Terri-Lynne Smiles

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Author Profile

Terri-Lynne  Smiles

Noted as having “a native talent for imaginative storytelling that her readers find unfailing enjoyable,” (Midwest Book Review), and “skilled at crafting a nuanced page turner,” (Kirkus Review), Terri-Lynne Smiles creates novels filled with realistic characters, a quick pace, and a bit of a puzzle for the reader and characters to chew on. The novels of her Rothston Series met with acclaim from professional reviews and readers alike, as entertaining reads that explore the lure and misuse of power in a contemporary world in which “adepts” can change the decisions of those around them. Prior to becoming a full-time author, Terri-Lynne’s analytic skills were put to work as a health care attorney, where she was recognized as a Best Lawyer in America, an Ohio Super Lawyer, and one of the Top 25 Female Attorneys in Ohio. With the release her debut novel, Foreseen, to rave reviews in Summer 2012, Terri-Lynne left her law practice behind to devote more time to writing and meeting readers and has never looked back. When not writing or making appearances, she and her husband spend their time drinking wine and laughing at life’s twists and quirks. Find out more about Terri-Lynne at www.terrilynnesmiles.com

Books

Foreseen

Science Fiction & Fantasy

"An adventurous twist of genre, much recommended," Midwest Book Review The Rothston Institute can secretly manipulate the decisions of anyone in the world - from ordinary friends to government leaders. Possessing special mental skills used to accomplish its goals, college student Kinzie Nicolosi is training to protect humankind from self-destruction. A student missing an exam? A construction worker fired for an industrial accident? A Congressman ruined in scandal? Necessary consequences of honing her skills for the greater good. But Kinzie brings more than her remarkable talent to Rothston. She bears an unexpected power that rivals Rothston's own ... and the clash may be something none of them can control.

Book Bubbles from Foreseen

Adepts - A Bestselling Concept

An Amazon Bestseller for over ten weeks, readers are riveted by the idea of adepts - "ordinary" people who can read and change the decisions we make without us knowing. That power can be used for anything from pranks on a nemesis to enhancing friendly competition among friends to altering world events. What would you do with such power?

A Place Where I Wouldn't Feel Different

So many of us, particularly when we venture away from our childhood homes for the first time, feel out of place, different. With it comes a marvelous feeling when you find a welcoming place where you seem to belong. Foreseen captures these emotions in eighteen-year old Kinzie Nicolosi who has always felt a bit out of place. But her comfort may cloud her judgment as to people's true intentions.

The Origin of "Adepts"

The idea of people who can change the decisions and behavior of people around them was born from my background as an attorney where I would use words, tone, clothing, and posture to "influence" the decisions of juries and administrative agencies. Other's manipulate behaviors in different way - advertising agencies, a parent, a flirt on her game in a bar, etc. Why not a group of people who can do this manipulation at will with their minds? Thus, the idea of adepts was born!

Why a college age main character?

An eighteen-year-old main character allowed me to insert a "swept away" feeling into Foreseen, particularly when combined with Kinzie's rather sheltered, small-town life before heading to college. As confident as she is in her brain-power, we get to share her fascination and confusion with a lot of new experiences - such as the unexpected attraction to a teammate. For me, it was great fun to write, reliving the thrill of leaving home and discovering a much different world than I'd ever known existed.

To improve the fate of humanity

The mission of The Rothston Institute embodies one of the central question of the novel and the entire series: If you can see where a decision leads, when should you intervene to change it? We see this question play out in raising children - as in purposefully distracting a toddler from a cookie they want. But it arises in the "politics" (governmental or otherwise) between autonomous adults as well. We each have an arsenal of tools to "influence" the decisions of those around us, sometimes without their knowledge. When is this proper and when are we infringing on an individual's, organization's, or society's autonomy? It is not as easy to answer as it may first appear.

A Gridlocked Congress?

Ever wonder why our Representatives and Senators are increasingly at odds? Perhaps it is planned. Perhaps the adepts are controlling them to ensure nothing happens without their approval. Read Foreseen to find out.

What would you do?

A key question in the novel: what would you do if you could change what people say and do around you?

Fake IDs and Schrodinger's Cat

A favorite joke of the book reviewer at Uncorked Thoughts.

A Father-Daughter Fight

This passage, depicting a fight between the college freshman protagonist and her over-protective father won a 750 word writing competition on the prompt "childhood trauma."

First Impressions of the Rothston Institute

This is the origin of the quote on the back cover of the print version of Foreseen. Kinzie has arrived at the awe-inspiring Rothston Institute to find one its leaders, the Honorable Melvina Whitacre warmly welcoming into the fold of adepts.

Prologue climax

The events in the prologue occur well before the story that begins in Chapter 1, but set a tone for later.

Common Ground

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Alone and angry, Kinzie wants every common to know about adepts and stop them from destroying lives, even if that means taking on the Rothston Institute, itself. But what price will she have to pay to achieve that goal, how many lives will be lost in the process, and can Kinzie control of any of it? Book 4 and the conclusion of the bestselling Rothston Series.

Book Bubbles from Common Ground

The Empty Coffin

The last installment of the Rothston Series opens at the funeral service for an empty coffin. The body of it's intended occupant is lost in the murky water below a dam - a fact that Kinzie refuses to accept, regardless of how many facts are piled against wall of her denial. The poignant opening leads into the story in which Kinzie must make her own decisions - no matter what the consequences.

ORIGINS

Science Fiction & Fantasy

With her enemies out of commission, Kinzie Nicolosi wants nothing more than to bury herself in her studies and prepare for a future of protecting humankind through the Rothston Institute. But a new menace rises up, forcing her on a quest for a mysterious stone of old that unified adept efforts across the globe, believed to have been destroyed long ago. Her search is hampered by the ghosts in her head, dogging her every step, and beating them may be the toughest challenge she’ll ever face. Kinzie’s adventures continue in Origins, Book 3 of the Rothston Series

Book Bubbles from ORIGINS

New adult done right!

The Kirkus Review praised Origins, Book 3 of the Rothston Series, saying "This is new adult fiction done right." But what's new adult? For me, it's a combination of setting, tone, and the age of the characters. In Origins, Kinzie Nicolosi is 19 years old and struggling to return to her sophomore year in college after the adventures and challenges she faced in Foreseen and Choices. The campus setting and interactions with her peers and those of her father's generation feel real. Apart from the main plot of the book, the characters are figuring out their place in the world they are entering as adults. That's what makes is "new adult."

Choices

Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Rothston Institute has fallen to those who seek the key to controlling humanity – a secret held deep within Kinzie Nicolosi’s own body. Scared and on the run, Kinzie’s life becomes entangled with a collection of loners, adding the wrath of their own foes to the dangers she faces. Outmanned and outgunned on all sides, none of them can protect Kinzie or the world from the true evil behind the threats – something far more terrifying than anything they have encountered. And it is waiting… The saga of Kinzie Nicolosi continues in Choices, the second book in the Rothston series. Author Terri-Lynne Smiles once again convincingly explains world events through the interference of adepts who are able to control the decisions and actions of others.

Book Bubbles from Choices

"A perfectly orchestrated jolt" raves The Kirkus R

The opening chapter of Choices picks up a few months after the close of its predecessor, Foreseen, with a heart pounding, air gasping near death experience for the two young protagonists who find themselves inexplicably back at the secretive Rothston Institute. "Smiles interlaces the action and suspense with some interesting science tidbits and with a carefully considered version of human history in which adepts have always walked among us. And Kinzi and Greg remain extremely engaging main characters" concludes the Kirkus Review, calling Choices "A tense and well-plotted continuation of the Rothston Series."

The story continues

As a sequel, Choices picks up a few months after the first book ends, with the prologue occurring a mere weeks after the last events in Foreseen. The main characters are now attempting to move on with their lives, despite their knowledge of adepts manipulating our government and the continuing threat posed by those they encountered and fought in the first book. Unlike the first book, which was set primarily on a college campus, Choices forces Kinzie and Greg into being inadvertent world travelers, taking them to such exotic places as Caracas, Amalfi and Tortola in a gripping adventure

How I came up with the chivasta

The chivasta - the seven lobed endless knot depicted on the cover - plays more of a role in Choices than it did in the first book in the series, Foreseen. But in writing Foreseen, I knew I would need a symbol for adepts - a means they could have used to silently identify themselves to each other in olden times. I researched various ideas and discovered that something resembling a Celtic knot goes back to antiquity in nearly every culture around the globe. More interesting, in all the iterations of the form, those with five, six, or eight lobes are pretty common, but ones with seven lobes are extremely rare. Hence, the seven lobed chivasta was born as a symbol that could be worn or used to adorn a building which the "commons" would think nothing of, but would be immediately recognized by other adepts.

On the run - rich-style!

Part of fun for me in writing Choices was deciding if I was on the run and could go anywhere in the world in style, where would I go and how would I get there? Great fun to research and plot out! This scene, on the balcony of a private villa above Amalfi, Italy is the beginning of a sequence where what feels like a luxury vacation turns into a desperate nightmare. And its not the only time that happens.

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