knowledge could also grow on you as a bond forms between you naturally. "Fated mate" stories are hard to keep fresh, so I've allowed a lot of leeway here so I can continue to develop conflict between my heroes and heroines.
After lots of books (and plenty of characters finding their HeartMate) are their any couples that have stayed with you long after you have written "the end"?
All of them. I have a large cast of former heroes and heroines that I can now bring in as secondary characters for any reason (but they only get to be on stage if I need them).
If someone wants a Fam (telepathic animal companion), that person will likely go to my first heroine, Danith D'Ash, and her adoption rooms. I also have two healers, a tracker, an entrepreneur, a restauranteur/chef, a private investigator, a cop (guardsman), a musician … you get the idea.
In Heart Fortune, hero Jace and heroine Glyssa were involved, but they have separated. Has the time apart been difficult for them?
I visualized them as hooking up one long holiday weekend and having jungle sex, with Jace then leaving the city. Sometime later, Glyssa realizes a bond had formed and that he was her HeartMate … but, ah, she didn't actually get his last name. This is the backstory. After that, Glyssa didn't have any lovers, but Jace, being more dense and a guy and just plain liking superficial sex, did.
What's the first thing they do when they reconnect?
There's tension. Glyssa's animal companion, a fox kit, just ran into danger and Jace followed to save the fox. Glyssa is annoyed at her fox and grateful to Jace, and though he recognizes her as a woman he'd had a fling with, he makes it evident that he doesn't want their previous connection to be made public.
Jace is leery of a Heartbond since his parents' relationship ended so poorly. How does his family's past experiences affect how he treats Glyssa?
He is very shy of commitment and doesn't actually believe in love between a man and a woman, he hardly believes in love in any form at all. So he first has to understand that there is such a thing as love, and that it can be more wondrous than painful. Jace's emotions are mixed, so his signals and actions and reactions are mixed, which is hard on Glyssa.
Glyssa is a strong character who goes after what she wants, and Jace has landed in her sights! Does she have a plan on how to reignite their passion or does she just improvise?
She had a plan she has to abandon fairly quickly. Then she improvises, and since it is illegal to tell someone they are your HeartMate (because it denies them free will), she had to try and persuade him — and the sexy dreams helped.
Is there another Celta novel in the works? What can you tell us about what's next?
Heart Fortune is book one in my current three-book contract with Berkley, but I really don't plan on ending the series, and I think Berkley is with me in that.
I'm working on the next, the title of which hasn't been set. This book features the third of the three BFFs, Tiana Mugwort, who is a priestess. It also highlights another fan favorite secondary character, the Turquoise House.
I have intelligent houses in my books, and I introduced the Turquoise House, a house just coming of age, earlier in Heart Choice. TQ has been waiting for his family, and I have been dropping hints that TQ knows who one of his persons is (someone who's been avoiding him). The book could be subtitled "The Turquoise House Gets His Family."
Thank you so much for this opportunity to talk about the Heart Series and Heart Fortune, and for asking such interesting questions! May a little magic always grace your life.