Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guest Post: Juliana Haygert on the setting of Destiny Gift

I love learning about the setting of novels outside of the story itself. Today we get to take a closer look at Juliana Hayer's very awesome Destiny Gift. Check out the bottom for a rafflecopter giveaway and an excerpt.

Take it away, Juliana. 


Since the first images of Destiny Gift started forming in my mind, I saw a dark world, plagued by natural disasters mixed with manmade catastrophes. 

NYC and NYU 

Nadine moves to NYC to attend NYU, and we meet her at the end of her second semester there.

By Paulo Barcellos Jr. via Wikimedia Commons

 My gaze focused on the darkness coming through the large window behind her. It was afternoon and the sky was pitch black. Tall buildings in decay surrounded this one. A bat or two flew around. If I stood and looked down, there would be hookers and junkies and muggers filling the streets, and litter tossed through the lanes. If I were on the sidewalk, the reeking mix of garbage, dirt, cheap perfume, and human waste would invade my nose, making me gag.

After the darkness took over, NYU changed too. Before, its campus had been spread through Lower Manhattan. Now, the university was confined to the area around Washington Square Park, the entire site contained within a five-block radius, protected by thick sixteen-foot walls. Cameras and security guards kept watch.

Visions’ settings:

Nadine is plagued by visions since she first arrived in NYC. Each vision has a different and very important setting. Here are some quotes from four different visions:

I pivoted, only to see a palace—but not one of stone like those seen in history books. Instead, a palace made of crystal loomed before me. Shimmering. Shiny. Radiant. A step away from my feet, a crystal path wound up the mountain, leading to the palace’s entrance.

I was in a forest, among many tall and thick trees, in almost absolute darkness. The heavy smell of moss and wet leaves engulfed me.

Apart from the gray skies, the scene was breathtaking. Standing at the edge of a precipice, I had a clear view of the town that lay below, among many hills and mountains. Many European style houses, a few parks and squares, almost no tall buildings created an inviting mosaic. At the center of the town, a large angel fountain marked where eight roads met.

I was in a dark, chilly, tiny room, with stone walls and no windows. My arms ached. I looked up and, illuminated by a thin strip of moonlight, I saw my wrists wrapped by metal chains. My clothes hung in tatters and when I moved, my back scratched painfully against a rough wall.

Cathedral Rock (Sedona, AZ)

This is an important place in the novel. I chose this place because hikers say they can feel a vortex of energy when they reach the top. Whether that’s true or not, I’ll only know once I visit it, someday in the future.

By Tomas Castelazo  via Wikimedia Commons
 I was on top of a steep, red rock, looking at many other red rocks. It reminded me of the Grand Canyon, though I was sure it wasn’t the exact same place.

The parking lot of the Back O’Beyond trail seemed as if it had been abandoned for many years. The grass surrounding the dirt lot was dead and the low wooden fence that delineated the place was cracked, brittle.

The path was marked by small piles of stone, showing us where to go. Despite the darkness from the sky and the death-defying situation, every once in a while I looked back, amazed by the gorgeous view.

There you have it, a few settings from Destiny Gift. Be aware: the mythology side of this story will be major in the sequel and we’ll see a lot more significant settings ;)


Thank you so much, Juliana. I can't wait to reread Destiny gift.


Genre: NA paranormal romance
Word Count: 73,000
Release date: April 1st, 2013

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

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About the Author:

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | NA Alley

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I heard a heavy sigh and turned toward it. It was Victor. He was leaving the elevator down the hall and coming toward his grandma’s room. He had seen me and didn’t seem happy about it.

He wore faded jeans, a T-shirt, and a thin jacket. Too casual. I shook my head. The fact that my dream Victor and this real Victor were exactly the same physically, while their clothing styles and posture were the opposite of each other still boggled my mind.

He came to a stop before me. “You again.” There was disdain in his tone. I cringed.

“How are you?” I managed to ask and immediately felt silly. I had planted myself here in this hallway for over an hour waiting for him, and when he finally arrived, I didn’t know what to say. Though I really did want to know how he was. The last time I had seen him in the flesh, he’d been jerking on the floor of the hospital’s garage, in pain. “What was that … ah … before …?” I trailed off, hoping he would understand what I was referring to.

He shrugged, his sea-green eyes still staring at me with suspicion. “I don’t know. By the way, how do you know my name?”

I twirled a lock of my hair around my index finger as I considered my answer. I wanted to answer him. I wanted to be honest, but he would never believe me.

As if my answer would pop out of the walls, I scanned the hallway.

At the end of the corridor, a nurse left a room and entered another.

“The nurse,” I almost shouted, hoping he wouldn’t notice my sudden lie. I avoided his inquisitive eyes. “I heard a nurse calling you earlier that day.”

His deadpan expression hid his thoughts and didn’t let me know if he was buying it or not.

“What did you do to me last night?” he asked, crossing his arms. God, I hated how his voice and his posture were so guarded and mistrustful. I wasn’t used to it.

“What do you mean?”

“When you touched me, the shock and the pain went away. How did you do that?”

“I don’t know.” This time I wasn’t lying. I really didn’t know. He frowned, clearly still suspicious. “Seriously, I have no idea.”

His shoulders stiffened. “What are you doing here? What do you want?”

My eyes widened as I retreated a few steps, trying to avoid his toxic tone.

Yes, he looked like my Victor—the same voice, the same hair, the same face, the same mouth that had offered me smiles that had rendered me breathless many, many times. I wanted to touch him, to embrace him, to tell him everything was going to be okay. Maybe if I touched him, he would remember me and he would want to touch me too.

I came closer to him, looking deeply into those wary green eyes, my fingers itching to stroke his skin, to feel it smoldering under my caress. But I didn’t. He was like my Victor, but he wasn’t my Victor. The Victor from my visions would never speak to me like this. He would never snap at me. No, no. My Victor loved my company, loved to hear me sing, loved to embrace me and inhale my scent.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, my voice croaking under the heavy pressure inside my chest. Then, I walked away.


  1. I love the imagery and the thought that's obviously gone into the setting. I've been looking forward to reading this since I first saw your blurb! :)